Democracy Now

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: 4 hours 40 min ago

Josh Fox on His New Doc "How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change"

Tue 07 12 AM

As 2015 goes down as the world’s hottest year on record and the East Coast continues to dig out from one of its worst snowstorms in history, we look at the new documentary by Josh Fox. In "How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change," Fox travels the globe, from New York City to the Marshall Islands and China, to follow the struggles of communities fighting the impacts of climate change. In one scene, a group of Pacific Climate Warriors chant, "We are not drowning, we are fighting." Fox’s new film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and airs on HBO this summer. His other films include "Gasland," the documentary which first exposed the harms of the fracking industry and was nominated for an Academy Award.

#OscarsSoWhite: Black Filmmakers Call Out Hollywood Racism, Exclusion as Calls for Boycott Grow

Mon 07 51 AM

A growing number of actors and filmmakers are pushing for a boycott of the Oscars after no actors of color were nominated for a second year in a row. The largely white male Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences responded by pledging to overhaul its voting requirements and to double membership of women and people of color by 2020. We discuss the boycott calls with two African-American filmmakers: Stanley Nelson, whose latest film is "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution," and Dawn Porter, director of "Trapped," which just had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. "This reminds me of when baseball was segregated—the Negro Leagues," Porter says. "Does anyone really think that all of the talent that was in the sport was being recognized?"

Wicked Jezebel Feminist! Users Witness Anti-Choice Abuse in Virtual Reality Film "Across the Line"

Mon 07 42 AM

Last week saw a series of anti-choice protests surrounding the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In Washington, D.C., protesters bearing photos of fetuses descended on the construction site for a new Planned Parenthood clinic. The protests forced the charter school next door to close for two days. A new project at the Sundance Film Festival puts you in the shoes of a woman passing through the gauntlet of anti-choice protesters to reach an abortion clinic. "Across the Line" is a seven-minute immersive virtual reality experience that uses real audio of anti-choice protesters. We speak with the project’s co-creator, Nonny de la Peña, known as the "godmother of virtual reality," and with executive producer, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

"Trapped": New Film Follows the Providers Who Are Fighting to Keep Abortion Accessible in the South

Mon 07 21 AM

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a landmark abortion case that could gut Roe v. Wade, we look at a startling new documentary, "Trapped." The film addresses TRAP laws—Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers—and their impact on abortion providers in the South. We are joined by the film’s director, Dawn Porter, as well as two of its subjects: Dr. Willie Parker of Jackson Women’s Health, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, and June Ayers, owner and director of Reproductive Health Services in Montgomery, Alabama, one of the few remaining abortion clinics in the state.

43 Years After Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court to Hear Case Threatening Women's Right to Choose

Mon 07 10 AM

Friday marked the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. And just weeks from now, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case that could gut it. The case is called Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. It challenges anti-choice restrictions passed by the Texas state Legislature in 2013, despite a people’s filibuster and a 13-hour stand by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. Since the law passed, about half of the more than 40 abortion clinics in Texas have closed. If the court allows it to go into full effect, Texas could be left with about 10 abortion clinics. And it’s not just Texas that’s at stake. Since 2010, state legislatures across the country have enacted more than 280 restrictions on abortion. We are joined by two guests:
Dawn Porter, director of the new documentary "Trapped," which looks at how abortion providers in Alabama and Texas are fighting to care for their patients despite state restrictions aimed at shutting them down, and Nancy Northup, head of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is arguing Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole.

Revered Poet Martín Espada Reflects on Struggles Past & Present in "Vivas to Those Who Have Failed"

Fri 07 44 AM

The acclaimed "people’s poet" and professor Martín Espada has been compared to Pablo Neruda and is widely known as the Latino poet of his generation. In his latest collection of poetry, "Vivas to Those Who Have Failed,"—a title taken from a line by Walt Whitman—Espada begins with a tribute to the 1913 Paterson silk strike, when a group of mostly immigrant workers in New Jersey fought for improved working conditions and an eight-hour workday. He goes on to address struggles and injustices up to the present day, including the police killings of unarmed African Americans and the spate of U.S. mass shootings. Espada also pays tribute to his late father, the legendary photojournalist, teacher and activist Frank Espada. Espada joins us for a discussion and reading of his poetry.

Exclusive: Sickened by Gangrene in Utah Immigration Jail, Guatemalan Father Now Faces Deportation

Fri 07 26 AM

In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we look at the case of an undocumented Guatemalan national previously sickened in an immigration jail and now detained in the latest round of controversial raids. Angel Rosa is recovering from a gangrene infection of his scrotum, which he says began while he was held in a detention center in Utah. Rosa’s family says he faces almost certain death if he is deported despite a request for humanitarian relief. We are joined by three guests: Rosa’s daughter, Lorena Rosa, an 18-year-old high school senior who has played a key role in nursing her father back to health; Mark Reid, senior paralegal at the Thomas Rome Law Group in Hartford, Connecticut, who has helped Rosa’s family with his immigration and asylum claims, and played a role in stopping his deportation so far; and Renée Feltz, Democracy Now! criminal justice correspondent and former producer, who has spent more than a decade reporting on immigrant detention centers.

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Launches "Campaign to Close Guantánamo" for Obama's Last Year in Office

Fri 07 09 AM

Today marks seven years since President Obama signed an executive order calling for the closure of Guantánamo Bay within one year. But Guantánamo remains open, and now Obama only has one year left to fulfill his pledge. We are joined by the world famous musician Roger Waters, who has helped launch the "Countdown to Close Guantánamo" campaign, which asks people to take photos of themselves with signs calling for Guantánamo’s closure before Obama leaves office in 2017. Waters is a founding member, bassist, singer, songwriter for the iconic rock band Pink Floyd, perhaps best known for their record The Wall. For three years between 2010 and 2013, Waters toured the world with a dazzling concert of the same name. We are also joined by Andy Worthington, a British activist and investigative journalist who co-founded the "Countdown to Close Guantánamo" campaign.

