Statement of Disassociation – The “End” of London ABC

In short, we believe that the assumption that a specialist ‘department of prison’ is required by an anarchist movement is fundementally mistaken. Anarchists come across prison in two ways: firstly, we might end up there, as a banal if frequent consequence of the course of struggle, and we also have a critique of the prison in its diciplinary function on the plebian classes, as well as its reproduction in many different techniques of control deployed by capital to subdue and extract from the living things entrapped in its entrails. But these elements of our encounter with this apparatus of power should not be specialised, represented, demarcated, separately from the rest.

We have considered and abandoned the idea that London/UK prison conditions are a ‘specific’ struggle by which the scope of rebellion can be widened or generalised. Why? Why in fact does it so often become narrowed and specified there? Our provisional answer is as follows. We do not take the prison system ‘by surprise’ in our reactions against its high walls and the horrors they contain. People go to prison, and have prison-techniques imposed on them, because, as a matter of fact, the state is at war with the exploited and especially the portion which are rebels and refuse to bow down under any circumstances. We are meeting the enemy then, only at the waste pipe of their machinery, where it wants us to go and expects us to be, and forget the whole blood-stained processing plant which leads up to this point, where most of the real opportunities for sabotaging the existence of this suffocating exit-chamber really are.

This is not the same thing then, as what antagonism against a nuclear-waste dump site, the gentrification of a neighborhood, or even the construction of a new prison can be. This is because the anarchist proposal in each of these situations is for the immediate seizure of life, by taking it into our own hands: the self-organisation of the struggle. Prefiguratively, in the activities of the ‘anti-prison/repression group’ the organisation of struggle is already out of our hands: it is purely responsive, to the locations, terms, situations IMPOSED BY CAPITAL. So the prison-centered anarchist contention ends up being in a negotiating position from the outset – reactive, and separate from the struggle that such an organisation is supposed to be ‘about’ – ignoring the wider context in which repressive episodes arise in the first place.

Let’s consider for a moment the fate of the Earth Liberation Front prisoners in the Pacific U.S, from a struggle which started off by identifying and moving decisively against capitalist projects destructive of the wilderness. This became, after the FBI operations and Anarchist Black Cross groups had a hold on it, a struggle only about the terrible repression itself; with only minimal, and defensive reference, to its ‘justification’. Any perusal of the tone and attitude of the overwhelming majority of material for and about these prisoners by an ‘official ABC’ group will confirm this. The clear exceptions, and something which we take inspiration from, is the June 11th initiative, which has attempted valiantly to put the reflex to ‘support’ back into solidarity-in-act. Perhaps this is because the initiative is not directed at ‘support groups’, but at everybody with a mind to think and a life to throw into the fray.

By pursuing the former path of specialisation we deprive ourselves of the most basic and important developments in the anarchist perspective of the 20th and 21st century. Namely and for instance:

-Its proposal of a methodology of small groups of affinity engaged together in a destructive experiment: to destroy a sector of the prison-society which can serve as an example and an inspiration to anyone in confrontation with any similar apparatus anywhere in the world. To practically demonstrate, and theoretically elucidate (which must amount to the same thing), the weakness, permeability and mortality of the apparatuses of social control.

-Its refusal of collaboration with any fixed political or armed structure.

-Its complete deafness to the lullaby of quantative growth.

-Its tendency towards conflict to a permanent end, enriched by the concerns of practical solidarity (for example, a struggle which starts off proposing to seize empty properties in a housing estate earmarked for demolition and replacement by yuppie condos, may transform into a proposal for attacking immigration raids, given the pracitical interconnection between these forms of power in their attempts to dicipline and exploit the same neighbourhood).

Anarchist methodology is beautiful precisely because it is agile, intelligent, subversive and experimental. To reduce it to the activities of discrete ‘departments’ which might concern ‘work’, or ‘the climate’ or ‘prison’ is, in our view, to raise a complaint about the very thing which is lively in anarchy, in our proud inheritance.

