On Monday, May 23, I took a day off from work to head to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to hear Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now! speak. She was on a 100 city tour in support of her new book celebrating the 20th anniversary of Democracy Now!
Her brother, David Goodman, provided some introductory remarks to provide some background on Amy Goodman’s life before Democracy Now!. After that, Amy took to the podium.
She began by giving a history of; Democracy Now!, which was only supposed to last until after the 1996 election, and the Pacifica Radio network that would be the program’s initial home. Both Pacifica and Democracy Now have been under attack; Amy recounted how the KKK attacked the Houston, Texas, Pacifica affiliate twice, and how a Philadelphia station pulled Democracy Now! after the programmed interviewed Mumia Abu-Jamal, who at that time was on death row for allegedly killing a Philadelphia Police Officer.
She spoke of how on Election Day 2000, she received a phone call from then President Bill Clinton, and took the opportunity to ask several hard and probing questions. She used the incidents with the KKK to criticize Donald Trump, and spoke of how silent the mainstream media has been about Bernie Sander’s campaign.
But the thrust of her speech was about the various movements that she and Democracy Now! have covered and how they seem to keep coming back; the 1999 protests at the World Trade Organization in Seattle, led to Occupy and to the Sander’s Campaign. A student at the University of Missouri going to Ferguson gets inspired to protest that university’s president. The Charlestown Shooting leads to a young woman to climb a flagpole and take down the Confederate Battle Flag that had flown over the South Carolina State Capital. She spoke of the folks who have gathered at the Climate Summits.
What she did not speak on, though, was the anti-war movement of the early part of the 21st century. Or of the current efforts of Transsexuals to gain respect.
Her words did inspire one person though; on my way back from the event, another attendee said he was inspired to create his own media. I gave him a few sites that may be places for him to start.