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: 29 min 48 sec ago

The Rise of America's Secret Government: The Deadly Legacy of Ex-CIA Director Allen Dulles

Tue 06 49 AM

It’s been more than 50 years since Allen Dulles resigned as director of the CIA, but his legacy lives on. Between 1953 and 1961, under his watch, the CIA overthrew the governments of Iran and Guatemala, invaded Cuba, and was tied to the killing of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first democratically elected leader. We speak with David Talbot, author of "The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government," about how Dulles’ time at the CIA helped shape the current national security state.

Outsourcing a Refugee Crisis: U.S. Paid Mexico Millions to Target Central Americans Fleeing Violence

Tue 06 25 AM

As immigration has become a key issue on the campaign trail, we look at a startling new report that finds "the United States has outsourced a refugee problem to Mexico that is similar to the refugee crisis now roiling Europe." In her New York Times opinion piece, "The Refugees at Our Door," Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario describes how the Obama administration is paying the Mexican government to keep people from reaching the U.S. border—people who often have legitimate asylum claims. We speak to Nazario about the harrowing stories she heard from Central American refugees in shelters in southern Mexico.

An Undemocratic Party? Ahead of First Debate, Criticism Grows over DNC’s Move to Control Process

Tue 06 12 AM

Five Democratic presidential candidates will square off tonight in Las Vegas for the first of six debates in the 2016 campaign. The participants are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. Hawaii Congressmember and Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard will not be attending the debate, and says she was disinvited after publicly calling for more than six debates. We get a preview of the debate with Bill Curry, political columnist, former White House counselor to President Clinton and a two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut.

Gyasi Ross: Why I Support Bernie Sanders & the #BlackLivesMatter Protesters Who Interrupted Him

Mon 06 53 AM

As Democratic presidential candidates including Sen. Bernie Sanders prepare for the first debate Tuesday, we talk to Gyasi Ross about his recent piece on, "I Support Bernie Sanders for President and I Also Support the Black Lives Matter Takeover in Seattle." Ross was in attendance when Black Lives Matters activists disrupted a Sanders appearance in Seattle.

From Million Man March to Columbus Day: Challenging White Supremacy & "Doctrine of Discovery"

Mon 06 43 AM

Tens of thousands from across the country gathered on the National Mall in Washington Saturday for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. The rally commemorated the 1995 event, when Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan called African-American men to the nation’s capital for a "day of atonement." This year’s rally, themed "Justice or Else," called for an end to police brutality and demanded justice for communities of color, women and the poor, and was more inclusive than the first. Among this year’s crowd were women and other people of color, including Native Americans who are calling for a renaming of Columbus Day, the federal holiday that commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the so-called New World in 1492. The holiday has long evoked sadness and anger among Native Americans who object to honoring the man who opened the land to European colonization and the exploitation of native peoples. We speak with Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, who was at the first Million Man March in 1995 and also attended the 20th anniversary march, and Gyasi Ross, author, speaker, lawyer and member of the Blackfeet Nation.

Shock & Panic in Turkey: Deadliest Terrorist Attack in Country’s History Leaves as Many as 128 Dead

Mon 06 12 AM

As many as 128 people died in Turkey Saturday when nearly simultaneous explosions ripped through a pro-peace rally in the country’s capital of Ankara. More than 245 people were injured. The bombs went off just as Kurdish groups, trade unions and leftist organizations were preparing to begin a march protesting the resumption of fighting between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants. Earlier today, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed ISIL for carrying out the attack. But march organizers accused the government of failing to prevent it. Saturday’s bombing occurred three weeks before Turkey’s snap parliamentary elections. Tensions in Turkey have escalated since June, when the ruling AKP party lost its parliamentary majority in a major defeat for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The opposition HDP party won 13 percent of the vote, securing seats in Parliament for the first time. Since the elections, hostilities between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants have sharply escalated. We speak to Turkish parliamentarian Hisyar Özsoy and UCLA professor Asli Ü. Bâli.

First Latino US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on Migrant Farmworkers, the Border and Ayotzinapa

Fri 06 46 AM

We speak with Juan Felipe Herrera, who has begun his term as the 21st poet laureate of the United States. A son of Mexican migrant farmworkers, Herrera is the first Latino poet laureate of the United States. Written in both English and Spanish, his work has been celebrated over the past four decades for its energy, humor, emotion and ability to capture the consciousness of a cross-section of America. In announcing Herrera’s appointment, Library of Congress Director James H. Billington said, “I see in Herrera’s poems the work of an American original—work that takes the sublimity and largesse of 'Leaves of Grass' and expands upon it. His poems … champion voices and traditions and histories, as well as a cultural perspective, which is a vital part of our larger American identity." Herrera is the author of 28 books, including "187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border" and, mostly recently, "Notes on the Assemblage." He is a past winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the International Latino Book Award. Herrera discusses the role of poets in social movements, and reads his poem "Ayotzinapa," about the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero, Mexico.

