John Bowden Demo, Friday 3pm Edinburgh

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Peasant
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Jul 11 2007 21:53
John Bowden Demo, Friday 3pm Edinburgh

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/07/375617.html

"The first meeting of ABC Scotland took place on Saturday 7th of July @ The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh. For newcomers, the next meeting will be held @ the Autonomous Centre on Sat 21st July @ 6pm, but in the meantime your support is urgently needed @ the demo for the release of John Bowden this coming Friday outside the HQ of the Scottish Prison Service, The Gyle, @ 3pm. Organise banners and placards and bring more people with you. Meet at ACE 1pm beforehand!"

Contrary to other reports, the demo is as stated outside the SPS headquarters at 3pm. There will be a meet-up at ACE from 1pm and lifts will be provided from anywhere in Edinburgh.

The two addresses are ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place, EH7 5HA from 1pm and SPS, Calton House, 5 Redheughs Rigg, EH12 9HW from 3pm. Anyone requiring a lift to the SPS call or txt 07880524705 before 2pm Friday.

Danny
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Aug 4 2007 23:12

Some of us in Scotland were quite inspired and enlightened by the Leeds ABC demo in Edinburgh in support of John Bowden. We've taken up Johns case and the wider issue of prisoner support. A few of us demo'ed outside Corton vale women prison today in support of 'Women's Interest Collective' who object to the imprisonment of non-violent or mentally-ill or, mostly, just plain poor women.

http://scotland.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4403/index.php

I note with interest no other anarchists chose to attend. However, when I searched here on prisoners support I found lots of so-called anarchists conducting an uninformed smear campain against John.

People have made play of the fact that Johns crimes have been played down as if that is shameful. I must confess I'd be guilty of that. I simply never knew as I never asked about the crime as I wasn't interested as it isn't the least bit relevant to Johns current situation. I couldn't even understand why anyone else would be interested, but I hadn't encountered the propaganda campaign here before.

If someone is held past their tariff simply for their political beliefs then the crime is irrelevant. They are no longer being held for the crime. Their punishment is political. End of story. You don't have to be an abolisionist or an anarchist to see that. The alternatives are:

The death penalty - in which case you support the right for an elite to execute innocents and forgive their own sins.

Imprisonment until death - which is slightly less compassionate.

Treatment and rehabilitation and release.

I guess if you only read tabloid MSM then it is natural to take the tabloid options you have been conditioned to. There were nonces before prisons. There were killers before prisons. We don't need to look forward to beyond a capitalist society to see how non-capitalist societies have dealt with such people for thousands of years.

There are anarchists who are rapists. There are pacifists who prey on children. Look at the logbook of any anarchist peace camp if you don't believe me. There isn't anyone who doesn't have the capacity for great evil. Recognising that inside yourself is what helps you avoid it. Helping others when they suffer oppression is what helps them stop becoming oppressive in turn. We can't all be without sin or error despite the quasi-religious pose some of you adopt. John committed a crime he himself calls brutal and shameful, but rather than just blame himself, he has taken the time to try to understand why he got to that stage. If you are truly abhor his crime then then you would want to prevent other brutal murders (not an irregular occurence) and would choose to listen to his opinion on the subject - he probably knows better what happened than any of the wigs at the trial do. He was sentenced for that and he served his tariff. John was on release in the community in an open prison.

Some people here revert to talking in tabloid condemnation. Others seem to worry what the tabloids may think of their support. That is my enemy you are sucking up to, the corporate tabloids and the state-judiciary.

"How the fuck do you function as a political prisoner support group if you've boxed yourself into a corner where association with you keeps them in prison?"

This implies John is being kept inside because ABC support brutal murderers. That is not so. John is being kept inside because a right-wing US social worker brought in from outside the prison service equates the word 'anarchist' with 'terrorist'. Now, presumably the prison service isn't quite that stupid, and they supported this equation to punish someone whose prisoners rights stance was a thorn in their side while they were brutalising tens of thousands of prisoners.

