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: 31 min 43 sec ago

Love Wins: After Decades of Struggle, Marriage Equality Now the Law of the Land

Mon 07 12 AM

Same-sex weddings took place across the country this weekend after the Supreme Court ruled that all 50 states must now permit LGBTQ couples "the fundamental right to marry." The historic decision puts an end to marriage equality bans that remained in 14 states, impacting tens of thousands of couples. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, "Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations." He added, "It demeans gays and lesbians for the State to lock them out of a central institution of the Nation’s society." Advocates note there is more work to be done in the fight for LGBT rights, a point highlighted at many of this weekend’s Pride celebrations. We are joined by two of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage case, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who went to court in Michigan to win the right to jointly adopt each other’s children, and Marc Solomon, the national campaign director of Freedom to Marry.

Rev. Jesse Jackson: Take Down the Confederate Flag -- and White Supremacist Culture with It

Fri 07 50 AM

Outside the wake for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Amy Goodman interviews civil rights leader and South Carolina native Rev. Jesse Jackson, who says of the massacre at Emanuel AME Church, "The question is, is this an embarrassment, or is it transformational?" Jackson argues efforts to remove the Confederate flag from the state Capitol shouldn’t stop there. "If you still have less access to voting, it’s not a good deal. If the flag comes down and you still have racial profiling … it’s not a good deal," Jackson says.

After Walter Scott Murder & Church Massacre, "Black Lives Matter" Takes on Special Meaning in SC

Fri 07 43 AM

The Emanuel AME shooting suspect Dylann Roof is now jailed next to Michael Slager, the police officer who shot and killed unarmed African American Walter Scott earlier this year in nearby North Charleston. We discuss the state of local activism in the aftermath of the slayings with Muhiyidin d’Baha, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Charleston. "This is not new. We’ve been terrorized for hundreds of years," d’Baha says. "This is a generation that’s not going to raise our children within the white supremacist structure."

4 Decades After Burning Confederate Flag, SC Activist Brett Bursey Says the Struggle Goes On

Fri 07 35 AM

In Charleston, South Carolina, we speak with Brett Bursey, director of the South Carolina Progressive Network, who calls himself the oldest living Confederate prisoner of war. He says he is still out on bond after he burned the Confederate flag in 1969. Bursey knew Rev. Clementa Pinckney and says, "I feel a responsibility to Clementa to take advantage of the sacrifice he made to challenge the hypocrisy and bigotry" of Governor Nikki Haley and Republican lawmakers who backed voter ID legislation and blocked the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in the state.

Rev. Al Sharpton: Removing the Confederate Flag is Welcome - But 150 Years Too Late

Fri 07 28 AM

As funerals begin for the victims, Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader and MSNBC host, reflects on the Charleston massacre and the renewed battle over the Confederate flag. This week South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the flag’s removal from the state Capitol grounds, while Alabama Governor Robert Bentley took the flag down in his state. "It’s about 150 years too late," Rev. Sharpton says. "Someone should have told them they lost the Civil War."

"Slavery Deeply Embedded" in South Carolina: Emanuel AME Church on Street Named for Racist Lawmaker

Fri 07 21 AM

When Rev. Clementa Pinckney lay in state at the Capitol this week, his body had to be brought past the Confederate flag that still flies there and is the symbol embraced by his killer, Dylann Roof. The Emanuel AME Church in Charleston is located on Calhoun Street, named for one of the most prominent pro-slavery figures in history, the late Senator and Vice President John C. Calhoun, who argued slavery was a "positive good" rather than a "necessary evil." "Slavery is deeply embedded in the history of this state," says our guest Kevin Alexander Gray, a civil rights activist and community organizer based in Columbia, South Carolina. Alexander notes calls to remove the Confederate flag from the state Capitol are just the beginning of what needs to change. "It’s about where we go moving forward. … We can’t just talk about that flag."

"The 9/11 of the Black Church": Mourners Flock to SC as Funerals Begin for Emanuel Massacre Victims

Fri 07 09 AM

Democracy Now! broadcasts from Charleston, South Carolina, in front of the Emanuel AME Church, Mother Emanuel, where nine people were gunned down on June 17 as they attended Bible study. On Thursday, mourners gathered for the first two funerals in a series of services that will continue today and over the weekend. Loved ones remembered Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a 45-year-old mother of three, reverend and high school track coach; and Ethel Lance, a 70-year-old grandmother who had worked at Emanuel AME for more than three decades. The funeral for Emanuel AME’s pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, also a state senator, will be held today. President Obama will deliver the eulogy. Outside Rev. Pinckney’s wake on Thursday, the line wrapped around the block. We hear from some of those who came to pay their respects. "To me, it’s the 9/11 of the black church," says Rev. J. Michael Little. "We snatched victory out of this. [Dylann Roof] wanted civil war, but instead it’s a rally for unity."

Undocumented Trans Activist Jennicet Gutiérrez Challenges Obama on Deportations at White House Event

Thu 07 54 AM

President Obama’s immigration policy came under direct challenge Wednesday at the White House. As Obama spoke to a gathering celebrating LGBT Pride Month, Jennicet Gutiérrez, an undocumented trans activist from Mexico, interrupted him from the crowd and called for an end to deportations. Gutiérrez is a founding member of Familia: TQLM, established to advocate for LGBTQ immigrants often excluded in the immigration debate. She joins us to discuss her action at the White House.

