Democratic rights

US government carries out first execution of federal prisoner in 17 years

By Kate Randall, 15 July 2020

In the modern history of the death penalty in the US, Daniel Lewis Lee’s execution stands out as a particularly egregious affront to due process and basic human rights.

Online documentary exposes the psychological torture of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2020

UN official Nils Melzer stated that Assange’s persecution was “about intimidating all other journalists and publishers and making sure that no-one does what he has done, because that’s what states are afraid of.”

Seventeen states and tens of universities file lawsuits against ICE attack on international students

By Sam Dalton, 14 July 2020

Even if the current set of lawsuits are successful, the immigration and educational rights of international students remain under threat.

#MeToo to “Me Who?”: US media has turned off the sexual witch-hunt for the moment

By David Walsh, 13 July 2020

This lull demonstrates the extraordinary level of media manipulation and control involved in the launching and circulation of such campaigns.

Epstein assistant Ghislaine Maxwell requests $5 million bail

By Kevin Reed, 11 July 2020

Whatever the outcome of Maxwell’s arraignment on Tuesday, more revelations about the activities and relationships of Jeffrey Epstein and his confidante should be anticipated.

US Supreme Court decisions attack separation of church and state and workers’ rights

By Ed Hightower, 9 July 2020

The court’s assault on workers takes the form of an assault on secularism.

Federal judge backs Democrats, rules against SEP challenge to Michigan ballot access requirements during pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 9 July 2020

A Republican-appointed federal judge sided with Michigan Democrats on Wednesday and ruled against the Socialist Equality Party in its lawsuit to block the state’s unconstitutional rules for ballot access in the 2020 presidential elections.

Letters demand Sri Lankan defence secretary stop military harassment of SEP candidates

By our correspondents, 9 July 2020

This campaign is part of broader struggle to defend the democratic rights of all working people against dictatorial measures.

ICE threatens international students with deportation unless their college resumes in-person classes

By Sam Dalton, 7 July 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, an ICE rule change is forcing international students to risk their lives to stay in the US

Worker at German meat processing plant dismissed for sharing critical video

By Marianne Arens, 7 July 2020

The video shows a view into a canteen, where hundreds of employees sit and eat close to each other at the tables.

Modi government prosecutes anti-CAA protest leaders on bogus terrorism charges

By Kranti Kumar and Shuvu Batta, 7 July 2020

Turning reality on its head, the Delhi police, acting on the orders of the BJP government, is trying to blame anti-CAA protest leaders for the anti-Muslim riots that convulsed northeast Delhi in late February.

Australian court rejects Murdoch appeal against Geoffrey Rush defamation verdict

By Linda Tenenbaum, 7 July 2020

Last week’s Federal Court verdict is another important blow against the anti-democratic #MeToo movement.

Vigils in New Zealand demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 6 July 2020

The Socialist Equality Group’s Tom Peters spoke at one of the Wellington vigils, which was part of global protests held to mark the jailed WikiLeaks founder’s birthday.

Zimbabwe nurses strike as economic crisis brings threat of second coup and military dictatorship

By Stephan McCoy, 4 July 2020

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is preparing to confront mounting opposition in the working class through dictatorial forms of rule and the abrogation of democratic rights—even as it is threatened by the possibility of a coup.

Lockdown in Leicester amid surge in infections throughout UK

By Robert Stevens, 1 July 2020

Outbreaks at food factories, garment plants and schools attest to the criminality of Johnson government as it ditches a national lockdown.

Germany: Police powers stepped up after “Stuttgart’s Night of Violence”

By Jan Ritter, 30 June 2020

The violence does not emanate from the population, but from the police against the population—especially against workers and young people.

US Supreme Court upholds abortion access, eliminates executive watchdog and opens federal death chambers

By John Burton, 30 June 2020

On Monday, the US Supreme Court issued a significant ruling protecting the right to abortion, but also strengthened the unitary executive and cleared the way for the first federal executions in 17 years.

US Supreme Court rejects environmental groups’ appeal to halt border wall construction

By Jacob Crosse, 30 June 2020

The appeal was rejected without comment by the justices.

Australian court backs secret trial on East Timor bugging exposure

By Mike Head, 30 June 2020

The closed-door proceedings seek to protect the entire network of spy agencies involved in the escalating US confrontation with China.

Hands off the Sri Lankan Trotskyists

SEP demands military stops harassing its election candidates in Jaffna

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 30 June 2020

The SEP has been targeted because it fights for the unity of the working class across ethnic lines on a socialist program.

