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No Charges in Ohio Police Killing of John Crawford as Wal-Mart Video Contradicts 911 Caller Account

Democracy Now - Thu 07 08 AM

An Ohio grand jury has declined to indict the white police officer who fatally shot John Crawford. A 22-year-old African American, Crawford was killed inside a Wal-Mart store last month after a caller phoned police to accuse him of brandishing a gun and pointing it at other customers. In fact, Crawford had picked up an unloaded BB air rifle on a shelf, an item that is sold in the store. Newly released surveillance footage shows major discrepancies between a 911 caller’s account, and what really happened. The Justice Department now says it will launch a federal review to determine if Crawford’s civil rights were violated. We are joined by two guests: Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, a national organization that has campaigned for Wal-Mart to release the surveillance tapes, and James Hayes, founding member of the Ohio Student Association, which has been organizing protests over the shooting.

"We Can't Rely on Our Leaders": Inaction at Climate Summit Fuels Call for Movements to Take the Helm

Democracy Now - Wed 07 34 AM

Two days after the largest People’s Climate March in history, more than 120 world leaders gathered in New York City for a one-day United Nations climate summit. Tuesday’s meeting took place ahead of the larger, 200-nation summit in Paris in 2015, when delegates will attempt to finalize an agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. In a series of speeches, world leaders made nonbinding agreements to slow global warming and keep the rise in ocean temperatures below two degrees. Several leaders from the most carbon-polluting nations skipped the climate summit, including China, India and Russia. In one commitment to come out of the summit, more than 30 countries set a deadline to end deforestation by 2030. If successful, this could reduce carbon emissions by an estimated eight billion tons per year — the equivalent of emissions by all of the world’s one billion cars. But Brazil, which has the largest continuous rainforest in the world, refused to sign on, saying the plan conflicts with its own laws and targets. We are joined by two guests: Bianca Jagger, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Ambassador for the Bonn Challenge, which seeks restore 150 million hectares of the world’s degraded and deforested lands by 2020, and founder and chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation; and Asad Rehman, head of international climate for Friends of the Earth.

Without a Truce in Syrian Civil War, U.S.-Led Strikes Threaten More Chaos for World's Worst Crisis

Democracy Now - Wed 07 10 AM

The U.S.-led bombing of militant targets inside Syria has intensified as Pentagon officials acknowledge the military mission could take years. On Tuesday, U.S. and other coalition forces launched more than 200 strikes on Islamic State targets. The latest round of airstrikes in Syria hit targets near the Turkish border, close to an area where tens of thousands of Kurds have fled to escape from militants tied to the Islamic State group. Activists report the strikes have killed civilians. To discuss the latest news, we are joined by Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent and author of "The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising."

Vandana Shiva, Winona LaDuke & Desmond D'Sa on a Global, Grassroots Response to U.N. Climate Summit

Democracy Now - Tue 07 46 AM

Two days after the historic People’s Climate March, world leaders are gathering in New York City today for a United Nations summit on climate change. President Obama, along with more than 100 heads of state, are expected to attend. But the leaders of several major polluters, including China, India and Canada, are skipping the talks. The summit is part of a lengthy and so far failed process leading to climate negotiations in Paris next year, when countries will seek a binding deal to limit the emissions that cause global warming. We speak to three leading environmentalists: Vandana Shiva of India, Desmond D’Sa of South Africa, and Winona LaDuke of the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. Click here to watch Part 2 of this interview.

Winona LaDuke footage courtesy Keri Pickett.

Flood Wall Street: 100 Arrested at Sit-In Targeting Financial Giants' Role in Global Warming

Democracy Now - Tue 07 29 AM

One day after the largest climate march in history in New York City, protesters rallied near Wall Street on Monday to highlight the financial industry’s role in fueling industries responsible for the air pollution that is causing global warming and climate change. The action came ahead of the one-day United Nations Climate Summit today, where leaders from 125 countries will take part in the first high-level climate talks since Copenhagen nearly five years ago. Dubbed "Flood Wall Street," hundreds of protesters dressed in blue held a rowdy sit-in on Broadway just blocks from the U.S. Stock Exchange. The demonstrators occupied the street for more than eight hours until police began arresting some 100 people. Democracy Now! was in the streets to cover the action. Watch our video report to hear some of the voices of people in the demonstration.

Expanding U.S. Strikes to ISIS in Syria, Has Obama Opened New Phase of "Perpetual War"?

Democracy Now - Tue 07 09 AM

The United States has launched airstrikes in Syria targeting the Islamic State, as well as members of a separate militant organization known as the Khorasan group. The Pentagon says U.S. forces launched 47 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles from warships in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf. In addition, U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighters, bombers and drones took part in the airstrikes. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 20 Islamic State fighters were killed in strikes that hit at least 50 targets in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor provinces in Syria’s east. The United States says Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had either participated or supported the strikes against the Islamic State, which has seized swaths of Syria and Iraq. The United States acted alone against the Khorasan group, saying it "took action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests." The Syrian government claims the United States had informed it of the pending attacks hours before the strikes began. Meanwhile, the United States has expanded its bombing of Iraq, launching new strikes around Kirkuk. To discuss this development, we are joined by two guests: Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College who has written extensively about the Islamic State, and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink and author of "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control."

