Democratic Rights in the US

US preparing to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

By Kevin Reed, 21 April 2017

According to a press reports Thursday, the US Department of Justice has prepared the charges it needs to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

First reported deportation of “DREAMer” immigrant protected under Obama-era program

By Barry Grey, 20 April 2017

The response of the Trump administration to the suit filed by Montes is indicative of its contempt for democratic rights and the savage character of its dragnet against immigrants.

After last-minute reprieve for one prisoner

Arkansas determined to execute five death row inmates by end of April

By Kate Randall, 19 April 2017

Despite a series of setbacks to their assembly-line state killing schedule, Arkansas officials are pressing forward with the planned lethal injections.

Immigrant arrests up 33 percent since Trump inauguration

By Patrick Martin, 18 April 2017

The swelling total of detained immigrants, many of them with no criminal record, is clogging the courts and detention centers.

Ultra-right libertarian to run the US Education Office of Civil Rights

By Nancy Hanover, 18 April 2017

A look at the ideological and political history of Candice Jackson, named by US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to head up the education department’s Office of Civil Rights.

Trump’s attorney general threatens immigrants in speech at US-Mexico border

By Eric London, 13 April 2017

Jeff Sessions threatened mass deportations and to criminally prosecute immigrants who re-enter the US and those who shield or harbor undocumented immigrants.

Gorsuch restores ultra-right majority on US Supreme Court

By Patrick Martin, 11 April 2017

The new justice was confirmed by the Senate on Friday and sworn in on Monday.

US security chief defends police-state measures against immigrants, visitors and citizens

By Patrick Martin, 6 April 2017

The Trump administration is considering requiring visitors to hand over their cellphones and social media passwords when they apply for a visa.

US justice department signals rollback of even limited police oversight

By Niles Niemuth, 5 April 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed a memo Friday ordering an evaluation of the DOJ’s activities concerning the practices of local police forces including compliance reviews and consent decrees.

Notes on police violence

Rare conviction, resignation of officers for police killings in Louisiana and New York City

By Genevieve Leigh, 28 March 2017

The recent conviction and disciplinary actions do not mark a departure from the policy of near complete immunity for killer cops.

“We refuse to be thrown away like the bakery’s garbage”

Immigrant workers at Queens, New York bakery face firing and deportation threat

By Philip Guelpa, 24 March 2017

An estimated 30 Hispanic workers at the Tom Cat Bakery have received letters giving them two weeks to prove their legal status or face termination and possible deportation.

US and UK ban carry-on electronics on flights from Muslim-majority countries

By Zaida Green, 23 March 2017

Publicly unveiled on Tuesday, the new restrictions in the US and the UK target direct flights from the Middle East and North Africa.

Democratic Party floats proposal for a palace coup

By Andre Damon, 23 March 2017

An 'open letter' by Times columnist Thomas Friedman gives voice to tendencies in and around the Democratic Party that are prepared to welcome a palace coup that would impose a military/intelligence/corporate junta on the American people.

Democrats’ anti-Russia hysteria prepares the ground for war

By Patrick Martin, 21 March 2017

The real target of Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing was Russia, not the Trump administration.

Trump taunts judicial branch as judges block second travel ban

By Eric London, 17 March 2017

Two federal judges halted enforcement of Trump’s revised executive order and Trump responded by saying, “we ought to go back to the first version and go all the way.”

Federal judge halts new Trump travel ban

By Patrick Martin, 16 March 2017

The ruling cites numerous statements by candidate Donald Trump declaring his intention to bar Muslims from entering the United States.

Notes on police violence

Alabama police officer cleared in 2014 shooting of man holding wallet

By Kevin Martinez, 16 March 2017

Dashcam video of the shooting released only this month shows Michael Davidson writhing in agony after being shot by a police officer while exiting his car with his wallet in his hand.

Trump administration secretly resumes CIA drone assassination program

By Bill Van Auken, 15 March 2017

The unannounced change in policy casts aside cosmetic restrictions imposed under Obama, allowing the CIA to freely function as Washington’s “Murder Inc.”

Immigrant workers in US brace for more workplace raids

By Jerry White, 14 March 2017

Mass deportations are being used to terrorize immigrant workers and give employers a free hand to undermine the wages and conditions of all workers.

ACLU files lawsuit against Milwaukee over traffic stops, stop-and-frisk policy

By Christopher Davion, 14 March 2017

The targeting of minority workers and the poor for harassment is an attack on the entire working class and a warning of the measures to be used against growing opposition.

