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: 3 min 50 sec ago

Federal Employees' Union Sues Trump Administration as 420,000 Work Without Pay During Shutdown

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 08:16

The government shutdown continues as President Trump prepares to meet with congressional leaders just one day before Democrats take control of the House. President Trump has insisted on including $5 billion for border wall funding before he’ll agree to sign any spending measure. Eight hundred thousand government workers’ lives have been thrown into disarray by the shutdown, with 380,000 workers on furlough and 420,000 who have worked without pay since December 22. We speak with a federal workers’ union that is suing the Trump administration over the shutdown. The American Federation of Government Employees, or AFGE, says it is illegal for federal workers to work without pay. We speak with Heidi Burakiewicz, lead attorney in the lawsuit, and David Borer, general counsel for AFGE.

Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara—A Rare Look Inside Africa's Last Colony

Tue, 01/01/2019 - 08:30

In this special rebroadcast of a Democracy Now! exclusive documentary, we break the media blockade and go to occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and Morocco’s violent crackdown. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the Moroccan occupation. A 1,700-mile wall divides Sahrawis who remain under occupation from those who fled into exile. The international media has largely ignored the occupation—in part because Morocco has routinely blocked journalists from entering Western Sahara. But in late 2016 Democracy Now! managed to get into the Western Saharan city of Laayoune, becoming the first international news team to report from the occupied territory in years.

Noam Chomsky on Pittsburgh Attack: Revival of Hate Is Encouraged by Trump's Rhetoric

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 08:40

On October 27th, a gunman stormed the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 Jewish worshipers. The massacre has been described as the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. After the shooting, we spoke with Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned professor, linguist and dissident, about Pittsburgh, Israel’s policies toward Gaza and other recent white supremacist and right-wing attacks in the U.S.

Noam Chomsky: The Future of Organized Human Life Is At Risk Thanks to GOP's Climate Change Denial

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 08:32

As the death toll from the climate change-fueled Camp Fire in California continues to rise and hundreds remain missing, we rebroadcast our conversation about climate change with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky from October. He says Republican Party leaders are dedicated to “enriching themselves and their friends” at the cost of the planet, and warns: “We have to make decisions now which will literally determine whether organized human life can survive in any decent form.”

A March to Disaster: Noam Chomsky Condemns Trump for Pulling Out of Landmark Nuclear Arms Treaty

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 08:24

President Donald Trump recently announced plans to pull the United States out of a landmark nuclear arms pact with Russia, in a move that could spark a new arms race. President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, in 1987. The INF banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges. The treaty helped to eliminate thousands of land-based missiles. We spoke with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky in October about the significance of the INF treaty and the impact of Trump’s plan to pull out.

Noam Chomsky: Members of Migrant Caravan Are Fleeing from Misery & Horrors Created by the U.S.

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 08:15

Days after a federal judge in California temporarily halted Trump’s asylum ban, we revisit our conversation with world-renowned professor, linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky about U.S. foreign policy in Central America. He joins us in Tucson, Arizona, where he teaches at the University of Arizona. Chomsky is also institute professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for 50 years. We ask him about the Central American caravan and national security adviser John Bolton declaring Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua to be part of a “troika of tyranny” and a “triangle of terror” earlier this month.

A Disaster for Brazil: Noam Chomsky on Brazil's New Far-Right President Jair Bolsonaro

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 08:01

As Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro prepares to take office on Tuesday, we return to our conversation with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky shortly after the election. Bolsonaro’s impending presidency marks the most radical political shift Brazil since military rule ended more than 30 years ago. Bolsonaro is a former Army officer who has praised Brazil’s former military dictatorship, spoken in favor of torture and threatened to destroy, imprison or banish his political opponents. Bolsonaro has also encouraged the police to kill suspected drug dealers, and once told a female lawmaker she was too ugly to rape. Noam Chomsky calls Bolsonaro a “disaster for Brazil.”

Documentary on Impact of Vietnam War Recalls Responsibility to Stand Up & Say No to War

Fri, 12/28/2018 - 08:41

“The War at Home,” a landmark documentary about antiwar protests in the 1960s and ’70s in Madison, Wisconsin, has just been re-released nationwide. We speak with co-director Glenn Silber, two-time Academy Award nominee, about the making of the film and why he argues now is an important time to revisit the responsibility to stand up and say no to war.

Bring the Troops Home & Stop the Bombing: Medea Benjamin on U.S. Withdrawal from Syria & Afghanistan

Fri, 12/28/2018 - 08:28

As President Donald Trump makes a surprise visit to Iraq this week and defends his plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria and about half the nearly 7,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, we get response from leading antiwar activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink. “We want to challenge Donald Trump … by pointing out that he continues to support the war in Yemen and the repressive Saudi regime,” Benjamin says. Her recent piece for Salon.com is titled “Bring the troops home—but stop the bombing too.”

