"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?


The story of Jock Plafreeman

by Anarchist Solidarity

It’s been three and a half years now since Jock Palfreeman has been imprisoned after saving the lives of two young Roma boys in Bulgaria!

In short Jock ran to the aid of the two boys when he was witness to a vicious and racist attack inflicted on them by around sixteen drunken football hooligans. Jock held them at bay for long enough for the two Roma boys to run away but the group turned on him. Jock was set upon and literally had to fight to save his own life. During the fight one of the group, Andrei Monov, was accidentally killed. Jock was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment and the equivelent of a £250,000 fine! (for the full story please go to http://www.freejock.com).

Support for Jock has now reached an international level.

Anarchists and Antifascists have started campaigns aound the globe including Australia, UK, Russia, Poland, France, Austria, Greece, and more… Strangely, Bulgaria is not in that list.

Suprised? So were we!

We went to the website of FAB (Bulgarian Anarchist Federation) to see if there was any mention of Jock. To our astonishment we found that not only had the FAB decided not to support Jock, they had decided to go out of thier way to publically condemn him! They claimed that Andrei Monov was thier friend and that Jock was a killer who deserved the maximum prison sentence!

(see the google translation below)

”Federation of Anarchists in Bulgaria condemns any kind of street violence and joined grieving relatives and friends of the slain boy.
Prompt the authorities to fulfill their obligations to conduct a full investigation of the case and the guilty receive fair and appropriate punishment to his grave crime.
Andrei was also a friend and we share the grief of relatives and friends.
Rest in peace, Andrei!”

http://anarchy.bg/novini/novini-ot-bulgaria/496-1-godina-ot-ubijstvoto-na-andrej-monov.html

Not only did this make us rage to the core, it also made us question the FABs idea of Anarchy. Why on earth would people who call themselves Anarchists be in favour of a prison sentence for a man who had taken Antifascist action? And why did they so openly associate themselves with Monov when he had clearly been involved in a savage and outnumbered racist attack on two young Roma boys?

We got in touch with AF (Anarchist Federation UK), FABs sister organisation. We wanted to know if they knew what was going on in regards to the statement on FABs website and also where they stood in regards to supporting Jock.

They emailed us back to say that they would investigate. Infact that was all they said.

Months passed along with more emails from us and all they would say was that they were investigating. Eventually they just stopped replying and we realised that we were wasting our time.

However, a spokesperson for AF did contact a mutual friend and comrade who has also been campaigning for Jock. Firstly they wanted confirmation that AS were a trustworthy and genuine Anarchist group. They were given the confirmation they asked for, but then decided that the word of our comrade was not good enough (an insult to say the least) and rejected the verification.

AF then wrote again to our comrade stating that Jock was a soldier that had been involved in a drunken fight and had killed a friend of the FAB. They claimed that Monov was ”not a Nazi”. They also stated that the only people who claim that Monov was a nazi are the fascists themselves!…

So let us get this straight, (we’ll get to the soldier bit in a minute), Monov, who was out with at least fifteen other (known locally to be fascist) football fans, drunk, and invoved in such a savage racist attack on the two Roma boys, does not qualify as fascist in the opinion of AF or FAB?

The grieving friends of Monov who were at the funeral (alongside members of the Bulgarian government, cheif of police, judges and other ‘important and influental’ people) who are reffered to by the AF and FAB as Bulgarian fascists and the far right are falsely claiming that Monov was their friend?

We don’t get it!!

It beggs the question: What would FAB and AF have to say if it were one of the Roma boys who had been killed that night? Because as far as we can see that is exactly what would have happened if Jock had not run to thier aid.

Would FAB still claim that thier beloved Andrei Monov was thier friend if he had been involved in a savage racist attack resulting in the death of the victim?

We’d like to know! So if any FAB or AF would like to answer our questions feel free. (you’ve got our email address)

Now, the controversial claims about Jock ‘being a soldier’…

Firstly, lets get one thing clear, Jock has never claimed to be an Anarchist, Activist or Antifascist. He was a young lad travelling and making friends.

He decided to join the British Army towards the end of 2007, his visa was coming to an end and he saw it as an opportunity to stay in the UK. He completed four weeks training and then went on leave for christmas. He was on holiday in Bulgaria.

So did we know Jock is a soldier?

Well he’s not! He never completed his training.

Did we know that Jock had joined the British Army in 2007?

Yes we did! And quite frankly we don’t care!! The decisions Jock made before the incident in question do not interest us one bit. As far as we are concerned those decisions are completeley irrelevant to what happened on the night of the 28th December 2007. Jock unfortunately found himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and he did the right thing!!

Thats enough for us.

It is abundantly clear that the whole case has been completely manipulated by Monovs father and his high ranking friends, all of the court proceedings to date have been a complete farce, there has been absolutely no sense whatsoever of a fair trial and it is so blindingly obvious that Jock has been completely stitched up!

Jock Palfreeman is an incredibly brave and courageous man who took outstanding Antifascist action and he needs our support.

Which side are you on?

For more info about Jocks case and how you can support him please go to: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/conviction/default.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8rLrOW1g1k

http://www.freejock.com

www.anarchistsolidarity.wordpress.com

Also you can join the facebook page Freedom For Jock.

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2 responses

  1. Statement regarding our dealings with “Anarchist Solidarity”

    The Anarchist Federation has been contacted on a number of occasions by a group calling itself Anarchist Solidarity about Jock Palfreeman, currently a prisoner in Bulgaria. The AF has never made any statement on the issue nor had any ‘spokesman’ do so for us. We attempted to establish whether AS were a bone fide organisation before responding to their contact. In an attempt to comprehend the situation an individual member contacted a personal friend who they considered might know something. Anything that is said to have been quoted from the AF is from that private correspondence only.

    As it stands, having communicated with the Federation of Anarchists in Bulgaria (FAB) and with other knowledgeable parties in Bulgaria and the Balkans more widely, we won’t be issuing any statement. We know more about this situation than we are at liberty to put in writing. We do not wish what we write here to cause harm to any party which is, unfortunately, a real possibility if we do not choose our words carefully.

    Prisoner support groups should approach anarchist organisations in the knowledge that if they are unknown to relevant parties or are abrasive in tone when making their approach, those organisations may respond with suspicion as to how they fit into such complex situations.

    If comrades we know to be bone fide want to see the e-mails that Anarchist Solidarity sent to us, please contact the National Secretary of the AF at our national address. Anarchist Solidarity are of course at liberty to publish their approaches to us themselves, if they think that making public the manner in which they approached us would help build international solidarity actions and support for Jock Palfeeman.

    Anarchist Federation, July 2011

    July 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

  2. Cheers for the information comrades.

    July 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

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