Barricade Bulletin No.15 Out Now!

Barricade Bulletin No.15 is out now. You can receive it directly from members locally or from the usual local outlets.  For those of you who live outside of Derry and the North West you can download the online version which now carries news, articles and other information.

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Prisoners Solidarity With Blood Money Campaign

We send love and solidarity to the people of Myanmar, including the thousands imprisoned and those whose loved ones have been killed by the dictatorship.

Your brave resistance against ruthless repression and unimaginable atrocities is an inspiration to all those who aspire for a better world and whilst our own imprisonment limits the range of actions open to us, we are committed to standing with you in whatever way we can.

We intend to educate those within our reach about the ‘Blood Money Campaign’ making our families, friends and fellow prisoners aware of the actions that workers in Myanmar are undertaking.  We aim to highlight the role of multinational corporations plat in proving direct and indirect support to the military dictatorship.  We will echo your calls for all those companies doing business with the regime to divest immediately and end their association with the suppression of freedom and justice.

We hope we can aid you in your struggle and in our own small way pierce the veil of normalisation the dictatorship wishes to present to the world.

Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee Ireland

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Call for Support & Solidarity with the revolution in Brazil

We, anarchist and communist militants from the city of São Paulo, organized in the “Revolução Periférica” movement, would like to address this message to our comrades outside Brazil.


We came up as a movement days before our first action: the arson attack against the infamous “Borba Gato”: an 13 meter statue of an infamous colonizer and slave trafficker in Brazil.

Because of this action, that was widespread in Brazil and quickly gained popular approval, two militants from the RP was arrested. A month later, under pressure by the investigation of the police of São Paulo, the courier worker known as Paulo “Galo”, leader of the “Entregadores Antifascistas” (a antifascist food delivery worker’s union), alongside with Danilo “Biu”, surrended for the police. They were both wanted for the action, and won’t last for so long pursued by the cops.

Borba Gato was a brutal bandeirante in Colonial Brazil and his infamous statue represent the “glorious” history of his racist and violent past.

On 24 of July, militants from the “Revolução Periférica” set fire on the Statue of Borba Gato, hours before the major protest against Bolsonaro in São Paulo and other major brazilian cities wich resulted in clashes between protesters and the police.

Paulo remained 14 days imprisioned and will face legal prosecution alongside with other militants that participated in the action. Because of this, we are creating an international solidarity ring for the Revolução Periférica. We also set up a crowdfunding campaign to receive international support for our movement. The RP today, in the state of São Paulo, is pushing forward the words of revolution in the favelas of Vietnã, Paraisópolis, Beira Rio II, Jardim Jaqueline, Grajaú and ABC Paulista. With financial help and popular support from other countries, we can become much more stronger, and much more close from the revolution.

Our campaign will be available tomorrow, on FireFund.net. You can see a preview right here: (https://preview.firefund.net/rpsaopaolo) or, if you’re reading this on monday, you can see the campaign online in the frontpage of firefund.net.

We like to share with you not only our campaign, but manly our intentions. We are anarchists and communists that seek to grow popular power where the people are. With the people, by the people, for the people. With the tactics of direct action and autonomy, we’re quickly advancing toward the final objective: the revolution.

Please, help us as you please. Share with other comrades, support our campaign, tell our history to a independent media. Every form of support from outside our country will be fucking aewsome.

I think that’s all for now. You can see our job mainly through our social media accounts:

https://twitter.com/revolucaoperifa
https://www.instagram.com/revolucaoperiferica/

There are some news and publications about or actions in the following links:

https://g1.globo.com/sp/noticia/2021/07/24/estatua-de-borba-gato-e-incendiada-por-grupo-em-sao-paulo.ghtml

If you search through the internet, you will found a lot more content
about our actions and our movement.

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END BAN ON BOOKS IN PRISON

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Northern Ireland Prison Service put in place a ban on books in prison. More than one year on, as the pandemic eases, the Northern Ireland Prison Service’s continued restriction of access to reading materials such as books and magazines is a shocking violation of the human rightsof people inside.

