My son Ekim Can Polat’s heart could stop at any moment.

By e-mail:

I’m Songül Ilker. I’m a mother and I’m waiting every moment for the news of my child’s death. I can’t sleep at night. I can’t open the phones. Tears fill my eyes when my doorbell rings. My son, Ekim Can Polat, has been imprisoned since 2016.

I want to tell to you about how he was arrested, his court process, his exiles, the systematic physical and psychological tortures against him and his current situation. My son, Ekim Can, was a child who saw people’s troubles as his own troubles and was always worried about their troubles. He was never indifferent to what happened in his country. He was detained during the Gezi Park protests at the age of 15. He was held in the detention room for 3 days. In the same period, he was provoked and exposed by some media organizations as “Baby-Faced Terrorist”. Those who shot Berkin at the age of 14 made my son look like a terrorist when he was 15. In 2016, when my son was only 19 years old, he was arrested and he has been in prison ever since.

He was exiled continuously and is now in Denizli T Type Prison, which is his fourth place of exile. He had been exiled to Silivri, Bandırma and Akhisar prisons before that. During his trials, false witnesses were heard. As a result of the trials, the person who committed the crime was sentenced to 9 years, but was released on the same day. As a result of the trials, a predetermined court decision was read and my son was sentenced to 24 years.

So why is my son a prisoner?

The truck belonging to a private company burned down. Eyewitnesses describe the person who burned the truck as follows; He is 1.60-1.70cm tall and weighs around 65-70 kg. Fingerprints belonging to one person were detected in the crime scene investigation. Fingerprints described by eyewitnesses and detected in the crime scene investigation showed a person named M. Sezen.

On the day of the trial, Sezen’s father held a dialogue with the driver of the burning truck at the courthouse. This dialogue took place in the field of view of the security cameras, with a specific date and time, in no way hidden. Likewise, I witnessed this dialogue. The content of this dialogue is as follows. The driver of the burning truck said, “I had a hard time coming here, I spent a lot of money.”  Sezen’s father said, “I will cover all your expenses, I will give you money, but you should say in court that it was the tall man who burned the truck.”

In addition, on the day of the trial M. Sezen’s uncle came to me at the the courthouse and he threatened me the following. “Mustafa is engaged and will get married. He can’t stay in prison. Ekim has no one to support him. You are his only supporter. ”

The court’s decision was as follows; my son, Ekim Can Polat, was sentenced to 24 years in prison, despite the fact that Mustafa Sezen’s fingerprints were found on the gas can and eyewitnesses described him. He was released that evening.

Ekim was with his father, who was a construction worker, the night he was taken into custody. The police officers who searched the house took his father’s work materials (hammer, nails and gloves) as evidence. As a result of the investigations, only his father and the fingerprints of the police who took the materials were found on these tools. The court thought that this “evidence” could be used in a terrorist act.

My son has been in prison for 5 years for these ridiculous reasons. As if that wasn’t enough, he is systematically tortured physically and psychologically. In every prison his “right to treatment” and “use of medicine” was denied.

He was subjected to forced nude searches in every prison. They exiled him, saying he would be taken to the hospital. From the first day in Silivri Prison No. 5, his treatment was prevented and he was not transferred to the hospital. He was left alone in a cell in Bandırma T-type prison. They moved him to Akhisar Prison, where he was threatened  with death  and tortured. For these reasons, he started a hunger strike and during this action suffered a heart attack. Head guard Kazım Demirtaş threatened him saying, “If you don’t cooperate with us, we will kill you”.

Ekim Can is currently in prison for an incident that he has nothing to do with. This time, pressures began to form because he did not fulfill their wishes.

He was forcibly removed from the place where he was left, saying that it would be renovated. Then he was placed opposite a convict who had attacked him earlier. When they look, they can see each other. Judicial detainees, seeing what was done to Ekim, reacted by writing a petition to the administration, saying that this will not happen. The guard says, “Are we going to feed him, not put him to death?” They are doing what Yazid did. When he asks for water from the canteen, they say no, but they give it to other detainees.

Hear my voice, be my voice, don’t let my son die. Everyone is acting like three monkeys. There are dozens of sick prisoners like Ekim. You are our voice. They do everything to kill sick prisoners.

