Action Alert! Freedom for Hassan Khan

15 years ago Hassan Khan (Prisoner Number: A1187AK) was convicted of robbery and got a “two strikes” sentence – a mandatory life sentence for people convicted of a second serious sexual or violent offence. This sentence carried a 4 year 166 days minimum tariff but he has been inside for 15 years.

He grew up in care in Birmingham and has a Pashtun Father and a Welsh Mother. He had a very troubled childhood with his problems with the law starting at 8 years old. He sued West Midlands Police, having been framed by them and was awarded £23,000 damages. Not long after winning this case he was set up a second time by a corrupt police officer who planted evidence on a crime scene setting him up for a robbery he didn’t commit.

A close relative of Hassan’s stated that:

The system has never forgiven Hassan for exposing, through a landmark case, a corrupt West Midlands Serious Crime Squad as liars, falsifying statements and tampering with vital evidence. This eventually led to many innocent people, like the Birmingham 6 for example to be released. The ‘brotherhood’ within the judicial, legal and police system has never forgiven him for that.”

Hassan has spent 15 years behind bars this November. He faces an impossible situation – his security file in his parole dossier, that will be used to make the decision to release him or not, is full of racist lies alleging he is connected to Muslim gangs, Isis, and dealing drugs and phones. These lies are complete nonsense and the prison won’t even tell Hassan where this “intelligence” came from. Hassan has no way of challenging their racialised accusations against him.

He has 4 grown up sons in north Wales and desperately wants to be part of their lives. His mental health has deteriorated to the point he wants to give up hope but he has kept his resolve and has undertaken several lengthy hunger strikes to protest about his situation. Hassan needs to be released immediately to a hostel or his friend’s house in North Wales so that this 63 year man can try and salvage his relationship with the children he has missed growing up due to the corruption of the racist West Midlands Police. This is our campaign goal and we are asking people to contact HMP Gartree where he is imprisoned.

These are the Guardian articles outlining the way he was set up – twice.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/jun/01/hassan-khan-miscarriage-police-set-up

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/nov/04/sunglasses-armed-robbery-missing

Why Hassan needs us to take action:

Hassan has a parole hearing coming up on the 19th of October. Despite him doing his best to comply with the prison system his security file that the parole board will read is full of racialised lies about him because of his ethnic background and because he is a practicing Muslim.  He cannot progress through his sentence when coming up against the lies like this – especially in the current political climate. Hassan belongs with his family in north Wales. He wants to go and live with his friend who is in poor health and support him.

Life in prison is taking its toll on Hassan – he has written an autobiography called “A Wasted life.” which the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee are hoping to publish as a booklet.

Hassan needs us to act NOW! His parole is imminent (on the 19th of October) and this will be the only chance to set him free in the next 2 years. He has been considering that if he does not get parole he will undertake a hunger strike until death.

What you can do:

You can only write by letter – and all letters need to be received by the 17th of October, please post your letters to arrive by this date.

Write or email to the Governor of HMP Gartree voicing your concerns about his situation and that he should be released. You can find a template below but we recommend you put this into your own words if possible as it will have much more of an impact. Please let the Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee know if you’ve written to them so we know people are responding and fighting for Hassan.

Address: Gallow Field Road,

Market Harborough,

Leicestershire,

LE16 7RP

Dear Ali Barker

I am writing to express my deep concern about prisoner Hassan Khan who is currently in HMP Gartree. He is a “2 strikes” prisoner over a decade over tariff, with a parole hearing coming up on the 19th of October.

It has emerged that his security file is littered with Islamophobic and rascist lies. It is a travesty that someone like Mr Khan who is in prison with his case now at appeal centring on allegations of police corruption, and that now, after 15 years in prison – over 10 years over his original tariff is being obstructed in the progression of his sentence by these baseless accusations. This is having serious consequences for Hassan’s friends, family and Mr Khan himself. These false statements are likely to be obstructing Hassan’s progression in his sentence.

He is serving an indeterminate sentence and denying him a fair hearing is literally putting his life in danger, him having peacefully protested in the past with several hunger strikes at the injustice of his situation, not to mention this having a knock on effect on his progression.

