Modal close

Hi there,

This week, Democracy Now! is celebrating our 24th birthday. That's 24 years of hard-hitting news that you know has never been funded by commercial advertisers, corporate underwriters or the government. This is how we protect the editorial independence you rely on. It also means we're counting on you. In honor of our 24th birthday, a generous supporter will DOUBLE every donation to Democracy Now!, meaning your gift can go twice times as far. Please do your part. It takes just minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else for another 24 years. Thank you so much!
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


NYC City Council Backs Plan to Close Rikers as Activists Call for No New Jails

HeadlineOct 18, 2019

The New York City Council has approved an $8 billion plan to close Rikers Island by 2026 and build four new jails across New York City, in what many are calling a national model for prison reform. New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson backed the closing of Rikers.

Speaker Corey Johnson: “Conditions matter. These jails are disgusting. These jails should have been closed years ago. We are doing it today. I will proudly vote yes. Thank you all very, very much.”

For decades, human rights activists have protested the violence, abuse and mismanagement inside Rikers Island and have called for its closure, yet many activists now oppose the plan to replace Rikers with four new jails. The group No New Jails NYC staged a protest outside City Hall on Thursday. This is Nabil Hassein, a member of the group.

Nabil Hassein: “In 2015, the same mayor and a lot the same city councilmembers voted to increase the NYPD budget by over $100 million to hire 1,300 more cops. Now they want to spend 10, 11 — who knows how many — billions of dollars building what would be the tallest skyscraper jails in the world. These so-called progressives need to take that money and spend it on what would actually keep New Yorkers safe and keep New Yorkers out of jail, things like housing, education, healthcare, including mental healthcare. These are the things that the city should be spending resources on, instead of investing billions of dollars in locking up our children, our children’s children. They’re talking about multigenerational jails that would be here for decades. And we’re here to stop them.”

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop