Solidarity with Toby Shone! Against Counter-Terror Southwest Policing of BASE Social Centre
As Toby Shone’s parole pre-hearing meeting approaches on March 15th, BASE would like to restate its solidarity with Toby and all anarchist prisoners.
Anarchist comrade Toby Shone was recalled to prison on 19th September 2023 after attending a letter-writing night and dinner held by Bristol Anti-Repression Campaign (BARC) on 30th August. This meeting was being watched by 2 Counter Terror Officers. Toby’s licence conditions prevented him from contributing to or organising events at places like BASE. They also included a gagging order to prevent him speaking out against his case and his licence conditions. His attendance at the BARC Open House letter-writing night at BASE was used by National Security Division (NSD) and Southwest Counter Terror Police (SWCTP) to justify his renewed incarceration in a long-term high security prison 170 miles away from his home.
It has come to our attention through legal papers recently served to Toby that BASE is subject to ongoing surveillance and monitoring by SWCTP. The legal documents contain a dossier of BASE campaigning materials and an events list, compiled by a Counter-Terror Police (CTP) digital analyst. There is a suggestion that there is some shadowy criminal anarchist group behind BASE so that the cops can expand their fantasy of ‘anarchist terror’ where a social centre is somewhere that people become groomed and radicalised and where glorification and funding of terrorism are rampant (flyers, direct action reports and benefit gigs and fundraisers). Back in the real world, BASE is a much loved and long standing autonomous social centre that hosts community dinners, bike workshops, talks on a diverse range of topics from social justice and prisoner solidarity to environmental and cultural topics. BASE has a library, a bookshop and is a base for grassroots campaigning in the local area.
We stand with Toby Shone against the criminalisation of alternative voices and alternative spaces. We stand against the criminalisaton of solidarity. No one should be recalled to the torture chambers of the UK prison estate for attending a community space, for gathering with friends, for writing letters, for living collectively rather than in isolation or for living an alternative lifestyle inspired by ideas and projects that seek to promote kinder, more positive and more sustainable ways of living and being in this world than the present system allows. As Britain buries more and more of us in filthy, inhumane and overcrowded dungeons at His Majesty’s Pleasure, we at BASE stand proudly and in solidarity with Toby Shone as well as all the KTB prisoners and other anarchist prisoners in the UK and around the world.
Na’amod Bristol invites you to join us to gather around Palestine solidarity. We will reflect on all the ways we’ve engaged with the Palestinian cause over the past months and years, and nourish us all for our next steps. We acknowledge that each person will have had a different journey to their current understanding, perspectives and the modes of solidarity they participate in.
Na’amod is a national movement of British Jews against the occupation. This event falls shortly after the Jewish festival of Tu BiShvat, known as ‘the New Year for the Trees’. Through the traditions of the festival we will hold discussions to reflect on Palestine solidarity, build alliances between the different groups working on these issues, and give us energy and ideas for moving forward together in these difficult times. We reclaim this festival from the anti-Palestinian acts of the JNF and others*, and instead celebrate the festival as a container for solidarity and hope.
This event is aimed at anyone who is involved in, or interested in getting involved in Palestine solidarity work in and around Bristol.
🎬Film showing and discussion Sunday 21st Jan @ BASE🎬 We’re delighted to show a 50min documentary on Relational Restorative Justice in Quebec, ‘When Punishing is not enough’, in its Bristol Premiere! This film follows participants who are going through the state criminal justice system – and the mediators are working in co operation with this system. However, the principles of how they are working are not tied to punitive approaches to justice, and our discussion will invite you to engage in learning from the film in the framework of anarchist and abolitionist values. How can the victim centred approach of relational restorative justice do better than ‘traditional’ punitive justice? ❤️🔥Want more of this sorta peer learning? BARC Transformative Justice reading group meets 2nd Weds of the month see @bristolantirepression ig for text. Conflict Club hosts TJ open space on another Weds of the month – see base website or join our whatsapp announce https://chat.whatsapp.com/KgdzYhxs917AXxLI6Iw1Xo 🍽️BASE Sunday vegan café: 6:30 – pay what you can, bring cash! All welcome to attend either café, film or both ➡️Discussion and film : 7:20 – 9pm
As Palestinians in Gaza are facing genocide and the complete devastation of their homes and communities, the British state is prosecuting seven activists who took action to disrupt Israel’s weapons trade. May 15th annually marks the day of the Palestinian ‘Nakba’ – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, which saw 800,000 Palestinians displaced and over 500 towns destroyed – on this day in 2022, the seven entered and occupied the Bristol HQ of ‘Elbit Systems’, Israel’s largest weapons company.
Right now, Elbit weapons are being used to destroy Gaza and slaughter its population. By hosting Elbit in this country, we are complicit in Israel’s crimes, and the seven acted on their duty to #ShutElbitDown. They’ll be entering Court to show that Elbit is guilty, not the Palestine Action activists standing against them.
The last two years have seen an increasing assualt on our rights to protest as the Tory Government clamps down on dissent of just about any kind, and is trying to ciminalise almost every action.
They’ve introduced four new Laws which sit alongside or on top of Laws from previous Governments. The new Laws are: – Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Act 2022 (PCSC) – Public Order Act 2023 (POA) – National Security Act 2023 (NSA – Law in July, many Sections in force from end October) – Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Act 2023 (Law in July, service levels being negotiated)
Even the most hardened Legal Support activists will only know the key, or worst, Sections of these Laws – but it’s worthwhile everybody getting as clued up as they can. So a few local legal activists have sat down and compiled a list of links to the best legal guides, explainers, rights info, bustcards and legal activist websites; plus some basic ‘protest advice’ for you to consider when going on a protest/action.
They’re all gathered together in this pdf below: Legal info Protest advice_Dec23 Just click on the links in the guide, and read away!
Almost 33 months after the Bristol Kill The Bill protest on 21 March 2021, the repression continues with 10 people still in prison, and upto 7 more going through the courts. They still need our solidarity & support!
On Friday 15th December, from 7-10pm, the Justice For Bristol Protesters campaign is hosting a fundraising extravaganza, with all proceeds going to Bristol ABC’s prisoner support fund (donate here!) – which provides monthly support to the prisoners. The event will feature 2 bands, dj, films, prisoner art & poems, and live art from the Bristol Mural Collective. Some prisoner art is available to buy as part of the fundraiser. The benefit is at Strange Brew, 10-12 Fairfax St, Bristol BS1 3DB. Advance tickets, info & videos of the bands are here at Headfirst. Or just pay on the door!
Can’t make the fundraiser, but want to support the prisoners? Why not write or email them! The current prisoners who welcome public support (4 out of 10 current KTB prisoners wish to remain private) are listed on the Bristol ABC website along with tips for writing. Note that the prisoner Ben Rankin is due to be released this December.
Bristol Queerants is a queer feminist discussion group to explore ideas about gender and sexuality.
We are having a winter social at BASE on Thu 7th Dec, 7-8.30pm. We thought that we would each bring one poem, or piece of music, or short words on a book, or a film – something that has moved or shaped us as a queer person. We each get 5 mins to read, present or play a tune, and there’s a bit of a chat about it. We thought this would be a way to bring in really personal stuff, or pleasure-based stuff, or somatic / feelings stuff into our group space. All LGBTQIA+ welcome including if you’ve not been before.