Democratic rights

UK government carries out deportation of around 20 Jamaican nationals

By Robert Stevens, 11 February 2020

The men on board were among 700 immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers being held at two immigration detention removal centres near Heathrow Airport—Colnbrook and Harmondsworth.

Dr. Lissa Johnson calls for workers and young people to rally in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

11 February 2020

“Everyone who recognises the need, before it is too late, to take a stand against gross injustice and for fundamental democratic rights should attend the rallies.”

UK: Vigil remembers Errol Graham, pays tribute to family’s fight for justice

By our reporters, 10 February 2020

At the vigil, friends, family and local community members held placards bearing Errol’s photograph and condemning the Department for Work and Pensions welfare sanctions that have claimed hundreds of lives.

The Trump administration’s surveillance dragnet

By Niles Niemuth, 10 February 2020

The massive breach of the right to privacy, first justified by President Bush in the guise of the “war on terror,” then expanded under President Obama, is now being utilized in Trump’s fascistic war on immigrants.

Australian pseudo-left seeks to cover up its abandonment of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

By Patrick O’Connor, 10 February 2020

Socialist Alternative’s article, “The betrayal of Julian Assange,” is a crude attempt to cover up its own role in the “betrayal” of the WikiLeaks publisher.

South Dakota House passes reactionary anti-transgender bill

By Noel Katsuki and George Gallanis, 8 February 2020

House Bill 1057 targets transgender youth by criminalizing the provision of gender transition care to minors by doctors.

UK: Johnson uses Trump’s playbook in attack on media

By Robert Stevens, 8 February 2020

The events on Monday were more reminiscent of a tin pot dictatorship than that of an elected government.

Far-right AfD plays role of kingmaker in German state election

By Christoph Vandreier, 7 February 2020

For the first time since the end of the Third Reich, a state premier was elected on Wednesday with the votes of a far-right, fascist party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Democratic governor gives right-wing response to Trump State of the Union address

By Joseph Lorenz, 7 February 2020

The Democratic Party rebuttal included hypocritical invocations of democracy, demagogic appeals to struggling workers and falsification of the party’s reactionary record.

Interview with international model Andreja Pejic: “I think standing behind Assange and Manning is where we should all be”

By Sue Phillips and Will Marshall, 7 February 2020

The WSWS spoke with Andreja Pejic about the campaign to free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and broader political issues.

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7 February 2020

Emergency legislation for terror law offenders in UK sets anti-democratic precedent

By Thomas Scripps, 6 February 2020

Whatever measures are used initially against terrorists will be deployed more widely against workers and youth who defy the class war offensive of the ruling elite.

UN rapporteur Nils Melzer exposes British government attempts to obstruct his defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 February 2020

That the British government is simultaneously stonewalling Melzer’s inquiries, and apparently conducting a behind-the-scenes campaign against him, underscores the flagrant illegality of the entire US-led vendetta against Assange.

New Jersey teenager fired from Five Guys for allegedly insulting police officers

By Erik Schreiber, 5 February 2020

Five Guys management aims to browbeat its employees into showing unquestioning respect and obedience to the police.

The Iowa caucuses debacle

By Patrick Martin, 5 February 2020

All the filth and corruption of capitalist politics is being poured into the 2020 elections to counter the shift to the left among youth and working people.

Renowned Harvard chemistry professor charged with lying about ties to China

By Kevin Reed, 3 February 2020

There can be no question that the arrest of Dr. Charles Lieber is meant to intimidate American scientists from engaging in any way with their Chinese colleagues on scientific projects.

Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly calls for Assange’s release, condemns threatened extradition

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 February 2020

Members of the assembly undoubtedly recognised that their report on media freedom would have no credibility if it remained silent on Europe’s most famous imprisoned journalist and publisher.

Assange would be held in “darkest corner of the prison system” if extradited to the US

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 February 2020

If dispatched to the US, the WikiLeaks founder will be held in extreme isolation—conditions usually inflicted on individuals convicted of terrorism offences.

Elizabeth Warren issues call for internet censorship

By Patrick Martin, 31 January 2020

While nominally directed against Russia and right-wing “trolls,” the proposal would open the way to a sweeping attack on the democratic rights of the American people.

Australia: Alice Springs group condemns silence of “Bring Assange Home” parliamentary group

By our reporters, 31 January 2020

“It is now more than three months since your group was established but it has done nothing of substance in this time.”

