Tag Archives: writing

State Using ‘Secret Evidence’ To Try And Keep John Bowden Behind Bars

From Indymedia UK:

For the past 30 years John Bowden has been at the forefront of the British prison struggle, and is by far our most prolific prisoner writer. Time and again, John’s articles have shone a searchlight into the State’s murky dungeons, exposing brutality and repression, and challenging the very nature of prison. For many years now, John has been held in jail because of his political views and his willingness to challenge injustice. That has never been clearer than now, as the State attempts to use ‘secret evidence’ to keep him behind bars. Leeds ABC

It is relatively rare that prisoners, originally sentenced for non-political offences, become so politicised whilst in jail, that their release is opposed by the prison authorities for exactly that reason.

In the case of life sentence prisoners who have served the “tariff” part of their sentence (or the length of time the judiciary stipulates they should remain in jail), the legal criteria determining their release, or not, are clear and straightforward: Has the prisoner served a sufficient period of time to satisfy the interests of punishment and retribution? Does the prisoner remain a risk to the community? Can the prisoner be safely and effectively supervised in the community post-release?

Of course the prison authorities would never openly admit that apart from the above criteria, there is another “risk factor” that would prevent a life sentence prisoner’s release: Their identification with a progressive or radical political cause. Opposing a life sentence prisoner’s release, purely on the basis of their having exposed and organised against human rights abuse in the prison system, would of course make a complete mockery of the claim that, apart from its punishment function, prison also exists as a place of reform and rehabilitation, a place where supposedly brutal and anti-social criminals are made better people by a system administered by humane and just-minded individuals. The entire legitimacy of the prison system is based on the premise that, essentially it exists to protect the public from individuals who represent a threat , so denying that some life sentence prisoners are kept locked-up solely because they embrace an ideology that actually believes in a society and world free from violence, exploitation, and inequality, is imperative if the myths and fallacy used to justify the existence of prisons is to remain intact.

The prison system actually employs a whole legion of compliant ‘Criminal Justice’ system “professionals”, like social workers, probation officers, and psychologists to provide, if necessary, the politically neutral lexicon of “risk-factors” and “Personality Disorder” to legitimize the continued imprisonment of life sentence prisoners, who in reality are viewed as politically motivated and likely to become politically involved on the outside if released. The narrative of my own life and experience from brutalised and violent young criminal to politically conscious prisoner activist, and how the prison system continues to respond to that, is illustrative of how that system actually considers politicised life sentence prisoners far, far more worthy of continued detention than those who might genuinely pose a risk to the community.

In 1982, I was sentenced, alongside two other men, to life in prison for the killing of a fourth man during a drunken party on a South London council estate. At the time, I was 25 years old, and a state-raised product of the care and “youth justice” system. The prison system that I entered in the early 1980’s was a barbaric and de-humanising place, where in terms of the treatment of prisoners, the rule of law stopped dead at the prison gate. My almost immediate response to prison repression was one of total defiance and resistance, that was met with physical and psychological brutality in the form of regular beatings, (in 1991 a civil court in Birmingham found that prison guards in the notorious Winson Green jail had subjected me to a sustained and gratuitous beating-up within minutes of my arrival at the jail), and many years held in almost clinical solitary confinement. Far from breaking my defiance, such inhuman treatment only deepened my determination to fight the system, and to use the only method truly effective in that regard – solidarity with other prisoners. As the years passed, I began to politically contextualise the struggle I was involved in against the prison system, and understand it as a part of a much wider struggle that transcended prison walls and essentially characterised all societies and places where the powerful brutalised and de-humanised the powerless.

The length of time that my original trial judge recommended I should remain in jail has now long passed, and yet I remain in a maximum security prison, and what can best be described as a campaign by the prison system to keep me here intensifies with the approach of my second parole hearing in over 30 years.
It is essentially my contact with prisoner support groups on the outside, or “subversive” and even “terrorist” groups, as the prison authorities have defined and described them, that is now claimed in some prison system reports, as the main “Risk-Factor” preventing my release. Of course , if necessary, for the purpose of officially legitimising my continued imprisonment, for the convenience of the Parole Board, the usual array of morally compromised and corrupt social workers and prison-hired psychologists will attest to the fact that my enduring “anti-authoritarianism” is just a symptom of my psychopathy and continuing risk to the public. But if there are any doubts that I remain in prison, first and foremost, because of my efforts to expose the prison system for what it truly is, then a document sent to the Parole Board by the Scottish Prison Service on the 2nd December last year, lays them firmly to rest.

