In our continuing attempt to monitor the draconian and repressive laws afflicting our comrades in Spain, we are glad to recently have received this piece of news translated from this webpage.
“The National Court signed the release order after eighteen days decreeing his imprisonment in Soto del Real. Judge Juan Pablo Gonzalez, after analysing the documentation prepared by the Mossos, ordered the release on bail to the tune of 8,000 euros Enrique Costoya, neighbor Santos, labour lawyer of the CNT and anarchist activist, jailed since October 30 .
He spent three weeks in the prison of Soto del Real, after the riot police and the General Information Office stormed his home the morning of October 28, as part of the second phase of Operation Pandora. They confiscated books, posters and supplies . It is expected he is to leave the prison early in the afternoon. Since Procés Embat Elissa Group and San Andres de Palomar have posted tweets where they gave a ‘welcome’.”
A short insight to how ludicrous and repressive the laws are in Spain facing protest can be gleamed from a New York Times piece in April of this year.
The Spanish state has been continuing repression against anarchists for some time, initially in the form of Operation Pandora then Operation Piñata. So fearful is the Spanish state of a generalised militancy by the working class, that it has sought to gag libertarian militants involved in wide ranging work and activities with ludicrous anti-terror laws in a bid to avoid mass opposition to austerity as is happening in Greece.
As our comrades in the FAI have indicated in the growing face of the repression faced by anarchists “The intent seems clear: the State is a terrorist organisation that is sustained through violence.”
In response to this a demonstration was called against the Spanish embassy on the evening of Saturday 14th November. A good sizable turnout saw members of Essex Zapatista Solidarity Group, Collectivo Anti-Capitalista Londres, the Anarchist Federation and Solidarity Federation turn out to express opposition to the continuing repression against our Spanish comrades.
What follows is a translation from a Spanish site covering the recent repression against anarchists in Spain. Police had raided numerous squats and collectives in the earlier part of this year leading to nearly 30 arrests
The last comrade who was in prison has been released but awaiting trial, like the remainder of the group.
After official judicial mistakes, the last chapter of police operations against anarchists and anti-authoritarians in the Spanish State appears to be over.
We are still aware from the plot, that activists still have the threat of arrest over them and this is a continuing fact; Mónica and Francisco are still in a preventive prison without awaiting trial at all.
At the same time, prisons are still full of people locked behind walls under lock and key. Anarchist comrades and prisoners fighting institutionalisation are still fighting against the state, the mechanism of power, and the establishment. Kidnapped, as prisoners because they do not want to accept the fallacy of ‘democratic’ laws which classify and alienate you as a passive citizen.
People can see that their hopes and future comes to an end in prison, for no other reason than attempting to make a living. Solidarity, actions and struggle shall continue.
FREEDOM ANARCHIST PRISONERS!!
DOWN THE WALLS OF PRISONS!!
Belarusian ABC Infotour 2013: UK in February-March.
London date: this Friday 7pm in Autonomy Club, Freedom Bookshop
Despite the welcome release of Pavel Syramolatau in September 2012, 5 comrades supported by the Anarchist Black Cross are still in Belarusian jails facing years of incarceration since being convicted of a range of crimes in 2011.
Artsiom Prakapenka was sent down for an attack on the KGB headquarters in Bobruisk, in solidarity with anarchists arrested in 2010. He faces 7 years.
Jauhen Vas’kovich faces the same, being convicted of the same crime.
Ihar Alinevich faces 8 years, convicted of attacking the Russian embassy in Minsk in solidarity with Russian anarchists arrested in the high-profile Khimki case. He was also convicted of arson at the Belarusbank and attack on the ‘Shangri La’ casino. He denies all of these charges but was kidnapped by plainclothed cops when in Moscow and extradited to Belarus illegally. He was also sentenced for participation in an anti-militarist demonstration near the headquarters of the General Staff in Minsk.
Aliaksandr Frantskievich was sentenced to 3 years for participation in an attack on the (state controlled) Trade Union Federation building and for computer hacking. Despite having serious health problems (has only one kidney) he is still being held in a pre-trial facility.
Mikalai Dziadok was also found guilty of the attacks on the ‘Shangri La’ and trade union building, and participation in the anti-militarist demo, and was sentenced to 4.5 years after being held illegally. He too denies charges against him.
The criminal damage for which these comrades were sentenced amounts to only a few hundred dollars in each case. They are being in especially harsh conditions, reflective of their noncompliance.
These convictions form part of an ideologically driven repression of anarchists in Belarus. They follow the revitalisation of Belarusian anarchism in the past few years. Unlike in some other ex-Soviet Union countries and other modern dictatorships, anarchists do not form a minor part of a dissident prison population consisting of the usual pro-democracy and anti-corruption activists. They in fact make up just under half of the ‘political’ prisoners in Belarus. This is partly because it is possible to have sentences revoked if you admit your guilt and write to the state asking forgiveness, which the 5 will not do.
The Belarusian ABC has campaigned consistently for them to be released and, in the immediate term, for them to be allowed visits, medication, letters and literature, and raises money for solicitors’ fees and to buy the comrades’ food. Supported by the International of Anarchist Federations (IFA-IAF) they are undertaking a tour of France, Italy, Germany, Spain and UK, to raise awareness and spark further solidarity. The latter have a good chance of success because Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko has expressed a desire for the country to be allowed to join the E.U. There are rumours that this may be considered if human rights in the country are addressed.
