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.
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.