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Democracy Now! stories, posts and pages that relate to Civil Rights

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    Washington state is set to become the seventh state to legalize gay marriage following a vote in the State House. The vote came just a day after a U.S. appeals court ruled California’s ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, is unconstitutional. We discuss marriage equality with Josh Friedes of Equal Rights Washington, Rick Jacobs of Courage Campaign, and Kalil Cohen, a transgender community organizer based in Los Angeles....
    Feb 09, 2012 | Story
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    The New York City Police Department is under mounting criticism after police shot dead an unarmed teenager inside his own home. Eighteen-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot at close range in his parents’ apartment in the Bronx after being chased into the house by narcotics detectives. Police said they found marijuana in the home and think Graham may have been trying to flush some down the toilet. The NYPD is coming under criticism not only...
    Feb 08, 2012 | Story
  • Jihad-button
    Representatives from the New York City Muslim community, together with local ethnic and interfaith groups, gathered at City Hall Thursday calling for the resignation of New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly and police spokesperson Paul Browne after it was revealed an anti-Muslim film, "The Third Jihad," was screened to nearly 1,500 officers during training. After initial denials, the NYPD admitted the officers...
    Jan 27, 2012 | Story
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    Public school officials in Tucson, Arizona, have released a list of seven books that can no longer be used in classrooms following their suspension of the district’s acclaimed Mexican American Studies program. Last year, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal ruled the program violated a new state law, saying it "promote[s] resentment toward a race or class of people." "If all you’re teaching...
    Jan 18, 2012 | Story
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    As protests mount against two controversial internet anti-piracy bills moving through Congress, we speak with Rebecca MacKinnon, author of the forthcoming book, "Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom." "If we want democracy to survive in the internet age, we really need to work to make sure that the internet evolves in a manner that is compatible with democracy," MacKinnon says. "And...
    Jan 17, 2012 | Story
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    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world, without charge or trial. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists...
    Jan 17, 2012 | Story
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    "Makeda," the new novel by TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson, is set at the dawn of the civil rights era. The book follows a young man coming of age in segregated Richmond, Virginia, who discovers his roots in Africa through his blind grandmother. "Sometimes when we think of slavery, we calculate the economic consequence of it," Robinson says. "But we have not calculated the psychosocial consequence of it, unless we...
    Jan 13, 2012 | Story
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    On this eve of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we host a wide-ranging discussion with TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson and author Michelle Alexander about the mass incarceration of African Americans that has rolled back many achievements of the civil rights movement. Today there are more African Americans under correctional control, whether in prison or jail, on probation or on parole, than there were enslaved in 1850. And more...
    Jan 13, 2012 | Story
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    Detainees at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay launched a hunger strike today marking the prison’s 10th anniversary, inspired in part by U.S. activists who have called for a national day of action. "They will be staging a series of peaceful protests that will involve sit-ins with signs and banners in the part of the prison that has communal areas, as well as hunger strikes," says Ramzi Kassem, counsel to a number of...
    Jan 10, 2012 | Story
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    On the 10th anniversary of when the United States began detaining terror suspects at its Guantánamo Bay military base in Cuba, we speak with a former prisoner and the ex-chief U.S. prosecutor, who both call for the Obama administration to close the base. "People are locked up in isolation camps... People lost their hands, lost their eyes, lost their limbs," says Omar Deghayes, who was arrested in Pakistan as a terror suspect and held...
    Jan 10, 2012 | Story