What I wrote offended them. I said ‘naked searching is torture’. The director of the prison said, ‘Your mother says so, but it’s not a crime, it’s in our rules’. Upon Ekim’s objections to these words, a guard threatened “we will bury you here, we will kill you”, and the prison director did not interfere.

At the time Ekim had a heart attack while on hunger strike, he was also diagnosed with a heart rhythm disorder, COPD, osteoporosis, and pituitary hormone imbalance. He is seriously ill and needs hospital treatment as soon as possible, but is not even given his medication. The last time we spoke, he said to me, “Your would be ashamed of your humanity if your saw the tortures here.”

They have been dealing with hospital referrals for months. He is subjected to physical violence when he is taken to the hospital. In February, at Denizli State Hospital the gendarmerie came to the doctor and gave information about Ekim’s case. After that, the doctor did not examine him. Treatment for Ekim never started. He was taken to hospital, subjected to violence there, and brought back to prison.

He wants to be treated, he wants the torture and violations of prison rights to end. They broke his belongings. Somehow, his money is running out even though his canteen needs are not given to him. The money I sent to him is not delivered to him on time and it is said that this money I sent is over.

They say to him, “if you don’t do what we say you will have trouble here”, “if you don’t want to have problems here, do what we say”

As of today (27.06.2021), my son is on the 19th day of his hunger strike and his heart can stop at any moment.

International Solidarity for the political prisoner Ekim Can Polat – Turkey

Songul Ilker : 0534 978 1315

Twitter : @ekim_songul

Mail : ekimcanpolataozgurluk@gmail.com

World Report 2021 Turkey: Human Rights Watch

U.S. State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Turkey

Amnesty International Report Turkey 2020

CHILE: COMMUNICATION FROM ANARCHIST PRISONER MÓNICA CABALLERO

via: anarquia.info Translated by Act for freedom now!

In the last days of the first week of June, the Gendarmería de Chile (Genchi) carried out a massive transfer of prisoners from the Cárcel de Alta seguridad (CAS) to the prison of Rancagua, capital of the O’Higgins region, 87 kilometres south of Santiago.

The prisoners include the Anarchists and Subversives: Juan Aliste Vega, Marcelo Villarroel, Mauricio Hernández Norambuena, Juan Flores, Joaquín García and Francisco Solar.

The transfer of these prisoners was motivated by modifications in the infrastructure of the CAS, which will last approximately one year. Once the works are finished, the prisoners will be returned to the prison according to the information provided by GENCHI, meanwhile my comrades will be away from their affective and political environment. In this way, not only is the prisoner being punished, but also their friends, comrades and family members.

It is also important to emphasize that in the territory dominated by the Chilean State, free transit between regions is not allowed due to measures for the prevention of the spreading of Covid 19.

In the Metropolitan region there are at least three prisons to which they could have taken my comrades, perhaps the powerful took advantage of this transfer to isolate and further segregate the prisoners, perhaps none of the nearby prisons meets the security conditions to guard high-risk prisoners, or it could simply be just another form of revenge.

The transfer may be justified with this and other arguments. What is clear is that no movement of power is haphazard. Each change in the infrastructure of the prison, as well as the transfer of prisoners, must be carried out with caution and detail.

On the one hand, the possible changes they are making in the CAS, cannot bode well for the prisoners. I could make endless speculations on possible new control measures and I would probably be coming up short.

To foresee what could change in the CAS, it must be taken into account that this prison is not and was not conceived like any other, the CAS is the prison of Democracy. This was devised using the German and Irish model in the fight against revolutionary organizations.

In the year 94 ‘it was inaugurated as an unprecedented and good prison complex in which it was tried to implement a strict internal regime that contemplated visits through call centres, one hour in the courtyard, among others.

In addition, the prison is practically imperceptible from the outside, so achieves greater isolation and invisibility.

From another perspective it is not clear under what prison conditions or regime the prisoners will be transferred.

La Cárcel de Rancagua is a concessioned prison, meaning that a large part of its operation depends on external companies, unlike the CAS, which depended almost entirely on State entities. This translates for example, among other things, that the prison food is brought in by an external company such as Sodexo, and does not meet even the most minimal nutritional conditions. In addition to this, in concession prisons the entry of parcels by friends and family is restricted in practically every kind of food, books, etc.

