Democratic Rights in Britain

Guardian columnist Owen Jones attacked by fascist thugs in London

By Robert Stevens, 19 August 2019

The attack is the latest on prominent left-wing figures and political organisations.

Australian investigative journalist exposes Guardian/New York Times betrayal of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 August 2019

Mark Davis made clear that the corporate media cynically exploited WikiLeaks, before ruthlessly turning on its founder Julian Assange and joining the state campaign against him.

Labour-controlled Tower Hamlets council refused to host Palestinian charity event, citing “anti-Semitism” fears

By Jean Shaoul, 6 August 2019

The decision is a blatant attack on free speech and confirms that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism provides a mechanism for censoring, silencing and even criminalising individuals and organisations that oppose Israel’s brutal suppression of the Palestinians, while slandering the entire left as “anti-Semitic.”

UK: Over 1,300 homeless people penalised last year under the 1824 Vagrancy Act

By Joe Mount, 2 August 2019

The Act was used to prosecute 1,320 people during 2018 and is most commonly employed by police as a threat to force rough sleepers to relocate.

Media silent on dismissal of DNC suit against Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 August 2019

Having trumpeted the slander that Assange is a “Russian agent” for the past three years, the New York Times, the Washington Post and other corporate outlets have blacked out a court decision refuting their lies.

Julian Assange’s lawyer briefs Australian parliamentarians on his persecution

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 August 2019

The event reflected concerns within the ruling elite over popular opposition to the Trump administration’s bid to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder.

US, Sweden and Britain dismiss UN finding that they tortured Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 July 2019

The responses to the detailed indictment issued by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer are the latest demonstration of the illegal character of the campaign against the WikiLeaks founder.

UK: Boris Johnson selects extreme right cabinet

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 26 July 2019

Johnson’s is a class war government, with all the main positions filled by representatives of the extreme right of a very right-wing party.

UK: Strong support for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning at Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

By our reporters, 23 July 2019

One section of marchers cheered when they saw the SEP’s stall with posters of Assange and Manning, and many others stopped to voice their support.

Hundreds protest over drowning of refugee schoolgirl in UK

By Liz Smith, 17 July 2019

In the area surrounding the school just outside Manchester, one-third of all children live in poverty, that is in families whose income is less than 60 percent of the national median income.

The Assange precedent: Journalists in Britain threatened with Official Secrets Act

By Robert Stevens and Laura Tiernan, 16 July 2019

What the Metropolitan Police proposed was the de facto criminalisation of journalism so that it could be bracketed within terrorist activity.

Fascist Tommy Robinson jailed for jeopardising rape trial in Leeds

By Laura Tiernan, 12 July 2019

Robinson’s contempt case has been seized on by an international network of fascist and far-right politicians who have boosted him as a “free speech martyr.”

Judge Emma Arbuthnot refuses to recuse herself in show trial of Julian Assange

By Thomas Scripps, 11 July 2019

Assange’s scalp must be taken at all costs to further imperialism’s colonial-style wars of conquest and global war on the social and democratic rights of the working class

Britain: Gang convicted of running “extensive and prolific” modern slavery network

By Richard Tyler, 9 July 2019

According to the International Labour Office, there are 40.3 million people in conditions of modern slavery across the world, including 10 million children .

UK’s GCHQ spy centre seeks new powers to circumvent encryption

By Thomas Scripps, 6 July 2019

The new surveillance measures, known as a “ghost protocol,” would allow a government agent to “sit in” on ostensibly secure private conversations without other participants knowing.

Debate on Julian Assange at London’s Frontline Club for journalists

By Jean Shaoul, 5 July 2019

Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore, arguably the most despised among the advertised speakers, pulled out at the last minute.

UK: GCHQ/MI5 admit illegally spying on millions

By Trevor Johnson, 2 July 2019

Their admissions were the result of a court case brought by the civil rights group Liberty.

Petition against UK “drill” music ban defends freedom of speech

By Paul Bond, 29 June 2019

Rap artists Krept and Konan’s petition points to the moral bankruptcy of state attempts to blame drill music for violence and crime.

Royal Marines from anti-Russia exercise daubed swastikas on chest

By Thomas Scripps, 28 June 2019

The marines were part of the Future Commando Force (FCF) taking part in Exercise Baltic Protector, described in the UK media as designed “to strike fear” into Putin.

