Stop Internet censorship

This video from Washington D.C. in the USA says about itself:

Metro will not offer separate trains for the Unite the Right rally

6 August 2018

On Monday, Metro confirmed in a statement that they will not offer separate trains for the so-called “White Civil Rights” rally — called “Unite the Right” — planned for the coming weekend in D.C.

The Metro management decided that after strong protest by Metro workers against privileged transport for these white supremacists … only accessible for those showing their swastikas, Ku Klux Klan hoods, or Confederate flags?

Protesters against United States Aryan Nations nazis, photo by Maggie Winters

By Andre Damon in the USA:

Fight back against internet censorship!

9 August 2018

In July 2017, the World Socialist Web Site published an exposure of the fact that changes to Google’s search algorithms had massively slashed traffic to left-wing, anti-war and socialist publications. Over the course of dozens of articles, we established that Google, together with the other technology monopolies, was engaged in a campaign of censorship of oppositional viewpoints, in close collaboration with the US intelligence apparatus.

In the ensuing year, every claim made by the WSWS, initially denied by the technology giants, has been established as fact. Google, Facebook and Twitter have all acknowledged that they have promoted “trusted” news outlets, while restricting the distribution of “alternative” sources of information. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that it is promoting publications like the New York Times and the [Rupert Murdoch-owned] Wall Street Journal, while demoting and blocking “sites that have intense followings” but are supposedly “not widely trusted beyond their core audiences.”

Under conditions of growing social and political opposition, censorship is taking ever more overt forms. Just last week, Facebook announced that it had shut down the official event page for a left-wing counter protest to “Unite the Right 2”, a neo-fascist demonstration scheduled in Washington on August 12, the anniversary of last year’s Nazi rally in Charlottesville.

The Washington police plan to escort the fascists to the scene of this weekend’s rally and “protect” them from anti-fascist demonstrators. And the Washington, D.C. transportation authorities had been pushing a plan to provide separate Metro cars for fascist demonstrators, which it abandoned only in the face of mass opposition by transit workers.

United States anti-fascist demonstrators, photo by Marc Nozell/Flickr (CC-BY)

Even as the extreme right receives state support and promotion, the major technology companies have begun censoring far-right organizations as a cover for their aim of shutting down left-wing opposition to capitalism, war and inequality.

This week, Apple, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify all removed or blocked the content of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, censoring his podcasts, videos and livestreams. The companies justified their actions by claiming Jones had violated their policies against “hate speech” and “harassment.”

Long experience has shown that political censorship by the state and corporations does not harm the fascistic right but strengthens it by burnishing its absurd claims to oppose the state and political establishment. Jones’ censorship by the technology giants has received widespread coverage in all major newspapers and TV networks, which have largely ignored the censorship of left-wing news outlets. The extreme right, moreover, enjoys support at the highest levels of the military, the police and the state.

The censorship of the far right creates a political precedent for censoring left-wing political movements—the main target. It justifies the false moral equivalency between fascism and left-wing opposition to capitalism, claiming that both represent forms of political “extremism.” Such reactionary amalgams are being used throughout Europe and in Australia to implement far-reaching attacks on democratic rights.

The World Socialist Web Site, which has been a central target of the censorship campaign, has led the fight against the attack on free speech. In a letter to Google published nearly one year ago, the WSWS demanded that Google “stop blacklisting the WSWS and renounce the censorship of all the left-wing, socialist, anti-war and progressive websites.” It added, “Censorship on this scale is political blacklisting. The obvious intent of Google’s censorship algorithm is to block news that your company does not want reported and to suppress opinions with which you do not agree.”

In January, we issued an open letter calling for “socialist, anti-war, left-wing and progressive websites, organizations and activists” to join “an international coalition to fight Internet censorship.”

This appeal received the support of numerous principled journalists, including WikiLeaksJulian Assange, John Pilger and Chris Hedges, along with thousands of workers and young people. The campaign to censor the Internet is intersecting with the attempt to drive Assange from his forced refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In June, the Socialist Equality Party in Australia organized a powerful demonstration in defense of Assange, demanding that the Australian government secure his safe return to Australia.

As the technology giants intensify their efforts to censor the Internet, the World Socialist Web Site is expanding and intensifying its campaign against internet censorship on the basis of the demands outlined in the open letter:

* Safeguarding the Internet as a platform for political organization and the free exchange of information, culture and diverse viewpoints, guided by the principle that access to the Internet is a right and must be free and equally available for all.