Currently all the transferred prisoners are being kept locked in their cells for 24 hours, to be continued for fourteen days due to possible contagion of Covid, a completely unjustified measure since they would not have contact with any other prisoner who is not from the same module, nor would they have contact with the rest of the prison population. Faced with this scenario of total isolation and a new prison regime, the prisoners have begun a liquid hunger strike, demanding an end to the conditions of total confinement and improvements in their quality of life.

Among the mobilized prisoners are the anarchist and subversive comrades whose health condition could become more complex, as it is just over a month since they ended a fifty-day hunger strike.

With these words I make a call to all anti-prison, antagonistic, anti-authoritarian individuals and groups to be aware of the situation of the anarchist and subversive comrades transferred to Rancagua prison, our prisoner comrades can never feel alone.

Hand outstretched to the comrades
Closed fist to the enemy
Active combative solidarity

Mónica Caballero Sepúlveda, Anarchist prisoner
First days of June of 2021

Indigenous Man In Arizona Imprisoned For Social Media satire.

Enough 14

Page, Arizona – Loren Reed, a 26-year-old Diné (Navajo) man, is set for trial on May 4, 2021 for a trumped-up federal charge of “Threats to Damage and Destroy a Building by Means of Fire” after he engaged in a heated debate over Black Lives Matter protest tactics[1] in a private Facebook chat group created to organize a local police brutality protest. Reed has been held in federal pretrial detention without bail for ten months after a prior high school acquaintance reported him to the police for a different satirical social media post about planning a protest or ‘riot’ at the courthouse that never actually happened. An undercover FBI agent then infiltrated the private chat group, and monitored numerous messages exchanged by Reed and his friends. After this intrusive monitoring of speech, and lacking any real evidence, Reed was quickly and violently arrested in his neighborhood on June, 2, 2020. Nothing incriminating was found during or after the arrest, despite officers thoroughly searching Reed’s home and even his housemates.

“This federal charge is unconstitutional because there was never a legally-justified ‘true threat’ contained in the posts that would remove the broad protections of the First Amendment that apply even to vitriolic or offensive speech,[2]” said CLDC Executive Director Lauren Regan, one of the attorneys assisting Loren Reed on the case. “The supposed “threat” was never communicated to any target or victim, there was no intent to act or any evidence of an intent to act, and there is no lawful basis to federally prosecute someone for speech only – much less an Indigenous organizer confronting racism in a very conservative region of Arizona.”

“Prosecuting someone in these circumstances takes us down the slippery slope of what is protected speech versus what is a ‘true threat’ justifying criminal prosecution. We must hold strong to the outer limits of the First Amendment or we all lose the right to freely speak our minds. Today the criminalized speech may pertain to Black Lives Matter protests, but tomorrow it could be religion, science, or other political beliefs.” Regan said.

Over the course of the next ten months, Reed was held without formal charge for a month in the Coconino County Jail, where he contracted COVID-19 and where his close friend had died the year before after being denied medical care.[3] He was later transferred to a private for-profit  federal detention center in Florence, Arizona, a polluted copper mining town turned prison industrial complex hub. Reed was not indicted with a crime until late September. His trial has now been delayed three times and is currently set for May 4, 2021.

The U.S. Attorney’s office blames the pandemic for the following nine months of additional detention in which Reed was denied a speedy trial –  or even bail –  and in which it filed three separate motions to ‘extend’ his case. However, that has not stopped the government from attempting to bury this miscarriage of justice by informally suggesting an oppressive plea agreement that would result in a felony conviction, and likely probationary sentence.

“For an Indigenous person who faces the reality of institutional racism in his daily life, being threatened with a conviction for a crime he did not commit is a precarious, life-devastating burden,” stated Klee Benally, a longtime Diné (Navajo) sacred lands advocate and organizer from Flagstaff, Arizona. “It is courageous of Loren to refuse to accept this atrocious deal. While it could free him from custody immediately, it would endanger organizers and activists in the future by further criminalizing speech. Loren is taking a powerful stand, and we need to stand right there with him.”

Reed, a rapper who is known as a sensitive yet enthusiastic jokester, adamantly denies that there was any threat implied in his posts. Anyone reading them[4] with an open mind would agree. And yet, the State wants to saddle a young Indigenous man with a felony conviction that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

“This is yet another attempt to control the speech and tone of a person of color amidst a year of heartbreaking – and increasingly fatal – racially-motivated police violence. Appallingly, in this situation the State has chosen to exploit a snitch’s biased complaint to police[5] in order to further perpetuate this cycle of violence,” said Regan.

