January 2011 finds us enthused by recent events around the world that point to the coming year as being a potentially significant one in the struggle against capital and oppression. Events in Belarus, Algeria and a little more successfully in Tunisia, show that many ordinary people can only be pushed so far before fighting back. Despite 2 decades of dictatorship and tightly controlled police states, and despite the consequences of resisting, people in these 3 countries have shown amazing bravery and determination.
We remain enthused by the actions of students and youth in late 2010 across the UK, into Italy, and spreading across Europe, giving a small indication that the ongoing 2 year rebellion in Greece is slowly spreading an anti-capitalist virus that the state has no final antidote to. Encouraging in these struggles have been displays of solidarity with people arrested, and a very fast learning curve amongst protesters of the need for legal info & support. Continue reading
The 14 and 17 January sees the start of 3 major political trials in Greece, in one instance dating back to events over 7 years ago. In the face of widespread radical opposition and street protests, the right-wing Greek state appears determined to try and lock up as many radicals as it can, while it still can. Continue reading
Echoing the large mobilisations of November 2008, when prisoners went on meal abstaining/ hunger strikes across the country, a fresh wave of mobilisations in the Greek prisons began last Monday 29 November, as first reported here.
Solidarity poster for Dimitrakis: "What's breaking into a bank compared with founding a bank?" Bertolt Brecht (the Beggars Opera)
This comes as there is a fresh escalation of struggles across various sectors in Greece. December 6 marks the 2nd anniversary of the murder of the teenager Alexis, that led to weeks of street battles. There are then further protests leading up the next Greek general strike on 15 December. Many anarchists & anti-authoritarians in prison face trials in the next few months, starting with the appeal trial of Giannis Dimitrakis on 6 December – read the callout for solidarity. Perhaps unsurprisingly, over the last couple days there has been a huge crackdown by the state in major Greek cities with searches and arrests. Continue reading
Beaten Up, Fitted Up, Don’t Let Them Get Banged Up
Over a hundred people were arrested after a demonstration confronting the European Union summit, held in Thessaloniki in Greece back in 2003. Seven people were imprisoned and held on remand, including UK protester Simon Chapman. The prisoners began a hunger strike that lasted more than 50 days.
A massive worldwide solidarity campaign followed including demonstrations, direct action and occupations leading to all seven being released on bail (archive of solidarity actions). All the charges were eventually dropped.
Years later after appeals from the Prosecutor the charges were reinstated. The first case finally came before the Courts in January 2008 where Simon Chapman and three of the other defendants – Suleiman “Kastro” Dakdouk (Syrian origin), Fernando Perez Gorraiz (Spain) and Michaelis Triakapis (Greece) – were found guilty.
Cops plant black rucksack filled with petrol bombs on Chapman after he'd been beaten up
All of those accused maintain their innocence and video and photographic evidence clearly shows police planting a rucksack filled with petrol bombs next to Simon. This didn’t stop him receiving a prison sentence of more than eight years, with the other defendants all receiving over five years.
They will now face the Appeal Court again in January 2011, Continue reading
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Tagged films, fundraisers, Greece, legal, money, police, resistance, rights, solidarity, state repression, writing
Saturday 20 November, in London, sees the capital’s second Tattoo Circus of the year, and it looks like being another weird and wonderful cracker of an event!
It all kicks of at 11am in the morning. For venue details ring 07908 037170 or 07908 068724 after 10pm on Friday 19 November. Continue reading
Bristol ABC prisoner support group returns this month to Kebele social centre for November’s public letters to prisoners night.
Wednesday 10 November, from 7 to 9pm at 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5 6JY. Hot drinks available, bring snacks to share please.
