Democratic Rights in Britain

UK residents demand release of Julian Assange, support international vigils

By our reporters, 19 June 2018

Leading up to today’s vigil at the Ecuador Embassy in London, the SEP in Britain has been contacted with messages of support, demanding freedom for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

British government extends censorship of online activity

By Simon Whelan, 16 June 2018

The personal information held by MI5 on 20,000 British “suspected” citizens is to be declassified and shared with local authorities, police “and others.”

Professor Piers Robinson demands freedom for Julian Assange

14 June 2018

A leading member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media and of the Media on Trial organisation, Robinson has opposed regime change wars in the Balkans and the Middle East

Committee For Public Education urges participation in June 17 Assange rally

13 June 2018

The governments attempting to silence Assange are attacking the right of students and educators to a fully-resourced public education.

Sheila Coombes, Professor Tim Hayward and journalist Vanessa Beeley demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 11 June 2018

Three prominent individuals associated with the Media on Trial group have sent statements to the World Socialist Web Site supporting the campaign to free Julian Assange.

Oxford Union debating society threatened with legal action over censoring criticism of CIA

By Thomas Scripps, 7 June 2018

The February 27 event is not being censored on legal grounds or on the basis that “sensitive information” has been revealed, but because it is deemed necessary to suppress critical opposition to the US security apparatus and its activities.

US activist Kevin Zeese calls for demonstrations against the persecution of Julian Assange

6 June 2018

“Freedom of speech and freedom of the press is being defined by the treatment of Julian Assange.”

Free Julian Assange! Support the June 19 vigil in London

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 6 June 2018

Workers and young people must demand that the Conservative government of Theresa May end its persecution of Assange, drop the bail-related issues against him and allow him to leave the embassy and, if he chooses, the UK, without fear of arrest.

Journalist Antony Loewenstein: “Heavy pressure” needed to win freedom and justice for Assange

6 June 2018

The following statement was sent by journalist and filmmaker Antony Loewenstein, a consistent defender of WikiLeaks.

Ecuadorian foreign minister asserts treatment of Assange is “not censorship”

By James Cogan, 5 June 2018

Assange is not only being censored, but faces imminent danger of being forced into the hands of his persecutors.

John Pilger and Courage Foundation announce “urgent campaign” to free Assange

5 June 2018

The Courage Foundation, which raises funds for the legal defence of persecuted whistleblowers and journalists, has endorsed protests and vigils in defence of Julian Assange later this month.

Lift the ban on communications! Free Julian Assange!

By James Cogan, 4 June 2018

The American state and its allies are seeking to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in order to intimidate every critical and independent media organisation.

UK: Grenfell victims’ relatives unable to commemorate loved-ones due to government anti-immigration policies

By Simon Whelan, 4 June 2018

Government policies bringing about heartache for Grenfell relatives are having the very impact the government desired—making it more difficult for them to testify at the public inquiry.

YouTube removes “drill” music videos at request of London’s Metropolitan Police

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2018

On the basis of a few isolated cases, an entire musical genre is being targeted on the basis that it is responsible for what is described as a “surge” in knife crime in London.

The working class must mobilize to free Julian Assange!

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2018

The demand for the freedom of Julian Assange must be connected to the developing international movement of workers against inequality, oppression and exploitation.

Oxford Union panel speaker Heather Marsh confirms debate was censored to protect CIA

By Zach Reed, 30 May 2018

It appears that reference to the CIA as an “organized crime syndicate,” and listing a portion of its crimes, were grounds for censorship.

“I don’t think Assange will be forgiven by our rulers because he educated the world”

Join the June 19 London vigil demanding freedom for Julian Assange!

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2018

Emmy Butlin of the Julian Assange Defence Committee said: “Individual contributions are great, but we change society as a group, acting together.”

For international action to defend Julian Assange!

By The ICFI and WSWS international editorial board, 28 May 2018

The June 17 demonstration in Sydney will demand that the Australian government immediately act to secure Assange’s unconditional freedom and return to Australia.

Julian Assange “in jeopardy” of being forced into UK and US detention

By Mike Head, 25 May 2018

Reports allege that the WikiLeaks founder could be removed from Ecuador’s London embassy “any day now.”

WikiLeaks and whistleblowers condemn new allegations against Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 17 May 2018

Beside WikiLeaks and the WSWS, only a handful of other websites and individuals have stepped forward to denounce the Guardian for serving as the conduit for the anti-Assange vendetta.