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31 January 2020

Australian government calls for national emergency powers

By Mike Head, 30 January 2020

Under the guise of dealing with bushfires and other disasters, Prime Minister Morrison is seeking to boost the powers of the state apparatus to suppress unrest.

“This ain’t a nice place to be: This ain’t Belmarsh, it’s Hellmarsh”

ITV documentary reveals conditions in prison holding WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Paul Bond, 30 January 2020

Despite going unmentioned, Assange’s deteriorating health and the concerns of independent medical professionals about his effective solitary confinement in the health care unit hung silently over the programme.

Edward Snowden warns that Assange and Greenwald prosecutions mark new stage in assault on press freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 January 2020

The NSA whistleblower wrote: “The most essential journalism of every era is precisely that which a government attempts to silence. These prosecutions demonstrate that they are ready to stop the presses—if they can.”

How Canada’s corporate media smeared WikiLeaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange

By Roger Jordan, 30 January 2020

Canada’s leading media outlets have vilified Assange, while bemoaning the impact of WikiLeaks’ exposures on the global interests of American and Canadian imperialism.

Democrats embrace war hawk Bolton in Trump impeachment trial

By Patrick Martin, 28 January 2020

The carefully timed leak of Bolton’s White House revelations has overshadowed the defense mounted by Trump’s attorneys in the Senate impeachment trial.

German government bans neo-Nazi group “Combat 18 Deutschland”

By Peter Schwarz, 28 January 2020

It was above all the fact that the close links between the militant neo-Nazi scene, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) and the secret service could not be so easily covered up after the murder of leading Christian Democrat Walter Lübcke that persuaded Seehofer to take action.

Australian Labor parliamentarian demands nationalist “pledge of allegiance” for school children

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 January 2020

Aspiring Labor leader Tanya Plibersek delivered a jingoistic speech demanding that children recite a pledge of allegiance to the country.

US Supreme Court considers ending ban on public funding for religious schools

By Nancy Hanover, 28 January 2020

On January 22, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a deeply reactionary case which takes aim at both the democratic principle of separation of church and state and the right to free, universal public education.

French “Yellow Vests” rally for Julian Assange outside London’s Belmarsh Prison

By our reporters, 27 January 2020

The protest testified to the global scope of the support for Assange, despite the relentless lies and slanders that have been directed against him by the corporate media.

“People are waking up and if we ‘yellow vests’ succeed, and if Julian Assange gets out, something huge will have happened which could prevent many wars”

An interview with a “yellow vest” protester on the fight to free Julian Assange

By Alice Summer, 27 January 2020

Corinne was one of around 100 protesters who came from France to take part in Saturday’s rally in support of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange outside Belmarsh prison.

Murder of Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak reveals close ties between political establishment, corporate elite and criminal underworld

By Markus Salzmann, 27 January 2020

The reintroduction of capitalism did not bring democracy, freedom, and prosperity, but the opposite.

“We hope this protest will inspire others”

French “yellow vests” protest for Assange outside Belmarsh prison in London

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2020

The protests point to the deeply-rooted opposition among workers internationally to US and European governments’ relentless campaign to destroy Assange.

As extradition hearing dates are set, US Department of Justice argues Assange has no First Amendment rights

By Laura Tiernan, 24 January 2020

The latest evidence submitted by the US government underscores the fundamental democratic issues at stake in the decade-long illegal persecution and witch-hunting of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

Consortium News sues for libel over claims it aided “Russian disinformation” campaign against Canada

By Kevin Reed, 24 January 2020

Consortium News has filed libel lawsuits against a Canadian state security agency and a television network over their false claims that the Virginia-based independent news organization spearheaded a pro-Russian disinformation campaign in Canada.

The prosecution of Glenn Greenwald and the global war on free speech

By James Cogan, 23 January 2020

The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has opened the floodgates for a global war on independent and critical journalism and the imposition of sweeping censorship.

The New York Times attempts to discredit defense as Harvey Weinstein trial begins

By Tom Carter, 23 January 2020

Weinstein has every right to confront his accusers—and yes, attempt to discredit them.

Despite #MeToo protest, Berlin audience applauds opera singer Placido Domingo

By Sybille Fuchs, 23 January 2020

The Berlin Staatsoper refused to comply with a call for an anti-democratic ban on Domingo performing raised by the “Pro Quote Bühne” group and Green Party politicians.

999 Consortium News sues for libel over accusations of pro-Russia campaign against Canada

23 January 2020

Witnesses testify that CIA spied on Assange and his lawyers

By Mike Head, 22 January 2020

This evidence alone requires the US extradition case to be thrown out of court on the grounds of illegality.

