Democratic Rights in Europe


Google sets up “news initiative” to censor political opposition and promote mainstream media

By Andre Damon, 22 March 2018

Google announced its latest censorship initiative as Facebook came under pressure from the media and Congressional Democrats to crack down on political opposition.

Northern Ireland: Loyalist killer was a police agent

By Steve James, 19 March 2018

Gary Haggarty was working as a British agent when he killed five people on what the government still insists is the “British soil” of Northern Ireland.

Why the far-right won in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 7 March 2018

Decades of austerity and attacks on democratic rights by the official “left” in Italy, aided and abetted by its pseudo-left apologists, have produced an electoral victory by the far-right parties.

European Union demands Google, Facebook step up Internet censorship

By Kumaran Ira, 5 March 2018

The EU’s call for the automatic removal of online content is part of an international attempt to censor social opposition to austerity and war.

French neo-fascist Marine Le Pen indicted for tweeting pictures of IS killings

By Francis Dubois, 3 March 2018

The indictment of two National Front deputies for posting pictures on Twitter is an act of political censorship threatening basic democratic rights.

Britain warned Sweden not to drop Assange extradition proceedings

By Paul Mitchell, 13 February 2018

The UK remains determined to arrest journalist Julian Assange, who is trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in relation to trumped-up “sexual assault” charges.

YouTube censors video opposing far-right Alternative for Germany

By Johannes Stern, 10 February 2018

The video by the left-wing, socialist channel “Political Analysis” was evidently censored following appeals by far-right circles to YouTube.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity

By Johannes Stern, 8 February 2018

A new grand coalition between the Social Democrats and conservative parties will launch a massive military build-up, initiate a new round of austerity and carry out police-state measures.

Berlin Senate plans increase in police powers

By Katerina Selin, 8 February 2018

Last week, the Berlin Senate, a coalition of the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party and the Greens, discussed a far-reaching security plan for the German capital.

Belgium: terror trial begins of Saleh Abdeslam, “Europe’s most wanted man”

By Anthony Torres, 8 February 2018

The trial of the sole survivor of the team that carried out the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, Saleh Abdeslam, opened Monday in Belgium.

Hamburg police searching for G20 protesters Europe-wide

By Marianne Arens, 6 February 2018

The extension of the operation is part of the plans of the grand coalition between the SPD and Christian Democrats to further strengthen police powers and coordinate security policy on a European basis.

From Facebook to Policebook

By Andre Damon, 2 February 2018

Facebook is being transformed into an instrument of censorship and surveillance, monitoring the actions and thoughts of its users.

For an international coalition to fight Internet censorship

An open letter from the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site to socialist, anti-war, left-wing and progressive websites, organizations and activists

23 January 2018

An open letter from the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site to socialist, antiwar, left-wing and progressive websites, organizations and activists

Twitter warns users: We’re watching you

By Andre Damon, 22 January 2018

In an overt act of political intimidation, Twitter emailed hundreds of thousands of users informing them that they had shared or followed “Russian propaganda.”

German newspaper Die Zeit and SPD back #MeToo witch-hunt

By Verena Nees, 19 January 2018

It is no accident that the German #MeToo campaign is being led by a newspaper close to the SPD, which has adopted the issue in the wake of its disastrous result in last autumn’s federal election.

Statement to the World Socialist Web Site webinar

Julian Assange calls effort of corporations to control Internet discourse “an existential threat to humanity”

18 January 2018

This statement was sent by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the January 16 webinar, “Organizing Resistance to Internet Censorship.”

World Socialist Web Site calls for international coalition of socialist and anti-war websites to counter Internet censorship

By Niles Niemuth, 18 January 2018

The WSWS hosted a livestreamed discussion between David North and Chris Hedges that reviewed the political context of the efforts to censor the Internet and the necessary steps for an effective fight-back.

Statement by Julian Assange opposing Internet censorship will be read at WSWS “Organizing Resistance” Webinar

16 January 2018

The webinar featuring David North and Chris Hedges will be broadcast live on January 16 at 7:00 pm EST.

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

Freedom for Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2018

The “untenable” conditions under which the WikiLeaks founder remains confined are the product of an unrelenting drive by the US and British governments to punish him for exposing the crimes of imperialism.