Restrictive measures including being held in cells for up to 23 hours a daywere accepted by people in prison and their families in the interests of public health. 18 months on, for the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) to maintain a ban on books and other publications at any time, let alone while visiting rights have been gutted due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, is a devastating attack upon the lives of all those currently held within the prison system. In recent times, similar book bans within the English prison system quickly led to this horrific decision being overturned.

Restrictions placed on personal movement and interaction with others can prove detrimental to the mental health of people in prison as they are denied the ability to form social bonds with others and foster community inside the prison walls.  We believe it is essential to challenge the decision by the Northern Ireland Prison Service to continue to outlaw books and other reading materials while simultaneously restricting prisoners’ interactions with those inside and outside the prison. The actions of NIPS are a blatant denial of prisoners’ human rights at a time when society at large is recovering from prolonged periods of relative social isolation.

A spokesperson for the IWOC, a union directly linked to the radical Industrial Workers of the World, called upon the NIPS to end the book ban “immediately”. In a statement issued they said “Incarcerated Workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have been hit hard with restrictions of movement seeing prisoners locked up for 23 hours a day. Reading materials are vital for prisoners, it’s a lifeline for everyone to be able to immerse themselves in books, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers. To have that restricted, withheld or banned is a denial of prisoners basic human rights and we call upon those within the Northern Ireland Prison Service to lift the ban immediately as it runs counter to Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Prisoners have even been refused books, reading materials and even accessing music interests if it wasn’t bought from a reputable outlet such as from multinational corporations as Amazon. This in turn prevents those incarcerated from accessing material of their choice such as small independent publishers and distributors who actually have a wider range of reading materials which are fundamental to freedom of choice. Effectively this is a ban on books to prisoners by another name. At present there is currently only regulated access to book distributors which NIPS approve of such as Amazon. This in turn dramatically limits financially what a prisoner can access. There is also a ban on books and publications which family and friends send in from the outside. No matter what way they dress it up, this is fundamentally a ban on books by another name.

The Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee demand that the Northern Ireland Prison Service immediately end their policy of banning books and reading materials across the prison system. This must not be allowed to continue. We call upon those interested in human rights and social justice, to writer’s, independent publishers, artists and musicians to help add their voice by supporting prisoners human rights by also demanding that this be stopped immediately.

This petition will be emailed to the Northern Ireland Prison Serviceand Naomi Long, as the Minister responsible for the Department of Justice. Sign and share to help make sure people in Northern Irish prisons have access to books. PETITION HERE

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“No permitiré que me dobleguen y continuaré con mi rabia en mi camino”

Comunicado del compañero anarquista irlandés John Paul Wootton

“Supongo que mi historia dista mucho de ser habitual. Comienza cuando era un adolescente, que aún no había cumplido los 18 años y estaba enfadado con las condiciones socioeconómicas de su comunidad.

Al crecer en zonas republicanas irlandesas de clase trabajadora, era inevitable que estuviera intensamente expuesto a esa ideología y a su propaganda. Afirmaba que todos los males de la sociedad irlandesa podían achacarse a la injerencia del Estado británico y que sólo un Estado socialista independiente podía ofrecer una solución. La historia, el romanticismo y la ya fuerte influencia de la comunidad fueron difíciles de resistir. Había encontrado mi respuesta.

Al ser joven e inexperto, mi participación fue bastante lejana. No fue mucho más que asistir a protestas callejeras y distribuir propaganda. Aunque mi papel era menor, el Estado no lo veía con buenos ojos. Me había atrevido a desafiar su statu quo; ahora era un objetivo legítimo.