Republicans introduce Senate bill to abolish strong encryption on consumer devices

By Kevin Reed, 29 June 2020

Three Republican Senators introduced a draft bill that would force tech companies to decrypt private consumer data on-demand for law enforcement.

US Supreme Court rules recent asylum seekers have no right to habeas corpus or due process

By Eric London, 26 June 2020

As in Dred Scott v. Sandford, the Supreme Court made the most sweeping anti-democratic ruling possible.

In letter to the Lancet, doctors condemn torture of Assange and demand his release

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 June 2020

The doctors note that since they last wrote to the prestigious medical journal in February, the abuse of the WikiLeaks founder’s rights has only intensified.

Five cruise ships detained by UK revealing atrocious conditions of seafarers

By Paul Bond, 26 June 2020

Globally there have been numerous suicides reported among crew members stranded at sea.

US indictment of Assange based on testimony of FBI assets, convicted child molester

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 June 2020

The indictment paints a picture of US operatives pouring through decade-old tabloid gossip and dredging up the most unsavoury creatures of their own intelligence agencies to fling mud at Assange.

NSSP leader contests Sri Lankan elections on United National Party slate

By Vilani Peiris—leader of the SEP slate for Colombo district, 25 June 2020

The NSSP’s decision to contest with the UNP is a further expression of the right-wing political degeneration of this middle-class formation and other pseudo-left groups internationally.

Tennessee legislature passes anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill

By Warren Duzak, 24 June 2020

The Republican-backed bill would require doctors to refuse to provide abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detectable.

Germany seeks to tighten European asylum law

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 23 June 2020

The core elements are the internment of refugees at the EU’s external borders and the implementation of fast-track asylum procedures.

Julian Assange’s fiancé calls on the Australian government to secure his freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 June 2020

The “60 Minutes” program was the first substantive examination of Assange’s plight by the Australian media since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Socialist Equality Party challenges undemocratic ballot access laws in Michigan

By Joseph Kishore and Norissa Santa Cruz—SEP candidates for president and vice president, 20 June 2020

The lawsuit is part of the SEP’s fight against an undemocratic electoral system that is designed to prevent any opposition to the two parties of the ruling class, the Democrats and Republicans.

Johnson government mounts offensive against mass opposition to police violence and racism

By Thomas Scripps, 20 June 2020

Home Secretary Priti Patel is linked with a Facebook group providing a platform for the far-right thugs who attacked Black Lives Matter protesters.

Quebec film distributors censor Roman Polanski’s J’accuse

By Louis Girard, 20 June 2020

Yielding to the anti-democratic #MeToo campaign, distributors in Quebec refused to buy the rights to Polanski’s remarkable film about the Dreyfus Affair.

CIA acknowledges its trove of cyber warfare tools was exposed by WikiLeaks in 2017

By Kevin Reed, 19 June 2020

Portions of an internal CIA report on the 2017 exposure have been released by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Trump rolls back prohibitions on discrimination against transgender patients

By Alex Johnson, 18 June 2020

The announcement endangers the safety of an already vulnerable demographic.

Germany’s Social Democrats, Greens and Left Party organise police violence against peaceful demonstrators

By Gregor Link, 15 June 2020

The police attacks are part of an effort to criminalise anti-capitalist tendencies.

Maquiladora workers demand release of labor lawyer arrested in Matamoros, Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 15 June 2020

Despite our sharp political differences with Susan Prieto, the World Socialist Web Site unequivocally opposes the arrest of the labor lawyer and demands her immediate release.

Detroit literacy case ends with no legal precedent for the right to an education

By J. Cooper, 15 June 2020

The US Sixth District Court of Appeals allowed the settlement of the “right to read” case in Detroit to stand while vacating the legal precedent.

Journalists expose CIA spying on Assange and demand his freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 June 2020

The event revealed further details about the illegal surveillance and disinformation campaign waged against the WikiLeaks founder by the CIA and the Trump administration.

As nationwide protests continue

Trump steps up provocations and threats of military force

By Jacob Crosse, 13 June 2020

In a Fox News interview Thursday night, Trump labeled Seattle protesters “terrorists” and threatened to call out the military.

Massive police display of force against Australian protests

By Mike Head, 13 June 2020

A wall of police manned barriers around Sydney Town Hall, preventing demonstrators from continuing to join the global protests against police violence.

Service Prosecuting Authority drops all but one investigation into British war crimes in Iraq

By Jean Shaoul, 13 June 2020

The British government is serving notice that it has no intention of honouring domestic or international law outlawing abuse, torture and murder by its military and security forces.

