We’ve got three prisoner solidarity events in the next ten days.
1) Anarchist Black Cross- Letter writing – Tuesday 13th December. This year has seen many comrades imprisoned due to their actions against fascism and the cuts amoungst many other things. Prison can be an isolating and spirit crushing, where contact with the outside world is minimal. The least we can do for our kidnapped brothers and sisters is offer them support and solidarity by writing to them. Come along to the Sumac at 7 for a letter writing session, where we’ll be serving hot soup and discussing other prisoner solidarity possibilities.
2) Insurrection - Friday 16th December Monthly hip hop night at the Sumac. This month we’re raising cash for prisoners by serving hot food and rhymes.
3) Prison? By Charlie Ryder - Film showing followed by q and a with director. On Sunday the 18th of December. In October 1993 Charlie Ryder took part in a violent protest to shut down the BNP headquarters in Welling South East London. Two months later he was featured on crime monthly a program which appealed for some of Britain’s most wanted criminals. Arrested the next morning he waited nearly 2 years before he was sent to prison for 16 months.
While in prison he received a letter of support from a British Holocaust survivor Leon Greenman who had also protested to shut down the BNP headquarters. Charlie kept this letter in a scrapbook with poetry and artwork he collected to record his time inside.
On his release from prison he developed the scrapbook into a one man play which was critically acclaimed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Aug 2007 and then performed in prisons universities and conferences. Charlie has now developed his story into a feature film using shadow puppetry, marionette puppets, rod puppets, masks, visual art, poetry and dance to shine a light on his time inside. Charlie hopes that by painting a picture of his experience it will educate people and challenge perceptions of prison and prisoners.
“Charlie puts his heart and soul on screen and clearly has a point to make. Prison is portrayed here as the antithesis to tabloid journalism’s assertion that it is the equivalent of a holiday camp. A television or a games console is not a worthy substitute for liberty. I certainly will not be choosing prison as my holiday destination of choice. “ Grant Holdsworth