Democratic Rights in the US

The American gulag

US Navy planning to build military camps to jail 120,000 immigrants

By Alec Andersen, 23 June 2018

The government is preparing massive military detention camps where immigrants—and ultimately opponents of the government—will be kept in “austere” conditions.

ICE agents raid Ohio meatpacking plants, arrest 146 immigrants

By Jerry White, 21 June 2018

The storming of the Fresh Mark plants, the second major Ohio workplace raid this month, is aimed at instilling fear so that employers can exploit both immigrant and native-born workers with impunity.

Trump executive order: Indefinite detention of immigrant families, 2,300 children to remain separated from parents

By Kayla Costa, 21 June 2018

Wednesday’s order does not revoke the “zero tolerance” policy, does not apply to children already separated from family and will drastically expand the number of people detained in immigration internment camps.

East Pittsburgh police fatally shoot unarmed 17-year-old

By Trévon Austin, 21 June 2018

Antwon Rose, Jr. was shot without any warning as he attempted to flee a traffic stop Tuesday night.

Trump administration restricts visas for Chinese students

By Will Morrow, 20 June 2018

Statements by intelligence officials and the media have argued that over 2 million Chinese nationals residing in the US are a potential fifth column.

Trump administration planning massive expansion of jails for immigrant children

By Eric London, 19 June 2018

The administration is building new facilities to house tens of thousands of immigrant children while refusing to process asylum applicants at the US-Mexico border.

“Something must be done quickly”

Child psychology expert warns of life-changing damage from child-parent separation of immigrants

By Eric London, 19 June 2018

Fulbright Scholar Chris Fradkin told the WSWS: “These children, if they are not reunited with their parents in the next week, will suffer because of this for the rest of their lives.”

Phoenix police shootings on track to double in 2018

By Trévon Austin, 18 June 2018

Phoenix police have shot 23 people so far in 2018, 11 fatally.

Abolish Washington’s immigration Gestapo! Stop the persecution of immigrants!

By Eric London, 16 June 2018

The abolition of the agencies responsible for mass deportations, workplace raids and the separation of families is a life or death question for the working class.

Political cartoonist fired by right-wing Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editors over anti-Trump cartoons

By Kayla Costa, 16 June 2018

After rejecting nineteen of his cartoons since March, the newspaper’s editors fired Rob Rogers for not complying with their efforts to shift content to the right.

US prosecutors drop charges against additional eight J20 defendants

By E.P. Milligan, 15 June 2018

The motion to dismiss charges, far from signifying a change of heart, is a temporary strategic retreat by the prosecution.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services unveils new initiative targeting naturalized citizens

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 14 June 2018

The goal of the new office is to remove the citizenship rights of naturalized immigrants who “cheated” on their applications in civil court proceedings, while also prosecuting them on the charge of criminal fraud.

New report reveals Assange under 24/7 surveillance in Ecuadoran embassy

By Eric London, 13 June 2018

The Spanish El Diario writes: “The government of Ecuador spied on every movement of Julian Assange in its embassy in London.”

Committee For Public Education urges participation in June 17 Assange rally

13 June 2018

The governments attempting to silence Assange are attacking the right of students and educators to a fully-resourced public education.

The end of net neutrality: The US ruling elite escalates campaign of internet censorship

By Andre Damon, 12 June 2018

The move marks a major milestone in the efforts of the US intelligence agencies, technology monopolies, and both political parties to undermine free speech.

Trump administration rescinds right to asylum for victims of gangs and domestic violence

By Eric London, 12 June 2018

The decision is a legal travesty and will result in the rejection of thousands of asylum applications.

Supreme Court upholds Ohio purge of registered voters

By Patrick Martin, 12 June 2018

The Court’s 5-4 decision is the latest in a series rubber-stamping efforts by Republican-controlled state governments to reduce turnout among minority and low-income voters.

US Justice Department seizes New York Times reporter’s records in leak investigation

By Alec Andersen, 12 June 2018

The DOJ seized telephone and electronic communications records belonging to journalist Ali Watkins during an investigation into suspected leaks of classified information emanating from the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Two refugee suicides follow Trump’s “zero-tolerance” order

By Patrick Martin, 11 June 2018

The deaths are a direct consequence of the attack on refugees and immigrants ordered by the White House.

Undocumented worker in ICE custody after delivering food to Army base in New York City

By Mark Ferretti and Philip Guelpa, 11 June 2018

While Pablo Villavicencio was granted an emergency stay of deportation by a judge over the weekend he still faces the prospect of being deported in less than six weeks.