Australian PM calls for mass arrests at protests against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 June 2020

Echoing Donald Trump, Scott Morrison declared that demonstrations had been “hijacked by left-wing radicals” who were pursuing “their own political agendas.”

Democrats announce toothless police reform bill

By Barry Grey, 9 June 2020

The “Justice in Policing” bill, a collection of minor reforms that has no chance of being passed by the Senate and signed by Trump, is aimed at containing and dissipating mounting social protest.

Trump, Barr continue threat to deploy military against nationwide protests

By Barry Grey, 8 June 2020

The political situation in the US remains on a knife edge as Trump’s fascistic cabal continues to plot against the Constitution.

Encouraged by Trump, police rampage leaves protesters dead and wounded across the US

By Jacob Crosse, 6 June 2020

Demonstrators have been teargassed, pepper sprayed, shot with rubber bullets and beanbags, and beaten by rampaging police.

“I didn’t receive one warning”

Protester explains how he was brutally assaulted by Secret Service officials in Washington, D.C.

By Nick Barrickman, 6 June 2020

The demonstrator explained how federal officials provoked and then assaulted peaceful demonstrators outside the White House last weekend as protests against police brutality swept the country.

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro calls demonstrators “terrorists,” threatens military repression

By Miguel Andrade, 6 June 2020

Gen. Hamilton Mourão viciously attacked protests against the murder of George Floyd and social inequality, calling for the arrest of demonstrators.

Australian governments try to block demonstrations against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 June 2020

The bans and police threats are outright attacks on the right to protest, a basic democratic right, aimed at establishing a precedent for suppressing mounting social and political opposition.

Anger over US police assault on Australian journalists in Washington DC

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 June 2020

Had the attack occurred in a country such as China or Iran, the muted response from the Australian political establishment would undoubtedly have been very different.

Woman pinned down by police officers in London: “I can’t breathe”

By Thomas Scripps, 3 June 2020

Police violence is directed against the working class, particularly its poorest sections, and falls disproportionately on black communities.

Trump administration deploys military to the capital as nationwide protests continue

By Jacob Crosse, 2 June 2020

Trump’s dictatorial moves to quash protests against the police murder of George Floyd signal an escalation of state violence.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defends police violence against protesters

By Sam Dalton, 2 June 2020

In a news conference Saturday night, de Blasio defended police who drove their cruisers into a crowd of peaceful protesters earlier that evening in Brooklyn.

Julian Assange unable to attend court hearing due to illness as legal travesty continues

By Thomas Scripps, 2 June 2020

Assange has a chronic lung condition and his health has been ruined by years of psychological torture and medical neglect.

Coup d’état in Washington: Trump declares war on the Constitution

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 2 June 2020

In a series of politically criminal acts, Trump is establishing a presidential dictatorship based on the military and police.

Administrative hearing in Julian Assange’s extradition case to be held today

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 June 2020

The hearings have had a farcical character, with Assange unable to participate due to coronavirus dangers and the press frequently excluded.

Ukrainian National Police official demands a list of Jews living in Kolomyya

By Jason Melanovski, 19 May 2020

The intimidation and persecution of ethnic and religious minorities within Ukraine has become routine, with far-right elements operating openly as officials of the Ukrainian state.

Turkish government steps up attack on Kurdish HDP amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Barış Demir, 19 May 2020

The dismissal of five Kurdish-nationalist mayors comes amid growing military tensions in the region and growing social anger at the government’s failure to handle COVID-19.

Australian secret interrogation powers to extend to “foreign interference”

By Mike Head, 19 May 2020

ASIO will have the power to forcibly question 14-year-olds and anyone deemed connected to a “foreign” organisation.

US Senate reauthorizes domestic surveillance, allows access to internet histories

By Kevin Reed, 16 May 2020

The Senate voted 80 to 16 to reauthorize the domestic surveillance provisions of the USA Freedom Act, including rejection of an amendment that would have barred law enforcement from accessing the internet browsing and search histories of citizens.

COVID-19: Military steps up repression in war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka

By Subash Somachandran, 16 May 2020

The government and the military are nervous about the growing unrest among workers and poor against the draconian social conditions.

Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York: A little more of an edge than usual

By David Walsh, 16 May 2020

Disgracefully, A Rainy Day in New York has been suppressed in the US. The film was completed in 2018, but Amazon Studios refused to distribute it.

EU supports Orbán’s dictatorial measures in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 12 May 2020

Although similar to Hitler’s “Enabling Act,” which consolidated the Nazi dictatorship in Germany in 1933, Orbán’s Emergency Law enjoys the support of the European Union.

