World News

“Truth ultimately is all we have:” Julian Assange appeals for public support

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 May 2019

In the first publicly-released comments to supporters since his arrest, Assange detailed his conditions of isolation at Belmarsh prison and called for supporters to mobilise in his defence.

Actor Geoffrey Rush awarded record payout in defamation damages

By Linda Tenenbaum, 25 May 2019

The Oscar-winning actor was granted a total of nearly $2.9 million, in general and special damages, due to the Murdoch media’s defamatory articles.

Police and military crack down on spontaneous taxi strike in Matamoros, Mexico

By Eric London, 25 May 2019

Hundreds of taxi drivers blocked the international border crossing and several major thoroughfares in response to government efforts to decommission cabs.

German Social Democrats and “The Left” strengthen domestic security agency

By Markus Salzmann, 25 May 2019

In addition to an increase in domestic secret service staff, the state government wants to strengthen the use of police informers and limit parliamentary control.

Nationalism, militarism dominate final European election debate in France

By Will Morrow, 25 May 2019

Pro-European Union parties attacked the far-right National Rally (RN) on the basis that its turn away from a European army would weaken French imperialism’s ability to assert its interests.

Financial Times hails four years of Syriza rule in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 25 May 2019

To be favourably featured in a leading mouthpiece of the global financial aristocracy is testament to the high regard in which Alexis Tsipras is held in ruling circles.

UK climate change protests: Students speak out against treatment of Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 25 May 2019

Thousands of schoolchildren and students demonstrated around the UK Friday to protest government inaction on climate change.

UAW continues to isolate workers

Mercy Health workers continue strike as management digs in

By Shannon Jones, 25 May 2019

Three days of talks this week produced no agreement as management refused to seriously address workers’ concerns over understaffing while continuing operations with strikebreakers.

Management demands cuts to healthcare and pensions

United Steelworkers forcing 6,100 Alcoa and Arconic workers to work without a contract

By Steve Filips, 25 May 2019

Over 6,100 United Steelworkers members at Alcoa and Arconic are being told to continue working without a contract while the company prepares to bring in scabs in the event of a strike.

Germany continues deportations to Afghanistan

By Marianne Arens, 25 May 2019

Just days before the European elections, the charter flight to the war-torn country exposes the deadly practice carried out by both the federal and state governments.

Grenfell fire inquiry delayed for another six months

By Alice Summers, 25 May 2019

The criticisms of survivors and the bereaved point to the growing recognition of the inquiry’s fraudulent nature and disillusionment with the entire process.

Socialist Equality Party wins important support in Australian federal election

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 May 2019

Thousands of workers, students and young people signalled their support for a socialist alternative to war, budget cuts and authoritarianism.

The class issues in the fight to free Julian Assange

By Joseph Kishore, 25 May 2019

Assange is the victim of one of the most massive political frame-ups in modern history, which has received the active support of the entire political establishment and the media.

Knock Down the House and the Democratic Party politics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 May 2019

Knock Down the House reviews the election campaigns of several Democratic Party primary candidates in the 2018 congressional elections, focused on Ocasio-Cortez in New York City.

SGP European election candidate Andreas Niklaus speaks to Berlin bus drivers

“A war must be prevented at all costs”

By our reporters, 25 May 2019

Discussions revolved around the connection between the growing danger of a third world war, the policies of the federal government, and the cementing of austerity programmes

The bankruptcy of Lutte ouvrière’s European election campaign

By Alex Lantier, 25 May 2019

Despite growing social anger over the period since the 2002 elections, when it won 10 percent of the vote, the so-called “far left” expects to get only 1 percent.

Chowel India auto-parts workers arrested; Chinese teachers protest over pay; Fast food workers strike in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 May 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

New charges against Julian Assange under the Espionage Act criminalize journalism

By Andre Damon, 24 May 2019

The Trump administration’s persecution of Assange is a historic attack on the First Amendment of the US constitution, for which the media and the Democratic Party share responsibility.

Indian big business propels Modi and his Hindu supremacist BJP to a second term

By Keith Jones, 24 May 2019

For decades the Stalinists have justified their support for right-wing governments by claiming this would block the BJP’s path to power, but the end result is that the BJP and Hindu right are a greater menace than ever.

Six immigrant children dead in US custody since September

By Eric London, 24 May 2019

Protecting the lives and democratic rights of immigrants requires a fight against imperialist war and the capitalist system.

Amid worsening trade war, Chinese president calls for new “Long March”

By Peter Symonds, 24 May 2019

Xi Jinping’s remarks were a rallying cry to the Chinese bureaucracy as it confronts global economic instability, US trade war measures and rising social unrest.

