London: Monthly letter writing night

The monthly letter writing night at Freedom Bookshop has moved to Mondays from September 5th onwards. Come along if you would like to write together, chat about dismantling the prison industrial complex or about what prisoner solidarity means, and hang out cos sometimes it’s nice to do things together.

When? the first Monday of every month, 6-8pm

Where? Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

internet postercos an elephant never forgets their imprisoned comrades

FTP!

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France: Free Kara Wild!

Just created this simple poster to highlight Kara’s case. All of the information for this was taken from the Free Kara Wild website: https://freekarawild.org/

Here’s it in .pdf format too for printing: Free kara wild poster

Write to Kara, send her books, donate moneys if you can and let her know she is not forgotten!

Until all are free

 

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UK: No More Prisons conference Manchester, March 4-5

Re-posting from here: http://www.cape-campaign.org/no-more-prisons-conference-manchester-march-4-5/

Great to see that the first No More Prisons conference is being organised in Manchester in March 2017! See below for more information.

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We hope to meet each other, coördinate our struggles, share our skills, and educate one another on our campaigns..

Our anti-prison conference is designed to grow our movement nationally, in order to try and stop the five new mega-prisons in their tracks! Register on-line; we can offer transportation, funding and housing for people coming for the weekend.

As you may know, the government is in the process of building five new mega-prisons in the UK, while at the same time increasing the rates of arrest, conviction and the length of prison sentences. This is intimately connected to austerity: as services are cut, the police and prisons move in to solve problems caused by mental health, poverty and homelessness. At the same time, anti-immigration policy means more and more refugees and undocumented workers languish behind bars in detention centers.

But we can fight back against this trend! The wave of prison uprisings currently rolling across the system shows that prisoners are fed up and getting organized. It is a crucial moment for us to act. And across the country, anti-prison expansion campaigns are growing, alongside campaigns against unjust sentencing, police violence and brutality, racial oppression, and other issues intimately connected to the prison system.

Many of these struggles remain locally focused. We need a movement that can also address the national picture, that can coordinate large enough mobilizations and campaigns to truly stop these new prisons in their tracks. With that in mind, we want to gather the people working on these various campaigns to coordinate, learn, and build a network capable of fighting against the new prisons, unjust sentences, police violence, and for immigrant justice as a united force.

Please join us for a weekend in sunny Manchester to discuss all these issues. A program will be sent out soon. Please register if you’re interested in attending, and see you there!

 

 

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UK: Take Action to Stop the New Mega Prison in Wellingborough

Re-posting article from Community Action on Prison Expansion, original article can be found here: http://www.cape-campaign.org/take-action-to-stop-the-new-mega-prison-in-wellingborough/

And if you’re on facefook, you can follow the ‘Stop Wellingborough Prison’ page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/StopWellingboroughPrison/

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Take Action to Stop the New Mega Prison in Wellingborough

The situation: Wellingborough is set for a new Mega Prison which could have serious repercussions for local people, as well as those harmed by the prison system.

On this page you will find information about how to object to the planning application for Wellingborough Prison.

How to submit a planning objection

  1. Visit: http://pawebsrv.wellingborough.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OI7VLERBJ7D00
  2. You will find the application summary. Click “Make a comment.
  3. Fill in your details and submit your comment. You have a maximum of 1000 characters.

How to Find Background Information about the Prison

You can find all the planning documentation for HMP Wellingborough here: https://www.wellingborough.gov.uk/viewplanningapplications

Use the search function and enter the reference.

The Planning Application Reference is: WP/16/00786/OUT

You can also send questions to the Planning Department:

Email: planning@wellingborough.gov.uk
Telephone: 01933 231902

Potential Points to Make

Everyone will have different reasons for why they are concerned about having a new prison in their local area. For people that do not live locally, they may feel concerned about the harm the prison system causes and not want any more to be built anywhere.

This page aims to summarise some of the key points about the prison.

Click here to read about the ethical arguments against building a new prison.

