Category Archives: events

events

18th November, protest against Close Supervision Centres at the HM Inspectorate of Prisons, London

The Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system is the English version of American supermax prison conditions, indefinite solitary confinement within the most oppressive and brutal environment found in this country, which can appropriately be called torture camps. Psychological warfare is used upon its victims on a constant basis, with frequent physical attacks supplementing the arbitrary punishment. As only around 50 prisoners fall victim to the CSC at any one time its existence is largely unknown even amongst the general prison population, so it is not surprising that the wider public are so poorly informed that almost no-one protests that taxes are being spent to torment vulnerable captives who are also British citizens. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of prisons (HMIP) is tasked with the role of reporting on all places of detention within the country, with a decreasing level of funding for the prison system whilst prisoner numbers continue to rise it is inevitable that more and more failings and inadequacies will be identified by them. Considering the CSC is the violation of international and European law, as well as being morally reprehensible for both its design and implementation, you would expect HMIP to dedicate its times exposing the secretive system with the goal of achieving its abolition but at least securing desperately needed reforms. When the entire prison system can be seen to be declining in the level of treatment it provides, it is obvious that those already at the harsh end will suffer the most. HMIP chooses to pretend that the CSC does not exist rather than tackle the deplorable, less attention is paid to the worst part of the prison system than any other which is simply inexcusable. Since I was first allocated to the CSC in March 2010, HMIP have only once ‘inspected’ the CSC. Although they were provided with extensive detail of the abuses which were taking place, they chose to omit all of the most serious and gloss over those that actually made it into the report. HMIP effectively endorsed the torture regime which had the obvious consequence of life on the CSC becoming more anguished, and have not even bothered to perform their mandatory follow-up ‘inspection’ to see the effects of their actions. The suicide of Joanne Latham (AKA Eddie Brown, AKA Edward Latham) on the CSC has been one of the direct results of the continuing deterioration, but also of the structure of the CSC itself which causes severe mental illness and exacerbates preexisting medical issues amongst its residents so much so that around 50% end up damaged to the extent it becomes necessary for them to be removed from prison to one of the high secure mental health hospitals (Broadmoor, Brampton, Ashworth). I sent a detailed complaint to HMIP after reading their cover-up report (http://solitaryconfinement.org/uploads/HMCIP_CSC_Report_2015.pdf) but received nothing more than a fob off in reply evidencing that their substandard work was intentional. Although this was done as a parting gesture from the departing Chief Inspector presumably to secure another governmental employment, the incumbent Chief Inspector along with the rest of his office have done absolutely nothing about it.

It is about time that HMIP learned they can no longer ignore the CSC system or be allowed to prop-up its existence with corrupt reports, the CSC has been in operation since 1998 and must be condemned as the abomination it is. To achieve this end, I am calling on every person with some level of compassion and humanity for their fellow man and all those disgusted at what their taxes are funding to attend a demonstration protest outside the offices of HMIP. This has been organised to take place on:

Friday 18th November 2016 from 12.30pm – 2.30pm at HM Inspectorate of Prisons, 6th Floor, Victory House, Kingsway, London, WC2B 6EX,

and all those unable to attend are encouraged to write demanding they address the CSC system immediately either directly or through their MP for greater impact. Support can also be shown as well as more being found out about the horror of the CSC by visiting the website WWW.JUSTICEFORKEVAN.COM, joining the group at www.facebook.com/justiceforkev, signing the petition on www.change-org/p/justice-for-kevan, or by writing to:

Kevan Thakrar A4907AE,
HMP Wakefield,
5 Love Lane,
Wakefield,
West Yorkshire,
WF2 9AG.

30th October: presentation from Antifenix in Bristol!

antifenix

At Kebele Community Centre,
14 Robertson Road,
BS5 6JY

7.30pm

In May 2015, the state began Operation Fenix, a campaign of repression against anarchists and liberatory activists. Dozens of people were arrested and interrogated, websites were taken down, computers seized, houses raided.

Now, 18 months later, the Czech state’s campaign of terror has not ended, but neither has the campaign of solidarity and unity of the radical movement in the face of this repression.

