Democratic Rights in Britain

Julian Assange takes legal action against Ecuadorian government

By James Cogan, 22 October 2018

WikiLeaks lawyers will challenge Ecuador’s threat to evict Assange from its London embassy if he does not accept anti-democratic conditions for continuing asylum.

Trial of “Stansted 15” anti-deportation protesters begins in UK

By Margot Miller, 10 October 2018

The activists locked themselves around a government-chartered Boeing 767 on the night of March 28, 2017, to prevent take-off.

Julian Assange appoints new WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 October 2018

Kristinn Hrafnsson’s appointment is testament to WikiLeaks’ invaluable contribution to genuine journalism.

Guardian newspaper condemned for publishing “deliberate lies” about Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 25 September 2018

Former British whistleblower Craig Murray linked the newspaper’s allegations directly to the Mueller investigation in the United States.

At conference of British Labour Party

Corbyn and trade unions block deselection of right-wing MPs

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

Anger was generated among Labour Party conference delegates by the rotten compromise stitched up by the National Executive Committee in a two-day meeting prior to the conference.

MI5’s anti-Corbyn campaign and the slandering of Michael Foot

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

What is revealed by the renewed slander campaign against Foot is a dirty plot by the security services to bring down a Labour government, had it won the 1983 general election, that now reads like a dry run for today’s campaign against Corbyn.

UK: Corbyn’s media policies leave corporate domination unchanged, silent on censorship

By Joe Mount and Julie Hyland, 20 September 2018

There was not a single proposal by the Labour Party leader challenging the corporate oligarchy’s domination of the media.

Economist magazine calls for soldier MPs to lead UK

By Julie Hyland, 18 September 2018

The Bagehot column celebrates that the tradition of soldier-statesman is “now being renewed, after a succession of wars in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

London: 8,000 council homes set for demolition

By Alice Summers, 18 September 2018

The continuing social cleansing of the city will see over 31,000 social housing residents forced to leave their homes.

British media blacks out self-immolation of woman at Barnet council office

By Tom Pearce, 8 September 2018

The Conservative-run Barnet council has long been known for its cost-cutting and privatisation of services.

UK “identifies” Russian agents in attempted Skripal assassination

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2018

The government’s narrative, supplied by the same security services that faked “evidence” of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” cannot be taken at face value.

“Five Eyes” summit in Australia ramps up internet censorship

By Mike Head, 5 September 2018

Ministers from the US-led global surveillance network revealed stepped-up measures against Chinese and Russian “foreign interference” and greater control over social media.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman aids witch-hunt against Corbyn, joins Blairites at Jewish Labour Movement event

By Paul Mitchell, 4 September 2018

Momentum leader Jon Lansman joined pro-Zionist and pro-Blairite figures to issue a blatant apologia for their campaign to blackguard the left as anti-Semitic.

Ha’aretz joins witch-hunt against UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

By Jean Shaoul, 4 September 2018

Ha’aretz aims to silence and criminalise any signs of growing left-wing sentiment expressed in the support for Corbyn’s minimalist reforms.

055 Role of Ha'aretz in Corbyn anti-Semitism campaign

3 September 2018

Reject the anti-Semitism slurs against Jeremy Corbyn! Drive out the Labour Party right wing!

By Chris Marsden, 31 August 2018

The lying campaign to paint Corbyn as an anti-Semite aims to discredit socialism in the hope of preventing any challenge by the working class to austerity and war.

UK artists’ visa refusals highlight tightened legislation against migrants

By Paul Bond, 17 August 2018

Implementation of the repressive Control Order was confirmed in operational guidance to border staff last month.

Anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn links opposition to Israel’s crimes with support for terrorism

By Chris Marsden, 16 August 2018

The British Labour Party leader is seeking to appease rather than confront his opponents, whose attack centres on the claim that opposition to Israel is equivalent to anti-Semitism.

UK: Police take no action over far-right attack on Bookmarks bookstore

By Paul Mitchell, 15 August 2018

Despite London being the CCTV capital of the world and the fascist perpetrators gleefully posting videos of their activities on social media, there have been no reports to date of the police detaining, arresting or charging anyone.

UK: Three police officers acquitted of misconduct in restraint death

By Paul Bond, 15 August 2018

The victim was suffering an epileptic seizure when he was seized and forcibly restrained by seven policemen, who held him face down.

