Upcoming events in Bristol…
Prisoner solidarity is an essential part of any activism or revolutionary action. Prisons rarely, if ever, act as a deterrent to the crimes that can threaten our communities and they are downright counterproductive when its comes to ‘rehabilitation’ further oppressing and alienating people. Meanwhile the rich folks who start wars, exploit workers, destroy the environment or profit from our misery? Highly unlikely they’ll ever see the inside of a cell.
What Prisons do well is help to control the poor, marginalised, desperate, and anyone trying to take a stand and change society. The rate of this repression can vary immensely over time and place. When the state is feeling particularly vicious – or the resistance to it is looking particularly effective – you get widespread arrests and detention, such as Operation Pandora in Spain, and more recently Operation Phoenix in the Czech Republic. Continue reading
Groups within Belarus have called for actions in solidarity with political prisoners, including anarchists, to take place this weekend. The prisoners who are being held are being put under immense pressure to sign ‘pleas for mercy’ before their release, and have been subject to solitary confinement, denial of contact with family and had food parcels stopped.
This friday 21st (the embassy is shut on saturday) there will be a communications blockade of their UK embassy, we strongly urge you to contact the embassy and let them know your oppinion on the continued detention of the political activists:
If you are in the London area, or can get yourself there, a demonstration is taking place outside the embassy on sunday.
Untill all are free!
Belarusian anti-authoritarian activists; Ihar Alinevich, Mikalai Dziadok, Artsiom Prakapenka, Pavel Syramolatau, Aliaksandr Frantskievich, Jauhen Vas’kovich were sentenced to 3 to 8 years in prison for a series of attacks on state and capital symbols, and are finishing their second year inside. In October 2011 they were acknowledged as ‘political prisoners’ by rights-watch organisations. This improved their chances to be freed, as the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, faces pressure from the European Union to free all political prisoners. He has already pardoned more than 30 of them, but none of our anarchist comrades were granted freedom.
There are currently 15 people listed as ‘political prisoners’ in Belarus, Lukashenko has stated that he will freeonly those who write a petition for pardon, admitting their guilt and asking him personally for mercy. Five of the inprisoned activists have refused to sign, whilst Artsiom Prakapenka signed it under pressure but remains in prison. All the remaining ‘political prisoners’ are under pressure from the prison authorities to sign the petitions. Methods to attempt to force them to do soinclude; transfers to other penal institutions, preventing food supplies coming in, preventing and limiting visits from relatives, denying phone calls, delays and gaps in the receipt of letters, solitary confinement, transfer to a penal facility with a ‘special regime’, etc.
The anarchists federations that met together at the IAF Congress in St. Imier, Switzerland strongly oppose the fact that our comrades are now being traded for benefits from the EU and condemn the pressure that they have been experiencing. We call on everybody to protest on the 22nd and the 23rd of September [the day of the Belarusian elections] against these tortures and demand the immediate liberation of all political prisoners of Belarus, including anarchists and democracy campaigners. (includes excerts from statement by the International of Anarchist Federations).
A demo in London has already been announced, and we hope to have some more actions around the UK, including in Bristol.