Democracy Now

Democracy Now!
A daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 1,100 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.
Updated: 6 hours 26 min ago

Stanford Divests: Student-Led Movement Forces Elite School to Pull Its Money from Coal Companies

Wed 07 33 AM

One of the country’s most prestigious universities, with one of the world’s largest endowments, has joined the student-led movement to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Stanford University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to stop investing in coal-mining companies because of climate change concerns. The board said it acted in accordance with guidelines that let them consider whether "corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury" when choosing investments. Stanford’s endowment is valued at $18.7 billion. The move comes as the divestment movement heats up across the country. Seven students at Washington University in St. Louis were arrested last week following a 17-day sit-in calling on the school’s board of trustees to cut ties with coal industry giant Peabody Energy. Also last week, students at Harvard blockaded the office of Harvard President Drew Faust. We are joined by Stanford University junior Michael Peñuelas, one of the lead student organizers with Fossil Free Stanford.

Foretelling Devastating Impact, Will White House Climate Report Spark Action on Global Warming?

Wed 07 11 AM

A new report warns human-driven climate change is having dramatic health, ecological and financial impacts across United States. The White House’s "National Climate Assessment" details how the consequences of climate change are hitting on several fronts — rising sea levels along the coasts, droughts and fires in the Southwest, and extreme rainfall across the country. It warns that unless greenhouse emissions are curbed, U.S. temperatures could increase up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Reportedly the largest, most comprehensive U.S.-focused climate change study ever produced, the report is being called a possible "game changer" for efforts to address climate change. We speak with Radley Horton, a climatologist at the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University, who co-wrote the Northeast region chapter of the National Climate Assessment. "This report really tells the story very succinctly about how all Americans will be impacted by climate change," Horton says. "It’s a nonpartisan issue."

Danny Glover & Kathleen Cleaver on "Black Power Mixtape," Rare Footage Capturing Movement's Rise

Tue 07 46 AM

Based on the film with the same name, the extraordinary new book "The Black Power Mixtape" chronicles the black freedom movement in the United States using found footage of top African-American leaders between 1967 and 1975. Shot by Swedish journalists and discovered in the basement of Swedish public television 30 years later, the film features some of the leading figures of the black power movement in the United States, including Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver. We discuss the project with two guests: renowned American actor, film director and political activist, Danny Glover, and Kathleen Cleaver, professor at Emory Law School, who is featured in the film during her stint as communications secretary of the Black Panther Party.

Occupy Wall Street on Trial: Cecily McMillan Convicted of Assaulting Cop, Faces Up to Seven Years

Tue 07 29 AM

An Occupy Wall Street activist has been found guilty of assaulting a New York City police officer in a trial that critics say should have been about the police assaulting her. Cecily McMillan was arrested in March 2012 as protesters tried to re-occupy Zuccotti Park, six months after Occupy began. McMillan was convicted of deliberately striking Officer Grantley Bovell with her elbow, leaving him with a black eye. McMillan says she swung her arm instinctively after being grabbed in the right breast from behind. To support this claim, defense lawyers showed photos of bruising to her chest during trial. In addition to her injuries, McMillan says she went into a seizure as officers pinned her down. She was later treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. After a four-week trial, the jury took just three hours Monday to deliver a verdict. The judge in the case rejected defense pleas to allow her release on bail. McMillan was placed in handcuffs and taken to Rikers Island, where she’ll remain until sentencing in two weeks. She faces up to seven years in prison. We speak to McMillan’s attorney Martin Stolar and her friend Lucy Parks, field coordinator for the Justice for Cecily Support Team.