“We are calling on the federal prosecutor to immediately dismiss the charge in the interests of justice. Mr. Reed has already served over 10 months in pretrial detention for speech that did not actually threaten anyone,” she added.

“As Indigenous justice advocates, we stand with Loren Reed. The criminalization of Loren — and his right to free speech — is an ongoing violation of Indigenous rights and overall justice,” said Morning Star Gali of the Pit River Tribe, a lifelong Indigenous rights advocate with Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples who is currently based out of Sacramento, California.

“We also need to talk about the racism at play here,” said CLDC Attorney Sarah Alvarez. “Already, the feds are declining to prosecute, electing to charge petty misdemeanors, and/or negotiating lenient plea deals[6] for the white supremacists that assaulted the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They have also entirely turned a blind eye toward the hundreds of far-right individuals who threatened politicians and police via social media. Meanwhile, an Indigenous man has been sitting in jail without due process for 10 months – all over a tongue-in-cheek social media post where no violence or property damage ever occurred nor was ever intended to occur. It’s difficult to prove this in court, but Mr. Reed’s case is a textbook example of race-based disparate treatment, and it needs to end with an immediate dismissal of the charge against him.”

Reed is scheduled for a jury trial starting May 4 but there’s still time for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice to do the right thing and immediately drop the charge to let him return to his life.

Notes

[1] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss Due to Likely Presentation of Inaccurate, Incomplete or Misleading Information to Grand Jury at 4, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021).

[2] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss for Inadequate Indictment at 6, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021)

[3] “Jail footage shows Kyle Martinson yell for help before death,” Arizona Daily Sun, June 17, 2019. https://azdailysun.com/news/jail-footage-shows-kyle-martinson-yell-for-help-before-death/article_ea48524d-8991-50cd-91a9-8f67ae8ec3c8.html

[4] “Indigenous man faces 10 years for Facebook comments,” Al Jazeera, January 19, 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/19/holdindigenous-man-faces-10-years-for-facebook-comments-during-b

[5] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss for Selective Enforcement & Selective Prosecution; Mot. for Discovery at 5, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021)

[6] “Many Capitol rioters unlikely to serve jail time,” Politico. March 30, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/30/jan-6-capitol-riot-jail-time-478440

Protests Break Out Across US Over Police Shooting of Daunte Wright

Abolition Media Worldwide

The Minnesota police murder of Daunte Wright reignited impassioned protests across many US cities Monday night — with a riot in Portland, Oregon, as hundreds attacked cops.

A second night of demonstrations boiled in Brooklyn Park, where the murder occured, while protesters gathered in other cities in a show of unity. Researchers were able to locate and publicly post the address of the pig who murdered Daunte, driving her from her home.

“Burn the precincts to the ground, in every city and every town!” chanted marchers in Portland. Demonstrations happened in Los Angeles, California, while areas of Seattle, Washington, were covered in anti-cop graffiti as protesters repeatedly blocked main roads.

Protesters streamed through a Washington, DC, subway station, jumping over turnstiles, as hundreds gathered at the capital. In New York, marchers shut down a portion of the Manhattan Bridge on Monday night.

The strongest actions took place in Portland, Oregon, as revolutionaries tried to storm the Penumbra Kelly Building, which houses offices for multiple law enforcement agencies, including Portland police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. People threw glass bottles, frozen water bottles, rocks, ball bearings and shot fireworks at the police and the building.

Elsewhere in the city, a group cut through a chain-link fence to access a parking lot at the historic building that houses Portland Police Bureau traffic offices at the same time as the riot was happening. They succeeded in smashing windows and slashing tires of several police vehicles.

Free Siyanda demo in Cardiff 10th April.

freesiyanda.com

Kill The Bill: Solidarity with Bristol Protesters!

Derry Anarchists

The Derry Anarchist Collective stands in solidarity with our comrades in Bristol and other cities in their continued resistance to the Police Bill.

The Government says that this Bill “will allow the police to take a more proactive approach in managing highly disruptive protests causing serious disruption to the public.

The bill will “widen the range of conditions that the police can impose on static protests, to match existing police powers to impose conditions on marches”. And “Broaden the range of circumstances in which police may impose conditions on a protest.

What this means is that the police will have increased powers to oppress the freedom of assembly and our right to protest introducing lengthy prison sentences.