Clearview AI facial recognition tool being used by more than 600 US police agencies

By Kevin Reed, 22 January 2020

The facial recognition technology company claims that its app can identify anyone within seconds by submitting a photo of them into their database of 3 billion facial photos.

UK: Johnson government plans draconian new anti-terror laws

By Thomas Scripps, 22 January 2020

Patel’s announcement comes after it was revealed that dozens of left-wing and environmental protest groups are included in a counter-terrorism “guidance document.”

The New York Times gloats over Harvey Weinstein’s misfortune

By David Walsh, 22 January 2020

The trial of film producer Harvey Weinstein, on five charges of sexual assault involving two women, is currently underway in New York City.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing document seeks to outlaw political dissent

By Thomas Scripps, 21 January 2020

The “guidance document” lists prominent left-wing, anti-war and environmental groups alongside far-right, fascist and white supremacist organisations.

Trump administration ramps up campaign to abolish strong data encryption in aftermath of Pensacola terror shooting

By Kevin Reed, 21 January 2020

The administration, following in the footsteps of the Obama White House, is moving to attack privacy rights protected by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.

As neo-Nazis head to Richmond, Trump boosts gun-rights rally

By Patrick Martin, 20 January 2020

The president’s tweet is a declaration of solidarity with ultra-right forces on the eve of his impeachment trial.

Chicago police to be deputized as federal immigration agents

By Kylie Rose and Andy Thompson, 20 January 2020

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says it will use the Chicago Police Department to enforce federal immigration laws.

Google suppressing World Socialist Web Site content in its search results for the New York Times’ 1619 Project

By Kevin Reed, 20 January 2020

The popular, authoritative and original content published by the World Socialist Web Site on the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project is being manually suppressed by Google in search results.

UK home secretary defends naming Extinction Rebellion as extremist

By Paul Bond, 17 January 2020

Home Secretary Priti Patel told a radio interviewer that although XR was not a terrorist organisation, the government had to look at “a range of security risks.”

Trump administration to illegally divert an additional $7.2 billion to border wall construction

By Jacob Crosse, 17 January 2020

For the second year in a row, the Trump administration is diverting congressional appropriated funds in violation of the Constitution.

Virginia declares state of emergency barring guns at State Capitol ahead of far-right rally

By Harvey Simpkins, 17 January 2020

According to the governor’s executive order thousands of “advocates” will be descending on the city, many armed, with the intent to engage in “violence, rioting, and insurrection.”

Oakland, California: With guns drawn, police evict homeless mothers from house

By Adam Mclean, 17 January 2020

A SWAT team wielding semi-automatic AR-15s broke down the front door of the house with a battering ram and arrested the residents of the house along with two protesters.

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter remove accounts and content opposing the illegal assassination of Iranian General Suleimani

By Kevin Reed, 16 January 2020

The social media companies YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are following the orders of the Trump administration in the aftermath of the criminal assassination of Iranian General Suleimani on January 3.

Assange’s French legal advisor Juan Branco: “We’ve experienced a strong shift that we now need to nurture”

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 January 2020

In comments to the WSWS this week, Branco stated: “Citizens have their mass and geniuses like Julian Assange on their side—private interests have their economical power, cynicism and capacity to corrupt on theirs.”

Malians protest to demand departure of French occupation troops

By Alex Lantier, 16 January 2020

Anger is exploding against the carnage produced by the French war in Mali and against official lies that France is waging a global war on terror.

German captain of refugee rescue ship “Lifeline” acquitted of criminal charges in Malta

By Marianne Arens, 16 January 2020

Despite the acquittal neither Malta nor the EU have retreated from its inhumane and murderous anti-refugee policy with Valletta continuing to prevent NGO ships from entering its waters.

The prosecution of Julian Assange, the destruction of legality and the rise of the national security state

By Richard Hoffman, 15 January 2020

The political and legal attack on Assange represents a qualitative intensification of the destruction of core rights and, indeed, on legality itself as the mode of bourgeois rule.

Australia: Mount Druitt residents respond to police attacks on OneFour drill rap group

By our reporters, 15 January 2020

“The coppers are the government’s gang. The police do get funded a lot more than any other service in this area.”

Julian Assange attends procedural hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court

By Thomas Scripps, 14 January 2020

Since his last hearing on December 19, the WikiLeaks founder has had just two hours total to review evidence relating to the US extradition request with his legal team.

