Democratic Rights in the US

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.

Notes on police violence

Killing of fleeing man by Salt Lake City police officers ruled “justified”

By Josh Varlin, 10 October 2017

No charges have been brought against the officers who killed Patrick Harmon despite contradictions between the police version of events and bodycam footage.

Trump and Pence orchestrate national anthem provocation at NFL game

By Alan Gilman, 10 October 2017

Pence and his wife left the Indianapolis stadium after about 20 members of the San Francisco 49ers “took a knee” during the national anthem.

Trump White House declares war on immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 10 October 2017

The Trump immigration document exposes the role of the Democratic Party in providing political cover for the White House.

Inequality and the American oligarchy

Identity politics and the growth of inequality within racial minorities

By Eric London, 7 October 2017

New data from the Federal Reserve reveal the extraordinary growth of social inequality within minority populations, which forms the basis of the identity politics of the upper-middle class.

For one in four US women: Nearest abortion facility over 30 miles away

By Zaida Green, 6 October 2017

In many counties, women must travel dozens or hundreds of miles to reach an abortion facility and are often forced to travel to another state.

Inequality and the American oligarchy

The social and economic roots of the attack on democratic rights

By Eric London, 6 October 2017

New figures on social inequality reveal the material basis for the campaign in ruling circles to block access to the WSWS and other left-wing sites.

The elites “have no credibility left:” An interview with journalist Chris Hedges

By David North, 6 October 2017

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges talks with the WSWS about the anti-Russia campaign, the attack on democratic rights, and the role of the capitalist media.

UC Berkeley mobilizes police for “Free Speech Week”

By David Brown, 3 October 2017

The university administration, headed by former Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano, used the right-wing provocation as a pretext for mobilizing police on campus.

International Youth and Students for Social Equality wins club status at New York University

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 3 October 2017

The IYSSE won the support of hundreds of students, and was granted club status after a year of rejections.

Race, class and the protests against police violence in St. Louis, Missouri

By Genevieve Leigh, 3 October 2017

As part of its efforts to inject racialist politics into the protests against the police officer who killed Anthony Lamar Smith, groups around the Democratic Party held a “white allies only” rally.

The New York Times reports World Socialist Web Site charge of Google censorship and blacklisting

By Andre Damon, 2 October 2017

The Times’ article is the first detailed report in the US mainstream media of Google’s manipulation of searches to bar access to left-wing sites.

US Justice Department demands Facebook turn over information on anti-administration activists

By Trévon Austin, 30 September 2017

Private account information on thousands of Facebook users could be handed over to the government as a result of the warrants.

ICE arrests nearly 500 immigrants in raids on “sanctuary cities” across US

By Evan Blake, 30 September 2017

The crackdown is intended to cultivate authoritarian sentiments within Trump’s far-right base, as well as embolden fascistic elements within ICE itself.

The new McCarthyism and the suppression of political dissent

By Andre Damon, 29 September 2017

The increasingly hysterical anti-Russia campaign, spearheaded by the Democratic Party, is laying the political and legal basis for the criminalization of dissent in the United States.

Behind Trump’s attack on the NFL football players

By Patrick Martin, 26 September 2017

Trump’s attacks on NFL players for “disrespecting” the national anthem are a calculated effort to whip up racism and militarism.

Trump implements new indefinite travel ban

By Niles Niemuth, 26 September 2017

The implementation of new travel restrictions can only be understood as a prelude to a further escalation of US imperialist operations.

“Dad, mom, the police are here”

ICE rounds up farmworkers applying for work in Michigan

By Eric London and Niles Niemuth, 26 September 2017

The WSWS spoke to immigrants and witnesses of an ICE raid at a migrant labor camp in Western Michigan.

In defiance of Trump threats, US athletes protest police repression

By Patrick Martin, 25 September 2017

In a campaign speech in Alabama and multiple Twitter messages, the US president demanded total conformity from athletes with his policies of police repression and militarism.

Interview with attorney for family of Anthony Lamar Smith:

Authorities withheld DNA evidence in St. Louis police killing

By Ed Hightower, 25 September 2017

“The whole package of justice in this case, not just the criminal case but in the civil remedies… was compromised.”

Immigrants arrested by plain-clothes ICE agents outside Brooklyn courthouse

By Mark Witkowski, 25 September 2017

The blatantly anti-democratic act of arresting immigrants who are attending court hearings for minor violations acts as a mechanism for justifying the crackdown on immigrants.

