Message from Daniel McGowan on the 10 year anniversary of his arrest

Ten years ago today, I was finishing up stuffing holiday cards for my
employer when 2 beefy men asked me if i was indeed, Daniel McGowan. Once I
was handcuffed and being frog-marched through the office, I knew what it
was about.

At the same time, 6 of my codefendants were getting arrested at the same
time. Others were receiving grand jury subpoenas as well. Sadly, all the
people arrested that day became cooperating witnesses save for William
Rodgers, who I knew as ‘Avalon’, who took his life in a county jail on the
Winter Solstice, two weeks after we were arrested.

Of course, other arrests followed in the months after that, with a handful
of codefendants refusing to play the game. We came together in solidarity
to fight the charges and reduce the potential sentence as much as
possible.

For that, I will always have gratitude to Jonathan Paul, Nathan Block and
Joyanna Zacher (though it would be disingenuous for me to not point out
the latter two peoples’ identification with esoteric fascist movements
currently).

I was bonded out of jail, fought my case on house arrest for a year and
months after that, worked out a plea that did not involve naming names or
becoming a witness against anyone. It had repercussions for me including
more time and no protection from grand juries (and surely, two years
later, I was called before one as a witness and put on civil contempt of court).
That said, I cannot have seen it going any other way. My regrets with the
case is that more of my co-defendants did not stick with us and move
forward together-something that had been the idea when worst case
scenarios had been discussed years prior.

10 years later, its obvious to me every time I go to any activist event
that many younger activists do not know this history. I suppose it is the
struggle we all face-how to remember and memorialize, but not live in the
past and nostalgia. I can tell people to watch If a Tree Falls or read
Green is the New Red (thanks, Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman & Will Potter) but that is an incomplete picture.

How then, do we, move forward in our fight for justice and pass on to
others what we learned? Its a longer question.

I use the word “I” often in this post and perhaps others as I am talking
about the past but at no point have I ever felt alone and not connected to
others. Without these stalwart, loyal and amazing people in my life, I
know with certainty that things would have gone a totally different way:
Jenny Malone – my former partner and best friend. The rock. The Wizard of Oz behind every aspect of the support campaign and the ‘trying to keep me sane’ campaign. G.O.A.T. EXES4EVAH!

My family especially my sister Lisa who funded my legal defense, let me
live with her while on house arrest and did not waver or flinch one time.
These people taught me loyalty.

Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan better known as FAF.
This small group worked their asses off, put on so many shows, sold a
zillon t-shirts, made my court dates, wrote articles, supported me
mentally, emotionally and financially, put their lives on hold for some
time to make sure I would have a life to come home too. So much gratitude
to all of them. I am not even in touch with all of them, which to be
honest, saddens me but I have nothing but lifelong gratitude for all of
them. Shoutouts to Andrew,Ainsley Belle Bowman, Eliza Brooklyn, Kitty, Corey Eastwood, Sideshow,Cin Dee, Marianne Maeckelbergh and Ryan DC

Anarchist prisoner Osman Evcan resisted and won his fight again!

Anarchist prisoner Osman Evcan resisted and won his fight again!

Osman Evcan and Hasan Çınar gained the victory from the determined struggle which they put their lives against the state inside the thick walls of prison which they are enclosed. Osman and Hasan, got what they demanded through this hard period. Osman Evcan ended his indefinite hunger strike which took 39 days against intimidation and extermination politics against prisoners in prison and again he proved us that how he is right about his call to raise struggle.

We celebrate Osman Evcan who has proved that the thick walls that are built in order to revitalize the new “terrorist” wave that the Turkish state needed and the legitimize further operations cannot obstacle anarchists at all. The “punishment” system and their officials that made comrade Osman Evcan suffer hunger for 39 days and tortured him are our enemies. The recognized demands of Osman Evcan and Hasan Çınar are not matter of grace, instead that is the end of torturous practices. Torture is the state policy. We are grateful to everyone who have held demonstrations, spoken up, and support for Osman Evcan’s cause. Osman Evcan is now trying to get over the adverse effects of the hunger strike process, and his present health condition is fine. We will share the message from Osman Evcan and Hasan Çınar soon.

