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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: 30 weeks 4 days ago

As France Honors Black Artist Josephine Baker, Far-Right Pundit Éric Zemmour Launches Presidential Bid

December 2, 2021 - 8:44am

On the same day France celebrated the induction of American-born singer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker into the Pantheon, far-right xenophobic writer and pundit Éric Zemmour announced he will run for president of France in the upcoming April 2022 election. Many have pointed out the contradiction in these opposing events, even in President Emmanuel Macron’s speech that painted Baker as a model of colorblind unity, when in reality she was outspoken about racial justice. “Celebrating Josephine Baker who was an immigrant … while making things difficult for immigrants of today to access to France is a contradiction,” says French journalist Rokhaya Diallo. “France attempts to use the fact that it has been very welcoming to African Americans throughout the 20th century to picture itself as an open and welcoming country.”

Categories: Independent Media

​​Planned Parenthood CEO: If SCOTUS Restricts Abortion Access, Marginalized People Will Be Hurt Most

December 2, 2021 - 8:36am

We speak to Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, about the Supreme Court hearing Wednesday, in which the conservative majority on the court seemed to indicate that they support upholding the restrictive Mississippi law that bans abortion starting at just 15 weeks of pregnancy, and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade. Justice Amy Comey Barrett suggested during questioning that giving up children for adoption would resolve the pro-choice argument that anti-abortion laws force women into motherhood. “Our very right to determine when and if we become pregnant, our self determination, is predicated on our ability to be seen as free and equal citizens in this country,” says Johnson. She says if the ban is upheld, the people most impacted will be “low income, Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, people who are trans and nonbinary, people who might not have support at home.”

Categories: Independent Media

Abortion Under Attack: Supreme Court Hints It Will Uphold Mississippi's Ban, Threatening Roe v. Wade

December 2, 2021 - 8:14am

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court indicated it would uphold a restrictive Mississippi law that bans abortion starting at just 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case threatens to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. We feature excerpts from the two hours of oral arguments and speak with lawyer and bioethics professor Katie Watson. “The statute itself simply says abortion after 15 weeks is 'barbaric.' What’s barbaric, in my opinion, is forced childbearing,” says Watson. “There’s no explanation why, at any point, the potential interest of the fetus or the state’s interest in that fetus … would supersede the actual person in which it lives.”

Categories: Independent Media

"The Viral Underclass": COVID-19 and AIDS Show What Happens When Inequality and Disease Collide

December 1, 2021 - 8:48am

As December 1 marks World AIDS Day, we look at the pandemic that preceded COVID-19 and how recorded deaths of complications from the coronavirus this year have surpassed those of HIV/AIDS in the United States. The head of UNAIDS has warned the COVID-19 pandemic may result in an increase in infections and deaths from HIV and AIDS. Both viruses disproportionately impacted vulnerable minority communities. Although treatment rollout for HIV/AIDS was uniquely inhibited by homophobia, racism, and sexism, it was also plagued by corporate greed and U.S. exceptionalism. “We’re seeing very similar dynamics again now with COVID-19,” says Steven Thrasher, professor at Northwestern University in the Medill School of Journalism and the Institute of Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. “We have the vaccines, we have medications that are very effective, and they’re again being held from the Global South to protect the profits of pharmaceutical corporations.”

Categories: Independent Media

"Farewell to British Colonial Rule": Barbados Breaks From the Queen as Calls Grow For Reparations

December 1, 2021 - 8:31am

Barbados has become the world’s newest republic breaking ties with Queen Elizabeth 55 years after it became an independent nation, saying it was time for Barbados to break from its colonial past. The move comes as calls grow for the United Kingdom to pay reparations for enacting a regime of slavery in Barbados. While it was an occasion for celebration, it was also “55 years overdue” and should have happened when Barbados won its independence in 1966, says David Comissiong, Barbados’s ambassador to the Caribbean Community and the Association of Caribbean States. “Barbados was a center of British power. You don’t get rid of the imprint of that history so easily.”

Categories: Independent Media

Amazon Workers in Alabama Get New Shot at Union After NLRB Rules Company Broke the Law in 1st Vote

December 1, 2021 - 8:13am

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama may soon get another chance to decide whether to unionize. The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Amazon violated U.S. labor law while waging an aggressive anti-unionization campaign against warehouse workers earlier this year in Bessemer, Alabama. This comes as Amazon workers worldwide from Bangladesh to Germany campaigned on Black Friday for fairer working conditions under the banner, “Make Amazon Pay.” “If Amazon is trying to eat the world, it’s also bringing many disparate sets of workers and activists and communities together to fight against them,” says Alex Press, staff writer at Jacobin.

