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Feb
28

From Kevin Annett No bomb that ever bursts shatters the crystal spirit

Hi everyone: Considering my upcoming journey to Europe, I thought it appropriate to share (below) what I wrote after being unlawfully incarcerated in a British prison and then deported, in May of 2011. This is especially made relevant with our criminal conviction of the traitorous Elizabeth Windsor and the nullification of the authority of the British “crown”. So take heart! And enjoy. – Kevin Annett

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No bomb that ever bursts shatters the crystal spirit: With Farid and others in a British prison
by Kevin Annett
May 31, 2011 


I wear as a badge of honor my deportation from a country of liars and cut throats.

– Big Bill Haywood, IWW leader and revolutionary, 1920

The filthy fiction calling itself the Crown of England finally vomited me from its midst this week, only five days before I was to speak of its crimes at the annual Against Child Abuse Rally in London’s Trafalgar Square.

I am proud to have shared a British prison with many freedom fighters over time, including my own free thinking ancestor Peter Annett, who was jailed and pilloried in London at the age of 70, in the year 1763, for writing “seditious blasphemy” against the Church of England. And that repression continues today, against innocent men and women still caught in the claws of the police state known as England.

Here is what happened:

The room is small, unventilated, and foul-smelling, and crammed with ten of us. I am the only white person there.

A Malaysian mother with her four year old daughter sits in one corner, sobbing uncontrollably. Incarcerated for half a day, she’s one of the luckier ones: a young Turkish man called Farid has languished in here for nearly three days, isolated from his four children. Farid has lived in England for eleven years, doing sweat jobs for shit wages and loyally paying his taxes, but tomorrow he’ll be deported over a technicality in his work visa.

There is no appeal allowed. His children will not accompany him.

This is the Immigration Prison in Stansted airport, outside London. The time is the early hours of May 30, 2011.

The net fell on me suddenly the night before, as I made my way through the border control desk after disembarking from the Netherlands.

After asking me why I was coming to England, a banal twit in a uniform scanned my passport through his computer, and quickly looked shocked as he peered through thick lenses at the screen. He scuttled off to speak to his supervisor, who I watched through the glass window of his office as he looked at his own computer, nodded his head and said something to his crony.

Triumphantly – I guess that as an employee of the private company Reliance Ltd. that runs British immigration services now, he gets extra points for deporting someone – The Twit returned and informed me with a whine of condescension that my giving public lectures was “unusual” for a tourist, that I was “suspect”, and would therefore be barred from entering England.

“What exactly am I suspected of doing?” I asked the guy.

“But first you are to come this way” he motioned, ignoring my question like I hadn’t said anything, and we walked to a tiny holding cell. The Twit left me alone in there for a half hour, I guess to make me sweat, but when he returned I was calmly whistling an Irish melody that seemed to annoy him to no end.

“I bet you find your job difficult, you know, putting people through all this” I ventured to The Twit as he fiddled with his papers.

Attempting a smile, he answered,

“No, I enjoy it, actually. One meets very fascinating people in this line of work”.

If only you knew, I thought, but said nothing.

The Twit refused to give me his name when I asked, nor could I know the name of his supervisor. He also wasn’t wearing a badge number, although later he made a gaff when he donned another coat and I saw his number: 6676.

“You’ll be in here tonight, until we can send you back from whence you came” The Twit informed me, gesturing to a white door. He knocked, and a stern young guy answered and glared at me like I was yesterday’s trash. Then I was locked in with a whole crowd of dark skinned people.

Despair gazed back at me from the sad eyes of my fellow prisoners who lay or sat around the room. They were all deflated, tired and beaten. A TV was blaring mindless crap at them so I walked over and switched it off. The young Turkish guy whose name was Farid looked surprised, and then he smiled at me weakly, and nodded.

After my obligatory finger printing and photographing – I asked the Reliance goon if I could have a copy of the picture, since I looked pretty good, but he said no – I was locked back into the sparse room with my fellow detainees, and was told not to speak to any of them since that was against the rules. I just smiled at the goon, and ignored him.

Most of the detainees didn’t want to talk. It was nearly midnight by then, and like prisoners tend to do, they had adapted to their incarceration and were mired in themselves. But Farid was too filled with grief about being robbed of his children to settle into apathy.

“I will never see them again. They will be put with other families and then anything can happen to them. My youngest son is only a baby.”

I remembered reading the day before how 586 children placed in the foster care system in England had somehow disappeared over the past year. Local child welfare officials had no explanation, apparently.

To ride out his pain and the dull hours, Farid taught me some Turkish words that night, starting with “I love you” – it sounded like “selly sev yurum”. He laughed for the first time when he commented how the phrase might come in handy if I ever came to his country, but not if I said it to another man.

“That’s not what I hear” I replied, and he laughed even harder.

We held back the demons together during those slow and weary hours, as the others tried to sleep, and didn’t, and the Malaysian woman sang to her daughter while the Reliance thugs stared at us through a thick pane of glass.

It ended for me at 9 am, when I was taken to a plane that would fly me back to Eindhoven. I said goodbye to Farid and wished him luck.

The man took my hand gently and said “Allah”, pressing his other hand against his chest, and then pointing to my heart.

I recalled then the last words in George Orwell’s book Homage to Catalonia, in which he describes briefly meeting an Italian militia man who like Orwell was fighting Franco and his fascists during the Spanish civil war. They couldn’t speak one another’s language, but they shook hands and departed in different directions for the front lines, and Orwell never saw the Italian man again.

In memory to this unknown stranger who had briefly taken his hand in comradeship, and who had probably died, Orwell wrote a poem to him that concluded,

But the look I saw in your eyes, no power can disinherit.
No bomb that ever burst shatters the crystal spirit.

The night after my deportation, I stood in a crowd of singing and laughing revellers in a Dublin pub, tasting my freedom like a soothing ale, and thinking of where Farid might be, and grieving for him and his children in that part of me that never rests. I never felt unfree in jail; nor did Farid’s own imprisonment and agony stop him from taking my hand in his, and blessing us.

I’ve learned from so many Farids that the more they repress us, the sharper and stronger we get, like a gift. And what happened to me is simply boomeranging back now on the British government and its clumsy attempts to stop our Tribunal this fall.

So be of good cheer, and let that hope propel your body and your life to continue to accompany your words. But never forget Farid, and his children … and that Thing which is trying to imprison all of us through fear, and its other illusions.

www.KevinAnnett.com