France’s Socialist Party attacks Catherine Deneuve for opposing #MeToo witch-hunt

By Alex Lantier, 11 January 2018

The courageous column published by 100 women in Le Monde criticizing the #MeToo campaign has provoked a venomous response from the French state machine.

French artists rebuff #MeToo witch-hunt

By Linda Tenenbaum, 10 January 2018

An open letter signed by actress Catherine Deneuve and other prominent women emphasizes the anti-democratic nature of the #MeToo movement and its repudiation of due process.

Twitter censors German satirical magazine

By Johannes Stern, 10 January 2018

The German censorship law is part of a comprehensive global campaign to control the Internet.

Governments and corporations escalate Internet censorship and attacks on free speech

By Andre Damon, 6 January 2018

Technology companies and governments all over the world have kicked off the New Year with a massive assault on freedom of expression on the Internet.

Germany’s “Network Enforcement Law” goes into effect: A move to censor the Internet

By Johannes Stern, 4 January 2018

The new law is part of an international offensive to attack free speech online, aimed at suppressing left-wing and socialist views.

Christian Democratic student association calls for the banning of the IYSSE at German universities

By Christoph Vandreier, 22 November 2017

The denial of working group status for the IYSSE in Leipzig sets a precedent to deprive socialist student organizations of standing as university groups across the country, an attack on basic democratic rights.

The Guardian’s George Monbiot joins “fake news” campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2017

For the Guardian’s George Monbiot to portray the entirely valid criticisms of the official line on the Khan Sheikhoun attack in Syria as fuelling far-right conspiracy theories is politically criminal.

Tens of thousands protest in Catalonia against moves towards authoritarian rule in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 9 November 2017

Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday in Catalonia against the detention of Catalan nationalist politicians as political prisoners by Madrid.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in anti-democratic “sex pest” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 November 2017

The sex scandal engulfing Britain’s parliament sprang to life following that involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Did an undercover agent incite the Berlin Christmas Market attack?

By Dietmar Henning, 26 October 2017

An undercover agent from the State Criminal Bureau in North Rhine-Westphalia is alleged to have had close contact with the perpetrator of the 2016 Berlin Christmas Market attack.

Catalan government in turmoil over Spain’s suppression of autonomy

By Paul Mitchell, 24 October 2017

The anti-democratic measures imposed under Article 155 are leading to a violent conflict with the Catalan population.

Over 5,000 sign WSWS petition against Google blacklisting

By Trévon Austin, 23 October 2017

The broad and passionate response from workers, students and youth in the United States and internationally is indicative of widespread opposition to censorship and attacks on democratic rights.

Google escalates blacklisting of left-wing web sites and journalists

By Andre Damon, 20 October 2017

In a sweeping expansion of its moves to censor the Internet, Google has blacklisted leading left-wing websites and journalists from its news aggregation platform.

In latest victory for the far right, neo-fascists gain in Austrian election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2017

The ability of far-right parties to obtain a broader hearing for anti-immigrant and racist policies is the result of the absence of any progressive outlet for social discontent within the political establishment.

Spain moves toward military rule in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2017

As the Spanish army prepared to deploy armored units to Catalonia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to suspend the Catalan regional government.

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

Germany’s Network Enforcement Act: Legal framework for censorship of the Internet

By Katerina Selin, 5 October 2017

The assumption behind the law, which took effect October 1, is that companies will delete controversial posts rather than risk severe financial penalties.

Defenders of imperialist “human rights” hail Spanish government’s crackdown in Catalonia

By Chris Marsden, 4 October 2017

The United States and the EU leapt to the defence of the Spanish government as it sent police to savagely beat and arrest anyone who dared to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

Director of British rights group Cage convicted for refusing to reveal mobile phone and laptop pass codes

By Steve James, 4 October 2017

The conviction of Muhammed Rabbani underscores the significance of recent investigations into massive mobile phone surveillance in Britain by local police forces.

Google intensifies censorship of left-wing websites

By Andre Damon, 19 September 2017

New statistics expose the growing impact of Google’s attack on free speech.

