tv Democracy Now LINKTV March 8, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
03/08/16 03/08/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! thatd it was beyond belief children in flint, michigan, in the united states of america and the year 2016, are being poisoned. >> it is raining lead in flint, and the state is derelict in not coming forward with the money that is required. amy: as voters head to the polls in four states, including
michigan, seven flamm lays in flint have -- families in flint have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing governor rick snyder of gross negligence for lead contamination of the water. now a new documentary tells the inside story of how a community organized to uncover the water crisis that sparked a national outcry. >> the emergency manager also the treasurer's office and onto lansing, the governor's mansion, have swn a tot disregard for the human needs of the people. amy: todaya democry now! exclusive, the broadcast premiere of "here's to flint," by michigan analyst of the year curt guyette and filmmaker kate levy. then to honduras where protests continue over the assassination of indigenous and environmental leader berta caceres. was absolutely assassinated, and i would like to point out the singlwitness to the crime, gustavo castro
be held bynues to the government. amy: we will speak with beverly bell, longtime colleague of both caceres and castro. who himself was shot twice when berta was assassinated. beverly bell, like many others, is desperate to get castro out of honduras to safety. all of that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the pentagon says u.s. airstrikes in somalia killed more than 150 people it identified as militants at an al-shabaab training camp, marking one of the deadliest u.s. attacks to date in the so-called war on terror. the strikes hit what officials said they believed was a graduation ceremony. officials say they were unaware of any civilian casualties but were unable to independently
. the strikes, carried out by drones and manned aircraft, marked the deadliest attack on the militant group al shabaab during the more than decade-long u.s. campaign against it. white house spokesperson josh earnest emphasized the fighters -- targets posed an imminent threat to u.s. and african union forces. >> the fighters who were scheduled to depart the cap posed an imminent threat to u.s. and african union mission forces in somalia. their removal, the removal of those terrorist fighters, degrades al-shabaab's ability to meet the groups objectives in some of you, including recruiting new members, establishing bases in attacks on u.s. and other forces. amy: the obama administration also announced monday it would for the first time release tallies of the number of people it believes it has killed in drone strikes in countries like those that lie outside of conventional war zones. lisa monaco, president obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, said the report would be released in the coming weeks. >> i can announced today that in the coming weeks some of the administration will publicly
release an assessment of combatant and noncombatant casualties resulting from strikes taken outside areas of active hostilities since 2009. amy: in tunisia, more than 50 people have been killed in a militant attack, sparking fears the violence engulfing neighboring libya is now spreading across the border. dozens of attackers descended on the tunisian town attacking , police and military stations. tunisian president beji caid essebsi called the attack unprecedented and blamed it on isil. officials said at least 54 people were killed, including at -- including militants, security forces, and civilians. voters head to the polls for nominating contests in four states today, with michigan seen as the top prize. republicans vote in hawaii, idaho, mississippi, and michigan. democrats vote only in mississippi and michigan. ahead of today's contests, former new york city mayor michael bloomberg said he would
not run for president, fearing it could help lead to the election of donald trump as president. he said trump is running "the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign i can ." remember." meanwhile, mexican president enrique pena nieto has refused to pay for the wall donald trump has vowed to build between the united states and mexico. he criticized trump, invoking the fascist dictators adolf hitler and benito mussolini. and there have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of destroyed and rhetoric have only led to a very ominous situations in the history of humanity. that is how mussolini got in. that is how hitler got in. they took advantage of a situation, a problem, perhaps, which humanity was going throughout the time after an economic crisis. and i think what they go forward ended up at what we know today from history in global conflict
-- conflict ration. amy: vermont senator bernie sanders and former secretary of state hillary clinton were both asked about abortion at a fox news in a town hall in detroit, michigan. both candidates strongly defended abortion rights, clinton noted she has supported some "late pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother. in michigan is in the spotlight over the primary, seven families in flint have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing michigan governor rick snyder of gross negligence after the city's water was contaminated by lead. the poisoning began when an unelected emergency manager appointed by governor snyder switched the city's water to the corrosive flint river, causing lead from the pipes to leach into the water. many are calling for snyder's resignation and even his arrest. we'll have more on flint after headlines. in honduras, environmentalists say gustavo castro soto, coordinator of friends of the earth mexico, has been detained
and deny permission to return to his native mexico. castro witnessed the fatal shooting of environmentalist curt guyette in honduras --berta caceres. we will have more on this case later in the broadcast. venezuelan authorities say they're investigating an alleged massacre of 28 miners and the state of bolivar. there reports of gang killed and dismembered the miners in a bid to take over a wildcat gold mine. in boston, massachusetts, more than 2000 public school students walked out of class on monday to protest planned budget cuts. despite threats that they would be marked absent for leaving, the students rallied on boston common at the state house and at faneuil hall, chanting, "they say cut back, we say fight back." oklahoma authorities have set new limits for oil and gas companies after a vast increase in the number of earthquakes, including more than 6000 last year alone. in oklahoma saw just three 2010, earthquakes at or above magnitude three, last year that number rose to more than 900.
the quakes have been linked to the injection of oil and gas waste deep underground. on monday, oklahoma regulators asked companies in central oklahoma to reduce the amount of waste they're injecting by 40%. this follows a similar request last month for a northwest region. in upstate new york, environmentalist bill mckibben and 56 others have been arrested after blockading the driveway of the gas storage company crestwood midstream. in total, activists say more than 500 arrests have been carried out as part of a 17-month-long civil disobedience campaign against plans by the firm to expand storage of the potent greenhouse gas methane in abandoned salt cavernat seneclake, a drinki water srce for 100,000 ople. mckibben spoke about the action. >> today, now and every day, there are some places around the world, 10, 15, 20 places like this where people are standing up after 100 years of a free ride, the fossil fuel industry
is now met at every turn by people saying, it is a new world. the science is clear. we understand what has to happen. amy: in other news from upstate new york, a peace activists and grandmother has been released on $5000 bail after 49 days in prison for photographing a protest at hancock air base where drones are piloted remotely. mary anne grady flores began a six-month sentence in january, but has been released pending an appeals court decision on whether to consider her case. flores was accused of violating an order of protection aimed at keeping her away from the base after she participated in civil disobedience there. to see our interview with her when she went to jail, go to democracynow.org. and events are taking place around the world today for international women's day. this year's theme is "pledge for parity." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in the race for the white house, voters head to the polls in four
states to do with michigan seen as the top prize. republicans also vote in hawaii, idaho, and mississippi. democrats vote only in michigan and mississippi. the ongoing water crisis in flint, michigan has become a major campaign issue on the democratic side full -- democratic side. the crisis began when an unelected emergency manager appointed by michigan governor rick snyder switched the source of flint's water to the corrosive flint river in an apparent bid to save money. the river water corroded the city's pipes and poisoned the water with lead. on monday, seven flint families filed a class-action lawsuit accusing snyder grow's negligence for allowing flint's water to be contaminated by lead. in a debate on sunday in flint, both hillary clinton and bernie sanders called for snyder's resignation. >> i had the opportunity to meet with a number of residents of flint at a town meeting in flint, and i have to tell you what i heard and what i saw literally shattered me, and it was beyond belief that children
in flint, michigan, in the united states of america in the year 2016, are being poisoned. i believe the governor of this state should understand that his dereliction of duty was irresponsible. he should resign. clock secretary clinton? >> i'm very grateful my request as we hold this debate be held here so we can continue to shine a very bright spotlight on what has happened in the city. i agree the governor should resign or be recalled. i know the state of michigan has a rainy day find for emergencies. what is more important than the health and well-being of the people, particularly children? its raininlead in int, and the statis derelict in not coming forward with the money that is required. amy: well, today, on the day of
the michigan primary, we bring you a democracy now! exclusive, the broadcast premiere of a new documentary that tells the inside story of how local residents, journalists, and scientists organized to uncover the water contamination crisis that has sparked congressional hearings the resignations of , public officials, and a national debate about the impacts of austerity and infrastructure decline in the united states. the film draws on months of filming by kate levy and more than a year of investigative work by curt guyette, who has just been named michigan journalist of the year. it is called "here's to flint." >> you are killing us! >> sir, i'm not killing anybody. >> we have an agenda here.
the act, a law championed by governor rick yder with a take over financially struggling cities were handing complete authority to an appointed emergency manager. emergency manags create new ordinances, abolish existing laws, sell off assets, and take away health care benefits from retirees. there's only one thing the law prohibits them from doing -- >> my name is claire mcclinton. i am a member of the flint democracy defense league ter ta force. ands interesng toote public act 436, the emergency manager cannot void a contract with bondholders. that is off-limits. ndholders are sacred. they cannot be touched. people are not sacred. >> nearly every city and school district that has had its democracy suspended under
emergency manager is a community like flint. majority african-american and saddled with high poverty rates. what these communities also have in common is that severe cuts in state funding have helped push them into financial distress. emergency managers completely usurped the authority of locally elected officials. >> how is this democracy? pastor over it, senior. basically, the mayor has no power or authority, those who are elected by the people. there's something wrong with that. all of us need checks and balances because none of us make the best decision all the time. corrects we knew this law was undemocratic. we knew it was dictatorial.
we knew it was unprecedented, but we neverreamed that woulde faced with not being able to use our municipal water. >> while fli was under state control, the city's long-term water source was switched on detroit's system to the newly created water authority. while the pipeline was under construction, the state force the people of flint to use the highly corrosive flint river as the source of their drinking water. it was a cost-cutting we designed to save no more than5 million. of the news wed might be trekking flint water, we thought it was a joke because everybody knows about the flint river. >> the average resident won't notice any difference. >> but there was a drastic difference. almost a mealy, people began to complain about water that looked bad,'s held bad, and tasted bad. >> it is been one debacle after
another. through her for boil water advisories. >> my name is melissa maze. if had rashes, hair loss, soreness. >> it is almost like we're living in a nightmare. while flint residents were forced to continue to drink the word for water, general motors was allowed to switch back to the detroit vista because the highly corrosive flint river was causing engine parts to rust. while many of the problems with the river water quickly became apparent to residents, other dangers remained hidden. r nine mths, thee were bjected high lels of tm , a carcinogenic byproduct of chlorine. the state kept that secret until january 2015. after that information was finally disclosed in a letter to
the residents, officials met with an angry public in an attempt to assure them that everything was under control. if there is disruption, police are prepared to remove the disruption and we will go on with the meeting. >> the letter spoke about nervous problems, weakening systems. i think people feel their bodies in the well-being's are been compromised. collects tthm's were not really concern, also exposing outrage over being forced use water so file you would not give it to an animal.
corrects i am a tester. wholesome water is important. >> one of the people at the meeting was leeanne walters, mother of four. that meeting is where she met jerry ambrose, the fourth emergency manager who was appointed by the governor to run flint. he callrst encounter, me a liar and called me stupid. i went up to him with idols fro my cap and i said, this is my water. he said, i don't believe that is your water. afterlate february leeanne walters demented the city test for water, the results showed the water walters family was using had lead levels seven times higher than the federal action level. walters shared the startling information with the was environmental protection agency, which reacted with a law. and enough of the michigan department of and my rental quality, epa official wrote, wow committed he find the lead.
