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

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

SOCPA7 Court Protest – Transport available from Bristol

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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

SOCPA 7 Solidarity Night – Food & Music Fundraiser

S7 Info Night Bristol

 

Thursday 11 September 2014, Kebele, 14 Robertson Road, Bristol, BS5 6JY

Delicious meal & dessert from 6.30pm. Acoustic punk rock from 8pm
£5 donation

See the live music below:

11thsept

 

 

About the case

Inside the walls of Europe’s largest animal testing laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), over 100,000 animals are imprisoned and more than 500 animals are killed every day.

In 2005, in an attempt to stop organisers that were successfully undermining the future of animal testing in Europe, UK Government introduced two new laws; SOCPA 145 and 146, part of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act. These laws only apply to antivivisection campaigners and turn minor public order breaches into serious criminal offences.

In 2012-2013 seven people were raided, arrested and charged for conspiracy to commit SOCPA. Defendants face a two month trial in September 2014 and up to five years in prison if convicted.

Help us fundraise for their court & legal costs. Don’t let them face this alone!

www.socpa7.org
info@socpa7.org

Support Luke O’Donovan

Luke O’Donovan is currently serving a two-year sentence for defending himself during a gay-bashing. He is vegan and is currently not receiving vegan food in prison, despite repeated requests from him and his lawyer.

The solidarity group are asking for a national call-in to the jail. Please call 404-613-2000 (jail), 404-613-2264 (kitchen) and 404-613-2002 (jail) and demand an adequate vegan diet for Luke–and please forward this to like-minded friends. For more information on Luke, his case, and other ways to support him, please visit letlukego.wordpress.com

Kevin Johnson moved Prisons

KEVIN TRANSFERRED TO DANVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER 

Earlier this week, we posted an update on Kevin’s status and what we all expected to be the next steps of his ongoing incarceration in light of the recent AETA indictment. Some things have changed…

The Good News

Kevin got back his property, so he has his books, coffee, and some commissary items leftover from Vandalia. He has some sporadic phone access. His spirits, as always, are relatively good. He expects to be getting vegan meals at the beginning of August. And he can receive mail starting immediately (new address posted below).

The Bad News

Danville is a tightly-controlled medium security facility that has Kevin in a cell 21 hours of the day. He’s only given access to commissary every three to four weeks. The college courses he was enrolled in at Vandalia won’t count towards an early release, putting his anticipated release date at October 22nd. Danville is where Kevin will serve out the rest of his state sentence, and it’s located in west-central Illinois, around three hours away from anyone he knows in St. Louis or Chicago.

What Else?

Kevin and Tyler’s arraignment is still set for Tuesday, July 29th in Chicago. He’ll likely be transported there for the court date the night before or day-of, and then sent back to Danville immediately afterwards.

What’s Needed Right Now?

More than anything, DONATIONS. Bail for Kevin, attorneys for Tyler and Kevin, and a reserve of support funds for both of them are critical. We want to thank everyone for the money that’s already come in—every time we check the PayPal account, it’s another testament to how well this movement can put aside differences and really galvanize.

One more note on the donations: Remember, if you can’t contribute yourself, please share the updates, hold a fundraiser, and put the SupportKevinAndTyler.com URL everywhere.

***

Please send Kevin a letter of support:

Kevin Johnson, M42382
Danville Correctional Center
3820 E. Main St.
Danville, IL 61834

Tyler Lang was released from state custody in November 2013. He is currently out on bond awaiting arraignment on the federal charges.

Support New Prisoner Liam Harriman

Source: http://ldmg.org.uk/

Liam Harriman has just been sent to prison for 8 weeks (16 week sentence of which he’ll probably serve 8). He was arrested at the G8 protest last summer in London. Please support him. You can write to him directly:

Liam Harriman (A0131DG)
HMP Pentonville
Caledonian Rd
London N7 8TT

You can also use the web site emailaprisoner.com to write via the internet, messages get printed out and given to prisoners the next day

Worsening conditions for Kevin after terrorism charges

For the initial days following the July 10th AETA indictment, Kevin was still being held in general population at Vandalia Correctional Center. As of July 17th, however, he was moved into segregational custody at the prison. Since then, he’s had almost no contact with the outside world, aside from one letter he was able to send and phone calls with attorneys.

Between information gathered from talking to prison officials and Kevin’s lawyers, and the letter he sent on July 17th (which was received today), we know this:

 

  • He has no phone or visitation privileges.
  • He has no commissary privileges.
  • He is being denied writing materials.
  • He is being denied showers.
  • The Feds have pulled him from the college program he was enrolled in, making him ineligible for early release (the classes he’s been taking for the last four months count towards nothing).
  • All of his belongings were sent to the warden’s office for disposition. The reason stated was that he had “excess property” (37 books, 14 bags of instant coffee, and 110 stamped envelopes).
  • On July 23rd, he will be transported to Stateville to await arraignment on July 29th. After that, he will likely be held in the custody of IDOC, meaning he’ll return to Stateville until they move him into a new Illinois prison (probably a medium security facility, although which one remains to be seen) where he’ll finish out his state sentence.
  • A bail hearing should be scheduled soon, but we still don’t know the date. If Kevin can bail (or bond) out, he’ll serve the rest of his sentence in Illinois and be released in November, free at least while the federal case is being worked.

 

Despite all this, Kevin made it a point in his letter to say he wants everyone to know he’s keeping strong. He says there’s a window across the hall from his cell…and that he’s watching the birds.

Please donate now to help with bail funds and legal fees. 

***

Please send Kevin a letter of support:

Kevin Johnson, M42382
Danville Correctional Center
3820 E. Main St.
Danville, IL 61834

Tyler Lang was released from state custody in November 2013. He is currently out on bond awaiting arraignment on the federal charges.