Democratic rights

Detroit literacy case ends with no legal precedent for the right to an education

By J. Cooper, 15 June 2020

The US Sixth District Court of Appeals allowed the settlement of the “right to read” case in Detroit to stand while vacating the legal precedent.

Journalists expose CIA spying on Assange and demand his freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 June 2020

The event revealed further details about the illegal surveillance and disinformation campaign waged against the WikiLeaks founder by the CIA and the Trump administration.

As nationwide protests continue

Trump steps up provocations and threats of military force

By Jacob Crosse, 13 June 2020

In a Fox News interview Thursday night, Trump labeled Seattle protesters “terrorists” and threatened to call out the military.

Massive police display of force against Australian protests

By Mike Head, 13 June 2020

A wall of police manned barriers around Sydney Town Hall, preventing demonstrators from continuing to join the global protests against police violence.

Service Prosecuting Authority drops all but one investigation into British war crimes in Iraq

By Jean Shaoul, 13 June 2020

The British government is serving notice that it has no intention of honouring domestic or international law outlawing abuse, torture and murder by its military and security forces.

Australian PM calls for mass arrests at protests against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 June 2020

Echoing Donald Trump, Scott Morrison declared that demonstrations had been “hijacked by left-wing radicals” who were pursuing “their own political agendas.”

Democrats announce toothless police reform bill

By Barry Grey, 9 June 2020

The “Justice in Policing” bill, a collection of minor reforms that has no chance of being passed by the Senate and signed by Trump, is aimed at containing and dissipating mounting social protest.

Trump, Barr continue threat to deploy military against nationwide protests

By Barry Grey, 8 June 2020

The political situation in the US remains on a knife edge as Trump’s fascistic cabal continues to plot against the Constitution.

Encouraged by Trump, police rampage leaves protesters dead and wounded across the US

By Jacob Crosse, 6 June 2020

Demonstrators have been teargassed, pepper sprayed, shot with rubber bullets and beanbags, and beaten by rampaging police.

“I didn’t receive one warning”

Protester explains how he was brutally assaulted by Secret Service officials in Washington, D.C.

By Nick Barrickman, 6 June 2020

The demonstrator explained how federal officials provoked and then assaulted peaceful demonstrators outside the White House last weekend as protests against police brutality swept the country.

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro calls demonstrators “terrorists,” threatens military repression

By Miguel Andrade, 6 June 2020

Gen. Hamilton Mourão viciously attacked protests against the murder of George Floyd and social inequality, calling for the arrest of demonstrators.

Australian governments try to block demonstrations against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 June 2020

The bans and police threats are outright attacks on the right to protest, a basic democratic right, aimed at establishing a precedent for suppressing mounting social and political opposition.

Anger over US police assault on Australian journalists in Washington DC

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 June 2020

Had the attack occurred in a country such as China or Iran, the muted response from the Australian political establishment would undoubtedly have been very different.

Woman pinned down by police officers in London: “I can’t breathe”

By Thomas Scripps, 3 June 2020

Police violence is directed against the working class, particularly its poorest sections, and falls disproportionately on black communities.

Trump administration deploys military to the capital as nationwide protests continue

By Jacob Crosse, 2 June 2020

Trump’s dictatorial moves to quash protests against the police murder of George Floyd signal an escalation of state violence.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defends police violence against protesters

By Sam Dalton, 2 June 2020

In a news conference Saturday night, de Blasio defended police who drove their cruisers into a crowd of peaceful protesters earlier that evening in Brooklyn.

Julian Assange unable to attend court hearing due to illness as legal travesty continues

By Thomas Scripps, 2 June 2020

Assange has a chronic lung condition and his health has been ruined by years of psychological torture and medical neglect.

Coup d’état in Washington: Trump declares war on the Constitution

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 2 June 2020

In a series of politically criminal acts, Trump is establishing a presidential dictatorship based on the military and police.

Administrative hearing in Julian Assange’s extradition case to be held today

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 June 2020

The hearings have had a farcical character, with Assange unable to participate due to coronavirus dangers and the press frequently excluded.

Ukrainian National Police official demands a list of Jews living in Kolomyya

By Jason Melanovski, 19 May 2020

The intimidation and persecution of ethnic and religious minorities within Ukraine has become routine, with far-right elements operating openly as officials of the Ukrainian state.

Turkish government steps up attack on Kurdish HDP amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Barış Demir, 19 May 2020

The dismissal of five Kurdish-nationalist mayors comes amid growing military tensions in the region and growing social anger at the government’s failure to handle COVID-19.

