Democratic rights

Detroit City Council defies public opposition and renews facial recognition contract

By Kevin Reed, 1 October 2020

A majority of the council of nine Democrats voted to approve a two-year, $220,000 upgrade and maintenance contract with South Carolina-based DataWorks Plus.

Evidence of war crimes, torture, surveillance and assassination plots: Assange hearing nears final day

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 1 October 2020

The CIA’s surveillance was targeted against Assange’s communication with his legal representatives, considered “priority targets.”

Judge orders release of recordings in Breonna Taylor grand jury proceedings

By Kevin Reed, 30 September 2020

The Kentucky Attorney General's exoneration of the police officers who shot Taylor is being exposed as part of a cover-up that began when she was killed in her apartment on March 13.

Former US prison warden testifies Assange will be treated like a “terrorist”: The “war on terror” comes home

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 30 September 2020

Baird’s testimony made clear that Assange is now the victim of the CIA-backed torture and rendition which he courageously exposed as WikiLeaks publisher and journalist.

Wave of anti-government protests across Egypt

By Jean Shaoul, 29 September 2020

Protests have been small but testify to the social and economic powder keg over which the El-Sisi regime presides.

Assange faces a fate “worse than death” in US prisons, witnesses tell court

By Thomas Scripps, 29 September 2020

No amount of lame denials can hide the fact that if Assange is put in the clutches of these people, he will be disappeared into the darkest corner of the US prison system.

Killing by Colombian military escalates protests against state violence

By Andrea Lobo, 26 September 2020

The wave of unrest is merging with opposition to the devastation caused by the state’s counter-insurrectionary war, which has killed more than 200,000 civilians.

Renewed mass arrests target Kurdish-nationalist HDP in Turkey

By Ulaş Ateşçi, 26 September 2020

There is growing speculation that the Turkish government is preparing a renewed military offensive against US-backed Kurdish-nationalist forces in Syria.

After the exoneration of Breonna Taylor’s killers: The way forward in the fight against police violence

By Niles Niemuth, 26 September 2020

The ubiquity of police violence in the US, with approximately 1,000 people killed every year, is bound up with the extreme growth of social inequality and class tensions.

Decision on Assange’s extradition set for next year

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 26 September 2020

Accepting the defence’s argument that any dramatic change in the facts surrounding the case before November 13 would have to be taken into account, Baraitser asked, “What impact on your case, say you, will the American elections have?”

Australian government seeks to ban phones in immigration detention

By Martin Scott, 25 September 2020

The proposed new laws will allow warrantless searches and the use of sniffer dogs.

Protests erupt over whitewash of police murder of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky

By Niles Niemuth, 24 September 2020

Neither of the two officers who fired the fusillade of 22 bullets that killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her Louisville, Kentucky home were charged by the grand jury convened by state authorities.

Further revelations about sterilizations and medical malpractice at ICE detention facility in Georgia

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 24 September 2020

The latest revelations, including the naming of the doctor who performed them, strengthens the account given in a recent whistleblower complaint, while giving lie to the US government’s dismissals.

Medical evidence shows devastating impact of decade-long state vendetta against Assange

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 24 September 2020

What UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer described in May 2019 as the “public mobbing” and “psychological torture” of Assange has had the desired effect.

Assange’s partner Stella Moris calls for Australian government to intervene in his defence

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 September 2020

“This is not something that the Australian government can just hide its head in the sand and say ‘nothing to do with us.’”

Assange faces “very high risk of suicide,” medical expert tells court

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 23 September 2020

Kopelman’s evidence confirms the warnings made since November 2019 by Doctors for Assange that Assange is suffering “psychological torture” and “could die in prison.”

Explosive evidence from Trump insider

Assange dragged from embassy “on the orders of the president”

By Laura Tiernan and Thomas Scripps, 22 September 2020

Cassandra Fairbanks testified that Arthur Schwartz, a wealthy Republican Party donor and key Trump ally, had provided her with evidence of plans by the Trump administration to impose the death penalty.