There are arguments here over whether to support non-anarchist prisoners. I'd say that is essential. Politicising prisoners not only benefits any movement, it also benefits the prisioner and the society that they will return to. A prisoner is a person. Forgive the simplification but I seem to be talking to the-hard-of-thinking. The whole state is a prison, John is simply in the most oppressive part of that prison. In many regards the fact he has rehabilitated himself from being seen as EVIL in the nations eyes, and doubtless in his own eyes too, to taking moral stands on issues which are brave beyond belief, the fact he has refused to allow the system to break him simply to gain his own freedom is iconic. If I had committed a regretable act and became known as and treated as a monster, I would start to think of myself a monster and act that way. If I was being threatened with a beating while showing solidarity with another prisoner being abused, I'd say 'You are on your own mate'. If I was able to be freed from solitary confinement in a repressive high-security prison after 30 years and rejoin my family and friends, simply for condemning anonymous anarchists as terrorists, I'd grass out Emma Goldmann. John hasn't, and in this respect his choices are not only decent or staunch, they are iconically brave. None of his detractors here could credibly claim the same level of morality.

It has been alleged that people are only supporting John because of 'Mark Barnsley, Super Anarchist' does, in a mocking, patronising style. That isn't true. Few if any of the Scots at the first demo in support John had even heard of Mark, we attended because we were impressed by the facts articulately stated. I for one hadn't even heard of ABC and upon meeting Leeds ABC my impression was at most 'Mark Barnsley, Decent Enough Bloke'. I never witnessed his super-powers personally. I never took his opinion of John at face value, I found out for myself firsthand rather than speculate here.

I recently started writing to John, and no offence, he is a more articulate and compassionate writer than anyone here, myself included. I suppose he has had thirty years to educate himself and consider the issues and some here don't seem to have taken thirty minutes to reach an opinion. I've since met him. I'd be happy to have John sleep at my parents house or babysit my nephews and nieces. I wouldn't say that about anyone here that I haven't met. I wouldn't say that about most high profile pacifists I know. If you don't want to support John then please, please don't - I doubt you will be much good at prisoner support anyway. And if you want to try to give your own life meaning by demeaning John, carry on, you are only embarrassing yourself.

There have been arguments that are extreme here, and that is okay, the truth is established at extremes. So who was Britains biggest serial killer ? John killed once 30 years ago. Harold Shipman killed a few hundred people. Tony Blair killed millions and his buddies are still slaughtering. Surely the amout of vitriol expended here on someone who has served his legal punishment from an immoral and genocidal state might be better directed at the state itself ?

You still get prison warders dressing up in Ku Klux Klan outfits, racism and fascism that only prisoners like John oppose, but back when John was imprisoned - in his early youth and long before the murder - prison officer thuggery was both commonplace and ignored. Lot's of posters have made extreme analogies about other possible prisoner-support cases such as 'nonces' 'Shipman etc, so forgive this one on the other side of the argument. Do you understand why a brutalised wife may eventually be driven to murder her husband ? ('Oh, but many brutalised wives don't murder their husbands and just put up with it'). John was brutalised as a child. John was brutalised as a youth in a bruatl state-system supported by your families taxes. That doesn't excuse anything but it does explain it if you truly wish to understand. The best way to stop crimes like Johns are to stop treating people with the contempt and brutality both the state and posters here have treated John.

I know this for a fact - the nicest person here could be brutalised into committing horrendous acts. With drugs and torture and starvation a state could turn any of us into nasty people. That has been proven in the concentration camps, the CIA torture rooms, the Chinese gulags, and in many cases on the streets of London. When you are made to hate yourself you lose all sense of morality. That doesn't mean you aren't redeemable if your own hell ends and education and healing begins.

Johns success is not in 'not being broken by the system' - though that is evidently their purpose. It is in mending himself and refusing to be broken again.

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thugarchist
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Aug 4 2007 23:40

I'm going to start a Hannibal Lechter Memorial ABC chapter some day.

Danny
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Aug 5 2007 00:09

Your posts here are both Stormfronts loss and Libcoms loss. You, Jack and Revol68 have proven incapable of anything but a level of trolling that the BNP would be ashamed of.

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Aug 5 2007 00:33
Danny wrote:
Your posts here are both Stormfronts loss and Libcoms loss. You, Jack and Revol68 have proven incapable of anything but a level of trolling that the BNP would be ashamed of.

