Calais: after the Jungle – an interview with Calais Migrant Solidarity, June 2019

Corporate Watch

In 2016, the northern French port town of Calais was all over the TV screens, as an army of Gendarmes and CRS riot police evicted the “Jungle” – a largely self-built refugee camp where about 6,000 exiles from the world’s war zones lived in sight of the razor wire border fences. But Calais’ refugee story goes back much further, and it’s not over yet. Hundreds of refugees are still gathered around the main channel crossing point, living in even more miserable and precarious conditions now the big jungle is gone. To get a snapshot of the current situation Corporate Watch talked to friends from Calais Migrant Solidarity, a network that has been active alongside migrants in Calais since 2009.

See also: Calais border profiteers update June 2019

How many people are still trying to cross the border at Calais? Where do they come from?

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Solidarity with Rouvikonas!

Anarchist Communist Group.

The ACG recently received the following communication from the Greek Anarchist Federation concerning state repression against members of the Rouvikonas (Rubicon) group.

Solidarity with Rouvikonas (group-member of Anarchist Federation – Greece)

STATEMENT AGAINST REPRESSION OF RESISTANCE IN GREECE

After being identified following the attack of the Parliament on May 21st – An action in support of Dimitris Koufontinas, a comrade imprisoned for life on a hunger strike – two activists must collect 60,000 euros before 14 June, otherwise they will spend until 10 years in jail.Links to the financial support below.

The Prime Minister and Ministry of Justice are once and for all trying to put away Giorgos Kalaïtzidis, co-founder of ROUVIKONAS and Niko, both members of the same group and famous Greek resistance fighters. In fact, both are prosecuted not for a civil offense, but this time for a crime. By utilising an old law on the protection of historic monuments of great value – a law almost never used, intended for the likes of the Acropolis or Delphi – the state has found a way to trap our comrades who until now were always careful not to cross this legal boundary into committing criminal offenses.

As a result, Giorgos and Nikos face 10-years in prison and are being asked to pay a gigantic security deposit of 30,000 euros each (60,000 euros in total) by the 14th of June2, that is, three weeks before the legislative elections. The will to use the law to quickly to lock up several well-known members of the group and to offer a resounding media show is clear. The hardening of the repression against the group (whose last sentence in April amounted to 3,000 euros or ten times less) is one of the aspects of the state manipulating public opinion right now. As a part of the European and local elections, Tsipras,- the Greek Prime Minister – has just initiated early parliamentary elections and will play his role on the 7th of July as an outsider facing the right. The right center of the electoral spectrum hates Exarchaia (a district of Athens well known for art and resistance), the Anarchists and other revolutionaries, and is preparing to enable Mitsotakis -the leader of the right – to “evacuate Exarcheia in a month” and to “imprison the red and black bandits”

For the past two months, Tsipras has been striking with all the horrors on the right and flexing his position of authority: six refugee squats have been evacuated, the Exarcheia district daily harassed by the police, a TV show about the district which announces its near end, the political prisoner Koufontinas brutally deprived of his supervised exit permits to see his son, and now members of Rouvikonas about to go to jail.

This attack on the resistance movement in Greece is probably the hardest since Tsipras came to power. No group has resisted so much in recent years as Rouvikonas: daily, like an elixir the against resignation that Tsipras is trying to provoke. Almost every day, we have heard about Anarchy and resistance in the news and in the press. Almost every day, more and more people said that nothing is finished. Because our solidarity is as unbreakable as is our will to fight.We will stand and support our comrades everywhere, by all means, as we struggle.

Support Giorgos, Nikos and all members of ROUVIKONAS!

Call for solidarity actions everywhere outside Greece! – as just happened two nights ago in front of the Greek Embassy in Paris. Please inform us for every solidarity action in Anarchist Federation’s mail: (anarchist-federation@riseup.net)

Call for financial support! If you are unable to donate, please share.
Even if we do not succeed in preventing the imprisonment of Giorgos and Nikos, other members of the group will at least be able to escape other less severe sanctions and continue the struggle.

1. To participate in the call for financial support (before June 14th), Le Pot Commun with all the information is here.

To send cash directly, ROUVIKONAS will soon be on tour in Italy, Switzerland, France and Belgium, from 1 to 9 June. Spiros will take care of it with us. All details of the tour here.