Britain’s royal family torn by factional conflict

By Chris Marsden, 14 January 2020

The decision of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to “step back” takes place amid a more general crisis of every major institution of the British state apparatus.

Social Democrat Milanović wins presidential election in Croatia

By Markus Salzmann, 14 January 2020

The Social Democrat unexpectedly won against incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who ran for the right-wing Croatian Democratic Community.

Boston area professor fired after anti-Trump Facebook posting

By Dan Conway, 11 January 2020

Asheen Phansey lost his career over statements made in jest, while Trump and his enablers in the Democratic Party make real threats against Iran without any consequences.

UK police fire stun guns 2,500 times as deployment of weapon escalates

By Dennis Moore, 11 January 2020

The use of stun guns has sparked controversy since their introduction, following the growing numbers of deaths they have caused when deployed.

Germany: Response to satirical children’s video exposes self-censorship of the media

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 11 January 2020

The week before Christmas, German broadcaster WDR posted an online video of a children’s choir singing an updated version of a satirical song, triggering hysterical denunciations.

UN rapporteur Nils Melzer condemns Britain’s criminal role in the torture of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 January 2020

Melzer demanded the abandonment of the extradition proceedings, Assange’s freedom and a criminal investigation into those responsible for his persecution.

Trump administration initiated program to deport Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 10 January 2020

The deportations were already under way when the story broke Monday; however, the Trump administration has since paused the program, in part due to the strong criticism from immigration advocates as well as within federal agencies.

UN rapporteur Nils Melzer condemns US torture of Chelsea Manning

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 January 2020

In a statement responding to Melzer’s finding, the courageous whistleblower declared: “Even knowing I am very likely to stay in jail for an even longer time, I’m never backing down.”

New York City judge orders 13-year-old held awaiting trial for murder of Barnard College student

By Owen Mullan, 9 January 2020

Tessa Majors was stabbed and killed during an apparent robbery in Morningside Park in Harlem in early December.

Harvey Weinstein criminal trial begins amid media frenzy

By Eric London, 9 January 2020

At stake in Weinstein’s prosecution is the fundamental due process right to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial by an untainted jury.

Settlement reached in lawsuit against Detroit killer cops in Damon Grimes case

By Tyler van Dyke and Tom Hall, 7 January 2020

The family of Damon Grimes, a Detroit teen who died in an ATV crash after police tasered him from a moving vehicle, received a $12 million settlement.

210 Call for support to Assange/Manning

6 January 2020

Florida: James Dailey faces execution based on testimony of a serial jailhouse informant

By Kate Randall, 3 January 2020

Dailey has consistently maintained his innocence in the 1985 murder of Shelly Boggio. By the prosecution’s own admission, no eyewitnesses or forensic evidence connected him to the crime.

Texas church shooting caps record year for mass killings in America

By Trévon Austin, 31 December 2019

This year has marked the most mass killings in the US since the 1970s.

Operation Relentless Pursuit: Federal agents occupying a city near you

By Jacob Crosse, 31 December 2019

As part of new law-enforcement initiative, Attorney General William Barr announced that an additional $71 million in federal funds will be allocated to seven US cities ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Australian teachers’ defence of Julian Assange welcomed by WikiLeaks supporters

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 December 2019

US comedian Jimmy Dore discussed the initiative on the December 19 edition of his “Jimmy Dore Show Podcast.”

Australia: Legal report documents “unlawful” police response to Melbourne climate protest

By Eric Ludlow, 31 December 2019

The 45-page report exposes the increasingly repressive measures being employed by police around Australia against political dissent.

Video shows Greek authorities performing illegal “push backs” at refugee crossing

By George Gallanis, 30 December 2019

A United Nations working group confirmed Greek authorities have been illegally deporting refugees for years, including under the Syriza government.

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Agents: The FBI and GPU Infiltration of the Trotskyist Movement by Eric London – How Leon Trotsky’s Assassination was prepared

By Mehring Books, 30 December 2019

The assassination of Leon Trotsky in 1940 by the Stalinist secret police was perpetrated by a network of agents infiltrated into the Fourth International.

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Julian Assange “slowly dying” and “often sedated” in Belmarsh prison

By Mike Head, 28 December 2019

Assange’s phone call highlights the danger that he could die in jail, effectively at the hands of the British, US and Australian governments.

Desperate to stem protests, dozens of governments shut down internet access in 2019

By Andre Damon, 27 December 2019

Amid a global upsurge of political protests and strikes, governments all over the world are shutting down the internet in desperate bids to stem the tide of popular opposition.

