Democratic rights under attack in Australia
The prosecution of Julian Assange, the destruction of legality and the rise of the national security state
By Richard Hoffman, 15 January 2020
The political and legal attack on Assange represents a qualitative intensification of the destruction of core rights and, indeed, on legality itself as the mode of bourgeois rule.
By our reporters, 15 January 2020
“The coppers are the government’s gang. The police do get funded a lot more than any other service in this area.”
By Eric Ludlow, 31 December 2019
The 45-page report exposes the increasingly repressive measures being employed by police around Australia against political dissent.
By Andre Damon, 27 December 2019
Amid a global upsurge of political protests and strikes, governments all over the world are shutting down the internet in desperate bids to stem the tide of popular opposition.
By Martin Scott, 27 December 2019
Despite the censorship, Onefour, whose music references life in impoverished neigbourhoods, has amassed a significant following online.
By Mike Head, 24 December 2019
The Weekend Australian’s “exclusive” story signals an offensive by the police and intelligence agencies to carry out the first prosecutions under draconian “foreign interference” laws.
By James Cogan, 24 December 2019
Hartcher’s essay in the Quarterly Essay is textbook propaganda for war. It seeks to cultivate nationalist fear and even paranoia about the intended enemy—China.
By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2019
Labor and the Coalition have not responded to calls that they defend Assange, in keeping with their nine-year involvement in his persecution.
By Mike Head, 18 December 2019
The resolution adopted by the forum focussed on the need to take the defence of the WikiLeaks founder out to the working class globally.
Over 100 doctors demand Australian government act to save the life of Julian Assange “before it is too late”
By our reporters, 17 December 2019
Addressing Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the doctors write: “Should Mr Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.”
17 December 2019
The following open letter has been issued to the Australian government by Doctors4Assange on behalf of more than 100 signatories.
Powerful response to call for stepped-up fight to free Assange and Manning at SEP (Australia) meeting
By our reporters, 17 December 2019
The speakers stressed that the upsurge of support for Assange and Manning was inseparable from the growth of the class struggle internationally.
Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Assange’s threatened extradition, but declares he is “not a journalist”
By Oscar Grenfell and Kevin Reed, 16 December 2019
The blog post justifying the decision to exclude Julian Assange from a list of imprisoned journalists is shot through with contradictions and double-speak.
By Mike Head, 9 December 2019
Morrison’s statement is further evidence of the creation of a police-state framework, overturning the fundamental democratic principle of public jury trials.
Following police shooting in Yuendumu
By Richard Phillips, 7 December 2019
With about 30 percent of its population being indigenous, the Northern Territory is Australia’s most heavily-policed state or territory.
By Oscar Grenfell, 5 December 2019
The collapse of Wang Liqiang’s story, and the revelation that he is most likely “the spy who wasn’t,” is an object lesson in the fraudulent character of the entire anti-China campaign.
By Mike Head, 5 December 2019
“The only way to help Assange is a mass of people having his back and supporting him so that they have to release him because the people are against it.”
Assange is facing a “new form of forced rendition”
By Oscar Grenfell, 4 December 2019
Hrafnsson said Assange’s “rendition” was not taking place “with a sack over the head and an orange jumpsuit, but with the enabling of the UK legal system and with the apparent support of the Australian government.”
By Mike Head, 4 December 2019
The announcement was clearly made to meet demands in the ruling circles for prosecutions under the draconian “foreign interference” laws pushed through parliament last year.
By Robert Campion, 4 December 2019
References to the need for “greater training” are aimed at covering up the systemic character of state violence against working class, poor and indigenous people thrown into the prison system.
WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson: “If Julian is taken to that Devil’s Island across the Atlantic, his life is lost”
By Oscar Grenfell and Richard Phillips, 3 December 2019
In an interview with the WSWS, Hrafnsson stated: “The case of Julian Assange is, in all senses, the turning point. It is the biggest and the most serious attack on journalism and the free press in decades, if not 100 years.”
By our reporters, 2 December 2019
“Assange is a journalist, he’s done nothing wrong and we need to get him back to Australia. There should be marches, rallies, protests and that sort of thing everywhere.”
