Democracy Now!

Headlines for September 9, 2019

Shut It Down: Veteran Organizer Lisa Fithian Offers a Guide to Resistance in Era of Climate Crisis

Lisa Fithian is a longtime organizer and nonviolent direct action trainer since the 1970s. She has shut down the CIA. She has occupied Wall Street, disrupted the World Trade Organization and stood her ground in Tahrir Square. She has walked in solidarity with the tribal leaders at Standing Rock and defended communities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She joined us at the Democracy Now! studio to talk about her new book, which was published this week, titled “Shut It Down: Stories from a Fierce, Loving Resistance.” Fithian is currently on a book tour and doing a new workshop called “Escalating Resistance: Mass Rebellion Training.”

Robert Mugabe, Ousted Zimbabwean President & Liberation Leader, Dies at 95

Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader, Robert Mugabe, has died at the age of 95. In 1963, he helped found the Zimbabwe African National Union in an effort to liberate the country from decades of white-minority rule. He was jailed from 1963 to 1974. Once freed, Mugabe became a leader of the liberation movement which successfully led to the formation of an independent Zimbabwe in 1979. He became Zimbabwe’s first prime minister in 1980, but he would continue ruling the country for the next 37 years. While Mugabe has been hailed as one of the most significant anti-colonial leaders of the 20th century, he was widely criticized for how he led Zimbabwe and for his refusal to hand over power until he was ousted in a coup in 2017. His death was announced by his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. To talk more about the legacy of Robert Mugabe, we speak with Horace Campbell, professor of African American studies and political science at Syracuse University.

"We Are on the Frontline": Despite Tiny Carbon Footprint, Bahamas Is Ground Zero of Climate Crisis

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm over the weekend, lingering for days and leaving nearly unimaginable destruction in its path. The airport on Grand Bahama Island has been completely decimated, and entire neighborhoods have been razed. Hundreds, if not thousands, remain missing. We speak with University of Miami assistant professor Erica Moiah James about the climate change-fueled hurricane and how the people in the Bahamas are on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

"Staggering" Death Toll Feared in Bahamas as Thousands Remain Missing After Hurricane Dorian

As Hurricane Dorian lashes North Carolina and continues its path north, the death toll in the Bahamas has risen to 30 people. The actual number is expected to be far higher, with hundreds, if not thousands, still missing in the island nation. We speak to Susan Mangicaro, senior adviser for emergency response at the International Medical Corps, about ongoing rescue efforts in the Bahamas.

Headlines for September 6, 2019

Nearly 2 Million People in India Could Lose Citizenship in Biggest Disenfranchisement in History

Nearly 2 million people in the northeast state of Assam are at risk of being rendered stateless in India after the government published its National Register of Citizens list Saturday. The highly contested register was first created in 1951 and lists people who are able to prove they came to the state by March 24, 1971 — the day before neighboring Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, declared independence from Pakistan. The Indian government says the list helps identify Bangladeshi migrants who are not legal residents. Critics have denounced the register as an attempt to deport millions of Muslims. Residents suspected of being foreigners can be rounded up and sent to prison camps. Assam residents were in shock after the NRC was published. Assam residents who do not appear on the list have 120 days to appeal their exclusion before so-called foreigner tribunals. We speak with award-winning Indian author and journalist Siddhartha Deb, who was born in northeast India. “It’s become this incredible exercise in disenfranchisement,” he says. “The process has been riven with confusion, with arbitrariness for the past few years.”

After DNC Rejects Climate Debate, Candidates Discuss Green New Deal, Environmental Justice at Forum

Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls took to the stage in New York City Wednesday night for a climate town hall hosted by CNN. The event was held less than two weeks after the Democratic National Committee rejected a resolution that would have allowed candidates to participate in a debate focused on the climate crisis. For months, the Sunrise Movement and other environmental groups pushed the DNC to hold a climate debate, but the party refused. We host a roundtable with former EPA official Mustafa Ali, journalist Kate Aronoff and Sunrise Movement digital director Mattias Lehman.

Last Night, Biden Touted His Climate Plan. Tonight, He'll Attend a Fossil Fuel Exec's Fundraiser.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing scrutiny after being questioned about his relationship with the fossil fuel industry at CNN’s town hall on the climate crisis Wednesday. An audience member asked Biden about his plans to attend a fundraiser hosted by fossil fuel executive Andrew Goldman the day after the town hall, despite taking a pledge to reject oil and gas money. Biden initially denied Goldman’s ties to the fossil fuel industry, despite Goldman co-founding a natural gas company called Western LNG. When pressed by Anderson Cooper, Biden said he would look into the matter further. We host a roundtable with Mustafa Ali, former head of the environmental justice program at the Environmental Protection Agency; journalist Kate Aronoff; and Mattias Lehman, digital director at Sunrise Movement.