Issues concerning the disregard for the Planning Process

  • The Public Exhibition held on the 24th and 25th November at the Hind Hotel was not sufficiently advertised and was a tokenistic endeavor. There has been no adequate community consultation for a project of this scale. Only 53 people attended within a local population of approximately 49,087. The prison will also have a significant impact on the region and should involve adequate consultation with communities across the region. The planning application was validated on Fri 23 Dec 2016, over the Christmas period when people are less able to respond and object.
  • In letters sent to local residents, the prison is categorized as A-C, however, in the planning documentation it states the prison will be category C. What commitment is there from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) about the prisons purpose when there is such clear inconsistency? How can residents be assured of its use and scale?
  • There has been no commentary on why the prison is not being re-opened in its current state, and why it is necessary to knock down and replace an existing building.
  • No alternative uses for the site have been explored by the Local Authority, nor has the community been consulted on alternative uses.
  • With the development of the prison being necessarily dependent on access to Local Authority Land for its construction and operation, it is a matter of public interest to have an adequate consultation about the use of the site.
  • It is impossible for the local Planning Authority to approve this planning application, even at outline stage, when the number of buildings, their use and layout of the prison are not fixed.
  • Nearly tripling HMP Wellingborough’s capacity to 1617 prisoners is generative of a huge uptake of local resources and impact on local services. This has not been adequately assessed in any of the planning application documentation.
  • There is inadequate information about the workshops within the prison and their relationship to local companies and the local labour force. The size, scale and purpose of the workshops have not been disclosed and are essential to the decision making on the prison.
  • The Landscape and Visual Impacts Assessment is inadequate while the placement of buildings has yet to be finalised.

Traffic and Environmental Impact

  • The local community have already been subjected to large developments, such as the Crematorium, which has significantly increased the amount of traffic. A new large prison will push highway infrastructure to capacity and endanger lives with its inadequate junction and subsequent roundabout design.
  • The public transport interventions (a new bus stop) are completely inadequate for the volume of visitors expected to the prison.
  • A project of this scale demands a full and comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment. It is not sufficient that the local planning authority deemed it unnecessary more than three years ago, when the project is significantly larger and will have a higher environmental impact.
  • Letters to residents stating the prison may include A-C category prisoners, means that the fence may need to be externally illuminated and this will impact local residents in close proximity to the prison. The prison will generate significant light pollution that is not adequately addressed in the planning documentation.
  • The demolition of the existing buildings and construction work will have a significant noise impact on local residents.
  • The development will lead to a loss of existing wildlife habitat including bats and barn owls. The planning application states that the development will lead to the loss of all existing habitats on the site. This contradicts the aims of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 in ‘encouraging and promoting environmental protection’.
  • No reptile surveys have been undertaken.
  • There is a risk during construction of pollution entering off-site ponds and construction dust impacting wildlife habitats.
  • There is no adequate commentary on the how the existing foul drainage system will handle triple the load of input. Or how the the current system serving the Millers Park Estate will be upgraded and separated from the prison system.

Impact on Local Services

  • The planning documentation does not adequately assess the impact of the prison on the local ambulance service. HMP Oakwood, which is a similar size to the proposed new prison had more than 358 calls to the ambulance service in 2014 alone. (1)
  • The planning documentation does not adequately assess the impact of the prison on the local police force. Data produced by North Wales Police estimates that “Based on the available data, incident and crime prediction work has been undertaken and current estimates put the police staffing costs at £147,000 per annum with £52,500 capital costs in year one and £21,000 per annum associated revenue costs thereafter.”(2)
  • The socio-economic impact assessment is completely inadequate. It does not adequately assess or analyse the impact of the prison on local services. Data must be provided on the new prison’s impact on mental health services, the NHS, local housing, social care and other welfare services.

Jobs & Economics

  • The planning documentation states there will be “workshop buildings where prisoners will carry out a variety of activities”. More information is required about these activities and their impact on local people, especially if they involve the use of prison labour.
  • There is no detail in the application on how prison labour will impact on the availability of jobs to local people in Wellingborough and how jobs undertaken by prisons may take jobs away from people in the region. This creates a net-loss of jobs and contradicts ‘Policy 22: Delivering Economic Prosperity’ of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031.
  • Prisons do not feature once in the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 – this is a project imposed by the Ministry of Justice that is not in the best interests of people in Wellingborough.

North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031

The prison contradicts a number of the aims of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy:

  • A prison will exacerbate health inequalities, decrease life expectancy, perpetuate social exclusion and divert spending from access to healthy lifestyle options to improve health and wellbeing.
  • A prison will be a high-impact project demanding large amounts of resources and materials, will strain on existing infrastructure, destroy habitat and harm local areas of important habitat, such as the Nene Valley. It will greatly increase car use and carbon emissions and impact on public transport usage locally.
  • Prisons are ineffective ways of reducing and preventing crime. Prisons divert spending from welfare provision and social support that addresses the root causes of crime. Prisons perpetuate anti-social behaviour and violence. The prison will enable local courts to sentence more people to custodial sentences and prisons do not show to reduce cycles of re-offending. The prison will decrease access to services and facilities which will be overwhelmed with demand following an increase of 1600 people into the local criminal justice system.

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25809660

2. http://www.cape-campaign.org/wrexham-prison-will-cost-north-wales-police-extra-147000-a-year/

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USA: Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War

NYC ABC has released it’s latest version of their illustrated guide to political prisoners and prisoners of war… It can be found here:

https://nycabc.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/nycabc_polprisonerlisting_12-0january2017.pdf

Until All Are Free!

