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 49 min ago

Is Puerto Rico America's Greece? U.S. Commonwealth Seeks Bankruptcy Help in Face of Crushing Debt

Wed 07 12 AM

Puerto Rico could be on the verge of following Greece in defaulting on its debt. Puerto Rico’s government and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority say they will miss today’s deadline for more than $1 billion in payments on a debt of more than $73 billion. This comes as Puerto Rico’s unemployment is more than twice the U.S. national rate, and its poverty level is nearly double that of the poorest U.S. state. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s healthcare system may also be on the verge of collapse. We are joined by Congressmember Nydia Velázquez, Democrat for New York and the first Puerto Rican woman to be elected to Congress.

The Centenary of a Revolutionary: Legendary Activist, Organizer Grace Lee Boggs Turns 100

Tue 07 47 AM

To mark her 100th birthday, we pay tribute to the legendary activist and Detroit-based community organizer Grace Lee Boggs. We play an excerpt of the documentary, "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," and revisit a 2008 Democracy Now! interview about Boggs’ work in the civil rights, Black Power, labor, environmental justice and feminist movements for seven decades.

Amid Warnings of Famine, Yemeni Civilians Trapped Inside Conflict with No End in Sight

Tue 07 43 AM

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for a full investigation after Saudi coalition airstrikes hit a U.N. compound in Yemen. A guard was injured when the office of the U.N. Development Programme in the southern city of Aden was hit Sunday. The United Nations has warned Yemen is one step away from famine as a humanitarian crisis intensifies. We discuss the latest with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who reported recently from Yemen.

Egypt's Power Struggle Intensifies with Killing of Prosecutor Behind Mass Jailings of Islamists

Tue 07 31 AM

Egypt’s public prosecutor has been killed in a bomb attack in Cairo. Hisham Barakat died in hospital Monday after a remote bomb detonated next to his car outside his home as he drove to work. Eight others were also hurt in the blast. Barakat became a target of militants after he sent thousands of Islamists to trial following the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. We speak with Cairo-based Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous.

Historic Iran Nuclear Deal Hangs in the Balance as Talks Enter Final Round

Tue 07 23 AM

Today marks the deadline for Iran and six world powers to reach a comprehensive agreement on curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has dispatched two top officials to Vienna in a last-minute push for a diplomatic breakthrough, but the talks will likely be extended. The outstanding differences include access to international inspectors and Iranian nuclear activity in the deal’s final years. Negotiators are also trying to determine the timing of sanctions relief and the scope of Tehran’s nuclear research. We are joined from Tehran by Reza Sayah, a journalist who has covered Iran for CNN International for the last seven years.

As Greece Heads for Default, Voters Prepare to Vote in Pivotal Referendum on More Austerity

Tue 07 09 AM

Tens of thousands of Greeks have protested against further austerity cuts ahead of a key referendum on a new European bailout. The demonstrations come as the country confirms it will not meet the deadline for a $1.8 billion loan repayment due by 6 p.m. Eastern time tonight, deepening Greece’s fiscal crisis and threatening its exit from the eurozone. Greece will hold a vote this Sunday on whether to accept an austerity package of budget cuts and tax hikes in exchange for new loans. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged a "no" vote, calling the proposal a surrender. We go to Greece to speak with Costas Panayotakis, professor of sociology at the New York City College of Technology at CUNY and author of "Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy."

"This Flag Comes Down Today": Bree Newsome Scales SC Capitol Flagpole, Removing Confederate Flag

Mon 07 40 AM

On Saturday, Bree Newsome, a 30-year-old African-American woman, was arrested at the state Capitol after scaling the 30-foot flagpole and unhooking the Confederate flag. As police officers shouted at her to come down, Bree Newsome shimmied to the top, took the flag in her hand and said, "You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today!" Newsome recited Psalm 27 and the Lord’s Prayer as she brought the flag down. As soon as she reached the ground, she was arrested, along with James Tyson, who had stood at the bottom of the pole to spot her as she climbed. The action went viral and was seen around the world. Democracy Now! was at the jail where Newsome was taken, where we spoke with her supporters. The flag was replaced about an hour after Newsome took it down. We also spoke with supporters of the flag, who rallied at the Capitol Saturday, and with the counter-protesters who confronted them.

With Marriage Equality Won, LGBTQ Activism Continues for Bias Protections & Overlooked Trans Issues

Mon 07 25 AM

After the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on marriage equality, many LGBTQ leaders are now redirecting their attention to obtaining federal, state and local legal protections in areas of employment, housing and commerce. Nationwide, anti-discrimination laws for gay people are inconsistent and unequal with only 22 states barring discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Human Rights Campaign is now advocating for a broad federal shield that would protect people of all sexual orientations and gender identities under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Meanwhile, grassroots LGBTQ activists are calling for large, national organizations to also focus their attention and resources on other pressing issues, including lesbian and gay refugees and asylum seekers, the plight of homeless youth ostracized by their families, and the disproportionately high levels of violence experienced by transgender people. We are joined by Jennicet Gutiérrez, an undocumented trans activist from Mexico who recently made national headlines when she interrupted President Obama to say "No more deportations!" at a White House event. Gutiérrez is a founding member of Familia: TQLM, established to advocate for LGBTQ immigrants often excluded in the immigration debate. We are also joined by Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry and author of "Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits—and Won."

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.