Tag Archives: solidarity

Shut Down Yarl’s Wood, shut down all immigration detention centres!

On the 10th of September, Movement for Justice is organising the 9th Surround Yarl’s Wood demonstration, calling for the closure of the racist prison Yarl’s Wood and all immigration prisons:

END the Hostile Environment & STOP the scapegoating of immigrants
STOP deportations & mass charter flights
BUILD community resistance to immigration raids

Buy your ticket for the Bristol coach before Monday (money is needed to
secure the coach booking)-

Message from Movement For Justice:

‘On 10th September 2016 we return to Yarl’s Wood immigration detention
centre in force – join us in a movement that can bring an end to the
hated, rotten, racist system of detention! The demonstrations and
resistance inside Yarl’s Wood have been the most important fight in
Britain for women’s rights and for immigrants rights, because they have
been inspiring – because the people in this struggle are fighting to win
the most basic of demands as human beings.

The next National Demonstration at Yarl’s Wood is for ALL those held
like cattle in the UK’s detention system around the country. For ALL
looking to break out from under the shadow of detention. It is for ALL
those at the borders of Europe challenging the cynical leaders a
demanding in real life the promise of democracy and freedom, of which
sanctuary is fundamental.

The MFJ, and our friends and allies around the country organising for
justice and equality and fighting racism, we have been breaching the
walls and fences of detention centres, reaching inside with chants of
FREEDOM. Our detainees friends, partners in struggle, though locked up
have made their voices ring out.

PLEASE NOTE: IF we dont raise enough money through ticket sales and
Bristol specific donations we cannot go ahead and book a bristol coach
as we do not have enough money in MFJ to cover the cost. We have a coach
company who is holding a coach at the cost of £640 untill the @29th
AUGUST – if we do not raise at least £500 by the 29th we will have to
cancel the coach and refund everyones money  – SO GET YOUR TICKET NOW
36 tickets before 29th!!!!’


Please share

mfj@ueaa.net, 07930 302 263

Prisoner letter writing, Friday 26th August

anarchist solidarity posterAs part of the Week of Solidarity with Anarchist prisoners, we will be having a letter writing night at our usual venue, Hydra Bookshop. Come along and learn about anarchists imprisoned in the UK and abroad, and sign a card in support of libertarian struggles. See you there!

Protest against Close Supervision Centre system: 21st July

A secret world exists within the high security prison estate in England, known as the Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system. The dehumanisation of CSC prisoners begins at a very early stage, in the official justification for the creation of the CSC system, which focuses on the need to contain a new breed of unmanageable and unpredictable risks. It continues with the creation of classificatory categories of ‘dangerousness’ which objectify prisoners and make more of the category and less of the human in them, and it is reinforced by the tightly controlled and highly regulated routines.In addition to isolation and extremely restricted movements, prisoners’ in-cell belongings are carefully regulated and subjected to relentless scrutiny and inspection. Prisoners remain in CSC units for years, decades even, made frustrated, angry and bored by their experiences with few avenues to vent their anger and with almost no opportunities to advance through the system. All perceived acts of disobedience or non-compliance by CSC prisoners, even of the most petty kind, are responded to brutally by gangs of prison officers clad in full riot gear who show no mercy when demonstrating their authority and power, sanctioned by Prison Service management at the highest levels. Rather than controlling violence, as it officially aims to do, this hyper-controlled environment breeds it.Having now spent six years subject to the unofficial punishment of allocation to the CSC myself, it is clear that without real pressure to force the required change nothing but more negative and oppressive measures will be added.

Please lend your support for the abolition of the CSC system by attending the protest demonstration: 21 July between 12.30pm and 2.30pm outside the offices of the Prison Ombudsman and Independent Monitoring Board,  Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS.

Kevan Thakrar
Close Supervision Centre,
HMP Wakefield,
5 Love Lane,
Wakefield WF2 9AG
Facebook: JusticeForKev

Witness Callout – Bristol Antifascist Protest (October 2015)

Poster for the protestWere you at College Green on 17th October 2015? Several people were arrested and we need to find witnesses for the defence.

If you saw any what happened during any of the arrests, please call Bristol Defendant Solidarity on 077467 41104, or email bristoldefendantsolidarity (at) riseup.net

Please share this callout!

Letter from Anarchist Prisoner, Emma Sheppard, in support of the International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners


Letter from Anarchist Prisoner, Emma Sheppard, in support of the International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners.