Milwaukee County Sheriffs Department will arrest immigrants on behalf of ICE

By Gary Joad, 11 March 2017

Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. requested 287 (g) designation for deputies to act as ICE officers to enable the arrest and deportation of thousands immigrants and families.

FBI director: “No such thing as absolute privacy in America”

The WikiLeaks exposures and the CIA’s threat to democratic rights

By Patrick Martin, 10 March 2017

Media discussion of the WikiLeaks revelations about CIA cyberweapons takes for good coin the agency’s claim that these would never be used against Americans.

Detained immigrants living in trash and forced to eat spoiled meat in US detention centers

By Genevieve Leigh, 10 March 2017

A report released Monday by the Department of Homeland Security reveals inhumane conditions for immigrant detainees at Theo Lacy jail in Orange County, California.

Late-night TV host Stephen Colbert shares jokes with former NSA, CIA chief Michael Hayden

By David Walsh, 10 March 2017

The former director of the NSA and the CIA was a guest this week on CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The appearance represented a certain meeting of minds.

Immigration under capitalism: Life and death along the US-Mexico border

Part Four

By Eric London, 7 March 2017

The world is pulsing with billions of people burdened by economic exploitation and war and yet restricted from moving freely across the planet.

Eight Arkansas death row inmates to be put to death over ten days

By Kate Randall, 7 March 2017

The ease with which the ruling class engages in such barbarism must stand as a warning to the working class.

Immigration under capitalism: Life and death along the US-Mexico border

Part Three

By Zac Corrigan, Eric London and Genevieve Leigh, 6 March 2017

Immigrant advocates working on the US-Mexico border explain the impact of anti-immigrant policies of the Obama and Trump administrations.

ICE detains immigration activists in New York, Mississippi

By our reporters, 3 March 2017

US immigration officials have begun targeting immigration rights activists across the country to punish them for the “crime” of speaking out in defense of democratic rights.

Student walkouts oppose Trump’s vicious immigration policies

By Nancy Hanover, 3 March 2017

Young people across the US, opposing the Trump administration’s raids, roundups and arrests, have become outspoken in their defense of the democratic rights of all ethnicities and nationalities.

US private prison industry thrives under Trump

By Shelley Connor, 2 March 2017

The policies of the Trump administration benefit the private prison industry at the expense of inmates and their health.

Behind the anti-Semitic and racist attacks in the US

By Patrick Martin, 1 March 2017

The coming to power of the Trump administration has encouraged the most reactionary, racist and backward forces in American society.

Immigration under capitalism: Life and death along the US-Mexico border

Part One

By Eric London, 28 February 2017

The WSWS recently interviewed an immigrant mother who escaped from El Salvador in February and was captured by the Border Patrol last week.

Private prison companies to profit from mass immigrant detention

By Genevieve Leigh, 27 February 2017

Private prison companies such as CoreCivic and GEO Group, Inc. stand to reap massive profits from the mass detentions of immigrants expected from Trump’s executive orders.

Off-duty police officer pulls gun and fires at youths, sparking protests in Anaheim, California

By John Andrews, 24 February 2017

Videos show an off-duty Los Angeles police officer drawing a pistol and shooting it during a minor confrontation with a group of young people.

Trump administration adopts ruthless new immigration protocol

By Eric London, 22 February 2017

Press Secretary Sean Spicer made clear that immigrants with criminal histories are only the first targets of Trump’s anti-immigrant plan.

Appointment of “Warrior-Scholar” McMaster signals intensification of anti-Russia confrontation

By Bill Van Auken, 22 February 2017

The appointment of McMaster exposes the utterly reactionary and undemocratic character of the official debate surrounding the Trump administration.

Workers in US fired for participating in pro-immigrant protests

By Nick Barrickman, 21 February 2017

More than 100 workers across the US faced retaliation from their employers for participating in last Thursday’s “A Day without Immigrants” protests.

North Dakota Senate passes bills criminalizing Dakota Access Pipeline protests

By Shelley Connor, 21 February 2017

As construction moves forward to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline, the bills subject protesters to prosecution and up to 20 years in prison.

Arizona invites lawyers for death row inmates to provide execution drugs

By Brad Dixon, 20 February 2017

Unable to procure the drugs needed for lethal injections, the Arizona department of corrections is inviting lawyers for death row inmates to provide the drugs to be used to kill their clients.

