Democratic Rights in Britain

Autistic man sentenced to prison in UK for Internet “trolling”

By Mel Simpson, 24 September 2011

Sean Duffy was sentenced to jail for the maximum sentence of 18 weeks and banned from using social networking sites for five years.

“Are we paying people just to come and kill us?”

London family subject to brutal police raid speaks out

By Paul Bond, 13 September 2011

The riots triggered by the police killing of Mark Duggan on August 4 have unleashed a wave of legal repression, including numerous raids by armed response units seeking to arrest alleged rioters.

Hundreds attend funeral for Mark Duggan, murdered by UK police

By Zach Reed, 12 September 2011

The funeral of Mark Duggan was held in North London on September 9. Hundreds gathered to pay their respects to the 29-year-old father of four, whose death at the hands of police on August 4 sparked riots in several cities in England.

More deaths at the hands of UK police

By Robert Stevens, 31 August 2011

In the space of just seven days, three more people have been killed in police operations in the UK involving the use of lethal Taser guns and pepper spray.

Metropolitan Police deny due process to British youth

By Robert Stevens, 26 August 2011

Three weeks after the outbreak of widespread rioting in London, the Metropolitan Police continue to hunt down anyone suspected of involvement.

British police kill unarmed man with Taser

By Harvey Thompson, 24 August 2011

On August 16, officers from Cumbria Police responded to reports that a man was causing a disturbance at an address in Barrow-in-Furness.

Bristol riots in Britain—A Tale of Two Cities

By Richard Duckworth, 19 August 2011

The Bristol riots are a reflection of social deprivation and exclusion in Bristol, and also of the political disenfranchisement of the working class.

Workers speak out on British riots: “The system is not viable”

By our reporting teams, 19 August 2011

Reporting teams from the World Socialist Web Site spoke to residents in the cities of Manchester and Leeds about recent riots, police brutality and the social conditions facing working class youth on a daily basis.

Youth sentenced to years in jail for posting Facebook notices during British riots

By Robert Stevens, 18 August 2011

Crown court judges in England handed down long jail sentences to two young men for posting comments on Facebook.

The stench of a police state

By Julie Hyland, 17 August 2011

The events of the last 12 days are a warning to the working class in Britain and internationally.

Police Complaints Commission lied about police shooting that sparked British riots

By Robert Stevens, 15 August 2011

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has admitted it “may have inadvertently given misleading information” about the circumstances surrounding the police shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan in Tottenham, north London.

Media demand mass arrests, reprisals against UK rioters

By Robert Stevens, 13 August 2011

Magistrates’ courts in London and other British cities have begun to hand down the harshest possible sentences to those accused of involvement in the riots that swept across cities in England earlier this week.

Oppose state repression of British youth

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), 11 August 2011

The Socialist Equality Party unequivocally condemns the police assault that has been unleashed against young people in Britain and demands the immediate withdrawal of riot police from the areas they now occupy.

Britain: Westminster council ban SEP public meeting in attack on democratic rights

By Paul Stuart, 11 August 2011

In an attack on democratic rights, an August 4 public meeting called by the Socialist Equality Party was banned on political grounds by management at Vital Regeneration who are contracted to run residents meeting halls by Westminster local authority, London.

16,000 police deployed in London to put down youth revolt

By Robert Stevens, 10 August 2011

Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a meeting of the governmental emergency COBRA committee yesterday and called a special sitting in parliament Thursday in response to continuing rioting in London and other cities in England.

Fatal police shooting sparks riot in north London

By Julie Hyland, 8 August 2011

Disturbances broke out in Tottenham, north London on Saturday night. They followed protests over the shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year old father of four by police on Thursday.

Inquiry findings continue cover-up of 1999 Rosemary Nelson assassination

By Steve James, 2 June 2011

The findings of the official inquiry into the murder of lawyer Rosemary Nelson, delivered after a six-year investigation, continue the cover-up by the British and Northern Ireland state apparatus.

University of Nottingham suspends professor in major assault on free speech

By Robert Stevens, 25 May 2011

The University of Nottingham has suspended lecturer Rod Thornton after he published a paper on the May 2008 arrest of two men held under the Terrorism Act of 2000.

Britain: Bristol riots provoked by police

By our reporters, 25 April 2011

Thursday’s night of violent confrontations with the police in Bristol’s Stokes Croft area was triggered by the attempted forced eviction of a small, long-standing squat, revealing profound political resentments.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron beats the anti-immigrant drum

By Julie Hyland, 19 April 2011

UK Prime Minister David Cameron kicked off the Conservative Party’s campaign for elections in Scotland, Wales and northern England with another anti-immigrant speech to members in Hampshire.

Britain’s political and media establishment promotes anti-immigrant sentiment

By Chris Marsden, 4 March 2011

A survey commissioned by the anti-fascist group Searchlight has been given saturation media coverage in Britain.

More evidence of police infiltration of UK political groups

By Julie Hyland, 1 February 2011

The UK government has announced plans intended to block further exposure of the work of undercover officers in political and protest groups.

