Yesterday in London around 30 anarchists took to the streets of North London to march in solidarity with all anarchist prisoners. Traffic was blocked, fireworks popped, horns honked and a black bloc made some noise as they circulated around the Pentonville prison, celebrating the courage and mourning the oppression of our incarcerated comrades through symbolic troublemaking and wild street festivities.
The Anarchist Prisoner Solidarity day of June 11 has been observed since 2004 when it commenced in support of eco-anarchist Jeff “Free” Luers who is imprisoned for the burning of 3 SUVs in Eugene, Oregon. As repression looms against politically active and public-facing squatters in Bristol, whistleblower journalists like Barrett Brown, traveller communities across the UK, Black Lives Matter activists and indeed the prospective criminalisation of meaningful protest itself, it is more pertinent than ever that we foster support networks for those who risk their liberty in the class struggle and eco-war.
In the UK, amongst many other grass-roots networks, we have the Green and Black Cross for immediate legal support for those arrested on protests, and the Activist Court Aid Brigade (ACAB) for those wishing to access legal advice outside of protest. For those connected with squatting there is the Advisory Service for Squatters. For persons of colour, there is the Black Protest Legal Support network.
Beyond the immediate, longer term continuous support is needed for those who bare the full brunt of the state’s repression. As one ex-con comrade put it: “People inside want 3 things: money, drugs and letters.”
Across the globe, Anarchist Black Cross organisations exist to provide continued and invaluable support to political prisoners through the provision of at least one out of the above three. London Anarchist Black Cross operate a special prisoner letter-writing: virtual, but with the same aim, towards a world without cages or barriers. You can email them directly with a message and they will forward it on. NYC ABC post monthly updates on US-based political prisoners and prisoners of war. The Anarchist Black Cross Federation publishes a wicked guide to starting your own group in your area. And if you are nomadic or precariously housed, a No Fixed Abode ABC has recently been founded to support “as the repression of peoples of no fixed abode ramps up under the guise of new laws and police violence against trespassers, vehicle dwellers and migrants.”
We can’t all be on the front line, though the front line is everywhere, but we can participate in the meaningful sustenance and care of our comrades who have risked it all and now lie firmly in the hands of the enemy. We at Freedom urge you to remember them this June 11 and reach out to send a lifeline of letters, money, or anything else you able to.
Because after all, only the state is guilty.