Category Archives: prison

defending victims.. making prisons unnecessary

3 Anarchists Accused of Attempt to burn Cop Car in Poland.. Land Occupier Collective Raided

Warsav, Poland: Open letter in connection with the arrest of three anarchists [ENG-PL]p1

On the night of May 23rd, the police in Warsaw arrested three anarchists on charges of an alleged arson attempt of a police vehicle. The three were transferred to a remand prison where they are to be held in custody for three months, awaiting trial. They face up to 8 years in prison. Media frenzy broke out over the arrest in the past few days, with high-ranking politicians and experts on terrorism discussing the matter on TV. Photos and video reruns of the arrested walking with chains around their feet and hands are broadcast on public transportation. The text below is a translation of the statement that was sent out by various groups from the anarchist and wider social justice community in Poland, in response to these arrests.
Open letter in connection with the arrest of three anarchists in Warsaw

The mass media in Poland are releasing increasingly more absurd, one-sided reports about the arrest of three anarchists on Monday, May 23rd. We interpret this as an attempt to intimidate and criminalize social justice movements in Poland….

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Land Occupier Collective Raided   (ROD)

Faces of urban gardening society or the ROD
Faces of urban gardening society or the ROD

Continue reading 3 Anarchists Accused of Attempt to burn Cop Car in Poland.. Land Occupier Collective Raided

appeal: Freedom for Chelsea Manning: Exposing War Crimes is NOT a Crime

LAWYERS FOR CHELSEA MANNING appealed her conviction on Thursday, calling it “grossly unfair and unprecedented” and arguing that “no whistleblower in American history has been sentenced this harshly.”

from Alex Emmons  Manning_sticker_deal

Manning was convicted of six counts of espionage by a military court in 2013 and is currently serving a 35-year sentence in military prison. Continue reading appeal: Freedom for Chelsea Manning: Exposing War Crimes is NOT a Crime

Innocent Man May be Released after 10+ years in Guantánamo (maybe)

‘This young man should have been released years ago’
‘Oh what a gigantic stinking pile of human monstrosity.. Isn’t Obama a monstrous coward? ..Or simply a monster himself, but either way the US government and military are monstrous blots on humanity.  Release them all, close the damned prison, return the base to Cuba, apologize to the world, and go crawl into a hole’.

from Common Dreams with thanks

The prisoner’s lawyer told the Miami Herald that “not only was he innocent of war crimes, Obaidullah did not speak Arabic before he got to Cuba, making him an unlikely al-Qaida fighter.” (Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty)

An Afghan man detained for 14 years in Guantánamo—without ever being convicted of a crime—was on Friday recommended by the Pentagon for release.

Obaidullah
Obaidullah

The man, known as Obaidullah, was arrested and detained in 2002, when he was about 19, but the U.S. government failed to successfully prosecute him for any crimes, AP reported. Charges were eventually made against him in 2008, but were dismissed in 2011.

“This young man should have been released years ago,” Marine Maj. Derek Poteet, who has represented him since 2010, told the Miami Herald. “He was taken from his bed at his home peacefully without resistance. He was subjected to real abuse at Bagram.”

Obaidullah was allegedly arrested by U.S. special forces in 2002 because unarmed land mines were discovered buried near his house. The U.S. government did not formally bring charges against him until 2008.screenshot-1624

“He was charged in the military tribunals in September 2008 with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism, which appeals courts have said cannot be pursued as war crimes at Guantánamo for conduct that occurred before 2006,” explained AP. “The government dismissed the charges in 2011 and his lawyers have been pressing for his release ever since.”

Poteet told the Miami Herald that “not only was he innocent of war crimes, Obaidullah did not speak Arabic before he got to Cuba, making him an unlikely al-Qaida fighter.”

The newspaper described the U.S. government’s stated rationale for Obaidullah’s years of detention:

A 2008 Guantánamo prison profile said he was brought there to provide information on al-Qaida recruiting, electronic devices, terrorism-related facilities and anti-tank land mines. An updated November 2015 intelligence profile, which was prepared for the parole board, said the Taliban trained him to handle explosives, and was part of an al-Qaida-linked improvised explosives device cell that targeted U.S. and allied troopse6665ee9-4f22-40b7-abe8-85ee2cbe9aa9-2060x1236

“In 2013,” the Miami Herald reports, “Poteet described the Afghan as having withered to a ‘bag of bones’ during the prison’s paralyzing hunger strike. Obaidullah also described for his lawyers the April 2013 raid by Guantánamo troops that forcibly moved hunger strikers into single-cell lockdown, something he considered collective punishment.”