News of the World hacking scandal throws spotlight on Murdoch media empire

By Julie Hyland, 20 January 2011

The private investigator at the centre of allegations of phone hacking by Murdoch’s News of the World has reportedly admitted that executives at the newspaper were aware of the practice.

Exposure of police spy in UK sheds light on covert operations

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2011

Last week, a trial of six environmental activists at Nottingham Crown Court in England collapsed following the exposure of an undercover police agent.

The BBC and the police attack on Jody McIntyre

By Robert Stevens, 22 December 2010

In its coverage of the December 9 student protest in London, the World Socialist Web Site drew attention the brutal treatment meted out by riot police to Jody McIntyre, a 20-year old freelance journalist.

Police-state tactics against protesters in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2010

The repression of students, lecturers, school pupils and others protesting against the British Conservative-Liberal Democrat government is the worst seen in decades.

British student left with brain injury after police attacks on fees protest

By Chris Marsden, 11 December 2010

Alfie Meadows, 20, a student at Middlesex University, has suffered bleeding to the brain after being batoned by police during the December 9 tuition fees protest in London.

Scotland concedes legal access to those arrested, but curtails appeals

By Steve James, 6 November 2010

Scotland has been forced to agree that police suspects must be allowed the elementary right of access to a solicitor before questioning, after opposing this demand for more than two decades.

UK government to impose Orwellian-style surveillance

By Robert Stevens, 1 November 2010

The Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition is pushing ahead with plans to allow Britain’s security services and police to spy on the activities of every citizen who uses a phone or the internet.

Angolan asylum seeker killed during forced British deportation

By Barry Mason, 26 October 2010

Asylum seeker Jimmy Mubenga died October 11 as a result of an attempt to deport him from Britain to Angola.

Police cleared of all charges in death of London G20 victim Ian Tomlinson

By Robert Stevens, 27 July 2010

On July 22, the Crown Prosecution Service cleared a Territorial Support Group police officer, PC Simon Harwood, of any charges relating to the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 summit in London last April.

Report reveals systematic brutality against child offenders in Britain

By Zach Reed, 27 July 2010

The Children’s Rights Alliance for England has revealed the brutal regime facing children held in privately run Secure Training Centres.

Britain: Why did the police man-hunt of Raoul Moat end in death?

By Harvey Thompson, 17 July 2010

The inquest held July 13 into the death of Raoul Moat, who shot himself after a six-hour standoff with police, heard that he was also shot by two officers with Taser guns. The coroner said the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.

Britain: Saville Inquiry continues cover-up of Bloody Sunday massacre

By Chris Marsden, 18 June 2010

The Saville Report into Bloody Sunday in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on January 30, 1972, maintains the cover-up of one of the most infamous massacres ever perpetrated by British imperialism.

Britain: Workers must oppose prejudice against immigrants and asylum seekers

By Robert Skelton and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Manchester Central, 24 April 2010

The Socialist Equality Party, in its campaign in Manchester Central, has repeatedly encountered workers who are by no means racist, but who argue that with jobs and public services under attack, immigration is too high and must be curbed.

Britain: Details of hundreds of students handed to CIA

By Jordan Shilton, 22 April 2010

The details of up to one thousand Muslim students at University College London (UCL) have been made available to the CIA jointly by the university and the Students Union.

Britain: Observer exposes police spy in the Socialist Party

By Marcus Morgan and Paul Mitchell, 15 April 2010

A secret police operative, “Officer A”, spent years spying on the Socialist Party of England and Wales’ predecessor organisation, the Militant group and its youth organisation in the mid-1990s, according to the Observer newspaper.

Britain: Another legal Rubicon—“juryless trials”

By Richard Tyler, 14 April 2010

A legal Rubicon was crossed earlier this month when, for the first time in 400 years, an English court passed sentence in a criminal case heard by a judge sitting alone without a jury.

Britain: Six University of Sussex students suspended following occupation

By Zach Reed, 11 March 2010

Six University of Sussex students have been suspended by Vice-Chancellor Michael Farthing for allegedly taking part in a peaceful occupation in Sussex House on March 3. Farthing informed the students of their suspension via e-mail.

Anti-Islamic measures in Britain threaten democratic rights

By Paul Mitchell, 19 January 2010

This week five supporters of the Islamic fundamentalist organisation Islam4UK, who chanted anti-Army slogans at a military parade in Luton in March 2009, were convicted of using abusive words.

Proposed British anti-war march prompts demands for clampdown on rights

By Julie Hyland, 12 January 2010

Demands for new restrictions on democratic rights are being made after an Islamist group suggested it might hold an anti-war demonstration in Wootton Bassett, North Wiltshire.

Failed Detroit bombing used to justify crackdown on British universities

By Paul Bond, 7 January 2010

The British ruling establishment has been quick to use the failed attempt to bomb Flight 253 into Detroit to demand greater control over universities, their student societies and foreign students in particular.

UNICEF details growth of child poverty in Britain

By Simon Whelan, 2 December 2009

UNICEF’s research into contemporary social conditions facing British children paints a startling picture of poverty and official neglect.

London: Metropolitan Police caught out extending armed patrols

By Paul Bond, 1 December 2009

Recent events have revealed how the police specialist gun squad CO19 had instigated armed patrols of socially deprived estates in London, apparently without any authorisation and definitely without informing the public.

