Democracy Now!

Twitter Warns Trump Tweet Glorifies Violence as He Signs Executive Order to Weaken Social Media

As President Trump calls Minneapolis protesters ”THUGS” and tweets, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Twitter flags the tweet with a warning it glorifies violence, just as Trump signs an executive order to punish social media companies for how they monitor content. “Trump has prospered through his use of social media and its attention-hoarding algorithms to basically disinform and misinform people,” says Ramesh Srinivasan, professor in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

As Pandemic Epicenter Shifts to Latin America, Gov'ts Use COVID-19 as Pretext for Police Repression

As the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic shifts to Latin America, so too has the use of COVID-19 as a pretext for police repression. “We’re seeing that COVID-19, like other pandemics before it, magnifies structural discrimination. And sadly, it’s often the most marginalized that are the first targets,” says Louise Tillotson, co-author of a new Amnesty International report on the abuse. We also go to San Salvador to speak with journalist Jorge Cuéllar.

"It Was Murder": Minneapolis Demands Charges in Police Killing of George Floyd, Calls to Defund Cops

As thousands take to the streets of Minneapolis to protest against the police killing of George Floyd for the third night in a row, we go to Minneapolis to speak with City Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison. Police pointed an automatic rifle at his head in 2015 when he was peacefully protesting the police killing of another African American man, Jamar Clark. We also speak with Kandace Montgomery with the Black Visions Collective, which is calling for the abolition of police.

Headlines for May 29, 2020

"Fight Back!": ACT UP Members & Tony Kushner Remember Trailblazing AIDS Activist Larry Kramer

We discuss the life and legacy of Larry Kramer, the legendary writer and trailblazing activist in the fight against AIDS, who has died at the age of 84. Kramer helped start Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP to demand life-saving drugs, and faced off with Dr. Anthony Fauci before the two became friends. Many credit Kramer for saving thousands of lives. We hear from Kramer in his own words at the 2019 anti-corporate Queer Liberation March and host a roundtable with two former ACT UP members: “Gay USA” host Ann Northrop and Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves. We also speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, who wrote “Angels in America.”

"No Justification": Minneapolis Demands Murder Charges for Police Officer Who Killed George Floyd

Parts of Minneapolis erupted into flames Wednesday night as residents again took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday. A viral video shows Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for a number of minutes as Floyd repeatedly says “I cannot breathe.” Three other officers stood by as George Floyd suffocated. They have been identified as Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. All four officers were fired on Tuesday. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called on prosecutors to file criminal charges against Derek Chauvin. We speak with civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, founder of the Racial Justice Network and former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “What needs to happen is that charges need to be brought immediately against the four officers who killed George Floyd,” she says. “There is simply no justification for what they did or why they did it.”

Headlines for May 28, 2020

"Horrifying Neglect": COVID-19 Deaths in ICE Custody Spark New Calls for Mass Release of Prisoners

Calls are growing for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release people from detention during the pandemic, as two people have died from COVID-19 while in custody. We speak with The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux, who reported on how Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia, held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, suffered horrifying neglect before he passed away. We are also joined by Erika Andiola with RAICES Action. “None of those folks — especially people who migrated seeking asylum — they did not do anything to deserve a life sentence in a detention center,” Andiola notes.

COVID Racial Data Tracker: Ibram X. Kendi on How Better Data Reveals the True Toll of the Pandemic

Ibram X. Kendi says early media coverage of COVID-19 as “the great equalizer” missed the racial impact of the disease. But it soon became clear “that it was Latino Americans and African Americans and Native Americans in particular who were disproportionately being infected and dying.” The award-winning author and founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University joins us to discuss why he started the COVID Racial Data Tracker.

From George Floyd to Chris Cooper: Ibram X. Kendi on "Racist Terror" Facing Black People in America

“I can’t breathe” — that’s what George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, repeatedly told a white Minneapolis police officer who pinned him to the ground Monday with a knee to his neck. Video of the police attack went viral. Now four officers have been fired. This comes as another video went viral of a white woman calling the cops on a Black man in New York City’s Central Park and falsely accusing him of “threatening her life” after he asked her to leash her dog. We discuss these developments and more with Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University and National Book Award–winning author of “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” and “How to Be an Antiracist.”

Headlines for May 27, 2020

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Be Kind: What New Zealand Can Teach the World About Eliminating COVID-19

New Zealand implemented one of the earliest lockdowns and has largely succeeded in eliminating the coronavirus under the leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Some of the country’s success has been attributed to her leadership, trust in science, and clear communication during the crisis. We get an update from Michael Baker, professor of public health at the University of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand. He is an epidemiologist and a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group. Baker has been advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their slogan is “Stay home, stay safe, and be kind.”

Photojournalist Sebastião Salgado: Brazil’s Reckless COVID Response Threatens Indigenous Survival

As Brazil sees more than 800 deaths in 24 hours and nearly 400,000 confirmed cases, we look at COVID-19’s devastating impact on Brazil’s Indigenous peoples, who are dying at double the rate of the rest of the country. We speak with world-renowned Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado, who wrote an open letter to right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who called the virus a “little flu,” to warn him the pandemic is “an extreme threat to their very survival.”

Headlines for May 26, 2020

Noam Chomsky on Trump's Disastrous Coronavirus Response, WHO, China, Gaza and Global Capitalism

How did the United States — the richest country in the world — become the worldwide epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, with one person dying of COVID-19 every 47 seconds? We spend the hour with Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, discussing this unprecedented moment in history, and its political implications. Chomsky reflects on the significance of the Bernie Sanders campaign, calling it “an extraordinary success” that “completely shifted the arena of debate and discussion” in the United States. He also responds to President Trump’s cuts to U.S. support for the World Health Organization and the surge in deaths in the United States to another record high, and discusses conditions in Gaza, the rise of authoritarianism around the world, and the progressive response

FBI Says It Will Investigate Breonna Taylor Shooting Death as Police Chief Announces Retirement

We speak with Ben Crump, attorney for the family of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old aspiring nurse who was shot to death by police inside her own apartment. Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department that details how police shot Taylor at least eight times after they burst into her apartment, unannounced, with a search warrant. The man police were looking for did not live in Taylor’s apartment and was reportedly already detained by police when officers arrived at Taylor’s residence on the night of March 13. At the time of her killing, Taylor had been working as an emergency medical technician treating COVID-19 patients.

Third White Man Arrested for Murder in Ahmaud Arbery Shooting as DOJ Considers Hate Crime Charges

Authorities have arrested a third white man for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, this one charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. We speak with civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump about how William Bryan filmed Arbery jogging down a narrow road in Brunswick, Georgia, in broad daylight, before he was confronted by two armed white men — retired police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis — who shot him three times. “This was never about any trespassing or burglary,” Crump says. “This was always about profiling Ahmaud Arbery because of the color of his skin.”

Headlines for May 22, 2020

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