Markets fall on trade war and global growth fears

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2019

The Financial Times cited one fund manager who said it was “panic mode” and “people are realising that the economy could be a lot slower than we thought.”

Fearmongering accompanies release of John Walker Lindh after 17 years in prison

By John Andrews, 24 May 2019

Lindh, an American captured with other foreign Taliban fighters in 2001, was released from a federal penitentiary Thursday, having served his full sentence for carrying arms on behalf of the then government of Afghanistan.

Incoming Ukrainian president moves to dissolves parliament

By Jason Melanovski, 24 May 2019

Volodmyr Zelensky is seeking to shore up his political position and settle scores with opponents within Ukraine’s oligarchy.

“All schools aren’t created equal in Chicago”

Chicago teachers speak on inequality, attacks on public education at downtown rally

By Marcus Day, 24 May 2019

Teachers at a rally in downtown Chicago Wednesday described the deplorable conditions facing them and their students.

“They spit on our solidarity”

Lyft cuts drivers’ rates in weeks following global rideshare strike

By Kayla Costa, 24 May 2019

Since rideshare drivers participated in a global one-day strike on May 8 to oppose the billion-dollar market frenzy for Uber’s IPO, Lyft drivers have reported compensation cuts of up to 27 percent.

Tamil nationalists support anti-Muslim witch-hunt in Sri Lanka

By V. Gnana and K. Nesan, 24 May 2019

The bourgeois Tamil National Alliance is joining hands with the government as it sets up a police state targeting the entire working class.

Australian voters speak out

Workers and youth condemn major parliamentary parties

By our reporters, 24 May 2019

“I’d like someone in charge who thinks of the 98 percent, rather than the 2 percent of the highest earners in the country.”

The millennial generation in the US: Life on the brink

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 May 2019

The conditions facing working class millennials are the same conditions facing the entire working class, of which those in the millennial generation are a particularly vulnerable layer.

An appeal to young people

Defend the right to tell the truth! Defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 24 May 2019

The following statement is being distributed today at climate change protests across the UK.

“Identity politics has created a prison of the mind…while Julian rots in one which is far more real”

Oxford University student calls for defence of Julian Assange

24 May 2019

The following letter was received from a student at Oxford University who attended the May 12 public meeting in London convened by the SEP, in defence of jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Austria’s “Ibiza Affair” and the rightward shift of the political establishment

By Johannes Stern, 24 May 2019

The very same political forces who are now crying foul over far-right Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache bear chief responsibility for the projected entry of a record number of right-wing extremists into the European Parliament.

Leading Mélenchon supporter backs Le Pen’s neo-fascist National Rally

By Alex Lantier, 24 May 2019

Amid an international resurgence of class struggle, the nationalist and petty bourgeois forces in Europe’s “left populist” movement are moving to the right.

Israeli writer Amos Oz (1939-2018): A critical appreciation

By Clare Hurley and Clara Weiss, 24 May 2019

Oz published 40 books of fiction, collections of essays, speeches and letters that have been translated into 45 languages, including Esperanto.

Washington revives Syria chemical weapons propaganda as pretext for war

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2019

The threat of a new US attack on Syria follows a report exposing the last chemical weapons incident attributed to the Syrian government as a staged provocation.

British Steel collapse threatens 25,000 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 23 May 2019

British Steel’s insolvency threatens to be a virtual coup de grâce against a once powerful section of the working class that has been repeatedly betrayed by the trade unions.

The Indian elections and the fight to free the Maruti Suzuki class war prisoners

By Saman Gunadasa, 23 May 2019

Completely blacked out from the election campaign has been any discussion of the plight of the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers who have been jailed for life on frame-up murder charges.

New Zealand media to censor coverage of Christchurch terrorist’s trial

By Tom Peters, 23 May 2019

Corporate and state media have agreed to self-censorship of Tarrant’s trial in order to obscure the connection between his views and the xenophobia promoted by the ruling class internationally.

Australian voters speak out

Workers and young people warn about the mounting social crisis

By our reporters, 23 May 2019

“The most important thing for me is jobs, security and the economy—we need real action on jobs.”

The Huawei shock

By Nick Beams, 23 May 2019

The actions by the Trump administration against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei have sent shock waves through the global economy and the international trading system.

Washington threatens new attack on Syria amid US war buildup in Persian Gulf

By Bill Van Auken, 22 May 2019

With the Trump administration threatening a new attack on Syria on the pretext of chemical weapons, Democrats signed a letter urging an even more aggressive policy.

