Democratic Rights in Europe

German government plans new “anti-terrorism unit”

By Johannes Stern, 23 March 2015

The build-up of a paramilitary police force in Germany under the framework of the "war on terror" is part of a massive military expansion at home and abroad.

Massive police mobilization against anti-austerity protest in Frankfurt, Germany

By Christoph Dreier and Alex Lantier, 19 March 2015

Police arrested 350 people after thousands of protesters from across Europe converged on Frankfurt to protest austerity measures targeting Greece and other countries.

The Danish roots of the Copenhagen terror attack

By Jordan Shilton, 23 February 2015

Omar El-Hussein’s terrorist attack was a reactionary and demoralised response to growing anti-immigrant chauvinism, militarism and social inequality in Denmark.

Two detained on charges of aiding Copenhagen terror attack

By Chris Marsden, 17 February 2015

More details have emerged regarding the alleged gunman's biography, confirming how well-known he was to police.

Report documents attacks on press freedom in US and Europe

By Nick Barrickman, 17 February 2015

Reporters Without Borders now ranks the United States below Niger and El Salvador on media freedom.

US official admits to UK role in rendition to Diego Garcia

By Jean Shaoul, 9 February 2015

Britain colluded in the use of the British overseas territory of Diego Garcia by the US for its criminal activities.

Mistreatment of detainees and asylum seekers widespread in Europe

By Jean Shaoul, 4 February 2015

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture visited detention centres in 25 of the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe to examine detainee conditions.

UK: Blair government colluded in extraordinary rendition of Libyans

By Jean Shaoul, 2 February 2015

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote to then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that he was “disappointed” that Britain was unable to send more regime opponents back to Libya.

Thousands march against water charges in Dublin and other Irish cities

By our reporters, 2 February 2015

The water charges are supported by the Dublin government as part of the multi-billion euro bailout programme concluded with the Troika in 2010.

Europe faces political “earthquakes,” BBC warns on Democracy Day

By Paul Mitchell, 24 January 2015

A report commissioned by the BBC states that the rise of populist anti-establishment parties is set to cause political earthquakes across Europe in 2015.

After Charlie Hebdo attack, France announces draconian anti-terror law

By Alex Lantier, 22 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe are exploiting the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks to dramatically expand the machinery of police-state rule.

German TV documentary on the hunt for Edward Snowden

By Johann Müller, 21 January 2015

The programme details Snowden’s persecution by the US authorities and his search for a country that would grant him asylum.

UK to launch enhanced “anti-terror measures” and domestic use of troops

By Julie Hyland, 20 January 2015

Since 9/11, successive UK governments have introduced a series of “anti-terror” measures, each more draconian than its predecessor.

German city plans to accommodate refugees in former concentration camp

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 20 January 2015

The German city of Schwerte announced plans to accommodate around 20 refugees in a former SS barracks on one of the sites of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Police crackdown after Charlie Hebdo attack spreads across Europe

By Kumaran Ira, 19 January 2015

Security forces have been deployed across Europe in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo.

US drug enforcement agency acknowledges longstanding warrantless wiretapping program

By Thomas Gaist, 19 January 2015

The US Drug Enforcement Administration carried out mass surveillance of US telephone data over a period of more than a decade.

Arrests follow terror raids across Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe have lost no time in using anti-terror police raids in Belgium, France and Germany to whip up a climate of fear and justify demands for further repressive measures.

Obama, Cameron discuss war and state repression following Charlie Hebdo attack

By Chris Marsden and Jerry White, 16 January 2015

The two heads of state—whose countries have carried out a sustained attack on democratic rights—issued a jointly authored comment Thursday: “We won’t let the voice of freedom be muzzled.”

FBI accuses Ohio man of terror plot to attack US Capitol

By Niles Williamson, 16 January 2015

The FBI disclosed that the alleged plot did not represent a real threat as it had been developed with the direct participation of an undercover informant.

European powers implement police state measures in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe are exploiting the shock and confusion generated by the assault on Charlie Hebdo to push through policies that have long been prepared.

