Democratic Rights in the US

US Supreme Court refuses to hear Guantanamo detainee’s habeas corpus appeal

By Trévon Austin, 14 June 2019

The court’s refusal to hear the case of a man who has been imprisoned and tortured for nearly two decades without ever being convicted of a crime corresponds to the inexorable lurch by the entire political establishment towards dictatorship and barbarism.

Alabama governor signs chemical castration bill into law

By Jessica Goldstein, 12 June 2019

The mandate, ostensibly to protect children from rape, follows the recent enactment of an Alabama law that prohibits abortion in the vast majority of sexual assault and incest cases.

US issues formal request for Assange’s extradition

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 June 2019

The Trump administration is pressing ahead with its attempt to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder over his role in the exposure of US war crimes and diplomatic conspiracies.

Trump expands network of immigrant concentration camps

By Eric London, 11 June 2019

The Democratic Party is facilitating Trump’s escalation of attacks on immigrant workers as well as his moves toward unchecked presidential power.

Three immigrants die in US custody in three days

By Niles Niemuth, 6 June 2019

Immigrants are being subjected to inhumane treatment all along the line, guaranteeing that there will be more deaths in federal detention centers across the US.

Lutheran student pastor Betty Rendón deported back to Colombia less than a month after being detained by ICE

By Jacob Crosse, 6 June 2019

Pleas from community members and family fell on deaf ears as the Trump administration escalates its war on immigrants.

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture warns Julian Assange could die in prison

By Kevin Reed, 6 June 2019

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture said in an Australian radio interview on June 1 that Julian Assange could die in jail if his persecution is not ended here and now.

New Hampshire legislature abolishes death penalty, overriding governor’s veto

By Kate Randall, 5 June 2019

Half of all US states, plus the District of Columbia, have now abolished the death penalty or imposed a moratorium on executions.

US requiring visa applicants to reveal social media information

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 5 June 2019

The implementation of the new “extreme vetting” policy is another step in the Trump administration’s war against immigrants.

Democratic governor signs Louisiana fetal “heartbeat” abortion ban

By Kate Randall, 31 May 2019

Louisiana is the fifth state to pass bans on abortions based on detection of a fetal heartbeat, following Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio.

Why is the Democratic Socialists of America silent on the persecution of Julian Assange?

By Andre Damon, 29 May 2019

The DSA and its affiliated publication Jacobin have maintained a complicit silence on Assange’s indictment under the Espionage Act.

Chicago police kill bipolar man inside his home

By Andy Thompson, 28 May 2019

Myles Frazier was shot and killed after he barricaded himself in his home in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the city’s south side.

Australian government, Labor opposition silent on espionage charges against Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 May 2019

Labor and the Coalition are signalling their support for the US-led persecution of Assange, for his exposure of war crimes and diplomatic conspiracies.

New charges against Julian Assange under the Espionage Act criminalize journalism

By Andre Damon, 24 May 2019

The Trump administration’s persecution of Assange is a historic attack on the First Amendment of the US constitution, for which the media and the Democratic Party share responsibility.

Thousands rally across the US to defend abortion rights

By our reporters, 22 May 2019

The number of demonstrations reflect the broad popular support for the right of women to choose and in defense of democratic rights more generally.

Protests erupt across US over barbaric anti-abortion ban in Alabama

By Valery Tsekov, 21 May 2019

The most significant of theses protests took place in Alabama and in Kansas City, Missouri, where a similar bill has been passed.

Trump administration shipping immigrants to sanctuary cities as fifth child dies in ICE custody

By Norisa Diaz, 21 May 2019

Trump is seeking to further inundate processing centers and jails to justify the border wall as the fifth Guatemalan child has died in ICE custody since December.

Mobilize the working class in defense of abortion rights

By the WSWS editorial board, 21 May 2019

The Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality are distributing this statement at demonstrations across the US on Tuesday to defend the right to an abortion.

Missouri becomes the latest state to pass punitive anti-abortion legislation

By Kate Randall, 20 May 2019

Trump's appointment of two anti-abortion justices to the high court has emboldened anti-abortion zealots, who hope this action will shift the court in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.

Supreme Court justices battle over execution delays

By John Burton, 20 May 2019

In opinions last week, the three most extreme right-wing Supreme Court justices lashed out at two fellow members of the five-vote right-wing bloc.

The assault on the Venezuelan embassy

By Bill Van Auken, 18 May 2019

The violent police seizure of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington expressed in microcosm the criminality of US imperialism the world over.

