There’s an enormous amount of stuff going on. In particular, it seems like there’s a surge of stuff connected to prisons, repression and the legal system right now, so here’s a quick round-up of stuff focused on that:
Here in the UK, there’s been a lot of stuff going on for the month of action against IPPs (indefinite sentences). That’ll come to a close with a noise demo outside HMP Peterborough, which was the site of a suicide by an IPP prisoner a year ago, on Sunday 23rd. Then in August there’s another protest for remaining IPP prisoners outside Preston probation office, on Thursday 3rd (fb event here).
Internationally, Tuesday 25th July will be the international day of solidarity with antifascist prisoners. This started as a day of solidarity with imprisoned Jock Palfreeman, and this year he has requested that people observe the day by supporting the work of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association, whether that’s by donating money via the paypal button on their page, just sharing their social media presence to boost it, or by contacting the Bulgarian government to demand that they meet and negotiate with the BPA. If you fancy doing the third one, then here’s a bit of research on their contact details: this page gives firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com as justice department contact addresses, and this looks like it’s a few years old, but makes it sound like it could also be worth trying firstname.lastname@example.org and Terziivanov@justice.government.bg.
In other international news, we’re also now in the international week of solidarity with defendants from the J20 protests at Trump’s inauguration. The Crimethinc introduction has loads of resources if you fancy doing something for it. For supporters outside the US, one of the main ways we can help is to demand the investigation into police conduct at the inauguration is begun immediately, because the sooner that gets started, the better the chances are that it might come up with something useful for the defence before the trials get started. Contact details are:
Call Rochelle Howard at the Office of Police Complaints at (202) 727-3838, or e-mail: email@example.com.
Call Mayor Bowser’s chief of staff at (202) 727-6263, e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet her at @MayorBowser.
The contact template is:
Hello, my name is _____ and I live at _____.
I’m calling because I was happy to see that the 2018 budget includes funding for an Office of Police Complaints investigation into the MPD’s conduct on Inauguration Day. However, with the first trials from the Inauguration mass-arrests taking place in November of this year, it is necessary for the investigation to begin even sooner. OPC (the Office of Police Complaints) plays an invaluable role in investigating the police and it would therefore be unjust for those trials to take place without the findings of their investigation, which could generate relevant information.
I agree with OPC’s February report when it states, “Of most concern are the potential violations of the First Amendment Assemblies Act related to: limiting arrests and citations to specific non-compliant demonstrators for whom there is probable cause; providing multiple audible warnings, a clear dispersal route, and sufficient time to disperse, when dispersal is deemed necessary; and refraining from using police lines to surround demonstrators unless there is widespread unlawful conduct.” A full investigation should cover all of these aspects in detail. It should also cover any and all documented decision-making that preceded those acts.
I encourage you to find a way for the Mayor’s office to allocate current funds to begin this investigation right away. I was unsettled when I read about MPD officers’ potentially illegal conduct in the OPC’s February report on the inauguration protests. People come from all over the country to make their voices heard in Washington, and police here should be held to the highest standards when it comes to the rights of protesters.
Thank you, and I hope you will begin the investigation promptly and before trial begins in November.
Other than that, other stuff going off in the US has included the release of anarchist prisoner Josh “Zero” Cartrette, who spent a long time in solitary for his prison strike organising efforts. He managed to get his original conviction overturned, and so is now getting out, but doesn’t have any money and could really use support from the movement as he re-adjusts to the outside world. There’s a fundraiser here, but if I recall correctly it’s one of those weird ones that doesn’t let people outside the US contribute, so your best bet might be to just send a donation via paypal to email@example.com and include a note saying it’s for Zero’s release fund. Or buy some shit from Portland ABC’s etsy store, if you fancy it.
In the ongoing fallout from last year’s prison strike, 60 more people who were held in solitary confinement since last September for participating in the Kinross uprising in Michigan have now been moved back to the slightly-less-oppressive confines of normal prison life. People involved in organising for that strike have now put a new pair of zines out reflecting on the experience, which looks like essential reading if you have any interest in this subject, and they’ll be doing a tour across the US talking about it.
There’s also an urgent call to support two aging radical prisoners who are having healthcare trouble – Robert Seth Hayes, a participant in 60s/70s black liberation movements who’s been inside since then, is not being given adequate equipment to deal with his diabetes, and Xinachtli, a revolutionary organiser who’s been held in solitary confinement for years after being convicted of disarming a copper who was pointing a gun at him, is suffering from Hepatitis C and not receiving any treatment for it. Details of how you can put pressure on the prison system to support these two comrades here.
Over in St Louis, things have been kicking off at a jail known as “the workhouse” after a video circulated of prisoners screaming for help during a heatwave. Round two is expected to happen again tonight.