Letters / FRFI 220 April/May 2011

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 220 April/May 2011

British complicity with torture

Thank you for the newspaper – I received it in the end! Please thank all who are involved with FRFI, they do an amazing job.

You will have heard that I lost my appeal against conviction, although to be frank I never thought we’d end up with an honest judgment. It’s to be expected, especially in politically motivated cases, such as the Birmingham Six. This government will do anything to hide its crimes against its own citizens. I knew that M15 would not allow the judges to speak the truth. But we must stay strong. I have been allowed to appeal.

With regards to the public inquiry [on torture], the government is looking for a whitewash. There was a report published by Human Rights Watch in November last year called Cruel Britannia: British complicity in the torture and ill-treatment of terror suspects in Pakistan. In it, Pakistani security services admit that the accounts of the victims are true and the British government was pressing them for results. This was further proved by a programme by Peter Taylor, The secret war on terror, broadcast on BBC2 in March, where President Musharraf was very bold with his words.

RANGZIEB AHMED A6326AC

HMP Full Sutton


Support the Maghaberry POWs!

In February the Maghaberry POWs went on protest against the prison administration for continual strip-searches and reneging on its commitment to introduce electronic scanning equipment. The POWs refused to comply with strip-searches in a bid to force the prison administration to deliver on its promise, made in August 2010.

On the 15 March two Republican POWs – Kevin Barry Nolan and Gerard McManus – were both subjected to two forced strip-searches each when leaving and returning to the prison. They both suffered injuries to their wrists, arms and bodies. Eight riot squad officers forced them to the ground using riot shields and twisted their wrists to hold them to the ground as they forcibly removed all their clothing.

Another tactic used by the prison officers to break prisoners is sleep deprivation.Wardens are opening the hatches on the cells and shouting through numerous times every night in what appears to be an attempt to aggravate the POWs through sleep deprivation.

Support the POWs on protest in any way possible. The men and women of 1980-81 had tremendous support from the public. These men are no different; they are Irish political prisoners being brutalised by a British prison system which seeks to break them both mentally and physically. Do not allow these men to be forgotten. Do not allow the British government to triumph.

JOHN BRADY SOCIETY

Scotland


Student accommodation rip-off

Companies running student halls are ripping off university students. I’m in my second year of a film and media degree at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). During my first year I lived in shared accommodation at Mill Point halls, which is run by the Liberty Living company. We were given what we thought was a good deal at the time, with bills included in the rent and only having to pay £100 deposit. But since leaving the halls, my former flatmates and I have been hounded by Liberty Living for money we shouldn’t owe.

After we moved out Liberty gave us maintenance bills of around £150 each; my friend got a £400 bill! We had left the flat in a good state of repair and cleaned hard to avoid giving them any excuse to impose charges. All of us complained immediately but our complaints were ignored for months and the charges remained. When I gave them an angry phone call, their response was to send a detailed account showing what we supposedly owed – including hundreds of pounds for painting and decorating, new carpets  and all sorts of things we shouldn’t have been responsible for. We were also told that our £100 deposit was non-refundable.

As if that wasn’t enough, the university has used our dispute with Liberty to deny us access to facilities and severely jeopardise our studies. MMU has disabled my library card and I have been blocked from accessing the uni intranet, stopped from getting key information at a time of year when work is due in. I can’t believe that a university can be run like a business to attack students rather than help us when private firms are after what little money we have. Fees are set to rise and it seems like the universities are on the side of the rich.

This kind of abuse by companies that run halls seems widespread. Mill Point halls are becoming notorious for ripping students off. But many students just pay, particularly those with parents who can. They are often bullied into it as the university and private company gang up on them.

Liberty have knocked back my appeal against these charges and things are difficult. If it wasn’t for the small bursary I am entitled to I wouldn’t even be able to pay rent. Others have been refused their bursaries because of Liberty’s fees. I can’t pay these charges and I won’t. If more students do the same these cheats would have a real problem on their hands.

