Democratic Rights in Europe

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.

In latest victory for the far right, neo-fascists gain in Austrian election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2017

The ability of far-right parties to obtain a broader hearing for anti-immigrant and racist policies is the result of the absence of any progressive outlet for social discontent within the political establishment.

Spain moves toward military rule in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2017

As the Spanish army prepared to deploy armored units to Catalonia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to suspend the Catalan regional government.

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

Germany’s Network Enforcement Act: Legal framework for censorship of the Internet

By Katerina Selin, 5 October 2017

The assumption behind the law, which took effect October 1, is that companies will delete controversial posts rather than risk severe financial penalties.

Defenders of imperialist “human rights” hail Spanish government’s crackdown in Catalonia

By Chris Marsden, 4 October 2017

The United States and the EU leapt to the defence of the Spanish government as it sent police to savagely beat and arrest anyone who dared to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

Director of British rights group Cage convicted for refusing to reveal mobile phone and laptop pass codes

By Steve James, 4 October 2017

The conviction of Muhammed Rabbani underscores the significance of recent investigations into massive mobile phone surveillance in Britain by local police forces.

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.

UK government officials back Trump demands for Internet censorship following London bombing

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 18 September 2017

In the name of opposing “extremism,” the May government is preparing a drastic curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Germany: Trial of neo-Nazi terror group whitewashes role of intelligence services

By Dietmar Henning, 16 September 2017

It is evident that, despite the attention to detail in the case of the five accused, the aim of the NSU trial was to conceal the role played by the secret services.

Bomb attack on London Underground sets stage for further state repression

By Steve James, 16 September 2017

As with all such outrages, there is no reason to assume that the attack comes as a surprise to the British intelligence agencies.

UK parliament approves sweeping executive powers under Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 13 September 2017

The so-called Great Repeal Bill, incorporating European Union (EU) legislation into British law, passed its second reading in parliament early Tuesday morning.

Germany: 60,000 people evacuated as WWII bomb is defused in Frankfurt

By Marianne Arens, 7 September 2017

The largest evacuation in post-war German history led to many lively discussions about war and dictatorship.

Candidates denounce refugees, demand state build-up at German election debate

By Johannes Stern, 5 September 2017

Merkel and Schulz agreed on virtually every issue and appealed for a crackdown on refugees, more police, and a more aggressive German and European foreign policy.

German federal police illegally collect data to blacklist journalists and activists

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 September 2017

The extent of surveillance and the arbitrary and unconstitutional storage of data on thousands of “left-wing political extremists” are typical characteristics of an authoritarian police state.

German SGP election candidate speaks at student protest against deportations

By our reporters, 4 September 2017

Marianne Arens, an election candidate of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP), spoke at a demonstration of students in the town of Offenbach protesting against the deportation of classmates to Afghanistan.

German government raids and shuts down left-wing Indymedia site

By Johannes Stern, 26 August 2017

The shutdown of linksunten.indymedia.org is the latest step in a crackdown on left-wing politics in Germany ahead of the upcoming federal election.

Youth clashes with police in Paris suburbs point to explosive social tensions

By Francis Dubois, 22 August 2017

The incidents at Aulnay-sous-Bois point to growing tensions between police and the population of the estate where police sexually assaulted a youth in February.

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.

Rajoy threatens to deploy army inside Spain after Barcelona attack

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 19 August 2017

This would be the first time that the army was deployed inside Spain since the country was ruled by the fascist regime of Francisco Franco.

SPD wages law-and-order campaign in Germany’s federal election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 August 2017

Adopting many slogans of the extreme right, Social Democratic candidate for Chancellor Martin Schulz is calling for more police and a crackdown on immigrants.

Law to “moralize” French politics: A fig leaf for austerity

By Francis Dubois, 15 August 2017

The law is a cynical attempt to sow illusions in the ruling elite, an operation supported by Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France movement.

Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany

By Christoph Vandreier, 11 August 2017

In the autumn, Internet company Facebook will open a new censorship centre employing 500 people in Essen, Germany.

