// STAND TALL, STAND PROUD - WE ARE THOSE WHO RESIST! //
// DEMONSTRATION AGAINST REPRESSION! //
// SATURDAY 10TH JUNE, 7.30PM >>
// MEET OUTSIDE BANK TUBE STATION, ON THE
CORNER OF PRINCES ST & THREADNEEDLE ST >>
planet. From environmental activists in the USA, adherents of the 'Other Campaign' in Mexico and student protesters in occupied West Papua, to migrants and peace activists in the UK, gay and lesbian activists in Russia and anarchists all across Europe, everywhere on earth there are examples of this (see below for information).
As always lies and propaganda are no problem for the consciences of the rich and powerful, and these stories mostly go untold, or at best willfully misrepresented. However, as truth has filtered through alternative media
and communication networks (and in the case of Belarus even mainstream corporate media have reported it) solidarity events, protests and direct-actions have taken place such as benefit gigs and meals in Leeds for the USA environmental activists and occupations and lock-ons to the Mexican Embassy in London in solidarity with the people of Atenco in Mexico. These actions are wonderful, directly effective and must continue – we support them with all our heart. The 'Other Campaign' in Mexico (see below for info), has requested actions around Mexico and the world in solidarity with the political prisoners of Atenco, Mexico City to take place on 11th June and we add our support to this request.
In addition to these actions though we make a call for a strong, generalised, visible demonstration of solidarity for our comrades and resistance against ALL state repression, to take place in central London on 10th June. This date is a day-of-solidarity with the USA 'Green Scare' defendents (see below) and we wish to add to that and call for it to be a day-of-solidarity between diverse peoples against ALL state repression of social movements. From class-struggle anarchists and environmental activists, to Mexican, West Papuan and Belarusian solidarity groups, to No Borders/anti-detention activists, peace activists and anti-prison campaigners, as well as womens groups, LGBT, campaigners, human-rights organisations and others, we ask for your support and participation in this demonstration. Even in our darkest moments, we must remember our solidarity and collective power. Solidarity among the exploited and oppressed: this is the spectre the powerful fear the most, the
possibility which terrorises those who are attacking us everywhere in the world.
Please bring banners, leaflets, noise etc and join us at 7.30pm on Saturday 10th June outside Bank Tube Station, on the corner of Princes Street and Threadneedle Street.
OUR PASSION FOR FREEDOM IS STRONGER THAN THEIR PRISONS!
>> ADDITIONAL INFO:
In the last few weeks and months there has been a dramatic increase in state repression of social movements. From everywhere on earth we are hearing stories of beatings, imprisonment, torture, sexual abuse, raids, arrests and other violence against those who resist the political, social and economic domination of their lives and destruction of their planet. In Mexico, the USA, Greece, Spain, Italy,
Belarus, UK and elsewhere there are examples of this;
In Mexico, the state aims to smash the 'Other Campaign', an attempt to 'build an anti-capitalist movement from below and to the left accross Mexico and beyond'. Residents of Atenco, a municipality near Mexico City, have suffered massive police brutality and repression, after local organisations helped 60 flower vendors of the Texcoco local market to resist a blockade by state police that prevented them from setting up their stands. The events that followed speak of unprecedented levels of police brutality. More than 3000 armed police forces stormed the town beating everyone in their path and arrested more than 200 people after a house to house search around the town. Francisco Javier Cortés, a 14 year old local boy was killed as a result of police violence on the first day, and many were severely injured. Since then there have been reports that a total of up to 300 people have been arrested (of which the authorities have only recognised 109), 18 people have been disappeared, 30 women claim to have been raped whilst in custody, while all the others have been sexually harrased and 5 foreigners have been
In the USA, the government and FBI are cracking down hard on a strong and militant environmental movement. We all know about the "Red Scare" - the US government's attempt to justify repression by labeling dissidents "communists" back in the 1950's. Today we see their "Green Scare" attempt to crush resistance by labeling them "eco-terrorists". Right now there are more than a dozen people
sitting in American jails (or on strict bail release) accused of
Earth/Animal Liberation Front actions. Six people were originally arrested based almost entirely on the testimony of one police informant, Jacob Ferguson. Bill Rodgers - accused of multiple arsons - took his own life in a jail cell. Unfortunately, several of those arrested are now cooperating with the state. These defendants are facing ridiculous charges and a draconian amount of time - some of
them facing sentences of 'Life to 200 years' for alleged
direct-actions in defense of our planet - actions where no-one has been injured. Worse still, the state has created a list of people who are not allowed to comunicate with the defendents - mostly consisting of other activists who would wish to offer support and solidarity. Jeff 'Free' Luers (who is serving 22 yrs in prison for eco-sabotage) has called for June 9th - 11th to be a weekend of resistance against the 'Green Scare'.