The 1% Economy: The World's Richest 62 People Now Have as Much as Poorest 3.6 Billion

Thu 07 52 AM

A new report from Oxfam on global inequality finds the world’s richest 62 billionaires now own as much wealth as half the world. The wealth of the poorest half—3.6 billion people—has fallen by $1 trillion since 2010. At the same time, the wealth of the world’s richest 62 people has increased by more than half a trillion dollars. Oxfam faults a global financial system that has "supercharged the age-old ability of the rich and powerful to use their position to further concentrate their wealth." The report singles out deregulation, privatization and offshore tax havens that have let trillions of dollars go untaxed. The Oxfam report is timed to coincide with the meeting of global elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. We are joined by Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America.

Detroit Rocked by Teachers' "Sickout" Protesting Dire Conditions Under Emergency Management

Thu 07 42 AM

On Wednesday, 88 of Detroit’s roughly 100 public schools were closed in the latest mass teacher "sickouts" protesting underfunding, black mold, rat infestations, crumbling buildings and inadequate staffing. Detroit Public Schools are under the control of unelected emergency manager Darnell Earley—none other than the unelected emergency manager who presided over the water contamination in Flint. We discuss the sickout and the state of Detroit’s schools with two guests: Victor Gibson, a retired Detroit public school teacher and active union member, and Russ Bellant, an education advocate and the former education director for the stationary engineers union, where he trained engineers working in the Detroit Public Schools.

Detroit Student: "I Want to Be Able to Go to School Without Worrying About Being Bitten by Mice"

Thu 07 32 AM

As a federal emergency is declared over lead poisoning in the Flint water supply, the state of Michigan is facing another crisis over basic services—this time in Detroit. Dire conditions under an unelected emergency manager have led schoolteachers to declare an emergency of their own. On Wednesday, 88 of Detroit’s roughly 100 public schools were closed in the latest mass teacher "sickouts" protesting underfunding, black mold, rat infestations, crumbling buildings and inadequate staffing. We get a report from journalist Kate Levy.

British Lawmakers Debate Banning "Fool," "Buffoon" Donald Trump over Anti-Muslim Views

Thu 07 30 AM

British lawmakers held a three-hour debate Monday on the possibility of banning Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump from entering the country. More than 570,000 people signed a petition in favor of the ban—more than any other petition submitted to the current Parliament—after Trump called for banning Muslims from entering the United States. While they condemned Trump as a "buffoon" and a "dangerous fool," British lawmakers do not actually have the power to ban him from the country. We get reaction from political commentator and historian Tariq Ali.

Pakistan Mourns New Taliban School Massacre in Latest Blowback from Internal Conflict, Afghan War

Thu 07 10 AM

Pakistan is once again mourning mass casualties from an armed assault on one of its schools. At least 20 people were killed and dozens injured on Wednesday when gunmen stormed the northwest Bacha Khan University under the cover of morning fog. The four attackers scaled the school’s rear wall before storming through the campus, gunning down students and teachers in classrooms and halls. The attack comes just weeks after Pakistan marked the first anniversary of the December 2014 Taliban massacre at a school in Peshawar. More than 150 people were killed in the massacre, most of them children from military families. It was the deadliest militant attack in Pakistan’s history. The Taliban faction that committed the Peshawar massacre has also taken responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, calling it revenge for the military’s intensified crackdown on its members. We are joined by two guests: Jibran Nasir, a Pakistani political activist and lawyer, and Tariq Ali, a political commentator, historian, activist, filmmaker, novelist and author of several books on Pakistani politics and history.

How the Kochs Tried (and Failed) to Discredit Reporter Jane Mayer After She Exposed their Empire

Wed 07 53 AM

In 2010, Jane Mayer published an extensive profile of the billionaire Koch brothers in The New Yorker, exploring their quiet effort to funnel more than $100 million to right-wing causes and undermine President Obama’s policy agenda. Six years later, Mayer reveals her subjects responded by hiring a private firm to discredit her reporting. Mayer details the episode in her new book on the Kochs and their right-wing, ultra-rich allies, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right."

Dark Money: Jane Mayer on How the Koch Bros. & Billionaire Allies Funded the Rise of the Far Right

Wed 07 21 AM

Democrats and Republicans are expected to spend about $1 billion getting their 2016 nominee elected. There’s a third group that will spend almost as much. It’s not a political party, and it doesn’t have any candidates. It’s the right-wing political network backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, expected to spend nearly $900 million in 2016. The Kochs’ 2016 plans come as part of an effort to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative candidates and causes over the last four decades. The story of the Koch brothers and an allied group of billionaire donors is told in a new book by New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right." Mayer traces how the Kochs and other billionaires have leveraged their business empires to shape the political system in the mold of their right-wing agenda.

The Kochs & the Nazis: Book Reveals Billionaires' Father Built Key Oil Refinery for the Third Reich

Wed 07 12 AM

In her new book, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right," New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer explores how the Koch brothers and fellow right-wing billionaires have funded a political machine aimed at shaping elections and public policy. The book contains a number of revelations and new details. Mayer begins with revealing that the Kochs’ father, industrialist Fred Koch, helped build an oil refinery in Nazi Germany—a project approved personally by Adolf Hitler. The refinery was critical to the Nazi war effort, fueling German warplanes. Mayer joins us to discuss.