More than 300 asylum seekers in Glasgow, Scotland to be evicted

By Steve James, 28 June 2019

Services giant Serco is targeting tenants who have fled war and poverty in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Watch the Sydney rally to free Assange live!

28 June 2019

The SEP rally is among the first events to be held since the WSWS International Editorial Board called for the formation of a Global Defence Committee to demand freedom for Assange and Manning.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) public meeting

For a global campaign to prevent Julian Assange’s rendition to the US!

27 June 2019

On June 20 the WSWS issued a call for the formation of a Global Defence Committee to secure freedom for Wikileaks founder and class-war prisoner Julian Assange.

Conservative Party leadership contest

Boris Johnson poised to replace May as UK prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 21 June 2019

The contest between Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will now be decided by the Tories’ 160,000 members, who will vote in a postal ballot, with the winner to be announced the week of July 22.

London: Julian Assange Defence Committee lobbies Jeremy Corbyn’s Constituency Labour Party

“This is not a time for fence-sitting”

By our reporters, 21 June 2019

The Julian Assange Defence Committee urged rank-and-file Labour Party members in leader Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency to oppose US extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Grenfell fire anniversary used by pseudo-left to boost Labour and Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 17 June 2019

All the saccharine words and carefully orchestrated scenes on the part of the government cannot conceal the contempt it has for the Grenfell survivors.

“Everyone is fighting for justice, not only for the people for Grenfell Tower, but all the people around the world”

Family members and supporters of Grenfell fire victims speak to the WSWS

By our reporters, 17 June 2019

Hamid expressed the frustration of all the bereaved Grenfell families that they have still not been given answers as to why their loved ones perished and who is responsible.

WikiLeaks publisher Assange faces US extradition trial next February

By Robert Stevens, 15 June 2019

The UK government has made clear that it will do everything possible to expedite Washington’s vindictive attempt to render the courageous journalist to face imprisonment, torture, and execution in the US.

Activist Lauri Love and others speak out in defence of Assange

By our reporters, 15 June 2019

Members of the Julian Assange Defence Committee and the SEP were joined by people from across London and further afield, including two “Yellow Vest” protestors from France.

UK home secretary signs US extradition request for Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 14 June 2019

The move, coming just one day before Assange’s first extradition hearing, makes clear the British government’s intent to hand the journalist over to his persecutors in Washington.

UK police seek to prosecute 1,130 Extinction Rebellion climate change protestors

By Alice Summers, 13 June 2019

The moves against peaceful climate protesters are aimed at criminalizing political dissent.

US issues formal request for Assange’s extradition

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 June 2019

The Trump administration is pressing ahead with its attempt to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder over his role in the exposure of US war crimes and diplomatic conspiracies.

Free Reis Morris! Grenfell Tower campaigner imprisoned while those guilty of social murder walk free

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 June 2019

Morris’s jailing is a vicious act of class justice aimed at suppressing opposition and protecting those responsible for 72 deaths in the Grenfell Tower inferno two years ago.

WikiLeaks warns US Justice Department preparing more charges against Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 June 2019

The threat of new charges against the persecuted journalist, already facing 170 years in prison, comes amid fresh fears about his health after his father reported a “short notice” medical appointment.

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture warns Julian Assange could die in prison

By Kevin Reed, 6 June 2019

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture said in an Australian radio interview on June 1 that Julian Assange could die in jail if his persecution is not ended here and now.

Protests in London and Edinburgh demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 3 June 2019

A protest in Trafalgar Square on Saturday was organised via social media and endorsed by the Julian Assange Defence Committee.

On the spot report: Protest outside Westminster Magistrates Court demands freedom for gravely ill Julian Assange

By our reporters, 31 May 2019

Around 100 people demonstrated outside Westminster Magistrates Court Thursday morning to oppose US extradition proceedings targeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Despite Assange’s ill-health, Swedish court rejects delay to hearing

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 May 2019

The ruling is the latest example of the international legal vendetta being perpetrated against the WikiLeaks founder.

An appeal to young people

Defend the right to tell the truth! Defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 24 May 2019

The following statement is being distributed today at climate change protests across the UK.

On the spot report: Ecuador’s government colludes with Washington to seize Julian Assange’s possessions

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 21 May 2019

Supporters of Assange began gathering by 8 a.m. yesterday outside the embassy to witness and denounce the search and seizure.

