Democratic Rights in the US

Facebook and Google outline unprecedented mass censorship at US Senate hearing

By Andre Damon, 18 January 2018

Facebook is planning to double its army of censors to nearly 20,000 people by the end of this year, a company official told lawmakers Thursday.

Twelve arrested outside San Diego for feeding the homeless

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 18 January 2018

On January 14, 12 members of the activist group “Break the Ban” were arrested in the city of El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, California, for providing food to a homeless community.

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.

“The state trooper choked me because I was telling the truth”

Former coal miner in Eastern Kentucky speaks about police assault at public meeting

By Sheila Brehm, 17 January 2018

Gary Michael Hunt, a former coal miner who was assaulted by a state trooper for criticizing local authorities about the lack of safe water for area residents, spoke with the WSWS.

Deportation of 30-year US resident from Detroit sparks outrage

By Kathleen Martin, 17 January 2018

Jorge Garcia, a resident of metro Detroit for three decades, was deported to Mexico by ICE agents on Martin Luther King Day on the orders of federal immigration officials.

Trump administration escalates attack on data encryption

By Will Morrow, 17 January 2018

In a sign that the White House is moving to criminalize encryption, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein argued that “warrant-proof” files are unconstitutional.

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.

#MeToo allegations against 95-year-old Marvel comics legend Stan Lee backfire

By Laura Tiernan, 16 January 2018

Allegations of sexual harassment against the creator of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four have met with widespread public derision.

Kentucky water crisis outrage: Another US worker arrested for criticizing government officials

By Sheila Brehm, 15 January 2018

A former coal miner was stopped from complaining about the persistent shutoff of drinking water to families in Martin County.

Facebook blocks sharing of WSWS anti-censorship video

By Eric London, 15 January 2018

The social media giant has blocked users from sharing a video promoting the January 16 online meeting “Organizing resistance to Internet censorship.”

Facebook announces major plan to censor news content

By Andre Damon, 13 January 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the world’s largest social network will deprioritize news content, part of a coordinated effort to block access to information online.

House Democrats supply votes to block limits on NSA spying

By Niles Niemuth, 13 January 2018

The Democratic Party’s support ensures the illegal surveillance program that began under George W. Bush and was expanded by Obama will pass unscathed into the hands of Donald Trump.

Teacher’s arrest in Louisiana: Another day, another outrage

By Jerry White, 12 January 2018

There is something “American” about the treatment of Deyshia Hargrave, who had the temerity to protest pay raises for school officials while teachers and students are starved of resources.

Democrats bray for immigration deal with Trump as judge halts DACA rescission

By Niles Niemuth, 11 January 2018

The first year of the Trump administration starkly illustrates the fact that neither the courts nor the Democratic Party can be trusted to protect immigrants.

El Salvador’s government bows to Washington over threat to deport 262,000

By Andrea Lobo, 11 January 2018

In response to the threat of mass deportations, the Salvadoran FMLN government has sought to curry favor with the Trump administration.

US Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to Mississippi’s discriminatory “religious freedom” law

By Matthew Taylor and Ed Hightower, 11 January 2018

The effect of the Supreme Court’s inaction is to encourage blatant discrimination against LGBT persons and all except Biblical literalists.

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.

“Sexual misconduct” witch-hunt targets conductor Charles Dutoit, director Max Stafford-Clarke and actor Ed Westwick

By Paul Bond, 11 January 2018

Just before Christmas, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announced that it had cancelled appearances by its artistic director, 81-year-old conductor Charles Dutoit.

Louisiana teacher jailed for speaking out at school board meeting

By Nancy Hanover, 10 January 2018

Deyshia Hargrave was removed from a meeting, handcuffed and taken to jail for opposing a large pay hike for the school superintendent while employees have had no raise in a decade.

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.

A crime against humanity

US to deport 262,000 Salvadoran immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 9 January 2018

This barbaric action will split up tens of thousands of families and threaten countless deaths among those forced to return to the killing fields of Central America.

Ten-year-old child among the victims

American Civil Liberties Union sues DC police for attacking inauguration protests

By Harvey Simpkins and Nick Barrickman, 9 January 2018

A civil lawsuit filed by the ACLU alleges protesters were assaulted and deprived of their constitutional rights.