Thirteen former national presidents demand an end to the British show-trial of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 September 2020

The statement demonstrates that the attempt to prosecute Assange for exposing war crimes is widely viewed as an act of imperialist banditry that brands Britain and the US as rogue states.

Tens of thousands of Thai protesters call for a new constitution

By Owen Howell, 21 September 2020

An estimated 50,000 people gathered at Bangkok’s Thammasat University on Saturday night, with some protest leaders urging a general strike.

Colorado police conduct militarized arrests of Party for Socialism and Liberation members

By Jacob Crosse, 19 September 2020

The manner of the arrests and the overwhelming charges against the six protesters are a clear act of intimidation against all those determined to put an end to police violence and racism.

Witnesses recall Collateral Murder attack: “Look at those dead bastards,” shooters said

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 19 September 2020

“The publication of that video and those words was the equivalent of the death of George Floyd and his words ‘I can’t breathe’. They had a profound effect on public opinion in the world.”

Democrats engineer removal of Green Party presidential candidates from Pennsylvania ballot

By Kevin Reed, 18 September 2020

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court kicked the Green Party off the November presidential ballot on Thursday on the basis of undemocratic procedural considerations.

Iraq Body Count co-founder: WikiLeaks exposed mass civilian casualties to a global audience

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 18 September 2020

John Sloboda said that the Iraq War Logs had been brought “to the largest global audience of any single release.” There have been no comparable revelations in the last decade.

Former CIA director Leon Panetta: We are prosecuting Assange to intimidate others

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 September 2020

Panetta’s comments confirmed the mafia-character of the US-pursuit of Assange, its politically-motivated nature and flagrant disregard for international laws.

No charges in Missouri police murder of 25-year-old Hannah Fizer

By Jacob Crosse, 17 September 2020

As another killer cop goes free, protesters against the police killing of Ricardo Munoz in Lancaster, Pennsylvania remain in jail, with bail set at $1 million.

Former Der Spiegel journalist exposes US government lies that Assange “failed to redact” and “put lives at risk”

By Laura Tiernan, 17 September 2020

Testimony from John Goetz established that the only “harm to life” came from US war crimes which Assange and WikiLeaks were trying to expose.

Assange exposed “a very serious pattern of actual war crimes,” Daniel Ellsberg tells extradition hearing

By Thomas Scripps, 17 September 2020

Ellsberg said that “with the Manning and Assange papers, I found my name being mentioned all the time as a very good person … to use me as a foil against these new revelations which were supposedly very different from mine.”

Assange would not have fair US trial, witness tells Old Bailey

By Thomas Scripps, 15 September 2020

A damning picture was painted of the degrading treatment which would characterise Assange’s detention in the US and of the impossible restrictions which would be placed on his legal defence.

Trump, Roger Stone call for violence and repression after Election Day

By Patrick Martin, 14 September 2020

The US president and his oldest political crony called for a police-military crackdown to back his continued rule.

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks mailing out of absentee ballots pending ruling on Green Party ballot access

By Jacob Crosse, 14 September 2020

The Democratic party has led the charge in purging third-party candidates, including the Greens, from the November ballot.

State University of New York scapegoats students for COVID outbreaks, prepares repressive measures

By Alex Findijs, 12 September 2020

Refusing to take any responsibility for this catastrophe, the SUNY system is punishing groups of students for gathering and laying the ground for further police repression on campuses.

UK Tories use Extinction Rebellion protests to argue for savage political repression

By Richard Tyler, 12 September 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked officials to take a “fresh look” at the legal status of Extinction Rebellion and see if it can be classified as an “organised crime group.”

Amazon uses former government agents to spy on workers

By Shuvu Batta, 12 September 2020

A number of recent exposures confirm that Amazon has established its own secret internal intelligence agency to spy on its workforce.

Constitutional amendment aims to provide Sri Lankan president with authoritarian powers

By Sanjaya Jayasekera and Deepal Jayasekera, 12 September 2020

Like his political counterparts around the world, Rajapakse’s preparations for dictatorial rule are being made in order to unleash a massive social assault on the working class.

