Democratic Rights in the US

The CIA torture cover-up continues

By Eric London, 31 October 2014

The highest echelons of the state are engaged in an unconstitutional plot to hide from the public the harrowing torture methods employed by the CIA.

Federal jury convicts friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect of lying to the FBI

By John Marion, 30 October 2014

Robel Phillipos, an acquaintance of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, faces up to 16 years in federal prison despite not being involved in the bombings.

IRS regularly seizes “suspicious” bank accounts without a criminal charge

By Tom Hall, 29 October 2014

The US Internal Revenue Service, using the legal procedure known as “civil asset forfeiture,” unilaterally confiscates the assets of individuals it suspects of tax evasion.

US Marine lawyer Michael Mori discusses fight to release Guantanamo prisoner David Hicks

By Richard Phillips, 25 October 2014

In this interview, Mori explains his experiences defending former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks and how the US violated the Geneva Conventions.

Lawsuits allege Alabama prison inmates left to die of treatable diseases

By Tom Hall, 23 October 2014

Jailers in Madison County, Alabama deliberately denied health care to inmates with treatable illnesses in order to cut costs, according to three recently filed lawsuits.

Hundreds of prison deaths in Florida under investigation

By Matthew MacEgan, 21 October 2014

Whistleblowers have revealed a wave of torture and murder by guards in Florida prisons.

US Supreme Court allows Texas to implement anti-democratic voter ID law

By Tom Carter, 20 October 2014

The Texas voter ID law, which was previously struck down as unconstitutional, will block hundreds of thousands of eligible voters from casting ballots in the November elections.

Leaked documents expose secret contracts between NSA and tech companies

By Thomas Gaist, 20 October 2014

The NSA’s internal documents indicate that corporations are actively abetting and benefiting from the US government’s illegal mass surveillance programs.

Judge delays order to release Guantanamo force-feeding videos

By Patrick Martin, 18 October 2014

The one-month “pause” gives the Obama administration time to seek an appeals court review of the order to make the tapes public.

New York’s de Blasio administration defends spying on Muslims

By Isaac Finn, 13 October 2014

The NYPD used undercover cops to spy on Mosques as well as Muslim cultural centers and businesses in New York and New Jersey.

Chicago-area teen charged with attempting to join ISIS

By Marcus Day, 11 October 2014

The arrest of Mohammed Hamzah Khan at a Chicago airport last Saturday raises a number of questions about the degree of US intelligence involvement.

Two months after killing of Michael Brown

Off-duty cop kills St. Louis teenager

By Andre Damon, 10 October 2014

The officer fired 17 shots, including a downward shot to the head that killed the 18-year-old.

Notes on police violence in the US

Police killed 77 people in September

By E.P. Bannon, 7 October 2014

Over the past week, police have killed at least fourteen more people, while judges and prosecutors continued to protect the perpetrators of police violence.

Report finds Border Patrol flew drones away from US borders

By Nick Barrickman, 7 October 2014

The findings follow revelations earlier this year that Customs and Border Protection had “loaned” its drone fleet to other intelligence agencies hundreds of times.

Judge orders release of Guantanamo Bay force-feeding videos

By Thomas Gaist, 6 October 2014

The very existence of the tapes—which show the repeated physical abuse of hunger striker Abu Wa'el Dhiab—was denied by the Obama administration until May 2014.

US Supreme Court Justice Scalia attacks separation of church and state

By Tom Carter, 6 October 2014

In a speech Wednesday, Scalia declared that the Constitution does not prohibit the government from favoring “religion over nonreligion,” calling for a fight against “secularists” who contend otherwise.

Majority of Texas abortion clinics to close following court ruling

By Kate Randall, 4 October 2014

The court action could force nearly one million Texas women to drive at least 300 miles round trip to access their constitutionally protected right to an abortion.

Revelations of brutality deepen crisis over New York’s Rikers Island prison

By Philip Guelpa, 3 October 2014

Rikers Island is one of the most notorious examples of the national policy of mass incarceration.

CIA document details cover-up of drug trafficking by Contras

By Thomas Gaist, 2 October 2014

The CIA worked with the major media outlets to suppress reporting on cocaine trafficking operations by the US-backed Contra militias.

