Category Archives: Uncategorized

Call for Emergency Solidarity with Sean Swain

Those of us who are friends or comrades of Sean Swain – anarchist and prison rebel in the Ohio dungeon of Warren CI – are facing a terrible riddle.  As described in a January 12th message, Sean has been on hunger strike since the end of December, against severe restrictions that the ODRC and its director, Greg C. Mohr, have imposed on him.  Precisely for the reason of these restrictions, we have no clear picture of his current situation.  But we do know that he has continued his hunger strike well past the release of the January 12th statement, and it’s very likely he remains on hunger strike.  He lost nearly 30 pounds as of two weeks ago.

It’s vital that we break down the walls that isolate him as he slowly starves.   He is likely approaching day 35 on strike, the stage when his life – which he is wagering not only on his own behalf but as a contribution to the global anarchist combat against domination – is in direct jeopardy.  Minimally, continue calling the numbers listed below, and demand that the administrators restore his access to communication.  Beyond that, consider more ambitious and thoughtful contributions to solidarity.

Deputy Director of Operations Casey Barr (513) 932-3388 ext. 2005

Warden’s Assistant Greg Kraft (513) 932-3388 ext. 2010

January 12th call

We received word recently from a friend of Sean’s that Sean is currently on hunger strike and has been placed in a suicide cell.

Although details are still murky, we know that Sean has been without food since December 26th. He was charged with extortion of a deputy warden and had begun a disciplinary process when he began his hunger strike and was placed in a suicide cell.

We know that the prison is recognizing his hunger strike and following the associated procedures, which include taking him to the medical unit every day and weighing him and taking his vital signs. It is unclear whether they are attempting to negotiate with him in any way.

Please take a moment to write a letter of encouragement to Sean and to call the  following prison administrators and encourage them to negotiate with Sean and help him end this hunger strike as quickly as possible.

(reposted from It’s Going Down)

UW-Seattle Shooting Victim Was Anti-Racist Organiser

SEATTLE, USA — The victim of the shooting at University of Washington’s Seattle Campus (UW-Seattle) on Friday, January 20, 2017, is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the IWW’s General Defense Committee (GDC), an anti-racist and anti-fascist organization. He was present at the protests against Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos on Friday night to oppose Milo’s hateful speech, which encourages violence towards minority groups, and has resulted in actual violence in the past. The victim spent the period prior to being shot de-escalating conflicts between protesters and counter-protesters.

The shooter is unknown to the public at this point. Despite using a firearm against another unarmed citizen in a place where firearms are prohibited, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) released the shooter shortly after he turned himself in. It is unclear to us that this is standard SPD practice. We do not yet know the real motivations behind the actions of the shooter at Friday’s protest. We do know that he brought a loaded weapon on the UW’s campus, into a protest situation. We understand that this is already a violation of law. We do know that he claimed self-defense against a person who was explicitly there to de-escalate violence, and that the shooter appears to have a considerable amount of confusion as to whom he shot, since he claims to have thought the victim was himself a white supremacist. The shooter displayed a serious lack of responsibility when he brought a loaded firearm onto UW’s campus in a protest situation, and even more when he used it. We do not understand the rationale for releasing this man.

The victim is a 34-year-old man from Seattle who has been a long-time anti-racist and anti-fascist activist. The shooter has apparently claimed that he shot the victim in ‘self-defense.’ The victim was unarmed and attempting to de-escalate conflict at the protest. We request that the press not identify the victim by name. The so-called ‘alt-right’ is notorious for creating virtual mobs to harass those with whom they disagree. The press should resist unintentional collaboration with these tactics. We recognize the pressure for the media to get stories out early and first. We request that the media engage with the victim directly, when he is recovered sufficiently to do so. In the meantime, please refrain from repeating the shooter’s claim that the victim was a white supremacist, without qualifying it with our statement.

The greatest needs for our member are of course personal, physical, and emotional. But the financial needs will be great. Supportive members of the public can donate to the shooting victim’s recovery fund at the internet address below.

We are deeply saddened by the attack on our friend. We are saddened but not surprised that the police released the attacker so swiftly.

To donate to the victim’s medical funds, please visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/medical-fundraiser-for-iww-and-gdc-member-shot-in-seattle

Take Action to Stop the New Mega Prison in Wellingborough

(reposted from CAPE campaign)

The situation: Wellingborough is set for a new Mega Prison which could have serious repercussions for local people, as well as those harmed by the prison system.

