Voices from inside the walls

This post is mostly just a quick plug for a few recent pieces of writing by imprisoned comrades: the Russian group Autonomous Action have a piece written by Filip Kostenko, a Russian anarchist who’s been on hunger strike since the 7th of December since being arrested at a protest, and Omar Ibrahim, a UK prisoner jailed for his part in the March 26th anti-cuts protest, has two new pieces on his blog, Banged Up For Protesting: one on the Scottish Defence League’s attacks on the Palestinian Human Rights Campaign, and one on police harrassment of Celtic fans (personally, I wouldn’t write an article on that subject without stressing that Republicanism is a load of nationalist crap, but that having crap politics still isn’t a crime). Prisoner support is becoming increasingly vital as the use of the legal system to crush all forms of dissent is being stepped up: over the last week, Danny Cook from Kidderminster and Shawn Divin and Jordan McGinley, two teenagers from Dundee, have been jailed for stuff they wrote on facebook during the riots, while another 20-year-old from Southampton was bailed to face trial in February.
Speaking of prisoner support, I’ve been spending a bit more time on the Socialist Worker website than usual recently, since their coverage of the electricians’ dispute has been quite extensive, and I was interested to note that they have an article encouraging people to send cards to prisoners. Overall, I think this is a good thing – as Trots engaging with the prison system go, it certainly beats Tommy Sheridan and Steve Nally encouraging people to grass up poll tax rioters, or the Socialist Party’s cosying up to the screw bureaucrats leading the Prison Officer’s Association. But, despite being a long and extensive list, including Islamists among others, it doesn’t mention all the prisoners from the student demos, or anyone from the London or Stoke’s Croft riots, or, most glaringly, the five prisoners still in jail for anti-fascist activity, who’ve received a lot of publicity from prisoner support groups like Leeds Anarchist Black Cross over the last few months. Is this just a case of someone not doing their homework before writing an article? Or is it the case that fighting fascism outside UAF is just too unacceptable, so those jailed for doing so are deliberately written out of lists of political prisoners? Who can say, but either way our anti-fascist comrades won’t be getting any Christmas cards from Socialist Worker readers this year, which just makes it all the more important that the rest of us continue supporting them.
Final note: the 1 in 12 Club in Bradford, one of the UK’s longest-running social centres and home to one of the best anarchist libraries in the North, is having a financial crisis at the moment. It sounds like they might be over the worst of it, but donations to help them stay open would still be very gratefully received, so if you can afford to help them out, please do.

About nothingiseverlost

"The impulse to fight against work and management is immediately collective. As we fight against the conditions of our own lives, we see that other people are doing the same. To get anywhere we have to fight side by side. We begin to break down the divisions between us and prejudices, hierarchies, and nationalisms begin to be undermined. As we build trust and solidarity, we grow more daring and combative. More becomes possible. We get more organized, more confident, more disruptive and more powerful."
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