US attempting to block Spanish investigation into CIA spying on Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 September 2020

The US authorities are seeking to prevent judicial confirmation that their pursuit of Assange has included illegal spying, and gross violations of attorney-client privilege.

NYU’s Center for Social Media & Politics: A think tank for a frightened ruling class

By Elliott Murtagh, 12 September 2020

The establishment of the center at NYU, a university with close ties to the state, reflects the ruling class’s increasing concerns over the political effects of social media.

University of Michigan graduate students take a stand for life against profit

By Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 12 September 2020

Opposition to the resumption of classes at the University of Michigan is part of a broader struggle of workers against the homicidal policy of the ruling class related to the pandemic.

Colombian security forces massacre 10 youth protesting police murder

By Andrea Lobo, 11 September 2020

The massacre in Bogotá signals the willingness of the Colombian ruling elite to turn to authoritarian rule to crush social opposition in the midst of the uncontrolled pandemic.

Hong Kong police carry out mass arrest of protesters

By Ben McGrath, 11 September 2020

The conditions for the heightened attack on democratic and social rights have been created by the pro-capitalist opposition pan-democrat bloc.

India’s Supreme Court punishes prominent lawyer for criticizing its role in assault on democratic rights

By Kranti Kumara, 11 September 2020

Time and again, India’s Supreme Court has aided and abetted the anti-democratic actions and Hindu communalist provocations of the Modi government.

Assange hearing adjourned as prosecution lawyer is tested for COVID-19

By Thomas Scripps, 11 September 2020

Dr Stephen Frost, founder of Doctors for Assange, told the WSWS, “While the Court today adjourned due to the risk of infection from COVID-19, Julian Assange has been sent back to Belmarsh maximum security prison where the threat of infection from COVID-19 is extremely high—and he is severely immunocompromised.”

Democrats and media silent on execution of Michael Reinoehl by US Marshals

By Kevin Reed, 10 September 2020

New details on the September 3 killing of Michael Reinoehl by a task force led by federal Marshals confirm that the Portland protester was executed in a hail of police bullets.

Scottish Crown Office blocks release of documents vital for Craig Murray’s defence

By Steve James, 10 September 2020

The Scottish Crown Office and government are stonewalling all efforts to secure documentation requested by journalist Craig Murray who is facing contempt of court charges.

Assange targeted for political views in “terrifying threat to First Amendment,” expert witnesses tell hearing

By Laura Tiernan and Thomas Scripps, 10 September 2020

WikiLeaks’ exposure of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan had played “possibly the most important role” in catalysing public opposition to both wars.

Assange extradition hearing: WikiLeaks exposed US drone killings, torture and rendition, says Guantanamo Bay lawyer

By Laura Tiernan and Thomas Scripps, 9 September 2020

Clive Stafford Smith likened US torture tactics to those of the Spanish Inquisition.

Florida sheriff’s department creates intelligence-led police program to monitor and harass residents

By Alex Johnson, 8 September 2020

A Tampa Bay Times investigative report released last week exposed a Pasco County policing and intelligence-gathering program in Florida which carried out mass monitoring, targeted intimidation and harassment tactics against hundreds of resident families.

The working class must demand an end to the show trial of Julian Assange

By Thomas Scripps, 8 September 2020

Assange’s kangaroo court extradition hearing has seen the UK, which boasts of being one of the world’s oldest democracies, sink to the level of a tinpot dictatorship.

As British show-trial resumes: The working class must defend Julian Assange!

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 September 2020

The persecution of Assange is an attempt to intimidate mass opposition to imperialist war, social inequality and a turn to authoritarianism, amid a breakdown of global capitalism and an eruption of the class struggle.

Washington DC’s mayor and Trump trade authoritarian demands in crackdown on peaceful protesters

By Ray Coleman and Nick Barrickman, 5 September 2020

The office of Washington, DC’s Democratic mayor has been upbraided by the federal prosecutor’s office for trying to “skirt constitutional protections and due process.”