Imperialist war, the “war on terror” and the end of democracy

By Chris Marsden, 14 January 2015

For decades, the US, France and other imperialist powers have rained down bombs on defenceless civilians, carried out assassinations, and committed horrible war crimes.

Germany: Daimler screening workers for terrorist links

By Dietmar Henning, 13 January 2015

Daimler management and its works council have agreed to compare all its employees against EU and US terrorist watch lists every three months.

Who is responsible for the French terrorist attacks?

By Peter Symonds, 13 January 2015

No one should accept the explanations of police and intelligence agencies that the perpetrators of the attack on Charlie Hebdo simply slipped through the net.

Millions march in France after Charlie Hebdo shooting

By Alex Lantier, 12 January 2015

The French government and the European Union are seeking to exploit shock over the attacks on Charlie Hebdo to shift the entire framework of bourgeois politics sharply to the right.

French paramilitary police gun down three Islamist gunmen

By Patrick Martin, 10 January 2015

A two-day manhunt sparked by the massacre of 12 people at the editorial offices of the weekly Charlie Hebdo ended in twin shootouts in which another seven people died.

Le Pen at the Elysée Presidential Palace

By Alex Lantier, 10 January 2015

French President Hollande’s invitation to the neo-fascist leader is a warning that the ruling class intends to exploit the reactionary attack on Charlie Hebdo to legitimize fascist parties and prepare for dictatorship.

Massive police mobilization in France

By Patrick Martin, 9 January 2015

In the wake of the massacre at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, nearly 90,000 police, troops and civil servants have been mobilized to search for the two gunmen who escaped from the scene.

“Free Speech” hypocrisy in the aftermath of the attack on Charlie Hebdo

By David North, 9 January 2015

In the aftermath of the shootings in Paris, the state is utilizing the opportunity provided by the terrorists to whip up support for authoritarianism and militarism.

Gunmen were “probably followed” by French police before Paris massacre

By Patrick Martin, 9 January 2015

Several US media outlets reported that both Cherif and Said Kouachi had been placed on the American no-fly list many years ago.

Pegida and the German government’s campaign for militarism

By Christoph Dreier, 9 January 2015

On Monday, approximately 15,000 people took part in the right-wing, anti-Islam Pegida demonstrations in Dresden, Germany.

Twelve dead in terrorist shooting at Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo

By Alex Lantier and Bill Van Auken, 8 January 2015

Whoever was behind this massacre, it plays into the hands of the most reactionary forces seeking war abroad and police-state measures at home.

Spain passes police state measures

By Alejandro López, 22 December 2014

The aim of Spain’s Citizens Security Law is to prevent demonstrations organised outside of the control of the main parties and union bureaucracies.

US torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes

By Alex Lantier, 12 December 2014

Officials across Europe are reacting to confirmation of CIA torture by insisting that they should enjoy total immunity for their role in the program.

Rolling Stone magazine and the University of Virginia rape allegations

By David Walsh, 11 December 2014

The unraveling of the Rolling Stone feature story sheds a good deal of light on the upper-middle class individuals and groups obsessed with identity politics.

Munich police evict refugees from protest camp

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 3 December 2014

Refugee protests have been met with violence from Munich police.

Britain joins campaign to revoke passports

Political dissidents to be rendered stateless

By Julie Hyland, 27 November 2014

Once again, under the guise of the “war against terror”, the state is accruing authoritarian powers, including the ability to effectively render a British citizen stateless.

German intelligence agency plans major expansion of spying powers

By Johannes Stern, 14 November 2014

In an attempt to catch up with US and UK spy agencies, the BND is implementing a major upgrade.

Film director Roman Polanski questioned, released in Poland

By David Walsh, 3 November 2014

Washington’s vindictive effort is the latest episode in a campaign to return the director to the US based on his having pled guilty in 1977 to having sex with an underage girl.

Woman wearing a niqab forced to leave Paris Opera

By Antoine Lerougetel, 31 October 2014

This anti-democratic and discriminatory action is the product of constant anti-Muslim agitation by the French political establishment.