What does an ‘anti-prison’, or ‘anti-repression’ group, really have to do with the actually physically existing prisons, the power behind them, OR the technological diffusion of its form into reality – this concept that we term ‘prison society’? Which part of power is really struck by fixing and concentrating overlapping social tensions into a ‘single issue’ structure?

If we are anarchists (for which the clue should be in the name ‘ABC’), then we should be able to percieve that perhaps the best way to wound the prison system is to trouble the equilibrium of social peace and resignation which hangs like mist over society-at-large. Perhaps, the distinction between the world within and without the walls are not as cut-and-dry as we would imagine? Furthermore, maybe the best way to achieve resonance with the specific horrors of the prison archipeligo, on this island and beyond, is to achieve mutual recogition by rebellion itself?

Put simply, those trying to subvert the prison from within, by direct insurrection or by just maintaining non-collaboration, dignity and autonomy within those difficult conditions, are probably best met, engaged with, put into relations of affinity, by OUR direct insurrection, OUR non-collaboration, OUR sense of dignity and autonomy on the ‘outside’. In general we think it’s a serious practical and theoretical mistake that the ‘exploited other’ needs ‘supporters’, ‘listeners’, ‘campaigners’. What is desparately needed by our moment is to stop cheerleading – living and struggling vicariously through others – and instead to self-organise our own struggle, to be inspired to MULTIPLY the dimensions of threat to power, not centralise and formalise behind someone else.

More broadly, ‘repression’ is not a thing in itself. It is always ‘repression of -‘ something. Repression is trying to quell a specific opening through which generalised rebellion might emerge. Therefore to ‘fight repression’ is not to denounce its injustice (of course the state wants us locked up – why wouldn’t it?) but to find ways to continue, to be inspired by and actualise, whatever the repression is trying to erase before its time. But how far is this basic principle understood, particularly within the english-speaking world (and its prisoner solidarity or ‘ABC’ milieus)? It seems that (if there is any interest at all) people want to know everything about prisoners, about their identies, the names of the repressive operations, the conditions they are subjected to, the dates, times and statistics… But how much is thought, discussed, let alone put into practice, of the struggles which the state is in fact trying to repress behind this wall of names? Rather than an amorphous, ambient ‘solidarity’ basically based on ‘sympathy’, we think anarchist principle is only consistent with an undertaking of solidarity which is a continuation, exacerbation, a putting-into-practise of the struggle. Otherwise roles are again created: those who are ‘repressed’ and those who ‘support them’, those who are ‘exploited’ and those who ‘listen to them’. In fact, anarchist theory and methods aspire to demolish all these easily state-mediated roles and replace them with the complexity and intensity of rebellion.

We do not believe this basic truth implies the old cliche that all specific oppression is somehow overcome in a street-fight or riot. But we do think that the problems of relation (which by no means ‘go away’) can only be worked out between rebels whose ambition is the destruction of a life-evacuating prison-society. This is how we can seriously ‘challenge our subjective position’, and how we can challenge other peoples’ petty privilidge or stupidity i.e. by attacking what sustains these elements directly. The exploited and excluded, in prison and ‘outside’ are not stupid. People can smell when you are using them instead of acting yourself. We believe this problem is a significant obstacle to the spread, diffusion and intensificaiton of the struggle for freedom, and the source of many well-meaning friends’ and comrades’ general sense of pointlessness and resignation (usually only admitted after a meeting late at night, in private conversations, in bed or over a pint). Groups like London ABC can unfortunatley contribute to this, as it can percieve itself as performing a ‘role’ which divides people in this way, which obstructs the dangerous project of really working out who we are (which is the same question as discovering what we are capable of).