To proceed by transfer, contact : rouvikonas@espiv.net

To proceed by paypal, contact : rouvikonasfrancophone@riseup.net

And if you come to Athens before June 14th:
See you at K*Vox every day, starting at 16:00 (Exarcheia Place).

2. Presentation of Rouvikonas (10 minutes):

Universal Credit: DWP publicity stunt backfires

Anarchist Communist Group

DWP Secretary Amber Rudd is determined to be Boris Johnson’s running mate in the imminent Tory leadership campaign. Her fragile 346 vote majority in Hastings is one problem. Her other problem is her responsibility for Universal Credit and its disastrous impact on working-class households. This in turn is attracting a stream of bad press stories, even in the Mail and the Sun. Not a good look for an ambitious One Nation Tory.

Solution? Suddenly, after years of denial, refusal to release information or allowing journalists to speak to JobCentre staff, the DWP is launching a public relations campaign to persuade the public that Universal Credit is a wondrous and beautiful thing.

A leaked internal memo picked up by DPAC, the Disability News Service and subsequently the Guardian reveals a concerted publicity campaign involving newsprint and TV to “myth-bust the common inaccuracies reported on UC”.

At the end of May, giant ads wrapped around the cover of the Metro freesheet at a cost of £250,000 will be accompanied by a further four-page advertorial feature. According to the leaked memo “the features won’t look or feel like DWP or UC – you won’t see our branding … We want to grab the readers’ attention and make them wonder who has done this ‘UC uncovered’ investigation.” This will go on for nine weeks. The Metro has an estimated readership of 2½ million.

Amber Rudd meanwhile will invite selected journalists to JobCentres to see “the great work we do”. This has already started. Under the headline “I think Universal Credit is great – here’s why’, the Leicester Mercury last week splashed an interview with a job coach team leader at the local Job Centre Plus. The article declares that ‘Living on benefits is not a lifestyle choice’ and repeats the long- discredited myth about intergenerational benefit dependency. When challenged as to why there was no mention of the DWP campaign or the common ownership shared by the Leicester Mercury and the Metro, the reporter in question insisted that it was an interview and not an advertisement.

To cap this publicity campaign BBC2 will be screening a three-part “documentary” which is “looking to intelligently explore UC” by filming inside three jobcentres. It will not be reporter-based – no risk of awkward questions. The leaked DWP memo drools about how this will be a fantastic opportunity and how the DWP has been involved from the start. What’s more, the DWP will see the final product before it’s broadcast. The BBC of course denies this has anything to do with editorial control.

Unfortunately for Amber Rudd the whole publicly funded stunt is starting to unravel.

First the leaked memo blew away any secrecy. Secondly, if readers’ comments are anything to go by, the press visits to JobCentres are being seen straight away for what they are, undeclared government propaganda. Thirdly, a House of Commons Select Committee has picked up on the leak and has started to ask awkward questions. Due to the “lack of branding” even the Advertising Standards Authority could become involved.

Above all, what do claimants themselves think? DPAC is quite clear. As reported by the Disability News Service, DPAC has now called on its supporters to visit locations where the free paper is given away – such as train and tube stations – and “remove or otherwise prevent as many as possible” from being read from 31 May.

DPAC is also preparing a dossier of evidence about the DWP-Metro deal to pass to the advertising watchdog, and pledges to “make sure the Metro never want another DWP advert again”. A spokesperson said: “We refuse to be force-fed government propaganda, so we will put a stop to it ourselves. If they want us to be militant, we will be militant. We are not taking it anymore.

Statement by the Anarchist Comrades Detained in Madrid

AWM English 19/05/19

Madrid

The following is the statement of the compañeras arrested in Madrid on May 13 in an “anti-terrorist” operation carried out jointly by agents of the Information and Riot Squad of the UIP in two squatted spaces in the district of Tetuán, a house and the Anarchist Space The Ambush.

“Guilty” or “innocent”, for them our solidarity, complicity and affection.


On the morning of May 13, an anti-riot unit, together with the group 21 of the Provincial Information Brigade of Madrid, dedicated exclusively to espionage and hunting, burst into our homes and into the anarchist space La Emboscada, three weeks after its inauguration.

They informed us that they were bringing a warrant for the arrest and detention of two of us under the charge of terrorism.