Workers and youth in UK speak out against continued persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 August 2018

August 16 will mark six years since WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government.

UK: Boris Johnson makes anti-Muslim pitch for Tory Party leadership

By Julie Hyland, 9 August 2018

In publishing his views, Johnson is counting on the fetid anti-migrant atmosphere being whipped up by all political parties.

UK: Victims of state surveillance to take legal action against Undercover Policing Inquiry

By Thomas Scripps, 7 August 2018

From the outset, the inquiry did not require the police to reveal their operations and accepted as participants only some of those who already knew themselves to be victims.

UK: Fascist Tommy Robinson’s court victory seized on by far-right

By Laura Tiernan, 6 August 2018

The response to Robinson’s release signals a further rightward lurch by the mainstream media in the direction of normalising the far-right.

Julian Assange’s lawyer: Australian government has a “duty” to protect him

By Mike Head, 2 August 2018

Jennifer Robinson said the WikiLeaks editor wants to exercise his right to return to Australia, provided he is protected from extradition to the US.

UK: Memorial event held 25 years after Joy Gardner’s killing

By Steve James, 1 August 2018

The event last Saturday marked 25 years since the 1993 murder of Jamaican mother Joy Gardner by the British government’s Alien Deportation Squad.

British police and intelligence using children as spies

By Steve James, 31 July 2018

A report from the British House of Lords committee has revealed the use of teenagers, including those under 16, as undercover agents for the police and intelligence services.

Twenty-five years since the death of Joy Gardner

By Julie Hyland, 28 July 2018

Behind the actions of the police officers involved, Joy’s killing was the result of deliberate government policy.

The killing of Joy Gardner: A Workers Inquiry is needed

By the International Communist Party (July 1 1995), 28 July 2018

The World Socialist Web Site is republishing here the July 1, 1995 statement by the International Communist Party—the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)—calling for the formation of a Workers’ Inquiry into the death of Jamaican mother Joy Gardner.

UK signs off on US death penalty for “ISIS Beatles”: What are the implications?

By Julie Hyland, 25 July 2018

Not only has the government abandoned blanket opposition to the death penalty, but it has also overturned its publicly stated opposition to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks editor: “I’ve not been able to speak to my son for four months”

By Richard Phillips, 24 July 2018

“I say defend Julian, not just because I’m his mother, but as a citizen and someone who believes in democracy and freedom.”

Imminent threat to Julian Assange underscores need for global defence movement

By Mike Head, 23 July 2018

Plans are afoot to subject the WikiLeaks editor to lengthy imprisonment by the British authorities, pending extradition to the US.

UK continues to separate immigrant children from their families

By Margot Miller, 21 July 2018

In the UK, asylum seekers are incarcerated without due process at the whim of the Home Office, with no idea when they might be released.

British and Ecuadorian authorities in talks to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2018

Media reports point to the ongoing conspiracy, involving the British, US and Ecuadorian governments, to terminate Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.

Britain’s role in US rendition and torture revealed

By Steve James, 5 July 2018

The sheer number of abuse and torture cases testifies to a level of criminal depravity far greater than previously admitted.

Homeless man jailed for picking up London Marathon number and crossing finishing line

By Barry Mason, 4 July 2018

Stanislaw Skupian is a victim of vindictive class justice, punished for his poverty and for problems that spiralled out of his control.

UK: Inquest rules Rashan Charles died “accidentally” following attack by Metropolitan Police

By Alice Summers, 3 July 2018

The inquest found that the brutal and unnecessary assault on Charles, who was unarmed and unknown to the police, was a “justified use of force” and that his tragic death was nothing more than an “accident.”

Eritrean teenagers commit suicide in UK while awaiting permission to stay

By Thomas Scripps, 28 June 2018

The suicides of three Eritrean teenage refugees in the UK in just six months tragically demonstrates the human cost of Europe’s “border security.”

EU citizens must register, carry ID cards, in post-Brexit Britain

By Steve James, 27 June 2018

As the Home Office scheme currently stands, EU citizens will be required to carry identity cards, which have never been enforced in Britain.

Three months on: Oxford Union refuses to tell truth about why whistleblowing panel debate is censored

By Zach Reed, 26 June 2018

The only explanation for deciding not to publish the video is that ex-CIA operative David Shedd demanded its suppression.