Categories: Independent Media

Get Off Our Territory: Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders Condemn Canadian Police Raid on Pipeline Protest

November 30, 2021 - 8:50am

Canadian police continue to arrest Indigenous land defenders blocking construction of Coastal GasLink, a 400-mile pipeline that would carry natural gas through Wet’suwet’en land. Police arrested two people Monday for blockading an access road, less than two weeks after arresting more than 30 in a violent raid on Coyote Camp and elsewhere that ended a 56-day blockade of a drilling site. We get an update from Wet’suwet’en land defender Molly Wickham, also known as Sleydo’, just released from jail. “This is the third time they have come in and raided Wet’suwet’en territory,” says Wickham. “We’ve never signed any documents to cede our land.”

Categories: Independent Media

As NATO Weighs Expansion in Eastern Europe, Russia Amasses Military on Ukraine Border

November 30, 2021 - 8:38am

As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Latvia for a meeting of NATO foreign secretaries, is war on the horizon? The meeting comes as tension continues to mount between Russia and Ukraine, while how to resolve the countries’ differences remains an open question. Russia has reportedly amassed 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, and aggressions have also recently intensified in eastern Ukraine between Moscow-backed separatists and government forces. “Russia is just trying to send a message of its absolutely inflexible opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine and is also trying to extract concessions from Ukraine and more importantly, Washington,” says Anatol Lieven, senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

Categories: Independent Media

"A Moment of Hope": Xiomara Castro’s Likely Win in Honduran Election Ends Years of Right-Wing Rule After Coup

November 30, 2021 - 8:13am

We go to Honduras, where thousands took to the streets to celebrate the leftist presidential candidate Xiomara Castro’s lead in the polls ahead of the right-wing National Party candidate Nasry Asfura. The historic election saw a record voter turnout and could signal the end of the 12-year brutal regime under the conservative National Party, which rose to power after a coup backed by the U.S. in 2009 overthrew democratically-elected leftist President Manuel Zelaya. Castro, who is Zelaya’s wife, would become the first woman to serve as president of Honduras if her victory is confirmed. “It’s brought hope to the entire country,” says Faridd Sierra, a high-school teacher in Comayagua, Honduras. Years of corruption and conservative law-making “showed the Honduras people just how cruel the [National] Party was and … they voted in response,” adds Honduran scholar Suyapa Portillo. Castro’s likely win “is a testament to bottom-up organizing,” she says.

Categories: Independent Media

Self-Defense? After Rittenhouse, Calls to Drop Murder Charges Against Black Teen Chrystul Kizer

November 29, 2021 - 8:46am

Since Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted under claims of self-defense for fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during racial justice protests last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin, another case in the city is drawing new national attention. Human rights advocates are calling for charges to be dropped in the case of Chrystul Kizer, who faces homicide and other charges for killing her white sex trafficker in 2018 after he drugged her and tried to rape her when she was just 17-years-old. Court records show police knew Randall Volar had a history of sexually abusing underage Black girls. Although the court initially ruled Kizer could not use a self-defense argument, an appellate court reversed the decision and the Wisconsin Supreme Court will now consider the ruling. “It has huge ramifications for her, but it also has a huge potential impact for other victims of trafficking,” says reporter Anne Branigin. “We have a very clear case where we are not receiving the same support, the same outcry from folks who got behind Kyle Rittenhouse to defend this young Black woman,” says Wisconsin state representative David Bowen. “She was trying to defend herself to get out of the sex trafficking she was being abused with.”

Categories: Independent Media

BLM Co-Founder Alicia Garza: Ahmaud Arbery Should Still Be With Us; Biden Must Condemn Vigilantes

November 29, 2021 - 8:24am

After a Georgia jury reached a verdict of “guilty” in the closely watched trial of three white men who chased and fatally shot 25-year-old unarmed Black man Ahmaud Arbery, many activists and racial justice advocates following the case have expressed some relief in hearing the conviction. We speak with Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, who says while it might feel important that the murders were held accountable for their actions, “justice would be that Ahmaud Arbery would still be with us today.” Garza also discusses the broader context of other trials of white supremacists, like Kyle Rittenhouse, and the role the federal government can play. “Unfortunately, I think the Biden-Harris administration could have been a lot stronger in their condemnation of this kind of behavior and activity,” says Garza. “But what we saw was actually more of a milquetoast response, which is especially concerning in this political context of white nationalism and a rise in vigilantism.”