Anti-terror law passed by the French Senate attacks democratic rights

By Anthony Torres, 28 October 2014

The bill is an attack on freedom of movement as defined by international law and vastly expands the state’s ability to censor political speech.

Google report documents surge in electronic surveillance requests by governments worldwide

By Thomas Gaist, 20 September 2014

Google complies with at least 84 percent of US government data requests, which have risen by 250 percent during the past five years.

UK government attempts to conceal its involvement in rendition and torture

By Robert Stevens, 9 August 2014

The British government has approached the US in an attempt to censor information regarding Britain’s involvement in rendition and torture.

What lies behind the warmongering by Der Spiegel?

By Christoph Dreier, 8 August 2014

Germany’s leading news magazine, Der Spiegel, is demanding a confrontation with Russia.

Police attack immigrant camp in Calais, France

By Pierre Mabut, 29 May 2014

Stepped-up attacks on immigrants are the Socialist Party government’s response to the victory of the French neo-fascists in last week’s European elections.

The Detroit model: Permanent rule by the banks

By Jerry White, 13 May 2014

The Michigan legislature is debating a series of bills to impose a permanent financial authority on Detroit that would remain in place long after the city emerges from bankruptcy.

German government thwarts investigation of NSA scandal

By Sven Heymanns, 3 May 2014

While Chancellor Merkel was being welcomed at the White House Friday by President Obama, the Bundestag (parliamentary) Committee of Inquiry into the NSA received a government file opposing the questioning of whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

French intelligence collects all data of France Telecom/Orange

By Anthony Torres, 17 April 2014

French intelligence services are collecting all the data of Orange’s customers with no restrictions, oversight, or legal foundation.

Spanish government attacks democratic rights

By Alejandro López, 15 April 2014

Madrid is escalating its attacks on democratic rights in response to widespread opposition to the social catastrophe produced by its austerity measures.

UK campaigners against police killings hold demonstration and rally

By our reporters, 12 April 2014

The protest reflected growing anger at police brutality and impunity.

Spokane, Washington police kill man as he surrenders

By Hector Cordon, 31 March 2014

Police officers in Spokane, Washington shot and killed a man Wednesday as he was walking out of his house in compliance with their orders.

Greek students face prosecution for protests

By Katerina Selin, 13 March 2014

Students in Greece protesting for the right to an education are facing prosecution and possible imprisonment.

Spanish government abolishes prosecutions under universal jurisdiction laws

By Alejandro López, 13 March 2014

As the result of a new Spanish law, dozens of investigations will be dropped into crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and torture.

NSA listens in on the German chancellor’s contacts

By Konrad Kreft, 1 March 2014

After President Obama’s promise not to listen in on Angela Merkel’s phone calls, the NSA has stepped up its operations against everybody she speaks to.

Initiative to restrict immigration passed in Swiss referendum vote

By Marianne Arens, 11 February 2014

The initiative commits the government to renegotiate the agreement on freedom of movement with the EU within three years.

Appeal by family of Roma schoolgirl to return to France rejected

By Pierre Mabut, 4 February 2014

On January 28, a French administrative tribunal rejected the request for a resident’s permit by the family of Leonarda Dibrani.

European governments stir up anti-Roma prejudice

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 3 February 2014

The impoverishment of the Roma is a direct result of the restoration of capitalism after 1989 in Eastern Europe.

Spanish government attacks abortion rights

By Alejandro López, 28 December 2013

With the new legislation, the Popular Party has accepted yet another demand of the Catholic hierarchy.

Former UK Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett’s anti-Roma rant

By Liz Smith, 21 November 2013

David Blunkett’s provocative remarks attacking Roma in Sheffield is reminiscent of Conservative MP Enoch Powell's notorious anti-immigrant “Rivers of Blood” speech in 1968.

Greek government threatens university employees with martial law

By Christoph Dreier, 20 November 2013

Four decades since the Greek junta attacked the Polytechnio in Athens, the Greek government is again threatening to attack protesting university staff and students.

Snowden revelations lead to decline in support for US in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 12 November 2013

The percentage of Germans who consider the United States to be a reliable partner has fallen from 50 percent in July to just 35 percent today.