The Trump press conference: A ferocious conflict within the ruling elite

By Patrick Martin, 17 February 2017

The press conference was unlike anything seen in modern American history, as the US president traded insults with journalists and engaged in a bitter battle with his nemeses in the media.

Video exposes official lies about police killing in Nashville, Tennessee

By Warren Duzak, 17 February 2017

Police claims that Jocques Scott Clemmons had assaulted the officer who eventually killed him as he left his car during a traffic stop have been shown to be demonstrably false.

Woman forced to give birth on floor of Macomb County, Michigan jail cell

By Nick Rodriguez, 17 February 2017

The disturbing incident, which took place last year but was only recently made public, sheds a stark light on the harsh realities of life confronting the working class.

Nazis in the Trump White House

By Patrick Martin, 13 February 2017

The Trump administration has brought a cabal of fascistic aides into leading roles.

Trump orders could affect up to 8 million immigrants as deportations begin

By E.P. Milligan, 11 February 2017

Trump’s executive orders may result in the mass internment of millions of undocumented immigrants and the imposition of effective martial law in major US cities.

US Federal Court rules that Google must turn over emails stored abroad

By Isaac Finn, 9 February 2017

The court’s ruling reverses a recent legal precedent that allows corporations to withhold data related to criminal investigations as long as it is stored abroad.

US appeals court to rule on restoration of anti-Muslim travel ban

By Patrick Martin, 8 February 2017

At a hearing Tuesday, three appeals court judges appeared skeptical of the claims by the Trump administration that the travel ban was needed to prevent terrorist attacks on the US.

In speech at Florida Air Force base

Trump appeals to the military against the press and the courts

By Barry Grey, 8 February 2017

Trump gave a speech denouncing the press and suggesting the formation of a presidential-military alliance against the courts and the Constitution.

Lawmakers push legislation seeking to criminalize protest throughout the US

By Nick Barrickman, 8 February 2017

Republican state legislators are attacking the constitutional right of free speech and ability to peacefully assemble.

Trump proposes tax break for church political activities

By Ed Hightower, 8 February 2017

Eliminating the Johnson amendment would allow tax-subsidized political donations funneled through religious institutions.

Veteran of torture program appointed new deputy CIA director

By Fred Mazelis, 6 February 2017

Gina Haspel ran the black site prison in Thailand where waterboarding and other gruesome practices were carried out.

FBI secret manuals allow for warrantless stalking of journalists

By Zaida Green, 4 February 2017

More than 1,000 pages of FBI guidelines obtained by The Intercept detail the expansion of the agency’s spy powers under the Obama administration, now inherited by Trump.

Police, National Guard raid Dakota Access pipeline protest camp, arrest 76

By Shelley Connor, 3 February 2017

With the aid of the National Guard, local law enforcement raided the Last Child Camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota on Wednesday evening, using armored vehicles as well as water and sound cannons.

Illinois governor threatens to dispatch National Guard if state workers strike

By George Gallanis, 3 February 2017

Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, has threatened to carry out a Reagan-style strikebreaking operation if 30,000 state workers walk out to oppose his demands for concessions.

Trump nominates ultra-right justice to US Supreme Court

By Patrick Martin, 1 February 2017

Neil Gorsuch, a circuit court judge and right-wing Republican, is a fervent admirer of the late Antonin Scalia, leader of the court’s reactionary bloc.

At Detroit rally SEP speaker calls for mobilization of working class to defend immigrant rights

By our reporters, 1 February 2017

Hundreds of students at Detroit’s Wayne State University protested Trump’s ban on refugees and visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Missouri executes Mark Christeson, a disabled man denied federal review

By Kate Randall, 1 February 2017

Christeson,37, was executed after the US Supreme Court and the Missouri governor refused to grant either a stay or clemency.

“If any layer of society is not safe, then no one is safe”

Protesters denounce Trump’s anti-immigrant order

By our reporters, 30 January 2017

On Saturday and Sunday, thousands gathered at airport terminals and central locations in New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC and other major cities.

Trump, citing “voter fraud,” moves to escalate attacks on voting rights

By Fred Mazelis, 27 January 2017

The new president’s call for a “major investigation,” in the absence of any evidence of fraud, is the latest in a long string of attacks on the most basic democratic right, the right to vote.

