Democratic rights

Two executions in one week

Blind man dies by electric chair in Tennessee, Texas inmate executed amid claims of false testimony

By Kate Randall, 13 December 2019

The final two executions of 2019 involved cases in which juries were not told about defendants’ mental health struggles and violent upbringing, and trials involving false testimony and faulty jury selection.

ACLU intervenes in police lawsuit against Black Lives Matter’s DeRay Mckesson

By Fred Mazelis, 13 December 2019

The US Supreme Court is being asked to hear an appeal in a case seeking to hold Mckesson liable for injuries caused during a protest after a police killing in Louisiana.

The sordid deal between former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his accusers

By David Walsh, 13 December 2019

Weinstein and his bankrupt company have reached a $25 million settlement with dozens of women who charged him with sexual misconduct, various media outlets reported on Wednesday.

SEP holds final UK election meeting in London

“Our fight is for workers to base themselves on a socialist and internationalist perspective, one rooted in a profound concern for history and informed by its lessons”

By our reporters, 10 December 2019

Opening the rally, Thomas Scripps explained that one of the central pillars of the SEP’s election campaign is the fight to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Worker injured in New Orleans hotel collapse deported by ICE

By Aaron Murch, 9 December 2019

Delmer Joel Ramirez Palma had been called a “crucial witness” to the mismanagement that caused the collapse which killed three workers in October.

Australian PM defends secret “national security” trials

By Mike Head, 9 December 2019

Morrison’s statement is further evidence of the creation of a police-state framework, overturning the fundamental democratic principle of public jury trials.

Right-wing hate campaign in Germany against Nobel Prize winner Peter Handke

By Bernd Reinhardt and Peter Schwarz, 9 December 2019

The tirades levelled against Handke resemble the rantings by criminals intent on covering up their own tracks.

Following police shooting in Yuendumu

Australian governments reject calls for removal of armed police from Aboriginal settlements

By Richard Phillips, 7 December 2019

With about 30 percent of its population being indigenous, the Northern Territory is Australia’s most heavily-policed state or territory.

Doctors condemn failure of British government to answer letter demanding medical care for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 5 December 2019

The doctors state that “the UK government’s refusal to take the required measures to protect Mr Assange’s rights, health and dignity appears...unlawfully and unnecessarily exposes Mr Assange to potentially irreversible medical risks.”

Mueller probe accessed the Google account of Assange supporter Somerset Bean

By Kevin Reed, 5 December 2019

Somerset Bean, an artist and political activist, who has been a staunch supporter of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, revealed on Monday that Google was compelled by court order to provide the US authorities access to his online account.

Australian media’s “Chinese spy defection” story unravels

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 December 2019

The collapse of Wang Liqiang’s story, and the revelation that he is most likely “the spy who wasn’t,” is an object lesson in the fraudulent character of the entire anti-China campaign.

Opera singer Plácido Domingo defends himself against sexual harassment allegations

By David Walsh, 5 December 2019

In an interview with the Spanish online publication El Confidencial, opera legend Domingo explained that these “have been the most difficult months of my life.”

Australian teenagers call for support for Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 5 December 2019

“The only way to help Assange is a mass of people having his back and supporting him so that they have to release him because the people are against it.”

Assange is facing a “new form of forced rendition”

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson addresses the Australian press club

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 December 2019

Hrafnsson said Assange’s “rendition” was not taking place “with a sack over the head and an orange jumpsuit, but with the enabling of the UK legal system and with the apparent support of the Australian government.”

Harry Dunn’s parents take legal action against UK Foreign Office

By Barry Mason, 4 December 2019

Harry Dunn died near Croughton, Northamptonshire August 27 after his motorbike collided head-on with a car driven on the wrong side of the road by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a National Security Agency spy.

Australian government launches “foreign interference” taskforce

By Mike Head, 4 December 2019

The announcement was clearly made to meet demands in the ruling circles for prosecutions under the draconian “foreign interference” laws pushed through parliament last year.

