This is Zenevich Vladislav Vladimirovich a longtime dedicated anarchist and antifascist comrade from Minsk in Belarus who was detained on November 30 on the basis of art. To date there has been 342,1, arrested for 2 months. News has reached us that he will soon to be transferred into “investigative custody”.
Earlier, Vlad was detained during the March on November 1, badly beaten, along with many other anarchist and anti fascist activists who mobilised across the region against the dictator. He like many others were later released the next day after being fined 30 rubles.
His apartment was also searched and ransacked by the secret police investigating anarchists and antifascists.
The Industrial Workers of the World Ireland Branch rejects the official apology from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) chief constable Simon Byrne, issued after a report from the Police Ombudsman found that the policing of the two Black Lives Matter rallies in Derry and Belfast had been ‘unfair and discriminatory’.
On Saturday 6th June 2020, following the brutal murder of George Floyd by the hands of police, Black Lives Matter held events in both Derry and Belfast at which the PSNI selectively targeted and harassed activists.
The report into the PSNI operation found that confidence among Black Asian Minority Ethnic communities had been “severely damaged”.
A spokesperson for the Industrial Workers of the World Ireland Branch said: “For the IWW the announcement by the PSNI today, apologising for their blatant acts of racial harassment and discrimination rings hollow.
“Today seems to have been a good day for the cops to bury bad news, amongst a number of major news stories from Covid lockdown to Brexit.
“They have been caught out and have been rightly publicly challenged by civil rights lawyers and activist.
“For our part, as a union, the IWW demands that all fines issued on June 6 2010 are immediately scrapped and funds reimbursed. All pending charges against participants in the Black Lives Matter solidarity actions must also be formally scrapped.
“As a grassroots union, created by and for working class people, we have no faith in the PSNI protecting working class people’s rights or lives, nor the laws of their judicial system to which they adhere to.
“Only working class self-organisation and solidarity, within our communities, our workplaces and on our streets can protect our own interests in the face of continual sectarian and racial division.”
Anyone who’s spent time in a cell for political activity, will know that imprisonment and detention, is designed to deny autonomy, degrade the dignity of the individual, impair or destroy self-reliance, and to inculcate authoritarian and extremely hierarchical values – very often though, particularly with anarchist prisoners, incarceration has had the opposite effect.
It can put iron in the soul. But Christmas can still be a terribly lonely event and a little contact from the outside goes a long way.D.i.Y.Culture #11 – Prisoner Support Special is packed with practical information on how to get involved in support for anarchist and class war prisoners.
How to start an Anarchist Black Cross group, about being vegan in the nick, info from the Bent Bars Project which provides support to LGBTQI prisoners and the Angry Brigade on kicking capitalism until it fucking-well breaks.
The Anarchist Black Cross have received information over the last few days from several sources that the punitive authorities may try to kill the anarchist and blogger Nikolai Dedka in the pre-trial detention center on Volodarka.
If something happens to Nikolai in the coming weeks, the responsibility for this will lie entirely with the Belarusian regime.Dedok was detained on November 11 in a rented apartment. During his arrest, he was severely beaten, and then tortured to obtain passwords from an encrypted computer.
Mikola is in quarantine from December 18 to December 27. Due to quarantine, a lawyer is not allowed to see him.
Address for letters: SIZO-1, st. Volodarskogo 2, Minsk, 220030, Dedku Nikolai Alexandrovich
As part of a series of articles and interviews IWOC Ireland talks with political prisoner John Paul Wootton, of the Craigavon Two. As an anarchist and political prisoner, John Paul talks here briefly on how prisoners campaign and fight back on the inside.
Can you tell us if you have been involved in any recent campaigns or actions on the inside and if so what have they been in relation to?
Over the past few years, a number of small campaigns have been fought to try and improve conditions for prisoner in the north of Ireland. Finally, after lengthy battles, we are starting to see some progress.