The document, an “intelligence report” compiled by the Security Department at Shotts Prison in Lanarkshire, was comprised of two parts, one that I was allowed to read, and another part described as “Non-Disclosure”, which means secret information that I would not be allowed access to. It is rare for “Non-Disclosure” intelligence reports to be submitted to the Parole Board, and it represents a total negation of any pretence of open and natural justice, very much like the secrecy employed to imprison “terrorist suspects” without legal due process. Obliged as it is to officially inform prisoners if “Non-Disclosure” evidence is to be used against them at parole hearings, I received a letter from an “Intelligence Manager” at Shotts Prison in late December of last year, informing me that a portion of “intelligence” on me was so detrimental to “public interest” if it was revealed that it had to be kept secret. I was, however, informed that the “intelligence” related to articles written by me that were critical of the prison system and then placed on political websites. One seriously wonders how the posting of articles and information on the internet that expose abuses of power by the prison system, would so endanger “public interest”, unless of course we replace “public interest” with the more precise “state interest”. The purpose behind the use of “Non-Disclosure” evidence in my case is obvious – To convey to the Parole Board the clear message that my current “risk” is not so much about a danger to the public, but much more about my willingness to publicly expose the brutal nature of the prison system, with the assistance of “subversive groups” on the outside. The part of the “Intelligence Report” that I was allowed full access to confirms this.

Virtually every single one of the “entries” in the part of the report I was allowed access to focuses on what it describes as my “internet activity” and links to “subversive groups” on the outside:

“Bowden continues to leak information through a social networking site.”

“Website features articles relating to Bowden asking people to protest and fight for freedom.”

“Bowden continues to be involved in internet activity and there are plans to have a day of action in support of Bowden.”

“Intelligence provides that Bowden sends correspondence out of prison that is then posted on the internet.”

There is also a reference to what was described as my attempt to set up a debating society in the prison’s Education Department to “platform his current political views, which are focused on poverty.”

This is the evidence that the prison system claims justifies my continued detention after more than three decades in prison. Not a single entry in the “intelligence report” suggests I pose a genuine risk to the community or am likely to re-offend in a criminal way, and yet the Parole Board, a wholly white middle-class body, will inevitably rubber-stamp my continued imprisonment in compliance with the prison system’s wishes.

The two men who were originally imprisoned with me in 1982 were released almost twenty years ago, and I, as a direct result of my struggle to empower and organise prisoners in defence of their basic human rights, remain buried in a maximum security jail, probably until I die.

I will of course continue to write and distribute articles exposing and criticising the brutality of prison as a weapon of social control and ruling class violence, and also highlighting my own victimisation as a consequence of that.

John Bowden

You can download John Bowden’s pamphlet ‘Tear Down The Walls!’ free of charge from the Leeds ABC website at: http://leedsabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Tear-Down-The-Walls-2010.pdf

Also check out a pamphlet recently produced by our comrades at Bristol ABC to which John contributed: http://leedsabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/cscs-torture-units-in-the-uk-screen31.pdf

You can read a recent interview with John here – http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/11/503068.html

Other articles by John can be read on the Leeds ABC website (www.leedsabc.org), as well on the websites of our sister ABC groups in Bristol ( http://bristolabc.wordpress.com), Brighton (www.brightonabc.org.uk), and London (https://network23.org/london/abc).

Please send letters/cards of support to John at:
John Bowden, 6729,
HMP Shotts,
Cantrell Road,
Shotts,
Scotland,
ML7 4LE.

You can also send e-mails to John (or any other prisoner) via: http://www.emailaprisoner.com

A guide on writing to prisoners can be found here: http://leedsabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/writing-to-prisoners-2012.pdf

Leeds ABC have printed 4000 ‘Free John Bowden stickers’ – see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/10/500839.html

Show your support for John by wearing a ‘Free John Bowden’ T-shirt – see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/10/501867.html

FREE JOHN BOWDEN!

Paddy Besiris: New prisoner from Stokes Croft riots

Below are details and address for Paddy Besiris. Paddy would now appreciate support with letters being redirected by Bristol ABC:

Pleaded guilty in May 2012 to violent disorder during the Stokes Croft riots. Paddy was sentenced to 14 months, of which he will serve 7 months due to his early plea. He is a Greek socialist who was involved in various activist groups and recently moved from HMP Horfield after tying to unionise G-wing. Paddy appreciates letters, cards, newsletters and books.