By Oscar Grenfell, 29 November 2019
It is a glaring exposure of the thoroughly rotten character of the Labor Party that, on the issue of Assange, it is well to the right of Joyce, a conservative nationalist and populist.
By Oscar Grenfell, 28 November 2019
There is little doubt that the anti-China barrage in Australia is the result of consultations with, and substantial pressure from, the US military and intelligence establishment.
By Oscar Grenfell, 27 November 2019
The refusal of the Coalition and Labor to uphold Assange’s rights as an Australian citizen is inextricably tied to their support for the US alliance and their own turn to police state measures.
By Mike Head, 27 November 2019
All details of the man’s prosecution and imprisonment, even the very existence of the case, have been suppressed by undisclosed gag orders.
By Oscar Grenfell, 26 November 2019
Despite the implausible character of many of the defector’s claims, they have been presented uncritically by media outlets seeking to bolster the escalating and protracted campaign against supposed “Chinese interference.”
By our reporters, 26 November 2019
“What’s happening to Julian Assange affects us all. He has told the truth and he has exposed the war criminals and that’s why the US wants him.”
By Patrick O’Connor, 25 November 2019
Robinson warned that the US attempt to prosecute Assange for publishing the truth was setting a “terrifying precedent” for all journalists and media organisations.
By Eric Ludlow, 15 November 2019
The police killing of Kumanjayi Walker in the poverty-stricken Northern Territory community of Yuendumu has led to widespread protests across Australia.
By our reporters, 13 November 2019
“Governments are trying to hide the truth and lie to the people. That’s why they are unfairly persecuting Assange and confining him to prison.”
7 November 2019
“Assange is being held as a political prisoner. That is undeniable now, and still no action from the Greens... Ultimately, you have abandoned Assange.”
By Linda Tenenbaum, 7 November 2019
The appeal by Murdoch-owned Nationwide News against last year’s Federal Court judgement in favour of Oscar-winning Australian actor, Geoffrey Rush, was heard early this week.
By Mike Head, 6 November 2019
The initial targeting of alt-right elements sets a precedent for the use of the laws against their intended victims—left-wing and oppositional groups.
By Mike Head, 5 November 2019
Prime Minister Morrison adopted the fascistic language of US President Donald Trump, accusing climate change demonstrators of “economic sabotage.”
By Sue Phillips and Erika Zimmer, 4 November 2019
The WSWS and Committee for Public Education discuss the crisis in Australia’s public schools, with the founders of the Bullied Teachers Support Network.
By our reporters, 31 October 2019
The incident marks a further escalation of state repression in Australia against protest and dissent.
By Mike Head, 30 October 2019
Queensland’s government has defied popular opposition to rush through legislation that goes far beyond suppressing environmental demonstrations.
By Oscar Grenfell, 30 October 2019
The establishment of the group is in response to a growing groundswell of demands for the Australian government to stop Assange’s extradition to the US.
Public meetings in Australia and New Zealand
28 October 2019
The aim of the meetings is to prepare for the political action that must be organised in Australia and internationally in opposition to the legal travesty against Assange that is underway in the British courts.
By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2019
Threats to prosecute journalists underscore the need for media workers to defend Julian Assange, whose jailing has opened the floodgates for the assault on press freedom.
By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2019
The fear in Australian ruling circles is that if Assange is extradited to the US, the latent support for him will coalesce into a political movement against the official set-up.
By Oscar Grenfell, 17 October 2019
The program underscores the role of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a mouthpiece for the political establishment and the intelligence agencies.
By Oscar Grenfell, 15 October 2019
The authorities are using the demonstrations as a test case for future repression of the emerging social and political struggles of the working class.
By Mike Head, 11 October 2019
While the remarks referred to “Extinction Rebellion” demonstrators who temporarily blocked some traffic in major cities, they have a wider anti-democratic logic.
By Oscar Grenfell, 10 October 2019
The cancellation of talks by NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake and Melbourne academic Suelette Dreyfus was a political decision, most likely involving government agencies.