Military coup against a Corbyn Labour government discussed by Daily Telegraph

By Robert Stevens, 15 May 2018

That a military coup is again under serious consideration puts paid to the illusions assiduously cultivated by Corbyn and his apologists that a Labour government led by him will inaugurate a new period of reforms.

Ecuador hints it may hand over Julian Assange to Britain and the US

By James Cogan, 12 May 2018

There is almost universal and reprehensible silence on the part of organisations and individuals that once claimed to defend Assange and WikiLeaks.

Belgian prime minister smears filmmaker Ken Loach as “anti-Semitic”

By Paul Bond, 4 May 2018

The pro-austerity premier’s slur demonstrates how baseless charges of anti-Semitism are being used to attack any form of social protest or comment.

Bogus “Labour anti-Semitism” campaign secures expulsion of leading activist Marc Wadsworth

By Chris Marsden, 30 April 2018

Wadsworth has been subjected to a two-year campaign of denigration by the Labour Party’s right-wing and the media on the most transparent pretext imaginable

UK government’s persecution of Caribbean workers the tip of an iceberg

By Paul Mitchell, 26 April 2018

In 2016, almost 40,000 people were removed from the UK or classified as “departing voluntarily” after having received threatening letters.

Tragic killings of teenagers in London used to urge greater police powers

By Paul Mitchell, 21 April 2018

A major reason for the ramped-up law-and-order campaign is next month’s local elections, with the Conservatives so hated—particularly after the Grenfell Tower tragedy—that they face a wipe-out.

Murdoch’s Times witch-hunts academics for questioning UK government’s Syria lies

By Julie Hyland, 19 April 2018

Under conditions where the imperialist powers are dragging humanity towards a third world war, the ruling elites can no longer countenance critical opinion.

UK government’s racist targeting of Caribbean migrants provokes backlash

By Robert Stevens and Thomas Scripps, 19 April 2018

The tightening of immigration legislation was in line with a policy of creating, in Prime Minister May’s words, a “really hostile environment” for “illegal” immigrants.

National Union of Students lobs sexual harassment smears at UK lecturers

By Thomas Scripps, 12 April 2018

The NUS’ report claiming rampant sexual harassment by UK academics adds fuel to the media furor against the UK lecturers’ strike.

Catalan nationalist Ponsatí appears in Scottish court to oppose extradition

By Steve James, 12 April 2018

The Rajoy administration’s resort to dictatorial measures is ultimately aimed at silencing all political dissent and intimidating the Spanish working class.

Two weeks since WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange silenced by Ecuador

By Niles Niemuth, 11 April 2018

It is no coincidence that Assange has been shut off from any form of communication with the outside world as the US and its allies prepare for an escalation of war in Syria and beyond.

British government admits MI5 enjoys carte blanche to break the law

By Simon Whelan, 6 April 2018

Under conditions in which social and political antagonisms are reaching the breaking point, the state security apparatus has accelerated its anti-working class and anti-socialist activities.

Charities work with UK Home Office to deport rough sleepers

By Tom Pearce, 6 April 2018

In 2017, the rough sleeping rate in London showed an 18 percent rise since 2016, with 59 percent of rough sleepers in the capital being non-UK nationals.

“The people are behind you!”

Students, faculty and staff at University of Michigan oppose persecution of Julian Assange

By Zac Corrigan, 3 April 2018

On Monday, an IYSSE campaign team spoke to students and faculty at the University of Michigan about the confinement and persecution of Julian Assange.

Ecuador cuts off Julian Assange’s access to the outside world

By Mike Head, 29 March 2018

Julian Assange’s confinement in the Ecuadoran embassy increasingly resembles that of a prisoner.

UK: Eight million hit by welfare cuts

By Dennis Moore, 24 March 2018

Adjusting for inflation, the last decade has been the weakest for average earnings in two centuries—the product of above-target inflation and poor nominal pay growth.

“We will not eat until we are free”

UK: Hunger strikers at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre

By Laura Tiernan, 26 February 2018

The mainly women detainees are demanding an end to indefinite detention, describing “systematic torture” by the Home Office and the private security firm, Serco.

Questions University College London must answer on eugenics conference

By Thomas Scripps, 19 February 2018

UCL honorary senior lecturer James Thompson is obsessed almost solely with genetic differences in intelligence across genders, countries and ethnicities.

