Belarusian anarchists given prison sentences from 5 to 17 years

Avtonom

On 6 September Minsk City Court the verdict in the criminal case of the so-called “international criminal group”. There are 14 anarchists and libertarians, four of whom have left Belarus.

The defendants were  under 10 articles, including the articles on the establishment and participation in a criminal organization (paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 of Article 285 of the Criminal Code) and the establishment of an extremist formation (paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code). The trial was held behind closed doors.

According to the investigation, from 2005 to 2020 unidentified persons together with anarchist Alexander Frantskevich and human rights activist Martha Rabkova united “a number of organized criminal groups”: “Revolutionary Action”, “National self-defense” and Revolucijna Dia (“Revolutionary Day”). Investigators allege that Frantskevich and Rabkova organized the arson of the Gomel District Tax Inspectorate in March 2017 using “Molotov cocktails.” .

The 10 convicts were sentenced to exactly the terms requested for them by the prosecution:

– Aleksandr Frantskevich – 17 years (strict regime)
– Akihiro Hanada-Gayevsky – 16 years (medium security)
– Marfa Rabkova: 15 years (minimum security)
– Alexei Golovko – 12 years (maximum security)
– Pavel Shpetny, Nikita Drants, Alexander Kozlyanko, Andrei Chepuk – 6 years for each (maximum security)
– Andrei Marach and Daniil Chul – 5 years each (reinforced regime)

It is also  that the defendants were fined up to 700 basic units (about $8,900).

After the verdict was pronounced, the law enforcers  relatives of the defendants and other political prisoners, diplomats who were not allowed into the courtroom, as well as random people who came to other trials.

Address for letters: SIZO-1, 2 Volodarskogo Street, Minsk, 220030 Belarus.

Currently, we work on the recovery of libertarian and anarchist movement in Russia, after a long period of stagnation and repressions and we need your help to improve our site. 

Fascism and Antifascism. Part three. Populist fascism: perpetual counter-revolution.

From ‘The Authority of the Boot-maker’ by Mal Content.

“What is this liberal rubbish?
Are you some kind of mug?
Don’t talk to me of ‘free speech’
For murdering fascist thugs

We remember Mosley
And how Cable Street folk fought him
When we see the fash
We let the boots do the talking”

– Oi Polloi

Now I started writing this chapter in 2012, then I paused it to see what would happen, and quite a lot has happened since. Ten years on, Britain has the most explicitly right-wing authoritarian government in its history, suppressing dissent by any means at its disposal. It is supported by computerised surveillance and detection, a police force as brutal, sexist and racist as ever, tamed media and a judiciary who mostly went to the same schools as the executive. The entire island is in counter-insurgency mode.

We’ve seen the rise and fall of the English Defence League and the United Kingdom Independence Party, the election of far-right governments around the world. The United States elected a reactionary-comic television presenter as its 45th President, who clowned around for five years making his office even more of a laughing stock while we wondered if anyone had the sense to disconnect the nuclear button.

In 1945, after six years of war against Nazism, a British labour government permitted the fascists detained under Regulation 18b to resume their activities, and gave them a police escort wherever they went, as unsurprisingly they had no popular constituency whatsoever. They were joined by Axis prisoners of war who were supposedly being rehabilitated. Some of those returned to Germany and maintaining their British contacts, plotted a fourth Reich, under cover of a crank spiritualist group called Ostara. Recently demobbed British Jews reacted with disbelief:

“I had been in the merchant navy, survived two torpedo attacks on the Atlantic convoys, and I came back home to Amhurst Road, Hackney to hugs and kisses. My mother went out to make some tea and my dad said, The bastards are back – Mosley and his Blackshirts

– Morris Beckman, antifascist: to ‘The Guardian’ 2009.

Apart from Spain and Portugal, which retained fascist governments, the only country in Europe where it was legal to glorify Hitler and the holocaust was Britain. Mosley took advantage of this to publish a German-language paper and antisemitic propaganda for distribution by right-wing British service personnel in the occupation zone. After three years of that, Mosley again combined the splinters into the Union Movement, and embarked on an electoral campaign.

“Going from a cinema showing newsreel of piles of Jewish men, women and children being bulldozed into lime pits in the concentration camps, and then passing an outdoor fascist meeting or seeing swastikas whitewashed on the walls of Jewish homes and synagogues affected these ex-servicemen with emotion ranging from choleric anger to a cold hard desire to kill the perpetrators.”

– Morris Beckman: ‘The 43 Group’

The conflict in the British Working Class was inflamed on the one hand, by newsreels of the holocaust, and on the other, by the civil war in Palestine that preceded the establishment of the state of Israel.