I ask with urgency for you to investigate why Hassan’s security file is full of these utter lies and for the officer(s) alleging these things against him to be investigated for a form of institutional racial abuse

Hassan has several friends and members of his family supportive of him coming home. I look forward to your written response confirming that you will take action to put Mr Khan on the right path to a life outside of prison.

Yours sincerely,

xxxxxxx

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Red And Black Telly: TRANSPHOBIA – AN ANARCHIST REACTION.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch. Peter Shambrook Talk and Film. 20th Sept 2017

1917 – 2017

Balfour Declaration”

100 years since Britain ‘gave’

Palestine to Israel

Peter Shambrook, historical consultant to the Balfour Project will deliver a talk, with an 18 minute film, on the Balfour Centenary, followed by questions :

A fateful enterprise: the “Balfour”

letter and its consequences

Wednesday 20th September,

7.00pm

Unite (the Union) Office,

41 Castle Way, Southampton

SO14 2BW

Free Admission Arranged by Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Morning Star Group – Email : pscsoton@gmail.com

 

End Toxic Prisons Tour Dates & Details

All over the world prisons are toxic environments causing social and ecological harm. Folks from the US have been organising resistance at the intersection of mass incarceration and the environment, successfully delaying the only current Federal prison construction for over 2 years!

Through grassroots organizing, advocacy and direct action they have been challenging the prison system which is putting prisoners at risk of dangerous environmental conditions, as well as impacting surrounding communities and ecosystems by their construction and operation. Learn about their strategy and tactics, as well as broader struggles of prison abolition, anti-racism, and environmental justice.

Information will then be shared about resistance to the six new mega-prisons in England and Wales, which themselves are proposed for toxic sites, including radiological contamination and asbestos pollution, as well as habitat destruction at every site. Learn how you can get involved!

Learn more:

Check out a recent article we wrote:  –  Fight Toxic Prions: Mass Incarceration and Ecology

About

This Autumn, the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons from the US will be touring the UK with Community Action on Prison Expansion.

All over the world prisons are toxic environments causing social and ecological harm. Folks from the US have been organising resistance at the intersection of mass incarceration and the environment, successfully delaying the only current Federal prison construction for over 2 years!

Through grassroots organizing, advocacy and direct action they have been challenging the prison system which is putting prisoners at risk of dangerous environmental conditions, as well as impacting surrounding communities and ecosystems by their construction and operation. Learn about their strategy and tactics, as well as broader struggles of prison abolition, anti-racism, and environmental justice.

Information will then be shared about resistance to the six new mega-prisons in England and Wales, which themselves are proposed for toxic sites, including radiological contamination and asbestos pollution, as well as habitat destruction at every site. Learn how you can get involved!

Tour Details

Thursday 28th September
London
7pm, 125 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9RG
https://www.facebook.com/events/114869449183950/

Friday 29th September

Cardiff
With IWW Cymru Wales and No Prisons De Cymru
Connect International English Academy, First Floor, 26-28 Churchill Way, CF10 2DY Cardiff https://www.facebook.com/events/129793397664005/

Saturday 30th September
Port Talbot
10.30am, Aberavon Beach Hotel, The Princess Margaret Way, Swansea Bay, Port Talbot, SA12 6QP https://www.facebook.com/events/116023012410416/

Swansea
With No Prisons De Cymru
7pm, Swansea Environment Centre, SA1 1RY
https://www.facebook.com/events/115834292452554/

Sunday 1st October
Bristol
With Bristol Anarchist Black Cross
7pm, Kebele, 14 Robertson Road, Bristol, BS5 6JZ
https://www.facebook.com/events/686514301554356/

Monday 2nd October
Manchester
With Manchester No Prisons
11am, Partisan Collective, 19 Cheetham Hill Road, M4 4FY Manchester, https://www.facebook.com/events/695802160615245/

Tuesday 3rd October
Leeds
With Yorkshire Campaign Against Prisons
Wharf Chambers, 23-25 Wharf St, Leeds LS2 7EQ
https://www.facebook.com/events/262431267610681/

