Democratic Rights in Europe

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.

Massive police operation for pro-Erdogan demonstration in Cologne

By Andreas Kunstmann and Marianne Arens, 3 August 2016

The police operation and civil war exercise in Munich has now been followed by a massive police deployment Sunday in the city of Cologne for a Turkish demonstration.

The Turkish coup, US militarism and the collapse of democracy

By Bill Van Auken, 22 July 2016

The tumultuous events in Turkey have exposed the interconnection between the worldwide eruption of US militarism and the global breakdown of democratic forms of rule.

France’s permanent state of emergency

By Alex Lantier, 21 July 2016

Amid a deep crisis of bourgeois democracy and seething social tensions across Europe, the ruling elite aims to transition from democratic to dictatorial forms of rule.

German parliament expands law on sexual crimes

By Christoph Vandreier, 19 July 2016

The aim is to exploit an emotionally charged issue to strengthen the state and scapegoat refugees.

After Nice attack, French government calls up military reserves

By Alex Lantier, 18 July 2016

Well before the political character of the mass killing in Nice has been clearly established, the French government is pushing for military escalation inside and outside France.

Failed military coup in Turkey

By James Cogan, 16 July 2016

The political upheaval in Turkey is testimony to the generalised breakdown taking place internationally in the political institutions and mechanisms of bourgeois rule.

Dozens murdered in possible terrorist attack in Nice, France

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2016

French President Francois Hollande invoked the horrific attack to justify expansion of the “state of emergency” for another three months.

European Union working with African despots to deter refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 July 2016

At their latest meeting in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, EU interior ministers agreed on speedier deportation of refugees and closer cooperation with African dictatorships.

French parliamentary report on terror attacks calls for new police powers

By Alex Lantier, 8 July 2016

The report, which evades the role of the imperialist war in Syria in creating the Islamist networks that carried out the attacks, is awash with contradictions and evasions.

UK: Forty-two years after Birmingham pub bombings, inquest to be reopened

By Trevor Johnson, 6 July 2016

The inquest is into the bombings themselves and their victims, rather than the frame-up of six innocent men.

Britain’s Labour Party helps Conservative government pass Snoopers’ Charter

By Trevor Johnson, 15 June 2016

The UK’s security and spying agencies are being rewarded for their criminality with new and almost unlimited powers.

Cameron/Farage debate on EU dominated by anti-immigrant rhetoric

By Robert Stevens, 9 June 2016

Tuesday night’s TV debate between Prime Minister David Cameron and UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage centred on who could more aggressively scapegoat migrants.

Right-wing Polish government revives effort to extradite Roman Polanski

By Alan Gilman, 9 June 2016

The new attempt by the Polish government to extradite Polanski is the latest chapter in the US government’s vindictive pursuit of the filmmaker.

UK: The political fraud of the Another Europe is Possible campaign

By Julie Hyland, 7 June 2016

The campaign makes no mention of the Cameron government’s austerity agenda that has seen millions of jobs destroyed, wages cut, welfare slashed to the bone and migrants denied entry to the UK.

Hundreds more refugees die in the Mediterranean

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 6 June 2016

Within eight days, many more than 1,200 refugees have drowned during their voyage to Europe.

German government tightens anti-terror laws

By Johannes Stern, 6 June 2016

Throughout Europe, the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris are being used as a pretext for constructing a police state, just as happened in the US following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

More than 2,500 refugees drowned in Mediterranean so far this year

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 2 June 2016

The number of refugee deaths over the first five months of this year, up 35 percent from 2015, has hit a new record.

German Green Party leader confronts Jörg Baberowski with his war propaganda

By Christoph Vandreier and Peter Schwarz, 1 June 2016

The national chair of the Green Party confronted Professor Baberowski on the “Maybrit Illner” talk show with his demand to employ the methods of a war of extermination to fight terrorists.

Right-wing German academic Jörg Baberowski demands more repression against refugees

By Christoph Vandreier, 31 May 2016

At the Phil.Cologne congress, the Humboldt University professor declared that “men in Germany” were helpless against refugees because they had forgotten how to fight.

Over 700 refugees drown in Mediterranean shipwrecks

By Laura Tiernan, 30 May 2016

In the deadliest week for refugees so far this year, over 700 people died trying to reach Europe from North Africa in three separate disasters.

The El Khomri law in France and the Schröder-Blair Paper

By Peter Schwarz, 28 May 2016

Over the past decade and a half, the social democratic parties, working with the trade unions, have led the drive to impose austerity on the working class.