The point of the statement is this: we have come to think that WE DON’T NEED, trainings, departments, conferences, workshops. We don’t need fixed organisations to hide behind. We want to have organisational forms which allow us to gain real knowledge of ourselves and each other in the process of direct conflict with the structures and persons of exploitation and exclusion. We want to fight repression by making what they are trying to repress LIVE, to spread it, to intensify it BEYOND what the state was initially afraid of. We don’t want to delude ourselves that obsessing over the practico-legal technicalities is in any way a replacement for this indominatable spirit which is the REAL SUBSTANCE OF SOLIDARITY. Do we need an ABC group to organise ourselves to attack the prison system? No. Do we need an ABC group to act as a ‘specialist’ for the movement on prison? No, we don’t want specialisms of any type. Simply being ‘against repression’ is everyone’s responsibility who feels affinity to the thing that is repressed; if this is not the case, or if it always has to be ‘outsourced’ to an acroynym, then we are nothing. Do we need an ABC group to keep consciousness of imprisoned fighters and rebels in the movement? No: we can organise ourselves informally to continue this – and by deploying our energy and hands to the task of contributing to their struggle (which should be OURS or it is meaningless!), not by gesturing at an empty name. Do we need an ABC group to communicate and recognise those exploited by prison structures? Not if we want to meet people based on mutual struggle and rebellion, rather than ‘assistance’ to their struggle (which has the limiations we have described).

It’s clear that there is a wealth of instances across the anarchist galaxy where, to some extent, the same obstacles and shortfalls don’t apply. Perhaps a definitive problem in the English-speaking context is the prominence of ‘abolitionism’, an issue that is eloquently raised by ASBO in our 2020 interview with her, and adressed by others in the anarchist paper ‘Dysorganism’ (September 2021). In a context where anarchos were even found tagging along with Corbyn’s Labour Party not so long ago, it’s hardly surprising to find more or less enthusastic assimilation of anarchist thought and action into this dead end of alliance or common cause. If ever there was a time to re-group and reflect, encountering the spectacle of ‘transformative justice’, of activists and radicals playing games of Dungeons & Dragons with hypothetical rapes and murders, battling ‘harm in the communities’, should alert us that something profoundly maladjusted is going on. Can an ABC group supply what is missing here?

Bristol Defendent Solidarity seem to us to provide a very contemporary and important answer to this question. Their dilligent and energetic defense of the riot-prisoners, their court support of Toby Shone and so on, are precisely what some in London ABC always hoped to achieve. But nonetheless we percieve a difficulty which we hope will be overcome, but to which we fear rallying around assistance and specific prison-struggle is obstructing: that active consicousness and support of those repressed recently (particularly in the KTB context) in and around a mileu in Bristol does not seem to be spilling into enthusiasm for the adoption of anarchist methods in confrontation with the State. Fighting the repression of those who were fighting the future repression of themselves appears, to us, to be starting to ressemble something like a closed circle.

As we have said many times before in this statement by now, the state represses that which could constitute an insurrection, the generalisation of revolt. And there are certainly ample reasons for tumultous developments like these: the devouring of the earth at the hands of bourgeois parasites, the soaring ‘cost of living’ so-called ‘crisis’ – which is a straightforward disciplinary attempt to force us to piss our lives away working harder and longer in precarious gig-jobs just to keep the heating on… The proliferation of life-invading technologies of control which have numbed and poisoned the vitality of existence and offers to the boss-class an unbelievable new menu for social control and exploitation… So why do we find ourselves circling the drain of ‘fighting repression’, when just ‘FIGHTING’, with our eyes fixed on freedom and our hands on the neck of these techniques of control, contains the infinity of possible paths for breaking out of the ‘prison island’ that sickens us all?

Finally, we wanted to emphasise that much of what London ABC became known for is completely superfluous. You, in turn, DO NOT NEED another envelope-licking workshop. Writing to prisoners appears to us now to be a fetishism of form, the interesting question being WHAT we actually have to SAY to each other – a question which is unfortunately so rarely gone into, preoccupied as we too often are by an endless array of ‘deadlines’ in a quasi-activist obsession with ‘doing’ for the sake of filling time. We want to communicate when we actually have something to say, to people we have something to say to – and this is true in the streets as much as to those inside the walls. No workshop can teach us this: each individual has to discover it on their own terms. Similarly no one needs the NYE demos to be organised by a single group; people are very capable of doing it themselves, and in fact, as last year proved, do so very happily without the attatchment of the acronym. This is even true of prison demos generally, like the movement from Pentonville to the Google Campus last year, which, again, seems to have emanated from the will and complicity of the small group who came, rather than any kind of ‘official endorsement’ at all. Our only wish is that we can meet each other again on different terms, where the same self-responsiblity which means that rituals like December 31st will always continue, regardless of the status of ‘London ABC’, becomes applied to every dimension of struggle, and particuarly the non-ritualisable, audacious, and unexpected aspects.