Come to Kebele on the 30th of October, after Sunday dnner, and learn about how people have stayed strong and supported each other, and what we can do to support them in our turn. There will be a member of the antirepression group Antifenix speaking, so don’t miss out on this chance to come along and hear about it firsthand!

antifenix.noblogs.org

Warsaw 3 solidarity dinner, 27th of October at Kebele

warsaw3-poster-final-copy

Three anarchists were arrested in Warsaw recently, accused of an arson attempt on a police vehicle, put in isolation and tortured. Now they are free but they still face trial, amid a media frenzy against them, and anarchists in general. Come and support them by helping to raise money for their legal costs and learn about the wave of repression in Poland. Never alone, never forgotten!


https://wawa3.noblogs.org/post/category/english/

Dinner and infonight in solidarity with US national prison strike

On the 8th of September we are having a fundraising dinner and infonight in solidairty with striking workers who are fighting against the slavery of the United States prison industrial complex.

Come to Kebele Community Centre, 14 Roberstson Road, BS5 6JY, at 6.30 pm on Thursday the 8th of September for food and to find out more about their struggle. There will be a discussion with the importance of prisoner solidarity and the need for prisoners’ unions with Bristol ABC and members of the  Incarcerated Workers’ Organising Committee, who are involved in assisting with the prison strike from the outside in the US.

In the words of prisoners involved in the strike:

Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.

This is a call for a nation-wide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on September 9th, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.

For the rest of the callout and for more information about the strike, visit iwoc.noblogs.org and itsgoingdown.org

 

Prisoner letter writing, Friday 26th August

anarchist solidarity posterAs part of the Week of Solidarity with Anarchist prisoners, we will be having a letter writing night at our usual venue, Hydra Bookshop. Come along and learn about anarchists imprisoned in the UK and abroad, and sign a card in support of libertarian struggles. See you there!

Upcoming: International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners!

poster

For the last two years, August 23-30 has been the Week of Action for Anarchist Prisoners. Many imprisoned anarchists will never be acknowledged as ‘political prisoners’ by formal human-rights organisations, because their sense of social justice is strictly limited to the capitalist laws which are designed to defend the State and prevent any real social change. At the same time, even within our individual communities, we know so little about the repression that exists in other countries, to say nothing of the names and cases involving many of our incarcerated comrades.

We chose August 23 as a starting point, because on that very day in 1927 the Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in prison. They were convicted of murdering two men during an armed robbery at a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States. Their arrest was a part of a bigger anti-radical campaign led by the American government. The State’s evidence against the two was almost totally non-existent and many people still today believe that they were punished for their strong anarchist beliefs.

Therefore, we call on Anarchists and those fighting against the state to remember those inside by dedicating an action or an infonight to them, or simply by writing a letter.

Please send reports of your activities to tillallarefree (A) riseup.net

 

 

Prisoner letter writing night, 1st July at Hydra Books

In response to the call for solidarity with Russian antifascist prisoners, Bristol ABC are holding a letter writing night, 5-7pm on the 1st of July at Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market. Come and learn about the situations of our imprisoned comrades in Russia, and write to them to show they’re not alone. Skill in Russian language appreciated but not essential, see you there!

May 27th prisoner letter writing night at Hydra Bookshop

Join Bristol ABC and friends from 5-7pm on the 27th of May at Hydra Bookshop, Old Market, BS2 0EZ for our semi-regular letter writing night; get your questions about writing to prisoners answered, learn about class struggle prisoners and anti-prison struggles across the world, and maybe get a pen-pal of your own!

Here’s an excerpt from a letter of thanks we received after sending out 10 or so cards at the Anarchist Bookfair to show you how much this communication means to those who are locked up:

“Thank you so much for your wonderful card of solidarity and support that really lifted my spirits and diminished considerably the feeling of isolation that my current very difficult situation creates. […] I really was grateful to receive your card and it really did raise my morale and reassure me that I’m not completely alone”

-John Bowden

Jan 22 Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity – Info Night & Fundraiser in Bristol

Trans Prisoners Bristol

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Background Info:

January 22, 2016 will be the first annual Trans Prisoner Day of Action: an international day of action in solidarity with trans prisoners.

This is a call to action against the system which seeks to erase our very existence. The survival of trans and other sex and gender minority people is not a quaint conversation about awareness, but a struggle for us to live in a world so determined to marginalize, dehumanise, and criminalise us – especially trans women, and especially Black, brown, and indigenous trans people.

We are discriminated against in every area of society including housing, healthcare, employment. Our survival is often precarious and many of us survive by work which is also criminalised – making us even more of a target for police harassment and the crime of “Walking While Trans’’.