“I would rather starve to death than change my opinion”

Chelsea Manning jailed again after refusing to testify against WikiLeaks

By Niles Niemuth, 17 May 2019

Manning has courageously insisted on principle that she will never testify before any grand jury about her possible contacts with Assange and WikiLeaks or anything else.

Students for Justice in Palestine at New York University smeared as anti-Semitic

By Isaac Finn, 17 May 2019

The attack on the Students for Justice in Palestine is part of an international campaign to slander left-wing organizations that criticize the Israeli state.

Alabama abortion ban: Back to barbarism

By Patrick Martin, 16 May 2019

The purpose of the law is to give the new right-wing majority on the US Supreme Court the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Trump planning nationwide military round-up of 10,000 immigrants

By Eric London, 15 May 2019

The unprecedented scope of the raid would require de facto martial law and serve as a test run for the mass arrest and detention of political dissidents.

Illinois passes bill criminalizing infrastructure-related protests

By Benjamin Mateus and Kristina Betinis, 13 May 2019

15 such bills, driven largely by oil and energy corporations through the pro-business think-tank ALEC, have already been enacted nationally, while 26 are pending.

US indicts whistleblower who exposed Obama’s drone assassination program

By Kevin Reed, 11 May 2019

Former US intelligence officer Daniel Hale was indicted and arrested on Thursday on charges of violating the Espionage Act.

Trump floats proposal to cancel 2020 elections

By Eric London, 8 May 2019

Bourgeois politics has degenerated to such a degree that political and legal norms considered fundamental since the American Revolution are now challenged by presidential tweet.

“We want him to come to graduation!”

Arizona students demand release of classmate detained by immigration agents

By Norisa Diaz, 8 May 2019

Over 200 high school students in Tucson, Arizona walked out of school Monday to protest the detention and deportation of their classmate, Thomas Torres.

Georgia governor signs “heartbeat” anti-abortion legislation

By Kate Randall, 8 May 2019

The “Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act” marks a new stage in an orchestrated campaign to outlaw abortion.

Betraying my principles is “a much worse prison than the government can construct”

After nearly two months in jail, Chelsea Manning submits powerful appeal for release

By Niles Niemuth, 7 May 2019

Manning has been detained for contempt of court after she refused to testify before a grand jury impaneled to bring frame-up charges against WikiLeaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange.

Democrats line up behind Trump’s war on immigrants

NY Times demands: “Give Trump his border money”

By Kevin Martinez, 7 May 2019

With death and misery mounting along the southern US border,the Democratic party is signaling its support for further repression.

Protesters oppose US extradition proceedings against Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 3 May 2019

The British government and the judiciary are doing everything possible to facilitate the US capture of the journalist who has been found guilty of nothing more than a bail offence.

“Today’s protest is a symbol of the fight for freedom”

French Yellow Vests join Assange extradition protest in London

By our reporters, 3 May 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to demonstrators outside Westminster Magistrates Court protesting plans to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the US.

In violation of international law

Trump orders new attacks on rights of refugees, asylum seekers

By Norisa Diaz, 1 May 2019

Trump has directed that his top officials to impose a fee on asylum seekers, give border patrol cops authority to determine credible fear claims and place restrictions on work permits.

US government tries to distance itself from border militia

By Trévon Austin, 30 April 2019

The arrest of Larry Hopkins was carried out to mask the fact that militia groups act as auxiliary arms of Border Patrol.

“Assange can only be defended by an international movement of the working class”

Christoph Vandreier speaks at Berlin rally to defend Julian Assange

By Christoph Vandreier, 27 April 2019

Christoph Vandreier, Deputy National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Germany and a candidate in the European elections, addressed a rally in front of the Ecuadorian embassy in Berlin in defense of the Wikileaks publisher.

Julian Assange was denied access to lawyers, visitors in Britain’s Belmarsh prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 April 2019

The reported denial of the WikiLeaks founder’s right to consult his legal counsel, for over a week, casts grave doubt that he will be afforded due process.

CIA Democrats enter the race: Seth Moulton announces bid for presidential nomination

By Tom Eley, 24 April 2019

The congressman is virtually unknown to voters, but he is a leading figure among the CIA Democrats.

What the Supreme Court is repudiating

The Enlightenment, the American Revolution and the ban on cruel and unusual punishment

By Ed Hightower, 24 April 2019

Recent US Supreme Court rulings in death penalty cases represent a vast, anti-democratic cultural, legal and political retrogression.