With anarchist solidarity,

ABC Istanbul

Important petition about NY State Prisoner

Herman Bell has been imprisoned for over 40 years in NY State and the parole
board continues to hold him and look at his behavior and time in prison
instead of the original offense.

Sign at: www.thepetitionsite.com/677/086/596/in-…/

To Chairwoman, Board of Parole, New York State, Tina M. Stanford
Grant parole to New York State prisoner Herman Bell

We are asking that Herman Bell be granted release on parole at his February
2016 hearing

Herman Bell has been in state custody since 1973 and has been denied
release on parole 6 times since he first became eligible in 2004.

Every time Herman has been denied, it has been for the same reason-that
releasing him would undermine the law and deprecate the seriousness of the
crime. Herman has taken responsibility and expressed regret for the
shooting of the police officer and has served 4 decades in prison for this
offense. He is by all accounts, a much different person than he was in 1971
and further incarceration serves no purpose other than vengeance. We
believe Herman has done everything he can to make amends for his crime and
we ask that he be granted parole at his 7th parole hearing in 2016.

While incarcerated, Herman has been a model prisoner and a positive
influence on those around him. He has been a mentor and father-figure to
many young men in prison, helping them take advantage of every academic and
vocational program they can to prepare for release and reintegration into
society. In addition to earning a dual Bachelor of Science degree in
psychology and sociology, and a Masters degree in sociology, Herman has
coached football and basketball in order to have a positive influence on
the many young men he has met during his 4 decades in prison. With Herman’s
help, the Victory Gardens project was established in 1995 with two farmers
in Maine. The project brought together people from diverse lifestyles and
remote locations to plant, grow, tend, harvest, and then distribute the
food free to our communities. This life-giving project enjoyed eight
successful seasons distributing food in Maine, Boston, New Jersey,
Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx.

Herman’s continued denials at the parole board are sadly, not a rarity but
the norm. The number of incarcerated people ages 50+ in New York has
increased 81% from 2000 to 2013, even as the total number of people locked
up has fallen by 23% during the same period. Today, 17% of incarcerated men
and 15% of incarcerated women in the New York prison system are over 50
years of age- roughly 9,000 people. Herman is 67 years old.

This is an unnecessary crisis. Many of these elders should be released. New
York routinely denies parole to elders behind bars, even though they pose
no risk to public safety and are fully prepared to successfully re-enter
and contribute to society. The recidivism rate of people who have served
long sentences for serious felonies is 1.3%—lower than any other category
of those released. Many, like Herman, have records of positive achievement
in prison and are praised by prison officials as peacemakers and role models.

Germany: Attack on the RWE open cast mine at Hambacher Forest

From: http://rabble.org.uk/germany-attack-on-the-rwe-open-cast-mine-at-hambacher-forest/

From some anarchists.

On the night of December 31st we carried out 3 acts of arson and sabotage against the open cast lignite mine operated by RWE at Hambacher Forest.

We set up home made stingers on the road used by the mine security forces to harass and distract them whilst we set fire to various bundles of cables and some wiring boxes by the side of the train tracks which are used to transport brown coal from the mine to nearby power stations. Halting the trains for some time.

Then we put the torch to a telecommunications mast on the edge of the mine and watched from a distance as the entire device went up in flames and continued to burn for over an hour.

And finally, just after midnight we attacked again, setting up more stingers on the security road closer to their compound. We then set fire to a burning barricade of car tyres and a large pile of logs by the roadside to lure security into our traps before retreating again into the forest to the sound of fireworks.

By making use of home made stingers (wooden boards with large nails through them) we send a warm and rebellious embrace to imprisoned anarchist comrade Emma Sheppard on the anniversary of her arrest.