NSA surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden ruled illegal by US Ninth Circuit

By Kevin Reed, 5 September 2020

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the bulk phone record collection program of the NSA—exposed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013—violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Australian government launches anti-China inquiry in universities

By Mike Head, 3 September 2020

McCarthyite-style parliamentary hearings will be held into “foreign interference in the university sector.”

Oppose NUJ censorship of journalist Craig Murray!

By Laura Tiernan, 3 September 2020

The National Union of Journalist’s actions are an attack on press freedom and the public’s right to access information independently of the state-controlled and corporate media outlets.

Mass protests in Belarus continue as conflict between Russia and NATO intensifies

By Clara Weiss, 1 September 2020

The Kremlin has responded to the growing intervention by the imperialist powers in Belarus by stepping up its support for the Lukashenko regime.

Hong Kong authorities arrest opposition legislators in further crackdown

By Ben McGrath, 1 September 2020

Behind the string of detentions, the real fear motivating the authorities is a united movement of the entire Chinese working class.

Human rights lawsuits used by Chilean “left” to mask preparations for authoritarian rule

By Mauricio Saavedra, 1 September 2020

Amid a growing threat of police-state dictatorship, it once again falls on the Chilean parliamentary “left” and its satellite organisations to conceal the class nature of the capitalist state.

New Jersey teen billed $2,500 for organizing a protest

By Shuvu Batta and Daniel de Vries, 1 September 2020

Emily Gil, a recent high school graduate, was charged $2,500 for “police overtime” after she organized a protest in the town of Englewood Cliffs calling for affordable housing and an end to police brutality.

SEP submits emergency application to the US Supreme Court in Michigan ballot access case

By Kevin Reed, 1 September 2020

The SEP 2020 presidential campaign has appealed to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court associate justice responsible for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a final effort to overturn the unconstitutional Michigan ballot access laws.

Greek government continues evictions of over 11,000 asylum seekers

By John Vassilopoulos, 31 August 2020

The ND government's actions are particularly brutal amid a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, with hundreds of new infections being announced each day.

EU refuses to accept hundreds of refugees rescued in the Mediterranean

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 31 August 2020

More than 400 refugees are waiting in the central Mediterranean Sea off Sicily to be assigned to a safe haven.

Social crisis, class struggle and the 2020 election

By Andre Damon, 29 August 2020

The 2020 election is taking place against the backdrop of the greatest social, economic and political crisis in the modern history of the United States.

Reddit moderators censor WSWS article on Trump’s speech at Republican convention

By Kevin Reed, 29 August 2020

After the article appeared on the front page of Reddit with over 9,000 upvotes, moderators removed it on the grounds that the WSWS is an “unacceptable source.”

The Kill Chain: A new era of world war

By Shuvu Batta, 29 August 2020

The Kill Chain exposes US imperialism’s advanced war preparations against China, with Silicon Valley playing a critical role.

Julian Assange receives first visitors in six months: “He is in a lot of pain”

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 August 2020

The visit has underscored the brutal conditions in which Assange is imprisoned and has sparked renewed fears that his health is continuing to deteriorate.

Rattled by crisis, US-aligned Polish government steps up intervention in Belarus

By Clara Weiss, 27 August 2020

Warsaw is attempting to bolster the EU-backed opposition in Belarus, as the Belarusian president turns to the Kremlin in response to the strikes and mass protests against his government.

British government to use treason laws targeting Russia and China to suppress domestic dissent

By Simon Whelan, 27 August 2020

Under the changes being considered, merely voicing opinions and facts associated with the hindrance of British interests abroad—however the government defines this—will make citizens and groups open to accusations of treason.

Tamil National Alliance in deep crisis after Sri Lankan election collapse

By Subash Somachandran, 27 August 2020

The electoral collapse of the TNA is the product of the political bankruptcy, demonstrated over decades, of the Tamil bourgeois-nationalist perspective.