“Above all, it was the unfolding extent of the concentration camp horrors that really unhinged us all. It imbued every ex servicemen with a sick sense of shame that no action had ever been taken to try to save the camp inmates. Air crews had no doubt that specialised attacks could have taken out gas chambers, furnaces and SS barracks. Ex-paratroopers and Special Forces veterans argued that drops into and around the camps could have saved many, but nothing was ever attempted, …”

                (ibid.)

You have to keep in mind that Churchill had been an anti-Semite when Hitler was still in short trousers, and so was post-war foreign secretary Ernest Bevin. Bevin was an enthusiast of the ‘Truman Doctrine’ against Soviet influence, so the pre-war squabble between socialist and Communist internationals was still playing into fascist hands. A dedicated imperialist, Bevin opposed Indian independence and set about re-establishing Dutch control in Indonesia, using British, Indian and even Japanese troops to wrest the islands from the indigenous people who had recently liberated them. He was also concerned to limit Jewish emigration to Palestine, declaring to the press on 1st March 1946: “Jews must not try to get to the head of the queue”, sparking riots in Tel Aviv that left six civilians dead, shot by British troops. Some Jewish soldiers refused to clash with their co-religionists and were quietly posted elsewhere.

“Watching the Royal Navy stop Greek and Turkish bucket ships crammed with the sick and broken survivors of the camps and the Pathé Gazette and Movietone films of these same derelicts being incarcerated behind barbed wire in Cyprus, seemed to plumb the very depths of inhumanity.”

(ibid.)

Just as they had been before the war, the fascists were driven off the streets by autonomous direct action. The ‘43 Group’,

Read the rest of it.

Kevan Thakrar transferred to HMP Belmarsh

Justice for Kevan

Kev has been moved to Belmarsh and is currently in the seg.

Write to him: Kevan Thakrar A4907AE, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, London SE28 0EB.

As he does not yet have his property, please include a stamped envelope with letters if you can!

If you email with Kev, you will also need to change the location under the “recipients” tab on the email a prisoner site.

He is still receiving some post sent to HMP Full Sutton but it is taking longer to get to him.

Death in the English Channel – ACG (GB) and UCL (France) statement

The Anarchist Communist Group.

The following is a statement agreed by the ACG and the Union Communiste Libertaire (UCL) in France.

The recent twenty-seven deaths of refugees in the English Channel follow another ten deaths this year of desperate refugees attempting to cross to the UK. There does not appear to be official figures for the number of deaths in similar circumstances over the last twenty years, but last October a figure of 296 was given of those attempting to cross by boat or tunnel. These latest figures raise the number of deaths to over 330, to say nothing of the thousands who have met their deaths in the Mediterranean. Our thoughts are with the relatives and friends of those who have died.

Both the British and French governments have attempted to place the blame for these deaths on people traffickers. But it wasn’t the traffickers who supplied the arms to vicious authoritarian regimes and who intervened in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, with bombings and occupations, destabilising the region, it was the Western powers, and that includes France and Britain. In addition, the French state has carried out a war against the refugees, dismantling their camps and pulling down their tents in the middle of winter, running out rolls of barbed wire around a camp at Lille and along the railway tracks to Calais, rounding up migrants, subjecting them to harassment, gassings, and strip searches. On the day of the tragedy that resulted in the 27 deaths, the sub-prefect of Boulogne-sur-Mer sent the police to stop the survivors being supplied with dry clothes.

There have been 1,281 recorded attempts to cross the Channel since the beginning of the year, involving a total of 33,083 people, according to the French maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea. The British Home Office recognises that 25,792 refugees managed to reach Kent, and the Maritime Prefecture says that it has brought back 8,200 during rescue operations.

The refugees don’t come to the West just to annoy people in Calais and in Kent. They are fleeing mass murders, bombings, oppressive regimes and political and religious persecution. Many are Kurds who have been forced to flee from Iraq, Iran and Syria. They are not coming to the UK to “scrounge” as has been stated by Priti Patel and other Conservative MPs in parliament, but because there are already existing migrant communities who can support them and provide work, often off the record. Indeed, in early November, Patel stated that 70% of refugees were ‘economic migrants’ and she has not substantiated this spurious allegation. Tory MPs like Edward Leigh and Julian Lewis have gloated in Parliament over the deaths, saying that it would act as a lesson for those attempting to cross the Channel into Britain.

Both the French and British governments have expressed hypocritical sympathy for those who have died, Macron saying that he would not let the Channel become a cemetery. His actions say otherwise. Meanwhile Boris Johnson allocated £54 million last summer to stop crossings. Both are cynically using the crossings to exacerbate the tension between the British and French governments.

It is precisely because of the militarised and heavily fortified crossing points, particularly at the entrances to the tunnel at Coquelles, that have forced refugees to take to sea, often on improvised rafts.

