Bristol Anarchist Black Cross is a prisoner support group based in Bristol, in the west country of England. We are a proud member of a global network of Anarchist Black Cross groups working to support prisoners worldwide since 1905.
Our major focus right now is supporting people sentenced to prison after the Kill The Bill protests in Bristol in March 2021. You can find the list of Kill The Bill prisoners here and donate to our ongoing crowdfunder here.
We offer material, emotional and financial support to prisoners both nationally and internationally. Through our actions we aim to build bridges between inside and outside and center the needs of the prisoner at all times. We are strong advocates for the abolition of prisons in all it’s forms as well as the white supremacist, capitalist society that prisons prop up. We see prisoner support as an instrinsically political activity that should be central to any wider struggle against the state.
We offer unconditional but not uncritical support for prisoners. We maintain our own principles and beliefs, and recognise that they might differ from the views of people inside we connect with. Where possible we put aside these differences and continue to offer support whilst also being honest about our views. We recognise that most people are in prison because of actions taken whilst navigating a grossly unequal, racialised and class ridden society.
What is the Anarchist Black Cross and why does it exist?
The Anarchist Black Cross is an international network of anarchist groups and individuals engaged in practical solidarity with prisoners and broader anti-repression struggles.
We support revolutionaries, anarchists and others trapped in the prison system. We support and publicise prisoners’ efforts to organise and resist the system from the inside. We try to work through letters, visits, material aid, as well as demonstrations, campaigns and spreading information about prisoners, the reality of prisons and the class system which created them. Fundraising and material support is a key part of our work.
Many of us also support prisoners and those affected by repression emotionally, with friendship and solidarity as our weapons. In all of what we do, we try to create links in and out of prisons.
Anti-Repression and Movement Defence Work
The state and those that wish to destroy movements for liberation attack us on many levels. The Anarchist Black Cross network aims to build the infrastructure to be resilient to repression so that we can continue fighting for liberation and support comrades harmed by this state violence. Many groups organise ongoing long-term solidarity campaigns with those affected by various waves of repression across the world. Indeed, many ABC groups start in response to a repressive operation in their region.
Movement and community defence can involve many things. The Anarchist Black Cross has been engaged in diverse forms over decades – from legal defence campaigns and committees, to maintaining physical solidarity against the police during factory and school occupations, performing roles of security and physical defence against white supremacist and neo-fascist attacks, as well as engaging in armed defence of social movements. ABC groups also often organise workshops, zines and other material to support people to learn about repression, security culture and solidarity.
The Anarchist Black Cross exists to strengthen struggles for freedom and liberation by providing mental, emotional, material, and physical support to individual, groups, communities and movements. Ultimately, we want to help ensure the strength of our movements from the inside out. We want to support struggles to be a threat to state, capitalist, white supremacist, patriarchal power and other forms of domination.
The History of the Anarchist Black Cross
Check out the history of the Anarchist Black Cross here.