Catalan independence referendum sparks growing concerns in Europe

By Alejandro López, 11 August 2017

On both sides of the Atlantic, sections of the ruling elite fear a confrontation between Barcelona and Madrid could spark a crisis engulfing Spain.

German politicians call for quicker deportations after attacks in Hamburg and Konstanz

By Justus Leicht, 31 July 2017

The blood of the victims in Hamburg and Konstanz has barely had time to dry and the background to both attacks remains unclear, but politicians from all of the major parties are already seeking to outdo each other with right-wing demagogy.

European Union and Italy step up pressure on organisations assisting refugees

By Marianne Arens, 29 July 2017

The Italian government is demanding that NGOs involved in the rescue of refugees sign a “Code of Conduct,” restricting their activities in the Mediterranean Sea.

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.

Protest in London against police killing of Rashan Charles

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2017

It is already clear from the response of the police and Independent Police Complaints Commission that yet another cover-up of the death of a man in police custody is underway.

German Social Democrats embrace policies of right-wing nationalist AfD

By Peter Schwarz, 26 July 2017

Anyone believing there is a limit to the SPD’s rightward shift in the federal election campaign was disabused of this notion on Sunday. The party is now openly agitating against refugees.

Germany: Extent of “left-wing violence” at G20 summit was wildly exaggerated

By Sven Heymanns, 22 July 2017

It is clear that police, leading politicians and the media systematically exaggerated the scale of what took place in Hamburg and invented a number of incidents.

Opposition grows to writing French state of emergency into law

By Francis Dubois, 21 July 2017

As sections of the political establishment grow increasingly wary of the danger to democratic rights posed by Macron's policies, social opposition is emerging in the working class.

After Hamburg G20 protests: SPD, Left Party and Greens prepare law-and-order election campaign

By Johannes Stern, 17 July 2017

In the wake of the protests and violent state repression during the G20 summit in Hamburg, the Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens are showing their true colours as parties of bourgeois order.

After Hamburg protests, German government plans crackdown on left-wing views

By Andre Damon, 11 July 2017

High-ranking members of the German government have called for the drawing up of a list of “left-wing extremists” throughout Europe and a permanent ban on their entry into Germany.

G20 protest participants speak out against police crackdown

By our reporters, 10 July 2017

Demonstrators described how police attacked peaceful protests at this weekend’s G20 summit in Hamburg with water cannons, batons and tear gas.

Hamburg under police lockdown

By Johannes Stern, 8 July 2017

The aggressiveness with which the ruling class has targeted protesters and the entire population of Hamburg must be taken as a warning.

Police rampage against G20 protestors in Hamburg

By James Cogan, 7 July 2017

The police actions appear to have been a test of their riot tactics, ahead of possible attacks on larger demonstrations.

G20 summit in Hamburg: A city in a state of siege

By Sven Heymanns, 4 July 2017

The planned measures in Hamburg are not just to protect the political elite attending the G20, but are deliberate preparations for a civil war scenario.

German parliament agrees to massive expansion of digital surveillance

By Sven Heymann, 27 June 2017

The state will be given the power to deploy “trojans,” computer code that can bypass a user’s security and implement remote online searches of a person’s devices.

With permanent state of emergency, Macron plans authoritarian rule in France

By Kumaran Ira, 9 June 2017

Press reports yesterday confirmed that the government of newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron intends to pass a law making the state of emergency permanent.

German police beat demonstrators attempting to prevent deportation

By Sven Heymanns, 9 June 2017

Police brutally attacked protesters May 31 as they sought to prevent the deportation of a student from Afghanistan studying at a training school in the city of Nuremberg.

London terror suspects were known to police

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2017

As evidence continued to mount that the attackers received some degree of state protection, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced Prime Minister Theresa May for having allowed “cuts in police numbers.”

Official account of London terror attack unravels

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 5 June 2017

Within 24 hours of Saturday’s terror attack at London Bridge, the official narrative presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May has begun to fall apart.