Once again we will have lists of prisoners here and abroad who welcome support. Continue reading
This blog has been pretty quiet the last month, just the one post the other day about the continued persecution of Amadeu Casellas
Its not that we’ve given up, or have been too busy participating in the general election. No, the simple reason is that we are a small group, only 2 of us update this blog, and we dont have daily desk jobs that allow regular web access.
banner at Derry 2008 protest for international prisoner solidarity
As a small public group we continue as before with our contribution to political prisoner solidarity and against the growing prison society around us. In practice that means updating this blog, meeting privately and communicating with some prisoners, offering support to a few local activists facing repression, running a monthly public prisoner solidarity letter-writing night, and whenever possible highlighting the importance within our movement of solidarity for those activists and others unlucky enough to face court action and/or get banged up inside prison. For those hundreds of politically conscious activists in the Bristol area who missed our monthly letter-writing night last night, we produce here our updated UK and international prisoners list prisoners_MAY 2010 feel free to take the time to support one or more of them.
Over the last month we have been disgusted by the bare-faced cheek and lies of UK mainstream political parties, and we know that the ‘LibDem-newTory scum coalition’ means nothing but bad news for the vast majority. None of the parties offered any new ideas on justice nor prisons anyway, just the same old persecution, punishment and more prisons. We note prisons went over capacity during the election campaign, at over 87000 prisoners, but the political elite don’t care because in any case they refuse to enact the European Court decision 6 years ago that sentenced prisoners are entitled to vote. For some good insight into the boring mundanity, repression and petty rules of daily prison life check out Prisoner Ben’s Blog. (Note: prisoner Ben Gunn’s most recent parole hearing was abandoned due to deliberate bureacratic malpractice. Ben is currently some 20 years over his tariff).
We are appalled that the Decommissioners trial has been delayed yet again, whilst one Decommissioner Elijah Smith continues to languish in prison on remand for 16 months without a trial. We note that justice in the UK remains a distant prospect, as evidenced by the release of a 30 years old secret police report that fingers the cops for killing Blair Peach in 1979, and the fact that over a year after Ian Tomlinson died in London after a police assault, not one cop faces any charges. But we are inspired by the resistance movements in Greece and Thailand, whilst noting the level of oppression faced by comrades in Greece. And we remain inspired by the everyday small acts of rebellion, resistance, mutual aid and solidarity that occur everywhere all the time. Our dreams of freedom and a new world can never be contained in the capitalist systems 5 yearly ballot box.
You don’t hear much about Greece in the news these days, just the odd snippet buried away on the inside pages of the ‘serious’ newspapers, or perhaps on their on-line business/economic sections. If you check those then you may be aware that the Greek economy is in such a mess they may be kicked out of the eurozone, which is one reason the euro has dropped so much in value these last few weeks.
You may be aware of a degree of unrest amongst the workers, faced by severe austerity measures proposed by the ‘socialist’ government. You probably wont have heard about the massive mobilisations by farmers that have brought much of the country to a halt and closed its borders to the north. You almost certainly wont have heard about the trial of the killer cops that was due to start this week. Thats the cops who shot to death the 15 year old kid, that started the insurrection on 6 December 2008, that led to 17 days rioting across much of the country, and led to the ongoing low-level insurrection happening ever since. Continue reading
As we slowly reassemble ourselves back here in Bristol after the winter holidays, news filters in of some New Years Eve prisoner solidarity actions here and abroad.
(Update: news of more NYE prison solidarity protests here, and report from Lewes prison near Brighton here).
Here in Bristol it is confirmed that at least 20 anarchists paid a late night visit to Bristol prison up in Horfield, where a quantity of fireworks were let off. Comrades then melted off into the cold night. We understand this action was carried out specifically in solidarity with those activists still locked up after the Copenhagen climate protests earlier in December, and more generally with all political prisoners. Nice one! Continue reading
Greek democracy in action right now
This Wednesday 9 December sees our last monthly public letter-writing session of the year, and it’ll be a social too – with food and hot drinks, plenty of time to chat, find out more about supporting political prisoners, and we hope to round off with a 30 minute dvd of anarchic comedy. Continue reading