Headlines for September 5, 2019

Nigerian Journalist & Activist Omoyele Sowore Remains Jailed for Calling for Peaceful Protests

Journalist and pro-democracy activist Omoyele Sowore is entering his second month in jail for calling for peaceful nationwide protests against the government. Sowore called his movement “Revolution Now” and mobilized activists to take to the streets August 5. But just two days before the protests were set to begin, Sowore was arrested by the state and accused of attempting to take over the government. He’s been imprisoned for more than a month now as human rights groups continue to call for his immediate release. We speak with his wife Opeyemi Sowore and Nani Jansen Reventlow, one of the attorneys representing Omoyele Sowore.

U.S. Journalist & Activist Brandon Lee Shot in Philippines After Being Called "Enemy of the State"

American journalist and indigenous and environmental rights activist Brandon Lee remains in critical condition in the Philippines more than four weeks after being shot multiple times outside his home in the northern region of the country in early August. Lee was shot at least four times in the back and face on August 6 in what his family and advocates say was an attempt by the Philippines government to kill him. Brandon Lee is a Chinese American born and raised in San Francisco, but he has spent the last decade in the Philippines, where he has a wife and young daughter. He is a correspondent for the weekly newspaper Northern Dispatch and an activist with local peasant, indigenous rights and environmental organizations. Lee’s editor at Northern Dispatch told the Committee to Protect Journalists that he has been targeted for this work since 2015, facing relentless surveillance from President Rodrigo Duterte’s government. We speak with San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney, who led a fact-finding delegation to the Philippines last week to investigate the attack, and Filipina activist Raquel Redondiez, a friend of Brandon Lee.

"This Is a Climate Emergency": Islands Devastated by Dorian Are on the Frontlines of a Dying Planet

It is a scene of utter devastation after the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas. Residents of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas are now bracing for the storm, which has been downgraded to Category 2. The official death in the Bahamas is at seven but is expected to rise. On the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, as many as 13,000 homes have been destroyed or heavily damaged. Rescue efforts have been hampered by widespread flooding. Some reports say 70 to 80% of the affected areas remains underwater, including the Grand Bahama International Airport. The Bahamas Red Cross and other relief groups are scrambling to help survivors. From Freeport in Grand Bahama, we speak to Crystal deGregory, professor at Kentucky State University’s Atwood Institute for Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal, and Sam Teicher, the founder and chief reef officer for Coral Vita, which is based in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Headlines for September 4, 2019

Hong Kong's "Father of Democracy" Martin Lee Calls on Gov't to Heed Demonstrators' Demands

Following another weekend of mass protests in Hong Kong, this marks 13 weeks of protesters calling for greater political freedom and the scrapping of a controversial extradition bill with China. For the past two days, thousands of students have boycotted the beginning of classes. On Sunday, protesters returned to Hong Kong’s airport, where they barricaded roads in an attempt to shut down the airport again. On Saturday, police fired tear gas and water cannons during a chaotic night of street demonstrations. Some masked protesters were seen throwing Molotov cocktails at the police. Earlier today, Carrie Lam denied she ever offered to resign. From Hong Kong, we speak with Martin Lee, the founding chair of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong.

Fueled by Climate Change, Hurricane Dorian Devastates the Bahamas in "Unprecedented Disaster"

Hurricane Dorian is continuing to wreak havoc in the Bahamas, where massive storms and flooding have killed five people and left many stranded on the Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands over the weekend. The Category 3 storm pummeled the islands throughout Monday with up to 180-mile-per-hour winds and continued to be stalled in the region Tuesday. Hurricane Dorian is one of the strongest recorded storms to ever strike the Atlantic, and is expected to continue a destructive path toward Florida and then onward to the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. It made landfall as a Category 5 storm in the Bahamas Sunday. We speak to two guests: Christian Campbell, a Bahamian poet, scholar and essayist, and Tiphanie Yanique, an award-winning poet and novelist from the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas.

Texas Eases Gun Laws One Day After Odessa Massacre Leaves 7 Dead, 22 Injured

A gunman killed seven people and injured 22 others on Saturday, including a 17-month-old girl. Police have identified the shooter as 36-year-old Seth Ator. He went on the rampage just hours after being fired from his trucking job. The deadly string of events began when a Midland police officer pulled over Ator for failing to use his signal. Police say Ator then opened fire using an AR-15-style weapon before speeding away. He then began shooting at random residents and motorists. The rampage ended 20 miles away when the gunman died in a shootout with police outside a movie theater in Odessa. Meanwhile, eight new laws easing gun restrictions went into effect in Texas on Sunday. It is now easier to carry guns in Texas churches, schools and apartment buildings. We speak to Ed Scruggs, president of the board of directors and spokesperson for Texas Gun Sense.

Headlines for September 3, 2019

Death and Resistance on the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Democracy Now! Special

Democracy Now! travels to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona to follow the humanitarian activist Scott Warren into the Sonoran Desert as he accompanies other No More Deaths volunteers as they leave water and food for migrants making the treacherous journey north. Warren is currently facing up to 10 years in prison for his humanitarian work in the Sonoran Desert, where the bodies and bones of more than 3,000 people — nearly all migrants — have been found since 2001. We also speak to the Tucson-based artist Alvaro Enciso, creator of the project Where Dreams Die. He has built and installed over 900 crosses across the treacherous Sonoran Desert to mark where migrants have died.