Johnson came to power because of Brexit and one of the aims of Brexit was to end the influx of migrants, especially from the Middle East. This is failing significantly, as around 25% of refugees manage to cross to Britain. In France there is the run-up to the presidential elections, and candidates are keen to show how zealous they are to combat migration.

The Johnson government has closed down any legal paths into the UK and ways of setting up safer routes, such as allowing asylum applications at British embassies, which it virulently opposes. The resettlement scheme he promised for those fleeing from the Taliban in Afghanistan three months ago has still not been implemented, forcing many to take dangerous routes to escape. As for Priti Patel, the Home Office minister, she continues to blame the French government and her own legal advisers and officials for a failure to deliver on Brexit promises. She has raised the idea of a “push-back” policy, with the coastguard and the Navy forcing refugees back to France mid-Channel. No seafarer relishes condemning anyone to drowning, and even the staff union of Border Force, the frontiers law enforcement agency, has rejected the “push-back”. Other crazy schemes mooted have been the sub-contracting of processing asylum seekers to distant countries, for example Albania. The Albanian government has dismissed this as “totally fake”.

For us, libertarian communists, the world is not divided between East and West, North and South, but between the classes, between those who rule and exploit and profit, and those who work and produce the wealth, and are used as cannon fodder by the boss class. Solidarity between French and British workers and with the migrants. Don’t let the nasty, sordid aim of restructuring capitalism on a global scale by those who rule and exploit fool you. The workers of the world have no country. It is time to resurrect a class consciousness that does not recognise borders and states. In the meantime, we must fight to stop any further deaths in the Channel.

Chile: ‘The risks of multiformity’ – Words of anarchist prisoner Francisco Solar EN/ES

dark nights

The search for freedom implies the attempt to establish and develop practices in that sense. Breaking with imposed directions, dogmas and predetermined schemes is essential in the construction of anti-authoritarian relations and in the strengthening of these.

Multiformity in terms of action (and not only) is circumscribed in this way of understanding and carrying out the struggle. It is an expression of freedom that denies singular rigid behaviors and ways of doing things, as well as encouraging imagination and autonomy.

It is also a rejection of specialization and specialists who, as we have seen, sooner rather than later become leaders who become enlightened vanguards. It was and is recurrent to see how the armed apparatuses that perpetrated significant actions became the leadership of an organization or the part of a movement that arrogated, through the use of arms, its representation, demonstrating a militarism that we are alien and contrary to.

On the other hand,

View post

325 Collective still active: Contact Email & PGP Key

A message from the 325 collective.

Dark Nights.

To all our comrades internationally, be they in the streets or in the hellholes of the state, we would like to let everyone know that we are still active as a collective & working on new publication projects.

For anyone who would like to be in contact with us, we share our most recent PGP key. New proposals for publications are very much welcome for the expansion of the Black International of Anarchists of Praxis and against the techno prison world.

325 Collective

mail-325(at)riseup.net

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UK: Update on the situation of anarchist comrade Toby Shone

Dark Nights.

Toby’s trial began on 6th October at Bristol Crown Court. The charges for administration of 325.nostate.net, funding of terrorism through the website and dissemination of and collection of material useful to terrorists have now been dropped due to lack of evidence.

The other charges of possession of Class A and B drugs with intent to supply, producing a class B drug and a further count of class AA drug possession are still being pursued. At this present time we understand this could carry a jail term of 3-6 years imprisonment.

The Operation Adream that has been unleashed by the British state is an attempt to destroy 325 & its publications, an attack on counter-information that is connected to the repression that has been ramped up on this island since the pandemic and resulting lockdowns, a repression that has always existed, an attack on any form of active revolt here.

We do not believe in guilt and innocence, neither in passivity, only in solidarity that contributes to the continuation of the conflict against the existent.

Strength & Solidarity to anarchist comrade Toby Shone!

Nothing is over, the conflict continues!

Dark Nights Collective

Privilege (for the benefit of the privileged), identity and the Class War. By Mal Content.

“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone.

… From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.”

– Aldous Huxley: ‘The Doors of Perception’.

This was always going to be a personal account, anarchism is after all an extrapolation of the particular to the general. The author is an able-bodied (at time of writing), cis-male, heterosexual*, Working Class anarchist of North European heritage, self-educated with a few engineering and craft skills, living in the South of England, I don’t need a university lecturer to tell me that’s a position of considerable privilege in the modern world, and a potentially reactionary one, yet I’ve honestly never wanted anything from this society but to witness its demise. I’m also big, ugly, and in my fifties which helps when dealing with management and cops.

* I seldom use the word ‘straight’, it implies bias, and I’m not claiming my relatively banal proclivities as a badge of community with anyone.

