As Yanar Mohammed, co-founder and the director of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, attends the Women Stop War conference in The Hague, she describes the current situation in Iraq. "The country is under a prevailing culture of militias, which have the upper hand. … They say, ’It’s either us or ISIS.’" Mohammed says civil society is sandwiched between Shia and Sunni extremists, and argues a secular approach is the only way to resolve the conflict in her country.
Colombian Journalist Wins Courage Award After Kidnapping, Torture and Rape While Covering Arms Trade
As we broadcast from the World Forum in The Hague at the Women Stop War conference, Amy Goodman interviews Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima, who has covered her country’s armed conflict for more than 18 years. She received the International Women of Courage Award in 2012 after she came forward about being kidnapped, tortured and raped by a paramilitary group while she reported on the arms trade, and notes, "I refused to go into exile after this, and I continued to work as a journalist." Bedoya Lima went on to found the group Survivors United for Action.
In Nigeria, hundreds of bodies have been found in the northeastern town of Damasak, after an apparent massacre by the militant group Boko Haram. Local sources say the death toll exceeds 400. We speak with African women’s rights activist Hakima Abbas about Boko Haram, militarization and fundamentalism. "In your own country, the white supremacist and Christian right fundamentalisms is also exacerbated by the gun culture and the promotion of an armed police force which is killing black women, men, trans people, and children in the U.S.A.," Abbas notes. "So fundamentalism is really something that we have to address globally, and the people at the forefront of that battle are women’s rights organizations and women’s rights organizers." Abbas is the director of programs for the Association for Women’s Rights in Development.
As peace activists gather in The Hague, Japan is moving toward taking a more active military role internationally despite having a pacifist constitution. On Tuesday, President Obama hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a White House state dinner. The two nations have just unveiled new guidelines for military cooperation. We examine Japan’s growing military role with Kozue Akibayashi, the newly elected president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She also discusses opposition to the presence of some 25,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Okinawa. "The U.S. military has been granted almost diplomatic immunity to whatever they do. Crimes are committed, but they are not punished. They get away."
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Marks 100th Anniversary as War Rages on Worldwide
We are broadcasting from the World Forum in The Hague where 100 years ago this week over 1,000 female peace activists gathered from around the world to call for an end to war. The extraordinary meeting, known as the International Congress of Women, took place as World War I raged across the globe, and marked the formation of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. It was organized by Dutch suffragist Dr. Aletta Jacobs. The event took place in the Netherlands because of its neutral position during World War I. Two future Nobel Peace Prize winners took part in the U.S. delegation: Jane Addams, the co-founder of Hull House, and the sociologist Emily Greene Balch. "They saw, quite rightly, that the absence of women in making decisions in government meant there was greater likelihood of war. And they were right," says our guest, Madeleine Rees, WILPF’s secretary general. She has joined thousands of women from around the world who have gathered again in The Hague to call for peace and to mark the group’s 100th anniversary as wars rage on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and other countries.
"You Can Replace Property, You Can't Replace a Life": Voices of the Unheard in the Baltimore Streets
Democracy Now! reports from the streets of Baltimore, where an overnight curfew has taken effect following Monday’s riots sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African-American man who died of neck injuries suffered in police custody. Tuesday night, police in riot gear fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters who defied the curfew when it began at 10 p.m. At least 10 people were arrested. But overall, the Baltimore Police Department declared "the city is stable." Thousands of forces, including National Guard troops, have deployed throughout the city streets. Monday’s unrest led to more than 200 arrests, dozens of cars set on fire, and many buildings badly damaged. Democracy Now!'s Aaron Maté and videographer Hany Massoud speak with locals as they take part in both the clean-up effort and the continued protests over Freddie Gray's death.
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We are broadcasting from The Hague, where we are speaking with the women Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have gathered to mark the 100th anniversary of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In an extended interview, we speak with 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian and first Muslim woman to win the award for her human rights advocacy, in particular for the rights of Iranian women, children and political prisoners. She was the first female judge in Iran, but she has lived in exile since 2009. Ebadi discusses the threat posed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and the significance of the framework deal agreed to by Iran and world powers including the United States and Israel to curb its nuclear program for at least a decade. "I do not agree with any of the nuclear energy programs," Ebadi says. "Therefore, it has to stop as soon as possible. But at the same time, a country that does have an atomic bomb cannot judge in this manner about other countries."
