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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 59 min ago

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Environmental Justice, Shutting Down Pipelines, Capitalism & Billionaires

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 08:40

Six 2020 presidential candidates — Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, and Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson, John Delaney and Joe Sestak — participated in the first-ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice in Orangeburg, South Carolina, on November 8. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and former EPA official Mustafa Santiago Ali co-moderated the event, which took place at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. We air highlights of Warren speaking about the climate crisis, public health, shutting down pipelines, capitalism, the order of primary states and more.

"This Is a Military Coup": Bolivian President Evo Morales Resigns After Army Calls for His Ouster

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 08:20

Bolivia is in a state of political crisis after longtime President Evo Morales resigned Sunday following what he described as a military coup. Weeks of protests have taken place since a disputed election last month. Morales announced his resignation in a televised address Sunday, shortly after the Bolivian military took to the airwaves to call for his resignation. Bolivia’s vice president also resigned Sunday, as did the head of the Bolivian Senate and the lower house. Opposition leader Jeanine Áñez, who is the second vice president of the Bolivian Senate, is claiming she will assume the presidency today. Evo Morales was the longest-serving president in Latin America, as well as Bolivia’s first indigenous leader. He was credited with lifting nearly a fifth of Bolivia’s population out of poverty since he took office in 2006, but he faced mounting criticism from some of his former supporters for running for a third and then a fourth term. For more on the unfolding crisis in Bolivia, we speak with Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. His latest piece for The Nation is headlined “The Trump Administration Is Undercutting Democracy in Bolivia.” “This is a military coup — there’s no doubt about it now,” Weisbrot says.

Remembering the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre When Police Shot Dead Three Unarmed Black Students

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 08:42

The 1968 Orangeburg massacre is one of the most violent and least remembered events of the civil rights movement. A crowd of students gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University to protest segregation at Orangeburg’s only bowling alley. After days of escalating tensions, students started a bonfire and held a vigil on the campus to protest. Dozens of police arrived on the scene, and state troopers fired live ammunition into the crowd. When the shooting stopped, three students were dead and 28 wounded. Although the tragedy predated the Kent State shootings and Jackson State killings and it was the first of its kind on any American college campus, it received little national media coverage. The nine officers who opened fire that day were all acquitted. The only person convicted of wrongdoing was Cleveland Sellers, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC. Sellers was one of the organizers of the protest. He was convicted of a riot charge and spent seven months behind bars. He was pardoned in 1993. From Orangeburg, South Carolina, we speak with civil rights photographer Cecil Williams, who photographed the scene in the aftermath of the Orangeburg massacre. He is also the founder of the Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum here in Orangeburg.

"We Can't Afford to Wait for the DNC": Why Black Lawmakers Organized an Environmental Justice Forum

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 08:24

The first-ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice takes place tonight in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where six presidential candidates will take to the stage at South Carolina State University. African-American communities and people of color on the frontlines in South Carolina have been fighting for justice in the face of extreme environmental racism for years. We host a roundtable with local leaders and environmental justice advocates to talk about the significance of the event, the issues their communities face and the 2020 candidates’ platforms on environmental justice. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, join us in Orangeburg.

Warren, Booker & Steyer to Take Part in First-Ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 08:13

We broadcast live from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, where tonight the first-ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice will be held. Six presidential candidates — Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson, John Delaney and Joe Sestak — are participating. The forum is hosted by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and leaders from frontline communities. South Carolina is a crucial state for the 2020 presidential race and one of the first that will have a Democratic primary, following New Hampshire and caucuses in Iowa and Nevada. The region has been repeatedly pummeled by climate-fueled hurricanes, including Hurricane Florence, which swept through the South in 2018, causing epic floods. Black residents and communities of color have faced disproportionate air and water pollution and exposure to environmental hazards, but South Carolina is also home to some of the most successful responses to environmental racism. Ahead of Friday’s presidential forum, we speak with Mustafa Ali, the forum’s co-moderator and the former head of the environmental justice program at the Environmental Protection Agency. “It’s important that we have these conversations about climate change, but those are the symptoms of a disease,” Ali says. “The disease has been the racism, the structural inequality, that continues to happen inside of communities of color.”

"The Pollinators": New Film Shows How Decline of Bee Colonies Could Mean Collapse of Food Chain

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 08:48

A documentary film “The Pollinators” tells the story of the world’s yellow-black jacketed honey bees, whose existence may determine the future of human survival. The insects pollinate nearly all the fruits, vegetables and nuts we consume, and some experts estimate one out of every three bites of food we eat depends on the work of honey bees. However, the future of the insects is now in peril with widespread reports of bee colony collapses. In the last decade and a half, beekeepers have reported staggering declines in their bee populations due to pesticides, parasites and loss of habitat. Scientists warn climate change is also threatening the insects’ survival, noting bees could die off at faster rates as the Earth warms. For more about the crisis of bee population decline, we’re joined by Peter Nelson, director of “The Pollinators,” cinematographer and beekeeper.

Ex-Twitter Workers Charged with Spying for Saudis as part of Kingdom’s Growing Crackdown on Dissent

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 08:33

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged two former Twitter employees with helping Saudi Arabia spy on thousands of the kingdom’s critics. Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo are accused of giving the Saudi government detailed information about users, including telephone numbers and email addresses linked to the accounts, as well as internet protocol addresses that could be used to identify a user’s location. The charges are being filed just over a year after the brutal murder of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey. A new report by Human Rights Watch finds that one year after Khashoggi’s brutal murder Saudi Arabia continues to arbitrarily detain countless activists, regime critics and clerics. The report says there is a “darker reality” behind Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s widely touted initiatives for Saudi women and youth, including mass arrests of women activists, some of whom have allegedly been sexually assaulted and tortured with electric shocks. We speak with Adam Coogle, Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Algerian Protesters Are Still in the Streets, Months After Pushing Out Longtime President Bouteflika

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 08:14

In Algeria, protests against corruption, the jailing of opposition leaders and the army’s powerful role in national politics have entered their ninth month. Tens of thousands filled the streets of the capital Algiers last Friday to mark the 65th anniversary of the war of independence from France and to demand a “new revolution” rather than an upcoming election they say will be rigged. Over 100 student protesters were arrested last night as the Algerian government intensified its crackdown on demonstrators ahead of the upcoming polls. Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah announced the country will hold a presidential election on December 12. This comes after longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in April following weeks of protests. We speak with Mehdi Kaci, an Algerian-American activist who organized a protest last weekend in San Francisco in support of Algerians, and Daikha Dridi, a journalist based in Algiers. “There is a political uprising, but there is also a huge sense of pride, of self-love, that the Algerian people are experiencing,” Dridi says. “The Algerians are wanting a much, much deeper change, and they’re not going back home.”

Dems Win Big on Election Day, Flipping Virginia Legislature & Ousting Trump-Backed Kentucky Gov.

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 08:47

Results are coming in after Tuesday’s elections, with major wins for Democrats in several crucial states. In Virginia, the party gained control of both legislative houses for the first time in 25 years. In Kentucky, Democratic challenger state Attorney General Andy Beshear has ousted Trump-backed Republican incumbent Matt Bevin in a tightly contested run for governor. In Mississippi, Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves defeated Democratic state Attorney General Jim Hood in the governor’s race.

Several local candidates across the country made history. In Scranton, Pennsylvania, Paige Cognetti was elected as the first woman mayor after running as an independent despite being a registered Democrat. She’ll also be the first mayor-elect to give birth. Her child is due in December. Ghazala Hashmi became the first Muslim woman elected to the Virginia Senate after winning a suburban Richmond district. And Danica Roem made history for a second time, becoming the first out transgender person to win reelection to a state legislature, after defeating an anti-LGBT Republican candidate to represent the 13th District in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Tuesday’s election also decided several important state ballot initiatives. Voters in New York City approved ranked-choice voting, a measure supporters say will help underrepresented voters and candidates of color. In Jersey City, voters approved strict regulations on short-term rentals, in a major blow to Airbnb. A measure to make Tucson, Arizona, a sanctuary city was overwhelmingly defeated by voters there.

We speak with John Nichols, a political writer for The Nation.

