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: 4 hours 1 min ago

A War on Gaza's Future? Israeli Assault Leaves 500 Kids Dead, 3,000 Injured, 373,000 Traumatized

Thu 07 37 AM

As the Israeli offensive in Gaza resumes, we look at the impact the military campaign has had on the children of Gaza. More than 467 Palestinian children have died since July. That is more than the combined number of child fatalities in the two previous conflicts in Gaza. According to the World Health Organization, more than 3,000 children have been injured, of which an estimated 1,000 will suffer from a lifelong disability. The United Nations estimates at least 373,000 children require direct and specialized psychosocial support. And, based on the total number of adults killed, there may be up to 1,500 children orphaned. Gazan children’s right to an education has also been severely compromised with at least 25 schools reportedly damaged so severely that they can no longer be used. We speak to Pernille Ironside, chief of UNICEF’s Gaza field office.

"There isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement," Ironside says. "The psychological toll that has on a people, it just cannot be overestimated, and especially on children."

"Negro Spring": Ferguson Residents, Friends of Michael Brown Speak Out for Human Rights

Thu 07 14 AM

As peaceful protests continued Wednesday in Ferguson, Missouri, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in the city to meet with residents and FBI agents investigating the police shooting of Michael Brown. Democracy Now! traveled to Ferguson this week and visited the site where the 18-year-old Brown was killed. We spoke to young people who live nearby, including some who knew him personally. "He fell on his knees. Like, ’Don’t shoot.’ [The police officer] shot him anyway in the eye, the head, and four times down here," said one local resident Rico Like. "Hands up, don’t shoot is all I got to say. RIP Mike Brown."

Stop the Violence from Ferguson to Gaza: 90-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Arrested in St. Louis

Wed 07 49 AM

Just days after her 90th birthday, Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein was arrested Monday in St. Louis when she was part of a protest outside Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s office. Epstein was born in Germany and left in 1939 on a Kindertransport to England. Her parents died in Auschwitz. Epstein is a co-founder of the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and St. Louis branch of Jewish Voice for Peace. In 2011, she was part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and was a passenger on the U.S.-flagged ship, The Audacity of Hope. Over the years, she has made many solidarity trips to the West Bank. Epstein criticizes the police handling of protests in Ferguson. "It’s the same kind of violence that I’ve observed when I was in the Israeli-occupied Palestine," Epstein says. "I know what it feels like to be discriminated against, to be oppressed, and I can’t stand idly by when I see there are problems."

"They Are All Michael Brown": State Senator Defends Protesters Seeking Justice in Police Shooting

Wed 07 35 AM

During the protests in Ferguson, one of the key voices calling for justice is Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. She has been in the streets facing tear gas, and on Twitter, where she was highly critical of Gov. Jay Nixon’s lack of action days after Michael Brown was killed by police and protests erupted. "The fact that [Gov. Nixon] still has not come to talk to the people who see themselves as Michael Brown at any given time is really a slap in their face," Chappelle-Nadal says. "He only comes around the minority community when it’s politically expedient."

"Not Acceptable in a Civilized Society": Pastor on Ferguson Police Targeting Traumatized Youth

Wed 07 28 AM

As we continue our live broadcast from Ferguson, Missouri, we speak with Michael McBride, pastor of The Way Christian Center in Berkeley, California. He is also national director of the Lifelines for Healing Communities Campaign, part of People Improving Communities through Organizing, or PICO, the largest faith-based network of community organizing in the country. McBride has been in Ferguson working with young people as a peacekeeper and supporting their acts of civil disobedience. He says the protesters are "practicing the legacy of civil rights and resistance" in the United States. "People wondering why folks are so outraged? Because we have children," McBride says. "What parent would not be outraged that their children are being killed by people who we pay with our tax dollars?"

Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas and Jail: Ferguson Police Crack Down on Journalists Covering Protests

Wed 07 10 AM

Protests over the fatal police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown have continued for a 10th night in Ferguson, Missouri. Protesters are calling for the arrest of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot the unarmed teenager six times, including twice in the head. According to The New York Times, Attorney General Eric Holder and top Justice Department officials are weighing whether to open a broader civil rights investigation to look at Ferguson’s police practices at large. Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists has called on the Ferguson Police Department to stop harassing and detaining journalists. At least 11 journalists have been detained while covering the protests sparked by the shooting of Brown. We speak to Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept. On Monday night covering the demonstrations, he was shot by a rubber bullet, arrested and jailed overnight.

"Overpoliced & Underprotected": In Michael Brown Killing, Neglect of Black Communities Laid Bare

Tue 07 45 AM

As we continue to discuss the developments since the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer, we turn to john a. powell, professor of law, African American studies and ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. "The black community tends be overpoliced and underprotected," powell says. "That’s a very serious problem."

St. Louis Activist: Decades After 1968 Urban Uprisings, Key Economic & Race Issues Remain Unresolved

Tue 07 36 AM

The upheaval in Ferguson, Missouri, has called to mind the racial divisions that split open in the 1960s with a series of uprisings in cities across the country. In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson established what became known as the Kerner Commission to investigate the causes of the unrest. In February 1968, the commission famously concluded: "Our nation is moving toward two societies — one black, one white — separate and unequal." Just a month later, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sparked uprisings in more than 100 cities across the United States, including Kansas City, Missouri, where the National Guard was deployed and at least five people were killed. We speak with Jamala Rogers, who was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and witnessed the 1968 uprisings. She recently did a commentary for St. Louis Public Radio titled "Kerner Commission Warning Comes True — Two Societies, Separate and Unequal." Rogers is a founder and past chair of the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis, Missouri. She joins us from the streets in Ferguson.