Categories: Independent Media

Health Justice Advocates Say Vaccine Equity, Not “Racist” Travel Bans, Will Stop the Omicron Variant

November 29, 2021 - 8:12am

We go to Cape Town, South Africa, to speak with a leading health justice advocate about how scientists in the country have identified a new Omicron coronavirus variant, and the World Health Organization warns it could be more transmissible than previous variants. Against the advice of the WHO, several countries have closed their borders to foreign travelers. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticized the travel bans and called on wealthy nations to help poorer nations gain greater access to COVID vaccines. The bans are “actually quite racist,” says Fatima Hassan, founder and director of Health Justice Initiative. “We need to urgently … vaccinate as many people in Africa as possible.”

Categories: Independent Media

Meet Mansoor Adayfi: I Was Kidnapped as a Teen, Sold to the CIA & Jailed at Guantánamo for 14 Years

November 26, 2021 - 8:30am

We speak with Mansoor Adayfi, a former Guantánamo Bay detainee who was held at the military prison for 14 years without charge, an ordeal he details in his new memoir, “Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo.” Adayfi was 18 when he left his home in Yemen to do research in Afghanistan, where he was kidnapped by Afghan warlords, then sold to the CIA after the 9/11 attacks. Adayfi describes being brutally tortured in Afghanistan before he was transported to Guantánamo in 2002, where he became known as Detainee #441 and survived years of abuse. Adayfi was released against his will to Serbia in 2016 and now works as the Guantánamo Project coordinator at CAGE, an organization that advocates on behalf of victims of the war on terror. “The purpose of Guantánamo wasn’t about making Americans safe,” says Adayfi, who describes the facility as a “black hole” with no legal protections. “The system was designed to strip us of who we are. Even our names were taken.”

Categories: Independent Media

Democracy Now! at 25: Celebrating a Quarter-Century of Independent News on the Frontlines

November 25, 2021 - 8:30am

Democracy Now! first aired on nine community radio stations on February 19, 1996, on the eve of the New Hampshire presidential primary. In the 25 years since that initial broadcast, the program has greatly expanded, airing today on more than 1,500 television and radio stations around the globe and reaching millions of people online. We celebrate 25 years of The War and Peace Report with an hour-long retrospective, including highlights from the show’s early years, some of the most controversial interviews, and groundbreaking reports from East Timor, Standing Rock, Western Sahara and more.

Categories: Independent Media

"The War Party": Jeremy Scahill on How U.S. Militarism Unifies Democrats & Republicans

November 24, 2021 - 8:42am

As Democrats in Congress struggle to pass the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, there is large bipartisan consensus in the U.S. Congress to spend over $7 trillion over the next 10 years in military spending. The United States spends more each year on defense than China, Russia, India, the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, and Australia combined. “Democrats have to engage in theater about human rights and international law and due process, but they ultimately, at the end of the day, are just as aggressive as Republicans,” says investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill of the Intercept. His most recent piece is titled, “The War Party: From Bush to Obama, and Trump to Biden, U.S. Militarism Is the Great Unifier.” We also speak with Scahill about the Biden administration’s ongoing persecution of military whistleblowers, including Daniel Hale.

Categories: Independent Media

"Furious and Disgusted": Teen Survivor Speaks Out After Wealthy White Serial Rapist Gets Probation

November 24, 2021 - 8:27am

The survivor of a serial rapist who received probation joins us to speak out after a New York judge sparked international outrage when he ruled it is inappropriate to jail the man who attacked her. Christopher Belter pleaded guilty to raping and sexually assaulting her along with three other teenage girls age 15 and 16, but he will avoid serving time in prison, and instead receive 8 years of probation. Belter is white, and from a prominent family who lives in a wealthy neighborhood near Niagara Falls. “This sentencing is telling rapists it’s OK to rape and telling victims that there’s no point in coming forward,” says Mara. Her lawyer Steven Cohen of the HoganWillig law firm notes a non-white defendant who pleaded guilty to these crimes would “absolutely and appropriately be in prison.”

Categories: Independent Media