A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 30 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ All_other_languages
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Bulletin Mark Barnsley Campaign August/September 2000

From pascale martens <soy4life@yahoo.com>
Date Fri, 1 Sep 2000 05:27:44 -0400

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

For most people Thursday 8th of June, 2000 was just
another day.  For
wrongfully imprisoned Sheffield man Mark Barnsley,
and the ever growing
number of people who support his struggle for
justice, it has special
significance. It marked the 6th anniversary of what
has become known as 'The
Pomona Incident' (see below). As in previous years
on June 8th, Marks'
supporters highlighted this gross miscarriage of
justice and the campaign to
get Mark's conviction overturned and his name
In Sheffield the day started off with a lively
picket outside Sheffield
Crown Court to protest the farce of a trial which
Mark received there and
the fact that the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service)
are STILL illegally
refusing to hand over vital evidence to Mark and his
solicitor after all
these years. The offices of the Sheffield Star were
picketed next, in
protest at the downright lies and distortion which
this gutter rag have
printed about the case. Strangely this year The Star
were unusually silent
about Mark. Leaflets about Mark's case were handed
out throughout the day to
people in the city centre streets attracting
support. In the evening there
was a small but enthusiastic gathering to discuss
the campaign and future
activities. Meanwhile in Bradford, there was a
benefit gig at the '1in12
club' for the campaign.
   It has to be said that the turn out in Sheffield
was poor. The day should
have been advertised better and we knew that several
supporters, would be
unable to attend. A lot of people however just
didn't seem to bother at all,
leading us to conclude that there are contacts on
our mailing list who are
not really interested in supporting the campaign. If
you are one of these,
please let us know, so that we don't waste time and
resources in future. To
those who helped on the day, especially those who
travelled from out of town
we give our sincere thanks.
   In the coming months we are making a big effort
to push the campaign
forward in the Sheffield area and urge all
supporters, particularly those of
you who live locally, to get involved. There will be
regular info. stalls
and other activities in the coming weeks, leading to
a public meeting in
Sheffield in early September. Lets make it a huge
Abroad in countries such as Sweden and Ireland
supporters activities to
highlight Mark's situation took the form of
leafleting, protests to British
Embassies and press releases to British media. In
Malta for example,
supporters handed out leaflets about Mark's case at
the City Gate of
Valletta (Malta's Capital City). The activity
achieved very good media
coverage, prominently featuring on the front page of
the daily 'Malta
Independent' newspaper and also featuring in
"L-Orizzont", the daily
newspaper of the General Workers Union, Malta's
largest trade-union.
Previously 100's of postcards signed by students and
academic staff were
sent from Malta and many more from concerned people
across the world to
British Home Secretary Jack Straw, urging him to
investigate the Illegal
withholding of evidence by the CPS, a crucial part
in Mark's case. Mark is
now into his seventh year of wrongful imprisonment.
The myth that Britains'
legal system is the 'fairest in the world' is
certainly wearing very thin.
Jack Straw and company, you have a lot of explaining
to do.
On July 20th, 2000, Mark was transferred from
Woodhill to Parkhurst prison.
As usual the transfer was under high security
conditions. On arriving at
reception the first thing said to him was "who have
you upset to get sent to
Parkhurst?". He was later put in The Block
(segregation) for a week, where
he is only allowed 1 hour exercise or a shower per
day, has access to one
short phone call per day and no 'privileges'. It's
difficult to imagine a
more blatant punishment move. This prison is
situated on an Island, off the
South coast of England. This is Marks' 4th transfer
this year and is a clear
attempt to further isolate him from his family,
supporters and solicitor.
Mark's solicitor has been trying to get him moved
closer to his family and
friends in the North of England, however the Prison
Service obviously have
other plans for him. The decision to send Mark to
Parkhurst was made by an
individual at The Directorate of High Security
Prisons called John Golds.
   The Justice for Mark Barnsley Campaign is
demanding that Mark is
relocated immediately to a prison in the North of
England. We request that
supporters write protest letters and faxes and make
phone calls to the
British Government and prison officials listed
below. Letters to your local
MP may also be of help. We have a sample letter to
give you a few ideas.
Pickets, publicity stunts and other constructive
actions are also welcomed.
Please send us news of any solidarity actions.
Letters of support can be
sent to Mark at:
Mark Barnsley- WA2897, HMP Parkhurst, Newport, Isle
of Wight, PO30 5NX, UK
Mark replies to all letters he receives. If you've
written to him and not
got a reply please inform the campaign.