Paddy Besiris c/o ABC
14 Robertson Road
Easton
Bristol
BS5 6JY

John Bowden Writes From HMP Shotts

John Bowden writes about his treatment at the hands of a megalomaniac social worker and an all too acquiescent Parole Board. Further articles by John, and others about his current situation and what you can do to help, can be found here and on the Leeds ABC website.
 
In June of 2011, the Parole Board for England and Wales finally carried out its statutory obligation to review my continued imprisonment after 32 years of captivity. Its official terms of reference were clear and straightforward; to be reassured that I represented no risk or danger to the public, (the main legal criteria determining whether a life sentence prisoner is safe to be released or not), and that I could be safely managed or supervised in the community beyond prison.The circumstances of my original offence of murder were indeed brutal and terrible, although confined to a sub-culture of petty criminals and alcoholics who existed on the margins of South London working-class society. Along with two other men I was convicted of the murder of another man during a drinking session in a South London flat; ordinarily a fairly unremarkable event in that part of inner-city London. This killing stood out more because of the means by which the victim’s remains were disposed of than by the actual act of killing itself. At the time of the offence I was 25 years old, and had already spent the greater part of my life in repressive institutions and jails, and was considered the leader of the group of men who had committed the murder basically because I was considered marginally more intelligent and articulate than the other two. I was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the judge’s recommendation that I serve no less than 25 years. The other two received recommendations of 15 years, and were released almost two decades ago.Two leading forensic psychologists , one a world authority on “psychopathic personality disorders”, Professor David Cooper, interviewed and assessed me before the parole hearing last June, and submitted written and oral evidence at the hearing which essentially said that I no longer represented a risk or danger to the community and was safe to be either transferred to an open prison or be released completely. The first and most important legal criterion determining a life sentence prisoner’s release; public safety or protection, obviously justified releasing me. Overall, the general consensus of professional opinion presented at the parole hearing was that I could be released and safely managed in the community, and in fact I already had been to some degree by being allowed to work in the community for a number of years on external prison work projects and schemes. A post-release supervision plan was also presented to the parole hearing by a community based social worker, which envisaged my living a reasonably independent life in my own accommodation whilst being regularly visited and monitored by a social work team. Legally, the Parole Board would have been justified in ordering my release, but they chose not to do so.

Throughout the hearing the Parole Board panel focused insistently on my “anti-authoritarian” character and attitude, and defined it not as a result and product of my experience of prison, but as a lingering residue of a “psychopathic personality disorder”. My prison history of protest and resistance, as well as legal actions taken against serious abuses of power on the part of the prison system, was not defined or characterised as a positive conversion from hardened de-humanised criminal to politicised prisoner and human rights activist, but as simply evidence of a pathological hatred of authority and discipline, and a potential risk to the community. As far as the panel were concerned I remained a psychopath, although one probably mellowed by age and manageable by the strictest and most robust post-release supervision plan.

Rejecting the independent living post-release supervision plan presented at the hearing, the Board decided instead that if released I should be required to live in a closely-supervised hostel and allowed minimum freedom and autonomy. Although I represented no real danger to the community, my “anti-authoritarian” character was considered, by the Board, justification for imposing as much authority and control over me as possible following my release. In order to allow Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, who would be responsible for supervising me in the community, sufficient time to arrange such a stringent post-release supervision plan, my release was denied for a further twelve months, during which time, the Board suggested, I would be transferred to an open jail and prepared for release. The Scottish Prison Service representative at the hearing agreed to arrange such a transfer at the earliest opportunity.

Following the parole hearing, two crucial things happened. First, the prison authorities reneged on the agreement to transfer me to an open jail, using two earlier absconds from prison to justify insisting that I be psychologically risk-assessed and made to complete whatever behaviour-modification programmes and courses were recommended, before consideration would be given to transferring me to open conditions. There were, of course, long waiting lists for both the assessment and programmes. And second, responsibility for formulating a post-release supervision plan was given to Brendan Barnett, a social worker employed by Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services.

