Democratic Rights in Britain

Hundreds of peaceful climate change protesters arrested in UK

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2019

There have been no serious incidents of public disorder except when the police arrived in large numbers and swooped in to arrest people.

Youth at climate rally in Leeds, England speak out to defend Julian Assange

By our reporters, 16 April 2019

WSWS reporters spoke about the arrest and imprisoning of Julian Assange with young people who attended last Friday’s rally against climate change in Leeds, England.

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.

UK Labour leads “rape” smears against Julian Assange demanding Swedish extradition

By Laura Tiernan, 15 April 2019

This is the Blairites’ answer to global public outrage over Assange’s brutal seizure from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday.

Protest outside London’s Belmarsh prison demands release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 April 2019

The WikiLeaks founder has been held at the maximum-security prison since his forcible seizure and arrest last Thursday.

Supporters protesting outside Belmarsh prison speak out in defense of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 April 2019

Protesters at Saturday’s demonstration to demand the release of Julian Assange from Belmarsh prison spoke to the World Socialist Web Site.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) member Robert Stevens speaks at rally to demand release of Assange from Belmarsh prison

By our reporter, 15 April 2019

Stevens said, “Join the fight to defend Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Workers and youth internationally must mobilise immediately to defend these class war prisoners.”

The Assange arrest is a warning from history

Comment by John Pilger, 13 April 2019

John Pilger, well-known filmmaker and investigative journalist, issued the following statement on the arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11.

“The fight starts now to prevent his extradition to the United States!”

Supporters to rally in defence of Assange outside Belmarsh Prison, London

By our reporters, 13 April 2019

The protests organised by the Julian Assange Defence Committee and supported by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) and the WSWS will be held from 4pm today.

Worldwide outrage over arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Niles Niemuth, 12 April 2019

After nearly seven years of confinement to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange now faces the possibility of a year in a UK prison and extradition to the United States.

Amid corruption scandals and deals with IMF and Washington, Ecuador’s government betrays Assange

By Bill Van Auken, 12 April 2019

The handing over of Assange to his British and US persecutors is part of a sharp drive to the right by the corruption-stained government of Lenín Moreno.

Westminster Magistrates Court

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray denounces arrest and conviction of Julian Assange

By our reporter, 12 April 2019

“There was no jury and no chance to mount a proper defence or have a proper hearing. It is clear the judge was extremely prejudiced,” Murray said.

Free Julian Assange!

By Statement of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 12 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site emphatically condemns the forcible seizure and arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

WikiLeaks exposes spying operation against Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, acting as a vassal of the US, has surveilled every aspect of Assange’s life.

In leaked court testimony, Assange denounces his illegal detention

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2019

The WikiLeaks founder declared: “No journalist, no citizen, should accept that what they speak about can be defined from day to day by reasons of political expediency.”

UK: Jury fails to reach verdict against top police officer over Hillsborough football disaster

By Barry Mason, 9 April 2019

Former Yorkshire police chief superintendent David Duckenfield was charged with the criminal offence of gross negligence manslaughter of 95 of the supporters.

Assange faces ongoing threats at Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 April 2019

While the Ecuadorian government denied that Assange would be “imminently” expelled from the embassy, it did not dispute that plans had been afoot to terminate his political asylum.

Weekend vigils in London demand freedom for Assange

By our reporters, 8 April 2019

Alongside longstanding members of the Defend Assange Campaign, the London vigil was attended by members of the Socialist Equality Party and attracted support from far and wide.

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.

Supporters oppose eviction of Julian Assange outside London’s Ecuadorian embassy

By Paul Mitchell, 6 April 2019

Defenders of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gathered outside the Ecuadorian embassy in central London yesterday, after a warning that he faces eviction from the building where he sought political asylum in 2012 “within hours to days.”