UK: Lush workers oppose attempt to gag campaign against police undercover operations

By Margot Miller, 23 June 2018

The campaign aimed to highlight the decades-long infiltration by undercover police into political, environmental and animal rights groups.

Socialist Equality Party leader Julie Hyland speaks at London vigil to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 20 June 2018

Around 200 people, including workers, youth and retirees, attended a vigil outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London Tuesday evening to demand the freedom of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

UK residents demand release of Julian Assange, support international vigils

By our reporters, 19 June 2018

Leading up to today’s vigil at the Ecuador Embassy in London, the SEP in Britain has been contacted with messages of support, demanding freedom for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

British government extends censorship of online activity

By Simon Whelan, 16 June 2018

The personal information held by MI5 on 20,000 British “suspected” citizens is to be declassified and shared with local authorities, police “and others.”

Professor Piers Robinson demands freedom for Julian Assange

14 June 2018

A leading member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media and of the Media on Trial organisation, Robinson has opposed regime change wars in the Balkans and the Middle East

Committee For Public Education urges participation in June 17 Assange rally

13 June 2018

The governments attempting to silence Assange are attacking the right of students and educators to a fully-resourced public education.

Sheila Coombes, Professor Tim Hayward and journalist Vanessa Beeley demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 11 June 2018

Three prominent individuals associated with the Media on Trial group have sent statements to the World Socialist Web Site supporting the campaign to free Julian Assange.

Oxford Union debating society threatened with legal action over censoring criticism of CIA

By Thomas Scripps, 7 June 2018

The February 27 event is not being censored on legal grounds or on the basis that “sensitive information” has been revealed, but because it is deemed necessary to suppress critical opposition to the US security apparatus and its activities.

US activist Kevin Zeese calls for demonstrations against the persecution of Julian Assange

6 June 2018

“Freedom of speech and freedom of the press is being defined by the treatment of Julian Assange.”

Free Julian Assange! Support the June 19 vigil in London

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 6 June 2018

Workers and young people must demand that the Conservative government of Theresa May end its persecution of Assange, drop the bail-related issues against him and allow him to leave the embassy and, if he chooses, the UK, without fear of arrest.

Journalist Antony Loewenstein: “Heavy pressure” needed to win freedom and justice for Assange

6 June 2018

The following statement was sent by journalist and filmmaker Antony Loewenstein, a consistent defender of WikiLeaks.

Ecuadorian foreign minister asserts treatment of Assange is “not censorship”

By James Cogan, 5 June 2018

Assange is not only being censored, but faces imminent danger of being forced into the hands of his persecutors.

John Pilger and Courage Foundation announce “urgent campaign” to free Assange

5 June 2018

The Courage Foundation, which raises funds for the legal defence of persecuted whistleblowers and journalists, has endorsed protests and vigils in defence of Julian Assange later this month.

Lift the ban on communications! Free Julian Assange!

By James Cogan, 4 June 2018

The American state and its allies are seeking to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in order to intimidate every critical and independent media organisation.

UK: Grenfell victims’ relatives unable to commemorate loved-ones due to government anti-immigration policies

By Simon Whelan, 4 June 2018

Government policies bringing about heartache for Grenfell relatives are having the very impact the government desired—making it more difficult for them to testify at the public inquiry.

YouTube removes “drill” music videos at request of London’s Metropolitan Police

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2018

On the basis of a few isolated cases, an entire musical genre is being targeted on the basis that it is responsible for what is described as a “surge” in knife crime in London.

The working class must mobilize to free Julian Assange!

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2018

The demand for the freedom of Julian Assange must be connected to the developing international movement of workers against inequality, oppression and exploitation.

Oxford Union panel speaker Heather Marsh confirms debate was censored to protect CIA

By Zach Reed, 30 May 2018

It appears that reference to the CIA as an “organized crime syndicate,” and listing a portion of its crimes, were grounds for censorship.

“I don’t think Assange will be forgiven by our rulers because he educated the world”

Join the June 19 London vigil demanding freedom for Julian Assange!

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2018

Emmy Butlin of the Julian Assange Defence Committee said: “Individual contributions are great, but we change society as a group, acting together.”

For international action to defend Julian Assange!

By The ICFI and WSWS international editorial board, 28 May 2018

The June 17 demonstration in Sydney will demand that the Australian government immediately act to secure Assange’s unconditional freedom and return to Australia.

