Call For The 2nd Annual International Day Of Solidarity With Antifascist Prisoners, July 25, 2016
In the year since the first July 25th International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners in 2015, there has been a disturbing increase of Far Right activity worldwide. Every day brings news of some new wave of reaction—in the name of nationalism and security—which demonises refugees and immigrants, stokes hatred for Muslims, and attacks LGBTQ and other oppressed groups fighting for their liberation and their very lives.
We see Nigel Farage and UKIP in the UK, the Burmese magazine The Irrawaddy, the Front National in France, and Donald Trump in the U.S. all making the same racist claims about refugees using almost identical Far Right language. In response, anti-fascists from Poland, Thailand, Malaysia, England, Australia, Brazil, Burma, Greece, France, Sweden, the United States, and all points in between, have the same response to this bigoted garbage:
Antifascists are on the front lines in the fight against these fascist and other Far Right nationalist nightmares. In the U.S. we have already seen a large increase in antifa arrests at increasingly confrontational demonstrations against KKK and similar rallies. Internationally, there has also been an increase in street confrontations, and unfortunately this means more repression by the State. We will not allow our comrades—surrounded by steel cages and concrete walls—to be forgotten.
The July 25 International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners originated in 2014 as the Day of Solidarity with Jock Palfreeman, an Australian man serving a 20-year sentence in Bulgaria for defending two Romani men from an attack by fascist football hooligans. In 2015, we expanded our solidarity efforts to include all antifascist prisoners across the globe. There were a variety of actions around the world: groups held benefit concerts, movie nights, talks, raffles, banner drops, letter-writings, and literature distribution on the street and at a punk festival. Others did photo-ops and videos, and issued statements of solidarity.
We call on anti-fascists worldwide to act in solidarity with antifascist prisoners! Consider having an event or dedicating an action to them. They are in there for us, and we are out here for them!
Until All Are Free!
[source + a comprehensive international list of current anti-fascist prisoners]
International Days Of Solidarity With Russian Anarchist & Antifascist Prisoners, July 1-10
When mass civil protests in Russia were defeated in 2011-12, the Putinist police regime started open political repressions against militants of social and political movements, including anarchists and antifascists. Many activists have been sentenced to prison terms in the course of the last 5 years in Russia.
We call on comrades from the whole world to show solidarity with Russian anarchists and antifascists – prisoners of the Putinist police state, and distribute information about the international solidarity decade as widely as possible, maybe organise an event in your own town.
It could be an info-party where letters could be written, a film show, a fund-raising event, a benefit gig, a protest action at the Russian embassy in your own country, a solidarity action – only your fantasy is the limit.
Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/1774132002816021/
Vkontakte event: http://vk.com/abc_solidarity_days
Please see brief description of repressions to which Russian anarchists and antifascists were subjected.
A well-known antifascist and anarchist Dmitry Buchenkov, PhD in political science, was arrested in Moscow in December 2015. He is suspected of participating in the riots of May 6, 2012. More than 400 persons were arrested as a result of a mass protest action against Putin’s politics that took place on May 6, 2012 in Moscow. Dmitry was not in Moscow on that day, he was in Nizhny Novgorod, more than 300 km away from Moscow.
Dmitry is a long-time participant of the antifascist and anarchist movements and he has done a lot for their development. Dmitry’s comrades and friends believe that the arrest is related to his political militancy and his active position regarding the developments taking place in the country.
Dmitry Buchenkov, 36, lecturer of history and political science, PhD in political science, associate professor, worked as Deputy Chairman of the Medicine History and Socio-Humanitarian Science Department in the Russian National Research Medical University named after N.I.Pirogov in Moscow. Prior to 2008 he worked as an associate professor of the Philosophy Department in the Volga State Pedagogy University (Nizhny Novgorod) for five years. He was fired for his political activism. Dmitry moved to Moscow after he had had to quit the Volga University.
In Moscow Dmitry joined the local cell of the Autonomous Action, whose member he had already been since 2002. This is how he describes the ideology he shares in a book entitled 'Anarchists in the late XX century in Russia' published in 2009: "Basic worldview values of anarchism (self-management, self-organisation, anticapitalism) are still relevant today". In 2013 Dmitry quit the Autonomous Action organization, but he did not give up his political activism.
He authored several books on history and modern condition of anarchism in Russia. He is an activist of the antifascist and anarchist movements.
Dmitry actively participated in organising efforts and life of the antifascist and anarchist movements in Moscow. He organised many street antifascist protest actions, different cultural events. He took part in the establishment of an antifascist centre called 'V project', where antifascists and anarchists held their gigs, meetings, and prepared their actions. Police and FSB more than once threatened to attack Dmitry physically for his political activities and struggles. In 2015 unknown persons, probably police or FSB agents, severely beat Dmitry up, so that he got brain concussion, was all covered in blood and couldn’t even remember how the assault occurred.
Dmitry Buchenkov planned to organise an all-Russian antifascist and anarchist forum “Self-management and Libertarian Communism” in early 2016. But the authoritarian Putinist regime police arrested him.
Dmitry Buchenkov solidarity groups:
Address: 125130, Moscow, 20 Vyborgskaya Str., SIZO "Vodnik", Dmitry E. Buchenkov, (date of birth: August 22, 1978)
A well-known antifascist and anarchist. An organiser and participant of many anarchist and left-wing conferences. He was arrested on August 3, 2010 on the Khmiki case after an administrative building in Khimki had been assaulted on July 28 2010. An environmental protest action took place in Khimki against deforestation of big chunks of a reserve forest in order to build a toll road. On October 15, 2010, the court decision on the arrest was recalled. On June 24, 2011, he was legally acquitted by the Khimki municipal court.
He was strongly beaten by police on May 6, 2012, at Bolotnaya square during a political opposition protest, so he filed a petition on riot police power abuses involving violence and riot control weapons.
On April 28, 2013, he was apprehended and the following day arrested on accusation of leading a group of persons who actively participated in mass riots that supposedly took place at Bolotnaya square and of violence against a policeman. Later the accusation included two policemen supposedly attacked by Gaskarov: according to investigation data, Gaskarov grabbed a shoulder of an interior troops soldier and then he grabbed a leg of Igor Ibatulin, a riot police officer. The final version of the charge is also saying that he participated in mass riots at Bolotnaya square. On August 18, 2014, the court sentenced Gaskarov to three and a half years in a general regime penal colony.
Many political activists relate Gaskarov’s imprisonment to a direct revenge from political police called the Centre for Combating Extremism for his long-time political activism. Gaskarov support website: gaskarov.info
Addresses for letters: Gaskarov — 301654, Russia, Tula Oblast, Novomoskovsk, 27 Centralnaya Str., IK-6 UFSIN, detachment 5, Alexei V. Gaskarov, (Date of birth: June 18, 1985)
A well-known antifascist and anarchist from Autonomous Action. Charged with hooliganism for supposedly beating up nationalists in a brawl. Sentenced to three years and one month of colony.
Sutuga was apprehended in April 2014 in Moscow by political police from the Centre for Combating Extremism after an antifa gig. During interrogation he was asked about his trip to Maidan (Ukrainian protests in Kyiv in 2014). Alexei was accused of participation in a brawl on January 2, 2014, in 'Sbarro' bar, where he kicked and beat several persons with a chair and a selfmade hammer.
Sutuga himself said he tried to stop other people fighting — the brawl was between Neo-Nazis and some other youths. On October 1 Sutuga was sentenced to three years and one month of colony. On December 17 the appeal court left the sentence unchanged.