The Tories have brought this Bill in under the cover of COVID, but in reality, it is a reach to protect the status quo against legitimate protests ranging from organising for workers’ rights, Black Lives Matter protests, to the successful tactics used by Existence Rebellion in protesting climate destruction.

This is an appalling piece of legislation but an unsurprising one coming from the cowardly Tories, as the Bill went through a second reading after the brutal suppression of a peaceful vigil commemorating the life of Sarah Everard and the raising awareness of women’s safety and rights.

The media, as per usual have sided with the ruling class, by demonising the protesters in Bristol and other cities. Also there is no real opposition to this bill in parliament. So, it is up to us to stand up in solidarity with our comrades to resist this Bill, and protect the rights of women, minorities and other disenfranchised voices to organise and protest without the threat of lengthy prison sentences.

The Derry Anarchist Collective stands in solidarity with our comrades in Bristol and other cities in their continued resistance to the Police Bill.

*Fundraising to support Bristol defendants*

Fundraiser to support people who have been arrested in connection with the protests in Bristol recently. Money to be used for court fees, travel fees to court, legal cases against the police, and personal support if necessary. By Bristol Defendant Solidarity – they have supported IWW members before, financially and by showing up to things in person, so any donations would be greatly appreciated. Link here

Interview on the Situation of Anarchist Comrades Mónica Caballero and Francisco Solar

From es-contrainfo.espiv.net translated by Abolition Media Worldwide.

Continuing with the publications in permanent solidarity with Mónica and Francisco, [Brazilian anarchist website] Facção Fictícia conducted an interview with Relatives and Friends of Subversive Prisoners and Anarchists from the Chilean region. In addition to updating on the status of the trial, the interview addresses the importance of active solidarity with prisoners and recent struggles in the territory dominated by the Chilean State.

In recent years, Mónica and Francisco were subjected to accusations and imprisonment both in the territory dominated by the Chilean State in 2010 (in what became known as the “Bombas Case”) and in Spanish some years later. We would like you to comment a bit about this history of persecution and what was the impact on the spaces and the struggle in general.

To put it in context and make a brief account of the repressive cases where both comrades have been involved, it is necessary to start in 2010. The State sought to put an end to the different attacks with explosives by anarchist and anti-capitalist groups, and launched an attack against different anarchist comrades, accusing them of being part of an “Illicit Terrorist Association,” hitting different anti-authoritarian expressions. After spending long months in prison, an extensive hunger strike and mobilizations, the comrades managed to take to the streets to face a lengthy trial where they were later acquitted.

Shortly afterwards, Mónica and Francisco left for Spain, where in 2013, they were arrested for the explosive attack on the basilica of El Pilar. The collaboration between the States was evident from the beginning, transcending that during the investigation into the attack and before the arrests, different police reports and intelligence personnel traveled from one side to the other, giving recommendations on where to carry out the investigation and confirming suspicions around comrades.

After a speedy trial, both are sentenced to 12 years in prison, and after reducing their sentence to 4 and a half years, they managed to be expelled to Chile in 2017, with the corresponding media circus and police harassment for months.

On July 24, 2020, the day they were kidnapped by the Chilean State, Mónica and Francisco had their preventive imprisonment decreed for 6 months for investigation. Recently, after this time expired, a new term was stipulated and the imprisonment was prolonged without having had a sentence. What is the status of the trial? Is there a date forecast for the trial to take place?

The procedural situation is as follows: Francisco is accused of sending two explosive packages to the 54th police station and the former interior minister Rodrigo Hinzpetter (an accessory to a brutal repression during his mandate); the device to the police managed to explode while the one sent to the former Minister by chance was not opened and was discovered after the first outbreak; Monica and Francisco are accused of the double explosive attack on a real estate office in a rich neighborhood during the revolt.

Both are formalized under the gun control law, in addition to various counts of attempted homicides. At the time of their arrest, the court gave them a period of 6 months for investigation, a date that was renewed in February 2021. This investigative period may be extended for up to 2 years before going to trial.

We believe that if the prosecution wanted, it could already take them to trial, but it also seems that this delay would have to do with the participation of this team of prosecutors in other trials or perhaps the careful review of the judicial file so as not to make any mistakes as in the “Bomb case.”

Under the health argument to combat Covid-19, both Mónica and Francisco and other incarcerated people were prevented from receiving visits, which left them in a kind of even more severe isolation inside the jail. How is the situation now? Have the visits already happened again? How are Monica and Francisco at the moment?

