Close Supervision Centres – Torture Units in the UK. New Pamphlet from Bristol ABC. April 2012

Close Supervision Centres – Torture Units in the UK. New Pamphlet from

Bristol ABC. April 2012

Here to download – a collaboratively produced pamphlet from inside and outside the prison walls, for printing and distribution about Close Supervision Centres in the UK prison network.

With an introduction by Mark Barnsley of LeedsABC; many articles and texts from John Bowden, our comrade currently residing in HMP Shotts, Scotland; first hand accounts from inside these maximum security segregation units from prisoners such as Kevan Thakrar and Kyle Major; and many articles, testimonies and denunciations from families, supporters, and other people fighting against these degrading and despicable institutions; this text is a call-out for renewed pressure on the prison system and the web of screws, bureaucrats, health care professionals, managers etc. that enact overt and covert abuses on inmates of the CSC system every day.

CSCs Torture Units in the UK SCREEN (for reading on computer)

CSCs Torture Units in the UK IMPOSED (large file – for printing as booklet)

CSCs Torture Units in the UK A4 (single A4 pages)

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Support Needed For Antifascist Prisoner


Ravinder Gill is one of the six UK antifascists imprisoned last year after being fitted-up for ‘conspiracy to cause violent disorder’. While the other five comrades have all been released, either subject to curfew on electronic tag, or in the case of Thomas Blak to deportation, Ravi Gill remains in prison. Ravi is an avid reader, but books sent to him by Haven Distribution, a supplier approved by the Prison Service, are being withheld from him by the Governor of Wayland, Kevin Reilly. Ravi’s complaints about this abuse of power and violation of the Human Rights Act are simply being ignored by this jumped up ‘Little Hitler’. We therefore ask you to send cards, letters, faxes to Mr Reilly asking him to explain himself. You can also phone him. Please take a few minutes to show Ravi Gill that he is not alone.

Kevin Reilly
HMP Wayland
IP25 6RL

Tel – 01953 804100
Fax – 01953 804220

Letters of support to Ravi at:

Ravinder Gill
HMP Wayland
IP25 6RL


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Support for John Bowden

    Militant long-term prisoner John Bowden continues not only to get shit from the prison authorities, but also from ‘social workers’ acting as their lackeys (see and -worker-2/ ). Regular Indymedia readers may recall that a few … Continue reading

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Update From John Bowden About Lies Written By Prison Hired Social Worker

Update from John on attempts to sabotage his parole…

Brendon Barnett, a criminal justice social worker in Edinburgh, has so compromised himself by writing blatant lies in a report to the parole board to try and sabotage my release that his employers should seriously consider his suitability as a social work professional.

Social Work Advice and Complaints Service in Edinburgh are currently investigating my complaint that in a report submitted to the parole board in February Barnett wrote what he knew to be total lies and did so without any concern that his lies would inevitably be found out. This suggests either a serious personality disorder on Barnett’s part or a belief that whatever he wrote the system would support him and never hold him properly accountable. It will therefore be interesting to see how my complaint is treated by the social work complaints service and how the system deals with someone who thinks it’s completely acceptable to use their position to destroy the lives of people considered too marginalised, powerless and stigmatised to defend themselves.

In response to an article that I wrote exposing the lies in Barnett’s report, Barnett submitted a second report to the parole board obviously motivated by a determination to inflict greater punishment for my having the temerity to speak out. In his second report submitted on the 22nd March he accuses me of being ‘very selective’ in my use of quotes from his first report and ‘manipulative’ in my ‘editing’ of them. He claimed that I wrote and distributed the article as a ‘crude attempt to intimidate and cow’ him. He also made reference to a warning or threat in his first report that my continuing to use the internet as a means of exposing dishonest reporting by social workers should be considered by the parole board as sufficient reason to deny my release.