Making Money from Misery? Disaster Capitalism from the Migrant Crisis to Afghanistan and Haiti

Fri 06 26 AM

When disaster strikes, who profits? That’s the question asked by journalist Antony Loewenstein in his new book, “Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe.” Traveling across the globe, Loewenstein examines how companies such as G4S, Serco and Halliburton are cashing in on calamity, and describes how they are deploying for-profit private contractors to war zones and building for-profit private detention facilities to warehouse refugees, prisoners and asylum seekers. Recently, Loewenstein teamed up with filmmaker Thor Neureiter for a documentary by the same name that chronicles how international aid and investment has impacted communities in Haiti, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and beyond.

Nobel Peace Prize to Tunisian Civil Society Groups for Democratization Efforts After Arab Spring

Fri 06 10 AM

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a coalition of civil society organizations known as the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. The move comes nearly five years after a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire, sparking the Arab Spring that included the ouster of Tunisia’s longtime, U.S.-backed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. "The quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest. It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war," said Kaci Kullmann Five, Norwegian Nobel Committee chair. The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet is composed of four organizations: the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers. The committee said it hopes its recognition of the quartet’s achievements will "serve as an example that will be followed by other countries." We speak with Sarah Chayes, senior associate of the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She writes about Tunisia in her recent book, "Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security."

"People Have the Power": Patti Smith on Pope Francis and Her Performances at the Vatican

Thu 06 51 AM

Over the last two years, Patti Smith has twice been invited to sing at the Vatican. We air part of her performance of "People Have the Power" and talk to her about why she cheered when the new pope took the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi.

Patti Smith on 19th Century Poet William Blake and on Creating Political Art "Unapologetically"

Thu 06 39 AM

Legendary musician Patti Smith performs her song "My Blakean Year" in the Democracy Now! studio and talks about the influence of poet William Blake (1757–1827). We also air a recording of Smith singing a version of Blake’s poem "The Tyger." Smith has long been praised for mixing poetry and rock music.

Patti Smith on Closing Guantánamo, Remembering Rachel Corrie and Feeling Frustrated with Obama

Thu 06 30 AM

Beside being known for her music and writing, Patti Smith has been a longtime activist, performing regularly at antiwar rallies and political benefits. She has also written songs about former Guantánamo prisoner Murat Kurnaz and Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old college student who was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza in 2003. She talks about these songs and her assessment of the Obama administration.

Legendary Patti Smith on Her New Memoir "M Train" & National Book Award Winner "Just Kids"

Thu 06 08 AM

In a Democracy Now! special, the legendary poet, singer, activist Patti Smith joins us for the hour. Her new memoir "M Train" has just been published. In 2010, her best-selling memoir, "Just Kids," won a National Book Award. "Just Kids" examined her relationship with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989. The new memoir focuses in part on Smith’s late husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, who died five years later. Patti Smith is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of "Horses," her landmark debut album, which has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time by Rolling Stone.

Does Free Speech Have a Palestine Exception? Dismissed Professor Steven Salaita Speaks Out

Wed 06 47 AM

A new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal has documented hundreds of cases of Palestinian rights activists in the United States being harassed, disciplined, fired, sued, censored or threatened for their advocacy around Palestine. Eighty-five percent of these cases targeted students or scholars. We look at the case of Steven Salaita. Last year, his job offer for a tenured position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was withdrawn after he posted tweets harshly critical of the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza. The school had come under pressure from donors, students, parents and alumni critical of Salaita’s views, with some threatening to withdraw financial support. His case caused a firestorm, with thousands of academics signing petitions calling for Salaita’s reinstatement, several lecturers canceling appearances and the American Association of University Professors calling the school’s actions "inimical to academic freedom and due process." In August, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise resigned after she was implicated in a scandal that involved attempting to hide emails detailing Salaita’s ouster. We speak with Steven Salaita and attorney Maria LaHood, who is representing Salaita in his ongoing lawsuit against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"Einstein's Definition of Insanity": Father of Slain Reporter on GOP Candidates' Gun Control Remarks

Wed 06 28 AM

As the United States experiences more than one mass shooting per day, the issue of gun regulation is emerging as a hot topic on the 2016 presidential campaign trail. As Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has vowed to curb gun violence, Republican presidential candidates have refused calls for gun control in the wake of last week’s massacre at Umpqua Community College. Donald Trump told NBC’s Meet the Press that mass shooters are "geniuses in a certain way. They are going to be able to break the system." John Kasich told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, "I don’t think gun control would solve this problem. The deeper issue is alienation. The deeper issue is loneliness." Ben Carson implied that the Oregon shooting victims didn’t do enough to save themselves, saying, "I would not just stand there and let him shoot me." And Jeb Bush seemed to shrug off last week’s mass shooting, saying on Friday afternoon, "stuff happens." We’re joined by Andy Parker, the father of 24-year-old broadcast journalist Alison Parker, who was shot dead on live television in August, and by Arkadi Gerney, senior vice president at the Center for American Progress who formerly worked with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the national coalition, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.