Polish government forced to call off presidential elections at last minute

By Clara Weiss, 12 May 2020

Polish media reports suggest that panic and chaos now reign in Warsaw.

Russian court keeps historian of Stalinist massacres jailed amid COVID-19 outbreak

By Clara Weiss, 12 May 2020

The vendetta against Dmitriev is part of the campaign by Russia’s state and ruling oligarchy to suppress all efforts to uncover the truth about the crimes of Stalinism.

Tamil National Alliance backs Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse regime on COVID-19

By Athiyan Silva, 9 May 2020

TNA leader M.A. Sumanthiran declared that he does not “allow political opinions or differences…not only in our country but throughout the world.”

Australian governments pushing tracing app despite unanswered privacy-functionality questions

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 May 2020

The intrusive mobile phone application is being used to legitimise the dangerous back to work campaign of the ruling elite.

New Zealand government exploits pandemic to boost police and military powers

By Tom Peters, 7 May 2020

The government is testing police state measures that will be used against opposition to mass unemployment and the social crisis triggered by the pandemic.

German authorities press charges in Lübcke murder case

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 6 May 2020

The neo-Nazi Stephan Ernst is accused of having shot leading Christian Democratic politician Walter Lübcke in cold blood on the terrace of his home on the night of June 2, 2019.

Assange extradition hearing rescheduled for September

By Thomas Scripps, 5 May 2020

The British state continues to obstruct both Assange’s ability to conduct his defence and journalists’ ability to report on the case in detail.

Sri Lankan president continues to entrench autocratic rule

By K. Ratnayake, 30 April 2020

Sri Lanka’s main opposition parties have issued a pathetic 10-point appeal to the Sri Lankan president, urging him to reconvene parliament and offering their support.

Work resumes in Sri Lanka’s free trade zones but thousands are sacked

By Nandana Nannetti, 29 April 2020

While the unions are campaigning for big financial subsidies for companies they are not doing anything to defend jobs and wages.

Assange extradition hearing delayed following defence appeal

By Thomas Scripps, 28 April 2020

Assange’s legal team insisted that a hearing could not proceed under the current circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic

Is Sri Lankan President Rajapakse plotting a coup under cover of anti-pandemic measures?

By K. Ratnayake, 28 April 2020

The government is using the COVID-19 pandemic as the pretext to mount a power grab, insert the military into the running of the state, and run roughshod over working people’s democratic rights.

Application for delay in Assange extradition hearing as COVID-19 sweeps through UK prisons

By Alice Summers, 27 April 2020

The vindictive suspension of the COVID-19 prisoner release programme demonstrates the criminal disregard of the British ruling class for the lives of prisoners.

Sri Lankan president says military to impose “discipline” when lockdown ends

By K. Ratnayake, 25 April 2020

Rajapakse’s threats have nothing to do with enforcing “social distancing” and the spread of COVID-19 but are in preparation to suppress mass unrest in the working class.

Hong Kong arrests prominent pan-democrat activists

By Ben McGrath, 25 April 2020

Washington is attempting to exploit the arrests to further whip up tensions with Beijing and paint China as a threat.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro escalates coup threats as ruling class pushes “back-to-work” orders

By Miguel Andrade, 22 April 2020

As COVID-19 spread uncontrolled across the country, Bolsonaro delivered a fascist rant in front of hundreds of supporters gathered at Brazil’s Army headquarters.

Trump threatens to adjourn Congress

By Tom Carter, 21 April 2020

As strikes and walkouts break out with increasing frequency, the political establishments around the world stumble further and further to the right.

Australian journalist still faces prosecution despite illegal police raid

By Mike Head, 21 April 2020

The High Court ruled the raid’s search warrant “invalid” but allowed the federal police to keep the seized material for use to lay criminal charges.

Australian governments refuse to assist international students amid pandemic

By John Harris, 20 April 2020

Thousands of international students are on the precipice of homelessness and abject poverty after state and federal governments refused to provide them with any assistance.

Intensive CIA spying on Assange targeted his infant child

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 April 2020

As the US government finalised its bogus charges against Assange, it oversaw dirty tricks operations targeting his partner and their infant child.

TNA offers a “democratic” veneer to Sri Lankan president’s coronavirus emergency powers

By S. Jayanth, 17 April 2020

The Tamil National Alliance is providing political cover for Rajapakse’s rapid moves towards a presidential dictatorship.

