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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  August 11, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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08/11/22 08/11/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> we must keep the horrors of hiroshima in view of all times, recognizing there's only one solution to the nuclear threat, not have nuclear weapons at all. amy: as u.n. secretary general antonio guterres warns about the growing risk of nuclear war, we look at efforts to revive the iran nuclear deal. after 16 months of negotiations, a final text has been sent to
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washington and tehran. we will get the latest. plus, we look at a growing house -- housing crisis in the united states as rents soar and cities crackdown on the unhoused. >> [indiscernible] safety is to find the opportunity. amy: texas republican governor greg abbott is sending busloads of asylum-seekers to so-called liberal cities like new york and washington, d.c. we will speak with the head of the new york immigration coalition. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. ukraine's military says its special forces were behind a blast at a russian air base in crimea on tuesday that destroyed ne russian warplanes. if confirmed, it would be ukraine's most successful attack
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on russian air power since the start of the war in february. elsewhere, ukraine's military says at least 13 people were killed and 10 others wounded after russian forces fired rockets from the site of a captured nuclear power plant. ukraine says russia is using the threat of a nuclear catastrophe at the zaporizhzhia plant as a deterrent to prevent counter-attacks by ukrainian forces. with six nuclear reactors, it is the largest nuclear power plant in europe. u.s. defense secretary lloyd austin traveled to latvia wednesday, where he pledged more u.s. military support to the former soviet republic and nato member. after meeting austin, latvia's minister of defense said his country is a litmus test for russia's imperial ambitions beyond ukraine. he said latvia wants more military training from the united states and more heavy weaponry. >> our priority is very clear. rockets artillery in defending
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ukrainian sovereignty and freedom. it is air defense and coastal defense because we have quite a long coastal territory. these are our priorities and we are looking forward for cooperation with the united states. amy: china's military said wednesday it has wrapped up large-scale military war games around taiwan but warned it would organize regular patrols around the island which beijing considers part of china's sovereign territory. this comes after china launched its largest-ever live-fire drills near taiwan following a visit by u.s. house speaker nancy pelosi to the island last week. meanwhile, a top chinese diplomat is blaming the united states for the war in ukraine, calling the u.s. the "initiator and main instigator of the ukrainian crisis." china's ambassador to russia made the remarks in an interview with the russian tass news agency published wednesday, in which he said the main goal of
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the u.s. is to "exhaust and crush russia with a protracted war and the cudgel of sanctions." here in new york, former president trump repeatedly invoked his 50 minute right against self-incrimination on wednesday as he refused to answer questions posed by new york attorney general letitia james and her legal team. trump was being deposed as part of james' civil investigation into whether the trump organization inflated the values of its properties to obtain loans and then reduced them to evade taxes. trump previously said only guilty people invoke the fifth. this is trump speaking at a 2016 campaign rally in iowa. trump: like you see on the mob, right? the mob takes the fifth. if you're innocent, why are you taking the for the memory? amy: in washington state, republican congressmember jaime herrera beutler has conceded her reelection bid after narrowly losing to joe kent in the august 2 primary. kent is a retired army special
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forces officer who won donald trump's endorsement after he repeated false claims about the 2020 election. herrera beutler was one of 10 house republicans who voted to impeach trump over the january 6 insurrection. she's the third republican in that group to lose to a pro-trump primary chalnger. the justice department has charged an iranian citizen with plotting to murder president trump's former national security adviser john bolton. federal prosecutors said wednesday that shahram poursafi offered to pay a hit man $300,000 last november to assassinate bolton in washington, d.c., or maryland. the man poursafi allegedly tried to hire was in fact an fbi informant. federal agents say poursafi is a member of iran's revolutionary guard who sought revenge for the trump administration's assassination of a top iranian commander in baghdad in january 2020. this is assistant attorney general matt olsen.
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>> this assassination plot was taken in apparent retaliation to the january 2020 killing of qassem soleimani. we face a rising threat from authoritarian regimes who seek to reach beyond their own borders to commit acts of repression, including inside the united states. this is an especially appalling example is the government of iran with egregious acts of transnational violence. amy: this comes amid efforts to revive the iran nuclear deal. after headlines, we will speak with trita parasi who has been following the negotiations closely. in sierra leone, protests over the rising cost of living have turned violent and deadly, leading to the deaths of at least six police officers and an unknown number of protesters in freetown.
