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: 2 hours 52 min ago

Former U.N. Expert: The U.S. Is Violating International Law by Attempting a Coup in Venezuela

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 08:29

As President Trump announces that the U.S. will recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s new leader and sitting President Nicolás Maduro breaks off relations with the United States, we speak with a former U.N. independent expert who says the U.S. is staging an illegal coup in the country. Alfred de Zayas, who visited Venezuela as a U.N. representative in 2017, says, “The mainstream media has been complicit in this attempted coup. … This reminds us of the run-up to the Iraq invasion of 2003.” We also speak with Miguel Tinker Salas, professor at Pomona College and author of “The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela” and “Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know.”

A Coup in Progress? Trump Moves to Oust Maduro & Install Pro-U.S. Leader in Oil-Rich Venezuela

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 08:13

The Venezuelan government is accusing the United States of staging a coup, after President Trump announced that the U.S. would recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s new leader. Trump made the announcement shortly after Guaidó, the new head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself president during a large opposition protest. The European Union and the Lima Group have joined the U.S. in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president. Mexico is the one dissenting nation in the Lima Group to still recognize Maduro. We speak with Miguel Tinker Salas, professor at Pomona College, who says, “This is unprecedented not only in Venezuelan history, but in Latin America.” He is the author of “The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela” and “Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know.”

Laverne Cox: Trump's Military Ban Is Part of Larger, Years-Long Attack on Transgender People

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 08:51

The pioneering trans actress and activist Laverne Cox responds to the Supreme Court’s revival of President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. She spoke on Tuesday at the National Day of Racial Healing as part of a conversation moderated by Amy Goodman.

ACLU: Trump's Anti-Trans Ban Has No Military Justification, Is Driven by Animus & Discrimination

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 08:45

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court revived President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court lifted two lower court rulings that had blocked the ban from going into effect on constitutional grounds. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented. A third injunction remains in place for now. We speak to Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU, which is challenging the Trump administration’s ban on servicemembers who are transgender.

A Blue State Teacher Rebellion: Denver Teachers Vote to Strike as L.A. Educators Win Big Victory

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 08:35

As Los Angeles teachers agreed to end their strike on Tuesday, Denver teachers voted to strike for the first time in 25 years. The strike could begin as soon as Monday. Meanwhile, teachers in Oakland are planning to vote on a strike next week. We speak with Arlene Inouye, chair of the bargaining team for United Teachers Los Angeles, and Sarah Jaffe, reporting fellow at the Type Media Center.

"This Was About the Survival of Public Education": LA Teachers Claim Victory After Week-Long Strike

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 08:14

Public school teachers in Los Angeles are returning to classrooms today after approving an agreement to end a historic 6-day strike. The strike was the first in Los Angeles in three decades. It came after more than 20 months of strained negotiations between the union—United Teachers Los Angeles—and the school district. The strike effectively shut down Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second largest school district. On Tuesday morning, union leaders and Los Angeles city officials announced that they had reached a deal on a new contract. After a vote, the union announced Tuesday night that the contract had been approved by a supermajority of UTLA members. Included in the agreement are pay increases for teachers, additional support staff in schools, smaller class sizes and the regulation of charter schools. For more, we speak with the union’s bargaining committee chair, Arlene Inouye, as well as labor journalist and author Sarah Jaffe.

"The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee": David Treuer on Retelling Native American History

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 08:48

We end today’s show with “The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee,” a stunning new book by David Treuer that looks at Native America from 1890 to the present day. The book’s powerful mix of memoir, extensive interview and storytelling presents decades of indigenous history that have been sidelined by the mainstream. David Treuer is Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

Chase Iron Eyes: Trump's Mocking of Native Americans Gives License to Others to Denigrate My People

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 08:38

As we continue to look at the video that has gone viral showing a group of Catholic high school students apparently mocking an indigenous tribal elder near the Lincoln Memorial, we speak to Chase Iron Eyes, an activist and lead attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project. He is a spokesperson for the Indigenous Peoples March.

"I Was Absolutely Afraid": Indigenous Elder on "Mob Mentality" of MAGA Hat-Wearing Students in D.C.