Early on I questioned whether I was writing primarily for people more or less like myself, and dismissed the idea. Obviously it has its limitations, it wouldn’t be of much use to someone whose interest was, for example, the development of anarchism within Chinese culture. It is intended for people new to anarchist ideas, and privilege is a concept many find utterly baffling. Like reification* it’s a hard one to get your head around because it’s woven into the fabric of perceived reality, it’s largely invisible, especially if your contacts are all drawn from a narrow social base.

* Of course, privilege is a form of reification.

Privilege in this context is an absence or mitigation of oppression, seen from the point of view of the oppressed. At first sight it’s counter-intuitive, because no one ever feels privileged,* and the colloquial use of the word is a benefit of some kind, usually earned. It sounds dangerously close to the bosses’ view that we ought to be grateful for access to work, housing, health and education. It’s a demonstrable fact that the presence of any super-exploited group, migrant labour for example, depresses pay and conditions for all workers, so how does it work? How is it a privilege not to be excluded, underpaid, sexually abused, targeted by cops or attacked by bigots?

* There’s a lesson there; not even the ruling elite feel privileged, because they’re conditioned from birth to believe they deserve a bigger slice of the pie.

The liberal would claim these as basic human rights, but they have it backwards, society is oppressive by its nature, its institutions were specifically devised to divide and exploit us, so we each become acclimatised to the level of oppression we experience, and only when these lines are crossed protest that our rights have been violated. This is the liberal trap – it’s the oppression that’s normal, not the absence of it. For many these experiences are routine, and they may indeed consider it a privilege to walk home without being harassed, to apply for a vacancy and be offered an interview, or to attend and not hear that it has just been filled.

If X walks a steeper road than Y, all things being equal, Y will make more progress in a given time for the same effort. Capitalism requires us to compete by excluding others*, so as Y is ahead of X they will have the first choice of whatever they need for the next leg of the journey, and set off feeling positive and refreshed. So on through life; Y will always be where X isn’t, and X will have to work harder than Y just to avoid being left by the wayside. Y’s setbacks will be easier to overcome and of shorter duration. Believing in equality of opportunity, Y may conclude the demoralised and resentful X isn’t trying, or they may congratulate themselves on their own industry and cunning. Meritocracy is a nasty bourgeois trap, like justice, it’s a logical fallacy.

* Housing gentrification and social cleansing is a good example of this.

Read the rest of it.

URGENT! On the recent illness of anarchist comrade Francisco Solar and his delicate health situation [Chile]

Chile. In the first months of 2021, Francisco together with other anarchist and subversive prisoners carried out a hunger strike that lasted more than 50 days against the modification of Decree Law 321 and for the immediate release of Marcelo Villarroel.

Originally published by Buscando La Kalle!! Translated by Riot Turtle.

In 2010 Francisco had already put his body as a trench of struggle in another strike of more than 60 days in the framework of the Bombs Case.

It is during the last mobilization that several blood tests were taken from Francisco by the prison administration, including a suspicious situation, where Francisco was urgently admitted to the prison hospital due to the bad results of the blood tests, but a few minutes later the prison guards decided that it was a mistake and sent him back to prison.

After a slow recovery, continuous cramps, excessive thirst, weight loss, Francisco requested medical examinations after being transferred to the prison of Rancagua. It was not until September 22 that these tests were performed and he was urgently hospitalized. The diagnosis: Advanced diabetes with 700 mg/dl of glucose, that is, on the verge of a diabetic coma.

After reaching a minimum stabilization, he was returned to Module 2, where, despite the twice daily doses of insulin administered in a restrictive manner by the doctors-prisoners, he still did not have normal glucose parameters.

A few days later, the comrade began to suffer a significant loss of vision that continues to this day, without receiving any attention, preventing him from reading or other daily activities. The Rancagua Prison, being managed by a private company, includes terrible food and a systematic prohibition on the entry of parcels, so that the prisoners are forced to buy a series of sweets and food that the concessionary company, like a monopoly, sells. This reality, in practice, is nothing more than the aggravation of Francisco’s illness and deterioration of his health.

For the life and health of our comrade, it is urgent that the gendarmerie does not place restrictions to receive parcels that is already being negotiated with a private doctor, the end of the prohibitions and limitations regarding parcels, the facilities for an adequate treatment that will allow him a minimum autonomy inside the prison.

We know that prison seeks to annihilate and diminish the individual, so overcoming the obstacles and impediments placed by the prison bureaucracy can only be done through mobilization, solidarity and mutual support. We hold the Gendarmerie responsible for any further deterioration of the health condition of our comrade.

Solidarity and Agitation for the health of comrade Francisco!

Subversive and anarchist prisoners to the streets!

October 2021

Red and Black Telly roundup.