Activist: For a New Generation, Ferguson Marks Historic Nonviolent Resistance to Police Repression

Tue 07 26 AM

As protests continue in Ferguson, activists are traveling to Missouri to join the movement in solidarity. We speak with one activist who has just arrived to Ferguson from Florida, Phillip Agnew, the executive director of Dream Defenders, a network of youth of color and their allies who engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and civic engagement to bring about social change. "I came here to be part of resistance," Agnew says. "We have not seen a reaction of nonviolent civil disobedience [to] officers of the state like this in my lifetime." Agnew helped organize protests to the 2012 shooting of unarmed, African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.

Pastor: In Ferguson Police Crackdown, I Need a Gas Mask More Than My Clerical Collar

Tue 07 10 AM

In Missouri, Ferguson has seen another night of heavy unrest in the ongoing uproar over the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. At least 31 people, including two journalists, were arrested as street clashes erupted between groups of demonstrators and riot police. Police are claiming they came under "heavy gunfire" and that unknown suspects shot two people over the course of the night. The protests came hours after attorneys for the family of Brown held a press conference to discuss the findings of a private autopsy that revealed Brown had been shot six times. The officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, remains in hiding and on paid leave. We go to the streets of Ferguson to speak with Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, a pastor from the First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, who was dispatched to Missouri by the Fellowship of Reconciliation. "It is a tragedy that as a clergyperson I need a tear gas mask more than I need a collar to be able to do the work that I feel called to do," Sekou says.

Ferguson Protests Erupt Near Grave of Ex-Slave Dred Scott, Whose Case Helped Fuel U.S. Civil War

Mon 07 51 AM

Just miles away from the scene of the protests in Ferguson lies the grave of Dred Scott at the Calvary Cemetery on West Florissant Avenue. Born a slave in Virginia, Scott sued in a St. Louis court for his freedom. The case went to the Supreme Court, resulting in a landmark 1857 decision that African Americans were not citizens of the United States and therefore had no rights to sue in federal courts. The court described blacks as "beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." The Dred Scott Decision is considered by many to be the worst decision in the Supreme Court’s history. We discuss the case’s significance with Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University and founder of the African American Policy Forum.

"A Human Rights Crisis": In Unprecedented Move, Amnesty International Sends Monitors to Ferguson

Mon 07 48 AM

After a week that saw a militarized police crackdown and the imposition of a nighttime curfew, Amnesty International USA has taken an "unprecedented" step by sending a 13-person delegation to monitor the developments in Ferguson, Missouri. It is the first time the Amnesty organization has deployed observers inside the United States. We speak to Steven Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

Institutional Racism in Ferguson? First Black School Chief Speaks Out After Forced Resignation

Mon 07 35 AM

As protests continue in Ferguson, we are joined by Art McCoy, who in 2010 became the first African-American school superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District. But three years later, McCoy was suspended without explanation, setting off a controversy that led to his resignation earlier this year. At the time of his suspension, there were no African Americans on the school board, even though three-quarters of the district’s students were black. McCoy is currently an adjunct professor of education at the University of Missouri and is on the board of the Urban League’s St. Louis chapter.

St. Louis Pastor: Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson Should Resign

Mon 07 23 AM

Community outrage grew in Ferguson, Missouri, over the weekend after the police named the officer who shot Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, after withholding his identity for five days. But in naming Wilson, the police also released video footage showing a young man who appeared to be Brown shoplifting a box of cigarillos from a convenience store. The Ferguson police released the video while continuing to withhold all other details about Brown’s killing, including how many times he was shot and the incident report from the shooting. In disclosing the video, the police appeared to suggest Brown may have been stopped as a suspect in the shoplifting. But hours later, Ferguson police admitted the officer did not know about the incident and had stopped Brown solely for walking in the middle of the street. Joining us from St. Louis, the Rev. Clinton Stancil, senior pastor at the Wayman AME Church, says Police Chief Tom Jackson should resign. He also says that efforts are being made to galvanize African-American voters in the next election to address concerns over the lack of diversity in the city’s elected officials.

Missouri Deploys National Guard to Ferguson; Autopsy Shows Police Shot Michael Brown 6 Times

Mon 07 15 AM

A private autopsy report has found that Michael Brown — the African-American teenager killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri — was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the National Guard into Ferguson after another night of protests over the shootings. In a statement, Nixon said he chose to activate the National Guard because of "deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent acts." For the past two nights, police have tried to enforce a five-hour curfew starting at midnight. On Sunday night, local police fired tear gas, smoke canisters and rubber bullets in an attempt to clear the streets before the curfew began. Police accused some protesters of throwing Molotov cocktails and trying to overrun the police command center. Earlier in the day on Sunday, 1,300 people packed the Greater Grace Church for a rally attended by Michael Brown’s parents. We air an excerpt of speeches made at this event.

As WHO Warns Ebola Death Toll is Underestimated, How Should Global Community Handle Dire Crisis?

Fri 07 33 AM

The World Health Organization is now saying the number of reported cases and deaths of Ebola in West Africa vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak. The official death toll from the Ebola outbreak is now at 1,069 since February. Guinea has become the fourth country in Africa to declare a national health emergency as it battles the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the worst outbreak since the disease was discovered in 1976. The outbreak began in Guinea, where it has killed 377 people. It has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, which have all declared a national health emergency. We speak to three guests: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations; public health law professor Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University; and medical anthropologist Adia Benton of Brown University, who has conducted research on infectious disease in Sierra Leone over several years.