Is Texas About to Execute an Innocent Man? Rodney Reed's Family Demands Retrial Amid New Evidence

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 08:10

The state of Texas is facing growing calls to halt the upcoming execution of Rodney Reed, an African-American man who has spent over 20 years on death row for a rape and murder he says he did not commit. A group of 26 Texas lawmakers — including both Democrats and Republicans — have written a letter this week to Governor Greg Abbott to stop the execution planned for November 20. More than 1.4 million people have signed an online petition to save Reed’s life. Supporters include celebrities Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and Meek Mill. Reed was sentenced to die after being convicted of the 1996 murder of a 19-year-old white woman, Stacey Stites, with whom he was having an affair. But since Reed’s trial, substantial evidence has emerged implicating Stites’s then-financé, a white police officer named Jimmy Fennell, who was later jailed on kidnapping and rape charges in another case. In a major development, a man who spent time in jail with Fennell signed an affidavit last month asserting that Fennell had admitted in prison that he had killed his financée because she was having an affair with a black man. We speak with Rodney Reed’s brother Rodrick Reed, his sister-in-law Uwana Akpan and lawyer Bryce Benjet of the Innocence Project.

Colorado Has One of the Highest Voter Turnouts in the Country. Here's How They Did It

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 08:53

As local elections take place nationwide, voters in Colorado are enjoying greater access to the ballot than ever as the state’s vote-by-mail system allows residents to bypass long lines at polling places. The state also has voting measures which include automatic voter registration with driver’s license services, an extension of the vote to parolees, and allowance for some 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections. Colorado is considered an example for states needing to expand voter access at a time when Republican legislatures and statehouses across the country are attempting to suppress the vote. We speak with Jena Griswold, Colorado’s secretary of state, who says that Colorado has “the highest percentage of eligible citizens registered to vote, and our participation rates are often the first or second for the entire nation.”

NYC Voters to Decide Today to Adopt Ranked-Choice Voting in Municipal Elections

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 08:45

Voters across the U.S. head to the polls today for statewide elections that will be seen as a measure of Donald Trump’s influence in the Republican Party as he faces an impeachment inquiry. In New York City, a major ballot measure could change the way voters select their candidates in future elections. New Yorkers will decide whether to move from electing candidates by a plurality of votes to ranked-choice voting, a system in which voters rank their favorite candidates in order and the person with the most top-ranked votes wins. Proponents of the initiative say it will help underrepresented voters and candidates of color. Maya Wiley, senior vice president for social justice and professor of public and urban policy at The New School, joins us for a discussion of the ranked-choice voting system, which she says is about “voters having more choice on who gets elected into public office.”

"Release My Mother": A Yale Student Fights to Halt Deportation of His Mother with Stage IV Cancer

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 08:33

Tania Romero, an undocumented mother from Honduras and survivor of stage IV cancer, is fighting to remain in the United States with her four children. Two months ago, Romero was imprisoned by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the privately owned Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, interrupting her life-saving medical treatments. In mid-August, Romero was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction and arrested for not having a driver’s license. Tania Romero’s attorney requested a stay of deportation on humanitarian grounds because of her fragile health, but it was denied in September. Her son, Cristian Padilla Romero, is organizing against her deportation, with a petition demanding his mother’s release with over 30,000 signatures. We speak with Cristian Padilla Romero, a Ph.D. student in Latin American history at Yale University and a Honduran immigrant with DACA status.

Bill McKibben on U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Accord, California Fires, Climate Refugees & More

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 08:15

The Trump administration notified the United Nations Monday that it would withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris climate agreement, starting a year-long process to leave the international pact to fight the climate crisis. The United States — the world’s largest historic greenhouse gas emitter — will become the only country outside the accord. Trump’s announcement of the withdrawal came on the first day possible under the agreement’s rules. From Middlebury, Vermont, we speak with Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org. “The decision of the United States to be the only country on Earth … unwilling to take part in a global attempt at a solution to the greatest crisis we’ve ever faced — there’s a lot to be ashamed of in the Trump years and a lot of terrible things that have happened — it’s pretty hard to top that,” says McKibben.

Remembering the Greensboro Massacre of 1979, When KKK & Nazis Killed 5 People in Broad Daylight

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 08:49

Hundreds gathered this weekend to mark the 40th anniversary of the Greensboro massacre, when 40 Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazis opened fire on an anti-Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina, killing five anti-racist activists in a span of 88 seconds. Those killed were members of the Communist Workers’ Party. Ten other activists were injured. No one was convicted in the massacre, but a jury did find the Greensboro police liable for cooperating with the Ku Klux Klan in a wrongful death. Local pastors in Greensboro are now calling on the City Council to issue an apology for the events that led to the 1979 killing. We speak with Dr. Marty Nathan, the widow of Dr. Mike Nathan, who was killed in the 1979 Greensboro Massacre.

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