An Undemocratic Party? Ahead of First Debate, Criticism Grows over DNC’s Move to Control Process
Five Democratic presidential candidates will square off tonight in Las Vegas for the first of six debates in the 2016 campaign. The participants are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. Hawaii Congressmember and Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard will not be attending the debate, and says she was disinvited after publicly calling for more than six debates. We get a preview of the debate with Bill Curry, Salon.com political columnist, former White House counselor to President Clinton and a two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut.
Shock & Panic in Turkey: Deadliest Terrorist Attack in Country’s History Leaves as Many as 128 Dead
As many as 128 people died in Turkey Saturday when nearly simultaneous explosions ripped through a pro-peace rally in the country’s capital of Ankara. More than 245 people were injured. The bombs went off just as Kurdish groups, trade unions and leftist organizations were preparing to begin a march protesting the resumption of fighting between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants. Earlier today, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed ISIL for carrying out the attack. But march organizers accused the government of failing to prevent it. Saturday’s bombing occurred three weeks before Turkey’s snap parliamentary elections. Tensions in Turkey have escalated since June, when the ruling AKP party lost its parliamentary majority in a major defeat for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The opposition HDP party won 13 percent of the vote, securing seats in Parliament for the first time. Since the elections, hostilities between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants have sharply escalated. We speak to Turkish parliamentarian Hisyar Özsoy and UCLA professor Asli Ü. Bâli.
Patti Smith on Closing Guantánamo, Remembering Rachel Corrie and Feeling Frustrated with Obama
Beside being known for her music and writing, Patti Smith has been a longtime activist, performing regularly at antiwar rallies and political benefits. She has also written songs about former Guantánamo prisoner Murat Kurnaz and Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old college student who was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza in 2003. She talks about these songs and her assessment of the Obama administration.
Legendary Patti Smith on Her New Memoir "M Train" & National Book Award Winner "Just Kids"
In a Democracy Now! special, the legendary poet, singer, activist Patti Smith joins us for the hour. Her new memoir "M Train" has just been published. In 2010, her best-selling memoir, "Just Kids," won a National Book Award. "Just Kids" examined her relationship with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989. The new memoir focuses in part on Smith’s late husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, who died five years later. Patti Smith is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of "Horses," her landmark debut album, which has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time by Rolling Stone.
Does Free Speech Have a Palestine Exception? Dismissed Professor Steven Salaita Speaks Out
A new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal has documented hundreds of cases of Palestinian rights activists in the United States being harassed, disciplined, fired, sued, censored or threatened for their advocacy around Palestine. Eighty-five percent of these cases targeted students or scholars. We look at the case of Steven Salaita. Last year, his job offer for a tenured position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was withdrawn after he posted tweets harshly critical of the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza. The school had come under pressure from donors, students, parents and alumni critical of Salaita’s views, with some threatening to withdraw financial support. His case caused a firestorm, with thousands of academics signing petitions calling for Salaita’s reinstatement, several lecturers canceling appearances and the American Association of University Professors calling the school’s actions "inimical to academic freedom and due process." In August, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise resigned after she was implicated in a scandal that involved attempting to hide emails detailing Salaita’s ouster. We speak with Steven Salaita and attorney Maria LaHood, who is representing Salaita in his ongoing lawsuit against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.