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Students at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina, are gathering on Capitol Hill today to demand the release of their undocumented classmate, 19-year-old Wildin Acosta. Acosta was detained by immigration agents in January while he was on his way to class. He had no criminal record and was in his final semester of high school. Acosta’s family is from Olancho, Honduras, one of the most violent regions in a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world. Wildin was scheduled to be deported in March, but his teachers and peers gathered together, held vigils, lobbied their local representatives and took to social media. Wildin Acosta remains detained in Georgia’s notorious Stewart Detention Center. He is one of several teens in North Carolina sometimes referred to as the "NC6," who have been targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents as part of the Obama administration’s Operation Border Guardian. All this comes amid reports that ICE is launching a brand new month-long campaign of raids specifically aimed at rounding up and deporting undocumented Central American mothers and children. We’re joined from Washington, D.C., by Paromita Shah, the associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and Axel Herrera, a senior at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina, where Wildin Acosta was also a student.
As Hillary Clinton Defends Her Role in 2009 Coup, Is U.S. Aid to Honduras Adding "Fuel to the Fire"?
We speak with Annie Bird about Hillary Clinton’s role as secretary of state during the 2009 coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. "There’s no other way to categorize what happened in 2009 other than a military coup with no legal basis," Bird says. "The U.S. was not willing to cut off assistance to Honduras, and that is the only reason it was not called a coup, a military coup. At the time, activists like Berta called for the assistance to be cut off, and today her children are calling for it to be cut off, because the U.S. assistance is actually adding fuel to the fire and stoking the economic interests of the people behind the coup."
Obama Urged to Stop Funding Honduran Military as Questions Grow over US Role in Berta Cáceres' Death
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has returned from a visit to Tegucigalpa, where he met with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández to discuss migration and security. Johnson’s visit comes as a growing number of activists in Honduras and in the United States are calling on the United States to stop funding the Honduran military, over accusations that state security forces have been involved in human rights violations, extrajudicial killings—and the murder of internationally renown environmentalist Berta Cáceres. Before her death, Berta and her organization COPINH was long the target of repression by elite Honduran security forces and paramilitary organizations. Earlier this month, four people were arrested in connection with her murder, including Army Major Mariano Díaz Chávez and Edilson Duarte Meza, who is reportedly a retired captain. Press accounts report Díaz Chávez graduated from the prestigious U.S. Ranger-supported Honduran special forces course TESON, raising questions about whether U.S.-trained troops were involved in carrying out Berta’s murder. We speak to Annie Bird, director of Rights & Ecology, a project of the Center for Political Ecology.
A Baltimore police officer has been acquitted on all charges for his role in the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died of spinal injuries last year after he was arrested and transported in a police van. Officer Edward Nero faced misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office. Nero was one of six officers charged in Gray’s death. Judge Barry Williams handed down the verdict in a bench trial on Monday, ruling that "the state has not met its burden" to prove Nero’s guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." The ruling was met with little surprise from the community in a case that many said was the state’s weakest. We speak with Gray family attorney Billy Murphy, who recently won a $6.4 million settlement from the city of Baltimore for the family of Freddie Gray, and Rev. Heber Brown III, pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and member of Baltimore United for Change.
- Brazil: Minister Resigns After Explosive Transcripts Unveil Plot to Oust Rousseff
- Baltimore Officer Acquitted in Freddie Gray Police Custody Death
- Supreme Court Sides with Black Man Sentenced to Death by All-White Jury
- Yemen: ISIS Bombing Kills 40 Army Recruits; Cluster Bomb Found in Village
- Greek Authorities Begin Clearing Thousands from Idomeni Refugee Camp
- Obama Praises TPP Trade Deal During Visit to Vietnam
- Okinawa Governor Requests Meeting with Obama After Ex-Marine's Arrest for Murder
- Austria: Far-Right Candidate Narrowly Defeated in Presidential Race
- Sanders Names Cornel West, Bill McKibben to DNC Platform Committee
- Purvi Patel Appeals 20-Year Sentence for What She Says was a Miscarriage
- Anti-Nuclear Activist Michael Mariotte Dies at 63
Pentagon whistleblower John Crane talks about how the actions of his grandfather nearly a century ago helped give him courage to expose misdeeds at the Pentagon. "In the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler tried to seize the whole Bavarian government. Hitler walked into the beer hall and fired a gun into the ceiling, saying that he was taking control. My grandfather stepped in front of him, saying, 'Mr. Hitler, this way he will never control Germany.' And then Hitler simply put his gun down, went to the front, captured the whole senior leadership. My grandfather then helped to have the actual countercoup established, put down Hitler’s uprising, and then he was a witness at the trial for the government that, of course, put him in jail."