Please send letters/e-mails/faxes of protest, to the
Peter Atherton -Director of High Security Prisons
Fax: 0207 2176664
Martin Narey -Director General of Prisons
John Golds -Directorate of High Security Prisons
for the above write to:
Prison Service HQ
Cleland House
Page Street
Max Morrison-The Governor
HMP Parkhurst
Isle of Wight
PO30 5NX
Tel:01983 523855
Fax:01983 524861
Paul Boateng MP-Minister of State
Jack Straw MP- Home Secretary
for the above write to:
Home Office
Queen Anne's Gate
Sample Letter
Dear   x x x x x
I am writing to express my concern that Mark
Barnsley has been the victim of
yet another punishment transfer, this time to HMP
Parkhurst on the Isle of
Wight. Mark's location at HMP Parkhurst makes visits
from his children,
family and friends in the North of England and from
his Sheffield based
solicitor, extremely difficult, if not impossible. I
believe that Mark's
transfer to HMP Parkhurst is part of a Prison
Service campaign to isolate
and punish him, and as such it deserves to be
strongly condemned. I hope
that you will do everything within your power to
arrange a transfer for
Mark, to a long-term prison within reasonable
travelling distance of
Yours faithfully.
                           x x x x x
International pressure, letters to newspapers and
human rights organisations
like Amnesty International
(1 Easton Street, London, WC1X ODW, UK) asking that
they investigate Mark's
ill-treatment will also help (please send copies of
letters to MP's &
January 19th.  Mark suddenly transferred from HMP
Full Sutton to notoriously
repressive HMP Long Lartin. At Long Lartin, Mark's
mail (especially campaign
related) goes 'missing' or is withheld.
April 22nd. At Long Lartin, Mark & 6 other prisoners
locked into a cell with
no explanation. Almost 9 hours later (without food &
water) cell door opens.
Mark & others are attacked with high pressure water
jet & guards in riot
gear storm the cell. Mark smashed in face with riot
shield & fists,
repeatedly kicked & punched before being thrown into
segregation. His
clothes are taken as 'evidence', he is refused a
medical examination by
prison doctor & charged with 'barricading a cell
door' despite total lack of
evidence. Mark officially Segregated under 'Good
order  & Discipline' rule &
denied access to his property.
April 26th. A day after word gets out to his
solicitor, Mark transferred to
HMP Cardiff. His property remains at Long Lartin.
"I was moved to the Segregation Unit of Cardiff
Prison, Wales, as the first
stage of a punitive 'circuit' (prisoners call it the
'roundabout' or 'ghost
train'). This is a practice where prisoners are
constantly moved from prison
to prison every month or so, to keep them isolated
and unsettled. My
transfer to Cardiff was my 15th prison move in 6
Mark was put into a freezing cold cell with no
natural light, only dim
artificial light. He kept warm by pacing the cell
during the day & at night
shivered, fully clothed under 2 thin prison
blankets. Still, the Cardiff
dungeon did not have the calculated cruelty of the
'modern' Long Lartin
Block. 3 weeks later Mark moved to a cramped but
warmer cell. Throughout his
5 weeks at Cardiff, Mark was confined to a cell
23/24 hours a day without
his property and denied access to his legal papers.
Recently Mark discovered
that not only had HMP Long Lartin been withholding
his mail but HMP Cardiff
were systematically interfering with both his
incoming & outgoing legal &
campaign mail, & withholding all incoming political
literature. A lot of
important letters from supporters & miscarriage of
justice organisations
were unlawfully withheld. A deliberate attempt to
deny Mark support,
increase his isolation in the wake of the brutality
at Long Lartin & damage
the campaign.
"Perhaps most serious was the withholding of a
letter from Adam James, a
journalist who has been investigating my case, and
wanted to visit me at
Cardiff, together with 'Big Issue In The North'
editor Rob Cave. A letter
from Mr James was unlawfully impounded in order to
deliberately prevent this
visit taking place. The sustained interference with
my mail at Cardiff
probably represents the most serious attack yet by
Prison Service despots
upon the campaign."
May 30th. Mark moved to HMP Woodhill in Milton
Keynes by an escort of 7
screws from Long Lartin. Supposedly for a '28 day
lay-down', Mark's stay at
Woodhill dragged on for over 7 weeks. For several
weeks before his eventual
transfer, Mark was told he'd be moved at any time in
order to keep him in a
state of stress  & uncertainty, & to ensure that no
visits could take place.
After about 2 weeks at Woodhill & only after the
repeated intervention of
his solicitor, Mark's property was eventually
forwarded from Long Lartin,
together with his legal papers. Both had been
ransacked, with several
property items (mainly clothes) & legal documents
stolen. Shampoo,
toothpaste (& worse) had been emptied over
everything. A week or so after
this, the clothing Mark had been wearing during the
attack at Long Lartin
arrived at Woodhill. It was soaked in blood.