Australian secret interrogation powers to extend to “foreign interference”

By Mike Head, 19 May 2020

ASIO will have the power to forcibly question 14-year-olds and anyone deemed connected to a “foreign” organisation.

US Senate reauthorizes domestic surveillance, allows access to internet histories

By Kevin Reed, 16 May 2020

The Senate voted 80 to 16 to reauthorize the domestic surveillance provisions of the USA Freedom Act, including rejection of an amendment that would have barred law enforcement from accessing the internet browsing and search histories of citizens.

COVID-19: Military steps up repression in war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka

By Subash Somachandran, 16 May 2020

The government and the military are nervous about the growing unrest among workers and poor against the draconian social conditions.

Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York: A little more of an edge than usual

By David Walsh, 16 May 2020

Disgracefully, A Rainy Day in New York has been suppressed in the US. The film was completed in 2018, but Amazon Studios refused to distribute it.

EU supports Orbán’s dictatorial measures in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 12 May 2020

Although similar to Hitler’s “Enabling Act,” which consolidated the Nazi dictatorship in Germany in 1933, Orbán’s Emergency Law enjoys the support of the European Union.

Polish government forced to call off presidential elections at last minute

By Clara Weiss, 12 May 2020

Polish media reports suggest that panic and chaos now reign in Warsaw.

Russian court keeps historian of Stalinist massacres jailed amid COVID-19 outbreak

By Clara Weiss, 12 May 2020

The vendetta against Dmitriev is part of the campaign by Russia’s state and ruling oligarchy to suppress all efforts to uncover the truth about the crimes of Stalinism.

Tamil National Alliance backs Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse regime on COVID-19

By Athiyan Silva, 9 May 2020

TNA leader M.A. Sumanthiran declared that he does not “allow political opinions or differences…not only in our country but throughout the world.”

Australian governments pushing tracing app despite unanswered privacy-functionality questions

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 May 2020

The intrusive mobile phone application is being used to legitimise the dangerous back to work campaign of the ruling elite.

New Zealand government exploits pandemic to boost police and military powers

By Tom Peters, 7 May 2020

The government is testing police state measures that will be used against opposition to mass unemployment and the social crisis triggered by the pandemic.

German authorities press charges in Lübcke murder case

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 6 May 2020

The neo-Nazi Stephan Ernst is accused of having shot leading Christian Democratic politician Walter Lübcke in cold blood on the terrace of his home on the night of June 2, 2019.

Assange extradition hearing rescheduled for September

By Thomas Scripps, 5 May 2020

The British state continues to obstruct both Assange’s ability to conduct his defence and journalists’ ability to report on the case in detail.

Sri Lankan president continues to entrench autocratic rule

By K. Ratnayake, 30 April 2020

Sri Lanka’s main opposition parties have issued a pathetic 10-point appeal to the Sri Lankan president, urging him to reconvene parliament and offering their support.

Work resumes in Sri Lanka’s free trade zones but thousands are sacked

By Nandana Nannetti, 29 April 2020

While the unions are campaigning for big financial subsidies for companies they are not doing anything to defend jobs and wages.

Assange extradition hearing delayed following defence appeal

By Thomas Scripps, 28 April 2020

Assange’s legal team insisted that a hearing could not proceed under the current circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic

Is Sri Lankan President Rajapakse plotting a coup under cover of anti-pandemic measures?

By K. Ratnayake, 28 April 2020

The government is using the COVID-19 pandemic as the pretext to mount a power grab, insert the military into the running of the state, and run roughshod over working people’s democratic rights.

Application for delay in Assange extradition hearing as COVID-19 sweeps through UK prisons

By Alice Summers, 27 April 2020

The vindictive suspension of the COVID-19 prisoner release programme demonstrates the criminal disregard of the British ruling class for the lives of prisoners.

Sri Lankan president says military to impose “discipline” when lockdown ends

By K. Ratnayake, 25 April 2020

Rajapakse’s threats have nothing to do with enforcing “social distancing” and the spread of COVID-19 but are in preparation to suppress mass unrest in the working class.

Hong Kong arrests prominent pan-democrat activists

By Ben McGrath, 25 April 2020

Washington is attempting to exploit the arrests to further whip up tensions with Beijing and paint China as a threat.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro escalates coup threats as ruling class pushes “back-to-work” orders

By Miguel Andrade, 22 April 2020

As COVID-19 spread uncontrolled across the country, Bolsonaro delivered a fascist rant in front of hundreds of supporters gathered at Brazil’s Army headquarters.

