America's Brutal Society

Twenty years since the Columbine High School massacre

By David Walsh, 19 April 2019

The Colorado event, in which two high school seniors shot and killed 12 of their fellow students and one teacher before committing suicide, represented something qualitatively new and disturbing in American social life.

In 3 A.M. ruling, Supreme Court allows Alabama execution to proceed

By Dan Conway, 13 April 2019

For the second time in as many weeks, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the execution of a death row inmate can proceed despite claims that the method of execution, lethal injection, will cause intense pain and suffering.

Arrest made in connection with church burnings in Louisiana

By Aaron Murch, 12 April 2019

The son of a white sheriff’s deputy faces charges of setting fire to three black churches.

America the Barbaric

By Niles Niemuth, 6 April 2019

If the conditions that exist in US prisons were exposed in Russia or China, there would be a hue and cry in the press and the halls of Congress for economic sanctions and “humanitarian” military intervention.

“An excessive amount of violence, sexual abuse, and prisoner deaths”

Federal report exposes horrific levels of abuse in Alabama prisons

By Niles Niemuth, 5 April 2019

A more than two-year investigation exposed appalling violations of constitutional protections for the approximately 25,000 men locked up in facilities operated by the Alabama Department of Corrections.

US detaining immigrants under highway overpass in Texas amid renewed crackdown

By Eric London, 29 March 2019

Amidst a media blackout, the Trump administration is arresting unprecedented numbers of immigrants at the border while demanding the expansion of internment camps.

Three suicides in two weeks linked to US mass shootings

By Matthew MacEgan, 28 March 2019

Last week saw the tragic deaths of two students who survived the 2018 Parkland massacre, followed by the suicide of the parent of a girl who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting.

Arsonist attacks mosque in Southern California

By Norisa Diaz, 28 March 2019

An arsonist set fire to the Islamic Center of Escondido in North San Diego County on Sunday, leaving behind a note referencing the New Zealand rampage.

Indiana teachers shot ‘execution style’ with plastic pellets during school shooting drill

By George Marlowe, 23 March 2019

Teachers in Indiana were subject to a violent school shooting drill by law enforcement officials in January which left them bleeding and bruised for weeks.

Massive police presence for trial of cop in murder of Antwon Rose

By Samuel Davidson, 21 March 2019

A massive show of police force is being staged for the trial of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, who killed 17-year-old Woodland High School honor student Antwon Rose last year, shooting him three times in the back.

California governor announces moratorium on death penalty

By Alan Gilman, 16 March 2019

The 737 condemned inmates in the nation’s largest death row will have their death sentences stayed for the duration of a moratorium issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.

“I was treated like a caged animal”

Single mother and healthcare worker jailed for three days in Indiana over unpaid ambulance bill

By George Marlowe, 1 March 2019

Melissa Latronica, a single mother of three and a certified nursing assistant, was recently arrested and thrown into jail for an unpaid ambulance bill she never received.

Laid-off worker opens fire and kills at least five in Aurora, Illinois manufacturing plant

By George Marlowe, 16 February 2019

A recently laid-off worker at the Henry Pratt Company opened fire Friday, killing at least five people and injuring many others.

One year since the Parkland high school massacre: A political balance sheet

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 February 2019

One year has passed since the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people and sparked nationwide protests by students and youth against gun violence.

US Supreme Court clears way for execution of Muslim inmate without imam in death chamber

By Kate Randall, 9 February 2019

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling openly violated the separation of church and state enshrined in the US Constitution and the high court’s jurisprudence that government may not discriminate among faiths.

Federal agents release more than 1,000 immigrants in El Paso, Texas

By Patrick Martin, 28 December 2018

The mass releases, with detained immigrants dropped at bus stations, shelters and city parks, seem to be a politically-motivated campaign by ICE agents.

The death of Felipe Alonzo-Gómez: A crime of US imperialism

By Eric London, 27 December 2018

The eight-year-old immigrant died in US custody after fleeing from Nentón, Guatemala, close to where a horrific massacre took place in 1982 during the country’s civil war.

Plead for charity or die: A blunt message from the American health care system

By Nancy Hanover, 28 November 2018

One of the ugly secrets of US medical care—the rationing of life-saving procedures based on ability to pay—was exposed by the recent experiences of a Michigan woman seeking a heart transplant.

Kidnapping, rape and murder by US border patrol agents

By Norisa Diaz and Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 15 November 2018

Numerous migrants, mostly women and girls, have been victims of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping or rape at the hands of US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents.

