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.
- Protests Erupt in NYC After Grand Jury Clears Cop in Chokehold Death of Eric Garner
- Cleveland Officer Who Killed 12-Year-Old Was Deemed Unfit, Had "Dismal" Gun Performance
- Philippines Braces for Super Typhoon in Midst of U.N. Climate Summit
- Colombian Gov't to Resume Peace Talks with FARC
- Iran Launches Airstrikes Against ISIS; U.S. Denies Cooperation
- Al-Qaeda Threatens to Kill U.S. Journalist in Yemen
- Lawmakers Agree on $585 Billion Military Bill Expanding ISIS Offensive
- 3 Women Detail Assaults by Bill Cosby; Events Cancelled After Attendees Return Tickets
- Teenager Arrested for Rape in Oklahoma Following Mass Walkout
- Supreme Court Hears Pregnancy Discrimination Case
- Labor Dept. Issues Rule on Anti-LGBT Discrimination
- 17 States Sue Obama over Executive Action on Immigration
- Appeals Court Stays Execution of Schizophrenic Texas Prisoner Scott Panetti
- Upstate New York Peace Activist Spared Jail Time After Drone Protest
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
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.
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.]
A new report finds U.S. drone strikes kill 28 unidentified people for every intended target. While the Obama administration has claimed its drone strikes are precise, the group Reprieve found that strikes targeting 41 people in Yemen and Pakistan have killed more than 1,000 other, unnamed people. In its attempts to kill al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri alone, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults; al-Zawahiri remains alive. We are joined by Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve and author of the new report, "You Never Die Twice: Multiple Kills in the U.S. Drone Program."
As protests continue over the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the United States is facing pressure internationally over its failure to put a halt to police brutality. In a new report, the United Nations Committee Against Torture expresses deep concern over the "frequent and recurrent police shootings or fatal pursuits of unarmed black individuals." The Committee also criticizes a number of other U.S. practices on torture and imprisonment, Guantánamo Bay, and the custody of migrants including children in "prison-like detention facilities." We discuss the report’s findings with Dr. Jens Modvig, member of the Committee Against Torture and one of two rapporteurs for its report.
- Obama Taps Ashton Carter to Replace Hagel at Pentagon
- GOP to Avoid Shutdown with Budget Vote, But Immigration Fight Looms
- Iraqi Gov't Reaches Key Revenue Deal with Kurds
- Egyptian Court Sentences Dozens to Death in Mass Trial
- French Lawmakers Pass Symbolic Vote on Palestinian Statehood
- Hong Kong Protest Leaders Ask Demonstrators to Pull Back
- Obama Pushes Congress on Funding Ebola Response
- Missouri Police Investigating Michael Brown's Stepfather for Incitement
- Report: FBI Tally Excludes Hundreds of Police Shooting Victims
- Grand Jury Decision Looms for Officers Involved in Eric Garner Chokehold Death
- Bill Cosby Faces Lawsuit over New Molestation Allegation
- Environmental Activists Detained in Ecuador En Route to Lima Climate Summit
Will Texas Execute a Schizophrenic Man Who Tried to Subpoena Jesus, JFK & the Pope at His Own Trial?
We look at the case of a Texas prisoner scheduled to be executed Wednesday despite the wide belief he is mentally ill. Scott Panetti was convicted of killing his wife’s parents in 1992, more than a decade after he was first diagnosed with schizophrenia. His mental health history until that point included hallucinations that prompted his dismissal from the Navy, and 14 hospitalizations for schizophrenia and depression, often under a court order. His previous wife divorced him after he buried their furniture, because he said it was possessed by the devil, and also nailed his curtains shut. Panetti’s murder trial drew headlines when he was allowed to represent himself after dismissing his court-appointed attorney. He dressed as a cowboy in a purple suit and a hat, and the witnesses he tried to subpoena in his defense included John F. Kennedy, the pope and Jesus Christ. At one point, he assumed his alternate personality of "Sarge" and testified in the third person about carrying out the murders. Then in 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Panetti lacked the understanding of why he was being put to death, and asked a lower court to re-evaluate whether he was sane enough to execute. But the courts accepted the argument from the state’s lawyers that Panetti was faking his illness and reinstated his death sentence. We speak to Panetti’s attorney, Kathryn Kase, and Ron Honberg, national director for policy and legal affairs of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Will Obama's Police Reforms Bring Change? Admin Urged to Seize Political Momentum of Ferguson Moment
Responding to the protests in Ferguson and cities nationwide, President Obama has announced several new actions: a new task force to come up with concrete steps for "building public trust" in police forces nationwide; a $263 million "community policing initiative," which includes $75 million to provide body cameras for around 50,000 police officers; and an executive order that will tighten rules on the provision of military-grade equipment and weapons to local police forces, such as those used in the crackdown on the Ferguson protests. But in a rejection of activists’ demands, Obama vowed to leave the transfers mostly intact. Obama has also sent Attorney General Eric Holder on a tour of communities nationwide. Holder will soon release new federal guidelines to limit racial profiling, but they will not apply to state or local police agencies, such as in Ferguson. We are joined by James Peterson, director of Africana studies at Lehigh University and the author of "The Hip-Hop Underground and African American Culture: Beneath the Surface."
