Saturday, September 28, 2013

Statement by Political Prisoners Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, from Egypt

Tarek Loubani and John Greyson are two canadians who have been held in prison in Egypt for the past month and a half. The following statement was written some while back, but their canadian support team held it back fearing that it might lead to retaliation against the two if it were released. However, given news reports that Loubani and Greyson are facing impending charges, they have made the decision to release it now so as to explain what may be going on.

“We are on the 12th day of our hunger strike at Tora, Cairo’s main prison, located on the banks of the Nile. We’ve been held here since August 16 in ridiculous conditions: no phone calls, little to no exercise, sharing a 3m x 10m cell with 36 other political prisoners, sleeping like sardines on concrete with the cockroaches; sharing a single tap of earthy Nile water.

“We never planned to stay in Egypt longer than overnight. We arrived in Cairo on the 15th with transit visas and all the necessary paperwork to proceed to our destination: Gaza. Tarek volunteers at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, and brings people with him each time. John intended to shoot a short film about Tarek’s work.

“Because of the coup, the official Rafah border was opening and closing randomly, and we were stuck in Cairo for the day. We were carrying portable camera gear (one light, one microphone, John’s HD Canon, two Go-Pros) and gear for the hospital (routers for a much-needed wifi network and two disassembled toy-sized helicopters for testing the transportation of medical samples).

“Because of the protests in Ramses Square and around the country on the 16th, our car couldn’t proceed to Gaza. We decided to check out the Square, five blocks from our hotel, carrying our passports and John’s HD camera. The protest was just starting – peaceful chanting, the faint odour of tear gas, a helicopter lazily circling overhead – when suddenly calls of “doctor”. A young man carried by others from God-knows-where, bleeding from a bullet wound. Tarek snapped into doctor mode…and started to work doing emergency response, trying to save lives, while John did video documentation, shooting a record of the carnage that was unfolding. The wounded and dying never stopped coming. Between us, we saw over fifty Egyptians die: students, workers, professionals, professors, all shapes, all ages, unarmed. We later learned the body count for the day was 102.

“We left in the evening when it was safe, trying to get back to our hotel on the Nile. We stopped for ice cream. We couldn’t find a way through the police cordon though, and finally asked for help at a check point.

“That’s when we were: arrested, searched, caged, questioned, interrogated, videotaped with a ‘Syrian terrorist’, slapped, beaten, ridiculed, hot-boxed, refused phone calls, stripped, shaved bald, accused of being foreign mercenaries. Was it our Canadian passports, or the footage of Tarek performing CPR, or our ice cream wrappers that set them off? They screamed ‘Canadian’ as they kicked and hit us. John had a precisely etched bootprint bruise on his back for a week.

“We were two of 602 arrested that night, all 602 potentially facing the same grab-bag of ludicrous charges: arson, conspiracy, terrorism, possession of weapons, firearms, explosives, attacking a police station. The arrest stories of our Egyptian cellmates are remarkably similar to ours: Egyptians who were picked up on dark streets after the protest, by thugs or cops, blocks or miles from the police station that is the alleged site of our alleged crimes.

“We’ve been here in Tora prison for six weeks, and are now in a new cell (3.5m x 5.5m) that we share with ‘only’ six others. We’re still sleeping on concrete with the cockroaches, and still share a single tap of Nile water, but now we get (almost) daily exercise and showers. Still no phone calls. The prosecutor won’t say if there’s some outstanding issue that’s holding things up. The routers, the film equipment, or the footage of Tarek treating bullet wounds through that long bloody afternoon? Indeed, we would welcome our day in a real court with the real evidence, because then this footage would provide us with our alibi and serve as a witness to the massacre.

“We deserve due process, not cockroaches on concrete. We demand to be released.

“Peace, John & Tarek”

CONTACT: Cecilia Greyson,, Justin Podur,

on the main Kersplebedeb website:

Friday, September 06, 2013

Dancing With Imperialism: A Red Army Faction Book Launch and Discussion in Montreal

Where: QPIRG Concordia, 1500 de Maisonneuve O., suite 204

When: Thursday, September 12 at 6:30pm


The long-awaited Volume 2 of the first-ever English-language study of the Red Army Faction—West Germany’s most well known urban guerillas—covering the period immediately following the organization’s near-total decimation in 1977. This work includes the details of the guerilla’s operations, and its communiqués and texts, from 1978 up until its 1984 offensive.

The Red Army Faction emerged from the student movement in West Germany in the 1960s. Adopting anti-imperialist politics inspired by struggles occurring in the Third World, and a clarity that came from growing up under a post-Nazi successor State, the RAF engaged in bombings, bank robberies, and assassinations for over twenty years. But what made these acts of violence relevant to the left, not only in West Germany but throughout Europe, were the political manifestos and theoretical essays that accompanied them , as the RAF attempted to chart a path to revolution in a stronghold of imperialism. Ultimately, they (like the rest of the left) were unsuccessful in this endeavour, yet the RAF’s decades of struggle provide a wealth of lessons for the movements to come.

Join the book’s publisher for a discussion about the experiences of the RAF and other West German guerillas such as the 2nd of June Movement and the Revolutionary Cells, from the 1970s until the 1990s, examining the primarily political character of urban guerilla organizations, the consequences of this fact in terms of strategy and survival, and why all of this matters today.

Dancing with Imperialism was published in 2013 by Kersplebedeb Publishing and PM Press. It is the second volume in the RAF Documentary Histories. Both it and volume 1 (Projectiles for the People) will be available at this event a special price.

For more information, email


on the main Kersplebedeb website:

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Breaking Down Solitary [California Prison Hunger Strike]

on the main Kersplebedeb website: