Democracy Now

Subscribe to Democracy Now feed Democracy Now
Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
Updated: 51 min 48 sec ago

Longtime Reporter Leaves NBC Saying Media Is "Trump Circus" That Encourages Perpetual War

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 08:34

“Prisoners of Donald Trump.” That’s how longtime NBC reporter and analyst William Arkin described the mainstream media in a scathing letter last week announcing he would be leaving the network, accusing the media of warmongering while ignoring the “creeping fascism of homeland security.” He issued the blistering critique after a 30-year relationship with NBC, calling for “Trump-free” media days and a reckoning about how the network encourages a state of perpetual warfare. We speak with Arkin, whose award-winning reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post. He is the author of many books, including “Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.”

Bernie Sanders Responds to Trump's Border Wall Address, Debunking President's Lies About Immigration

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 08:26

After Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday in a speech that attacked immigrants and demanded a border wall, Sen. Bernie Sanders called out the president for lying to the American people and creating a false crisis at the border. We speak with Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, an immigrant rights group based in Chicago.

"A Racist, Xenophobic Attack": Immigrant Rights Activist Decries Trump Remarks About Southern Border

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 08:15

President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday night in his first prime-time speech from the Oval Office. He urged Congress to approve $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but he opted not to declare a national emergency to force construction of the wall, in a xenophobic speech riddled with falsehoods. We speak with Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, an immigrant rights group based in Chicago.

"Crime + Punishment" Exposes Racial Quotas in the NYPD & Retaliation Against Officers Who Speak Out

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 08:38

A group of New York Police Department officers are challenging what they call a racially charged policy of quotas for arrests and summonses. Known as the ”NYPD 12,” they risked their reputations and livelihoods to confront their superiors, fight illegal quotas and demand a more just police force. We look at a film following their story called “Crime + Punishment.” It has just been shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. We speak with Stephen Maing, the film’s director and producer, and Lieutenant Edwin Raymond, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the NYPD 12.

Rashida Tlaib: The Senate's Anti-BDS Bill Is an Unconstitutional Attack on Free Speech

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 08:29

A new Senate bill would allow state and local governments to boycott any U.S. companies which are engaged in a boycott against Israel. We speak with Congressmember Rashida Tlaib, who has come out out against the bill, tweeting, “They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: I Won't Apologize for My Comments About Trump—I Still Want to Impeach Him

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 08:13

Newly elected Democratic Congressmember Rashida Tlaib of Michigan made headlines last week for declaring, “We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherf***er,” in reference to President Donald Trump. Tlaib made the comment at a Washington, D.C., bar, days after she made history last week when she and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota became the first Muslim women sworn in to Congress. Tlaib is part of the most diverse and most female class of representatives in U.S. history. We speak with Rashida Tlaib in Detroit, Michigan.

Surviving R. Kelly: New Doc Says Time's Up for Singer Accused of Abusing Black Girls for Decades

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:38

We look at the shocking Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which chronicles two decades of allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against the celebrated R&B singer and producer. R. Kelly has been accused of abuse, predatory behavior and pedophilia throughout his career but has avoided criminal conviction despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses. We speak with Angelo Clary, whose daughter Azriel Clary met R. Kelly at the age of 17 and moved in with him with hopes of advancing her music career. He hasn’t seen her in almost four years. We also speak with Oronike Odeleye, co-founder of #MuteRKelly—a campaign to end R. Kelly’s music career—and an Atlanta-based arts administrator.

Sunrise Movement: Pelosi's Actions on Climate Fall Woefully & Inexcusably Short of What We Need

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:28

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism from some climate activists for failing to back a Green New Deal. Last week Pelosi announced the formation of a new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, headed by long-standing Florida Congressmember Kathy Castor. But the committee is far weaker than what backers of a Green New Deal had envisioned. The committee will not have subpoena power or the power to draft legislation. We speak with Varshini Prakash, founder of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate group that has occupied and lobbied at congressional offices, risking arrest to demand adoption of the Green New Deal and bold climate leadership.

Ari Berman: Dems Introduce Sweeping Voting Rights Bill to Combat Rampant Voter Suppression

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:14

Voting rights activists are hailing a new House bill that aims to restore voting rights to millions, crack down on the influence of dark money in politics, restore the landmark Voting Rights Act, establish automatic and same-day voter registration and other measures. The bill has been dubbed the For the People Act. It is the first piece of legislation introduced by the new Democratic majority in the House. We speak with Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones, reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.” His latest piece is titled “Democrats’ First Order of Business: Making It Easier to Vote and Harder to Buy Elections.”