US Secret Service director resigns amid mounting security scandals

By Bill Van Auken, 2 October 2014

Julia Pierson stepped down after bipartisan demands for an independent probe of lapses in security surrounding the White House and the president.

Mississippi prison inmates indefinitely detained and subject to “barbaric” conditions

By Matthew MacEgan, 29 September 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union filed two lawsuits this week claiming that Mississippi prison inmates were being indefinitely detained and others were kept in conditions “tantamount to torture.”

More arrests in Ferguson, Missouri after police chief “apologizes”

By Eric London, 29 September 2014

Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri show no sign of subsiding seven weeks after the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The legacy of US Attorney General Eric Holder

By Tom Carter, 29 September 2014

During his six-year term, Holder has presided over the most comprehensive and aggressive trampling of democratic rights in US history.

Washington Post slashes retirement benefits

By a reporter, 29 September 2014

The newspaper is cutting benefits immediately for non-union employees and demanding the same cuts in contract talks with the Newspaper Guild.

The witch-hunting of Steven Salaita and the new McCarthyism

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2014

The political victimization of Salaita in the name of “democracy” is another chilling warning that core democratic rights, including academic freedom, are incompatible with a society dominated by social inequality and the drive to war.

US prison population increases for first time since 2009

By Kate Randall, 23 September 2014

While the US accounts for about 5 percent of the world’s population, it incarcerates about one-quarter of all prisoners on the planet.

University of Illinois victimizes professor critical of Israel’s policies

By Kristina Betinis, 22 September 2014

University leaders voted 8-1 to rescind a job offer made to Steven Salaita, provoking protests and an academic boycott of the university.

Australian anti-terror raids part of US war drive

By Nick Beams, 20 September 2014

Within hours of Australia’s largest-ever anti-terror operation, US Secretary of State Kerry invoked the lurid news reports to justify the US war in Iraq and Syria.

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.

Ferguson officer Darren Wilson testifies before grand jury

By John Burton, 20 September 2014

The prosecutor for St. Louis County, Missouri is using the grand jury to furnish political cover for a decision not to prosecute the Ferguson cop for the murder of Michael Brown.

Notes on police violence in America

US police kill 104 people in August

By Tom Hall, 19 September 2014

The killings are part of a general pattern of violence and abuse carried out by an increasingly militarized police force.

Texas executes ninth inmate of 2014

By Paul Michaels, 19 September 2014

Lisa Coleman was the ninth inmate executed in Texas this year and the sixth woman executed since 1982.

For-profit immigrant family detention center planned in Texas

By Kevin Martinez and Jake Dean, 19 September 2014

Immigrant families fleeing violence and poverty in Central America are to be detained in a center run by a for-profit corporation with a documented history of abuse.

Yale chaplain forced out by Zionist attacks

By Fred Mazelis, 18 September 2014

Rev. Bruce Shipman was pressured to quit for pointing out that Israeli government crimes provide ammunition for those seeking to revive anti-Semitism today.

US appeals court approves Wisconsin voter ID law for November election

By Barry Grey, 18 September 2014

The raft of laws in Wisconsin and other states imposing photo ID requirements and other restrictions on access to the ballot represents an attack on the fundamental democratic right to vote.

California residents speak out against militarization of Davis police department

By Evan Blake and Juan Verala Luz, 16 September 2014

Residents of the California town turned out in large numbers to demand the local police department’s return of a newly-acquired Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle.

San Jose, California police acquire a drone

By Henry Allan, 15 September 2014

The drone, purchased with federal grant money, will be made available to 13 other bomb squads in the Bay Area.

New documents detail NSA surveillance of Yahoo

By Thomas Gaist, 13 September 2014

The documents cover rulings in 2008 upholding the NSA’s warrantless data mining programs.

Torture victim Jose Padilla sentenced to 21 years

By Ed Hightower, 13 September 2014

A central aim of the prosecution was to cover up the details of one of the more extreme cases of US government torture.