In terms of my reason for writing and distributing the article about the lies in Barnett’s first report, my actual motive was to try and highlight a pattern of behaviour on the part of prison-based psychologists and social workers that compromises their professional integrity by blurring the boundaries between an often vindictive prison system and the supposed professional independence of ‘criminal justice workers’ like Barnett. Although not formally employed by the prison system Barnett clearly had contact with and was influenced by senior prison staff whilst writing his first report and obviously believed he now shared with them such total power over me that I would be completely defenceless to his lies; in fact what he actually succeeded in doing was undermining the basic integrity of his report and illustrating how so-called criminal justice professionals like social workers and probation officers are often used by prison staff to legitimise the otherwise blatant victimization of prisoners. Either way, my essential motive in writing and distributing my article was to bring attention to a clear abuse of power by Barnett and also to an obvious and repetitive pattern of lies in social work reports written on me for the parole board. In fact, Barnett’s lies, although uniquely unbelievable, fit a consistent pattern of dishonesty and lies in reports submitted to the parole board since at least 2007. The motive is clear: to prevent my release by any means necessary.

Barnett claims that in my article exposing his lies I was selective in my choice of quotes from his first report and manipulative in my editing of them. In fact, I lifted the quotes verbatim from his report and selected those that were obviously untrue in the extreme, such as the claim that I was convicted of hate crimes against ethnic minorities and gay people. In a typical example of this he wrote, “Bowden has not only used a political analysis of his own history but also those of his victims suggesting they were individuals easily discriminated against on the basis of race or sexuality”. This is EXACTLY what Barnett wrote free of any manipulation or editing by me. He also wrote, “Bowden has suggested that his victims were easily discriminated against on the basis or race or sexuality” and “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”. Despite a mountain of official reports and evidence relating to my life before prison and the circumstances of my ‘offending behaviour’, which Barnett would have been familiar with, he decided to introduce a racist and homophobic dimension to my case that has absolutely no basis in fact or reality. The question therefore has to be asked why?

Prison-based social workers often exaggerate, distort and misrepresent facts when writing reports for the parole board, but rarely are naked lies written in reports that are examined by a judicial body like the parole board. In 2007 a prison-based social worker, Matthew Stillman, wrote a report for the parole board preparing to consider my release in which he described a prisoner support group, Anarchist Black Cross, as a ‘terrorist organisation’ and my connection with it as sufficient reason to deny my release. Stillman, a right-wing American, claimed that ABC’s politics were ‘Terroristic’ in his opinion, though would subsequently also claim that he was encouraged by senior prison staff to use the term ‘terrorist’ in his report to the parole board. Political definitions, no matter how distorted, are however completely different to blatant lies, there are only two explanations for Barnett writing such outrageous lies in his report to the parole board, either plain incompetence [difficult to believe when one considers his otherwise forensic eye for detail in the report] or straight forward malevolence. Either explanation is almost secondary to the imperative that he should be sacked or removed from a job where he is able to inflict serious damage on people’s live.


John Bowden

HMP Shotts

April 2012

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Prison Was Created For The Poor pdf

Leeds ABC have released our pamphlet PRISON WAS CREATED FOR THE POOR as a PDF file (downloadable from the pdf section of this site).


The 36 page pamphlet was originally released by Leeds ABC in 2007 and focuses on two tireless militants of the Spanish prison struggle, Xose Tarrio Gonzalez and Gabriel Pombo Da Silva, who fought against the brutal F.I.E.S. isolation units. Xose was killed by a life behind bars, and Gabriel now rots in a German prison. As well as biographical pieces on Gabriel and Xose and a short excerpt from Xose’s book ‘Huye! Hombre, Huye!’, the pamphlet contains a first-hand account of the Aachen trial (see below) and an introduction by Mark Barnsley. The main part of PRISON WAS CREATED FOR THE POOR though, is the text of an interview with Xose and Gabriel’s mothers, Pastora and Julia. The interview took place during the trial of Julia’s son, Gabriel, and her daughter Begoña, and of Gent ABC activist Bart De Geeter and Gabriel’s fellow escapee, José Fernandez Delgado, in Aachen, Germany, in 2005. Through this medium, they tell a powerful and emotional story, which not only takes us inside the world of Spanish high security prisons, but reflects on jails throughout the world.