Once incarcerated, trans people face humiliation, physical and sexual abuse, denial of medical needs, and legal reprisals. Many transgender people are placed in solitary confinement for months or years, simply for being trans. Trans women are usually placed in men’s prisons, where there is a massive increased risk of experiencing sexual violence.

Just as our lives are violently repressed on the outside, trans people experience extreme suffering and death within the walls of jails, prisons, youth facilities, and immigrant detention centers.

Trans Prisoner Day of Action on January 22nd is a day to acknowledge the experiences of trans and other sex and gender-minority prisoners. It’s about collaboration. It is about forging new relationships and dismantling the isolation of prison. It’s about resistance to state violence. It’s about solidarity between those who experience the violence of the system first hand and those for whom the state hasn’t come yet.

Many prisoner support and prison abolition groups around the world do so much excellent work writing letters to prisoners, educating the public with  letters to editors and articles for the media, holding protests and marches, organising queer communities to phone in and demand that trans prisoners be treated with respect and dignity, calling for an end to incarceration. Trans Prisoner Day of Action aims to make this work accessible to all who are in support – we encourage you to hold vigils for those in our communities who have been taken by State violence, to hold an event, host speakers, screen films, invite presentations, and hold workshops to spread the word on the experience of trans prisoners, share knowledge, and build strategies of resistance. Have dance parties and raise funds for people and groups already doing amazing work. Take action. Let’s join together and show our conviction in supporting each other and ending prisons once and for all.

This project was first imagined by Marius Mason, a trans prisoner in Texas, USA. Since then, through his friends and supporters, an international collective of people both inside and outside of prison walls have come together to make Trans Prisoner Day of Action a reality. We are trans and non-trans folks and friends and supporters. We join a long tradition of trans and queer people resisting state violence.

Join with us in the struggle for freedom.

International Day of Solidarity with Trans Prisoners – January 22nd 2016

All around the world this day will be a chance to stand in solidarity with trans people in prison. Join us for letter writing nights, film screenings, workshops, forums, vigils, actions, fundraisers and parties. Check the EVENTS page to see what’s happening near you. Or we can support you to host your own event.

This grassroots project, lead by trans prisoners and their supporters around the world, is an annual event to give solidarity and support for those behind bars, amplify the voices of trans prisoners and to organise with others both inside and outside.

See more about the day below. If you’d like support in organising anything in the UK please contact: info@prisonabolition.org

Trans Prisoners Day

More About the Day

This grassroots project was initiated by Marius Mason, a trans prisoner in Texas, US. This annual event is being lead by trans prisoners and their supporters from around the world. It is a chance for those on the outside to remember those behind bars, give real solidarity and support and raise awareness about issues facing trans prisoners. It is a chance for those on the inside to have a voice and organise together.

As queers we know the terror of scrutiny, disgust and isolation; we have all be denied the ability to live our lives. For trans people in prison, those problems are doubled by the physical and emotional restraints of a literal cage. For decades, early queer activists showed active solidarity and support for their imprisoned brothers and sisters – they wrote letters, had marches, and demanded not just that they be treated with respect and dignity, but their total and unconditional release. Queer and trans prisoners organized with each other and the outside world. Join us in reviving that tradition.

We hope that events will happen in as many locations as possible around the globe. They will include: letter writing, film screenings, presentations, workshops, queer-friendly shows or parties, fundraisers, vigils and actions. A key feature will be the opportunity for those on the outside to write letters of solidarity to those on the inside. Check out a full list of events HERE.

We will be producing a zine (small DIY publication) featuring writing and artwork from trans prisoners and former prisoners from around the world and the grass roots organisations and groups who support them and who advocate for an end to oppressive prison systems. This will be distributed to those inside as well as be available at events. We will also be producing a postcard series featuring artwork by prisoners.

If you have contacts in prison, you might be able to help us reach out to trans people to invite them to organise with us, contribute to the zine and postcard projects, or go on the list to receive letters from the events. We welcome contact from trans prisoners regarding other ideas for support they would like to see from this project.

To get involved contact us: transprisonersolidarity@riseup.net

Join us on January 22nd in shining a light on the plight of trans prisoners. On this day, and every day, get involved in projects that support other trans and queer prisoners, and look into the other struggles which Marius participates in – it’s one fight against the society that is killing us, one way or the other. Live your life with pride, joy and freedom, and extend those feelings to others; don’t let the walls of prison or society act as a limit.