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demonstrators -- an official wide nationwide curfew and sierra leone is now under a near-total internet shutdown. in kenya, citizens are still waiting for the results of a close presidential race two days after national elections. so far tallies show a razor thin contest between the veteran opposition leader and the deputy president. media outlets have tallied up conflicting results which some worried could inflame claims of vote rigging in kenya, which has a history of elections leading to violence. civil rights attorney and u.s. citizen asim ghafoor, who has imisoned in the united arab emirates since mid-july, is expected to be released after his sentence was overturned by an emirati court wednesday, reversing a punishment that raised charges he was being targeted for political reasons. ghafoor had previously worked as a lawyer for jamal khashoggi, "the washington post" columnist whose 2018 murder was ordered by saudi crown prince mohammed bin
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salman, and was detained at a dubai airport in mid-july and sentenced to three years in prison on charges of money laundering and tax evasion. back in the united states, the labor department reports the u.s. inflation rate was largely flat in july following price increases that hit a 40 year gh earlier this year. this follows last friday's employment report which showed the u.s. enomy added28,000 jobs in july, a far higher pace than most economists have predicted. here in new york city, the fast-food chain chipotle has agreed to pay a potential $20 million as part of a settlement over violations of worker protection laws. the city contended that chipotle violated scheduling and sick-leave laws for 13,000 workerover the course of four years. it is the largest settlement of its kind in new york city's history. and president biden has signed a bill to expand healthcare and
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disability benefits to some 3.5 million foer u.s. service members poisoned by toxic burn pits on u.s. military bases in iraq and afghanistan. biden welcomed the new law at a white house signing ceremony wednesday. pres. biden: toxic smoke thick withoison spreading through the air into the lungs of our troops. when they came home, many of the fittest and best warriors we sent to work or not the same. headaches, numbness, dizziness, cancer. my son was one of them. amy: president biden believes toxic burn pits may have contributed to the 2015 death of his son beau biden, who served in iraq and was then diagnosed with brain cancer. the new law appropriates about $40 billion annually to alleviate veterans' suffering but only for u.s. victims. to see our coverage of the pact act and how it will not benefit
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iraqis and afghans harmed by these burn pits, visit our website and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. over the past week, the united nations secretary general antonio guterres has repeatedly warned of the growing risk of nuclear war. he spoke of the issue during a trip to hiroshima, japan to mark the 77th anniversary of the u.s. atomic bombing of the city. >> we must keep the horrors of hiroshima in view at all times, recognizing there is only one solution to the nuclear threat, not to have nuclear weapons at all. amy: the u.n. secretary-general of parscale's comments came as tension keeps rising between three nuclear states -- the united states, russia, and
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china. but there has been some hopeful news on the nuclear front. it appears progress has been made to revive the iran nuclear deal, which appeared all but dead a few months ago. on monday, the foreign affairs chief of the european union josep borrell announced a final text has been reached after 16 months of negotiations. borrell tweeted -- "what can be negotiated has been negotiated, and it's now in a final text. however, behind every technical issue and every paragraph lies a political decision that needs to be taken in the capitals." he went on to write -- "if these answers are positive, then we can sign this deal." the future of the deal now lies in tehran and washington. the deal was percent in 2015 but president trump unilaterally withdrew the united states in 2018. when president biden took office, he ignored calls to rejoin the deal via executive order. instead, he kept sanctions on
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iran in place while the deal was renegotiated. this all comes as tensions remain high between the united states and iran. on wednesday, the justice department charged a member of iran's islamic revolutionary guard corps with plotting to assassinate trump's former national security advisor john bolton as retaliation for the u.s. assassination of qassim suleimani, the top commander of the revolutionary guards. we go now to trita parsi, the executive vice president of the quincy institute for responsible statecraft, who has been following the iran nuclear negotiations closely. he recently wrote an article for msnbc headlined "biden already has two foreign crises on his hands. it's not too late for him to avoid a third." trita paris is also the several books, including "losing an enemy: obama, iran and the triumph of diplomacy." welcome back to democracy now! if you can start off by
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explaining what this text is that has been sent out to tehran and washington? >> as you mentioned, negotiations have been taking place for 16 months and now, finally, there seems to be in agreement on all of the key issues pertaining to the nuclear issues itself. we saw in the last couple of months, there were several demands the u.s. refused to agree to such as taking a group off the terrorist list, decision trump made just a few years ago -- put them on their specifically to make it as difficult as possible for future administration to return -- the iranians appear to affect -- have backed down. more iranians wanted assurances u.s. would stick to the deal this time around, that there would not be another american exit from the deal once the biden administration left