Like far too many comrades, Gabriel and Jose remain in the dungeons of The Enemy, and as with so many long-term prisoners, attention has shifted away from them to the point where little recent material can be found about them on the internet. In view of this, Leeds ABC have agreed to a request to release our pamphlet as a PDF file. While Leeds ABC remain committed to publishing material in ‘hard copy’, which we believe is more universally accessible, and also raises funds for the direct support of prisoners (and not for the arrogant North American parasites who constantly rip-off our publications), as with some of our other pamphlets, we have decided to publish PRISON WAS CREATED FOR THE POOR as a PDF in the hope that its wider circulation will increase solidarity with Gabriel and Jose.


We hope that you will enjoy reading PRISON WAS CREATED FOR THE POOR and that it inspires you to revolutionary action or at least to support those comrades who find themselves behind bars. Gabriel and Jose’s prison addresses are as follows:


Gabriel Pombo Da Silva,

JVA Aachen,

Kefelder Str. 251,





Jose Fernandez Delgado,

Aachenstr. 47,





Advice on writing to prisoners, as well as the details of other imprisoned comrades in need of support, can be found on this website.


If you would prefer to read PRISON WAS CREATED FOR THE POOR in hard-copy, it can be obtained directly from Leeds ABC  or from radical booksellers such as AK Press. As with all Leeds ABC publications, all profits made from sales are used for the direct support of class struggle and Anarchist prisoners.

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Report and pics from Jock Palfreeman demo

Poster displayed at the demo 

A Bulgarian flag being burnt outside the Embassy

One of several leaflets that were given out (front) 

One of several leaflets that were given out (back) 

Over 30 people gathered outside the Bulgarian Embassy in London yesterday to show solidarity with Jock Palfreeman as part of an International Day of Action to highlight his situation. Jock is a young Australian lad who went to the aid of two Roma boys who were being attacked by a racist gang and who is now serving 20 years in a Bulgarian prison. More details about the case at
At yesterday’s London demo, banners were hung on the railings of the Bulgarian Embassy and pictures of Jock put on display. Hundreds of leaflets were given out during the 3 hour demo and a Bulgarian flag was also burned outside the Embassy.
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Jock Palfreeman Solidarity Demo. 15th March – London

Jock Palfreeman Solidarity Demo. Thursday 15th March 2012. 11am – 2pm. London.

Demonstrate outside the Bulgarian Embassy in solidarity with Jock Palfreeman, the young Australian man who was set up by the Bulgarian police and criminal justice system after he stepped in to stop an attack on a young Roma in December 2007. Jock Palfreeman was sentenced in December 2007 to 20 years in Bulgaria’s notorious Sofia Central Prison. If other comrades can organise other demos at Bulgarian embassies and Bulgarian tourist offices in other cities all the better.

11am – 2pm. Bulgaria Embassy.

186-188 Queen’s Gate. London. SW7 5HL

Jock Palfreeman Solidarity Demo. Thursday 15th March 2012. 11am – 2pm. London.

Demonstrate outside the Bulgarian Embassy in solidarity with Jock Palfreeman, the young Australian man who was set up by the Bulgarian police and criminal justice system after he stepped in to stop an attack on a young Roma in December 2007. Jock Palfreeman was sentenced in December 2007 to 20 years in Bulgaria’s notorious Sofia Central Prison. If other comrades can organise other demos at Bulgarian embassies and Bulgarian tourist offices in other cities all the better.

11am – 2pm. Bulgaria Embassy.

