A brief disclaimer: I’d been working on this post on and off for a few days now. The fascist killing yesterday feels like it needs some kind of a response, but I don’t know exactly what, and I really don’t want to exploit a death in a rush to score political points, so I’ll put off responding to it for the time being. I hope to get a round-up of workplace news finished at some point in the next few days, I also had an overview of recent antifascist activity that just feels horribly out of date now, and I had been meaning to write about things that have really annoyed me about the remain campaign, but for fairly obvious reasons I can’t quite summon up the bile and resentment towards Remainers that I could 24 hours ago, so I think that piece will remain unwritten. Anyway, with that out of the way, here’s the round-up of prison and court news that I’d been meaning to pull together:
Here in the UK, the state has been continuing its persecution of Scottish Unemployed Workers Network activist Tony Cox, taking him to court once again on charges related to accompanying claimants to benefits interviews. The case has been adjourned for the time being, but he’ll be back in court on the 23rd. Just like on previous occasions, claimants’ groups marked the date of Tony’s court appearance by visiting jobcentres to spread the message of claimant solidarity, with jobcentre protests happening in London, Cardiff, Doncaster, Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as people accompanying Tony to court in Dundee. It might be worth seeing if you could get a group together to visit your local jobcentre for Tony’s next court date on the 23rd.
Also up in Scotland, Shafiq Mohammed will have been up in court on the 9th following his arrest for allegedly abusing the Scottish Defence League last November, but I’ve not seen any reports of how that went yet. Down south, Dave Smith of the Blacklist Support Group has become the second person to be prosecuted as a result of the blacklisting scandal, ending up with a conditional discharge for blocking traffic at a blacklisting protest last year. Another ongoing court case is that against the alleged YPG fighter Aiden Aslin – his next court date will be on the 20th of July, so if you’re round Nottingham way and free then it’d be good to join him as he waits to find out if the CPS are going to prosecute him for allegedly fighting against ISIS. Completing the round-up of UK news, another comrade facing legal trouble is Patryk, an antifascist in Brighton who’s currently fighting extradition back to Poland to face trumped-up charges there. Brighton ABC are helping him with his legal defence, so you can donate to that by sending money via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org (please choose “payment to a friend” option and add a note saying “for Patryk”). Or if you dig Oi, some Dutch antifa are selling some Oi stuff on ebay to raise money for the case as well.
In international prison news, there’s been a few calls for support for comrades in Central and Eastern Europe – Martin, a Czech anarchist entrapped by undercover state agents as part of Operation Fenix, has now gone on hunger strike, and there’s been a call for international support, which has been answered by London Anarchist Black Cross, among others.
Apparently Martin’s English isn’t great but he’s happy to receive any mail, you can write to him at:
Martin Ignačák 10.8.1986
V.V. Praha – Pankrác
P.O.BOX – 5
Further east, there are ongoing cases affecting anarchists in Poland and Azerbaijan, the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association report on repression against one of their activists and also have some benefit compilations for sale on bandcamp if you’d like to contribute to their cause, and Russian comrades report on the case of Svetlana/Elisaveta Tsvetkova, sentenced to a year of corrective labour for distributing an anti-police leaflet. They also ask for people to join in international days of solidarity with Russian anarchist and antifascist prisoners for the first ten days of July.
Over in the US, Black Lives Matter activist Jasmine Abdullah has been given 90 days on the charge of “felony lynching” for de-arresting someone, Yes Magazine has a piece looking at the evolution of hunger strikes and work stoppages in the prisons over the last few years, prisoners in Wisconsin have gone on hunger strike against solitary confinement, a new site has been set up collecting prisoners’ thoughts on the Ferguson rebellion, there’s a new interview up with a prisoner involved in organising the May Day strike in Alabama, and momentum continues to build for the national prison strike on September 9th. You can read another overview of recent developments in the movement here. If you’d like to write to Jasmine (her preferred surname is Abdullah, but Richards is the legal one the prison system recognises) while she’s inside, her address is:
Jasmine Richards #4681452
Century Regional Detention Facility
11705 Alameda St.
Lynwood, CA 90059
Take care of yourselves, and look after each other.