Notes on police violence

US police kill 29 during first week of 2018

By George Gallanis, 9 January 2018

Almost all of the killings follow a general logic: police kill anyone they suspect to be a threat, regardless of how severe or even real the threat.

Trump “defends” the right to protest in Iran, criminalizes protest in Washington

By E.P. Milligan, 8 January 2018

Even as Trump was bloviating about the right to protest in Iran, his Justice Department was carrying out a political trial against peaceful protesters in a brazen attack on the freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by the US Constitution.

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.

UC Berkeley student arrested by border patrol

By David Brown, 5 January 2018

Luis Mora, a junior transfer to the UC, was arrested Saturday night at an internal checkpoint for overstaying his visa.

Facebook deleted accounts at the behest of US, Israeli and German governments

By Niles Niemuth, 4 January 2018

The social media company has deleted the accounts of Palestinian activists. journalists and the former leader of Chechnya in a campaign of international political censorship.

Seattle councilperson Kshama Sawant targeted by defamation lawsuit for calling police “murderers”

By Eric London, 3 January 2018

The Socialist Equality Party’s long-documented differences with Socialist Alternative do not lessen our opposition to attempts by the political establishment to silence criticism of the police.

New York prepares military-style occupation for New Year’s celebration in Times Square

By Philip Guelpa, 30 December 2017

Thousands of heavily armed, uniformed personnel, including police snipers, are being deployed to impose a military-style occupation of Times Square in connection with the annual New Year’s Eve celebration.

Drexel University professor resigns amid death threats from right-wing forces

By Trévon Austin, 30 December 2017

Ciccariello-Maher, a professor of politics and global studies, was harassed and threatened after several tweets he made were criticized on various right-wing outlets.

The petition against Matt Damon and the “erasing” of Kevin Spacey: The fiercely antidemocratic character of the sexual misconduct campaign

By David Walsh, 28 December 2017

The New York Times is at the forefront of the reactionary witch-hunt, defending various efforts at censorship and repression.

Democratic Party witch-hunters target Green Party candidate Jill Stein

By Statement of the Political Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 23 December 2017

The Socialist Equality Party condemns the targeting of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in the 2016 election, by Democrats in the Senate Intelligence Committee.

US Congress targets Green Party candidate Jill Stein over allegations of collusion with Russia

By Trévon Austin, 21 December 2017

The targeting of Stein demonstrates that the anti-Russia witch-hunt is aimed ultimately at domestic political opposition.

Polls shows mass opposition to net neutrality repeal

By Kevin Reed, 21 December 2017

In the week since the FCC vote to end net neutrality, the nature of the attack on the public and the democratic right to a free and open internet is becoming clearer.

Actor Matt Damon comes under attack for his criticisms of the sexual misconduct campaign

By David Walsh, 20 December 2017

The actor suggested there was a continuum of inappropriate behavior, and that the punishments meted out to Sen. Al Franken and comic Louis C.K. were perhaps too harsh.

Pentagon faces outrage for declaring Guantanamo art will burn

By E.B. Cohen, 20 December 2017

The Pentagon is directing its military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to confiscate detainees’ finished art and has threatened to destroy it.

Trump unveils “America First” national security strategy

By Bill Van Auken, 19 December 2017

Behind the hackneyed campaign-style speech delivered by Trump Monday, the US military and intelligence apparatus is preparing for world war.

Verdict looms in first round of trials for 194 charged in anti-Trump inauguration day protests

By E.P. Milligan, 19 December 2017

The first of a round of trials surrounding the defendants involved in the January 20 protests against the inauguration of President Donald Trump came to a close on Friday.

The end of net neutrality and the fight to defend the free internet

By Andre Damon, 15 December 2017

Thursday’s move by the US government to end net neutrality seeks to usher in an age when corporations and the government decide what people can and cannot access online.

PBS cancels “Tavis Smiley” show as sex witch-hunt expands

By Barry Grey, 15 December 2017

As has become typical in the growing campaign over alleged sexual offenses, the public broadcaster did not name the accusers or provide any details of their allegations.

US Supreme Court rejects appeal by gay woman in employment discrimination case

By Ed Hightower, 14 December 2017

The high court’s inaction means that employers in most states can openly discriminate against homosexuals without consequences under federal law.