We carried out these attacks in solidarity with the ongoing resistance to the mines expansion from within the Hambacher Forest.

Strength and courage to all anarchist fighters, on the inside and outside.

Happy Black December.

-⁠ some anarchists

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.

Letter from Em Sheppard 26 December 2015

Please note it is important that this is not reposted after 30 December 2015 as this will be in breach of licencing conditions.

In October my probation officer said I could go back to Bristol. Now it transpires I have been a MAPPA (multi-Agency Protection) for my whole sentence, though no one thought to tell me (I always thought it was strange I wasn’t). The police met in November about me and to draw up my licence conditions, but (as is common practice) have only told me now. The licence is so restrictive that ironically I will have had more freedom in jail in some ways. I’m not sure what’s worse – to refuse to leave prison, or to accept their restrictions! It clearly shows what a farce the much quoted claims of “rehabilitation” and “maintaining family ties” are. I had a place to live and several jobs organised, but instead they make me sign-on and live in a bail hostel in Reading.

Licence conditions are one of many possible examples of how the prison society extends beyond these walls. As Ruth Wilson Gilmore said “Prison is not some building ‘over there’ but a set of relationships that undermine rather than stabilise everyday lives, everywhere”.

Apart from the usual “big 6” licence conditions, I also have: a 7-7 curfew for my entire licence (plus signing several times during the day and ‘group work’ and sessions with probation to address my “attitude”), not using any computers or internet capable devices (and specifically not deleting any browser histories), not going within 100 metres of any police buildings (probation said if I want to report a crime I can but I have to ask permission from them first…?!!?!), not to have more than one mobile phone (possibly not even one at all they are checking on this) and to provide the SIM/IME number, to permanently reside at Elizabeth Fry, not to visit or interact with any prisoners, not to contribute to or publish anything, or attend any meeting/gatherings associated with direct action/activism/campaigning, not to contact directly or indirectly any person whom I know or believe to be involved with “extremist” activities ( I have asked for the legal definition of this), or have been charged with or convicted of an offence. I am also not allowed to work with “vulnerable adults” or “groom” (or have discussions with) anyone for the purposes of radicalisation or extremism.

Once I’m out I’m going to challenge these conditions but my solicitor said it’s hard to do from inside prison. Accepting them goes against everything I believe in but I am going to do so for my family. They are obviously setting me up to fail (most girls at Elizabeth Fry do because drugs are rife there) so we’ll see how long I last. Once I sign the conditions, unless I get recalled, I won’t be able to write again until 2017 :(

They can try to stifle and control me with their restrictions, false sympathies and fake smiles, but “no pueden encarcelar neustras ideas”. My silence is only temporary, and my rage is infinite.

“Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Just like the moons and like the suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise”

  • Still I’ll rise, Maya Angelou

Thanks for all the support this year. Hope you have a fun and mischievous 2016.

Solidarity, love and lots of rage

Em x :)

Please note it is important that this is not reposted after 30 December 2015 as this will be in breach of licencing conditions.

Support Anarchist Prisoner Peter Simpson

Support Pete

Pete Simpson was remanded on the 17th December 2015. He is awaiting trial for ‘violent disorder’ after being attacked & arrested by police at an anti-cuts mayday demonstration in Cardiff, South Wales. He is on trial with another co-defendant in January 2016. Pete has spent the last several months with an electronic tag, his freedom severely restricted, and a change of bail address led to the court remanding him to prison.

Please write to Pete at: Peter Simpson A6060CF, HMP CARDIFF, Knox Rd, Cardiff, WALES, CF24 0UG

Stamps, envelopes, writing paper & books are also welcome. As well as any donations. Banner pictures, dedicated actions & other forms of solidarity are also invited from comrades across the world.

We also recommend using emailaprisoner.com if you are writing from abroad.

For any queries please email bristol_abc@riseup.net

For the latest updates visit: https://bristolabc.wordpress.com/support-pete