Taking part in the international day of solidarity with antifascist prisoners

Support antifa prisoners

July 25th has been designated an international day of solidarity with antifascist prisoners. If you’d like to join in, the simplest ways to show solidarity from the UK would probably be to write to Yusef, who was jailed for resisting racists who attacked a demo in Cardiff a few years back, or message Merseyside AFN to get the address details for their comrade who was recently jailed, and/or to donate to their prisoner support fund here. You might also want to contact the Swedish prisoner support group Föreningen Fånggruppen at foreningenfanggruppen[at]gmail[.]com to get the addresses of the Swedish comrades who’ve just been sent down for a demonstration in Stockholm in 2014. In both cases, those involved have decided not to make their addresses fully public, so please be careful about sharing any information you’re given, and don’t be surprised if they want to check who they are before telling you anything.

Looking ahead, you could also look at this list of suggestions for ways to support the upcoming national prison strike in the US that’s planned for September, and think if there’s anything you and your friends can usefully do to show international solidarity with the movement. And looking further ahead still, it’s worth thinking about what you can do to raise awareness of the case of Aiden Aslin, who’s still potentially facing terrorism charges for allegedly joining the Kurdish resistance against ISIS, and has his next bail date in Nottingham on October 19th.

July 25

Here are two call-outs for the day of action, from NYC Antifa:

We are fast approaching the July 25th Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners, and in preparation, we wanted to update everyone on the legal situation of our antifa comrades in the last year. In that time, quite a few antifascists have finished serving their time or have had their legal situations resolved, but unfortunately, a number remain behind bars, with many more expected to join them over the course of the next year.

Beginning with the good news, many antifascists finished serving their time, and have rejoined their friends and family after many months or years of separation. In Belarus, Dzimitry Zvan’ko—one of many antifas from Brest targeted by authorities—was released on parole on May 31, 2016 after serving three years. In Germany, on June 28th, Valentin, who was arrested and spent 10 months in jail for his involvement in a fight started by fascist soccer hooligans, was given a suspended sentence of 3 years instead of prison time. Many Swedish antifascists were also released in the past year—Dennis Miraballes, Nick Staffas, Linus Soinjoki, and Adam Taylor are now all home. In the United States, Jason Hammond was released on parole on April 1st, after serving a year and a half for direct action against the White Nationalist Economic Summit in 2012. Finally, Luke O’Donovan, after serving two years in prison for defending himself from a homophobic knife attack, will be released on July 25th, the International Day of Solidarity!

That these comrades are out is something to be cheered and celebrated, but we cannot forget the antifas who remain in prison, or the sad fact that many others will be joining them all too soon. Michelle Smith was sentenced on July 12th to twelve months in prison for her participation in the antifa counter-protest of an anti-immigration rally called by various far-right and fascist groups in Dover, England on January 30th.  Additionally, there are many other antifas currently on bail in England for actions over the past year who are also facing jail time. In the United States, seven antifascists were charged on June 30th in connection with a physical confrontation between antifascists and Klansmen in Anaheim, California this past February. Although three antifa were stabbed, none of the KKK members were charged by police. In Sweden, eight of the Kungsan 15 were sentenced to prison on July 1st to between 4 and 12 months for a physical confrontation with fascists during a huge counter-protest of a Nazi demonstration in 2014.

The worldwide increase in far-right activity means that more anti-fascists will risk not just prison, but their very lives, in confrontations with fascist scum (who are protected and encouraged by the state). In order to be as effective as we can be in this fight, we must create a strong flow of solidarity over the prison walls, not just on July 25th, but every day.

However, there is something powerful in a worldwide day of solidarity, and there is still time to do something for July 25th. Even something small, such as a solidarity photo, or a letter, is meaningful and appreciated. If you write to a prisoner, consider participating in Rose City Antifa’s Postcards to Prisoners project, and tweet a photo of your postcard or letter using the hashtag #postcardstoprisoners. Another way to be in solidarity is to contribute to Antifa International’s International Anti-Fascist Defense Fund, which raises funds for prisoners, as well as money for legal defense, medical costs, and family expenses for antifascists.

Tweet your solidarity with the #J25antifa hashtag and remember:
They are in there for us, and we are out here for them!

Free Roman Bogdan! Free Vlad Lenko! Free Dzmitry Stsyashenka! Free Jock Palfreeman! Free Michelle Smith! Free Aleksandr Kolchenko! Free Alexey Sutuga! Free Joel Almgren!

and Rose City Antifa:

July 25th, 2016 marks the second annual International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners. Last year antifascists around the globe participated in a variety of ways in an inspirational and powerful show of solidarity. Rose City Antifa will again be doing the Postcards To Prisoners campaign, this time for the whole month of July. We are kicking things off with a benefit show at Anarres Infoshop this Friday July 1st. We will also be collaborating with Portland ABC to co-sponsor a benefit show on Saturday July 30th at Black Water. Proceeds from these shows will be going to the medical bills and legal defense of comrades that fought against the Traditionalist Workers Party and Golden State Skinheads in Sacramento last Sunday. If you can make it to either show, we will have an area set up with all the necessary supplies (postcards, stamps, names/addresses of prisoners, and information) for you to easily participate in the #postcardstoprisoners campaign!
 
