Bristol ABC has received a copy of an excellent article tracing the privatisation programme of British prisons, and the profit motive behind it. Luckily for the profiteers, the British Govt PLC is expanding prison capacity, and asking them to get rich helping with it. Unluckily for us, it means more of us face the misery of prison conditions.
The article is written by a long term anti-prison activist, Bra. It can also be read in its original format at ‘Last Hours’ here. Continue reading
Ronnie Easterbrook update
We’ve received the following from our friends at Brighton ABC, who have campaigned for Ronnie for many years:
We’ve recently asked people to write letters on behalf of Ronnie Easterbrook who is 78 years old and on hunger strike. For more details about his case read here and here.
Ronnie’s situation has not improved, in his last letter to us he said, “Just finished another visit with my two daughters and John. That is the last one I shall have. I look at them and one can feel the energy and life force vibrating through them, whereas I could barely sit up in the chair I’m so drained”. Continue reading
Bristol ABC has attended the three founding meetings of a new campaign:
Communities of Resistance (CoRe) – Building a campaign against Titan prisons
The campaign has now been formally launched. Leaflets and more info available soon. If you live in the Bristol area and want to know more, or get involved, please contact Bristol ABC. We would be particularly interested to hear from prisoners and their families.
The new campaign has this to say:
The arrival of the excellent Cageprisoners tour, in Bristol on 12 January, provides an excellent opportunity to hear about the experiences of both prisoners and their guards at the infamous and inhumane prison known as Guantanamo Bay. The event takes place from 7.30pm at the Kuumba centre, 20-23 Hepburn Rd, Bristol BS2 8UB. Come early! More details on the Cageprisoners website at http://www.cageprisoners.com/tour
A weekend Festival of Resistance drawing together the themes or anti-prison campaigning & prisoner support, and organising against border controls and the demonisation of migrants.
You don’t need to be a genius, nor an anarchist, to see the links between the two, as the number of prisoners and detained migrants rockets, as state surveillance reaches new levels of intrusiveness, all against a backdrop of global financial crisis and the start of a major economic depression. The state is clamping down on dissent, preparing for social unrest, and as usual scapegoating the most vulnerable sections of society.
This weekend of events will look at alternatives to the current failing economic & social policies, and highlight examples of resistance.
24th October 2008
Kebele Social Centre
14 Robertson Road
Bristol, BS5 6JY
Drinks and snacks by donation
Bristol ABC is very pleased to host this free workshop, facilitated by Sam Lamble. This is a shortened version of a longer workshop that examines the social cost of prison, especially for women, transpeople, queers, people of colour and poor people, while also exploring the alternatives to punishment and imprisonment.
For an online resource pack that complements the workshop, please visit this site:
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
A Shameful admission
Venue’s 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!
Following our article on Venue’s shameful note of class war, we note with interest;
“Today the government gives its response to the Corston report – published earlier in the year it was set up to look at the state of women’s prisons. Its most radical recommendation was that women’s jails should be abolished within ten years and replaced with community based centres.”
So while the Venue writer thought it funny and entertaining that anyone would consider abolishing prisons, in the case of women’s prisons, and the subject of the original post that attracted the Venue writer – this is exactly what is being proposed.
It should also be noted that this government, having rammed the prisons to capacity and beyond is planning to splash out another £1.2 billion on jails;
“The government is to build up to three supersize prisons, holding about 2,500 inmates each, as part of a programme to tackle the overcrowding crisis by increasing jail capacity by 10,500 places within seven years.
The justice secretary, Jack Straw, announced that he had secured an extra £1.2bn, on top of £1.5bn already committed, for a building programme which will see the capacity of jails in England and Wales increase to 96,000 by 2014.”
We wonder how much of this windfall will go to private prison contractors? How much will the new jails make people feel safer? Given the high proportion of people inside for economic crimes – unpaid debt and so forth, readers may find the following thread useful;
Avoiding Debt, and avoiding prison