Major police operation against Roma in Berlin

By Andy Niklaus and Karola Kleinert, 27 May 2016

A hundred-strong force of the Berlin police conducted a brutal raid on Roma families protesting against their threatened deportation.

Military and security figures take opposing sides in UK referendum on European Union

By Chris Marsden, 26 May 2016

The various military officials and spy chiefs backing either side in the Brexit campaign are all committed to defending British and US imperialism, particularly in the conflict with Russia.

German chancellor boosts anti-refugee deal in visit to Turkey

By Peter Schwarz, 26 May 2016

Angela Merkel traveled to Turkey last week in an attempt to shore up the deal stuck between Turkey and the EU to block refugees from entering Europe.

Swedish court refuses to drop arrest warrant for Julian Assange

By Josh Varlin, 26 May 2016

The Stockholm Court rejected the conclusion of a United Nations working group that Assange has been arbitrarily detained in violation of international human rights conventions.

1980 Oktoberfest bombing: German government and secret service still withholding information

By Dietmar Henning, 25 May 2016

For over a year, the Secret Service has refused to publish files relating to the bombing of the Munich Oktoberfest 35 years ago.

Belgian prison wardens strike met with government repression

By Ross Mitchell, 25 May 2016

The government plans to shrink the public sector by 20 percent, with pay and staffing being cut by 10 percent by 2020 overall.

Julian Assange challenges anti-democratic “no platform” campaign

By Laura Tiernan, 24 May 2016

The Sheffield meeting was a victory over efforts to silence Assange and close down debate on fundamental issues surrounding the escalation of militarism and war.

The capitalist crisis and the defense of democratic rights

By Andre Damon and Alex Lantier, 23 May 2016

Underlying the global breakdown of democratic institutions is the world economic crisis, the growth of militarism and war, and, above all, the intensification of the class struggle.

UK: Manchester United ground evacuated in false terror scare

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2016

No explanation has yet been provided by Manchester United, the police or the company that left a dummy explosive device in a football stadium, of Sunday’s extraordinary events.

The Berlin Senate’s inhuman deportation policy

By Carola Kleinert, 10 May 2016

Refugees in Germany are being crammed into inhumane camps, bullied and brutally deported.

US intelligence agencies expand electronic surveillance worldwide

By Thomas Gaist, 6 May 2016

Congress is reviewing statutory changes to a little known “Rule 41” that will allow the FBI and other security agencies to hack and spy on computers and networks anywhere in the world, based on a single, non-specific warrant.

Hillsborough inquest: Ninety-six UK football supporters unlawfully killed

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The verdict in the longest jury case in British legal history vindicates the campaign by the families and supporters of the 96 Liverpool Football Club fans killed 27 years ago.

The Hillsborough disaster as it unfolded

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The death of 96 Liverpool football supporters on April 15, 1989 was followed by a 27-year cover-up.

Berlin college rector protests police intervention

By Verena Nees, 26 April 2016

On April 2, around 30 police stormed into Alice-Salomon College, forced all students and tutors present into the main auditorium, blocked all exits and collected personal information.

German government backs draconian refugee “integration” law

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 22 April 2016

The planned legislation does nothing to help refugees, but is instead an attack on basic democratic rights.

Refugee deaths in the Mediterranean: An imperialist crime

By Peter Schwarz, 20 April 2016

Thousands of deaths by drowning are accepted, if not welcomed, as collateral damage required by the campaign to keep desperate refugees out of Europe.

Hundreds feared dead as another refugee boat sinks in Mediterranean

By Peter Schwarz, 19 April 2016

According to reports, hundreds more refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on the first anniversary of the worst refugee boat disaster to date.

Hollande sheds crocodile tears over refugees in Lebanon visit

By Kumaran Ira, 19 April 2016

French President François Hollande began his four-day trip to the Middle East, visiting Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, to boost economic and military ties amidst escalating war.

Belgian police arrest six suspects in March 22 Brussels attacks

By Anthony Torres, 19 April 2016

Mohamed Abrini’s accomplices were all known to intelligence services, as were their aliases and their movements, but they were not arrested.

German Chancellor Merkel gives green light for prosecution of satirist Jan Böhmermann

By Peter Schwartz, 16 April 2016

The prosecution of Böhmermann for his denunciations of the Turkish president sets a precedent for censorship and political repression in Germany.

