‘We live in fear and under a police state’

…and police states have lots of political prisoners

Who said that? Not us, but Stella Rimington, the former Director-General of MI5 from 1992-6. In fact she didn’t say exactly that, but that’s how the mainstream press are reporting it. Lets face it, she should know, as part of her job was to ensure such a situation is developed. Here’s her quote in full from an interview she gave last week:

“It would be better that the Government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, which is precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state.”

So big deal, ex-top spy has minor crisis of conscience, but we don’t expect to see her on the barricades. In any case, its old news. Bristol’s now-deceased former anarcho mag Bristle dedicated much of their winter 2004, issue 18, to the development of the police state. Sadly not enough people were listening, and since then Britain has become much more of an open prison, where our every move, act and conversation is monitored, and our children’s DNA is captured, and any act of dissent stamped on. If you don’t believe us, then check out the worthies at The Convention on Modern Liberty on 28 February, who will no doubt go into much detail explaining how our liberties are being curtailed. The problem with them, whilst being useful for info-provision, is that their solution effectively maintains the status quo of capitalism and the state, just a more liberal version! And we strongly suspect they may still be locking up these prisoners too – so give them some support.

Prisoners in need of support
There are many political prisoners worldwide who need our support & solidarity. Those listed here are either the subject of the recent EDO Decommissioners/Greek prisoners benefit in Bristol (which raised £738.00 thanks), or other recent cases:

Bristol ‘Smash EDO’ Decommissioners
Of the 6 Bristol EDO defendants who disarmed the EDO weapons factory, 2 of the 6 remain on remand for the foreseeable future. So they need letters, support and solidarity.
MOVED – Elijah Smith, VP7551 (A 405), HMP Bristol, 19 Cambridge rd, Horfield, Bristol BS7 8PS
Robert Alford, VP7552 HMP Lewes, 1 Brighton Rd, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1E.
For info on the case, help with publicity and fundraising, other solidarity, please see campaign website.

Greek defendants & prisoners
So far there are approx 250 defendants and approx 20 prisoners since the Greek rebellion started on 6 December. The chaotic nature of the Greek judicial system makes info hard to come by. Any correct details will be publicised. See here for starters for info.

The SHAC Prisoners
Sentenced to over 50 years prison in total on 21 January, these campaigners were found guilty of ‘conspiring with persons unknown’ against animal experimentation at HLS, in what was an overtly political trial against a campaign that has big business on the run:
Natasha Avery (NR8987) & Heather Nicholson (VM4859) – HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe Rd, Ashford, Middx TW15 3JZ
Gregg Avery (TA7450) & Gavin Medd-Hall (WV9475) – HMP Coldingley, Shaftesbury Road, Bisley, Woking, Surrey GU24 9EX
Dan Wadham (A5705AA) – HMP Camp Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5PB
Dan Amos (VN7818) – HMP Winchester, Romsey Road, Winchester, SO22 5DF
See vegan prisoner support for info on writing, what you can send, prison moves and more prisoners.

Dave Mahoney – stuck in USA
Ex-Plymouth resident Dave was nicked by the FBI whilst out getting groceries, just after the Republican National Convention in USA last September. He was 1 of over 800 arrests as the US state clamped down on dissent. He and others face long sentences, his trial may be in May. See their helpmk3 site.

Other prisoners: for other political prisoners use the links given and see our list and Brighton’s.

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