Videos show recent beatings committed by Mesa, Arizona, police officers

By Matthew Verhoven, 11 June 2018

In a press conference Friday, Police Chief Ramon Batista claimed that incidents such as these “would not be tolerated.” But another whitewash is being prepared.

Australian government has obligation to protect Julian Assange

By Richard Hoffman, 11 June 2018

The Turnbull government must exercise its discretion to request from Britain the safe passage of Julian Assange to Australia.

Trump administration to send 1,600 ICE detainees to federal prisons

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 9 June 2018

The government is carrying out the first large scale transfer of immigrants to federal detention facilities under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

Illinois Governor calls for reinstatement of the death penalty

By Michael Walters, 9 June 2018

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto to gun control legislation which would, if approved, make the killing of two or more people or police officers capital crimes.

“I saw officers with assault rifles, dogs and helicopters everywhere”

Mass immigration raids shatter Ohio communities

By Eric London and Will Morrow, 7 June 2018

Tuesday’s Gestapo-style raid is a warning to the entire working class.

Judge in Stanford sexual assault case recalled from office following law-and-order campaign

By Patrick Martin, 7 June 2018

There is nothing remotely progressive in the campaign to recall judge Aaron Persky, which was centered on demands for harsher sentencing of those convicted of sexual assault.

Notes on police violence

Cop who punched woman on New Jersey beach will not face charges

By Trévon Austin, 7 June 2018

In a video viewed over 7,000,000 times, an officer can be seen punching the woman twice.

US activist Kevin Zeese calls for demonstrations against the persecution of Julian Assange

6 June 2018

“Freedom of speech and freedom of the press is being defined by the treatment of Julian Assange.”

Video of Chelsea Manning “wellness check” highlights threat posed by police to mentally ill in US

By Matthew Verhoven, 6 June 2018

In a comment given to the Intercept, Manning said of the video, “This is what a police state looks like. Guns drawn during a ‘wellness’ check.”

Free Julian Assange! Support the June 19 vigil in London

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 6 June 2018

Workers and young people must demand that the Conservative government of Theresa May end its persecution of Assange, drop the bail-related issues against him and allow him to leave the embassy and, if he chooses, the UK, without fear of arrest.

Journalist Antony Loewenstein: “Heavy pressure” needed to win freedom and justice for Assange

6 June 2018

The following statement was sent by journalist and filmmaker Antony Loewenstein, a consistent defender of WikiLeaks.

A day of reaction at the US Supreme Court

By Eric London, 5 June 2018

In two separate decisions, the US Supreme Court set back rights for immigrants, the right to abortion, and protections for gay and lesbian couples.

Facebook security officer: Not all speech is “created equal”

By Andre Damon, 5 June 2018

Facebook’s censorship apparatus is targeting people promoting “radical politics” because they “feel they have been ignored or oppressed,” the Facebook official told a military conference last week.

Ecuadorian foreign minister asserts treatment of Assange is “not censorship”

By James Cogan, 5 June 2018

Assange is not only being censored, but faces imminent danger of being forced into the hands of his persecutors.

Trump administration holds mass trials of immigrants under “Zero Tolerance” policy

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 5 June 2018

Leaked photograph reveals on-going mass trials of immigrants.

Facebook expands censorship of news organizations with restrictions on political ads

By Marcus Day, 4 June 2018

Facebook’s new restrictions on political ads have begun to affect news and media organizations, including the World Socialist Web Site.

The campaign against comedian Samantha Bee over her comments on Ivanka Trump

By David Walsh, 2 June 2018

The attack on Bee comes only days after Roseanne Barr’s television series was cancelled after the actress posted a racist tweet.

Migrant children, increasingly separated from their parents, fill US detention centers

By Trévon Austin, 1 June 2018

The spike in child detentions is the result of a new policy announced last month to criminally prosecute all undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border.

Actor Morgan Freeman’s attorney demands retraction of CNN’s sexual harassment allegations

By Niles Niemuth, 31 May 2018

The attorney’s letter sent Tuesday describes last week’s report as “the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand , an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice.”

Notes on Police Violence

Jersey Shore beachgoer beaten after refusing to give last name

By Adam Mclean, 31 May 2018

Not a day goes by without someone in the US being killed by law enforcement or subjected to an egregious beating.

The working class must mobilize to free Julian Assange!

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2018

The demand for the freedom of Julian Assange must be connected to the developing international movement of workers against inequality, oppression and exploitation.