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office. that, too, appears to have been something the iranians -- [indiscernible] there is one remaining issue that is not directly address in the text, cannot be directly addressed in the text, but is nevertheless relevant which is they have reopened an investigation into iran's past. that investigation was taking place before when the original jcpoa was negotiated but there was a parallel agreement [indiscernible] answer the questions of the agency and in return the iaea decided it was satisfactory in the matter was closed. this was critical to the iranians because they did not want thave a jcpoa and then at the same time having an investigation that once again could bring iran sanctions and
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referral to yoa critic council. this time around, however, the iranians want the deal to be -- a matter to be completely closed so it cannot be reopened again. that appears to be an impossibility. it will be particularly difficult for the -- unless the iranians enter the iaea's questions. this is resolvable in my view. it was resolved before. it should be able to be resolved again but it may take a few more weeks before a final agreement. amy: so the jcpoa, which stands for joint comprehensive plan of action, involves how many countries? >> originally it involved the united states, china, russia, france, u.k., germany, and iran, seven different countries. it was then adopted by the u.n. security council at a vote of 15
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to zero. there are only three countries worldwide that expressed opposition to the agreement and that was saudi arabia, the uae, and israel. at this point, it appears even the saudis and emirates have come around to the idea it is better to have the deal than not to have it. and inside of the israeli security establishment, even though the official line of the government still is to oppose the deal, we have had numerous israeli -- senior officials declaring the trump exit from the jcpoa which came after massive presre from the netanyahu government, was a major mistake and actually jeopardized israel security as well. amy: so talk about how this happened right now. i mean, in the midst of russia's war on ukraine and nato versus russia, with the heightening tensions as we pointed out between the united states and
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china over taiwan, how did this happen now? >> it is quite fascinating becae if we take a look at it back in 2015, the relations between the united states and ina, the united states and russia, were quite different than today. the ukraine in 2014 did not impact the negotiations. they kept it very professional. this time around, there's been a significant amount of nervousness the russians would seek to sabotage the deal. they did throw a massive problem into the negotiations a couple of months ago. one measure that has been made, essentially negotiate this first with iranians and then some form of an agreement in front of the russians in order to minimize the risk of them sabotaging it and also making it clear if there is a problem that it is coming from moscow, not the other parties. still, there seems to be enough of an interest between these
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countries that there should be a form of agreement on this matter. the irania themselves have been pressing the other countries not to sabotage it. but despite the progress that has been de in thlast couple of days, and it has been a surprising degree of progress, we have to remind ourselves we still do not have a deal. it is not finished yet. amy: do you see that being tied to what just happened yesterday, the justice department charging an iranian citizen with plotting to murder president trump's former national security advisor john bolton, federal prosecutors saying wednesday that pete white poursafi, the man allegedly tried to hire in fact in fbi informant. they say he is a member of the iran revolutionary guard who sought revenge for the trump
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administration's assassination of the top iranian commander qassem soleimani in 2020. >> we have to remind ourselves that obviously this is [indiscernible] united states government has known about this throughout this year and we have still seen these negotiations. the effect this has been made public and indictment has taken place, at the end of the day, it is of no surprise. i think this is because the biden administration gig nice is at the end of the day, the jcpoa , being ableo prent an iranian path -- [indiscernible] as a result it has been pursued despite this very disturbing information. on the allegations itself, after say earlier on the were
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allegations by the trump administration that the iranians were sneaking to assassinate an american abbasid or to south africa -- ambassador to south africa and revenge of the assassination of qassem soleimani. that was a rather unlikely scenario. not very credible. it did not seem to make a lot of sense. these allegations, however, cannot be easily dismissed because bolton has played a key role in the animosity between united states and iran for the last 20 years. he is been one of the most ferocious and local proponents of war. the idea the iranians would be targeting him in response to the assassination of qassem soleimani a somewhat possible in the indictment itself does show indications this gentleman was a member of the irp scene. it does not say anything, provide any evidence as to whether we know with greater
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duty -- degree of certainty if this was ordered by the running government or it was a rogue operation. that seems to be somewhat unclear. amy: i went to go to the response of john bolton to this news. he was speaking on cbs news. >> the government of iran is trying to kill americans on american soil should be the end of any further discussion with iran and the nuclear program. amy: i should say former secretary of state mike pompeo was also apparently targeted in this. a source close to pompeo told yahoo! news pompeo was the unnamed second target. trita parasi, if you can respond? >> whatever happens, bolton always comes down to the line we should not negotiate and we should essentially go to war with iran.
