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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: 2 hours 49 min ago

We Can’t Back People Who Hate Our Kids: Kentucky & Minnesota Teachers of Year Boycott Trump Meeting

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 08:43

We speak with two award-winning teachers who are trying to teach Trump a lesson. On Monday, Jessica Dueñas, the 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, and Kelly Holstine, the 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, boycotted a White House ceremony honoring them and other state winners of the award in protest of the Trump administration’s education policies. But Dueñas and Holstine skipped the event to register their opposition to Trump’s policies on immigration, education and LGBTQ rights, saying many of the White House policies directly impact their immigrant and refugee students.

Roger Waters on Palestine: "You Have to Stand Up for People's Human Rights All Over the World"

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 08:25

After a judge ruled a panel can move forward Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on “Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights,” we speak with one of the event’s scheduled participants: Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, one of the most popular rock bands of all time. He says he welcomes the lawsuit that challenged the event, because “what it does is it serves to shine a light on the predicament of the Palestinian people.”

Mass. Judge Refuses to Halt Pro-Palestinian Event at UMass Featuring Roger Waters & Linda Sarsour

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 08:15

“Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights.” That’s the title of an event set to take place Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After three anonymous UMass students filed a lawsuit to stop the event, a judge ruled Thursday the event can proceed, saying, “There’s nothing that comes even close to a threat of harm or incitement to violence or lawlessness.” We get an update from Sut Jhally, event organizer and professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts, and Rachel Weber, attorney and member Jewish Voice for Peace, Western Massachusetts chapter.

Headlines for May 3, 2019

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 08:00

George Monbiot on U.K. Climate Emergency & the Need for Rebellion to Prevent Ecological Apocalypse

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 08:46

On Wednesday, the House of Commons became the first parliament in the world to declare a climate emergency. The resolution came on the heels of the recent Extinction Rebellion mass uprising that shut down Central London last month in a series of direct actions. Activists closed bridges, occupied public landmarks and even superglued themselves to buildings, sidewalks and trains to demand urgent action to combat climate change. Police arrested more than 1,000 protesters. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn told Parliament, “We are witnessing an unprecedented upsurge of climate activism, with groups like Extinction Rebellion forcing the politicians in this building to listen. For all the dismissive and defensive column inches the processes have provoked, they are a massive and, I believe, very necessary wake-up call. Today we have the opportunity to say, 'We hear you.'” We speak with George Monbiot, British journalist, author and columnist with The Guardian. His recent piece for The Guardian is headlined “Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse.” Monbiot says capitalism “is like a gun pointed at the heart of the planet. … It will essentially, necessarily destroy our life support systems. Among those characteristics is the drive for perpetual economic growth on a finite planet.”

A Debate on Maduro: Two Venezuelans Oppose U.S. Intervention But Differ on Steps Ahead

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 08:10

Competing pro- and anti-government rallies were held Wednesday as President Nicolás Maduro accused the United States of backing Tuesday’s failed coup led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Speaking to a massive crowd of supporters outside the presidential palace of Miraflores, Maduro said the United States had been tricked into believing that several top Venezuelan officials were ready to break with his government. In Washington, the National Security Council held a principals’ meeting on Wednesday to discuss Venezuela. The Washington Post reports the staff of national security adviser John Bolton clashed with a top general during the meeting for not presenting sufficient military options on Venezuela. This came as acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan canceled a planned overseas trip to focus on Venezuela. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to urge an end to Russian involvement in Venezuela. Lavrov reportedly responded by warning the United States should not take any more “aggressive steps” in Venezuela. We go to Caracas for a debate between Venezuelan Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations for North America Carlos Ron and Edgardo Lander, a Venezuelan sociologist who is part of the Citizen’s Platform in Defense of the Constitution.

"It Is About Time": Rep. Ilhan Omar on Supporting Impeachment of Trump & Medicare for All

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 08:48

Congress held a historic hearing on Medicare for all on Tuesday, opening with an emotional testimony from activist and lawyer Ady Barkan, who is dying of terminal ALS. We speak to Representative Ilhan Omar about yesterday’s hearing and her support for overhauling the country’s healthcare system in favor of Medicare for all. We also talk to her about ongoing efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, which she says she supports.

Hands Off Ilhan Omar: Angela Davis & Black Women Leaders Defend Congresswoman from Right-Wing Attacks

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 08:39

African-American women leaders gathered on Capitol Hill Tuesday in defense of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim congresswomen in history and the first member of Congress to wear a hijab. Omar has been the target of numerous right-wing attacks since taking office, including by President Donald Trump himself. Omar says death threats against her have spiked in number since President Trump tweeted a video juxtaposing her image with footage of the 9/11 attacks. Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, civil rights icon Angela Davis and others addressed the crowd Tuesday to urge Congress to censure President Trump—to whom they referred simply as the “occupant of the White House”—for his attacks on Omar and to send a message to both political parties: “Hands off Ilhan Omar!”