How Trump's Labor Secretary Cut a Deal for Multimillionaire & Serial Sexual Abuser Jeffrey Epstein

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 08:41

One Cabinet member after another has been forced to leave the Trump administration over corruption and other issues in recent months, leaving Trump’s Cabinet at its most unstable since he assumed office two years ago. We look at whether Trump’s Labor Secretary Alex Acosta will be the next Trump Cabinet member to go, after an explosive Miami Herald investigation revealed that Acosta cut what’s been described as “one of the most lenient deals for a serial child sex offender in history” as U.S. prosecutor in Florida. Multimillionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein—friend to Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and others—has been accused of molesting and trafficking hundreds of underage girls in Florida, but served just 13 months in county jail. We speak with Julie Brown, longtime investigative reporter at the Miami Herald. Her series exposing multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes is titled “Perversion of Justice.”

Christmas in Tornillo: Activists, Lawmakers Demand Trump Shut Down Prison Camp for Migrant Children

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 08:25

As the government shutdown heads into its 14th day and Trump doubles down on his demands for a border wall, we turn to look at the ongoing crisis unfolding at the U.S. border and the protesters on the ground fighting back. In West Texas, immigrant rights activists are staging daily actions to shut down the Tornillo prison camp, where thousands of immigrant youth are being detained. The organizers call themselves the “Christmas in Tornillo” occupation. On New Year’s Eve, they shut down the entrance of the sprawling prison camp, where 2,300 children are being held in more than 150 tents. We speak with Juan Ortiz, immigrant rights activist and lead organizer with the Christmas in Tornillo occupation, and Democratic Congressmember Judy Chu from California.

As Most Diverse Congress in History Takes Office, Dems Push to End Shutdown Without Funding for Wall

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 08:13

The 116th Congress made history Thursday, swearing in the most diverse group of lawmakers ever and more than 100 women in the House, including the first two Native American women, the first two Latina women from Texas and the first two Muslim women. The first-ever African-American women congressmembers from Connecticut and Massachusetts were sworn in, as was Colorado’s first-ever African-American member of Congress. The first-ever and now second female House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and House Democrats sought to end the government shutdown as their first order of business, passing a package of spending bills that would reopen the federal government without meeting Trump’s demand for $5 billion for expanding the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. We speak with California Rep. Judy Chu.

On Her Shoulders: Stunning Film Follows Nobel Peace Winner Nadia Murad's Fight to End Sexual Violence

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 08:40

We look at the remarkable story of Nadia Murad, the Yazidi human rights activist from Iraq who was recently awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. Murad was kidnapped by the Islamic State in 2014 and repeatedly raped as she was held in captivity. After managing to escape, Murad fled Iraq and has dedicated her life to drawing international attention to the plight of the Yazidi people. The documentary “On Her Shoulders” follows Murad as she shares her story with the world. The documentary has been shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and recently received the Columbia Journalism duPont Award. We speak with the film’s award-winning director Alexandria Bombach.

Netflix Censors Hasan Minhaj in Saudi Arabia, Sparking Backlash over Khashoggi Killing, War in Yemen

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 08:13

Netflix is under fire for pulling an episode of U.S. comedian Hasan Minhaj’s show “Patriot Act” from Saudi Arabia, after officials from the kingdom complained to the streaming company that it violated Saudi cybercrime laws. The episode was posted in late October, a few weeks after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Hasan Minhaj sharply criticized the Saudi royal family and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The censored episode has been viewed more than 1.6 million times on YouTube, where it remains available to viewers in Saudi Arabia. On Wednesday, Minhaj tweeted, “Clearly, the best way to stop people from watching something is to ban it, make it trend online, and then leave it up on YouTube. Let’s not forget that the world’s largest humanitarian crisis is happening in Yemen right now. Please donate: help.rescue.org/donate/yemen.” We speak with Courtney Radsch, advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division.

As Brazil's Bolsonaro Takes Office, Opponents Warn of Regressive Policies & Threat of Dictatorship

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 08:38

Far-right former Army Captain Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as president of Brazil on New Year’s Day. His election marks the most radical political shift in the country since military rule ended more than 30 years ago. We speak with Fernando Haddad, former Brazilian presidential candidate on the Workers’ Party ticket who lost in a runoff to Jair Bolsonaro. Haddad is the former mayor of São Paulo and served as education minister under former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Pages