The Pentagon parole board that made the determination (pdf) for Obaidullah’s release praised the detainee for his “positive constructive leadership in detention,” including “mediating concerns raised between other detainees and between other detainees and the guard staff” at Guantánamo.

The transcript of the parole board’s hearing was not made public, however, so it is unknown precisely what transpired to convince the board to recommend Obaidullah for release.

Guantánamo has lately seen an uptick in prisoners recommended for release, according to the Miami Herald:

The Pentagon released the decision Friday during a busy period for the Periodic Review Board. The Board has scheduled an unprecedented nine hearings this month, and released the Obaidullah decision exactly one month after he went before them.

With this approval, 28 of the 80 captives currently at Guantánamo prison are formally cleared to leave to security arrangements that satisfy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Ten others are in war crimes proceedings and the rest are awaiting hearings, their results or have had their indefinite detention upheld.article-1380557-0158E3E50000044D-1000_468x317

It remains to be seen when Obaidullah and other prisoners cleared for release will leave Guantánamo. As Common Dreams has previously reported, the Department of Defense has “routinely and deliberately undermined” President Obama’s efforts to move toward closing the notorious prison.

Solidarity with Prosecuted, Persecuted and Imprisoned Activists

“The only protection we have is solidarity from the outside”: news from courts and prisons in Sweden, the UK and the US

armsHere in the UK, last month saw eight people who took action against the DSEi arms fair beat the charges after the court sided with their argument that they were trying to stop illegal weapons sales, as their “belief that weapons were being sold unlawfully at DSEI was supported by … detailed expert evidence.”

The Crown Prosecution Service refused to accept this result, and are now trying to appeal, so the eight could yet find themselves dragged back to court. A joint statement from the eight defendants said: “We absolutely stand by our actions at the DSEI arms fair in seeking to prevent corporate and state support for torture and the mass indiscriminate killing of civilians.

“Our actions have continued to show where the interests of money and power truly lie. The state has invested a prolific amount of time and public money seeking to prosecute us.”

nottinghamuk05th-april-2016aiden-aslina-22-year-old-man-from-newarkhas-FWH6BBA more immediate court date is coming up for  the alleged YPG volunteer who’s facing charges for allegedly helping fight with the Kurdish resistance against ISIS. After the incompetents at the CPS delayed his first court date, he’s now due back for a court hearing on the 17th of May, and Nottingham Kurdish solidarity campaigners will be standing in solidarity with him outside the court from 1pm on the day.

While discussion between different perspectives continues about how we should understand and analyse the situation in Rojava and beyond – there’s a recent article by the Hamilton Institute that’s very useful for anyone trying to keep up with the situation – we should all hopefully be able to agree to oppose state repression against anyone who’s allegedly fighting against ISIS, so please get yourself to Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on the 17th if you can, or help spread the word if you can’t make it there yourself.

Over in Sweden, repression against the antifascist movement has been continuing: AFA Stockholm have made a public appeal for people to help them cover the €35,000 they need to pay in fines, damages and trial costs, and Brighton Anarchist Black Cross have run an interview with the first of 13 antifascists to be released from prison.

Milwaukee wobblies in solidarity with the prison strikes

Meanwhile, there’s been some big things going down in US prisons. Inmates in Alabama’s Holman prison staged a ten-day work stoppage starting on May Day that was only ended after scabs were brought in, and which may have influenced Alabama’s legislature to vote down a huge prison expansion proposal.

Meanwhile, the Texas prison strikes have been winding down, but the IWW prisoners’ union continues to grow, and prisoners report that “Since this strike action started the prison administration has been much more responsive, and we have had a much easier time getting our grievances addressed.”

For more information about what’s been going down in US prisons, see this indepth interview with a member of the IWW’s Incarcerated Worker Organizing Committee, Unity & Struggle have produced an overview of prisoner struggles in the US from 2008-2016, and a number of Nebraska prison rebels have agreed to have their contact details made public to try and build contact with those on the outside.