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i think that meant is doing the right thing and pursue negotiations. while any attempt by the iranians to assassinate any american on u.s. soil is to be stopped and punished, but it does not mean the united states is not in need of a nuclear agreement that will prevent an iranian nuclear weapon in a broader war. these two things cannot be seen as competition with each other. the u.s. interest in having this nuclear deal is there regardless of what hapns with these attempts for bolton or others. those have to be stopped but that does not mean there needs to be a stop in diplomacy and op effts to prent iran from having a nuclear weapon. amy: what is the schedule of how the signing needs to take place in tehran and washington? >> the iraniansave taken the proposal bacto their capital. there seems to be greater divisions there than in
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washington. the iranians are nervous because they feel they were the ones who were duped the last time around. the deal only lasted two years before the u.s. pulled out. if you remember back tn, all of the considerations and efforts, the mechanisms put in place were there to make sure the iranians would not be pulling out of the agreement. there was nothing made in the eventuality of an american pullout. so the iranians are very nervous and politically, this is difficult for them because their government has insisted it will be able to negotiate a better nuclear deal than that of the uhani government. if they don't get some form of a path toward cling this investigation by the iaea, clearly the deal will not be stronger than the one they iranian government put together. this is a critical reason as to why there is this demand from the iranian side and why at the end of the day it will be very politically costly decision for them to go along with it there isn't some sort of a
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pathway to close it. not peanently because of information comes out the iaea should have the right to restart the investigation, but to do -- should be doable and should be acceptable to the iranians. amy: trita parasi, thank you for being with us executive vice , president of the quincy institute for responsible statecraft, author of "losing an enemy: obama, iran and the triumph of diplomacy." coming up, texas governor greg abbott sending busloads of asylum-seekers to so-called liberal cities like new york and washington. we will speak with the head of the new york immigration coalition. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. here in new york city, more than 100 asylum seekers arrived on buses from texas early wednesday morning at the port authority bus terminal near times square. another bus arrived sunday with no advance notice from texas officials.
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this is a venezuelan-born migrant named edwin enrique jimenez guaido. >> it has been six years already. six years since i left my country first to colombia and then quit or and in february, i decided to come here -- ecuador, and in february, decided to come here. amy: this comes as texas governor greg abbott announced he is saying he chose new york city to be a designated "drop-off location along with washington, d.c." as part of his opposition to what he calls president biden's so-called open border policies. people on the buses said they were told to sign a consent waiver. cnn reports the waiver includes a line that absolves texas officials from liability "arising out of or in any way relating to any injuries and damages that may occur during the agreed transport to cations outside of texas." at least eight people who got
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off the buses needed emergency medical attention according to the new york mayor's office of immigrant affairs. on tuesday, new york city's immigration commissioner manuel castro and social services commissioner gary jenkins addressed a city council hearing on the influx of asylum seekers into at least 11 shelters. >> what is new now is the systematic diversion of asylum-seekers and immigrants to neyork city by external forces, including by the disgusting, cruel, and cowardly actions of texas governor greg abbott. >> we will be tapping into our nonprofit providers to ensure asylum-seekers have access to wraparound services, including legal support, health care, and education. amy: there are now reports from legal service advocates that some families who could not provide proof of their relationships were separated or had to leave the shelters.
