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: 57 min 26 sec ago

How America's Perpetual Warfare Abroad Is Fueling an Increase in White Supremacist Violence in U.S.

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 08:47

America’s perpetual warfare abroad has led to an increase in white supremacist violence at home. That’s one of the key findings in Frontline PBS and ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson’s new investigation, “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis,” which premieres Tuesday evening on PBS. The documentary reveals the deep ties between the military and white supremacy, as Thompson examines the Pittsburgh shooting and the rise of violent hate groups such as Atomwaffen. Thompson interviews historian Kathleen Belew, who says there has always been a correlation in the U.S. between the aftermath of war and the rise of white supremacist violence. “If you look for instance at the surges in Ku Klux Klan membership, they align more consistently with the return of veterans from combat and the aftermath of war than they do with anti-immigration, populism, economic hardship or any of the other factors that historians have typically used to explain them,” she notes. We speak with A.C. Thompson in Boston. His investigation premieres Tuesday on PBS stations and online.

New American Nazis: Inside the White Supremacist Movement That Fueled Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 08:30

Neo-Nazis are on the rise in America. Nearly a month after a gunman killed eleven Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, we look at the violent hate groups that helped fuel the massacre. On the same day that shooter Robert Bowers opened fire in the synagogue, a neo-Nazi named Edward Clark that Bowers had been communicating with online took his own life in Washington, D.C. The man’s brother, Jeffrey Clark, has since been arrested on weapons charges. The brothers were both linked to the violent white supremacist group Atomwaffen. We speak with A.C. Thompson, correspondent for FRONTLINE PBS and reporter for ProPublica. His investigation “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis” premieres tonight on PBS stations and online.

Federal Judge Blocks Trump's "Asylum Ban," Saying President Can't Rewrite Immigration Laws

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 08:15

In the latest pushback against President Trump’s attack on immigrants rights, a federal judge in California has temporarily halted Trump’s asylum ban, which attempted to deny asylum to anyone entering the country from outside of a legal port of entry. Trump announced the move earlier this month, but Monday, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar put a temporary halt on the order. Tigar wrote, “Asylum seekers will be put at increased risk of violence and other harms at the border, and many will be deprived of meritorious asylum claims. The government offers nothing in support of the new rule that outweighs the need to avoid these harms.” We speak with one of the lawyers who sued the Trump administration over the ban, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights Baher Azmy.

Filipino Reporter Maria Ressa on Duterte’s Targeting of the Press & How Facebook Aids Authoritarians

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 08:33

As Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte amps up his attacks on the free press, we speak with renowned Filipino journalist Maria Ressa about Duterte’s deadly “war on drugs,” his affinity for Donald Trump, and his weaponization of social media. Ressa is the CEO and executive editor of the leading independent Filipino news site The Rappler, which Duterte has repeatedly tried to shut down. Last week, the Filipino government indicted her for tax evasion in what is widely seen as the government’s latest attack on the website. We speak with Maria Ressa in New York City. She has received the 2018 Knight International Journalism Award and the Committee to Protect Journalists 2018 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award.

Meet the Prisoners Being Paid $1 an Hour to Battle the Deadly Climate-Fueled Fires of California

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 08:16

As the death toll from the Camp Fire rises to 77, California is combatting its deadliest fire in state history using prison labor. Some 1,500 of the 9,400 firefighters currently battling fires in California are incarcerated. They make just a dollar an hour, but are rarely eligible to get jobs as firefighters after their release. According to some estimates, California saves up to $100 million a year by using prison labor to fight its biggest environmental problem. In September the Democracy Now! team traveled to the Delta Conservation Camp in Northern California, a low-security prison where more than 100 men are imprisoned. We interviewed incarcerated firefighters who had just returned from a 24-hour shift fighting the Snell Fire in Napa County.