Afghanistan war veteran kills 12 at a southern California dance club

By David Walsh, 9 November 2018

Another horrible mass shooting took place in the US on Wednesday night, the 307th such episode on the 311th day of the year, according to a website that tracks gun violence.

Israeli government defends Trump in aftermath of Pittsburgh massacre

By Jean Shaoul, 5 November 2018

The spontaneous outpourings of solidarity across Jewish and Muslim communities for the victims of the Pittsburgh atrocity are anathema to the Netanyahu government.

128 years after the first US electrocution

Tennessee revives “Old Smokey,” the electric chair, for an execution

By Kate Randall, 3 November 2018

The US Supreme Court has never ruled execution by electric chair or lethal injection unconstitutional and has consistently upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty itself.

Thousands attend funerals for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue massacre

By Samuel Davidson, 2 November 2018

Pittsburgh residents who spoke to the World Socialist Web Site denounced the president’s anti-immigrant tirades, which created the climate for the deadliest act of anti-Semitic violence in US history.

Child detainees speak out: “I just wanted a hug from someone”

The view from inside America’s child immigrant detention shelters

By our reporters, 1 November 2018

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with several immigrant children recently released from child detention shelters about conditions in the facilities.

Vigils for victims of Pittsburgh shooting express anger over Trump’s racist incitements

By Samuel Davidson and Kate Randall, 30 October 2018

Vigils held across the country have charged Trump with using hate speech to incite violent attacks over the past week.

Killings at Kentucky store were hate crime, police say

By our reporter, 30 October 2018

The gunman, 51-year-old Gregory Bush, had a history of mental illness and racist abuse.

Participants in vigils for Pittsburgh shooting victims speak to the WSWS

“I don’t think the Democrats are doing anything to oppose Trump’s message”

By our reporters, 30 October 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to people at vigils in Pittsburgh, New York and Detroit.

Mass shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue

Anti-Semitic violence erupts in America

By Joseph Kishore, 29 October 2018

To understand the significance of the homicidal violence in Pittsburgh that has left 11 people dead, it is necessary to place the event in its international and historical context.

Detroit's reality: Infant corpses found piled up in funeral home

By Lawrence Porter, 22 October 2018

Police raids following an anonymous tip and a lawsuit have uncovered dozens of fetuses, several children’s bodies and hundreds of containers of human remains.

Washington state Supreme Court strikes down death penalty as “arbitrary and racially biased”

By Kate Randall, 16 October 2018

The ruling invalidating the state’s 37-year-old death penalty law makes Washington the latest in a string of states in recent years to abandon capital punishment.

The fifth death in two years

Eighteen-year-old found hanged in northern Wisconsin jail

By Jacob Crosse, 8 October 2018

The tragic and preventable deaths in Wisconsin Rapids reflect an upward trend in suicides throughout the United States’ overcrowded, backlogged and brutal jail and prison system.

After Parkland: The militarization of high schools in the US

By Alex Johnson, 29 September 2018

The following article is part of a series of articles dedicated to exposing the militarization of schools and universities.

Trump administration takes aim at immigrants who receive federal benefits

By Harvey Simpkins, 24 September 2018

Even current green card holders could be subject to the new rule and lose their status as lawful permanent residents if, in certain circumstances, they leave the country and try to return.

Four dead in workplace shooting in Maryland, the third mass shooting in the US in 24 hours

By Adam Mclean, 21 September 2018

On Thursday morning, a gunman opened fire at a Rite Aid distribution center in Aberdeen, Maryland, killing three people and injuring three more.

Fifteen prisoners die in a month in Mississippi

By Aaron Murch, 8 September 2018

The sharp spike in prisoner deaths in Mississippi underscores the brutality and inhumanity of the prison system, which now holds over two million poor and working class people throughout the US.

“This is a class issue, and it’s a social issue”

Memorial service held for six of ten children killed in Chicago Little Village house fire

By our reporters, 3 September 2018

About 200 people attended the funeral, with many traveling long distances from throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Media smears family of victims of Chicago house fire

By George Marlowe, 3 September 2018

The press continues to demonize the victims of the Chicago house fire in the Little Village neighborhood, deflecting blame from the political establishment.

Immigrant mother sues for $40 million after child dies following ICE detainment

By Kevin Martinez, 31 August 2018

The death of Mariee Juarez is one more casualty in the Trump administration’s brutal war on immigrants.

