Recent blog posts
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We host a roundtable discussion in Toronto about how indigenous and Black Lives Matter activists in Canada are working together to address state violence and neglect, and media coverage of their efforts. Last month, First Nations people occupied the offices of Canada’s indigenous affairs department to demand action over suicides as well as water and housing crises in their communities. The protests came after the Cree community of Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency over attempted suicides. Protesters set up occupations inside and outside the offices of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in Toronto, Regina, Winnipeg and Gatineau, Quebec. Among those who took part in the occupation of the office here in Toronto were local Black Lives Matter activists who just weeks earlier had launched a 15-day encampment outside police headquarters following news there would be no criminal charges for the police officer who fatally shot a South Sudanese refugee named Andrew Loku last July. Among those who turned out in force at the encampment outside Toronto police headquarters were First Nations activists. We are joined by Erica Violet Lee an indigenous rights activist with the Idle No More movement and a student at the University of Saskatchewan; Hayden King, an indigenous writer and lecturer at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy in Ottawa; LeRoi Newbold, a member of the steering committee for Black Lives Matter Toronto and director of the Black Lives Matter Toronto Freedom School Project; and Desmond Cole, a journalist and columnist for the Toronto Star and radio host on Newstalk 1010.
Canada Apologizes for Racist Incident 100 Years After Rejecting Komagata Maru Ship of 370 Immigrants
Broadcasting from Toronto, Canada, we look at how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized this week for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident in which Canada turned away a Japanese steamship in order to prevent more than 370 Indians, including Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus, from immigrating to the country. The move was widely acknowledged to be aimed at keeping Indians out of Canada. Then premier of British Columbia, Sir Richard McBride, said at the time, "And we always have in mind the necessity of keeping this a white man’s country." We feature excerpts from the award-winning documentary on the Komagata Maru incident, "Continuous Journey," and speak with its director, Ali Kazimi, who is also author of the book, "Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru." Kazimi also discusses Canada’s current practice of detaining asylum seekers after a string of deaths inside detention centers.
- SF Police Chief Ousted After Weeks of Protests & Hunger Strikes
- Egyptian Military Says Debris of Crashed EgyptAir 804 Has Been Found
- France Extends State of Emergency for Two Months
- Japan: U.S. Military Contractor Arrested in Killing of Japanese Woman
- Israeli Defense Minister Resigns, Citing Extremism & Racism in Israel
- Imprisoned Palestinian Journalist on Hunger Strike Freed
- Canada: Trudeau Continues Apologizing for Elbowing Female MP
- Canada Approves Sale of Genetically Modified Salmon
- India: Heat Wave Breaks National Temperature Records
- HRW: U.S. Soldiers Unfairly Discharged After Reporting Rape
- Obama Administration Sued over Family Detention
- Chelsea Manning Appeals her "Grossly Unfair" Conviction
- Canada Pledges to Examine Detention of Refugees
- Oklahoma Passes Bill Making Performing Abortion a Felony
- Oregon: County Votes to Block Nestlé Waters Bottling Plant
- Mexico: Parents of Missing Students Demand Investigation
- Florida: Transgender African-American Woman Murdered
- CBS News Legend Morley Safer Dies at 84
This week Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. It’s currently legal only in certain states and Mexico City. The announcement came as he faces renewed pressure over the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico in September 2014. Multiple reports have pointed to a role by federal authorities and cast doubt on Mexico’s claim the students were killed by a drug gang. Well, if anyone understood the beauty and contradictions of Mexico, it was the late independent reporter, activist and poet John Ross. Ross covered social movements in Mexico and Latin America for nearly 50 years, and authored 10 nonfiction books and 10 books of poetry before he died in 2011. Now a new book captures some of the lectures Ross gave to journalism students to teach them how to cover stories and create change. It’s called “Rebel Reporting: John Ross Speaks to Independent Journalists." We are joined by Norm Stockwell, co-editor of "Rebel Reporting." He is also operations coordinator with WORT community radio in Madison, Wisconsin.
In Obama's Backyard, Father of 5 US-born Kids Seeks Sanctuary in Chicago Church to Avoid Deportation
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is reportedly preparing to launch a month-long campaign of raids specifically aimed at rounding up and deporting undocumented Central American mothers and children. This follows a similar campaign of raids against parents and children in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina earlier this year. While the raids have spread fear across neighborhoods, they’ve also inspired increased community organizing to stop deportations—including in President Obama’s very own neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago. As Obama nears the end of his eight years in office, he’s facing a unique legacy: the president to deport more people than any other in U.S. history. But less than a mile from his and Michelle’s Chicago home, one undocumented father has decided to fight his deportation to Mexico by seeking sanctuary in a church. Jose Juan Federico Moreno has been living inside University Church now for more than a month. He has lived in the United States for 16 years and is the father of five U.S.-born children. He faces deportation because he was arrested seven years ago for driving under the influence. While we were in Chicago earlier this week, Democracy Now!’s Mike Burke went over to University Church to speak to Jose Juan and his supporters, and asked what the impact would be of his deportation. "It would be a psychological trauma for my children and my wife, who are visiting me very often," says Federico Moreno.