Barnett considered his role to involve far more than just arranging a release plan and hostel accommodation, and decided also to write for the Parole Board a thorough personal assessment and analysis of my life before the murder offence, a forensic description of the killing itself, and what he believed were my psychological motivations both before and during my imprisonment, all of which he coloured with subversive moral opinion and obvious antipathy. His completed report to the Parole Board was a mixture of amateur psychology, distorted fact, and obvious prejudice, with an actual post-release supervision plan almost an incidental addition. He also blatantly lied in his report, claiming to find a reference in an obscure early prison social work report, that justified his outrageous subsequent claim that I was convicted of racist and homophobic hate crimes! Despite every bit of evidence to the contrary (police reports, trial transcripts, and indeed every other report and document in my file), Barnett presented as fact his ridiculous lies. Equally incredibly, when presented with his report, the Parole Board chose to remain silent, despite KNOWING that his report was seriously and inexorably flawed.

When I made a formal complaint about the lies in Bartlett’s report to his superiors at Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, what immediately kicked-in was a concerted attempt on their part to close ranks around him, and despite all the evidence clearly ascertaining what he had wrote was untrue, reject my complaint out of hand. Truth and fact were clearly secondary to the absolute priority to defend and protect a colleague, even one so seriously and worryingly lacking in personal and professional integrity.

Barnett’s response to my complaint was vicious and single-mindedly spiteful. On the 14th May this year, he held a “multi-disciplinary meeting”, and persuaded a hostel in Edinburgh, that had agreed to accept me as part of the Parole Board inspired post-release supervision plan, to now refuse me accommodation. He also persuaded a representative from Edinburgh Housing not to provide me with accommodation. He then persuaded Scottish Prison Service Headquarters that I should be transferred back to the English prison system because I had no links or contacts in Scotland, which he knew to be completely untrue. He then persuaded a remarkably compliant Parole Board that my next parole hearing, scheduled for June this year, should be postponed until I was “psychiatrically risk assessed” by a psychiatrist of his choice.

The Board were aware, of course, that I had already been thoroughly psychologically risk-assessed before the hearing last June, and there was absolutely no justification for introducing a psychiatric dimension to my case, but they agreed to Barnett’s recommendation nevertheless. Neither did they question why Barnett, who was effectively engineering my transfer out of the Scottish system, and beyond Edinburgh Criminal Justice Service’s responsibility and obligation to supervise, should happily provide the funding for a psychiatrist of his choice to “risk-assess” me. Brendan Barnett had effectively wrecked any post-release supervision plan, and yet the Parole Board appeared content to go along with and support him.

At the parole hearing last year, the parole panel clearly set it’s face against releasing me, despite the legal criteria supporting that release, and it then insisted on a post-release supervision plan of such severity that it was virtually inevitable that an authoritarian zealot such as Barnett would emerge to abuse the power such a plan would exercise over me. Barnett has created a justification to further prolong my imprisonment, and the Parole Board seem happy with it.

Earlier this year, the outgoing Chairperson of the Parole Board, once safely distanced from responsibility, warned that the Parole Board‘s hindering and delaying the release of life sentence prisoners, of which there are over 1200 in England and Wales, would inevitably and eventually create serious unrest in the prison system. The deliberate design in preventing my release suggests a total disregard for personal or institutional consequences.

Barnett meanwhile, continues to use the system to exercise his hatred of “offenders”, supported and defended by his colleagues at Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, and clearly within a social and political climate of increasing authoritarianism, intolerance, and hated of “offenders” and those on the margins of society, he will feel empowered to continue wrecking the lives of the powerless.

John Bowden
6729
HMP Shotts
Cantrell Road
Shotts
Scotland
ML7 4LE

‘Criminalising Children In The Care System’ by John Bowden (UK)

Criminalising the behaviour of working class children and feeding them into the Criminal Justice System is a practice that has existed for generations and is now responsible for Britain having the unenviable reputation of Europe’s worst jailer of children in terms of the numbers imprisoned.

“State raised convicts” form a substantial part of the adult prison population and all share a common genealogy of Children’s Homes, Approved Schools, Borstals and Young Offenders Institutions, and finally the long-term prison system. Many children who through no fault of their own enter the so-called Care System are percentage-wise seriously at risk of graduating into the Criminal Justice System and a life disfigured by institutionalisation and social exclusion.

There are currently 10,000 children in local authority care, their number doubling in the past four years, and the government’s current “Austerity” agenda with its attack on state benefit and services will so deeply impoverish an already desperately poor section of the population that the number of children from this group entering the Care System is bound to increase significantly.