On March 17, 2015, while in Irkutsk remand prison, from where he had to be transferred to a colony, Sutuga went on a dry hunger strike because he had been pressurised in the remand prison: he was offered to stay there instead of the colony, and when Sutuga had refused, they got hold of his letters and books. When the news on his hunger strike leaked outside the remand prison, he was transferred to the colony. The he stopped his hunger strike. In the colony Sutuga was subjected to a solitary confinement cell. He is constantly pressurised by the prison administration.
Address for letters: 665809 Irkutsk Oblast, Angarsk, First Industrial Cluster, quarter 47, building 6, IK No.2, Alexei V. Sutuga, born in 1986 (you can send him only 1st class registered mail) or you can write via Rosuznik website
On August 6, 2015, a visiting board of the Moscow district military court passed a sentence upon Ilya Romanov, anarchist from Nizhny Novgorod – 10 years of high-security prison. The court ignored all arguments brought forward by defence. Afterwards the term was changed to 9 years of high-security prison.
Romanov was injured by a self-made firecracker’s explosion in October 2013, but they re-qualified him from an unfortunate experimenter to a “terrorist”. Apart from that firecracker an "interview" that he had given in December 2012 in a suburb of Donetsk was used in his case. Both "crimes" were incomplete: Ilya Romanov is accused of trying to menace local population and authorities of Nizhny Novgorod in order to save Kulibinsky park from tree-felling, but he didn’t manage because the device exploded during a test. He also supposedly tried to propagate terrorism through Ukrainian media, namely Radio RKAS - Libertaire, but he didn’t manage to accomplish it either. It appears that it is not a radio station, rather an internet blog. The interview itself is just a Dictaphone record made at a party following his release from prison.
Romanov, whose family consists of retired parents and a teenage daughter is the poorest of all inmates. His family hardly manages to bring him parcels now and then, while Romanov also has to pay for a lawyer working on two supervisory complaints.
431130, Republic of Mordovia, Zubovo-Polyansky region, Lepley, FKU IK-22, Ilya E. Romanov. (Birthday: July 3, 1967)
On August 25, 2015, the military court in Rostov-upon-Don passed a cruel sentence against Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and Crimean antifascist Alexander Kolchenko. The investigation authorities called them "terrorists" — allegedly Sentzov guided by the Right Sector from Kyiv (banned in Russia) founded a "terrorist group" in Simpheropol that sought to bring Crimea back to Ukraine.
Kolchenko supposedly made part of the group. The "terrorists" set fire on the office doors of Crimean Russian Community and a window in the local office of the United Russia (the ruling party in Russia). During the court, Gennady Afanasiyev — one of key witnesses upon whose words the accusation was built — said that his testimony was either given under torture or simply invented. Afanasyev got 7 years in prison on the "Crimean terrorists" case. Oleg Sentzov was sentenced to 20 years and Alexander Kolchenko to 10 years in prison for burning a door and a window.
Address for letters: 456612, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Kopeisk, 20 Kemerovskaya Str., IK-6, detachment 4, Alexander A. Kolchenko, born in 1989.
Anarchist Black Cross – Moscow Fund
Money is needed to support our comrades in their labour camps and remand prisons. Anarchist Black Cross – Moscow calls on everyone to show solidarity, help, and if possible transfer this so much needed money to the Anarchist Black Cross – Moscow accounts.
If you have any questions on how to make a money transfer or any other wishes, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Paypal-account: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Anarchist Black Cross – Moscow
Update On Anti-fascist Comrade Patryk's Situation
A few days ago Patryk had a court hearing and his case had been moved to the end of September, whilst social services will look at his family circumstances with a possible appeal under Human Rights legislation. He still needs our support as much as before. So far we managed to collect good few hundred pounds and euros and Patryk has been very encouraged by the solidarity he has received. He said to pass on the message that he is very grateful to everybody who has supported him and his family in this difficult time.
For details of how you can support Patryk, see below.
Solidarity With Antifascist Comrade Facing Extradition!
At the beginning of May 2016 our comrade Patryk Cichoń from Poland was arrested by British police under an European Arrest Warrant. Patryk is a well known anti-fascist militant notorious among nazi-bonehead scum in his city for his uncompromising stance against them in the past. Boneheads managed to convince a few of their friends to testify against Patryk and his friend for alleged assault and robbery. As it appeared later, his friend had very good alibi and had the charges dropped (despite being allegedly recognised by the "victim" and his friends), so Patryk ended up being sentenced on his own. The whole trial was an absolute travesty and Patryk as a poor, young working class person was not able to afford a proper defence. He spent two months on remand in 2004 and was sentenced to three years in prison.
It is clear that this whole case was politically motivated and had only one purpose, which was to get rid of the core of the anti-fascist resistance in Patryk's home town.
Rather than doing prison time, he decided to escape abroad and came to UK in 2005. He started his new life there, continuing to be involved in anti-fascist activity: organising gigs in London, including United and Strong Fest which has seen lots of great Antifa bands from all over Europe performing, and raising money for antifascist initiatives. He was also the editor of the 'Skinhead Revolt' fanzine, which was the first left wing skinhead publication in Polish.
After his arrest, he spent 9 days behind bars and was then was released under strict bail conditions, including a curfew and an electronic tag. On June 24 he has to attend another hearing that will most likely decide upon his extradition. Patryk is fighting against being sent back to Poland as he has a family in the UK, including his partner and an 8-year-old son.
He currently needs all the solidarity we can offer. He has already spent his savings on legal defence and will need more money to continue, but in the meantime his family also needs supporting.
Patryk was always there if others needed help and assistance, please make sure he is not left on his own now.
Fundraising is organised by Brighton Anarchist Black Cross. You can pay money to our paypal address:
firstname.lastname@example.org (please choose “payment to a friend” option and add a note saying “for Patryk”)
or to our bank account: Nationwide Acc. no./Reference: 0321 / 704131186 [NB: The sender will need to quote this account number in the additional reference section on their payment instruction]
IBAN: GB97NAIA07009333333334 BIC: NAIAGB21
Call For Week Of Action In Support Of Anarchist Prisoners In Azerbaijan (May 28-June 5)
Anarchists Bayram Mammadov and Qiyas Ibrahimov from Azerbaijan spraypainted a monument to Haydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan's answer to Vladimir Putin, with the message: "Happy slave days". This action was carried out on the eve of Heydar Aliyev's birthday on May 10, 2016, which is celebrated annually by the government in a wasteful manner. Given an total personality cult of Aliyev, such an act was severely condemned by the government (under the leadership of his son Ilham Aliyev) and the activists were arrested on May 10, 2016. Police then planted drugs on them to avoid charging them on the grounds of hooliganism.
This is not the first dirty trick of the Azerbaijan government. The government that tries to create the myth of the happy citizens and of a free government and cover every threat against its absolute power with conspiracies, trying to show that every political activist is a drug addict, caging every revolutionary action behind these lies.
Possession of the heroin that was planted by police is punishable by up to twelve years of imprisonment.
To apologise for their acts in front of Heydar Aliyev's monuments or to suffer hours of torture... This is the message to the comrades, who did not deny their actions. To deny their political personality or 12 years of imprisonment!
We, as anarchists, are in solidarity with our comrades, who chose direct action and transformed their words and theories into actions. So, be it in Azerbaijan, in Greece, in Chile, in Spain, İster Azerbaycan, or all over the world, our ideas cut across all boundaries.
We stand by the recalcitrants against this authoritarian circus.
We call upon every comrade from around the world to join the Solidarity and Action Week in Support of Anarchist Prisoners in Azerbaijan (May 28 – June 5).
