Care not cages

Community Action on Prison Expansion has called for a day of online action to happen on Monday, 27th April. Below is the action callout.

We call this day of action on Monday 27th April to demand the release of incarcerated women and others held in women’s prisons. COVID-19 is spreading through prisons and detention centres, exacerbated by insufficient hygiene and social distancing measures. At least 15 incarcerated people have already been killed by COVID-19 in prisons across England and Wales, including one woman: the true number is likely to be much higher than official statistics. Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre has known cases of COVID-19, but the people detained there are not able to socially distance.

Prison abolition is, and always has been, a feminist struggle.

People are being locked in for 23.5 hours a day. This constitutes solitary confinement, as defined by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. This inhumane treatment is having a grave impact on those with pre-existing mental health problems. The situation is particularly serious in the women’s estate. According to the NGO Women in Prison, the women’s estate constitutes 5% of incarcerated people and 18% of recorded self-harm incidents in the year ending September 2019.

Many of those held in women’s prisons are survivors of violence: according to Women in Prison, 7 in 10 have been a victim of domestic violence and over fifty per cent were abused as children. Many experience further abuse while incarcerated, including trans women held in unsafe conditions at men’s prisons. Incarcerated women, trans, non-binary and intersex people are being punished by a system built on the back of their exploitation: a system which disproportionately punishes poor and working-class, black, brown, trans, disabled and migrant women.

To safely stop the spread of COVID-19, we must release all imprisoned people so that they can socially distance. Plans for the early release of some incarcerated people are insufficient to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the prison estate, and even this promise has already been broken. As of 7th April, only 6 pregnant people had been released: even less than the meagre promise made by the government to release 30 pregnant people. This is unacceptable, according to the prison services’ own measures. Supposed plans for the release of ‘low risk’ prisoners will be processed through assessments that systematically advantage white people over black and brown people and adhere to racist narratives that assume risk is a static fact within a person. Being selective in who receives this extra punishment of being infected by COVID-19 is nothing short of inhumane, and will be ineffective in fighting the spread of the virus inside and outside the prison and detention systems.

During this public health crisis, we need more than ever to provide humane solutions over criminalisation. We cannot continue to condemn people to death by holding them in prisons and detention centres. Instead, we must build the communities that are needed to support ourselves and one another. Echoing the feminist collective, Survived and Punished- we need: “funding for housing and non-coercive healing resources e.g. physical health services, trauma-informed counselling, substance use support, so all people have immediate and stable housing options and access to holistic, restorative care upon release.”

Now is the time for strong communities, not cages.

Get involved in the day of action!

For more info:

Website: cape-campaign.org

Twitter: @capexpansion

Facebook: Community Action on Prison Expansion 

Instagram: no_more_prisons

#release2savelives

support base and roses

BASE and Roses free food distribution collective has been working hard over the last few weeks, delivering free meals and food boxes across Bristol. Check out the facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/BASEandRoses/

The mutual aid solidarity project needs funds to buy food and fuel for getting people the food they need. Please donate to the crowdfunder if you can and share it as widely as possible.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/baseandroses

talking back to power

There’s some really good articles being written about the state we’re in and what we can do about it. Here’s a few solid reads to keep us questioning authority and sharpening our critical knives!

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/stop-blaming-ordinary-people-for-the-uks-pandemic-failures/



BASE and roses food solidarity project

BASE and Roses is a newly formed collective organising free food parcel and cooked meal deliveries in East Bristol.
We do not means test and deliver food to anyone who requests it.
We do not ask for anything in return.
We believe in mutual aid and food security for all.
We work on principles of solidarity, not charity.
We will join our efforts and co-operate with other groups doing similar work in East Bristol.

If you or anyone you know needs a food delivery, get in touch.

We deliver cooked meals on Wednesdays and food boxes on Saturdays.

If you would like to help out with this food solidarity project, get in touch.

Phone 07731845211
Email baseandroses@riseup.net

We are looking for sources of regular donations of food from businesses in Bristol.
We also need drivers and people to help with packing food parcels.

Let us know if you can help.