Leading Democratic activists accidentally share photos of immigrants detained under Obama administration

By Genevieve Leigh, 29 May 2018

Former Obama administration officials shared 2014 pictures of immigrant children sleeping in cages in immigration prisons in a hypocritical attempt to discredit Trump for his anti-immigrant policies.

#MeToo witch-hunt targets veteran actor Morgan Freeman

By Will Morrow, 29 May 2018

Freeman released a statement noting that “80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports.”

Ruling confirms US government withheld evidence to malign J20 defendants

By E.P. Milligan, 26 May 2018

A Washington, D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that prosecutors withheld crucial evidence that would likely have led to the acquittal of six defendants arrested during protests against the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

New York Times whips up lynch-mob atmosphere

Producer Harvey Weinstein surrenders to police, charged in New York City

By David Walsh, 26 May 2018

The surrender to police and charging of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have provided a further opportunity for the American media to exhibit its hypocrisy, deceit and bloodlust.

Video of tasing, arrest of Milwaukee Bucks basketball star sparks national outrage

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 May 2018

Sterling Brown was tased and arrested after being confronted by a gang up of police officers over a minor parking infraction.

Amazon providing facial recognition technology to police agencies for mass surveillance

By Will Morrow, 24 May 2018

The technology allows police to immediately identify and track individuals captured on video in public places.

US Supreme Court eliminates workers’ right to collectively sue corporations

By Eric London, 23 May 2018

The ruling in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis will result in the transfer of billions of dollars from the working class to the oligarchy that controls the government and the courts.

White House press release on MS-13 backs Trump’s labeling immigrants as “violent animals”

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 23 May 2018

The White House press release continues the administration’s policy of dehumanizing immigrants.

Border Patrol agent detains two US citizens in Montana for speaking Spanish

By Alec Andersen, 22 May 2018

The incident comes as the Trump administration is actively encouraging right wing and fascistic elements, repeatedly referring to immigrants from Latin America as animals, rapists and smugglers.

Long-time CIA asset named as FBI’s spy on Trump campaign

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2018

Stefan Halper has been named as the individual sent by the FBI to spy on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election campaign.

US education secretary attacks separation of church and state

By Nancy Hanover, 21 May 2018

Betsy DeVos visits New York yeshivas to promote public financing of religious and private schools.

Google, drone murder and the military-intelligence-censorship complex

By Andre Damon, 19 May 2018

The publication of this week’s open letter by leading technology academics protesting Google’s role in drone murder exposes the partnership between the major technology giants and the US military/intelligence complex.

Trump administration to ban abortions at facilities receiving federal family planning funds

By Kate Randall, 19 May 2018

The new rule barring abortions at facilities that receive Title X funds marks an escalation of the administration’s attack on a woman’s constitutionally protected reproductive rights.

“He needed help and instead he got five shots”

Friends condemn police killing of Cody Reynolds in Royal Oak, Michigan

By Kathleen Martin, 18 May 2018

The unarmed youth gunned down by a police officer in suburban Detroit is remembered fondly as “the type of person who cared more about other people than himself.”

The US political police and the 2016 elections

By Patrick Martin, 18 May 2018

A 4,000-word front-page report in the New York Times paints a picture of an American political system in which the FBI and CIA play a critical and at times decisive role.

WikiLeaks and whistleblowers condemn new allegations against Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 17 May 2018

Beside WikiLeaks and the WSWS, only a handful of other websites and individuals have stepped forward to denounce the Guardian for serving as the conduit for the anti-Assange vendetta.

Stop the raids on immigrants! For a socialist policy of open borders!

By Kevin Mitchell—SEP candidate for House of Representatives (51st District and California), 15 May 2018

This statement was released by Kevin Mitchell in response to the May 8th raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement that led to the arrest of Alberto Alonzo Hernandez in National City, California.

Unarmed youth shot down in Detroit suburb as US police killings continue

By Tom Hall, 15 May 2018

A recent study found that victims of police shootings lost more than 100,000 years of life from their average life expectancies in 2015 and 2016, rivaling meningitis and other diseases.

Two Senate Democrats assure Haspel’s confirmation as CIA director

By Patrick Martin, 15 May 2018

Joe Donnelly of Indiana joined Joe Manchin of West Virginia to give the former torture supervisor a seemingly unassailable margin in the Senate.

North Carolina police officer assaults man at Waffle House

By David Moore, 12 May 2018

The latest incident of brutality caught on video is part of the systematic violence meted out by police to workers across the country

White House and ex-intelligence chiefs push torture veteran as CIA director

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2018

With a public Senate hearing set for Wednesday, supporters of Gina Haspel for the post of CIA director argue that her role in the agency’s torture program is outweighed by her anti-Russia record.