Green Party mayor demolishes refugee camp in Grenoble, France

By Athiyan Silva, 1 June 2017

More than one hundred CRS police rounded up and forcibly expelled refugees from the Valmy Refugee camp in southeast France.

UK and US mount damage control operation over Manchester bombing

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2017

Amid revelations that suicide bomber Salmand Abedi was closely monitored by British intelligence, MI5 has launched an investigation into its latest “intelligence failure.”

Sweden’s investigation into Julian Assange was a political frame-up from the outset

By David Walsh, 20 May 2017

The entire affair was aimed at discrediting and paralyzing WikiLeaks and creating conditions under which Assange could be extradited or abducted to the US, to be executed or condemned to a lifetime in prison.

French media, political parties hush up PS government’s coup plan

By Alex Lantier, 20 May 2017

Thursday’s edition of L’Obs magazine revealed that the outgoing Socialist Party government planned a coup d’état if National Front candidate Marine Le Pen had won the May 7 presidential elections.

Hundreds of migrants drown in Mediterranean

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2017

The deaths occurred during a spike in crossings spurred in part by a planned crackdown that would send migrants back to hellish conditions in Libya.

German army officer arrested for planning terror attack

By Peter Schwarz, 2 May 2017

The arrest of a 28-year-old German army officer suspected of planning a far-right terrorist attack shows that the Bundeswehr provides fertile ground for extreme right-wing elements.

US bombings in Syria and Afghanistan

A new stage in the repudiation of international law

By Mike Head, 29 April 2017

The ever-greater assertion of US militarism has brought humanity to the point where the rules of war are being nakedly flouted.

Four killed, a dozen injured in Stockholm attack

By Kumaran Ira, 8 April 2017

A man drove a stolen lorry into a crowd outside a Stockholm department store, killing at least four people and injuring more than 12.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joins right-wing campaign against Ken Livingstone

By Robert Stevens, 6 April 2017

The action against Livingstone is an outrageous violation of democratic rights, and accusations that he is an anti-Semite are slanderous.

Thousands protest police murder of Liu Shaoyo in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2017

French intelligence has launched a reactionary media campaign, insinuating that protesters are agents of Beijing or of the Chinese mafia.

French police murder Chinese immigrant Liu Shaoyo in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 29 March 2017

According to Liu’s family, police battered down the door of his apartment and immediately shot him in cold blood.

Five confirmed dead, 40 injured in terror attack in London

By Chris Marsden, 23 March 2017

The ruling elite in Britain and internationally were quick to make political capital from the appalling event.

European court rules in favour of headscarf ban at workplaces

By Peter Schwarz, 16 March 2017

The ruling serves to strengthen the Islamophobic and xenophobic tendencies that are growing throughout Europe.

Meeting on UK undercover policing highlights need for an independent inquiry

By Paul Mitchell, 23 February 2017

The ongoing Undercover Policing Inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Pitchford, is aimed at whitewashing, not exposing, widespread illegal infiltration of state intelligence agencies into left-wing movements.

Germany carries out second expulsion of Afghan refugees

By Anna Rombach, 30 January 2017

Twenty-six Afghan refugees were deported last Monday from Rhein-Main airport to Kabul in a joint operation by federal and state governments.

Was the Berlin Christmas market attacker an undercover agent?

By Dietmar Henning, 25 January 2017

A recent report by the Federal Criminal Office raises the question of whether Anis Amri worked as an intelligence agent.

German Constitutional Court rejects ban on fascist NPD

By Peter Schwarz, 19 January 2017

The court justified its decision by arguing that while the party was anti-constitutional and shared an ideological kinship with Nazism, it was not significant enough to seriously jeopardize democracy.

Die Zeit journalists lose lawsuit against German satirical television show

By Peter Schwarz, 14 January 2017

Germany’s Federal Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision banning television channel ZDF from focusing on the ties of Zeit journalists to the security establishment.

More restrictive laws target refugees after Berlin attack

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 14 January 2017

Less than three weeks after the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, the German justice minister and interior minister have agreed on a number of more restrictive laws targeting refugees and migrants.

