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Auteur: Barker, John
Titel: Bending the bars
Sub titel:

You remember John Barker? 1972, the AB show trial, where he used the dock to counter-attack the prosecution case. He was convicted, but got a lot of credit for the ten year sentences that otherwise would have been fifteen - or more... These stories go from the first days on remand in Brixton to finally walking out seven years later. He says in the intro that it's impossible to convey the 'tedious parts' of doing that length of time. This is true because, unlike the sentence, it's a book you don't want to see the end of. The early seventies were obviously an interesting time - inside or out. What anarchists like to call 'the spirit of revolt' (or dodgy authoritarians 'the insurgent virus') was definitely on the loose. Outside, the miners and others on strike; inside, sitdowns and protests for better conditions. In such circumstances the perpetual questions - what can be done and who can be trusted? - carry a lot more weight, especially on the inside of the repression industry. Barker doesn't give us a Punch and Judy version, clichÚs to show that 'the struggle continues' - he obviously knows the value of a sense of humour too well for that. Not that a sense of humour means giving any ground: 'The Home Office, how's that for a laugh. Anywhere else it's the Ministry of Internal Security. Only the English could be so brazen, the name suggesting warm fires, slippers and general cosiness while in fact they're smashing down doors and ripping homes apart.' (At least then, unlike now they didn't have a slogan saying they were 'building a safe, just and tolerant society'!)
2007, 195 pag., Euro 11,2
Christie Books, East Sussex, ISBN 9781873976319


This page last updated on: 13-1-2015