Defend Julian Assange!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 April 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) condemns the stepped-up preparations to expel Julian Assange from London’s Ecuadorian embassy and to force him into the custody of the British police. WikiLeaks reported today that it has information, from a source in the Ecuadorian state, that Assange’s eviction from the building, where he sought asylum in 2012, will occur “within hours or days.”

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.”

UK local councils sell off billions of pounds in public assets due to austerity

By Joe Mount, 5 April 2019

Since 2014, over 12,000 publicly-owned assets with a total value of over £9.1 billion have been sold off, including libraries, health clinics, youth centres and public spaces.

The political implications of the Corbyn/May Brexit talks

By Chris Marsden, 5 April 2019

The talks on an alternative Brexit deal between UK Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn decisively refute all claims that his election as leader of the Labour Party offered a way forward for working people.

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.

Left-wing students barred from King’s College London during royal visit

By Thomas Scripps, 28 March 2019

UK students are being labeled as security threats, reported directly to the police and denied access to their own university.

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.

UK police colluded in blacklisting of workers

By Trevor Johnson, 22 March 2019

Big businesses used the Consulting Association blacklisting agency and the secret police to spy on workers and hired and fired them based on the information collected—often lies and distortions.

Voices at the London Solidarity Vigil in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

“We owe so much to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks”

By our reporters, 13 March 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those attending Saturday’s Solidarity Vigil outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London to demand freedom for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Chris Marsden at Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange

“Britain now plays the key role in the conspiracy to silence Julian Assange once and for all”

By Chris Marsden, 12 March 2019

This speech was delivered by Socialist Equality Party (UK) National Secretary Chris Marsden at the Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange held outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on March 10.

Emmy Butlin at London rally to defend Assange

“We need international solidarity to bring about a positive outcome in this struggle for freedom for Julian Assange”

12 March 2019

This speech was delivered by Emmy Butlin of the Julian Assange Defence Committee at the Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange held outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, on March 10.

Labour Party investigated for anti-Semitism by UK government human rights commission

By Chris Marsden, 8 March 2019

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has extraordinary legal powers, granted under the 2006 Equalities Act, and could open a full inquiry under section 20 of the Act within two weeks.

UK Labour Party members rebel against suspension of Chris Williamson MP for bogus claims of anti-Semitism

By Robert Stevens, 7 March 2019

Thousands of Corbyn supporters are demanding a full-scale confrontation with the Blairites and for them to be deselected and booted out, not Williamson.

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.

One year since the Skripal poisoning

By Robert Stevens, 5 March 2019

Even now there is no concrete evidence linking the regime of President Vladimir Putin with the Skripal poisoning—or even proof that novichok was involved.

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.

Police announce “investigation closed” into desecration of Marx’s grave

By Laura Tiernan, 27 February 2019

The closure of the police investigations amounts to state protection for the fascist culprits of the worst attacks on Marx’s grave in more than four decades.

Attend March 10 Solidarity Vigil in London for Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2019

The SEP (UK) calls on all defenders of civil liberties and democratic rights, all opponents of imperialist wars for regime change, to attend the March 10 vigil and make it known in your workplaces, campuses and schools.

Resolution: Oppose the promotion of eugenics and pseudo-science at Cambridge University!

25 February 2019

The following resolution was adopted by a meeting in Cambridge convened by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK), on Saturday February 23, 2019.

UK parliament committee demands sweeping social media censorship

By Robert Stevens, 22 February 2019

Social media companies would be required by law to remove what is deemed as “disinformation,” as well as “harmful content,” or face potential fines.

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.

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.”

UK rail workers demand reinstatement of conductor sacked for opposing Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 11 February 2019

The SEP and the WSWS warn rail workers that the RMT bureaucracy cannot be trusted to defend the victimised worker, any more than they can to oppose the introduction of Driver Only Operated trains.

Stansted 15 anti-deportation protesters go free

By Robert Stevens, 7 February 2019

While avoiding jail sentences, the 15 were still found guilty and now have criminal records.

UK: Corbyn allows vicious Tory Immigration Bill to pass

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 31 January 2019

Corbyn and his Labour Party are opposed to the free movement of European Union labour and support what Corbyn has termed “managed migration.”

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.

Leaks expose UK and EU government plans for military deployment in Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2019

Under conditions of intolerable levels of social inequality that will be exacerbated no matter the Brexit outcome, the power of the state will be directed against the true source of social discontent—the working class.

“People are still being deported and thrown into detention centres”

An interview with British “Stansted 15” defendant Melanie Strickland

By Margot Miller, 25 January 2019

Melanie Strickland is one of the anti-deportation campaigners found guilty of endangering safety at an airport in contravention of the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act, part of Britain’s anti-terror laws.

UK: Trial begins of police commander in 1989 Hillsborough football disaster

By Thomas Scripps, 17 January 2019

The trial at Preston Crown Court highlights the immense scale of the state cover-up carried out in regard to the Hillsborough tragedy, in which 96 people died, the worst disaster in British sporting history.

UK Integrity Initiative heavily involved in Skripal affair

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2019

Leaked documents indicate that the moves against Russia over the Skripal affair were scripted well in advance.

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

By James Cogan, 4 January 2019

Not a word about Rudy Giuliani’s Fox News interview has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

UK: “Stansted 15” anti-deportation protesters found guilty of terrorism charges

By Margot Miller, 17 December 2018

The defendants, who are preparing to appeal the verdict, potentially face life in prison for preventing the departure of an immigration removal flight.

Julian Assange denounces his illegal detention in Ecuadorian embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 December 2018

The WikiLeaks publisher, whose health appears to be deteriorating, made the comments at a hearing against the Ecuadorian government’s “Special Protocol,” aimed at forcing him into British and US custody.

Huffington Post renews smear campaign against UK Professor Piers Robinson

By Julie Hyland, 10 December 2018

Robinson is being attacked for his research on Syria, including probing questions regarding the predatory imperialist aims of the “war on terror,” which is verboten for the official state propagandists in Britain and the US.

The Guardian attack on Assange exposed as politically-motivated fabrication

By James Cogan, 6 December 2018

The lack of any case against WikiLeaks explains the scurrilous allegations by the Guardian newspaper last week.

UK Intelligence and Security Committee admits Manchester bomb attack should have been prevented

By Thomas Scripps, 30 November 2018

The evidence points to Abedi having been viewed as an intelligence asset, allowed free rein to participate in jihadist formations aligned with British imperialism.

Guardian newspaper spearheads new accusations against Assange and WikiLeaks

By James Cogan, 28 November 2018

The newspaper has the nerve to declare that it serves to “give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful, and hold them to account.”

UN says millions in Britain deliberately plunged into “great misery”

By Robert Stevens, 21 November 2018

UN special rapporteur: “We are witnessing the gradual disappearance of the postwar British welfare state.”

UK: Left groups targeted for decades-long police infiltration

By Alice Summers, 20 November 2018

The long-term police operations against left-wing organisations are an anti-democratic and morally degraded attack and reveal a serious and present threat to the entire working class.

Britain: Reading University flags article on “ethics of revolution” under anti-terror policy

By Tom Scripps, 17 November 2018

The banning of Norman Geras’ essay under anti-terrorism legislation is a police state measure that has, for the first time, targeted an article discussing socialism and revolution.

Defend Julian Assange against US charges!

By James Cogan, 17 November 2018

The relentless persecution of Assange is intended to intimidate and silence all critical and independent journalists and media organisations, as well as would-be whistleblowers.

Increase in self-harm and suicides in UK immigration detention centres

By Simon Whelan, 8 November 2018

Reports show that from 2000 to April, 2018 there have been 35 deaths, 14 of which were self-inflicted.

UK: Police launch investigation into alleged anti-Semitism in Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 5 November 2018

The pro-Zionist fanatics have only been able to pursue their campaign to remove Labour leader Corbyn because of his refusal to oppose them.