Persecution of Roma stepped up after “blond angel” child trafficking allegations

By Julie Hyland, 9 November 2013

The discovery of “Maria” was the occasion for a hysterical campaign over alleged Roma child-trafficking.

German media, political parties debate granting Snowden asylum

By Peter Schwarz, 5 November 2013

The issue of the basic democratic right to asylum plays an entirely subordinate role in the debate in Germany on the plight of Edward Snowden.

Right-wing campaign against Roma spreads across Europe

By John Vassilopoulos and Jordan Shilton, 2 November 2013

The mass media and political establishment are stoking up centuries-old prejudices against Roma people, one of the most oppressed and vulnerable ethnic groups in Europe.

Mass student protests in France against deportation of Roma schoolgirl

By Antoine Lerougetel, 22 October 2013

The brutality of the seizure of Leonarda triggered social opposition that had been fermenting under the surface for a long time.

A letter from film producer Tony Garnett

“Edward Snowden has shone a light into the secret activities of the State”

2 September 2013

The following comment in defence of former National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was submitted to the World Socialist Web Site by film producer and author Tony Garnett.

Germany: All-party coalition defends the secret services

By Christoph Dreier, 26 August 2013

All the establishment parties are seeking to whitewash the intelligence agencies and cover over their role in building up the far right scene.

Protests at Greek detention camp highlight state violence against immigrants in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 13 August 2013

The EU’s agency for the protection of European borders, Frontex, has worked with the Greek state to set up centres that are characterized by subhuman conditions.

Chairman of German Pirate Party defends the secret services

By Johann Muller and Lucas Adler, 7 August 2013

The Pirate Party, founded only a few years ago on the basis of demands for transparency, data protection and privacy, is responding to the exposure of the largest surveillance machinery in human history by granting political legitimacy to the secret services.

European Union seeks drone and spy satellite network

By Chris Marsden, 6 August 2013

The European Union has proposed the creation of what amounts to a pan-European equivalent to the National Security Agency, armed with a European drone programme and a spy satellite network.

French government plans ban on Islamic veil in universities

By Alex Lantier, 6 August 2013

Offensive to promote anti-Islamic and xenophobic sentiment in France.

Germany: PSG holds meetings in defence of Edward Snowden

By our reporters, 31 July 2013

The Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit—PSG) held well-attended meetings in defence of Edward Snowden in Berlin, Bochum and Frankfurt.

German report on horrendous treatment of refugees on Europe’s borders

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 July 2013

The German television news program “Report Mainz” broadcast a short film dealing with the plight of refugees trying to reach Europe.

German intelligence services work closely with NSA

By Christoph Dreier, 23 July 2013

NSA documents show that the German intelligence services are among the NSA’s closest partners, spying on both foreign targets and the German people.

European intelligence agencies carry out massive Internet spying

By Peter Schwarz, 6 July 2013

According to a report in the French daily Le Monde, the French foreign intelligence service, DGSE, spies on “all of our communications”.

Swiss referendum on asylum law

By Marianne Arens, 11 June 2013

A referendum was held Sunday on proposals to strengthen the law against asylum seekers.

European Union cites Boston attack to justify major anti-terrorist operation

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2013

On April 17 and 18, anti-terrorist units of numerous European Union member states participated in an operation involving simulated terrorist attacks in nine different countries.

Europe’s rulers whip up anti-immigrant chauvinism

By Julie Hyland, 18 March 2013

The rights of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens have been targeted by the European Union.

British Labour Party steps up anti-immigrant rhetoric

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2013

To win support from the ultra-nationalist electoral constituency and from Murdoch, Labour has moved decisively in taking up anti-immigration propaganda.

Roma in Germany forced into abject poverty

By Sybille Fuchs, 14 February 2013

A recent report provides a shocking exposure of the contempt shown by local authorities and church institutions in Dortmund for workers from southeast Europe.

Why the SEP (Germany) rejects a state ban of the neo-fascist NPD

By the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (PSG), 10 January 2013

Last month, the German upper house of parliament agreed to take a case to the Supreme Court aiming to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).