A speaker will be coming from Belarus in February-March to discuss the situation for activists in the country and to build solidarity for the prisoners. Please consider putting on a meeting.
Confirmed dates so far:
London Friday 15th Feb – convened by Anarchist Federation (London) and London Anarchist Black Cross 7pm at Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High St, E1 ( nearesat tube Aldgate Easrt)
Protesters descended on the Belarusian Embassy on Sunday the 23rd of September, the day of the ‘elections’ in Belarus, to protest against the States’s oppression of anarchists, 6 of whom are in prisons.
We’re glad to announce that after 620 days in prison Pavel Syramolatau was released from prison by president pardon on September 27th. Pavel was arrested on January 17th 2011 due to attack on KGB building in Bobruisk, which was announced as solidarity action with anarchists arrested in Minsk in September 2010. In may 2011 after more than six months of investigation he was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Their action were classified by court as destruction of private property. Under pressure of colony administration he signed petition for pardon this June. Currently five more people supported by Anarchist Black Cross are in prison: Artsiom Prakapenka, Jauhen Vas’kovich, Ihar Alinievich, Aliaksandar Frantskievich and Mikalai Dziadok. All of them are strongly against petitions for pardon and ready to spend all of the sentence in the prison, rather than asking president for release. You can express words of solidarity with Pavel or guys in prison writing those to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Some details have been redacted for the safety of the comrade
I am Mazen ******, a Syrian anarchist. I want to inform you about the difficult humanitarian situation in my country, Syria; due to the brutal oppression of the regime against the revolting masses.
A group of young Syrian anarchists and anti–authoritarians from Aleppo – Syria, contacted me asking for urgent help. Their community is in urgent need for everything: medical drugs, tents, children milk, etc; almost everything. We hope that you can help them to alleviate the sufferings of Syrians in these difficult days.About the actual situation in Syria, it is deteriorating rapidly.
After the killing of the some high rank generals of the regime (defense minister and his deputy, which is at the same time the brother – in – law of the president himself ) by unknown force, even that the Syrian free army claimed responsibility for the attack ; the armed opposition groups attacked the two main cities, which were reluctant to join the revolution before: Damascus and Aleppo. A fierce battle started, after some early gains of the opposition forces, the Assad army gathered its remaining forces and started a counter attack using his available conventional forces including jet fighters , beside canons and tanks that he was using since months ago.
Many civilians had to flee in very harsh conditions, hundreds massacred.In fact , the Syrian revolution is caught now in an open armed fighting. The peaceful demonstrations lost their significance now, and almost nobody bother to mention them or think they can have real impact on the outcome of the struggle. What started as a spontaneous mass revolution has become an armed struggle between the regime army and its armed opponents. This happened mainly due to the brutal oppression of the regime, using its army, its tanks and guns against civilian neighborhoods, but also because of the intervention of tyrannies like Saudi and Qatari monarchies. Due to the strategic position of Syria, the revolution was caught in Iran – Saudi rivalry for regional domination, and even between Russia and US , each supporting one part , but only for the sake of their own interests: we can’t believe that the Saudi monarchy bother about the freedom of the Syrian people, they just want to weaken their opponent : The Iranian Islamist oppressive regime. Saudi Arabia and Qatar did all they can to divert the Syrian revolution into sectarian struggle between Sunni and Shiaa sects of Islam , cynically, the Syrian regime did the same.Just recently an influential Saudi journalist described the Arab spring ( this term is used to describe the sequence of Arab revolutions) as a Sunni spring that threatened shiia Iran. The other competing camp of oppressed regimes are using sectarianism for their sake also. The Syrian regime is trying to do the same by promoting himself as the “protector of religious minorities” in Syria .We saw it very differently, we saw it as it happened and as it started, a spontaneous mass revolution against dictatorships and their neo – liberal policies and “reforms”, and in this difficult moment for the masses; we count on the masses, on the oppressed, from every religion, sect, or ethnicity to unite against their oppressors, whatever their religion.
We count on organizations like our comrades from Aleppo and other initiatives done by young students and some workers. It is a difficult struggle that could descend into sectarian civil war, and there is no guarantee but the masses’ determination (and ours) to continue the struggle for real freedom and justice , for free self – organization of the oppressed.
In fact, there is very big divisions now in the Arab and Syrian left : the Stalinists stood beside the regime as an “anti–imperialist” regime ; as usual , they can neglect the oppressive nature of the regime, it is so natural for them. There are three Syrian “communist” parties, supporting the regime fully very shamelessly . Other prominent Stalinist parties in Arab countries support the regime also. On the other side Trotskyites stood against such regimes but they see Islamists as a possible “allies” is such struggles, denying the reactionary, authoritarian and capitalist, even the neo–liberal, nature of the Islamists ‘ project. This is so true for Egypt where Trotskyites had strong organization: Revolutionary socialists.Another thing, brothers, I am going back to Syria this august in order to join the struggle of our comrades and masses. Some Syrian activists organized a campaign named.
WE ARE COMING BACK.
We will enter Syria in August from *****. It is expected that the regime will arrest us, and they could torture some of us, or even kill some. I might need your solidarity that time. Some comrades might update you about such developments when it happen. If you can arrange any support for our comrades inside Syria you can contact me here till that time, and before leaving to Syria; I can give you contact details of our comrades inside Syria or some Egyptian comrades here to send your contributions to. Thanks a lot for your solidarity.
For revolution, and freedom, for Anarchy!!!