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: 3 hours 40 min ago

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."

Exclusive: Green Party's Jill Stein Announces She Is Running for President on Democracy Now!

Mon 07 45 AM

In a Democracy Now! exclusive, Dr. Jill Stein officially launches her campaign as a Green Party candidate for the 2016 presidential race. "I have a people-powered campaign," Stein notes. "I am running with the only national party that does not take corporate funding." Stein, a physician and activist who first ran in 2012, outlines her platform. She joins the fray as the race for the Democratic Party nomination heats up. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, has emerged as Hillary Clinton’s main rival for the party’s nomination, as his poll ratings have surged in recent weeks. "Hillary is the Wal-Mart candidate. She has been a member of the Wal-Mart board. On jobs, on trade, on healthcare, on banks, on foreign policy, it is hard to find where we are similar."

"A Classic Case of Terrorism": Is FBI Ignoring White Violence by Refusing to Call Roof a Terrorist?

Mon 07 38 AM

Civil rights activist Kevin Alexander Gray and Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, discuss whether the shooting in Charleston was an act of domestic terrorism. "Dylann Roof was a human drone, and every Tuesday morning the Obama administration uses drones to kill people whose names we don’t even know and can’t pronounce," Kevin Alexander Gray says. "So I don’t know if I feel comfortable with the idea of expanding this word 'terror.'" But Richard Cohen calls the shooting "a classic case of terrorism." "It’s politically motivated violence by a non-state actor and carried out with the intention of intimidating more persons than those who were the immediate victims," Cohen says. "I think in some ways it’s important to talk about terrorism in that way, not so we can send out drones, not so we can deny people their due process rights, but so we can understand the true dimensions of what we’re facing."

"That Flag Represents White Supremacy": Confederate Flag Still Flies at South Carolina State Capitol

Mon 07 28 AM

Wednesday’s massacre of nine African-American churchgoers by white supremacist suspect Dylann Roof have reignited protests over the Confederate flag, which still flies on the grounds of South Carolina’s Capitol. In photos posted online, Roof is seen posing with the flag and in front of a car with a front license plate that reads, "Confederate States of America." "People’s tax dollars ought not go into supporting the idea of the Confederate States of America," says Kevin Alexander Gray, a South Carolina civil rights activist and community organizer who edited the book "Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence." As former president of the state ACLU, he argued, "the flag flying on the statehouse dome was compelled speech. You were compelling people to support an ideology of white supremacy."

Dylann Roof's White Supremacist Views, Links to Hate Group Revealed After Charleston Church Massacre

Mon 07 13 AM

Church bells tolled Sunday and hundreds filled the church’s pews of the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, for the first service since Dylann Roof’s attack on a Bible session in its basement last Wednesday. An estimated 20,000 people formed a Bridge to Peace unity chain on the Ravenel Bridge to show solidarity with his victims. A website discovered Saturday called "The Last Rhodesian" shows photographs of Roof at Confederate heritage sites and hosts a 2,500-word manifesto he is believed to have written that explains why he chose to carry out his mass murder spree. "Roof might have been a high school dropout, but he was an excellent student, it seems, of the white supremacist world," says Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He is co-author of an editorial published today in The New York Times titled "White Supremacists Without Borders."

"It is in Our Power to Do Something": After Another Massacre, Will Public Mobilize for Gun Control?

Fri 07 49 AM

President Obama has called for action on gun control following the "senseless" shooting in a black church in South Carolina. "At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries," Obama said. "And it is in our power to do something about it." We are joined by two guests: Colin Goddard, survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 people dead and now a senior policy advocate at Everytown for Gun Safety; and Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which was the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

South Carolina Massacre: Why Don't We Call Killing of 9 Black Churchgoers an Act of Terrorism?

Fri 07 39 AM

Why are so many politicians and much of the media afraid to call the mass shooting an act of terrorism? We discuss the double standards in coverage of shootings carried out by white attackers with two guests: Anthea Butler, associate professor of religion and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania; and Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which was the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Massacre at South Carolina's Emanuel AME an Attack on Historic Landmark of African-American Freedom

Fri 07 21 AM

The church attacked in the Charleston, South Carolina, massacre that left nine people dead is home to the oldest black congregation south of Baltimore. Known as "Mother Emanuel," the Emanuel AME Church was burned in the 1820s during a slave rebellion and has stood at its present location since 1872. We discuss Emanuel AME and the African-American church with leaders of two of the most prominent black churches in the country: the Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which was the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and the Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, pastor of the Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, founded in 1787 and the mother church of the nation’s first black denomination. Reverend Tyler recently interviewed Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the Charleston shooting, as part of a documentary on the AME movement in South Carolina.

As Nation Mourns 9 Black Victims of Church Massacre, Details of Suspect's White Supremacy Emerge

Fri 07 13 AM

A 21-year-old South Carolina man with apparent sympathies to white supremacy has been arrested for the massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Dylann Roof reportedly sat with the church members for an hour before before he opened fire. Roof’s capture came as the names of the nine slain African-American churchgoers were released. The Department of Justice is investigating Wednesday’s attack as a hate crime, motivated by racism or other prejudice.