US court orders Chelsea Manning to remain in prison

By Niles Niemuth, 23 April 2019

The courageous whistleblower has been held in jail since March 8 in an effort to force her to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Judge rules former Michigan Governor Snyder, EPA can be sued by Flint residents

By James Brookfield, 23 April 2019

Recent federal court rulings allow Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the US Environmental Protection Agency to be sued in class action lawsuits filed on behalf of Flint residents.

US attorney general orders denial of bond, indefinite detention of asylum seekers

By Patrick Martin, 18 April 2019

The action by William Barr overturns more than a decade of legal precedent and sets the stage for the criminalization of refugees seeking asylum.

Stop the extraordinary rendition of Julian Assange!

By Eric London, 15 April 2019

What is being presented as an extradition request by the US is so loaded with illegality that it would be more precise to call it an extraordinary rendition.

Trump, ultra-right media target Representative Ilhan Omar

By Patrick Martin, 15 April 2019

The ongoing campaign of anti-Muslim vilification is an incitement to violence.

Palestinian leader of campaign to boycott Israel denied entry to US

By Fred Mazelis, 15 April 2019

The action taken against Omar Barghouti is another illustration of the close policy coordination between the ultra-right regimes of Trump and Netanyahu.

Falsifying history and repudiating democratic rights: Floyd Abrams’ attack on WikiLeaks

By David North, 15 April 2019

We are reposting David North’s essay, first published over eight years ago, in defense of Julian Assange against efforts by the US media and government to discredit the WikiLeaks founder after the 2010 release of the Iraq War Logs.

Julian Assange’s life is in danger

By Eric London, 13 April 2019

The official indictment by the US government against Assange is a transparent lie, aimed at providing the UK with a legal cover to extradite the WikiLeaks founder.

The dictatorial impulse behind Trump’s political purge

By Patrick Martin, 9 April 2019

The abrupt firing of the DHS secretary and Secret Service chief are part of an effort to surround Trump with a loyal praetorian guard.

University of Arizona students arrested for protesting Border Patrol agents

By Shuvvu Batta, 8 April 2019

In Arizona, a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and three years’ probation, along with a $2,500 fine plus surcharges.

US Homeland Security chief forced out as anti-immigrant crackdown looms

By Eric London, 8 April 2019

Trump advisor Stephen Miller is orchestrating a right-wing takeover of the federal deportation apparatus with the support of a network of fascist Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and border patrol officers.

UN Special Rapporteur: US extradition of Assange would be violation of international law

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, and its co-conspirators in the British and US governments, are engaged in a sordid and illegal conspiracy to terminate the political asylum of the WikiLeaks founder.

WikiLeaks warns that Julian Assange faces imminent eviction from Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 April 2019

The publisher warned that a “high-level source” within the Ecuadorian state had information that Assange would be expelled from the building and taken into British custody “within hours or days.”

“An excessive amount of violence, sexual abuse, and prisoner deaths”

Federal report exposes horrific levels of abuse in Alabama prisons

By Niles Niemuth, 5 April 2019

A more than two-year investigation exposed appalling violations of constitutional protections for the approximately 25,000 men locked up in facilities operated by the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Massive ICE workplace raid jails 280 immigrant workers in Texas

By Matthew Taylor, 5 April 2019

The mass raid, the largest in the US in over a decade, has devastating consequences for immigrant workers and US-born workers alike.

Youth and students speak in support of upcoming meetings series: “The Threat of Fascism and How to Fight It”

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality - US, 5 April 2019

This speaking tour is a major political event and is taking place against the backdrop of a global promotion of extreme right politics by bourgeois parties around the world.

Ecuadorian president threatens to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2019

Moreno accused Assange of “repeatedly violating the conditions of his asylum,” to create a pretext to hand him over to British and US authorities.

US Supreme Court ruling guts ban on “cruel and unusual punishment”

By Patrick Martin, 2 April 2019

The death penalty decision in Bucklew v. Precythe eviscerates the prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” in the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution.

US journalist exposes Julian Assange’s prison-like conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 March 2019

Prevented from holding a meeting with the journalist, Assange defiantly protested and condemned Ecuadorian officials for operating as “agents of the US government.”

Arsonist attacks mosque in Southern California

By Norisa Diaz, 28 March 2019

An arsonist set fire to the Islamic Center of Escondido in North San Diego County on Sunday, leaving behind a note referencing the New Zealand rampage.

Free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning!

By Andre Damon, 28 March 2019

The fate of these political prisoners must be a focus of attention of the entire working class and all those who defend democratic rights.

“Police violence is endemic to the system”

Pittsburgh high school students protest acquittal of killer cop

By Samuel Davidson, 26 March 2019

Hundreds of high school students and others took part in rally Monday in the fourth day of protests following the acquittal of the police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose last year.