President Hollande gives French army, intelligence “green light to kill”

By Kumaran Ira, 11 January 2017

According to recent investigative reports, the Socialist Party has massively stepped up the French state’s extrajudicial murder program, assassinating at least 40 people.

Berlin Christmas market attack: German intelligence aware of perpetrator’s 14 identities

By Johannes Stern, 7 January 2017

It is becoming clear that the suspect in the terrorist attack, Anis Amri, carried out his operation under the noses of the intelligence agencies.

German interior minister demands centralisation of intelligence agencies

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 January 2017

De Maiziere’s proposals for strengthening the security apparatus calls into question the entire structure of the Federal Republic.

“New Year’s Eve in Cologne”: The scapegoating of Muslims and refugees deepens

By Lena Sokoll, 3 January 2017

In Cologne as well as in other cities in Germany, police have now been supplied with sub-machine guns to conduct armed patrolling of cities.

More than 5,000 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean in 2016

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 31 December 2016

The dramatic rise was a direct result of the European Union’s brutal deterrence policy—in particular the reinforcement of the EU’s external borders.

The Berlin terror attack: Is a section of the state trying to destabilize the German government?

By Johannes Stern, 29 December 2016

In light of the facts that have emerged and the manner in which the attack is being used, as well as German history, it would be politically naive to rule out the involvement of sections of the state.

Berlin terror suspect was well known to security forces

By Johannes Stern, 23 December 2016

Nobody asks the obvious question: Are there forces in political circles and the security apparatus who knew about the planned attack and were prepared to allow it in order to advance their extreme right-wing agenda?

New French Prime Minister Cazeneuve prolongs state of emergency

By Alex Lantier, 15 December 2016

Basic democratic rights will continue to be suspended in France until July 2017, after next year’s presidential elections in May 2017.

Julian Assange statement exposes bogus rape allegation

By Steve James, 13 December 2016

Assange not only exposes the bogus rape allegations made against him, but presents a devastating review of the US-led campaign to ensure his arrest pending deportation.

Incoming Berlin senate plans more deportations

By Carola Kleinert, 26 November 2016

The Left Party, the Greens and Social Democrats want to organize mass deportations more efficiently through their preferred method of “voluntary” repatriation.

Incoming Berlin senate plans more deportations under a new guise

By Carola Kleinert, 25 November 2016

The Left Party, the Greens and Social Democrats want to organize mass deportations more efficiently through their preferred method of “voluntary” repatriation.

British parliament passes “Snoopers’ Charter,” expanding spying powers

By Trevor Johnson, 22 November 2016

The new laws are an unprecedented attack on democratic rights, giving the state the power to gather information on millions, and to process, profile and store the results.

German city builds four-metre-high wall in front of refugee shelter

By Anna Rombach, 22 November 2016

Criticism of the wall has been directed not only against the Munich politicians responsible, but also the reactionary policies of the grand coalition government in Berlin.

Trial of fascist accused of murdering UK Labour MP Jo Cox begins

By Richard Tyler, 19 November 2016

Cox was shot and stabbed multiple times in broad daylight on the way to her MPs surgery.

Swedish authorities finally question Julian Assange after six years

By Robert Stevens, 15 November 2016

The Swedish authorities are blatantly flouting international law in their vindictive pursuit of Assange.

French prime minister calls for extension of state of emergency

By Alex Lantier, 14 November 2016

Coming just after Donald Trump’s election as US president, the announcement points to the accelerating collapse of democratic forms of rule on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hamburg court acquits defendants in Cologne New Years Eve frameup

By Dietmar Henning, 5 November 2016

Three defendants were kept in detainment for almost half a year, although the charges against them were based on the “provision of false facts.”

French presidential election 2017

Right-wing candidates’ debate advocates austerity, police-state measures

By Kumaran Ira, 24 October 2016

The French political establishment is unanimous that anti-Muslim hatred and police-state forms of rule are to become permanent features of political life.

