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

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?

Democracy Now - 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

Democracy Now - 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

Democracy Now - 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?

Democracy Now - 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?

Democracy Now - 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

Democracy Now - 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

Democracy Now - 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.

Pope Francis: "Bold Cultural Revolution" Needed to Save Planet from Climate Change & Consumerism

Democracy Now - Thu 07 36 AM

In his long-awaited encyclical on the environment and climate change, Pope Francis has called for swift action to save the planet from environmental ruin, urging world leaders to hear "the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor." He called for a change of lifestyle in rich countries steeped in a "throwaway" consumer culture, and an end to "obstructionist attitudes" that sometimes put profit before the common good. Pope Francis said protecting the planet is a moral and ethical "imperative" for believers and nonbelievers alike that should supersede political and economic interests. A major theme of the encyclical is the disparity between rich and poor. "We fail to see that some are mired in desperate and degrading poverty, with no way out, while others have not the faintest idea of what to do with their possessions, vainly showing off their supposed superiority and leaving behind them so much waste which, if it were the case everywhere, would destroy the planet," he said. We speak to Naomi Klein, author of "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate." She has been invited to speak at the Vatican, where she will speak at the "People and Planet First: The Imperative to Change Course" conference. And here in New York is Nathan Schneider, columnist at America magazine, a national Catholic weekly magazine published by the Jesuits.

Massacre in Charleston: 9 Shot Dead at Historic Black Church, Police Search for White Gunman

Democracy Now - Thu 07 11 AM

Police are searching for a white male gunman who opened fire inside a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people and wounding several others. The victims were attending Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church when the attack occurred, shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday. The known victims include the church’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator, and his sister. Police described the shooting as a "hate crime." Known as "Mother Emanuel," the Emanuel AME Church is home to the oldest black congregation south of Baltimore. It was burned in the 1820s during a slave rebellion and has stood at its present location since 1872. The church has its roots in the early 19th century and was founded in part by a freed slave named Denmark Vesey, who was later executed for organizing a slave revolt. We are joined by Dr. Lonnie Randolph Jr., state president of the South Carolina NAACP.

The Dominican Republic's "Ethnic Purging": Edwidge Danticat on Mass Deportation of Haitian Families

Democracy Now - Wed 07 45 AM

The Dominican Republic is set to begin what some are calling "ethnic purging," placing the fate of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent into limbo. Half a million legally stateless people could be sent to Haiti this week, including those who have never stepped foot in Haiti and don’t speak the language. In 2013, a Dominican constitutional court ruling stripped the citizenship of children born to Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic as far back as 1929, retroactively leaving tens of thousands without citizenship. Today marks the deadline for undocumented workers to register their presence in the Dominican Republic or risk mass deportation. However, only 300 of the 250,000 Dominican Haitians applying for permits have reportedly received them. Many have actively resisted registering as foreigners, saying they are Dominican by birth and deserve full rights. Dominican authorities have apparently organized a fleet of buses and set up processing centers on the border with Haiti, creating widespread fears of mass roundups. The Dominican Republic’s decision to denationalize hundreds of thousands of people has sparked international outcry. We are joined by the acclaimed Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat.

As Rachel Dolezal Breaks Silence, a Roundtable Discussion on Race, Appropriation and Identity

Democracy Now - Wed 07 09 AM

We look at the growing national debate over racial identity sparked by the story of Rachel Dolezal. A Washington state civil rights advocate and educator, Dolezal resigned her post as president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP on Monday amid reports she falsely identified as black. The controversy began when Dolezal’s parents told reporters their daughter is white, and shared photographs of her as a child. On Tuesday, Dolezal broke her silence, saying she has identified as black since a young age. We host a roundtable discussion with four guests: Stacey Patton, senior enterprise reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education; Lacey Schwartz, producer/director of the documentary film "Little White Lie"; Linda Martín Alcoff, professor of philosophy at the City University of New York and author of several books; and Jelani Cobb, associate professor of history and director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut.

The Yes Men Are Revolting: In New Film, Legendary Pranksters Take On Polluters Behind Climate Change

Democracy Now - Tue 07 51 AM

While kayaktivists took to the water in Seattle to protest Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic, the culture jamming group The Yes Men staged a different kind of anti-Shell protest last week. They took to the streets of New York posing as representatives of Shell. They handed out free shaved ice cones which they claimed were "remnants of the last icebergs of the North Pole." The action took place as the anti-corporate pranksters launched their third film, "The Yes Men Are Revolting," which looks at the group’s many actions around climate change. The Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno join us to discuss the film and their ongoing brand of signature anti-corporate pranksterism.

"Battling the Death Star": Seattle "Kayaktivists" Slow Arctic-Bound Shell Oil Rig as Fight Goes On

Democracy Now - Tue 07 45 AM

The oil giant Shell is on its way to the Arctic, but not before a final showdown with environmental activists in kayaks. On Tuesday, dozens of "kayaktivists" were arrested after paddling up to a Shell drilling rig and preventing it from leaving the Port of Seattle. Several dozen supporters lined up behind them. The activists set off at 4 a.m. after learning of Shell’s plans to leave later that morning. Following a brief standoff, Shell’s Polar Pioneer was able to depart after the Coast Guard pulled the activists from the water. Monday’s action marked the latest in a series of protests since Shell arrived in Seattle last month. Shell is stationing its vessels in the Puget Sound while it drills for oil in pristine and highly remote waters in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. Environmentalists warn Arctic drilling will threaten wildlife and worsen climate change. The Obama administration has tentatively approved Shell’s plans to begin oil extraction off the Alaskan coast this summer. We are joined by John Hocevar, oceans campaign director of Greenpeace. He was one of the activists, or "kayaktivists," detained by the Coast Guard during Monday’s action against Shell oil drilling in the Arctic.

Bombing the Arctic: US Navy War Games in Gulf of Alaska Threaten One of World's Most Pristine Areas

Democracy Now - Tue 07 31 AM

The U.S. Navy is set to begin a major war exercise in the Gulf of Alaska amid protests from local communities concerned about environmental damage. The Navy is reportedly unleashing thousands of sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines and Coast Guard members along with several Navy destroyers, hundreds of aircrafts, untold weaponry and a submarine for the naval exercises. The Gulf of Alaska is one of the most pristine places left on Earth; the region includes critical habitat for all five wild Alaskan salmon species and 377 other species of marine life. The Navy’s planned live bombing runs will entail the detonation of tens of thousands of pounds of toxic munitions, as well as the use of active sonar in fisheries. The Navy has conducted war games in the Gulf of Alaska, on and off, for the last 30 years, but these new exercises are the largest by far. They come at a time when scientists are increasingly worried about climate change causing Arctic melting. Meanwhile, the unprecedented melting has created an opportunity for the military to expand its operations into previously inaccessible terrain. We are joined by Dahr Jamail, staff reporter at Truthout, whose latest piece is "Destroying What Remains: How the US Navy Plans to War Game the Arctic."