2 yrs 9 mths for chatting shit on FacebookTagged as: amed_pelle nottingham_riots privacy repression
18-year old Amed Pelle of New Basford has been sent down for 2 years and 9 months for supposedly inciting rioting on Facebook. Pelle wrote 'Nottz Riot whose onit?' and 'Kill one black youth; we'll kill a million Fedz: riot til we own cities' on his page during the riots earlier this month. There is no evidence that he or any of his friends actually did anything during the riots.
Pelle is quoted as having said in his police interview that he hoped that 'youth would take over the streets and Government, police and society could do nothing'. But whether he is seriously responsible for inciting rioting seems questionable. It looks much more like he's just a naive kid who was easy for the justice system to pick on to make itself look tough. It can't have helped him that he's pretty much a stereotype Daily Mail hate figure, being an immigrant and a benefits claimant as well as young and black.
In sentencing, Judge John Milmo told Pelle that his comments 'encouraged attacks on the people of Nottingham as a whole, and the people of other cities.' This of course is untrue. Pelle only mentioned the police in his message.
The case follows the cases of two men who were jailed for 4 years for using Facebook to 'organise riots' that never happened in the North West. Jordan Blackshaw (20) and Perry Sutcliffe (22) were also young and naive about using social networking sites. Jordan claims his posts were a joke.
There is no evidence that any of these three was involved in rioting or looting. Their only 'crime' has been to gob off on a very public site that the police regularly monitors for intelligence purposes. Essentially they are being jailed for having anti-state thoughts.
Interestingly, no cases for incitement to murder are currently being brought against the hundreds of reactionaries who used social networking sites to urge people to shoot, hang and otherwise dispatch rioters during the disturbances. It seems that it's only if you express anti-state opinions that the law applies in these circumstances. On the Post website, Pelle has been threatened with being strung up, deported to Cuba and a poster 'hope[s] he has a hard time in jail'. I don't suppose the police will hurry to investigate these online threats. It's zero tolerance for the excluded and anything goes for the hateful mainstream.
The use of social networking to promote anti-state activity is scaring the authorities so much that the government and police actually want the ability to turn off sites during times of unrest. Well known lovers of free speech in the Chinese state have praised the increasing totalitarianism of the government.
People must make sure they DON'T use personal or personally identifiable social networking profiles to call for anti-state action. This is the kind of shit you could end up in if you're not carefuly about staying anonymous on the net. Use sites that don't log your IP address like Indymedia for news posts, Network 23 for blogs and indy.im for microblogging. If you're going to use sites like Facebook and Twitter don't use a profile with your real personal details and use software like Tor to mask your IP address.
We should support Pelle as someone who has been royally fucked over by the state for daring to call for insurrection. We should do what we can to try to prevent people getting caught for thought crimes in the first place.