The Reclaim the Fields International Action Camp, attended by 100-150 people, ran from 28th August to the 2nd September 2015 and was hosted by a local anti-fracking site. Workshops explored the links between land struggles, prison abolition and other issues including gender, animal liberation and freedom of movement.
People held evening noise demos at three prisons in the region in solidarity with those inside, leafletted the local town, and picketed several companies involved in the mega-prison. Finally a blockade of the construction site held up lorries for over 4 hours without any arrests.
As anyone with experience of them knows, prisons are abusive places used to control and threaten people, particularly those of us who are working class, people of colour, or disobedient. We need justice processes based on strong, vibrant communities, not more prisons and cops harming our communities.
The new prison would be the biggest in the UK, and the second biggest in Europe. It aims to open in 2017 and would give the State enough cages to lock up an extra 2100 people.
Meanwhile, Robert King of the Angola 3 will give a talk on struggle and revolution in the US prison system, on Wed 16 Sep in Dundee.
26 May - 1 June, Newport.
Organised by Anarchist Action Network, Stop NATO Cymru and South Wales Anarchists, the festival runs all week at 95-96 Commercial Street, Newport NP20 1LU. Sharing ideas and skills, celebrating resistance & organising to win. All welcome. Workshops and skill shares all week, free cafe all day and free meal every evening.
The NATO Summit comes to Newport at the beginning of September. Come along this week and prepare for the Stop NATO week of action 30 August - 5 September and take part in some of the many talks, sessions and workshops. Something for everyone! All welcome (except cops and mainstream journalists, who will be asked to stay outside). The venue is an alcohol & drug free space.
If you can only manage one day and want to get clued up on NATO and what's planned for August & September, come along on Sunday:
Sunday 1 June. 4pm: Talk - Resisting the NATO Summit. 6.30pm: Meeting to build resistance against the NATO Summit.
On the newswire: Protest & Street Theatre | Banner drops | Photos from Newport Rising | Anarchists Shut Cardiff Barclays | Anarchist Travelling Circus Presents Newport Rising | Protest the NATO Summit | Antimilitarists Block NATO Conference | NATO Uncut Call-out | Stop NATO Cymru Statement
Section 144 of LASPO may prove unenforceable in practice
Resistance to s.144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 that outlaws squatting in residential buildings is growing. Ultimately, the law may prove unworkable and unenforceable. There have been a number of successful prosecutions under the new law, including the widely publicised conviction and imprisonment of 21 year old Alex Haigh who came to London looking for work and stayed in an unoccupied housing association flat. He pleaded guilty, but it has since become clear that where a not guilty plea is entered by defendant, it may be difficult if not impossible for the prosecution to prove the charge. After some notable acquittals, we have a better idea about the obstacles facing hapless prosecutors and some of the ways in which well-informed residential squatters might go about successfully defending themselves in court. Read on.
On the newswire: Brighton acquittals 1 | Brighton acquittals 2 | Moelfre acquittal | Squatting as protest in Southwark | Mike Weatherley is a coward case | Alex Haigh conviction | Henry: Bristol's first victim of squatting criminalisation
Other links: Squatters Legal Network | Advisory Service for Squatters | Rooftop Resistance | SQUASH
The month began with the successful eviction resistance of the squatted social centre Gremlin Alley on October 4th, when bailiffs turned up faced with a barricaded building and a supportive crowd outside, eventually realising they had no hope of gaining access. The gremlins occupying the centre spent the rest of the day having a black bloc style party on the roof, while supporters partied to a local band who turned up to play, and cops kept their distance but remained present for most of the day. A communique followed the next day, expressing solidarity with imprisoned squatter Alex Haigh and the Cuts Cafe crew in London who were raided by TSG on the same evening. A video commmunique was then released the following week, in English and Welsh, explaining the reason for resisting, as well as expressing general disgust for the state and the increased criminalisation of homeless.
After a busy two weeks improving barricades by gremlins and supporters, the first attempt to deport the Saleh family occured on Thursday 18th, with their home being raided by UKBA officers and two activists being arrested for obstruction. While solidarity was shown for the activists at Cardiff Bay police station, others made an attempt to block the detainees coach on the motorway sliproad, followed by a successful communications blockade of Egypt Air’s telephone lines and their facebook page. The family avoided deportation that day due to a security mix-up, and were instead taken to Cedars detention centre in West Sussex. By the morning, Friday 18th, UKBA offices in Cardiff had its windows smashed – no doubt in response to the attempted deportation, signifying more resistance to come.
Related articles: Gremlin Alley EVICTION RESISTANCE happening now (UPDATE - 3pm) | Communique :: The Gremlins are still resisting in Cardiff | Video Communique from the Gremlins | Timeline of anti-deportation resistance in support of the Saleh family | Shroukie’s family LATEST: coach blocked for 5 hours, fingers crossed ... | Prisoner Art Tour Launch Night This Friday in Cardiff | Legal Training Evening @ Red & Black Umbrella | Red & Black Umbrella 1 Year Anniversary Halloween Bash + Gig!
Links: Gremlin Alley Social Centre | No Borders South Wales on Saleh Family | NCADC on Saleh Family | Save Mrs S and Her Two Children @ 38 Degrees | Save the Saleh Family | Cardiff Anarchist Black Cross | Cardiff Defendant Solidarity | Red & Black Umbrella
Public sector cuts
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