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.
The Campaign to Liberate Rafael Braga calls on collectives, popular movements and organizations from around the world to join us at the International Campaign for Freedom of Rafael Braga.
This is a callout to organise activities throughout Brazil and abroad during November 2016 in order to publicize the case of Rafael and discuss topics such as racism, murder of Black people, mass incarceration, criminal selectivity, anticárcere fight etc. The activities can be varied in character: cultural, acts, tables, debates, collage, stencil, propaganda, academic and others. We ask that groups and / or individuals who are organising something send us details on FORM (https://goo.gl/forms/03jxAYsTCsdZGmeT2) so we can publicize and set up a schedule. In addition to activities, you can also support the campaign by sending photos with posters in support of Rafael Braga or solidarity notes signed by collectives.
Facebook: Liberdade Para Rafael Braga Vieira
Rafael is a young poor Black man, who in June 2013 was working collecting material for recycling in the streets of the center of Rio de Janeiro. He lived on the streets in order to save money the money it would cost to go home, returning only occasionally to his home in Vila Cruzeiro. However, on 20 June, his routine changed.
That day happened in Rio de Janeiro most of the demonstrations that occurred at the time against the increase in bus fares. Rafael, then 25, was arrested when he was on his way back to an abandoned mansion where sometimes slept. Rafael did not participate in the demonstration and was carrying two plastic bottles, a Pine Sol and another disinfectant. At the police station, the police officers who arrested him had open bottles and rags. He was accused of carrying explosive material, which would be Molotov cocktails. He was sentenced to five years and two months imprisonment. On 1 December 2015, he progressed to the open system and out of prison, being monitored by an ankle bracelet.
Moving back to his family in Vila Cruzeiro on January 12, 2016, Rafael went out in the morning to go to the bakery at the request of his mother, Dona Adriana, and the road was approached by UPP officers there. The PMs said he was involved in trafficking and asked him to give information and assume that it was criminal. He was beaten on the way to the police station, including being threatened with rape if he did not admit that he was involved in trafficking. He had 0.6g of marijuana, cocaine and 9,3g of a firecracker planted on him. Thus, since January Rafael has been incarcerated for drug trafficking, association for trafficking and collaboration with trafficking.
Rafael Braga was arrested and convicted in 2013 even without being a protester. He was arrested for being Black and poor. As it is not a militant, no mobilization occurred at the time of his arrest and he was quickly tried and convicted. Even after his conviction, mobilizations by Rafael Braga never got as much attention as the struggles for liberation of other prisoners of the demonstrations of 2013 and 2014. Rafael is a symbol of criminal selectivity and structural racism that pervades Brazilian justice. Living in a militarized area, Rafael was approached and accused of trafficking. The forged testing kit for drugs and explosives which was used to incriminate Rafael is commonly used in slums and outlying areas. The war on drugs keeps claiming new victims every day, wiping out Black people and increasgin mass incarceration.
For the last two years, August 23-30 has been the Week of Action for Anarchist Prisoners. Many imprisoned anarchists will never be acknowledged as ‘political prisoners’ by formal human-rights organisations, because their sense of social justice is strictly limited to the capitalist laws which are designed to defend the State and prevent any real social change. At the same time, even within our individual communities, we know so little about the repression that exists in other countries, to say nothing of the names and cases involving many of our incarcerated comrades.
We chose August 23 as a starting point, because on that very day in 1927 the Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in prison. They were convicted of murdering two men during an armed robbery at a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States. Their arrest was a part of a bigger anti-radical campaign led by the American government. The State’s evidence against the two was almost totally non-existent and many people still today believe that they were punished for their strong anarchist beliefs.
Therefore, we call on Anarchists and those fighting against the state to remember those inside by dedicating an action or an infonight to them, or simply by writing a letter.
Please send reports of your activities to tillallarefree (A) riseup.net