Massive increase in police violence across UK

By Alice Summers, 3 November 2018

Since last year, police firearms operations have risen by nearly 20 percent nationally, with some areas seeing an increase of 53 percent.

Ecuador’s government cuts off all access to Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 2 November 2018

The ban is another warning of the Moreno government’s preparations to terminate the WikiLeaks publisher’s asylum.

Julian Assange warns that Ecuador is moving to end his political asylum

By Mike Head, 30 October 2018

The WikiLeaks founder told an Ecuadorian court hearing that President Moreno had already decided to terminate his asylum but had not yet officially given the order.

Julian Assange takes legal action against Ecuadorian government

By James Cogan, 22 October 2018

WikiLeaks lawyers will challenge Ecuador’s threat to evict Assange from its London embassy if he does not accept anti-democratic conditions for continuing asylum.

Trial of “Stansted 15” anti-deportation protesters begins in UK

By Margot Miller, 10 October 2018

The activists locked themselves around a government-chartered Boeing 767 on the night of March 28, 2017, to prevent take-off.

Julian Assange appoints new WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 October 2018

Kristinn Hrafnsson’s appointment is testament to WikiLeaks’ invaluable contribution to genuine journalism.

Guardian newspaper condemned for publishing “deliberate lies” about Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 25 September 2018

Former British whistleblower Craig Murray linked the newspaper’s allegations directly to the Mueller investigation in the United States.

At conference of British Labour Party

Corbyn and trade unions block deselection of right-wing MPs

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

Anger was generated among Labour Party conference delegates by the rotten compromise stitched up by the National Executive Committee in a two-day meeting prior to the conference.

MI5’s anti-Corbyn campaign and the slandering of Michael Foot

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

What is revealed by the renewed slander campaign against Foot is a dirty plot by the security services to bring down a Labour government, had it won the 1983 general election, that now reads like a dry run for today’s campaign against Corbyn.

UK: Corbyn’s media policies leave corporate domination unchanged, silent on censorship

By Joe Mount and Julie Hyland, 20 September 2018

There was not a single proposal by the Labour Party leader challenging the corporate oligarchy’s domination of the media.

Economist magazine calls for soldier MPs to lead UK

By Julie Hyland, 18 September 2018

The Bagehot column celebrates that the tradition of soldier-statesman is “now being renewed, after a succession of wars in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

London: 8,000 council homes set for demolition

By Alice Summers, 18 September 2018

The continuing social cleansing of the city will see over 31,000 social housing residents forced to leave their homes.

British media blacks out self-immolation of woman at Barnet council office

By Tom Pearce, 8 September 2018

The Conservative-run Barnet council has long been known for its cost-cutting and privatisation of services.

UK “identifies” Russian agents in attempted Skripal assassination

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2018

The government’s narrative, supplied by the same security services that faked “evidence” of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” cannot be taken at face value.

“Five Eyes” summit in Australia ramps up internet censorship

By Mike Head, 5 September 2018

Ministers from the US-led global surveillance network revealed stepped-up measures against Chinese and Russian “foreign interference” and greater control over social media.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman aids witch-hunt against Corbyn, joins Blairites at Jewish Labour Movement event

By Paul Mitchell, 4 September 2018

Momentum leader Jon Lansman joined pro-Zionist and pro-Blairite figures to issue a blatant apologia for their campaign to blackguard the left as anti-Semitic.

Ha’aretz joins witch-hunt against UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

By Jean Shaoul, 4 September 2018

Ha’aretz aims to silence and criminalise any signs of growing left-wing sentiment expressed in the support for Corbyn’s minimalist reforms.

Reject the anti-Semitism slurs against Jeremy Corbyn! Drive out the Labour Party right wing!

By Chris Marsden, 31 August 2018

The lying campaign to paint Corbyn as an anti-Semite aims to discredit socialism in the hope of preventing any challenge by the working class to austerity and war.