186-188 Queen’s Gate. London. SW7 5HL

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Another Attempt To Sabotage John Bowden’s Parole By Prison Hired Social Worker

Taken from Indymedia: It seems that the state and its loyal agents in HMP Shotts, Scotland, are currently manufacturing reasons to present to the parole board as to why John Bowden should be kept in jail. One of the entries in … Continue reading

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The Culture Vulture reviews Leeds Antifascist Film Festival

Freelance creative Georgia Halston reviews Leeds Antifascist Film Festival, which ran for the weekend of the 4th and 5th of February, for Culture Vulture. Read it in its original form (with pics) at:




A stunning effort and devotion to a cause was displayed by the Leeds Anarchist Black Cross ( this weekend in the form of Leeds Antifascist Film Festival.
An early start on an icy cold Saturday morning had me pleasantly surprised when entering the Space Project ( on Mabgate Green in Leeds. Not only were my temperature induced preconceptions of poor turnout wrong, the welcome from organisers and general atmosphere in this make shift cinema/board room was in complete juxtaposition to the grippingly brisk conditions.
Technical teething problems at the outset made it possible for the purchase of a warming tea and vegan cake (the likes of which you can’t buy at Starbucks!) as well as a chance to have a chat with my fellow festival-goers. After some technical tinkering we were all seated for the first film; a Polish-made documentary, ‘Auschwitz – Recollections of Prisoner 1327′, a dramatic account of life on one of the most infamous concentration camps, told through the memories of Kazimir Smolen. Smolen was said to be the world’s most foremost authority on German concentration camps and played an imperative role in Nazi war crimes trials. A smart move for film number one, for me at least: a refresher course in Western Fascism 101.
A smooth transition was made from looking back at Auschwitz Birkenau to its social significance today. Javaad Alipoor gave us a talk about how he and his organisation had educated West Yorkshire teenagers about the atrocities by taking them to the scene of the crime in Oswiecim Poland. Javaad spoke mainly of his work with young people and giving them an insight into political ideologies. In an entertaining and anecdotal fashion, he spoke of the sensationalisation and the ‘emotional blackmail’ occurring at the camp today and preached the other side of Auschwitz, with a large amount of audience participation the talk is well worth a listen and can be found here –
After more tea and refreshments organisers presented the 2001 film ‘Conspiracy’, a chilling true story and recreation of the Wannsee Conference where the Nazi Final Solution phase of the Holocaust was devised.
As the snow started to fall, the bleak outlook outside was mirrored by the stark portrayal of the ‘Edelweiss Pirates’ in the 2004 film of the same name. The film follows the story of a group of young Edelweiss Pirates, youngsters in Germany opposed to the Hitler youth, in Cologne. Beautifully shot this wartime film puts a face to the resistance of German youth.
‘The 43 Group’ was the next short documentary shown and told the story of the young Jewish servicemen and women returning from the war to see fascism rearing its ugly head on their own streets. The documentary mainly featured interviews from those now elderly people. Although the viewer can’t help but feel an endearing emotional response to oldies, the film’s messages shine through and remind us that these senior citizens were heroes of their time do not conform to the fallacy of their cutesy ageist stereotype.
Next on the bill – Antifascist recollections from the 1970s. Recited by an event organiser were the unpublished memoirs of imprisoned antifascists involved in antifascist actions. Taking place in various locations around the country, colourful events were described in equally colourful language.
A guest presenter was next ushered to front of stage to convey his personal recollection of an event later referred to as ‘The Welling Case.’ With visual aids and concise articulation of the scene the speaker prescribed to the audience his side of the story and outlined how 22 antifascists were prosecuted on ‘trumped-up conspiracy charges’ and how 2 remain imprisoned. He explained how in the process of the trial, an antifascist organisation was shut down and how the 2009 incident was a perfect example of “politically motivated prosecution”.
By about 6.30 the beer was now flowing and the general ambience was one of a more fun and easy going nature as we sat down to watch ‘Spinach Fer Britain’ (, a Pop-Eye cartoon unreleased at the time and place of its making: 1943 “neutral” America, due to its propagandistic nature, but was released finally in 2003.