Australian coronial inquiry clears prison officers in death of young Aboriginal man

By Robert Campion, 4 December 2019

References to the need for “greater training” are aimed at covering up the systemic character of state violence against working class, poor and indigenous people thrown into the prison system.

Halt the extradition of Julian Assange!

CIA spying on Assange’s lawyers exposes criminal operation against WikiLeaks founder

By Eric London, 3 December 2019

The surveillance violates the centuries-old right to attorney-client privilege and exposes the prosecution and extradition effort as an illegal frame-up.

Opposing NATO and Trump means fighting to free Julian Assange!

By Chris Marsden, 3 December 2019

The aim of Trump and Boris Johnson is to either send Assange to the US, lock him up and throw away the key, or subject him to such psychological and physical cruelty that he dies in prison.

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson: “If Julian is taken to that Devil’s Island across the Atlantic, his life is lost”

By Oscar Grenfell and Richard Phillips, 3 December 2019

In an interview with the WSWS, Hrafnsson stated: “The case of Julian Assange is, in all senses, the turning point. It is the biggest and the most serious attack on journalism and the free press in decades, if not 100 years.”

Central Australian residents speak out in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 2 December 2019

“Assange is a journalist, he’s done nothing wrong and we need to get him back to Australia. There should be marches, rallies, protests and that sort of thing everywhere.”

US Attorney General William Barr’s brief for presidential dictatorship

By Tom Carter, 2 December 2019

Even by the degraded standards of American political discourse at present, Barr’s speech was exceptional for its essentially anti-democratic and fascistic content.

Groundswell of support for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 November 2019

The surge of support for Assange is a welcome blow to the conspiracy of silence surrounding his persecution, enforced by governments, establishment parties and the corporate media around the world.

Australian Labor Party shuts down parliamentary discussion on Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 November 2019

It is a glaring exposure of the thoroughly rotten character of the Labor Party that, on the issue of Assange, it is well to the right of Joyce, a conservative nationalist and populist.

Delay in publication of UK security report used to feed anti-Russian campaign

By Paul Bond, 29 November 2019

Allegations of Russian attempts to influence the UK’s 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election reveal sharp factional disputes within the British bourgeoisie.

Fire Brigades Union study exposes decades of deregulation and cost cutting that led to Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 1

By Alice Summers, 29 November 2019

The FBU’s study is all the more important in the context of a concerted smear campaign by the media and the official Grenfell Tower Inquiry, which have set out to cover up the principal causes of the fire and shift the blame towards the London Fire Brigade and firefighters.

Australian establishment’s anti-China campaign goes into overdrive

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 November 2019

There is little doubt that the anti-China barrage in Australia is the result of consultations with, and substantial pressure from, the US military and intelligence establishment.

UK’s chief rabbi aids right-wing campaign against Corbyn

By Jean Shaoul, 28 November 2019

The witch hunt against Corbyn and the wider left has been made possible by Corbyn’s refusal to mobilise the hundreds of thousands who joined the Labour Party based on his pledge to oppose austerity and militarism against the Blairite right wing.

Doctors’ open letter defending Julian Assange wins global support

By Laura Tiernan, 27 November 2019

An open letter by doctors urging action to save the life of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has received international media coverage, winning growing support among doctors.

Australian PM rejects Pamela Anderson’s appeal that his government defend Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 November 2019

The refusal of the Coalition and Labor to uphold Assange’s rights as an Australian citizen is inextricably tied to their support for the US alliance and their own turn to police state measures.

Baltimore, Maryland: Three men exonerated after 36 years behind bars for wrongful murder conviction

By Kate Randall, 27 November 2019

The trio’s harrowing experience was the direct result of a rush to solve a brutal crime, abetted by gross misconduct on the part of police and prosecutors.

Google fires four workers in apparent retaliation for their workplace activism

By Kevin Reed, 27 November 2019

Google dismissed the workers on Monday in retaliation for their participation in the organized opposition of the workforce to company policies and practices.