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 08:15

On Friday, thousands took part in the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. The next day, video went viral of an interaction that took place soon after the march ended between an indigenous elder and a group of Catholic high school students from Kentucky who had attended a March for Life protest the same day. In the video, Omaha elder Nathan Phillips is seen peacefully playing his drum and singing while being encircled by the students—some of whom were wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats. The video appears to show the students taunting and mocking Phillips. Some of the students are seen making a tomahawk-chop motion with their arms. One student wearing a red MAGA hat is seen standing directly in front of Phillips while grinning and smirking. The videos sparked widespread outrage, but some commentators walked back their critique of the students after more videos were posted online. We speak to Nathan Phillips about what happened. He is a Vietnam-era veteran and previous director of the Native Youth Alliance.

MLK Day Special: Rediscovered 1965 King Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation & Apartheid South Africa

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 08:30

As the nation marks 90 years since the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we air a rediscovered speech he delivered on December 7, 1964, days before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. In a major address in London, King spoke about segregation, the fight for civil rights and his support for Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. The speech was recorded by Saul Bernstein, who was working as the European correspondent for Pacifica Radio. Bernstein’s recording was rediscovered by Brian DeShazor, director of the Pacifica Radio Archives.

A Coup in Progress? Venezuelan Foreign Minister Decries U.S. & Brazil-Backed Effort to Oust Maduro

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 08:22

The United States and allied nations in Latin America are ratcheting up pressure on Venezuela in what appears to be a coordinated effort to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from office. Maduro was sworn in last week to a second 6-year term following his victory in last May’s election, which was boycotted by the opposition. Days before Maduro was sworn in, opposition figure Juan Guaidó became head of the National Assembly, which soon voted to declare Maduro a “usurper” in an effort to remove him from office. The United States, Brazil and other nations have welcomed the effort. As the political crisis intensifies, Maduro has reached out to the United Nations to help establish a peace dialogue in Venezuela. We speak with Jorge Arreaza, Venezuelan foreign minister. He met with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres this week.

Rep. Ro Khanna: U.S. Troops Are a "Sitting Target" in Syria; It's Time to Bring Them Home

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 08:10

In Syria, a suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the northern city of Manbij Wednesday, killing 19 people including four Americans. Two of them were U.S. soldiers. The bombing was claimed by ISIS and came just weeks after President Trump declared victory over the group and ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from Syria, prompting the resignation of Pentagon chief Jim Mattis. Just hours after the attack, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that ISIS has been defeated. Wednesday’s attack drew renewed calls from congressional hawks—both Republicans and Democrats—to reverse Trump’s Syria withdrawal. The U.S. has an estimated 2,000 troops stationed in Syria, even though Congress has never declared war on the country. We speak with Ro Khanna, Democratic congressmember from California. He is a leading critic of U.S. military interventions abroad.

The Fox in Charge of the Henhouse: Activists Decry Trump's EPA Pick, Coal Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:44

Senate confirmation hearings began Wednesday for former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, whom President Trump has nominated to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Wheeler has been the acting head of the EPA since Scott Pruitt resigned in July amid an onslaught of financial and ethics scandals. We speak with Heather McTeer Toney, national field director for Moms Clean Air Force and former Southeast regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration. We also speak with Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

Native American Communities Bear Brunt of Shutdown with Medicine Shortages & Suspended Food Programs

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:36

We look at the widespread impact of the government shutdown on Native American communities, as the Indian Health Service goes understaffed and a federally funded food delivery program to Indian reservations has halted. Democratic members of Congress held a hearing Tuesday on the effects of the shutdown on health, education and employment in Native communities. We speak with Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today and member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

Strike! Barbara Ehrenreich Calls on TSA Workers to Walk Off Job in Protest of Government Shutdown

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:14

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history is now on Day 27. As 800,000 workers continue to go without pay, federal employees around the country are rising up to demand an end to the shutdown, which has run public institutions ragged and left hundreds of thousands financially strapped. We speak with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the best-seller “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.” She is calling for TSA workers around the country to strike.