Police shut down “drill rap” group’s Australian tour

By Martin Scott, 27 December 2019

Despite the censorship, Onefour, whose music references life in impoverished neigbourhoods, has amassed a significant following online.

Trump boasts of Democrats’ backing for his assault on immigrants

By Bill Van Auken, 24 December 2019

With bipartisan support, conditions on the US-Mexico border and in detention centers for immigrants have become increasingly hellish.

Germany: Former secret service boss agitates against refugees and plays down right-wing terrorism

By Christoph Vandreier, 24 December 2019

One year after his removal as head of Germany’s domestic secret service, Hans-Georg Maassen (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) has become one of the spokesmen for the extreme right.

Australian police begin “foreign interference” raids

By Mike Head, 24 December 2019

The Weekend Australian’s “exclusive” story signals an offensive by the police and intelligence agencies to carry out the first prosecutions under draconian “foreign interference” laws.

Journalist Peter Hartcher and the anti-China campaign in Australia

By James Cogan, 24 December 2019

Hartcher’s essay in the Quarterly Essay is textbook propaganda for war. It seeks to cultivate nationalist fear and even paranoia about the intended enemy—China.

EU court rules jailed Catalan nationalist Junqueras had immunity

By Alejandro López, 23 December 2019

Madrid nevertheless kept Junqueras in jail over his role in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum and did not allow him to take his European parliament seat.

BBC accused of pro-Tory propaganda during UK general election

By Thomas Scripps, 23 December 2019

According to a recent YouGov poll, just 44 percent of Britons trust BBC news journalists to tell the truth.

In midst of impeachment, Pelosi honors Trump with State of the Union invitation

By Patrick Martin and Andre Damon, 23 December 2019

The move makes clear that, despite the bitter foreign policy differences at the heart of the impeachment drive, the two parties of American capitalism are united on fundamental issues.

Hungary’s government continues its assault on democratic rights

By Markus Salzmann, 21 December 2019

Last week, the Hungarian parliament, dominated by the right-wing Fidesz party, passed bills that represent a further step towards dictatorial forms of rule.

Judge says Assange extradition hearing will take “three to four weeks” as political opposition mounts

By Laura Tiernan, 20 December 2019

Assange appeared physically unwell, but followed the proceedings carefully via videolink from Belmarsh maximum security prison.

“He is a political prisoner, not a criminal”

Medical observers blocked from attending Assange hearing

By Laura Tiernan, 20 December 2019

Dr. David Morgan and Dr. Marco Chiesa are among the more than 100 doctors from around the world who have issued three open letters to the UK and Australian governments protesting Assange’s brutal persecution.

Federal judge rules US government is entitled to seize proceeds from Edward Snowden’s book sales and speaking fees

By Kevin Reed, 20 December 2019

A federal court ruled Tuesday in favor of the Justice Department’s lawsuit seeking all proceeds from the whistleblower’s recent memoir Permanent Record.

Queen’s Speech features Johnson government’s anti-strike legislation

By Robert Stevens, 20 December 2019

The Queen’s Speech confirms that the mantra of “Getting Brexit Done” is intimately bound up with escalating the offensive against the working class.

Right-wing campaigns in Georgia and Wisconsin purge half a million registered voters

By Jacob Crosse, 20 December 2019

The continued assault on democratic rights by the ruling class has led to millions of disenfranchised voters.

Growing demands for Australian government to intervene in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2019

Labor and the Coalition have not responded to calls that they defend Assange, in keeping with their nine-year involvement in his persecution.

Mississippi death row inmate released on bail after being tried six times for the same crime

By Matthew Taylor, 19 December 2019

Curtis Flowers still faces the possibility of a seventh trial and is subject to electronic monitoring as part of his bail conditions.

Chelsea Manning must not be forgotten!

By Eric London, 18 December 2019

Yesterday, the whistleblower celebrated her 32nd birthday in a prison cell.

Brisbane forum calls for broad support for Assange and Manning

By Mike Head, 18 December 2019

The resolution adopted by the forum focussed on the need to take the defence of the WikiLeaks founder out to the working class globally.

Over 100 doctors demand Australian government act to save the life of Julian Assange “before it is too late”

By our reporters, 17 December 2019

Addressing Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the doctors write: “Should Mr Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.”

Doctors issue open letter to the Australian government: Julian Assange at risk of death in prison

17 December 2019

The following open letter has been issued to the Australian government by Doctors4Assange on behalf of more than 100 signatories.