July 25th marked the Worldwide Day of Solidarity with Jock Palfreeman, who, as we hope you know by now, is an Australian anti-fascist political prisoner serving a 20-year prison sentence in Bulgaria for the rather-mysterious death of a neo-nazi football hooligan who was part of a group attacking two Romani men in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2007. Jock came to the aid of the Romani, and quickly found himself the focus of the attack. Bulgarian authorities did everything they could to ensure that Jock never received a fair trial, and after his sentencing have refused–in contravention of their own treaties–to transfer him to Australia to serve the rest of his time closer to his family.
New York City was just one of many cities around the world that answered the call for solidarity, and local anti-fascists headed over to The Base in support of Jock. The New York City event, called for by the NYC Anarchist Black Cross and some autonomous anti-fascists, centered around the film screening of an Australian television documentary (available on YouTube if you have not seen it) as well as speakers giving background on the situation of the Romani in Europe and updates on Jock’s situation in prison. Letters were written to the Bulgarian prosecutor to let him know that Jock is not alone and that his office should abide their own laws and have him transferred to Australia. The event also raised mad money for the Bulgarian Prisoners Association, which Jock is secretary of (and is violently punished for). The money will be used for a legal aid defense fund to protect prisoners against abuses in the prison system.
North American events ranged from flyering, sticker campaigns, benefits, letter-writing, film screenings and consulate demos, in Portland, OR; Chicago, IL; Bloomington, IN; Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In Australia, there was a big benefit in Melbourne, and flyering in Brisbane. Leading up to the 25th, there were also benefits in Brighton, England and in Amsterdam.
The Day of Solidarity for Jock Palfreeman was a total success, and we hope that it becomes an annual tradition with more cities in more countries showing support for Jock!
Free Jock Palfreeman! Fuck Fascism! Fuck Racism!