El 9 de marzo de 2008, el Ejército Republicano Irlandés de Continuidad (CIRA) tendió una emboscada a un convoy del Servicio de Policía de Irlanda del Norte (PSNI) y mató al agente Steven Carroll. En respuesta, el Estado se lanzó en picada: haciendo redadas y detenciones. Me retuvieron e interrogaron durante 14 días antes de enviarme a la cárcel. Finalmente fui condenado por mi participación en el ataque en un juicio sin jurado y se me impuso una pena de cadena perpetua con una sentencia mínima de 18 años de prisión. Yo tenía 17 años en ese momento y no tuve ninguna participación en los acontecimientos de esa noche. El Estado necesitaba una victoria contra lxs republicanxs armadxs y, como chivo expiatorio, yo encajaba.

Mientras estuve en la cárcel, mi lugar natural fue entre otrxs activistas republicanxs encarceladxs. A lo largo de los años, nos comprometimos colectivamente en la lucha carcelaria, soportando las duras condiciones y la brutalidad para hacernos valer como presxs políticxs y mejorar nuestra calidad de vida. Tuvimos algunos éxitos, pero se tomaron ciertas decisiones tácticas que, junto con las dificultades internas, creo que socavaron el progreso.

A lo largo de los años de lucha, mi visión política maduró y mi comprensión de conceptos como libertad y dominación se profundizó. Empecé a reconocer que el republicanismo tenía una visión muy estrecha del mundo y una cultura autoritaria muy arraigada. Me convencí de que cualquier Estado irlandés independiente, socialista o no, sería tan perjudicial como el Estado británico.

Así que, después de unos 7 años de vida como prisionero republicano, empecé a sentirme incómodo con la etiqueta republicana. Me adentré en ideas más libertarias y finalmente abracé el anarquismo.

En consonancia con mis nuevos valores, dejé la comodidad de la comunidad de presxs republicanxs y entré en la población de presxs «ordinarixs». Fue una decisión difícil, ya que dejaba atrás no sólo una ideología y una cultura con las que no estaba de acuerdo, sino también a buenxs amigxs y compañerxs.

Ahora, en la población penitenciaria general desde hace varios años, me siento orgulloso de llevar las ideas del anarquismo a otras personas que se encuentran oprimidas en nuestra sociedad y de promover la comunidad, la solidaridad y el apoyo mutuo.

Sigo haciendo lo que puedo para promover un cambio positivo. Sigo desafiando mi actual encarcelamiento y luchando contra el Estado y las diferentes formas de dominación. Con el apoyo de mi familia, la solidaridad de otrxs activistas y el apoyo mutuo de mis compañerxs de prisión, puedo seguir adelante y enfrentarme a los actos represivos del Estado. No permitiré que me dobleguen y continuaré con mi rabia en mi camino.”

Escribid al compañero a:

John Paul Wootton
Davis E3
Maghaberry Prison
BT28 2PT
Irlanda del Norte/Reino Unido

[Nota: aunque no se menciona en esta declaración, recientemente se ha sabido que un agente estatal encubierto estuvo involucrado en la infiltración y el debilitamiento de la Campaña de Justicia Craigavon 2. Consulte JFTC2.IE o JFTC2 en facebook para saber más sobre la campaña de justicia].

Su familia pide el fin de la discriminación de John Paul

Tras la reciente acción de protesta en la prisión de Maghaberry, la familia de John Paul Wootton pide al actual Director General del Servicio Penitenciario de Irlanda del Norte, Ronnie Armour, que intervenga para ayudar a poner fin a los continuos actos de discriminación contra su hijo, hermano, tío y víctima de un error judicial, John Paul Wootton.

En nombre de John Paul, la familia ha lanzado una carta y una campaña de correo electrónico que pone de manifiesto los problemas que hay detrás de los continuos actos de discriminación a los que se enfrenta a diario, mientras está detenido en Maghaberry.

Nosotros, la familia de John Paul Wootton, le pedimos que apoye nuestro llamamiento para exigir que Ronnie Armour, Director General del Servicio Penitenciario de Irlanda del Norte, ponga fin inmediatamente a todos los actos de discriminación contra John Paul.