As Camp Fire Death Toll Rises, Meet the Prisoners Making $1 an Hour to Fight California's Wildfires

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:53

The death toll from the Camp Fire in California has risen to at least 63, with 631 people reported missing. As California continues to battle the deadliest fire in the state’s history, we turn to the hidden heroes on the front lines the raging climate-fueled wildfires: prisoner firefighters. At least 1,500 of the 9,400 firefighters currently battling fires in California are incarcerated. They make just a dollar an hour battling on the front lines but are rarely eligible to get jobs as firefighters after their release. In September, the Democracy Now! team traveled to the Delta Conservation Camp about an hour north of San Francisco, a low-security prison where more than 100 men are imprisoned. We interviewed incarcerated firefighters who had just returned from a 24-hour shift fighting the Snell Fire in Napa County.

Color of Change: Facebook Retaliated Against Protests by Pushing Anti-Semitic, Anti-Black Narratives

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:40

A New York Times investigation has revealed that Facebook fought critics and a growing number of scandals following the 2016 election by launching a PR offensive backed by a dubious Republican opposition-research firm: Definers Public Affairs. We speak with Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, one of the organizations targeted by Definers Public Affairs. We also speak with Siva Vaidhyanathan, the author of “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy.” He is a professor of media studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. Vaidhyanathan’s new article for Slate is titled “Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now.”

Bombshell Investigation: How Facebook Fought Critics, Spread Disinformation Using Republican Firm

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:33

“Delay, Deny and Deflect.” That’s the name of a new bombshell investigation by The New York Times revealing that Facebook executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, were aware of a Russian misinformation campaign on the social media network and took a series of extraordinary private actions to preserve the company’s reputation, launching an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat critics and spread misinformation. The New York Times investigation reveals that Facebook hired the Republican opposition-research firm Definers Public Affairs to discredit critics of Facebook, linking them to the billionaire liberal donor George Soros. Facebook also allegedly lobbied the Anti-Defamation League to condemn criticism of the company as anti-Semitic. Since the publication of the investigation, Facebook has announced it will cut ties with Definers. We speak with Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, one of the organizations targeted by Definers Public Affairs. We also speak with Siva Vaidhyanathan, the author of “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy.” He is a professor of media studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. Vaidhyanathan’s new article for Slate is titled “Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now.”

Exclusive: WikiLeaks Lawyer Warns U.S. Charges Against Assange Endanger Press Freedom Worldwide

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:15

The Justice Department has inadvertently revealed that it has prepared an indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In an unusual development, language about the charges against Assange was copied and pasted into an unrelated court filing that was recently unsealed. In the document, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer wrote, “Due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.” The news broke on Thursday night just hours after The Wall Street Journal reported the Justice Department was planning to prosecute Assange. Assange has been living since 2012 in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has sought refuge and political asylum. It’s unclear what charges may be brought against Assange; the Justice Department has previously considered prosecuting him over his role in the release of hacked DNC emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, as well as over the release of the so-called Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, shared by U.S. military whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The Assange case has been closely followed by advocates for press freedom. Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch tweeted, “Deeply troubling if the Trump administration, which has shown little regard for media freedom, would charge Assange for receiving from a government official and publishing classified information—exactly what journalists do all the time.” We speak with human rights attorney Jennifer Robinson, who has been advising Julian Assange and WikiLeaks since 2010.

Vermont Immigrant Rights Group Sues ICE for Monitoring, Infiltrating & "Hunting Down" Organizers

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 08:47

A major new federal lawsuit claims that immigration agents are targeting undocumented organizers for their activism in Vermont. The suit accuses Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security and the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles of carrying out a multiyear campaign of political retaliation against members of the group Migrant Justice. According to the lawsuit, Migrant Justice was infiltrated by an informant, and its members were repeatedly subjected to electronic surveillance. At least 20 active members of Migrant Justice have been arrested and detained by ICE. We speak with Will Lambek, an organizer with Migrant Justice, a Vermont-based group founded and led by immigrant farmworkers.