JORDANE NIGHTINGALE

Manchester


Germany’s Nazi law

Every issue of FRFI is an inspiration for English-speaking prisoners here in Bruchsal, a prison in Germany. Thanks to FRFI and everyone who helps to ensure that the newspaper can be sent to inmates. Currently we’re having a discussion in Germany about the the categorisation of ‘dangerous inmates’, because the European Court of Human Rights has found Germany guilty on a number of occasions of violating human rights law. The German courts make use of a Nazi law of ‘Preventive Detention’, dating from 1933, to hold people behind bars despite having completed their ‘regular’ sentences. I think it says a lot about a society that it still relies on a law introduced by Hitler and Goebbels!

THOMAS MEYER-FALK

www.freedom-for-thomas.de


Workers should control banks

Congratulations on highlighting the arrogance of the ConDem junta and its failure to take on the banks (FRFI 219, February/March).

It is obscene that ordinary workers have to suffer the cuts caused by the financial meltdown. Public services are suffering already. Why should we suffer when it was the banks that caused the crisis? Yet, as the money in our pockets disappears, the City lines its pockets with grotesque bonus payouts.

We need not only to tax these bonuses and bank profits more heavily, but also elect ordinary workers and customers to the board that runs each bank. We need more democracy in the banking system. Workers need to be in control.

GRAEME KEMP

(by email)


HMP Wakefield harassment

Many thanks to all of you for your ongoing help and support from the bottom of my heart.  My thanks also go to all my loyal supporters who have not let me down. I was wrongfully convicted over 24 years ago on fabricated evidence. Presently my legal team has contacted a linguistic expert to test three statements, one which I made and two which were fabricated. Now I am hoping that sooner rather than later all my supporters can be on my victory train celebrating justice day.

As a hostage in a foreign country, living in a dungeon, each day has its own difficulties. Some time ago HMP Wakefield stopped me receiving copies of newspapers. I took the matter to the prison and probation ombudsman and my complaint against the prison was upheld. Yesterday, I was informed by prison officers that I am no longer allowed to correspond with my long-standing supporter and friend Dr George Coombs because of some artwork I have on a website which I was told is making a profit. I have contacted the ombudsman and my solicitor about this. The prison authorities have not given me anything in writing, simply told me I can’t correspond with him because of the paintings. Please note my artwork is internationally known and I posted it all out from the prison using legal channels. There is no basis for what HMP Wakefield is saying. They are just harassing me because the ombudsman upheld my earlier complaint.

The prison is certainly in contravention of the Human Rights Convention article 10 – freedom of expression; article 8 – right to a private life; article 6 – right to prove your innocence. Dr Coombs, my solicitor and my barrister are working to defend my legal rights. No justice – no peace.

PETER HAKALA A3960AE

HMP Wakefield

Letters / FRFI 219 Feb / Mar 2011

FRFI 219 February / March 2011

Kettling students

As one of the thousands of students who took to the streets on 9 December to defend my right to education, I witnessed first-hand the aggressive and inflammatory tactics of the Metropolitan Police.

After the first peaceful few hours at Parliament Square, the news that the Bill had been passed by a narrow majority slowly rippled through the crowd, and it was shortly after this that a member of the riot police told my friends and I that nobody was getting out – even a heavily-pregnant woman was refused.

The police had now created a situation in which thousands of cold, hungry, angry students – whose futures had just been clouded with uncertainty due to the scrapping of EMA and the raising of tuition fees – were kept in a very confined space, despite the dejected majority simply wanting to go home at this point. The police knew that this would lead to violence and rioting, which would allow the media to brand us as feral youth, and ultimately lead to an increase in their power: creating a situation in which they could without reproof legitimately consider borrowing water cannons from the North of Ireland to control us in the future.

This tactic was most blatantly obvious when the Treasury was being attacked. As its windows were broken, about 20 feet away stood at least 100 riot police, watching passively, while scores of cameras competed eagerly for the best shot.

At 9.30 that night, we were finally allowed out of Parliament Square, but our freedom was short-lived and we found ourselves kettled on Westminster Bridge. Two hours later we were finally allowed to go home, having been taught a clear message by the police of the consequences of exercising our right to protest.

Niamh McIntyre (aged 15)

North London


Tower Hamlets learning mentors face cuts

The government’s commitment to families from disadvantaged backgrounds is spurious and Cameron’s ‘big society’ is a sham. This is shown by the fact that learning mentors and school home support workers, who work in schools helping children and parents from economically deprived backgrounds, are facing an increasingly precarious employment situation. This comes directly after a project called Excellence in the Cities (which funded learning mentor posts in Tower Hamlets, east London) has had its funding cut.

Learning mentors work alongside children and families to raise school attendance and attainment by acting as an advocate, friend and source of advice to families who are experiencing difficulties due to poverty, disadvantage and violence. Removing learning mentors from schools will have a negative effect on the very families who are vulnerable to the increasingly bleak employment situation and draconian benefit cuts.

People need to be prepared – any letter sent to employees about  ‘proposed restructuring’ and ‘consultation’ is nearly always an attempt to get rid of staff –  and people should be wary of this.  Pressure needs to be put on employers to offer job shares and to employ people on a part-time basis rather than make staff redundant.

I am glad that FRFI supports the struggle for full employment and free education for all. Keep up the good work.

Ayesha Taylor

School-Home Support Worker/Learning Mentor


Imperialist usury in Brazil

Over the years, I have found Alvaro Michaels’ articles on Latin America a delight to read. They are insightful and educative, anti-imperialist to the core. However, in the latest issue of FRFI, his article contains a puzzling comment. He stated: ‘Brazil cannot prevent the continued imposition of usury imperialism on top of the scheme of direct investments.’ (‘Brazil: accelerating exploitation’, FRFI 218)

It is not clear what Comrade Michaels means by ‘direct investments’. Does he have in mind productive investments or some other form of investments? The British imperialists’ use of the term ‘direct investments’ is highly unsatisfactory. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), any British company that holds a certain percentage of shares in an overseas company is a direct foreign investor. This gives the false impression that British banks, decidedly usurious institutions, engage in productive investments when they open up branches in the Third World, or when they hold shares in overseas companies that are tied to, or have their origin in, usury capital. And besides, it is misleading for Michaels to counterpose a type of imperialism (in this instance, usury imperialism) to a form of capital (so-called ‘direct investments’).

In his analysis of imperialism, Lenin drew the distinction between different imperialist types. For example, he wrote: ‘Unlike British colonial imperialism, French imperialism might be termed usury imperialism. In the case of Germany, we have a third type; colonies are inconsiderable, and German capital invested abroad is divided most evenly between Europe and America.’ (Vol 22 p243) (As an industrially powerful country that plundered others without colonising them, the USA was a prime example of the ‘third type’. (See Vol 31 p448))

In my work Modern-day Kautskyism, I explained how and why Britain underwent the transition from colonial imperialism to usury imperialism. (See www.rosclar.webspace.virgin

media.com) Rather than counterpose a type of imperialism to a form of capital, Michaels should have explained that the imperialists’ so-called ‘direct investments’ in the Third World are indissolubly bound up with the imperialists’ usurious activities.

None of the above detracts from the undoubted merits of Alvaro Michaels’ article. Instead of his puzzling comment, he could simply have written: ‘Despite Brazil’s industrial growth, the country has not escaped the clutches of the imperialist usurers.’ Whether or not it is correct to characterise the European Union, Japan and the US as usury imperialist types is another question.

Alec Abbott

London


Response to Alec Abbott

Comrade Abbott’s sharp eye helps us all. The sentence was intended to read ‘Brazil cannot prevent the continued imposition of usury capital on top of the scheme of direct investments’. The spoiled aim of the sentence had been to indicate the growing proportion of money flooding into Brazil in the form of usury capital which searches directly for interest, discount and fee opportunities, rather than directly industrial, commercial and merchanting prospects. The imperialist extension of its banking infrastructure into weaker economies promotes the former by fraternising, bullying and finally merging with the latter’s forms of capital.

Abbott is quite right then to draw out the further question of what is meant by ‘direct investment’.  The reporting language used by imperialism does indeed obscure its actions. The?OECD Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment?(4th edition, 2008) provides the global standard for bourgeois direct investment statistics, and so for the ONS. Thus the UN and its bodies have accepted a 10% foreign shareholding as the point at which such paper claims magically become ‘foreign direct investment’, seemingly  a helping hand in ‘development’, and not what it is, an anonymous stranglehold on existing sources of wealth by money owners uninterested in anything other than the profit-pumping business.

The task of a short news item on Brazil cannot be to discuss the complex intertwining of the different circuits of industrial, bank, merchant and other forms of capital, but it is well that readers and contributors to FRFI are constantly alert to the contrast between an exact scientific socialist presentation of the class struggle and the deceptive slang used by those reconciled to imperialism.

Alvaro Michaels


Rangzieb Ahmed – harassment continues

The harassment of Rangzieb Ahmed by prison staff at HMP Full Sutton continues, with his mail, in particular, being tampered with and frequently going astray. The most recent letter he sent FRFI had been ripped open before reaching us.

Rangzieb’s appeal against his 2008 conviction on terrorism charges was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice at the beginning of December 2010. He and his co-accused, Habib Ahmed, gave evidence by videolink. Rangzieb, who was tortured in Pakistan at the behest of the British security services and Manchester police in 2005, and had three of his fingernails ripped out with pliers, argued that his original conviction was based on an abuse of due process (for a full report on the appeal, much of which was heard in camera, see www.cageprisoners. com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item /923-rangzieb-ahmed-complete-appeal-coverage). The results of the hearing are expected within the next few weeks.

The harassment of Rangzieb intensified in the run-up to his appeal; by 16 December he had made four formal complaints about his letters repeatedly, and he believes deliberately, being misdirected to a prisoner with the same surname on another wing, despite being clearly labelled with his name and prison number. By the fourth incident, after complaining to the wing officer and seeing no improvement, he wrote on 22 November: ‘I feel victimised and bullied... I feel aggrieved. This must stop happening - it has been happening too often’. A senior officer admitted that staff on Rangzieb’s wing had indeed been interfering with his mail: ‘Your letter was sent to the correct wing by the censors’ department. However, for some reason, wing staff sent it to Echo Wing, crossing out the ‘A’ written on the front of the letter and putting in ‘E’...I have now instructed the censors’ department to label your correspondence file, reminding staff to be extra thorough when issuing your mail’. Rangzieb is in little doubt as to what the ‘reason’ might be. A few days later, two more items of correspondence were misdirected. Rangzieb wrote to the governor: ‘I know this is only due to my beliefs and about what I’m in for.’ He points out the seriousness of the harassment: ‘Due to the nature of my conviction and the fact that I am appealing, it concerns me that mistakes like this continually occur, especially as a lot of the time I have very sensitive information contained in my mail that only I should have access to’.

Please write to show support to Rangzieb Ahmed (A6326AC) at HMP Full Sutton, York YO41 1PS.

Cat Wiener

South London


Honorary Fellow sacked for supporting Millbank occupiers

I am a founder member of the University of Kent Law School and Kent Law Clinic and principally responsible for its international reputation as a critical law school. I was appointed an Honorary  Fellow in January 2007 as part of a settlement for breach of contract.

I was interviewed by the media after the Millbank occupation by students opposed to the rise in fees and gave unconditional support to the actions of the students. My comments appeared on the University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism website and in consequence the university demanded the article be taken down. The Centre’s director, Tim Luckhurst, refused to do so.

The university then sought to terminate the Honorary Fellowship and ordered me to remove Kent Law School as the mailing address of the National Critical Lawyers Group (NCLG) (founded in 1987 with this address, see www.nclg.org.uk). I was ordered not to associate myself in any way with Kent Law School and to leave my office with one day’s notice. Kent Law School then suspended the NCLG mailing list of over 3,000 and ordered the removal of NCLG from university internet servers.

Before the suspension, over 60 members of NCLG emailed the Vice Chancellor and Kent Law School head of department protesting strongly at my sacking – the protests came from barristers, solicitors and professors, staff and students at other law schools.

No one in Kent Law School staff and students has dared to say anything about these events, fearing the consequences, although there have been private messages of support. The university is in fascist mode, as are many other universities at this time.

I have received limited support from my union UCU, consisting of one visit to the Vice Chancellor who refused to talk. The union has failed to take any other action. The student union has a no victimisation policy but has also failed to support me, even though I was the legal adviser to the magnificent Kent occupiers who kept their occupation going from 8 December to 5 January.

UCU legal committee is meeting on 4 February to consider whether to support me legally, but this is not the best option.

I am a supporter of the RCP – now the Spiked Group – but have received no support whatsover from my former comrades; one at Kent Law School has worked actively against me. The SWP know about these events but they have so far failed to give any support. Similarly Dave Nellist of the Socialist Party and the Coalition of Resistance, including Clare Solomon, have not supported me.

The university has cancelled our booking for the NCLG bi-annual conference in March at Kent University and we have found it impossible to get a booking in London. SOAS accepted our booking then cancelled under pressure from some of their law professors. I suspect the NCLG has been blacklisted.

I would like to thank FRFI for their comradely support.

In solidarity and onwards to a better world,

Ian Grigg-Spall

Canterbury


Impressed by FRFI

I am active in Stop the War and Palestine movements locally and have been for a long time. I run a street stall periodically in Yeovil and Sherborne for the local Stop the War group and I am also a member of Unite.

I am impressed by the RCG’s progress in applying Marxism-Leninism to the problems of revolution in this country at this time. The article in FRFI 218 on the trade union movement was very good – several workers here thought it was spot-on. I am looking forward to studying your paper and would like to sell FRFI in this area.

JOHN BURBIDGE

Dorset


A selection of prisoners’ seasonal greetings...

Just want to wish you all the best for 2011. Please know I’m grateful to you all for your ongoing support. Till walls fall...

SATPAL RAM (A4442AL), HMP Garth

Let me send all of you positive, healthy and hopeful Red Season’s and New Year’s greetings. 2011 will certainly be a year of struggle. Let’s hope and keep working for some people’s victories. We recently finished issue 17 of 4SM (www.4strugglemag.org) Lots on Lebanon and Marilyn Buck. Let us know if you’re interested in getting a small bundle. Keep up your positive and important work. Amandla!

JAAN LAAMAN

USP Tucson, Arizona, US

‘We must not abandon hope while the aspiration for freedom remains.’ Season’s greetings and many thanks for the paper throughout the year.

TONY HYLAND

For the Republican prisoners on E2 landing, Portlaoise Gaol, Ireland

Egypt - a victory salute

egypt

The anger and courage of the Egyptian protesters has won a great victory in forcing former President Mubarak to resign on 11 February after 18 days of continuous struggle on Maidan Al Tahrir, Cairo (Liberation Square) and in cities across the country. Egyptian protesters in their millions were unwavering in their determination to remove Mubarak. They refused to be fooled or to be threatened by the President, his newly-appointed Vice President, the armed forces or thugs unleashed on the streets – instead the mobilisations increased to such a scale that they threatened even the viability of the army, forcing the Egyptian military high command and the US government to tell Mubarak he had to go.

After the protesters declared that 4 February was to be the Day of Departure, government-paid forces tried to disperse them by violence. On 2 February protesters were attacked, including with live ammunition, resulting in 1,500 people injured and three deaths, but the attackers were repulsed and defeated. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 302 people have been killed in Egypt since 25 January 2011 (in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez).

Read more ...

Unite: sectarian manoeuvres / FRFI 218 Dec 2010 / Jan 2011

FRFI 218 December 2010/January 2011

On 21 November Unite union members elected a new General Secretary, Len McCluskey. Unite advertises itself as ‘a democratic and campaigning union’ but a recent experience in my Newcastle branch meeting gives an indication of why only 16% of members voted in the election of their General Secretary.

As a worker with no active branch, in August I decided to transfer to Newcastle Central branch. In the last year the branch has donated funds to many progressive campaigns, amongst them Rock Around the Blockade, Youth Fight for Jobs, the North East Anarchist and Working Class Book Fayre, Tyneside Community Action Against Racism and the Northern March Against Racism on 20 November. The branch also funded a coach to the rally outside the TUC conference to put pressure on the leadership to take action against the cuts. My experience, both on the coach and in my first branch meeting was of a non-sectarian and democratic branch leadership.

Any illusions in union democracy that anyone could have had were quickly shattered during my second branch meeting on 19 November. There I witnessed a political attack on two progressive independent trade unionists, the branch chair and secretary, by a block of prominent Labour Party members and supporters with the aim of replacing them. The attack was led by Jeff Tate, a paid union official who is apparently also allowed to be a lay member of the branch. How an employee of an organisation can also be represented by that same organisation is beyond me, since if Unite mistreated him as an employee they would also have to defend him as a member. Other members present included two Labour councillors.

Under the cover of an undated, unsigned and incorrectly addressed memo from the outgoing General Secretary, the Labour block claimed new elections were required immediately. The branch chair, Jimmy Warne, clearly explained to members that election terms are for two years and showed us minutes of the elections that had been held only a year ago. However, when the minutes were shown, the arguments of the executioners changed rapidly, instead claiming that elections held in ‘incorrect’ years are equivalent to by-elections in local councils and need to be contested the following year.

Since none of the members of the branch had been informed that elections would be taking place, there was no chance of a democratic election occurring.

A block of people had been drafted in to ensure the removal of two independent activists and replace them with reactionary Labour Party members. We now have a branch where the secretary is a Labour councillor, Helen McStravick, and where the chair is also a Labour councillor, Lesley Spillard, who in her election campaign endorsed a movement against a Traveller site being set up in North Tyneside.

ANNIE

Newcastle

 

Thank you

I write to show my appreciation for all your kindness and support during my time of difficulty. We need more people like you who are actively trying to help people like me. Please continue with all your good work, because it will have a benefit in the end.

RANGZIEB AHMED A6326AC

HMP Full Sutton

Rangzieb Ahmed’s appeal against his conviction for terrorism begins at the High Court in London on 30 November. For more about his case see page 13.

Under surveillance

I’m writing to you because for the last few years my family have been under some kind of surveillance. I don’t know exactly what organisation it is but what they have been doing to us amounts to sheer harassment and abuse.

We are being followed wherever we go and I suspect our emails and mobile phones are monitored and our homes are bugged. I know they come to our homes when we are not in – I’ve come home to find the front door open with no sign of a break-in – tamper with our goods, you know, things have been just slightly moved and documents have gone missing. Once I found the box for my house alarm had been ripped out from the wall. Sometimes cars draw up outside and there’s someone there, just watching – but the moment I get a camera out, they drive off.

Sometimes I think even our neighbours have been asked to keep an eye on what we’re doing – they’ll ask me questions about where I’m going, what time I’ll be back, what route I’m taking. A few months ago I was talking to someone about the floods in Pakistan and he suddenly got out his phone and started recording me. What’s going on is very wrong. I’ve written to my MP about it several times, but never had a reply.

Mohammed Pervaiz

(brother of Rangzieb Ahmed)

Manchester

Independence for West Papua

On 1 December the people of West Papua will celebrate their independence day with mass demonstrations across the country. Tens of thousands will take to the streets in the cities and raise the Morning Star flag, their national symbol of defiance at what they regard as the Indonesian occupation of their country which is supported by Western multinationals. Under Indonesian law, to raise the Morning Star is an act of treason that carries a 15-year jail sentence and many political activists are now in jail for doing just that. On 1 December thousands of people will do it in unison and shout with megaphones in the faces of the police, military and Indonesian administration that they regard as their colonial oppressors for 48 years.

Human rights abuses have been widespread since the United States, with assistance from the UN, orchestrated the trade of West Papua to Indonesia in 1962. West Papuans have never had their political right to a fair referendum on self-determination. The Indonesian government, the US, the UN and the Dutch government have all been complicit in the suppression of the Papuan people and their fundamental rights, whilst the multinational corporations they protect, also complicit in human rights abuses, have been rampantly stealing Papuan land and resources, protected by the Indonesian military that acts with impunity.

A demonstration will be held outside the Indonesian embassy in London in solidarity with the West Papuan people and their right to self-determination on 1 December between 12 noon and 2.30pm; this will be followed by a march to Downing Street to hand in a petition. For more information contact www.freewestpapua.org.

Jonathan Blake

End convictions for joint enterprise

Concerns are being expressed over large numbers of prisoners sentenced to life sentences with long tariffs because of the use of the Joint Enterprise interpretation of the law to convict them. The law of Joint Enterprise was originally brought in 300 years ago to deter those involved in duelling, as the courts could then charge and convict all those present at the scene because they were all complicit in the act.

The police are now using the Joint Enterprise law in the loosest sense to charge and convict groups, often of schoolchildren, for spontaneous acts of violence. The police and the Crown Prosecution Service have portrayed these children as gangsters and brought down the full force of the law on them. Many of the cases should have been no more than manslaughter charges but with the use of media hyperbole and moral panic about ‘feral children’ running around like ‘wolfpacks’ the CJS has caved in to the media and abused the law to prepare cases of murder to gullible juries.

A campaign has been started to highlight this issue and in the first survey some 200 prisoners have replied that they have been unjustly convicted using this law. The Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) campaign co-ordinator, Gloria Morrison says: ‘This is a lazy law and it appears that it is being used as a form of social and ethnic cleansing by the police.’

According to JENGbA, by using Joint Enterprise, the police and lawyers are taking advantage of the law and convicting many people for a crime committed by one person. In a case that will be coming to court early next year, 21 school children will be charged with murder for a fight in Victoria Station which resulted in a death.

JENGbA says that evidence in many cases is often circumstantial, hearsay and sometimes based on mobile phone cell location, as opposed to actual presence, but life sentences with tariffs up to 33 years have been given when the ‘enterprise’ has been classed as gang activity.

One of the most controversial cases involves a blind 15-year-boy who was convicted of murder for his mere presence at the scene of a spontaneous incident. He was not alleged to have taken part and no weapon was used.

The number of Joint Enterprise cases is not recorded, although a recent question in the House of Lords by Herman Ouseley is seeking to uncover just how widespread its use is.

Any prisoners or families and partners of prisoners who were convicted on the basis of Joint Enterprise should get in touch with JENGbA, 27a Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AX  www.jointenterprise.co

Mohammed R

End convictions for joint enterprise/ FRFI 218 Dec 2010 / Jan 2011

Concerns are being expressed over large numbers of prisoners sentenced to life sentences with long tariffs because of the use of the Joint Enterprise interpretation of the law to convict them. The law of Joint Enterprise was originally brought in 300 years ago to deter those involved in duelling, as the courts could then charge and convict all those present at the scene because they were all complicit in the act.

The police are now using the Joint Enterprise law in the loosest sense to charge and convict groups, often of schoolchildren, for spontaneous acts of violence. The police and the Crown Prosecution Service have portrayed these children as gangsters and brought down the full force of the law on them. Many of the cases should have been no more than manslaughter charges but with the use of media hyperbole and moral panic about ‘feral children’ running around like ‘wolfpacks’ the CJS has caved in to the media and abused the law to prepare cases of murder to gullible juries.

A campaign has been started to highlight this issue and in the first survey some 200 prisoners have replied that they have been unjustly convicted using this law. The Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) campaign co-ordinator, Gloria Morrison says: ‘This is a lazy law and it appears that it is being used as a form of social and ethnic cleansing by the police.’

According to JENGbA, by using Joint Enterprise, the police and lawyers are taking advantage of the law and convicting many people for a crime committed by one person. In a case that will be coming to court early next year, 21 school children will be charged with murder for a fight in Victoria Station which resulted in a death.

JENGbA says that evidence in many cases is often circumstantial, hearsay and sometimes based on mobile phone cell location, as opposed to actual presence, but life sentences with tariffs up to 33 years have been given when the ‘enterprise’ has been classed as gang activity.

One of the most controversial cases involves a blind 15-year-boy who was convicted of murder for his mere presence at the scene of a spontaneous incident. He was not alleged to have taken part and no weapon was used.

The number of Joint Enterprise cases is not recorded, although a recent question in the House of Lords by Herman Ouseley is seeking to uncover just how widespread its use is.

Any prisoners or families and partners of prisoners who were convicted on the basis of Joint Enterprise should get in touch with JENGbA, 27a Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AX  www.jointenterprise.co

Mohammed R

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
More information Ok