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asylum seekers are also being met by welcoming effort that includes members of the south bronx mutual aid collective, legal services, and the new york immigration coalition -- whose executive director murad awawdeh joins us now for more. welcome to democracy now! explain exactly what is happening and what happened at port authority. >> thank you for having me on your show today. i wish we were meeting on better terms. what we are seeing happening right now is governor abbott using asylum-seekers as political ponds --pawns to increase his polling numbers in texas. folks seeking asylum at the southern border have a legal right to do so. we have seen people were traveling upwards of 3000 miles on foot to get to the southern border, then present theelves
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to seek asylum at the southern border be treated so horribly by the state of texas, and then bussg them over 2000 miles away to new york city. yesterday morning, most who showed up, many of them were asking why there were sent in new york city. one man was trying to -- urgently wanting to speak to his wife and children who were actually in san antonio, texas. he wanted to go to san antonio, texas, after texas had just dropped him off here in new york city. folks are arriving on the bus sick. they are arriving extremely hungry and thirsty. they are not being given food. at most times without their identity documents. there is a huge effort that is happening right now to welcome them with dignity here in new york city and make sure we are showing, not just governor
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abbott how it should be done, but really seeing each other as humans and this moment. amy: do you understand how it is happening? new york city officials are saying some 4000 asylum-seekers and migrants have traveled to new york in recent months, either by choice or because they were sent here by texas state officials. so how do they decide -- do they just shove them on a bus? >> that is what it seems like, y. the governor of tex is definitely mleading officials and asylum-seekers. many of the folks who came here yesterday morning, who got off those three buses, were asking, how do i get to north carolina? how do i get to wisconsin, oregon, louisiana? folks are being coerced into signing this waiver to then be
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sent to new york city without any support, without any care. last friday, we saw one ung girl get off the bus who wasn't feeling well. she received emeency care d turn out she needed insulin. she was diabetic. on sunday morning, there was one young man who came off the bus and he was having chest pains. we are seeing people being put into reallinhumane conditions, not just on the bus but even before the bus. and when they get to new york city, we are providing them with care. i think the bigger piece here is governor abbott's lack of empathy, lack of compassion, lack of humanity and really trying to rile up his base of folks who have historically been anti-immigrant. amy: can you explain what is
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happening with some immigrants' families who come here? to be some don't have proper papers. they are threatened with being separated? we saw this under president trump. but separated if they wanted to go to the shelters so they are living on the streets so they don't get separated? >> what is happening is, just to clarify, a few months ago, organizations like the new york immigration coalition, like caolic charities, started to receive these notices called notice to appear, immigration notices. they were addrsed with additional names. after receiving a few there were like, why are we receiving so many? we are not representing these folks. and then shortly after, we started receiving people to our doors asking for shelter and care, as well as services. we provided them with the services as they showed up but
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we don't provide housing. so we worked with -- we have services arm that really gets -- annexed folks to emergency shelter. but what we are seeing is that people are released from ice or detention or border patrol, rarely are they given vector identity documents. some folks are lucky enough to get copies of their identity given back to them but they are not given their identity documents. in new york city, the city shelter system once folks to prove they are a family unit. what we have witnessed since folks have come back to us ce we set them to the intake facility, they say because we don't have our papers, they want my husband -- husband, wife, children -- they want him to stay in the men's shelter and me and my kids to stay in the
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women's shelter, the family shelter. so we have not heard of folks getting kicked out of the shelter system. i think we have seen for the past two decades at least that we have had a housing/homelessness crisis in the city and i think their were bill mannered rationale given at times saying with the recent increased of asylum-seekers in new york city that that is what waputting the shelter system at capacity and i don't think that is true. i think that a number of missteps in the beginning, but are moving in the right direction by expanding emergency shelters and creating welcome center in this moment. amy: what are you saying now, finally, what is the new york immigration coalition saying to mayor adams here in new york, the governor of texas greg abbott, and federally -- of the
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federal government about what needs to happen? >> absolutely. under the trumpet administration, we saw the asylum system completely gutted and the biden administration has not done very much to restore it. they just announced gather day without a plan how they are going to rescind remain in mexico, is one of trump's and stephen miller's tactics. we are excited they announced they are going to rescind of it that only came after the supreme court said they can. what we would like for the federal government to do in this moment is ensure there is proper care given to folks who are entering into the u.s., allowing folks into the u.s., awell as making sure they he the support they need when they arrive. at the state level, we have been coordinating the governor's office and the port authority.