Oklahoma City police shoot and kill deaf man

By Matthew Taylor, 22 September 2017

Neighbors who witnessed the killing warned the two cops confronting Magdiel Sanchez that he was deaf and could not understand their orders just before they opened fire.

Obama adviser Samantha Power calls for crackdown on social media

Internet censorship and government war plans

By Andre Damon, 21 September 2017

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations under Barack Obama, has penned a column in the New York Times advocating the use of “professional gatekeepers” to police public discourse on the Internet.

St. Louis Police declare “We’re in control” as crackdown on protests enters fifth day

By Genevieve Leigh, 20 September 2017

St. Louis police officers chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” as they arrested largely peaceful demonstrators protesting police violence.

Protests continue in St. Louis as police kill eight more in US

By Trévon Austin and Patrick Martin, 19 September 2017

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Justice Center in downtown St. Louis Monday night in a show of support for those who remained jailed after police arrested 123 people on Sunday night.

Facebook turns over information on Russia-linked accounts to Special Counsel Mueller

By Patrick Martin, 19 September 2017

The investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US election and Trump campaign collusion is being used to justify a crackdown on the Internet.

Google intensifies censorship of left-wing websites

By Andre Damon, 19 September 2017

New statistics expose the growing impact of Google’s attack on free speech.

Police crackdown on hundreds protesting acquittal of killer cop in St. Louis

By Genevieve Leigh, 16 September 2017

Riot police in St. Louis, Missouri arrested 13 people in protests that erupted after the acquittal of the police officer, Jason Stockley, who fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith in December 2011.

CIA vetoes Chelsea Manning’s Harvard fellowship

By Eric London, 16 September 2017

After a quarter century of war, there is hardly a decision made in any of the official institutions of bourgeois power where the military and intelligence agencies do not have the final say.

Trump administration threatens further clampdown on refugees

By Bill Van Auken, 14 September 2017

In the wake of a Supreme Court ruling upholding Trump’s anti-Muslim “travel ban,” his administration is considering plans to drastically slash refugee admissions to the US.

Notes on Police Violence

Department of Justice clears officers in death of Freddie Gray

By Trévon Austin, 14 September 2017

The six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray will not face federal civil rights prosecution, the DOJ announced on Tuesday.

New York Times stokes anti-Russia campaign to promote Facebook, Twitter censorship

By Bill Van Auken, 12 September 2017

Invoking an alleged Russian menace to American democracy, the New York Times is spearheading a campaign for a crackdown on political expression on social media.

Sixteen years after 9/11: lies, hypocrisy and militarism

By Bill Van Auken, 12 September 2017

The media has largely blacked out new revelations of the direct role of Saudi Arabia, one of Washington’s closest Mideast allies, in preparing the attacks.

United Airlines dodges government discipline for brutalizing passenger

By Marcus Day, 9 September 2017

The US Department of Transportation declined to sanction United Airlines for having Dr. David Dao violently dragged from a flight in April.

Detroit Police stonewall investigation into Taser death of 15-year-old

By Robert Verdine, 9 September 2017

The death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, shot by a police Taser while riding his ATV, has sparked anger in Detroit.

“If the Internet shuts down, we wouldn’t know anything. The union isn’t going to tell us”

Autoworkers in Detroit support campaign against Google Internet censorship

By a WSWS reporting team, 9 September 2017

SEP campaign teams in the Detroit area collected scores of signatures last weekend for the petition opposing Google’s Internet censorship.

Forbes writer says Google censored report on manipulation of search traffic

By Andre Damon, 8 September 2017

Journalist Kashmir Hill faced a backlash from the tech giant after she reported that Google threatened to demote search results for sites that did not link to its ill-fated social media network.

San Diego protests against Trump’s repeal of DACA program

By our reporters, 7 September 2017

Protesters and DACA enrollees spoke to the WSWS about their reaction to Trump’s announcement.

The National Football League’s blacklisting of quarterback Colin Kaepernick

By Alan Gilman, 7 September 2017

Last season, while playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in protest against police killings of African Americans in the US.

Trump rescinds DACA, putting 800,000 youth at risk of deportation

By Genevieve Leigh, 6 September 2017

The Trump administration is phasing out a government program that gave immigrants brought to the US as children limited protection from deportation.

Immigrant community braces for Trump’s decision on DACA

By Genevieve Leigh, 5 September 2017

Trump is expected to announce the end of the federal program that offers limited citizenship rights to immigrants brought to the US as children, putting 800,000 youth at risk of deportation.