A secret trial in Canberra points to extent of Australia’s police-state powers

By Mike Head, 27 November 2019

All details of the man’s prosecution and imprisonment, even the very existence of the case, have been suppressed by undisclosed gag orders.

Australian media and intelligence agencies reveal “Chinese spy” defection

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 November 2019

Despite the implausible character of many of the defector’s claims, they have been presented uncritically by media outlets seeking to bolster the escalating and protracted campaign against supposed “Chinese interference.”

The significance of the doctors’ open letter in defence of Julian Assange

By Chris Marsden, 26 November 2019

The doctors’ action marks a new stage in the struggle to free Assange because it has been taken independently by a group of professional workers, animated by profound concern for his fate and for democratic rights.

Attendees at meetings in Australia and NZ support campaign for release of Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 26 November 2019

“What’s happening to Julian Assange affects us all. He has told the truth and he has exposed the war criminals and that’s why the US wants him.”

Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson addresses public meetings in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 November 2019

Robinson warned that the US attempt to prosecute Assange for publishing the truth was setting a “terrifying precedent” for all journalists and media organisations.

Billionaire Bloomberg enters race for Democratic presidential nomination

By Patrick Martin, 25 November 2019

Bloomberg has made a $37 million down-payment on what could well be a billion-dollar campaign.

Eight-day strike by 40,000 UK university workers begins

By Robert Stevens, 25 November 2019

More than 40,000 lecturers and other staff are striking for eight days at 60 higher education institutions from today against an onslaught on their pay, conditions and pensions.

US activist who sheltered migrants found not guilty in second trial

By Aaron Murch, 22 November 2019

The verdict, after less than two hours of deliberation, reflects the broad support for humanitarian aid for immigrants.

Hamburg: Social Democrats and Greens plan new police law

By Tino Jacobson, 22 November 2019

The Social Democratic Party-Green Party Senate in Germany’s city-state of Hamburg plans to agree on a controversial police law before the state election due in February.

Patriot Act extension concealed in funding bill passed by House Democrats

By Barry Grey, 21 November 2019

Coming in the midst of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, the extension of the Patriot Act underscores the absence of any democratic content in their opposition to Trump.

Conference at European Parliament defends Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 November 2019

Speakers warned that the persecution of Assange was creating a precedent for the suppression of press freedom and for the application of repressive US laws all over the world.

Collapse of Swedish “sexual misconduct” frame-up exposes political conspiracy against Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 November 2019

The discrediting of the Swedish investigation, which played a linchpin role in the US-led pursuit of Assange, exposes the lawless character of the entire operation against the WikiLeaks founder.

Julian Assange appears in court via video link: Legal rights denied by judge

By Thomas Scripps, 19 November 2019

The British ruling class has no intention of providing even the appearance of a fair trial of Assange, after which they intend to railroad him to his persecutors in the United States.

Protesters at London’s Trafalgar Square speak out to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 November 2019

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of the protesters who attended Saturday’s demonstration to demand the freedom of the WikiLeaks founder.

Socialist Equality Party announces candidates in UK general election

By our reporter, 18 November 2019

The SEP is waging a political struggle against austerity, authoritarian rule, militarism and war.

Glasgow helicopter crash inquiry scapegoats pilot

By Steve James, 16 November 2019

After six years waiting, the verdict of a Fatal Accident Inquiry has pinned responsibility for the Clutha helicopter crash solely on the aircraft’s pilot, David Traill, who was one of those killed.

Leaked emails reveal Trump aide Stephen Miller’s fascist politics

By Trévon Austin, 15 November 2019

Emails published by the Southern Poverty Law Center show Stephen Miller, White House senior adviser in charge of immigration policy, espousing racist views and promoting white supremacist and neo-Nazi publications.

