No bomb that ever bursts shatters the crystal spirit:
With Farid and others in a British prison
By Kevin Annett
I wear as a badge of honour my deportation
from a country of liars and cut throats.
- Big Bill Haywood, IWW leader and
The filthy fiction calling itself the
Crown of England finally vomited me from its midst this
week, only five days before I was to speak of its crimes
at the annual Against Child Abuse Rally in London's
I am proud to have shared a British
prison with many freedom fighters over time, including
my own ancestor Peter Annett; but also alongside
nameless men and women who are caught today in the claws
of the police state called Britain.
Here is what happened:
The room is small, unventilated, and
foul-smelling, and crammed with ten of us. I am the only
white person there.
A Malaysian mother with her four year old
daughter sits in one corner, sobbing uncontrollably.
Incarcerated for half a day, she’s one of the luckier
ones: a young Turkish man called Farid has languished in
here for nearly three days, isolated from his four
children. Farid has lived in England for eleven years,
doing sweat jobs and loyally paying his taxes, but
tomorrow he’ll be deported over a technicality in his
There is no appeal allowed. His children
will not accompany him.
This is the Immigration Prison in
Stansted airport, outside London. The date is the early
hours of May 30, 2011.
The net fell on me suddenly the night
before, as I made my way through the border control desk
after disembarking from the Netherlands.
A banal little twit in a uniform scanned
my passport through his computer, and quickly looked
shocked as he peered through thick lenses at the screen.
He scuttled off to speak to his supervisor, who I
watched through the glass window of his office as he
looked at his own computer, nodded his head and said
something to the twit.
Triumphantly – I guess he got extra
points for bagging a suspected enemy of the state – Twit
boy returned and informed me with a whine of
condescension that my giving public lectures was
“unusual” for a tourist, that I was "suspect", and would
therefore be barred from entering England.
"What exactly am I suspected of doing?" I
asked the guy.
“But first you are to come this way” he
motioned, ignoring my question like I hadn't said
anything, and we walked to a tiny holding cell. The Twit
left me alone in there for a half hour, I guess to make
me sweat, but when he returned I was calmly whistling an
Irish melody that seemed to annoy him to no end.
“I bet you find your job difficult” I
ventured to the Twit as he fiddled with his papers.
Attempting a smile, he answered,
“No, actually one meets very fascinating
people in this line of work” he replied.
“People like you, then?” I said, but I
don’t think he got my joke.
The Twit refused to give me his name when
I asked, nor could I know the name of his supervisor. He
also wasn’t wearing a badge number, although later he
made a gaff when he donned another coat and I saw his
“You’ll be in here tonight, until we can
send you back from whence you came” Twit informed me,
gesturing to a white door. He knocked, and a stern young
guy answered who wore a vest labeled Reliance: the
private company that profits off incarcerating people
all over England.
Despair gazed back at me from the sad
eyes of my fellow prisoners who lay or sat around the
room. A TV was blaring mindless crap at them so I walked
over and shut it off. The young Turkish guy, Farid,
After my obligatory finger printing and
photographing – I asked the Reliance guy if I could have
a copy of the picture, since I looked pretty good, but
he said no – I was locked into the sparse room with
everyone, and told not to speak to any of them since
that was against the rules. I just smiled.
Most of the detainees didn’t want to
talk. It was nearly midnight by then, and like anyone,
they had adapted to their incarceration and were mired
in themselves. But Farid was too filled with grief about
being robbed of his children to settle into apathy.
“I will never see them again. They will
be put with other families and then anything can happen
to them. My youngest son is only a baby.”
I remembered reading the day before how
586 children placed in the foster care system in England
had somehow disappeared over the past year. Local child
welfare officials had given no explanation concerning
Farid taught me some Turkish words that
night, starting with “I love you” – it sounded like
“selly sev yurum”. He laughed for the first time when he
commented how the phrase might come in handy if I ever
came to his country, but not if I said it to a man.
“That’s not what I hear” I replied, and
he laughed even harder.
We held back the demons together during
those slow and weary hours, as the others tried to
sleep, and didn’t, and the Malaysian woman sang to her
daughter while the Reliance thugs stared at us through a
thick pane of glass.
It ended for me at 6 am, when I was taken
to a plane that would fly me back to Eindhoven. I said
goodbye to Farid and wished him luck.
He took my hand and said “Allah”,
pressing his other hand against his chest, and then
pointing to my heart.
I recalled then the last words in George Orwell's book
Homage to Catalonia, in which he describes
briefly meeting an Italian militia man who like Orwell
was fighting Franco and his fascists during the Spanish
civil war. They couldn't speak one another's language,
but they shook hands and departed in different
directions for the front lines, and Orwell never saw the
Italian man again.
In memory to this unknown stranger who had briefly taken
his hand in comradeship, and who had probably died,
Orwell wrote a poem to him that concluded,
But the look I saw in your eyes, no power can
No bomb that ever burst shatters the crystal spirit.
The night after my deportation, I stood
in a crowd of singing and laughing revealers in a Dublin
pub, tasting my freedom like a soothing ale, and
thinking of where Farid might be. I never felt unfree in
jail; nor did anything there or in his own agony stop
Farid from laughing.
As someone commented to me today,
the more they repress us, the sharper and stronger we
get. I feel inwardly clarified after the ordeal, and
from the sounds of things, what happened to me is simply
boomeranging back on the British government and its
obvious and quite clumsy attempts to stop our Tribunal
So be of good cheer, and let that
hope propel your body and your life to continue to
accompany your words. But never forget Farid, and his
children ... and that which is trying to jail all of us.
See the evidence of Genocide in Canada at
www.hiddennolonger.com and on the website of The
International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State
Watch Kevin's award-winning documentary film UNREPENTANT
on his website
"True religion undefiled is this: To make restitution of
the earth which has been taken and held from the common
people by the power of Conquests, and so set the
oppressed free by placing all land in common." - Gerrard
"We will bring to light the hidden works of darkness and
drive falsity to the bottomless pit. For all doctrines
founded in fraud or nursed by fear shall be confounded
- Kevin's ancestor Peter Annett, writing in The Free
Inquirer, October 17, 1761, just before being imprisoned
by the English crown for "blasphemous libel"
"I gave Kevin Annett his Indian name, Eagle Strong
Voice, in 2004 when I adopted him into our Anishinabe
Nation. He carries that name proudly because he is doing
the job he was sent to do, to tell his people of their
wrongs. He speaks strongly and with truth. He speaks for
our stolen and murdered children. I ask everyone to
listen to him and welcome him."
Chief Louis Daniels - Whispers Wind
Elder, Turtle Clan, Anishinabe Nation, Winnipeg,