Statement against Police Harassment

Police in Bristol appear to be stepping up their so far fruitless efforts to find individual anarchists and those that they think are responsible for property destruction actions over the last few years in Bristol. One year after their firearms training centre at Portishead was burnt down, they have turned to desperate measures to try and get any scrap of useful information.

They have made a number of arrests, detained people at airports, and raided people’s homes. The majority of people targeted have not even been charged with a crime, and we do not know of anyone who has been successfully prosecuted. Further, officers from CID have recently visited people at their homes under the pretext of having “a friendly chat”. Not surprisingly, they have been met with a resounding wall of silence with no cups of tea involved, as most good people understand the importance of not getting drawn into conversations with the police. Even if any one of the people recently harassed by these visits knew anything about these actions or the people involved, we are confident that common sense and solidarity would prevail and the police would get the sum total of zero information. Anything else would be working for the police.

These home visits, arrests, searches and requests to snitch are not just about information and evidence gathering. They have as much to do with a concerted effort to intimidate and divide us all. A big part of their plan is to scare people into inaction and to create divisions between us. They hope to get us blaming each other for increased surveillance to the point where someone falls for their lies and starts talking to the bad guys. These are tactics that have been used against social movements in countless places and times.

But they won’t work here in Bristol. None of us will ever co-operate with those whose job it is, all in the name of “security” and “safety”, to defend the rich and powerful while keeping us down.

We know that we are not the only people who face repression from the police – in no way do we want to compare what is happening to us to the things they are doing to others, for example their systematic use of anti-terrorism powers against people they see as Muslim. We oppose all police brutality and harassment, whoever they do it to. We also understand the need to stick together in the face of state control and repression. Anarchists and others targeted by the police have a wide range of opinions and preferred tactics, but we know who our comrades are and recognise the enemies at our front doors.

Signed:

Bristol Defendant Solidarity
Bristol Anarchist Black Cross
South Wales Anarchists
Bristol Solidarity Network
Bristol Legal Observer Network
Bristol SolFed
Kebele Social Centre
Riot Ska Records
Rising Tide
Spanner
Bristol Hunt Saboteurs
Empty Cages Collective
Bristol AFed

Here is some useful information on dealing with the police, both on the street and at your front door….
There are no friendly chats with the police! If police try to talk to you, we recommend you refuse to answer anything – answer “no comment” or “I am not obliged to answer that” to all questions. This isn’t just about protecting others – any other response will be taken by them as a sign of weakness, and they may hassle you more as a result. The ONLY time you legally have to tell them anything other than your name and address is if you are stopped at an airport under “Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act”. Even then, you do NOT have to answer questions about others, and they can ONLY ask you questions related to terrorism. If this happens to you, request a solicitor.

If police come to your door, do not let them in unless you have to. The only times they can force entry are when they have a warrant, when someone who lives at your house has been arrested, or in order to prevent a crime from happening. If you live in a shared house and someone is arrested, they can ONLY search communal areas and the room of the person arrested.

Dealing with police can be upsetting and intimidating, so it’s important that we support each other. Counselling For Social Change may be able to help if you need to talk through anything that’s happened http://www.counsellingforsocialchange.org.uk. Activist Trauma Support has a list of resources to help understand and deal with trauma – http://www.activist-trauma.net. The most important thing is to give each other space to talk without being given advice, and not to be left to deal with things alone.


Bristol Defendant Solidarity
is a group of local people committed to putting principles of solidarity into practice and standing alongside anyone facing trouble from authorities for involvement in radical politics. Anyone approached and harassed by the police to give information about people involved in struggle, here in Bristol or elsewhere, can contact BDS for support. We are also compiling a list of arrests, home visits and interviews at airports so far to get a clear picture of their lines of questioning, to track their operations and to use in any future court cases that people may want to bring against them.

Contact:
bristoldefendantsolidarity@riseup.net
07746741104

We have compiled a more extensive guide to police powers and your rights if they target you, which you can read here: bristolabc.wordpress.com/defendant-solidarity/police-harassment

Anarchist Justice: Sexual Attack, Oppressive Behavior and our collective Responses to it

 

Cliciwch yma am y Gymraeg.

AgrrrlsCaerdydd invites you to an open discussion on the all too often hushed topic of sexual attack and oppressive behavior in our communities and ideas around collective response:

What can we do to support people who experience sexual attack and /or oppressive behavior in our communities?

How can we respond in a way that brings about positive change and what is our sense of justice?

What is an ‘accountability process’?

Sun, 26 October, 5pm – 7pm, Cathays Community Centre, Cathays Terrace, Cardiff

Plus an Introduction from Sohvi, an anarchist who put together a new zine “What about the rapists? Anarchist approaches to crime and justice”. Sohvi thought the lack of literature on grassroots responses to oppressive behavior undermined the credibility of anarchism. With a view to changing this, she studied law & legal theory for five years – although most of her inspiration comes from the anarchist ideas and practice of her comrades of the past and present. She will be discussing her contributions to the new zine, which summarise some of her main ideas on this theme.

Available to download here: http://dysophia.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Dys5-WhatAboutTheRapistsWeb2.pdf. A wider selection of zines (for donation) for further reading will be available and some snacks.

Opposing the DPRTE arms fair in Cardiff

On the 8th of October, DPRTE – “The UK’s Premier Defence Procurement Event” was held in Cardiff’s Motorpoint arena. A demonstration had been called by Stop NATO Cymru, Anarchist Action Network and South Wales Anarchists to oppose it, starting at 8.30am to coincide with the start of delegate registration, when the those buying and selling weapons and toys of war would be entering the arms fair.