Free Jeremy HammondIn individual news, it’s great that anti-fascist comrade (and brother of the hacker Jeremy), Jason Hammond has now been freed. It’s less great that Janye Waller has been jailed for involvement in the Bay Area uprising that followed the Ferguson verdict – you can support him by donating here, and keep an eye on his support tumblr or facebook to find out how to write to him once he’s got a permanent address.

The prison revolt in the US is only going to continue to grow, so we should all be thinking about ways to support and spread this struggle. Prison sentences are one of the ultimate threats the state uses against any movement that seems to be becoming too effective, so we should all be thinking about what we can do to undermine that threat.pvd-iwoc-ig

from Prisoner Support with thanks

Barcelona: In solidarity with our Comrade arrested and imprisoned in the last Repressive Operation

Barcelona (Barcelonès) 13/04/2016  Sociedad      Los Mossos d'Esquadra han registrado desde primera hora de esta mañana la casa okupada del Bloque Fantasma de la Salut, en la Avinguda del Coll del Portell 59. El dispositivo policial se ha activado para cumplir una orden internacional de búsqueda y captura de miembros de una banda sospechosa de atracar bancos en Alemania   FOTO  DANNY CAMINAL

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In addition to the looting and destruction that comes together with a police raid, the operation ended with the arrest of a comrade who had already been  imprisoned due to the Operation Pandora police raids, and who was under an European search warrant that was issued the 11th of April accused of participating in different bank expropriations in the German territory.

After being transferred to the Spanish Audiencia Nacional, the judge Eloy Velasco has ordered the preventive prison for our comrade, who has been transferred to the prison of Soto de Real. Given that she is also charged in the Pandora process (currently in preliminary investigation) and she herself has declared her will for not being extradited to Germany, our defense has asked for a “conditioning” to the European order of extradition, claiming that she serves the preventive prison in the Spanish State until the pending trial that she has here is held.

_mg_7654_as_smart_object-1In a maximum period of 2 months (which can be extended one month more), the Audiencia Nacional will decide if they stop temporary or not the extradition of our comrade to the German authorities. From the news published in the German press, we have learned that she is imputed of a expropriation that happened two years ago in the city of Aachen, during which -always according to the press- the assaulting group could take a big amount of money from the bank without causing any personal damage or injuring anybody.aprilraids16

However the court process evolves, we want to make public our support to the comrade, claiming as ours her revolutionary political aims, her struggle and her militant activity.

The people that know her closely we know that she deserves the solidarity from all of us. We are talking about a fighting and anarchist person, active since years in different anti-racist, feminist and libertarian projects in Barcelona, always being in solidarity with the repressed people, always ready to help wherever she could, always in the street, always being generous, happy and smiling with the people around her, always intransigent and hard against everything she considers unjust.

The media attempt to portray her as a public enemy could not be more vicious. Specially when this operation of media manipulation implies the representation of the banks as victims, changing completely the reality dignifying those who are stealing, exploiting, defrauding, evicting and cutting us for years, while they criminalize who rebels against them and dares to attack them. It makes no difference for us if the comrade is really responsible or not for these robberies.

A bank expropriation is an ethically fair and politically legitimized practice, a method of struggle that is part of the history of every revolutionary movement.1460526919_503634_1460533694_noticia_normal

Indeed, despite of the continuous attempts from the Power to reduce this method to the ‘common crime’ frame, done by personal interest and individual greed, the truth is that the expropriation of these places of accumulation of capital is a constant practice in our history: from the anarchosyndicalist groups that in the early XX century used to rob banks to support the strikes or to help the families of the comrades in prison, to the different autonomous groups from the 70s-80s like the MIL, the OLLA o the ERAT (formed by the workers of the SEAT factory) that sent the money hold by the rich to the different projects of the fighting exploited, through the maquis groups like the ones of Sabaté or Facerías that during the postwar period used to practice robberies to finance the resistance against Franco’s dictatorship.