Swedish hearing to extradite Julian Assange delayed until June 3

By Mike Head, 22 May 2019

The Swedish allegations, first issued in 2010, are aimed at blackening the WikiLeaks founder’s name and devising a mechanism to have him dragged off to the US.

Collapse of British Steel threatens 25,000 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 22 May 2019

The trade unions and Labour Party have responded to the threat to jobs at British Steel with a predictable outburst of nationalist demagogy.

Banks and multinationals announce mass layoffs in Spain

By Alejandro López, 22 May 2019

The ability of companies to impose redundancies is dependent on the collaboration of Spanish unions.

As more Democrats call for impeachment inquiry

Former White House counsel refuses to testify before House committee

By Barry Grey, 22 May 2019

The Democrats are warning about a “constitutional crisis” and the threat of dictatorship, but their own fecklessness is bound up with the reactionary basis of their opposition to Trump.

Thousands rally across the US to defend abortion rights

By our reporters, 22 May 2019

The number of demonstrations reflect the broad popular support for the right of women to choose and in defense of democratic rights more generally.

“This is a horrible feeling”

Ford workers in Michigan respond to job cuts

By our reporters, 22 May 2019

Hundreds of white-collar workers at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan received notice Tuesday that their jobs were being eliminated.

Teachers strike in New Haven School District, Northern California

By Dan Conway, 22 May 2019

The California Teachers Association is sponsoring a #RedForEd “Day of Action” at the state capital of Sacramento on Wednesday.

Over 240,000 people back Chinese tech worker protest

By Mike Ingram, 22 May 2019

Chinese tech workers protesting inhumane working conditions have received massive international support.

Australian Labor Party in crisis after election debacle

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 May 2019

The election result demonstrated a deep-going rupture between the working class and the big business Labor Party.

Indian Elections:

Stalinist CPM faces debacle in its West Bengal “bastion”

By Deepal Jayasekera, 22 May 2019

Much of the CPM’s apparatus has defected either to the right-wing Trinamool Congress or the Hindu supremacist BJP of Narendra Modi.

Germany: Tens of thousands demonstrate against nationalism

By our correspondents, 22 May 2019

While many came to demonstrate against nationalism and racism, the organisers sought to mobilise support for pro-EU parties—the SPD, Greens and Left Party—a week before the European elections.

Canada’s Conservative leader lays out right-wing economic and foreign policy agenda

By Roger Jordan, 22 May 2019

Scheer pledged to step up military-security cooperation with the US, intensify Canada’s aggressive stance against China and Russia, and gut social spending.

Australia: Tasmanian paramedic protests ambulance ramping

By Margaret Rees, 22 May 2019

The high incidence of ramping is product of the wider crisis of the hospital system which has been chronically underfunded by Labor and Liberal governments alike.

Ford escalates jobs massacre

The global socialist strategy to fight auto layoffs

By Jerry White, 22 May 2019

The global integration of capitalist production has created the practical and technological means to unite workers in an internationally coordinated campaign to defend jobs and living standards.

Ten years after civil war ends, Sri Lankan ruling elites prepare for class war

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 22 May 2019

The entire political establishment is preparing another bogus “war on terror” which is targeting the island’s Muslims, but will also be used to suppress the opposition of the working class.

Socialist Equality Group to hold public meeting in Turkey to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By the Sosyalist Eşitlik, 22 May 2019

The meeting is part of the ICFI’s ongoing international campaign to defend Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

The author asks: Is America unredeemable? Rachel Kushner’s novel The Mars Room

By Sandy English, 22 May 2019

Rachel Kushner’s new novel centers on the grim conditions in a women’s prison and draws connections between them and the general state of American society.

Ford slashing 7,000 white collar jobs

By Jerry White, 21 May 2019

In a scene played out just a few months ago at General Motors, hundreds of white-collar workers at Ford will be thrown out of their jobs this week as Ford cuts 10 percent of its salaried global workforce.

Persian Gulf tensions rise as Trump threatens “end” of Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2019

The apocalyptic tweet from the US president came amid provocative drills by US warships in the Arabian Sea.

Protests erupt across US over barbaric anti-abortion ban in Alabama

By Valery Tsekov, 21 May 2019

The most significant of theses protests took place in Alabama and in Kansas City, Missouri, where a similar bill has been passed.