UK government officials back Trump demands for Internet censorship following London bombing

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 18 September 2017

In the name of opposing “extremism,” the May government is preparing a drastic curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Germany: Trial of neo-Nazi terror group whitewashes role of intelligence services

By Dietmar Henning, 16 September 2017

It is evident that, despite the attention to detail in the case of the five accused, the aim of the NSU trial was to conceal the role played by the secret services.

Bomb attack on London Underground sets stage for further state repression

By Steve James, 16 September 2017

As with all such outrages, there is no reason to assume that the attack comes as a surprise to the British intelligence agencies.

UK parliament approves sweeping executive powers under Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 13 September 2017

The so-called Great Repeal Bill, incorporating European Union (EU) legislation into British law, passed its second reading in parliament early Tuesday morning.

Germany: 60,000 people evacuated as WWII bomb is defused in Frankfurt

By Marianne Arens, 7 September 2017

The largest evacuation in post-war German history led to many lively discussions about war and dictatorship.

Candidates denounce refugees, demand state build-up at German election debate

By Johannes Stern, 5 September 2017

Merkel and Schulz agreed on virtually every issue and appealed for a crackdown on refugees, more police, and a more aggressive German and European foreign policy.

German federal police illegally collect data to blacklist journalists and activists

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 September 2017

The extent of surveillance and the arbitrary and unconstitutional storage of data on thousands of “left-wing political extremists” are typical characteristics of an authoritarian police state.

German SGP election candidate speaks at student protest against deportations

By our reporters, 4 September 2017

Marianne Arens, an election candidate of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP), spoke at a demonstration of students in the town of Offenbach protesting against the deportation of classmates to Afghanistan.

German government raids and shuts down left-wing Indymedia site

By Johannes Stern, 26 August 2017

The shutdown of is the latest step in a crackdown on left-wing politics in Germany ahead of the upcoming federal election.

Youth clashes with police in Paris suburbs point to explosive social tensions

By Francis Dubois, 22 August 2017

The incidents at Aulnay-sous-Bois point to growing tensions between police and the population of the estate where police sexually assaulted a youth in February.

More than two thousand sign petition to stop Google censorship

By Zac Corrigan, 22 August 2017

The number of signatures jumped over the weekend, after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted a link to the WSWS’s exposure of Google’s actions.

Rajoy threatens to deploy army inside Spain after Barcelona attack

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 19 August 2017

This would be the first time that the army was deployed inside Spain since the country was ruled by the fascist regime of Francisco Franco.

SPD wages law-and-order campaign in Germany’s federal election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 August 2017

Adopting many slogans of the extreme right, Social Democratic candidate for Chancellor Martin Schulz is calling for more police and a crackdown on immigrants.

Law to “moralize” French politics: A fig leaf for austerity

By Francis Dubois, 15 August 2017

The law is a cynical attempt to sow illusions in the ruling elite, an operation supported by Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France movement.

Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany

By Christoph Vandreier, 11 August 2017

In the autumn, Internet company Facebook will open a new censorship centre employing 500 people in Essen, Germany.

Catalan independence referendum sparks growing concerns in Europe

By Alejandro López, 11 August 2017

On both sides of the Atlantic, sections of the ruling elite fear a confrontation between Barcelona and Madrid could spark a crisis engulfing Spain.

German politicians call for quicker deportations after attacks in Hamburg and Konstanz

By Justus Leicht, 31 July 2017

The blood of the victims in Hamburg and Konstanz has barely had time to dry and the background to both attacks remains unclear, but politicians from all of the major parties are already seeking to outdo each other with right-wing demagogy.

European Union and Italy step up pressure on organisations assisting refugees

By Marianne Arens, 29 July 2017

The Italian government is demanding that NGOs involved in the rescue of refugees sign a “Code of Conduct,” restricting their activities in the Mediterranean Sea.

Google rigs searches to block access to World Socialist Web Site

By the WSWS Editorial Board, 28 July 2017

Statistical analysis proves that Google is excluding WSWS content from search requests.

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites

By Andre Damon and Niles Niemuth, 27 July 2017

In the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing “fake news,” the traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly.

Protest in London against police killing of Rashan Charles

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2017

It is already clear from the response of the police and Independent Police Complaints Commission that yet another cover-up of the death of a man in police custody is underway.

