Tag Archives: media

Anti-repression round up

So two weeks after the wave of disturbances swept across England, and the state’s blinkered response is clear to one and all – revenge against all those that stepped outside the accepted norms of of our disfunctional society. Unless of course you are a politician, media tycoon, corporation, or cop, in which case the normal rules dont apply and you are free to get away with just about anything – like stealing £’s thousands and millions, and of course shooting people dead.

What we are seeing is naked class justice from the ruling class directed at the working class, as they break all the rules they expect us to abide by and make up new ones to suit themselves along the way. Or to look at it another way, on the 10th August they were scared, very scared, and they didn’t like it one bit. So thousands arrested, over 1600 so far railroaded through emergency courts, hundreds of images of people published by the media before any sort of trial, unusually long prison sentences and irregular bail conditions handed down, and so on. With the prisons & police cells full to bursting with both remanded and sentenced prisoners, it only needs one spark for the whole prison system to break down, whilst the conditions inside the prisons will cause many prisoners to break down. The suicide of a remand prisoner at Bristol prison last weekend will not be the last (remember that whatever charges the person may face, they aint even been to trial yet). Meanwhile back on the streets its business as usual for the ruling class with rising unemployment and inflation, more cuts to services, devalued wages and pensions and savings, and of course more bank bailouts from public money. Continue reading

Remember Ian Tomlinson dead for 8 months

and still no cops charged over his death

Lots of waffle in the media over the last week about the G20 policing, and various reports and reviews into their misbehaviour have been announced. But a stunning lack of comment or news relating to Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper vendor who died at about 7.25pm on 1 April 2009, just a couple of minutes after being viciously assauled from behind by a member of the Territorial Support Group (TSG – hardcore riot cops).

Ian Tomlinson was dead about 5 minutes later

The Tomlinson Family Campaign have called a candlelit vigil for Tuesday 1 December, from 6pm, at Royal Exchange, by Threadneedle St, London EC3V. This will be exactly 8 months since Ian Tomlinson died. Continue reading

Prisoner’s blog rattles Ministry of Justice

Shepton Mallet prisoner Ben Gunn’s blog has got the Ministry of (In)Justice all in a tizzy, and his blog is only 23 days old.

The blog is believed to be the first, or at least the only current blog, to be updated by a serving prisoner. Of course, he doesn’t personally post new articles to the blog, because as a prisoner he has no internet access. So he writes them by hand, and then gets friends to post the articles up on his blog for him.

The MoJ insist that Ben Gunn’s blog breaks the rules. He disagrees:In 2008, the justice minister, Maria Eagle, told MP Sion Simon that prisoners could blog, subject to the rules of correspondence. Yet despite my complying with the law and ministerial pronouncements, the prison service is now reverting to its old habits – attempting to squash the vocal dissenter.Continue reading

Cops out of control (whats new?) and the legacy of Blair Peach

The sudden media obsession with police misbehaviour, since the G20 protests and death of Ian Tomlinson, may lead you to think that the cops are normally very nice people who only help old ladies across roads and catch naughty youths stealing apples. In fact the cops have a very long, and to them proud, history of brutality and repression.

Some have raised the similarities between Tomlinson’s death and that of Blair Peach back in April 1979. Beyond the brutal deaths themsleves however, there are other reasons for those new to police violence to look back to Peach and the related histories of the late 70′s and early 80′s. In the interests of relevant history, and popular education, we therefore reprint below an article ‘The Political Legacy of Blair Peach’, published as a ‘comment’ piece on the Institute of Race Relations website on 23 April 2009. Continue reading

Prison News Follow Up

Following our article on Venue’s shameful note of class war, we note with interest;

“Today the government gives its response to the Corston report – published earlier in the year it was set up to look at the state of women’s prisons. Its most radical recommendation was that women’s jails should be abolished within ten years and replaced with community based centres.”

So while the Venue writer thought it funny and entertaining that anyone would consider abolishing prisons, in the case of women’s prisons, and the subject of the original post that attracted the Venue writer – this is exactly what is being proposed.

It should also be noted that this government, having rammed the prisons to capacity and beyond is planning to splash out another £1.2 billion on jails;

“The government is to build up to three supersize prisons, holding about 2,500 inmates each, as part of a programme to tackle the overcrowding crisis by increasing jail capacity by 10,500 places within seven years.

The justice secretary, Jack Straw, announced that he had secured an extra £1.2bn, on top of £1.5bn already committed, for a building programme which will see the capacity of jails in England and Wales increase to 96,000 by 2014.”

We wonder how much of this windfall will go to private prison contractors? How much will the new jails make people feel safer? Given the high proportion of people inside for economic crimes – unpaid debt and so forth, readers may find the following thread useful;

Avoiding Debt, and avoiding prison
http://libcom.org/node/6372

Venue’s Shameful Class War

In a recent Venue mag (26 oct – 4 Nov) one of their writers decided, “[Bristol Indymedia is the] Home of the leftie and anarchist activists and assorted nuts, trolls and fairies. Should be read as entertainment rather than information. We particularly recommend the recent thread about abolishing prisons and being nice to criminals” Now Bristol ABC believes that they are talking about the article ‘Public Meeting – Campaigning against prisons‘ at Kebele where Pauline Campbell came to talk to people about her struggle for justice following the suicide of her daughter in custody. We were unaware that the suicide of a child is ‘entertainment’ – but in some sections of the press, those living outside a perceived higher standard of wealth and education are simply there for ‘entertainment’ – this is nothing short of class prejudice. We’re sorry to report it goes wider that just Venue.

Regarding the women in prison for Venue’s ‘entertainment’; would the Venue writers take the issue seriosuly to hear it from somebody posh before they are prepared to acknowledge what is happening in jails, especially women’s prisons – that they are not working – would Baroness Corston do? “For most women who offend, prison does not work; it is inappropriate, unnecessary, and damaging. Women offenders and those at risk of offending need local community-based provision based on women’s centre models such as the Asha Centre and the Calderdale Women’s Centre, which are close to families and networked into local services. To reduce crime and improve women’s lives it is crucial to address women’s complex needs, including poverty and debt, mental health problems, abuse and domestic violence, addictions, and housing.”

Shame on venue for bundling up suicide, prison abuse, poverty and the debt trap as nothing more that their ‘entertainment’. Most of us understand how shit the system can be, perhaps that’s why Venue is struggling with circulation – because its writers are busy tapping away about life in the Ivory Tower while the rest of us have to live in it’s shadow.