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“The law should be used as just another weapon in the government’s arsenal, and in this case it becomes little more than a propaganda cover for the disposal of unwanted members of the public.”
– British General Frank Kitson, in reference to counterinsurgency in Ireland
Today, on Friday the thirtieth of July, five Kill The Bill defendants are expected to be sentenced. They have all been told they will receive time in prison.
We in Red Fightback extend our full solidarity to every one of those being sentenced today, to the seventy-three people who have been arrested, to the twenty-eight who have been charged, and to all those affected by unjust state repression.
Avon and Somerset police have a record of violence and brutality, from tasering and harassing their own race relations advisor to vicious transphobia. They have also been shown to be untrustworthy numerous times - going back on their promise not to pursue prosecutions of those accused of toppling Colston’s statue, instead attacking the Colston Four when they believed that they could do so with impunity, once public attention had moved elsewhere. They also behaved with typical casual violence at demonstrations, attacking protestors throughout the March protests in Bristol, as Netpol have outlined in their report here. And have since attacked a young woman in her own home, which they entered using deceit. At recent Bristol demonstrations a common chant has been “Where’s your punctured lung?” which references initial reports, spread by many in the media unchallenged, that police officers had been wounded. In fact, as the police later admitted, these were totally false.
To put it simply: They are liars. Avon and Somerset Constabulary, and British police generally, lie professionally. That is part of their job. They work to enforce the will of the rich and powerful - the bourgeoisie - and they do so by whatever means necessary. The law and the criminal justice system are not some neutral arbiter of right and wrong - They are a weapon. A tool used to dominate those who threaten the powerful.
We understand that all of those who have been arrested, charged, and sentenced as a result of a demonstration against the British state’s repression should be walking free today. The fact they are not is yet another indictment of this country. One day, capitalist prisons and police will be abolished, and all those who have been unjustly detained will be set free to look their oppressors in the eye. Today is not that day, but we will continue to work towards that future, and until that day comes to defend those who have fallen victim to the state’s predatory actions. As revolutionaries we must fight for, in the words of the Black Panther Party, “Survival pending revolution” - Protecting the most vulnerable until the day comes that we may all live free.
In this spirit we extend our fullest love to Bristol Defendants Solidarity, who have done vital work standing in the corner of those attacked by the state.
If you need legal support in Bristol as a result of KTB protests, please contact Bristol Defendants Solidarity. More information is available here.