Por favor, firme la siguiente carta de protesta, envíe un correo electrónico y/o escriba a

Ronnie Armour

Director General

Servicio Penitenciario de Irlanda del Norte

Dundonald House,

Upper Newtonards Road,

Belfast, BT4 3SU

niprisonservice@nics.gov.uk

A la atención del Director General del Servicio Penitenciario de Irlanda del Norte:

He tenido conocimiento de que John Paul Wootton, una persona que tiene bajo su custodia, está siendo objeto de prácticas discriminatorias.

John Paul ha intentado aprovechar las oportunidades que se ofrecen a otros presos, pero desgraciadamente se le ha bloqueado sin justificación, lo cual es un error.

Por ejemplo, ha solicitado participar en programas de apoyo a los compañeros y de tutoría, ha solicitado actividades sociales y ha pedido con pesar a los regímenes penitenciarios, pero a pesar de cumplir los criterios adecuados, no se le han facilitado.

A lo largo de los años y de forma continuada, Juan Pablo ha tenido que hacer frente a acosos como la interrupción periódica del sueño, acciones punitivas injustas tanto formales como informales y, más recientemente, restricciones en sus comunicaciones con el mundo exterior. Las quejas formales sobre su trato han sido ignoradas.

El traslado a la prisión de Magilligan se ha identificado como una solución a muchos de estos problemas, así como la apertura de oportunidades educativas específicas. Sin embargo, a pesar de dos años de espera, John Paul sigue en Maghaberry.

Le escribo para objetar este trato. John Paul debería tener un acceso equitativo a cualquier oportunidad y debería terminar todo el acoso. Debería facilitarse su traslado a Magilligan sin demora.

Espero que entonces se pueda poner fin a estos asuntos.

Atentamente

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Urgent: Solidarity Action with Irish Anarchist Prisoner John Paul Wootton

Following recent protest action at Maghaberry Prison, the family of John Paul Wootton are now calling upon the current Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Ronnie Armour, to intervene to help end the ongoing acts of discrimination against their son, brother, uncle and miscarriage of justice victim, John Paul Wootton.

On behalf of John Paul, the family have launched a letter and email campaign which directly highlights the issues behind the ongoing acts of discrimination he faces on a daily basis, while being held within Maghaberry.

We, the family of John Paul Wootton, ask you to please support our call to demand that Ronnie Armour, Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, immediately ends all acts of discrimination against John Paul.

Please sign the following letter of protest, email and/or write to:

Ronnie Armour

Director General

Northern Ireland Prison Service

Dundonald House,

Upper Newtonards Road,

Belfast, BT4 3SU

niprisonservice@nics.gov.uk

For the attention to the Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service:

It has come to my attention that John Paul Wootton, a person you hold in your custody is being subjected to discriminatory practices.

John Paul has attempted to avail of opportunities open to other prisoners however he has unfortunately been blocked without justification, this is wrong.

For example, he has been applied to take part in peers support and mentoring schemes, requested social activity and asked with regret to the prisons regimes, yet despite meeting appropriate criteria, these have not been facilitated.

Over the years and in an ongoing bases, John Paul has had to deal with harassment such as regular sleep disruption unfair punitive actions both formal and informal, and more recently restrictions on his communications with the outside world. Formal complaints about his treatment have been ignored.

A transfer to Magilligan prison has been identified as a solution to many of these problems, as well as opening up specific educational opportunities. However despite a two year wait, John Paul remains in Maghaberry.

I write to object to this treatment. John Paul should be given equitable access to any opportunities and all harassment should end. A move to Magilligan should be facilitated without delay.

I hope these matters could then be brought to a close.

Yours sincerely

Signed:________________________

Source & further info: JFTC2.IE

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IWW Prison Protest: Discrimination Has To End

Members of the Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee and members of the Wootton family gathered this afternoon in protest and the ongoing treatment of miscarriage of justice prisoner John Paul Wootton. The protest action took place outside Maghaberry Prison on the outskirts of Belfast as part of an effort to draw attention to the ongoing discrimination directed at political prisoner John Paul Wootton. 