Bring Back Our Girls: Nigerians Caught Between Deadly Boko Haram Attacks & Military Reprisals

Tue 07 10 AM

"Bring back our girls" has become the rallying cry in Nigeria as protests continue over the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls from a northern boarding school. On April 14, Islamic militants stormed an all-girl secondary school and seized the students. On Monday, a video was released showing the leader of Boko Haram claiming responsibility. State officials report some of the girls have already been sold off as brides for as little as $12. Others were reportedly forced to marry their abductors, and taken to neighboring Cameroon and Chad. The area in northeastern Nigeria where the girls were kidnapped has been under a state of emergency for nearly a year, and their school was reportedly the only one still open. We speak to Nigerian writer and activist Ijeoma Uduma in Lagos and journalist Omoyele Sowore, publisher of the website Sahara Reporters.

"War Criminals Shouldn't Be Honored": Rutgers Students Nix Condoleezza Rice from Commencement Speech

Mon 07 51 AM

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has withdrawn as commencement speaker at Rutgers University following protests by faculty and students over her role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Rutgers faculty had circulated a petition decrying the role Rice played in "efforts to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." Last week, Rutgers students occupied a campus building in a call for the invitation to be withdrawn. In a statement this weekend, Rice said her appearance "has become a distraction." We discuss the "No Rice Campaign" with Rutgers University student protester Carmelo Cintrón Vivas and Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

10 Years After Abu Ghraib, Ex-Prisoners Seek Justice in Torture Lawsuit Against U.S. Contractor CACI

Mon 07 38 AM

Ten years ago, the shocking photos of U.S. military personnel humiliating and torturing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib sparked global outcry as well as national hearings, investigations and finger pointing. But many at the center of the Abu Ghraib abuse have never faced a day in court. An attempt to hold the U.S. contractor CACI International accountable could result in the torture victims being held liable for legal fees. In September, a federal court ordered four Iraqis who were imprisoned at Abu Ghraib to pay CACI nearly $14,000 after unsuccessfully suing the company for their torture. In dismissing the initial lawsuit, the judge in the case did not directly address CACI’s role in the abuse, instead citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision restricting lawsuits against corporations for abuses on foreign soil. We are joined by Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the CACI lawsuit.

Imprisoned Al Jazeera Journalist Details Abu Ghraib Torture & Why He's Suing U.S. Contractor CACI

Mon 07 13 AM

Ten years after the first publication of photos from inside the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, we speak to Al Jazeera journalist Salah Hassan about his torture by U.S. forces inside the facility. To date, no high-ranking U.S. official has been held accountable for the torture at Abu Ghraib, but Hassan and other former prisoners are attempting to sue one of the private companies, CACI International, that helped run the prison. "Throughout my detainment in the solitary cells, there was an interrogation every two or three days," Hassan says. "During these interrogations, we were subjected to many psychological and physical torture methods. One of these methods was that you are kept naked, handcuffed, the hood on your head, then they would bring a big dog. You hear the panting and barking of the dog very close to your face."

Posing as U.S. Officials, Yes Men Announce Renewable Energy Revolution at Homeland Security Congress

Fri 07 54 AM

The culture jamming activist group The Yes Men have struck again. Earlier this week, members of the group spoke at the Homeland Security Congress posing as U.S. government officials. At the conference, they announced a fictitious new U.S. government plan called "American Renewable Clean-Energy Network" to convert the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. After the announcement, The Yes Men and indigenous activists led the audience in a large circle dance to celebrate the fictitious plan. We air excerpts from their action, including the speeches delivered by "Benedict Waterman," undersecretary of policy implementation at the U.S. Department of Energy, and "Bana Slowhorse," a Bureau of Indian Affairs official with the "Wannabe Tribe." The group joins us in studio to talk about their action. Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum are two members of The Yes Men, and Gitz Crazyboy is an activist fighting tar sands extraction in his Native lands.

