Victorian Update on Jailed Political Activists
Long-standing Melbourne patriot political activist Neil Erikson was released from prison early on Saturday 12th June 2021 after serving one month for “disturbing religious worship” (read: protesting a public Islamic prayer).
After a phone call with Neil lasting about an hour, I learned that Neil had a couple of strange and interesting experiences in prison.
Two circumstances of note are:
1. At the Melbourne Assessment Prison (MAP), Neil was given a cell directly next to Thomas Sewell of the National Socialist Network. Neil and Tom were able to communicate with each other through a shower vent.
2. With only four days remaining until he was scheduled for release, Neil was suddenly moved from Isolation at the Melbourne Assessment Prison, to the mainstream yard at a long-term medium security prison Marngoneet Correctional Centre.
It would make sense to me to keep high profile political activists segregated from one another while in prison, so I’m not sure why Neil and Tom would be housed in cells beside one another. There are many different units with hundreds of cells at the Melbourne Assessment Prison. It’s unlikely that Neil and Tom were placed in neighbouring cells by happenstance.
Every cell has a two-way intercom built into the wall so it’s likely any conversation between the two was being recorded. Perhaps the prison system expected to obtain more information or evidence to use against either of the inmates from listening in on any conversation they had.
After Neil was moved to Marngoneet the prison officers there and even the prison Governor (the chief of that specific jail) were very distressed and confused about Neil’s presence there. They asked him on multiple occasions why he was there and who had sent him, but Neil didn’t have any answers.
The prison Governor stressed to Neil that the Muslim population of Marngoneet was considerable and that he was probably in danger there. Neil was told to remain in his cell and was hurriedly moved into isolation after the Governor claimed a death threat had been made against Neil.
According to Neil, the Governor also stated that “someone of high rank must have sent Neil to Marngoneet knowing that he would be in danger there.”
It’s also notable that many of the prison officers at Marngoneet after learning of the charge for which Neil was imprisoned were shocked that he was given jail time.
According to Neil, Thomas Sewell remains on a 23 hour per day “lockdown” (is locked in a cell for 23 hours per day, everyday) and is likely to be moved to the Metropolitan Remand Centre, which is just like any other prison except there are no uniform standards/prison colours, you can wear your own clothes there.
Neil hosted an over hour long livestream on his Senator Slayer YouTube channel with Australian Meditations and Jaz Searby elaborating on his experiences in prison he described to me above.
Editor’s Note/Update: Anti-lockdown activists Nick Patterson and Pastor Paul Furlong continue to be held at the MAP after being arrested and charged after engaging in protest and prayer activity on the weekend of 29-30 May during Victoria’s lastest lockdown.
Neil Erikson is still facing another charge of disturbing religious worship at a meeting of the Melbourne Metropolitan Church (an LGBT Christian church) in Hawthorn in May 2019