George Galloway tried to become Brexit Party candidate—and failed

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2019

Galloway’s failed attempt to represent Nigel Farage’s party is indicative of how an entire layer of ex-Stalinists and the pseudo-left have become part of a new right.

Speech by Oscar Grenfell

Millions in Australia “view Assange as a hero who is being attacked for revealing the truth.”

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the speech of Oscar Grenfell, a leading member of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and national convenor of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, at the May 12 meeting in London in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Clara Campos of the Julian Assange Defence Committee:

“We must act now in mobilising to free him. He is one of us.”

By Clara Campos, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the remarks of Clara Campos, a representative of the Julian Assange Defence Committee, who spoke at the May 12 meeting in London in defense of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

“The IYSSE will redouble its efforts to build a mass movement of young people in Assange’s defence”

By Alice Summers, 15 May 2019

We are publishing the speech of the IYSSE representative at the May 12 meeting in London in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Australia: Rally to defend Julian Assange held in Broadmeadows, Melbourne

By our reporters, 14 May 2019

The event drew a small but determined crowd of SEP members and supporters, local workers, and WikiLeaks’ supporters.

Free Assange NZ denounces hypocrisy at World Press Freedom Day event

By Tom Peters, 11 May 2019

Alex Hills from Free Assange New Zealand condemned the British government’s “brazen hypocrisy” and called on the media to “end the smears and lies about an anti-war hero.”

“We need to save his life. That’s how serious it is”

Pamela Anderson and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief visit Julian Assange in prison

By Laura Tiernan, 8 May 2019

Anderson condemned the state persecution of her friend as a “misrule of law in operation.”

UK government seeks to deny legal aid to Shamima Begum

By Paul Bond, 8 May 2019

Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked Begum’s British citizenship last year, leaving her and her new-born baby stranded in appalling conditions and stateless.

Britain: National Union of Journalists World Press Freedom Day event ignores Julian Assange

By Paul Mitchell, 7 May 2019

At the NUJ’s World Press Freedom Day event, there was not a single mention of Assange by any of the speakers on the platform, all of whom claimed to be champions of press freedom.

“Today’s protest is a symbol of the fight for freedom”

French Yellow Vests join Assange extradition protest in London

By our reporters, 3 May 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to demonstrators outside Westminster Magistrates Court protesting plans to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the US.

UN official visits Julian Assange, investigating Ecuador’s illegal surveillance

By Mike Head, 26 April 2019

Confronted by worldwide protests and petitions, the British government felt compelled to grant the UN access to the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder.

UK: May unable to stem Tory crisis over Brexit, but still propped up by Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2019

For Corbyn’s faction, the political function of these talks over Brexit is to side-line a discussion on the political crisis facing the government that could precipitate a general election.

Julian Assange was denied access to lawyers, visitors in Britain’s Belmarsh prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 April 2019

The reported denial of the WikiLeaks founder’s right to consult his legal counsel, for over a week, casts grave doubt that he will be afforded due process.

Police arrest over 1,000 climate change protesters in London

By Robert Stevens, 23 April 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has issued no statement condemning the mass arrest of peaceful protesters.

Hundreds of peaceful climate change protesters arrested in UK

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2019

There have been no serious incidents of public disorder except when the police arrived in large numbers and swooped in to arrest people.

Youth at climate rally in Leeds, England speak out to defend Julian Assange

By our reporters, 16 April 2019

WSWS reporters spoke about the arrest and imprisoning of Julian Assange with young people who attended last Friday’s rally against climate change in Leeds, England.

Stop the extraordinary rendition of Julian Assange!

By Eric London, 15 April 2019

What is being presented as an extradition request by the US is so loaded with illegality that it would be more precise to call it an extraordinary rendition.

UK Labour leads “rape” smears against Julian Assange demanding Swedish extradition

By Laura Tiernan, 15 April 2019

This is the Blairites’ answer to global public outrage over Assange’s brutal seizure from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday.

Protest outside London’s Belmarsh prison demands release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 April 2019

The WikiLeaks founder has been held at the maximum-security prison since his forcible seizure and arrest last Thursday.

Supporters protesting outside Belmarsh prison speak out in defense of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 April 2019

Protesters at Saturday’s demonstration to demand the release of Julian Assange from Belmarsh prison spoke to the World Socialist Web Site.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) member Robert Stevens speaks at rally to demand release of Assange from Belmarsh prison

By our reporter, 15 April 2019

Stevens said, “Join the fight to defend Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Workers and youth internationally must mobilise immediately to defend these class war prisoners.”