Mark Hertsgaard broke the story of Pentagon whistleblower John Crane in his new book, "Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden." The book details how senior Pentagon officials may have broken the law to punish National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake for leaking information about waste, mismanagement and surveillance. "I think that’s what’s important about John Crane’s story, is it puts the lie to what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are saying and have been saying about Edward Snowden from the beginning," Hertsgaard said.
In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we speak with a former senior Pentagon official about how his superiors broke the law to punish a key National Security Agency whistleblower for leaking information about waste, mismanagement and surveillance. His account sheds light on how and why Edward Snowden revealed how the government was spying on hundreds of millions of people around the world. John Crane worked 25 years for the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, which helps federal employees expose abuse. He now says whistleblowers have little choice but to go outside the system, and is speaking out about what happened to NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who revealed the existence of a widespread illegal program of domestic surveillance. Crane describes how in December 2010 Drake’s lawyers filed a complaint with the inspector general alleging he had been punished in retaliation for his whistleblowing, and that the crimes Drake was later charged with were "based in part, or entirely," on information he provided to the Pentagon inspector general. Mark Hertsgaard recounts Crane’s story in his new book, "Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden," and shows how Drake’s persecution sent an unmistakable message to Edward Snowden: Raising concerns within the system meant he would be targeted next. Edward Snowden has responded to Crane’s revelations by calling for a complete overhaul of U.S. whistleblower protections. "To me, the main issue is: Can we have a workable system that lets whistleblowers follow their own principled dissent without having them destroyed in the process?" asks John Crane. We are also joined by Mark Hertsgaard.
- Obama: Death of Taliban Leader in U.S. Drone Strike an "Important Milestone"
- Obama Ends Decades-Old Arms Ban on Vietnam
- Iraq Launches Bid to Retake Fallujah from ISIS
- Syria: Explosions Kill Over 100 in Regime-Controlled Areas
- Sanders Criticizes "Anointment" of Clinton, Backs Opponent of DNC Chair
- Austria: Far-Right Candidate Narrowly Loses Presidential Race
- "March Against Monsanto" Brings Protesters to Streets in 400 Cities
- WMO Calls for Climate Action After Another Heat Record "Smashed"
- Bangladesh: Cyclone Kills 24, Forces Half a Million to Flee
- New York: 21 Arrested Blocking Pipeline in Peekskill
- Guantánamo Prisoner Obaidullah Cleared for Release After 14 Years
- Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Bill to Make Abortion a Felony
- New York: Farmworkers Walking 200 Miles to Demand Labor Protections
We host a roundtable discussion in Toronto about how indigenous and Black Lives Matter activists in Canada are working together to address state violence and neglect, and media coverage of their efforts. Last month, First Nations people occupied the offices of Canada’s indigenous affairs department to demand action over suicides as well as water and housing crises in their communities. The protests came after the Cree community of Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency over attempted suicides. Protesters set up occupations inside and outside the offices of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in Toronto, Regina, Winnipeg and Gatineau, Quebec. Among those who took part in the occupation of the office here in Toronto were local Black Lives Matter activists who just weeks earlier had launched a 15-day encampment outside police headquarters following news there would be no criminal charges for the police officer who fatally shot a South Sudanese refugee named Andrew Loku last July. Among those who turned out in force at the encampment outside Toronto police headquarters were First Nations activists. We are joined by Erica Violet Lee an indigenous rights activist with the Idle No More movement and a student at the University of Saskatchewan; Hayden King, an indigenous writer and lecturer at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy in Ottawa; LeRoi Newbold, a member of the steering committee for Black Lives Matter Toronto and director of the Black Lives Matter Toronto Freedom School Project; and Desmond Cole, a journalist and columnist for the Toronto Star and radio host on Newstalk 1010.
