We hadn't seen Bernie Sanders in Philadelphia since last July, when he watched his primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, win the Democratic Party's nomination. Sanders joined the Democracy Now! news hour this week at the historic Philadelphia Free Library for a wide-ranging discussion. "I am deeply concerned about the future of American democracy," Sanders told the enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd. Millions of Americans voted for Sanders in the primaries. He transformed the 2016 U.S.
Sultana Khaya's eyes don't match perfectly. One of them is artificial. In 2005, a Moroccan police officer rammed his baton into her eye socket while she was peacefully protesting with fellow college students. He then gouged her eye out with his hand.
Sultana is Sahrawi (Sah-ha-RAH-wee), the Indigenous population native to Western Sahara. Occupied by the Kingdom of Morocco since 1975, Western Sahara is commonly referred to as Africa's last colony. The Sahrawis are in a protracted struggle for self-determination, and face terrible repression by Morocco.
The world is reeling from Donald Trump's election. With each passing day, news of his potential Cabinet and other senior appointments emerges, defining a far-right-wing administration that few could have imagined possible just weeks ago. Protests across the United States continue, day after day, night after night, and have spread internationally. School administrators are making counsellors available to deal with the confusion overwhelming their students, especially immigrant children who fear they or their parents may well be targeted as part of Trump's promised roundup and deportation of 3 million undocumented people.
From Barack Obama, the first African-American president, the pendulum has ominously swung to the Ku Klux Klan's choice, Donald Trump. Just elected the 45th president of the United States, Trump opened his campaign calling Mexicans "rapists," and promised to build a wall along the border with Mexico (and to make Mexico pay for it). He vowed to ban Muslims from entering the country, insulted people with disabilities, bragged about committing sexual assault, denied climate change and said he would jail his opponent, Hillary Clinton. With the House of Representatives and the Senate remaining in Republican control, Trump's power could be almost entirely unchecked.
President Barack Obama foreshadowed more complications for the Dakota Access Pipeline this week, as he told an interviewer that "right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline." With hundreds arrested in recent weeks at the Standoff at Standing Rock, North Dakota, the movement to halt construction of this 1,200-mile, $3.8-billion oil pipeline only builds. Musicians are increasingly joining the fray, striking an unexpected chord: pressuring oil billionaire Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, which owns the pipeline.
It has been 140 years since Alexander Graham Bell uttered the first words through his experimental telephone, to his lab assistant: "Mr. Watson -- come here -- I want to see you." His invention transformed human communication, and the world. The company he started grew into a massive monopoly, AT&T. The federal government eventually deemed it too powerful, and broke up the telecom giant in 1982. Well, AT&T is back and some would say on track to become bigger and more powerful than before, announcing plans to acquire Time Warner, the media company, to create one of the largest entertainment and communications conglomerates on the planet.
Monday was a cold, windy, autumnal day in North Dakota. We arrived outside the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan to produce a live broadcast of the Democracy Now! news hour. Originally, the location was dictated by the schedule imposed upon us by the local authorities; one of us (Amy) had been charged with criminal trespass for Democracy Now!'s reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline company's violent attack on Native Americans who were attempting to block the destruction of sacred sites, including ancestral burial grounds, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
Hurricane Matthew has come and gone, leaving devastation in its wake. So far, at least 1,000 people are reported to have died in Haiti, and at least 39 have died throughout the southeastern United States. In North Carolina, the rivers are still rising. In this election year, given the destruction, you would think climate change would be a major issue. In the presidential debates, which tens of millions watch, there has hardly been a mention. It is what is happening outside, in the grassroots around the country, that gives us hope.
President Barack Obama made a brief statement in the Rose Garden Wednesday, announcing that the global accord to combat climate change, the Paris Agreement, had achieved enough signatories to enter into force. "This gives us the best possible shot to save the one planet we've got," Obama said. At that moment, about 1,200 miles due south, Hurricane Matthew, as reported by Weather Underground, was "reorganizing" and "restrengthening" over the Bahamas, after pounding Haiti and Cuba. Millions along Florida's east coast and many more in South Carolina were battening down their homes and evacuating. Nature's fury raged onward, unmoved by the diplomatic efforts to tame her.
Grassroots organizing, the hard work of building movements, can be gruelling. Pay is often low or nonexistent. Success is never assured. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." But it doesn't bend itself. Right now, under some of the most repressive circumstances that exist in the United States, a national movement is growing for prisoners' rights. The United States has less than 5 per cent of the world's population and almost 25 per cent of the world's prisoners. This movement is rippling out from a solitary-confinement cell inside the Holman Correctional Facility in rural Atmore, Alabama.