thehas two children under age of three. big worries. hose high levels prodded epa water export to ask what can of corrosion control the city was using. flint must have optimal treatment. is a phosphate? the responded to the epa by saying it had an optimized corrosive control program in place but offered no specific details. by march, residents were increasingly calling for return to the detroit system will stop pastor harris helped lead the effort. >> our goal is to return flint to the purest water source, that is the detroit source, in the interim. we want an injunction for that. we're not worried about long-range right now. that still has to come to fruition, but immediately, we want to go back to detroit. i have not talked anyone in the state, city, anywhere that does not agree that the purest water source for the people of flint
is the detroit source. >> everyone is asking, can we hook up? we don't have a money tree. you guys will be sorry. you wouldhe sorryrew hook up on that that is the answer to that question. , onto emergency manager the treasurer's office and onto lansing, the governor's mansion, have shown a total disregard for the human needs of the people. >> as public anger grew, what will become a persistent lie throughout the crisis, city and state officials repeatedly claimed they were forced use the flint river after detroit canceled a long-term contract will stop here's the emergency manager ambrose. >> it was detroit that sent us a
letter that said, we're canceling your contract. go find your water someplace else. all right? we looked at that and we said -- >>'m t sure tt is true. what those same officials did not say idetroit y to ent into aew agreement. darnell earley, the city's third emergency manager, flatly rejected this offer in a letter to detroit just before the switch. >> faced with public outrage from the flint city council voted to return to the detroit water system. >> let us go back to detroit, give people good quaty, drking water. overruled these vote. citizens like melissa maze were enraged to see the democratically elected officials silenced and the health sacrificed for a dollar amount. >> the city council voted and
followed ended with the city asked. the next day he put out a press release saying, this is income principle. >> ambroise insisted the change was unnecessary because flint's water was perfectly fine. claimant clinton saw through this. >> the narrative that they are using to get us to sit down and become trouble with this situation is that the water is safe. the water was not safe. >> in the beginning of april, we found out my child had lead poisoning. >> lead is a powerful neurotoxin. childhood exposure results in iq loss, behavior problems, and learning disabilities. all of which can push young kids into the school to prison pipeline. for children and adults alike, it can cause extensive harm to almost every organ or system in the body, especially the central nervous syste perhaps most disturbing, the impact olead exposure can be passedrom one generation to
the next. >> i am terrified of what the outcome, the afterth of this could be. neurologically, for my children. >> remembethe claifrom the michiganepartmenf envinment wi qualityhat coosion corol was place? leeanne walters found out on her own from a water plant employee that in fact, no corrosion control was being used. >> on detroit water, we were using a corrosive control, phosphate. the city is not using that. types are eating themselves from the inside out and every thing built up into them is not coming through our homes because these things are not in place. >> she share the information with the epa, who is able to verify that in april 2015 e-mail, he wrote -- the ate had de a catastrophic decision to not
treat the corrosive river water with the mandatory corrosion control. people'sater was dislored cause it was reaching rest from the city's old iron infrastructure. what was not visible work lead particles being leached from lead service lines and lead plumbing. >> i averaged out with no answers -- i have reached out with no answers, city hall, ambrose, governor snyder, called his office with no results. our water is discolored and my lead is that 397. the maximum is 15. people of discolored water are at a greater risk for having it in your water. everybody needs to get it tested, but especially anybody with discolored water. >> the powers that be may not be listening to us. i believe if we keep on talking, we keep on screaming, sooner or
later, something is going to happen. >> we need the federal government in here. in may 2015, governor rick snyder declared flint's financial emergency to be over. the city's fourth emergency manager vacated his position with one final order. he forbade flint elected officials from overturning any orders, including the switch to the river, for at least one year. when you get to the point were you feel like it don't matter what i say or do, they're going to do it they want to do anyway, that is a sad day for america. any code that was gertrude marshall. we will be back in a minute with more of "here's to flint." ,
amy: "song for my america" by mercedes sosa. more and the assassination of berta caceres later in the broadcast. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue the broadcast to premiere of "here's to flint." documentary produced by the aclu of michigan journalist curt guyette and filmmaker kate levy. >> leeanne walters connected with virginia tech professor mark edwards. edwards helped walters and dealt oro conduct a full analysis of the water flowing into her home will stop here's mark edwards. >> they were the worst results we have seen in 25 years
soetter fit we didot believe it. 13,500els got as high as parts per billion, which is about 10,000 times higher than recommended levels -- maximum levels. 2.5 times hardous wte leve of lead. >> it is not even corrosion 101 to realize this waters when a cause a problem. if anyone had look at this he was reasonably competent, for five minutes, th would he predted thisould occ. >> by the middle of june, the city was wrapping up federally mandated water sampling. flint was remote in danger of exceeding safe water standards. the group that analyzes samples began warning officials its water supply was in danger of violating land copper standards. officials wrote --
if any more were collected from the city would be out of compliance, forcing it is been millions of dollars to replace lead service lines throughout flint. given that warning, the city focused on testing homes it knew would produce low lead results. consequently, all of the remaining home samples came in below the action level for lead. testin june, based on results from leeanne walters home, the epa's deltoro wrote an internal memo sounded the alarm about lead in flint's water, warning it should be a major concern from a public health standpoint. feeling a sense of urgency to make the issue public, deltoro broke epm political a giving a copy to walters who shared it with the aclu of michigan which published it in early july. in response, the michigan department of terminal quality completely denied there was any
problem with lead in flint's drinking water, even though l of the warning signs were clear and evidence of contamination was mounting. >> anyone who is concerned about lead in the drinking water of flint can relax. there is no broad problem right now that we have seen with lead in the drinking water in flint. >> the person is sounded the warning, the epa plus deltoro, was no longer available for comment. >> here is edwards. >> it has been handled. and he would no longer be of the work on the flint water situation. so when i heard that, i grew quite concerned because scientifically, it wasn't just smoke, there was fire here. early july, flint resident and clean water activists from across the state try to take the concerns directly to the governor. >> my name is kim and i'm a member of the people's waterboard coalition.
in july, group of us attempted to take our concerns about the water situation in flint and beyond directly to the governor's office. >> what did you get? >> we sent a letter asking for the governor to come to flint. we have people from all of the state of michigan here. we're representing several -- >> in the face of official denials, the question became, how to get to the truth?
the answer was to conduct an independent, scientifically rigorous and citizen leg study of flint's water. mark edwards applied for an emergency grant from the national science foundation. test kits were sent to flint in august. on the ground were the aclu of michigan and flint's coalition for clean water, diverse, grassroots group of organizations that had come together in the spring 2015. offering from the basement of the saints of god church, they began to work disturbing and collecting water samples from 300 homes. >> i am the coordinator for the flint democracy defense league. we're going to get these kids out to the community and they can test and we will know for sure what is in our water. citizens ensure the most scntifical valid a geographically broadcast were conducted. >> scientifically, we could not have done us better ourselves. they implemented training center -- that i think the epa in
cities around the country should be using throughout the country. >> philip the medium-sized bottles. when that is full, take the bottle out and wait for two minutes with the water still flowing. took place limited procedures to present tampering -- prevent tampering because they knew it would might big concern and they were right. >> we 10 reason for people to question what we have done. i actually picked up samples, we had them near the scene, and taped them up so the initials are underneath the tape so the resident would know their sample has not been touched by anybody but them. virginia tech also knows that. >> i thought no one would claim that people would put lead in water samples to fake there was but lead an and water, people from the state said that to me. loaded up a minivan with
students and drove to flint for two days of additional on-site testing. new concerns were raised. >> that is chlorine. it is not just in the water. there's no disinfectant. >> legionnaires disease, is that a possibility with the water? >> legionnaires disease can sometimes come from water, people sometimes do get it in their showers. >> we have to bathe in it. we do cook with it. we have this one here who has sores all over his body. he is on antibiotics and antibiotic we met right now. they all have gone through pneumonia in the middle of summer, which according to the hospital, is extremely rare. >> i have not sent a house that hasn't any chlorine yet. >> five months later, the state
disclosed for the first time that the number of legionnaires cases in and around flint began spiking dramatically in the months after the switch to the river. since june 2014, 87 people have contracted the red pneumonia-like disease. 10 have died. as soon as the first sample kits began arriving back at virginia tech, their analysis showed alarming levels of lead. feeling morally compelled to immediately address and a pair of public health crisis, edwards and his team began contacting residents with the results and posting information on his daily created website. as the results were revealed, the state continued to publicly claim that the water was safe. for example, one was told the samples don't match the testing that we have been doing the same kind of neighborhoods all over the city for the past year. but at the same time, the governor's office secretly arranged for an unnamed donor to purchase 1500 water filters that
were handed out to flint families on september 1. in a city with a majority african-american population, a poverty rate of 40%, average water bill is $150 a month, people had few options. tech continue to analyze samples and post results, state officials responded by attacking the credibility of edwards and his team. flintill to a flir reporter, saying they specialized in high level problems. they pulled that rabbit out of their hat everywhere they went will stop feigning political flames responsibly. residents of flint concern about the health of the committee don't need more of that. on september 15, members of the coalition of clean water which led the effort to collect the kits, held a press compass to discuss virginia tech's analysis of water from 277 flint homes. four times as many homes tested
by the city and staten the previous six months. >> we estimate that the water in over 5000 flint homes is standard set by the world health organization for lead and wat. because the water is too corrosive. it has too much salt in it. and there was no plan to control the corrosion. flint is the only city in america that i am aware of who does not have a corrosion control plan in place. >> shortly after edwards raised that issue at the press conference, howard croft, then flint's director of public water and counted -- encountered citizens visibly upset. >> wattage you think is important in the first place, corrosion? why didn't you think that was important the first place? i am angry. why didn't you think about that? answer that point-blank question. >> i will be the one asking the
