Wednesday, January 21, 2009

21 Jan 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

Barack Obama Sworn In as 44th President of United States
At 12:04 p.m. on Tuesday, before a record crowd of over one million people, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in, becoming the nation’s first African American president. Obama laid his hand on the same Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his inauguration in 1861. [includes rush transcript]

Civil Rights Icon Rev. Joseph Lowery Delivers Benediction at Obama Inauguration
The Reverend Joseph Lowery gave the benediction at the inauguration. Lowery is a towering figure in the civil rights movement. In 1955, he helped lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Two years later, he and Martin Luther King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1965, Rev. Lowery led the march from Selma to Montgomery. At Tuesday’s inauguration he began the benediction with the opening lines of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” [includes rush transcript]

Obama Presidency "An Opportunity for Us to Force Our Voice in the Mainstream of the Decision-Making Process" - Harry Belafonte Speaks at Peace Ball
More than eighty gala events took place across Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. One of them was the Peace Ball, sponsored by Busboys and Poets and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The highlight of the night was special guest host, the legendary singer, actor and humanitarian, Harry Belafonte. We play his full remarks. [includes rush transcript]

Over 1 Million Brave Cold Weather, Long Lines to Witness Historic Inauguration
Over a million people filled the National Mall Tuesday to watch Obama take the oath. Many stood in line for hours in the cold to get a glimpse of the nation’s first black president.

Bill Fletcher on an Historic Inauguration in the Shadow of Gaza
Bill Fletcher, author and editor of the Black Commentator, speaks of conflicting emotions in an historic inauguration: the relief of welcoming the nation’s first black president elected on a platform for change, yet the grief and anger as Palestinians sift through the rubble of the devastating U.S.-backed attack on the Gaza Strip.

President Obama Calls for "New Era of Responsibility" in Inaugural Address
Barack Hussein Obama has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. In his inaugural address, President Obama said, “We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.” We play an excerpt of his address. [includes rush transcript]

Novelist Alice Walker and Activist Grace Lee Boggs React to Obama's Inauguration
“The Color Purple” author Alice Walker shares a poem she wrote to mark the inauguration. And she speaks with legendary 93-year-old civil rights activist and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs.

Code Pink Hands Out Thousands of Ribbons Urging Obama to Keep Campaign Promises on War, Guantanamo, Torture
Along the inaugural parade route, the peace group Code Pink were handing out thousands of pink ribbons, encouraging people to join them in holding President Obama to his campaign peace promises: End the war in Iraq; shut down Guantanamo; reject the Military Commissions Act; stop torture; work to eliminate nuclear weapons; hold direct, unconditional talks with Iran; and abide by Senate-approved international treaties. We speak with Code Pink founder, Medea Benjamin.

Palestinian U.S. College Grad Loses 2 Brothers in Israeli Shooting; Father Watched Son Bleed to Death After Israeli Troops Bar Ambulances
Amer Shurrab is a Palestinian from Khan Younes and a recent graduate of Vermont’s Middlebury College. On Friday, his father and two brothers were fleeing their village when their vehicle came under Israeli fire. Twenty-eight year old Kassab died in a hail of bullets trying to flee the vehicle. Eighteen-year old Ibrahim survived the initial attack. But Israeli troops refused to allow an ambulance to reach them until twenty hours later. By then it was too late. Ibrahim had bled to death in front of his father. Amer joins us to tell his story.

Obama Sworn in as 44th President
Obama: Military Power “Doesn’t Entitle Us to Do As We Please”
Bush Booed at Ceremony, Returns to Texas
Court Grants Cheney Secrecy Over Records
Obama Orders Halt to Gitmo Trials
Israel Completes Gaza Withdrawal
Ban Ki-moon “Appalled” at Israeli Attack on UN Compound
Israel Accused of Killing 14 in Gaza Village
Israeli Officials Demand Control of Gaza Reconstruction
UN Rapporteur on Torture Calls for Prosecuting Bush, Rumsfeld
Relatives Say Peltier Beaten Following Prison Transfer

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