On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with top conservative media figures, including Glenn Beck, Dana Perino and Tucker Carlson, after his company was accused of suppressing news stories on political grounds. Former Facebook workers told the website Gizmodo they routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers by keeping them out of the "trending" stories section on the sidebar. "The concerns are legitimate," says media analyst Robert McChesney, "but the real question is: Should we have a private monopoly that has so much political influence and political power?" McChesney also discusses Facebook’s surveillance and access to user’s data, and whether such companies could be nationalized.
We get reaction from media scholar Robert McChesney to news that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is reportedly considering suing The New York Times after it ran a major report on his past treatment of women, and has vowed to make it easier to sue news organizations. Lawsuits are not the solution, McChesney says. "Instead, it’s to broaden it, enrich it, create new voices and fund new voices, so we actually have a diverse marketplace of ideas … Donald Trump’s view is the exact opposite: It’s either my way or the highway."
Robert McChesney: Mainstream Corporate Media Covering 2016 Election Through Eyes of Clinton Campaign
"This has been an all-time low by mainstream corporate media," says media scholar Robert McChesney, who joins us to discuss how the media is covering the race for the White House. "What we’ve seen is the Sanders campaign has been largely neglected ... And the coverage and the framing of it has been largely through the eyes of the establishment for the Hillary Clinton campaign." McChesney says reporters also failed simply to ask questions about what exactly happened over the weekend when Sanders supporters erupted in protest at the Nevada state Democratic convention after they said rules were abruptly changed and 64 Sanders supporters were wrongly denied delegate status. This "brought to the front just how little actual journalism goes on," he notes, "how much of it is simply regurgitating what people in power tell them." McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Communication and is co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization.
- EgyptAir Plane Crashed After Disappearing Between Paris and Cairo
- 3 Countries Recall Ambassadors to Brazil over Rousseff's Ouster
- Senate Dems Hold Mock Confirmation Hearing for Merrick Garland
- Trump's 11 SCOTUS Picks: White, Male and Conservative
- Trump Meets with Henry Kissinger to Discuss Foreign Policy
- Nigeria: One of the Missing Chibok Schoolgirls Returns Home
- Afghan Officials: 5 Killed in U.S. Drone Strike
- Seychelles Decriminalizes Sex for LGBT People
- Canada: Trudeau Apologizes for 1914 Komagata Maru Incident
- KY Elects First African American Woman to State Legislature in 20 Years
- South Carolina Passes Bill Banning Abortion After 20 Weeks
- Youth Climate Activists Score Legal Victory in Mass.
- U. of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate Student Union Votes for BDS
- Today is 95th Birthday of Late Civil Rights Activist Yuri Kochiyama
As Democracy Now! broadcasts from Chicago, Illinois, we look at major developments in several high-profile cases of police shootings of unarmed African-American men and women, and how the independent media has played a key role in exposing police misconduct. On Tuesday, Dante Servin resigned from the Chicago Police Department just days before hearings were set to begin into whether he should be fired for shooting Rekia Boyd while he was off duty and she stood with a group of friends near his house. This comes as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced this week that he plans to disband the city’s controversial police oversight agency that has been criticized for sluggish investigations that rarely resulted in disciplinary action. Mayor Emanuel is also facing calls to resign over a possible cover-up of the police killing of Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times in 2014. We are joined by Jamie Kalven, founder of the Invisible Institute and a freelance journalist who uncovered the autopsy report showing Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times and who first reported on the existence of the video of the shooting. In recent months, he has won a George Polk Award, an Izzy and the Ridenhour Courage Prize for his reporting on Chicago police misconduct. We also speak with Page May, a co-founder and organizer with Assata’s Daughters. She was also a member of the We Charge Genocide delegation to the U.N. Committee Against Torture.
The relationship between the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Democratic Party leadership has been challenging from the start of the 2016 election campaign, when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began the primaries with a more than 400-delegate lead by securing support from superdelegates—the 712 congressmembers, senators, governors and other elected officials who often represent the Democratic Party elite. Now a new article from In These Times by Branko Marcetic uncovers "The Secret History of Superdelegates," which were established by the Hunt Commission in 1982. We are joined by Jessica Stites, executive editor of In These Times and editor of the site’s June cover story, and Rick Perlstein, the Chicago-based reporter and author of several books, including "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America."
As Donald Trump moves closer to securing the Republican nomination, we begin today’s show looking at how he is changing the GOP. We are joined by Rick Perlstein, a Chicago-based reporter and author who has extensively researched the conservative movement. Perlstein’s books include "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America" and "The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan." His recent piece is, "Donald Trump’s avenging angels: How the orange-haired monster has rewritten the history of American conservatism."