Several times people managed to get very close to the entrance before being kicked out by security, giving the delegates a piece of their mind in the process. At around 9am 3 men in suits entering the arms fair were covered in red paint. Two people were arrested and subsequently kept for 12 hours. They were both charged with criminal damage for staining the suits.

dprte

Food not Bombs Cardiff gave vegan breakfasts to passers by and the demonstrators. Food not bombs are a group who draw attention to food waste, and also the absurd fact that under capitalism we can afford to go to war but yet so many are going hungry and in many parts of the world people are starving to death.

FNB

The arms industry benefits from perpetual war that has become the norm. Arms dealers make money from the deaths of innocent people. They came to Cardiff, a city that had a small taste of what it is to be in a militarized zone with the NATO Conference coming to south Wales just a month ago. If DPRTE come back next year people will be there to oppose them again. We don’t want these dangerous psychopaths in our city, buying and selling weapons that kill people.

Protesters continued to have a frank exchange of views with delegates at the fair for the remainder of the day.

dprte2

London Calling!

As the summer weather now seems to be drawing to an end, many of us in south Wales are looking forward to Christmas…

anarchist christmas” in fact!

…otherwise known as the London Anarchist Bookfair, to where thousands of anarchists from around the UK and overseas head for a weekend of seeing old friends, making new ones, info-talks, discussions, films and books!

bookf

It’s a veritable anarcho-fest and it’s all free by donations – including much of the amazing vegan food & cakes!

There’s also likely to be a good range of after-parties for more anarcho-festing and socialising!

Not only that, but on the same day, London also hosts a TUC demonstration this weekend, with a call for a Radical Workers bloc by various groups.

Class War are calling people to meet at 11am at Trafalgar Square. (As well as loads of other things they have over the weekend all on @Classwar2015)

Some hours before then though, the plan to re-occupy Parliament Square for 9 days will have either happened, or met with fierce resistance by the usual suspects in the London Met.

Their call-out is here:

zzz2

Then on Sunday, in the same venue as the bookfair, will be the biggest ever Anarcha-Fem conference in the UK:

afem-poster1

See you in London!

Cardiff Homeless Solidarity becomes Cardiff Homeless Action!

Cardiff Homeless Solidarity, set up in 2012 after a mass sleep out in response to Cardiff Retail Partnership’s call to use a 188-year-old law to “rid the city’s streets of homeless people” during the Olympics by locking them up for up to three months has, this year, been working with other groups to put together an event aimed at getting people involved in taking further action in solidarity with people who are homeless. This event will mark World Homeless Day in Cardiff.

Homelessness-Awareness-posterDaytime, starting at 3pm, will see workshops, information stalls, activities for kids, free-shop, speakers and free vegan food from Food Not Bombs Cardiff.

Then in the evening there will be bands and DJs including: Junior Bill and the Scallies, Rockin’ Sinners, DJ Guy, Dope Biscuits and Big Red.

There will be free vegan food provided by Café Atma, and a bar “which unfortunately will be selling rather than giving away drinks”!

We would very much like everyone who cares about the issue to come along on the day and also to encourage people you know to come who are homeless or precariously housed.

Workshops are as follows:

in the cafe…3:30  Creative writing for mental health
                    4:30  Homelessness and substance use
                    5:30  Skipping for food
in the upstairs room…3:30 Bedroom tax
                                 4:30 Squatting – still legal, but harder. Intro to Cardiff Squatters Network and discussion (incl. Cardiff Squatters Network meeting)
                                 5:30 No recourse to public funds? Action on migrant destitution
Circus skills workshops to be delivered throughout the day in the garden or one of the halls.
Please help spread the word!

The website for the event is http://cardiffhomelessaction.org and an event page has been set up at https://www.facebook.com/events/317357601770700/

The group then plan to stay together as Cardiff Homeless Action to plan future events, activities and campaigns.

Newport Action Centre presents: The People’s Kitchen

Tomorrow (28th Sept.) the newly squatted Newport Action Centre (89 Lower Dock St, Pill, NP20 2AH) will open its doors to all for the first time at 11am.index
The Newport People’s Kitchen will serve a free vegan meal to anyone from 12noon to 2pm, with people more than welcome to stay for the whole day, enjoy free tea and coffee, browse the radical library and free shop, or just chat.
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There will be a meeting of South Wales Anarchists at 5pm to discuss things like court solidarity and the forthcoming arms fair in Cardiff.
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At 7pm there will be a film showing to wind down at the end of the day.
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We will not charge for anything on the day, but welcome donations (both financial and material) to help us run the space and make the People’s Kitchen a regular event.
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Our wish-list includes: chairs, books, cutlery and feel free to bring any other items you may think are useful to us.
Hope to see you there tomorrow.

Love and rage x

Callout to Demonstrate against 2014 DPRTE Arms Fair.

8.30 am at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena. Wednesday, the 8th of October

“When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

def proc

On the 8th of October Cardiff will host one of the UK’s biggest arms fairs at the Motorpoint Arena. Let’s show them what we think of their dirty business! We call on people from south Wales and beyond to come and picket outside the arena that day from the time they open for registration at 8.30 am.

DPRTE this year will be attended by some of the UK’s biggest arms companies, as their exhibitor list shows. They also host a conference, with keynote speakers from industry and government.

The arms fair was previously held in Bristol, but was forced out by protests.

We hope to see you there. If you would like to be a legal observer contact us at stopnatocymru@riseup.net . You can also contact us by that email address for any additional information regarding the demonstration

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