A leading magistrate and member of the Magistrates’ Association Youth Courts Committee, Janis Cauthery, has openly condemned the care system for operating as a doorway into the penal system by regularly prosecuting children for behaviour such as pushing, shoving, and breaking crockery. Behaviour that in normal circumstances would simply be punished by parents is frequently being referred to the police by Children’s Homes and children are being charged with criminal offences and placed before the criminal courts. Ms Cauthery has warned that children in care who receive criminal records for what is in reality normal adolescent behaviour are being drawn into a “vicious cycle” of crime, joblessness and imprisonment, that would go on to seriously affect the lives of their own children. Ms Cauthery said: “Many of the young people we see coming to court have never been in trouble before going into care. These young people are often charged with offences that have occurred within the care home, including damage (e.g. to a door, window, or crockery) and assault (often to one of the care home staff involving pushing and shoving). This behaviour is mostly at the lower end of offending, and in a reasonable family environment would never be dealt with by the police or courts. We worry about these children being criminalised”. She added: “Surely the home has a duty to try to help the young people and find other solutions rather than resorting to the courts for minor offences which, in a normal family environment, would not be thought of as offending behaviour”. She went on to warn that the maltreatment of children in care might be the reason for the “anti-social behaviour” in the first place, which is what classically happens in total institutions when inmates resist and challenge brutal regimes.

Recent high-profile cases when neglect by social workers has seriously contributed to the deaths of children already at serious risk from abusive or drug-addicted parents has created a public mood and climate favourable to the placing into care of even more poor and disadvantaged children, and for many of them an entry route into the penal system. The massive empowerment of social workers in the wake of tragedies like the Baby P case to remove more children into care, often for contentious and contested reasons, makes it reasonable to ask the question if many of these children actually face even greater abuse and the risk of destroyed lives by being placed INTO care.

There is clearly a greater propensity on the part of staff supervising the behaviour of children in care to view any non-conformist or disruptive behaviour on the part of such children as potentially criminal and therefore requiring intervention by the police and courts at the earliest opportunity, which also absolves such staff of the responsibility of working closely and consistently with young people in dealing with such behaviour in an emotionally supportive setting. How much easier to just offload such “difficult” children onto the courts and Young Offender System, where an awful self-fulfilling prophecy then takes place along with the process of criminalisation and institutionalisation. Ultimately, the wider society reaps the cost and consequences of this abandonment of vulnerable children to the Criminal Justice System.

John Bowden
HMP Shotts
June 2012

Close Supervision Centres – Torture Units in the UK. New Pamphlet from BristolABC. April 2012

Here to download – a collaboratively produced pamphlet from inside and outside the prison walls, for printing and distribution about Close Supervision Centres in the UK prison network.

With an introduction by Mark Barnsley of LeedsABC; many articles and texts from John Bowden, our comrade currently residing in HMP Shotts, Scotland; first hand accounts from inside these maximum security segregation units from prisoners such as Kevan Thakrar and Kyle Major; and many articles, testimonies and denunciations from families, supporters, and other people fighting against these degrading and despicable institutions; this text is a call-out for renewed pressure on the prison system and the web of screws, bureaucrats, health care professionals, managers etc. that enact overt and covert abuses on inmates of the CSC system every day.

The text will be available in paper format soon from Kebele Infoshop, 56a Infoshop, and further afield we hope. Please right click and click save as below to download in electronic format:

CSCs Torture Units in the UK SCREEN (for reading on computer)

CSCs Torture Units in the UK IMPOSED (large file – for printing as booklet)

CSCs Torture Units in the UK A4 (single A4 pages)

CORRECTIONS:

1. The ‘First Hand Account’ on Page 8 took place in 2003. The UK Indymedia post was made in 2011 but the event took place in early 2003. It should have therefore read:

“The Mufti Squad came into A wing super-seg Thursday 17th July banging their shields. Scott Napier took a bad kicking resulting in an alleged fractured jaw. Willi Moskimmin’s assault resulted in bruising to his eyes and a split nose. Robbie Stewart was viciously attacked, then transported to HMP Full Sutton segregation. Ray Gilbert was ghosted to HMP Long Lartin segregation unit. Scott Napier went to Milton Keynes General Hospital to have his jaw X rayed, and I understand that whilst there he was again assaulted. The screw whom I understand assaulted him the day before did it again despite Scott having complained about the officer the previous day.

