Democracy Now!

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Bernie Sanders Would "Transform the Lives of Poor and Working-Class People"

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor at Princeton University, has just published a book about the racial wealth gap and falling rate of homeownership by African Americans. Her book is titled “Race For Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Home Ownership.” Taylor speaks with us about the 2020 presidential candidates’ platforms, including Senator Bernie Sanders’s proposed wealth tax. She says Sanders’s policies bring “to light the connection between the systemic forces that drive inequality and the impact that they have in people’s lives.”

Race for Profit: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on How Banks & Real Estate Biz Undermined Black Homeowners

Recent U.S. census data reveals the homeownership rate for African Americans has fallen to its lowest level since before the civil rights movement. In the second quarter of this year, the rate fell to just 40% — the lowest level since 1950. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s new book, “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Home Ownership,” examines the roots of this crisis. The book has just come out and has been longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award. From Philadelphia, we speak with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor at Princeton University.

"Unprecedented" Protests Rage Across Lebanon as People Demand PM's Resignation and End to Austerity

Mass protests in Lebanon have entered their sixth day as hundreds of thousands around the country are taking to the streets to demonstrate against dire economic conditions, austerity and corruption, demanding the country’s leaders step down. The protests were sparked last week when the government announced a tax on WhatsApp calls, but the massive demonstrations have since grown into a call for revolution. More than a million demonstrators flooded the streets of Beirut, Tripoli and other cities over the weekend. Prime Minister Saad Hariri revoked the WhatsApp tax on Monday and announced a package of economic reforms, but protesters are continuing to call for his ouster. For more, we speak with independent Lebanese journalist Kareem Chehayeb, whose recent piece for The Washington Post is headlined “Lebanon’s protests and wildfires tell the same grim story.”

Headlines for October 22, 2019

"We Want Democracy to Be Restored": Protesters in Chile Decry Inequality Amid Military Crackdown

In Chile, as many as eight people have died in widespread civil unrest that has brought Santiago to a standstill and sparked a violent police crackdown across the country. The protests began in response to a subway fare hike two weeks ago and have grown into a mass uprising against rising inequality, high cost of living and privatization. President Sebastián Piñera canceled the fee increase on Saturday, but protests are continuing, with a national strike called for today. Over the weekend, Piñera declared a state of emergency in Santiago and five other cities, imposing a curfew and sending the military into the streets in response to civil unrest for the first time since dictator Augusto Pinochet’s regime. Military tanks rolled through Santiago this weekend, and at least 1,400 protesters have been detained. Francisca Perales, one of the leaders of the newly formed left-wing political party Social Convergence, and Andra Chastain, an assistant professor of history at Washington State University in Vancouver, join us for a conversation about the massive protests in Chile.

Kings Bay Plowshares 7: Trial Begins for Liz McAlister & Others for Breaking Into Nuke Sub Base

Seven Catholic peace activists are going on trial in Georgia today for breaking into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base on April 4, 2018. The activists, who are known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. The activists entered the base armed with just hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood and an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace. Over the past four decades activists in the Plowshares movement have taken part in about 100 similar actions at nuclear arms facilities, beginning in 1980 at the General Electric nuclear missile plant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. We recently spoke to Catholic nun Liz McAlister, who goes on trial today with her co-defendants Father Stephen Kelly, Mark Colville, Patrick O’Neill, Carmen Trotta, Clare Grady and Martha Hennessy, who is the granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker movement. They all have been charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor.

Bernie's Back: AOC Backs Sanders as 26,000 Rally in NYC at Largest Presidential Rally of 2019

Vermont independent senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held the largest campaign rally of the primary season so far on Saturday. An estimated 26,000 supporters packed into Queensbridge Park in New York City. The event was held in the shadow of the nation’s largest public housing development. It was Sanders’s first campaign rally since he suffered a heart attack earlier this month. Sanders was joined on stage by three prominent supporters: Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico; filmmaker Michael Moore; and Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who volunteered on Sanders’s 2016 campaign before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2018. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Sanders at the rally.

Headlines for October 21, 2019

Sentenced to Life in Prison as a Teen, How Cyntoia Brown Survived Sex Trafficking & Won Her Freedom

At the age of 16, she was arrested for killing a man who had picked her up for sex, after she had been forced into sexual slavery as a child. She was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder for shooting the man who bought her for sex when she feared for her life. Today Cyntoia Brown-Long joins us to share her experience, what has happened in the 15 years she was incarcerated, and how she won her release. In an incredible development, after a years-long campaign to win her freedom, Cyntoia was granted clemency in January after former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam commuted her sentence. She was released from prison in August. We spend the hour discussing her experience as she recounts in her memoir, published this week, “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System.”

