Anarchist Federation (UK) on Jock Palfreeman (kinda)

Recently, the Anarchist Federation (UK) was asked some questions concerning the position its fraternal organisation in Bulgaria, the FAB, has taken with regards the trial and sentencing of the Australian Jock Palfreeman. Unsatisfied with the response they received from AF, late last month the group ‘Anarchist Solidarity’ published an open letter to AF, asking it ‘Which side are you on?’. Although it doesn’t (yet?) appear on the AF’s site, the following statement–which appears on the libcom site–is attributed to AF.

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

In summary, AF refuses to adopt a public position on the matter of Palfreeman, or on FAB’s denunciation. Those who care will obviously continue to act in solidarity with Jock, and with others who find themselves in similar situations.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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5 Responses to Anarchist Federation (UK) on Jock Palfreeman (kinda)

  1. Sophiah says:

    I feel as if I’m missing something… What is going on between the lines here? “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.”… etc.

  2. @ndy says:

    That’s ’cause there is something missing, which is an explanation. Without knowing what AF is referring to when it refers to ‘what it knows’, it’s really difficult to say anything much at all in response. The statement leaves open several questions, such as: upon investigation, did AF conclude that AS was a bona fide group, or not? What does this mean for its subsequent investigation into the Jock Palfreeman case? Apparently, AF is privy to some kind of infos which effectively prevents it from saying moar. So, whether AF agrees with FAB or not… is unknown. Otherwise, it would appear that AF is advising others not to approach anarchist groups in an abrasive manner. Reasonable enough advice, but not especially significant. Finally, for reasons which I hope would be obvious, it would surely have been better to have placed the statement on the AF website.

  3. Marlboro *cough* Man says:

    It seems pretty obvious what happened. What are the political considerations stopping these people supporting Palfreeman’s release?

  4. @ndy says:

    If by “these people” you mean AF, presumably “the political considerations” are the position the FAB, its fraternal org in Bulgaria, has taken, which is that Jock is indeed a murderous hooligan, his trial was fair, and his sentence richly deserved. In short, maintaining solidarity w the FAB would appear to be AF’s main concern in this context.

    Or maybe not.

    Given the fact that the statement reveals next-to-nothing of the logic governing its position, and given also that it explicitly notes that no further statement will be made, this is the best I can do at the moment. In any case, it will be interesting to see what the response of the other members of the IAF/IFA — Argentina/Belarus/Czech-Slovak/France & Belgium/Germany & Switzerland/Italy/Spain & Portugal — will be…

  5. kidnapped says:

    from the uk-af statements i’m not at all sure that the uk-af is a bona fidé organisation

    i say they’re just more victims of liberalism

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