Trump orders resumption of military supplies to local police

By Patrick Martin, 29 August 2017

The program to supply military gear to local police allows the Pentagon to transfer equipment ranging from body armor to tanks, at no cost to the local or state government.

Why is the media promoting Antifa?

By Gabriel Black, 28 August 2017

As part of its efforts to disorient popular opposition, the media has promoted the anti-Russia campaign, racialist politics and… anarchists involved in punch-ups with Nazi demonstrators.

DreamHost ordered to hand over data on anti-Trump website: The criminalization of political dissent

By Joseph Kishore, 26 August 2017

The court decision that DreamHost must turn over information on the individuals associated with disruptj20.org is a chilling assault on free speech.

More than two thousand sign petition to stop Google censorship

By Zac Corrigan, 22 August 2017

The number of signatures jumped over the weekend, after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted a link to the WSWS’s exposure of Google’s actions.

Trump’s firing of Bannon: The military asserts control

By Barry Grey, 19 August 2017

While Democratic politicians hailed the removal of Bannon, his departure in no way signifies a shift away from the Trump administration’s program of war, social reaction and political repression.

Trump administration demands Internet records on 1.3 million political opponents

By Don Barrett and Niles Niemuth, 17 August 2017

The Justice Department has filed a warrant demanding emails, visitor logs, contact information and photographs relating to the website that coordinated protests at the January 20 presidential inauguration.

Trump’s defense of Nazi violence: The mask comes off

By Joseph Kishore, 17 August 2017

Trump’s remarks on Tuesday defending Nazi and white supremacist violence have exposed the ugly reality of American capitalism.

America’s pro-Nazi president defends Charlottesville rampage

By Barry Grey, 16 August 2017

Trump’s press conference tirade on Tuesday was part of a calculated attempt to develop a fascistic mass movement in the United States.

The political and social roots of fascist violence in the US

By Joseph Kishore, 15 August 2017

The fascist violence in Charlottesville is not an aberration. It is, rather, the manifestation of a profound crisis of American capitalist society.

Protests continue against Trump and Nazi rampage in Charlottesville

By our reporters, 15 August 2017

Demonstrations involving thousands of people continued Monday in cities across the US to protest the deadly fascist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia and President Trump’s promotion of far-right forces.

Another reactionary attack on artist Dana Schutz, this time in Boston—and a healthy response

By David Walsh, 10 August 2017

Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black youth murdered in Mississippi in 1955, came under attack in March when it was shown as part of the Whitney Museum’s Biennial in New York City.

Evidence of Google blacklisting of left and progressive sites continues to mount

By Andre Damon, 8 August 2017

Leading left-wing news outlets confirmed that their traffic plunged after Google announced measures to allow human evaluators to censor political websites.

Trump announces plan to cut legal immigration in half

By our reporter, 3 August 2017

Defending the move at a press conference, Trump’s fascistic aide Stephen Miller denounced CNN for having a “cosmopolitan bias” in a thinly-veiled anti-Semitic attack.

Video documents torture of teen in Tennessee jail

By Keisha Gibbs, 3 August 2017

Released in late July, surveillance video shows 18-year-old Jordan Norris being restrained and repeatedly tased while in a Cheatham County, Tennessee jail.

San Diego State University professor attacked over Facebook post criticizing Senator John McCain

By Jill Lux, 3 August 2017

Threats have been made against Professor Jonathan Graubart, who denounced the effusions of sympathy for the the long-time war-monger who was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Democratic campaign chairman declares willingness to fund anti-abortion candidates

By Nick Barrickman, 2 August 2017

The Democrats’ adaptation to the Republican right and anti-abortion sentiment comes amid factional infighting after Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 presidential election.

Google’s new search protocol is restricting access to 13 leading socialist, progressive and anti-war web sites

By Andre Damon and David North, 2 August 2017

The World Socialist Web Site and other widely-followed left-wing internet publications have experienced a massive drop in Google search traffic.

White House upheaval continues as General Kelly takes the reins

By Patrick Martin, 1 August 2017

The retired Marine general’s first action as White House chief of staff was to fire Anthony Scaramucci, hired by Trump less than two weeks ago as communications director.

White House shakeup: A further step toward authoritarian rule

By Patrick Martin, 31 July 2017

The installation of retired Marine General John Kelly as White House chief of staff is part of a broader turn by President Trump to the military and police apparatus.