Power to Bayram Mammadov and Qiyas Ibrahimov and their hunger strike! Destruction for Prison Cells!
Until every symbol of repression has been destroyed with the hammer of freedom!
for more information: http://abcistanbul.blogspot.com.tr/
Kungsan 15 International Call For Solidarity
Thirteen antifascists in Stockholm, Sweden, have been served with prison sentences after riots connected to a protest in Kungsan against a Swedish nazi party during the elections in 2014. On the day over 12 000 people had gathered in Kungsan for the antifascist protests and when the police tried to disperse the crowd using pepperspray and batons, a lot of people stood their ground in attempt to hold the police back. In the aftermath the swedish security police, SÄPO, singled out 15 people who they claimed to be active in the antifascist movement. 13 where sentenced to prison and will now have to face over €35 000 in fines, damages and trial costs.
The “Free Kungsan 15” campaign has so far managed to fundraise €24 000 but are still €11 000 short of the total amount with time running out. We therefore call upon international solidarity to help us cover the last bit together. We can’t share the time, but we can share the fines. We therefore urge anyone who is in a possibility of making a donation to do so, every penny counts. If you don’t have to means to aid financially please share this call on social media.
Please follow and share the campaign on Facebook,
BANKGIRO: 627-0086 or SWISH: 123 091 64 45
To donate from a non-swedish bank account:
(NOTE: mark your donation: “kungsan15”)
Antifascist Action Stockholm
40 Years Behind Bars: Free Leonard Peltier
It is not very often that we decide to reprint an Amnesty International appeal but, in the case of Leonard Peltier, who were have long supported, we are doing so now.
With 40 years already behind bars, Leonard Peltier's health has been declining rapidly. We've studied his case extensively and remain seriously concerned about the fairness of his trial. Leonard's most recent petition for parole was denied, which means that he is not eligible again for nearly a decade. His lawyers have just filed a new petition for clemency, which means his remaining years may be in President Obama's hands.
Urge President Obama to grant clemency before he leaves office on January 20th.
In 1975, two FBI agents were shot dead during a confrontation involving American Indian Movement (AIM) members. Leonard, who was a leading member of the AIM, was convicted of their murders but has always maintained his innocence. The U.S. Parole Commission has acknowledged that "the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence" that Leonard personally participated in the executions of the two FBI agents. The judge who presided over a previous appeal hearing also expressed concerns about FBI misconduct in investigating and trying the Peltier case.
Despite all of this, he's still behind bars. Support our call for Leonard's release in the interests of justice.
Today at 71 years old, Leonard suffers from health concerns including diabetes, a heart condition and an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He is imprisoned far from his family.
Help them bring Leonard home.
Support Leonard Peltier - Make Health Crisis Calls!
Some months ago, Leonard Peltier was diagnosed with an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), a life threatening condition. To date, Leonard's condition is merely being "monitored." This is unacceptable. Leonard needs treatment now! Leonard is dealing with a bureaucracy like no other. He desperately needs our job to keep the pressure on the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to ensure that he gets timely and quality treatment of the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.
Please continue your efforts on Leonard's behalf and keep pressure on the BOP! Demand that Leonard be transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota without delay.
You can visit: www.bop.gov/inmates/concerns.jsp. Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and USP Coleman I. Voice your concern about Leonard's medical treatment, and let the federal Bureau of Prisons know that the world is watching. We demand that Leonard receive the best possible care, that is, at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Please also call the below telephone numbers. You can send emails to selected elements of the BOP too, but your message may result in a canned response from the BOP.
As you have perhaps discovered for yourself, for some time now the BOP has put a series of road blocks in the way of supporters when it comes to easily advocating for Leonard. This means that you should consider sending a letter by snail mail. But to get a letter to the BOP quickly, visit:
Send a letter via fax to each of the below elements of the BOP.
Warden Tamyra Jarvis
USP Coleman I
846 NE 54th Terrace
Sumterville, FL 33521
Fax: (010) 352-689-6012
Telephone: (010) 352-689-6000
Helen J. Marberry
RO Southeast Regional Office
3800 Camp Crk. Pk. SW
Atlanta, GA 30331
Fax: (010) 678-686-1229
Telephone: (010) 678-686-1200
Thomas R. Kane, Ph.D.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
Fax: (010) 202-514-6620
Telephone: (010) 202-307-3198
Be respectful, but firm. The situation is life threatening and Leonard is counting on us.
Again, thank you for all you do on behalf of Leonard Peltier.
Leonard Peltier - New Medical Emergency
The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee received a message from Leonard this evening. An excerpt follows: "For months, if not at least a year now, I have been complaining about medical problems and that something is wrong with me… For the last few days, I have been on call out to go see the doctor. Today, I was called again and had my blood pressure taken and gave more blood for more tests. Apparently, they found what's called Abdominal Aortic Aneurism (AAA) and it is at a very dangerous [stage]. If it bursts I can die. I will bleed to death. So they are going to rush me through some more tests, a MRI on Sunday, then find the right surgeon to do the operation. The good news is [this surgery] has a high success rate… if nothing goes wrong."
At this time, we have no further details. Suffice it to say that, at Leonard's age, any surgery is risky. Also a concern is that during his treatment at a federal prison medical center, Leonard will be held in isolation.
Please visit http://www.bop.gov/inmates/concerns.jsp. Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and USP Coleman I. Voice your concern about Leonard's medical treatment, and let the federal Bureau of Prisons know that the world is watching. We demand that Leonard receive the best possible care.
Please also contact:
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534
(010) 202 307-3198
In addition, when you make your call to the White House (as we know you often do) to voice your support for a grant of clemency, please mention Leonard's current health crisis. Mr. Obama must act now.
Leonard and the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee thank you for your support - in particular during this critical time.
We'll keep you informed of any developments.
Support Kevan Thakrar By Joining The Protest
The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) have been made in many ways to be the only option for prisoners seeking redress to problems they face, due in large part to the savage legal aid cuts as well as the statutory changes as to when prisoners can receive legal assistance or bring challenges. This makes the PPO a much more significant body with them playing a vital role in driving forward improvements and identifying failings which in turn lead to a more peaceful and smooth running prison system.
With all negative indicators evidencing that a serious crisis is in place within prisons including the massive numbers of suicides and assaults, clearly the PPO is not performing as required. When Nigel Newcomen, the current head of the PPO recently released another so-called ‘Learning Lessons Bulletin’ on the use of force stating ‘it should be a measure of last resort’, although I agree entirely, unfortunately it acts as a smoke-screen for the PPO’s own corruption and opportunity to disseminate propaganda which can not go without reply necessitating the writing of this.
Newcomen said, ‘in some ways it is reassuring that there are relatively few complaints to my office about alleged physical abuse of detainees by custodial staff. In 2014-15, of 2303 complaints eligible for investigation, only 50 involved such allegations’. That is quite simply not true as the PPO have been operating a system of rejecting all of the most serious complaints for investigation for several years, and since 2014-15 have been ignoring all correspondence attempting to make them change their policy so the 50 that have made it through are accidents or taken gestures. Indeed I have personally been the victim of assault during the time-frame referenced then been turned away by Helena Hanson of the PPO when I took my complaints to them evidenced by PPO case numbers: 667738 and 65617, which are about unprovoked pre-planned attacks by gangs of prison officers upon me including once whilst I was praying. Similar incidents which I referred to the PPO have received the Hanson treatment previously causing me to write to Newcomen begging for help, only to be ignored, showing this to not be a rouge element within the organization but deliberate policy.