John Paul is currently fighting an ongoing miscarriage of justice campaign together with Brendan McConville, as part of the Craigavon Two. 

Several members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) gathered with family and relatives of John Paul at the gates of Maghaberry as a letter of protest was handed into the Prison by John Paul’s mother, Sharon Wootton. 

A spokesperson for the IWW Ireland said “We are here today to lend our voice and solidarity with our fellow worker John Paul, at a time such as this when he continues to face further discrimination at the hands of the state who have already wrongfully imprisoned him. As if they haven’t suffered enough with being fitted up for a crime they did not commit, John Paul has to continually face repeated attacks against him from a system that continues to keep him incarcerated despite the fact that they know full well that both him and Brendan are innocent men. We echo the families call here today and demand an end to the discrimination directed again him. 

“For ourselves as a union, it is always important to highlight that no matter how much repression there is, no matter how much they through, working class solidarity will always win through.”

In a statement issued on behalf of the Wootton family during today’s protest action, it read: 

Today the 18th July, the Wootton family, supported by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) trade union, held a small demonstration outside the gates of Maghaberry prison. Our purpose was to show solidarity and love to John Paul and call for an end to the discrimination to which he has been subjected by the prison authorities. 

Over the years John Paul has been denied many of the opportunities readily available to the other prisoners and has had restrictions imposed and above those endured by others. In recent times we have engaged in a lobbying campaign, reaching out to those with influence, in an attempt to improve the situation. 

Unfortunately, despite best effort‘s issues remain on resolved. It is John Paul view that many of the problems he faces could be dealt with by transferring to Magilligan prison. However, despite the fact that he meets the prison service criteria, he remains in Maghaberry. 

John Paul first applied for a move two years ago but the present service has constantly prevaricated, stalled and at times completely ignored his request. Two years, is a long time when others with only a matter of weeks. 

This is a clear case of discrimination and we will not standby silently. We tend to continue to support John Paul and his fight for justice as we have done for over 12 years now and we will continue that fight until he is freed and fully acquitted. We will also make every effort to ensure he is treated properly whilst being held by the state. We decided against issue a public call for support on this occasion in order to keep attendance low. This was due to the ongoing threat from COVID-19. However, we do not rule out such a thing in the future.

Wootton Family

You can send a letter of card in solidarity to John Paul directly to him at the following address:

John Paul Wootton, Maghaberry Prison Davis House Old Road, Upper Ballinderry BT28 2PT, Ireland

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Solidarity Campaign For Imprisoned Anarchist Comrade Giannis Dimitrakis

Since 24/05/2021, our friend and comrade, anarchist political prisoner Giannis Dimitrakis is being hospitalised at Lamia with heavy injuries from the murderous attack against him at Domokos prison. At the very moment, it appears that Giannis has overcome the danger of the first hours. The injuries that he sustained however, have caused multiple haematoma in the head that influence basic functions of his brain.

On the murderous attack against anarchist comrade Giannis Dimitrakis

Since 24/05, our friend and comrade, anarchist political prisoner Giannis Dimitrakis is being hospitalised at Lamia with heavy injuries from the murderous attack against him at Domokos prison. At the very moment, it appears that Giannis has overcome the danger of the first hours. The injuries that he sustained however, have caused multiple haematoma in the head that influence basic functions of his brain. On Sunday 30/05, many of us gathered outside of the hospital of Lamia. We shouted slogans just a few meters away from his bedroom window to express our solidarity, even though Giannis could not hear us. Since then, his state seems to be improving. For his health to be fully restored, however, continuing monitoring from specialised medical personnel is required for several months. It is obvious that such care cannot be given in the prison environment.

