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Write to the Kill the Bill Prisoners

Solidarity Noise Demonstrations outside HMP Eastwood Park & HMP Bristol

Our passion for freedom is stronger than the prison!

Last week people gathered outside HMP Eastwood park women’s prison to show solidarity with prisoners who have recently experienced increased levels of violence from prison guards. They chanted “you are not alone” and made noise so that the people inside could know that they are supported, and that the violence that they experience behind the prison walls will not go on unnoticed.

People also gathered and made noise at HMP Bristol to show solidarity with the prisoners and also let the recently convicted KTB prisoners know that they have support from the wider community, and that people are outraged at the harsh sentencing for those who went to protest against more police powers and tougher sentences.

Ways to support the Kill The Bill Protesters include sending letters, donating to the croudfunders and helping to change the narrative that this was mindless violence. What happened in Spring this year was not mindless violence it was a protest where protesters defended themselves and their comrades against police violence.

People gathered outside HMP Eastwood park with banners reading: “End police violence at Eastwood Park” and “Solidarity with Prisoners”
People gathered outside HMP Bristol with banners

We are proud of those who fought back against the police

A statement by Bristol Anarchist Black Cross and Bristol Defendant Solidarity

On Friday 30th July, five people were sentenced to over 14 years between them. Four people were given sentences of over three years for riot.

These five people are the first to receive custodial sentences for the confrontation with the police outside Bridewell Police Station at the Kill the Bill demonstration on 21st March. However, over 75 people have been arrested, 28 of them have now been charged. Two people are currently on remand in Horfield prison.

The sentences are:

  • BL 3 years 11 months
  • KA 3 years 6 months
  • SQ 3 years 3 months
  • KS 3 years 6 months
  • YS 5 months

Click here to donate to our crowdfunder to support those who are in prison

What happened on 21st March was an outpouring of rage against the violence of the police. The crowd fought back after police officers attacked the crowd with batons and riot shields. Pepper spray was used indiscriminately, people were charged with police horses. The protesters fought back, seizing police riot shields, helmets and batons to defend themselves. By the end of the evening several police vehicles had been set on fire.

We are writing this statement to make clear that we support those who have been sentenced today, and that we are proud of them for fighting back. We need to be ready to defend ourselves against the police, and stand with those facing repression and criminalisation.

Communities across the UK face violence at the hands of the police every day, but they only call it violence when we fight back!

The demonstration on 21st March was against the Police, Courts and Sentencing Bill, a bill which aims to give the police even more power to repress political dissent, and which will destroy the ways of life of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities in the UK. Those who have been struggling against the Bill across the UK are resisting the expanding imbalance of power between the state and the people, and against the further criminalisation of one of the UK’s most marginalised communities.

The clash with the police on 21 March happened in the context of rising anger and action against the British police’s racist, classist and misogynist violence, and a government response to the coronavirus pandemic which left the UK one of the worst hit countries. The brunt of the Covid-19 crisis has been felt by working people and those seen as disposable by the government.

Bristol was a focal point of the UK’s Black Lives Matter protests last year when over 10,000 people marched through the city and pulled down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston before throwing it in the river – an action that had taken inspiration from anti-racists in the US. Similar actions took place all over the world against other monuments of colonisers in a wave of anti-racist organisation. Yet the police’s racist violence continues unabated. This year two Black men – Mohamud Hassan and Mouayed Bashir – both died after being detained in police custody in Cardiff and Newport. This is nothing new, there have been 1792 deaths in police custody or following contact with the police in the UK since 1990. And in Bristol, if you’re Black you are seven times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police.

Throughout March 2021 – in the weeks leading up to the March 21st Kill the Bill demonstration – weekly vigils had been held for Sarah Everard, who was murdered by an officer from the Met Police.

The Policing Bill aims to further criminalise those who defend themselves against police violence, doubling the maximum prison sentence for assaulting a police officer, while the police are able to use violence and even kill with impunity. Sentences for damaging ‘national monuments’ such as statues of slave traders will be increased to a maximum 10 year prison sentence.

The Bill also aims to massively increase the number of people in prison in the UK. At the moment, most people are released from prison after they have served half their sentence. If the Bill is passed some defendants will have to serve two-thirds, and courts will have more powers to impose long sentences against those under the age of 18. These measures to lock up more people go hand in hand with state plans to employ 20,000 more police, to build six new mega prisons and 18,000 more prison places in the UK.

The Policing Bill is an attempt by the state to increase its repressive powers to attack our communities, and to lock up even more of us. Our movements need to build our own strength, to defend ourselves and to fight back like the Bristol Kill the Bill defendants did on 21st March.