Former Ecuadorian consul Fidel Narváez denounces search and confiscation of Assange’s possessions

By our reporter, 21 May 2019

The WSWS spoke to Fidel Narváez, former consul at the Ecuadorian embassy, who was among protesters opposing plans for the police to search and confiscate the possessions of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

US warships provocatively challenge China’s claims in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 21 May 2019

The so-called freedom of navigation operation underscores the danger that trade war with China will escalate into military conflict as the US seeks to ensure its global domination.

Australian voters speak out

Mass support for Assange as workers and youth oppose militarism and war

By our reporters, 21 May 2019

Many workers passionately oppose the persecution of Assange and Manning hailing them as “heroes,” “legends” and similar appellations.

Right-wing Australian government re-elected as voters turn against Labor

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 May 2019

The election result reflected widespread hostility among workers, students and young people to Labor and the entire political establishment.

Le Pen’s neo-fascist National Rally leads European election polls in France

By Will Morrow, 21 May 2019

In France and internationally, far-right forces are exploiting social anger produced by the pro-war, austerity and police-state policies of social-democratic governments.

US media silent on re-jailing of Chelsea Manning

By Genevieve Leigh, 21 May 2019

The attack on Manning and Assange is part of much broader global assault on basic democratic rights, including freedom of speech, the press and the internet.

Death of a Los Angeles dockworker

By Rafael Azul, 20 May 2019

The death of Joseph Santoyo and severe injury to Pedro Chavarin at the Los Angeles port of San Pedro occurred in the midst of speed-ups and the destruction of working conditions.

Kicking off his presidential campaign

Biden makes right-wing plea for “unity” with Republicans

By Patrick Martin, 20 May 2019

At the kickoff rally for his campaign, the Democratic frontrunner avoided any mention of the growth of social inequality or the domination of a financial aristocracy over America.

The Australian Labor Party’s election debacle and the fight against the far-right

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 May 2019

The election outcome exposes the bankrupt claims by the unions and the pseudo-left that the rise of the extreme right can be opposed by supporting pro-business centre-left parties such as the Australian Labor Party.

Teachers rally in Nashville, Tennessee to demand pay raises

By Warren Duzak, 20 May 2019

More than 1,000 teachers and school employees called in sick last week in the latest protests by educators in the US.

Ethiopian Airlines tells Boeing, FAA to stop blaming dead pilots for 737 crashes

By Trévon Austin, 20 May 2019

While neither the carriers nor the pilots had been informed of the existence of a new anti-stall system, Federal Aviation Administration officials are trying to scapegoat those pilots who died trying to overcome the airplane's design flaws .

Socialist Equality Party holds rally in Berlin to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 20 May 2019

Some 300 people attended the demonstration and heard greetings and speeches from representatives of the Socialist Equality Parties in Germany, Britain, the US and Australia.

Far-right Alternative for Germany sets the tone for German Grand Coalition government

By Johannes Stern, 20 May 2019

With its new legislative package, the grand coalition government of the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) is implementing the policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

“I would rather starve to death than change my opinion”

Chelsea Manning jailed again after refusing to testify against WikiLeaks

By Niles Niemuth, 17 May 2019

Manning has courageously insisted on principle that she will never testify before any grand jury about her possible contacts with Assange and WikiLeaks or anything else.

More migrant deaths as Trump unveils class-based immigration quota

By Eric London, 17 May 2019

Trump announced the new plan as the military agreed to build six new internment camps along the US-Mexico border.

Saudi bombs kill Yemeni civilians, raising war tensions in Persian Gulf

By Bill Van Auken, 17 May 2019

The airstrikes, claiming 77 civilian casualties, came two days after drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

US security forces storm Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C.

By Nick Barrickman, 17 May 2019

The raid of the embassy is of a piece with the reckless and illegal actions taken by the Trump administration in an effort to force a regime change in Venezuela.

Muslim victims of violence in Sri Lanka speak to the WSWS

By our reporters, 17 May 2019

WSWS reporters visiting Minuwangoda, a bustling town in the Gampaha district of Sri Lanka, discovered a ghost town.

University of California unions wear down workers with fifth one-day strike

By Evelyn Rios, 17 May 2019

Dwindling numbers participate in the fifth one-day, unpaid strike, as workers have been kept on the job without a contract for nearly two years.

With contract deadline approaching, Michigan auto parts workers vote by 97 percent to strike global parts maker

By James McDonald, 17 May 2019

Michigan auto parts workers, angry over deplorable conditions and years of UAW-backed concessions, face a contract expiration date of May 31.