During the registration, which lasted approximately 6 hours, comrades from all over Madrid came to show their support.

Meanwhile, the police seemed especially interested in taking clothes: colored and black coats, scarves of concrete colors, foulards, flower handkerchiefs, specific footwear; they were also interested in agendas, calendars, some notebooks, some notes, notes between the pages of books, computers, hard drives, memory cards, usb, mobiles, cameras and video, CDs and DVDs, construction tools and, in particular, hammers; as well as stickers, patches and T-shirts of the brand M.A.L.P; posters and propaganda in relation to the counter-summit of the G20 2017.

During the investigation, which has been ongoing since March 2017, they have intervened in emails, ordinary mail, mobile phones, tablets, whatsapp, icloud, dropbox and communications in general. For now, we do not have more information, since the investigation continues under summary secrecy.

We were detained 32 hours and, although there were times when the situation was confusing and did not seem favorable, any sadness or fear became insignificant when we left and saw the support and solidarity we received from our friends and friends.

Because even if the State comes for us, the ideas and practices that they pursue are irrepressible and multiply in every gesture of solidarity. And although we do not know what we are accused of, we are very clear about what we are and why we are being persecuted: and we do not ever regret being anarchists.

Repression has always been on the lookout for those who fight but throughout our lives it has given us strength and encouragement to know that there were anarchists all over the world and people who shared our affinity and, living this in the first person and finding so many people, it has been very beautiful and meaningful for us.

No anarchist will be alone as long as there are comrades who continue to fight.

A hug to Embers, arrested on May 1 in Paris and still in prison along with many others. And to all the other anarchists and prisoners in struggle, we do not forget.

From: https://vozcomoarma.noblogs.org/?p=22194

Communiqué From Mapuche Political Prisoners (Temuco, Chile)


This communiqué comes from the Indigenous Mapuche political prisoners in Temuco, Chile, who continue demanding the recognition of their cultural and political rights inside prison. The original communiqué in Spanish was published by Publicacion Refractario and can be found here.

We, the Mapuche political prisoners in Temuco, communicate the following to the national and international public, and to our Mapuche people:

 

    1. Our principal and absolute demand will always be freedom for all of the Mapuche political prisoners.
    2. In spite of the multiple efforts that we have carried out to generate dialogue with the Gendarmerie, with the intention to advance toward attaining our political and cultural rights inside of the prison, they continue to be violated and negated by the prison administration and its various authorities.

These political and cultural rights are related most directly to the following short-term demands regarding our prison situation:

 

    1. The implementation of protocols for mass visits three times a year.
    2. The free spiritual exercise of the Mapuche prisoners once a month.
    3. The ability to carry out workshops on Mapuche language and culture without segregation between the accused and the convicted once a week.
    4. The increase in the number of family or general visits to 20 people per inmate.
    5. Access to intercultural or occidental healthcare according to the situation.
    6. The ability to play sports together, the accused and the convicted.

In addition, the following medium-term demands:

 

    1. Modification of Decree 518 to consider the demand and cultural approaches of the Mapuche political prisoners and of all the Indigenous peoples deprived of their freedom.
    2. Exclusive modules for Mapuche prisoners.
    3. Transfer of the convicted Mapuche political prisoners to the Center of Education and Work (CET).

 

Freedom now to all of the Mapuche political prisoners!!

Accused and Convicted Political Prisoners for the Mapuche Cause

Temuco Prison

May 6th, 2019

Still laughing at Jason Shopland

Sofia, Bulgaria: Update on Day 16 of Jock Palfreeman’s Hunger Strike

mpalothia.net
06.05.19: Day 16th of Jock Palfreeman’s hunger strike as a protest against corruption and abuse of power by the staff of Sofia Prison and its chief in particular.

After his transfer from the Kazichene prison to the Sofia Prison (in order to be put under medical observation), he was harassed by guards.

On Saturday, May 4th, the chief of the shift refused him access to the prison shop from which prisoners buy various items, including phone cards. Thus, Jock has been denied any access to the outside world by not being able to speak over the phone.

He was put in isolation for a few days in the Infectious Disease Unit of the Prison Hospital in Sofia Prison, including among tuberculosis patients. He therefore has refused any medical examinations as a protest against attempts to be deliberately infected.

(via Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association)