Mississippi “fetal heartbeat” law bans abortion after six weeks

By Ed Hightower, 26 March 2019

Senate Bill 2116 expressly contradicts established legal precedent permitting abortion within 24 weeks—a reduction in the timeframe for a woman to obtain the medical procedure by 75 percent.

Chelsea Manning held in solitary confinement for more than two weeks

By Kevin Reed, 25 March 2019

Manning has been subjected to solitary confinement after refusing to testify before a grand jury empaneled for the purpose of crafting frame-up charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Unsealed documents shed light on state conspiracy against Chelsea Manning

By Kevin Reed, 22 March 2019

The unsealed documents shine a light on the desperate measures to which the US government has resorted in pursuing a legal pretext to prosecute Julian Assange.

US judge dismisses charges against J20 defendants “with prejudice,” closing case

By E.P. Milligan, 22 March 2019

The decision ends the more than two-year attempt by the US government to set a legal precedent for the criminalization of constitutionally protected political speech and protest.

IYSSE holds rally at University of Michigan to defend Chelsea Manning

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at University of Michigan, 14 March 2019

The rally at the University of Michigan advanced an international strategy to mobilize youth, students and the broadest layers of the working class against the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning.

Students and youth across the US demand freedom for Chelsea Manning

By a WSWS reporting team, 13 March 2019

The International Youth and Students for Socialist Equality is leading the fight to organize opposition to the imprisonment of whistleblower Chelsea Manning by holding a series of meetings and rallies.

New York University student paper joins in “anti-Semitism” witch-hunt against critics of Israel

By Josh Varlin and Sandy English, 13 March 2019

The Washington Square News was forced to remove an article describing Women’s March Co-Chair Linda Sarsour as an “accused anti-Semite” after student protest.

US court upholds subpoena of whistleblower Chelsea Manning

By James Cogan, 6 March 2019

The subpoena is an escalation of the US government’s efforts to extradite Julian Assange, and a new and vindictive persecution of Manning.

Democratic leaders step up witchhunt against Congresswoman Omar on phony anti-Semitism charges

By Barry Grey, 6 March 2019

This intimidation and character assassination is part of a drive to criminalize all criticism of the Israeli state's oppression of Palestinians by equating it with anti-Semitism.

More than 80 arrested in Sacramento protesting decision not to charge police in murder of Stephon Clark

By Trévon Austin, 6 March 2019

Clark was killed after being shot at by two officers more than 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard last March. The only thing he had in his hand was a cell phone.

The political lessons of the March 3 Free Assange rally

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Political Committee, 5 March 2019

The demonstration in Sydney won broad support on the basis of mobilising the working class to defend democratic rights and class war prisoners such as Julian Assange.

US Federal Court subpoenas whistleblower Chelsea Manning

By Matthew Brennan, 2 March 2019

The subpoena provides no information as to what prosecutors intend to ask Manning, but all indications are that it is part of an effort by the US Department of Justice to escalate its pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Greetings from the Sri Lankan Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee to the Assange defence rallies in Australia

2 March 2019

Tea plantation workers struggling for decent working conditions have expressed their solidarity with the fight to free WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Cohen assertions are not evidence of WikiLeaks “collusion” with Trump or Russia

By James Cogan, 28 February 2019

If Roger Stone did tell Trump he talked with Julian Assange, then Stone was lying.

US House rejects Trump’s national emergency

By Barry Grey, 27 February 2019

Neither Pelosi nor any other leading Democrat has suggested that Trump’s subversion of the Constitution and move toward presidential dictatorship constitutes an impeachable offense.

Trump administration bars US-born woman from re-entering the country

By Patrick Martin, 26 February 2019

The decision, based on Hoda Muthana’s past association with ISIS, is the first attempt to deprive someone of her citizenship on the grounds of “terrorism.”

Immigrants endure inhuman conditions at ICE prison in New Jersey

By Erik Schreiber, 26 February 2019

A report by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general describes detainees sickened by spoiled meat and moldy bread, forced to sleep on mattresses that are falling apart and shower in areas filled with mildew.

Australian youth defend WikiLeaks and support demonstrations to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 20 February 2019

“I’m going to come to the rally to defend freedom of speech and freedom of the press”—Adam, University of NSW.

Trump threatens Alec Baldwin, calls for “retribution” against NBC

By Barry Grey, 19 February 2019

There is no precedent in US presidential history for such a direct incitement of violence against a public personality.