Speaking further on complaints of assault by staff Newcomen said: ‘They are, however, among the most serious and important complaints that I receive as they go to the heart of the humanity and legitimacy of the prison system’. This statement may go some way to explain the refusal to process such complaints professionally; the result would display the total lack of humanity and legitimacy which is not politically convenient at this time to expose, and so the governmental body which is the PPO takes steps to avoid doing so.
Newcomen’s hypocrisy in the press release accompanying the bulleting did not end there: ‘Ensuring independent investigations into allegations of physical abuse is, therefore, essential to maintaining safety and giving assurance of the proper treatment of those in custody’. Why was I forced to appeal to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman about the outright cover-up by the PPO into the assault I sustained at Woodhill in 2008 (Case Number: 36928)? Why am I still waiting for an investigation into another assault on the PPO’s books since 2010 (Case Number: 42278)? Why has another investigation been buried in ‘final stages of quality review’ once I highlighted the lies in the draft report back in 2012 (Case Number: 43627)? Why have all my attempts to have another assault investigated been sabotaged by PPO personnel (Case Numbers: 58594 and 62895)? Why when investigations have been completed have they been so poor and lacking draft reports requiring my requests for the findings to be reviewed, has all my correspondence been ignored (Case Numbers, 61779, 63279 and another whose reference eludes me)? Why have I still not been furnished with the draft report I was told to complete a year ago and all my correspondence on a connected matter failed to result in any action (Case Numbers: 63383 and 67863)? Why did the PPO refuse to investigate a complaint of torture when exposed in a public article, then only look at the failure of the prisons to deal with a complaint and send it back to them to do so, then ignore all attempts to refer it back to the PPO (Case Number: 50759). And this list of questions are solely about the most serious complaints of physical abuse, it is beyond this article to mention the rest of the PPO’s failings....
Newcomen claims: ‘My investigations also ensure that staff are held to account for misbehavior and I have had to recommend disciplinary action on a number of occasions’. Without the power to enforce these recommendations, this governmental body is toothless yet portrays itself as a fearless tiger, more reason why only the most basic and mild recommendations are ever made in the circumstances of each case if any at all. Were the PPO to want increased powers, its’ leader would not release such statements misleading people to believe they are currently all-mighty. But even if the PPO were endowed with the required powers to enable them to fulfill their role competently, bringing the desperately needed improvements to the prison system, this would not be sufficient to ensure they complete their job professionally.
Following the first round of governmental budget cuts to befall the PPO, the shared building of Ashley House, which was home to several prison observer organisations including the PPO, Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) was abandoned. Initially the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) was considered as the potential new HQ location for the PPO, relinquishing all pretence of their independence image, but negative publicity undermined their ability to function whilst sharing a building with those are the protagonist of all the PPO’s investigations. Office buddies writing reports criticizing each other is so obviously a sham that the PPO took to withholding their address and setting up a PO Box which all correspondence must pass through. Although they then found alternative residence, the PPO has continued to maintain secrecy over their whereabouts insisting upon the PO Box. I telephoned the PPO to question this, only to be told that ‘due to the nature of the work we do, the ombudsman do not reveal our location’, and further probing to clarify the difference between the days of Ashley House and now were awkward, slippery replies which placed the reason at the feet of Newcomen. Unwilling to give up, I recalled once receiving a letter from the PPO in an envelope with the frank ‘Rose Court’, so pursued enquiries with several evasive PPO employees until one slipped up leaving me able to secure confirmation that this is in-fact their residence. With some basic investigative work I was able to discover the truth behind the concealment, the PPO’s hideout again exposes their lack of independence, as it is shared with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the very people responsible for removing the liberty of prisoners. This is obviously entirely inappropriate which the PPO are aware of hence the PO Box, but the fact it has been supported by them I suggested is a more serious reflection upon their integrity.
To be clear, there are several excellent investigators of the PPO, however working within a corrupted structure with management who are so blatantly suffering with venality towards the government and MOJ results in the serious issues like use of force being covered-up as seen by the most recent press release from Nigel Newcomen. In order to force change a protest demonstration has therefore been organized outside their HQ on Thursday 21st July 2016, between 12.30pm and 2.30pm, all those who support prisoners or are disgraced by this appalling situation please make your way at the time to: Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS. Serious assaults are criminal, not ‘misbehaviour’, and a recommendation for disciplinary action is wholly inadequate redress. It is time that the PPO were unable to avoid performing it’s much needed job and held to account for it’s outrageous failings, only through a big enough display of disapproval will this be possible.
Thanks to everyone in advance who makes it and promotes this event, we need your support and appreciate the efforts you go to.
Kevan Thakrar A4907AE
Close Supervision Centre
5 Love Lane,
Support Kev by joining the protest:
Thursday 21 July 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Outside the offices of the Prison Ombudsman and Independent Monitoring Board, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS
OR sign the petition on: www.Facebook.com/JusticeForKev
Writings by and about Kevan Thakrar on our website
Protest Against Close Supervision Centres, July 21
A secret world exists within the high security prison estate in England, known as the Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system. It is notorious amongst the few who know of it, a place only the most unfortunate men ever see. Reports of serious mistreatment and torture are routine from the victims detained within the CSC, but almost nothing is ever done about the biggest demonstration of inhumanity to take place in this country.
In order to excuse this torture chamber, the dehumanization of CSC prisoners begins at a very early stage of official justifications for the creation of the CSC system, which focus 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 CSC’s, treating prisoners as highly dangerous creatures, capable of superhuman acts of violence – not quite human and in need of the extreme oppression the CSC provides.
When it comes to the ‘worst of the worst’, isolation is wrongly seen as a necessity but insufficient measure by prison management. In addition to isolation and extremely restricted movements, prisoner in-cell provisions and their belongings are carefully regulated and subjected to relentless scrutiny and inspection. Detailed attention to security concerns are always maintained even though the majority of these concerns are baseless, and daily operations and procedures are pre-planned according to worse-case scenarios. 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 minor or petty, are responded to forcefully and brutally by gangs of prison officers clad in full riot gear who show no mercy when regaining complete control and demonstrating their authority and power, sanctioned by Prison Service management at the highest levels. The official reason for all forms of hypercontrol over CSC prisoners are security considerations, but rather than controlling violence, as they officially aim to do, such highly controlled environments breed it as well as causing severe suffering for prisoners.
Since CSC guards are directly authorised to perform acts involving the use of force and over-diligence in carrying out their tasks is always tolerated if not encouraged by their superiors, they do not need to engage in soul-searching moral assessment of the treatment of prisoners labeled as the ‘worst-of-the-worst’. The social distancing between ‘us’ and ‘them’ instilled by the CSC training provided to prison officers urged to see themselves as a ‘team’, and environment of the CSC allows for the treatment of prisoners in a way that would have been inconceivable had the guards viewed them as people like themselves. As Garland (1990) found “……professional penal agents [who] tend to represent themselves in a positive, utilitarian way, as offering a particular service, or carrying out a useful social task, as a way of avoiding bad conscience and cultural infancy”, are unlikely to come forward with the truth of how badly they treat CSC prisoners or take the necessary steps to improve the conditions within these hell-holes.
On top of the brutality is the psychological assault on CSC prisoners which works in two parallel dimensions, isolation increases levels of frustration and anxiety, and it also decreases the available avenues for relaxing such tensions. A study by McCleery (1961) noted that over time, symptoms experienced by isolated prisoners are likely to mature into either homicidal or suicidal behaviour. Rather than controlling violence then, CSC confinement leads to irritability, anger, and violent outbursts which can seem unprovoked.