Students for Justice in Palestine at New York University smeared as anti-Semitic

By Isaac Finn, 17 May 2019

The attack on the Students for Justice in Palestine is part of an international campaign to slander left-wing organizations that criticize the Israeli state.

Rising US health insurance costs take toll on workers

By Alex Johnson, 17 May 2019

Since 2007, annual deductibles for job-based health plans—the most common form of coverage—have increased fourfold, with the average for plans rising to an estimated $1,300.

Canada’s government uses bogus “foreign interference” claims to expand censorship ahead of federal election

By Penny Smith and Roger Jordan, 17 May 2019

The government’s reactionary campaign has the twin aims of legitimizing censorship of social media and whipping up hostility against Russia and China, which Canadian imperialism views as its most dangerous rivals.

Spain’s ruling elite mourns former Socialist Party leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba

By Alejandro López, 17 May 2019

The bourgeoisie hailed Rubalcaba because his defence of austerity and violent repression epitomize what it sees as desirable in a ruler.

Labor’s promise on childcare wages—another cynical deception

By Terry Cook, 17 May 2019

Labor leader Bill Shorten’s pledge is designed to prevent a rank-and-file struggle for a genuine improvement in wages and working conditions.

The US war drive against Iran and the conflict with Europe

By Alex Lantier, 17 May 2019

Amid growing conflicts with its strategic rivals, including its European Union “allies,” Washington is seeking to reorganize Eurasian geopolitics, beginning with a war drive targeting Iran.

The Eyes of Orson Welles: A markedly political approach to the American filmmaker …

… and John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky (about John Lennon’s 1971 album Imagine )

By Joanne Laurier, 17 May 2019

A generally left-wing figure shaped by the Great Depression and the impact of the Russian Revolution, filmmaker Orson Welles (1915-1985) was artistically demanding and for the most part found Hollywood nightmarish.

Vote 1 Socialist Equality Party! Take up the fight for socialist internationalism!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 17 May 2019

The SEP is campaigning to build a revolutionary, socialist movement of the working class against the entire parliamentary establishment and the capitalist system that it defends.

Mass unemployment, climate change and a toxic dump in Oxley

By Michael Smith, 17 May 2019

The following is an edited version of the speech delivered by Michael Smith to the Socialist Equality Party election public meeting in the Brisbane electorate of Oxley.

Strong response to SEP’s socialist program at final election meetings

By our reporters, 17 May 2019

There were animated and extended discussions at SEP public meetings in the working-class electorates of Parramatta, Hunter, Calwell and Oxley this week.

Workers and youth discuss Julian Assange, social conditions and war at SEP election meetings

By our reporters, 17 May 2019

One worker said: “It is absolutely vital that we have meetings like this in working-class areas. Having this meeting, as a party, is one step ahead towards the goal of achieving equality.”

Socialist Equality Party in Germany to hold central meeting of European election campaign in Berlin

By the Socialist Equality Party (SGP), 17 May 2019

Prior to the May 18 meeting, the SGP will organise a rally in front of the British Embassy in Berlin to demand the freedom of Julian Assange.

George Galloway tried to become Brexit Party candidate—and failed

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2019

Galloway’s failed attempt to represent Nigel Farage’s party is indicative of how an entire layer of ex-Stalinists and the pseudo-left have become part of a new right.

Speech by Oscar Grenfell

Millions in Australia “view Assange as a hero who is being attacked for revealing the truth.”

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the speech of Oscar Grenfell, a leading member of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and national convenor of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, at the May 12 meeting in London in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Clara Campos of the Julian Assange Defence Committee:

“We must act now in mobilising to free him. He is one of us.”

By Clara Campos, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the remarks of Clara Campos, a representative of the Julian Assange Defence Committee, who spoke at the May 12 meeting in London in defense of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Defeat the government’s police-military dictatorial plans

SEP/IYSSE public meeting in Colombo on Sri Lankan emergency declaration

17 May 2019

The meeting will discuss the revolutionary socialist perspective needed to defend the democratic and social rights of working people.

Workers in France march against government labour laws; Sudan hit by strikes; unions betray South African Cell C strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

17 May 2019

Tens of thousands of French workers held a march against regressive changes in labour laws while major strikes continue in Sudan and South Africa

In another escalation of trade war against China

Trump issues executive order directed at Huawei

By Nick Beams, 16 May 2019

The latest US action is an escalation in what could be described as a drive to “weaponise” all arms of the state in the economic confrontation against China.

New Zealand government’s promises to combat child poverty exposed

By Chris Ross and Tom Peters, 16 May 2019

The Labour-led government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is overseeing growing poverty and social inequality.