London Anarchist Black Cross is no more from now on – until, that is, someone wants to revive it (we just hope that they will come across this statement and consider what they truly want from the endeavour, and what the form itself might presuppose). In the meantime this is what we humbly suggest:

-If you want to assist prisoners then Prisoner Solidarity Network is the place for you.

-If you want a social media account to follow then NFA-ABC (No Fixed Abode Anarchist Black Cross) have many to choose from.

-If you want to keep up to date, to show up to court, to poster, flyer and fundraise against repression happening in the UK then Bristol Defendent Solidarity keep up all these activities with commendable reliability and energy.

But if your heart really burns for freedom, and this, not just fellow feeling, is what draws you into conflict with the prison society, then we suggest the following:

In terms of counter-information, there are few projects on the face of the planet which have been so absolutely dedicated to bringing the words and actions of comrades around the world, in an active experiment with freedom, to our consciousness, as Act for Freedom Now! ( To us, this is the appropriate place, in our context, for the necessary understanding of repressive operations, court processes and so on, because in this form it is not divorced from actions of solidarity, from the full force of the international tension – and this, to us, is the natural place of this ‘information’.

From there according to your conscience and capacity. Carpe Diem!

P.S. this wordpress will remain for posterity but the email will not.

London Anarchist Black Cross, February 12th 2022.

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from Anti Carceral Solidarity (UK) – Islamophobic Violence at HMP Long Lartin

In the last few days, officers have increased their targeted racism of Muslim prisoners. This is a response to the situation in Afghanistan, where some officers were stationed in the army.

Muslims wearing Islamic clothing are being especially targeted.

The call to prayer has effectively been banned with officers citing noise pollution as a reason.

Muslims who speak up are being locked in the segregation unit.

Miran Thakrar has been denied his legal paperwork and continues to be held in the seg without explanation.

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Summer 2021 News and Links

Call & Poster for International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners 2021

Website for info and materials
Updated planetary prisoner list coming soon!

Bristol Anarchist Black Cross and Bristol Defendant Solidarity – July 30th 2021:

Ongoing protests around Maghaberry Prison, against discrimination towards John Paul Wootton

Solidarity fund for the imprisoned anarchist comrade Giannis Dimitrakis

New website for water defender Jessica Reznicek – against enhanced ‘terrorism’ sentence

Jessica Reznicek has been ordered to report to Waseca, MN Federal Correctional Institution on Aug 11th.

Fundraising page for London Anarchist Bookfair 2021

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Racist screws attacking prisoners with impunity in HMP Long Lartin

reposted from Prisoner Solidarity Network (attached to a call for phone support) :

Nathan Lewis, a young Black Muslim, was attacked by Senior Officer (SO) Mark Noah and other prison officers who followed Nathan from the shower to his cell in HMP long Lartin and punched him in the face. Officers then planned a cover up, with Officer Victoria Williams saying ‘we need to get our story straight’ within earshot of other prisoners. This is the latest in a pattern of racist attacks on young Muslims just by SO Mark Noah.

There have been at least 3 in the last 9 months: alongside Nathan Lewis, Hoppe and Daniel Neil have also been abused by SO Mark Noah. On all occasions, his report states that his violent actions were pre-emptive as he feared he would be attacked. All these attacks happen within prisoner’s cells. One of the prisoners who was attacked was taken to adjudication and found guilty of attacking an officer. The paperwork stated that the prisoner admitted the assault and said sorry to the officer. This is a lie.

Two prisoners — Miran Thakrar and Aja — handed in complaint forms regarding the attack. They have been met with hostility and aggression. SO Noah has been present on the wing on at least 2 occasions seemingly trying to intimidate the prisoners who have made the complaint about him. He appears and stares at Miran and Aja, who now fear they will be SO Noah’s next victims. The prison replied to Miran’s complaint denying that the attack ever happened.