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London: Card signing and discussion for Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity

Some peeps are putting on an evening of card signing and discussion for the Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity, the day after the demo that Bent Bars are putting on and the actual day itself… When: Monday 23rd January 2017, 7pm – 9pm

Where: Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

Card signing and discussion evening for the Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity: https://transprisoners.net/

There will be cards to sign to send to trans and gender non-conforming folk currently incarcerated. And a discussion on ‘what does solidarity for trans prisoners look like?’

If you want to, go to https://transprisoners.net/ and download their ‘Jan 22nd Zine’ and ‘Introduction to Prison Abolition Zine’ to read beforehand. There will be other reading material available on the day / come with your own suggested or printed material to share.

This event is open to people of all genders. Transphobia and misogyny can stay away though.

Note: the day before is the day of action and solidarity and another group, Bent Bars, are putting on a candle lit vigil outside HMP Pentonville – see here for info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1249575065136988/

 

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London: Bent Bars Prison Vigil for International Day of Solidarity with Trans Prisoners

Info copied from the facefook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1249575065136988/

London Vigil for International Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity

Bent Bars Collective will be holding a candle light vigil to honour all trans and gender nonconforming people who have died in prison and all those who are currently incarcerated in prisons, secure hospitals and immigration detention.

6-7pm Sunday 22 January 2017

Gather outside Pentonville Prison, Caledonian Road, London (map)

If you would like to speak or read the name of a loved one, please get in touch (bent.bars.project [at] gmail.com).

Check out the website below for a list of actions and events worldwide. You can also download a ‘zine of writing by, for, and about trans prisoners. https://transprisoners.net/

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London: Picket of Turkish Embassy Friday

London ABC supports the call by the Anarchist Federation for a picket outside the Turkish Embassy this Friday in solidarity with Hüseyin Civan…

When? 12-2pm, Friday 13th January 2017

Where? Turkish Embassy, 43 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8NT:

Organised by London Anarchist Federation.

Solidarity with Hüseyin Civan

The wave of repression unleashed by the Erdogan regime in Turkey has resulted in thousands losing their jobs and thousands imprisoned. Recently Hüseyin Civan, managing editor of Meydan, a paper that represented the views of the DAF (Devrimci Anarsist Faaliyet / Anarchist Revolutionary Action), received a prison sentence of one year and three months.

This was the result of the action of the chief public prosecutor who pursued Meydan over articles published in issue 30, December 2015. The charge against our comrade was “making propaganda for the methods of a terrorist organization constituting coercion, violence or threats through legitimizing or praising or encouraging the use of these methods”.

Meydan was closed down after Erdogan began a campaign of repression after the recent failed coup. The imprisonment of Civan is another heavy blow against the anarchist movement operating within Turkey.

Advocating a system based on mutual aid and equality, defending workers’ struggles, arguing for gender equality and the freedom of the individual , against nationalism and fascism are seen as terrorist crimes by the Erdogan regime.

Representing Meydan and Civan, lawyer Davut Erkan stated that the decision was illegal and would be appealed, if necessary, all the way to the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

The Anarchist Federation sends a message of solidarity to Hüseyin Civan, Meydan and the DAF.

Follow Meydan at :
http://meydangazetesi.org
@MeydanGazetesi

Messages of solidarity can be sent to:
https://www.facebook.com/meydangazetesi/

See also: https://www.reddit.com/…/prison_sentence_to_managing_edito…/

and: https://freedomnews.org.uk/editor-of-turkish-anarchist-paper-jailed-for-terror-propaganda/

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Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity

The second Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity is coming up on January 22nd.

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From the transprisoners.net website;

“Jan 22, 2017 marks the second annual international Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity. If you are on the front lines, doing this work every day, then Jan 22 is a day to celebrate and honor your actions. For everyone else, this is a day to collaborate, be an accomplice not an ally, to prioritize, act, protest, resist, raise awareness, and reach out to trans prisoners, forging new relationships and dismantling the isolation of prison. We encourage you to host a letter writing night reaching out to trans prisoners, hold vigils for those in our communities who have been taken by State violence, to plan an event, organize speakers, screen films, invite presentations, and give workshops to spread the word on the experience of trans prisoners, share knowledge, and build strategies of resistance. Have dance parties and raise funds for people and groups already doing amazing work. Take action. Let’s join together and show our conviction in supporting each other and ending prisons once and for all.

Let us know your events, local or regional campaigns, specific trans prisoners or organizations you’d like highlighted and we will post here.”

