Statement against Police Harassment

Police in Bristol appear to be stepping up their so far fruitless efforts to find individual anarchists and those that they think are responsible for property destruction actions over the last few years in Bristol. One year after their firearms training centre at Portishead was burnt down, they have turned to desperate measures to try and get any scrap of useful information.

They have made a number of arrests, detained people at airports, and raided people’s homes. The majority of people targeted have not even been charged with a crime, and we do not know of anyone who has been successfully prosecuted. Further, officers from CID have recently visited people at their homes under the pretext of having “a friendly chat”. Not surprisingly, they have been met with a resounding wall of silence with no cups of tea involved, as most good people understand the importance of not getting drawn into conversations with the police. Even if any one of the people recently harassed by these visits knew anything about these actions or the people involved, we are confident that common sense and solidarity would prevail and the police would get the sum total of zero information. Anything else would be working for the police.

These home visits, arrests, searches and requests to snitch are not just about information and evidence gathering. They have as much to do with a concerted effort to intimidate and divide us all. A big part of their plan is to scare people into inaction and to create divisions between us. They hope to get us blaming each other for increased surveillance to the point where someone falls for their lies and starts talking to the bad guys. These are tactics that have been used against social movements in countless places and times.

But they won’t work here in Bristol. None of us will ever co-operate with those whose job it is, all in the name of “security” and “safety”, to defend the rich and powerful while keeping us down.

We know that we are not the only people who face repression from the police – in no way do we want to compare what is happening to us to the things they are doing to others, for example their systematic use of anti-terrorism powers against people they see as Muslim. We oppose all police brutality and harassment, whoever they do it to. We also understand the need to stick together in the face of state control and repression. Anarchists and others targeted by the police have a wide range of opinions and preferred tactics, but we know who our comrades are and recognise the enemies at our front doors.

Signed:

  • Bristol Defendant Solidarity
  • Bristol Anarchist Black Cross
  • South Wales Anarchists
  • Bristol Solidarity Network
  • Bristol Legal Observer Network
  • Bristol SolFed
  • Kebele Social Centre
  • Riot Ska Records
  • Rising Tide
  • Spanner
  • Bristol Hunt Saboteurs
  • Empty Cages Collective
  • Bristol AFed
  • Bristol Animal Rights Collective

Here is some useful information on dealing with the police, both on the street and at your front door….

There are no friendly chats with the police! If police try to talk to you, we recommend you refuse to answer anything – answer “no comment” or “I am not obliged to answer that” to all questions. This isn’t just about protecting others – any other response will be taken by them as a sign of weakness, and they may hassle you more as a result. The ONLY time you legally have to tell them anything other than your name and address is if you are stopped at an airport under “Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act”. Even then, you do NOT have to answer questions about others, and they can ONLY ask you questions related to terrorism. If this happens to you, request a solicitor.

If police come to your door, do not let them in unless you have to. The only times they can force entry are when they have a warrant, when someone who lives at your house has been arrested, or in order to prevent a crime from happening. If you live in a shared house and someone is arrested, they can ONLY search communal areas and the room of the person arrested.

Dealing with police can be upsetting and intimidating, so it’s important that we support each other. Counselling For Social Change may be able to help if you need to talk through anything that’s happened www.counsellingforsocialchange.org.uk. Activist Trauma Support has a list of resources to help understand and deal with trauma – www.activist-trauma.net. The most important thing is to give each other space to talk without being given advice, and not to be left to deal with things alone.

Bristol Defendant Solidarity is a group of local people committed to putting principles of solidarity into practice and standing alongside anyone facing trouble from the authorities for involvement in radical politics. Anyone approached and harassed by the police to give information about people involved in struggle, here in Bristol or elsewhere, can contact BDS for support. We are also compiling a list of arrests, home visits and interviews at airports so far to get a clear picture of their lines of questioning, to track their operations and to use in any future court cases that people may want to bring against them.

Contact:
bristoldefendantsolidarity@riseup.net
07746741104

We have compiled a more extensive guide to police powers and your rights if they target you, which you can read here: bristolabc.wordpress.com/defendant-solidarity/police-harassment

New publication: Never Alone – A zine about supporting prisoners by those on the outside

To download the zine click here: Never Alone

Never Alone CoverNever Alone was created to give a voice to those that support people in prison. Often invisible, unsupported and unrecognised, thousands of people in the UK, and millions internationally, support friends, family, partners and comrades in prison.