One week after the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case, President Obama has given his first major policy response to the protests from Ferguson and beyond over racial profiling and police brutality. At a meeting with activists and officials from around the country, Obama unveiled a process to address what he called "simmering distrust." The administration’s response comes as protests continue nationwide over the non-indictment of former officer Darren Wilson over killing Brown. On Monday, demonstrators walked out of workplaces and classrooms in some 30 cities with their hands raised, the symbol of Brown’s death and the movement that has emerged since. As the "Hands Up Walk Out" took place, some of the movement’s key leaders were not out in the streets but inside the White House. Obama’s guests included seven young activists who have helped organize the protests in Ferguson and in other communities of color. We are joined by one of those activists: Ashley Yates, an activist, poet and artist who is co-creator of Millennial Activists United. "While that is a step towards ending this real problem," Yates says of Obama’s reforms, "the real root of it has to be addressed. And the real root of it is racism in America, the anti-black sentiments that exist. Until we begin to address that, we really can’t have any real change — all we have are these small steps towards justice. We need leaps and bounds."
- "Hands Up" Walkouts Sweep U.S. as Obama Unveils Police Reforms
- St. Louis Rams, Police Differ on Apology over Protest
- ISIS Leader's Wife, Child Detained in Lebanon
- U.N. Cuts Food Aid to 1.7 Million Syrian Refugees
- Kenya: Al-Shabab Militants Kill 36 Workers
- WHO: Ebola Targets Met in Guinea, Liberia
- Russia Scraps Gas Pipeline to Europe amid Ukraine Tensions
- West Virginia: Gunman Accused in Domestic Violence Case Kills 4
- Police: Austin, Texas Shooter Linked to Christian Hate Group
- Mexico: Outrage Marks Peña Nieto's 2nd Anniversary; 11 Protesters Released
- Colombia: General Resigns After Release by FARC Rebels
- Bahrain Activist Maryam Alkhawaja Jailed for Year in Absentia
- Bill Cosby Resigns from Temple University Board as Abuse Reports Hit 20
- UVA President Vows to Address Rape on Campus After Protests
- Snowden, McKibben Among Recipients of Right Livelihood Award
- 30th Anniversary of Bhopal Disaster Marked
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was cleared of ordering the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising against his regime almost four years ago. The decision, which came on a technicality, means he will walk free after finishing a prison term on corruption charges, possibly within a few months. The court also cleared Mubarak’s former interior minister, Habib el-Adly, and six aides. Several thousand protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Saturday to protest the verdict, leading to a crackdown by state forces in which two people died. We are joined by two guests: in Cairo, Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, and in New York City, Egyptian journalist and human rights activist Hossam Bahgat.
President Obama is planning a day of meetings at the White House today related to the fallout from the killing of Michael Brown and the ensuing protests in Ferguson. Obama will first meet with his Cabinet to discuss the results of a review of federal programs that provide military-style equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. He has also invited younger civil rights leaders for a meeting to discuss what one official described as the "broader challenges we still face as a nation, including the mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color." Attorney General Eric Holder is heading to Atlanta today to speak at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. We are joined by Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology at Georgetown University. Dyson’s op-ed for The New York Times this weekend is "Where Do We Go After Ferguson?" He is also the author of a forthcoming book on President Obama and race.