Since submitting complaints forms, Miran and Aja have been given IEP warnings and ‘nickings’ (allegations of breaking prison rules which often lead to adjudication in the prison). One of these nickings was because Miran was asking the wing to take the knee after Nathan Lewis was attacked, as a show of solidarity for Black Lives Matter. The prison changed the wording of this to say he asked all Muslims to take the knee.

Miran and Aja fear for their safety and wellbeing. They fear they will be the next victims of Mark Noah and wish to be transferred out of HMP Long Lartin

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London – Two Manifestations – In the Context of June 11 International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners

We decided to mark June 11 by calling our little ‘manif sauvage’, with two targets: HMP Pentonville and the forthcoming Google London HQ. The point of this is twofold. Firstly, to start again a trajectory which has ebbed during lockdown – that of constant antagonism at the houses of confinement. In a sense, this seems to us to be an affirmation of the sense of the day of June 11th: to clarify that any repressive installations are a part of the global self-sustaining matrix of social control and exploitation. As such, we have seen no contradiction whatsoever in offering a brief disruption to the grotesque regime of control in an English prison, and agitating, speaking in the language and reality of, the international anarchist tension.

But, unsatisfied with simply repeating a well-trod ritual, we also decided afterwards, to move to the Google ‘Campus’, still under construction only a short while away, overlooking the central metropolitan artery of Kings Cross station. There are material reasons for this: Lendlease the construction company is a main contractor for the UK prison industry, responsible for building the new megaprison in South Wales (a recent spontaneous insurrection in that territory should tell us something as to why authority has granted these contracts at great expense). On top of being responsible for a hideous ‘luxury housing development’ on the site of the former Heygate housing estate, they are now constructing Google’s London HQ: this repulsive worm, which will be as long as the ‘Shard’ skyscraper is tall, when completed. This is a monument to the power of social planners and technology multinationals to run the new crisis-ridden economy and categorise, collect and control all the minutia of our lives.

But there are also other reasons. The states of the world have thrown anarchist fighters into the dungeons of their ‘democracies’, in the hope that the possibility these comrades have conferred on the world, of unmediated struggle against the existent, will be forgotten. Therefore, it made sense for us that we would make a connection to the totality of prison society, which their hostage-taking is an attempt to defend, rather than only its most obvious symptoms. We wanted to offer a challenge to ourselves, immersed as we are in a technologically enhanced passivity. The challenge is: how to break out of insipid activism, routine, compartmentalised struggle – and begin to advance something uncompromising, incendiary, in a word; anarchist.

So here we decided to step into the unknown, to attempt to actualise something different within the forms we have around us. If we are still trapped by the outlines of our routines at least we are beginning to push against them.

Those who came out did so from very different situations – but why have they come? Finally (at last!) not to ‘protest’, not to ‘meet a deadline’, but to denounce the miserable conditions of our existence, to identify the enemies responsible and to make a vow to the night, together, to engage with our reduced and pacified context, to act and make our ideas live.

Whatever else, this night was ours. Stepping decisively away from being a ‘bloc’ on someone else’s demo, from single ‘issues’ and compromises, from ‘optics’ and publicity, recruitment and reform, we strode towards our ideas, our comrades, our power. Both in the gentrified avenues of the securitised Smart City and, hopefully, inside the 24hr lockdown of the disgusting prison regime, our hope is that the wild chants, the smoke signals and incendiary words, the pounding of pyrotechnics and hearts, may have opened a rift into which we are determined to advance further.

Nothing is over, everything continues!
Against oblivion! Against their prison society!
Long live anarchy!

london committee for the propagation of a long hot summer x

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June 11 – International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners

International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason & All Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners

Callout (English)

Respond to the call! Take to the streets with these wild ones in London! Write to a prisoner! (E.g. John Paul Wootton – see below).

June 11th
John Paul Wootton
Davis E3
Maghaberry Prison
BT28 2PT
Northern Ireland/UK
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(EDIT! Postponed due to technical difficulties) // Virtual Benefit Gig for Kill the Bill Support Fund // NEW DATE: Saturday 24th April 9pm

We repost the above flyer-image for further distribution!