On this page you will find information about how to object to the planning application for Wellingborough Prison.

How to submit a planning objection

  1. Visit: http://pawebsrv.wellingborough.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OI7VLERBJ7D00
  2. You will find the application summary. Click “Make a comment.
  3. Fill in your details and submit your comment. You have a maximum of 1000 characters.

How to Find Background Information about the Prison

You can find all the planning documentation for HMP Wellingborough here: https://www.wellingborough.gov.uk/viewplanningapplications

Use the search function and enter the reference.

The Planning Application Reference is: WP/16/00786/OUT

You can also send questions to the Planning Department:

Email: planning@wellingborough.gov.uk
Telephone: 01933 231902

Potential Points to Make

Everyone will have different reasons for why they are concerned about having a new prison in their local area. For people that do not live locally, they may feel concerned about the harm the prison system causes and not want any more to be built anywhere.

This page aims to summarise some of the key points about the prison.

Click here to read about the ethical arguments against building a new prison.

Issues concerning the disregard for the Planning Process

  • The Public Exhibition held on the 24th and 25th November at the Hind Hotel was not sufficiently advertised and was a tokenistic endeavor. There has been no adequate community consultation for a project of this scale. Only 53 people attended within a local population of approximately 49,087. The prison will also have a significant impact on the region and should involve adequate consultation with communities across the region. The planning application was validated on Fri 23 Dec 2016, over the Christmas period when people are less able to respond and object.
  • In letters sent to local residents, the prison is categorized as A-C, however, in the planning documentation it states the prison will be category C. What commitment is there from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) about the prisons purpose when there is such clear inconsistency? How can residents be assured of its use and scale?
  • There has been no commentary on why the prison is not being re-opened in its current state, and why it is necessary to knock down and replace an existing building.
  • No alternative uses for the site have been explored by the Local Authority, nor has the community been consulted on alternative uses.
  • With the development of the prison being necessarily dependent on access to Local Authority Land for its construction and operation, it is a matter of public interest to have an adequate consultation about the use of the site.
  • It is impossible for the local Planning Authority to approve this planning application, even at outline stage, when the number of buildings, their use and layout of the prison are not fixed.
  • Nearly tripling HMP Wellingborough’s capacity to 1617 prisoners is generative of a huge uptake of local resources and impact on local services. This has not been adequately assessed in any of the planning application documentation.
  • There is inadequate information about the workshops within the prison and their relationship to local companies and the local labour force. The size, scale and purpose of the workshops have not been disclosed and are essential to the decision making on the prison.
  • The Landscape and Visual Impacts Assessment is inadequate while the placement of buildings has yet to be finalised.

Traffic and Environmental Impact

  • The local community have already been subjected to large developments, such as the Crematorium, which has significantly increased the amount of traffic. A new large prison will push highway infrastructure to capacity and endanger lives with its inadequate junction and subsequent roundabout design.
  • The public transport interventions (a new bus stop) are completely inadequate for the volume of visitors expected to the prison.
  • A project of this scale demands a full and comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment. It is not sufficient that the local planning authority deemed it unnecessary more than three years ago, when the project is significantly larger and will have a higher environmental impact.
  • Letters to residents stating the prison may include A-C category prisoners, means that the fence may need to be externally illuminated and this will impact local residents in close proximity to the prison. The prison will generate significant light pollution that is not adequately addressed in the planning documentation.
  • The demolition of the existing buildings and construction work will have a significant noise impact on local residents.
  • The development will lead to a loss of existing wildlife habitat including bats and barn owls. The planning application states that the development will lead to the loss of all existing habitats on the site. This contradicts the aims of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 in ‘encouraging and promoting environmental protection’.
  • No reptile surveys have been undertaken.
  • There is a risk during construction of pollution entering off-site ponds and construction dust impacting wildlife habitats.
  • There is no adequate commentary on the how the existing foul drainage system will handle triple the load of input. Or how the the current system serving the Millers Park Estate will be upgraded and separated from the prison system.

