Democratic Rights in the US

The TV film “Terror” and the attack on democratic rights in Germany

By Johannes Stern and Peter Schwarz, 24 October 2016

The TV film “Terror—Your Verdict” was a deliberate political spectacle to promote German militarism, undermine the constitution, and nullify elementary democratic rights.

One out of two Americans in facial recognition databases

By Shelley Connor, 20 October 2016

A recent report by Georgetown Law Center reveals that half of American adults are in photo recognition databases maintained by law enforcement agencies.

Justice Department announces investigation into Alabama prisons as US prison strike continues

By Gary Joad, 13 October 2016

The investigation of prison conditions in Alabama coincides with the largest prison strike in US history, a protest action that is being virtually blacked out by the corporate media.

Yahoo spied on “hundreds of millions” of email accounts on behalf of US spy agencies

By Nick Barrickman, 6 October 2016

The revelation further reveals the near-seamless collusion of the major internet and telecommunications firms with the US intelligence apparatus.

Los Angeles police kill second man in two days

By Zaida Green, 5 October 2016

The unidentified young man was shot to death just a day after the fatal shooting of another youth, 18-year-old Carnell Snell, Jr.

Video raises questions in 2012 New York police killing of Ramarley Graham

By Sandy English, 5 October 2016

A new surveillance video obtained by the New York Daily News shows paramedics covering and then uncovering the corpse of Ramarley Graham, who was killed by police in 2012.

Death toll mounts in US police killings

By Patrick Martin, 3 October 2016

US police killed at least 19 men last week. Ranging in ages from 18 to 53, the victims were shot, tased or, in one case, beaten and asphyxiated.

Protests continue in El Cajon, California over the police killing of Alfred Olango

By Genevieve Leigh, 3 October 2016

Recently-released video shows an officer firing deadly shots at unarmed Olango less than two minutes after arriving on the scene.

Pasadena police kill father of eight during help call

By Dan Conway and John Andrews, 3 October 2016

Pasadena police officers dispatched to assist with a disturbed man, tased, beat and ultimately asphyxiated Reginald Thomas, Jr., a father of eight, in front of his family.

El Cajon, California police release video showing fatal shooting of Alfred Olango

By Kevin Martinez, 1 October 2016

The videos have been released in an effort to quell dissent, after the San Diego suburb saw three nights of protests and the deployment of riot police.

Notes on police violence

Louisiana police release video of officers killing six-year-old Jeremy Mardis in 2015

By George Gallanis, 30 September 2016

Mardis was shot as he sat in his father’s car when police emptied 18 rounds into the vehicle, severely injuring the unarmed man and killing the boy instantly.

Charlotte police release videos showing Keith Scott with arms down as he was shot

By Tom Carter, 26 September 2016

In an effort to quell ongoing unrest, officials in Charlotte, North Carolina released videos Saturday that show portions of Keith Scott’s fatal encounter with police officers on September 20.

Police kill 23-year-old man in Louisville, Nebraska

By Nick Barrickman, 26 September 2016

Authorities have refused to release information on whether Austin M. Baier had been armed or whether he had in any way threatened deputy Tyler Reiff.

Biden meets with Central American leaders on refugee crackdown

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 September 2016

Vice President Biden met with leaders of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to further draconian US immigration policies against the thousands of refugees fleeing the region.

UC Berkeley reinstates class on Palestine after protests

By David Brown, 22 September 2016

The class had been suspended after a campaign by right-wing Zionist groups and was reinstated when the actions of the UC administration became more widely known.

Tulsa, Oklahoma police release videos of slaying of unarmed man

By Zaida Green, 21 September 2016

Dashboard and aerial footage show Terence Crutcher surrendering peacefully to police before being shot and left to bleed to death on the road.

SEP candidate files motion for restraining order against West Virginia Secretary of State

By our reporter, 21 September 2016

On Tuesday, Naomi Spencer, the SEP’s candidate for West Virginia House of Delegates, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to halt the distribution of ballots.

Governor deploys National Guard and state police after bombing in New York

By Philip Guelpa, 19 September 2016

Following the explosion of one bomb and the discovery of a second in an upscale Manhattan neighborhood, police and military presence is heightened throughout the city.