Squalor, violence and death: The deterioration of UK prisons

By Peter Reydt, 16 February 2018

Year after year, there are reports documenting the fact that UK prisons are hellholes unfit to hold human beings.

Britain warned Sweden not to drop Assange extradition proceedings

By Paul Mitchell, 13 February 2018

The UK remains determined to arrest journalist Julian Assange, who is trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in relation to trumped-up “sexual assault” charges.

UK High Court rejects Lauri Love’s extradition to US

By Margot Miller, 8 February 2018

The High Court judges agreed with Love’s legal team that, on medical grounds, he should be tried in the UK, not the US.

Julian Assange loses initial bid to overturn British arrest warrant

By Mike Head, 7 February 2018

Even if the judge withdraws the warrant next week, Assange still faces extradition to the US to be tried on trumped-up charges of espionage and treason.

UK: Conservative government backs efforts to overturn parole of rapist John Worboys

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2018

The moves to challenge the Parole Board’s January 4 decision have implications for legal norms and due process.

Julian Assange challenges warrant for his arrest as doctors confirm worsening of his health

By Margot Miller, 27 January 2018

The clinicians, with a combined four decades of experience, said Assange's "continued confinement" is "a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.”

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

Freedom for Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2018

The “untenable” conditions under which the WikiLeaks founder remains confined are the product of an unrelenting drive by the US and British governments to punish him for exposing the crimes of imperialism.

“Sexual misconduct” witch-hunt targets conductor Charles Dutoit, director Max Stafford-Clarke and actor Ed Westwick

By Paul Bond, 11 January 2018

Just before Christmas, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announced that it had cancelled appearances by its artistic director, 81-year-old conductor Charles Dutoit.

Britain's Guardian newspaper registers concern at collapse of high-profile rape cases

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 9 January 2018

Events that confirm the fundamental importance of the presumption of innocence have been met with undisguised antipathy from those sections of the media most closely involved with the #MeToo campaign.

UK: Social media giants face sanctions if they fail to provide “proof” of Russian interference

By Julie Hyland, 9 January 2018

The select committee’s aim is to manufacture a pretext for imperialist intrigues against Russia while censoring alternative media sources.

The Guardian’s George Monbiot joins “fake news” campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2017

For the Guardian’s George Monbiot to portray the entirely valid criticisms of the official line on the Khan Sheikhoun attack in Syria as fuelling far-right conspiracy theories is politically criminal.

Patel resignation exposes UK’s covert support for Israel and Islamist proxies

By Jean Shaoul, 17 November 2017

The sordid tale of Department for International Development Secretary Priti Patel’s fall from grace and resignation highlights the true content of Britain’s “aid” policy.

UK Labour’s Carl Sargeant commits suicide after sexual harassment allegations

By Julie Hyland, 10 November 2017

Friends and colleagues denounced Sargeant’s treatment, saying that he had been “thrown to the wolves,” despite none of the allegations being subject to investigation by the police.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in anti-democratic “sex pest” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 November 2017

The sex scandal engulfing Britain’s parliament sprang to life following that involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

Director of British rights group Cage convicted for refusing to reveal mobile phone and laptop pass codes

By Steve James, 4 October 2017

The conviction of Muhammed Rabbani underscores the significance of recent investigations into massive mobile phone surveillance in Britain by local police forces.

Parsons Green bomb seized on to call for greater internet censorship

By Steve James, 30 September 2017

The ruling elite are calling for powers to exclude whole sections of the population from internet use, as and when politically convenient.

UK government officials back Trump demands for Internet censorship following London bombing

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 18 September 2017

In the name of opposing “extremism,” the May government is preparing a drastic curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Bomb attack on London Underground sets stage for further state repression

By Steve James, 16 September 2017

As with all such outrages, there is no reason to assume that the attack comes as a surprise to the British intelligence agencies.

Over 1,000 organisations targeted by UK police undercover spying operations

By Steve James, 3 August 2017

In 2015, the Socialist Equality Party published an Open Letter to the Pitchford inquiry for “the immediate release of the names of all undercover police operatives, especially those active in the Workers Revolutionary Party (and its forerunners and successor organisations).”

