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: 10 hours 12 min ago

"La Jaula de Oro": New Feature Film is an "Epic Poem" of Migration through Mexico

Thu 07 52 AM

The award-winning film "La Jaula de Oro," or "The Golden Dream," directed by Diego Quemada-Díez, tells the story of two Guatemalan kids and one indigenous Tzotzil boy from southern Mexico as they attempt to traverse Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border to reach the United States. The film is based on interviews Quemada-Díez conducted over six years in Mexico with hundreds of Central Americans and Mexicans attempting to migrate to the United States. The film is currently in theaters in Los Angeles and New York. We speak with filmmaker Diego Quemada-Díez.

"Victory for People's Uprising": Bill McKibben on U. of California Divesting from Coal and Tar Sands

Thu 07 38 AM

The University of California has announced that it has sold off more than $200 million worth of investments in coal and tar sands companies. University officials say the move was prompted by concerns over environmental sustainability as well as the increasing riskiness of investing in the coal and tar sands industries, which have both seen their profits plummet in recent months. Bill McKibben, co-founder of, hailed the move. The European Green Party and recently launched the "Divest for Paris" challenge, calling on institutions, individuals and governments to divest from fossil fuels ahead of the climate summit in Paris later this year.

Martin O'Malley on #BlackLivesMatter, Freddie Gray & David Simon's Criticism of His Baltimore Record

Thu 07 25 AM

Speaking on Democracy Now! recently, David Simon, a Baltimore resident best known for creating the television series "The Wire," criticized Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley’s policing policies as mayor of Baltimore. "It was almost as if he couldn’t get the reductions in the murder rate that he had promised as a candidate, and the next three or four years were: ’Let’s just throw everybody in the back of a van,’" Simon said. "If you looked at a cop the wrong way in Baltimore in about those three central years when Marty was trying to become governor, you went in the back of a police van, you were taken down to the city jail, you know, held overnight." O’Malley responds to Simon and also discusses the recent disruption of his appearance at the Netroots Nation conference by Black Lives Matter protesters who declared a "state of emergency" over the killings of African Americans. O’Malley also talks about the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody.

Martin O'Malley: Climate Change Helped Spark Destabilization of Syria, Rise of Islamic State

Thu 07 18 AM

In July, presidential candidate Martin O’Malley made headlines by suggesting that the rise of the so-called Islamic State came about in part because of the effects of climate change. "One of the things that preceded the failure of the nation-state of Syria and the rise of ISIS was the effect of climate change and the mega-drought that affected that region, wiped out farmers, drove people to cities, created a humanitarian crisis. It created the symptoms, or, rather, the conditions, of extreme poverty, that has led now to the rise of ISIL and this extreme violence." Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus called the remarks "absurd." We get O’Malley’s response.

"We Need to Step Up": Martin O'Malley Proposes Welcoming 65,000 Syrians & Passing Immigration Reform

Thu 07 15 AM

As the European Union has proposed a new plan to resettle 160,000 refugees across the bloc, we speak to Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley about his call to welcome 65,000 Syrian refugees to the United States — far higher than the 1,500 allowed in so far by the Obama administration. O’Malley also discusses his overall plan for immigration reform.

"A Very Undemocratic Way to Run the Democratic Party": Martin O'Malley Slams DNC for Rigging Debates

Thu 07 10 AM

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley is urging supporters to rally next week in front of the Democratic National Committee office to protest the DNC’s debate schedule, which allows for six Democratic debates, only four of which will be held before the Iowa caucuses in February. The former Maryland governor joins us in studio to talk about his call for more debates.

"Protect People, Not Borders": Report from the Macedonian-Greek Border

Wed 07 56 AM

On Monday, a single-day record 7,000 Syrian refugees arrived in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia. We go to the Macedonian-Greek border to speak with Gabriela Andreevska, one of key organizers who has been working on the ground for the last four months to provide food, transportation and medicine to refugees crossing the border.

"There is No Safe Place": Syrian Refugee Recounts Harrowing Journey by Boat to Escape Violence

Wed 07 44 AM

The United Nations estimates that 4 million Syrians are displaced outside the country’s borders by the ongoing war. Today, we speak to one of these refugees: 23-year-old Zaher Majzoub, who fled Syria after finishing his degree in business administration at a university in Damascus. His months-long journey included first traveling to Turkey and then traversing the Mediterranean en route to Greece by boat. Along the way, his overcrowded boat took on water, inspiring Zaher to jump overboard because he was one of the few who knew how to swim, and he feared for the lives of the women and children. From Greece, he continued his journey to reach Vienna, hoping eventually to reach England. We speak with Zaher and Erik Leidal, a volunteer with the community-run relief group Train of Hope in Vienna.

Help My People, Let More War Refugees Settle Here: A Syrian American's Message to Washington

Wed 07 37 AM

The United Nations has described the Syrian refugee crisis as the "biggest humanitarian emergency of our era." More than 4 million Syrians have fled the country, and millions more are displaced inside the country. We speak to Syrian-American community organizer Sarab Al-Jijakli, who is calling on the United States to accept more Syria refugees. So far only 1,500 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the United States.