The situation is still restricted, basically to one visit, a single person 2 hours every three weeks. Each prison and regime has its particularities; in the case of Mónica, she has to choose that week if she wishes to have a visit or if she wishes to have an assignment (Food that enters the prison by solidarity), while in the case of Francisco, the Limitations force that only his blood family can visit. With “Relatives and friends of Subversive Prisoners and anarchists,” we have participated by informing and struggling to return to visits with different expressions of agitation.

Specifically, both are well, living different realities of the prison. Francisco, for his part, is under strict isolation, much of the day locked up, with little or no sunlight, while Mónica, for her part, is in the public connotation section, isolated from the rest of the prison population, having to live with prisoners who are separated from the others because they will be accused of crimes considered intolerable and that can be avenged by the other prisoners.

Despite the different realities, both are in good spirits; they have access to gendarmerie telephones to be able to communicate with their friends and comrades, always asking about conditions outside and about other comrades in prison.

The territory dominated by the Chilean State is very convulsive and has an intense history of insurrections and anarchic struggles. Of which we have the most news are the intensification of the Mapuche uprising in recent years, especially with the territorial recoveries, and the revolt of October 18, 2019. We receive information about several Mapuche prisoners and murders (as was the most recent case of the comrade Emília BAU, killed by hitmen from a private condominium in Panguipulli), as well as more than 2,000 people arrested, many wounded and others killed by police. It seems very evident to us that the imprisonment of the people involved in the struggles is a coup by the State to try to extinguish the insurrectionary flame that burns in the streets. We would like you to comment a bit about the current situation of the struggles out there and how you analyze this reaction of the repressive forces.

The repressive panorama is broad, like the struggle. Undoubtedly, since October 18, when the revolt in Chile began, it marked a before and after on the one hand, and also a continuity and exacerbation on the other. It is undeniable that many people are in prison linked to the struggle; in December 2019, there were 2,500 prisoners of the revolt, a figure that then gradually decreased. It is a broad and diverse reality, rather than a homogeneous group with clear positions.

Regarding the prisoners of the revolt, as well as the dead and mutilated as a result of the repression in that process, it is necessary to point out that not all of them are revolutionary comrades, but rather individuals who rose up against the prevailing order, for the most diverse reasons.

It is a wide and diverse reality, with many political positions, from the most irreconcilable anarchic to citizen positions and people eager to integrate in the system, passing through many people who were simply tired and spontaneously protested with great anger. It is important to assume that diversity so as not to fall into romanticism, idealize situations or force dynamics that are not such. It is precisely considering this reality that various initiatives are raised in solidarity with the prisoners of the revolt, as well as in remembrance and revenge for the dead and maimed, as well as against the State.

Even with the constant persecution by the State, Monica and Francisco stayed in combat and with their heads held high, especially in jail. They even wrote a statement that addresses the need for harmony between the struggles inside and outside the prisons. Do they manage to have contact with the other subversive people who are also in prison? And with those who are outside? Is access to books and letters allowed, for example?

Monica and Francisco have been part of the environment with comrades in prison for years; both were frequently visiting incarcerated subversive comrades. So that relationship remains unbreakable but has simply changed its form and modality. Despite being in the same penal unit, Francisco has little direct contact with those in maximum security and almost no direct contact (face to face) with those in High Security, but in the same way, existing networks and links are strengthened with fluid communication between all comrades.

Only as a sample can be seen the joint writing between different comrades, drawn from within “Before the revolt, the plebiscite and the judicial situation: Communiqué of prisoners of the social war for the destruction of prison society.”

How do you analyze the importance of solidarity transcending both the prison walls and the border between States?

That is a necessary and interesting dilemma, a challenge for the anarchic struggle. In the case of the comrades, we were already faced with the issue of internationalist solidarity in 2010 with the “bomb case” where beautiful networks were informally forged with the detainees, and on the other hand, when they were arrested in Spain, this question was addressed to us, about our ability to articulate and cross borders. Today, while the comrades are imprisoned here, there are a lot of daily issues that urgently need to be resolved here, as legal and financial help is always required.

But that is only one aspect of solidarity; there is, on the other hand, the dissemination and agitation of the case and perhaps more important and sustaining are the public debates around the positions of the comrades. Bring them to the streets, let them speak only and exclusively from their condition of imprisonment and contribute to the fight.