Wednesday 4th October
Leicester
With Leicester Prison Resistance
Venue TBA
https://www.facebook.com/events/664969193699307/

Thursday 5th October
Norwich
With DIT Collective
Space Studio, Swan Lane, Norwich, NR2 1HZ
https://www.facebook.com/events/538149689910439/

Friday 6th October
Liverpool
Venue TBA
https://www.facebook.com/events/167401487144097/

Day of Action Against Youth Prisons

The Empty Cages Collective is calling for actions in solidarity with the Australian campaign against youth prisons, Shut Youth Prisons Mparntwe.

First nations people and non-Indigenous people from around Australia have called for an International Week of Action at the end of September to shut youth prisons and end deaths in custody. We want to strengthen their action and bolster their message, whilst also raising awareness about the traumatic reality of our own youth prison system. The UK call-out can be read here.

Two events are taking place in London on Friday September 29th to support the Week of Action:

Please get along if you can and share the events online!

Bristol antifascists film premiere, Thursday 7th Sept. 7.30pm

Bristol antifascists invite you to a premiere of the new film “Antifascists”. Footage and analysis from the frontlines of the fight against fascism. More info here:

https://www.facebook.com/theantifascists/

Thursday 7th Sept. 7.30pm at Kebele Social centre, 14 Robertson Road, Easton. BS5 6JY.

Free showing but donations welcome to support the relentless work of your local antifascist group.

And if that gets you in the right sort of mood, how about a bit of putting it into practice?…

Everyone out on 10th September! Time for another solid antifascist response in Bristol!

Here’s the callout from our comrades, the angry queer antifascists:

It’s not going to go well for fascists in Bristol this Sunday! Keep your eye on these sites for demo meet point details:

angryqueerantifascists.wordpress.com

facebook.com/bristolqueercaf

facebook.com/bristolantifascists

Stay safe and solid together. No space for fascism in our city!
In solidarity,
BAF.

Common press release from the medic, legal and DIY media team following the demo’ in Bure on the 15 August 2017

[Fr] http://vmc.camp/2017/08/17/a-bure-la-prefecture-continue-sa-strategie-descalade-brutale-au-prix-de-nombreux-ses-blesse-e-s-continuons-le-soutien/

In Bure on the 15 August 2017, around 800 people set off on a demo (numbers like this had never been seen  before for a non-declared demo in Bure). The prefecture deliberately chose a strategy of aggression and asphyxiation that led to a number of injured people.  The police deployed were twice the number deployed for the demo of the 18 February 2017, 15 riot cop vans and a water cannon were counted.

The route of the demo headed towards Saudron and not the “laboratory”, chosen to avoid the fortified red zone and all the blue team.  The objective was to arrive in a big field between the village of Saudron the “Espace Technologique” (an Andra Building) to highlight a very important Neolithic site discovered by archaeologists and ignored by Andra

Meanwhile the prefecture deliberately attempted to provoke people in the middle of Bure, 100m after the start of the demo.  Many riot cop vans were posted at the edge of the village.  Instead of falling into this trap, protesters intelligently decided to avoid confrontation and to go on a 4km detour across fields to get to the field that they wanted to go to.  Just before reaching this field on the edge of Saudronm riot cop vans and the water canon were deployed followed by the firing of tear gas which of course led to clashes in the middle of the village….

The police operation
apart from lots of tear gas and the water cannon being used, police also used  lanceurs de balle de défense (small hard rubber balls fired from a police weapon), fired above the waist (which is not “legally” authorised) injuring people.  They also used the diffrent grenades (stun grenades and flash bang grenades) thrown by hand but also using launchers that fired the grenades tens of metres behind the clashes that were taking place, causing serious injuries.

From a small part of the clashes at the end of the demo the following police weapons were found (at least) 15 stun grenades, 12 small hard rubber balls fired from lanceurs de balle de défense, 4 flash bang grenades.  This gives you an overall idea for the day.