“The politicians want to sweep this under the rug”

Hundreds gather to commemorate ten children killed in Chicago house fire

By George Marlowe and George Gallanis, 29 August 2018

While hundreds went to a vigil to commemorate and mourn the death of the ten children lost to the house fire Sunday morning, Chicago’s Democratic mayor and city aldermen declined to attend.

US prison strike enters second week amid media blackout

By Matthew Taylor, 28 August 2018

Prisoners across multiple states have continued to strike against the brutal conditions under which they are incarcerated.

Three killed, nine injured in Jacksonville, Florida mass shooting

By Matthew Taylor, 27 August 2018

The massacre at a video game tournament on Sunday was only the latest in a string of mass shootings in the US.

Former New York City jail guards union head convicted of bribery

By Josh Varlin, 24 August 2018

The conviction of former New York prison guards’ union president Norman Seabrook sheds light on a corrupt nexus of police, union and corporate-financial figures exchanging money and favors.

Hundreds of detained immigrants join US national prison strike

By Trévon Austin, 23 August 2018

Detained immigrants have linked their struggle with prisoners to protest inhumane living conditions.

Brutal conditions in US prisons drive inmates to strike

By Matthew Taylor, 22 August 2018

Prisoners have begun a 19-day strike to protest their inhumane living conditions, slave-like work regimes and sentencing laws that strip away their constitutional rights.

The brutality of borders

Mass grave revealed at Arizona Air Force bombing range

By Norisa Diaz, 18 August 2018

The treacherous deserts along the Southwest have taken the lives of tens of thousands of migrants coming to the US.

Private prison corporation CoreCivic facing multiple lawsuits for endangering Tennessee inmates

By Keisha Gibbs, 17 August 2018

Nashville-based private prison company CoreCivic continues to reap profits despite numerous lawsuits.

Nebraska carries out first execution in US using the opioid fentanyl

By Kate Randall, 15 August 2018

Nebraska authorities now have the dubious distinction of pioneering the use of the powerful synthetic drug at the center of the US opioid crisis that claimed more than 70,000 lives in 2017 for state-sanctioned murder.

Baltimore police officer resigns after video of vicious assault sparks outrage

By Harvey Simpkins, 13 August 2018

The video shows footage of the police officer throwing at least 10 punches, in about 12 seconds, at his victim's face, without any provocation.

Tennessee carries out first execution in nearly a decade

Inmate “gulped for an extended period of time” and was “choking,” “gasping”

By Kate Randall, 11 August 2018

Irick’s attorneys had argued that their client suffered from severe mental illness and that one of the drugs to be used in his lethal injection could cause severe pain.

New Orleans mayor refers to residents as “bad actors” amid looming water cut-offs

By Aaron Murch, 8 August 2018

The utility shut-offs are being implemented despite months of criticisms and complaints from residents stemming from incorrect billing and other irregularities.

Former tennis player James Blake criticizes NYC mayor for handling of false arrest in 2015

By Isaac Finn, 7 August 2018

On Wednesday Blake condemned New York City’s Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio for failing to inform him about a disciplinary trial of the cop who tackled him in front of a hotel.

Separated: Children at the Border highlights the horrific human costs of the bipartisan war on immigrants

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 3 August 2018

The latest PBS Frontline documentary shows the effect of family separations and traces the roots of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.

Florida’s “stand your ground” law under heavy scrutiny following shooting

By Matthew MacEgan, 1 August 2018

Two weeks ago, a white man shot an unarmed black man over a parking spot at a convenience store but was not arrested.

Extended-stay motel fire kills mother and five children in Michigan

By Joseph Lorenz, 30 July 2018

This tragedy underscores the desperate and dangerous living conditions confronting millions of low-income and unemployed workers across the US.

Trump administration deported up to 463 immigrant parents without their children

By Tom Hall, 25 July 2018

The admission by government lawyers raises the prospect that hundreds of parents separated under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy might never see their children again.

Executions in Texas and Ohio

By Kate Randall, 20 July 2018

Both condemned inmates suffered traumatic childhoods, committed heinous murders, expressed remorse for their crimes, and were executed by the state.

Trump administration defends missing court deadline to reunite immigrant families

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 11 July 2018

In a calculated and cruel political maneuver, the administration stated that it could not release children because it could not locate or vet their parents.

Study shows 144,000 US inmates denied care for hepatitis C

By E.P. Milligan, 7 July 2018

If left untreated, the condition can potentially mean a slow and agonizing death sentence.