In another dimension, there is a fear that the solidarity with both is plagued with resignation, that it is not worth fighting and that it would only be necessary to resign oneself to a possible conviction and then have to take care of the expenses of the life of the comrades in prison. That scenario is really the worst.

Finally, how can people in solidarity support the campaign for the freedom of Monica and Francisco? Is there a channel through which information and communications can be accompanied?

We upload the texts and information to the counter-information pages, we try to be very clear and regularly upload updates and relevant information. We move away from those positions that seek to go unnoticed or lower the profile of cases. The comrades are imprisoned for the actions of the struggle, the comrades have been part of the struggle for years and it corresponds to maintain a dialogue and information with all of us who are on this side of the barricade.

On the ways in which it can be supported, this response lies in the creative capacity of each person, from dissemination, agitation, to the collection of economic funds, as well as direct communication with them through letters, contemplating them in projects or simply raising your own solidarity initiative.

Why Indian farmers are so angry about the Modi government’s agricultural reforms

toward freedom
By Bhavani Shankar

India’s farmers have been protesting since the autumn, with a growing intensity that culminated in a violent breaching of barriers in the Red Fort in Delhi during India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

Farmers’ protests in India.

The protests were spurred by the passing of a set of agricultural reform bills in parliament in September 2020 that aimed to fundamentally transform the way in which farm produce is marketed in the country. India’s farming population of more than 100 million is comprised largely of small farmers who fear that the reforms will add considerable uncertainty to their already meagre livelihoods.

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Defend Rhodri! Retaliation at Berwyn

Prisoner Solidarity Network

The Prisoner Solidarity Network have just received news that Rhodri ab Eilian was assaulted by prison staff at HMP Berwyn yesterday (10th February 2021). This attack comes less than two weeks after Rhodri stepped forward to speak publicly about discrimination, racism, and the denial of language rights at the prison. Both Rhodri and the PSN see this assault as a clear example of retaliatory violence and call on everyone to mobilise urgently in Rhodri’s defence.

Following yesterday’s attack, one of the staff involved threatened further violence, telling another prisoner he was going to “punch his little head in.” Rhodri knew the risks and still did what’s right. It’s our responsibility now to defend him. We’re calling on people to: Contact relevant authorities to demand Rhodri’s safety and ensure disciplinary action is taken against the responsible staff. We’ve compiled a list of contacts below and a template email you can use.

To whom it may concern, I’m contacting you to request an urgent intervention in response to staff violence at HMP Berwyn. You will be aware of ongoing concerns about discrimination, racism, and the denial of language rights at the prison.

Yesterday (10th February 2021), less than two weeks after speaking publicly about conditions at Berwyn, Rhodri ab Eillian was assaulted by staff. Despite being fully compliant with instructions, ab Eillian was mobbed by a group of prison officers and subject to unprovoked and excessive restraint, leaving him with shooting pains through one arm and shoulder and bruising. His injuries have been logged by prison healthcare staff. This has been followed today by further threats from officer 777 – one of the group involved in the assault.

There is the clear implication this attack was retaliatory, following immediately on from ab Eillian’s public statements about staff misconduct at the prison. The use of intimidation and violence to suppress such allegations is completely unacceptable. This incident only exacerbates existing concerns regarding the management of the prison.

I’m contacting you to request you support calls to ensure ab Eillian’s safety and that appropriate measures are taken to address the prison officers responsible.

Yours sincerely,

Corona comment number six, from the South of England: Gulag archipelago, by Mal Content.

Since my last comment the bourgeois state has ratchet-tightened its grip on all aspects of life, with the apparent acquiescence of a large section of the British population – Leaving out the six counties, who seem most preoccupied with not being able to buy vegetables. The demagogues of the devolved administrations* crazed with a little power, vie with each other to boss their subjects about.

* Scots nationalists have blown their best chance of independence in a century with all guns pointed at their own feet, I wonder if MI5 had a hand in that.

As I have observed elsewhere, ‘Lockdown’ is a measure taken by prison governors to facilitate searching of inmates for contraband, apprehending a fugitive or putting down disorder. Doors are all locked forcing each prisoner to remain wherever they find themself. It is predicated on the idea that prisoners have no agency, they do not ‘own’ their flesh, their time or their productive and creative abilities. Incarceration in the United States is an extension of chattel slavery as permitted by the thirteenth amendment; in Britain it originates from the custom of holding a person hostage pending payment of a debt. Other cultures find their own justifications. The first use of this term in respect of the corona virus epidemic was in the People’s Republic of China, which is of course nothing but a giant gulag. It will be deeply offensive to many of our Class who have suffered such abuse.

