Category Archives: BDS

Friday the 16th of December; BDS fundraiser at the Plough!

Join us at the Plough for a night of rebellion! Raising cash money for Bristol Defendant Solidarity, who support anyone arrested or imprisoned as a result of demos, riots, direct action and escalating class war. We also stand in solidarity with all people facing harassment from the state. Also on Facepalm.

no-borders-plough-gig-posterDJs:

Gitsurfer (Ska / reggae)
Blakazone ( Dub / reggae)
Black Rainbow (Asian bass and beats)
Dub Boy (Soca / bashment / dancehall)
Disorda (Jungle)

The Plough Inn, 223 Easton Road, Easton BS5 0EG.
Friday 16th December.
9pm – 2am.


£3 donation.

See ya there!

Image

Police violence at Old England Pub 8th April – Witness callout

April+8th+witness+callout-page001

Witness Callout – Bristol Antifascist Protest (October 2015)

Poster for the protestWere you at College Green on 17th October 2015? Several people were arrested and we need to find witnesses for the defence.

If you saw any what happened during any of the arrests, please call Bristol Defendant Solidarity on 077467 41104, or email bristoldefendantsolidarity (at) riseup.net

Please share this callout!

Important Advice for Anarchists Travelling To/From the UK

Police in the UK are allowed to question anyone entering/leaving the country about “terrorism” – without the right to silence. We have spoken to a number of anarchists who have been questioned under these powers, known as “Schedule 7”. Because of a lack of information on the law, most of those stopped have given more information than they had to. This includes people from outside of the UK who have not even heard of “Schedule 7” before. For this reason, we strongly recommend any anarchists travelling to/from the UK read our briefing beforehand – https://bristolabc.wordpress.com/defendant-solidarity/resources-and-advice/schedule-7/.

If you have been questioned under “Schedule 7”, please contact the Network for Police Monitoring, so they can keep track of how the police are using this power. Website: https://netpol.org; Email: info (at) netpol.orgUK Border

Witness Callout – Cardiff Mayday Protest

Were you at the Mayday protest in Cardiff on Saturday 2nd? Two people were arrested and we need to find witnesses for the defence.

If you saw what happened, call Bristol Defendant Solidarity on 077467 41104, or email bristoldefendantsolidarity (at) riseup.net

Please share this callout!

Report from Emma Sheppard’s Sentencing (BDS)

UPDATE: Em has written her own report on the sentencing – read it here

This week saw the sentencing of Emma Sheppard, who plead guilty to causing “criminal damage recklessly endangering life” to several police cars. All in all it went much as expected. Before handing out a prison sentence of two years in order to “send a message”, the judge gave a summing up displaying all the ignorance we have come to expect of the rich and powerful. He admitted to being confused that a compassionate person might dislike the police, and listed some examples of police ‘good deeds’ to try and make his point, such as protecting the people who suffer from domestic abuse [1]. We wonder if he would apply the same reasoning to the people he sentences, and find them not guilty because they once helped an old person cross a busy road?

Police involved in “Operation Rhone” [2] also tried to claim it as a victory for themselves, despite only getting involved after the arrest, and seeming to contribute nothing significant to the trial. They made a public statement claiming that they have “a long and proud history of facilitating peaceful protest”. Needless to say this isn’t true – Bristol Defendant Solidarity regularly sees examples of people injured and fitted up by Avon and Somerset Police.

We encourage people to write to Emma and support her through her time in jail. She may be moved during her sentence, so check the Bristol ABC website before writing. At present her address is:

Emma Sheppard
A7372DJ
HMP Eastwood Park
Church Avenue
Falfield
Wotton-under-Edge
Gloucestershire
GL12 8DB

Emma can receive cards, stamps and stationary. For donations, news & any other solidarity efforts email: bristol_abc [at] riseup.net

[1] this is despite police being far more likely than average to PERPETRATE domestic violence in the first place – womenandpolicing.com/violenceFS.asp
[2] More information: https://bristolabc.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/operation-grhone-and-the-badger-hunt/

 

Operation GRhone and the Badger hunt

Translation: Français

Picture of three people in badger masks

from the demo at Bristol CID HQ

When Bristol anarchist Huw ‘Badger’ Norfolk legged it somewhere in late-August 2011, word spread fast across Bristol’s anarchist & radical communities. His decision to absent himself from all and any police investigations was immediately apparent to the many friends he’d had no time to say good-bye to. No doubt many suspected this escape to somewhere would be short-lived. Instead nothing, just the one shout-out from online anonymity(1) two months later, in which he stated his non-compliance bluntly.