"You Might Get Hit by a Car": On Secret Tape, FBI Threatens American Muslim Refusing to be Informant

Fri 07 30 AM

New details have emerged about the FBI’s efforts to turn Muslim Americans living abroad into government informants. An exposé in Mother Jones magazine chronicles the story of an American named named Naji Mansour who was living in Kenya. After he refused to become an informant, he saw his life, and his family’s life, turned upside down. He was detained, repeatedly interrogated and ultimately forced into exile in Sudan, unable to see his children for years. Mansour began recording his conversations with the FBI. During one call, an agent informs Mansour that he might get "hit by a car." Mansour’s story is the focus of a new piece in Mother Jones titled "This American Refused to Become an FBI Informant. Then the Government Made His Family’s Life Hell." We speak with Naji Mansour in Sudan and Nick Baumann, who investigated the story for Mother Jones.

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas on "Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American"

Fri 07 10 AM

As comprehensive immigration reform has languished in Congress, undocumented immigrants have increasingly come forward to share their stories in order to call attention to the need for a change in federal laws. One of the leading voices has been Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. In 2011, he outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in an essay published in The New York Times Magazine. He chronicles his experience in the new film, "Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American."

Juan González: Respect Key in "Landmark Agreement" Between NYC & Teachers Union

Fri 07 07 AM

On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new contract with the United Federation of Teachers. The tentative $4 billion, nine-year agreement ends a bitter five-year conflict between the city’s teachers and City Hall. "All that was needed was a little respect, some novel thinking and genuine cooperation between labor and management," writes Juan González in his column in the New York Daily News. "That’s the main message we should take away from the new labor pact the de Blasio administration reached this week with the United Federation of Teachers."

After Tufts Found to Violate Title IX, How Student Rape Survivors Are Leading Movement for Reform

Thu 07 46 AM

Wagatwe Wanjuki filed a complaint at Tufts University in 2008 after two years of rape and abuse by an ex-partner who was also a Tufts student, but the university did not take action, and later expelled her. This week, the U.S. Department of Education found Tufts to be in violation of the federal Title IX law, saying the school has mishandled complaints of sexual assault and harassment. Now an organizer with the "Know Your IX" campaign and a contributor at the blog Feministing, Wanjuki stood with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday as he unveiled the administration’s new guidelines for handling sexual assault cases in schools. We also speak with Lena Sclove, a Brown University student who is speaking out about her sexual assault and campus policies.

Brown Student Lena Sclove Speaks Out After School Lets Her Accused Rapist Return to Campus

Thu 07 28 AM

The issue of sexual assault on college campuses has been in the spotlight this week with a White House task force urging schools to take action. The government launched a new informational website, NotAlone.gov, and a public service announcement featuring President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden alongside famous actors. But long before celebrities and senators entered the picture, the battle against sexual assault on college campuses was led by students who have risen up to hold their schools accountable. We are joined by Brown University student Lena Sclove, who says she was raped and strangled in August 2013 by a fellow student. Her alleged rapist was found responsible for four violations of the student conduct code, including "sexual misconduct that involves one or more of the following: penetration, violent physical force or injury." But his penalty effectively amounted to a one-semester suspension. Students say Sclove’s case is not unusual as universities across the country have come under fire for mishandling sexual assault cases. More unusual was Sclove’s decision to speak out by holding a press conference on Brown’s campus last week.

Lawyer for Next Oklahoma Prisoner Set for Death Calls for Independent Probe of Botched Execution

Thu 07 12 AM

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered a review of the state’s execution procedures following the botched lethal injection that induced a prisoner’s fatal heart attack. The prisoner, Clayton Lockett, had initially won a stay for challenging the secrecy surrounding the untested execution drugs. But Fallin overruled Oklahoma’s Supreme Court last week and ordered the execution to proceed. Fallin’s review is being conducted by a member of her Cabinet, so its independence is in doubt. Oklahoma officials say Lockett suffered a vein failure, but critics say that claim could mark an effort to hide a problem with the untested chemicals. We are joined by Madeline Cohen, a federal public defender who represents Oklahoma death row prisoner Charles Warner, who was set to be killed right after Lockett, but whose execution has now been delayed for 14 days.