Eleven-year-old Florida student arrested after refusing to recite Pledge of Allegiance

By Matthew MacEgan, 19 February 2019

The incident occurred after the sixth grader told his substitute teacher that the American flag is “racist” and that the national anthem is offensive to black people.

NFL settles Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid’s collusion grievance

By Alan Gilman, 19 February 2019

Kaepernick drew national attention during the 2016 season when he knelt during the national anthem before games to protest social injustice, in particular police killings of African-Americans.

Following national emergency declaration

White House pushes for rapid border wall construction

By Patrick Martin, 18 February 2019

Trump’s White House aide Stephen Miller told Fox News the goal was to build more than 200 miles of wall before the 2020 election.

Connections exposed between far-right group and police in Portland, Oregon

By Kayla Costa, 18 February 2019

Local journalists released hundreds of friendly and detailed texts between Portland Police Bureau Lieutenant Jeff Niiya and Joey Gibson, leader of Patriot Prayer, a local fascist group.

Award-winning journalist Chris Hedges endorses Free Assange demonstrations in Australia

16 February 2019

“It is imperative that we pressure the Australian government to make sure its citizen, Julian Assange, is protected from the lawlessness of the American empire.”

Democratic leaders join attack on Democratic congresswoman

Bogus charges of anti-Semitism fuel right-wing campaign against Ilhan Omar

By Patrick Martin, 12 February 2019

The Democratic Party backlash only demonstrates the truth of Representative Omar’s comments about the influence of the Israeli lobby on Congress.

Oppose the Democrats’ #MeToo witch-hunt against Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax

By Barry Grey, 11 February 2019

Once again, unsubstantiated and dubious sexual allegations are being used in a #MeToo operation driven by a right-wing political agenda.

Dearborn, Michigan mayor suppresses historical article on Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism

By Tom Mackaman, 7 February 2019

The censored article details how Ford’s Dearborn Independent newspaper served as a platform for vile slanders against Jews—and an inspiration for Hitler and the Nazis.

FBI conducted surveillance of BAMN in the name of combating “domestic terrorism”

By Tom Carter, 5 February 2019

Newly released documents establish that the FBI launched a “full investigation” of By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) based on allegations that the group had conspired to violate the rights of neo-Nazis and the KKK.

Over a thousand federal inmates in New York City jail held for more than a week in dark, frigid conditions

By Philip Guelpa, 4 February 2019

Over 1,600 inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn have been without heat and hot water, and with limited electricity and communications since a fire last Sunday.

Florida schools to allow real-time video monitoring by the police

By our reporter, 4 February 2019

New measures for the militarization of schools are being adopted one year after the Parkland massacre, while funding for public education, mental health and school counselors continue to be cut.

Stone indictment presents no evidence of links between WikiLeaks and Trump campaign

By James Cogan, 30 January 2019

WikiLeaks is a media organization that exercised the legally-protected rights of the press to published leaked information.

Indiana school superintendent arrested, charged with fraud for using insurance to help sick student

By Matthew Taylor, 29 January 2019

The arrest of Casey Smitherman has illuminated the wretched living conditions the working class confronts in Indiana and across the US.

Supreme Court reinstates Trump’s ban on transgender troops

By John Burton, 25 January 2019

The US Supreme Court by judicial fiat has overruled lower court injunctions and reinstated President Trump’s ban on transgender personnel in the US military.

Tempe, Arizona police officer fatally shoots fleeing 14-year-old boy in the back

By Kevin Martinez, 22 January 2019

The police claim that the youth made a move toward the officer after he stole an airsoft gun from a neighbor’s truck is at odds with the bodycam footage and the testimony of the truck’s owner.

“If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?”

Four “No More Deaths” volunteers convicted for providing humanitarian aid to migrants crossing US border

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 22 January 2019

A Federal Judge in Arizona has rendered a guilty verdict against four volunteers from “No More Deaths” for the crime of leaving water and food in the Arizona desert to help migrants.

Chicago police officer sentenced to less than seven years for murder of Laquan McDonald; three officers acquitted in cover-up

By Michael Walters, 21 January 2019

Jason Van Dyke was convicted in October 2018 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, one for every bullet he unloaded into McDonald’s body.

US-born anchor for Iranian TV jailed without charges

By Bill Van Auken, 18 January 2019

The police state style abduction and imprisonment of Marzieh Hashemi is part of Washington’s wider preparations for war against Iran.

Widespread student support for beleaguered professor Peter Boghossian

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at Portland State University, 17 January 2019

Despite threats of dismissal by Portland State University, Grievance Studies “hoaxer” Peter Boghossian is respected by students for his principled stand against postmodernist philosophy.