There's anger & rage inside the prisons [Ian Purdie and Jake Prescott Defence Group leaflet, 1971]

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Ian and Jake are on trial at the Old Bailey, accused of conspiring to do bombings directed against the bosses and the government. The charge carries a life sentence, and they have been presumed guilty before they reach the dock. British “justice” has locked them in Brixton, alone in their cells for 23 hours a day, since February. The same British “justice” which is taking Irish people from their homes and putting them in concentration camps indefinitely and without trial. The same British “justice” which last year remanded in custody 2000 people and subsequently found them “not guilty”. The same British “justice” that attacks and intimidates black people and then convicts them of assault. 


The tactics used by the police in chasing the bombers have shown up people’s “rights” for the con that they are. They have broken into hundreds of our homes stealing what they wanted. They have dragged us off for questioning, imprisoned us illegally and kept us for days without access to lawyers. Even their own witnesses testify that the Special Branch has intimidated them. As Habershon, chief pig in the case, said: ‘We have no time for legal niceties.’ 

But so many people get done over by the law. If you have got long hair, if you are the wrong colour or a woman or gay, if you are a worker going on strike or if you are a kid just trying to stop getting bored, you’re likely to get the same treatment. Anyone who is ANGRY will get the same treatment. 

We know we may not have the strength at the moment to free Ian and Jake. But, if we can show the State that we are not going to stand by and let them pick any of us off without a hard fight, they’ll think twice about busting brothers and sisters in the future. Our solidarity is our strength. 



The new laws will make it worse. The Industrial Relations Bill (jail for pickets and unofficial strikers), the Immigration Bill (any pig can demand ‘papers’ from any black person), the Drugs Bill (held without charge while they analyse ‘substances’), the Vandalism Bill (10 years for damage to property, life for arson), the Children’s Bill (one social worker can take away your kid), all add up to one thing. More power to the pigs and their masters. More shit for us. 

But the more laws they make, the more “criminals” there will be. Much of the case against Jake and Ian is their politics and the way they live. Opposition to the State, restlessness, trying to find new ways of living, enthusiasm about the possibilities for totally changing the present system. 

People everywhere are fighting the boredom and misery of the lives they are forced to live. Jake and Ian are just scapegoats for us all. If we don’t fight back right along the line the arm of the State will come down still more heavily. And we must fight back together. If you call them “the pigs”, if you call them “the filth”, if you call them “the fuzz”, if you call them “the Old Bill”, they’re still the same enemy. And behind them their masters, who direct the oppression. The fight for Ian and Jake is the fight for the McCarthy family whose son was killed by the pigs. It’s the fight for David Oluwale, beaten up and thrown into a river by the pigs in Leeds. It’s the fight of the blacks from Sunderland Road, London, who had their house bombed by fascists and then some of their friends arrested.[1] 

We must not let them pick us off individually. Our friends who are brutalised, hassled or locked up must never be forgotten or left to rot. This is their way of isolating us, of breaking up any scene that’s going on somewhere. This is something we should all expect, unless you’re prepared to knuckle under and live the pathetic lives they demand. 

For any further information, telephone 739 1704. 

6, MAYOLA ROAD, CLAPTON, LONDON E.8 (Tel: 986 3075) 


Stephen McCarthy died in January 1971 as a result of a brutal arrest by two islington pigs and gross mistreatment by prison medical authorities in Wormwood Scrubs and Dover Borstal [The Angry Brigade 1967-1984 Documents and Chronology p38]

David Oluwale drowned as a result of the attack. See

3 January 1971: three petrol bombs thrown into a black people’s party in a house in Sunderland Road, Ladywell, injuring 22 people, severalof them seriously. Two white racists later jailed for the attack. In the week after the attack, eight members of the Black Unity and Freedom Party are arrested after being hassled by police on their way back from visiting the injured in Lewisham Hospital. This leads to a march by 150 people to Ladywell Police Station a few weeks later, and more arrests. [Racism and Resistance in South East London: A Chronology Black Voice: Popular Paper of Black Unity and Freedom Party v.2, no.1 covering the attack is online at]