As Darren Wilson resigns from the Ferguson police force, protests continue across the country, from shopping malls to football stadiums, over a grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson for shooting dead Michael Brown. Over the past week, there have been demonstrations in more than 150 cities — on public roadways, in shopping malls and government buildings. On Saturday, protesters kicked off a 120-mile, seven-day march dubbed the "Journey for Justice" from Ferguson to Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri. Black Friday was also a day of action as activists staged protests at retailers across the country. We are joined by two activists to discuss the week’s protests and what comes next for the movement against police brutality: In Oakland, Alicia Garza, co-creator of "Black Lives Matter" and one of the 14 people arrested for shutting down the BART transportation system on Friday; and in New York City, Dante Barry, an organizer at the Center for Media Justice and Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, who participated in last week’s protests.
- Darren Wilson Resigns from Ferguson Police Force Without Severance
- Protests Against Grand Jury Decision, Police Brutality Continue in Ferguson, Cities Nationwide
- St. Louis Rams Players Display "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" Pose in Pre-Game Entry
- Egypt Won't Seek Further Legal Action Against Mubarak After Charges Dropped
- New Clashes in Hong Kong After Pro-Democracy Activists Surround Government Buildings
- France Sets 2-Year Deadline to Recognize Palestine if Talks Fail
- Boko Haram Kills Dozens in New Attacks Across Nigeria
- Annual U.N. Climate Summit Opens in Peru
- U.N. Torture Panel Criticizes U.S. Practices
- U.N. Experts Urge Full Release of CIA Torture Report; Senate Dems Break with Admin on Censorship
- Gunman Shot Dead in Austin After Firing on Mexican Consulate, Other Buildings
- Ray Rice Wins Reinstatement to NFL After Challenging Indefinite Suspension
- Missing Ohio State Player with Concussion History Found Dead of Suicide
- Wal-Mart Workers Stage Black Friday Protests for Higher Wages, Stable Hours
In a holiday special, we spend the hour with Isabel Allende, one of Latin America’s and the United States’ greatest novelists. Just this week she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Allende is the author of 20 books, including "The House of the Spirits," "Paula" and "Daughter of Fortune." Her latest is a mystery novel titled "Ripper." Her books have been translated into 35 languages, sold close to 60 million copies around the world. Allende now lives in California, but she was born in Peru in 1942 and traveled the world as the daughter of a Chilean diplomat. Her father’s first cousin was Salvador Allende, Chile’s president from 1970 until Sept. 11, 1973, when Augusto Pinochet seized power in a CIA-backed military coup. Salvador Allende died in the palace that day. Isabel Allende would later flee from her native Chile to Venezuela. In April, Amy Goodman conducted a public interview with Isabel Allende at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas in New York shortly after the publication of "Ripper." In this wide-ranging conversation, Allende discusses her literary career and her memories of Chile before and during the coup.
After world-renowned scholar Noam Chomsky gave a major address on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the hall of the United Nations General Assembly in October, Amy Goodman interviewed him before an audience of 800 people. Chomsky spoke at an event sponsored by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. "One important action that the United States could take is to live up to its own laws. Of course it would be nice if it lived up to international law, but maybe that’s too much to ask," Chomsky said.
In this holiday special, we broadcast the words of world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky, who recently spoke in the hall of the U.N. General Assembly at an event sponsored by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. "The pattern that was set in January 1976 continues to the present," said Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Israel rejects a settlement of these terms and for many years has been devoting extensive resources to ensuring it will not be implemented with the unremitting and decisive support of the United States — military, economic, diplomatic and ideological."
An Ohio man has been freed from prison after spending 39 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Ricky Jackson, a 59-year old African-American man, had been jailed since 1975 on a murder conviction. The prosecution’s case was based on the testimony of a 13-year-old witness. After a 2011 investigation, the witness recanted his testimony, saying he had implicated Jackson and two others under police coercion. The witness, Eddy Vernon, said police had fed him the story and threatened to arrest his parents if he didn’t cooperate. On Friday, Ricky Jackson was freed after prosecutors dropped the case. With nearly four decades wrongfully behind bars, Jackson is the longest-held U.S. prisoner to be exonerated. He joins us today along with his lawyer, Brian Howe, a staff attorney with the Ohio Innocence Project.