Is the BNP some sort of english thing?

Danny
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Aug 5 2007 00:36

That's right eh, you aren't Scottish yet you post on the Scottish thread. And you aren't anarchist, yet you post on an anarchist forum. So what are you, Mr USof A ? Cos you aren't interesting.

lem
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Aug 5 2007 00:39

as "a schizophrenic" i want to say that bowden is a horrible murderer. was it because of a break with reality that he killed this guy?? charisma or not he did torture someone to death. but what - is that moralism. i'm comfortable with it my moralism myself. torture is something that i have no time for :-/

eta: anarchist solidarity: not done by halves :-/

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Aug 5 2007 00:42
Danny wrote:
That's right eh, you aren't Scottish yet you post on the Scottish thread. And you aren't anarchist, yet you post on an anarchist forum. So what are you, Mr USof A ? Cos you aren't interesting.

There are plenty of anarchists who think the explicit public relationship of some ABCs to non-political prisoners convicted of horrific crimes to be a tactical mistake. Are you suggesting that excludes us from your McAnarchyland?

lem
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Aug 5 2007 00:47

how can you think that torture is... i'm not sure what you are demonstrating here - not 'permission', not 'forgiveness', but something alright - maybe 'excuse'.

anarchists: excusing torture laugh out loud

Danny
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Aug 5 2007 00:49

Who said John was charismatic - he isn't. He is just an ordinary guy. John calls his crime horrible, but that was thirty years ago and he is not a horrible person, nor is that the reason he is being held. You on the other hand...should probably lay off the dope for a few years and see if your symptoms improve.

lem
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Aug 5 2007 00:53

i haven't smoked for 5 years - Sux0r

isn't charismatic - but has convinced you to support his case roll eyes

was it a break with reality? do you condone excusing all criminals - no of course not... but you are supporting someone who is responsible for levels of suffering that i imagine would have been immense. really really you make no attempt to justify your own support here IMO.

Danny
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Aug 5 2007 00:53

"Are you suggesting that excludes us from your McAnarchyland?"

I am suggesting your comments would make far more sense on Stormfront. You are not ABC and know nothing about the facts of Johns case and have demonstrated that already indepth. You obviously have no shame or willingness to debate my first post - so troll on my statist yank.

lem
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Aug 5 2007 00:55

NO EXCUSE FOR TORTURE

catchy yeah?

Danny
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Aug 5 2007 00:56

"isn't charismatic - but has convinced you to support his case"

I supported his case when I heard the facts of his case, before I communicated with him. Do you want to debate those facts or would you rather stick with smear ?

lem
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Aug 5 2007 00:58

'torture' is not "smear" angry

can't folks show charisma thru their actions now. it's not a disease - you don't have to touch them to get it wink

eta: was he even psychotic at the time??

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Aug 5 2007 00:59
Danny wrote:
"Are you suggesting that excludes us from your McAnarchyland?"

I am suggesting your comments would make far more sense on Stormfront. You are not ABC and know nothing about the facts of Johns case and have demonstrated that already indepth. You obviously have no shame or willingness to debate my first post - so troll on my statist yank.

so anarchists who don't think its a good idea to explicitly and publically support John Bowden are the same as nazis?

j.rogue
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Aug 5 2007 01:05
thugarchist wrote:
Danny wrote:
"Are you suggesting that excludes us from your McAnarchyland?"

I am suggesting your comments would make far more sense on Stormfront. You are not ABC and know nothing about the facts of Johns case and have demonstrated that already indepth. You obviously have no shame or willingness to debate my first post - so troll on my statist yank.

so anarchists who don't think its a good idea to explicitly and publically support John Bowden are the same as nazis?

Yeah, there is some sound analysis for you. roll eyes

lem
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Aug 5 2007 01:07

yeah i think that bizarrely - your just some leftist who believes strongly in the right of bourgeois law. What else does this mean

Quote:
If someone is held past their tariff simply for their political beliefs then the crime is irrelevant. They are no longer being held for the crime. Their punishment is political. End of story.

and how is

Quote:
I recently started writing to John, and no offence, he is a more articulate and compassionate writer than anyone here, myself included.

this not charisma???

laugh out loud

Danny
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Aug 5 2007 01:08

"was he even psychotic at the time??"