As we have seen, Bristol will not stand by silently. The people of this city know how to resist. We need to organise to support those incarcerated, but we need support from comrades across the UK and internationally to do this, please consider donating to our crowdfunder here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ktb-prisoner-support-fund

#KillTheBill Prisoner Support Fund

Bristol ABC has launched a crowdfunder as a call to support for people sentenced to prison after the Kill The Bill protests in Bristol in March 2021.

Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ktb-prisoner-support-fund

Over 78 people have been arrested and 28 people have been charged. Three people are already in prison. Throughout the coming months, more and more people will be imprisoned after resisting police violence.

If you would like to donate in a different way please email bristol_abc@riseup.net

What will the money be used for?

  • £50 will be offered to each prisoner per month for the duration of their sentence. This is for phone credit and essential items in prison.
  • If at least 25 people go to prison for 24 months, the total costs will be £30,000.
  • Bristol ABC is also dedicated to raising funds for books, clothes, distance learning courses and helping people’s friends and families visit them. All of these things make prison survivable and keep people connected to their loved ones. Any additional funds we raise will go towards the above. 

Why support the Kill the Bill Protestors in Prison?

What happened on 21st March was an outpouring of rage against the violence of the police. The crowd fought back after police officers attacked the crowd with batons and riot shields. Pepper spray was used indiscriminately, people were charged at with horses and hit over the head with batons and shields . The protesters fought back, seizing police riot shields, helmets and batons to defend themselves. By the end of the evening several police vehicles had been set on fire.

Those who defended themselves against the police have been branded ‘thugs’ and ‘wild animals’ by both Priti Patel and the police spokesperson. The police have been out for revenge for what happened at Bridewell ever since. That revenge has come in the form of the brutality used against the Kill the Bill protests in Bristol on March 23rd and 26th. And in the use of riot charges – the most serious public order charge available in English law punishable by a maximum of ten years in prison – against those who fought back on March 21st.
The demonstration on 21st March was against the Police, Courts and Sentencing Bill, a bill which aims to give the police even more power to repress political dissent, and which will destroy the ways of life of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities. It will also massively expand the prison population  through further criminalisation, longer sentences and more powers to imprison children.

Communities across the UK face violence at the hands of the police every day, but they only call it violence when we fight back!

We need to support those that have fought back and show those in prison that they are never alone and not forgotten.

Support Ryan

He has asked for letters of support. Please write to him at:

Ryan Roberts is currently on remand in Bristol Prison. He was arrested after the confrontation with the police at Bristol’s Bridewell police station. He has been charged with riot and arson.

Ryan Roberts
HMP Horfield
19 Cambridge Road
Bristol
bs7 8ps
Prison number A5155EM

Legal Observer Training

We warmly invite you to take part in …

Legal Observer Training (6 hours, two online sessions), hosted by Bristol Defendant Solidarity in collaboration with Green and Black Cross

When: Monday 23rd and Monday 30th November 2020, 18.30-21.30. + future weekend date tbc

Where: online. RSVP to legaltrainingbristol@gmail.com for joining details by Sat 21st.
+ in person follow up outdoors in Bristol when co-vid restrictions allow

Cost: Free/ or if you can afford to do so please donate to StopWatchHow do I sign up?: RSVP to legaltrainingbristol@gmail.com with1. your name (full or legal name not necessary)2. Where you’re based (eg Bristol, Cardiff, Somerset)3. a couple of sentences about how you’d like to apply this training and any previous experience you’d like to share with us,4. Any accessibility needs that are relevant to how we run the online sessions.

Who is this for?

Anyone who wants to learn how to be a Legal Observer and more generally help keep the police accountable in protest situations and beyond. You’ll gain practical skills, knowledge of the law, and confidence in monitoring police behaviour. We will be focussing on public order situations but will also touch on other contexts, such as street policing issues, evictions etc. All levels of experience are welcome: whether you’re new to protest or have years of experience observing and interacting with police. Please pass this invitation on to people who you think may be keen!

We will follow up this online training with an in person practical training day in Bristol, when co-vid restrictions allow – so we’ll prioritise people likely to be active in the Bristol area. 

What to expect:–An interactive training, with information, practical exercises, scenarios to explore in groups, and BREAKS (you will never have more than 55minutes without a break)
–The first session will introduce you to the role  of Legal Observer and some of the key skills and issues that come up
–The second session will go deeper into particular scenarios and give more time to practice legal observing skills

We’re also planning an in-person practical day in Bristol: a chance to practice some role play scenarios in person, and meet other legal observers who you may work with in future!