European Court orders damages for CIA torture victim

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 5 January 2013

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has condemned the Republic of Macedonia for its role in the CIA rendition of Khaled El-Masri.

Spanish government prepares repressive measures against social opposition

By Vicky Short and Alejandro López, 6 December 2012

Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party government is preparing to impose €90 billion in budget cuts over the next two years.

German Left Party opposes religious circumcision

By Justus Leicht, 9 October 2012

Opposition to laws that permit a religious practice carried out for thousands of years comes not only from the extreme right, but also from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the Left Party.

In response to Muslim protests

Europe strengthens repressive powers of the state

By Peter Schwarz, 26 September 2012

The aim of the anti-Islamic campaign is to divide the working class, suppress opposition to imperialist war, whip up right-wing forces, and direct growing social tensions into reactionary, racist channels.

French youth riot against police brutality in Amiens-Nord

By Antoine Lerougetel, 16 August 2012

Violent clashes youth and police took place on Sunday and Monday nights in the Amiens-Nord council estate.

Defend immigrants in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 11 August 2012

Last weekend, some 4,500 Athens police officers were mobilized to round up thousands of people believed to be immigrants.

France’s Socialist Party government plans to force Roma into ghettos

By Kumaran Ira, 3 August 2012

The new social-democratic government is threatening to dismantle Roma encampments and force the Roma into “integration villages.”

Letters in defense of the German Socialist Equality Party

27 April 2012

The following is a selection of readers’ letters on “Hands off the Socialist Equality Party in Germany!”

Hands off the Socialist Equality Party in Germany!

By Peter Schwarz, 26 April 2012

The assault on three meetings of the Socialist Equality Party in Germany in defence of Günter Grass represent an enormous intensification of the attacks on democratic rights.

Right-wing Zionist provocateurs and student council representative close down Leipzig meeting to defend Günter Grass

By our correspondents, 26 April 2012

As with previous meetings in Frankfurt and Berlin, a meeting in Leipzig held Tuesday was met with a huge and coordinated provocation.

European court’s extradition ruling and Guantanamo’s global reach

By Bill Van Auken, 13 April 2012

Tuesday’s ruling by the European human rights court allowing Britain’s extradition of five alleged terror suspects to the US speaks volumes about the erosion of basic democratic principles throughout Europe.

European Court’s extradition ruling: A major blow to democratic rights

By Julie Hyland, 12 April 2012

The decision by the European Court of Human Rights that five men detained on terror-related charges can be extradited to the United States marks a major assault on democratic rights.

Stop the warmongers! Defend Günter Grass!

By Wolfgang Weber, 11 April 2012

The campaign of defamation against one of the world’s best known writers, a recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature and many other awards, makes clear that the German ruling class and its counterparts in Washington and Tel Aviv are intent on intimidating and silencing anyone who dares criticise the preparations for war against Iran.

French police detain 19 alleged Islamist militants

By Kumaran Ira, 4 April 2012

Early Friday morning, French anti-terrorist police and domestic intelligence carried out raids in major cities across France, arresting 19 people.

German police killing of unemployed woman at job centre

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 2 April 2012

The police shooting death of an unemployed Nigerian woman again raises the question of why German authorities are so reluctant to indict those responsible for numerous cases of unwarranted deadly violence.

German government sets up neo-Nazi database

By Dietmar Henning, 23 January 2012

The German government has responded to revelations of neo-Nazi murders by the Zwickau terrorist cell by centralizing and expanding the security authorities.

UK: Police make brutal attack on Irish traveller camp

By Jordan Shilton, 21 October 2011

The eviction of an Irish traveller encampment at Dale Farm in southeast England began on Wednesday morning.

German state deploys illegal spy software

By Sybille Fuchs, 14 October 2011

Germany’s security services are placing spyware on personal computers, violating basic rights and the stipulations of the German Supreme Court.

Marseille mayor orders mass expulsion of Roma camp

By Kumaran Ira, 11 August 2011

On August 9, the city of Marseille in southern France announced that it had prepared a municipal order to forcibly evacuate some 100 Roma people.