Trump threatens to adjourn Congress

By Tom Carter, 21 April 2020

As strikes and walkouts break out with increasing frequency, the political establishments around the world stumble further and further to the right.

Australian journalist still faces prosecution despite illegal police raid

By Mike Head, 21 April 2020

The High Court ruled the raid’s search warrant “invalid” but allowed the federal police to keep the seized material for use to lay criminal charges.

Australian governments refuse to assist international students amid pandemic

By John Harris, 20 April 2020

Thousands of international students are on the precipice of homelessness and abject poverty after state and federal governments refused to provide them with any assistance.

Intensive CIA spying on Assange targeted his infant child

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 April 2020

As the US government finalised its bogus charges against Assange, it oversaw dirty tricks operations targeting his partner and their infant child.

TNA offers a “democratic” veneer to Sri Lankan president’s coronavirus emergency powers

By S. Jayanth, 17 April 2020

The Tamil National Alliance is providing political cover for Rajapakse’s rapid moves towards a presidential dictatorship.

“Production costs do not equal the cost of a human life”

Outrage grows as Amazon workers die for Bezos’ profits

By Nick Barrickman, 16 April 2020

Workers across the US denounced Bezos’ fortune and the company’s unsafe practices, which are leading to increasing sickness and death in its facilities.

Julian Assange’s partner Stella Moris speaks out: “His life is on the brink”

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 April 2020

Moris’s comments are a moving refutation of the media smears directed against Assange and underscore the urgency of the fight for his immediate freedom.

Grand jury records in notorious 1946 US lynching case to remain sealed

By Fred Mazelis, 10 April 2020

The heinous crime near the Moore’s Ford Bridge in Georgia sparked wide outrage which contributed to the emergence of the civil rights movement.

Vindictive court rulings prove British state wants Assange dead

By Thomas Scripps, 8 April 2020

Judge Vanessa Baraitser has decreed that Assange will remain behind bars and that his extradition show-trial will proceed in May, even as the coronavirus pandemic spreads rapidly in British prisons.

As it releases thousands of prisoners, UK government keeps Julian Assange locked-up in danger

By Thomas Scripps, 6 April 2020

The WikiLeaks founder is currently held on remand pending extradition to the US, not charged with any crime or serving any sentence, in Belmarsh maximum security prison.

Julian Assange still held on remand as coronavirus spreads through UK prisons

By Thomas Scripps, 3 April 2020

The WikiLeaks founder, held in Belmarsh prison and facing extradition to the US for exposing war crimes, has a chronic lung condition and has had his health destroyed by a decade of mistreatment by the British state

Germany marked an increase in violent attacks on refugees in 2019

By Isabel Roy, 3 April 2020

The Left Party has been instrumental, along with the country’s other political parties, in creating a hostile climate and the corresponding explosion of violence against refugees and immigrants.

Why is the World Socialist Web Site banned from the subreddit r/coronavirus?

By Kevin Reed, 3 April 2020

The subreddit r/coronavirus has banned content from the World Socialist Web Site from being shared among its 1.8 million reader-members. We are demanding that the moderators explain why this decision has been made and immediately reverse this act of political censorship.

Peruvian president authorizes military to use lethal force to enforce the national quarantine

By Cesar Uco and Don Knowland, 1 April 2020

A new law shows that Peru’s ruling oligarchy, in anticipation of widespread unrest, is preparing the army to carry out repression with absolute impunity.

Unprecedented police and military powers implemented in Australian pandemic response

By Mike Head, 1 April 2020

Lockdown measures that have become necessary to try to contain the coronavirus are being enforced in the most heavy-handed manner.

The significance of Hungarian Prime Minister Orban’s enabling act

By Peter Schwarz, 1 April 2020

Hungary’s parliament passed an emergency law on Monday that grants Orban unrestricted dictatorial powers.

Ohio, Texas and Mississippi ban abortion under guise of fighting coronavirus

By Isaac Finn, 28 March 2020

Over the last two weeks Ohio, Texas and Mississippi have effectively banned abortion, claiming that personal protective equipment is needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Julian Assange’s bail request denied despite coronavirus risk

By Thomas Scripps, 26 March 2020

Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s refusal came amid mounting calls for the release of vulnerable, low-risk prisoners from the UK’s overcrowded and woefully unprepared prison systems during the coronavirus crisis.

Johnson’s “herd immunity” strategy and the London Conference on Intelligence whitewash: Britain’s ruling class and eugenics

By Thomas Scripps, 26 March 2020

Innumerable posts on social media have drawn the connection between the reactionary ideology of eugenics and the British government’s criminally delayed and negligent response to the pandemic.