Headlines for October 18, 2019

Rep. Ro Khanna: We Need a Responsible Withdrawal From Syria, Not One Oblivious to Human Life

As hundreds of thousands of civilians face displacement and violence amid Turkey’s assault on Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria, the House of Representatives voted to condemn Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. support for the Kurds on Wednesday. The measure passed 354 to 60. We speak with Representative Ro Khanna, who says, “We can’t just get involved in a place and then walk away and not have some moral responsibility. We have a moral responsibility not just to the Kurds who fought with us against ISIS. We have a moral responsibility to accept Syrian refugees. We have a moral responsibility to help rebuild a society that was ravaged by civil war, where we were involved.” We also speak with Ozlem Goner, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at the City University of New York. She is a member of the Emergency Committee of Rojava.

"Meltdown": Trump Defends Syria Withdrawal as House Votes 354 to 60 to Condemn His Actions

As the displacement of 300,000 civilians over Turkey’s assault on Kurdish-controlled areas continues in northern Syria, the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to condemn President Trump’s actions. Turkey invaded the region on October 9, shortly after Trump virtually greenlit the Turkey assault by abruptly withdrawing a small number of U.S. troops who were protecting Kurdish areas in northern Syria. Since then, the Kurds have aligned themselves with the Syrian government, and a number of former ISIS fighters who were being held by the Kurds have escaped. We speak with Ozlem Goner, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at the City University of New York. She is a member of the Emergency Committee of Rojava.

30,000+ Chicago Teachers & Support Staff Go on Strike Calling on City to Invest More in Schools

More than 30,000 workers are walking out of Chicago Public Schools today to demand better pay and benefits, smaller class sizes and more nurses, counselors, social workers and librarians. The historic strike has brought the country’s third-largest school system to a standstill, with classes canceled for more than 350,000 students. The strike was confirmed Wednesday when the Chicago Teachers Union rejected a final offer by the city’s new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, following months of labor negotiations. The city offered pay raises of 16% over a five-year period, while union representatives have been calling for a 15% increase over three years. Seven thousand five hundred public school workers with the Service Employees International Union are also striking today after rejecting their own offer from the city. From Chicago, we speak with Stacy Davis Gates, executive vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and Science Meles, executive vice president of SEIU Local 73, about the strike and public school workers’ demands.

Headlines for October 17, 2019

It Was the Longest Debate So Far, But CNN & NYT Asked No Questions on Climate Crisis & Immigration

Despite ongoing climate chaos and a sustained humanitarian disaster at the southern border, The New York Times and CNN failed to ask candidates directly about immigration or the climate crisis at Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate. We speak with Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, who says the lack of attention to immigraton “was a major gap in the three-hour debate.” We also speak with journalist Kate Aronoff about the debate’s failure to address the climate crisis.

Dem Debate: "Disingenuous" Attacks on Medicare for All Distract From Cost of Today's Broken System

Democratic candidates sparred at Tuesday’s debate over their healthcare platforms and Medicare for All. We speak with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at CUNY-Hunter College and the co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. Moderators in the CNN and New York Times debate repeatedly pressed Elizabeth Warren on whether taxes would increase under Medicare for All. “The framing of that question is crazy,” says Dr. Woolhandler. “What really matters is how much a household is paying.”

Warren and Sanders: A Wealth Tax Is Needed to Address Staggering Inequality

2020 progressive front-runners Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren pushed for a wealth tax at the fourth Democratic debate Tuesday night. We speak with senior contributor at The Intercept, Mehdi Hasan, who hosts their “Deconstructed” podcast, and David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter. He is the founder and editor of DCReport.org.

Mehdi Hasan: "There Should Only Be Two Front-Runners Right Now: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren"

Twelve candidates took to the stage for the fourth round of the Democratic presidential debate in Westerville, Ohio, Tuesday to spar over healthcare, foreign policy, impeachment, gun violence, economic inequality and more. Senator Elizabeth Warren — who is now leading some national polls — repeatedly came under attack from her rivals. In the first debate since Senator Bernie Sanders suffered a heart attack two weeks ago, the Vermont senator advocated for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All and a wealth tax. Former Vice President Joe Biden attacked the proposals of both Sanders and Warren and faced scrutiny for his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine. We host a roundtable with Intercept senior contributor Mehdi Hasan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston and journalist Kate Aronoff.

Headlines for October 16, 2019

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