Boston subway rider victimized by aged train and the high cost of medical services

By John Marion, 6 July 2018

A woman stepping off a 40-year-old subway train had her leg cut to the bone, then begged her fellow passengers not to call an ambulance due to the cost.

US war on immigrants continues

Trump using separated children to force “voluntary” deportations

By Alec Andersen, 5 July 2018

The Trump administration has responded to a court-ordered “family reunification” process by forcing immigrant parents with separated children into signing a document agreeing to deportation back to their country of origin.

Killing of 45-year-old postal worker by Portland State University police draws protests

By Kayla Costa, 3 July 2018

The tragic murder of Jason Washington is a direct result of the militarization of campuses across the country.

Attacker stabs nine people at apartment complex housing refugees in Boise, Idaho

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 2 July 2018

According to the Boise police department, the number of victims was the most in a single incident in the city’s history.

Five killed and others injured in Annapolis, Maryland Capital Gazette shooting

By Trévon Austin, 29 June 2018

Politicians responded to the latest mass killing with typical empty platitudes and condolences.

US Supreme Court sides with anti-abortion fanatics who operate fake health centers

By Tom Carter, 27 June 2018

Yesterday’s decision is yet another victory for Christian fundamentalists and the campaign to use “freedom of religion” to undermine the separation of church and state, legalize discrimination and obstruct access to health care.

US court documents reveal

Immigrant children tied down, hooded, beaten, stripped and drugged

By Patrick Martin, 22 June 2018

US immigrant detention centers are applying the techniques of Guantanamo Bay and CIA torture prisons on teenagers and even younger children.

Hundreds rally in Pittsburgh to demand justice for unarmed teen killed by police

By Samuel Davidson, 22 June 2018

Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old Woodland Hills High School honor student, was shot three times in the back Tuesday as he ran from a traffic stop.

Survivors Guide to Prison: The American nightmare

By Joanne Laurier, 22 June 2018

This documentary exposé of the US prison and criminal justice system includes a host of celebrities commenting on the phenomenon of mass incarceration.

Mexican immigrants seek asylum amidst growing social inequality and crime

By Clodomiro Puentes, 20 June 2018

The majority are forced to make the long and risky journey to seek political asylum in the US, due to cartel-related crime and violence in Mexico.

US becomes first nation to quit UN human rights body

By Bill Van Auken, 20 June 2018

The decision came after the head of the council condemned both Washington’s policy of separating children from their families at the border and the US-backed war in Yemen.

The United States of America: Land of internment camps

By Eric London, 20 June 2018

The attack on immigrants and democratic rights is of urgent importance to the entire working class.

Five die fleeing US immigration police as children spend Father’s Day in jail

By Eric London, 18 June 2018

The five immigrants died in a car crash in south Texas, while seven others were wounded in what police called “good police work.”

Video shows Border Patrol vehicle fleeing after striking Native American man

By Norisa Diaz, 18 June 2018

The Tohono O’odham are seen as a stone in the shoe of Washington as its members have historically moved freely across the current US-Mexico border.

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.

US Border Patrol execution of undocumented Guatemalan woman sparks anger and nationwide protests

By Alec Andersen, 4 June 2018

Claudia Gomez Gonzalez, 19, was summarily executed by a Border Patrol agent in the border town of Rio Bravo near Laredo, Texas, on May 23.

New effort to cover up impact of lead poisoning in Flint

By James Brewer, 30 May 2018

A resolution reportedly passed by doctors at Flint Hurley Medical Center puts forward the false narrative that no one was lead poisoned in Flint, but lead-exposed.

US Border Patrol agent executes Guatemalan woman

By Alec Andersen, 28 May 2018

The summary execution of Claudia Gonzalez comes amid a sharp escalation in the Trump administration’s campaign of terror against immigrant communities.

The nightmare inside America’s child immigrant jails

By Eric London, 25 May 2018

An ACLU report details widespread rape, beatings and neglect by prison guards in America’s immigration jails.

Police engaged in 25-minute shootout with Texas high school gunman

By Kate Randall, 21 May 2018

According to the Galveston County sheriff, it is unclear whether some of the Santa Fe High School victims were in fact shot by police officers responding to the shooting.

Ten killed in mass shooting at Texas high school

By Trévon Austin, 19 May 2018

The horrific frequency of mass shootings in the US is indicative of a diseased society, combining extreme levels of social alienation with the endless promotion of militarism by the ruling class.

US plans to detain minors on military bases as Trump calls immigrants “animals”

By Bill Van Auken, 18 May 2018

A savage new immigration policy will result in tens of thousands of children being separated from their parents and sent to detention centers.