Julian Assange “in jeopardy” of being forced into UK and US detention

By Mike Head, 25 May 2018

Reports allege that the WikiLeaks founder could be removed from Ecuador’s London embassy “any day now.”

WikiLeaks and whistleblowers condemn new allegations against Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 17 May 2018

Beside WikiLeaks and the WSWS, only a handful of other websites and individuals have stepped forward to denounce the Guardian for serving as the conduit for the anti-Assange vendetta.

Military coup against a Corbyn Labour government discussed by Daily Telegraph

By Robert Stevens, 15 May 2018

That a military coup is again under serious consideration puts paid to the illusions assiduously cultivated by Corbyn and his apologists that a Labour government led by him will inaugurate a new period of reforms.

Ecuador hints it may hand over Julian Assange to Britain and the US

By James Cogan, 12 May 2018

There is almost universal and reprehensible silence on the part of organisations and individuals that once claimed to defend Assange and WikiLeaks.

Belgian prime minister smears filmmaker Ken Loach as “anti-Semitic”

By Paul Bond, 4 May 2018

The pro-austerity premier’s slur demonstrates how baseless charges of anti-Semitism are being used to attack any form of social protest or comment.

Bogus “Labour anti-Semitism” campaign secures expulsion of leading activist Marc Wadsworth

By Chris Marsden, 30 April 2018

Wadsworth has been subjected to a two-year campaign of denigration by the Labour Party’s right-wing and the media on the most transparent pretext imaginable

UK government’s persecution of Caribbean workers the tip of an iceberg

By Paul Mitchell, 26 April 2018

In 2016, almost 40,000 people were removed from the UK or classified as “departing voluntarily” after having received threatening letters.

Tragic killings of teenagers in London used to urge greater police powers

By Paul Mitchell, 21 April 2018

A major reason for the ramped-up law-and-order campaign is next month’s local elections, with the Conservatives so hated—particularly after the Grenfell Tower tragedy—that they face a wipe-out.

Murdoch’s Times witch-hunts academics for questioning UK government’s Syria lies

By Julie Hyland, 19 April 2018

Under conditions where the imperialist powers are dragging humanity towards a third world war, the ruling elites can no longer countenance critical opinion.

UK government’s racist targeting of Caribbean migrants provokes backlash

By Robert Stevens and Thomas Scripps, 19 April 2018

The tightening of immigration legislation was in line with a policy of creating, in Prime Minister May’s words, a “really hostile environment” for “illegal” immigrants.

National Union of Students lobs sexual harassment smears at UK lecturers

By Thomas Scripps, 12 April 2018

The NUS’ report claiming rampant sexual harassment by UK academics adds fuel to the media furor against the UK lecturers’ strike.

Catalan nationalist Ponsatí appears in Scottish court to oppose extradition

By Steve James, 12 April 2018

The Rajoy administration’s resort to dictatorial measures is ultimately aimed at silencing all political dissent and intimidating the Spanish working class.

Two weeks since WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange silenced by Ecuador

By Niles Niemuth, 11 April 2018

It is no coincidence that Assange has been shut off from any form of communication with the outside world as the US and its allies prepare for an escalation of war in Syria and beyond.

British government admits MI5 enjoys carte blanche to break the law

By Simon Whelan, 6 April 2018

Under conditions in which social and political antagonisms are reaching the breaking point, the state security apparatus has accelerated its anti-working class and anti-socialist activities.

Charities work with UK Home Office to deport rough sleepers

By Tom Pearce, 6 April 2018

In 2017, the rough sleeping rate in London showed an 18 percent rise since 2016, with 59 percent of rough sleepers in the capital being non-UK nationals.

“The people are behind you!”

Students, faculty and staff at University of Michigan oppose persecution of Julian Assange

By Zac Corrigan, 3 April 2018

On Monday, an IYSSE campaign team spoke to students and faculty at the University of Michigan about the confinement and persecution of Julian Assange.

Ecuador cuts off Julian Assange’s access to the outside world

By Mike Head, 29 March 2018

Julian Assange’s confinement in the Ecuadoran embassy increasingly resembles that of a prisoner.

UK: Eight million hit by welfare cuts

By Dennis Moore, 24 March 2018

Adjusting for inflation, the last decade has been the weakest for average earnings in two centuries—the product of above-target inflation and poor nominal pay growth.