Impact on Local Services

  • The planning documentation does not adequately assess the impact of the prison on the local ambulance service. HMP Oakwood, which is a similar size to the proposed new prison had more than 358 calls to the ambulance service in 2014 alone. (1)
  • The planning documentation does not adequately assess the impact of the prison on the local police force. Data produced by North Wales Police estimates that “Based on the available data, incident and crime prediction work has been undertaken and current estimates put the police staffing costs at £147,000 per annum with £52,500 capital costs in year one and £21,000 per annum associated revenue costs thereafter.”(2)
  • The socio-economic impact assessment is completely inadequate. It does not adequately assess or analyse the impact of the prison on local services. Data must be provided on the new prison’s impact on mental health services, the NHS, local housing, social care and other welfare services.

Jobs & Economics

  • The planning documentation states there will be “workshop buildings where prisoners will carry out a variety of activities”. More information is required about these activities and their impact on local people, especially if they involve the use of prison labour.
  • There is no detail in the application on how prison labour will impact on the availability of jobs to local people in Wellingborough and how jobs undertaken by prisons may take jobs away from people in the region. This creates a net-loss of jobs and contradicts ‘Policy 22: Delivering Economic Prosperity’ of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031.
  • Prisons do not feature once in the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 – this is a project imposed by the Ministry of Justice that is not in the best interests of people in Wellingborough.

North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031

The prison contradicts a number of the aims of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy:

  • A prison will exacerbate health inequalities, decrease life expectancy, perpetuate social exclusion and divert spending from access to healthy lifestyle options to improve health and wellbeing.
  • A prison will be a high-impact project demanding large amounts of resources and materials, will strain on existing infrastructure, destroy habitat and harm local areas of important habitat, such as the Nene Valley. It will greatly increase car use and carbon emissions and impact on public transport usage locally.
  • Prisons are ineffective ways of reducing and preventing crime. Prisons divert spending from welfare provision and social support that addresses the root causes of crime. Prisons perpetuate anti-social behaviour and violence. The prison will enable local courts to sentence more people to custodial sentences and prisons do not show to reduce cycles of re-offending. The prison will decrease access to services and facilities which will be overwhelmed with demand following an increase of 1600 people into the local criminal justice system.

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25809660

2. http://www.cape-campaign.org/wrexham-prison-will-cost-north-wales-police-extra-147000-a-year/

Italy: Update on Operation ‘Scripta Manent’

(via Insurrection News Worldwide)

italy-operation-scripta-manent-solidarity-poster

Dates set for the Supreme Court hearings against the order of the Court Of Liberty (provincial appeals court) that confirmed the pre-trial detentions ordered by the judge for preliminary investigations.

Daniele Cortelli (not under investigation in operation “Scripta Manent” but arrested following the search carried out for it): January 13th, 2017.

Instead, for Marco Bisesti, Anna Beniamino, Alessandro Mercogliano, Valentina Speziale and Danilo Cremonese: February 21st, 2017.

(via Radioazione, translated by Traces Of Fire)

Hambach forest: Hodei, Siao and Maya out of prison!

Originally published December 21st 2016 on ‘Libertad Preses Hambach‘:

“It has been confirmed that Hodei, Siao and Maya have just been released from prison.
We hope to have more information soon.”

ABC Rhineland also confirm their release and provide a few more details, here.

France: Letter from Damien, arrested last month in connection with labour law protests

(reposted from Rabble)

damien

Damien Camélio was arrested on 7th December in Brittany, accused of attacks that took place during a manif sauvage (wild demo) in Paris against the labour law in April last year. He is specifically accused of attacking a job centre, Jaguar dealership, Chamber of Commerce and a Franprix supermarket. Damien is currently being held on remand in Fleury-Mérogis prison on the outskirts of Paris, along with several other prisoners held in connection with the protests, including Kara Wild, Antonin and Nicolas, all of whom are accused of attempted homicide following an arson attack on a car of cops in May.

What follows is Damien’s first letter published since his arrest. The translation comes via new Franco-English translation site, Bordered by Silence. Check it out for English versions of texts coming out of last year’s wave of rebellion against the ‘Loi Travail’ in France and more.

Back in the Slammer: A letter from Damien from the Fleury-Mérogis jail (France)

From Cette Semaine

I’m writing from Fleury, where I’m being held in preventative detention[1]. Since the charges against me are, as usual, totally boring and unimaginative, I wanted to offer a different telling of the lovely spring night of revolt, written by some true lovers of disorder, so that my comrades have an accurate and realistic depiction of what I’m alleged to have done: Reportback on April 14: hold in the rage too long and it bursts out like it should[2]

I don’t want to complain, so I won’t give a detailed account of my arrest, similar as it was to all those that happen each day, here and around the world.