Having now spent 6 years subjected 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. With it known that “oppression and ugliness can only lead to alienation and aggression” Fairweather (2000), it makes you wonder if Prison Service management want this or are too stupid to consider the impact of their actions. With the way the media were manipulated following the suicide of Joanne Latham on the CSC last year, maybe the arrogance of the management leads them to believes that whatever the consequences of the CSC system, they can deal with them as they have done since it was created in 1998.
Please lend your support for the abolition of the CSC system by attending the protest demonstration on Thursday 21, July between 12.30pm and 2.30pm, and sign the petition on www.change.org/p/justice-for-kevan
Together we can make a difference.
Kevan Thakrar A4907AE
Close Supervision Centre
5 Love Lane,
An Appeal For Support For Kevan Thakrar – Written By John Bowden
Investigating division and conflict amongst the poorest and most oppressed as a means of control has always been a favoured strategy of the ruling class and within it's prisons (the laboratories of oppression) where the most disempowered experience naked repression the weapon of divide and conquer is sometimes used with murderous effect.
Within the British prison system there exist prisons within prisons, places of concentrated repression where “troublemakers” and those who fight back are sent to be broken, and where those who inflict the repression encourage prisoners to take the rage created by that repression out on each other, thereby generating an unending cycle of violence, which is used to justify the use of even greater repression.
In 1998 the first “Close Supervision Centre” (CSC), based on the American prison “Special Management Unit” concept, was opened in Woodhill prison in Milton Keynes to hold what the prison authorities claimed were the system's most “disruptive and dangerous” prisoners, or those prisoners who fought back and encouraged others to do the same. Concentrating such prisoners in a single physical space or unit confronted those staffing it with an obvious dilemma: how to subdue and control such a group? Predictably, an unimaginatively brutal approach was adopted – a total lock-down regime blended with overt physical brutality. The response of the prisoners “selected” for such brutality was collective resistance in the form of dirty protests and total non-cooperation, to which the permanently riot-gear clad staff responded with greater brutality, resulting eventually in an atmosphere and environment of total warfare. In 2000 the chief inspectorate of prisons following an inspection of the Woodhill CSC described conditions there as a clear breach of the European Convention of Human Rights, forcing the prison authorities to implement at least superficial changes to it's regime. Prison psychologists were now used to legitimate the CSC regime by pathologising the resistance of the prisoners and introducing a pavlovian behaviour-modification regime; compliant behaviour by prisoners would now be rewarded with “progression” to less austere and brutalising conditions within the CSC, including limited free-association periods outside their cells. Staff “supervising” the prisoners were now instructed to “engage” with them as opposed to overtly brutalising them, although the relationship of power remained dependent on physical force and the use of brutality when necessary.
To guards long conditioned and accustomed to exerting control by straight-forward brutality the very slight relaxation of the CSC regime represented a threat to the ability to maintain absolute control, while having to now “engage” with as a group prisoners who they had formally brutalised as isolated individuals clearly unnerved them. Fearful of now becoming a target for angry and embittered prisoners they instigated and fermented animosity between and amongst those prisoners and then used the slightly relaxed regime to facilitate physical violence between some prisoners; placing sufficiently “wound-up” prisoners in the small outside exercise pen together ensured the channelling of rage and violence and it's expend amongst prisoners themselves. On one occasion this resulted in the near death of a prisoner.
Whilst the regime operating in the Woodhill CSC might have been slightly modified to allow prisoners to “progress” back to the prison mainstream providing they showed a sufficiently cooperative attitude, the CSC at Wakefield prison is reserved for those prisoners who will probably never leave it's confines. The emphasis at the Wakefield CSC is one of straightforward containment and control, so prisoners there are simply entombed in their cells and allowed no human interaction whatsoever; it is a regime and form of treatment that defies and concept or convention of basic human rights.
Kevan Thakrar, currently held in the Wakefield CSC, is a prisoner who has experienced and endured many years of brutal and inhumane treatment at the hands of prison staff who are determined to destroy him. Cleared by a jury in 2012 of allegedly assaulting prison staff and more recently by the CPS for a similar allegation, Kevan has become a target of victimization by the Prison Officers Association and it's members who staff the CSC system. Whilst held in the Woodhill CSC Kevan, who was supposedly on a permanent lock down regime, was unlocked and allowed out of his cell one afternoon with surprisingly few guards present. Understandably suspicious, Kevan soon discovered the reason for the guards apparent lassitude; unlocked too was a dangerous mentally ill prisoner. Kevan immediately engaged the prisoner in conversation and eventually encouraged him to abandon his intention to do the guards bidding by attacking Kevan. Their plan frustrated the guards re-materialised and returned Kevan to his cell and permanent lock down again.
Following an unrelenting barrage of legal actions against the prison authorities challenging his placement in the Woodhill CSC, which included an independent psychology report strongly recommending his return to the mainstream prison population on medical grounds, Kevan was transferred to the even more psychologically brutalising environment of the Wakefield CSC. The intention was clear: to bury Kevan permanently in an end of the line hell hole and allow those “supervising” it to do whatever was necessary to break his sanity and spirit of resistance.
Held within the Wakefield CSC are not just prisoners who have fought and resisted the system; some are there for acts of prisoner on prisoner violence, some of whom are hard-core racists. It was from this small group that the guards staffing the Wakefield CSC recruited for their campaign of psychological harassment against Kevan. The message communicated to these willing helpers was their assistance would be rewarded with eventual “progression” to a less austere place of confinement. Kevan's mixed race heritage now became the focus of this quisling group's racism, expressed in constant verbal abuse and threats shouted from cell windows, as well as the throwing of urine from windows at Kevan when he exercised in the small yard just below the cell windows. The response of the guards supposedly “supervising” the place was to laugh and encourage even more the racist behaviour and abuse. Those supposedly managing the Wakefield CSC, senior managers, psychologists, etc., are apparently content to allow uniformed staff “supervising” the day to day lives of the prisoners held there absolute discretion in how their power is used or abused, providing absolute control is maintained.
As a result, Kevan now faces a daily struggle against not only a de-humanising regime of solitary confinement and sensory deprivation enforced by openly hate filled guards, but also the constant racist verbal abuse of those keen to win the favour of their masters.
We must do whatever we can to support that struggle and let Kevan's captors and oppressors know that he is not alone.
Please write or e-mail to the following protesting at Kevan's treatment:
HM Prison Service Headquarters
70 Petty France
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
Ministry of Justice,
102 Petty France,
Governor: David Harding
5 Love Lane
Tel: 01924 612 000
Fax: 01924 612 001
Independent Monitoring Board for HMP Wakefield
Post Point 9.52,
102 Petty France,
Please write letters of support to:
5 Love Lane,
Protest For Kevan Thakrar On February 18
JOIN THE PROTEST
Thursday Feb 18, 12:30-2:30 pm [changed times]
HM Prison Service Headquarters
Clive House, 70 Petty France London SW1H 9EX
- Nearest Station: St James's Park underground station, a 5 minute walk to Clive house.
- Buses: Any buses stopping at New Scotland Yard then continue along Victoria Street then turn left on to Caxton Street then turn right on to Palmer Street, continue until you will reach Petty France.
Kevan Thakrar Urgently Needs Your Support!
Kevan Thakrar was found not guilty of attacking three prison officers and vindicated by evidence that showed he acted in self-defence after months of racial, physical and psychological abuse. Any court ruling that goes against prison officers is VERY unusual. Kevan continues to be held in isolation in the prison services 'Close Supervision Centres' more than six years later, no doubt as retribution for his court victory. [See more info about Kevan’s wrongful conviction and fight for a new trial below].