Canada Apologizes for Racist Incident 100 Years After Rejecting Komagata Maru Ship of 370 Immigrants
Broadcasting from Toronto, Canada, we look at how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized this week for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident in which Canada turned away a Japanese steamship in order to prevent more than 370 Indians, including Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus, from immigrating to the country. The move was widely acknowledged to be aimed at keeping Indians out of Canada. Then premier of British Columbia, Sir Richard McBride, said at the time, "And we always have in mind the necessity of keeping this a white man’s country." We feature excerpts from the award-winning documentary on the Komagata Maru incident, "Continuous Journey," and speak with its director, Ali Kazimi, who is also author of the book, "Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru." Kazimi also discusses Canada’s current practice of detaining asylum seekers after a string of deaths inside detention centers.
- SF Police Chief Ousted After Weeks of Protests & Hunger Strikes
- Egyptian Military Says Debris of Crashed EgyptAir 804 Has Been Found
- France Extends State of Emergency for Two Months
- Japan: U.S. Military Contractor Arrested in Killing of Japanese Woman
- Israeli Defense Minister Resigns, Citing Extremism & Racism in Israel
- Imprisoned Palestinian Journalist on Hunger Strike Freed
- Canada: Trudeau Continues Apologizing for Elbowing Female MP
- Canada Approves Sale of Genetically Modified Salmon
- India: Heat Wave Breaks National Temperature Records
- HRW: U.S. Soldiers Unfairly Discharged After Reporting Rape
- Obama Administration Sued over Family Detention
- Chelsea Manning Appeals her "Grossly Unfair" Conviction
- Canada Pledges to Examine Detention of Refugees
- Oklahoma Passes Bill Making Performing Abortion a Felony
- Oregon: County Votes to Block Nestlé Waters Bottling Plant
- Mexico: Parents of Missing Students Demand Investigation
- Florida: Transgender African-American Woman Murdered
- CBS News Legend Morley Safer Dies at 84
This week Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. It’s currently legal only in certain states and Mexico City. The announcement came as he faces renewed pressure over the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico in September 2014. Multiple reports have pointed to a role by federal authorities and cast doubt on Mexico’s claim the students were killed by a drug gang. Well, if anyone understood the beauty and contradictions of Mexico, it was the late independent reporter, activist and poet John Ross. Ross covered social movements in Mexico and Latin America for nearly 50 years, and authored 10 nonfiction books and 10 books of poetry before he died in 2011. Now a new book captures some of the lectures Ross gave to journalism students to teach them how to cover stories and create change. It’s called “Rebel Reporting: John Ross Speaks to Independent Journalists." We are joined by Norm Stockwell, co-editor of "Rebel Reporting." He is also operations coordinator with WORT community radio in Madison, Wisconsin.
In Obama's Backyard, Father of 5 US-born Kids Seeks Sanctuary in Chicago Church to Avoid Deportation
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is reportedly preparing to launch a month-long campaign of raids specifically aimed at rounding up and deporting undocumented Central American mothers and children. This follows a similar campaign of raids against parents and children in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina earlier this year. While the raids have spread fear across neighborhoods, they’ve also inspired increased community organizing to stop deportations—including in President Obama’s very own neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago. As Obama nears the end of his eight years in office, he’s facing a unique legacy: the president to deport more people than any other in U.S. history. But less than a mile from his and Michelle’s Chicago home, one undocumented father has decided to fight his deportation to Mexico by seeking sanctuary in a church. Jose Juan Federico Moreno has been living inside University Church now for more than a month. He has lived in the United States for 16 years and is the father of five U.S.-born children. He faces deportation because he was arrested seven years ago for driving under the influence. While we were in Chicago earlier this week, Democracy Now!’s Mike Burke went over to University Church to speak to Jose Juan and his supporters, and asked what the impact would be of his deportation. "It would be a psychological trauma for my children and my wife, who are visiting me very often," says Federico Moreno.