No prison in England and Wales safe for young people

By Peter Reydt, 1 August 2017

A new report details how working class criminals are incarcerated in “filthy and dilapidated”, vermin infested, overcrowded and violent “facilities.”

Protest in London against police killing of Rashan Charles

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2017

It is already clear from the response of the police and Independent Police Complaints Commission that yet another cover-up of the death of a man in police custody is underway.

Grenfell fire: social cleansing by London councils widespread

By Julie Hyland, 24 July 2017

Formerly socially owned and essential assets have been transferred wholesale to major corporations and hedge funds, jeopardising the lives of working people.

UK’s Daily Mail tries to scapegoat resident for Grenfell Tower inferno

By Margot Miller and Robert Stevens, 21 June 2017

Angry denunciations of the tabloid flooded in after it tried to pin the blame for the horrific fire that cost the lives of at least 79 people on an Ethiopian taxi driver.

London terror suspects were known to police

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2017

As evidence continued to mount that the attackers received some degree of state protection, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced Prime Minister Theresa May for having allowed “cuts in police numbers.”

Official account of London terror attack unravels

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 5 June 2017

Within 24 hours of Saturday’s terror attack at London Bridge, the official narrative presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May has begun to fall apart.

UK and US mount damage control operation over Manchester bombing

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2017

Amid revelations that suicide bomber Salmand Abedi was closely monitored by British intelligence, MI5 has launched an investigation into its latest “intelligence failure.”

Explosion kills, wounds dozens at pop concert in Manchester

By our reporters, 23 May 2017

The carnage and terror occurred barely 17 days before Britain votes in the snap June 8 national election.

UK government seeks additional surveillance powers, including overriding encryption

By Barry Mason, 20 May 2017

The UK government is seeking to implement policies that would, as one commentator put it, “effectively make strong and unbreakable encryption illegal.”

US bombings in Syria and Afghanistan

A new stage in the repudiation of international law

By Mike Head, 29 April 2017

The ever-greater assertion of US militarism has brought humanity to the point where the rules of war are being nakedly flouted.

Whistleblower uncovers London police hacking of journalists and protestors

By Trevor Johnson, 15 April 2017

The existence of a secretive unit acting illegally within the Metropolitan Police raises fundamental issues of democratic rights that have not been broached by the media.

London attack perpetrator was monitored by British intelligence six years ago

By Robert Stevens, 28 March 2017

In each terrorist attack in the UK over the last decade and a half it has been soon established that the perpetrators were known to the British state beforehand.

Five confirmed dead, 40 injured in terror attack in London

By Chris Marsden, 23 March 2017

The ruling elite in Britain and internationally were quick to make political capital from the appalling event.

Europe-wide demonstrations in defence of migrants and refugees

By Robert Stevens, 20 March 2017

Speakers at the London demonstration, including Trades Union Congress leader Frances O’Grady, declared token opposition to the treatment of refugees by May and Trump, which commits them to doing absolutely nothing.

Meeting on UK undercover policing highlights need for an independent inquiry

By Paul Mitchell, 23 February 2017

The ongoing Undercover Policing Inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Pitchford, is aimed at whitewashing, not exposing, widespread illegal infiltration of state intelligence agencies into left-wing movements.

May government ends limited scheme allowing lone child refugees into Britain

By Margot Miller, 22 February 2017

A total of just 350 children will be accepted, meaning another 150 by March when the scheme will close, as 200 are already in the UK.

British court hears appeal of conviction of war criminal Alexander Blackman

By Harvey Thompson, 14 February 2017

The appeal is the outcome of a media-orchestrated campaign by right-wing forces, allied with sections of the military, who were never reconciled to Blackman’s jailing.

Report co-authored by murdered British MP Jo Cox advocates for war

By Richard Tyler, 11 February 2017

Cox’s brutal murder shocked millions, but her death has been used in the most cynical fashion by the most right-wing forces within the Labour Party.

UK: Family wins case against anti-democratic Prevent legislation

By Tania Kent, 10 February 2017

Bedfordshire Local Education Authority admitted breaching the rights of two school children to a private and family life, freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

European Court verdict no obstacle to UK state surveillance

By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2016

The Investigatory Powers Act is a staggering and unprecedented attack on the rights and privacy of every UK citizen.

UK: Inmates riot at Birmingham prison as conditions deteriorate

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 21 December 2016

The ruling elite’s only response is law and order and the continuation of social policies that increase the prison population.