By Mike Head, 8 October 2019
The deal exposes the denial of basic legal and democratic rights by the Australian, British and US governments in the continued detention and psychological torture of the WikiLeaks founder.
By Mike Head, 7 October 2019
Labor leaders are “blitzing” corporate boardrooms to win their backing in the wake of Labor’s election debacle.
By Terry Cook, 1 October 2019
The Morrison government’s legislation is a pre-emptive move by the corporate establishment which is nervous about rising strike action by workers internationally despite the efforts of the unions to hold them back.
By Oscar Grenfell, 25 September 2019
Anonymous soldiers interviewed by “60 Minutes” alleged that Ben Roberts-Smith, who is widely presented as a “war hero,” kicked a handcuffed Afghan civilian off a cliff in 2012.
By Mike Head, 25 September 2019
The Citizenship Cessation Bill is another indication of the repressive measures that the ruling class is preparing to deal with rising working-class discontent.
By James Cogan, 23 September 2019
Morrison conducted himself as the head of a middle-order power that has functioned since World War II as the willing enabler of the predatory policies of its great power ally.
By Mike Head, 23 September 2019
The Morrison government “saved” $4.6 billion by underfunding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and cutting a total of $6.4 billion from social programs.
By Eric Ludlow, 17 September 2019
The student union at Monash University’s Caulfield campus in Melbourne was forced, after a public outcry, to repeal the decision preventing international students from running in the elections.
By Oscar Grenfell, 16 September 2019
The trial, which is aimed at extending “welfare quarantining” measures, would target working class areas hit by job destruction and government budget cuts.
By Cheryl Crisp, 16 September 2019
The emotive demagogy over abortion is part of a campaign to mobilise a right-wing Christian base and recruit them into the Liberal Party.
By Oscar Grenfell, 12 September 2019
Westwood stated that Assange is “an innocent man” who has been “persecuted for nine years for telling the truth.”
By James Cogan, 12 September 2019
Gladys Liu has views that are at odds with the propaganda being promoted in Australia to justify the alliance with US imperialism and war preparations against China.
By Martin Scott, 12 September 2019
Indigenous Australians are now more likely to be imprisoned than African Americans.
By Mike Head, 7 September 2019
The Morrison government is stepping-up an offensive on democratic rights at the Trump administration’s behest.
Peter Greste’s panel discussion in Sydney: Support for censorship and throwing Assange to the wolves
By James Cogan, 7 September 2019
Greste advocates the anti-democratic conception that a “responsible journalist” censors information that is deemed too controversial for the population to know.
By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 4 September 2019
The fight to defend refugees can only advance through a struggle by the working class against the right-wing nationalist policies of the entire political establishment, including Labor and the Greens.
By Mike Head, 3 September 2019
The Morrison government rejects calls to drop the prosecution of people who exposed the criminal activities of the country’s US-linked spy agencies and armed forces.
Roger Waters holds concert on Monday
By Joseph Kishore, 2 September 2019
Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are the victims of a monstrous criminal conspiracy, involving the most powerful governments in the world, the intelligence agencies and the corporate media.
By Oscar Grenfell, 2 September 2019
The family has been transferred to Christmas Island, where they have been placed in substandard accommodation and given expired food.
By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2019
The outpouring of support for the family reflects the broad opposition of working people to the bipartisan assault on asylum-seekers.
By Mike Head, 28 August 2019
Shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally condemned the government for allowing asylum seekers to arrive by plane.
By Oscar Grenfell, 27 August 2019
Morrison is campaigning for an international crackdown on social media, while his government asserts the right to ban websites and domains domestically.
By Oscar Grenfell, 26 August 2019
The government and the security agencies convened a meeting with universities, threatening research involving Chinese academics.
By Mike Head, 24 August 2019
Labor’s fabricated “booby trap” claims illustrate how governments concoct fear campaigns to attack basic democratic rights.
By Mike Head, 19 August 2019
While claiming to champion the “right to know,” media executives condemned the WikiLeaks founder for exposing the crimes of the US spy and military apparatuses.