Organised by Justice for Kevan Thakrar. For more info:
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you can't make it to London for the protest please try to find the time to write to your own MP or Kevan's (Ian Stewart MP). When writing to any MP the address to use is: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or you can contact them on-line at www.writetothem.com
Sign the petition for Kev:
· Kevan Thakrar was wrongly convicted of murder and attempted murder in 2008 under “joint enterprise”, the legal rule which means that any member of a group can be convicted of a crime, regardless of whether they committed it. Kevan wasn’t present when the murder took place, but he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 35 years in jail. He was aged 20.
· The description of the assailant given by witnesses was nothing like Kevan. One of the victims, who the prosecution accused Kevan of having stabbed, initially falsely identified other people in two line-ups. Even when testifying during the trial, she said she could not be sure the identification of Kevan was correct.
· False statements from people who never appeared in court, who live in Cyprus, and who had never met Kevan, were used to convict him. After the trial those people retracted their statements.
· There was no DNA, cell-citing or forensics to put Kevan at the scene of the crime. Evidence that Kevan was elsewhere at the time was never presented in court. Kevan’s alibi witness was threatened by police to stop him testifying. He was then charged with assisting an offender, a charge that was dropped once Kevan was found guilty.
· A family member of one of the victims who gave evidence against Kevan was himself believed to be involved in the murders. After he received a low sentence for dealing in large quantities of drugs, questions were raised about whether he was offered a deal to incriminate Kevan.
· Two trials were abandoned because of jury bias. In the third, a juror knew one of the investigating police officers who gave key controversial testimony in court.
· Kevan was assaulted by prison staff just before trial so had to attend court with serious injuries. In March 2010, Kevan himself was charged with assaulting prison officers, and put in solitary confinement but was subsequently found not guilty of the assault.
· Kevan has been held ever since in solitary confinement – under “close supervision” in the British version of “supermax”, locked in his cell for 23 hours a day.
For a more detailed description of this gross miscarriage of justice, please go to justiceforkevan.com
What you can do:
1. Write to the Secretary of State for Justice and Criminal Cases Review Commission (www.justice.gov.uk/contacts/ccrc) demanding a review of the case.
2. Publicise Kevan’s case by printing this leaflet for distribution and raise his case and the issue of solitary confinement of prisoners in the press/call-ins/blogs and list serves.
3. WRITE TO KEVAN AND TELL HIM WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO SUPPORT HIS CASE AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:
Kevan Thakrar A4907AE
HMP Wakefield, 5 Love Lane, Wakefield, WF2 9AG
or via www.emailaprisoner.com
Victory For Osman Evcan On Day 45 Of His Hunger Strike
Osman Evcan gained the victory from the determined struggle in which he put his life against the state inside the thick walls of prison which he is enclosed. Osman, got everything he demanded through this hard period without surrendering to the state. Osman Evcan ended his indefinite hunger strike which took 45 days against intimidation, torture and extermination politics against prisoners and again he proved us that how he is right about his call to raise the struggle. He continued his resistance resolutely by choosing to die with honor and this is the only reason why his demands are accepted. The State’s "punishment" system and their officials that made comrade Osman Evcan suffer hunger for 45 days and tortured him are our enemies. The recognized demands of Osman Evcan are not a matter of grace, instead that is the end of torturous practices. Torture is a state policy. He is grateful to everyone who have held demonstrations, spoken up, and gave 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 soon.
Osman Evcan Is On Hunger Strike Again
Despite the oppressions like exile, naked body search, cameras in cells, banning of letters and visitors, blocking vegan food; Osman Evcan didn't took a step back and he has started his indefinite hunger strike starting from the 22 February, 2016. Because fear, submission and consenting, crushes the bodies under the heaviness of power of the state. State's efforts to depersonalize political individuals with systematic pressures, should be smashed under Osman's resistance. There is no middle way with the state who is establishing the policy of eliminating the prisoners on price-punishment order. Osman Evcan's struggle is towards the authority. Only way to prove that he does not obey the authority, he does not accept the authority, is to setting forth his body. They can only destroy and divide political identities with murder, not with prison practices.
We summon everyone to share Osman Evcan's struggle, who is fighting against state, surveillance and control, whether outside or inside.
İnsurrection is essential for freedom to come into leaf.
Fire to the cells!
Anarchist Prisoner Osman Evcan Has Won His Fight
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's demands included the right for all vegan-vegetarian prisoners get vegan food, for sick prisoners to be released, and an end to discrimination against LGBT prisoners.] 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 recognised 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.
Call For International Solidarity With Osman Evcan On December 5
Osman Evcan is resisting authority as an anarchist against speciecism for uninterrupted 23 years in state prisons. Osman Evcan supports the struggle for animal liberation as an anarchist since 2003. He has been a name for us, who voices the demand for total freedom against ecological destruction, hunger, poverty, carnage and war policies created by the state and capitalism.
Osman Evcan is recently located in Kandıra Kocaeli F-Type Prison No. 1 after being exiled to almost all the prisons in Turkey for resisting and never bending his head against systematically and continuously imposed intimidation. Osman Evcan’s and all political prisoners most basic and vital right to a healthy diet according to their preference and will is blocked by the prison management with the knowledge and instructions of the Ministry of Justice. As a result of Osman Evcan’s 43 day long hunger strike in 2011, he won the right to a vegan-vegetarian food in prisons for all the vegan-vegetarian prisoners and this right was secured through a issued legislation. Osman Evcan moved a step forward in this fight in the last period. He held an other hunger strike for 33 days ending on June 26 which resulted in victorie demanding, in addition to making the vegan-vegetarian dishes prepared by fresh and seasonal vegetables, to be able to get vegan food from external suppliers.
Despite his advanced age and his worn-out body as a result of these actions, Osman Evcan continues his struggle and resistance today to open a space of freedom for all vegan, vegetarian and political prisoners coming after himself, without the fear of the costs he had to paid. After the last November elections in the geography of Turkey with the approval of the hegemony of Islamic fascism of AKP, in this oppressive climate Osman Evcan also got his share and all the rights and benefits of a vegan diet gained as a result of a continuous fight and struggle was taken from him. The reason behind the lasting mistreatment and abuse of rights of Osman Evcan, who is holding a ongoing indefinite hunger strike since November 10th is obvious. The reason is his anarchists ideas and behavior, which does not silence against authoritarian violence and injustice.
We are going to Kocaeli No.1 Prison for solidarity and to support Osman Evcan and the resistance which intensified in his personality. We are launching to announce that behind the prison walls Osman is not alone in his indefinite hunger strike for acquiring back the full vested rights and the delivery of vegan meal to Osman Evcan. We call all anarchists, animal libertion advocates and individuals fighting for total freedom to rise solidarity and resistance, which is being tried to be made passive and ineffective in the shadow of entrenched and conservative political memorization and to protest against state’s institutional, organized torture units, the prisons. We urge you to raise our voice!!
We call all our comrades in different parts of Turkey and worldwide in animal liberation movements around the globe as well as human rights activists to hold any kind of actions in front of the representational establishments of Turkey in their countries, It can be call-ins, street demos, embassies or trade chamber or anything else you would like to do as an act of solidarity and support!
Now is the time to act!!
We are Protesting in front of Kocaeli Kandira F-Type Prison No.1 Demanding Vegan Food for Osman Evcan on December 5, 2015 !!