German Social Democrats embrace policies of right-wing nationalist AfD

By Peter Schwarz, 26 July 2017

Anyone believing there is a limit to the SPD’s rightward shift in the federal election campaign was disabused of this notion on Sunday. The party is now openly agitating against refugees.

Germany: Extent of “left-wing violence” at G20 summit was wildly exaggerated

By Sven Heymanns, 22 July 2017

It is clear that police, leading politicians and the media systematically exaggerated the scale of what took place in Hamburg and invented a number of incidents.

Opposition grows to writing French state of emergency into law

By Francis Dubois, 21 July 2017

As sections of the political establishment grow increasingly wary of the danger to democratic rights posed by Macron's policies, social opposition is emerging in the working class.

After Hamburg G20 protests: SPD, Left Party and Greens prepare law-and-order election campaign

By Johannes Stern, 17 July 2017

In the wake of the protests and violent state repression during the G20 summit in Hamburg, the Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens are showing their true colours as parties of bourgeois order.

After Hamburg protests, German government plans crackdown on left-wing views

By Andre Damon, 11 July 2017

High-ranking members of the German government have called for the drawing up of a list of “left-wing extremists” throughout Europe and a permanent ban on their entry into Germany.

G20 protest participants speak out against police crackdown

By our reporters, 10 July 2017

Demonstrators described how police attacked peaceful protests at this weekend’s G20 summit in Hamburg with water cannons, batons and tear gas.

Hamburg under police lockdown

By Johannes Stern, 8 July 2017

The aggressiveness with which the ruling class has targeted protesters and the entire population of Hamburg must be taken as a warning.

Police rampage against G20 protestors in Hamburg

By James Cogan, 7 July 2017

The police actions appear to have been a test of their riot tactics, ahead of possible attacks on larger demonstrations.

G20 summit in Hamburg: A city in a state of siege

By Sven Heymanns, 4 July 2017

The planned measures in Hamburg are not just to protect the political elite attending the G20, but are deliberate preparations for a civil war scenario.

German parliament agrees to massive expansion of digital surveillance

By Sven Heymann, 27 June 2017

The state will be given the power to deploy “trojans,” computer code that can bypass a user’s security and implement remote online searches of a person’s devices.

With permanent state of emergency, Macron plans authoritarian rule in France

By Kumaran Ira, 9 June 2017

Press reports yesterday confirmed that the government of newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron intends to pass a law making the state of emergency permanent.

German police beat demonstrators attempting to prevent deportation

By Sven Heymanns, 9 June 2017

Police brutally attacked protesters May 31 as they sought to prevent the deportation of a student from Afghanistan studying at a training school in the city of Nuremberg.

London terror suspects were known to police

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2017

As evidence continued to mount that the attackers received some degree of state protection, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced Prime Minister Theresa May for having allowed “cuts in police numbers.”

Official account of London terror attack unravels

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 5 June 2017

Within 24 hours of Saturday’s terror attack at London Bridge, the official narrative presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May has begun to fall apart.

Green Party mayor demolishes refugee camp in Grenoble, France

By Athiyan Silva, 1 June 2017

More than one hundred CRS police rounded up and forcibly expelled refugees from the Valmy Refugee camp in southeast France.

UK and US mount damage control operation over Manchester bombing

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2017

Amid revelations that suicide bomber Salmand Abedi was closely monitored by British intelligence, MI5 has launched an investigation into its latest “intelligence failure.”

Sweden’s investigation into Julian Assange was a political frame-up from the outset

By David Walsh, 20 May 2017

The entire affair was aimed at discrediting and paralyzing WikiLeaks and creating conditions under which Assange could be extradited or abducted to the US, to be executed or condemned to a lifetime in prison.

French media, political parties hush up PS government’s coup plan

By Alex Lantier, 20 May 2017

Thursday’s edition of L’Obs magazine revealed that the outgoing Socialist Party government planned a coup d’état if National Front candidate Marine Le Pen had won the May 7 presidential elections.

Hundreds of migrants drown in Mediterranean

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2017

The deaths occurred during a spike in crossings spurred in part by a planned crackdown that would send migrants back to hellish conditions in Libya.