Since I don't know I'd hate to diagnose on his mental state... to be frank I am more worried by your schizo comments.

"so anarchists who don't think its a good idea to explicitly and publically support John Bowden are the same as nazis?"

No, but self-proclaimed anarchists who espouse statist tabloid smears instead of arguments are to be pitied rather than scolded. But yanks posting on Scottish threads at a time of mass-manipulation of political websites should be treated with extreme suspicion.

Listen, peeps, I am sorry you are lonely and vindicitive and right-wing, but there isn't a lot I can do about that. I'm up for an action tommorow and I fully realise foriegn schizo trolls like you will just have to feed upon yourself until I get back from doing good. Try deep breathing. Maybe think about reading what I wrote and attacking the arguments there. Maybe you won't seem so obvious if you did.

love, peace and anarchy,

d

lem
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Aug 5 2007 01:10
Quote:
to be frank I am more worried by your schizo comments.

can anyone explain what the nazi, sorry i mean "danny" means by this?

eta: you know that it's a myth that every "schizophrenic" lacks insight [about 50% of them do].

eta2: maybe you should find out if it was a break with reality. IMO.

lem
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Aug 5 2007 01:12

does anyone else think that danny lost that one? laugh out loud

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Aug 5 2007 01:15
Danny wrote:
No, but self-proclaimed anarchists

Awesome. Thats what the police and fbi call anarchists in the states.

lem
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Aug 5 2007 01:18
lem wrote:
Quote:
to be frank I am more worried by your schizo comments.

can anyone explain what the nazi, sorry i mean "danny" means by this?

no seriously - what does this mean? angry i've had anough of supposed "progressives" and their attitude towards illness. what do you do week-days - friend - trip up blind people laugh out loud

lem
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Aug 5 2007 01:32
Quote:
analogies about other possible prisoner-support cases

actually it's not really an analogy...it's deductive IMO.

eta: do you think bowden should have been imprisoned at all danny? i assume you do - in which i think that you think the state "got it more or less right". now, why isn't that statist? besides which, don't we all know how bad torturing someone to death is??

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Aug 5 2007 02:43

Yeah i am broadly with revol on this one..

Danny how dare you use lem's telling you of his condition against him in that way.. i know you feel under pressure but there is no excuse for that!! Christ you say you are more worried about him being a "schizo" - this shows a real ignorance of the condition and lem is not the one who has tortured someone to death and stored their head in the fridge.. Christ! Talk about a skewed perspective... ffs!!!

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Aug 5 2007 04:59
Quote:
John committed a crime he himself calls brutal and shameful, but rather than just blame himself, he has taken the time to try to understand why he got to that stage

You could argue that or you could argue rather than accept responsibility for his actions he has worked out how to blame others.

Quote:
Do you understand why a brutalised wife may eventually be driven to murder her husband ? ('Oh, but many brutalised wives don't murder their husbands and just put up with it'). John was brutalised as a child. John was brutalised as a youth in a bruatl state-system supported by your families taxes. That doesn't excuse anything but it does explain it if you truly wish to understand. The best way to stop crimes like Johns are to stop treating people with the contempt and brutality both the state and posters here have treated John.

odd analogy, I don't think the man he killed brutalised him, except his responsibility for it because of his tax-paying. roll eyes

Quote:
A prisoner is a person. Forgive the simplification but I seem to be talking to the-hard-of-thinking. The whole state is a prison, John is simply in the most oppressive part of that prison. In many regards the fact he has rehabilitated himself from being seen as EVIL in the nations eyes, and doubtless in his own eyes too, to taking moral stands on issues which are brave beyond belief, the fact he has refused to allow the system to break him simply to gain his own freedom is iconic.

I don't think he has rehabilitated himself in the nation's eyes. Incidentally when you use words like nation, when you denounce people as foreign trolls or ask about their right to post on the scottish board what do you mean? Doesn't seem right coming from an anarchist.

If anything Bowden was given more credit on here due to the support of MArk Barnsley, although this didn't convince anyone to support him as far as I could tell.