In this critical condition, the scumbags of the New Democracy government, the murderers of prisoners, Michalis Chrisochoidis, Sofia Nicholaou and their minnions, after trying to downgrade and even withhold the incident, decided on Thursday 03/06 the transport of Giannis Dimitrakis back to Domokos prison, going as far as to place him in an isolation cell for Covid prevention purposes. The transfer of our comrade there, while his brain functions remain in immediate danger, is basically like a second murder attempt against him. Domokos prison is scheduled to soon become a discipline prison (type C) for political and undisciplined prisoners, although the prison does not fulfil the requirements to support decent health care that is needed for the recovery of a prisoner with such heavy injuries. After the near murder of Dimitris Koufontinas by the government, while he struggles to recover from his recent hunger strike in the same miserable conditions of the same prison, the murderous attack on Giannis is added to this equation as well. As Assembly of Solidarity with political prisoners and persecuted fighters, and as a solidarity movement in general, we are determined not to let our comrade helpless in their blood stained hands. Nothing can stay unanswered, not one of the death policy managers can be left in peace. As an assembly we generally try to see the issue of prisons system not separated but as a part of the big picture of the social and political issue. In the same way, we see the political prisoners as comrades first, but also as captives of the social-class war that always festers in this cruel capitalist world. In the same way, we understand the legal and prison system, firstly as a state policy determined by the class war, but also as a part of the total policy of the economy, health, education and environment as well. In all these fields, state and capital are moving in a neoliberal approach, attempting to demolish what is left as an obstacle in the way of capitalist development. At the same time, they try to silence every voice of resistance and drown every revolutionary perspective and tradition in sorrow. They use propaganda in order to strengthen their violence and dominance policy. Keeping that in mind, we consider both the specific events and the general state of the Greek prison system as social and political events that mirror the situation outside of prison as well.

The assault on Giannis Dimitrakis, a political prisoner for many years, carried out not by prison officers but by fellow prisoners, is unprecedented in brutality. It has to be analysed with political criteria, the criteria on which we try to base our analysis of every fact of the social life that takes place around us. We can’t see this attack as simply another typical prison incident, like as the prison principal of Domokos described it. This was not just another conflict between prisoners.

Those that hit our comrade with murderous intent, did so because he did what is self evident for any anti-authoritarian: he defended the weak against the strong, even if it meant putting his life at risk. They would not have done so however, without the tolerance of state power. Without state tolerance, the dirty micro-powers of the prison world, in which an anarchist would never participate, wouldn’t act undisturbed as a mafia group, controlling every aspect of prison for their own benefit as well for the benefit of service and state policy.

The government equates terrorism with common vicious crimes in an attempt to diminish the struggle and identify it with organised crime. Giannis stood against the most vicious part of organised crime, in a moral, as well as practical manner. In that way, the state’s narrative was once again shattered and that is why the government has been covering up the incident. Two different worlds collided at the 24th of May. The world of solidarity, selflessness and equality clashed against the world of cruelty and authority.

The cannibalistic and authoritarian violence, the para-state and mafia methods of enforcement and enrichment, those are derivatives of the capitalist world, entangled with state policy. Ιn a closed environment like prison, where everything is under heavy and strict control, this is even more obvious. The small groups of power and the various prison mobs act under a tolerance regime in favour of the state. All around Greece their function strengthens the controlling and fragmenting of prisoners, stifling every attempt of struggle, any demands and acts of collectivisation.

It is clear that the prison managers and their political superiors are the moral accessories of this brutal attack against Giannis Dimitrakis. They must be very satisfied that members of the prison mafia, a creation of their own, tried to end an anarchist that has been giving many struggles, for almost 2 decades now, in every aspect of the social and class war. An anarchist that was in the front lines of the prison riot in Malandrinos at 2007, who has always fought for the unity of all political prisoners and their connection with the poorer proletarians, as well as unruly prisoners, for raising claims inside prison.

