This issue of D.i.Y.Culture is dedicated to the International Week of Solidarity With Anarchist Prisoners (23 – 30 August).
Anyone who’s spent time in a cell for political activity, will know that imprisonment and detention, is designed to deny autonomy, degrade the dignity of the individual, impair or destroy self-reliance, and to inculcate authoritarian and extremely hierarchical values – very often though, particularly with anarchist prisoners, incarceration has the opposite effect. It can put iron in the soul.
Vipera of the Moscow Anarchists gives us an update on the situation of anarchist and anti-fascist comrades within the grim Russian penal system; we have an inside report from members of the anarcho-punk Uptight Rebel Collective in the massively overcrowded Cebu City Jail in the Philippines; a graphic and honest first-hand account of why he ended up there, from MD in HMP Nottingham, working class mutual-aid from D Hunter and a prison interview with Louise Michel. Tips on how to write to prisoners from Carl Cattermole and inspiring stories of anarchist prisoners through the years, who, far from being broken, seemed to gain moral and political strength from their time inside; from Louise Michel, to Simón Radowitsky, from Oscar Wilde to The ‘Dynamite Girl’, Gabriella Antoli. From the class and gender warrior, Kanno Sugako, to the revolutionary Attica Prison Uprising. Four blazing pages from our comrades at the Gata Negra collective in Valencia, artwork from Riot Karma, Sabotage The System, Linnea Blixt, Black Mosquito and our good friends at The Slow Burning Fuse. Music from Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer via the Jail Guitar Doors initiative and the top 28 prison films as chosen by the London Cinema Workers Collective.
There is also a lot of practical information on how to get involved in support for anarchist and class war prisoners. How to start an Anarchist Black Cross group, about being vegan in the nick, info from the Bent Bars Project which provides support to LGBTQI prisoners and the Angry Brigade on kicking capitalism until it fucking-well breaks.
Have a read and try to get involved for that week in August – your input could mean a lot to someone.