Why has Time magazine endorsed the #MeToo “revolution”?

By David Walsh, 12 December 2017

Given the ongoing frenzy, the magazine’s decision was entirely predictable. Had its editors made any other choice there would have been a media-organized uproar.

Nevada and Nebraska move to use powerful opioid in state executions

By Nick Barrickman, 11 December 2017

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic painkiller that has been linked to a substantial number of drug overdoses throughout the US.

Democrats force resignation of US Senator Al Franken

By Patrick Martin, 8 December 2017

The witch-hunt over sexual misconduct has claimed its highest-level victim among elected officials.

Google hiring 10,000 reviewers to censor YouTube content

By Zaida Green, 8 December 2017

The video-sharing platform has already removed over 150,000 videos, with 50 percent of videos removed within two hours of upload.

US Supreme Court hears oral argument on cake shop anti-gay discrimination case

By Ed Hightower, 7 December 2017

A ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop would mean an open season for segregation and discrimination of all sorts.

John Conyers forced to resign from Congress as sex witch-hunt escalates

By a reporter, 6 December 2017

The Detroit Democrat is the most prominent congressional victim of the media campaign over charges of sexual misconduct.

US Supreme Court puts Trump travel ban into effect

By Eric London and Norisa Diaz, 5 December 2017

The decision, supported by half the justices nominated by Democrats, will have devastating consequences for those seeking to escape war-torn regions of the Middle East.

The public humiliation and destruction of Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine

By David North and David Walsh, 5 December 2017

The decision by the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to suspend James Levine, its longtime musical director (1976-2016), from any further conducting engagements is the latest victory for the New York Times and the champions of the new repression.

Capitol Hill journalists revoke RT America’s news credentials

By Trévon Austin, 5 December 2017

The decision prevents the Russian-based television network from accessing members of Congress as news reporters

Behind the FCC plan to abolish net neutrality

Broadband monopolies to censor Internet content

By Kevin Reed, 5 December 2017

The FCC plan to repeal previous net neutrality standards enables the ISP monopolies to further their business interests while enabling censorship at a fundamental level of Internet infrastructure.

US federal prosecutors rely on ultra-right propagandist group’s recordings in trial of inauguration day protesters

By Nick Barrickman, 2 December 2017

The federal government’s use of material from Project Veritas in its case against anti-Trump demonstrators further signifies the Trump administration’s reliance on far-right forces.

IYSSE mounts campaign against university police censorship at University of California, Berkeley

By Evan Blake, 2 December 2017

Students registered opposition to the suppression of free speech and militarization of police by signing a petition and joining the International Youth and Students for Social Equality.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi demands Representative John Conyers resign over harassment claims

By Andre Damon, 1 December 2017

Conyers, the longest serving member of the House of Representatives, has been targeted in an expanding purge of Congress carried out on the pretext of fighting "sexual misconduct."

Brooklyn College students oppose NYPD spying on campus

By Josh Varlin, 1 December 2017

The showing of Watched, a film about police infiltration of Muslim student groups, sparked widespread discussion about the presence of the New York police on campus.

US sexual witch-hunt

NBC’s “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer and “Prairie Home Companion” creator Garrison Keillor latest to be purged

By David Walsh, 30 November 2017

The spinelessness and contempt for democracy within the media and political establishment seems almost universal and unlimited.

Tennessee punishes workers who default on student loans, ignores politicians’ fines

By Warren Duzak, 28 November 2017

Tennessee is the nation’s most aggressive state in penalizing those who default on student loans.

Net neutrality and the drive to censor the internet

By Andre Damon, 25 November 2017

The move by the Trump administration to end net neutrality marks a milestone in the offensive by the US government and major corporations to put an end to the free and open internet.

Amazon announces new cloud to host “Secret” government data

By Evan Blake, 24 November 2017

The creation of the AWS Secret Cloud places Amazon at the center of the global surveillance operations of American imperialism.

FCC plan to repeal “net neutrality” gives telecom giants control of public access to Internet

By Kevin Reed, 23 November 2017

The anti-democratic plan to deregulate the US Internet infrastructure will enable privately-owned US broadband providers to control public access to online content.