Senate hearing whitewashes militarization of American police

By Tom Hall and E. P. Bannon, 12 September 2014

Tuesday’s hearing was aimed at reinforcing and intensifying the federal government’s arming of police forces under the guise of a “review.”

New witnesses describe police murder of Michael Brown

By Thomas Gaist, 12 September 2014

Accounts from two construction workers further substantiate already existing evidence that officer Darren Wilson fired numerous rounds into the unarmed Brown, even as the youth sought to surrender.

Executions in Missouri and Texas

Courts reject condemned inmates’ appeals on lethal injection drugs

By Paul Michaels and Kate Randall, 12 September 2014

The two prisoners’ appeals challenging the secrecy surrounding the source and quality of lethal injection drugs and state protocols failed to halt their executions.

Thirteen years after the September 11 attacks

CIA torture and the “war on terror”

By Joseph Kishore, 11 September 2014

Recent events have confirmed that the highest levels of the US government and American intelligence authorized the most barbaric forms of torture.

CIA employed “medieval” torture that brought prisoners “to the point of death”

By Thomas Gaist, 9 September 2014

According to a US Senate report that the CIA has sought to block, torture methods it used far exceeded what has previously been acknowledged.

2004 Bush administration memos advocate unlimited presidential powers

By Tom Carter, 9 September 2014

Recently declassified documents detail the early stages of the ongoing effort to create the pseudo-legal framework for a police state in America.

Bowing to Senate Democrats

Obama reneges on pledge to ease deportations

By Patrick Martin, 9 September 2014

Both conservative and liberal Democrats opposed any relaxation of anti-immigrant policies before the November election.

Hundreds arrested at union-organized fast-food protests across the US

By Fred Mazelis, 6 September 2014

The unions are seeking to latch onto the legitimate grievances of workers to bolster the Democratic Party, which has presided over a wholesale assault on the working class.

The police-military crackdown in Ferguson, the assault on democratic rights, and the record of the World Socialist Web Site

By Tom Carter, 6 September 2014

The World Socialist Web Site, employing the method of Marxist analysis, has traced the various stages of the assault on democratic rights and sought to explain its relationship to fundamental historical and social processes related to the deepening crisis of American and world capitalism.

Detroit chief financial officer outlines program of permanent austerity

By Jerry White, 5 September 2014

Behind the dry, antiseptic testimony of the city’s chief financial officer in the federal bankruptcy courtroom Thursday was a restructuring plan that will produce untold suffering in Detroit.

North Carolina frame-up: Two innocent men jailed for 30 years

By Patrick Martin, 5 September 2014

Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were released Wednesday after DNA evidence proved their innocence of a 1983 rape and murder.

Alleged suicide of Louisiana man in police custody prompts federal investigation

By E.P. Bannon, 5 September 2014

Victor White III of New Iberia, Louisiana, is the third young man to die in a series of “Houdini handcuff suicides” that have occurred across the country over a two-year span.

Fifty years since the Rochester, New York riots

By Jonathan White, 5 September 2014

The riot was one of the first uprisings to sweep America’s cities in the 1960s.

New York mayor reneges on pledge to school bus drivers

By Daniel de Vries, 4 September 2014

Mayor de Blasio last week signed into law a school bus workers bill that failed to restore job protections.

The Obama administration and American labor

By Andre Damon, 3 September 2014

The chasm between working people and the political establishment was exemplified by the Labor Day speeches of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden.

GM moving production from Mexico to Tennessee

By Shannon Jones, 2 September 2014

The move is part of a deal based on huge concessions imposed on American auto workers

Homelessness increasing rapidly in Colorado

By Douglas Lyons, 2 September 2014

The homeless rate in Pueblo, Colorado has ballooned by 75 percent since January 2014.

The human toll of slump and part-time employment

New Jersey woman dies while napping between jobs

By Fred Mazelis, 2 September 2014

Maria Fernandes worked part-time at three separate Dunkin’ Donuts.

Labor Day report details huge decline in wages for Michigan workers

By Thomas Gaist, 1 September 2014

Wages for low-wage male workers have fallen more than 31 percent since 1979.

