Herman Bell Visciously Assaulted

Black Panther Party political prisoner Herman Bell was viciously assaulted by guards at Great Meadow Correctional Facility (Comstock) on September 5, 2017. While being “escorted” by a guard back to his housing unit, a guard struck Herman, age 69, in the face causing his glasses to drop to the floor. This same guard then repeatedly punched Herman about the face, head and body. Responding to a commotion, 5-6 other guards arrived and joined in the assault. One of them was able to knee Herman in the chest causing two cracked ribs. Another guard took out a bottle of mace and sprayed it all over Herman’s face, eyes and mouth.

Herman Bell's facial injuries

Herman was then taken to the prison infirmary. X-rays have confirmed fractured ribs. Herman’s left eye is damaged from the mace and blows. He has bruises to his body and is suffering headaches, a sign of a possible concussion.

Herman Bell has now been charged with “assault on staff”. Defying common sense, they allege that Herman, for no apparent reason, slapped the guard escorting him. He did this, they claim, in a location out of the view of all inmates but in the presence of other guards. He is now in the Special Housing Unit (box) at Five Points Correctional Facility where he was transferred after the incident.

Herman Bell has not had a disciplinary violation in over 20 years. He was scheduled to begin a three day family visit with his wife a few days after the incident, their first such visit in over 2 1/2 years. In addition he is to appear before the parole board, for the 8th time, in February 2018.

Herman has, however, been the target of guard harassment due to his political background. Visitors report that guards processing them and in the visiting room comment that they are visiting a “cop killer” or “terrorist”. Some guards have been seen passing around the book “Badge of the Assassin” written by Herman’s prosecutor.

At this time, we are encouraging everyone to take the time to write to Herman or send him a get-well card, so that the authorities know we are paying attention and are concerned for Herman. Stay tuned for updates as we develop this campaign.

Herman Bell’s new address is:

Herman Bell #79C0262
Five Points Cor. Fac.
P.O. Box 119
Romulus, N.Y. 14541​, USA.

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Turkey: Anarchist magazine distributors jailed for six months

Repression against the team at Meydan anarchist magazine in Turkey took another twist on Thursday after three members of the distribution team were jailed for six months each.

The three volunteers, Nergis Şen, Rıfat Güven and Zeynel Çuhadar were taken into custody (picture above) after the publication of Meydan Gazette issue 33, which called for an anarchist celebration of May 1st, on the grounds of a State prohibition on the event by President Erdogan’s increasingly hardline regime.

The Turkish government has made cracking down on dissenting left groups a priority amid memories of the 2013 Taksim Square occupation and repression has significantly worsened since Erdogan crushed an attempted coup last year. More than 200 people were detained during police repression of May 1st protests this year in a brutal assault by riot police.

The jailings mark the second time Meydan has had its members imprisoned — late last year editor Hüseyin Civan was sent down for a year and three months over an issue of the gazette which was deemed to be too supportive of Kurdish revolutionaries fighting in Rojava. The Meydan collective said in a statement today:

We are not going to give up our beliefs which include freedom and the fight for freedom. We will not stop to write and publish our arguments and propaganda for the socialisation of anarchism. Against the repressions, inquiries, custodies and imprisonments we will keep on maintaining to resist, act and write.

International journalist unions have repeatedly called for the re-establishment of a free press in Turkey after the arrest of reporters nationwide over the last few years. The International Federation of Journalists has said:

The Turkish authorities are now jailing journalists, shutting down radio and TV channels and censoring internet in an attempt to silence criticism. 122 journalists are in jail and over 150 media have been banned since mid-July. More than 2,500 journalists have lost their jobs and arrest warrants have been issued for dozens of media workers. Some families of journalists, who are in hiding or have fled, have been arrested to force them to surrender.

Media workers, journalists and press freedom campaigners all over the world have joined protests calling for the release of all jailed journalists in Turkey. Press freedom is essential for democracy, we demand Turkey sets the journalists free! Journalism is not a crime.

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Support the IWW General Defense Committee (GDC) Fund

In the last year, we have witnessed the rapid growth of an increasingly violent far-right. They have been emboldened by a government which looks on and allows or even encourages their violence. Charlottesville has made very clear how urgent it is for us to organize for community self-defense.