Free Julian Assange! Defend Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 27 August 2020

The SEP’s recent National Congress committed to “intensifying the fight for the unconditional freedom of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange” and the defence of all persecuted journalists and whistleblowers.

Thai protest movement spreads across country’s northeast

By Owen Howell, 25 August 2020

Despite last week’s arrests of prominent student leaders, the protests are growing unabated around the country in the lead-up to a major rally planned in September.

Lukashenko threatens military crackdown in Belarus as US initiates discussions with opposition leader

By Clara Weiss, 25 August 2020

The German financial newspaper Handelsblatt noted yesterday that the strike movement has brought the Belarusian economy to the brink of collapse.

Fund appeal for Assange’s legal defence wins significant public support

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 August 2020

The response underscores the international support for Assange among workers and young people which finds no expression in the official political parties or the corporate press.

Online panel examines what would happen if Assange is extradited to the US

By Kevin Reed, 24 August 2020

The expert panelists made clear that Assange would be held in the most draconian conditions, treated as a terrorist and denied due process.

Facebook censors anti-fascist and anarchist groups, falsely linking them with extreme-right violence

By Kevin Reed, 22 August 2020

Facebook has adopted positions put forward by the Trump administration and US Justice Department targeting left-wing opposition in the latest expansion of its political censorship regime.

US Attorney General Barr boasts of nearly 1,500 arrests through Operation Legend

By Jacob Crosse, 21 August 2020

The operation has been used as a screen to further integrate local police departments with federal agencies, while funneling millions of dollars and deploying over 1,000 federal agents into US cities.

Chinese academic expelled for denouncing President Xi

By Peter Symonds, 20 August 2020

Xi’s consolidation of power is not a sign of strength but reflects the fragile and fractured character of the CCP, which has no progressive answer to the developing social and economic crisis or to Washington’s war drive.

Social media video shows Pittsburgh police kidnapping protester during Saturday march

By Jacob Crosse, 18 August 2020

Matthew Cartier, 25, was abducted by police and charged with multiple crimes for attempting to protect marchers during Saturday’s protest

Prominent lawyers and legal associations demand Assange’s freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 August 2020

The 152 legal experts are unambiguous: the campaign against Assange has been based on gross violations of law and he must be immediately released from prison.

Government watchdog concludes acting heads of Homeland Security were illegally appointed by Trump

By Jacob Crosse, 15 August 2020

The Government Accountability Office report is a soft rebuke to Donald Trump, who has frequently circumvented congressional approval in order to install acting department heads loyal to him.

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot announces police crackdown

By Michael Walters, 15 August 2020

One thousand police officers are being deployed into downtown Friday evening after a press conference in which the Democratic mayor announced a plan to tighten police control of the city, involve more police agencies, increase social media surveillance and further limit access to the wealthy downtown.

Infiltration of US protests against police brutality used to delegitimize demonstrations, undermine democratic rights

By Adam Mclean, 15 August 2020

Police infiltration of protests has a renewed significance at a time when democratic rights have been stretched to the point of breaking.

Journalists in Malaysia persecuted for exposing treatment of migrant workers

By Owen Howell, 15 August 2020

The government’s investigation into seven Al Jazeera journalists, including a police raid of their offices, is part of a broader crackdown on press freedom.

The show trial of Julian Assange: A cruel and pseudolegal farce

By Thomas Scripps and Kevin Reed, 15 August 2020

Yesterday’s hearing in London made clear, if any further proof was needed, that the prosecution of Assange is a shameful and degrading show trial, intended to railroad an innocent man to prison or death.

Modi government intensifies repression one year after its constitutional coup against Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 15 August 2020

The Modi government’s illegal abrogation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and imposition of a state-of-siege in the Muslim-majority region have been conspicuously ignored by the US and other major imperialist powers.

Oregon residents block unmarked ICE buses carrying detained immigrants

By Julio Patron, 14 August 2020

The standoff lasted around 12 hours in Bend, Oregon, until dozens of federal agents were deployed to disperse the protesters using pepper spray.