Ilhan Omar Speaks Out Against U.S. Sanctions & Bipartisan Support for Regime Change in Venezuela

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 08:32

Amid an ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela, we speak with Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who questioned U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams on Capitol Hill in February about his record. Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was linked to the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela that tried to topple Hugo Chávez. In the 1980s, Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Rep. Ilhan Omar says that there is a direct correlation between this type of detrimental U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and “the kind of mass migration that we’re noticing right now from Central America and South America to the U.S.”

Economist Jeffrey Sachs: U.S. Sanctions Have Devastated Venezuela & Killed Over 40,000 Since 2017

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 08:22

More than 40,000 people have died in Venezuela since 2017 as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research co-authored by economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot. The report examines how U.S. sanctions have reduced the availability of food and medicine in Venezuela and increased disease and mortality. We speak with Jeffrey Sachs in our New York studio. In the report, he writes, “American sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela’s economy and thereby lead to regime change. It’s a fruitless, heartless, illegal, and failed policy, causing grave harm to the Venezuelan people.”

As Venezuela Coup Attempt Fails to Overthrow Maduro, Guaidó Calls for More Street Protests

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 08:11

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is claiming to have defeated a coup attempt launched by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly. On Tuesday morning, Guaidó appeared in an online video standing among heavily armed soldiers, calling for the military to back what he called the “final phase” of an effort to topple Maduro’s government. Guiadó appeared alongside Leopoldo López, a longtime opposition leader, who was reportedly released from house arrest by renegade officers. Guaidó has been attempting to topple the Venezuelan government since January, when he declared himself to be Venezuela’s interim president. The Trump administration, as well as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and others, openly supported the coup attempt. Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox Business that military action in Venezuela is possible, “if that’s what is required.” We speak to Miguel Tinker Salas, Venezuelan historian and professor at Pomona College.

Former DHS Analyst: Trump Administration Not Taking White Nationalist Threat Seriously Enough

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 08:52

Funeral services were held Monday in San Diego, California, for Lori Kaye, a 60-year-old Jewish congregant who was shot dead Saturday in the latest attack by a white supremacist on a house of worship. To talk about the rise of white supremacist violence and the Trump administration’s response, we speak to Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In 2009, Johnson authored a report warning about the increasing dangers of violent right-wing extremism in the United States, sparking a political firestorm in the process. Under pressure from Republican lawmakers and popular talk show hosts, DHS ultimately repudiated Johnson’s paper.

With U.S. Support, Venezuelan Opposition Launch a Coup in Latest Attempt to Oust Maduro

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 08:45

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó says a coup is underway in Caracas. Guaidó appeared this morning, in a video posted online, standing among heavily armed soldiers, proclaiming he is “starting the final phase of Operation Liberty.” He appeared alongside formerly jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López, who said he’d been freed from house arrest by military officers loyal to the opposition. Venezuela’s defense minister said the government of Nicolás Maduro remains in control and that military units reported “normality” at barracks and bases across Venezuela. We speak to attorney Eva Golinger, who who served as an adviser to former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Angela Davis: I Would Like to Accept Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Award After BDS Controversy

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 08:38

In February, Angela Davis returned to her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. She originally planned the visit to receive the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but the institute withdrew the award in January, soon after the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center sent a letter urging the board to reconsider honoring Davis due to her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting the Israeli government and Israeli institutions. Facing swift and widespread outcry, the institute then reversed its decision and reinstated the award. While Angela Davis has yet to accept the award, she tells Democracy Now! she would like to accept it, but says it is not an individual decision to make. “I will take the leadership from those doing the on-the-ground work.”

Angela Davis & Barbara Ransby: We Stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Courageous, Bold Black Woman

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 08:15

Two of the founders of Black Lives Matter, as well as professor Angela Davis and scores of other black women, are holding a rally today on Capitol Hill to defend Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and to urge Congress to censure President Trump for his attacks on her. Omar made history earlier this year when she and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan became the first Muslim women in Congress. She is also the first member of Congress to wear a hijab. Omar, who was born in Somalia and came to the United States as a refugee, has been at the center of numerous right-wing attacks since taking office. Omar recently said death threats against her have spiked in number since President Trump tweeted a video juxtaposing her image with footage of the 9/11 attacks. We speak to the academic and activist Angela Davis, as well as Barbara Ransby, historian, author, activist adviser to the Movement for Black Lives and one of the planners behind Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar.

From LBJ to Robert Moses: Robert Caro on Writing About Political Power & Its Impact on the Powerless

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 08:15

Robert Caro is always working. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner published his first book, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” 45 years ago and has spent the decades since meticulously chronicling the life and times of Lyndon B. Johnson. The result is four sweeping volumes that total more than 3,000 pages and offer an unprecedented window into the inner world of one of the country’s most influential presidents. And he’s not done yet—Caro is currently writing the fifth and final installment of the collection. Robert Caro has been described as “the greatest political biographer of our times,” but to reduce his work as simply biographies of great men misses the point. Caro uses both Moses and Johnson to show how political power works. Robert Caro has just released a new book—by far the smallest volume in his collection—titled “Working.” It offers an inside look into the author’s meticulous research and writing process. We speak with Robert Caro in our New York studio.

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