The Assange arrest is a warning from history

Comment by John Pilger, 13 April 2019

John Pilger, well-known filmmaker and investigative journalist, issued the following statement on the arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11.

“The fight starts now to prevent his extradition to the United States!”

Supporters to rally in defence of Assange outside Belmarsh Prison, London

By our reporters, 13 April 2019

The protests organised by the Julian Assange Defence Committee and supported by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) and the WSWS will be held from 4pm today.

Worldwide outrage over arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Niles Niemuth, 12 April 2019

After nearly seven years of confinement to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange now faces the possibility of a year in a UK prison and extradition to the United States.

Amid corruption scandals and deals with IMF and Washington, Ecuador’s government betrays Assange

By Bill Van Auken, 12 April 2019

The handing over of Assange to his British and US persecutors is part of a sharp drive to the right by the corruption-stained government of Lenín Moreno.

Westminster Magistrates Court

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray denounces arrest and conviction of Julian Assange

By our reporter, 12 April 2019

“There was no jury and no chance to mount a proper defence or have a proper hearing. It is clear the judge was extremely prejudiced,” Murray said.

Free Julian Assange!

By Statement of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 12 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site emphatically condemns the forcible seizure and arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

WikiLeaks exposes spying operation against Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, acting as a vassal of the US, has surveilled every aspect of Assange’s life.

In leaked court testimony, Assange denounces his illegal detention

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2019

The WikiLeaks founder declared: “No journalist, no citizen, should accept that what they speak about can be defined from day to day by reasons of political expediency.”

UK: Jury fails to reach verdict against top police officer over Hillsborough football disaster

By Barry Mason, 9 April 2019

Former Yorkshire police chief superintendent David Duckenfield was charged with the criminal offence of gross negligence manslaughter of 95 of the supporters.

Assange faces ongoing threats at Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 April 2019

While the Ecuadorian government denied that Assange would be “imminently” expelled from the embassy, it did not dispute that plans had been afoot to terminate his political asylum.

Weekend vigils in London demand freedom for Assange

By our reporters, 8 April 2019

Alongside longstanding members of the Defend Assange Campaign, the London vigil was attended by members of the Socialist Equality Party and attracted support from far and wide.

UN Special Rapporteur: US extradition of Assange would be violation of international law

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, and its co-conspirators in the British and US governments, are engaged in a sordid and illegal conspiracy to terminate the political asylum of the WikiLeaks founder.

Supporters oppose eviction of Julian Assange outside London’s Ecuadorian embassy

By Paul Mitchell, 6 April 2019

Defenders of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gathered outside the Ecuadorian embassy in central London yesterday, after a warning that he faces eviction from the building where he sought political asylum in 2012 “within hours to days.”

Defend Julian Assange!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 April 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) condemns the stepped-up preparations to expel Julian Assange from London’s Ecuadorian embassy and to force him into the custody of the British police. WikiLeaks reported today that it has information, from a source in the Ecuadorian state, that Assange’s eviction from the building, where he sought asylum in 2012, will occur “within hours or days.”

WikiLeaks warns that Julian Assange faces imminent eviction from Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 April 2019

The publisher warned that a “high-level source” within the Ecuadorian state had information that Assange would be expelled from the building and taken into British custody “within hours or days.”

UK local councils sell off billions of pounds in public assets due to austerity

By Joe Mount, 5 April 2019

Since 2014, over 12,000 publicly-owned assets with a total value of over £9.1 billion have been sold off, including libraries, health clinics, youth centres and public spaces.

The political implications of the Corbyn/May Brexit talks

By Chris Marsden, 5 April 2019

The talks on an alternative Brexit deal between UK Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn decisively refute all claims that his election as leader of the Labour Party offered a way forward for working people.

Ecuadorian president threatens to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2019

Moreno accused Assange of “repeatedly violating the conditions of his asylum,” to create a pretext to hand him over to British and US authorities.

Left-wing students barred from King’s College London during royal visit

By Thomas Scripps, 28 March 2019

UK students are being labeled as security threats, reported directly to the police and denied access to their own university.

Free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning!

By Andre Damon, 28 March 2019

The fate of these political prisoners must be a focus of attention of the entire working class and all those who defend democratic rights.