Why we’re doing this now

2020 has seen an uptick in political activism across the world. Despite us being locked in our homes for the majority of the year, more and more people are expressing their dissatisfaction with the current social order and taking to the streets in protest. This rise in protest movements has (perhaps unsurprisingly) coincided with a wave of police violence against protesters, especially those who are newly finding their voice. This violence aims to silence us, and stop the momentum that social justice movements have gained in the last 6-12 months. We must therefore organise ourselves and our comrades to defend against attacks from every part of the criminal justice system from the police to the courts. Having legal observers on the ground at demonstrations is part of this community self-defence and we would like to share some of our knowledge around this topic with you! 

Who’s running this?

We’re a small group of people based in Bristol with previous experience of legal observing and of facilitating legal trainings for activists – between us we work/ have worked with Bristol Defendant Solidarity, CopWatch, StopWatch, Green and Black Cross and Black Protest Legal Support.

During the past six months we’ve been collaborating with Black Protest Legal to provide legal observer support for demonstrations by All Black Lives.  

We recognise that the police are institutionally racist, and that Black people and other people of colour are disproportionately targeted by the police for harassment and violence. We recognise that white people are currently overrepresented among active legal observers in Bristol, and that this work is dominated by white activists on a national level, and are committed to working to address the underlying reasons for this, with input and direction from Black people and other people of colour. We see sharing police monitoring skills as an important part of solidarity and struggle.

Our email address has changed from legaltrainingbristol[at]protonmail.com to legaltrainingbristol@gmail.com due to technical problems – please use legaltrainingbristol@gmail.com to contact us from now on

Still fighting!

This is a statement from a comrade we have been supporting through the courts and persistent police harassment. We admire their determination to carry on resisting despite being targetted and their willingness to speak up and expose the cops for what they are. Their words are a good example of the courage and integrity necessary for fighting to win:

Still fighting!

It was only a “No”. The sentence resonates inside of me. It was only a “No” and they tried to make me pay for telling them where to get off. For fighting them in court. For having the “wrong politics”. For not being white. It was only a “No”, yet for over a year and a half since that day and since my fight to clear my name began, it has felt like forever.At the time, on that cold December evening in 2017 I made it clear that I don’t talk to police. In fact I made it so crystal clear the christmas shoppers bustling past stopped to stare at the two CID officers. One stopped mid sentence and both went red in the face; utterly humiliated in front of the public. You would’ve thought they would’ve taken the hint. You would of thought they would of understood what “Fuck off” meant.
At the time, I was on bail for something I hadn’t done; an alleged “assault” on a cop when I was on an anti fascist counter demonstration against the far right in Bristol. A charge which is a clear case of malicious prosecution by the state.
You see, right now they’re waging a war on us. I’ve always hated to think in terms of “us” and “them” but right now it’s never been so clear. The thin blue line is a burning fuse and that fuse for many of us is getting shorter by the day. Being a political activist of any kind these days makes you a threat to both the state and the status quo. And the status quo is what the police in particular are there to uphold.
Their organization is founded on white supremacy, institutional racism and protection of the rich and ruling classes. If you look back far enough you’ll find that these “civil servants” stem from slave patrols. Back then they were used to suppress the working class and they continue this work today.
I can cast my mind back over the past year and a half plus of harassment and intimidation tactics. I can cast my mind back to that cold night in December and realize that no matter what tactics they use, no matter which cop loving lackeys they enlist to help them with their fascism, the police have always been responsible for everything.
Intent on protecting themselves, holding a grudge and getting revenge, they have targetted me in an unaccountable “operation” with the tacit support and involvement of middle class racists, cheerleaders for the cops and background fascists. They’d call it “surveillance”. I call it bullying and cowardice.
Last year I wrote about what can be best described as police stalking tactics. At the time, Netpol told me that concerningly they had seen instances over the years of activists being targeted by cops with a grudge to bear. In 2019 we hear almost daily of so many instances of police corruption, brutality and targetting of activists, trade unionists, people of colour and disabled protesters to name a few.
I’ve learnt what the true nature of the beast is over the last year and a half of my life. I’ve put up with the area car tails, the harassment from plain clothes officers, the email hacking, the attempted computer cracking and complete invasion of my privacy and personal spaces. I’ve never stood alone but they’ve done their best to isolate me and convince me I’m out of time and options. They’ve targeted me for fighting them but now they know that I won’t give up until they’re beaten. It’s a long road but with comrades beside me I will win.
Reflecting on events of the past year and a half plus of my life is at points difficult. I feel my eyes fill with tears and a lump rise in my throat, but I swallow what hurts so it can’t hurt me anymore. You see they’ve done their best to position me as a trouble maker through antagonistic tactics occasionally led by “concerned citizens” in my community designed to create paranoia and anxiety and to bring out the very worst in me.
They have tried to wear me down through endless police tails, deliberate use of flashing lights and siren bursts as they cruise past me. Plain clothes officers regularly play head games, more so when they think no one is watching.
I know that my enemies aren’t everywhere and aren’t everyone but they have always tried to create that impression. The all seeing eye of authority and the outcast. They want me to think it’s 1984. All of this has been done because of my politics and what appears to be a very deep level of racism the likes of which I would only normally associate with fascism.
Recently, I’ve witnessed and heard accounts locally of how aggressive the police have been towards left wing activists, be they antifascists or Kurdish solidarity protestors. It’s not just here but seemingly everywhere and what’s most troubling is the cosy relationship the police seem to be developing with the far-right.
Fascists have always loved the police and military as infiltrating these professions gives the chance to abuse their authority and target their enemies. Having read how police in the US have assisted fascists in targeting us it comes as no surprise that the far right seem so keen to show support for our local authoritarians. “We’ll give your details to the police”, “Don’t think we won’t find out who you are!” have been threats thrown at us by fascists of late and it seems that the police have been only too happy to help.
Repression and harassment affects us in different ways. My experience of police abuse may not be yours but it doesn’t make it any less real. It doesn’t make my anger and my frustration go away and it doesn’t take away the points where I’ve drunk too much to cope with my feelings wishing I’d say more to my friends when I only ever say too little.
It’s important that we build a culture of support and understanding for those on the sharp end of state abuse. It’s crucial now more than ever because it seems that all of our struggles are intensified under a nationalist government that wages a never ending and vicious class war against us. no one is coming to save us so we have to show the state that our solidarity, strength and determination is unbreakable.
When it comes to myself, I don’t know what the rest of the year holds for me but what I do know is that despite police harassment I continue to keep fighting all my fights and remain as unshakeable now as I was two years ago. I feel quietly confident I’ll put things right and I want to be able to help others who may have been targeted for their political views. I always feel stronger remembering that I’ll never be alone.
My comrades have been there for me throughout. I never betray my friends. There may be more to me than just the next action I’m on but it’s a big part of who I am and it’s where my heart lives. No cowardly bully will ever stop me from doing the right thing. You know it’s funny that after all this time I can still see the cracks in them, but there are no cracks in me.

