Democratic rights

Riot police fire “pepper balls” at University of Dayton students ordered to evacuate campus housing within 24 hours

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 March 2020

Students have taken to social media to voice their outrage over the police crackdown after the university ordered an evacuation of student housing due to the coronavirus.

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison: “Obscene” culmination to a travesty of a trial

By David Walsh, 12 March 2020

Judge Burke handed out nearly the maximum possible sentence. Weinstein was found guilty February 24 on charges of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree.

House Democrats work overtime to renew US government surveillance law

By Kevin Reed, 12 March 2020

Leading Democrats forced a bipartisan bill onto the House floor that approves the continued spying on US citizens in violation of fundamental democratic rights.

International Bar Association condemns British attacks on Assange’s legal rights

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 March 2020

Michael Kirby, the co-chair of the IBA’s Human Rights Institute, branded Assange’s treatment as “shocking and excessive” and likened it to the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib.

As oil prices plunge and coronavirus spreads, Russian oligarchy seeks to keep Putin in power indefinitely

By Clara Weiss, 12 March 2020

The Russian ruling class is trying to prepare for massive social and political unrest.

Trump’s coronavirus address: Ignorance, xenophobia and helplessness

By James Cogan and Andre Damon, 12 March 2020

In remarks consisting largely of self-praise, Trump proposed no measures that would slow the spread of the disease and mitigate its effects.

Julian Assange’s mother, doctors warn he is at heightened risk due to coronavirus

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 March 2020

In comments to the WSWS, Dr Stephen Frost warned that “the UK government is effectively playing Russian roulette with Julian Assange’s life” and demanded that he be released from Belmarsh Prison immediately.

Australian government moves to boost data-swapping with US spy network

By Mike Head, 9 March 2020

These developments underscore the fear in ruling circles that working people worldwide use encrypted messages to discuss and organise free of government eaves-dropping.

Greek police shoot at refugees using live ammunition

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 9 March 2020

More than 10,000 people are trapped in the Greek-Turkey border area, unable to move backward or forward.

Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government sends police to Greece to attack migrants

By Alejandro López, 9 March 2020

The pseudo-left is complicit in the dispatching of police to Greece, where far right thugs are attacking refugees with the complicity of the government.

#MeToo campaign shows its ultra-right colors: Hachette Book Group suppresses Woody Allen’s memoir

By David Walsh, 9 March 2020

Hachette announced Friday it would not publish filmmaker-comic Woody Allen’s memoir at the behest of journalist Ronan Farrow and in the face of protests by its own employees.

German government incites racism with commemoration of right-wing terrorist attack in Hanau, refugee policy

By Peter Schwarz, 9 March 2020

The state has not “underestimated” the danger posed by the far-right, but rather systematically incited and encouraged it.

Australian Labor MP feigns concern over US extradition of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 March 2020

Penny Wong did not differ with government representatives, who explicitly endorsed the British judiciary’s brutal attacks on Assange’s legal and democratic rights.

As anger mounts over Assange’s persecution, former foreign minister Carr calls for moral appeals to Australian government

By Richard Phillips, 6 March 2020

Veteran Labor leader Bob Carr is attempting to divert the growing movement for the release of Assange into dead-end appeals to the Australian parliament.

Australian parliamentary parties endorse British show trial of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 March 2020

As Assange faced a legal travesty, government ministers declared their faith in British “due process,” while the Labor Party maintained its silence.

Defender 2020: Largest mobilisation of NATO troops against Russia in 25 years

By Markus Salzmann, 4 March 2020

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, the scale of NATO's provocative military exercise underscores how far advanced the preparations for war are.

Australian government revives plan for internal electronic surveillance

By Mike Head, 4 March 2020

Under the guise of combatting on-line paedophilia, the Australian Signals Directorate is to be handed domestic spying powers.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Anatomy of a cover-up—Part 1

By Alice Summers, 3 March 2020

The 900-page report largely ignores or minimises the criminality of cost-cutting companies and a complicit Conservative Party-run local authority.

Jeremy Corbyn’s criminal silence during Julian Assange’s extradition hearing

By Chris Marsden, 2 March 2020

Corbyn said nothing when he could have raised Assange’s fate in Parliament every single day, informing millions of the fundamental violation of his democratic rights.

Rally in defence of Julian Assange held in Zurich

By our correspondents, 2 March 2020

In Zurich, Marianne Arens spoke on behalf of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party—SGP) and called for the mobilisation of the working class in Assange’s defence.

Brisbane rally calls for freedom for Assange and Manning

By our correspondent, 2 March 2020

Participants applauded and cheered the speakers as they denounced the Australian government’s complicity in the abuses of Assange’s basic legal rights.

Judge rules Assange cannot sit with lawyers during extradition hearing

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 28 February 2020

The first week of the extradition hearing in USA v Julian Assange ended yesterday at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court with Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejecting a submission from Assange’s lawyers that he be allowed to sit with them in court.

ABC News suspends veteran reporter who called himself a socialist, criticized network in secret recording

By Matthew Taylor, 28 February 2020

In the video ABC News reporter David Wright criticized the network for abandoning serious reporting in favor of sensationalism.

Australian spy chief reveals fascistic networks, but minister attacks “left-wing lunatics”

By Mike Head, 28 February 2020

Dutton’s response shows that the real target of the government and the state apparatus is left-wing and socialist organisations, not violent, far-right groups.

Interviews from SEP (UK) public rally

“The working class needs to demand that Assange is released, not that the ruling class do it on their behalf”

By our reporters, 28 February 2020

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of those attending the public rally held by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) in defence of Julian Assange on Sunday in London.

Julian Assange’s father demands immediate bail for imprisoned son

By our reporters, 28 February 2020

John Shipton outlined his son’s decade-long history of arbitrary detention in the UK.

Julian Assange condemns court for preventing him from speaking to lawyers

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 27 February 2020

WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange issued a defiant protest in court yesterday, opposing the flagrant abuse of his legal rights in extradition proceedings brought against him by the United States government.

“The fight for Assange’s freedom requires the political mobilisation of the working class”

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 February 2020

This speech was delivered by Oscar Grenfell, a leading member of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) to a public rally in defence of Julian Assange, held in London on Sunday.

Persecuted journalist Assange handcuffed, stripped naked on first day of extradition trial

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 26 February 2020

As proceedings were due to begin, a court official told WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson that he was barred from the public gallery.

EU police departments preparing massive international facial recognition database

By Kevin Reed, 25 February 2020

Leaked internal documents reveal that the EU and police organizations within its member nations are developing the technology and legislative framework for integrating facial recognition profiles into a massive biometric database to be shared between countries and with the US.

The show trial of Julian Assange begins

By James Cogan, 25 February 2020

The first day of the British court hearing yesterday to determine if WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange will be extradited to the United States left no doubt that what is taking place is a legal travesty that threatens both Assange’s life and fundamental democratic rights.

Assange extradition trial opens in London

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 25 February 2020

Amid growing popular outrage over the railroading of Assange to a US prison, lawyers for the Department of Justice sought to reframe the charges against him.

Hundreds protest outside Woolwich Crown Court to demand Assange’s freedom

By our reporters, 25 February 2020

Protesters were not allowed anywhere near the building, kept behind barricades and an imposing steel fence by security and police.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) holds London rally in defence of Assange and Manning

By our reporter, 24 February 2020

The meeting was attended by more than 130 workers, youth and students who came from all over the UK.

Don’t Extradite Assange campaign calls on Boris Johnson to intervene

By Robert Stevens, 24 February 2020

The struggle to free Julian Assange requires an implacable struggle by the working class against the Johnson and Trump governments now conspiring to silence him forever.

“The release of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning is up to us”

Australian and New Zealand demonstrations demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder and US whistleblower

By our reporters, 24 February 2020

The weekend rallies point to growing international support for Assange and Manning and a deeper political understanding and determination to fight by important layers of students, workers and youth.

New conflict of interest evidence against UK judge in charge of Assange extradition process

By Kevin Reed, 22 February 2020

Fresh evidence has emerged that the chief magistrate overseeing the extradition trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has received financial benefits from organizations connected to the UK Foreign Office.

“This is the Dreyfus case of our age”

UK Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell visits Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 February 2020

McDonnell described the Assange case as “one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation,” but made clear that his party will do nothing to mobilise the immense popular support that exists for the WikiLeaks publisher.