On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with top conservative media figures, including Glenn Beck, Dana Perino and Tucker Carlson, after his company was accused of suppressing news stories on political grounds. Former Facebook workers told the website Gizmodo they routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers by keeping them out of the "trending" stories section on the sidebar. "The concerns are legitimate," says media analyst Robert McChesney, "but the real question is: Should we have a private monopoly that has so much political influence and political power?" McChesney also discusses Facebook’s surveillance and access to user’s data, and whether such companies could be nationalized.
We get reaction from media scholar Robert McChesney to news that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is reportedly considering suing The New York Times after it ran a major report on his past treatment of women, and has vowed to make it easier to sue news organizations. Lawsuits are not the solution, McChesney says. "Instead, it’s to broaden it, enrich it, create new voices and fund new voices, so we actually have a diverse marketplace of ideas … Donald Trump’s view is the exact opposite: It’s either my way or the highway."
Robert McChesney: Mainstream Corporate Media Covering 2016 Election Through Eyes of Clinton Campaign
"This has been an all-time low by mainstream corporate media," says media scholar Robert McChesney, who joins us to discuss how the media is covering the race for the White House. "What we’ve seen is the Sanders campaign has been largely neglected ... And the coverage and the framing of it has been largely through the eyes of the establishment for the Hillary Clinton campaign." McChesney says reporters also failed simply to ask questions about what exactly happened over the weekend when Sanders supporters erupted in protest at the Nevada state Democratic convention after they said rules were abruptly changed and 64 Sanders supporters were wrongly denied delegate status. This "brought to the front just how little actual journalism goes on," he notes, "how much of it is simply regurgitating what people in power tell them." McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Communication and is co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization.
- EgyptAir Plane Crashed After Disappearing Between Paris and Cairo
- 3 Countries Recall Ambassadors to Brazil over Rousseff's Ouster
- Senate Dems Hold Mock Confirmation Hearing for Merrick Garland
- Trump's 11 SCOTUS Picks: White, Male and Conservative
- Trump Meets with Henry Kissinger to Discuss Foreign Policy
- Nigeria: One of the Missing Chibok Schoolgirls Returns Home
- Afghan Officials: 5 Killed in U.S. Drone Strike
- Seychelles Decriminalizes Sex for LGBT People
- Canada: Trudeau Apologizes for 1914 Komagata Maru Incident
- KY Elects First African American Woman to State Legislature in 20 Years
- South Carolina Passes Bill Banning Abortion After 20 Weeks
- Youth Climate Activists Score Legal Victory in Mass.
- U. of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate Student Union Votes for BDS
- Today is 95th Birthday of Late Civil Rights Activist Yuri Kochiyama
As Democracy Now! broadcasts from Chicago, Illinois, we look at major developments in several high-profile cases of police shootings of unarmed African-American men and women, and how the independent media has played a key role in exposing police misconduct. On Tuesday, Dante Servin resigned from the Chicago Police Department just days before hearings were set to begin into whether he should be fired for shooting Rekia Boyd while he was off duty and she stood with a group of friends near his house. This comes as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced this week that he plans to disband the city’s controversial police oversight agency that has been criticized for sluggish investigations that rarely resulted in disciplinary action. Mayor Emanuel is also facing calls to resign over a possible cover-up of the police killing of Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times in 2014. We are joined by Jamie Kalven, founder of the Invisible Institute and a freelance journalist who uncovered the autopsy report showing Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times and who first reported on the existence of the video of the shooting. In recent months, he has won a George Polk Award, an Izzy and the Ridenhour Courage Prize for his reporting on Chicago police misconduct. We also speak with Page May, a co-founder and organizer with Assata’s Daughters. She was also a member of the We Charge Genocide delegation to the U.N. Committee Against Torture.
The relationship between the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Democratic Party leadership has been challenging from the start of the 2016 election campaign, when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began the primaries with a more than 400-delegate lead by securing support from superdelegates—the 712 congressmembers, senators, governors and other elected officials who often represent the Democratic Party elite. Now a new article from In These Times by Branko Marcetic uncovers "The Secret History of Superdelegates," which were established by the Hunt Commission in 1982. We are joined by Jessica Stites, executive editor of In These Times and editor of the site’s June cover story, and Rick Perlstein, the Chicago-based reporter and author of several books, including "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America."