If you can support the project with a donation, here’s our crowdfunder:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/base-cafe

No “return to normal”

Here’s a couple of articles written by local comrades, one on the BS5 mutual aid group and the importance of these networks and another looking at the state’s lockdown laws and emergency powers. Self organisation vs state repression. Let’s see which lasts longer…

https://www.thecanary.co/opinion/2020/03/28/an-inside-look-at-one-of-bristols-new-coronavirus-mutual-aid-groups/

https://alternativebristol.com/the-extraordinary-legal-situation-of-the-coronavirus-lock-down-the-whole-country-is-in-effect-under-house-arrest/

Mutual aid networks

Faced with the the coronavirus pandemic and a government characterised by a callous and sociopathic disregard for anyone but their friends in high places, the rapid growth and spread of mutual aid networks around the world has been nothing short of inspirational and the source of much hope. Self organised and community led, these networks have shown how willing and ready people are to break the individualist, isolated mindset fostered by capitalism and the state, to help each other out as equals without profit or reward but with plenty of human spirit and solidarity.

https://www.weareplanc.org/blog/pandemic-demands-and-mutual-aid/?fbclid=IwAR2U2fAisgQbgP0JSIHywCWU5NuGgI4M4lUSWRzfRwqBS0HAwPuAO_8zgoY

It’s worth reminding ourselves that the term mutual aid is one originally put forward in the 19th century by one of the original anarchist “old beards”, Peter Kropotkin, and we have been putting these principles into practice ever since, both in our daily lives and in times like these. It’s been shown so clearly time and time again and comes as no surprise that in times of crisis and disaster, it is always the people who come to each other’s aid first while governments at best drag their feet and usually leave us all for dead.

They have been totally shown up by our capacity for organising for ourselves, left looking redundant and quite simply, rubbish. So now we see councillors, wannabe politicians and others used to being in charge scrambling to do their best to delay, divert, co-opt and control the incredible efforts of ordinary people, desperate to be in charge of it all again. We see them predictably and arrogantly seeking to manouevre themselves into leading roles and leading genuine grassroots activity down the tired old institutional paths that have so consistently failed us. Let’s make sure we keep our mutual aid networks horizontally organised on principles of free exchange and solidarity without the need for leaders. It’s understandable why they see this as such a threat to their existing order. Who knows where it could all lead to…

Get involved if you can and get support if you need:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1032597030460220/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BS5MutualAid/

Welcome to the police state

Here’s links to reports and monitoring of how the police are predictably using their new powers with aggressive enthusiasm. No surprise that they have been targetting the most vulnerable and marginalised first. In times like these it’s crucial to follow and support these counter information blogs and news sites. There’s no need for conspiracy theories. It is very obvious, and there are so many historical precedents of how the state and capitalism exploit crises for their own benefit and to extend and strengthen their power and control. Find and make your own critical analysis and sources of information outside of the government and corporate media spin currently cheerleading for the clampdown.

https://policing-the-corona-state.blog

https://www.thecanary.co/discovery/analysis-discovery/2020/03/27/police-and-security-firm-evict-people-onto-the-streets-in-the-midst-of-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Locked down, but not knocked down!

Make no mistake, the lockdown is a massive power grab by an authoritarian government straight out of any number of dystopian future fictions. Except it’s happening now, it’s for real and they will not give up their new powers easily. The Corona virus Bill 2020 is a huge attack on our ability to gather, organise and resist the escalating totalitarian state we now face. The time to join the resistance is now.

Yes, we will self isolate for now to stop the spread of the virus, but we won’t be divided in our contempt for a government and corporations that from the outset made things so much worse and continue to make us pay for their characteristic greed and callous inaction. As usual, the root of the problem is capital and state and it’s not just the coronavirus that we need to defeat…

We share here some links to articles and statements put out by groups doing solid counter information, anti repression and anti police state work. Read, react, resist!

https://bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/2020/03/emergency-coronavirus-bill-most-draconian-powers-in-peace-time-britain/

https://netpol.org/2020/03/19/netpol-calls-for-restrictions-to-police-powers-and-a-strict-time-limit-on-draconian-coronavirus-bill/

https://freedomnews.org.uk/i-never-want-to-see-the-word-covidiot-again/

Base for Anarchy & Solidarity in Easton