Immigrants protest ill treatment in UK detention centres

By Richard Tyler, 6 December 2016

Hunger strikes, attempted suicides and incidents of self-harm are common in the centres.

British parliament passes “Snoopers’ Charter,” expanding spying powers

By Trevor Johnson, 22 November 2016

The new laws are an unprecedented attack on democratic rights, giving the state the power to gather information on millions, and to process, profile and store the results.

Bedford riot highlights appalling conditions in UK prisons

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 9 November 2016

Conditions in prisons in England and Wales have deteriorated rapidly as a result of spending cuts, while inmate numbers—including those held awaiting trial—have surged.

UK reneges on its promise to take in Syrian refugees

By Jean Shaoul, 17 September 2016

One year after former Prime Minister David Cameron promised to settle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020, only 2,800 have arrived in Britain.

Chakrabarti report refutes claims of rampant anti-Semitism in British Labour Party

By Jean Shaoul, 26 August 2016

Far from calming tensions, the findings have added to the already “toxic atmosphere” inside the Labour Party.

UK inquest reveals brutality of immigrant detainee’s death

By Dennis Moore, 17 August 2016

Prior to the 43-year-old man’s death, he was attached by his wrists to a two-metre closet chain.

Swedish prosecutors to question Julian Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Paul Mitchell, 15 August 2016

Assange remains fearful that attempts will be made to railroad him to the United States, where a sealed Grand Jury indictment involving espionage charges is awaiting him.

UK inquiry refuses to investigate police spying on Workers Revolutionary Party

By Paul Mitchell, 9 August 2016

The issue of police spying on the WRP resurfaced when actor Ricky Tomlinson called on Lord Pitchford to overturn his decision to refuse him “core participant” status in the inquiry.

Knife attack in London prompts massive police operation

By Robert Stevens, 5 August 2016

The killing on a central London street of a US national is being used to justify a massive build-up of armed police throughout the UK.

UK law firm boasts blocking support to disadvantaged children

By Benjamin Trent and Paul Mitchell, 4 August 2016

More than 1.3 million schoolchildren in England—15 percent of the total—have been identified as needing special educational needs and disabilities support.

UK Labour Party coup plotters make public their split preparations

By Robert Stevens, 1 August 2016

A major fear of the right wing is that if they carry out a formal split now, ahead of the September result, they could lose any right to be called the “Labour Party” and to secure its assets.

Protests follow the death of teenager in Liverpool

By Dennis Moore, 23 July 2016

Footage shows Mzee Mohammed face down, barefoot and apparently unconscious while appearing to have his hands cuffed behind his back.

The murky world of the UK’s Blairite anti-Corbyn coup plotters

By Robert Stevens, 22 July 2016

Leading figures in the plot to depose Corbyn were members of the US British-American Project, which was established during the 1980s with a mission “to perpetuate the close relationship between the United States and Britain.”

UK: Children referred for “deradicalisation” under “anti-terrorist” strategy

By Tom Pearce, 15 July 2016

Since the start of the 2015 academic year, increasing numbers of youth have been questioned over their religion, political affiliation and actions.

UK: Forty-two years after Birmingham pub bombings, inquest to be reopened

By Trevor Johnson, 6 July 2016

The inquest is into the bombings themselves and their victims, rather than the frame-up of six innocent men.

MP’s murder exposes role of neo-fascists in British Leave campaign

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2016

The murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox underscores the frenzy of nationalism and xenophobia being whipped up around Thursday’s referendum on EU membership.

The EU referendum and the murder of British MP Jo Cox

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2016

The murder of Cox has starkly revealed the fascistic character of the forces being whipped up around this week’s referendum on British membership in the EU, particularly by the Leave campaign.

Britain’s Labour Party helps Conservative government pass Snoopers’ Charter

By Trevor Johnson, 15 June 2016

The UK’s security and spying agencies are being rewarded for their criminality with new and almost unlimited powers.

Anti-migrant rhetoric dominates debate on UK membership in the EU

By Robert Stevens, 28 May 2016

The Leave campaign is focusing on whipping up hysteria over immigration.

Military and security figures take opposing sides in UK referendum on European Union

By Chris Marsden, 26 May 2016

The various military officials and spy chiefs backing either side in the Brexit campaign are all committed to defending British and US imperialism, particularly in the conflict with Russia.