Democratic Rights in the US

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.”

Obama rejects pardon for Snowden

By Jerry White, 21 November 2016

In an interview with German media outlets, Obama rejected a presidential pardon for NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

A chilling attack on free speech

Trump attempts to bully cast of Hamilton over criticism of anti-democratic policies

By David Walsh, 21 November 2016

President-elect Donald Trump responded to concerns about his incoming administration as expressed by the cast of the Broadway show Hamilton with a series of thuggish, threatening Tweets.

Trump transition team discussing registry of Muslims

By our reporter, 19 November 2016

In the wake of a television appearance in which a Trump campaign activist said that a registry of Muslim visitors to the United States could be justified under the “precedent” set by the mass internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, a leader of the Trump transition team has revealed that a formal proposal for such a registry is under discussion.

Ohio judge declares mistrial in the murder of Sam DuBose

By Samuel Davidson, 17 November 2016

A former police officer was charged in the death of an unarmed black motorist during a traffic stop.

Cop who killed Philando Castile facing manslaughter charges

By Zaida Green, 17 November 2016

Officer Jeronimo Yanez faces charges of second-degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm after shooting Castile seven times during a traffic stop in July.

High school walkouts, protests against Trump enter second week

By our reporters, 16 November 2016

The protests on Tuesday follow the press conference of Obama on Monday, when he urged Americans to “reconcile themselves” with a Trump presidency.

Trump’s candidate for Homeland Security chief calls for suppression of anti-Trump protests

By Tom Carter, 16 November 2016

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has unleashed a series of tweets calling for a “state of emergency” to be declared and for the ongoing anti-Trump protests to be violently “quelled” by the military.

Two death penalty propositions on California ballot

By Adam Mclean, 3 November 2016

From a class standpoint, it is impossible to support an anti-death penalty proposition that expands life imprisonment without parole and other forms of punishment of prisoners.

Popular support grows for anti-oil pipeline protesters in North Dakota

By Kevin Martinez, 2 November 2016

The mainly Native American protesters have received over $1 million in crowdsource funding, but only silence from Hillary Clinton and attacks from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

New York: Rikers Island prison guards found guilty in beating and cover-up

By Sandy English, 1 November 2016

Four guards at New York City’s Rikers Island prison complex were convicted of brutalizing inmate Carl Williams in 2013 and falsifying records.

Violent police attack on anti-oil pipeline protest in North Dakota

By Zaida Green, 29 October 2016

Police officers in riot gear from five states were supported by National Guard troops and armored vehicles, arresting 141 protesters.

Surveillance requests expand by 500 percent in Washington, DC

By Nick Barrickman, 27 October 2016

Court dockets released to the ACLU in July show that federal officials’ requests to conduct electronic surveillance on the population in the DC metropolitan region has skyrocketed in recent years.

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.