Where is the rule that allows officers under investigation for assault to come into contact with their victims?
Where is the deterrent and accountability?
Where is our protection?
We demand an inquiry into Woodhill’s CSC.

Anon Resident, HMP Woodhill, 2003.”

2. Claire Hodson was and still is operational manager of the CSC regime. If there was any misunderstanding about this we apologise. We had written that she had been sacked but were kindly corrected and edited the mistake before most of the copies went to print. Unfortunately some may have got out and so please take note that she is still running the CSC regime.
As per reference in: CSC Referral Manual CSC Referral Manual Jan 2013

One day of prison. Two days of prison. Three days of prison. A month of prison.

-          An altered except from the text signed by J. And V.

Dore Gustave Newgate Exercise Yard

The door closes and opens, then closes and opens again. Three months of prison. A year of prison. I need to know if others are thinking about me as much as I’m thinking about them. The days can’t go by fast enough now. Four-hundred-eighty-two days of prison. Four-hundred-eighty-three days of prison. Four-hundred-eight… I’ve lost count. Fuck. It’s better that way. Counting is no good in prison. The arithmetic makes no sense whatsoever. Prison has its own smell. A smell that gets all over you and follows you around. I’ll never manage to get it off me. Yesterday marked two calendars in prison. Two fucking years. I don’t get any sleep. I’ve forgotten how to smile and now I can’t dream. “Clink clink” in the night. They wake me up for a search. Maybe they’ll find the shanks. Seven-hundred-fifty-one days of prison. Are you satisfied, my dear judges? Pigs. Seven-hundred-fifty-two days of prison, pigs. Seven-hundred-fifty-three pigs. Coming and going and off I go. Coming and going and off I go. My cell is three meters by three meters. From the second floor window I see 20% of the sky over the top of the fucking prison wall. I walk through the yard like an automaton. I walk kilometres in a yard measuring just a few meters. Boredom and boredom again. Today I vomited my very soul. I vomited bars, walls, solitary confinements, years of prison, judicial sentences. I vomited three years of prison. I don’t want to count anymore. I completely close my eyes and think. I think about my comrades, whom they’re keeping far away from me in other prisons. I think about fires on the prison roofs. I think about everything prison has tried to make me forget. I think about a smile, a caress, a journey that doesn’t end over there where the wall ends, a glance that isn’t trapped behind the fucking prisons bars. I stop thinking. I open my hand. I look at the metal file I have. Now I know. I know exactly what I have to do. Let’s go then, once again. This time with feeling. Until the end. Long live anarchy.

End:Civ Tour Screening @ Kebele this Thursday

END:CIV UK Tour
Thursday 12th April @ Kebele Social Centre, Easton
w/ Talk from Franklin Lopez & discussion on civilisation and resistance
Food served from 6:30pm, film starts at 7:30pm
+ Animal & earth liberation prisoner letter writing

Having attended over 110 screenings in America, Mexico, Canada and Japan Franklin López will continue his world tour in the UK this April his film END:CIV (http://endciv.com/)

END:CIV illustrates the brutality of a civilization addicted to systematic violence and environmental destruction, and the heroism of those who confront it head-on.

Through rapid-fire video-game graphics, interviews, war footage and satire END:CIV mocks the excesses of the global economic system, and examines the necessity for effective resistance.

As the UK is beginning to experience more frequent environmental crises resulting from climate change and a history of poor environmental management this film will be instrumental in bringing awareness of the need to confront the system which allows this destruction to continue.

After the screening Franklin will answer questions relating to the film and ask those present to consider what action they are prepared to take to save the landbase they rely on to survive.

An award-winning filmmaker, Franklin López hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1994 he founded SubMedia.tv and his work has been featured on Canada’s City TV, Current TV, BET, and Democracy Now!

“By far, the most routinely-praised contemporary media activist is Franklin López. His shows and films not only possess a distinctive look and feel, but they also contain a wicked sense of humor … López’s work engages in constructing a new vision where popular culture serves the interests of the poor and dispossessed, where humor is reignited within activism, and the D.I.Y. ethics of punk and hip-hop allow those with talent and gumption to be the media, once again.” – Chris Robé, Pop Matter

Suggested donation for food: £2.50