"He Was a Protector": Remembering Jemel Roberson, 26-Year-Old Chicago Security Guard Slain by Police

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 08:33

Community members are demanding answers for the police killing of a black security guard in the Chicago suburbs, after 26 year-old Jemel Roberson was shot and killed by a white policeman Sunday. Roberson jumped into action early Sunday morning when a shooting broke out at a bar where he was working as a security guard. He was restraining a shooting suspect when several police officers arrived on the scene, and a white police officer from the Midlothian Police Department shot and killed Roberson. Witnesses said the police officer opened fire even though people at the bar were screaming that Roberson was a security guard. Roberson was armed and held a valid gun owner’s license. We speak with Avontea Boose, the partner of Jemel Roberson and mother of his 9-month-old son Tristan. She is currently expecting their second child. We also speak with Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing the children of Jemel Roberson.

Rep. Ro Khanna: By Blocking Yemen Resolution, House GOP Is Abdicating Its Duty to Decide War & Peace

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 08:15

House Republicans have quashed debate on a resolution that aims to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, by sneaking a single line into an unrelated resolution about wolves. The House voted 201 to 187 on the bill Wednesday, approving a provision that blocks the Democrats from forcing a vote on the U.S. role in Yemen under the War Powers Act. For nearly four years the United States has played a key role supporting the Saudi-led invasion, which has devastated Yemen, creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The U.N. is warning 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine. One new study has estimated the war has killed at least 57,000 people since the beginning of 2016. We speak with Congressmember Ro Khanna, who introduced the resolution in the House.

Advocates: Trump Creating Border Crisis by Pitting Troops Against Women & Children Fleeing Violence

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 08:47

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is traveling to McAllen, Texas, today to visit some of the thousands of troops deployed at the U.S.-Mexico border by President Donald Trump. Nearly 6,000 active-duty troops are currently stationed in Texas, California and Arizona, following Trump’s escalating attacks against the Central American caravan heading toward the border. Trump has warned that that number could swell to 15,000—more than the U.S. forces in Afghanistan and almost triple the number of troops in Iraq. According to some reports, the border deployments could cost $220 million, despite the fact the Pentagon does not see the caravan as a risk. Mattis’s visit comes just days after the Trump administration announced new immigration rules to deny asylum to anyone who enters the country outside of a port of entry, a move the American Civil Liberties Union has called “illegal.” We speak with Fernando Garcia, the founding director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an advocacy organization based in El Paso. We also speak with Liz Castillo, immigration reporter and managing editor with Neta, a community news outlet in the Rio Grande Valley.

As Jeff Bezos Earns $191K Per Minute, Why Are NY & VA Giving Amazon $3 Billion in Corporate Welfare?

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 08:25

Amazon has selected a pair of cities to host its new, expanded headquarters: Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City in Queens, New York. Amazon’s decision came after a 14-month search that saw cities around the U.S. promise tax breaks, taxpayer-funded infrastructure and business-friendly ordinances in an effort to win what Amazon says will be $5 billion in new investment and thousands of jobs. Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam called the Amazon headquarter “a big win for Virginia,” and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has similarly applauded Amazon’s decision. But many local politicians have openly criticized authorities in New York and Virginia for backing the deals, which will create a total of 50,000 jobs. We host a roundtable discussion about Amazon and corporate welfare. In New York, we speak with Ron Kim, member of the New York State Assembly. He recently co-wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times headlined “New York Should Say No to Amazon.” In Washington, D.C., we speak with Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a watchdog group on economic development incentives. And in Portland, Maine, we speak with Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. She is the author of “Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses.”

NY Politician: We Need to Block $3 Billion Handout for Amazon & Use Money to Forgive Student Debt

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 08:16

After a months-long PR campaign, Amazon has officially announced it will split its so-called second headquarters between New York and Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., after being offered more than $3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives. The news prompted protests at the site of Amazon’s future office complex in Long Island City, New York, to condemn the city and state governments for showering Amazon with massive tax breaks and other giveaways to entice the company to expand into the city. As part of the deal, New York taxpayers will even build a helipad for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is the richest man in the world. Many local politicians have openly criticized authorities in New York and Virginia for backing the deals, which will create a total of 50,000 jobs. We speak with New York Assemblymember Ron Kim, who is introducing legislation to block the deal and redirect taxpayer money away from Amazon subsidies and toward student debt relief. He recently co-wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times headlined “New York Should Say No to Amazon.”

Pages