Following on in the same spirits was top antifascist comedian Bod Green; this one-man humour mill had his audience in fits of laughter for the duration of his boisterous animated act, reminiscent of an antifascist Ross Noble. Bod littered his set with anecdotes, original humour and some genuine 1930s nuggets of hilarity.
Saturday ended with final film ‘The Army of Crime’, for which most of the audience stayed. Described as “the real Inglorious Bastards”, this French war-drama is based on a true story and follows a young group of Parisian rebels who, dubbed by the Nazis as “The Army Of Crime”, fight against the Nazi occupation, ending with their own demise.
A later start on Sunday saw many of the same faces arriving for first film ‘Land and Freedom’. Directed by British indie filmmaker Ken Loach, ‘Land and Freedom’ is a film based around the Spanish Civil War and follows fictitious protagonist, David, from his scouse roots to fight for his communist beliefs in a war-stricken Spain.
Organisers at the festival had taken the time to research and reiterate each film’s plot and described themes and a social backdrop to the audience before beginning each film. Leading onto the next feature this practice was duplicated and a fair and insightful introduction was also given to documentary ‘Living Utopia, The Anarchists & The Spanish Revolution’, further entrenching the theme of Spanish Fascism within Sunday’s mantra.
With the room filling up, the Leeds Anarchist Black Cross and organisers of the event took the chance to give a short talk about what their organisation stands for. The articulate female speaker started with who they are trying to help. The list mainly consists of imprisoned antifascists who need help from the outside and other antifascist organisations. She moved on to how money is raised, describing methods from literature and letter writing to music nights and events. Finally she concluded with a notion of how the organisation is looking forward and noted the essential nature of their website and other digital channels such as social networking. After the presentation I managed to collar the speaker to delve a little deeper, particularly on the nature of their philanthropy. She explained that funds generated go to the publication of pamphlets and other literature with the initiative of bringing political language down from an academic elite to speak to a wider audience in the hope of wider audience participation. Another big push for the organisation is simply writing to those who are imprisoned and showing solidarity and compassion to those who may have lost hope. If you want to be involved in the scheme or write to any of the political prisoners mentioned, you can here –
A full room of antifascists met for the next feature film ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’. Venturing further into the Spanish Civil War theme, this modern visual masterpiece enthralled its audience, which I imagine is usually the case in any circumstance. A chilling story set against the backdrop of a fascist regime in 1944 rural Spain, Pan’s Labyrinth ( is a stunning piece of cinematic gold. Despite its fantastic nature, one cannot brush past the veins of political oppression and trust me on this; it’s not for kids!
Livening up the room was an all-inclusive effort on the Dead Fascist Quiz. After a whole weekend learning about fascism I thought I may be in with a good chance on this but scored a measly 1 ½ out of 20! The winning score was 14 and prizes were received.
Rounding off the day and the festival was ‘To The Barricades!’ – the musical soundings of Mr Javaad Alipoor. His multi-cultural, multi-lingual musical expression of a political stance was impressive to say the least. This antifascist bard and band of merry men brought us both musically accompanied and a cappella anthems in French, Italian, Persian and Arabic as well as some well known English and Irish tunes. The talented musician demanded crowd participation and was not disappointed!
For me, the most pleasing impression left was the diversity of attendees to the festival and how the organisers had shrewdly put together a list of activities and features that would weld us together as a group, not to mention keeping us all warm, fed and watered throughout the weekend! I felt a real sense of community had been generated within a makeshift, former industrial space in a small corner of a progressively snow covered Leeds. The organisers were very thankful to all attendees and all the donations and money raised through the selling of books, clothing, food and drink as well as all signatures on cards to their politically imprisoned comrades.
A resounding success.
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Austen Jackson and Phil de Souza Released

Leeds ABC are pleased to be able to announce that antifascist prisoners Austen Jackson and Phil de Souza have been released. Austen has completed his full sentence and Phil has been released on electronic ‘tag’. Thank you to the many people who have supported them while they were inside.

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