The past year has seen an increase in far-right organizing around the world. A move to the right in the political discourse in mainstream politics has energized the insurgent right and has lead to increasing acts of fascist and racist violence here and abroad. From the rise of the UKIP in Britain to the Trump campaign here in the states, we are seeing fascistic rhetoric capture large swaths of support among working class whites. Antifascists everywhere have organized against this rising tide of xenophobia and many have faced state repression as a result of it. Now more than ever antifascists must stand together against the dual enemy of state repression and the insurgent right. The International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners is an important time for us to show that we are united in order to raise our comrades spirits behind bars, but also to raise awareness generally about militant antifascism. Postcards to Prisoners is a simple way to boost morale and create a visible display of antifascist solidarity.
 
Here’s how it works:

1. In a group or on your own, purchase a few postcards and stamps. Write to some prisoners to show support and solidarity, below you will find addresses and information about some of our imprisoned comrades.
 
2. Take a photo of the postcard.

3. Send or tweet us your pictures using the hashtag #PostcardsToPrisoners. We will compile photos and post them up on our Facebook page and twitter @Rose City Antifa.

Raising awareness and getting attention to our imprisoned comrades is important but if you want to stay anonymous or are unable to tweet us a picture, feel free to send us an e-mail with a picture to fight_them_back@riseup.net and we will tweet the picture for you.
 
Last years dozens of postcards were sent to antifascist prisoners, this year let’s make it hundreds! Solidarity is our greatest weapon!

Names and Addresses.
Note that some of our comrades can’t receive letters or postcards in English, so if you speak any other language than please consider writing one of those antifascists.
 
 – EUROPE – 

Belarus

Roman Bogdan
Roman Bogdan was arrested on April 15, 2015, as part of the long-going state repression of anti-fascists in Brest, stemming from a fight between anti-fascists and fascists on May 8, 2013. In October, Roman was sentenced to 8 years in a penal colony and must pay 3500 Euro in damages. On December 15, 2015 a regional appellate court commuted his sentence by 2 years.

He can read Russian and simple English phrases.
Address:
213010 Shklov
p. Molodezhnyj, IK-17, otryad 12
Mogilevskaya obl.
BELARUS
http://abc-belarus.org/?p=6153&lang=en

Vlad Lenko
Vlad Lenko is an antifascist from Ivatsevichi (Brest region). He was arrested on December 27, 2014, and accused of taking part in a fight against local neo-Nazis earlier in December. Vlad was charged with group hooliganism and aggravated bodily harm, and in September 2015 was sentenced to 6 years in a penal colony.

Supporters are trying to raise money to appeal the verdict, which they hope will reduce his sentence by half. They also need to collect 1000 Euro to pay damages ordered by the court.
Fundraising WebMoney:
$ Z418615316084
€ E146518161935
He can read Russian and simple English phrases.
Address:
Lenko Vlad Igorevich
211300 Vitebskaya obl.
Vitebskiy rajon, Vitba, IK-3
BELARUS
http://abc-belarus.org/?p=6240&lang=en

Dzmitry Stsyashenka
Dzmitry Stsyashenka was arrested on October 4, 2013, for his alleged involvement in a fight between antifascists and neo-Nazis in Brest on May 8, 2013, that sent one Nazi to the hospital. He is also accused of another fight with neo-Nazis later in the summer of 2013. He was sentenced to four years in prison, but in 2014 his term was reduced by one year due to an amnesty.

In April 2015, the case from May 2013 was reopened and Dzmitry was charged again. He was sentenced in October 2015 to another 5 years in a penal colony and ordered to pay 500 Euro in damages. In December, the regional appellate court commuted this sentence by 2 years, which is in addition to the 4 years he is already serving.
He can read Russian and simple English phrases.
Address:
213800 Bobruisk,
ul. Sikorskogo 1a, IK-2, otryad 14
Mogilevskaya obl.
BELARUS
http://abc-belarus.org/?cat=3&lang=en

Bulgaria

Jock Palfreeman
Jock Palfreeman is an Australian anti-fascist political prisoner serving a twenty-year prison sentence in Bulgaria for the rather mysterious death of a neo-Nazi football hooligan who was part of a group attacking two Romani men in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2007. Jock came to the aid of the Romani, and quickly found himself the focus of the attack. Bulgarian authorities did everything they could to ensure that Jock did not receive a fair trial, and after his sentencing have refused–in contravention of their own treaties–to transfer him to Australia to serve the rest of his time closer to his family. Jock wants donations for him sent to the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association, which he is part of.