Google’s Eric Schmidt admits political censorship of search results

By Niles Niemuth, 22 November 2017

Remarks by the executive chairman of Google’s parent company about efforts to “de-rank” news sites critical of the US government expose the corporate-government conspiracy to block oppositional voices on the Internet.

CBS fires Charlie Rose, Oliver Stone accused

Latest in sexual misconduct purge: Ultra-rightist “tips off” media about Rep. John Conyers

By David Walsh, 22 November 2017

In the latest chapter of the ongoing sex scandal, the media reported on Monday that Democratic Congressman John Conyers of Michigan settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee.

“Sexual harassment” witch-hunt claims Jeffrey Tambor, Charlie Rose as latest victims

By Barry Grey, 21 November 2017

Allegations are followed by immediate dismissal and removal from shows.

Political hysteria over alleged sexual abuse ensnares congressional Democrats

By Patrick Martin, 17 November 2017

Charges of sexual misconduct, in some cases dating back decades, are now embroiling the political establishment as well as Hollywood.

Ohio sets new execution date for 69-year-old inmate

By Kate Randall, 17 November 2017

Alva Campbell’s execution-gone-wrong casts a grim light on all that is repugnant about capital punishment and how it is practiced in 21st century America.

Warrantless spying on US citizens sanctioned by Pentagon, training documents indicate

By Zaida Green, 15 November 2017

US citizens and legal residents with zero connections to terrorists can be designated as “homegrown violent extremists” and subjected to warrantless surveillance.

US brands RT a “foreign agent:” A chilling move against free speech

By Andre Damon, 11 November 2017

The Justice Department’s demand that RT register as a “foreign agent” is aimed at delegitimizing it as a news source, intimidating its contributors and guests, and setting a precedent for branding news outlets as treasonous.

US Justice Department forces RT America to register as “foreign agent”

By Trévon Austin, 10 November 2017

The move is a product of the ongoing anti-Russia witch hunt led by the Democratic Party, together with the US intelligence agencies, aimed at delegitimizing and outlawing domestic political opposition.

Texas executes Mexican national in disregard of international law

By Trévon Austin, 9 November 2017

Ruben Ramirez Cárdenas was executed late Wednesday night via lethal injection after a last-minute appeal by his attorneys to the US Supreme Court was rejected.

Northern Virginia woman fired from job after giving Trump motorcade the middle finger

By Nick Barrickman, 9 November 2017

Juli Briskman was fired from her government contracting job last week after a photo of her giving the president’s motorcade “the finger” went viral.

LAPD arrests after Trump election exposed as political repression

By John Burton, 7 November 2017

Los Angeles police arrested hundreds in the post-election protests, but presented only a handful of cases to prosecutors.

Guantanamo Bay military judge arrests military defense lawyer

By Alan Gilman, 6 November 2017

The al-Nashiri case underscores the mockery being made of the Bill of Rights through the Military Commissions hearings at Guantanamo Bay.

Bowe Bergdahl sentenced to dishonorable discharge, avoids prison in court-martial for desertion

By Shelley Connor, 4 November 2017

U.S. army soldier Bowe Bergdahl had been held by the Taliban for five years in brutal conditions, gaining his freedom as part of a prisoner swap in 2014.

“The sad thing is that there are so many people like me in that system”

Davino Watson, US citizen falsely imprisoned by ICE agents, speaks out

By Nick Barrickman, 4 November 2017

Watson has been denied the right to sue for damages incurred while he was illegally imprisoned by ICE for over three years.

Billionaire CEO Joe Ricketts shuts down DNAinfo and Gothamist after unionization vote

By Michael Walters and Alexander Fangmann, 4 November 2017

The sudden shutdown of the popular local news websites illustrates the dangers posed by the financial aristocracy’s control over the media and the internet.

New York police officers charged with raping teenage suspect in custody

By Daniel de Vries, 4 November 2017

A grand jury indicted two NYPD detectives this week on 50 counts of kidnapping and raping a teenage woman while she was handcuffed in a police van.

The Democrats’ McCarthyite witch hunt

By Andre Damon, 3 November 2017

This week’s congressional hearings on “extremist content” mark a new stage in the campaign by congressional Democrats, working with the intelligence agencies and leading media outlets, to legitimize censorship and criminalize dissent.