Their support, love, money and solidarity help people survive their time inside. They directly experience the harm of the prison system; separated from the people they love and losing their lives to give time and energy to support people behind bars.

This publication, while not distracting from the acknowledgement that those behind the walls are the centre of our struggles, seeks to amplify the voices of those on the other side of the fence, and share their experiences of interacting with the prison system. We hear from mothers, nephews, lovers, friends and organisers of support campaigns, about how it feels to know those you care for are behind enemy lines.

Bristol Anarchist Black Cross is a prisoner support organisation based in the South West UK. While commonly focusing on supporting prisoners of political struggle, we should never forget that all prisoners are political. Human beings are in cages because of class, race, gender, sexual orientation, because they are poor, and it serves the state and capital to exploit and control them.

The Empty Cages Collective is a new collective launched in 2014, which aims to bring prison abolition to centre stage in the UK. We are fighting against prison expansion and connecting people in the struggle to resist and dismantle the prison industrial complex.

We have worked together to produce this publication and hope it is the first of many so that those impacted by the ever- growing reach of the prison industrial complex are not forgotten.

If you have any comments, criticisms or would like to submit articles for future editions please contact us. We welcome stories of your direct personal experience, the harm the prison system causes and how you have got through, or continue to get through. Political commentary is also more than welcome, as well as ideas of how we can better support each other to cope with the emotional, practical and financial challenges of supporting someone we care about through their time inside.

Until Every Cell is Empty,

Bristol Anarchist Black Cross & Empty Cages Collective September 2014

www.bristolabc.wordpress.com | www.prisonabolition.org

Verdict in Nate Mancha’s Colorado Spring’s Trial for Self-Defense Against Homophobic Attack

On October 6, the jury trial for Nate Mancha, reached it’s conclusion. The jury came back with a guilty verdict for the 1st degree Felony Assault charge. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the Attempted Murder charge, resulting in a mistrial for that charge alone. Today the El Paso county District Attorney’s office announced that they would not pursue a new trial for the Attempted Murder charge, which means the process moves to the sentencing phase for the guilty verdict. On December 2, 2014, Nate will have his sentencing hearing, where he faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum sentence of 32 years.

While we are relieved that Nate and his family do not have to face another trial experience, we are angered and saddened that yet another community member is facing the harsh realities of the criminal injustice system. Our hearts are heavy today as we grieve this verdict with Nate and his family.

We know all too well that LGBTQ communities face severe and deadly violence. We also know that LGBTQ people who defend themselves from violence are often fighting for their lives, as Nate was on March 1st, 2014.

Nate’s support campaign will continue. Colorado Anti-Violence Program calls on it’s community of supporters, organizations, and families to come forward to support Nate and continue the fight against hate violence. Please check in with Nate’s support site and CAVP for news and to give support.

A little background info on Nate from his support site:

Nate Mancha defended himself against homophobic hate violence that is believed to be triggered by a rainbow sticker on the back of his car. Three months later, it is Nate, not his attacker, awaiting trial for 2nd degree attempted murder. This case fits a disturbing trend of people of color and LGBTQ people facing prosecution for defending their lives.

On March 1, 2014, 24-year-old Nate Mancha was driving his partner Carlton “Cruz” Mohn to work in Colorado Springs.  To avoid being late, Nate cut off a driver to make a quick left turn. As Nate and Cruz pulled into the shopping center, they noticed that the car they cut off, a green 2002 Dodge Caravan, followed them. As Cruz got out of his car to go to work, the driver allegedly yelled out “faggot assholes” and drove away. After Nate dropped Cruz off, the same man, cornered Nate and used his van to block the exit to the Erindale shopping center parking lot.

 

The man allegedly yelled a variety of slurs against Nate’s sexual orientation, along with threats of violence. The same man then exited his vehicle and approached Nate’s truck, crowbar in hand, and continued yelling and threatening Nate. He hit Nate’s truck with the crowbar, visibly damaging the vehicle.

 

Nate Mancha feared for his life. He had no weapon to protect himself. He could see no individuals to approach for help. He had no weapon to protect himself. He did not have a cellphone to call for help. It is alleged that as Nate fled the scene, he hit the attacker with his truck. The attacker suffered injuries and was hospitalized as a result.

 

Colorado Springs local news sources portrayed the incident as a vicious case of road rage. The man who shouted derogatory terms and threatened Nate’s safety, was portrayed as the victim. Nate, who fled in self-defense, was described as “armed and dangerous.” The media reports made no mention of the homophobic attack or details about who was the initial aggressor.

 

In the police report, the aggressor misidentified the vehicle make, model, color and license plate, but was very specific about the rainbow sticker on the back of Nate’s car.

 

Nate’s partner Cruz explains that when they saw the biased reporting of the homophobic attack they felt betrayed by the media, police, and the Colorado Springs community. Nate did not turn himself in because he feared that the police would arrest him without hearing his side of the story.

http://www.justice4nate.com/

Call for support for Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF) and the people of Kobanê!

Free Kobanê

NEW UPDATE (10-7-2014, 3:10pm): As of right now, GoFundMe AND YouCaring have shut down our efforts.  We can only assume why they would do such a thing!

To those who have donated already:

Don’t worry! Your funds will make their way to their destination!

DAF has also requested material support in the way of computers (laptops), video cameras, phones and other items.  If you want to mail these items, please email DenverCommunityDefense@riseup.net for information as to where to send aid. 

Thank you all for your support! Stay tuned for more updates!


For more than a year, thousands of volunteer fighters have been defending the autonomous revolution of Rojava (in Northern Syria) from the Islamic State (ISIS). Since this past July the North Syrian city of Kobanê, in the central canton of the Autonomous territory of Rojava, has been under siege by ISIS. ISIS fighters, armed with modern U.S. manufactured tanks, artillery, and small arms have been held at bay by volunteer fighters affiliated with the militias of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) armed with dated small arms and improvised weapons.

Tens of thousands of residents of Kobanê, mostly ethnic Kurds, have been forced to flea to neighboring Turkey, made refugees in a country that has historically persecuted and oppressed them.

Hundreds of Kurdish volunteers have crossed the border from Turkey to help aid in the defense of Kobanê. Turkish soldiers and police have attacked those volunteers and observers, including international media, with teargas and batons, in attempts to seal off the border and prevent aid from reaching those struggling to hold the city against ISIS.

In response, anarchists from the Turkish anarchist organization, Revolutionary Anarchist Activity (Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet, DAF) have joined the efforts to keep the border open, as well as support those struggling in Kobanê and those made refugees from the fighting. DAF members are taking part in guarding the border against ISIS movements in and out.

Funds are urgently needed to support their work, especially to aid in the efforts to provide material aid for those who have been displaced by the conflict and forced to flee to Turkey.

We, as international allies of Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet, call on all who see affinity with those struggling and suffering in and around Kobanê to help assist in these efforts. No amount is too small or too large. All funds raised will be sent directly to the DAF to be used as needed in their efforts.

In Solidarity,
Denver Community Defense Committee
Denver Anarchist Black Cross

SOCPA7 Sentencing Results

After more than 2 years on bail the SOCPA7 were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London on Friday, for their part in protesting against animal testing at HLS.

A peaceful protest was held outside the court and many compassionate activists filled the public gallery in a show of support for the defendants and in resistance to State repression.

Despite all of the protests in this case being non-violent and fairly uneventful, the defendants were disproportionately sentenced because of their connection to the SHAC campaign.

Thankfully they have all avoided serving prison sentences for this case for now, but they were given a range of suspended prison sentences and large cost orders and fines. Debbie was given a 12 month prison sentence to run concurrent (at the same time) as the sentence she is currently serving for her other case, the Blackmail 3.

For a full explanation of what happened during the sentencing hearing, the punishment each defendant was given and a look at what this case means, please visit our website: www.socpa7.org/sentencing.html

There is no justice in the legal system. The State will go to any length to silence effective activism, particularly against animal testing. The battle surrounding vivisection will continue and so it is incredibly important that we work together to build an understanding of and resilience to repression and support our comrades in the fight for justice.

Although the struggle can be hard at times, we must support our casualties. Solidarity will give us the strength to win the war for liberation!

Photo: The defendants outside court after the hearing – Alexis, Steve, Lorna, Emily, Anton and Emma.

Photo: After more than 2 years on bail the SOCPA7 were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London on Friday, for their part in protesting against animal testing at HLS.</p><br />
<p>A peaceful protest was held outside the court and many compassionate activists filled the public gallery in a show of support for the defendants and in resistance to State repression.</p><br />
<p>Despite all of the protests in this case being non-violent and fairly uneventful, the defendants were disproportionately sentenced because of their connection to the SHAC campaign.</p><br />
<p>Thankfully they have all avoided serving prison sentences for this case for now, but they were given a range of suspended prison sentences and large cost orders and fines. Debbie was given a 12 month prison sentence to run concurrent (at the same time) as the sentence she is currently serving for her other case, the Blackmail 3.</p><br />
<p>For a full explanation of what happened during the sentencing hearing, the punishment each defendant was given and a look at what this case means, please visit our website: <a href=http://www.socpa7.org/sentencing.html</p>;
<p>There is no justice in the legal system. The State will go to any length to silence effective activism, particularly against animal testing. The battle surrounding vivisection will continue and so it is incredibly important that we work together to build an understanding of and resilience to repression and support our comrades in the fight for justice.</p>
<p>Although the struggle can be hard at times, we must support our casualties. Solidarity will give us the strength to win the war for liberation!</p>
<p>Photo: The defendants outside court after the hearing – Alexis, Steve, Lorna, Emily, Anton and Emma.” width=”503″ height=”326″ />

Alexei Sutuga Sentenced to 3 Years & 1 Month

From: http://brightonabc.org.uk/news.html#8

On September 30, 2014 Russian anti-fascist Alexei Sutuga was sentenced by Zamoskvoretskiy Court in Moscow to three years and one month in prison for his alleged involvement in a fight. A day earlier, the prosecutor had asked for it four years and two months in prison.

Sutuga was accused of assault and hooliganism. According to the investigation, in January this year, he and four other young men attacked a group of six people in the Sbarro restaurant near the October metro station. The prosecution argued that Sutuga had assaulted the group with weapons that included a homemade hammer.

However, none of the victims suffered any injuries.
Alexei Sutuga pleaded not guilty, arguing that he was not involved in the fight and that the case was brought against him for political reasons.

Alexei had previously stood trial for his involvement in an incident in the Moscow club “Vozdukh” in December 2011 when he other anti-fascists were attacked by fascist members of the club’s security. In January of this year, all of the defendants in the case were pardoned under an amnesty in honour of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.

SOCPA7 Court Protest – Transport available from Bristol

10653551_1644652675761129_7468858000257002310_n

9am onwards // Friday 10th October 2014

Southwark Crown Court, 1 English Grounds (off Battlebridge Lane), Southwark, London SE1 2HU.

If you’re interested in traveling from Bristol, please email bristol_abc@riseup.net to book a place in our shared vehicles.

After more than 2 years on bail for their part in the campaign to close Europe’s largest animal testing laboratory; Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), the SOCPA7 defendants will attend court to be sentenced on Friday 10th October.

The SOCPA7 are compassionate campaigners who were raided and arrested for holding protests against HLS. They were charged with conspiracy under special laws that were introduced to criminalise anti-vivisection campaigns.

Debbie and Lorna have the most serious charges and face up to 5 years in prison, Emma and Anton face up to 3 months and Emily and Alexis face large fines.

Don’t let them go through this alone!

Join us in a peaceful protest outside the court in solidarity with the activists as their sentencing takes place. Together we have the strength to fight animal testing and resist state repression.

To learn more about the SOCPA7 case, laws and defendants, visit the support website: www.socpa7.org

Please join the Facebook event page to give us an idea of numbers on the day: www.facebook.com/events/147032525467120

Help us to build a good show of support for the defendants by sharing this event info and inviting your friends.

Please note that space in the public gallery is limited, so we ask that this be saved for close friends and family invited by the defendants.

SOCPA7 Support Group
info@socpa7.org
www.socpa7.org
www.facebook.com/socpa7

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers

%d bloggers like this: