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.

The State is the Terrorist!