July 11th. Incident at Woodhill during a search of
Mark's cell by the
prisons' 'Dedicated Search Team' who wear
paramilitary clothing & normally
search Category 'A' prisoners (Mark is Cat B). After
being stripped of his
clothing there was a further attempt to humiliate
him by ordering him to
'squat'. After refusing to comply, Mark later
returned to his cell to find
that his radio no longer worked. The prison refused
to accept responsibility
for the damage so the matter will be pursued through
the Small Claims Court.
Following the assaults at Long Lartin back in April,
there was an attempt to
get Mark and the other 6 prisoners criminally
charged with 'Prison Mutiny' &
'Violent Disorder' as well as being charged  with
supposedly barricading the
cell they had in fact been locked in. Even the cops
must have realised they
weren't going to be able to fit them up on criminal
charges. None of them
were even interviewed.
"In relation to the prison discipline charge, it has
taken our solicitors
nearly 3 months to obtain any evidence at all from
Long lartin. Much of it
(e.g. the video recordings of us being beaten up) is
still being withheld,
but we now have statements from some of the screws
involved in the first
part of the incident. Not only am I not even
mentioned in a single
statement, but there is absolutely no evidence of a
barricade, and it is
clear that it was the screws who locked us in the
cell during some kind of
'security' operation. This is the quality of the
State's evidence and the
flimsy pretext by which I was segregated for 6
weeks, denied access to my
property, and banished to the furthest reaches of
the prison estate."
Meanwhile Mark & the other prisoners have made
complaints about the assaults
on them which are currently being investigated by
both Amnesty International
& Long Lartin's pals in the local Evesham Plod.
"Whatever the findings of the cops, we will
certainly be seeing the scum who
so viciously attacked us in Court, and through a
high profile action we hope
to expose the widespread brutality and systematic
ill-treatment against
prisoners at Long Lartin."
Over the past 3 months, Prisons Minister Paul
Boateng and senior lackeys of
the Prison Service have received several hundred
cards and letters
protesting at Mark's ill-treatment. Despite this,
the victimisation
continues and is in fact being organised at the very
highest levels. The way
Mark is being treated amounts to serious human
rights abuse and British
Government Ministers are entirely complicit in these
"Despite the most vile attempts of the British State
to break me I remain
strong and defiant. I ask all supporters here and
throughout the world to
strongly protest the way I am being treated and to
demand an end to the
injustice I am subjected to".
We would like to thank everyone who has supported
the campaign over the past
months. Things have been rough for Mark, but the
campaign remains solidly
behind his struggle for justice. We hope that we can
rely on your continued
AUGUST. Saturdays
Regular Information stalls in various parts of
SEPTEMBER. Saturday 9th
Daytime-Big information stall -Fargate starts 11.30
Evening - Justice for Mark Barnsley - Public
meeting. The Broomspring
Centre, Broomspring Lane, Broomfield. Starts 6.30
pm. The one not to miss!
Tell all your mates about this important meeting.
All supporters welcomed.
If these events are to be a success we need more
people, especially in
Sheffield, to get involved. If you can volunteer a
bit of your time and help
out, we urge you to phone the campaign on
07944 522001 for further details.
AUGUST.  Thursday 17th. - 7PM
Public Launch of the new pamphlet- BEATEN UP, FITTED
JUSTICE. At: Housemans
Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 (Nearest
Tube - Kings Cross).
Speakers include Paddy Hill (Birmingham 6) from the
Miscarriages of Justice
Organisation (MOJO). All Welcome.
REVIEW of Beaten Up, Fitted Up, Locked Up.
Mark Barnsley is a Sheffield writer and activist and
this gripping pamphlet
details the nightmare that started when he went for
a quiet drink in a
Sheffield pub with a family friend. Starting with
verbal abuse, a group of
drunken students then attacked him repeatedly,
chasing him and kicking him
at every opportunity when he was on the ground.
During this attack someone
produced knife which Mark picked up to prevent them
from stabbing him with
it. Despite the fact he did not even brandish it in
self defence, this forms
the basis of his conviction for assault!
   Unsurprisingly it turns out that these students
perjured themselves
during the trial about their drug use before the
incident and contradicted
one another on various points. Still, the police
appear happy to use any
means necessary to silence a critical voice.
   Beyond the attack, this pamphlet records a
catalogue of behaviour varying
from the 'irregular' to the outrageous from the
Press, Judge and Crown
Persecution Service. Five years on the C.P.S. are
still refusing to release
information about the incident - such as police
notebooks - of course this
could be vital in appealing against the conviction.