Heirs of Billionaire Oil Tycoon John D. Rockefeller Join Growing Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

Democracy Now - Mon 07 45 AM

In major climate divestment news, the Rockefeller family, which made their vast fortune on oil, has announced it will begin divesting from fossil fuel companies. The heirs of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller are joining a growing movement of institutions and wealthy individuals who are pledging to divest from oil, coal and natural gas companies. We speak to Scott Wallace, co-chair of the Wallace Global Fund, which has coordinated the Divest-Invest effort. He is the grandson of Henry Wallace, who served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president and ran for president in 1948 on the Progressive Party ticket.

Socialist Seattle Politician Kshama Sawant: We Need a Radical Militant Nonviolent Climate Movement

Democracy Now - Mon 07 41 AM

Climate activists traveled from across the country and the world to take part in Sunday’s historic People’s Climate March in New York City. We speak to Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who recently became the first Socialist elected to city office in Seattle in over a century.

"Climate Change is Now": Former Irish President Mary Robinson and Marshall Islands’ Tony deBrum

Democracy Now - Mon 07 39 AM

Among the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the People’s Climate March in New York City was Mary Robinson, former Irish president and U.N. high commissioner for human rights, who now heads the Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice. She was interviewed in the streets during the Democracy Now! broadcast from the march alongside Tony deBrum, foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, who described the threat climate change poses to the Pacific Ocean nation. "Six feet above sea level, sitting in the middle of the Pacific, one of the five most vulnerable atoll countries in the world,” deBrum said. "I join Ms. Robinson in saying that we consider this to be a wonderful occasion to be able to tell the world that the problem of climate change is now, and we must deal with it now."

Musician Sting: Why I Am Walking with the Indigenous Bloc in People's Climate March

Democracy Now - Mon 07 34 AM

The world-renowned musician and activist Sting stops by our three-hour special from the People’s Climate March to talk about why he is marching with indigenous activists on the front lines of the environmental movement. "The indigenous peoples’ message has been consistent from the beginning: We are in danger," Sting says. "These people are not complacent, I am not complacent. We have to do something."

Anti-Coal Climate Activists March with Massachusetts District Attorney Who Almost Prosecuted Them

Democracy Now - Mon 07 31 AM

Earlier this month, two climate activists were set to go on trial in Massachusetts for blocking the shipment of 40,000 tons of coal to the Brayton Point power plant, a 51-year-old facility that is one of the region’s largest contributors to greenhouse gases. But in a surprise move, local prosecutor Sam Sutter dropped the criminal charges and reduced three other charges to civil offenses, calling climate change one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced. On Sunday, the activists, Jay O’Hara and Ken Ward, marched with Sutter at the People’s Climate March in New York City.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: "The Only Thing We Have in Our Power is People Power"

Democracy Now - Mon 07 28 AM

Environmental activist and attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was one of up to 400,000 people joining the People’s Climate March Sunday in New York City. "American politics is driven by two forces: One is intensity, and the other is money," Kennedy says. "The Koch brothers have all the money. They’re putting $300 million this year into their efforts to stop the climate bill. And the only thing we have in our power is people power, and that’s why need to put this demonstration on the street." We also hear from Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of the group UPROSE and an organizer of Sunday’s march.

"This is History": People's Climate March Organizer Bill McKibben on 400,000-Strong Turnout

Democracy Now - Mon 07 24 AM

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org and a lead organizer behind Sunday’s People’s Climate March and global day of action, joins us to reflect on the historic protest. "There hasn’t been a political gathering about anything this large in this country for many years," McKibben says. "And I think what it demonstrates is that climate change is at the absolute tip now of people’s consciousness."

Bernie Sanders at People's Climate March: To Stop Global Warming, Get Dirty Money Out of Politics

Democracy Now - Mon 07 19 AM

Speaking at the People’s Climate March in New York City, independent Senator Bernie Sanders discusses a potential 2016 presidential run and how getting money out of politics is critical to addressing the climate crisis. "[President Obama] can and should do more," Sanders says. "But the major impediment right now is not Obama, it is the Republican Party. We have to call them out on this. We don’t do it enough. These are people who do not even acknowledge the scientific reality because they are beholden to Big Energy money and the Koch brothers."

Singer Angélique Kidjo: The Women of Africa Are Paying the Price of Climate Change

Democracy Now - Mon 07 15 AM

As up to 400,000 filled the streets, Democracy Now! did an exclusive three-hour global broadcast from the heart of the People’s Climate March in New York City. We air highlights of the special, beginning with the Grammy Award–winning Béninoise musician and activist Angélique Kidjo.

Voices from the People's Climate March: Indigenous Groups Lead Historic 400,000-Strong NYC Protest

Democracy Now - Mon 07 07 AM

As many as 400,000 people turned out in New York City on Sunday for the People’s Climate March, the largest environmental protest in history. With a turnout far exceeding expectations, the streets of midtown Manhattan were filled with environmentalists, politicians, musicians, students, farmers, celebrities, nurses and labor activists — all united in their demand for urgent action on climate change. Organizers arranged the People’s Climate March into different contingents reflecting the movement’s diversity, with indigenous groups in the lead. Democracy Now! producers Aaron Maté and Elizabeth Press were in the streets to hear from some of the demonstrators taking part in the historic protest.