For more info on Emma’s case see: https://bristolabc.wordpress.com/support-emma/

“The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings for freedom”
– Maya Angelou

Our fearful trill is the combination of frustration, despair, indignation and defiance. The “Incentives and Earned Privileges” scheme that dominates prisons today goes a long way to silencing our songs through its passive coercion and pastoralism, but they always erupt sporadically.

“We count ourselves among those rebels who count storms, who hold that the only truth lies in perpetual seeking”
– Madya Tulokonnivan (Pussy Riot)

Being in prison has made me feel humble. My fixed-term sentence is short, and unlike many, I have a release date. I am humbled by the fire and conviction which fuels long term anarchist prisoners, and the many rebels in prison who are “perpetually seeking” in their own ways, free from (and often unknown to) the anarchist subcultures. Quietly rejecting and challenging authority everyday in a way to keep sane inside. These rebels and actions give me hope.

“Tigers are more beautiful than sheep but we prefer them behind bars”
– Bertrand Russel

I do not consider myself a tiger! But as Michael Gove said in his first speech as ‘Justice Minister’: “Civilisation depends on clear sanctions being imposed by the state on those who challenge the rules”. So they put us behind bars and try to drown us in petty regulations. But being here has just made me stronger and given a depth of my understanding of concepts such as privilege and solidarity. They labelled us ‘criminals’ and try to shame us into compliance, or rely on other prisoners to do their work – policing, pandering and grasping of imagined rewards and “earned privileges”. But knowing I am not alone in my struggle gives me strength and vigilance.

Gove has begin to change the rhetoric surrounding prisoners: we are now potential assets, we are to quote him, “a literally captive population”. He is promising early release for those who ‘show their chained attitude that they wish to contribute to society’.

We are led through our time by those benign dictators, our ‘Offender Managers’, who calmly construct our sentence plans and ‘therapeutic’ programmes (also known as prisons-within-prisons). The Prison “Service” is like an abusive partner: offering calming reassurances whilst deliberately alienating, excluding, and physically and mentally controlling us. This can never be a therapeutic environment.

Martin Luther King said we are all “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. What affects one directly affects all indirectly”. These networks bear down on us in biased and relentless ways. Prison is often the final step for those who have been excluded and controlled by the wider mechanisms of the state their whole lives. The numbers of deaths (at the hands of the screws, filth and suicides) in custody and on the streets continue to rise, discussed and minimized. Self harm is rife within women’s prisons.

The Ministry of Justice plan to sell off many parts of the prison estate, its so called ‘dark corners’ (many of which happen to be in prime locations). Gove claims that it is this cleansing desire and economic, which is driving the developments. But whether its the Queen or rich landlords who will benefit, or the Ministry, is irrelevant… It’s all capitalist expansion.

“Whoever has passed by the front of a court house or prison and his look didn’t darken at the thought that he could be there as a culprit, then he did not live his life with integrity and dignity”

– Quote from Greece, unsure of author

I hope that I can serve the rest of my time and license with integrity. I mourn the loss of my anonymity every day. Writing can be terrifying, especially with limited resources, but I will finish with a quote from Audre Lorde:

“When we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
or welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it’s better to speak
we were never meant to survive”

Solidarity to all anarchist prisoners and everyone harmed by the prison system.

With love and rage,


Call For International Solidarity With Anti-fascist Jock Palfreeman

A few days ago Australian anti-fascist Jock Palfreeman was assaulted in Sofia Central Prison in Bulgaria (he says it was not “too badly”) but yesterday July 6 the same guard assaulted another prisoner, an elderly man, and some of that man’s compatriots came to his assistance. These seven were then set upon by 40 guards, who brutally beat them.

Jock, in his role of secretary of the Bulgarian Prisoners Association, phoned a number of lawyers to help defend those assaulted. Now Jock has been threatened by the same prison guard has threatened him with another beating.

It is no surprise that not only Jock’s role within the prison with the Bulgarian
Prisoners Association but also because of the various days of action for Jock being organised around the globe to highlight his case. You can contact the Bulgarian prison authorities details below or organise a protest at your nearest Bulgarian embassy or consulate.