US Senate pays homage to CIA torturer

By Bill Van Auken, 10 May 2018

Gina Haspel, nominated by Trump to head the CIA, defended her intimate role in the torture of detainees as “lawful” at her Senate confirmation hearing.

Ben Carson: “Poverty, to a large extent, is also a state of mind”

US housing secretary proposes tripling rent for poorest households

By Kate Randall, 27 April 2018

Carson's proposal comes amidst a housing crisis that is forcing millions to live in squalid conditions and driving increasing numbers of people into homelessness.

Tennessee Waffle House shooting leaves four dead and several injured

By Trévon Austin, 23 April 2018

While police have yet to determine a motive for the shooting, many signs point to the suspected perpetrator suffering from a long history of mental illness.

Anger mounts over police killing of unarmed man in Barstow, California

By Alec Andersen, 23 April 2018

Police unleashed a hail of 30 bullets into a car being driven by 26-year-old Diante Yarber, killing him and wounding two passengers.

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.

Trump signs executive order attacking US social programs

By Matthew Taylor, 13 April 2018

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday requiring his cabinet to target for destruction any social programs that do not have work requirements.

East Kentucky residents hit by rate hikes and shutoffs of undrinkable water

By Phyllis Steele, 10 April 2018

The Public Service Commission announced a rate increase and water surcharge fee for Martin County residents who have been fighting contaminated water and service interruptions.

City of Detroit resuming brutal policy of mass water shutoffs

By Debra Watson, 5 April 2018

Amidst talk of Detroit making a “comeback” the city is preparing to once again carry out the mass disruption of water service to thousands of low income residents.

Sheriff’s deputy runs down Sacramento protester and flees scene

By Alec Andersen, 2 April 2018

A woman taking part in demonstrations against the police murder of Stephon Clark Saturday evening had to be transported to the hospital after a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy struck her with his SUV and fled the scene.

Fourth suicide since June at Hudson County, New Jersey jail

By Mark Ferretti, 31 March 2018

Carlos Borroto’s suicide is only the latest product of the criminal neglect and inadequate health care that has persisted for years at the Hudson County jail.

Pulse nightclub shooter’s father was an FBI informant

By Niles Niemuth, 27 March 2018

Critical details about Omar Mateen’s father’s decade-long relationship with the FBI came out this week during the trial of Noor Salman, who has been charged as an accomplice in the 2016 mass shooting.

Tens of thousands protest mass shootings in New York, Michigan, Boston and the southern United States

By Tom Hall, 27 March 2018

IYSSE members and supporters spoke to demonstrators at a large number of demonstrations throughout the country.

“This can be turned around by people who want to build a new society”

California: Protesters denounce war and social inequality

By our reporters, 27 March 2018

The large turnout in the most populous US state reflects a political shift, as a new generation of young people are being thrust into politics for the first time.

African immigrants report grave abuses at West Texas detention center

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan and Norisa Diaz, 26 March 2018

Around 80 immigrant men have been subjected to horrific physical abuses, alleged hate crimes, and sexual abuse, according to a report recently cited by the Intercept.

Another New York City taxi driver commits suicide due to financial ruin

By Sandy English, 26 March 2018

Nicanor Ochisor killed himself after a dramatic decline in his income due to the deregulation of Uber and other e-hailing services in the city.

The protests against school shootings and the growth of the class struggle

By Joseph Kishore, 24 March 2018

The simultaneous development of a movement among workers and student youth portends a major eruption of social and class conflict in the United States and internationally.

Now available from Mehring Books

New pamphlet: The social and political roots of mass shootings in America

By Shannon Jones, 24 March 2018

There is a growing awareness that something is deeply amiss with the present social order.

Confessed Austin, Texas bomber dead in apparent suicide blast

By Niles Niemuth, 23 March 2018

Police officials announced that 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt confessed on video to the string of package bombings that killed two and wounded five others, but no apparent motive has been determined.

Trial begins for Border Patrol agent who murdered Mexican teenager

By Kevin Martinez, 23 March 2018

Opening arguments were heard in the trial of a Border Patrol agent who shot and killed 16-year-old Mexican Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez for allegedly throwing rocks near the US-Mexico border in 2012.

Officials call for more police in schools after shooting in suburban Maryland

By Nick Barrickman, 22 March 2018

The most recent school shooting comes just days before Saturday’s scheduled “March for Our Lives” protests in Washington, DC and across the United States.