Help Anti-fascist Prisoner Jock Palfreeman Resist Fascist Intimidation
Antifascist prisoner Jock Palfreeman is currently a target for far-right smear campaign after he had been nominated to a “Human of the Year 2015” award by the human rights NGO Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. His nomination said as follows:
“In his work as Chairman of the Bulgarian Prisoners Rehabilitation Association (BPRA) Jock Palfreeman directly defends the human rights of prisoners in Bulgaria. Though consequential work to reform the criminal justice system of Bulgaria, the human rights of all Bulgarian citizens are enhanced.
The BPRA is uniquely a NGO for prisoners that seeks to reconcile the operation of Bulgarian prisons with international obligations to human rights for those imprisoned in Bulgaria. Further, it highlights and combats well-documented, systemic corruption and violations of human rights by prison officials and authorities.
Major achievements by Jock during the period November 2014 - October 2015 include:
· establishing direct prisoner representation on the Ministry of Justice Workgroup on Penitentiary Reform;
· the development of a proposal for more clear and transparent criteria for parole eligibility;
· defending illegally detained asylum seekers though legal representation and legal aid leading to their subsequent release from imprisonment;
· defending prisoners against human rights abuses committed by prison guards and authorities , predominately at Sofia Central Prison;
· the accurate reporting of human rights violations to appropriate authorities and organisations such as BHC and CPT;
· leading by example by showing other prisoners how they can successfully demand and fight for their rights;
· and the writing of appeals , requests and complaints on behalf of illiterate prisoners.
Jock and the other prisoners involved in the BPRA have been subjected to repression and illegal punishments by prison authorities. Despite these and many other restrictions on the activities and organisation of the BPRA, Jock has continued to build solidarity and strength amongst, and defend the human rights of, prisoners.”
The nomination for Jock quickly caused massive controversy. Fascist ultras from Levski's South Division group, to which Andrei Monov belonged and whose death Jock had been charged with, together with Monov's ever-influential family, started a smear campaign against Jock's nomination. The Bulgarian media went into a frenzy, various fascists groups organised protests outside office of Bulgarian Helsinki committee, as well as displaying banners with slogans such as “Death to BHC” and “ BHC - shame of a nation” during football matches.
"Death to BHC"
Initially the BHC refused to bow under the pressure, but as members of the jury started to feel intimidated, with some resigning and others threatening to follow suit, the BHC removed Jock's nomination and replaced it with general “Bulgarian Association of Prisoners” nomination. They also apologised to Monov's family for “causing upset.”
Jock needs our solidarity right now! Antifascists and anarchists in Bulgaria seem to be unable or unwilling (as in the case of the Federation of Bulgarian Anarchists) to offer any support; so it rests on us to do it.
First of all, let us make sure that the Bulgarian Prisoners Association wins the award. In order to do that, please go to: www.humanoftheyear.org/glasuvane-na-publikata-15/ , login with your Facebook account (unfortunately you need to have one to do it) and then give your vote to the Bulgarian Association of Prisoners [see the picture belowwhich explains how to do it]. Share this article in as many places as possible and make sure that you get everybody you know to vote as well. Also, write to Jock and spread awareness of his case.
Recent interview with Jock: www.youtube.com/watch...
More about Jock:
Robert Seth Hayes Denied Again At His 10th Parole Board Hearing
Everyone was enraged to report that Political Prisoner Robert Seth Hayes received notice on June 16, 2016, that he was once again rejected by the Parole Board. This is the tenth time Seth has been to the Board, and the tenth time he has been denied, despite having an excellent record and meeting all the requirements to be released on parole.
His supporters in the US say that there will definitely be an appeal of this denial. In the meantime, please take the time to write to Seth and let him know he is in our hearts and on our minds.
Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility,
P.O. Box 116,
Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116, USA.
Seth Hayes Health & Parole Update
Seth has been breathing much better, but his sugars are not stable, and he still has congestive heart failure. The medical staff has decided that the heart situation was more serious than previously thought and so they have scheduled him to get a pace maker. He had pre-operation tests last week and most likely is undergoing the surgery today. Seth has been encouraged by getting the operation in conversation but we know it is a very serious one and we ask just please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Seth is coming up for parole next month June. If you are interested in writing a support letter there isn't much more time. Details are below. Thank you all for your support and please keep Seth on your minds today and send a him a card at the address below.
Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility,
P.O. Box 116,
Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116, USA.
[see posts below for the background to Seth's situation and for further details of what you can do]
UPDATE: Seth is back in Sullivan and doing well. The pacemaker surgery went well and he was in good spirits. He had a slight fever but he said that was normal after the procedure. [15/05/16]
Robert Seth Hayes 2016 Parole Campaign
Once again, we are preparing for Seth's upcoming parole hearing on June 7, 2016. Since the PBA, the FOP, and the Correctional Officers union are able to collect thousands of signatures against parole, we must work to gain as many signatures and letters of support for Seth as possible. In addition to the online petition, there is a hard copy that can be downloaded here. Since many members of our community do not have regular access to the internet, it is important to use the hard copy and return it to us.
You can also download and print out the parole campaign brochure explaining Seth's case as a way of educating people about the political nature of the case and the parole board's constant denials despite national and international support for Seth's release on parole.
Sign the online petition to Tina M. Stanford, Chairwoman of the NYS Board of Parole, for Seth's Release on Parole in 2016!
Seth has also prepared a fact sheet for those who would like to write letters to the Parole Board on his behalf.
Write to Seth:
Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116, USA.
Support Robert Seth Hayes' 9th Parole Bid
Robert Seth Hayes has been to the New York state parole board nine times and has been denied each time. His next parole board appearance will be June 7, 2016. Each time, the board—always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors—reviews his very impressive record, all the institutional programs participated in and completed, college attended while inside, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. Seth had a petition that received over 1000 signatures at his last trip to the board.
They have before them evidence of all the ways Seth has helped so many people throughout the course of his confinement and is still leading a positive and progressive life despite being locked up now for over four decades. And then they deny him parole based on their opinion that to release him would "deprecate" the serious nature of his charge of conviction. Is this rationale not, in effect, an illegal re-sentencing to life-without-the-possibility-of parole? When one goes to trial, there is a prosecutor, one's defense attorney, a judge, and a jury. When one goes to the parole board, there is only the prosecution.
Seth has taken responsibility for his part in the Black Liberation Movement's resistance to racist authority. He has paid a great price—43+ years of imprisonment thus far. He is going to the New York state parole board for the tenth time in June 2016 and deserves to be paroled, to come home to his family and community.
If you feel you cannot write a letter to the parole board, please take the time to sign the online petition: Release Robert Seth Hayes #74A2280 on Parole in June 2016
Please write your letter to the parole board on professional letterhead.
Please indicate how you know Seth, or if you don't know him personally, how you know of him.
What it would mean to you and the community if Seth was released rather than kept inside?
State what you do for a living and any other pertinent personal details, such as where you live, as well as what ways, if any, you could help Seth, financially or emotionally.
Say why you believe Seth will not commit another crime (i.e. what you know of his personality or interests, his institutional record, etc.)
Your letter should be addressed to:
Attn: Supervising Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator
Sullivan Correctional Facility
325 Riverside Drive
P.O. Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116
The subject line should be "Robert Seth Hayes 74A-2280"
Mail to Seth's Lawyer:
Eve Rosahn, 125 Frenchtown Road, Shohola, PA 18458.
Seth very much appreciates your efforts and your support.
Dowload the background to Seth & his appeal here.