South Haven, Mississippi police accused of executing auto mechanic in address mix-up

By Matthew MacEgan, 31 July 2017

On Friday, an attorney representing the family of Ismael Lopez contacted the Justice Department to demand an investigation, arguing that the man’s death was an execution and that the officers involved should face criminal charges.

Google’s chief search engineer legitimizes new censorship algorithm

By Andre Damon, 31 July 2017

Using the fraudulent pretext of blocking access to “fake news,” Google has implemented a vastly expanded program of Internet censorship.

Texas executes man who received grossly ineffective counsel

By Kate Randall, 29 July 2017

The US Supreme Court rejected a last-minute appeal on TaiChin Preyor’s behalf, allowing the lethal injection to proceed.

Embattled Trump plays homophobia card to strengthen his fascistic base

By Eric London, 29 July 2017

Trump and Bannon are seeking to whip up homophobic hysteria, uniting religious bigotry with police worship and American nationalism to encourage the growth of a fascistic movement.

Trump Justice Department: Corporations can fire employees based on sexual orientation

By Eric London, 28 July 2017

The Trump administration has launched a renewed offensive against the rights of LGBT people, and sections of the Democratic Party are adapting to the reactionary maneuvers.

Amazon to seize the land of freed slaves’ descendants to lay power lines

By Nick Barrickman and Alex González, 28 July 2017

American capitalism has come full-circle: the government is stealing land from the descendents of slaves and giving it to one of the world’s most powerful corporations.

FBI arrests US Army Sergeant in ISIS sting operation

By Isaac Finn, 28 July 2017

On July 8, the FBI arrested Sergeant First Class Ikaika Erik Kang in a sting operation involving agents posing as ISIS recruiters.

Google rigs searches to block access to World Socialist Web Site

By the WSWS Editorial Board, 28 July 2017

Statistical analysis proves that Google is excluding WSWS content from search requests.

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites

By Andre Damon and Niles Niemuth, 27 July 2017

In the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing “fake news,” the traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly.

Trump announces ban on transgender people in the US military

By Josh Varlin, 27 July 2017

President Donald Trump announced the discriminatory and anti-democratic policy via Twitter Wednesday morning.

US Supreme Court clears way for lethal injection

Ohio carries out first execution in more than three years

By Kate Randall, 27 July 2017

There are three more death row prisoners set to die this year in Ohio and an additional 23 executions scheduled from 2018 through 2019.

Government moves survivors of San Antonio truck trailer disaster to for-profit jail

By Genevieve Leigh, 26 July 2017

Details continue to emerge on the personal stories of the migrants stuck in the back of a hot tractor trailer in San Antonio, which resulted in 10 deaths.

Immigrant fighting deportation sues Chicago police for falsely labeling him a “gang member”

By Kevin Martinez, 26 July 2017

Luis Vicente Pedrote-Salinas was ordered to leave the US this month but has alleged the CPD falsely listed him in a gang database, costing him the chance at staying.

Tenth immigrant dies in Texas trailer atrocity

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 July 2017

The corporate media is saying nothing about the government officials, business interests and politicians who bear the overriding responsibility for these deaths.

Notes on police violence

Minneapolis police chief resigns over police murder of Justine Damond

By Anthony Bertolt, 24 July 2017

Janeé Harteau, the first female, openly gay, Native American police chief in Minneapolis, had overseen the implementation of a number of reforms that it was claimed would moderate police violence in the city.

Tennessee judge offers reduced sentences to inmates who agree to sterilization

By Isaac Finn, 22 July 2017

The order is a return to the ultra-reactionary eugenics policies of an earlier era, as a supposed solution to the immense poverty and ongoing opioid crisis in the US.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issues directive to revitalize civil forfeiture laws

By Genevieve Leigh, 22 July 2017

Sessions’s directive boosts a policy which has been responsible for the seizure of over $5 billion in cash and property from people suspected of a crime, even without a criminal charge, since the program was born in 1984.

Notes on police violence

Baltimore police officer caught on body-cam planting drugs

By Matthew MacEgan, 21 July 2017

The release of body-cam footage of police planting drugs prompted the release of a man who has been held in jail since January.

Notes on police violence

Woman killed by Minneapolis police had called to report a rape

By Matthew MacEgan and Niles Niemuth, 20 July 2017

Minneapolis police officers claim they thought they were being “ambushed” when they shot the 40-year-old yoga teacher through the door of their cruiser Saturday night.