Anti-Russia hearings in the US:

Lawmakers demand tech companies censor journalists and conduct mass surveillance

By Andre Damon, 2 November 2017

Wednesday's testimony made clear the social media giants are being required to act as a proxy of the US government, to muzzle its critics and political opponents.

US Congressional hearing:

Former FBI agent says tech companies must “silence” sources of “rebellion”

By Andre Damon, 1 November 2017

Advocating stepped-up censorship of the Internet, Clint Watts, a former US Army officer and FBI agent, declared, “Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words.”

May a word be spoken on behalf of Kevin Spacey?

By David Walsh, 1 November 2017

The American actor is one of the most gifted and significant performers of his generation. Now his career, at least for the moment, lies in ruins.

US congressional hearings on “extremist content” prepare assault on free speech

By Andre Damon, 31 October 2017

This week, US tech companies will report to Congress on their moves to limit “extremist content” on the Internet as part of the anti-Russian witch hunt, which is increasingly targeting the First Amendment.

California: Car plows through immigration protesters outside US congressman’s office

By Dan Conway, 31 October 2017

Video shows Daniel Wenzek inching his car into protesters who had temporarily blocked a street crossing, and then accelerating while a protester lay on the hood of his car.

US Appeals Court denies second hearing for US citizen falsely imprisoned by ICE officials

By Nick Barrickman, 30 October 2017

The October 19 court decision is the latest in a series of appeals and reversals by US courts on Watson’s case.

Twitter bans RT and Sputnik from advertising

By Trévon Austin, 28 October 2017

The move sets a chilling precedent, giving Twitter the ability to decide which news outlets are allowed to promote their content, limiting free speech and freedom of the press online.

US immigration officials arrest 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy after surgery

By Eric London, 27 October 2017

The US immigration agencies, which employ tens of thousands of police and bureaucrats, are being transformed into institutional bases of fascism.

New York Times and Wall Street Journal demand censorship of YouTube

By Andre Damon, 26 October 2017

In two articles appearing Tuesday on the front pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, the newspapers laid out justifications for censoring the online streaming service YouTube.

Review of Tennessee’s bail bond system exposes inequalities in US justice system

By Warren Duzak, 25 October 2017

At a recent public meeting, the Metro Nashville Public Defender reviewed the arcane practice of bail bonding and its impact on working class and poor defendants.

Mississippi school district removes To Kill a Mockingbird from curriculum

By Sandy English, 24 October 2017

The public school district in Biloxi, Mississippi, has removed Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird from the eighth grade curriculum because of complaints by parents about the language in the book.

“This anti-Russian campaign is horrible”: An interview with antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan

By David Walsh, 23 October 2017

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq in 2004, has had many bitter experiences with the Democratic Party.

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.

As Trump presses owners to fire protesting athletes

NFL commissioner says football players should stand for national anthem

By Alan Gilman, 19 October 2017

In an angry tweet Wednesday, Trump complained that the NFL owners had decided not to force players to stand for the national anthem.

Florida Governor declares state of emergency ahead of speech by white supremacist

By Matthew Taylor, 18 October 2017

The Sheriff's department has stated that more than 500 police officers will be on hand for the speech by Richard Spencer at the University of Florida.

The conspiracy to censor the Internet

By Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore, 18 October 2017

US intelligence agencies, media outlets and Democratic Party operatives are turning the witch-hunt against Russia into the justification for a far-reaching attack on free speech.

Trump appeals to fundamentalists and fascists

By Patrick Martin, 17 October 2017

The heart of Trump’s speech was to boast that his administration was turning back the clock on social progress made since the 1950s.

New club procedures at UC Berkeley give police effective veto power over campus events

By Gabriel Black and Joseph Santolan, 17 October 2017

The new policy requiring clubs to submit their plans to the police and to pay for police presence at their meetings is an attack on free speech on campus.

How the Internet keeps us safe from people like Thomas Friedman

By Andre Damon, 14 October 2017

Friedman, the notorious war propagandist, is demanding that technology companies censor news outlets that would hold him to account for his lies.

NFL commissioner announces plans against anthem protests

By Trévon Austin, 12 October 2017

NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell and a number of team owners are taking measures to punish football players who kneel during the anthem.