Following Georgia execution

Protests mount vs. planned execution of Texas inmate Rodney Reed

By Kate Randall, 15 November 2019

In the case of both Ray Cromartie and Rodney Reed, state authorities and courts have ruled against new DNA testing that could prove their innocence.

Corbyn and main union backer McCluskey oppose Labour conference free movement pledge on immigration

By Robert Stevens, 15 November 2019

McCluskey intervened to ensure that it is the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s position that is reflected in this year’s election manifesto.

Las Vegas, Nevada city council passes punitive anti-homeless ordinance

By Jacob Crosse, 15 November 2019

Passed by a 5-2 vote, the ordinance enforcement mechanisms include up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

Mass protests after police shoot and kill Aboriginal teenager in remote Australian town

By Eric Ludlow, 15 November 2019

The police killing of Kumanjayi Walker in the poverty-stricken Northern Territory community of Yuendumu has led to widespread protests across Australia.

US court rules routine border search and seizure of electronic devices unconstitutional

By Kevin Reed, 14 November 2019

The court ruled that routine searches and seizures of electronic devices at US ports of entry without “reasonable suspicion” are a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.

Missouri officials tracked women’s menstrual periods in effort to shut down state’s last abortion provider

By Jessica Goldstein, 13 November 2019

The state’s spreadsheet contained confidential, non-medical information, such as women’s names and medical ID numbers, which could be used by the state to identify and locate them—effectively spying on patients.

Australian workers and youth speak-out in support of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 November 2019

“Governments are trying to hide the truth and lie to the people. That’s why they are unfairly persecuting Assange and confining him to prison.”

German defence minister calls for expansion of foreign military interventions

By Peter Schwarz, 11 November 2019

In a keynote address, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer declared, “there is broad agreement that, given the strategic challenges, Germany must ... “do more to defend our values and interests.”

UK workers see 2 pence an hour average wage increase, while pay of richest skyrockets

By Margot Miller, 11 November 2019

Since 2016, pay has increased from £58.73 an hour to £63.18 for the top income earners, compared to a tiny increase from £12.71 to £12.73 an hour for those on average pay.

The Democrats’ campaign for internet censorship: Who is to determine what are “lies”?

By Andre Damon, 9 November 2019

While couched in demagogic language accusing Facebook of “profiting” off of “disinformation,” the Democrats’ campaign for internet censorship is aimed at silencing political opposition and dissent.

Australian Greens member demands party leader defend Julian Assange

7 November 2019

“Assange is being held as a political prisoner. That is undeniable now, and still no action from the Greens... Ultimately, you have abandoned Assange.”

Geoffrey Rush defamation victory contested in Sydney’s Federal Court

By Linda Tenenbaum, 7 November 2019

The appeal by Murdoch-owned Nationwide News against last year’s Federal Court judgement in favour of Oscar-winning Australian actor, Geoffrey Rush, was heard early this week.

Former Australian PM asked to register under “foreign agent” laws

By Mike Head, 6 November 2019

The initial targeting of alt-right elements sets a precedent for the use of the laws against their intended victims—left-wing and oppositional groups.

Concert for Assange outside UK Home Office demands “No extradition!”

By Laura Tiernan, 6 November 2019

Hundreds gathered to hear speeches by Assange’s father John Shipton and fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, and a performance by rap artist M.I.A.

Halle, Germany: Government moves to establish a police state after fascist attack

By Gregor Link, 5 November 2019

The government is using the attack as a pretext to further arm the state apparatus and implement long-held plans to spy on journalists and Internet users.

Bipartisan drive to outlaw protest in Australia

By Mike Head, 5 November 2019

Prime Minister Morrison adopted the fascistic language of US President Donald Trump, accusing climate change demonstrators of “economic sabotage.”

UK: Tens of thousands of university and college staff vote to strike

Ballot follows strike votes by postal workers, railway conductors, airline pilots, NHS staff

By Barry Mason, 4 November 2019

Record turnouts by hundreds of thousands of workers for industrial action reveal the extent of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's collusion with trade union bureaucrats to suppress a social explosion over the past 4 years.