US prisons ration expensive hepatitis C drugs

By Brad Dixon, 17 September 2016

Fewer than 4 percent of US prisoners with hepatitis C receive the newer drugs for the disease due to their exorbitant price.

Columbus, Ohio 13-year-old gunned down by police

By Shannon Jones, 16 September 2016

A companion to the boy killed by police disputed claims that the victim brandished a weapon, as the wave of officer-involved killings in the United States continues.

Notes on Police Violence

Murrieta, California police caught on video savagely beating unarmed man

By Kevin Martinez, 13 September 2016

Three officers pinned Alejandro Rojo to the ground and yelled “stop resisting” before proceeding to punch and kick him repeatedly.

Obama pledges to veto legislation allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi government

By Tom Carter, 12 September 2016

This legislation, together with the Obama administration’s opposition to it, marks the continued unraveling of the official narrative of the September 11 attacks.

Political prisoner Chelsea Manning begins hunger strike

By Tom Hall, 12 September 2016

Manning began her hunger strike in military prison on Friday in protest against the abuse and harassment that drove her to attempt suicide in July.

Twenty-year-old Muslim recruit killed by officers at Marine boot camp

By Eric London, 12 September 2016

Raheel Siddiqui, the son of a Michigan autoworker, jumped out of a third-floor window after being abused by officers at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Baltimore police conducted privately-funded aerial surveillance of city for nine months

By Zaida Green, 10 September 2016

The technology was developed in 2007 for use in the Iraq War, and has now been deployed against the population of a major American city.

Chicago mayor plans to boost size of police force in response to social crisis

By George Marlowe, 9 September 2016

The call for greater policing and an escalation of law-and-order measures comes on the heels of growing public disaffection with the entire political establishment.

FBI director says agency preparing attack on data encryption after the elections

By Kevin Reed, 5 September 2016

In a keynote address to cyber security specialists, FBI Director James Comey elaborated on plans to force a backdoor into encrypted private data and communications.

California legislature votes to expand mandatory sentences for sexual assault

By Tom Carter, 3 September 2016

California’s barrage of law-and-order legislation underscores the reactionary content of the campaign over sexual violence promoted by the Democratic Party and its allies.

State trooper kills unarmed deaf man in North Carolina

By Shelley Connor, 26 August 2016

Daniel Kevin Harris, a 28-year-old deaf man, was one of at least 20 people killed by police across the US over the last week.

New video shows Los Angeles Police Department officers kill 56-year-old man in jail

By John Andrews, 22 August 2016

A recently released video depicts six officers Tasing and choking to death 56-year-old grandfather Vachel Howard in a Los Angeles jail in 2012.

In bid to quash anger, Chicago cops face firing over Laquan McDonald murder

By Alexander Fangmann, 22 August 2016

The seven cops are among ten recommended for termination in a recent city inspector general’s report issued even as police violence continues.

Sexual assault accusations used to oust leader at Tor Project

By Adam Mclean, 19 August 2016

The Tor Project, a network and tool for anonymizing one’s internet traffic, has been a repeated target of attacks from US intelligence agencies.

The 2016 elections and the crisis of American democracy

By Joseph Kishore, 18 August 2016

In the 2016 elections, the consequences of record inequality, unending war and the protracted crisis of American capitalism are coming to a head.

Hacker group releases malware codes attributed to National Security Agency

By Nick Barrickman, 18 August 2016

A group called the Shadow Brokers released computer code reportedly taken from the NSA, which had been used for hacking the networks of foreign rivals of the US.

The social roots of unrest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

By Niles Niemuth, 16 August 2016

The growth of poverty and inequality, the eruption of social anger and the build-up of the police forces are interrelated components of the same class dynamic.

Wisconsin governor mobilizes National Guard after eruption of protests over police killing

By George Gallanis, 15 August 2016

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in Milwaukee after protests Saturday night over the killing of 23-year-old Sylville Smith by Milwaukee police.

