Friday, 8 February 2013

Bury Unite & Press Freedom

LAST night, Bury Unite the Union NW/353 Branch recorded its concern about the attacks on Northern Voices and people involved in its production.  It was pointed out that not only had two individuals connected with the publication Northern Voices been pressurised to leave bookfairs in both Manchester and London, but people associated with the organisation called the Anarchist Federation, had approached outlets selling the journal in Manchester, Liverpool and London seeking to get the outlets to remove the publication from sale on their premises.  In London, it is understood that the anarchist bookshop, Freedom Press, has taken Northern Voices Number 13 (NV13) off its shelves, following a complaint from Nick Heath, a founder member of the Anarchist Federation, and now a member of the Freedom Press Collective.  Another complainant, Sally Miller/ Hyman, has approached the independent printers of Northern Voices in Manchester, with unclear intentions.  Ron Marsden, who has worked closely with the Anarchist Federation over this matter, has also visited the NV printers on a number of occasions with threats of solicitor's letters.  A cinema bookshop in Manchester was challenged last August for selling the journal with critical content of an deceased anarchist, and in Liverpool a left-wing bookshop was also urged to take the publication off its shelves in the same month.  In the last case, the Liverpool bookshop refused to act on the grounds that NV13, carried a leading story and interview with the mother of Sophie Lancaster, the 'Goth Girl' from Bacup murdered in 2007. 

The Bury Unite Branch now follows in the footsteps of the Tyne & Wear IWW Branch, which has expressed its concern earlier, and condemned both the attack in London on the editor of Northern Voices and also on supporters of the Northern Anarchist Network by members of the Anarchist Federation.  The Bury Unite Branch last night, was particularly concerned about the consequences of these attacks in relation to the issue of the Campaign for Press & Broadcasting Freedom.  It was thought that such attacks could be seen as censorship through the backdoor.

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