In Spain, there has been serious recent repression of anarchists, featuring state lies, conspiracy and violence. On February 4th, nine people were racially abused, beaten and arrested by Police outside a squat party in Barcelona (this squat is unconnected to the wider squatter/anarchist movement) and three remain in prison. During the fight, one cop was injured. At first the state claimed this was due to a flower pot thrown from the squat (so none of the arrested could have been the culprit), but they later changed the story,
saying it was actually a stone thrown by one of the three defendents. There is evidence that the three were beaten badly in custody, resulting in broken arms and bruising, and threatened with death. Two of them face charges of "Attempted murder of a Police officer" and the third faces a charge of "Conspiracy against the authorities". Meanwhile, of three other anarchists arrested by anti-terrorist Police, two remain charged with arson against banks and prison infrastructure. Another four anarchists, who have been in
prison for two years charged with arson attacks, belonging to
terrorist/armed organisations and illegal possesion of weapons, were beaten badly when originally arrested, had guns put to their heads and threatened with death. Since then they have been beaten and tortured, kept in Spains infamous isolation units and 'ghosted' between prisons making contact and support difficult to maintain. In
Greece and Italy also, anarchists are facing severe repression. In July 2005 three Greek anarchists were arrested and given manufactured charges relating to terrorist activity. The third anarchist was arrested solely so that there were enough people to charge with terrorism! Meanwhile, on May 12th 2005, in Lecce, southern Italy, one hundred and fifty cops, backed by helicopters and anti-explosive units,
raided the houses of 16 anarchists and arrested five of them on charges of 'subversive association'. Salvatore, Saverio and Cristian are held in prison, whereas Marina and Annalisa are under house arrest charged with various specific cases of arson and attacks on the management of 'Regina Pacis' immigrant detention camp, with no specific evidence.
Lecce anarchists had started to expose the true nature of 'Regina Pacis' long before the recent judicial intervention against that centre of torture; and they had been doing so through coherent and firm work of counter-information and strong denunciation. Their 'crime' is therefore ideological: they are anarchists and want all prisons and borders to be smashed down once and for all.
In Indonesian occupied West Papua, 16 students are being held and are on trial following demonstrations which shut down the US owned Freeport Mine for several days. During these demos 5 policemen and one demonstrator were killed. Students in Abepura held solidarity demonstrations. However, in retaliation, police launched house-to-house
searches and patrols in and around Abepura during which a number of student dormitories were badly damaged. Vehicles were stopped and searched and Papuan passengers were dragged out, kicked and beaten. Students from the Central Highlands appeared to be targeted in revenge attacks reminiscent of those that took place in Abepura in December 2000 when three students were killed and dozens more were tortured in police custody. A total of 57 people, mostly students, were arrested. Hundreds of others fled to the surrounding hills to find sanctuary. 16 people are being held by the police as suspects. They are facing a number of charges, including murder and subversion. An unknown number of others wanted by the police are still in hiding. There have been reports of torture against two of the
March and April this year, opposition protesters in Belarus have suffered brutal repression, following claims that the presidential elections had been rigged. Protesters, including Indymedia and anarchist activists, had been camping out in the capital city, Minsk, for a week at the end of March when their camp was violently broken up by riot police. Demonstrations of thousands of people, including many anarchists, against the vicious and violent reaction from the state became a regular occurrence. As well as stories of
students and workers facing expulsion and sackings for participating in protests, we have heard how "a peaceful demonstration was met with lines of soldiers in riot equipment. After people had stopped moving, explosions (presumably gas or noise grenades) sounded at the
forefront and special troops went on the offensive. Some people fell, armoured soldiers stepped on their bodies. Other demonstrators started to run: they were being caught up, severely beaten and arrested. Two or three persons were lying on the ground without consciousness. One of them was in extremely grave condition and therefore thought to have been killed. As it was known later, he is alive, but doctors of hospital refuse to give any additional information. After beatings and dispersal more than one hundred person were arrested and loaded into armoured lorries. According to
an eyewitness, the police had never made such slaughter before".
Despite a total ban and threats of mass arrests from Moscows Mayor, over 200 people attended Russias first ever Gay Pride event last month. As soon as the lesbian and gay activists gathered by the Kremlin in Manezhnaya Square, supported by a strong contingent of mainly anarchist
supporters and some internationals, around 100 fascist and religious fanatics started to attack them, whilst, at the same time, around 1000 riot police pushed and kicked people out of the square. But despite enduring high levels of
harrassment and violence, the activists proved their stubborness in defending their right to protest, and kept coming back trying to gather. As a result over 20 people were arrested, most of which have already been realeased but charged with disturbing the peace and illegal gathering.
In the UK, migrants held in Harmondsworth, Colnbrook and Haslar detention centres have faced increased repression inside (in addition to the already existing situation of repression being detention itself!). On 8th April this year No Borders activists staged a demonstration outside Harmondsworth Detention Centre. On this day, detainees were prevented from seeing the demonstration as the exercise yard was closed and detainees trying to look out of the windows were dragged away and beaten. Other detainees who communicated with demonstrators via mobile phone were also repressed via beatings and segregation. One of these was later transferred to another detention centre. Following this treatment, many detainees (over 150) went on hungerstrike. This quickly spread to Haslar and Colnbrook detention centres too. Detainees also staged peaceful
sit-in protests in their chapel (in protest at the removal of one
detainee) and in the excersise yard. This action got the attention of mainstream media such as the Guardian Newspaper and Channel 4 news. However, there have been many reports coming from behind the razor wire that detainees who talk to the press (as well as those deemed to be 'organising' or 'leading' the protests) are suffering beatings, reductions of 'privileges', segregation and isolation. Their have been reports of broken bones in some of these beatings. In spite of this the detainees continue their inspirational, self-organised resistance, by lauching their historic campaign 'Cry Freedom' and pushing their demands to the Home Office backed up by protests and hunger-strikes. Meanwhile, even completely peaceful protest against war has been dealt a level of repression in the increasingly authoritarian UK. As protest is banned outside Parliament (and at military sites accross the UK) Brian Haws four
year vigil has been attacked through the courts and then with
aggressive and violent police action, which came out of the dark in the early hours of morning.
OUR PASSION FOR FREEDOM IS STRONGER THAN THEIR PRISONS!