it jubileehat what with the engineering team there -- we followed their guidance. >> i would coalition for clean water and the flint democracy defense league. the mdeq did nothing to ensure the treatment was properly plan, approved, or started when this which took place. because of this negligent act, there is a serious lead problem in the water in the city of flint. we're at a public health crisis. >> my name is gustavo castro soto curt guyette.stro sot >> there was a termination -- >> i have a letter from darnell earley saying they have the option to enter into a new
agreement and they chose not to enter into that new agreement. correct? is that correct? >> i think there were negotiations on what it would look like, and i think those negotiations were not anything that would have benefited the city. >> so the city chose n to stay with a joint. once the contractor was terminated, think the valuation has gone off all the way up to the state level on what were the best action would be for the city of flint and that was the determination. >> all over to the governor's office? >> all the to the governor's office. >> that was the first in the governor's office was indicated in the switch. state officials continue to claim the water was safe overall. but they began to talk about the issues of the aging infrastructure. for example, september 21 mdeq
said the flint water supply presently meets all state and federal water quality standards. but added that homes with late service connections and lead plumbing always had been in some part for billion of lead, which is a concern. focusing on infrastructure was a way to avoid the root of the crisis, which was the state's decision to switch to the flint river and his subsequent move to not use corrosion control, a $100 per day expense. those supposed savings led to unimaginable costs. attrition --h, the -- a pediatrician released thousands of health records commission directly between the switch to the flint river and the elevated blood levels in children. >> we look at all children under the age of five years. we look that their blood levels pre-switch and looked at blood levels posts switch. our children, five years and
below, the percentage of children with elevated blood levels in flint were 2.1%. post switch, 4%. it doubled. >> confronted with that evidence, the state launched yet another attack, a spokeswoman for governor snyder wrote an e-mail that the data had been spliced and diced. the michigan department of health and human services also jumped in saying the states data was not in line with the doctors results. thosit tendso discredit the ctor quily fell art. the detroit free pressompare e statesata withhe dr.'s datand found the stat's ow data found there was a higher percentage of kids with elevated levels. according to records, the state department of health and human services had detected a significant spike in the lead blood levels of flint children in the months immediately
following the changeover. now!d freewater >> finally forced to take some action, the state held a press conference, one of flint residents were not allowed to atte. epa warnings were not enough, the virginia tech study wasn't enough, the hurley study was not enough. state officials connued to deny their role in the flint crisis. >> our responsibility, rather the water comes from detroit or whether it comes from the flint river, we still have the same issue. >> wrong. october 7, a panel of experts formed earlier in the year by flint's former mayor and a previous emergency manager held just its third meeting. the small conference room crowded with media, the experts recommended that flint switch back to the detroit system. in order to protect its residents from further harm. on october 8, six months after
leeanne walters and her child had lead poisoning, eight months after the epa began raising -- and 60 months after the river water began causing massive infrastructure damage and irreparable physical harm to residents, governor rick snyder finally announced that he would allow flint to return to the detroit system. the governor also insisted there was no reason to assign blame to the completely avoidable man-made disaster. >> this isn't about blaming anyone. right now i want to stay focused on the solutions and taking acon to solve the problems. >> after the press conference, snyder's pres for secretary replied. governor's office involved in the switch in the first place? >> howard croft -- one more question. howard croft, the director of public works for flint in a recent interview said the decision to switch to the flint river came out of the governor's office. >> i cannot address that at all. in fact, because of the time to
me go back to the history of this, the community very much wanting to switch to a new water, making the switch back last spring saying, hey, we're going to cut you off. >> that is a lie. >> there are certain steps that i cannot speak to -- >> you are saying this did not emanate from the governor's office? >> i can't address that. it is not accurate. >> you are spokesman for the governor, correct? >> that is why i'm talking to you right now. thank you. >> that is a yes or no question. >> snyder was not the only official single was no need to place blame. darnell earley and now the emergency manager over the detroit public schools and the man who signed the letter rejecting detroit's offer to keep selling water to flint, echo the governor's words. >> i don't want to focus on what happened in 2013. i think it is important we
