Posts Tagged ‘Craigavon 2’
Sunday, May 31st, 2020
Everyone, everywhere, will be feeling the pinch of lockdown. Nobody has been left untouched and it’s not just the direct effects making their mark.
We are seeing the indirect result too.
You will have noticed that many of the already existing problems in our society are being exacerbated. There have been plenty of reports of increased domestic abuse, mental health crises and financial instability to cite but a few examples.
But what has it all meant for the prisoners?
Well, in some senses it’s business as usual. Much of the freedom you have temporarily lost, never exists here in the first palace. And many of the freedoms you are relying on to cope, are completely beyond our reach. There are no Zoom parties, Netflix binges or streamed concerts here.
There has been an impact though.
All temporary release has stopped. This is generally used to help re-integrate people back to normal life prior to their full release. This is particularly important for those who have spent a long time in prison.
They now face being dumped at the front gate with no time to adjust and no real support.
All education and other activities have stopped. Some have been working towards qualifications (for many for the first time in their life) and are left wondering was it all for nothing. Potentially, people will be put off further self-development as a result.
All in all, probably the best way to describe prison during Covid in mindless agony made more mindless and agonizing. These days, often monotonous and lacking in purpose, are now intolerably so. As a result, there is a real danger of a spike in terms of mental illness and drug addiction. And the situation was already far from okay.
Unless, or until, we can access reliable data on things like suicide and self-harm, we won’t be able to assess the damage. But be under no illusion, there will be damage. Unfortunately, by the time the information becomes available, it may be too late.
Although you still have your modern luxuries to help you cope, some insight into our experiences is possible. Next time you use the internet, your smart phone or relax in your garden with your family, reflect that we don’t have that privilege. For just a second, put yourselves in our shoes.
John Paul Wootton
To write to the comrade:
John Paul Wootton
HM Prison Maghaberry
17 Old Road,
Lisburn BT28 2PT, UK
For more information on John Paul Wootton see
Monday, February 24th, 2020
Tiocfaidh ár lá – Our Day Will Come
On Saturday the 22nd of February there was a protest held outside the Russian embassy in Dublin, Ireland in solidarity with anarchists and anti-fascists being persecuted by the Russian state. On the 10th of February, as part of “The Network” show trials and ongoing repression since 2017, seven anarchists were convicted on fabricated lies created by the Federal Security Services (FSB) the successors and continuity of KGB. Dimitry Pchelintsev received 18 years, Ilya Shakursky 16 years, Arman Sagynbaev 6 years, Andrei Chernov 14 years, Vasily Kuksov 9 years, Mikhail Kulkov 10 years and Maxim Ivankin 13 years imprisonment. The main “evidence” used against the seven were:
1) “Confessions” that were tortured out of the accused. Torture, which includes beatings, sleep deprivation and what could only be described as sexual assault from electric shocks to bodily parts.
2) Materials planted in the homes of the accused. From the very start of the trial and throughout, the defence for the accused attempted to have the “confessions” thrown out of the trial as evidence. The court refused. Its clear the state had them guilty before they were even arrested!
At the Russian embassy in Dublin the police were there before our arrival. Throughout the protest embassy staff continuously came out to take pictures of us.
The repression and tactics used by the Russian state are nothing new. Throughout the world, states fabricate “evidence” to remove anyone deemed as a danger to the power of the state.
In Ireland this can be seen in recent years with the case of the Craigavon 2, who the British state blamed on killing a cop in Craigavon, Armagh. The only evidence the state used against the two was a statement made by an individual whose father came out publicly calling his son a liar and in the trial the same witness contradicted himself. The rest of the evidence was circumstantial. The British intelligence service even had a tracking device on the car of one of the accused on the night of the shooting, which the data on the device mysteriously went missing. The Craigavon Two are still in jail doing life.
Also in Ireland in the last few days a republican Paul McIntyre was arrested and charged with the murder of journalist Lyra Mckee who was shot dead in Derry during a riot that erupted after a series of police raids on homes. The police have publicly said they have no evidence linking Paul McIntyre to the killing other than picking up shell casings. This is yet another new case of repression by the British state against their political enemy.
We send our solidarity to our comrades in Russia as well as across the world and to all those fighting oppression and being persecuted.
YOUR TORTURE WILL NOT KILL OUR IDEAS!
Thursday, August 29th, 2019
Two writings by anarchist prisoner John Paul Wootton. The first writing is his thoughts on the injustice system and the use of prisons by the state which realistically culminates in a complete waste of time to what the claim of why prisons are used, i.e. to “rehabilitate” people that commit “crimes” to make them “better and functional members of society”.
John Paul’s second writing is a reflection on why he became vegan and why he will remain vegan. John Paul is still struggling in the prison system to gain full rights to living a more vegan life in prison.
John Paul has been imprisoned with his co-accused Brendan McConville for the last 10 years. Both men have been falsely convicted of the shooting dead of a cop in Craigavon, Ireland in 2009. Ever since the two have been fighting the injustice imposed on them by the British colonial system. (more…)
Monday, August 27th, 2018
From Sacco and Vanzetti to the Craigavon 2
A Call Out for Support and Solidarity
The 23rd of August marks the 91st anniversary of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. They were both executed in the US in 1927 for the robbery of a shoe factory and the killing of a guard and paymaster. During their trial the prosecution produced conflicting ballistic evidence and witness testimony. The defence had several witnesses testifying where the accused men were on the day of the robbery and killings. This should have proven Sacco and Vanzetti innocence but instead both were convicted and sentenced to death. They were killed for their beliefs, they were insurrectionary anarchists “that advocated relentless warfare against a violent and oppressive government.”
Like Sacco and Vanzetti, the state scapegoated Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton (their case is known as the Craigavon 2) , for revenge over killing of a cop and two British soldiers in 2009. The cops arrested and charged several republicans in connection with the killings. In all cases the only real evidence the state had was that all the accused were republicans. Two people, John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville were charged and convicted of the killing of the cop. Two others, Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers, were charged with the killing of the soldiers. The latter were subsequently found not guilty of the killings of the soldiers, the state had no evidence on them. (more…)