An important fight has been on the issue of cell raids.The seemingly limitless desire by prison guards, to go through all you personal belongings and violate your personal space means that cell raids are common feature of prison life.
How does the issue of cell raids impact on the lives of prisoners?
The discomfort and frustration they provoke is well-known to the state and, as such, they are often used as a weapon.Prisoner activists can often be met with the threat of a raid if they are perceived as being a ‘nuisance’: they are used to informally intimidate or punish.
Often the raids are accompanied by a wide ranging pettiness such as the confiscation of a second pillow or some extra water bottles, or even the ripping down of family photos from the wall of your cell.
Has the issue around cell raids not been dealt with before particularly when we look at the wider prison struggles of the past?
Protections against this sort of thing have actually long existed.Many years of struggle in prisons and wider afield, secured rights in the past.Unfortunately, prisons in the North of Ireland have long lacked a real culture of oversight or scrutiny, with only Republican or Loyalist prisoner issues gaining any real focus.As such, prior gains have been lost.
The challenge then was to begin to pressure the prison administration to recognise these rights once again.Given the unfortunate lack of any real organisation among prisoners at the moment, and the sheer amount of work that is needed to rectify this, I made the decision to see what use could be made of the state bodies officially tasked with oversight.
Is there any use in taking legal action to challenge issues prisoners face?
The Prisoner Ombudsman’s Office, in my experience, has lacked any real credibility.It has long been denied any real power to create change by the state, and it tends to be staffed by people with pro-state and pro-prison ideology ( the position of the Ombudsman is appointed by the Stormont Government of course).However, it was decided to pursue this avenue anyway, with the added contingency go legal action. A complaint was formally lodged citing lack of protections against arbitrary use of cell raids.
After 11 months, the Ombudsman produced a report that completely exonerated the prison and its policies.From the report it was clear that the investigation lacked any real depth.In fact, they had not even designed to speak to me or ask for submissions before completing it.As a consequence, I engaged a Human Rights Law firm for advice.The outcome was that the Ombudsman was told to recognise the rights of prisoners in this matter or face legal action.
The Ombudsman’s response was to deny any wrong-doing but to commit to re-run their investigation.This time, under the scrutiny of my legal team and I, a new report was produced that upheld my case and made a number of recommendations for change that was eventually accepted by the prison administration.
Does using the masters tools actually change anything?
I am under no illusions of course.The use of state bodies and legal avenues will not lead to fundamental change in prisons and certainly not their abolition.It is only organisation, direct action and a wider freedom that can achieve this.What this small victories can do though is inspire people to provide a breathing space in which more effective means can be pursued.
We have seen in the past how the law haas been asked to change policies in any constructive way in the long term?
I have no doubt the prison administration will delay and do what they can to shrink their commitments in this case.New ways will no doubt be found to harass prisoners, their families and allies.But the pressure will be maintained.I and others, will be ever vigilant against the claw-back and creative repression.
What is the message to those us on the outside can take from this?
The more allies prisoners have, the more progress can be made and the more empowered we become.Change can beget change, especially if we can build enough momentum together.
As high-profile political prisoners, John Paul and Brendan McConville, Craigavon Two, are currently being held in Maghaberry prison, one of the North’s most notorious prison system for a crime they did not commit. They continue to declare their innocence as well as fight against this ongoing miscarriage of justice.
You can send a letter or card in support and solidarity to John Paul at the following address:
John Paul Wootton
Davis House, Maghaberry Prison,
Old Road, Ballinderry Upper
Lisburn, BT28 2PT, North Ireland.
You can also send a card or a letter of support and solidarity directly to Brendan at the following address:
Maghaberry Prison, Roe House (Roe 4)
Old Road, Ballinderry Upper
Lisburn, BT28 2PT, North Ireland
You can find out more about the John Paul and Brendan McConville’s wrongful imprisonment as part of the Craigavon Two at the following link:#JFTC2
Dmitry Rezanovich will be 31th November Dima is an active participant in Belarusian anarchist movement.