Right-wing campaign unfolds in Spain for November 10 elections

By Alejandro López, 4 November 2019

By making support for police repression in Catalonia the centre of the election campaign, Spain’s major parties are accelerating the rise of the fascistic Vox party.

Former neo-fascist candidate attacks mosque in French city of Bayonne

By Anthony Torres, 4 November 2019

The entire political and media establishment bears heavy political responsibility for these attacks, creating the filthy political climate that encourages right-wing elements to carry them out.

Australia: Bullied teachers reveal union complicity in victimisations—Part 1

By Sue Phillips and Erika Zimmer, 4 November 2019

The WSWS and Committee for Public Education discuss the crisis in Australia’s public schools, with the founders of the Bullied Teachers Support Network.

Hamburg senate deploys police against student anti-Nazi protest

By Christoph Vandreier and Johannes Stern, 2 November 2019

Hundreds of Hamburg students have protested against the return of Bernd Lucke, founder of the far-right Alternative for Germany, to their university in the past two weeks.

Roger Waters on RT: “The US and UK are trying to kill Julian Assange”

By Kevin Reed, 2 November 2019

Roger Waters, the internationally acclaimed musician and creative force behind the rock band Pink Floyd, is playing a prominent and welcome role in the fight to free the WikiLeaks publisher.

Twitter’s ban on political advertisement: A new move to censor the internet

By Andre Damon, 1 November 2019

The move by Twitter is a capitulation to demands by congressional Democrats and the media that technology companies more aggressively censor political statements, in the guise of “fact-checking.”

England-Bulgaria match highlights growing fascist activity around European soccer

By Paul Bond and Robert Stevens, 1 November 2019

The resurgence of fascistic forces in central and eastern Europe has been fuelled by the restoration of capitalism following the collapse of Stalinism three decades ago.

Pentagon awards $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft

By Kevin Reed, 1 November 2019

Amazon was widely expected to win the ten-year agreement, but Trump’s intervention apparently tipped the contract to Microsoft.

Hamburg, Germany: SPD-Green state executive uses police violence to guard lecture by AfD founder

By Christoph Vandreier and Johannes Stern, 1 November 2019

Hundreds of Hamburg students have protested against the return of Bernd Lucke, founder of the far-right Alternative for Germany, to their university in the past two weeks.

Australian police violently attack climate change protestors

By our reporters, 31 October 2019

The incident marks a further escalation of state repression in Australia against protest and dissent.

Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal arrested in Washington DC

By Kevin Reed, 30 October 2019

The independent journalist was shackled in a cage for five hours on a false charge stemming from protests at the Venezuelan embassy in April and May of this year.

Germany: How Hesse authorities covered up the NSU and Lübcke murderers

By Peter Schwarz, 30 October 2019

Temme, an employee of the Hesse state branch of the secret service, maintained an official relationship with the neo-Nazi Stephan Ernst, the alleged murderer of the Kassel district president Walter Lübcke.

Australian state Labor government spearheads anti-protest laws

By Mike Head, 30 October 2019

Queensland’s government has defied popular opposition to rush through legislation that goes far beyond suppressing environmental demonstrations.

Australian parliamentarians form cross-party group in defence of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 October 2019

The establishment of the group is in response to a growing groundswell of demands for the Australian government to stop Assange’s extradition to the US.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the forgotten history of Iraq

By Andre Damon, 29 October 2019

Whether Baghdadi was an enemy of the United States, a CIA asset, or both, one thing is certain: the rise of ISIS was the byproduct of criminal actions by the US government spanning four decades.

GM fires Flint workers over social media posts during strike

By Jerry White, 29 October 2019

Flint Assembly workers, including a 19-year veteran of GM, have been targeted in a campaign of retaliation aimed at silencing opposition to the corporations and the UAW.

