Lying Prison Social Worker Has Future Career Prospects Dashed

                                        When lying prison social worker Brendan Barnett’s bosses eventually baulk at covering up for him, and the Scottish Prison Service … Continue reading

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Day of Action in Support of John Bowden – 11th June 2012

Imprisoned since 1980, (and in fact for most of his life before that), John Bowden has been a thorn in the side of the English and Scottish prison systems for three decades. John has paid a heavy price for being … Continue reading

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Lying Prison Social-Worker Invited To Audition For Pinocchio

Brendan Barnett may soon be looking for another job.                                   Such is Prison Social Worker Brendan Barnett’s growing reputation as a world-class liar (see … Continue reading

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New ABC Tshirts

Look good and support a good cause.

 

Anarchist Black Cross T-shirt

 

Solidarity T-shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solidarity T-shirt – Rear view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leeds Anarchist Black Cross have launched two new fund-raising T-shirts featuring original artwork.. Both are produced by the Anarchist workers co-op Sabcat (see www.sabcat.com) and printed on high quality black T-shirts.

The first T-shirt features our Anarchist Black Cross logo on the front, with the Leeds ABC crow logo on the left sleeve.
The second T-shirt features our Solidarity design on the front, with the Leeds ABC crow logo on the back.
We have a full range of sizes, from S to XXL.
Both T-shirts cost £10 plus £1.50 postage and packing, and can be ordered directly from Leeds ABC, 145-149 Cardigan Road, Leeds, LS6 1LJ. Postal Orders only please.

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End Lies And Corruption In Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services

Writing in support of prisoner John Bowden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long-term prison militant John Bowden is certainly no stranger to harassment and injustice within prison, nor is he unfamiliar with social workers making up lies. The latest episode in John’s 32 year-long battle for freedom however, certainly has something of the Kafkaesque about it. Basically an idiot social worker called Brendan Barnett prepared a report for the Parole Board containing the sort of lies which would put shame to a naughty three year-old – the full story is at http://leedsabc.org/corrupt-social-workers-attempt-to-rid-themselves-of-prisoner-john-bowden/ All the indications are however that Barnett is not simply a silly little boy, he is rather a malicious liar abusing his position of power over a long-term prisoner. Unfortunately, when John Bowden made an official complaint, Barnett’s colleagues closed ranks, and are currently attempting to have John banished from Scotland, so letting Barnett (and themselves) off the hook. This corruption apparently goes right to the top, as John explains in his most recent article on the sordid affair:

“I have now complained to Peter Gabbitas, Director of Health and Social Care Department in Edinburgh, who has overall responsibility for Barnett and his colleagues, and he has yet to even acknowledge my letter, which suggests a disinclination on his part to recognise either my existence or that of my complaint. Incredibly, it would seem that a pathological liar like Barnett has the absolute freedom to describe someone in an official report as a “racist and homophobic” serial killer without a shred of evidence, and absolutely no one in his entire department has the integrity or moral courage to criticise or expose him, and that apparently includes even the department’s Director. The complete absence of any basic integrity among those at Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services is both scandalous and deeply worrying for those under its supervision.”

Since Mr Gabbitas seems to have overlooked John Bowden’s letter to him, we thought we’d send him a reminder in the form of an A2 postcard, which reads as follows

Dear Mr Gabbitas

We believe that you are aware of complaints made against social worker Brendan Barnett by John Bowden, complaints which so far have been ignored by Mr Barnett’s senior colleagues, something which we think indicates a certain amount of departmental corruption. Like Mr Bowden, we take the view that Mr Barnett is either a malicious liar or that he is totally incompetent. In either case we do not believe Mr Barnett is a suitable or fit person to be writing reports on prisoners. To date, Mr Bowden has not received a response to his letter to you. We hope that you are taking his complaint seriously. WE certainly are

Please investigate this matter without further delay.

Yours faithfully.

Leeds Anarchist Black Cross

You can also write in support of John Bowden to one or more of the following (as well as to Brendan Barnett at the same address – and phone number – as Michelle Miller):
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, 4 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7NS. Social Work Advice and Complaints Service, Waverley Court, Level 1/7, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG.
Michelle Miller, Chief Social Worker, Grindlay Court Social Work Centre, Criminal Justice Services, 2-4 Grindlay Court, Edinburgh, EH3 9AR. (Telephone: 0131 469 3408)
Peter Gabbitas, Director, Health and Social Care Department, Waverly Court, Level 1/8, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8DG.
Letters of support to John Bowden should be sent to:
John Bowden 6729 HMP Shotts Cantrell Road Shotts Scotland ML7 4LE.
You can also send e-mails to John (or any other prisoner) via: http://www.emailaprisoner.com

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Message from recently released antifascist Ravi Gill

I just hope this can even show 1% for the love I feel for those who supportted me, I’ll never forget you and love you always. NO PASARAN!