German army officer arrested for planning terror attack

By Peter Schwarz, 2 May 2017

The arrest of a 28-year-old German army officer suspected of planning a far-right terrorist attack shows that the Bundeswehr provides fertile ground for extreme right-wing elements.

US bombings in Syria and Afghanistan

A new stage in the repudiation of international law

By Mike Head, 29 April 2017

The ever-greater assertion of US militarism has brought humanity to the point where the rules of war are being nakedly flouted.

Four killed, a dozen injured in Stockholm attack

By Kumaran Ira, 8 April 2017

A man drove a stolen lorry into a crowd outside a Stockholm department store, killing at least four people and injuring more than 12.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joins right-wing campaign against Ken Livingstone

By Robert Stevens, 6 April 2017

The action against Livingstone is an outrageous violation of democratic rights, and accusations that he is an anti-Semite are slanderous.

Thousands protest police murder of Liu Shaoyo in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2017

French intelligence has launched a reactionary media campaign, insinuating that protesters are agents of Beijing or of the Chinese mafia.

French police murder Chinese immigrant Liu Shaoyo in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 29 March 2017

According to Liu’s family, police battered down the door of his apartment and immediately shot him in cold blood.

Five confirmed dead, 40 injured in terror attack in London

By Chris Marsden, 23 March 2017

The ruling elite in Britain and internationally were quick to make political capital from the appalling event.

European court rules in favour of headscarf ban at workplaces

By Peter Schwarz, 16 March 2017

The ruling serves to strengthen the Islamophobic and xenophobic tendencies that are growing throughout Europe.

Meeting on UK undercover policing highlights need for an independent inquiry

By Paul Mitchell, 23 February 2017

The ongoing Undercover Policing Inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Pitchford, is aimed at whitewashing, not exposing, widespread illegal infiltration of state intelligence agencies into left-wing movements.

Germany carries out second expulsion of Afghan refugees

By Anna Rombach, 30 January 2017

Twenty-six Afghan refugees were deported last Monday from Rhein-Main airport to Kabul in a joint operation by federal and state governments.

Was the Berlin Christmas market attacker an undercover agent?

By Dietmar Henning, 25 January 2017

A recent report by the Federal Criminal Office raises the question of whether Anis Amri worked as an intelligence agent.

German Constitutional Court rejects ban on fascist NPD

By Peter Schwarz, 19 January 2017

The court justified its decision by arguing that while the party was anti-constitutional and shared an ideological kinship with Nazism, it was not significant enough to seriously jeopardize democracy.

Die Zeit journalists lose lawsuit against German satirical television show

By Peter Schwarz, 14 January 2017

Germany’s Federal Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision banning television channel ZDF from focusing on the ties of Zeit journalists to the security establishment.

More restrictive laws target refugees after Berlin attack

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 14 January 2017

Less than three weeks after the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, the German justice minister and interior minister have agreed on a number of more restrictive laws targeting refugees and migrants.

President Hollande gives French army, intelligence “green light to kill”

By Kumaran Ira, 11 January 2017

According to recent investigative reports, the Socialist Party has massively stepped up the French state’s extrajudicial murder program, assassinating at least 40 people.

Berlin Christmas market attack: German intelligence aware of perpetrator’s 14 identities

By Johannes Stern, 7 January 2017

It is becoming clear that the suspect in the terrorist attack, Anis Amri, carried out his operation under the noses of the intelligence agencies.

German interior minister demands centralisation of intelligence agencies

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 January 2017

De Maiziere’s proposals for strengthening the security apparatus calls into question the entire structure of the Federal Republic.

“New Year’s Eve in Cologne”: The scapegoating of Muslims and refugees deepens

By Lena Sokoll, 3 January 2017

In Cologne as well as in other cities in Germany, police have now been supplied with sub-machine guns to conduct armed patrolling of cities.

More than 5,000 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean in 2016

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 31 December 2016

The dramatic rise was a direct result of the European Union’s brutal deterrence policy—in particular the reinforcement of the EU’s external borders.

The Berlin terror attack: Is a section of the state trying to destabilize the German government?

By Johannes Stern, 29 December 2016

In light of the facts that have emerged and the manner in which the attack is being used, as well as German history, it would be politically naive to rule out the involvement of sections of the state.