"Open Up, Europe! Let Migrants In": Former EU Adviser Urges Opening of Borders

Wed 07 32 AM

Under a new European Commission proposal, quotas would be set for all 22 nations across Europe to take in a total of 160,000 refugees. Germany, which supports quotas, has already said it can accept half a million refugees each year. Many other European nations — including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland — have opposed a compulsory system. We speak to former European Commission adviser Philippe Legrain, who recently wrote a piece titled "Open Up, Europe! Let Migrants In" on how Europe could benefit from an influx of refugees.

German Lawmaker: At the Root of Refugee Crisis are Wars Led by the United States in the Middle East

Wed 07 12 AM

The United Nations is now estimating at least 850,000 people are expected to cross the Mediterranean this year and next, seeking refuge in Europe to escape violence and unrest in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, sub-Saharan Africa and other regions. Already 366,000 people have arrived in Europe this year. Earlier today, the president of the European Commission called on European Union member states to accept a total of 160,000 asylum seekers from war-torn countries. We speak to Annette Groth, member of the German Parliament and spokeswoman for human rights for the Left Party. She just returned last week from a trip to Hungary, where she saw thousands of migrants stranded at the Budapest train station. "What is the root for this massive migration?" Groth asks. "It is war, it is terror, and it is the former U.S. government who is accountable for it."

New Report Rejects Mexican Government's Story About the Disappearance of 43 Students from Ayotzinapa

Tue 07 54 AM

On September 26, 2014, a group of students from Ayotzinapa teachers’ college came under attack by police in the city of Iguala, in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. Six people were killed in a series of attacks that night, and 43 students were disappeared. The Mexican government has claimed the 43 students were killed by members of a local drug gang, and their bodies incinerated in a trash dump in the neighboring town of Cocula. But the students’ families have long rejected this account, and the phrase "fue el estado," or "it was the state," has become a rallying cry at mass protests across Mexico and around the world. Now, a new independent report commissioned by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has dismissed the Mexican government’s version of the students’ disappearance. We speak with journalist John Gibler in Mexico City. He outlines the report’s key findings, including that municipal, state and federal police actively participated in attacks on the students and that military intelligence officers were present at at least two of the attack scenes.

Allan Nairn: Donald Trump Meets, Praises Indonesian Leaders Despite Ties to Mass Killings

Tue 07 46 AM

On Thursday, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump held a press conference in Trump Tower in New York. While much was made of his announcement to refrain from considering a third-party run, little attention was given to Trump’s star guests at the event: members of Indonesia’s top political brass. Among the Indonesians who met with Donald Trump was Deputy Speaker of the House Fadli Zon. He is the right-hand man of the U.S.-trained Prabowo Subianto. Gen. Prabowo has been accused of extensive human rights abuses that took place in the 1990s when he was head of the country’s special forces. He was dismissed from the army in 1998 following accusations he was complicit in the abduction and torture of activists during political unrest in Jakarta that led to the ouster of longtime dictator Suharto, who killed as many as a million civilians. Prabowo was the son-in-law of Suharto. We speak to Allan Nairn about Trump’s meeting.

As Candidates Tied to Guatemalan Army & Oligarch Vie for Power, What's Next for Popular Uprising?

Tue 07 36 AM

In Guatemala, a television comedian has won the first round of the nation’s presidential elections. Sunday’s vote came just days after Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina resigned and was jailed on corruption charges. Pérez Molina’s former vice president and several other close aides have also been jailed. Sunday’s previously scheduled election went ahead despite calls for postponement. The comic actor Jimmy Morales received about 24 percent of the vote, far short of the 50 percent needed for an outright victory. Sandra Torres, the ex-wife of former President Álvaro Colom, and conservative businessman Manuel Baldizón were virtually tied for second place. We speak to Allan Nairn in Guatemala City. He is a journalist and activist who has covered Guatemala since the 1980s.

French Secret Service Agent Who Led Fatal 1985 Bombing of Greenpeace Ship Breaks His Silence

Tue 07 15 AM

Thirty years ago, French secret service blew up Greenpeace’s flagship Rainbow Warrior ship in Auckland, New Zealand, killing a Portuguese photographer, as the ship was preparing to head to sea to protest against French nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific. Now the French intelligence agent who led the deadly attack has come forward for the first time to apologize for his actions, breaking his silence after 30 years. On July 10, 1985, Jean-Luc Kister led the dive team that planted the bombs on the Rainbow Warrior that sunk the ship and killed Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira. TV New Zealand’s program "Sunday" recently tracked down Jean-Luc Kister in northern France and spoke to him about what happened that day. We air the TVNZ report.

"Between the World and Me": Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation on Being Black in America

Mon 07 40 AM

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ new book, "Between the World and Me," has been called "required reading" by Toni Morrison. "I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates," Morrison said. "Between the World and Me" is written as a letter to Coates’ 15-year-old son, Samori, and has been compared to "the talk" parents have with their children to prepare them for facing police harassment and brutality. The book is a combination of memoir, history and analysis. In July, Coates came to the Democracy Now! studio to talk about the book and his upbringing in Baltimore.