Fast-forwards to December 2014 and Badger’s face is staring at us from every national and many local media outlets. Crimestoppers and Avon & Somerset Police’s Operation Rhone announce a £10k reward for information, whilst forcing his parents in north-west Bristol into the media spotlight too(2). Badger is wanted for two specific actions, although no evidence is cited for either. It’s made clear the Badger hunt, and the two actions, are just a part of their investigation into over 100 actions by ‘persons unknown’(3) over the last four years.

So why the sudden flurry of police & media attention? In reality the police have been active all the time, supported by their slavish media-hounds at the Bristol Post. We, at Bristol Defendant Solidarity(4), have a timeline of their activity since August 2011, when victims of an unproductive police raid on a Bristol squat contacted us for support and advice. Since then police activity has ebbed & flowed, nothing for months, then intense activity, such as the last 6 months of 2014 – triggered it seems by forces from outside the area(5), which resulted in Operation Rhone being formally set up. As well as finding and arresting suspects, the aims of this operation include gathering intelligence on “the threat from domestic extremism” and to “maintain public confidence”. (6)

It is clear the police know nothing. No leads beyond Badger’s identity and statements posted online by ‘persons unknown’. So like a man blind-drunk in a dark alley, they’ve lashed out at anyone they think could be intimidated, or entrapped. There’ve been numerous arrests leading to extended police bail, and even taggings, with at least 6 since June 2014, but no convictions; searches of homes & vehicles; visits to homes & workplaces for a ‘chat’; phonecalls to private mobile numbers; harassment of individuals current & former partners; stops at airports; endless requests that people snitch; and no doubt countless incidences of covert surveillance. All to no avail, and at huge cost. There has now been one arrest and guilty plea relating to an incident on New Years Eve, but this appears to be a stand alone case and was not the result of Op Rhone work – even if they got involved afterwards. Operation Rhone is said to involve at least 10 CID officers – in any other line of work somebody would’ve been sacked by now!

One harassed individual’s statement sums it up: “One morning a few months ago, I woke up and found my house full of police. When I say full I mean literally – it was hard to move around! They had already arrested the person they’d come for. He was released a bit later with no charges and has now had the case against him dropped completely. If they didn’t even have enough evidence to charge him, I don’t see how they can justify raiding my house in the first place – I don’t think they had anything on him at all. Anyway, as well as taking electronic stuff (like a hard drive and laptop), they seemed to be bagging anything that looked political…”

Four mugshots of police

Some of the police alleged to be involved in the investigation…

So why the wall of silence, and why the lack of police success? On the one hand they are harassing people – anarchists & radicals involved in public activity, musicians, and mere acquaintances – who clearly know nothing at all. On the other hand, the reality is that large numbers of people have a complete distrust of, and hatred for, the police. Whatever personal views people have on the validity of actions by ‘persons unknown’, they wont be co-operating with the police – they are the enemy, the heavy-handed arm of the state, and they have a long list of previous. Hence the many who supported a public ‘Statement against police harassment’(7). In addition to the timeline, Bristol Defendant Solidarity has published advice for people facing police harassment, and helped those who contacted us to get together and plan a response. Among other things, this group organised a protest at the headquarters of Bristol CID, which upset the police so much that they responded with armed officers and a dog unit. (8)

It is generally accepted the police exist to maintain the status quo – the rule of the few over the many. Their history of fit-ups, and denial of what limited rights we have, is endless. Their support for the bosses against workers struggles is continual. Their sexism & racism institutional. Their violence well documented as they kill with impunity(9). Their surveillance powers out of control. Their weaponry & equipment ever more militarised. Their undercover officers act as agent provocateurs and coerce individuals into relationships(10). Their corruption breathtaking. Complaints against them and investigations by the IPCC are rising, even the Chief Constable is suspended and the subject of an IPCC investigation(11). Why on earth would anyone, never mind the anarchists & radicals, have anything to do with them?

