Category Archives: deaths in custody

California Prisoner Hunger Strike – More on Medical Crisis, Need Support Pressuring Immediate Negotiations

Legal representatives made visits to the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) at California’s Pelican Bay prison Tuesday, and interviewed a number of hunger strikers. Each prisoner explained how medical conditions of hundreds of hunger strikers in the SHU are worsening. Many prisoners are experiencing irregular heartbeats and palpitations, some are suffering from diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia. Many are also experiencing dizziness and constantly feel light-headed. Many struggle with shortness of breath and other lung and respiratory problems. Dozens of prisoners have fainted and been taken to either the infirmary and/or outside hospitals. Some prisoners also have Chrones disease, which leads to extreme loss of fluids and electrolytes and needs to be treated by adequate nutrition and hydration.

At least 200 prisoners continue the strike in solidarity with the prisoners at Pelican Bay at Calipatria State Prison, where summer heat has reached to 43C, even hotter inside the SHUs. Some people have experienced heat stroke due to severe dehydration. Continue reading

Prisoners’ Justice Day, 10th August, every year

“Prisoners Justice Day is…the day to remind people that the criminal justice system and the psychiatric system are mutually reinforcing methods that the state uses to control human beings.“

-Prisoners’ Justice Day Committee, 2001
http://www.prisonjustice.ca/politics/1014_history.html#PJDis

Prisoners’ Justice Day 2008 was commemorated at HMP Styal (Chester), in tribute to the work of Pauline Campbell, who protested outside any women’s prison in England and Wales where a prisoner had recently died. Pauline’s daughter, Sarah, died at Styal in 2003, within a day of being sent there. Pauline demonstrated outside HMP Eastwood Park (near Bristol) more than once against the deaths in custody at this women’s prison. Sadly, Pauline took her own life in May of this year.

The Campbell family’s devastating experience should be a reminder to us all that every crime has many victims, often including the ‘perpetrator’ and their family. It is the vulnerable people of the UK who end up in prison: working class men and women, often failed by the educational system which is so under-resourced it cannot address different individual learning styles and mental-health concerns; foreign nationals, at a disadvantage because of language and systematic racism; anyone who cannot pay for their substance addictions without resorting to crime; political prisoners prepared to put their freedom on the line to build a better world.

In solidarity with the event at HMP Styal this weekend, Bristol activists hung a banner at a junction 2 of the M32, to draw attention to the plight of prisoners in the UK and elsewhere.

For more information, see links below:

Bristol Anarchist Black Cross:
http://bristolabc.wordpress.com/

History of the Anarchist Black Cross:
http://www.anarchistblackcross.org/abc/why.html

Pauline’s obituary:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/may/16/prisonsandprobation1

INQUEST:
http://inquest.gn.apc.org/index.html

No More Prisons:
http://www.alternatives2prison.ik.com/

The Matrix Knowledge Group research into the economic case for and against prison interventions and their alternatives: http://www.matrixknowledge.co.uk/prison-economics/

Prof David Wilson’s Guardian Comment piece on prison abolition: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/23/prisonsandprobation.communities

Jack Straw’s Ministerial Statement on the Titan Prison consultation:
http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/announcement050608a.htm

…and criticism of the prison building plans from Rethinking Crime and Punishment:
http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/titan-prison-plans-under-attack

M32 banner

Too Many Prisons, Not Enough Justice!!

Prisons Campaigner Found Dead Beside Daughter’s Grave

Bristol ABC wishes to send it’s deepest sympathies to those who knew and worked with Pauline Campbell.  Pauline has been a tireless campaigner against deaths of women in custody since the tragic death of her daughter Sarah in 2003.  She was awarded the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize in October 2005. The prize is awarded each year to a woman or group who has, through their actions, writing or campaigning; raised awareness of violence against women and children. Pauline visited Bristol in September 2007 to talk at the Kebele about her daughter’s death, the state’s admission that they had failed her and her ongoing struggle.  Tragically Pauline was found dead on the grave of her daughter, whos death in custody motivated her struggle for justice.

Links for more information/related news:

Prisons campaigner Pauline Campbell found dead beside daughter’s
grave
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/05/398885.html

A Shameful admission
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/sep/27/crime.penal

Venue’s Shameful Class War
http://bristolabc.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/venues-shameful-class-
war/

In other news Bristol ABC notes the arrival of two new groups
campaigning around justice for the Angloa 3 -
http://angola3london.org/ and http://www.myspace.com/awhw

There is a letter-writing that meets at Kebele – please get in touch if you are interesting in coming along!