German undercover agent employed National Socialist Underground terrorists

By Dietmar Henning, 14 April 2016

A construction company belonging to an undercover government agent employed the National Socialist Underground terrorist Uwe Mundlos after his disappearance.

International Monetary Fund discussed forcing Greek debt default

By John Vassilopoulos, 12 April 2016

A leaked teleconference transcript published by WikiLeaks exposed differences between the European Union and IMF on how to enforce a third austerity package.

Macedonian police use tear gas and rubber bullets against refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 April 2016

Greece and the Balkan states stepped up police violence and repression in the wake of the EU’s deal to deport refugees en masse to Turkey.

Greece’s Syriza: Full partner in historic crime against refugees

By Bill Van Auken, 5 April 2016

The police-state measures and summary deportations employed by the Syriza government against refugees are of a piece with its relentless attacks on the Greek working class.

Syriza and European Union begin mass deportations from Greece

By Johannes Stern, 5 April 2016

The brutal actions against refugees and the militarisation of Europe are directly linked to the intensification of the attacks on the working class in Greece and throughout the continent.

Hungary strengthens state security powers after Brussels attacks

By Markus Salzmann, 31 March 2016

The Hungarian government plans to expand surveillance of telephone and internet data.

European Court rubber-stamps police murder of Jean Charles de Menezes

By Chris Marsden, 31 March 2016

Judges ruled that the UK had not violated article two of the European Convention of Human Rights protecting the right to life.

Intelligence accounts raise more questions on origins of Brussels, Paris attacks

By Alex Lantier, 30 March 2016

As NATO powers tried to discredit accusations that they relied on terrorists in their war in Syria, they downplayed signs that ISIS was developing a terror network in Europe.

The Belgium bombing: Why the dots are not connected

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 25 March 2016

The extent of state intelligence foreknowledge in the Brussels attack explodes the official narrative that intelligence agencies failed to “connect the dots.”

Belgian authorities had “precise intelligence warnings” of Brussels bombings

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 24 March 2016

Claims that the attacks in Brussels that killed 34 people occurred because Belgian and allied intelligence agencies somehow failed to “connect the dots” are not credible.

Electoral success of AfD strengthens far-right forces in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 24 March 2016

Seventy years after the collapse of the Nazi regime, Germany’s ruling elite is responding to the global economic crisis and the growing war drive by building a right-wing movement.

The terror bombings in Brussels

By Alex Lantier, 23 March 2016

This horrific attack targeted innocent people in no way responsible for the imperialist wars that have devastated the Middle East.

Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam arrested in Brussels

By Alex Lantier, 21 March 2016

Astonishingly, Europe’s most wanted man, on the run from police for four months, was hiding near his parents’ apartment in the heavily-watched Molenbeek district.

French Socialist Party whips up law-and-order hysteria after Abdeslam arrest

By Kumaran Ira, 21 March 2016

As it cultivates Islamist forces in a war for regime change in Syria, France is citing the danger of terror attacks as a pretext to escalate attacks on democratic rights.

Berlin senate speeds up deportations of refugees

By Carola Kleinert, 21 March 2016

The new refugee passport system serves above all to sort asylum seekers according to their national origin, religion and usefulness and to make faster deportations possible.

Hundreds demonstrate in Berlin against harsher asylum law

By our correspondents, 22 February 2016

Many young people and refugees joined a demonstration in Berlin last Tuesday to protest against the tightening up of asylum laws.

Closure of Balkan refugee route deepens rifts in the EU

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 16 February 2016

Diplomatic tensions between the EU member states are intensifying in the run-up to the meeting of heads of state and governments this week.

Human Rights Watch report exposes French state of emergency

By Stéphane Hugues, 9 February 2016

The report points to systematic, arbitrary denials of basic democratic rights by police and the targeting of people of Muslim descent.

Slavoj Žižek: From pseudo-left to new right

By Peter Schwarz, 8 February 2016

In an article published in Der Spiegel, Slovenian academic Slavoj Žižek gives free rein to his hatred of the oppressed.

UK and Swedish governments continue their persecution of Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 6 February 2016

London and Stockholm have rejected the UN’s verdict that Assange has been arbitrarily detained.

Left Party founder Jean-Luc Mélenchon covers for French government’s authoritarian policies

By Anthony Torres, 6 February 2016

There are no fundamental differences between Mélenchon and the Socialist Party government, which is building a police state in France.

UN panel condemns detention of WikiLeaks founder

Stop the persecution of Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 5 February 2016

Despite a ruling that Assange has been subjected to “arbitrary detention,” both the UK and Sweden vow to continue his persecution.