By Bristol Defendant Solidarity
(BDS is an independent, self funded group run by local volunteers, formed after the Stokes Croft riots in April 2011. We aim to provide effective, lasting unconditional support and solidarity to anyone arrested or imprisoned as a result of demos, riots, direct action and escalating class war. We take a clear stand against state repression and police brutality)

Notes/Resources:
1. 325.nostate.net/?p=3297
2. www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/05/h…
3. personsunknown.noblogs.org/post/2014/11…
4. bristolabc.wordpress.com/defendant-soli…
5. www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-264481…
6. www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/operatio…
7. bristolabc.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/sta…
8. bristolabc.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/act…
9. www.inquest.org.uk/statistics/deaths-in…
10. www.theguardian.com/uk/undercover-with-…
11. www.ipcc.gov.uk/investigations/chief-co…

Benefit Gig for Spanish Anarchists

A BENEFIT FOR SPANISH ANARCHISTS

** SHOT
“female fronted politically distressed/Pissed up Punk Rock n’ Roll from the pits of London, that maintain the anarchist sentiment.” and celebrating the release of their debut album on RSR.

** SPANNER – No introduction needed for these local veterans of everything that is mischievous and militant. They aren’t too bad at that ska punk thing either 😉

** ATTERKOP – Heavyweight Skacore from Bristol

** ZEALAND
nomadic acoustic punk/folk/singsong

+ 1 More to be confirmed

06//02//15
@ The Red Lion, Whitehall Road, Bristol
Door – suggested donation of £3

************ BENEFIT DETAILS ************

On the 16th December Catalan police raided 14 houses and social enters in Barcelona and Madrid, destroying or stealing everything of value. Without concrete accusations and with the greatest secrecy, 11 comrades were sent to a high court in Madrid. 4 have been released with charges and 7 have been locked up (in part for supporting the 2 anarchists who have already been in prison for the past year). So that’s now 7 people imprisoned simply for being anarchists.

The situation in Spain has taken a massive turn lately when the state passed the new ‘Gag’ laws. These laws basically mean complete control from a totalitarian and fascistic regime, here is a few examples of what is now ‘illegal’ and can face hefty fines. Google to find out the full list.

✮ Photographing or recording police – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
✮ Peaceful disobedience to authority – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
✮ Meeting or gathering in front of Congress – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
✮ It allows random identity checks, allowing for racial profiling of immigrants and minorities.
✮ Police can now carry out raids at their discretion, without the need for “order” to have been disrupted.

To show solidarity, Riot Ska Records (us) and Pumpkin Records will be donating any money made through our Bandcamp pages to the Spanish anarchists for legal costs, fines, and whatever they think it’s best used for.

www.riotskarecords.bandcamp.com
www.pumpkinrecords.bandcamp.com

Solidarity with Anarchists Imprisoned by the Spanish State!

¡Solidaridad con los presos anarquistas! from members of Bristol Anarchist Federation (IFA), Bristol Solidarity Federation (IWA) and friends

In December the claws of the Spanish state came out, dropping all pretence of presiding over a fair & free society they launched an attack on everyone resisting capitalism & fighting for the working class, specifically targeting organised anarchists as the biggest threat to the power of the elites.

On Tuesday the 16th operation pandora  was launched, with 400 police raiding anarchists homes and social centres in Barcelona & Madrid, making eleven arrests and seizing books, pamphlets and computer equipment. Days later the government enacted the ‘public security law’, which criminalised protesting outside of government buildings, ‘peaceful dissent’, resisting evictions, photographing police and even burning the nations flag.

Despite waves of protest, seven anarchists remain imprisoned, accused not of committing crimes but of being active anarchists and of spreading ideas and information. ‘Evidence’ against them includes owning literature and communicating in ways the state can’t snoop on!