Britain: Family of Jean Charles de Menezes forced to accept derisory compensation award

By Paul Mitchell, 27 November 2009

After a four and a half year struggle for justice, the family of Jean Charles de Menezes has been forced to make an out-of-court settlement with the Metropolitan Police. The family could have received just a third of the £300,000 compensation award they were seeking.

Britain: Protests and political campaigning redefined as “domestic extremism”

By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2009

A central feature of the assault on democratic rights in Britain, carried out by the Labour government in the name of the “war on terror,” is its effort to criminalise political activity.

A dramatic account of the death of Jean Charles de Menezes

Stockwell, by Kieron Barry

By Paul Bond, 29 September 2009

A review of Kieron Barry’s play Stockwell: The Inquest into the Death of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Parliamentary committee for inquiry into British complicity in torture

By Robert Stevens, 8 August 2009

On August 4 Parliament’s Joint Human Rights Committee called for an independent inquiry into claims that UK security services were complicit in the torture of up to 15 people in other countries.

Murdoch’s News Group accused of £1 million payout to conceal phone-hacking

By Harvey Thompson, 11 July 2009

The Guardian has published allegations that Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN) paid out over £1 million to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal the use of covert and criminal methods to obtain information on high-profile public figures.

Questions following not guilty verdicts in July 2005 London bombing case

By Robert Stevens, 5 May 2009

Last week, following a retrial, 3 men were found not guilty of helping to plan the London terrorist bombings in July 2005.

Britain: Another “terror scare” revealed as baseless

By Julie Hyland, 28 April 2009

Only the most damning political conclusions can be drawn from the admission that 12 people rounded up in a major terror scare in Britain have all been released without charge.

Britain: Third autopsy into G20 victim Ian Tomlinson’s death

By Julie Hyland, 23 April 2009

A third autopsy has been held on Ian Tomlinson, the 47-year-old father of nine who collapsed and died after police attacked protesters at the G20 summit of world leaders in London earlier this month.

The criminalisation of political dissent in Britain

By Julie Hyland, 18 April 2009

Since the July 2005 killing of an innocent Brazilian worker, Jean Charles de Menezes, by plainclothes policemen, the legal framework of a police state has been enacted in Britain.

Britain: Police make mass “preemptive” arrest of protesters in Nottingham

By Robert Stevens, 16 April 2009

In the largest police operation ever mounted against environmental protesters, more than 114 people were arrested in Sneinton, Nottingham, England on April 13.

Britain: Militant construction workers blacklisted and denied employment

By Simon Whelan, 9 April 2009

The government has discovered conclusive evidence of a construction industry employee blacklist.

Britain: Police will not be prosecuted for Jean Charles de Menezes killing

By Paul Bond, 17 February 2009

No police officer is to face trial for the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes in London in July 2005.

Britain: Jury verdict over killing of Jean Charles de Menezes demolishes police lies

By Paul Mitchell, 16 December 2008

Jurors have rejected police claims that Jean Charles de Menezes was lawfully killed and returned an open verdict. The decision was the most damaging outcome possible for the Metropolitan Police after the coroner ruled out the possibility of an unlawful killing verdict.

Britain: The political issues raised by the arrest of Damian Green MP

By Julie Hyland, 2 December 2008

A number of political issues are raised by the arrest of Conservative Member of Parliament Damian Green by anti-terrorist officers.

Conservative Minister Damian Green’s arrest highlights worsening threat to democratic rights

By Julie Hyland, 29 November 2008

The arrest of Conservative immigration minister, Damian Green, by counter-terrorist police is an extraordinary event that further underscores the assault on democratic rights by the Labour government.

Britain: Hicham Yezza threatened with imminent deportation to Algeria

By Robert Stevens, 29 November 2008

The British government is stepping up its efforts to deport Hicham Yezza to Algeria. The Home Office has decided to deny Yezza his right to a trial on alleged immigration charges and has stated that, after December 2, he will be liable to be deported from the UK.

Britain: Lies begin to unravel in police murder of Jean Charles de Menezes

By Vicky Short and Paul Mitchell, 17 October 2008

Explosive testimony has been presented to the inquest into the police killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, suggesting that he was shot even though he was known to be unarmed.

Statement of the International Students for Social Equality (Britain)

The defence of democratic rights based on a socialist perspective

23 September 2008

The following statement is being distributed by the ISSE during Freshers’ Week at university campuses across the UK.

Britain: Jury in alleged transatlantic bomb plot trial fails to convict on central charges

A political conspiracy

By Julie Hyland, 12 September 2008

The conclusion of the trial of those accused of plotting to blow up transatlantic airlines in 2006 has created a major crisis for the Labour government and the security services. It has revealed the gaping disconnect between public opinion and official propaganda on the “war on terror.” So great is the damage that within days of the verdict the Crown Prosecution Service announced its intention to demand a retrial.

British government moots passport and ID controls between UK and Ireland

By Steve James, 4 September 2008

Proposals to introduce passport and identity checks for air and sea travellers between Britain and Ireland are being circulated by the British and Irish governments.