As reported, yes I was releasd on Friday. I just wanted to take this opportunity to try and thank everyone who supportted me while I was inside. If ever I had any doubts on whether prisoner support had any effect I can say in total honesty that they’ve been quelled.
Throughout my sentence I was able to stay positive, strong and focused which I believe was down to the post and contact I got.
Honestly it was the wierdest thing but just the post was like a daily kick in the arse to remind me Im not alone. So please accept my heartfelt thanks for all the support, letters. cards, mags, money, leaflets, etc etc. If anything positive came out of the this experience (Apart from your support), I have seen with my own eyes the fallacy of a fair British (or worldwide) justice system. The whole thing is run by bullies with their own agendas, committing crimes in the name society.

Im now just getting back into normal life but wont forget our brothers and sister still incarcerated, even they wrote to me and Im proud to say Ive made a lot of new friends bothg inside and outside of the prison system.
Please if you’ve everv thought about writing to a prisoner, take it from me the letters make such a difference, for me it was the difference between getting depressed or making a stand against prison policies that were clearly wrong and sometimes illegal! Throughout my sentence though alone I felt I was on my own, it was the words of the kind people that wrote to me that kept me going, as Im sure governers Rielly and I’anson will confirm (sorry lads but ya never beat me!).
Letters make all the difference in keeping the mind strong, so please just send that letter. There are many comrades still inside worldwide so the battle goes on, of course my freedom is a source of joy but I hope you’ll excuse me if I dont celebrate to much as many people I now know, love and respect are still hostages of a corrupt system.
Thank you all Ill love you always. By the way I have a list of all who promised me a pint so will be collecting, its better you come to me HA! HA!
Till all are free,
Till the walls fall in a pile of dust.
We’ll drip like water and make the locks rust.
Draw your weapons and beat us senseless,
yet still we smile for our battle is relentless.
We fight for for what is right, you fight for a wage.
Thats why we stand proud, feel our rage.
For each you kill 10 more grow like a tree
because none are free till all are free

Ravi Gill

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Anti-G4S demo in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers

A demonstration was held outside of G4S’ headquarters in Crawley today to send a message via megaphones to the private security company profiting from providing services to Israel’s prisons, police stations and businesses in Israel’s illegal settlements.
Today’s demo was in support of the victorious Palestinian Hunger Strikers and in solidarity with all the people still incarcerated and persecuted under the Israeli apartheid regime. People held banners and read out messages of solidarity for those that had been on hunger strike.

 

Despite G4S being the largest security company in the world, their private security guards were supported by a few vans of police preventing access to the site. The protest managed to continue around the inside of the compound to the companies office in full view of the workers and leaflets were handed out to passers-by.

The illegal occupation of Palestine continues and with it the indiscriminate arrests of Palestinian women, men and children. Many are held in administrative detention without charge, with military courts judging those who are ‘lucky enough’ to receive a trial. Widespread reports of systematic violence and torture by guards is common place.

 

This action is in response to a call from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee and the Boycott National Committee for actions ‘emphasizing imprisonment as a critical component of Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid practised against the Palestinian people”
“Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations have called for intensifying the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to target corporations profiting directly from the Israeli prison system. In particular, we call for action to be taken to hold to account G4S, the world’s largest international security corporation, which helps to maintain and profit from Israel’s prison system, for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.” – https://www.popularstruggle.org/civicrm/mailing/view?reset=1&id=389

Today people made their demand to G4S known, ‘support the international boycott and pull out of contracts with Israel’.

And the campaign against G4S does not stop here. G4S is also profiting from the asylum and detention system in the UK, from child detention, from privatisation of public services and from privatising security the world over from prisons, detention centres, military bases, oil, gas, nuclear and mining projects down to local policing, security guards, body guards, and armed response teams in every continent with long list of wide-spread abuses against people everywhere.

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Corrupt Social Workers Attempt To Rid Themselves of Prisoner John Bowden

Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, or what used to be known as the plain Social Work Department, have seriously compromised their professional integrity by defending a member of staff who deliberately told lies in a report to the Parole Boards in an attempt to sabotage my chances of release from prison. Behaving like corrupt policemen instead of traditional social workers seems now to be acceptable practice at Edinburgh Social Services.
In an official report for the Parole Board, written on 29/2/2012 Brendan Barnett, who works for Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, made the following incredible claims about my original case in 1980:
“Secondary motives for using violence described by the trial judge and acknowledged by Bowden himself suggest a pattern of behaviour that allowed for the predatory targeting of vulnerable human beings on the margins of society defined by race or sexuality.”
“Bowden has suggested that his victims were easily discriminated against on the basis of race and sexuality.”
“There has been no investigation of the values and beliefs that informed Bowden’s targeting of individuals, i.e. what particular characteristics deemed a person worthy of attack: ethnic background, deviant sexuality.”
There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support Barnett’s bizarre claims, and in fact I was convicted in 1982, alongside two other men, of the murder of a white Caucasian heterosexual male during a drunken party in South London. If ethnicity was any sort of factor in the case, it was the actually represented in the defendants, two of whom were Irish and the third second-generation Irish; the victim was a native white South Londoner. Neither the police who investigated the case or the prosecution authorities, or indeed the judge, had ever claimed that either racism or homophobia had played any part in the case; Barnett’s claims are a total lie, as he well knew.
Naively, I imagined that by officially complaining to Barnett’s superiors, his lies would be exposed and the record put straight as far as his report to the Parole Board was concerned. Instead I was about to enter a sort of Kafkaesque nightmare.
On 2/4/2012, I was interviewed by Jackie Peters, Manager for “Risk Management Services” and Barnett’s immediate boss, and Sheila Ritchie, a “sex and Violent Offender Liaison Officer” and also a colleague of Barnett’s. Both made it absolutely clear that they intended to defend and support their colleague no matter what, even if it required some twisting of the facts and a total disregard for the truth. Throughout the interview I was treated with obvious contempt and at one point I was actually asked if any of my victims (I was convicted of one murder) were black or homosexual. Despite my constant protestations that neither race nor sexual orientation played any part whatsoever in my conviction, as the official files make clear, they steadfastly remained determined to somehow defend and justify Barnett’s lies. I eventually realised that the interview was meaningless and that their intention was simply to defend their colleague, so I told them that I would pursue my complaint beyond them and do whatever it took to expose Barnett’s lies. In their subsequent report they would describe this as a “threat” against Barnett. They also alleged I had been “angry and aggressive” towards them and tried to shift the focus from Barnett’s lies onto my behaviour during the interview, which they insinuated suggested a potential risk to both themselves and the wider community. The issue of Barnett’s lies was glossed over in their report and my complaint rejected. It’s important to remember here that we’re not dealing with some minor factual inaccuracy or a biased interpretation of established fact, a fairly common phenomenon in social work reports on prisoners; Barnett wrote blatant lies in his report, claims that had absolutely no basis in fact or reality, lies that are easily disproved by reference to the mass of information in my prison and social work file. Yet, those supposedly responsible for investigating my complaint decided that Barnett had done absolutely no wrong and that his report was completely acceptable. Protected by an occupational culture that views and treats “offenders” as things to be monitored, supervised and policed, authoritarian characters like Barnett believe they have total power over those under their supervision and with it the absolute right to increase their demonisation and dehumanisation, even by writing blatant lies about them.
Those who employ Barnett and those who work alongside him in the Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services must ultimately take responsibility for his behaviour, because by defending and supporting him they have seriously compromised their own integrity and are complicit in his dishonesty and his abuse of power. A more senior social worker, Stephen Laird, signed off Barnett’s report, and therefore gave the official seal of approval to his lies, which is whythose supposedly investigating my complaint, Peters and Ritchie, felt an even greater predisposition to support Barnett, even if his lies regarding my original offence were obvious and indefensible. This is how corruption spreads within institutions like the police and social services; defending and supporting colleagues who have abused their power, especially over people considered something less than human and utterly powerless, creates complicity and a general culture of abuse. The prison system and police are riddled with this culture, which is why the abuse and death of people in custody is widespread and why those responsible are rarely identified and prosecuted. It would seem that the “Criminal Justice Services” generally, including social workers and probation officers, are also contaminated by this culture of lying and treating “offenders” as people stripped of all basic rights; my experience with Barnett and his colleagues certainly illustrates this.
Undoubtedly, at my next parole hearing, Barnett will claim that by challenging the lies in his report, I have also challenged his authority over me and that I therefore represent a “High Risk of Re-offending” because of my adversity to being supervised by Barnett in the community. As always, Public Protection will be cited and used as a justification for my continued imprisonment, when in reality I shall probably remain in jail simply because I challenged Barnett’s lies.
I have now complained to Peter Gabbitas, Director of Health and Social Department in Edinburgh, who has overall responsibility for Barnett and his colleagues, and he has yet to even acknowledge my letter, which suggests a disinclination on his part to recognise either my existence or that of my complaint. Incredibly, it would seem that a pathological liar like Barnett has the absolute freedom to describe someone in an official report as a “racist and homophobic” seral killer without a shred of evidence, and absolutely no one in his entire department has the integrity or moral courage to criticise or expose him, and that apparently includes even the department’s Director. The complete absence of any basic integrity among those at Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services is both scandalous and deeply worrying for those under its supervision.
The response of Barnett and Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services to my exposing lies has been to ask the Scottish Prison Service to engineer my removal back to the English prison system, and on the 4th May Sharron Di Ciacca, Legal Service Manager of the Scottish Prison Service, wrote to me informing me that such a transfer would take place soon. Moving the “problem” on is of course a classic method of controlling and punishing “difficult” prisoners.
Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services should not be allowed to suppress or simply get rid of “offenders” who complain about and expose individuals like Brendan Barnett, and I ask all groups and individuals concerned about the treatment of prisoners and ex-prisoners at the hands of a corrupt social work department like Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services to write letters or e-mails of complaint to the following addresses:
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, 4 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7NS.