Trump makes fascist appeal to police in Chicago

By Barry Grey, 29 October 2019

The U.S. president doubled down on his efforts to rally support within the police and military for dictatorial methods and the use of state violence against immigrants and the working class as a whole.

Public meetings in Australia and New Zealand

Meeting defending Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning in Melbourne this Sunday

28 October 2019

The aim of the meetings is to prepare for the political action that must be organised in Australia and internationally in opposition to the legal travesty against Assange that is underway in the British courts.

Many of 39 found dead in UK lorry were Vietnamese victims of people traffickers

By Robert Stevens, 28 October 2019

Many of the victims were Vietnamese, desperate to escape crushing poverty, only to die in Europe entombed in a dark container.

Mass rally against jailing of Catalan nationalists in Barcelona

By Alejandro López, 28 October 2019

Two weeks before the November 10 general elections in Spain, hundreds of thousands marched in Barcelona Saturday afternoon.

Britain obstructs Spanish investigation into CIA spying on Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 October 2019

The British judiciary is terrified that the investigation into the illegal surveillance of Assange will further expose the lawless character of the attempt to extradite him to the US.

US military allowed to shoot at vehicles at entry ports along southern border

By Patrick Martin, 25 October 2019

Migrants at the US-Mexico border will be treated like suspected terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thirty-nine migrants found dead in lorry trailer in UK

By Laura Tiernan, 24 October 2019

The real authors of this immense crime reside in 10 Downing Street, along with the government and opposition parties in Westminster Palace and their accomplices in every European capital.

Julian Assange’s court hearing in London: Britain stages a lawless show-trial

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 October 2019

The appearance of Assange, ill and defenceless, before a magistrate who showed contempt for the law, makes clear that the persecution of the award-winning journalist has been a pseudo-legal travesty from the beginning.

Hundreds protest outside Westminster Magistrates Court to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By Richard Tyler, 23 October 2019

SEP national secretary Chris Marsden told demonstrators: “We want the working class to defend a man whose freedom is of paramount importance for every man, woman and child on this planet.”

Australian media companies protest government attacks on press freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2019

Threats to prosecute journalists underscore the need for media workers to defend Julian Assange, whose jailing has opened the floodgates for the assault on press freedom.

Madrid steps up repression of protests against Catalan crackdown

By Alejandro López, 22 October 2019

The ruling class is terrified that protests will erupt across Spain and beyond, linking the defence of democratic rights to the growing upsurge of working class struggles.

Growing calls for Australian government to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2019

The fear in Australian ruling circles is that if Assange is extradited to the US, the latent support for him will coalesce into a political movement against the official set-up.

UK police gain access to details of thousands of men, women and children through government’s Prevent database

By Barry Mason, 19 October 2019

In the three years up to March last year, 21,042 individuals were referred to the Prevent programme, giving the police full access to their private information.

Join the protest to oppose his extradition to the United States!

Julian Assange to appear Monday at Westminster Magistrates Court

By our reporters, 19 October 2019

The World Socialist Web Site urges the widest support for Monday’s demonstration outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London starting at 9 a.m.

Australia: “Four Corners” program promotes anti-China witch-hunt

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 October 2019

The program underscores the role of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a mouthpiece for the political establishment and the intelligence agencies.

The jailing of Catalan nationalists: Spanish government builds a police state

By Alex Lantier, 17 October 2019

The Spanish Supreme Court’s sentencing Monday of a dozen Catalan nationalists to a decade in prison for sedition is a politically illegitimate ruling that will live in infamy.

Metropolitan Police impose London-wide ban on Extinction Rebellion protests as arrests top 1,600

By Chris Marsden, 16 October 2019

The ban was followed by the despatch of hundreds of police to clear tents from Trafalgar Square, the one area where protests have previously been sanctioned.

Fort Worth, Texas police officer charged with murder after shooting woman in her home

By Jacob Crosse, 15 October 2019

Atatiana Jefferson was shot through the window of her home early Saturday morning, while playing video games with her nephew.