Go on over to https://transprisoners.net/ to let them know what you’re organising, to download the Jan 22nd Zine and read an introduction to prison abolition zine…

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UK: Kevan Thakrar reviews “Marshall Law”

Kevan was wrongly convicted of murder and attempted murder in 2008 using multiple hearsay evidence under ‘joint enterprise’, the legal rule which means that any member of a group can be convicted of a crime, regardless of whether they played any role in it. Kevan wasn’t present when the murder took place, but he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 35 years in jail. He was aged just 20. Below he reviews the book “Marshall Law: The Life and Times of a Baltimore Black Panther” by Marshall “Eddie” Conway and Dominique Stevenson. It’s a great read and highly recommended by Kev and by London ABC :)

I often find myself discussing books, with people regularly asking me for recommendations, due to the amount of time I dedicate to reading. Having recently finished Marshall Law: the life and times of a Baltimore Black Panther by Marshall ‘Eddie’ Conway and Dominique Stevenson, I thought I would let everyone know that this is a book you really should not miss. In 1970 Eddie Conway was framed for the murder of a Baltimore City police officer, due to his political activities, as part of the attempts to annihilate all movements for equality under the infamous US government Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). This is his autobiography after 40 years’ wrongfully imprisonment and a lifetime of oppression due to his skin colour and economic standing.

The story alone is fascinating; the language and writing style keeping you totally gripped throughout, and the message Eddie delivers is one we all need to hear. A lot can be learned from this book, especially considering the drive to emulate the US justice model in Britain, and very few are better placed to educate than a man who has devoted himself to being on the right side of humanity, even when his enemies put him on the wrong side of the law.

Thank you to the friend who enlightened me about this title and I look forward to many more similar recommendations in the future. Anyone who has further reading suggestions for me or would like to discuss Marshall Law, or any other literature, please contact me either through my website www.justiceforkevan.com or directly at Kevan Thakrar A4907AE, Close Supervision Centre, HMP Wakefield, 5 Love Lane, Wakefield WF2 9AG.

Get reading!

Kevan Thakrar

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 253 October/November 2016

 

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From Berlin to Prague: A-radio on Anti-Fenix

Received from Anarchist Radio Berlin on 5th December 2016…

Dear all,

In the end of November of 2016 we had the opportunity of recording a
presentation in Berlin by the Anarchist Black Cross in Czech Republic on
the topic of Operation Fenix. The talk comprised the following topics: a
short review of what had happened, the use of the term „terrorism“, the
topic of solidarity in Czech Republic and in general, a reflection on
mistakes and how to deal with repression and police infiltrators, and
finally the current development of the anarchist movement in that country.

You’ll find the audio (to listen online or download in different sizes)
here:
http://aradio.blogsport.de/2016/12/04/a-radio-in-english-anarchist-black-cross-czech-antifenix-presentation/

Length: 1:11 h

You can find other English and Spanish language audios here:
http://aradio.blogsport.de/englishcastellano/.

Among our last audios you can find:
* An audio version of Qiyas Ibrahimov’s speech in court, an imprisoned
anarchist from Azerbaijan:
http://aradio.blogsport.de/2016/11/01/a-radio-in-english-azerbaijan-state-repression-and-the-anarchists-speech-in-court/
* A presentation on the Prison Strike in the USA 2016:
http://aradio.blogsport.de/2016/10/24/a-radio-in-english-presentation-the-prison-strike-in-the-usa-2016/
* An interview about the “flower holiday” in Azerbaijan and the
imprisoned anarchists:
http://aradio.blogsport.de/2016/09/26/a-radio-in-english-azerbaijan-the-flower-holiday-of-the-dictator-and-the-imprisoned-anarchists/
* An interview on the repression against anarchists in Czech:
http://aradio.blogsport.de/2016/09/08/a-radio-in-english-antifenix-interview-on-the-repression-against-anarchists-in-czech/
* Reflections on the NoBorder Camp Thessaloniki 2016:
http://aradio.blogsport.de/2016/08/25/a-radio-in-english-reflections-on-the-noborder-camp-thessaloniki-2016/
* An interview about the ongoing defense of the Rog factory squat in
Ljubljana:
http://aradio.blogsport.de/2016/06/17/interview-on-the-defense-of-the-rog-factory-squat-in-ljubljana/

Enjoy! And please feel free to share!

A-Radio Berlin

ps.: We are now on Twitter! Please feel welcome to follow us at
@aradio_berlin!
ps2.: Please note: We are always looking for people willing to lend us a
hand with transcriptions and translations from Spanish or German into
English as well as people able to do voice recordings – in order to
amplify our international radio work. You can contact us at
aradio-berlin/at/riseup(dot)net!

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