Social Work Advice and Complaints Service, Waverley Court, Level 1/7, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG.

Michelle Miller, Chief Social Worker, Grindlay Court Social Work Centre, Criminal Justice Services, 2-4 Grindlay Court, Edinburgh, EH3 9AR.
Peter Gabbitas, Director, Health and Social Care Department, Waverly Court, Level 1/8, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8DG.
John Bowden
You can also write to John at the following address:
John Bowden 6729 HMP Shotts Cantrell Road ShottsScotland ML7 4LE.

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May 17th Solidarity with Palestinian Hunger Strikers

Their Fate is in Our Hands

Coming Thursday, May 17, will mark a month to the hunger strike, with over 2,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails participating in it. As Israel refuses to accept the prisoners’ demands for their basic rights, including humane treatment, many of them face immediate risk of death as the world watches over in silence. The prisoners have decided to live in dignity or starve to death in their isolation cells, and a global mobilization is urgently needed to break the deafening silence!

A month into the hunger strike, join a Global 24-hour hunger strike in front of Israeli embassies, consulates and UN offices May 17, 2012
Endorse the Palestinian civil society call for a boycott of G4S due to its complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian prisoners’ rights.

Background
More than two weeks ago, some 2,000 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike and their life is in danger. Their demands are simple and the strike’s slogan, echoing through the prison walls, is just as plain- freedom or death. The lives of all prisoners on strike are currently under danger, but among them is a smaller group, which has been striking for a longer period and whose lives are under immediate threat.
Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab have not eaten for more than 70 days – since the 29th of February. Israeli courts have rejected their appeals and refused to free them from administrative detention where they remain without charge or trial, subject to secret evidence and secret allegations. They are in critical condition. Hassan Safadi has been refusing food since the 2nd of March, Omar Abu Shalal, 54, since the 4th of March, Mahmoud Sarsak, the only Gazan to have been incarcerated under Israel’s Illegal Combatants Law, since the 24th of March, Mohammed al-Taj, 40, also since the 24th of March and Ja’afar Ezzadeen, 41, since the 27th of march.

The Prisoners’ key demands include:
Ending the policy of solitary confinement and isolation; End to the use of administrative detentions; The restoration of visitation rights to families of prisoners from the Gaza Strip, a right that has been denied to all families for more than 6 years; Canceling ‘Shalit’ law, which restricts prisoners’ access to educational materials as punitive measure. The law remains intact despite a prisoner swap deal last October. Ending systematic humiliation, including arbitrary strip searches, nightly raids and collective punishment.
Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike have been hit hard with retaliation from Israel Prison Services, including beatings, transferring from one prison to another, confiscation of salt (an act that could have severe health consequences for hunger strikers), denial of family and lawyer visits, and isolation and solitary confinement of hunger strikers.
In response, Human Rights Watch issued a statement chiding Israel’s over its administrative detention policy; it said, “It shouldn’t take the self-starvation of Palestinian prisoners for Israel to realize it is violating their due process rights.” Amnesty International also issued a call for

urgent action from individuals around the world to contact Israeli authorities about Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh.
Emphasizing imprisonment as a critical component of Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid practiced against the Palestinian people, Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations have called for intensifying the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to target corporations profiting directly from the Israeli prison system. In particular, we call for action to be taken to hold to account G4S, the world’s largest international security corporation, which helps to maintain and profit from Israel’s prison system, for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.

Signed:
Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)

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Ravi Gill Released

Ravi Gill was released from Wayland Prison this morning after completing half of a 21 month sentence imposed last year following the first Welling antifascist trial. He thanks everyone for the support he received while inside.
Ravi was one of seven antifascists fitted-up on conspiracy charges after a German neo-Nazi was floored at Welling train station. A further sixteen antifascists were acquitted.
Six comrades went to jail in the case, with one subsequently being deported. Ravi Gill is the last prisoner to be released.

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