UK artists’ visa refusals highlight tightened legislation against migrants

By Paul Bond, 17 August 2018

Implementation of the repressive Control Order was confirmed in operational guidance to border staff last month.

Anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn links opposition to Israel’s crimes with support for terrorism

By Chris Marsden, 16 August 2018

The British Labour Party leader is seeking to appease rather than confront his opponents, whose attack centres on the claim that opposition to Israel is equivalent to anti-Semitism.

UK: Police take no action over far-right attack on Bookmarks bookstore

By Paul Mitchell, 15 August 2018

Despite London being the CCTV capital of the world and the fascist perpetrators gleefully posting videos of their activities on social media, there have been no reports to date of the police detaining, arresting or charging anyone.

UK: Three police officers acquitted of misconduct in restraint death

By Paul Bond, 15 August 2018

The victim was suffering an epileptic seizure when he was seized and forcibly restrained by seven policemen, who held him face down.

Workers and youth in UK speak out against continued persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 August 2018

August 16 will mark six years since WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government.

UK: Boris Johnson makes anti-Muslim pitch for Tory Party leadership

By Julie Hyland, 9 August 2018

In publishing his views, Johnson is counting on the fetid anti-migrant atmosphere being whipped up by all political parties.

UK: Victims of state surveillance to take legal action against Undercover Policing Inquiry

By Thomas Scripps, 7 August 2018

From the outset, the inquiry did not require the police to reveal their operations and accepted as participants only some of those who already knew themselves to be victims.

UK: Fascist Tommy Robinson’s court victory seized on by far-right

By Laura Tiernan, 6 August 2018

The response to Robinson’s release signals a further rightward lurch by the mainstream media in the direction of normalising the far-right.

Julian Assange’s lawyer: Australian government has a “duty” to protect him

By Mike Head, 2 August 2018

Jennifer Robinson said the WikiLeaks editor wants to exercise his right to return to Australia, provided he is protected from extradition to the US.

UK: Memorial event held 25 years after Joy Gardner’s killing

By Steve James, 1 August 2018

The event last Saturday marked 25 years since the 1993 murder of Jamaican mother Joy Gardner by the British government’s Alien Deportation Squad.

British police and intelligence using children as spies

By Steve James, 31 July 2018

A report from the British House of Lords committee has revealed the use of teenagers, including those under 16, as undercover agents for the police and intelligence services.

Twenty-five years since the death of Joy Gardner

By Julie Hyland, 28 July 2018

Behind the actions of the police officers involved, Joy’s killing was the result of deliberate government policy.

The killing of Joy Gardner: A Workers Inquiry is needed

By the International Communist Party (July 1 1995), 28 July 2018

The World Socialist Web Site is republishing here the July 1, 1995 statement by the International Communist Party—the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)—calling for the formation of a Workers’ Inquiry into the death of Jamaican mother Joy Gardner.

UK signs off on US death penalty for “ISIS Beatles”: What are the implications?

By Julie Hyland, 25 July 2018

Not only has the government abandoned blanket opposition to the death penalty, but it has also overturned its publicly stated opposition to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks editor: “I’ve not been able to speak to my son for four months”

By Richard Phillips, 24 July 2018

“I say defend Julian, not just because I’m his mother, but as a citizen and someone who believes in democracy and freedom.”

Imminent threat to Julian Assange underscores need for global defence movement

By Mike Head, 23 July 2018

Plans are afoot to subject the WikiLeaks editor to lengthy imprisonment by the British authorities, pending extradition to the US.

UK continues to separate immigrant children from their families

By Margot Miller, 21 July 2018

In the UK, asylum seekers are incarcerated without due process at the whim of the Home Office, with no idea when they might be released.

British and Ecuadorian authorities in talks to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2018

Media reports point to the ongoing conspiracy, involving the British, US and Ecuadorian governments, to terminate Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.

Britain’s role in US rendition and torture revealed

By Steve James, 5 July 2018

The sheer number of abuse and torture cases testifies to a level of criminal depravity far greater than previously admitted.