Here is an invitation to experiment together with a different form. To ‘meet’ in spite of the obvious obstacles, to manifest our enthusiasm for this precious moment of rupture with the sterile existent. Let’s self-organise to materially support those taken hostage in this unfolding revolt. See you there! from 9pm

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Defend Rhodri! Retaliation at Berwyn

Reposted from The Prisoner Solidarity Network

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Friday, February 12, 2021. International day of solidarity with the hunger strike of Dimitri Koufontinas.

We repost the following call for international solidarity with Greek rebel prisoner Dimitri Koufontinas who is on hunger strike. Full details below.

Friday, February 12, 2021. International day of solidarity with the hunger strike of Dimitri 

At the end of last December the Greek government approved a reform of the national penitentiary system that, in addition to other measures that worsen prison conditions, establishes that those convicted of terrorism cannot access “rural prisons”, more “open” institutions to which long-term prisoners have access. The approval of this law has led to the immediate transfer of political prisoner Dimitri Koufontinas from the rural prison of Kassevitia.

Dimitri is a comrade convicted for participating in the revolutionary organization 17 November, in prison since 2002. The new set of laws stipulates that inmates in rural prisons are reclassified and then transferred to the last prison they were in. In Dimitri’s case it should have been the Athenian prison of Koridallos. However, the prison administration decided to transfer him, manipulating the transfer papers, to
Domokos prison. Although there are no differentiated circuits in Greece, in recent years, the prison administration has turned Domokos into a “hard” prison.

Such a punitive transfer is aimed at striking a comrade who has always struggled: as a free man, in courtrooms, in prison. Since his capture he has participated in numerous protests and has been on four hunger strikes. This repressive manoeuvre is not only aimed at annihilating Dimitri Koufontinas but also forms part of the Greek’s state repressive project: crushing the most radical and combative parts of society to avoid the hypothesis of future and general conflicts.

Faced with the transfer, Dimitri Koufontinas decided to strive once again, using his body as a weapon and last resort. Since 8 January he has begun a hunger strike which will continue indefinitely until he is transferred to Koridallos prison. As the strike continues, the comrade is in a critical and precarious condition in Lamia hospital: according to the doctors he could collapse at any moment. During the strike there were many initiatives and solidarity actions throughout Greece and beyond:
protests, demos, wall writings, banners, attacks against multiple objectives (politicians, banks, post offices, etc.). But time is running out and now we think extra efforts are needed.

Dimitri’s struggle is also the struggle of each of us.
The creation and expansion of international ties is as crucial as ever so we are calling for an INTERNATIONAL day of solidarity and action on FRIDAY 12 FEBRUARY to support Dimitri Koufontinas.
Athens, 7 February 2021
Solidarity Assembly with Dimitri Koufontinas

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Fragment from the ‘Napier Barracks’ Concentration Camp

The following letter, currently gaining widespread circulation, comes from one of those confined in yet another prison island black site designated for infinite detention of migrants. 
The letter speaks for itself, the unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, militarised security, numerous self-harm and suicide incidents, the unimpeded surge of covid-19 cases, all paired with the snarling home office injunctions to ‘follow the rules’ whilst, of course, systematically removing any shred of safety or dignity. 
Also attached is a little dossier compiled by Corporate Watch on the mafia subcontracting system which administers this dark network of dungeons and slums the Home Office disappears people in. 
The vultures of Clearsprings, G4S, Serco etc, every part of the border, personnel and infrastructure, the sociopath auctioneers of the tory cabinet, their reprehensible lackeys in the press, the wannabe fascist grifters making YouTube videos in advocacy of the ‘barracks solution’: blood stains the gears of their death-machine. Every single profiteer and collaborator all the way up and down the chain is an enemy— strength and love to the incarcerated who are standing for dignity and demanding their freedom—solidarity with those who shake the fences! 
Boundless solidarity to those incarcerated in ‘Napier Barracks’-Concentration Camp! Fire to every prison and the world that permits them!

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