Home | Friday 10th September 2010 | Issue 738
Anarchist activists are calling out for an international day of action in solidarity with an Australian man imprisoned in Bulgaria on murder charges after he intervened to stop far-right thugs beating Roma youths.
Jock Palfreeman was on a night out with friends in the Bulgarian capital Sofia in December 2007 when he witnessed a group of 16 nationalists surrounding a pair of Roma men, kicking and punching them as they lay on the floor. Jock rushed in and tried to protect one of the men, who was barely conscious when he reached him. As the gang closed in, he took out a knife that he had started to carry after being attacked several times in Sofia.
Jock backed away from the group, brandishing the knife to try and scare them away. But the group followed, surrounded him and began to pelt him with concrete tiles. As the gang moved in, attacking from all sides, Jock swung the knife in panicked self-defence. It was only later, after the arrival of the police, that he found out he had stabbed two of them. One of the men died of his injuries and Jock was charged with murder and attempted murder.
In the ensuing trial, crucial CCTV footage went missing – apparently due to a freak blackout that wrecked the hardrive - and witnesses disappeared, were ignored or changed their stories. Questions have also been raised over the influence of the deceased’s family in the case – the man’s father is a prominent and respected psychologist. Jock was sentenced to 20 years.
The day of action has been called for the 19th. If you can organise an event in your area contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .
* See www.freejock.net