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

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  • Mike_prison_labor
    Many of the toughest sentencing laws responsible for the explosion of the U.S. prison population were drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which helps corporations write model legislation. Now a new exposé reveals ALEC has paved the way for states and corporations to replace unionized workers with prison labor. We speak with Mike Elk, contributing labor reporter at The Nation magazine. He says ALEC and private prison companies...
    Aug 05, 2011 | Story
  • Danziger_officers_button
    This week federal prosecutors in New Orleans finished presenting their case against police officers involved in the infamous Danziger Bridge shooting in the days after Hurricane Katrina. Four police officers are charged with shooting six unarmed civilians, killing two. A fifth officer is accused of helping them cover up their crimes. On Wednesday, the trial culminated in final arguments, leaving the case in a jury’s hands. A verdict could...
    Aug 05, 2011 | Story
  • Gutierrez_arrest_button
    This week, thousands of immigrants and their allies protested outside the White House, denouncing the Obama administration for deporting more than one million immigrants in the last two years. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Democrat from Illinois, was among the dozens of protesters arrested on Tuesday for peacefully occupying the White House sidewalk. He participated in the act of nonviolent civil disobedience one day after he received a letter from President...
    Jul 29, 2011 | Story
  • New_gay_marriage
    Hundreds of gay couples got married across New York state Sunday after it became the sixth and most populous state in the United States to recognize same-sex marriages. New York joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia in allowing same-sex unions. But gay marriage is still specifically banned in 39 states. On Sunday, Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53, were married with Niagara Falls in the...
    Jul 25, 2011 | Story
  • Play_hunger_strike2
    Thousands of inmates in at least 13 prisons across California’s troubled prison system have been on hunger strike for almost two weeks. Many are protesting in solidarity with inmates held in Pelican Bay State Prison, California’s first super-maximum security prison, over what prisoners say are cruel and unusual conditions in "Secure Housing Units." We play an audio statement from one of the Pelican Bay prisoners and speak to...
    Jul 15, 2011 | Story
  • Gay_marriage_button
    Late Friday night, New York became the sixth and largest state to approve same-sex marriage. After complicated behind-the-scenes negotiations, four Republican senators joined all but one Democrat to pass the bill in a close vote in the State Senate. The State Assembly, with a Democratic majority, had approved it earlier in the month. Two days after the passage of the measure, tens of thousands of people took to the streets for New York City’s...
    Jun 27, 2011 | Story
  • Walmart_button
    The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the largest class action lawsuit in history filed by 1.5 million current and former female employees of Wal-Mart, who say they were allegedly paid less and promoted less often than their male counterparts. The Court found women who worked at Wal-Mart did not have enough in common to constitute a "class" in a class action lawsuit. It did not address whether Wal-Mart had discriminated against...
    Jun 21, 2011 | Story
  • June17_playbutton
    We spend the hour with legendary independent filmmaker and author, John Sayles. Over the past three decades, he has directed 17 feature films, including Return of the Secaucus Seven, Matewan, Lone Star, and Eight Men Out. He has often used his films to tackle pressing political issues, as well as themes of race, class, labor and sexuality. His newest film, Amigo, which opens in August, is set in the Philippines during the U.S. occupation. Sayles...
    Jun 17, 2011 | Story
  • Obama_button
    On Tuesday, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Puerto Rico in a half century. His trip underscored the growing importance that Puerto Ricans will play in the 2012 U.S. elections. Although Puerto Ricans living on the island cannot vote for president, there are about 4.6 million Puerto Ricans living in the 50 states, including an estimated 857,000 in the battleground state of Florida. We speak with University of Puerto...
    Jun 15, 2011 | Story
  • Fbi_crow_button
    Civil liberties advocates are raising alarm over news the FBI is giving agents more leeway to conduct domestic surveillance. According to the New York Times, new guidelines will allow FBI agents to investigate people and organizations "proactively" without firm evidence for suspecting criminal activity. We speak to former FBI agent Mike German, who now works at the American Civil Liberties Union, and Texas activist Scott Crow, who has...
    Jun 14, 2011 | Story