UK police colluded in blacklisting of workers

By Trevor Johnson, 22 March 2019

Big businesses used the Consulting Association blacklisting agency and the secret police to spy on workers and hired and fired them based on the information collected—often lies and distortions.

Voices at the London Solidarity Vigil in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

“We owe so much to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks”

By our reporters, 13 March 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those attending Saturday’s Solidarity Vigil outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London to demand freedom for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Chris Marsden at Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange

“Britain now plays the key role in the conspiracy to silence Julian Assange once and for all”

By Chris Marsden, 12 March 2019

This speech was delivered by Socialist Equality Party (UK) National Secretary Chris Marsden at the Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange held outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on March 10.

Emmy Butlin at London rally to defend Assange

“We need international solidarity to bring about a positive outcome in this struggle for freedom for Julian Assange”

12 March 2019

This speech was delivered by Emmy Butlin of the Julian Assange Defence Committee at the Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange held outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, on March 10.

Labour Party investigated for anti-Semitism by UK government human rights commission

By Chris Marsden, 8 March 2019

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has extraordinary legal powers, granted under the 2006 Equalities Act, and could open a full inquiry under section 20 of the Act within two weeks.

UK Labour Party members rebel against suspension of Chris Williamson MP for bogus claims of anti-Semitism

By Robert Stevens, 7 March 2019

Thousands of Corbyn supporters are demanding a full-scale confrontation with the Blairites and for them to be deselected and booted out, not Williamson.

The political lessons of the March 3 Free Assange rally

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Political Committee, 5 March 2019

The demonstration in Sydney won broad support on the basis of mobilising the working class to defend democratic rights and class war prisoners such as Julian Assange.

One year since the Skripal poisoning

By Robert Stevens, 5 March 2019

Even now there is no concrete evidence linking the regime of President Vladimir Putin with the Skripal poisoning—or even proof that novichok was involved.

Greetings from the Sri Lankan Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee to the Assange defence rallies in Australia

2 March 2019

Tea plantation workers struggling for decent working conditions have expressed their solidarity with the fight to free WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Police announce “investigation closed” into desecration of Marx’s grave

By Laura Tiernan, 27 February 2019

The closure of the police investigations amounts to state protection for the fascist culprits of the worst attacks on Marx’s grave in more than four decades.

Attend March 10 Solidarity Vigil in London for Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2019

The SEP (UK) calls on all defenders of civil liberties and democratic rights, all opponents of imperialist wars for regime change, to attend the March 10 vigil and make it known in your workplaces, campuses and schools.

Resolution: Oppose the promotion of eugenics and pseudo-science at Cambridge University!

25 February 2019

The following resolution was adopted by a meeting in Cambridge convened by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK), on Saturday February 23, 2019.

UK parliament committee demands sweeping social media censorship

By Robert Stevens, 22 February 2019

Social media companies would be required by law to remove what is deemed as “disinformation,” as well as “harmful content,” or face potential fines.

Australian youth defend WikiLeaks and support demonstrations to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 20 February 2019

“I’m going to come to the rally to defend freedom of speech and freedom of the press”—Adam, University of NSW.

Award-winning journalist Chris Hedges endorses Free Assange demonstrations in Australia

16 February 2019

“It is imperative that we pressure the Australian government to make sure its citizen, Julian Assange, is protected from the lawlessness of the American empire.”

UK rail workers demand reinstatement of conductor sacked for opposing Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 11 February 2019

The SEP and the WSWS warn rail workers that the RMT bureaucracy cannot be trusted to defend the victimised worker, any more than they can to oppose the introduction of Driver Only Operated trains.

Stansted 15 anti-deportation protesters go free

By Robert Stevens, 7 February 2019

While avoiding jail sentences, the 15 were still found guilty and now have criminal records.

UK: Corbyn allows vicious Tory Immigration Bill to pass

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 31 January 2019

Corbyn and his Labour Party are opposed to the free movement of European Union labour and support what Corbyn has termed “managed migration.”

Stone indictment presents no evidence of links between WikiLeaks and Trump campaign

By James Cogan, 30 January 2019

WikiLeaks is a media organization that exercised the legally-protected rights of the press to published leaked information.

Leaks expose UK and EU government plans for military deployment in Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2019

Under conditions of intolerable levels of social inequality that will be exacerbated no matter the Brexit outcome, the power of the state will be directed against the true source of social discontent—the working class.