mobilize all resources we can to fix the problem. >> but all resources were not being mobilized. costing -- something karen weaver to declare a state of emergency. >> i'm looking help from the state from the federal government. i feel like we have no other option but to reach out and ask for help. >> the flint water crisis again to draw international attention. december 29, a task force appointed by the snyder, reported findings into the state's handling of the crisis. what is disturbing about the response is the letter read --
on the day that letter was issued, mdeq director and his chief spokesperson both resigned. three weeks after mayor weaver state of emergency declaration, governor snyder issued hiswn on january 5, 2016. at last, opening up the door to federal relief. i the time the governor state of the state address in january 2016, the people of flint have been drinking water contaminated with lead for nearly two years. people in this city still could not treat the water. >> members of the joint convention, the governor of the state of michigan, rick snyder. [applause] >> tonight i will address the crisis i fli, first, an in
depth. let me walk you through the facts. tonight i'm releasing a conference of time one of the steps we have taken and the actions under way to solve this crisis. first, this crisis began in the spring of 2013 when the city council voted seven to 12 purchase water from the kwa. >> that vote had nothing to do with the decision to use the flint river as the temporary water source for city of 100,000 people. >> detroit water and sewer department provided no termination effective one year later and on april 25, 2014, flint began use water from the flint river as an interim source. >> with the governor leaves out is the fact of joy wanted to keep selling clean and safe water to detroit. the governor's of time when also omits the fact when the city council voted to return to the detroit system in march 2015, snyder's emergency manager
overruled that vote, forcing the people of flint to continue using poor smith's water. >> stember 28, 201 i was rst bried on theotential scope anmagnitudof the crisi you derve to know the truth d iave a responsibility to tell the truth. >> governor snyder has not yet testified under oath. on february 3, 20 16, leeanne walters did not hesitate to raise her hand and sorted tell the truth. >> do solemnly swear and affirm the testimony will give us the truth, the whole to, nothing but the truth? but the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. >> in 2014 and a city with no democracy, forced under an emergency manager can pick by governor snyder, a decision was made to switch the water source without the proper testing and enforcement of regulation. the citizens in flint were a shirt for 18 months the water was safe. we fought the city and state, saying her something wrong, and
we were dismissed. we conducted citizen-based samplings. we educated and distributed 300 samples igloo of the city and collected back to hundred 77 samples. all of this was done in a three week turnaround. there are people in flint today still not being assisted during this crisis. immigrants, disabled, and shut-ins. broken policy and procedures are smothering the outcry of an entire community suffering financially, physically, mentally and emotionally. i urge you to help restore some of the broken trust lost i never allowing this to happen again. amy: as of today, 23 month after the switch to the flint river, five officials have resigned and one has been fired because of their roles in the water crisis. the u.s. department of justice, the fbi, and the michigan attorney general's office have all launched criminal investigations. congress continues to hold hearings. the aclu of michigan documentary, "here's to flint," was produced by kate levy and
curt guyette, with special thanks to darrell dawsey, mellisa mays, jenn teed, leeanne walters, antonio cosme, kayla fenner, notown the movie, spectacle tv and all points tv. if you would like a copy of today's show, go to democracynow.org. when we come back, after the hundred environment list berta caceres was assassinated last week, what happened to the sole survivor, an eyewitness? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: "anti-patriarchy" by anna tijoux performing here at democracy now! studios. today's international women's day. a shout out to the students at ps128 in washington i too have come to watch democracy now! today in our studios. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to honduras, which is still reeling from last week's assassination of berta caceres, one of the country's most well-known environmental and indigenous leaders. she was gunned down in her home early thursday less than a year after she won the prestigious goldman environmental prize.