The Sheffield 'Star'
even went so far (or low) as to use a quote from a
barman at a different pub
in reporting the case. Mark Barnsley was even
convicted on counts of which
he had not been accused! The jury accepted he had
not initiated the violence
and yet the judge sentenced him to twelve years,
which is longer than the
tariff for manslaughter.
   This pamphlet has quotations from evidence of
witnesses all of which
support the defence case - even those of prosecution
   You could merely use the information presented
here to support the idea
that 'justice' in the UK is something that is bought
and sold and has very
little association with the facts of the case at
hand - or you could follow
some of the suggestions and get involved with the
campaign for Justice for
Mark Barnsley! We must not forget that in the words
of Michael Mansfield QC,
it isn't the appeal system that redresses
miscarriages of justice but public
pressure. This pamphlet is an excellent introduction
to the case. Get
informed and then get involved.
The Pamphlet costs £2 and is available from:
J.f.M.B. - PO BOX 381, Huddersfield, HD13XX.
Please make cheques/postal orders made payable to:
BARNSLEY'(UK £ Sterling only)
Justicia Para Mark Barnsley
In Barcelona, Spain, monthly meetings are held at
the okupied social centre
'Kan Mireia' where there is an exhibition about
Mark's case. Campaign
T-shirts will soon be available in Castilian &
Catalan. In principle these
can be produced in any language if there is
sufficient demand. There are
exciting plans to produce a video about Mark's case
which would consist of
contributions in several different languages from
supporters around the
world. After editing, the video could then be
subtitled into each language
and shown round the world. Anyone with access to a
video camera can
participate in this International project. For more
detailed information
about the above please contact the campaign in
England or: APDO 38084, 08080
Barcelona, Spain.
Ireland Support Group
At present the 'Ireland Support Group' is still
working on a booklet about
Mark's campaign for Justice. Consisting of a number
of personal
contributions from both friends & supporters of Mark
it will complement the
other new pamphlet 'Beaten Up, Fitted Up, Locked
Up'. We still need
contributions so please send these or questions
about this project to: J. f.
M. B. (Ireland) address below. We have recently
produced a new leaflet about
Mark. In August we will have a display about Mark's
case and the campaign at
the annual West Belfast Festival.  Please see the
local press for details.
Black print on good quality cotton T-SHIRTS
In case we run out of a colour please state
T-shirts cost : £6 each (post. paid) in U.K. &
Europe. or £7 each (post.
paid) outside Europe.
We also have pin-on BADGES of the same design.
These are  50p each or 3 for £1 (post. paid).
When ordering please ensure you send payment in
either cash or Cheque/Postal
Order made payable to: 'JUSTICE FOR MARK BARNSLEY'.
Please send orders to: j.f.m.b: PO BOX 381,
Huddersfield, HD1 3XX
Who is this Mark Barnsley?
Mark Barnsley is a working class writer and
political activist from
Sheffield. On June 8th 1994,  while out with his
baby daughter and a family
friend, Mark was attacked by a gang of drunken
students in broad daylight
outside Sheffield pub, 'The Pomona'. He was
viciously beaten up and injured
with a bottle or heavy glass and a knife. To stop
himself being killed he
disarmed one of the students and tried to run away.
The students chased him
however and continued to kick and beat him. Because
of their reckless and
aggressive behaviour 5 of them were injured with the
knife. Mark's own
injuries and the views of every single independent
witness were ignored.
After a trial characterised by lies, perjury and the
withholding and
planting of evidence by the Police and Prosecution,
Mark was convicted of
wounding two of the students with intent, and of
unlawfully wounding the
other three. Incredibly he received a 12 year prison
The campaign to free Mark is growing by the day,
with supporters throughout
Britain, Ireland and indeed throughout the world.
For further information
please contact:
Justice for Mark Barnsley - c/o 145-9 Cardigan Road,
Leeds, LS6 1LJ.
Justice for Mark Barnsley (Ireland) - PO Box 1290,
Belfast, BT12 7BW.
Tel: 07944 522001  E-mail:
Want to get this bulletin by e-mail?  If you have a
web-site we'd appreciate it if you could add info.
about Mark's campaign to
it or a link to the web sites listed in this
bulletin. If you would like to
be added to our
e-mail list please let us know by contacting us at :
On the web you can find info. on Mark's case at the

               The A-Infos News Service
      News about and of interest to anarchists
               COMMANDS: lists@tao.ca
               REPLIES: a-infos-d@lists.tao.ca
               HELP: a-infos-org@lists.tao.ca
               WWW: http://www.ainfos.ca
               INFO: http://www.ainfos.ca/org

 To receive a-infos in one language only mail lists@tao.ca the message
                unsubscribe a-infos
                subscribe a-infos-X
 where X = en, ca, de, fr, etc. (i.e. the language code)