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we would love to see the state step up and provide services funding as well as services funding. at the city level, bureaucracy is slow and we need to make sure we are able to move quickly. we are excited to hear they announced their going to open up the welcome center last week, but we really need to work quicker to ensure that that center gets opened and that we are providing the services and the community-based organizations who are doing this work and organizations who are doing this work without any support are getting support they need to welcome and allow folks who are coming in seeking asylum here in new york city to not only survive but be able to thrive in our city and state. amy: murad awawdeh, thank you for being with us, executive director of the new york immigration coalition. coming up, we are going to look at their growing housing crisis in the united ace as -- 90
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states as rents soar. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "fast car" by tracy chapman. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. housing advocates are calling on the biden administration to address the soaring cost of rent with the same level of dedication shown to reducing gas prices. this comes as a new report shows evictions are spiking as rental protections disappear. a coalition of hundreds of tenant unions and housing activists call the situation a national emergency as rental costs rise at the fastest pace in three decades. this is zonnie thompson with faith in the valley in stockton, california, who is in washington, d.c. as a delegate with the homes guarantee campaign. he spoke with democracy now! >> i experienced my rent going
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from $1500 to $7,900 in one year. -- for $1700 when you're. i felt like it was ridiculous. when it comes to a 10% rent hike, like i said, it does have a big difference. it doesn't mean a big difference r a lot of folks i california like in my own personal situation, that meant a $200 difference in my rent. it meant i was not able to fix my car when it needed maintenance due to having to forfeit that $200 to rent and it also meant a cycle of overdraft fees and then paying it off and i got paid so them because i paid that money to thos fees, now have to overdraft my account again so i can cover my bills
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and then i have the fees again and have to pay it off when i get paid again. it is a vicious cycle that starts up and almost seems like it has no end. it is no-brainer ren prices are tied to inflation and for them to not include it is like disheartening,ut that this issue, the housing crisis issue is not going to go anywhere. they cannot continue to ignore it. in prolonging addressing it is only going to make it worse for americans. amy: that is tenant delegate zonnie thompson, part of the homes guarantee campaign now underway in washington, d.c. we stay in d.c. to speak with tara raghuveer, director of kc tenants, which is a grassroots tenant-led organization based in kansas city. she is also the homes guarantee campaign director at people's action. welcome back to democracy now! explain why you are in d.c. and
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the level of pressure on people who are renting and rents increasing and away we have not seen in like 30 years. >> thank you for having me. we are in d.c. because the rent is too damn high. people across the country are being squeezed at the gas pumps, grocery stores, but the biggest expense for most immigrant households is their cost of their housing. rents are up 6.3% in the latest inflation figures. this is the biggest increase in rents and at 35 years. median rent is over $2000 for the first time ever. people simply cannot afford it. this inflation crisis is really sparing no one and no place. we are in d.c. with tenants like zonn, a group that has been impacted by the rent hikes, to push the president to do everything in his legal authority to regulate the rent now.
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amy: can you explain about pandemic protections being rolled back and how that affects people? >> so the eviction rates are backup to pre-pandemic levels but really there is no rate of eviction that should be acceptable. we can't celebrate lower than normal rates and we can't celebrate returning back to normal. what we believe is every eviction is an act of violence. what the administration did during the pandemic to alleviate the risk of eviction or provide some relief to tenants was really a bailout to landlords. there was billions and billions of dollars of federal assistance put out in the form of rental assistance that puts a burden on tenants to apply but they did not get to keep that check. they had to turn that check over to their landlords. the abomination in this is that none of that public money came with strings attached. none of that built in any
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structural shift in power from landlords to tenants. today, not only do we see evictions returning back to pre-pandemic levels, we see a different type of eviction crisis playing out outside of the courtroom as people simply cannot afford their rent. when a landlord increases the rent beyond a place where a tenant can afford it, they don't have the choice to scrape together another $200 and try to make it work. often that is tantamount to an eviction and people are losing their homes because there rent is increasing or their leases is not getting renewed. amy: in a moment, we will speak with one of the leaders to the movement to help the unhoused in los angeles and the growing tension there. but if you can talk about -- i mean, we know the rents are going up in coastal cities like san francisco and los angeles come here in new york city. you are from kansas city. talked about it all over. clubs in kansas city, the rent
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is up 7.5%. city hall defines a portable as $1200 for a one-bedroom apartment, and that is based on an area median income of $86,000. i don't know a single person in kansas city who is making $86,000 or who can afford a $1200 apartment. people are sent into the cycle that zonnie described where they're paying extra in their rent and having to cut back on other bills like their medication or groceries. unlike something like gas, rent is not an expense in your monthly budget you simply choose to cut back on. the alternative is homelessness. to your point, homelessness is criminalized in sales like mine, missouri, and all across the country. so people are trapped in a violent cycle right now where they are either forced to overdraft and cutback on meals and turnff the lights and sacrifice their humanity, or they are ours -- are forced to
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the streets where there criminalized for their poverty. amy: as safeguards to prevent evictions during the covid-19 expire, tenants across the country are facing these rent increases of up to 5%, in california, up to 10%. these are los angeles tenants 61-year-old juan garcia and his neighbor of over 17 years 57-year-old eulises del bosque describing the burden of rising rents. >> yes, worried because they, well, they wanted to raise the rent but unfortunately, i told him no. i did not accept they raised it. at the other tenants did. the tenants gave then the rent when they raised it by 10%. >> they're going to be more problems because of the evictions increasing as a result of rents rising and there is too much inflation.