White House seeks to cover up Central American migrant crisis

By Andrea Lobo, 15 August 2016

The new deal with Costa Rica, which will temporarily receive 200 of the 140,000 seeking asylum in the US, is intended to give a humanitarian face to an inhumane policy.

The Justice Department’s whitewash of police violence in Baltimore, Maryland

By Niles Niemuth, 12 August 2016

The DOJ report on Baltimore is another in a series of investigations that will do nothing to stop the violence meted out by police on a daily basis.

Police violence in Los Angeles continues unabated

By Alan Gilman, 12 August 2016

An unarmed man mistaken for a carjacker, an unarmed homeless man on a bicycle and a 14-year-old youth allegedly engaged in graffiti are the latest victims.

New York City police commissioner Bratton resigns

By Philip Guelpa and Fred Mazelis, 8 August 2016

The abrupt resignation of the NYPD commissioner comes amid a counteroffensive in response to protests against police brutality and police killings over the past several years.

After the Paul O’Neal murder

Stop the police killings! Unite workers and youth of every race and nationality!

By Jerry White—SEP candidate for US president, 8 August 2016

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White issued the following statement after the release of video showing the brutal police murder of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal.

Chicago police warn of unrest after murder of teen

By Kristina Betinis, 6 August 2016

The July 28 murder of Paul O’Neal is the latest in a series of police killings around the US that have claimed the lives of nearly 700 victims so far this year.

US courts strike down “Voter ID” laws in four states

By Ed Hightower, 3 August 2016

Recent court rulings concerning attacks on the right to vote in several states underscore the deeply anti-democratic character of “Voter ID” laws

Texas recorded almost 7,000 deaths in custody since 2005

By Shannon Jones, 30 July 2016

Between 2005 and 2015, an average of 628 people a year died while in the custody of police or state corrections officials.

US army threatens whistleblower Chelsea Manning with indefinite solitary confinement

By Isaac Finn, 30 July 2016

According to the ACLU, Manning could face added time and other punishments on the basis of charges related to a failed suicide attempt.

Democrats oversee record level of extreme poverty in Philadelphia

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 July 2016

The Democratic National Convention opens Monday in Philadelphia, a city where the Democrat's preside over extreme poverty, massive inequality and a dilapidated education system.

Virginia Supreme Court orders revocation of voting rights for 200,000 felons

By Shelley Connor, 25 July 2016

The ruling, which passed 4-3, struck down an executive order that would have reinstated the voting rights of Virginians who had completed sentences for felonies.

Highest ranking officer acquitted in Freddie Gray killing

By Gabriel Black, 19 July 2016

Lieutenant Brian Rice joins a long list of police officers involved in murderous attacks who have been exonerated.

Ex-Marine guns down three police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

By Patrick Martin, 18 July 2016

The attack, five miles from the store where Alton Sterling was killed by police on July 6, is the second multiple shooting of police in the United States in the past 10 days.

US releases Saudi documents: 9/11 coverup exposed

By Bill Van Auken, 16 July 2016

The declassification of the section of the 9/11 commission report on Saudi ties to 9/11 point to a deliberate distortion and exploitation of the attacks as a pretext for war.

Fresno video shows police murder of Dylan Noble

By Patrick Martin, 15 July 2016

Two cops fired two shots into the white youth as he stood a few feet away, then two more, including a shotgun blast, as he lay twitching on the ground.

Amid nationwide protests against police violence

Officials prepare for mass repression at Republican National Convention in Cleveland

By Carlos Delgado, 13 July 2016

Security officials have been expanding police-state measures and deliberately targeting protesters for surveillance and harassment.

Immigrants in Los Angeles denounce police repression worldwide

By our reporters, 13 July 2016

Workers and youth from El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico expressed opposition to state violence, poverty and social inequality.

Hundreds arrested in US protests against police killings

By Shannon Jones, 11 July 2016

Thousands took to the streets across the United States to voice their outrage over two recent police killings of unarmed black men.

“I am against something wrong, regardless of what the color of someone’s skin is”

Protesters speak out on police killings

By Nick Barrickman and Matthew Taylor, 11 July 2016

Protesters in Washington DC and Jacksonville, Florida, among the thousands who demonstrated against police killings this weekend, spoke with the World Socialist Web Site.