The state brutalises people, often people don't strike out at the right person. This explains people's actions it does not excuse them. You talk about accepting the evil inside yet Bowden does not appear to have done so. Do you have any links for any of his writings? I'd be interested to hear his views.
I believe the row on here started because of a press release that was felt to be deceptive.

lem
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Aug 5 2007 05:02

who is mark barnsley?

Mike Harman
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Aug 5 2007 07:54
Danny wrote:
That's right eh, you aren't Scottish yet you post on the Scottish thread. And you aren't anarchist, yet you post on an anarchist forum. So what are you, Mr USof A ? Cos you aren't interesting.

Just for the record, this isn't an "anarchist forum".

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Aug 5 2007 07:58
Danny wrote:
This implies John is being kept inside because ABC support brutal murderers. That is not so. John is being kept inside because a right-wing US social worker brought in from outside the prison service equates the word 'anarchist' with 'terrorist'.

it is true he's being kept in for political reasons now, and to this extent the crime is irrelevant (although i think revol's point was that he seems to have avoided taking responsibility for his actions by blaming 'the system,' and thus may not be rehabilitated despite serving his tariff - true, none of us can know that) but to be honest an organisation that publicly supports people like the unabomber and the pro-FAI (the informal insurrectionist one) gabriel pombo da silva is going to open itself to accusations of supporting terrorists. because they do. now that doesn't necessarily mean they shouldn't support these people, but if they support them they should offer a public defence of terror (attempted airliner bombings in the former, bombing cops in the latter). nor does it make them a terrorist organisation any more than the SWPpies supporting muqtata al sadr makes them an islamist militia, but it's hardly a dastardly smear concocted from nothing by the state either.

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Aug 5 2007 11:21

danny, dont take it all to heart, its a cause you believe in but plenty here dont share your ideas on it. just beacause the board is for scottish topics doesnt mean that anyone else cant have a say. i have a look at boards from other regions and countries because there is a lot of good stuff on them too. if you believe in john bowden do everything you can to help him but let those that arent into this cause put there side of the argument too.

Danny
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Aug 5 2007 11:28

"it is true he's being kept in for political reasons now, and to this extent the crime is irrelevant"

To this extent ? To what extent is it irrelevant beyond the pages of the News of The World ?

"he seems to have avoided taking responsibility for his actions by blaming 'the system,' and thus may not be rehabilitated despite serving his tariff - true, none of us can know that"

If you talk to him you can. Failing that, you can see his rehabilitation from the simple fact he was in an open prison being prepared for release. Now he is in lock down in maximum security. What changed - he was visited by anarchists. Now forgive me for mistaking this place as an anarchist forum, my error since I can recognise two or three well known anarchists under their pseudonymns, but as I said 'you don't have to be an abolisionist or an anarchist to see the truth about Johns detention.

"but to be honest an organisation that publicly supports people like the unabomber and the pro-FAI (the informal insurrectionist one) gabriel pombo da silva is going to open itself to accusations of supporting terrorists."

By morons and right-wing nutters perhaps. Why shouldn't a prisoner support group visit any prisoner they choose to ? Nelson Mandela was accused of being a terrorist, does that mean he should still be locked up ?

"now that doesn't necessarily mean they shouldn't support these people, but if they support them they should offer a public defence of terror "

Amnesty International support the closure of Guantamo Bay, should they offer a public defence of terror too ? Did you know the ABC used to be called the Red Cross ? The Red Cross visit prisoners of war. Do you demand the Red Cross offer a public defence of war ? Your logic is flawed to put it politely.

"nor does it make them a terrorist organisation... but it's hardly a dastardly smear concocted from nothing by the state either."

That is precisely what it is, although you seem to be willingly spreading that smear. Now, me and my friends are anarchists choosing to do prisoner support in Scotland. Personally I'd like to support the 'Libyan bomber' Megrahi too, but that seems unlikely as he will be freed before we can get our act together. So far though, we've chosen to demo twice, once for someone who is locked up today solely for refusing to condemn anarchists as terrorists, and once for mostly apolitical women being treated brutally by the state. If you don't like that I don't care. As I said, if you don't want to support John, please don't as you don't have the wit to understand the basics.

Hey, you know, some of the women we demo'ed for yesterday are junkies - should we offer a public defence of heroin too ?