From Detroit to Ferguson: The brutal face of American capitalism

By Jerry White, 30 August 2014

If Detroit is the epicenter of social counterrevolution in America, Ferguson revealed the repressive measures the ruling class is prepared to use against all opposition to its policies.

US government-funded database created to track “subversive propaganda” online

By Matthew MacEgan, 30 August 2014

The Truthy database has drawn sharp criticism from free speech advocates.

Suicidal teen shot sixteen times by Kansas police

By Gabriel Black, 30 August 2014

The shooting comes amid a wave of police killings throughout the United States.

US military planning to suppress domestic unrest

By Thomas Gaist, 30 August 2014

The development of sophisticated crowd control doctrines by the military is an expression of the far advanced preparations of the US elite for dictatorship.

Audio recording sheds light on the murder of Michael Brown

By Niles Williamson, 28 August 2014

CNN published an audio recording Monday indicating that the officer who killed Michael Brown paused between barrages of gunfire, shooting at least 10 rounds.

Boston workers denounce militarization of police

By Mike Ingram, 28 August 2014

Recent scenes on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri were reminiscent of the massive mobilization of police and military personnel following the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013.

New Orleans mayor announces semi-private police force

By Tom Hall, 28 August 2014

The so-called “Nola Patrol” will cover the French Quarter, paid for by a voluntary assessment on the city's hotels.

Military helicopters descend on Twin Cities, Minnesota in unannounced “urban warfare” exercises

By Matt Rigel, 23 August 2014

Residents of the Twin Cities, Minnesota were startled as low-flying combat helicopters buzzed over working class districts in mock nighttime exercises.

Second St. Louis area police shooting highlights unrestrained police violence in the US

By Andre Damon, 22 August 2014

St. Louis police released a video depicting the shooting Tuesday of 23-year-old Kajieme Powell, just ten days after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown that led to mass protests in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri.

Workers and young people speak on Ferguson, Missouri, police violence

By a WSWS reporting team, 22 August 2014

The killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and other recent police shootings evoked an angry response from workers and young people across the US.

Another police killing in St. Louis, Missouri as assault on protesters continues

By Niles Williamson, 20 August 2014

A 23-year-old man was shot dead by St. Louis police officers on Tuesday, a day after police carried out mass arrests of protesters denouncing the killing of Michael Brown.

De facto martial law in Ferguson, Missouri

By Barry Grey, 20 August 2014

The resort to police state methods in Ferguson is the outcome of the protracted decay of American democracy.

“We have the right to protest. We have the right to assemble”

Anger mounts in Ferguson, Missouri over police repression

By Andre Damon and Eric London, 20 August 2014

As the National Guard expanded its presence in Ferguson, Missouri, residents voiced outrage over another police killing in St. Louis on Wednesday.

German journalists arrested in Ferguson

By Wolfgang Weber, 20 August 2014

Ansgar Graw and Frank Hermann were held in a prison cell for three hours and subsequently released without comment.

National Guard, police tighten grip on Ferguson, Missouri

By Eric London and Patrick Martin, 19 August 2014

The arrival of a contingent of the Missouri National Guard has heightened the police-state atmosphere in this suburb of St. Louis.

Capitalism and the police-military mobilization in Ferguson, Missouri

By Joseph Kishore, 19 August 2014

No struggle against inequality and the police state apparatus in America can be successful unless it is based on the understanding that what is involved is a struggle against capitalism.

“They invaded Ferguson like they invaded Iraq”

Video: Ferguson residents say police crackdown turns city into war zone

By Andre Damon and Eric London, 19 August 2014

As the Missouri governor deployed National Guard forces to Ferguson, residents denounced the military-police crackdown and attacks on their right to assemble peacefully.

Workers and youth across US speak on police murder of Michael Brown

By our reporters, 19 August 2014

Workers and young people throughout the United States expressed their outrage at the police killing of the unarmed 18-year old and the militarized response of police to protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Journalist James Risen denounces President Obama as the “greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation”

By Nick Barrickman, 19 August 2014

Facing a possible prison sentence for refusing to identify a confidential source, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen denounced the Obama administration’s campaign against whistleblowers and journalists.