“Production costs do not equal the cost of a human life”

Outrage grows as Amazon workers die for Bezos’ profits

By Nick Barrickman, 16 April 2020

Workers across the US denounced Bezos’ fortune and the company’s unsafe practices, which are leading to increasing sickness and death in its facilities.

Julian Assange’s partner Stella Morris speaks out: “His life is on the brink”

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 April 2020

Morris’s comments are a moving refutation of the media smears directed against Assange and underscore the urgency of the fight for his immediate freedom.

Grand jury records in notorious 1946 US lynching case to remain sealed

By Fred Mazelis, 10 April 2020

The heinous crime near the Moore’s Ford Bridge in Georgia sparked wide outrage which contributed to the emergence of the civil rights movement.

Vindictive court rulings prove British state wants Assange dead

By Thomas Scripps, 8 April 2020

Judge Vanessa Baraitser has decreed that Assange will remain behind bars and that his extradition show-trial will proceed in May, even as the coronavirus pandemic spreads rapidly in British prisons.

As it releases thousands of prisoners, UK government keeps Julian Assange locked-up in danger

By Thomas Scripps, 6 April 2020

The WikiLeaks founder is currently held on remand pending extradition to the US, not charged with any crime or serving any sentence, in Belmarsh maximum security prison.

Julian Assange still held on remand as coronavirus spreads through UK prisons

By Thomas Scripps, 3 April 2020

The WikiLeaks founder, held in Belmarsh prison and facing extradition to the US for exposing war crimes, has a chronic lung condition and has had his health destroyed by a decade of mistreatment by the British state

Germany marked an increase in violent attacks on refugees in 2019

By Isabel Roy, 3 April 2020

The Left Party has been instrumental, along with the country’s other political parties, in creating a hostile climate and the corresponding explosion of violence against refugees and immigrants.

Why is the World Socialist Web Site banned from the subreddit r/coronavirus?

By Kevin Reed, 3 April 2020

The subreddit r/coronavirus has banned content from the World Socialist Web Site from being shared among its 1.8 million reader-members. We are demanding that the moderators explain why this decision has been made and immediately reverse this act of political censorship.

Peruvian president authorizes military to use lethal force to enforce the national quarantine

By Cesar Uco and Don Knowland, 1 April 2020

A new law shows that Peru’s ruling oligarchy, in anticipation of widespread unrest, is preparing the army to carry out repression with absolute impunity.

Unprecedented police and military powers implemented in Australian pandemic response

By Mike Head, 1 April 2020

Lockdown measures that have become necessary to try to contain the coronavirus are being enforced in the most heavy-handed manner.

The significance of Hungarian Prime Minister Orban’s enabling act

By Peter Schwarz, 1 April 2020

Hungary’s parliament passed an emergency law on Monday that grants Orban unrestricted dictatorial powers.

Ohio, Texas and Mississippi ban abortion under guise of fighting coronavirus

By Isaac Finn, 28 March 2020

Over the last two weeks Ohio, Texas and Mississippi have effectively banned abortion, claiming that personal protective equipment is needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Julian Assange’s bail request denied despite coronavirus risk

By Thomas Scripps, 26 March 2020

Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s refusal came amid mounting calls for the release of vulnerable, low-risk prisoners from the UK’s overcrowded and woefully unprepared prison systems during the coronavirus crisis.

Johnson’s “herd immunity” strategy and the London Conference on Intelligence whitewash: Britain’s ruling class and eugenics

By Thomas Scripps, 26 March 2020

Innumerable posts on social media have drawn the connection between the reactionary ideology of eugenics and the British government’s criminally delayed and negligent response to the pandemic.

Attorney general requests suspension of habeas corpus

Military, Trump administration ready plans for domestic crackdown as virus spreads across US

By Eric London, 24 March 2020

The Justice Department has asked Congress to suspend habeas corpus and due process, even as the military develops plans to deploy troops on US soil to suppress “riots” and “civil disobedience.”

German government prepares for internet censorship and deployment of the armed forces

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 March 2020

The social democratic state premier of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, has called for a clamp-down against those contradicting official government propaganda about the coronavirus epidemic.

UK: Johnson government uses coronavirus crisis to seize dictatorial powers

By Robert Stevens, 20 March 2020

Britain’s ruling elite is using the enormous danger to public health posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to implement a raft of anti-democratic measures they have long planned to impose.

Syriza leader Tsipras offers collaboration with New Democracy against refugees and Turkey

By John Vassilopoulos and Chris Marsden, 20 March 2020

Tsipras is signing off on a policy of brutal repression of refugees waged jointly by the government, fascist thugs who have benefited most from the stoking up of chauvinism and xenophobia, and the European Union.