Community self-defense promotes solidarity and direct action from within our communities, so that we will not have to rely on the government to protect us. We know that the government doesn’t always protect us from gender violence, from right-wing political violence, or from police violence. In many cases, the government enables these forms of violence. The government exists to maintain the status quo, including the many forms of oppression that we are fighting to abolish. Relying on the government for protection is a losing strategy.

The General Defense Committee of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) is one organization that has been modeling community self-defense in recent years. This includes or ganizing against police brutality, organizing for harm reduction amongst drug users, broad-based anti-racist organizing, as well as supporting survivors of gender violence. Since the election, we have started new chapters in places like Nevada, Arkansas, Indiana, North Carolina, and grown quickly in cities such as Minneapolis and Milwaukee.

Now is the time to organize boldly. We want to build strong chapters across North America, in as many cities as we can, with deep roots in working class communities. With your help, we’ll be able to continue our growth and accelerate our expansion. We can use funding to provide trainings to new chapters, to start a travel fund, and to provide banners, flags, and other tools for expansion.

We want everyone to get involved with organizations that support community-self defense and mass anti-racism. We can help you find or start a GDC chapter, or get in touch with a similar group in your location. Contact us at GDC [at] IWW.org.

Don’t rely on the ruling class to protect your community!

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Proposal to create an International Anarchist Defence Fund

 In the summer of 2017 a few activists discussed the idea of creating an International Anarchist Defence Fund.

 

Why is it needed?
Basically, it is a Fund that is supposed to financially help anarchist who got in trouble for their activism (either repression or medical problems). It’s true, there are a bunch of ABC chapters or other support groups all over the world, but in many places there are still not enough money or activists to maintain a solidarity campaign on their own. Thus, this fund is seen as a way to complement the work existing solidarity groups and to provide support to individuals with no or little support.

How will it look like?
The idea is to copypaste the tactics of International Antifa Defence Fund (intlantifadefence.wordpress.com) since they used the scheme for a few years and it seems to be successful. Here is a short description about that Fund from their page.

In June 2015, the Antifa International collective launched The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund. We saw a need for a standing fund that could be used to provide immediate support to anti-fascists and anti-racists anywhere in the world, whenever they found themselves in a difficult situation as a result of their stand against hate.

Modelled on the defence fund run by the Anti-Racist Action Network in the late 1990s/early 2000s, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund accepts proposals for support from anyone (by contacting Antifa International, usually via email, facebook, or tumblr).

Decisions about proposals for support are made by a crew of individuals and groups who have made donations in excess of $20U.S./€20/£15. Those decisions are arrived at by consensus whenever possible and by a simple majority vote in situations where consensus is not forthcoming.

Process in details
Basically, whoever gives a donation or buys a piece of distro for 20+ eur is automatically added (with a possibility to unsubscribe) to a list of decision-makers. The admin is sending the requests for support to the list and then 1 week is given for discussion. If there are no objections, the fund sends 10% (or less if 10% is more than is asked for) of the current sum to the request. If there are objections, the next week is dedicated to a simple majority vote. This process is very simple and fast, without long discussions or one person blocking the whole thing.

The fact that only 10% is given means that there is always money in the fund, and there is always 10% of it. This makes the fund sustainable. Here you can see the report of the Antifa Fund about the last two years of operation intlantifadefence.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/the-international-anti-fascist-defence-fund-2016-2017-annual-report/
The support is not limited to financing legal support, but also medical bills, property destruction damages, fines, etc.

So there is a proposal to create a similar fund for anarchists, that would help gather more donations from individuals rather then all the time applying to ABC groups. Plus, more people who don’t have local ABC groups will get a possibility to apply for support.

During the discussion there were different opinions of that, including how to make it less vulnerable for bad people to ruin the decision-making, etc.

We decided that we will need to find some more interested people who could take some tasks, and not necessarily from ABCs and even better if it’s going to be people who have less projects already involved in. For the sake of explaining the structure we figured out exact roles and responsibilities that need to be executed. Feel free to ask for clarification as well as for joining the process.

