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Support the Antifascist Prisoners

UK Indymedia Features | 21.07.2011 22:03 | Anti-racism | Repression | Sheffield | World

In a miscarriage of justice reminiscent of the Ratcliffe case, six antifascist are currently being held in Wormwood Scrubs and one is on bail after being found guilty of "conspiracy to commit violent disorder". The first trial, of 11 of the 22 activists facing this absurd charge, ended on 28th June 2011 with four people being acquitted, four sentenced immediately to 21 months in jail, two others sent to prison awaiting sentencing, and the other released on bail pending sentence. A second trial of the 11 other activists is threatened to start on 12th September 2011.

The incident that led to police raids across the country and 23 arrests occurred on 28th March 2009 when a number of antifascist activists travelled to Welling in south-east London to protest against a neo-Nazi "Blood and Honour" skinhead gig at the Duchess of Edinburgh Pub. No fascists have been arrested or charged or have even appeared as witnesses in the court case and in the absence of any evidence forthcoming from the fascists the Police and Crown Prosecution Service spent a vast amount of time and resources to press charges which are tantamount to a thought crime and if widely applied would in effect make it illegal to organise protests against fascist events. The use of "conspiracy" charges against large groups of activists — charging them for things that might have thought about rather than charging them for anything they have actually done is clearly being done to suit a political agenda which involves the draconian repression of progressive activists, no doubt intended as a "deterrent" to others. While at the same time real corporate criminal conspiracies are covered up and swept under the carpet, contrast the treatment of the activists with the kid-glove treatment by the state of the Murdoch media crime family, as the collusion between powerful media, corrupt police and the political establishment is further exposed.

Articles: Leeds ABC Rebel Night! A benefit for imprisoned antifascists | UK Antifascist Prisoners In Need Of Support | Freedom: Comrades Jailed | Inside SchNEWS | Support Our Six Proud Antifascists | UK Antifascist Prisoners | Antifascist Prisoners In Need Of Support | Antifascist Prisoners In Need Of Support

Wormwood Scrubs. Photo David Hawgood CC A-SA
Wormwood Scrubs. Photo David Hawgood CC A-SA


The double standards of the establishment could not be more stark as when you contrast the number of state operations against protests which have resulted in murder, actual bodily harm and violent disorder being perpetrated by the Police against protesters, and how many times sections of the Police force have been charged with "conspiracy to commit violent disorder".

The verdict of the Ratcliffe case in which activists were initially found guilty of "conspiring to commit aggravated trespass" was overturned on 19th July 2011 on appeal following the suppression of evidence gathered by the Police spy Mark Kennedy by the Crown Prosecution Service. It is to be hoped that the similar conviction of the antifascist activists will in time also be overturned, in the meantime Leeds Anarchist Black Cross have some suggestions about what can be done to support the wrongfully imprisoned activists:

Prison addresses for the antifascists are given below. Please write to them or send them a card. Please enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope if you would like a reply. You can also send them cash, Postal Orders (made payable to ‘The Governor’), and stationery. For advice on writing to prisoners please see the Leeds ABC website.

A solidarity fund has been set up to support the prisoners in jail and upon release. If you would like to contribute to it please send a cheque (made payable to ‘The Cable Street Society’) to Leeds ABC, 145-149 Cardigan Road, Leeds, LS6 1LJ. Details for bank transfers are: The Cable Street Society. Account Number: 33333334 Reference: 0827/704 169 523. Sort Code: 07 00 93.

The Anarchist workers co-op Sabcat have also produced two benefit T-shirts in support of the imprisoned antifascists. Further details on the Sabcat website at www.sabcat.com.

In view of the forthcoming trial of other comrades please refrain from discussing the details of the case on this thread.

Andy Baker (21 months)
A5768CE
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd
London
W12 OAE

Thomas Blak (Unsentenced)
A5728CE
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd
London
W12 OAE

Sean Cregan (21 months)
A5769CE
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd
London
W12 OAE

Phil De Sousa (21 months)
A5766CE
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd
London
W12 OAE

Ravinder Gill (21 months)
A5770CE
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd
London
W12 OAE

Austen Jackson (Unsentenced)
A5729CE
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd
London
W12 OAE

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Additions

another useful link

22.07.2011 01:10

another useful link to support group formed by friends and comrades, especially if you want to donate by paypal:  http://antifascistprisonersupportuk.wordpress.com/

A Team


Conpiracy crime was written into law in 2005, nothing new here...

28.07.2011 21:46

A few exampes...

2008: 'They conspired to do A B and C ... with Persons or Persons Unknown.'
50 Years For The UK SHAC 7
 https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/01/419733.html

2008: 'conspiracy to commit criminal damage and interfere with contractual relations'
NETCU's SOCPA failure
 http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/05/430766.html

2009: 'conspiracy to commit arson'
Second time round - Mel Broughton found guilty
 https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/02/422080.html#additions

2010: 'conspiracy to interfere with contractual relations[...] - (SOCPA Section 145)
SchNEWS 745: Serious Organised Crime
 https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/10/466980.html

Might be worth paying attention, and showing solidarity, to those first in the firing line. So far only Sean Kirtley's conspiracy charge under SOCPA has been overturned once sentenced, so the likelihood of getting successfully appealing is slim in my opinion.

The only relevance here is the application of these type of political attacks against other movements (environmental and anti-fascist), whilst Muslims and animal liberationists have suffered for sometime now, but apparently this isn't as relevant to mention...???

21 months is rough, but its nothing like getting upto 11 years - or life!

Should we not start resisting these sort of attacks once they begin, instead of when they've infected more 'broadly supported' types of movements?

Solidarity to all 'conspiracy' political prisoners


Existed before but new use

03.08.2011 05:50

"Conspiracy" in common law has been around for a long time, but is tightly restricted by precedent. 1977 and 2005 are significant as effectively resetting the law so that previous precedents no longer apply. It's been periodically abused for a long time, the Ricky Tomlinson case in the 70s is now semi-well-known, the GANDALF trial (which failed) was also under conspiracy. I was posting on here at the time of the SHAC case saying what a dangerous precedent it was - basically it means anyone organising a direct action campaign could be jailed for conspiracy, which is what we're now seeing - ditto when they went after Islam4UK for protesting offensively (watch that one spread). SOCPA "interfering with contractual relationships" is a special anti-animal-rights power which isn't generalisable unless they pass new laws, but still extremely menacing and absolutely draconian - it also has a precedent in Thatcherite (or earlier?) anti-union laws banning secondary picketing. Admittedly the pigs tagging "conspiracy to..." onto it was a later development. They've also been using "conspiracy to commit violent disorder" against football hooligans for some time but with more definite evidence (i.e. vs people arranging meeting places for fights and the like), they also tried it back in the 90s against hunt sabs, but didn't get jail sentences. It does sound like this is different from previous cases, but in the same ballpark as SHAC, and very similar to Radcliffe: they're taking association with protesters as a basis to infer conspiracy in particular actions, which then allows collective punishment of a group. It's spreading from group to group, and the situation is becoming more Iran/China-like by the day.

nazikicker


Updated info

10.08.2011 18:00

Thomas and Austen have now been sentenced and Sean, Ravi, Phil, and Andy have been transferred to other nicks. See the Leeds ABC website for the latest info.

Leeds ABC
- Homepage: www.leedsabc.org


Comments

Display the following 4 comments

  1. Benefits in support of the prisoners — Antifascist
  2. I think conspiracy laws have been around a lot longer than 2005... — anon
  3. Criminal Law Act 1977 — eagle
  4. shaun milburn sab — mrfox

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