New video shows off-duty New York cop murdering motorist

By Sandy English, 11 July 2016

A store surveillance video has surfaced that shows the killing of Delrawn Small by off-duty New York Police Department officer Wayne Isaacs at a traffic altercation.

Video exposes Fresno police lies in shooting death of Dylan Noble

By John Burton, 11 July 2016

Noble, an unarmed 19-year-old white youth, was killed by two police officers from Fresno, an impoverished city of about one-half million located in the heart of California’s Central Valley.

The police killings in Louisiana and Minnesota: The class issues

By Andre Damon, 8 July 2016

Millions of people around the world have reacted with shock, outrage and revulsion at the latest videos and images of police murder in the United States.

Protests erupt throughout the US against string of police killings

By Tom Hall, 8 July 2016

Philando Castile's fiancée livestreamed the aftermath of the grisly shooting, which occurred during a traffic stop Wednesday evening.

FBI director defends decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton

By Patrick Martin, 8 July 2016

FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday about his decision not to bring criminal charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Protests erupt following brutal police killing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

By Tom Hall, 7 July 2016

The grisly execution-style murder is only the latest in an epidemic of police killings which have become a regular feature of American life.

Chelsea Manning hospitalized, then returned to prison

By Patrick Martin, 7 July 2016

While some media reports claimed a suicide attempt was involved, this has not been confirmed by the Army or Manning’s attorneys.

Wisconsin Department of Corrections force-feeds hunger strikers

By Gary Joad, 7 July 2016

The prisoners are protesting solitary confinement.

Family files lawsuit against TSA for violent arrest of teenage cancer patient

By George Gallanis, 5 July 2016

Hannah Cohen, who is partially deaf, blind and paralyzed, was arrested while traveling home from cancer treatment and suffered bruising on her face and bloody cuts on her head.

Notes on police violence in America

Louisiana sheriff uses anti-Semitic slur, threatens to shoot federal prosecutor

By E.P. Bannon, 4 July 2016

Despite the numerous federal probes and empty police reform initiatives, law enforcement continues to assume an increasingly arrogant and thuggish character.

Supreme Court overturns bribery conviction for former Virginia governor

By Tom Carter, 4 July 2016

The unanimous decision is a green light for the ever-more direct domination of corporate and financial interests over the American political system.

Law-and-order campaign follows sentencing in Stanford sexual assault case

By Eric London, 30 June 2016

The California state legislature is poised to enact new mandatory sentencing laws that will greatly expand the prison population and the police powers of the state.

US Supreme Court strikes down Texas anti-abortion law

By John Burton, 28 June 2016

In a 5-3 decision the Supreme Court invalidated two provisions of a Texas law that deliberately imposed burdensome requirements intended to close medical clinics that provide abortion services.

Divided Supreme Court rejects challenge to affirmative action

By Tom Carter, 27 June 2016

The protracted and embittered litigation over affirmative action highlights the policy’s central importance to the political, corporate and military establishment.

Congressional Democrats stage “sit-in” stunt on gun control

By Tom Hall, 25 June 2016

Congressional Democrats demanded that the House vote on reactionary legislation which would expand the repressive scope of the government's secret “no-fly” list.

Third Baltimore cop let off in Freddie Gray murder case

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 June 2016

The acquittal of Goodson is the third exoneration of a police officer charged in the killing of the 25-year-old African American man.

Landmark Supreme Court ruling backs illegal police searches

By Tom Hall, 22 June 2016

The 5-3 ruling removes penalties for illegal searches, effectively gutting the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, a core element of the Bill of Rights.

The social roots of the mass shooting in Orlando

By Barry Grey, 15 June 2016

The question that is imperiously raised by events such as the Orlando massacre is: What is it about American society that so frequently leads mentally unstable individuals to resort to mass murder?

Questions mount over FBI handling of Orlando gunman

By Patrick Martin, 14 June 2016

The FBI acknowledges having investigated Omar Mateen in 2013, after he claimed a connection to the Boston Marathon bombing, and again in 2014, but claims to have dropped any monitoring of his activities.