He can read English and Bulgarian.
Address:
Jock Palfreeman
Sofia Central Prison
21 General Stoletov Boulevard
Sofia 1309, BULGARIA
http://www.brightonabc.org.uk/jock.html

Russia

Aleksandr Kolchenko
Aleksandr  Kolchenko was arrested in Crimea on May 17, 2014, along with several others, and accused by Russian authorities of participation in a “terrorist group” which planned explosions near the Eternal Fire memorial and the Lenin monument in Simferopol, as well as having sabotaged railway tracks and electricity lines. Aleksandr is also alleged to have carried out two arson attacks in April: against the headquarters of the Russian Unity-Party, and the Russian Community of Crimea. He was transferred to Moscow and is being kept in draconian conditions. His lawyers are under a gag order, and have been refused elementary rights to defend him. He faces fifteen-to-twenty years in a labor camp.

Russian authorities claim that Aleksandr is a member of Right Sektor, a Ukrainian ultra-right nationalist organization, but he has no connection to the group—a fact confirmed by relatives and friends. Moreover, Aleksandr is an antifascist and anarchist who consistently opposed nationalistic movements in Crimea and faced constant fascist attacks for his activism. For example, after a film screening about murdered anti-fascist journalist Anastasiya Baburova, he was attacked by thirty Nazis with knives.
Since this case is highly political, Aleksandr’s legal costs are high, around 850 euro per month. The investigation has created a heavy financial strain on local ABC groups, and there is a call for financial support and information distribution. You can make donations via PayPal to abc-msk@riseup.net or using a bank account (write to the same e-mail address for details).
Address:
Kolchenko Aleksandru Aleksandrovichu
344082
Rostov-na-Donu
Bolshaya Sadovaya str, 31
SIZO-4
RUSSIA
Please note: Moscow ABC advises that letters in English are seldom accepted in Russian prisons, so please write only in Russian (try using a translation program), or just send photos and postcards.
http://avtonom.org/en/news/repressions-against-crimean-activists-political-context
http://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Aleksandr_Kolchenko

Alexey Sutuga
Alexey Sutuga is a longtime anarchist and anti-fascist who was arrested in April 5, 2014, for a fight with members of the ultra right in Moscow. He was sentenced on September 30, 2014, to three years and one month in prison for his alleged involvement in the fight.

However, this sentence comes in the context of an earlier case from April 2012, when he was arrested for allegedly taking part in a fight at a punk/hardcore concert in Moscow on December 17, 2011. The conflict began after club security, consisting of members of the far right, provoked guests. The concert was stopped prematurely because of the fight, but the security then attempted to take some of the audience hostage and threatened to call their nationalist football hooligan friends in reprisal. The audience members resisted and the club security opened fire with rubber coated metal bullets. However, the club security was neutralized and sent to the hospital. The case against Alexey and several others was eventually dropped in January 2014 on the eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics as part of the amnesty bill, approved as a PR stunt on initiative of Vladimir Putin.
Address:
Sutuga Alexey Vladimirovich 1986 g.r
Ispravitelnaya Koloniya № 2
Pervy Promyshlenniy massiv
kvartal 47
d. 6 g. Angarsk 665809
Irkutskaya oblast
RUSSIA
Please note: Moscow ABC advises that letters in English are seldom accepted in Russian prisons, so please write only in Russian (try using a translation program), or just send photos and postcards.
http://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Alexey_Sutuga

Sweden

Note:
The fight against fascism in Sweden is very aggressive, and many of the anti-fascists that are in prison are alleged to be involved in extremely militant activities and organizations. There are several more anti-fascists in Sweden who are currently in prison but do not want their names or addresses publicized. If you would like to write these individuals, please contact Föreningen fånggruppen.


Joel Almgren
Joel Almgren was sentenced to five years and six months for defending a local community-organized anti-racist demonstration in Stockholm against a brutal Nazi attack on December 15, 2013. The peaceful protest—against fascist assaults on local anti-racists and the dissemination of Nazi propaganda in area schools—was attacked with knives, sticks, and glass bottles by the most militant Nazi group in Sweden. Anti-fascists at the scene defended the demonstration from the attack and many were injured themselves.

Joel has over 4080 USD in fines, and his supporters are asking for help raising the money.
To donate from a non-swedish bank account:
IBAN: SE0680000832799438650120
Bic: SWEDSESS
He can read Swedish and English.
Address:
Joel Almgren
KVA Tidaholm
Skogsholmvägen
522 85 Tidaholm
SWEDEN
http://www.fanggruppen.com/write-to-prisoners-1/
https://www.facebook.com/freejoel

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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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