Every person responsible for this attack against Giannis Dimitrakis, from first to last, must already know that no political prisoner stands alone. It has been so for decades. Some claim that the anarchist movement, the solidarity assemblies for political prisoners as well as the political prisoners community in Greece (the members of which are intentionally spread around in different prisons, in order to lose contact with each other) is in recession and fragmentation and under brutal government attack. This may be true but that is the reality we have to face and overcome. We need to rediscover the revolutionary memory that they so want to stifle, get back to our feet and make political prisoners solidarity something they fear. We should never let anyone think that a political prisoner or any other unruly prisoner can become a victim of terrorism and vicious attack from any state or para-state mechanism. The struggle of solidarity with political prisoners, as well as the struggle against the prison institution in itself, is part of the general struggle against state and capital.

Immediate transfer of our comrade in a special rehabilitation centre

Hands off political prisoners

Solidarity and strength with Giannis Dimitrakis

Assembly of Solidarity with Prisoners, Fugitives and Persecuted Fighters

Campaign for his court costs and for the termination of the sentence due to his health condition | Link of the solidarity fund for G. Dimitrakis: www.firefund.net/giannis | E-mail for the solidarity fund: synelallil[at]riseup.net

[www.firefund.net]

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Belarus: Antifascist detained to serve 18 months of forced labour for a street performance

Mister X– Igor Bancer

Belarussian activist, antifascist and the singer of street punk band Mister X– Igor Bancer has been sent to a work camp following a court verdict sentencing him to 18 months of forced labour.

Igor is no stranger to state oppression and has been arrested multiple times in the past. This time, Bancer was detained and subsequently charged with hooliganism on 20th October 2020. His “crime” was a street performance involving dancing in front of a police car and showing his bare buttocks in front of it. However, the real reason behind his arrest and detention seems to be his uncompromised opposition to the Belarussian dictatorial regime, his participation in the post-election protests that gripped the country last year, and his long-term political activity.

Bancer spent 5 months in prison following his October 2020 arrest. During his imprisonment, he faced multiple repressions: his detention was unreasonably prolonged, and his trial was postponed. He was denied family visits and was barred from receiving parcels. He was moved between multiple prisons and subjected to isolation, under the pretext of the Covid-19 pandemic, in each one of them.

Despite this, Igor kept demanding his basic human rights. As punishment for that, he was sent to a psychiatric prison facility, where he refused medical consultation without the presence of his legal representative. On 3rd March 2021 Bancer commenced a dry hunger strike to protest his treatment and detention. He was then sentenced on 19th March and released awaiting transfer to a penitentiary facility. On 17th June, he was sent back to prison to serve his sentence.

You can write to Igor at the following address:

Bantser Igor Romanovich

IUOT-9, ul. 3 Chepinskaya

Vitebsk, 210034

Bancer is one of many anarchists and antifascists currently facing heavy repressions in Belarus. More updates are available on ABC Belarus website.

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Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners

Solidarity is a fundamental anarchist principle. On the streets, when side-by-side taking on the state, the need for if is obvious. And it is no less essential when those same comrades are behind bars.

As anarchists, we commit ourselves to supporting and empowering the most vulnerable in our society. Prisoners fall very neatly into this category and while all people behind bars are deserving of support, anarchist prisoners have a very distinct need.

Because of our political and moral values, and the activism we engage in while on the inside, we become an obvious and specific target. We can face punitive measures such as restrictions on contact with the outside world, limits to our interactions with other prisoners and even complete solidarity confinement for long periods of time.

Although as individuals we may normally be strong in many ways, the oppressive acts of the state and constraints imposed upon us can essentially nullify our power to defend ourselves.

Giving aid to prisoners may not be the most glamorous type of activism, but no one should underestimate the value of it to those on the inside.

I would encourage anarchist everywhere to get involved in their local Anarchist Black Cross (or start one if there are no existing groups near you), build connections with others nationally and internationally. Develop organise and real relationships with anarchist prisoners. Your love and solidarity are important.

John Paul Wootton
Davis House E3
Maghaberry Prison, BT282PT, North Ireland

John Paul Wootton is incarcerated along with Brendan McConville in a case known as the Craigavon Two. You can find out more information about their ongoing miscarriage of justice case and the campaign to fight for their immediate release here: www.jftc2.ie

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