Addresses to post, fax and email your letters of protest to:
Krassimira Vocheva
Head Prosecutor-Sofia
No.2 Vitosha blvd
Tel: +359 28051500
Email via: prb.bg/main/bg/pages/infcenter
NB: the fields on the form translate as:
Name & Surname:
Full address:
Your email:
Complaint or question (10000 characters):

Borish Velchev
Head Prosecutor-Sofia
No.2 Vitosha blvd
Tel: +359 28051500
Email via: prb.bg/main/bg/pages/infcenter

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria
Address: 2 Aleksander Zhendov Str
Sofia 1040
Tel: +359 2 948 2999
www.mfa.bg/en/contact (ready form for sending messages from their website, very

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria LONDON
186-188 Queen’s Gate
London SW7 5HL
Tel.: (0044) (0) 207 584 9400, (0) 207 584 9433
Fax: (0044) (0) 207 584 4948
Email: information@bulgarianembassy.org.uk

Information, Public Relations and European Communication Directorate
Director: Sofia Vladimirova
Tel: +359 2 971 1408. OR +359 2 971 3778. OR +359 2 948 2218.
Fax: +359 2 870 3041
Email: iprd@mfa.government.bg

Ministry’s Reception Desk
Tel: +359 2 948 2018 or +359 2 971 1054
(opening hrs 09.30 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 16.00)

Ministry of Justice
No 1 Slavanska st
Sofia 1040
Email: pr@justice.government.bg

Finally, please write to Jock, even if it’s only a ‘good luck’ postcard. Any letters
and postcards will help to keep Jock’s spirit up and feeling positive. All will be
gratefully received. You can write to Jock at the following address:

Jock Palfreeman
Sofia Central Prison,
21 General Stoletov Boulevard,
Sofia 1309,

United $tates: Solidarity with the Incarcerated Workers of the Free Alabama Movement!

via Industrial Workers of the World

iww-logo-new7.previewWe in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) have been approached by a group of hundreds of people currently incarcerated in Alabama who are launching a nonviolent prison strike beginning this Sunday April 20th to demand an end to slave labor, the massive overcrowding and horrifying health and human rights violations found in Alabama Prisons, and the passage of legislation they have drafted.

This is the second peaceful and nonviolent protest initiated by the brave men and women of the Free Alabama Movement (F.A.M.) this year building on the recent Hunger Strikes in Pelican Bay and the Georgia Prison Strike in 2010. They aim to build a mass movement inside and outside of prisons to earn their freedom, and end the racist, capitalist system of mass incarceration called The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and others. The Free Alabama Movement is waging a non-violent and peaceful protest for their civil, economic, and human rights.

The conditions in Alabama prisons are horrendous, packing twice as many people as the 16,000 that can be housed “humanely”, with everything from black mold, brown water, cancer causing foods, insect infestations, and general disrepair. They are also run by free, slave labor, with 10,000 incarcerated people working to maintain the prisons daily, adding up to $600,000 dollars a day, or $219,000,000 a year of slave labor if inmates were paid federal minimum wage, with tens of thousands more receiving pennies a day making products for the state or private corporations.

In response, the Free Alabama Movement is pushing a comprehensive “Freedom Bill” (Alabama’s Education, Rehabilitation, and Re-entry Preparedness Bill) designed to end these horrors and create a much reduced correctional system actually intended to achieve rehabilitation and a secure, just, anti-racist society.

While unique in some ways, the struggle of these brave human beings is the same as the millions of black, brown, and working class men, women, and youth struggling to survive a system they are not meant to succeed within. We advance their struggle by building our own, and working together for an end to this “system that crushes people and penalizes them for not being able to stand the weight”.

The Free Alabama Movement is partnering with the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee to ask you to:

  • Create a Incarcerated Workers Solidarity Committee in your area to raise money, take action, and spread the word of this struggle, including to local prisons.
  • Amplify the voices of incarcerated workers by posting this and future updates to your website, facebook, email lists, and so on
  • Join our email list so as to be kept up to date and amplify future updates. Contact us at iwoc@riseup.net and like us on facebook: www.facebook.com/incarceratedworkers
  • Donate money to the Free Alabama Movement & Incarcerated Workers Organizing Cmt: https://fundly.com/iww-incarcerated-workers-organizing-committee-support-the-free-alabama-movement
  • Join the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee

Contact us at iwoc@riseup.net. Solidarity and be in touch!

The IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee in partnership with the Free Alabama Movement

The IWW is an grassroots, revolutionary union open to all working people, including the incarcerated and the unemployed. Founded in 1905, we’ve come back strong in recent years with struggles at Starbucks, Jimmy Johns, and the General Strike call during the Wisconsin Uprising. We are committed to amplifying the voices of prisoners, ending an economic system based on exploitation and racial caste systems like mass incarceration, and adding our contribution to the global movements for a just, free, and sustainable world. Our guiding motto is “An injury to one is an injury to all!”.