Calls for social justice were a strong current throughout the acceptance speeches at last night’s 87th Annual Academy Awards. Accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in "Boyhood," Patricia Arquette called for wage equality for women. Winning the Best Original Song along with the rapper Common for "Glory," featured in the movie "Selma," singer John Legend paid tribute to protesters from the civil rights era to today. In her acceptance speech for Best Documentary "Citizenfour" — the inside account of how Edward Snowden exposed NSA surveillance — Laura Poitras thanked Snowden and all other whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing. And accepting the award for Best Picture, Birdman Director Alejandro Iñárritu made a dedication to his home country, Mexico, and the millions of immigrants seeking fair treatment in the United States.
The battle between Rahm Emanuel — a Democrat known as "Mayor 1 Percent" — and a host of challengers has reached a fever pitch in Chicago. Emanuel is struggling to keep his seat when voters head to the polls on Tuesday. Opponents say he has failed to improve the city’s schools and address gun violence. Emanuel’s re-election campaign has the endorsement of his former boss, President Obama, and a war chest of more than $15 million — about four times the amount raised by his four opponents. Most of his funds come from about 100 donors. Emanuel’s closest rival is Jesús "Chuy" García, a county commissioner who has support from the Chicago Teachers Union and other labor and progressive groups. We speak with Rick Perlstein, a Chicago-based reporter and author of several books, including "The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan" and the bestseller, "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America."
This weekend, people around the country marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, known as Malcolm X — one of the most influential political figures of the 20th century. In New York City, family members and former colleagues led a memorial ceremony in the former Audubon Ballroom where Malcolm X was gunned down on February 21, 1965. The Audubon Ballroom is now the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center. We hear some of the event’s speakers, including Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz. We broadcast an excerpt of our 2006 interview with the late civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, who witnessed the assassination and held Malcolm X as he lay dying. We also air the Pacifica Archives recording of the 1965 eulogy delivered by the actor and activist Ossie Davis.
Full episodes of Democracy Now! can be viewed at the link: http://freespeech.org/collection/democracy-now.
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