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it is impossible to live quietly with everything that all the situations there are that are happening. amy: tara raghuveer, talk about the demographics of who is being priced out of their rentals. >> disproportionately to the people who are impacted by rent hikes in the type of rent gouging we see corporate actors employing in the rental market are black and brown tenantss, poor and working-class tenants. black women are at most risk. these are accelerated conditions that are also having that disproportionate effect on those same communities. there's recent research that tells us institutional investors , private equity funds, real estate speculators target communities where there is higher percentage of black and brown neighborhoods and people who are renting their homes, and then they raise the rent to
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levels the people there cannot afford and force them into this kind of eviction cycle. amy: can you talk about the federal housing finance agency, how it can help in fighting against rising rents? that is who you are meeting wh in washington. >> we had a very promising meeting with the director of the agency yesterday. director thompson. we spoke to her about the ways the role as a regulator of fannie and freddie can have a massive impact on regular in the rents and protecting tenants. as a regulator of fannie and freddie, fhfa as a role to play to add conditions to any federal financing. for example, there's a corporate landlord called starwood where the ceo on a recent earnings call called inflation the gift that keeps on giving and they written reppert profits during
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the pandemic while they been hiking rents across the country. starwood has federally backed mortgages. so that is something within fhfa's purview. they could add conditions that many of these institutional investors rely on in order to reign in their rent. we cld regulate rent increases, really -- please renewals. that is all within thompson's purview as a director of the fhfa. amy: and congress, president biden. what can they do? >> congress is set to pass the inflation reduction act. it doesn't have anything to do with reducing rent. in our view the president and his team have been talking about, thinking about gas and many other elements of inflation they really have been neglecting rent. this is the elephant in the room. rent is the largest expense for most american households, and it is a core driver of inflation. so even as the inflation reduction act passes, for it to not include rents is a major red
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flag. we arealling on the president to do everything in his executive authority to direct agency-level action, of course to direct congressional action, and use the power of the pulpit to call this crisis what it is a national emergency and a callout those actors in the private market that are actually rent, t-gouging. amy: tara raghuveer, thank you for being with us founder and , executive director of los -- director of kc tenants, which is a grassroots tenant led organization in kansas city. she is also the homes guarantee campaign director at people's action. speaking to us from washington, d.c., where they're trying to meet with federal agencies and others to deal with the rising rent. we end today's show in california, where the los angeles city council voted tuesday to ban encampments for unhoused people near schools and
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daycare centers, expanding and anti-homelessness ordinance to include some 20% of the city. the vote came after a dramatic meeting where two protesters were arrested as they denounced the council's vote. for more, we are joined by one of the people who were there to speak in opposition to the measure. pete white is founder and executive director of los angeles communy action network, or l.a. can. weome to democracy now! describe the scene in the city council meeting and most important, describe the scene of what we were talking about, the scope of the problem. >>he scope of the problem, and qukly for having us on thi moing, amy, e scope the probm is losngeles does not have currently or never has had a real housing plan to address the need of poor angelenos. it wasnteresting listening to the last caller. here in s angeles, 120 people
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exitouseless as every day. 50% of wm do it on their own. it is a matter of rising rent, losing a job. of that number, 128 people enter houselessness every day in los angeles. as you can see, the homelessness crisis gets worse, there is no reprieve at the end because there is not a policy to protect people. what we continue to see in los angeles is the march board criminalization. that is the stragy. los angeles is an anywhere but here strategy. out of sight, out of mind strategy. it is the funding of the police department to solve social crisis. what we saw in city hall, not just this meeting but the meeting before on august 2 was the voices of civil rights organizations and tenant
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organizations saying, enough is enough. this new expansion is on the back or on the heels of a revived ordinance 4118, which we consider an ordinance for enforcement by a tape measure. previous expansion, l.a. city council had already voted that if anyone was near 10 foot of a driveway, it would be in violation of this ordinance. within 10 foot of an operational building, whatever that means, they would be in violation of this ordinance. within two feet of a fire hydrant, they would be in violation of this ordinance. and so what they have done is to ju put a finer point on their intention to criminalize folks out of the cy of los angeles. the other thing that happened or the her thing that folks have been witnessing is the attempted
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silencing of voices inside of council chambers. the last three meetings, we have had a council president martinez who goes thrgh the speakers cars, removing names that she knows will be in opposition to this ordinance. it is not a newactic but tactic that is being ud in such a mean-spirited w is going to warrant a response that says, your system that you put in front of us or these deves you put in front of us that purportedly are here to hear our voices, do not work. and technically,e're going to make sure that issues are hed by all, by the media, and by other angelenos. so you won't be able to cap houseless people away in lence. a nickel we are looking at images of that city council meetg and there are riot
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police there. i understand some, like the council member just mentioned, talked about, compare those who came to the meeting to january insurrection is -- insurrectionists. >> while that to mean is political rhetoric, right? when you think about that comparison, what your attempting to equivocate our campaign and our coalion is with white supremacists, many with tactical backgrounds who unlawfully breached the holes of the capitol and attempted to hang the vice president of the ited states attpting to bring that together with black and brown or multicultural coalition who enters our city hall through metal detectors, wh provide our
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vaccine cards and everything that you require, and then lift our voices in a constitutionally protected manner step -- manner. we know and we understand the whisper campaign because it is more about a tactic of distraction. the strategy is to distract and the tactic is to divide. but there's something even more sinister about that folks are missing. and i think we should discuss. everyone in those council chambers wants -- once the councilmember, council president talks about ts january 6 is at risk. we don't have to look that far when we look at the fbi like identity instrument's report, when the fbi in 2017 was attempting to equivocate peaceful protest of black activists with the sort of upsurge of white supremacist
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movement. so for us, while some say this is just political rhetoric, folks like myself and other and brown organizers, it does worry as because we don't know if we're going to get a visit from the fbi. we don't know if sort of the ways in which the state will come down ons for simply lifting our voices in a protected manner. we are aware of this. we want to make clear there are connections and it is bigger than just the rumor mill. amy: can you explain what you're calling r in los angeles right now? >> 100%. we are: from los angeles right now, what we have always calle for, instead of the criminalization of the houseless community, we are calli for housingreservation, calling for housing development and
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actually impt those on the ground. like your first caller, what she was saying was -- is absolutely apparent in los angeles. the rent is too high. we are calling for city-owned and government-owned properties to be turned back over to community trus. for that land to be converted into housing for houseless people. we are calling for leadership that recognizes houselessness is a byproduct of a failed housing system or a lack of housing policy and poverty. we are calling for leadership that can produce a plan and implement. in los angeles, it continues to be a vicious cycle. and at the end of the day, police are always called to solve the crisis or to remove those who would dare oppose the iminalization of poverty.
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i will sayhis, this is not new. in 2010, theapd stormed council chambers where myself and 300 others, seniors, children, tenants were there for over five years waiting to testy on a policy that made better tenant protections. after five hours, they attempted to clear the room. police had billy clubs and riot gear in the same way stormed the crowd, beat and taste members -- one of my members, a nior tizen. this is not new in los angeles. what we are calling for is housing for all. housing that is affordable at the lowest level. amy: it will be interesting to follow your mayoral race in los angeles where you have the democratic congresswoman karen bass versus the billionaire real estate developer rick caruso.
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so that is coming up in pete november. white, founder and executive director of los angeles community action network, or l.a. can. that does it for our show. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for a people and culture manager. learn more and apply atñcñcñcñc
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