A Path to Freedom? Journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal Wins Chance to Reargue Appeal in 1981 Police Killing

Fri, 12/28/2018 - 08:11

Former Black Panther and award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner but has always maintained his innocence. On Thursday, a Philadelphia judge ruled Abu-Jamal can reargue his appeal in the case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The judge cited then-Chief Justice Ronald Castille’s failure to recuse himself from the case due to his prior role as Philadelphia district attorney when Abu-Jamal was appealing. We get an update from Johanna Fernandez, professor of history at Baruch College-CUNY and one of the coordinators of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. She has been in the courtroom for much of this case and is the editor of “Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal.”

"RBG": As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Recovers from Surgery, a Remarkable Film Charts Her Trajectory

Thu, 12/27/2018 - 08:34

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been discharged from the hospital following surgery that removed two malignant growths in her left lung. Doctors called the surgery a success and said there’s no sign that Ginsburg’s cancer has spread. The health of the liberal 85-year-old justice—the oldest sitting justice on the Supreme Court bench—has come under increased scrutiny in recent years. In November, she was hospitalized after a fall that resulted in three fractured ribs. She previously fractured two ribs in 2012 and has twice survived cancer—pancreatic cancer in 2009 and colon cancer in 1999. Despite her illnesses, in her 25 years on the court Ginsburg has never missed a day of oral argument. We turn now to a remarkable award-winning documentary released earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The film has been shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. It’s called ”RBG.”

Without Notifying Anyone, ICE Dumps Hundreds of Migrants at El Paso Bus Station Around Christmas

Thu, 12/27/2018 - 08:14

U.S. Customs and Border Protection have ordered medical checks on every child in its custody, following the death of two Guatemalan children in recent weeks. On Christmas Eve, an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy named Felipe Gómez Alonso died in New Mexico while in CBP custody. This follows the death of a 7-year-old indigenous Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal Maquín, who died on December 8—also in New Mexico—two days after she and her father presented themselves at the border in a bid for asylum. Meanwhile, authorities in El Paso, Texas, scrambled over the Christmas holiday to assist hundreds of migrant asylum seekers who were dropped off suddenly by ICE officials outside a Greyhound bus terminal without any plan to house them. We speak with Dylan Corbett, executive director of Hope Border Institute, an El Paso-based charity that assists migrants.

Muslim Ban: Meet the Yemeni Americans Suing Trump in an Attempt to Reunite with Loved Ones

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 08:43

A group of Yemeni Americans have filed a new federal lawsuit over President Trump’s Muslim ban. The suit alleges the State Department has revoked previously approved visas preventing many Yemenis from reuniting with their families living in the United States. We speak to two of the plaintiffs and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the lawsuit.

Richard Wolff: We Need a More Humane Economic System—Not One That Only Benefits the Rich

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 08:23

The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government is entering its fifth day after a political impasse over President Donald Trump’s contentious demand for border wall funding. Funding for about a quarter of all federal programs expired at midnight on Friday, including the departments of Justice, Agriculture and Homeland Security. On Christmas Day, Trump said the shutdown will last until Democrats agree to fund his $5 billion U.S.-Mexico border wall, despite previously repeatedly claiming Mexico would pay for the wall. The shutdown is occurring as concern grows over the U.S. economy. U.S. stock markets are on pace to suffer their worst December since 1931 during the Great Depression. In response, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held an emergency meeting with top financial regulators and also convened a separate call with top executives of six major banks. We speak to economist and professor Richard Wolff.

8-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy Dies in Border Patrol Custody Days After High Court Rejects Asylum Ban

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 08:12

For the second time this month, a Guatemalan child has died in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Eight-year-old Felix Gomez Alonzo died in New Mexico on Christmas Eve, after being detained since December 18. This follows the death of a 7-year-old indigenous Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal Maquín, who died on December 8, two days after she and her father presented themselves at the border in a bid for asylum. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has rejected President Trump’s asylum ban, which attempted to deny asylum to anyone entering the country from outside of a legal port of entry. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal wing of the court in the 5-4 vote. We speak to Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which helped file the lawsuit.

A Tribute to Blacklisted Lyricist Yip Harburg: The Man Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz

Tue, 12/25/2018 - 08:30

His name might not be familiar to many, but his songs are sung by millions around the world. Today, we take a journey through the life and work of Yip Harburg, the Broadway lyricist who wrote such hits as “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” and who put the music into The Wizard of Oz. Born into poverty on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Harburg always included a strong social and political component to his work, fighting racism and poverty. A lifelong socialist, Harburg was blacklisted and hounded throughout much of his life. We speak with Harburg’s son, Ernie Harburg, about the music and politics of his father. Then we take an in-depth look at The Wizard of Oz, and hear a medley of Harburg’s Broadway songs and the politics of the times in which they were created.

Pages