Democracy Now

Democracy Now!
A daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 1,100 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.
Updated: 5 hours 28 min ago

Widows of Peru's Murdered Indigenous Rainforest Defenders Demand Justice at U.N. Climate Summit

Mon 07 50 AM

Peru, the host country of this year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference, is facing scrutiny because a new report by the group Global Witness finds it is the fourth most dangerous nation for environmental activists, including the indigenous people who live in the forests and work to protect it from deforestation. Since 2002, at least 57 environmental activists were assassinated in Peru, which recently passed legislation that rolls back forest protections in order to attract new investment and development. We speak with Julia Pérez and Ergilia Rengifo, the widows of activists Edwin Chota and Jorge Ríos, who were killed in September allegedly by illegal loggers they were trying to stop. Shortly before his death, Chota had called for greater protection from the government for communities such as his own, and described how his life had been threatened. Now his widows have traveled from the rainforest to Lima to call for justice.

The Laundering Machine: How U.S. Corporations Threaten Peru's Forests Through Illegal Logging

Mon 07 43 AM

We are broadcasting from the United Nations Climate Conference in Lima, Peru, where more than half of the country is still covered by tropical rainforest, which plays a crucial role in absorbing carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. A new report reveals more than 20 U.S. companies have imported millions of dollars in illegal wood from the Peruvian Amazon since 2008. We speak to Julia Urrunaga, Peru programs director for the Environmental Investigation Agency and author of the new report, "The Laundering Machine: How Fraud and Corruption in Peru’s Concession System Are Destroying the Future of Its Forests."

At Lima Talks, Nations Worst Hit by Global Warming Say Climate Aid Isn't Charity, But Reparations

Mon 07 25 AM

Convening in Lima, Peru, the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference is in its second and final week of talks. Negotiators from 190 nations are working on a global deal to limit climate change, due to be agreed on in Paris next year. Just last week the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization said 2014 is on track to be the hottest on record, or at least among the very warmest. Including this year, 14 of the 15 hottest years on record will have been in the 21st century. Deep divisions remain between developed and developing nations on how much the world’s largest polluters should cut emissions and how much they should help poorer nations deal with climate change. We are joined by two guests: Lidy Nacpil of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, and Saleemul Huq, a Bangladeshi climate scientist who is advising the bloc of least developed countries in the climate negotiations.

As Typhoon Hagupit Wreaks Havoc, Leading Filipino Environmental Voice Silenced at U.N. Climate Talks

Mon 07 13 AM

As we broadcast from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, the Philippines is being hit by a deadly typhoon for the third year in a row. More than 90 people have been killed and more than one million evacuated from their homes. The Filipino delegation at the U.N. climate talks has drawn attention over the surprising absence of Yeb Saño, the country’s former lead climate negotiator. Saño made international headlines at both of the last two climate summits after he gave emotional speeches on the link between climate change and the deadly typhoons hitting his country. We are joined by Lidy Nacpil of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.

The Killing of Tamir Rice: Cleveland Police Criticized for Shooting 12-Year-Old Holding Toy Gun

Fri 07 47 AM

More than 100 people packed a church in Cleveland, Ohio, for the memorial service of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy shot dead by police last month. Rice, who was in sixth grade, was killed after a 911 caller reported seeing the boy with what turned out to be a pellet gun, which the caller repeatedly said seemed fake. Video shows Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shooting Rice immediately after leaving his cruiser, from a distance of about 10 feet. On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department has found a pattern or practice of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force” by the Cleveland Police Department. We speak with Democratic Ohio state Senator Nina Turner, whose district includes Cleveland.

We are also joined by three others in our studio: Graham Weatherspoon is a retired detective with the New York City Police Department; Mychal Denzel Smith is a contributing writer for The Nation; and Harry Siegel is a columnist at the New York Daily News.

A Racist and Unjust System? A Discussion on Policing in Wake of Michael Brown and Eric Garner Deaths

Fri 07 28 AM

As Rev. Al Sharpton calls for a march on Washington next Saturday to demand action from the federal government on police brutality and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio orders the retraining of the city’s police force, we host a roundtable discussion on policing and race nationwide. We’re joined by three guests: Graham Weatherspoon is a retired detective with the New York City Police Department; Mychal Denzel Smith is a contributing writer for The Nation; and Harry Siegel is a columnist at the New York Daily News.

Did the NYPD Let Eric Garner Die? Video Shows Police Ignored Pleas to Help Him After Chokehold

Fri 07 17 AM

While much of the nation has seen the cellphone video showing the New York City police officer’s chokehold that led to Eric Garner’s death, a second video shows what happened after Garner last gasped, "I can’t breathe." The video shows Garner lying unresponsive on the sidewalk as police and medics do nothing to help him. A bystander can be heard saying, "Why nobody do no CPR?" Eventually they lift his body onto a stretcher. New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel writes about the video in his latest article, "The lonesome death of Eric Garner: When men are treated like pieces of meat by cops and medics, trust erodes."

Shutting Down the Streets: Thousands Protest Police Killings by Blocking Traffic & Staging Die-ins

Fri 07 13 AM

For a second night, thousands of protesters swarmed the streets of New York City to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Eric Garner, an African-American father of six, after placing him in a banned chokehold. Protesters chanted, "I can’t breathe," as they blocked traffic, shutting down the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, the West Side Highway and the Holland Tunnel. The police reported making more than 200 arrests, including many near Times Square. In Washington, D.C., hundreds staged a die-in near the Washington Monument. In Boston, protesters shut down the Massachusetts Turnpike and Interstate 93 as well as part of the city’s subway system. In Chicago, demonstrators shouted, "Hands up, don’t shoot!" while blocking Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan. In San Francisco, marchers shut down Market Street. Hundreds also marched in Oakland.