Roles
Role: Admin of the list we potentially have 1 volunteer
Tasks:

  • subscribe people who paid 20+
  • receiving requests and checking if they are legitimate
  • forward requests to the list
  • receiving comments and sending them back to the list
  • keeping the deadlines of decision-making
  • announcing the results on the requests

Role: Taking care of money we have 2 volunteers
Tasks:

  • establishing a bank account
  • sending money to requests that pass
  • calculating donations, accounting

Role: Updating blog and social networks

Role: Creating a website and supporting it 1 potential volunteer

Role: Taking care of distro
Tasks:

  • creating designs or finding people to do it 1 potential volunteer
  • producing the distro
  • managing orders (packing, shipping)
  • distribution to other groups who want to sell it
  • MAYBE selling distros at events

we thought that instead of producing the distro ourselves, it
might be good to have distro centers in Europe, Russia, UK and US to minimise the shipping costs. There is an idea to contact existing distro producers or shops and suggest them to sell and ship out stuff.

Role: PR

  • spreading info about the fund, encouraging people to donate
  • reaching out to groups

With this text we are asking your to forward it to people who could potentially be interested in helping. If we find enough people for the collective, we will proceed with the idea. Would be also good to involve people who themselves can benefit from that Fund, like activists who have health problems and can’t really work in groups physically, but have enough time to spend online. Another important thing that we need for the start is the donations (see below).

Participation
If you got this text and feel like you want to join, please write us a message before 24 September with the following information:
– your name and region
– which group you are part of
– who can vouch for you (established groups are better to refer to, cause we can check with them). Mind that if you don’t have a voucher, we will not be able to add you to the collective, because trust is important for us.
– which role you can take over. The future collective involves some work and responsibilities, it’s important for us that people know what they want to do from the very beginning. We would like to avoid having people in the collective who don’t have any clear tasks. Also, we decided that at least for the time being, the role involving money will be taken by us, since we know each other personally and trust each other. We imagine that a lot of trustworthy comrades will apply, but since the money work involved someone’s personal bank account, we would like to have it secure for the person.
– do you speak English? Mind that we are already an international crew and English will be the language to communicate in the collective. We invite people who already speak the language only because at the moment none of us has the capacity and time to organise translation in the future collective.
– are you an anarchist? We feel that the collective should consist of anarchists so we can share some basic principles of cooperation and communication.

Donations
If you or your group like the idea of the fund and you are able to donate and become the member of the decision-making body, write us about that. In order for the fund to start functioning we will need money to already be able to help some people who will be the first to apply.

Advice and publicity
If you have any thoughts or advice on the future fund, please, send your opinions to us. If you have some channels to pass the information about the fund or interest other people, do it!

Send your comments to a-fund@riseup.net

for more info: https://solidarity.international/index.php/pl/call-out-for-an-international-week-for-anarchist-prisoners-2017-2/

 

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Belfast Talk on Prisoner Solidarity

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Successful turn out for members of Derry Anarchist Black Cross and IWOC held a panel discussion at this years Belfast Anarchist Bookfair on Prisoner Support and Prison Abolition.  The member of Derry ABC did a brief history of both ABC history as well as anarchist involvement in highlighting prisoner support campaigns in Ireland over the last number of decades followed by a representative of IWOC outlining actives of prison struggle over the years and the importance of prisoner solidarity. The talk was followed by an informative ‘questions and answers session’.

Over the next number of months members of the IWW and IWOC will be carrying out a series of actions to highlight the use of prisoners who are on the frontline of wage/prison slavery, capitalist exploitation and the State’s war on the working class. If you would like to know more and how you too can get get involved then please get in touch.

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SUPPORT FAMILY OF ANTIFASCIST COMRADE

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At the beginning of May 2016 our comrade Patryk Cichoń from Poland was arrested by British police under an European Arrest Warrant. Patryk is a well known anti-fascist militant notorious among nazi-boneheads in his city for his uncompromising stance against them in the past. Boneheads managed to convince a few of their friends to testify against Patryk and his friend for alleged assault and robbery. As it appeared later, his friend had very good alibi and had the charges dropped (despite being allegedly recognised by the “victim” and his friends), so Patryk ended up being sentenced on his own. The whole trial was an absolute travesty and Patryk as a poor, young working class person was not able to afford a proper defence. He spent two months on remand in 2004 and was sentenced to three years in prison.