URGENT APPEAL: SUPPORT TAYLOR!

Taylor has just been moved to a medical wing of HMP Peterborough. He has been struggling with his health, and messages of support will help his mental health.

Taylor desperately needs support to simply stay alive and not persistently try to take their own life. They need connection, friendship, and solidarity.

Taylor is a trans IPP prisoner, for more info about his background and case, see this link: http://smashipp.noflag.org.uk/action-alert-support-claire/

 

 

hmp peters tylr

Resist Surveillance infonight at BASE

This event has been postponed so as not to clash with the delivery worker’s strike: 6-8pm at McDonald’s, Broadmead.

Watch this space for the new date for this session…

 

We will be covering both online and street surveillance.
Whether you be an anti-fascist, hunt sab, Wobbly, full-time anarcho or just someone who wants to fight for social change this event is for you! We’ll be covering:

SOCMINT (social media intelligence ) and OSINT (Open source intelligence ) what they are, why this matters and how to keep things watertight online – personal profiles and group page modding.

Mobile phone security- dos and don’ts best practices and tips.

Demo and group security and threat modelling, with contributions from BDS.

Food and drinks available.

We’re new around these parts so donations are welcome and will be shared with the awesome BASE!

Content powered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
We’d prefer if you don’t take photos and will be happy to provide content on request.

 

Frack Free Four

http://frackfreefoursupporters.org/

In July 2017 a convoy of lorries delivering drilling equipment to the Preston New Road fracking site was spontaneous brought to a halt by protestors. Four people took the opportunity to climb up on top of the cabs of the lorries and between them stayed in occupation for 99 and a half hours, supported by supplies from locals. You can hear more about why in the video below.

After a 7 day jury trial in August at Preston Crown Court they were found guilty of Public Nuisance. They were told to expect custodial sentences and were bailed to return.

The sentencing proceedings began on 25 September (covered by The Guardian, and Drill or Drop).

On Thursday 26th September unprecedented sentences handed down.

Roscoe Blevins, 26 and Richard Roberts, 36 received 16 months immediate custodial sentences.
Richard Loizou, 31 received 15 months immediate custodial sentences.

They can expect to serve half of this time in jail, the rest on licence.

Julian Brock, 47 had already served 3 months inside for non appearance at previous hearing. He received 12 months custodial sentence, which unlike the others was suspended due to his guilty plea – meaning he is thankfully now free.

Please write to them! Info about this on the website.