Police stage right-wing, law and order protest in France

By Francis Dubois, 22 October 2016

The Socialist Party government has cultivated the police as its main social base, and police are now aggressively advancing demands for more resources and powers.

Hungary: Last newspaper critical of government shut down

By Markus Salzmann, 21 October 2016

The suddenness and political background of the closure indicates that the paper was put under pressure from the highest government circles.

Are German authorities covering up for the death of Jaber al-Bakr?

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 October 2016

The 22-year-old Syrian terrorist suspect was found dead in his cell on Wednesday evening.

Police state preparations in Dresden for German Unity Day

By Marianne Arens and Ulrich Rippert, 3 October 2016

Some 2,600 police officers have been mobilised, including a special unit of the Saxony state police and the elite GSG 9 force.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi announces constitutional referendum for December

By Marianne Arens, 1 October 2016

The referendum is a step towards authoritarian forms of rule and lays the basis for fierce attacks on Italian workers.

Berlin police shoot Iraqi refugee

By Verena Nees, 30 September 2016

The young father of three was shot dead after reacting to the alleged sexual assault of his six-year-old daughter by another man.

Sweden upholds Assange arrest warrant

By Paul Mitchell, 22 September 2016

The significance of the Swedish decision is underscored by the revelations from WikiLeaks, which have led US news outlets to declare they could determine who becomes the next American president.

Sarkozy launches French presidential bid based on anti-Muslim hysteria

By Kumaran Ira, 29 August 2016

The former French president called for returning to universal military service and imposing measures that would turn France’s Muslim population into second-class citizens.

French woman arrested, fined for wearing Muslim headscarf on Cannes beach

By Anthony Torres, 29 August 2016

In an unprecedented attack on freedom of religion and on France’s Muslim community, local police are moving to effectively criminalize the wearing of Muslim headscarves.

Spain: Pseudo-left Barcelona mayor persecutes migrant street vendors

By James Lerner, 25 August 2016

Under the Ada Colau administration, some 34,473 fines were levied against migrant and refugee street vendors in the first six months of 2016.

German interior minister supports partial ban on the burqa

By Johannes Stern, 24 August 2016

The campaign in Germany for domestic repression and war is assuming ever more openly racist forms.

Appalling conditions in Greek refugee camps

By Katerina Selin, 23 August 2016

The mainstream media has gone silent on refugees in Greece, but the suffering of these people, fleeing war and poverty, continues without interruption.

The pseudo-left and identity politics: RIO solidarizes itself with “Gina-Lisa” and promotes law and order

By Johannes Stern, 19 August 2016

As opposition to social inequality and war continues to grow, pseudo-left organizations are using identity politics to advocate increased state powers.

After brawl in town of Sisco, France launches campaign to ban burkini

By Kumaran Ira, 18 August 2016

Seizing on an ethnic brawl, the French political establishment is hysterically accusing Muslim women wearing burkinis of promoting terrorism.

UK inquest reveals brutality of immigrant detainee’s death

By Dennis Moore, 17 August 2016

Prior to the 43-year-old man’s death, he was attached by his wrists to a two-metre closet chain.

Swedish prosecutors to question Julian Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Paul Mitchell, 15 August 2016

Assange remains fearful that attempts will be made to railroad him to the United States, where a sealed Grand Jury indictment involving espionage charges is awaiting him.

German interior minister announces tightening of security and asylum laws

By Dietmar Henning, 13 August 2016

Restrictive asylum laws and expanded powers for the police and intelligence services are part of a European-wide buildup of state repression.

Turkish regime imprisons and harasses artists, journalists and academics after coup attempt

By Sandy English, 8 August 2016

In the aftermath of the July 15 attempted coup, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has imprisoned artists, banned books and frozen academic relations with other countries.

German defence minister announces domestic use of Armed Forces

By Johannes Stern, 6 August 2016

The minister left no doubt that “in an emergency”, the Armed Forces would not only handle “logistics,” but would “also provide military support.”

New powers for secret services in Bavaria

By Marianne Arens, 5 August 2016

The new Bavarian legislation is part of a massive upgrade of the country’s security services.