Did Chris Christie Send Entrapped Innocents to Jail? Re-examining the Case of the Fort Dix 5

Thu 07 42 AM

As Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie prepares to enter the presidential race, we look at a case often cited as one of his crowning achievements during his time as U.S. attorney: the case of the Fort Dix Five. In 2008, five men from suburban New Jersey were convicted of conspiring to kill American soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base. As U.S. attorney, Christie was responsible for prosecuting the case. A new article in The Intercept suggests three of the convicts, the Duka brothers, were entrapped by government agents and not predisposed to commit a terrorist crime. We are joined by Intercept reporter Murtaza Hussain, whose latest piece is "Christie’s Conspiracy: The Real Story Behind the Fort Dix Five Terror Plot."

Does U.S. Ignore Right-Wing Terror? More Killed by White Extremists Than Jihadists Since 9/11

Thu 07 23 AM

As thousands head to the South Carolina state Capitol to honor church victim massacre Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a new study finds white supremacists and other non-Muslim fanatics have killed far more people in the United States since 9/11 than Muslim extremists. According to the research center New America, 26 people have been killed in jihadist violence in the U.S. since 9/11, but 48 people have been killed in attacks by right-wing groups. Despite the intense focus by the Obama administration on Muslim communities, non-Muslims have carried out 19 terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001, while Muslims have been responsible for only seven. We are joined by two guests: Mike German, a fellow at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice and former FBI agent specializing in domestic counterterrorism; and Bud Welch, whose daughter, Julie Marie Welch, was killed in the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

The Death Penalty is Revenge, Not Healing: Father of OKC Victim on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Sentencing

Thu 07 10 AM

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been formally sentenced to death for his role in the attack that killed three and injured hundreds in 2013. Addressing survivors inside the courtroom, Tsarnaev apologized for the first time, saying in part: "I am sorry for the lives that I’ve taken, for the suffering that I’ve caused you, for the damage that I’ve done." Some of the bombing’s survivors have echoed a recent Boston Globe poll that found fewer than 20 percent of Massachusetts residents support sentencing Tsarnaev to death. We are joined by Bud Welch, who has become a leading anti-death penalty advocate after losing his daughter Julie in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Welch is the founding president of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights.

"I Am Not Nonviolent": New Nina Simone Film Captures Singer and Activist's Uncompromising Voice

Wed 07 31 AM

As the Black Lives Matter movement grows across the country and the the nation mourns the death of the nine worshipers killed at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, we look back at the life of one of the most important voices of the civil rights movement: the singer Nina Simone, known as the High Priestess of Soul. While Simone died in 2003, a new documentary, "What Happened, Miss Simone?," sheds light on her music and politics. Her song "Mississippi Goddam" became an anthem of the civil rights movement. She wrote it in the wake of the assassination of Medgar Evers in Mississippi and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four black children. We speak to the film’s director, Liz Garbus, and Al Schackman, Nina Simone’s guitarist and music director for over 40 years.

Celebration Day at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? A Debate on Who Benefits from the TPP

Wed 07 13 AM

The Senate is expected to vote today to give President Obama "fast-track" trade negotiating authority to speed up new trade deals, including the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The secretive TPP deal involves 12 countries and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 60 to 37 to end debate on the measure, setting up today’s final vote. President Obama has made the TPP one of his top priorities in his final term, aligning himself with the Republican leadership despite strong opposition to the deal from some of his traditional allies, including labor unions, environmentalists and consumer groups. In the end, 13 Democrats sided with Republicans to give Obama the fast-track authority. We host a debate between Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, and Bill Watson, trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute.

Domestic Terrorism: From the Charleston Massacre to 1964 Slaying of Mississippi Civil Rights Workers

Tue 07 49 AM

Sunday marked the 51st anniversary of another hateful act tied to another historic black church. It was June 21, 1964, when three young civil rights workers were murdered in Philadelphia in Neshoba County, Mississippi. Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner went missing after they visited an African-American church which the Ku Klux Klan had bombed because it was going to be used as a Freedom School. We speak to David Goodman, brother of Andrew Goodman. On Sunday, the 51st anniversary of Andrew’s death, he wrote an editorial for Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger newspaper headlined "U.S. Has Turned Pages, Not Closed Book on Racism."

"It's Not Just a Matter of It Not Being Polite to Say 'Nigger'": Obama Speaks Out on Racism

Tue 07 45 AM

President Obama spoke openly about racism in the United States during a podcast with comedian Marc Maron. In the interview, recorded two days after the Charleston massacre, Obama said, "Racism, we are not cured of, clearly. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say 'nigger' in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior." We get a response from the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP.

"Perpetrator Has Been Arrested, But Killer is Still at Large": Calls Rise to Remove Confederate Flag

Tue 07 10 AM

Calls are growing in South Carolina to remove the Confederate battle flag at the state Capitol after last week’s mass shooting of nine African-American worshipers at the historic Emanuel AME Church. The flag has been the source of controversy for decades in South Carolina, but a growing number of politicians, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, are calling for its removal after photos were published online showing the accused gunman, Dylann Roof, posing with the flag. We speak with two Republican South Carolina state representatives who support removing the flag, including state Rep. Doug Brannon, who says he will introduce the bill to take the flag down. We’re also joined by historian Don Doyle and Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP. Barber says honoring the Charleston Nine means both removing the Confederate flag and changing policies, including expanding Medicaid and voting rights. "The perpetrator has been arrested, but the killer is still at large," Barber says. "When you have racialized political rhetoric and racialized policies, they become the spawning ground, the birthing ground, if you will, for terroristic violence."