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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: 1 hour 9 min ago

U.S. Passes 2 Million Coronavirus Cases as States Lift Restrictions, Raising Fears of a Second Wave

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 08:15

The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases has officially topped 2 million as states continue to ease stay-at-home orders and reopen their economies and more than a dozen see a surge in new infections. “I worry that what we’ve seen so far is an undercount and what we’re seeing now is really just the beginning of another wave of infections spreading across the country,” says Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

Buffalo Police Assaulted a 75-Year-Old Longtime Peace Activist, Now Trump Is Attacking Him Too

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 08:48

We look at the story of peace activist Martin Gugino, who was hospitalized in critical condition after being pushed to the ground by a police officer in Buffalo last week — an attack captured on video that has been viewed millions of times. On Tuesday, President Trump attacked the 75-year-old activist on Twitter, suggesting he staged his fall and was “an ANTIFA provocateur,” echoing baseless claims from a segment on the far-right channel One America News Network. We speak with Lu Aya, a member of the New York-based group The Peace Poets, who organized with Martin in the group Witness Against Torture. “Martin, first and foremost, is just one of the kindest, most good-hearted people I’ve been lucky to walk with,” Aya says. “Martin is someone who deserves, like all our elders, much more respect and care.”

"Out of Options in Terms of Reform": Khalil Gibran Muhammad on the Racist History of Police in U.S.

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 08:25

Protests in defense of Black lives and calls to defund the police continue across the U.S., from Los Angeles to Minneapolis and New York. We speak with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, a professor of history, race and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Suzanne Young Murray professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, about the significance of this moment and the history of policing in the U.S. “We haven’t seen a moment like this in at least half a century,” Muhammad says. “It’s hard to know for sure where we’re going to go from this moment, but it’s clear that when we look at the history of policing, we have run out of options in terms of reform, in terms of thinking about what the police can do for themselves.”

"Justice Will Be Served": Family Pays Tribute to George Floyd and Demands Change at Houston Funeral

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 08:17

A private funeral was held in Houston Tuesday for George Floyd, two weeks after a Minneapolis police officer killed him by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd’s death has sparked protests against police brutality and racism across the United States and around the world. We play excerpts from the funeral service and hear from Floyd’s family and dignitaries.

Headlines for June 10, 2020

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 08:00

Amid Protests & Pandemic, 200+ Unhoused People Sheltering in Minneapolis Hotel Now Face Eviction

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 08:50

We go to Minneapolis, where the community has taken over a Sheraton hotel to provide shelter to more than 200 unhoused people amid protests and the pandemic. Now they face eviction. “Using hotels for emergency housing is an obvious answer,” says Rosemary Fister, community organizer. “They are largely vacant as we enter an economic depression in the midst of a global pandemic.”

"Essential Labor, Expendable Lives": Mass Transit Workers Worry About Safety as NYC Begins to Reopen

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 08:38

As New York City begins to partially reopen, we look at what it means for the nation’s largest public transportation system. “It’s a very stressful and dangerous situation,” says Seth Rosenberg, a subway operator, shop steward with the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and a member of a small coalition of transit workers called Local 100 Fightback. “The safety measures are not in place to protect transit workers or riders.”

DACA Recipients "Want to Be in the Streets Building Solidarity" But ICE Arrests 3 at Phoenix Protest

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 08:25

Immigration agents are facing accusations of targeting protesters who are recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Police in Phoenix, Arizona, arrested community activist Máxima Guerrero as she was leaving a protest on May 30 with a group of legal observers. She was one of three DACA recipients arrested over that weekend in Phoenix. We get an update from Sandra Castro Solis with the Phoenix-based grassroots immigrant justice group Puente Human Rights Movement, who says that despite the risks, “we’re in a moment where people want to be out in the streets building that solidarity.”

Immigration Agents Target People at Police Brutality Protests, Including a U.S. Citizen Military Vet

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 08:15

As protests against police brutality continue nationwide, immigrant rights advocates are sounding the alarm over the presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at some of the demonstrations. A viral video showed a group of ICE agents working with the New York City Police Department to detain a protester at a George Floyd rally in New York City last week, and advocates say agents held the man on the ground as they pointed three guns at him and handcuffed and searched him. He was reportedly released after agents found a military veteran’s ID on him, and is a U.S. citizen of Puerto Rican descent. We speak with Mizue Aizeki, deputy director at the Immigrant Defense Project.