For the second time in six months, National Guard troops have been deployed in response to police brutality protests. Baltimore erupted in violence Monday night over the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African-American man who died of neck injuries suffered in police custody after he was arrested for running. Police say at least 27 people were arrested as cars and stores were set on fire, and at least 15 officers were injured. Baltimore public schools are closed, and a weeklong curfew is in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Also Monday, thousands gathered to pay their respects during Freddie Gray’s funeral, including our guest, Rev. Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader, and president and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Jackson says the violence "diverts attention away from the real issue" that West Baltimore is an "oasis of poverty and pain" where residents have long suffered from police abuse and economic neglect. We also speak with Lawrence Bell, former Baltimore City Council president. He grew up in and represented the impoverished area where Freddie Gray was arrested, and argues the "chickens are coming home to roost."
- Baltimore: National Guard Deployed amid Uprising over Freddie Gray's Death
- Thousands Attend Funeral for Freddie Gray
- Loretta Lynch Sworn in as 1st Black Woman Attorney General
- Nepal's Prime Minister Warns Quake Toll Could Reach 10,000
- Nigeria: Hundreds of Boko Haram Victims Found Dead
- Libya: 5 Journalists Killed by ISIL
- Report: Israel Directly Attacked U.N. Sites in Gaza, Killing 44
- Supreme Court Hears Historic Same-Sex Marriage Case
- Oklahoma: Undersheriff Quits After Leak of Memo on Reserve Deputy Who Killed Eric Harris
- South Carolina: 2 Cops Sentenced to Prison for Tasering Disabled Woman
- Report: Goldman Sachs Paid Bill Clinton $200,000 for Speech, Then Lobbied Hillary Clinton
- Judge Upholds Vermont GMO Labeling Law; Chipotle Eliminates GMOs
As we broadcast from the World Forum at The Hague, a statue has just been dedicated to Dutch suffragist Dr. Aletta Jacobs, who 100 years ago organized an extraordinary meeting known as the International Congress of Women that took place as World War I raged across the globe. We are joined by three women who have won the Nobel Peace Prize and are gathered to mark the anniversary and discuss how to build peace in the future. Mairead Maguire was awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her actions to help end the deep ethnic and political conflict in her native Northern Ireland. Leymah Gbowee received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. And Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Williams notes President Barack Obama has authorized more drone strikes during his first three months in office than President Bush did during his entire administration.
In 1997 Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. In 2013 she helped launch the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. "Who is accountable? Is it the man who programmed it? Is it Lockheed Martin, who built it?" Williams asks in an interview at The Hague, where she has joined 1,000 female peace activists gathered to mark the founding of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Williams notes how some "spider-like" robots that spray tear gas are now used for crowd control, but could be stopped before they become widespread. She recalls how she was previously able to "force the governments of the world to come together and discuss [landmines]. They thought they would fly under the radar … A small group of people can and do change the world."
Liberian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee, one of the 1,000 female peace activists gathered to mark the founding of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, recalls her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. "We were constantly trying to imagine strategies that would be effective," Gbowee says. "The men in our society were really not taking a stance. … We decided to do a sex strike to kind of propel these silent men into action." Gbowee notes the idea for the strike came from a Muslim woman and was inspired in part by the civil rights movement in the United States. Gbowee shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with fellow Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Yemeni native Tawakkul Karman. She is the founder and president of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa based in Liberia.
We broadcast live from The Hague, where over 1,000 female peace activists gathered from around the world 100 years ago this week to call for an end to war. The extraordinary meeting, known as the International Congress of Women, took place as World War I raged across the globe. Today, as wars rage on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and other countries, women from around the world have gathered again in The Hague to call for peace and to mark the 100th anniversary of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we speak with three Nobel Peace Prize laureates. "Their agenda is to end militarism and war, and to build peace and international law and human rights and democracy," says our first guest, Mairead Maguire, who was awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 32 for her actions to help end the deep ethnic and political conflict in her native Northern Ireland. She shared the award with Betty Williams. They helped start Peace People, a movement committed to building a just and peaceful society in Northern Ireland. At the time, Maguire was the youngest recipient of the peace prize. She is the author of the book "The Vision of Peace: Faith and Hope in Northern Ireland."