she is at least the 110th environmental or land defender to be killed in honduras since 2010 in the wake of a u.s. supported coup. her death has sparked protests across the americas. a demonstration is scheduled today outside the united nations. at the time of her assassination , berta was with another well known environmental campaigner, gustavo castro soto, coordinator of friends of the earth mexico. he was shot twice in the attack. over the weekend, castro attempted to leave honduras but authorities blocked his exit, even though he was accompanied by the mexican ambassador. castro was eventually ordered to return to the town of la esperanza, where berta caceres had been gunned down. castro has been held there ever since for additional questioning. well, for more, we go now to albuquerque, new mexico, where we're joined by beverly bell. she is a long-time friend and -- of both gustavo castro soto and berta caceres. she's currently the coordinator
of other worlds, a social and economic justice organization. bell is also an associate fellow at the institute for policy studies. welcome back to democracy now! what is happening right now in the wake and the floor of the berta caceres assassination? what is happening to gustavo castro soto? >> the first thing to point out, gustavo is not only the sole witness, he also was a target for assassination. he was, as you mentioned, shot twice and in the one letter he is unable to get out to a few of us, he said they tried to assassinate me and they are still trying to assassinate me. igned death after having been shot twice. the death squads, who were sent, we're certain, by the honduran government, thought that he was dead. they left. gustavo's arms.
he was a mean really picked up for questioning. he is now in his fifth day of questioning will stop it reads like the worst horror movie you could ever imagine. it h been crazyhere gusvo walocked up in hrible dend food a very d other ings thai'veeen asd not toeport unl he leeshe count for h securi. he tn was tan by theexican ambassad, was gin safe haven in thembassy o mexo becaus he is mexican citiz, for on day. he w being eorted byhe ambassador to the airport. he was on his way to pass customs. he adjust hugged the ambassador goodbye when suddenly this gang of honduran authorities, thugs, showed up and took him back. it was crazy. there has been the supposed diplomatic tug-of-war between
mexico and honduras -- i should say the mexican government has absolutely no right to return him to the honduran authorities. he is back in a little town where berta lived, the headquarters of her organization, which is an indigenous grassroots organization. and he is now held again for questioning. we're certain they want to keep gustavo out of the way. life is my life -- "my in extreme danger right now and it absolutely is." -- i wantt to go to to go to gustavo castro soto in his own words, long stood up to multinational mineral extraction companies in mexico were he is involved with the m4 movement against the extracting, mining model. this was from last year. >> we are finding many challenges around dams and issues of climate change, mining, monoculture, exclusion of different sectors of farmers of the indigenous and i believe
a very important part of this will be to the young people themselves as students of universities and social processes involved in the struggle and resistance but especially in the search for alternatives. young people have much to contribute in the academy also has to be a link to social struggles. amy: that is gustavo castro soto , speaking in his own words last year. beverly bell, and these last minutes that we have, he is been shot twice. the mexican ambassador try to get him out of honduras after berta caceres -- and he witnessed the assassination -- witness the assassination but survived. he is been taken back to where he was shot and she was assassinated. what are you calling for now? >> we are calling for his sake passage out of honduras back to mexico. we are also calling for an independent investigation of the assassination of berta caceres, because so far, it is been grossly manipulative by the honduran government, which is wreaking to target and blame
other members of berta's group, who themselves had been detained and are being interrogated without lawyers being present. and we're also calling for the decriminalization of the indigenous and popular group that berta led. i want to say this is not just in horrible human rights crisis happening in honduras right now, it is also a battle for the future of central america, which is the epicenter of extractive industries. so on the one hand, you have multinational corporations that are in honduras to take over forests, mines, waters, indigenous lands and intellectual property rights, which others call indigenous knowledge and on the other hand, yes social movement which in central america have been led by gustavo castro soto and by berta
caceres for the protection of these indigenous lands, for rights -- amy: beverly bell because this is international women's day, i want to insert the words of berta caceres, when she won the 2015 goldman environment will prize. militarizedr earth, , fenced in, poisoned, a place where basic rights are systematically violated, demands that we take action. amy: that was the assassinated honduran indigenous environment list berta caceres. i also will continue -- we will continue to cover what is happening to gustavo castro soto , though the mexican bus and are try to get him out of honduras, he survived the assassination attempt on him, but he is been shot twice, the honduran authorities are continuing to keep him. beverly bell, thank you for joining us from new mexico.
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