"The Time Is Now": Tens of Thousands in NYC March for Justice, Peace & an End to Racist Police

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 08:53

As hundreds of thousands took to the streets nationwide and around the world to call for police accountability and demand Black lives matter in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Democracy Now! spoke to some of the people who joined the historic protests Saturday in New York City.

The End of Policing: Alex Vitale on How Cops & Their Unions Cover Up Inequality, Exploitation

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 08:48

Professor Alex Vitale argues the answer to police violence is not “reform.” It’s defunding. The author of “The End of Policing” says the movement to defund the police is part of “a long story about the use of police and prisons to manage problems of inequality and exploitation.” He asks, “Why are we using police to paper over problems of economic exploitation?” He also discusses the role of police unions. “They become, in many cities, the locus, the institutional hub, for a whole set of right-wing 'thin blue line' politics that believe that policing is not only effective but it’s the most desirable way to solve our problems. And embedded in this is a deep racism that says that certain populations can only be managed through constant threats of coercion.”

Defund the Police: Linda Sarsour & Mychal Denzel Smith on What Meaningful Change Would Look Like

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 08:31

Amid growing calls in New York City for police accountability, Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to shift some of the city’s funding for police and reallocate it to social services. We get response from Linda Sarsour, longtime Palestinian American Muslim organizer and co-founder of Until Freedom, which along with others has led the push to institute meaningful change. We also speak with author Mychal Denzel Smith, who notes that “one thing that’s come of this global pandemic of COVID-19 is an understanding of what constitutes essential, what do we actually need. And police have shown that they are inessential.”

Minneapolis City Council Vows to Dismantle Police Dept. After Mass Protests & Grassroots Organizing

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 08:16

After nearly two weeks of historic protests, the Minneapolis City Council has announced it will move to dismantle the city’s police department in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. “We’ve got to create a system of public safety that works for everybody,” says Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison.

Trump Threatens Protests with Troops, But Police Have Already Been Militarized — With Deadly Results

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 08:52

The American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter announced Thursday they are suing President Trump and Attorney General William Barr for authorizing an “unprovoked and frankly criminal attack” on protesters at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., where the National Guard and officers dressed in riot gear fired tear gas, rubber bullets and flashbangs to disperse peaceful protesters on Monday so Trump could have a photo op with a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. We look at the increasing militarization of the police with Stuart Schrader, author of “Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing.”

Watch: Police Pepper-Spray Black Filmmaker in Face at Peaceful Protest & Medics Help Him Survive

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 08:44

As the nationwide uprising in defense of Black lives continues, demonstrators are recording videos of police brutality on the streets. We speak with Chris Frierson, an African American documentary filmmaker and cameraman who was filming a Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday in Brooklyn, New York, when police moved in on demonstrators. As Frierson filmed, police pepper-sprayed him directly in the face. Chris kept on filming as he struggled to the sidewalk crying in agony from the pain. Within seconds, someone took his arm and guided him to volunteer medics who came to his aid. We air his footage and speak about the incident.

Our System Is Corroded: Carol Anderson on Rampant Police Violence and Assault on Voting Rights

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 08:21

On Thursday, disturbing new details were revealed in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man who was chased, ambushed and shot dead by a group of white men in Georgia in what many have called a modern-day lynching. In a nearly seven-hour hearing, a state judge concluded all three men — Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan — would stand trial for Arbery’s murder, after special agent Richard Dial of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation testified Travis McMichael said “f—ing n—” after shooting and killing Arbery. We speak with professor Carol Anderson, author of “White Rage,” about Arbery’s slaying, the nationwide protests, anti-lynching legislation being debated in the Senate and the upcoming election.

"Get Your Knee Off Our Necks": At Memorial for George Floyd, Mourners Condemn 400 Years of Racism

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 08:16

In Minneapolis, members of George Floyd’s family, loved ones and supporters gathered for a tribute to his life. During the memorial service, people stood in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for his life. We hear the voices of Floyd’s brother Philonise and Reverend Al Sharpton, who urged those gathered “to stand up in George’s name and say, 'Get your knee off our necks!'”