In 2014, at the age of 24 he left for Kiev to participate in a revolution on the barricades of Majdan. Then I crossed the border by Ukrainian-Russian train using my brother passport.
He was detained at Kursk railway station and transferred to FSB.Dima spent four months at a deportation center in Kursk before expulsion from Russia. There he took part in a four-day hunger strike to improve the conditions of retention. The result of the strike was to grant prisoners permission from the administration to take a shower daily and collect home-made parcels from loved ones.
Dima refused to serve in the Belarusian army: ′′ I am not interested in serving in the Belarusian army. The same army, if something happens, can be used against their people, as I have noticed many times…
′′Now Dima is trapped by the KGB along with three other anarchists.You can send him a card of solidarity – both him and the other three detained.
We suggest sending letters in Russian – there is a better chance that they will be handed over to the boys. Addresses for sending letters below:
linevich Igor VladimirovichSergei Alexandrovich RomanovMain Post, Postal Box 8, Minsk, 220050
Remember that support – mainly financial, is much needed for our comrades who fight in the Belarusian Revolution. For us, a small amount for them a chance to win!
Every single day of fighting more, brings them closer to winning for a free Belarus, free from a dictator, free from the state of terror, free from torture, beat, rape, mental abuse.You can use the linkhttps://www.firefund.net/belarus
′′ For more than three months, Belarusians have been fighting the authoritarian regime.Within 26 years, dictator Lukashenko built a system aimed at suppressing all political life. Coronavirus and a number of economic problems have significantly changed what is happening in the country. Within a few months, Belarusians have learned to organize self-organization. The presidential election caused a wave of the biggest protest in the history of the country!
But the tyrant will not abandon his throne. At least 5 people died (some died in strange circumstances). Thousands of people have been beaten and led to kaldctivity by police violence. Over 15 k detained and sentenced in administrative matters. More than 500 criminal cases have been opened. At least 200 people await trial in custody (including anarchists and anti-fascists).Since the first days of the uprising, anarchists have been actively participating in street demonstrations and various initiatives in their places of residence.
Activists are in favour of self-organization and decentralised protest. Some have organized a guerilla group.Determination and persistence of anarchist movement in the country has made us one of the best organized political forces in the fight against dictatorship.But anarchists are also not ignored by repressive structures. Due to problems some of our comrades were forced to go underground and quit their jobs. Leaving without livelihood and without their place of residence, now they live exclusively because of the solidarity of their comrades! With limited resources, we are forced to call our comrades and friends from outside the country for support. Money for many things is quite urgent and we will be grateful for any contribution from small to large!
For today we need constant help with:
* fees for a safe apartment, conference room rental and more,
* purchase of protest equipment (megaphones, walkie-talkie, personal equipment, first aid kit, etc. ),),
* printing leaflets / stickers / brochures,
* supporting those who now live underground and can’t earn money,
* support for activists who have experienced the violence of the Belarusian state.
We call on comrades from around the world to show solidarity with the anarchist movement in Belarus.With the support of this campaign, you will support not only anarchists but also the desire for Belarusians to free themselves from the dictatorship!
Tell your friends and comrades about the campaign and only with your help can we get through the darkest night till dawn!Support in Firefund: https://www.firefund.net/belarus“
November 23-30th: International week of solidarity with anarchists and anti-fascists in Belarus
ACK Belarus appeal:
Anarchists always opposed tyranny and dictatorship. That is why it is not surprising that anarchists are actively participating in the uprising against dictator Lukashenko in Belarus.
From the first days, we have shown our determination and uncompromising attitude that anarchism is a revolutionary movement that can change the world!During the uprising many of our comrades went to jail. At least 10 anarchists and anti-fascists are currently punishing imprisonment from the Administrative Code.
In addition, 10 anarchists and 4 anti-fascists await criminal proceedings, some are punished for 20 years in prison.We call on you to join the week of solidarity and show your support for revolutionary anarchists and anti-fascists fighting the occupation regime of Lukashenko!