Hundreds, including journalists, charged with rioting in wake of inauguration protest

By Genevieve Leigh, 27 January 2017

Hundreds of protesters, including media personnel, have been charged with felony rioting after Friday’s protests during the inauguration of President Donald Trump in Washington DC.

Anti-inauguration protests infiltrated by provocateurs with ties to Trump administration

By Nick Barrickman, 27 January 2017

Project Veritas sent operatives into various protest groups to encourage the commission of acts that could be used to smear protesters as violent.

Trump delivers diatribe against press at CIA headquarters

By Barry Grey, 23 January 2017

Trump’s attack on the corporate-controlled press underscores the degree of tension and conflict within the state as the new administration takes office.

Massive police mobilization on eve of Trump’s inauguration

By Shelley Connor, 20 January 2017

Although the Department of Homeland Security cannot identify a “specific, credible threat” to the transfer of power on January 20, security for the inauguration will be particularly stringent.

NYPD to take over security at New York City homeless shelters

By Christopher Tiberio, 20 January 2017

With an explosion of the city’s homeless population, the NYPD has taken control of security in the shelters as a way to monitor and terrorize their temporary residents.

Chelsea Manning sentence commuted after seven years of brutal imprisonment

By Patrick Martin, 18 January 2017

Manning’s trial and imprisonment for leaking evidence of war crimes was itself a crime, for which the US military and Obama administration are responsible.

Unanimous US Supreme Court insists on broad immunity for police

By Tom Carter, 18 January 2017

The eight justices on the US Supreme Court complained that lower federal courts are not granting immunity to police officers often enough.

United States ends “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy for Cuban migrants

By Alexander Fangmann, 18 January 2017

The immediate end of preferential immigration policies for Cubans is entirely in line with Obama’s role as deporter-in-chief and Trump’s anti-immigrant stance.

From Selma to the CIA

John Lewis, Donald Trump and the demise of the “civil rights” establishment

By Patrick Martin, 16 January 2017

The former civil rights leader and longtime Democratic congressman has now joined the campaign to prepare US public opinion for war with Russia.

FBI informant at Best Buy’s Geek Squad conducted warrantless searches of customers’ devices

By Zaida Green, 14 January 2017

Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” central repair team had at least one supervisor that was an active FBI informant who was paid $500 and subsequently discovered allegedly incriminating evidence.

Congress grovels before the CIA as it escalates “Russian hacking” hysteria

By Patrick Martin, 6 January 2017

At Thursday’s congressional hearing, US Senators seemed to be in competition to demonstrate the most abject loyalty to the intelligence agencies.

Los Angeles legal defense fund provides meager aid to immigrants

By Toby Reese, 4 January 2017

A joint measure by the City and County of Los Angeles will provide $10 million in funding for legal assistance to residents facing deportation proceedings, far below need.

US government collecting social media accounts of visitors to country

By E.P. Milligan, 31 December 2016

The request is part of the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization, a visa waiver application that many visitors must complete before traveling to the United States.

Edward Snowden accused of having Russian intelligence ties

By Matthew MacEgan, 23 December 2016

A recently declassified House Intelligence Committee report smears Snowden as a dishonest miscreant who stole information for Moscow’s and his own personal gain.

Texas moves forward with plans to defund Planned Parenthood

By Shelley Connor, 23 December 2016

Thousands of low-income women will potentially be affected by the state’s decision to deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

Justice Department report estimates nearly 2,000 “arrest-related deaths” annually in US

By our reporter, 19 December 2016

The number of police killings, or homicides, recorded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics is more than twice the number reported by the FBI.

Bakersfield, California police shoot unarmed 73-year-old man

By Shannon Jones, 16 December 2016

The shooting of Francisco Serna, who was suffering from dementia, is the latest horrifying episode in the continuing wave of police violence in the United States.

Newly-enacted Ohio law designed to “end abortion in America”

By Ed Hightower, 15 December 2016

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a reactionary ban on abortions after only 20 weeks, with no exception for cases of rape or incest.

Security theater at Trump Tower in New York City

By Mark Witkowski and Philip Guelpa, 14 December 2016

Extreme security measures, representing a further “normalization” of a pervasive militarized police presence, have been established at Trump Tower.

US Supreme Court denies appeals of four death row inmates

By Kate Randall, 14 December 2016

On Monday, the US Supreme Court denied review in four death penalty cases, each of which had been relisted by the court multiple times.