Close up of the plaque commemorating Bristols fallen volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

The International Workers Association (home of spanish anarchist syndicalists the CNT and the UK’s SolFed) called for solidarity actions across the globe on January 16th, supporting those still held (including a CNT member). We responded to this call by calling a local demonstration, lacking a consulate, embassy or other Spanish state interest to target we instead gathered in castle park.  A less random choice than it sounds as it houses an often overlooked memorial to the Bristolians that died as volunteers in the Spanish civil war of 1936-39. They fought against fascism, for the republic and for the revolution. Our demo brought together Anarchists and friends from across Bristol, we also managed to unintentionally give our police escort the slip… as they managed to go to the wrong part of the park, sorry coppers!

We stand in solidarity with all our imprisoned anarchist comrades, those held in Spain and elsewhere across the globe. There fight is our fight, out struggle has no borders, and our own government continues to act in increasing Orwellian ways not to different from the Spanish state.

If you’d like to donate to support the prisoners email bristol@afed.org.uk or come to the Ska/Punk benefit gig that is being held to raise funds at the Red Lion, Easton on Friday 6th Feb.

Wait, can we fit more anarchists into our opening picture? I think we can…

Wait... can we fit more anarchist in our opening picture? I think we can!

Source: https://bristolaf.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/solidarity-with-anarchists-imprisoned-by-the-spanish-state/#more-1717

Cardiff: 2 anti-militarists up in court on Tuesday

From Radical Wales

Two anti-militarists are up in court this coming week, having been accused of disrupting last year’s DPRTE arms fair in Cardiff. The pair are due to stand trial on Tuesday 6th January 2015 at Cardiff Magistrates Court and could potentially face custodial sentences.

They are accused of damaging the luxury goods of DPRTE arms dealers and organisers -including a £400 suit and a £200 pair of designer shoes – with childrens play paint.

According to it’s website, DPTRE (the Defense Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability exhibition) is the “UK’s Premier Defense Procurement Event” and is now being hosted annually at Cardiff Motorpoint arena. Their first time hosting the arms fair in Cardiff was on the the 8th of October 2014, with exhibitors at DPRTE include BAE Systems, the world’s 3rd largest arms producer with a very special relationship with the UK government & Saudi dictatorship. BAE also supplies Israel with the tools to wage war on the Palestinans and after the horrors seen perpetrated by Israel over the summer, from bombing a UN school to the killing of children playing on a beach, there is no doubt that BAE systems is complicit in these crimes through it’s arming of the Israeli state.

dprte

There has been active opposition DPRTE since 2013. The arms fair had previously been hosted at the UWE campus in Bristol, but was subsequently driven out, hence the move to Cardiff. The protesters involved a variety of actions including blockading the UWE north entrance causing queues trailing back along the A4174.

Having being driven out of Bristol, South Wales Anarchists, Stop NATO Cymru  and others resolved to show the arms dealers that there is no welcome for them in Wales either. Many felt it unjust that whilst ordinary people are struggling and having to turn to food banks or are on the brink of homelessness, these arms dealers are walking around in expensive clothes worth more than most local families’ entire monthly disposable income, all bought with the profits made from mass murder. What does a statistic like 100 000 dead civilians in Afghanistan mean to the arms dealers at DPRTE? In material terms it means a bit of financial security and a couple of nice holidays a year.

One of the defendants said:“Arms dealers are complicit in slaughter all over the world. Perpetual war is in this industry’s interest and this is what’s become the norm. If the law really was a forum for justice, wouldn’t it be them on trial?”In a similar vein, Elliw from StopNATO Cymru said:

“What I would like to know is when have the arms dealers ever had to justify their horrific choice of career? Have the arms dealers ever had to look a mother in the eye and explain why their expensive suits, luxury goods and nice big homes are so much more valuable than the lives of their children, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers? These cowards never have to face the consequences of their career choice. It sickens me that we live in a society that rewards such abhorrent and frankly psychopathic behavior.”

For those arrested opposing DPRTE in 2014 there will be a short solidarity demonstration outside Cardiff Magistrate’s Court from 9:15am on Tuesday 6th January 2015. Anti-militarist banners and well-wishers welcome. Afterwards some will be supporting the defendants from the public gallery.

If you were present at the protest against DPRTE Arms Fair at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena in October 2014, you may be able to provide useful defence evidence. Please email:
bristoldefendantsolidarity@riseup.net