German government steps up attacks on refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 February 2016

Germany’s grand coalition government is adopting ever more drastic measures against refugees and paving the way for far-right forces in the process.

Austrian municipalities impose ban on refugees using swimming pools

By Markus Salzmann, 2 February 2016

The ban on refugees in two Austrian cities, unless they are accompanied by an “escort,” recalls the darkest chapters in Austrian history.

Divisions mount in German government over refugee policy

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 February 2016

The swing to the right by the entire German political establishment has unleashed violent tensions within the government.

Sweden announces plans to deport up to 80,000 refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 29 January 2016

Sweden’s announcement came the same day as Human Rights Watch published a scathing indictment of the curtailment of democratic rights in Europe in response to the refugee crisis.

European governments step up offensive against refugees

By Marianne Arens, 28 January 2016

Proposals made at the EU meeting amount to the transformation of Greece into a giant concentration camp for refugees.

Prime Minister Valls pledges permanent state of emergency in France

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 26 January 2016

As if in a slow-motion military coup, the ruling elite is moving to transform political life in France, creating an authoritarian political regime.

Austria closes its borders to refugees

By Marianne Arens, 26 January 2016

As Europe is firmly in the grip of winter, one government after another is closing its borders.

Berlin town hall meeting protests discrimination against refugees

By Verena Nees, 26 January 2016

Many of those attending the mass meeting were appalled at the treatment of refugees, confined in airport hangars and other mass accommodation.

Danish and Swedish governments step up attacks on refugees

By Jordan Shilton, 20 January 2016

Measures once associated with fascist regimes are again being employed against refugees fleeing war in the Middle East.

Berlin police raid: A civil war exercise

By Gustav Kemper, 19 January 2016

The illegal raid involving hundreds of police officers was intended to intimidate an entire neighbourhood.

Hundreds of Neo-Nazis riot in Leipzig, Germany

By Christoph Dreier, 13 January 2016

Monday’s right-wing riot in Leipzig took place amid a racist anti-Muslim campaign promoted by German political parties and the media.

New Year’s message for refugees in Berlin: It will get worse!

By Verena Nees, 13 January 2016

The onset of winter has worsened conditions for the approximately 40,000 refugees in Berlin.

German media and politicians demand increased state powers in response to Cologne assaults

By Dietmar Henning, 11 January 2016

Alleged sexual assaults by refugees in Cologne are being used as a pretense for pumping out racist agitation and cracking down on refugees.

The refugee tragedy and the European Union: The balance sheet for 2015

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 January 2016

The mistreatment of refugees fleeing to Europe has assumed proportions that would have been unthinkable twelve months ago.

One year after Charlie Hebdo attack

Police gun down youth in poor Paris neighborhood

By Stéphane Hugues, 8 January 2016

Witnesses speaking to the media flatly contradicted official accounts of the shooting and said that police gunned down an unarmed man without warning.

French government considers deprivation of nationality as possible sentence to all citizens

By Alex Lantier, 6 January 2016

The Socialist Party is increasingly taking up positions associated with the extreme right and the traditions of 20th century European fascism.

The fracturing of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 28 December 2015

In the last century, great power aspirations, nationalism and fascism made the continent the focus of two world wars, which claimed nearly 100 million victims. Now, these same tendencies are spreading once again.

Prince Charles and William granted access to top secret UK documents

By Margot Miller, 28 December 2015

While the documents in question have been freely handed to the British monarchy, the government insists that they not be released to the public for at least three decades.

French government proposes constitutional amendment on state of emergency, deprivation of citizenship

By Alex Lantier, 24 December 2015

Proposed moves to deprive people of French nationality were traditionally associated to the far-right National Front and were used against the Jews during the Nazi Occupation.

German government creates new “Anti-Terror Unit”

By Philipp Frisch, 24 December 2015

Under conditions of increasing class tensions in Germany and the revival of an aggressive foreign policy, the ruling elite is preparing for the suppression of popular opposition.

Mass police raids in French state of emergency find no terror networks

By Anthony Torres, 23 December 2015

Mass searches and house arrests are part of the preparation for the imposition of a permanent state of emergency by the Socialist Party government.

Weapon used in November 13 Paris attacks came from CIA-linked arms dealer

By Alex Lantier, 18 December 2015

Investigations of the November 13 attacks raise the question of whether elements in or around the state machine facilitated the commission of the terror attacks in Paris.