It is clear that this whole case was politically motivated and had only one purpose, which was to get rid of the core of the anti-fascist resistance in Patryk’s home town.

Rather than doing prison time, he decided to escape abroad and came to UK in 2005. He started his new life there, continuing to be involved in anti-fascist activity: organising gigs in London, including United and Strong Fest which has seen lots of great Antifa bands from all over Europe performing, and raising money for antifascist initiatives. He was also the editor of the ‘Skinhead Revolt‘ fanzine, which was the first left wing skinhead publication in Polish.

Patryk lost his extradition case and is being deported to Poland to serve his sentence. He is leaving behind his 10 year old son in care of his younger brother D, who became his legal carer. As D has two small children of his own and is only money earner in the household, we are planning to support him financially. We want Patryk to know that his son has enough money for school meals, clothes etc. and that his younger brother is not pushed into poverty as a result of looking after him.

Our aim it to raise 4000 pounds, which means we can send monthly payments to his son during Patryk’s incarceration.
Patryk was always there if others needed help and assistance, please make sure he is not left on his own now.

Fundraising is organised by Brighton Anarchist Black Cross. You can pay money to our paypal address:
thebottledwasp @ riseup . net (please choose “payment to a friend” option and add a note saying “for Patryk”)
or to our bank account:

Nationwide Acc.
no./Reference: 0321 / 704131186

[NB: The sender will need to quote this account number in the additional reference section on their payment instruction]
IBAN: GB97NAIA07009333333334
BIC: NAIAGB21

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Support the Bloomington ABC Anarchist Prisoner War Fund

DONATE HERE

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Since October 2015, Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross has been providing consistent monthly funds to anarchist prisoners throughout the United States via our Anarchist Prisoner War Fund. We are now asking for help keeping this project going strong into the future.

We have specifically chosen comrades who were receiving very little money or support from the outside, who have no familial support, or who were otherwise in need of monetary aid. These funds have been essential when some comrades did stints in solitary due to activities surrounding the September 9th prison strike, aiding their survival in the most oppressive conditions. We also emphasize support for rebellious prisoners who have maintained the struggle behind the walls. We want to make it clear to our comrades in prison and those taking action on the outside that they can continue to struggle without fear of abandonment if they are caught.

Currently, we provide $40 each month to five anarchist prisoners:

– Michael Kimble (http://anarchylive.noblogs.org), a gay, Black anarchist and long-time prison rebel imprisoned for the self-defense killing a racist homophobe.
– Sean Swain (http://seanswain.org), an anarchist prison rebel in Ohio.
– Eric King (http://supportericking.org), an anarchist doing 10 years for attempting to firebomb a Congressman’s office in solidarity with the Ferguson rebellion.
– Jennifer Gann (http://babygirlgann.noblogs.org), an anarchist trans woman and long-time prison rebel in California.
– Andy H., a local anarchist comrade in prison for assaulting a cop.
– In addition, we have sent substantial amounts of money to other comrades and projects on a temporary basis: Casey Brezik, the Cleveland 4, Marius Mason, prison rebels facing repression for organizing and revolt, an anarchist social space in Malaysia in need of repairs after a fire, and imprisoned fighters of other social struggles.

Thus far, we have raised this ourselves through fundraising, exclusively through the support of local friends and comrades. This constant need for funds means our other efforts (two prison zine distros, a monthly anti-prison info night, letter writing events, a widely-distributed prison newsletter, correspondence and visits with our imprisoned comrades, sending monthly packages of zines and books to anarchist prisoners, maintaining anarchist infrastructure in Bloomington, etc) sometimes have to take a backseat. We live in a small town, and the pool of people willing to give money to anarchist prisoners isn’t large. In an effort to alleviate this, we’re asking people elsewhere to help us keep the War Fund going.

All money sent to us will go directly to imprisoned comrades: consistently to those on our list, and periodically to others who need it.

If we can meet our goal, we will begin sending consistent funds to additional imprisoned comrades.

We thank anyone who donates, and we carry forth the promise of expanding and deepening our efforts to set our comrades free and destroy the prison society that keeps us all confined.

Solidarity,
Bloomington ABC

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