A cabinet of generals: Trump appoints John Kelly to lead Department of Homeland Security

By Eric London, 8 December 2016

The unprecedented prominence of the military in the incoming cabinet is a dangerous sign that the American ruling class is preparing for war abroad and repression at home.

The political issues in the Standing Rock protests

By Patrick Martin, 8 December 2016

It is impossible to defend the environment or the rights of Native Americans within the straitjacket of the Democratic Party and the capitalist system.

Ohio legislature passes “heartbeat” anti-abortion bill

By Marcus Day, 8 December 2016

The law would criminalize abortions performed once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks after conception.

Georgia carries out its ninth execution of 2016

By Kranti Kumara, 8 December 2016

William Sallie was put to death by lethal injection in Georgia Tuesday night after the US Supreme Court rejected his plea for a stay of execution.

In counterterrorism speech, Obama hints at danger of dictatorship

By Patrick Martin, 7 December 2016

In a speech to a military audience in Florida, the US president twice cited the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal as a warning to the incoming administration of Donald Trump.

Trump transition team announces continued support for Dakota Access Pipeline

By Kevin Martinez, 6 December 2016

The announcement follows the Army Corp of Engineers’ decision to delay construction of the pipeline under Lake Oahe.

US Army Corps postpones confrontation over Dakota Access Pipeline construction

By our reporter, 5 December 2016

The announcement that the US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant an easement for construction essentially puts off a final decision until after Obama leaves office.

Tennessee woman charged in attempted coat-hanger abortion

By Naomi Spencer, 5 December 2016

A Tennessee woman accused of attempting to terminate her pregnancy with a coat hanger last year was arraigned late last month on three felony charges.

Trump declares support for Dakota Access Pipeline ahead of evacuation order against protesters

By Joseph Kishore, 3 December 2016

Under the watchful eye of the Obama administration, protesters have been subjected to brutal violence from the police and National Guard.

Canada’s Resources Minister threatens to use army against pipeline protests

By our reporter, 3 December 2016

The Liberal government has declared it is prepared to use force against those protesting expansion of Canada’s oil pipelines.

Obama administration defends indefinite detention of immigrants before Supreme Court

By Bill Van Auken, 3 December 2016

Obama, who earned the title “deporter in chief,” is handing over to Trump a massive and brutally repressive immigration enforcement system.

NYU’s corporate leadership bars socialist student group from campus

By Eric London, 3 December 2016

The decision by the Student Activities Board to reject the IYSSE’s application for group status sheds light on the ties between NYU, the US military and Wall Street.

Judge allows police to use grenades against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

By Zaida Green, 2 December 2016

Police will continue to use water cannons, concussion grenades, lead-filled beanbags, and chemical agents against protesters.

US Navy punishes family that revealed Flint water poisoning

By Zac Corrigan, 2 December 2016

A family fighting to expose the Flint water crisis say they have been subjected to retaliatory intimidation and abuse by the US Navy.

North Dakota Governor orders “emergency evacuation” of Dakota Access pipeline protest site

By Kevin Martinez, 1 December 2016

The Army Corps of Engineers has set a deadline of December 5 for protesters to leave the encampment or face prosecution for “trespassing.”

President-elect Trump on flag-burning: The crisis of American democracy

By Joseph Kishore, 1 December 2016

Trump’s statement on flag-burning reflects not only the authoritarian disposition of the president-elect, but the far-reaching decay of bourgeois democracy in the United States.

The “fake news” furor and the threat of Internet censorship

By Kevin Reed, 1 December 2016

There is more than a whiff of McCarthyism in the crusade by the corporate-controlled media against “fake news” on social media and the Internet.

US president-elect says flag burners should be stripped of their citizenship

By John Burton, 30 November 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s tweet that people who burn the American flag in protest should be stripped of their citizenship is a repudiation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Trump election boosts anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic attacks

By our reporter, 29 November 2016

Hundreds of hate crimes have been reported since election day.

Obama denounces recount effort

By Eric London, 28 November 2016

President Barack Obama is denouncing an entirely legitimate legal action to verify the outcome of the election in states where the result was exceptionally close.

Police attack on Dakota Access Pipeline protest results in 300 injuries

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 November 2016

Sophia Wilansky, 21, was severely injured by a police concussion grenade, and may require an arm amputation.

King Donald meets his media courtiers

By Patrick Martin, 23 November 2016

Trump gave the media executives and anchors a tongue-lashing, creating an atmosphere that one cowed participant compared to a “firing squad.”