* Uncompromising insistence on the complete independence of the Internet from control by governments and private corporations.

* Unconditional defense of net neutrality and free, unfettered and equal access to the Internet.

* The banning and illegalization of government and corporate manipulation of search algorithms and procedures, including the use of human evaluators, that restrict and block public visibility of websites.

* Irreconcilable opposition to the use of the Internet and artificial intelligence technologies to carry out surveillance of web users.

* Demanding the end to the persecution of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden and the complete restoration of their personal freedom.

* Advocating the transformation of the corporate Internet monopolies into public utilities, under internationally coordinated democratic control, to provide the highest quality service, not private profit.

* The fight against Internet censorship and the defense of democratic rights cannot be conducted through appeals to capitalist governments and the parties and politicians who serve their interests, but only in uncompromising struggle against them. Moreover, this struggle is international in scope and totally opposed to every form and manifestation of national chauvinism, racism and imperialist militarism. Therefore, those who are truly committed to the defense of democratic rights must direct their efforts to the mobilization of the working class of all countries.

In the United States, which is at the center of campaign by the ruling classes of the world to censor the Internet, the Democrats have led the way in channeling the demands of the intelligence agencies for a crackdown on domestic opposition. The Democrats have focused their criticism of the Trump administration not on its fascistic attacks on immigrants, its warmongering, its abolition of net neutrality, or its tax cuts for the wealthy, but on the right-wing, neo-McCarthyite claim that Russia is “sowing divisions”. This campaign is being intensified in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.

Meanwhile, the array of pseudo-left organizations that operate in the orbit of the Democratic Party, and which represent privileged sections of the middle class, have ignored the censorship drive and covered up its far-reaching implications.

This demonstrates that the fight against Internet censorship must be rooted in the working class, the vast majority of the population. The defense of free speech online is essential for the working class as it enters into struggle to defend is social rights and oppose inequality, war and the capitalist system.

We call on all of our readers to take up the fight against internet censorship by contacting us today.

This November 2011 video from the USA is called State Department Veteran Peter Van Buren Defies US Censors to Recount Failed Iraq Reconstruction.

From The Contrary Perspective blog in the USA, 8 August 2018:

I Have Been Permanently Banned from Twitter

With a President who vociferously defends his use of Twitter to circumvent political norms, evade his ostensible “handlers”, and to stoke racial and xenophobic tensions, Twitter has become an important free-speech frontier. But Twitter is a private company and has chosen to silence accounts it deems abusive or dangerous.

Not Donald Trump’s support for armed white supremacists or encouragement of violence against adversaries, not Alex Jones for peddling politically-charged and dangerous conspiracies, but one of our contributors, Peter Van Buren for reasons they obscure. The US Government tried to silence Peter when he worked in the State Department, but he did not expect the same treatment from a social media “free” enterprise. – Ed.

Peter Van Buren

Some of you are aware I have been permanently banned from Twitter as @wemeantwell.

This followed exchanges with several mainstream journalists over their support for America’s wars and unwillingness to challenge the lies of government. After two days of silence, Twitter sent me an auto-response saying what I wrote “harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence someone else’s voice.”

I don’t think I did any of that, and I wish you didn’t have to accept my word on it. I wish instead you could read what I wrote and decide for yourself. But Twitter won’t allow that. Twitter says you cannot read and make up your own mind. They have in fact eliminated all the things I have ever written there over seven years, disappeared me down the Memory Hole. That’s what censorship does; it takes the power to decide what is right and wrong away from you and gives it to someone else.

Hate what I write, hate me, block me, don’t buy my books, but please don’t celebrate handing over those choices to some company.

I lost my career at the State Department because I spoke out as a whistleblower against the Iraq War. I’ve now been silenced, again, for speaking out, this time by a corporation. I am living in the America I always feared.

This post originally appeared on Peter’s We Meant Well blog.

From Jewish daily The Forward in the USA, 9 August 2018:

Nearly a year after the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, the Anti-Defamation League launched an interactive map that details extremist and anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S., the organization announced Thursday.

Hovering above the ADL H.E.A.T. (Hate, Extremism, Anti-Semitism, Terrorism) Map, which is black and features color-code dots over a white-outlined map of the U.S., is a statistic: There were 3,023 incidents of extremism or anti-Semitism in the country in 2017 and 2018. The dots represent extremist activities, such as extremist-related murders, terrorist plots and attacks, anti-Semitic incidents and white supremacist propaganda on and off campus.