However, it does seem important to mention a few things.
During the search, the cops found some anarchist propaganda, namely some newspapers, brochures, posters, and tracts, as well as a few texts in the process of being translated. I refused to sign the papers dealing with the search as well as those for my being held taken into custody.

After being transferred to the police station in Paris’ 19th district, I couldn’t reach my lawyer. I refused to be represented by a different one and so my hearing was held without the presence of a lawyer. I made this choice because my statement to the pigs fits in one line: “I am neither guilty nor innocent. I am an anarchist. I have nothing more to say to you.”

Because I refused to make a statement, I don’t know at present what evidence they have on file. These lackeys of the powerful only told me that they have 8 DNA samples that match my genetic profile, and I know from having seen it that their folder on me is a brick, six or seven centimetres thick.

To get more information, I’ll have to wait for my lawyer to have access to the folder and to come meet with me in prison. In any case, I’ve already made clear that I want the entire process and all my statements be made available to my comrades so that they can make whatever use of it they see fit. No copyright, no property, and without the censorship of the political bureau of any party, even imaginary ones [3].

After a night spent in the holding cells of the Paris courthouse, a sort of medieval dungeon where the cops satisfy their sadistic urges, I was taken to court for an immediate summary trial [4]. Since my lawyer wasn’t there, I asked for a public defender at the last minute in order to get the date pushed back.

The prosecutor, as usual, started bellowing a bunch of stupidness while making big gestures and sounding quite assured. She stated, for instance, that the residency declaration made by a comrade present in the room was inadmissible, because of grammatical mistakes in the text… And she continued, full of confidence, that of course, all opinions are respectable, even anarchy, but that is no excuse for the actions I’m accused of.

We have to admit, if these clowns in black robes didn’t have power over the lives of others, they’d really be good for a laugh!

But until such a time as the courts are destroyed and the judges are sent to their proper place, in the circus, we can’t let them say whatever idiotic thing that comes to mind. Regardless of the fantastic allegations of the prosecutor, anarchy is not an opinion, anarchy is a set of ideas that fit with a set of practices.

Since what I’m accused of took place during a social movement that wasn’t a single mass, I want to make clear that I refuse the humanitarian solidarity of the unions or of any pacifist or citizens’ group that plays the role of intermediary for the transmission of power. My only desire is for the complicity of individuals in revolt who conspire in the shadows, ai ferri corti [5] with the existent and with power.

My thanks to the comrade present at my arrest for the dignity she demonstrated in the face of the little soldiers of order, and thanks to all my comrades who reacted so quickly. Your support in the courtroom warmed my heart and gave me lots of strength.

Don’t be too worried about me. Having spent several years in prison, I know its social codes very well, and I will doubtless find among the undesireables, of which I am a part, a few complicities rich in possibility.

Because submission is never an option, because each individual act of revolt contains all the violence of social relations, because there remain countless stories to be written, across time and space, across the gray metropoles, inside and outside…

… the fight continues.

December 14 2016

Damien Camélio
n° d’écrou 432888
MAH de Fleury-Mérogis (Bâtiment D5)
7, avenue des Peupliers
91705 – Sainte-Génevieve-des-Bois
The French State, Earth

Endnotes
1] Pre-trial detention for people who don’t get bail
2] The link is in French, but the gist is that during a demo on April 14, as part of the movement against the new labour laws, a whole bunch of stuff got smashed, including hotels, art galeries, grocery stores, car shares, banks, and notably car dealerships. Folks went inside a Jaguar dealership and trashed as many cars as they could.
3] A little jab at the appelists/tiqqunists
4] Often in France, the state will try to run your trial within a couple of days of your arrest
5] “at daggers drawn”

Bristol NYE 2016 prison demo!

On New Years Eve 2016 we made a successful noise demo outside Horfield prison to remember those inside. While most other people are celebrating, for people locked up it’s just another night of the same routine, and we tried to shout our joy and rage from the year that’s passed over the 5m fortress walls to interrupt the monotony for at least one evening. We did manage to make quite a ruckus and heard some shouts from inside! Freedom for all prisoners in 2017 and forever!