Robert Seth Hayes Medical Update
Seth was recently at Albany Medical Center for a week and returned to Sullivan on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Seth has since said that he is doing much better and is in good spirits. They took a CAT scan of his heart, lungs, blood tests, which showed that there was no heart problem or lung infection; just the build up of fluids. In response there has been an adjustment made tohis diabetes treatment, changing his medication type and amount. He has also been placed on anti-clotting meds due to having to be laying down in the hospital for the entire week. As a consequence, his breath is much better but he has to build up to walking longer distances and exerting himself again, because small amounts of exertion still put him out, but he is excited to start building up strength with the way he feels now.
He of course is unhappy with how long it took to get him hospital attention and the complications that could have been avoided had they taken care of it earlier. However, he is happy to have that problem looked at given how he feels now.
Seth wished to thank all who contacted the prison and will given an update when he is able to get access his records.
Write to Seth:
Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280, Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116, USA.
To contribute to ongoing efforts supporting Robert Seth Hayes, please donate online at: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/810a58
Update On Seth Hayes - Now In Outside Hospital
Greetings Everyone, thank you all for those who called, wrote and faxed for Seth! Seth was taken to an outside hospital on Sunday morning unbeknownst to us and we have received confirmation that he is alive and undergoing tests. Though we have not heard directly from him, we are for now are going to call off the call in campaign until we find the results of these actions. We are hopeful but not naïve, we are so thankful for people's vigilance and we will keep you abreast to the situation as it unfolds. We know ultimately Seth needs to come home to get healthy. Prison life is not meant for health. He goes to parole this year for 9th time, not including other parole denials in between the two year hits. Being outside prison he could receive true medical, family, nutrition and other related aspects of life that can contribute to the immense healing process that is needed.
Urgent Need To Support Political Prisoner Robert Seth Hayes
As many of you know, Seth has had a chronic cough since May of this year for which he did not receive any diagnosis or treatment for many months.
When Seth finally saw the pulmonologist at Coxsackie on Monday, November 2, the doctor wanted to know why the medical personnel at Sullivan had waited so long to bring Seth for a pulmonary exam. The pulmonologist intends to schedule for Seth a CT scan, a CT scan of his heart, and bloodwork. The pulmonologist thought there might be some infection, but needs more info.
In addition, the facility doctor (Dr. Sidorowicz) told Seth to come to the clinic to use the nebulizer whenever he feels short of breath. Seth has been using an inhaler twice a day (Seth does not get to carry his inhaler, and so needs to go to medical when he gets short of breath) and also the nebulizer twice a day for a while now, although he does not yet have a diagnosis of the cause of this chronic cough.
On a prior occasion about 10 days ago, C.O. Slater, who was accompanying Seth to the clinic, stated that Seth did not really need the nebulizer. Then the nurses did not attend to Seth, and he had to overcome his difficulty breathing on his own.
Today, the same thing happened again, with C.O. Slater once again claiming that Seth did not really need the nebulizer. Seth passed out shortly thereafter and a Code Blue was called on him.
We need people to call Superintendent Keyser at Sullivan specifically about C.O. Slater interfering with and preventing Seth from receiving needed medical attention. This C.O. should never accompany Seth to the medical clinic again. Also ask why the nurses are not following the facility doctor's medical advice instead of paying attention to C.O. Slater.
We also need people to call and fax Dr. Koenigsmann and Nancy Lyng in Albany to demand that Seth receive all needed pulmonary tests as soon as possible and that C.O. Slater be prohibited from accompanying Seth to the clinic in the future.
This is attempted medical murder of one of our beloved freedom fighters and we must do everything possible to help Seth at this time.
Superintendent Keyser at Sullivan: (010) 845-434-2080
Dr. Koenigsmann: (010) 518-457-7073 (phone) and (010) 518-445-7553 (fax)
Nancy Lyng: (010) 518-445-6176
Seth needs visitors and letters:
Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280, Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116, USA.
Pattern Of Harassment Continues Unabated In Alvaro Luna Hernandez's Mail-Handling
Alvaro Luna Hernandez is a Chicano/Mexicano Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner in a Texas Solitary Confinement Control Unit called by the TDCJ-CID Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg.) The singling out and censorship of Alvaro's legal materials by the TDCJ-Allred Unit Mail Room staff continues even though the 'Director's Review Committee' (DRC) has overruled the unit-decision to not allow Alvaro certain legal documents or political materials, they persist in mishandling and mutilating his mail and media, incoming letters, political advocacy materials from my P.O. Box as well, and from friends and supporters; please see Mail Grievance attachment.
We are asking that these TDCJ mail room employees cease the singling out of Alvaro's mail to interfere or impair its proper delivery, or that they be removed from their position(s) as mail room employees. That they comply with TDCJ's "Access To Court" policies, and the Correspondence Rules.
If you can, please e-mail the Ombudsman Office, this is generally the best direction for public complaints, because any other TDCJ official that is sent anything electronically or surface mail of this nature, will only forward it to the Ombudsman Office. (All roads lead to the Ombudsman Office - as I keep reminding people - and I'm sure people are tired of hearing it). Refer to the Step One Grievance file and the Vickie Barrow, Program Manager of Access To Courts letter for writing points.
Contact her at:
Vickie Barrow, Program Manager, Access To Courts, 1060 Hwy. 190 east, Huntsville, Texas 77340,
(00 1) 936 437-4815, (FAX) (936) 437-4823
Ombudsman Office e-mail:
Or. call: (00 1) 936 437-4927 & (FAX) (00 1) 936 437-4930,
Or write: TDCJ Office of the Ombudsman, Ombudsman Coordinator, P.O. Box 99, Huntsville, Texas 77342
Also, if you feel like it, and contact 'officials', you can write to:
Brad Livingston, TDCJ Executive Director, and he can be accessed through the Capitol Complex at:
Brad Livingston, TDCJ Executive Director, P.O. Box 13084, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711-3084, (00 1) 512 463-9988;
Also you can write, call, fax, or e-mail:
Bruce Toney, Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General (OIG), P.O. Box 13084, Austin, Texas 78711-3084, (FAX) (00 1) 512 671-2480, (FAX) (00 1) 512 671-2129 Get his office in on the investigation like they're supposed to do.
Be sure to add a contact mailing address so they can send you their response, which can be from 2 weeks to a month depending on what mess they find they have; and time to contrive one of their standard departmental think-speak gems.
If enough people get their attention and get them repeating the same tired boring yawners, maybe we can compare notes and have something of substance; they have a handful of regular administrators in that office (the Ombudsman Office that is) - some are more diligent than others investigation-wise.
Thank you very much - in solidarity till they ALL come home!
Committee to Free Alvaro Luna Hernandez
Call Out For An International Week For Anarchist Prisoners
In summer 2013 members of several ABC groups discussed the necessity of introducing an International Day for Anarchist Prisoners. Given there are already established dates for Political Prisoners Rights Day or Prison Justice Day, we found it important to emphasise the stories of our comrades as well. 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.
This is why we have decided to introduce an annual Week for Anarchist Prisoners on August 23-30. 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.
Given the nature and diversity of anarchist groups around the globe, we have proposed a week of common action rather than a single campaign on a specific day making easier for groups to be able to organise an event within a longer target period.
Therefore, we call on everyone to spread the information about the Week for Anarchist Prisoners among other groups and communities and think about organising event(s) in your city or town. The events can vary from info-evenings, screenings and benefit concerts to solidarity and direct actions. Let your imagination run free.
Check out the flyers in different languages. Please send reports of your activities to tillallarefree (at) riseup.net
Till all are free.
“325” anarchist counter-information group
ABC Czech Republic
Nizhny Novgorod antirepression group
ABC Rio de Janeiro