ICE officials break into home in San Diego to detain immigrant worker in front of his five children

By Kevin Martinez and Genevieve Leigh, 9 May 2018

A San Diego immigrant was forcibly detained by armed ICE officials after they broke into his home Tuesday afternoon as his five children looked on.

Iowa governor signs unconstitutional “heartbeat” bill that bans most abortions

By Kate Randall, 9 May 2018

The new law bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, at about six weeks, when many women are not aware they are pregnant.

US to separate all families charged with illegal border crossing

By Patrick Martin, 8 May 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new initiative to prosecute everyone detained as an illegal border crosser and to separate children from their parents.

The hypocritical, cowardly expulsion of Roman Polanski from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

1977 victim Samantha Geimer: It’s “an ugly and cruel action”

By David Walsh, 7 May 2018

The decision by the Academy, the industry body that hands out the Oscars, to expel filmmaker Roman Polanski is the latest atrocity attributable to the sexual witch hunt launched last October.

In barbaric treatment of Central American refugees

US denies right to asylum

By Eric London, 3 May 2018

The decision to block nearly 200 Central American immigrants from applying for asylum marks a turning point in the attack on democratic rights.

Caravan immigrants speak out

On the spot coverage from Tijuana refugee camp

By Kevin Martinez and Clodomiro Puentes, 3 May 2018

The 200 refugees have been held up in a makeshift camp in Tijuana on the Mexican side of the US border

New York University students protesting Gaza killings arrested at Israeli Independence rave

By Leslie Murtagh, 3 May 2018

Two NYU students associated with campus anti-Zionist groups were arrested at an Israeli rave in Washington Square Park.

Democrats maintain silence over persecution of Central American immigrants at US-Mexico border

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 May 2018

The delay in processing the immigrants is a flagrant violation of international laws and conventions guaranteeing the right to political asylum.

Whistleblower and former political prisoner Chelsea Manning speaks to WSWS

By Norisa Diaz, 2 May 2018

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chelsea Manning, known around the world for her courageous leaks of documents exposing US government war crimes and her subsequent arrest.

Amidst complete silence from Democrats

Migrants seeking asylum are turned away for the second day at US-Mexico border

By Genevieve Leigh, 1 May 2018

In defiance of international law, the Trump administration has turned away hundreds of Central American refugees at the US Mexico border in South San Diego, California.

Appellate court panel narrowly upholds Texas voter ID law

By John Burton, 30 April 2018

The requirement that individuals produce specific photographic identification to cast ballots, disenfranchises impoverished voters, who tend to vote Democratic.

US media escalates #MeToo witch hunt after Cosby verdict

By Tom Carter, 30 April 2018

The media seized on Bill Cosby’s conviction Thursday to attack the presumption of innocence and demand an intensification of the reactionary crusade over sexual allegations.

Video shows police attacking former NFL player in Atlanta parking lot

By Alec Andersen, 28 April 2018

The police assault on Desmond Marrow is hardly unique in the United States, where police are notorious for their violence and contempt for democratic rights.

US Supreme Court hears arguments on Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban

By Will Morrow, 26 April 2018

Hawaii is challenging Trump's travel ban, which bars citizens of Somalia, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Syria, North Korea and many Venezuelans from traveling to the United States.

US Border Patrol agent who shot teenager dead acquitted of murder

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 April 2018

Lonnie Swartz was found not guilty of second-degree murder for the slaying of an unarmed Mexican teenager through the border fence in 2012.

Black Lives Matter, ACLU stay lawsuits, promote Chicago police “reform”

By Jessica Goldstein and George Marlowe, 25 April 2018

The involvement of BLM in the CPD consent decree is intended to provide further cover for police and the political establishment while giving middle class activists a “piece of the action.”

Federal prosecutors reportedly recommend charges in notorious chokehold death

US Justice Department officials may refuse to take action in 2014 murder of Eric Garner

By Alan Whyte, 24 April 2018

The Garner case was among the first to attract national attention to the ongoing and increasing police violence against unarmed and often innocent workers and youth.

Police descend on Georgia city, arrest anti-Nazi protesters under anti-Klan law

By Alec Andersen, 24 April 2018

Seven hundred police officers dressed in full riot gear and carrying military-style assault rifles protected a small rally of neo-Nazis from an anti-fascist counterprotest.

Alabama executes 83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody

Oldest inmate put to death in modern era

By Kate Randall, 21 April 2018

The US Supreme Court cleared the way for the lethal injection, first issuing a temporary stay 15 minutes before the scheduled execution and then lifting it later without explanation.