The Orlando massacre and the 2016 US election

By Bill Van Auken, 14 June 2016

Both major parties’ presumptive presidential nominees have rushed to exploit the tragedy in Orlando to promote war and reaction.

The right-wing campaign over the Stanford University sexual assault case

By Tom Carter, 11 June 2016

The media and political campaign that is unfolding in America around the sentencing of Stanford University freshman Brock Allen Turner is fundamentally reactionary.

Five New York City Rikers Island prison guards found guilty in beating

By Sandy English, 10 June 2016

A jury convicted guards at the Rikers Island jail complex this week on several counts in the vicious 2012 attack on inmate Jahmal Lightfoot.

New York court allows police to cover up mass surveillance operations

By Daniel de Vries, 10 June 2016

The NYPD's successful denial of an open records request about spying operation sets a potentially far-reaching precedent.

Wrongfully convicted Detroit teenager released after eight years in prison

By Tom Hall, 10 June 2016

Prosecutors refused to reopen Davontae Sanford’s case even after the real killer stepped forward only weeks after Sanford’s 2008 conviction.

Mass voter disenfranchisement in US elections

By Tom Carter, 9 June 2016

Voter ID laws are already in effect in 33 of 50 states. This year, new restrictions on voting will be operative in 17 states for the first time in a presidential election.

Police carry out militarized lockdown of UCLA after murder-suicide

By Adam Mclean, 3 June 2016

Multiple police departments, including several SWAT teams as well as the FBI, swarmed the California university in response to reports of a shooting on the campus.

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.

Oklahoma governor vetoes bill that would make performing abortions a felony

By Kate Randall, 23 May 2016

If passed, SB1552 would have been the most sweeping anti-abortion bill in any US state since the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade

The controversy in the US over transgender access to public bathrooms

By Tom Carter, 18 May 2016

The actions of the Democrats with respect to the North Carolina “bathroom bill” reflect their strategy of using identity politics to provide a cover for their right-wing and anti-democratic policies.

Tampa, Florida area police operate as guardians of Walmart’s profits

By Matthew MacEgan, 16 May 2016

A recent investigation provides details on the extent to which police departments in the Tampa Bay area have become a virtual private security force for the retail giant.

Missouri carries out first execution of 2016, Alabama execution stayed

By Kate Randall, 13 May 2016

Earl Forrest died by lethal injection Wednesday in Missouri, while Vernon Madison received a stay just hours before his scheduled execution on Thursday in Alabama.

Islamophobic provocations on California campuses

By David Brown, 7 May 2016

Right-wing efforts to equate opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism have led to a series of provocations against student activists on several California campuses.

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.

The 9/11 cover-up continues

By Andre Damon, 3 May 2016

Over the weekend, CIA Director John Brennan denied allegations of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the September 11 terror attacks and demanded that documents pointing to its complicity remain hidden from the American people.

May Day protest in Seattle results in nine arrests

By George Gallanis, 3 May 2016

News reports indicate that the protesters, dressed in black, threw rocks and bricks, among other things. Nine arrests were reported.

Political prisoner Gary Tyler freed from Angola prison after 41 years

By Helen Hayes, 2 May 2016

Gary Tyler’s frame-up and decades-long incarceration expose the brutal class character of the American judicial system and its vast prison complex.

Ruling upholds North Carolina anti-voting rights law

By Barry Grey, 27 April 2016

Monday’s ruling is part of an escalating attack on the right to vote and democratic rights more broadly.

Federal judge allows lawsuit to proceed against CIA contractors involved in torture

By Tom Carter, 25 April 2016

The case represents the first time a lawsuit in US courts based on the CIA torture program was allowed to proceed past the initial stages.

Illinois legislature agrees to fund higher education at 30 percent of last year’s level

By Alexander Fangmann, 25 April 2016

With no end in sight on the ongoing budget impasse, the agreement between state Democrats and Republicans may be the only money institutions receive for the year.

Microsoft sues US Justice Department over secret data requests

By Josh Varlin, 16 April 2016

The company’s complaint makes clear that it regularly receives requests from the government for its customers’ private data stored on Microsoft’s remote servers.