Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
On 29 June 2005 Belmarsh prison wrote to Daniel Guedalla of Birnberg Peirce solicitors, the legal representatives for Basque political prisoner, Iňigo Makazaga, backing down over the prison’s refusal to issue him with copies of the newspaper Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI).
FRFI is a bi-monthly anti-racist, anti-imperialist newspaper produced by the Revolutionary Communist Group and published by Larkin Publications. Each issue of the paper has a page dedicated to the struggles of prisoners and it is sent free of charge to any prisoner who requests a copy.
Iňigo Makazaga is imprisoned in Belmarsh high security prison in south London, following a demand by the Spanish government for his extradition. He has not been charged with any criminal offence in Britain.
Iňigo had received copies of FRFI without problem for two years, but at the start of 2005 was handed an empty envelope marked ‘racial paper not for issue’. Following protests by Larkin Publications and many concerned individuals and organisations, the prison seized to claim that the paper was ‘racial’. However the following issue was withheld for a different reason, supposedly to do with the Prison Service Incentives scheme. The next one was simply returned marked ‘not for issue’.
Birnberg Peirce solicitors then threatened the prison with a judicial review if the paper continued to be withheld.
Belmarsh’s letter of 29 June states that:
Iňigo Makazaga may receive both past and future issues of FRFI without hindrance, as can any other prisoner in Belmarsh who chooses to subscribe
The prison apologises for the implication that FRFI was a ‘racial paper’
The prison library will take an extra copy of the paper
Larkin Publications will now be writing to other prisons that have censored FRFI in the recent period (in particular Full Sutton and Frankland prisons) and will continue to oppose all attempts to prevent distribution of the paper to prisoners in the future.
For further information telephone 020 7837 1688