The latest regulations blatantly reserve overseas travel for the rich, and whilst it will amuse us to watch entitled posh people treated like common prisoners there is a serious point. Jewish workers, whose recent ancestors fled Nazi Germany and other European pogroms find it disturbing to need “permission” to leave the country. We have refugees from the former Soviet bloc and other totalitarian regimes. They know what it means to have papers out of order.

The middle class, the stodgy, flabby rump of totalitarianism, continues to twitch its curtains on full pay, brags about attending ‘zoom meetings’ from the bath or not getting out of bed at all. They quibble about how many times they are “allowed” to walk the dog or whether to have their mum over for lunch. Whilst they sit around their computers knocking themselves off like safari-park chimps, the Working Class must run the gauntlet of crowded workplaces, dodgy PPE and weirdoes who thing it’s clever to gob in their faces.

Gulag:
Acronym of Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-Trudovykh Lagerey.
Russian: “Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps”

People are afraid, for sure, not just of the virus but of starvation and homelessness, of their kids condemned to the scrapheap, their parents dying alone. Rumours abound, of the cops using number plate recognition to clock how far a vehicle has travelled from its registered address. There are despicable class traitors who will grass on their neighbours. Although there is no stop and search power that requires anyone to answer questions*, we hear of people being threatened with arrest for refusing to identify themselves. Call their bluff I say, you waste my time I’ll waste yours.

* Unless you’re driving, then it’s name and address only.

Bosses are taking advantage of the ‘furlough’* to shed workers with protected characteristics, and the super-rich, as always, are making money hand over fist. The sums may seem abstract, but the only value of wealth is the expectation that someone, somewhere will labour to acquire it. This is achieved by limiting access to the product of our own labour. As Heywood put it: “if a man has a dollar he didn’t work for, someone else worked for a dollar he didn’t get”.

* Another prison term. ‘Furlough’ is temporary release. As most prisoners in the U.S. are no threat to anybody but themselves, should they become logistically inconvenient, or if there is no work for them to do, they can be put out to save the state the expense of feeding and housing them.

For years we were offered a false dichotomy between state control and free market – either way is unregulated aggregation of economic power. Somehow the state has been rehabilitated without ever lifting a finger on our behalf, and to contradict its nonsense is to be aligned with cranks with their own set of authoritarian delusions.

Now having had the ‘rona twice I don’t consider it a hoax, it was like sleeping sickness with a loss of mental focus and bodily appetites. The cough only set in after a week but it never quite went away. It tends to magnify symptoms you live with normally, in my case headache, joint pain and irregular digestion. But everybody’s different, some test positive with no symptoms at all, some clearly have it but test negative or inconclusive.

We hear a lot these days about “imagining new futures” but no-one has any answers beyond more of the same, with a bit of technological wizardry thrown in. You cannot “unite” a society built on domination and abuse that refines its exploitative mechanics with every crisis it visits on our Class. The idea that there is an alternative to the status quo that is still military-industrial capitalism is irredeemably stupid. It wasn’t too much of a surprise that fucking idiot Hancock is influenced by Hollywood films, he could have just read his government’s own report on preparing for a pandemic, published in 2016, if he were serious about becoming health secretary. Are we really going to let wankers like that get the better of us?

You cannot compromise with the ruling class because they won’t compromise with you. They will maintain their privilege at all costs – and it costs them nothing. Black people, and other disadvantaged groups will need to take matters into their own hands because the liberals and the reformists can do nothing for them. They will need to fight their oppressors with the same ferocity with which oppression was imposed on them. Compliance will eventually cost more of our lives than any pandemic. The proper response to the Colston situation was for a hundred thousand Bristolians to turn out on the streets and tell the ruling class we will not allow it to try these comrades, precipitate a real insurrection, there’s never been a better time.

There are no broad sunlit uplands on offer, only a brutal, vicious war with the prospect of the means of production finally under control of the producing Class – it’s got to be worth a fight, stuff your prison logic, let’s put our heads together and have a serious discussion about how to fuck shit up.