Veteran “Four Corners” journalist Andrew Fowler denounces Australian government’s refusal to defend Assange

By Richard Phillips and James Cogan, 21 February 2020

“The persecution of Assange is an attack on anyone who speaks out against the power and authority of the United States. It is a warning to every journalist: ‘Pull your head in. Shut up. Don’t question.’”

Lawyers file new motion demanding release of Chelsea Manning

By Kevin Reed, 20 February 2020

Lawyers for Manning, the courageous whistleblower who has been in prison for eleven months for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury in the case of Julian Assange, have filed a new motion in federal court demanding her release.

Growing support for Julian Assange on eve of extradition hearings

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 February 2020

The fight for Assange’s freedom requires the mobilisation of the working class, not moral appeals to capitalist politicians.

FBI and Department of Justice reject Freedom of Information Act document request by SEP National Chairman David North

the WSWS Editorial Board, 20 February 2020

The US government declares that the Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site chairman’s request for documents obtained through surveillance of his political activities threatens “national security and foreign intelligence.”

Assange defence team: “The empire calls it espionage. We call it journalism”

By Thomas Scripps, 19 February 2020

A packed press conference was addressed by WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Australian MPs Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen.

Australian MPs visit Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 February 2020

Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen said they agreed with UN official Nils Melzer’s assessment that Assange is the victim of psychological torture.

German politicians and cultural professionals demand release of Julian Assange

By Peter Schwarz, 19 February 2020

Some 130 prominent initial signatories, including nine former federal ministers, are demanding the “immediate release of Julian Assange, on medical grounds as well on the basis of the rule of law.”

Labour Party leadership candidates profess Zionism at Jewish Labour Movement hustings

By Robert Stevens, 18 February 2020

After Corbyn’s four years in office, the Blairites are on the verge of winning back the leadership amid the threat of mass expulsions of Corbyn supporters.

Australian media maintains an unconscionable blackout on the case of Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 17 February 2020

Meetings should be convened by the staff of every media organisation and resolutions adopted opposing Assange’s extradition and insisting that his case is accurately and honestly reported.

Alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Joshua Schulte on trial in New York

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 February 2020

The court hearings, over the Vault 7 leaks exposing mass CIA spying and hacking operations, have been subjected to a near total media blackout.

Chicago high school students hold sit-in in defense of students who refused to stand for national anthem

By Andy Thompson, 15 February 2020

The sit-in is an example of young peoples’ complete rejection of nationalism and racism promoted by the ruling class.

#MeToo collaborates with fascistic forces to block showing of Polanski’s film J’Accuse

By Alex Lantier, 15 February 2020

Allied with the reactionary Macron government, #MeToo demands the censorship of Polanski’s brilliant account of the anti-Semitic frame-up of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, which was a seminal event in modern French history.

UK government spearheads anti-migrant crackdown with deportation of Jamaican nationals

By Thomas Scripps, 14 February 2020

Under Britain’s deeply reactionary UK Borders Act 2007, any offence can serve as a pretext for deportation.

Spectre of the 1930s

Sound the alarm! Political conspiracy and the resurgence of fascism in Germany

By David North and Johannes Stern, 14 February 2020

Last week’s decision by the Christian Democratic Union in the federal state of Thuringia to elect a state premier together with the right-wing extremist Alternative for Germany exposes the filthy state of German politics.

US spied on governments for decades through secret ownership of Swiss encryption firm

By Kevin Reed, 13 February 2020

The revelations that the CIA and NSA have been spying on the diplomatic cables of governments around the world for the past five decades demonstrates that the American imperialism has long operated as a law unto itself in world affairs.

Petition for Assange’s freedom tabled again in Australian parliament

By Mike Head, 13 February 2020

Despite the powerful public support and strongly expressed sentiments of the petition, its tabling received virtually no coverage in the corporate media.

Woman who killed UK teenager Harry Dunn was a CIA spy

By Thomas Scripps, 11 February 2020

The Dunn family’s legal spokesman, Radd Seiger, explained it is “high time that the nation can see with full transparency whether or not the government prioritised protecting the identity of the Sacoolas family over the welfare and rights of Harry’s family.”

“I fear for the future of democracy in Britain”

Protesters speak out at demonstration against Tory government deportation plans

By our reporters, 11 February 2020

WSWS reporters spoke with those attending Monday night’s demonstration outside Downing Street in London demanding an immediate halt to all deportation flights.

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.

999 south dakota

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.”

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.

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.