- Nepal: Toll from Worst Earthquake in 80 Years Nears 4,000
- Yemen: Saudi-Led Coalition Resumes Airstrikes in Sana'a
- Israel Launches Airstrike on Syrian Border
- Maryland: Freddie Gray to Be Laid to Rest
- New York: Police Kill Mentally Ill African-American Man
- Burundi: 5 Killed amid Protests over President's Re-election Bid
- Indonesia Poised to Execute 10 Prisoners for Drug Crimes
- New York: Parents of 43 Missing Mexican Students March to U.N.
- Uruguay: Former Guantánamo Prisoners Protest Outside U.S. Embassy
- Japan: Man Admits Flying Radioactive Drone as Anti-Nuclear Protest
- Pakistan: Leading Activist Sabeen Mahmud Shot Dead
- For-Profit Corinthian Colleges Shuts Remaining 28 Campuses
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. On April 24, 1915, the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire began a systematic, premeditated genocide against the Armenian people — an unarmed Christian minority living under Turkish rule. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were exterminated through direct killing, starvation, torture and forced death marches. Another million fled into permanent exile. Today, the Turkish government continues to deny this genocide, and since becoming president, President Obama has avoided using the term "genocide" to describe it. We’re joined by Peter Balakian, professor of humanities at Colgate University and author of "The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response"; Anahid Katchian, whose father was a survivor of the 1915 Armenian genocide; and Simon Maghakyan, an activist with Armenians of Colorado. We also play a recording of Armenian broadcaster and writer David Barsamian’s mother recalling her experience during the Armenian genocide as a young girl. Araxie Barsamian survived, but her parents and brothers did not.
Explosive video obtained by The New Yorker depicts extreme violence inside New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex. Surveillance camera footage shows former teenage prisoner, Kalief Browder, being abused on two separate occasions. In one clip from 2012, the teenager is seen inside Rikers’ Central Punitive Segregation Unit, better known as the Bing. As a guard escorts Browder to the showers, Browder appears to speak, and then the guard suddenly violently hurls him to the floor although he’s already handcuffed. In a separate video clip from 2010, Browder is attacked by almost a dozen other teenage inmates after he punches a gang member who spat in his face. The other inmates pile onto Browder and pummel him until guards finally intervene. In an exclusive interview, we are the first to speak about the video with New Yorker staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman, who told Browder’s story in The New Yorker last year, describing how he spent nearly three years at Rikers after arriving there as a 16-year-old high school sophomore following his refusal to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit — stealing a backpack. "Footage [from inside Rikers] like this never, ever comes out," Gonnerman says. "This is what goes on when nobody is looking."
The Washington Post reports the Pentagon plans to increase its efforts to resettle dozens of detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo in the coming months before Congress can block future transfers and derail President Obama’s plan to shutter the U.S. military prison. As a first step, officials plan to send up to 10 prisoners overseas, possibly in June. In all, the Pentagon hopes that 57 inmates who are approved for transfer will be resettled by the end of 2015. We get reaction from Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, who says the new legislation would make it nearly impossible to close the facility.
A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan has reportedly accidentally killed two hostages who were being held captive by al-Qaeda. The White House says U.S. government contractor Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto were killed in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan in January. On Thursday, President Barack Obama took "full responsibility" for the botched operation and described it as a painful loss he profoundly regretted. According to the White House, the operation also reportedly killed an American al-Qaeda leader, Ahmed Farouq. A separate strike apparently killed another American al-Qaeda member, Adam Gadahn. Despite hundreds of hours of surveillance, the White House said it had no reason to believe the U.S. and Italian hostages were being detained in the al-Qaeda compound targeted during the operation. "In neither of the strikes … did the government actually know who it was killing," says Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU. "Yesterday’s disclosures just provide more reasons to question what kinds of regulations the government has governing these strikes." The botched operation comes on the heels of a new report chronicling civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes in Yemen.
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- Maryland: Troopers Deployed amid Protests over Freddie Gray's Death
- Michael Brown's Family Sues Ferguson for Wrongful Death
- Petraeus Sentenced to Probation for Leaking Secret Information
- Deutsche Bank to Pay $2.5 Billion in Rate-Rigging Case
- India: Funeral Held for Farmer Who Killed Himself at Rally
- Peru: Police Fire on Copper Mine Protesters, Killing 1
- 3 More Women Accuse Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault
- Columbia Students Launch Sit-In for Private Prison Divestment
- Mumia Abu-Jamal Supporters Mark Birthday, Demand Medical Care