US Supreme Court strikes down part of deportation statute

By Kevin Martinez, 19 April 2018

In a five to four vote, the court ruled that statutory language passed with overwhelming Democratic and Republican support was unconstitutionally vague.

US Department of Homeland Security compiling database of world’s journalists

By Will Morrow, 14 April 2018

The Trump administration is collecting and monitoring the “sentiments” and personal information of journalists and “media influencers” around the world.

Two weeks since WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange silenced by Ecuador

By Niles Niemuth, 11 April 2018

It is no coincidence that Assange has been shut off from any form of communication with the outside world as the US and its allies prepare for an escalation of war in Syria and beyond.

Facebook intensifies censorship ahead of congressional testimony by Zuckerberg

By Andre Damon, 9 April 2018

Zuckerberg announced Friday that his company will “require people who manage large pages to be verified,” i.e., they must provide the company, and by extension the US government, with their real names and locations.

Trump orders indefinite detention of immigrants at border as troop deployment looms

By Eric London, 7 April 2018

A memo published late Friday calls for the allocation of “all legally available resources to construct, operate, control, or modify… facilities to detain aliens.”

Capitalism and the artificial intelligence revolution

By Andre Damon, 6 April 2018

Google’s collaboration in the US government’s drone murder program expresses how the rapid development of artificial intelligence technology—with its vast potential for the enrichment of humanity—is being corrupted under capitalism.

University of Chicago student with mental illness shot by campus police

By George Marlowe, 6 April 2018

Suffering from a severe mental breakdown, Charles Thomas was shot and wounded by campus police Tuesday night. He now faces criminal charges.

Outrage over protection of killer cops expressed at Sacramento City Council meeting

By David Moore and Evan Blake, 5 April 2018

Dozens of speakers denounced the City Council members and District Attorney for their indifference towards the murder of Stephon Clark and the broader social crisis in California’s capital.

US Supreme Court grants police wide immunity when using excessive force

By Trévon Austin, 5 April 2018

The court ruled on Monday that an Arizona police officer who shot a woman from the other side of a fence could not be sued on claims that he used excessive force.

Palantir Technologies: A “CIA-backed startup”

By Julie Hyland, 3 April 2018

Palantir’s clients include a disproportionate number of US military, state and intelligence agencies, among them the CIA, NSA, FBI and Homeland Security.

Immigrant mother seeks sanctuary from deportation in New York City church

By Josh Varlin, 3 April 2018

Some 40 immigrants are publicly taking sanctuary in US churches to avoid deportation, and no doubt many more are doing so in secret.

Northern California teacher placed on leave after encouraging discussion of school shooting protests

By Dan Conway, 3 April 2018

Rocklin High School history teacher Julianne Benzel was disciplined after encouraging discussion over last month’s school shooting protests.

Socialist Equality Party announces California candidates in midterm elections

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party

3 April 2018

David Moore, SEP candidate for the US Senate, and Kevin Mitchell, SEP candidate in the 51st Congressional District, will run on a socialist, anti-war and anti-capitalist program in the interests of the working class in California and around the world.

“The people are behind you!”

Students, faculty and staff at University of Michigan oppose persecution of Julian Assange

By Zac Corrigan, 3 April 2018

On Monday, an IYSSE campaign team spoke to students and faculty at the University of Michigan about the confinement and persecution of Julian Assange.

The New York Times takes on the social media “hordes”

By Andre Damon, 3 April 2018

Times columnist Farhad Manjoo demanded in a recent article that the government do something to “fix” social media to keep the online “herd” from voicing their opinions.

Democrats green-light Trump’s escalating war on immigrants

By Eric London, 31 March 2018

Amongst other measures, the Trump administration plans to block immigrants who have used social programs from receiving legal status.

ICE arrests wrongly convicted Chicago man released after 20 years in prison

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 31 March 2018

Ricardo Rodriguez, wrongfully convicted for the 1995 murder of a homeless man, was finally freed after 20 years behind bars, only to be immediately taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Protests continue in Sacramento as autopsy shows police shot Stephon Clark multiple times in the back

By Alec Andersen, 31 March 2018

Hundreds of people have joined the protests against police violence that have occurred nearly every day over the two weeks since Clark’s murder.

Texas woman sentenced to five years in prison for voting while on probation

By Trévon Austin, 31 March 2018

The savage sentence against the 43-year-old worker highlights the increasing efforts to suppress the voting rights of working class Americans.