“We will not eat until we are free”

UK: Hunger strikers at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre

By Laura Tiernan, 26 February 2018

The mainly women detainees are demanding an end to indefinite detention, describing “systematic torture” by the Home Office and the private security firm, Serco.

Questions University College London must answer on eugenics conference

By Thomas Scripps, 19 February 2018

UCL honorary senior lecturer James Thompson is obsessed almost solely with genetic differences in intelligence across genders, countries and ethnicities.

Squalor, violence and death: The deterioration of UK prisons

By Peter Reydt, 16 February 2018

Year after year, there are reports documenting the fact that UK prisons are hellholes unfit to hold human beings.

Britain warned Sweden not to drop Assange extradition proceedings

By Paul Mitchell, 13 February 2018

The UK remains determined to arrest journalist Julian Assange, who is trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in relation to trumped-up “sexual assault” charges.

UK High Court rejects Lauri Love’s extradition to US

By Margot Miller, 8 February 2018

The High Court judges agreed with Love’s legal team that, on medical grounds, he should be tried in the UK, not the US.

Julian Assange loses initial bid to overturn British arrest warrant

By Mike Head, 7 February 2018

Even if the judge withdraws the warrant next week, Assange still faces extradition to the US to be tried on trumped-up charges of espionage and treason.

UK: Conservative government backs efforts to overturn parole of rapist John Worboys

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2018

The moves to challenge the Parole Board’s January 4 decision have implications for legal norms and due process.

Julian Assange challenges warrant for his arrest as doctors confirm worsening of his health

By Margot Miller, 27 January 2018

The clinicians, with a combined four decades of experience, said Assange's "continued confinement" is "a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.”

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

Freedom for Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2018

The “untenable” conditions under which the WikiLeaks founder remains confined are the product of an unrelenting drive by the US and British governments to punish him for exposing the crimes of imperialism.

“Sexual misconduct” witch-hunt targets conductor Charles Dutoit, director Max Stafford-Clarke and actor Ed Westwick

By Paul Bond, 11 January 2018

Just before Christmas, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announced that it had cancelled appearances by its artistic director, 81-year-old conductor Charles Dutoit.

Britain's Guardian newspaper registers concern at collapse of high-profile rape cases

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 9 January 2018

Events that confirm the fundamental importance of the presumption of innocence have been met with undisguised antipathy from those sections of the media most closely involved with the #MeToo campaign.

UK: Social media giants face sanctions if they fail to provide “proof” of Russian interference

By Julie Hyland, 9 January 2018

The select committee’s aim is to manufacture a pretext for imperialist intrigues against Russia while censoring alternative media sources.

The Guardian’s George Monbiot joins “fake news” campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2017

For the Guardian’s George Monbiot to portray the entirely valid criticisms of the official line on the Khan Sheikhoun attack in Syria as fuelling far-right conspiracy theories is politically criminal.

Patel resignation exposes UK’s covert support for Israel and Islamist proxies

By Jean Shaoul, 17 November 2017

The sordid tale of Department for International Development Secretary Priti Patel’s fall from grace and resignation highlights the true content of Britain’s “aid” policy.

UK Labour’s Carl Sargeant commits suicide after sexual harassment allegations

By Julie Hyland, 10 November 2017

Friends and colleagues denounced Sargeant’s treatment, saying that he had been “thrown to the wolves,” despite none of the allegations being subject to investigation by the police.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in anti-democratic “sex pest” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 November 2017

The sex scandal engulfing Britain’s parliament sprang to life following that involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

Director of British rights group Cage convicted for refusing to reveal mobile phone and laptop pass codes

By Steve James, 4 October 2017

The conviction of Muhammed Rabbani underscores the significance of recent investigations into massive mobile phone surveillance in Britain by local police forces.

Parsons Green bomb seized on to call for greater internet censorship

By Steve James, 30 September 2017

The ruling elite are calling for powers to exclude whole sections of the population from internet use, as and when politically convenient.

UK government officials back Trump demands for Internet censorship following London bombing

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 18 September 2017

In the name of opposing “extremism,” the May government is preparing a drastic curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Bomb attack on London Underground sets stage for further state repression

By Steve James, 16 September 2017

As with all such outrages, there is no reason to assume that the attack comes as a surprise to the British intelligence agencies.