- Sanders Wins Oregon Primary; Clinton Declares Victory in Tight Kentucky Race
- Donald Trump Moves Closer to Nomination with Oregon Win
- Sanders Criticizes Nevada Democratic Leadership After Disputed Convention
- Iraq: At Least 70 Killed in Latest Wave of Baghdad Bombings
- Senate Passes Bill to Let 9/11 Families Sue Saudi Arabia
- White House Threatens to Veto Draft of Military Spending Bill
- Mexican President Proposes Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide
- In Emotional Plea, Father of Missing Student Calls for Rapporteur to Visit Mexico
- Nigeria: Union Representing Millions Launches General Strike
- France: Scores Arrested as Up to 220,000 Protest Labor Reforms
- Millions More U.S. Workers to Become Eligible for Overtime Pay
- Chilean Court Asks U.S. to Extradite Former Pinochet Agents
- Pipeline Company Indicted over California Oil Spill
Chomsky on the Late Michael Ratner & How U.S. Thawed Cuba Ties to Avoid Dwindling Regional Influence
At the opening of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., last year after almost half a century, Democracy Now! spoke to attorney Michael Ratner, who played a key role in fighting for the habeas corpus rights of Guantánamo prisoners and wrote several books about the U.S. role in Cuba and Latin America. We discuss his legacy and new U.S. stance toward Cuba with Noam Chomsky, who argues the change came about in part because the United States was being driven out of the hemisphere. "Latin America used to be just the backyard. They do what you tell them. If they don’t do it, we throw them out and put in someone else. No more. Not in the last 10, 20 years."
This month President Obama will become the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb toward the end of World War II on what Noam Chomsky calls "the grimmest day I can remember." Chomsky examines the U.S. role in launching the nuclear age, Obama’s role in continuing it, and the rest of his legacy. "I don’t usually agree with Sarah Palin, but when she was ridiculing this—what she called this 'hopey-changey stuff,' she had a point. There were a few good things. ... But opportunities that were available, especially in the first two years when he had Congress with him, just were not used. By the standards of U.S. presidential politics, it’s kind of nothing special either way, nothing to rave about, certainly."
We speak with world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky about the Republican party, the rightward shift in U.S. politics and the 2016 election. "If we were honest, we would say something that sounds utterly shocking and no doubt will be taken out of context and lead to hysteria on the part of the usual suspects," Chomsky says, "but the fact of the matter is that today’s Republican Party qualify as candidates for the most dangerous organization in human history. Literally."
As protests continue in Brazil over the Legislature’s vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial, Noam Chomsky notes that "we have the one leading politician who hasn’t stolen to enrich herself, who’s being impeached by a gang of thieves, who have done so. That does count as a kind of soft coup." Rousseff’s replacement, Brazil’s former vice president, Michel Temer, is a member of the opposition PMDB party who is implicated in Brazil’s massive corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Petrobras, and has now appointed an all-white male Cabinet charged with implementing corporate-friendly policies.
Chomsky: Saudi Arabia is the "Center of Radical Islamic Extremism" Now Spreading Among Sunni Muslims
As Saudi Arabia continues to fund fighting in Syria and Yemen, Noam Chomsky says it is "the center of radical Islamic extremism." Chomsky adds that the U.S. ally is "a source of not only funding for extremist radical Islam and the jihadi outgrowths of it, but also, doctrinally, mosques, clerics and so on, schools, you know, madrassas, where you study just Qur’an, is spreading all over the huge Sunni areas from Saudi influence."
Today, the U.S. and Russia co-chair a meeting of the 17-nation International Syria Support Group aimed at easing the five-year conflict with a death toll that has reached close to half a million people. Just last month, President Obama announced the deployment of 250 more Special Operations troops to Syria in a move that nearly doubles the official U.S. presence in the country. Syria is only one of a number of ongoing deadly conflicts in the Middle East. Last year, a record 60 million people around the world were forced to flee their homes, becoming refugees. For more on these conflicts and the rise of ISIS, we continue our conversation with internationally renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Noam Chomsky. "The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a major reason in the development, a primary reason in the incitement of sectarian conflicts, which have now exploded into these monstrosities," says Chomsky. He has written over 100 books, most recently, "Who Rules the World?" Chomsky is institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he’s taught for more than 50 years.
- North Carolina: 11 Arrested Protesting Anti-Transgender Law
- Trans Singer of Against Me! Burns Birth Certificate on Stage in North Carolina
- Democrats Vote in Kentucky, Oregon; Sanders Supporters Protest Nevada Results
- Puerto Rico: Sanders Decries Austerity in Campaign Stop
- Attorney Says Trump Could Sue over NYT Article on His Treatment of Women
- Supreme Court Declines to Rule on Key Birth Control Case
- Afghanistan: Thousands Flood Capital over Route of Electric Power Line
- Philippines President-Elect Vows to Resume Executions
- CIA Internal Watchdog Admits It Destroyed Copy of Senate Torture Report
- Mexico: Journalist Manuel Torres Shot Dead in Veracruz
- New York: Regulator Deals Blow to Residents Opposed to Gas Storage at Seneca Lake
- Intercept Begins Releasing Trove of Internal NSA Newsletters