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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

  • Ex-Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson, Former Democrat, Launches Third Party Presidential Bid Against Obama, GOP

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    A new political party has entered the fray as an alternative to Democrats and Republicans ahead of the 2012 elections. On Monday, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced he will run for president with the newly formed Justice Party. Although hailing from a solidly red state, Anderson has been known as one of the most progressive mayors of any major U.S. city in recent years. During his two mayoral terms from 2000 to 2008, Anderson was an outspoken champion of LGBT rights, environmental sustainability, and the antiwar movement in opposition to the Iraq War. Vowing to fight the influence of money over politics, Anderson kicked off his campaign on Monday with a pledge to limit individual donations to $100 a person. Anderson and the Justice Party say they hope to build a grassroots movement heading into the November 2012 elections. "We launched the Justice Party because the entire system is so corrupt," Anderson says. "It’s so diseased. We know that the public interest is not being served by anyone in the system right now, particularly the two dominant parties who have sustained this corrupt system and who are sustained by it." [includes rush transcript]

  • Occupy Protesters Shut Down Major West Coast Ports, Targeting Goldman Sachs

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    The Occupy Wall Street movement moved from the streets to the docks on Monday with a series of actions along the West Coast, including San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, Portland, Tacoma, Longview, Seattle, Bellingham, Anchorage and Vancouver. Many actions led to confrontations with police, resulting in scores of arrests, and in some cases, the use of pepper spray and flash grenades on demonstrators. Several ports were forced to temporarily cease operations, with terminals in Portland and Seattle completely shut down. In Oakland, an evening march to the port was led by Scott Olsen, the Marine Corps veteran struck in the head in October allegedly by a police projectile. For more, we are joined by Jorge Gonzalez of Iraq Veterans Against the War. "I see the struggle that’s going on with the port workers and the truck drivers down in Seattle and across the West Coast," Gonzalez says, who was pepper-sprayed on Monday while taking part in the Seattle protest. "They deal with the same issues, like mental health, homelessness. Veterans, they see themselves connected with all these issues." We also speak with Anthony Leviege, a dockworker at the Oakland port and member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. [includes rush transcript]

  • "The Arab People Have Woken Up": Yemeni Activist Tawakkul Karman Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

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    The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was presented this weekend to three women for "their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work." Democracy Now! aired highlights on Monday of the acceptance speeches of Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first democratically elected female head of state on the African continent. Today we complete our coverage with the acceptance speech of Tawakkul Karman from Yemen, the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as its youngest winner to date. Karman, a 32-year-old mother of three and an outspoken journalist and activist, has agitated for press freedoms and staged weekly sit-ins to demand the release of political prisoners from jail. She founded Women Journalists Without Chains and has played a leading part in the struggle for women’s rights and for democracy in Yemen. Most recently, she has led rallies in the protests against the rule of the longstanding U.S. ally, President Ali Abdullah Saleh. "The Arab world is today witnessing the birth of a new world, which tyrants and unjust rulers strive to oppose. But in the end, this new world will inevitably emerge," Karman says. "Our oppressed people have revolted, declaring the emergence of a new dawn in which the sovereignty of the people, and their invincible will, will prevail. The people have decided to break free and walk in the footsteps of civilized free people of the world." [includes rush transcript]

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