Pioneering Politician Herman Badillo, the First Puerto Rican Elected to Congress, Dies at 85

Fri 07 11 AM

Herman Badillo, a trailblazing politician who became the first Puerto Rican-born member of Congress, has died at the age of 85. Badillo served as a powerful voice in New York City politics for decades. He started out as a civil rights attorney and went on to hold a range of city posts and serve four terms in Congress. Throughout his career he championed the rights of Latinos and the poor. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González highlights the legacy of Badillo in his New York Daily News column this week, "Few played as big a role in community as Herman Badillo."

Out Cheneying-Cheney: Obama's Likely Defense Pick Once Backed Pre-emptive Attack on North Korea

Thu 07 52 AM

President Obama is reportedly preparing to nominate former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to replace ousted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. A trained physicist, Carter has a long history at the Pentagon, where he once served as the chief arms buyer. In 2006, he made headlines when he backed a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if the country continued with plans to conduct a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. He co-wrote a piece headlined "If Necessary, Strike and Destroy." We speak to Alice Slater, New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a member of the Abolition 2000 coordinating committee.

Vince Warren on How Police Officers Get Away with Killing from Ferguson to NYC

Thu 07 29 AM

Just a week after a grand jury in Missouri cleared police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, a New York grand jury cleared New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the killing of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold. Both officers were white. Both victims were African American. Thousands flooded the streets in New York City last night after the grand jury decision was announced. Democracy Now! was there and interviewed several people about why they were taking part in the protests. We speak with Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, about how the grand jury system can be used to shield police officers from prosecution. We also hear from retired NYPD detective Carlton Berkley about department restrictions on the use of chokeholds.

"I Fear for the Lives of My Sons": Voices from NYC Protests over Eric Garner Grand Jury Ruling

Thu 07 26 AM

In the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict a white New York City police officer in the chokehold killing of Eric Garner, more than 80 people were arrested as protesters shut down parts of New York City, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, West Side Highway and Sixth Avenue around Rockefeller Center. where the Christmas tree lighting ceremony was taking place. Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz and video producer Messiah Rhodes talked to a group of protesters in Times Square last night.

"I Can't Breathe": As Protests Erupt in NYC, Eric Garner's Nephew Speaks Out on Grand Jury Ruling

Thu 07 14 AM

The Justice Department has announced it will launch a civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner after a grand jury decided not to charge a white New York police officer for causing his death by placing him in a chokehold. Garner, who was an African-American father of six, died in July after being placed in a chokehold and wrestled to the ground. The grand jury’s decision set off protests across New York City that shut down parts of the city including the Brooklyn Bridge, the West Side Highway and the Lincoln Tunnel. Protesters also staged a die-in in Grand Central. At least 83 people were arrested. Garner’s death occurred just weeks before Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, and sparked a national debate about police use of excessive force, and the New York Police Department’s policy of cracking down on low-level offenses. Garner was first confronted on July 17 by police for allegedly selling single, untaxed cigarettes known as "loosies" on the streets of Staten Island. Garner’s family says it plans to sue the city for wrongful death, pre-death pain and suffering, and civil rights violations. We speak to Garner’s nephew, Brandon Davidson.

Ecuadorean Authorities Seize Climate Caravan Bus Carrying Activists Opposed to Drilling in Yasuni

Wed 07 56 AM

A caravan of environmental activists traveling to the United Nations climate summit in Lima, Peru, has been stopped by authorities in Ecuador and had their bus seized. Activists with the group Yasunidos departed from Quito on Monday to denounce the extraction of oil from Yasuní National Park, an area of the Amazon renowned for its biological diversity. The group says they were subjected to seven or eight stops in the first 24 hours of their trip, and ultimately stranded by the side of a highway last night, when authorities seized their bus. We go to Cuenca, Ecuador, where we’re joined by two guests: Elena Gálvez, coordinator of the climate caravan and a member of Yasunidos, a group that opposes oil drilling in Yasuní National Park; and Ariel Goodman, a journalist traveling with the caravan.

Father of Missing Mexican Student Speaks Out as U.S. Protesters Stage Day of Action Against Drug War

Wed 07 43 AM

Protests at federal buildings in at least 43 U.S. cities today will call for halting American aid to military and police forces in Mexico until human rights abuses are addressed. Organizers in the United States are working with the grassroots movement in Mexico triggered by the disappearance of 43 students in September. Protesters are using the hashtag #UStired2 — the English-language counterpart to the hashtag #YaMeCansé, a campaign in Mexico to protest state violence and human rights abuses. U.S. military and security aid to Mexico totals more than $3 billion since 2008. We are joined by two guests: Clemente Rodríguez, whose 19-year-old son Christian Alfonso Rodríguez is one of the 43 missing students; and Roberto Lovato, a writer and visiting scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for Latino Policy Research, and one of the organizers behind the #UStired2 initiative.

Peace Activist Sentenced for Protesting at Drone Base Near Syracuse, NY

Wed 07 31 AM

A longtime peace activist was sentenced today to one year conditional discharge for demonstrating outside the gates of New York’s Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, which is used to remotely pilot U.S. drone attacks. Mark Colville faced up to two years in jail stemming from his arrest last December. More than 100 people have been arrested over the past five years as part of a nonviolent campaign organized by the Upstate Drone Coalition. Hours before he learns his fate, Colville joins us to discuss his activism and why he opposes the U.S. drone war. [Editor’s Note: This summary has been updated to reflect today’s sentencing which occurred after our broadcast.]