Once again, it’s been a busy week, especially on the legal/repression front. To start off with a bit of an international round-up: In the US, Dante Cano has been bailed out of prison, but is still facing charges, and Bay Area activists are asking for solidarity with Kali, a comrade who’s serving a four-year prison sentence following his arrest during Occupy Oakland, as well as encouraging people to write to Davontae Smith, who’s been in jail since November after being arrested at a Ferguson solidarity protest. Over in China, five feminists are still being held in jail, and sixteen more were detained for showing solidarity with them. A lengthy interview with one of their friends has been translated in two parts here and here. Chinese socialists have called for international solidarity protests to be held outside Chinese embassies (in the UK, there are Chinese embassies in the UK in Manchester and Edinburgh as well as London, so people in a range of locations can get involved). And over in Sweden, a growing number of anti-fascists are being imprisoned, and their comrades have launched an appeal for financial support.
Back in the UK, there’s also a lot of news from the prisons and detention centers: 72-year-old Sylvia Boyes has been given a two-week prison sentence after being convicted for obstructing the highway during a protest against the DSEi arms fair, Shilan Ozcelik is still being held in prison for wanting to fight against ISIS, and her address has now been confirmed, and the wave of protests and hunger strikes rocking the immigration detention system is still ongoing. In yet more repression-related news, a new campaign’s been set up against IPP, the law that means some prisoners can be kept in jail after their sentence finishes, and a fundraiser and info night will be held in Bristol in early April. Also this week, South Wales anarchists are asking for friends to join them on Tuesday evening in Cardiff and Wednesday morning in London ahead of their court case over the activities of spycop Mark Jacobs, and blacklisted worker Dave Smith is due in court on Friday, having been arrested at the Construction News Awards last week while highlighting Crossrail’s dodgy record of firing workers who raise safety concerns. To support Dave, and the principle that people shouldn’t be fired for highlighting life-threatening safety hazards, please join him at court on Friday 27th at Westminster Magistrates Court, 181 Marylebone Rd, NW1 5BR from 9am onwards.
Also related to the ongoing struggles in construction, employers on Teesside have been attempting to undermine industry standard conditions, and so a network of Teesside Construction Activists have started fighting back – construction’s one of the last few remaining industries with a strong culture of rank-and-file organisation, and so this new group look like one to watch, I’d certainly suggest that anyone in that area of the North-East should try and lend a hand where possible.
Over in Dublin, this weekend saw another great showing by the ongoing movement against water charges, which is still one of the most impressive anti-austerity movements to emerge in any English-speaking country over the last few years – see Solidarity Times for more coverage of the movement.
Finally, as chronicled by North East and Brighton Antifascists, it’s been a busy, and mostly a very bad weekend for the far-right: the White Man March in Newcastle encountered heavy opposition that prevented them being able to march along their designated route, and left their supporters complaining that National Action let their “mates take a kicking off lefty scum”. Britain First got their banner nicked in London, and Pegida’s launch in Scotland amazingly managed to be even more embarrassing than their first day out in England, with four people taking part in their demo. But on a more serious note, while the anti-Semitic march in London scheduled for today has been postponed, last night saw a synagogue attacked in Stamford Hill, and nazis have claimed responsibility:
A few more items of anti-racist news to conclude: Nigel Farage got chased out of his local while having lunch, and the Anti-Fascist Network have put a thoughtful statement out about child abuse, and are calling for people to come to Oxford on the 4th April to support survivors and oppose the EDL’s attempt to hijack this issue to promote their own agenda.