By Mike Head, 16 August 2019
The move is part of the preparation for war, as well as for the suppression of domestic dissent.
By Oscar Grenfell, 15 August 2019
Clive Hamilton’s comments are a warning that Australia’s involvement in the US drive to war with China will be accompanied by political repression domestically.
By James Cogan, 13 August 2019
The ruling elite requires Australia’s incorporation into US war preparations to be accompanied by slandering any public opposition as the product of “Chinese interference.”
By Richard Phillips, 13 August 2019
The jury of five men and seven women took just over 15 minutes to unanimously reject the #MeToo-inspired rape allegation against the veteran actor.
By Martin Scott, 12 August 2019
“If there was no danger to the public, and if he was contained in his own house and not doing anything, one would have to ask ‘why in the hell is he gone?’”
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.
By our reporters, 9 August 2019
“It speaks volumes about Australia’s position in the world that it’s not willing to take a stand against the United States and protect an Australian citizen.”
By Mike Head, 8 August 2019
In a blunt intervention, Director-General of National Intelligence Nick Warner used the language of war to defend the targeting of journalists.
By our reporters, 7 August 2019
The sentiments of ordinary people stand in stark contrast to the refusal of all of the official parties to take any action in defence of the WikiLeaks founder.
By Mike Head, 3 August 2019
Intensive lobbying in Canberra this week failed to convince any parliamentarian to oppose the Trump administration’s bid to extradite the WikiLeaks founder.
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.
By Mike Head, 24 July 2019
The bills would hand governments the most authoritarian powers since the two world wars.
By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2019
The federal police are investigating journalists over the 2017 publication of the “Afghan Files,” which revealed Australian military involvement in extrajudicial killings and other crimes.
By Mike Head, 13 July 2019
Unity4J, which campaigns against the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder, was given no reason for the suspension.
By Mike Head, 10 July 2019
New reports demonstrate an escalating effort to criminalise exposures about key military and intelligence operations.
By Mike Head, 5 July 2019
Whether or not the military was actually activated, Australia was on the brink of a constitutional crisis last August.
By our reporters, 5 July 2019
Linda Tenenbaum, a longstanding leader of the SEP, indicted the Australian government and the political and media establishment for abandoning Assange, an Australia citizen.
By our reporters, 5 July 2019
“The things he has done have changed the world. The people who hate him are usually the people who are in power.”
4 July 2019
Ricketson’s “Open Letter” debunks Greste’s claim that Assange is not a journalist and therefore not deserving of support, and calls on him to defend the WikiLeaks founder, as he did Ricketson who was wrongly jailed in Cambodia.
4 July 2019
The demonstration is one of a series of rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party to defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning; the next will be in Brisbane on Saturday followed by Melbourne on Sunday July 14.
By our reporters, 3 July 2019
“No other political party, none of the human rights groups are acting. Amnesty is doing nothing! Getup is doing nothing!”
By Mike Head, 2 July 2019
There was no mention of the violent arrest of Julian Assange, which opened the floodgates for a broader assault on free speech.
By Oscar Grenfell, 2 July 2019
At the G20 summit Morrison fawned over Trump, who is seeking to imprison the WikiLeaks founder for life, or execute him.
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.
Terry Hicks, father of former Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, demands freedom for Assange and Manning
28 June 2019
“There’s only one word to describe the victimisation and persecution of Assange and Manning, and that word is barbaric.”
By Oscar Grenfell, 27 June 2019
The demonstration will insist that the Australian government take immediate action to prevent the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to the US, where he faces life imprisonment or the death penalty.
26 June 2019
“We must do all in our power to prevent Assange’s extradition to the US. Signing petitions is not enough. We must make our presence felt in the streets at vigils and demonstrations.”
By Oscar Grenfell, 25 June 2019
Geoffrey Robertson’s statement is another demonstration that Assange would not receive anything resembling a fair trial if he were extradited to the US.
By Mike Head, 21 June 2019
Corporate outlets have declared that John Setka’s removal is the first “test” of Anthony Albanese’s leadership in turning Labor further to the right.