List of injured people
The medic teams counted more than 30 injured people, including a couple with serious injuries and 3 people were hospitalised.  We take a look at one person hospitalised with a serious injury:

  • One person had their foot torn apart after the explosion of a flash bang grenade causing a triple open fracture on the bones of the foot. Surgeons that looked at the victim (after the first aid done by the medic teams) are now talking about the risk of amputating the toes because of the presence of plastic melted from the shoe into the tissue.  A photo is available here but is very gruesome to look at:

While injured people were being evacuated, police targeted people that were helping the injured, causing panic and more injuries.

For the more seriously injured people, the state ambulance/fire crews were called but we could see their difficulties in dealing with these kind of injuries for which they didn’t seem trained to deal with. Should these crews be trained to treat “war” injuries ou should these so called “non lethal arms” that mutilate and kill people stopped being used?

This record of events is very heavy and adds to the previous demo on the 18 February 2017 where 20 people were injured and 2 hospitalised.

Potential repression for the hospitalised people.
Not only did the police injure, mutilate and maybe cause amputations, they even went to hassle the injured in the hospitals, sometimes before they had even been treated to interview them or even confiscate personal items.

  • One person hospitalised in Neufchateau saw the police come into their bedroom to control their ID.
  • In the hospital in Nancy, police interviewed the person with a severe foot injury, in the afternoon of the 16 August.  One and a half hours of tiring interrogation done by the people responsible for a possible amputation.  One out of two questions concerned the other people present at the demo. “I’ll accept the interrogation but I have nothing to say, you’ve ruined my life” the reply of the kind cop “we are here for you, not against you, here to help you”.  90 minutes later the police came back with orders to check the person’s clothes.  “I’m tired, you’re pressuring me and it’s the second time that you’ve come into my bedroom!” Answer “I was kind, I didn’t have to be”

A strategy of repression that is more and more brutal.
It’s far away from the times when Andra and the Prefecture decided not to make a fuss, to avoid showing that people were contesting the project. Since a few months the police strategy has started to be more and more aggressive: daily provocations and intimidation, stopping demos, serious injuries.  Instead of protecting the laboratory and the other infrastructures which was the case in the past, the riot cops received orders to target protesters in the middle of villages, favouring division, injuring, mutilating…just how far will they go?

The objective of this kind of press release is not to fall into a counter propaganda of a victim, a sad summary or warrior overkill.  It is to better record the attacks of police on protests and to offer an account on the continuing repression in Bure.  We’ve taken note of this strategy and in the months and years to come, we’ll look at how to continue in lots of different ways.

Testimony from Robin, with a seriously injured foot.
Robin wrote this testimony on the 16 August, from his hospital bedroom
to share with everybody:

“I am Robin, the person that got a foot injury from one of the number of flash bang grenades that the riot cops fired onto protesters, near Bure on Tuesday 15 August 2017.  I’m in the hospital of Nancy.  My foot is in a terrible state, the grenade dug 3 cm into my foot with a diameter of 13 cm.  Most of the bones are broken.  Some have even disappeared, pulverised.  The shoe exploded, the plastic melted into the wound, so much that an infection is likely which would mean the amputation of 5 toes.  Added to that are 30 pieces of shrapnel in the other leg. The riot cops fired around 15 flash bang grenades, they were not in danger. Just before my foot was hit, I saw a grenade explode at head height. For me the objective of the police force at that time was  clearly to injure or kill, with the goal of terrorising those who fight and those who are not fighting yet.  On the medic team stretcher that I want to underline their courage and efficiency, I heard more grenades exploding. Despite the brutal change in my life that this injury has caused in my life as a father to 2 very young children, I call out more than ever to continue in this struggle, to get active or get back into it for some.

Write to Robin and other injured people: to write and show your support to Robin and other people injured during the demo, don’t hesitate to write to: Maison de résistance à Bure, 2 rue de l’Église, 55290 BURE, France. Correspondence and support messages will be forwarded to them.

Press contact : +337 53 54 07 31

email : sauvonslaforet@riseup.net / for the anti-répression arr@riseup.net

Banksy, Balfour and Bethlehem 5th September in Southampton.