Acting as part of the US-led “Five Eyes” intelligence network, the Australian government is seeking to push through parliament an encryption-cracking bill that would set an international precedent for far-reaching internet surveillanceÑ here.

‘Hitler Was Right’ Republican Wins Missouri Primary: here.

10 thoughts on “Stop Internet censorship

  1. LDF. Defend. Educate. Empower.
    One Year After Charlottesville
    Petition: Congress must take action

    Almost one year ago, white supremacists incited violence and hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia—taking the life of Heather Heyer, injuring over 30 others, and contributing to the deaths of two state troopers.

    LDF and our supporters responded by demanding that Congress take action to combat white supremacy.

    Since then, we’ve seen almost no movement from our representatives on this issue. As we approach the first anniversary of Charlottesville, the city – and our nation – is still struggling to define itself in the wake of this tragedy. We need to stand firm on our demands.

    Sign our petition now to urge your representatives to do the following:
    • Denounce this year’s Unite the Right rally
    • Hold oversight hearings with government leaders about efforts to prosecute hate and domestic terrorism crimes, and enforce civil rights laws
    • Oppose judicial and executive nominees who have supported or condoned white supremacist activities, organizations, or ideologies and whose records do not demonstrate a clear commitment to civil rights and the rule of law
    • Hold hearings on and pass legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act and other bills that would protect the right to vote
    Our political leaders must go further than simply tweeting their outrage – and we must continue to hold them accountable, especially as dangerous white supremacist groups plan another “Unite the Right” rally on August 12.

    Add your name now and tell Congress you will not stand by as white supremacists threaten the lives of people of color, Jewish and LGBTQ individuals.

    With you in struggle,
    Sherrilyn A. Ifill
    President and Director-Counsel

    P.S. White supremacy is a part of our nation’s history, but we cannot allow it to poison our future. Tell your elected officials exactly what they can do to fight white supremacy – add your name now.

    LDF. Defend. Educate. Empower.
    NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
    40 Rector Street, 5th floor • New York, NY 10006


  2. It’s been one year since the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

    One year since Nazis with torches felt bold enough to openly march in the streets of our city. One year since peaceful protestor Heather Heyer was killed when a car accelerated into one of the Charlottesville crowds.

    And one year later, the disgraceful Confederate statues that prompted the protests still stand.

    We haven’t forgotten. It’s time to remove these symbols of hatred and division — on the one-year anniversary of Charlottesville, will you add your name to our petition to tear down these statues?

    It’s long past time these Confederate statues were gone.

    And even though more and more are being taken down across the country, the number of recorded Confederate statues has actually INCREASED. Even more are being discovered as we tear more and more down!

    How we honor and venerate symbols matters. How we react to fascist tactics and violence matters. And how we respond today, on the one-year anniversary of the attacks in Charlottesville, matters.

    We have to remove every single one of these statues. Can you sign right now to take a stand against bigotry and hate?

    Thank you.

    Dr. Wes Bellamy
    Charlottesville City Council


  3. One year ago, white supremacists marched in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. Their rally to “Unite the Right” ended in violence, bloodshed, and loss of life.

    Now, one year later, they’re planning to do it again, marching outside the White House in Washington D.C.

    I said it then, and I’ll say it now: What these fringe groups are promoting is hatred and bigotry, plain and simple. We must do everything we can to reject the divisive rhetoric and violence that they represent.

    Together, we can prove that the politics of racism, resentment, and prejudice will never win. Together, we can show that the values of diversity, equality, and justice stand stronger than ever, even in the face of hate.

    On the anniversary of the Charlottesville rallies, join me in standing in solidarity with all who are targeted by hatred, prejudice, and violence.

    Over the last two years, Washington state and our country have seen a spike in extreme sexist, racist, and xenophobic rhetoric — of which the presence of neo-Nazis and Klansmen marching in the streets is just one prominent example.

    And whether it’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, Muslim bans, separating families, or Donald Trump’s initial refusal to condemn the violence at last year’s Charlottesville rally, the actions of this administration have emboldened fringe radicals to bring their hatred to a national stage and intimidate vulnerable communities.

    We all can and must do more to create a country where all Americans, regardless of race, gender, religion, and origin are accepted — especially when our administration won’t. But that will take all of us standing together.

    This weekend, join me in standing in solidarity with all who are targeted by hatred and violence.

    Thank you,

    Maria Cantwell
    U.S. Senator


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