Missouri governor deploys National Guard to Ferguson

By Thomas Gaist, 18 August 2014

Following a night of police provocations and attacks on peaceful demonstrators demanding justice in the police murder of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, announced that he was calling in the National Guard to occupy the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Democratic Party operatives seek to stifle opposition, facilitate police crackdown in Ferguson, Missouri

By Eric London, 18 August 2014

Al Sharpton, the police, and a coterie of Democratic politicians delivered a “unity” message aimed at suppressing popular outrage over the killing of Michael Brown.

Police refuse to release video after Dayton-area killing

By Samuel Davidson, 18 August 2014

Nearly two weeks after the police shot and killed a 22-year-old man in a suburban Dayton Walmart store, government and store officials are still refusing to release surveillance tapes and other evidence related to the murder.

Police, media smear victim of Missouri police shooting

By Patrick Martin, 16 August 2014

The release of photographs and eyewitness statements is an attempt to justify the execution-style killing of Michael Brown.

Federal government programs in the US have turned police into military force

By Zac Corrigan, 16 August 2014

Over a period of decades, federal government programs have been implemented which equip local police forces with military gear and incentivize its use.

Social inequality fuels anger over police killing of St. Louis youth

By Jerry White, 14 August 2014

While the media has sought to brand protesters as violent “looters,” the eruption of popular outrage after the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown has deep social roots.

Los Angeles police shoot and kill unarmed man

By John Andrews, 14 August 2014

Ezell Ford, a 24-year-old mentally challenged man, was gunned down near his home in south-central Los Angeles.

The police murder in St. Louis and the militarization of American society

By Jerry White, 13 August 2014

Yet another family and community in the United States have been traumatized by the death of an innocent young man at the hands of the police.

Scores arrested in three days of protests over Missouri police shooting

By Shannon Jones, 13 August 2014

A pregnant woman said she was thrown on the ground, maced and held at gunpoint by police Sunday night.

Louisiana procured death penalty drug through deception

By Tom Hall, 13 August 2014

State prison officials told a hospital that hydromorphone was to treat a “medical patient,” not to execute a prisoner.

Police fire tear gas at protests in St. Louis suburb over police killing of unarmed teen

By Kristina Betinis, 12 August 2014

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot multiple times and killed by a police officer Saturday afternoon in what eyewitnesses describe as a wanton and unprovoked homicide.

Anger erupts after police killing of unarmed teen in St. Louis, Missouri

By Eric London, 11 August 2014

Police in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, shot Michael Brown in the head and chest on Saturday, the latest in a spate of police killings.

As political crisis erupts over police killing

New York police arrest man who taped Eric Garner’s death

By Sandy English, 11 August 2014

The police chokehold killing of Eric Garner last month has sparked widespread anger, while Mayor de Blasio attempts to prevent a social eruption.

Baltimore enacts law fining parents whose children violate curfew

By Nick Barrickman, 11 August 2014

Parents whose children violate curfew could be fined as much as $500 with the enactment of the strictest curfew law in the US.

Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE demonstrate against Israeli assault on Gaza

By our correspondents, 8 August 2014

SEP/IYSSE demonstrators received a warm response from Colombo workers, students and youth.

University of Illinois blocks appointment of professor critical of Israeli crimes in Gaza

By Kristina Betinis, 8 August 2014

AAUP union leader Cary Nelson has defended the university administration’s action.

Release of Senate report on torture stalled by CIA redactions

By Eric London, 6 August 2014

Obama has fronted for the CIA and tacitly supported its months-long efforts to undermine the Senate probe and delay the release of the Intelligence Committee’s findings.

US researcher victimized over article opposing nuclear weapons

By Tom Hall, 5 August 2014

The Los Alamos National Laboratory fired respected security expert James Doyle after retroactively declaring his scholarly article classified.

Death of Eric Garner at hands of New York police ruled a homicide

By Sandy English, 4 August 2014

The authorities admit that the death of the Staten Island man was caused by a police chokehold.

Obama defends CIA torturers

By Patrick Martin, 2 August 2014

The president declared his “full confidence” in CIA Director John Brennan one day after the agency admitted it had engaged in illegal spying on a Senate committee investigating its Bush-era torture program.