Two Utah protesters face life in prison

By Chase Lawrence, 14 August 2020

Madalena McNeil and Marvin Oliveros are charged with daubing the Salt Lake City district attorney’s office with red paint.

US Supreme Court rules ballot access petitioning must proceed during coronavirus pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 13 August 2020

In a one paragraph order with no legal explanation provided, the US Supreme Court overturned a decision by a trial judge in Oregon relaxing ballot access requirements in consideration of the restrictions imposed on public interaction during the pandemic.

King Juan Carlos flees Spain to avoid corruption probe

By Alejandro López, 11 August 2020

Former King Juan Carlos I de Borbón who reigned from 1975 until his abdication in 2014 has fled Spain amid investigations into suspected kickbacks and fraud.

Deadly explosion in northwest Baltimore neighborhood injures dozens

By Nick Barrickman, 11 August 2020

The suspected gas explosion leveled three adjacent homes and severely damaged a fourth in a northwest Baltimore neighborhood Monday morning.

The politics of oligarchy: Federal appeals court blocks SEP challenge to anti-democratic ballot access laws in California

By Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US President, 8 August 2020

The response of the ruling class and its state to the SEP's legal challenge has been determined by one political motive: Keep socialists off the ballot!

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to hear Socialist Equality Party candidates’ appeal in California voting rights case until after ballots are printed

By Shuvu Batta, 6 August 2020

The decision effectively deprives Joseph Kishore and Norissa Santa Cruz of the right to have their appeal heard on the merits before the ballots are printed.

Pro-US liberal opposition promotes greater power for regional authorities in Russian protests

By Clara Weiss, 5 August 2020

The political intervention of the pro-US “liberal” opposition is aimed, above all, at turning sections of the upper-middle class and the oligarchy against Putin and winning them for a right-wing “palace coup.”

Zimbabwe: Government repression as social unrest mounts

By Stephan McCoy, 5 August 2020

The crackdown gives the lie to the claims that Mnangagwa would bring an end to tyranny, corruption, and social misery.

Consecrating an historic crime:

Indian PM Modi to lay cornerstone for Hindu temple at site of razed Ayodhya mosque

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 August 2020

Facing mounting popular anger over its ruinous response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BJP government is doubling down on its Hindu supremacist agenda.

Teachers protest Jordan government’s closure of union and harsh crackdown

By Jean Shaoul, 4 August 2020

As poverty and social unrest rise, the government has used the draconian emergency laws introduced in March to curtail democratic rights.

SEP candidates file brief replying to Governor Whitmer in Michigan ballot access appeal

By Kevin Reed, 4 August 2020

The brief replied to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s claim that April’s right-wing anti-lockdown protests in Lansing means the SEP candidates should have recognized that it was safe to gather signatures.

Department of Homeland Security assembles intelligence reports on US journalists covering Portland protests

By Jacob Crosse, 1 August 2020

Such reports have been traditionally used to share information regarding wanted criminals or terrorists across federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Trump floats delaying election, both parties appeal to military as umpire

By Eric London, 31 July 2020

Trump baselessly claimed the election would be tainted by voter fraud as his poll numbers sank to all-time lows.

In latest attack on immigrants

Trump administration suspends DACA applications and renewals

By Sam Dalton, 31 July 2020

A recent Supreme Court ruling has allowed the White House to make a new attack on the program.

Assange appears in court, as lawyers warn case may be delayed by new US indictment

By Thomas Scripps, 28 July 2020

As it stands, the UK courts are continuing with Assange’s extradition process based on an outdated indictment.

Mass protests continue in Russian Far East

By Clara Weiss, 28 July 2020

Demonstrators expressed anger over social inequality and the federal government’s infringement of regional authorities and laws.

Illinois Democrats embrace Trump’s law enforcement “surge”

By Kristina Betinis, 25 July 2020

Illinois Democratic lawmakers have made public statements aimed at assuaging public fears that the federal forces will crack down on anti-police violence protesters in Chicago, just as they have in Portland.