Expropriation, whether it is a tactical expression of a political struggle in general, or in the form of social banditry trough which we take back what the banks steal from us in order to free ourselves from the slavery chains of the work exploitation and unemployment, we don’t think is something reprehensible, but the opposite. The existence of people who are tired of being pushed around and exploited systematically by the legalized mafia proves us that ”we are not just goods in hands of politicians and bankers” and that humanity resists to accept submissively the dictatorship of the capital over our lives.

Supermarket expropriations have extended to other parts of Spain, following the example of ‘Robin Hood’ mayor José Manuel Sánchez Gordillo in Andalusia.  A store of the global  supermarket chain Carrefour in the town of Merida in the western region of Extremadura was hit Friday by 50 members of the Platform for Basic Income in Extremadura.

The police and media hunt deployed due to these robberies in Germany, should not make us neither lose our perspective nor get confused of who is our enemy. The real public enemy is the power represented by criminals like Wolfgang Schäuble and Angela Merkel, the power that didn’t empty a couple of safety boxes, but the social wealth of entire peoples and territories. It is the power of the transnational elites that have doomed millions of people to misery in order to impose the functional austerity measures for their neoliberal and imperialist project.

Our comrade’s arrest is only one more reason to fight against these elites and the system that they represent, a system solely moved by the accumulation of money in a few hands at the cost of the suffering, dispossession and exploitation of the rest of the people. Neither the police persecution not the massive propaganda of the regime can hide what is clear for the whole world, and like the poet said, what is the robbing of a bank compared to the funding of a bank?

Immediate release for the imprisoned comrade in Madrid!
Stop the extradition process!
Solidarity with the CSO blokes fantasma and with all the persecuted fighters!
As long as there is misery, there will be rebellion!

Comrades of the imprisoned one.     15Th of April, 2016.
Barcelona

Source

Eco-Prisoner Rebecca Rubin ‘Released’!

rebecca-rubinfrom Earth First! Newswire

Rebecca Rubin has been released and moved into a halfway house! Sentenced in 2014 to five years in federal prison for numerous Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front actions—including the arsons of Vail Ski Resort and US Forest Industries, as well as liberating horses from and burning down BLM Wild Horse Facilities in California and Oregon.

Rebecca is out of prison almost a year and a half before an expected release date of September, 2017. Glad you’re out, Rebecca!

Don’t forget Rebecca’s birthday on April 18th! (Stay tuned for more information about Rebecca’s situation, mailing address, and ways to provide support.)

Rebecca will likely still want to receive mail at the halfway house. Stay tuned for possible updates on her address.

Anarchists Monica and Francisco Sentenced to 12 years in prison 

1fotoantonio_1Update 1st April: Pepe Galán, Francisco lawyer, says he “totally disagrees with the statement that they are the perpetrators” and thinks that “there is no evidence in this regard.” And he will appeal the verdict.

The good news that they were cleared  of being a terrorist organisation and the finding that the supposed terrorist group doesn’t exist should apply equally to all the defendants from the Pandora and Piñata anti anarchist police raids, undermining their future trials!


Today March 30, 2016, it was notified to lawyers and companions the judgment of the National Court condemning the anarchists Monica Caballero and Francisco Solar to 5 years in prison on charges of “injury”, plus 7 years for “damage with terrorist purpose “, with a total of 12 years in prison for each. They were acquitted of charges of “belonging to a terrorist organization and conspiracy” against the Monastery of Montserrat. Demonstrations will begin today against this ridiculous sentence.

‘We are presented with the challenge of extending the struggle and solidarity, to defend our ties and our ideas, denying that their world is reduced to the four walls that keep them incarcerated.Our jailed  comrades will  always be present in our struggles and our daily lives.There is no “inside”, nor is there an “outside” only enemies of the state and authority.Death to the state and long live anarchy!  (translated from Indymedia Barcelona)

….media circus inventing the ''shocking destruction'' after the ”bomb” which Monica and Fran are accused of planting in the Zaragoza Basilica, symbol of the Catholic/Fascist dictatorship… State demanded 44 yrs jail each with zero evidence.

….photo shows media circus inventing the ”shocking destruction” after the ”bomb” which Monica and Fran are accused of planting in the Zaragoza Basilica, symbol of the Catholic/Fascist dictatorship… State demanded 44 yrs jail each with zero evidence. Continue reading Anarchists Monica and Francisco Sentenced to 12 years in prison