Imprisoned anarchist Toby Shone is fighting a new battle as he counts down the weeks to his halfway release on December 28th 2022.
As the UK collapses into something resembling a tin-pot dictatorship and a Victorian poorhouse, Toby continues to be targeted by the Probation Service and their colleagues in the Counter-Terror National Security Division and MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) for his ‘thought crimes ‘, ‘anarchism’ and ‘alternative lifestyle’.
In September, Toby was informed that Cardiff-based probation officer Paul Smith had booked a series of interviews for him (without communicating these to his lawyers as instructed) with forensic psychologist Dr Harriet Chapman from the Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology, University of Birmingham. Dr Chapman’s intention was to interrogate Toby under the Extremism Risk Guidelines formulation tool, ERG22+. This assessment which is “intended for use with people who have been convicted of any extremist or extremist-related offence” (which he hasn’t been) considers at least 22 factors by which an individual can be regarded as an extremist and thus be subject to de-radicalisation measures. We could find no public paper detailing these 22 factors or the format of the interview.
These largely experimental and deeply authoritarian de-radicalisation measures, which appear to be rolled out on a one-to-one basis, include the Healthy Identity Intervention, Desist and Disengagement Programme, Motivational and Engagement Intervention and Developing Dialogues. All of these are highly invasive, intensive programmes designed to investigate and dismantle a targeted individual’s personal narrative, childhood and influences, to attempt to undermine their critique of the existent, to isolate them from their relationships and affinities and to re-mould them into the perfect citizen under conditions of duress. Think re-education camps and political indoctrination. In effect they are seeking to “pathologise” the holding of anarchist beliefs: anarchism as a psychological illness. This tactic of “punitive psychiatry” has been used by other authoritarian states, most notably Soviet Russia, China and the USA. Continue reading “UK: Imprisoned Anarchist Toby Shone Fights New Battle Against Fascist UK State”