Attorney general requests suspension of habeas corpus

Military, Trump administration ready plans for domestic crackdown as virus spreads across US

By Eric London, 24 March 2020

The Justice Department has asked Congress to suspend habeas corpus and due process, even as the military develops plans to deploy troops on US soil to suppress “riots” and “civil disobedience.”

German government prepares for internet censorship and deployment of the armed forces

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 March 2020

The social democratic state premier of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, has called for a clamp-down against those contradicting official government propaganda about the coronavirus epidemic.

UK: Johnson government uses coronavirus crisis to seize dictatorial powers

By Robert Stevens, 20 March 2020

Britain’s ruling elite is using the enormous danger to public health posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to implement a raft of anti-democratic measures they have long planned to impose.

Syriza leader Tsipras offers collaboration with New Democracy against refugees and Turkey

By John Vassilopoulos and Chris Marsden, 20 March 2020

Tsipras is signing off on a policy of brutal repression of refugees waged jointly by the government, fascist thugs who have benefited most from the stoking up of chauvinism and xenophobia, and the European Union.

Qantas spearheads mass layoffs in Australia as pandemic worsens

By Mike Head, 20 March 2020

The federal and state governments are handing billions of dollars to the banks and corporate elite as they unleash massive job losses.

Australian government continues to imprison Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 20 March 2020

Despite legal challenges and widespread opposition, the government remains determined to deport the family to Sri Lanka.

Life for immigrants in the US during COVID-19 pandemic

ICE raids continue, asylum seekers turned away, and detention facilities remain potential hotbeds for coronavirus

By Genevieve Leigh, 19 March 2020

“We do not have access to hand sanitizer or masks, or anything else that could protect as we are all stuck together in close quarters.”

As coronavirus pandemic grows, anger rises against German companies

By Marianne Arens, 19 March 2020

While the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced that the health risk posed by COVID-19 is “high”, VW announced its production lines would operate until Friday.

Hungarian government uses coronavirus epidemic to promote racism

By Markus Salzmann, 19 March 2020

As throughout Europe, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Hungary.

Australian doctors condemn government response to COVID-19 “disaster”

By Mike Head, 19 March 2020

Letters, signed by thousands of doctors, warn that a catastrophe “worse” than Italy’s can only be averted by a lockdown and the urgent pouring of resources into hospitals.

Doctors condemn Australian government’s refusal to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 March 2020

Doctors4Assange has restated its demand that the Australian government immediately fulfil its obligations to Assange, under conditions in which his life is imperilled by the coronavirus pandemic.

University of Michigan terminates provost amid unspecified sexual misconduct allegations

By James Brookfield, 18 March 2020

Statements from the university and reports in the press amalgamated Martin Philbert’s case with that of a university physician alleged to have committed multiple acts of sexual assault against athletes over the course of decades at UM.

Australian government to use “foreign interference” laws against China-linked targets

By Mike Head, 18 March 2020

Under US pressure, the Morrison government is making Chinese people the initial victims of the legislation, to help create the conditions to more broadly outlaw anti-war and anti-government political activity.

UK: NHS anticipates year-long coronavirus crisis and 8 million hospitalised

By Thomas Scripps, 17 March 2020

The UK, along with much of the rest of the world, faces a prolonged social emergency which will affect the lives of millions.

Fund drive to pay Chelsea Manning’s court fines raises $267,000 in two days

By Kevin Reed, 16 March 2020

Within two days of Manning’s release from jail, a GoFundMe campaign organized by her supporters raised more than enough to pay the punitive fines imposed on her for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Chelsea Manning released from jail after grand jury is dismissed by US federal court

By Kevin Reed, 13 March 2020

Manning, who had been in prison for a year for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury empaneled as part of the conspiracy against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was released following her attempted suicide on Wednesday.

French female lawyers publish open letter defending filmmaker Roman Polanski and the presumption of innocence

By Will Morrow, 13 March 2020

In its defense of democratic rights, the letter is an indictment not only of the anti-Polanski witch-hunt, but the entire #MeToo campaign that began in the US two years ago.

Italy’s coronavirus epidemic surges as mass layoffs announced

By Allison Smith, 12 March 2020

Not a single European Union country has responded to Italy’s appeal for desperately-needed emergency medical supplies.

Riot police fire “pepper balls” at University of Dayton students ordered to evacuate campus housing within 24 hours

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 March 2020

Students have taken to social media to voice their outrage over the police crackdown after the university ordered an evacuation of student housing due to the coronavirus.

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison: “Obscene” culmination to a travesty of a trial

By David Walsh, 12 March 2020

Judge Burke handed out nearly the maximum possible sentence. Weinstein was found guilty February 24 on charges of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree.

House Democrats work overtime to renew US government surveillance law

By Kevin Reed, 12 March 2020

Leading Democrats forced a bipartisan bill onto the House floor that approves the continued spying on US citizens in violation of fundamental democratic rights.

International Bar Association condemns British attacks on Assange’s legal rights

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 March 2020

Michael Kirby, the co-chair of the IBA’s Human Rights Institute, branded Assange’s treatment as “shocking and excessive” and likened it to the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib.

As oil prices plunge and coronavirus spreads, Russian oligarchy seeks to keep Putin in power indefinitely

By Clara Weiss, 12 March 2020

The Russian ruling class is trying to prepare for massive social and political unrest.

Trump’s coronavirus address: Ignorance, xenophobia and helplessness

By James Cogan and Andre Damon, 12 March 2020

In remarks consisting largely of self-praise, Trump proposed no measures that would slow the spread of the disease and mitigate its effects.

Julian Assange’s mother, doctors warn he is at heightened risk due to coronavirus

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 March 2020

In comments to the WSWS, Dr Stephen Frost warned that “the UK government is effectively playing Russian roulette with Julian Assange’s life” and demanded that he be released from Belmarsh Prison immediately.

Australian government moves to boost data-swapping with US spy network

By Mike Head, 9 March 2020

These developments underscore the fear in ruling circles that working people worldwide use encrypted messages to discuss and organise free of government eaves-dropping.

Greek police shoot at refugees using live ammunition

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 9 March 2020

More than 10,000 people are trapped in the Greek-Turkey border area, unable to move backward or forward.

Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government sends police to Greece to attack migrants

By Alejandro López, 9 March 2020

The pseudo-left is complicit in the dispatching of police to Greece, where far right thugs are attacking refugees with the complicity of the government.

#MeToo campaign shows its ultra-right colors: Hachette Book Group suppresses Woody Allen’s memoir

By David Walsh, 9 March 2020

Hachette announced Friday it would not publish filmmaker-comic Woody Allen’s memoir at the behest of journalist Ronan Farrow and in the face of protests by its own employees.

German government incites racism with commemoration of right-wing terrorist attack in Hanau, refugee policy

By Peter Schwarz, 9 March 2020

The state has not “underestimated” the danger posed by the far-right, but rather systematically incited and encouraged it.

Australian Labor MP feigns concern over US extradition of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 March 2020

Penny Wong did not differ with government representatives, who explicitly endorsed the British judiciary’s brutal attacks on Assange’s legal and democratic rights.

As anger mounts over Assange’s persecution, former foreign minister Carr calls for moral appeals to Australian government

By Richard Phillips, 6 March 2020

Veteran Labor leader Bob Carr is attempting to divert the growing movement for the release of Assange into dead-end appeals to the Australian parliament.

Australian parliamentary parties endorse British show trial of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 March 2020

As Assange faced a legal travesty, government ministers declared their faith in British “due process,” while the Labor Party maintained its silence.

Defender 2020: Largest mobilisation of NATO troops against Russia in 25 years

By Markus Salzmann, 4 March 2020

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, the scale of NATO's provocative military exercise underscores how far advanced the preparations for war are.

Australian government revives plan for internal electronic surveillance

By Mike Head, 4 March 2020

Under the guise of combatting on-line paedophilia, the Australian Signals Directorate is to be handed domestic spying powers.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Anatomy of a cover-up—Part 1

By Alice Summers, 3 March 2020

The 900-page report largely ignores or minimises the criminality of cost-cutting companies and a complicit Conservative Party-run local authority.

Jeremy Corbyn’s criminal silence during Julian Assange’s extradition hearing

By Chris Marsden, 2 March 2020

Corbyn said nothing when he could have raised Assange’s fate in Parliament every single day, informing millions of the fundamental violation of his democratic rights.

Rally in defence of Julian Assange held in Zurich

By our correspondents, 2 March 2020

In Zurich, Marianne Arens spoke on behalf of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party—SGP) and called for the mobilisation of the working class in Assange’s defence.

Brisbane rally calls for freedom for Assange and Manning

By our correspondent, 2 March 2020

Participants applauded and cheered the speakers as they denounced the Australian government’s complicity in the abuses of Assange’s basic legal rights.

Judge rules Assange cannot sit with lawyers during extradition hearing

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 28 February 2020

The first week of the extradition hearing in USA v Julian Assange ended yesterday at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court with Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejecting a submission from Assange’s lawyers that he be allowed to sit with them in court.