Update September 2017

Over the past few months this group has not been so active and regular letter writing events are not currently taking place. Not sure what will happen in the future but at the moment this website will be updated sporadically. In the meantime, check out some of the other super fab projects still working to support prisoners and promote prison abolition in London and the UK…

The Empty Cages Collective are working to build a movement against the Prison Industrial Complex within the UK, see here for information and updates: http://www.prisonabolition.org/

For organising against prison expansion in London see Prison Action London here: http://www.prisonabolition.org/prison-action-london/

SOAS Detainee Support are a student-led group in London that organise support for people detained in Yarl’s Wood, Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) as well as working in solidarity with migrants in other ways: https://soasdetaineesupport.wordpress.com

The Bent Bars project continues to work from London to support people that are incarcerated and identify as LGBTQIA+: http://www.bentbarsproject.org/

Other ABC groups still active in the UK include Brighton ABC (https://www.brightonabc.org.uk/) and Bristol ABC (https://bristolabc.wordpress.com/).

For an international listing of political prisoners see here: http://prisonersolidarity.net/

And a lot of the links on the right hand side of this page over here >>>>>>>>>> are still active and we are currently working on updating the prisoner listings on this website

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Prison Resistance and Smash IPP Infonight

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Solidarity info night ” From London to Turin: strength to those staring down repression”

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Free the Turin 6 !

For the past few years in Turin, this time of year has been marked by a surge of state intimidation against those engaged in social struggles, as well as the repression of their spaces and social centres. This year has been no different. The most recent initiatives have been linked to the aggressive gentrification of neighborhoods in Turin as a means of mass social cleansing and the eradication of the threat which anarchists pose to this sickening project.

At 6:30 am on May the 3rd , heavily armed officers from the General Investigations and Special Operations Division of Italy (Digos) raided the Asilo Occupato , the Giulio Cesare and Dora occupations and two homes in Turin and Barge. Occupants of the anarchist-run space, located on Via Allesandria, in the neighbourhood of Aurora, resisted for several hours on the roof of the property before the raid. Carabinieri (Italian militarised police) also participated in the repressive operation.

This resulted in the kidnapping of 6 comrades by the police and another individual still being searched for. Their violence wasn’t only limited to arresting people, the cops destroyed equipment, caused extensive damage to the buildings and disconnected the gas to the Asilo occupation. They also seized people’s mobile phones, laptops, spray cans, clothing and stole money from a solidarity fund.

According to the local media, the 6 arrests were for an incident that is alleged to have taken place in the night of the 25th and 26th of February. During a benefit dinner at the Asilo, police were intimidating and conducting ID checks on people in the neighborhood. This lead to a confrontation between squatters and Carabinieri. The 6 comrades were arrested on alleged charges of assaulting police officers, damaging a police car and kidnapping a police officer.

The raids were also part of an investigation into an attack against Lavazza’s headquarters which caused extensive damage to the multinational office.

Antonio di Lecce, Antonio Sardo, Camille, Fabiola, Fran and Jade were brought to the Valletta prison to be caged up until their trial. The Italian legal system is notoriously slow and they could be imprisoned for months before even setting foot in a court room.

Solidarity actions are already being organised all over Italy to support the Turin 6. On Saturday 6th of May there was a noise demo outside of the female block of the Valletta prison. On the Sunday 7th of May, over a hundred people protested outside of the male block. These two protests are just the beginning of what will be a series of weekly solidarity actions.

Strength to Antonio di Lecce, Pisello, Camille, Fabiola, Fran and Jade !

Until all cages are empty !

   To send letters and cards

Antonio Rizzo
Antonio Pittalis
Camille Casteran
Giada Volpacchio
Fabiola De Costanzo
Francisco Esteban Tosina

CASA CIRCONDARIALE – Via Maria Adelaide Aglietta, 35 – 10151 Torino

Solidarity fund

IBAN: IT67T0316901600CC0011061808
BIC/SWIFT: CIPBITMMXXX.
Account Holder Giulia Merlini

 

 

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USA: Uprising Prisoners Censored Respond with Hunger Strike

Re-posting from http://www.freeohiomovement.org/

Jason Robb and Siddique Abdullah Hasan began refusing food on Monday February 27th to protest a 90 day restriction on their access to phone, email and video visit communication. Ohio State Penitentiary issued this restriction to silence and prevent them from pleading their innocence to the public. Both Hasan and Robb appeared on video in a recent episode of the Netflix documentary series, Captives.

The Captives documentary told the story of the Lucasville Uprising and hostage situation. The film-makers intended an unbiased 360 degree view of the uprising and hostage situation, but their final product consisted almost entirely of interviews with then Warden Arthur Tate, multiple guards, and state-cooperating prisoners. It gave far more screen time to the state’s side of the story, yet the injustice, negligence, dishonesty and hypocrisy of the state’s conduct during the uprising became abundantly clear even from their own words.

Hasan and Jason’s interviews were given a few scant minutes of screen time, for which the Ohio prison system is currently punishing and censoring them, because its position on the uprising, and on their guilt depends greatly on restricting their speech, controlling the narrative, and keeping the public ignorant. Hasan and Robb are two of many plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) for restricting media requests to uprising prisoners.

They have been condemned to death and held in solitary confinement since the uprising in 1993. Their actual participation in the uprising was to negotiate a peaceful surrender and prevent greater loss of life. The ODRC and State of Ohio promised not to go after specific individuals in the negotiation of that surrender, and then immediately targeted the negotiators, painting them as leaders and orchestrators of a spontaneous riot that, without their intervention and cooperation across race and gang lines, could easily have escalated.

Please contact Warden Ed Sheldon and demand that he rescind the communication restriction for Jason Robb and Siddique Abdullah Hasan.

Phone: 330-743-0700
Fax: 330-743-0841
Email: drc.osp@odrc.state.oh.us
Address: 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road Youngstown, OH 44505

Please also write letters of support to Jason and Hasan. Getting mail boosts their spirits, and prevents staff from retaliating against them.

Jason Robb 308-919
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, OH 44505

Siddique Abdullah Hasan R130-559
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, OH 44505

Also please contact: www.FreeOhioMovement.org/contact.html and 330-366-6838.

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Tattoo Circus Helsinki

When: 21st – 23rd April 2017

Where: Oranssi, Kaasutehtaankatu 1 (building 11), Suvilahti, Helsinki

What: The festival will feature tattoo artists ready to give you a tattoo in support of political prisoners – but that’s not all – apart from tattoos there will also be stick-and-poke tattoo workshop, music, talks on different prisoners, burlesque, boxing, distros, food, and much much more.
There will be an info-point open throughout the day, with the ability to send postcards and letters to prisoners.

https://tattoocircushki.noblogs.org

facefook event HERE

 

 

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France: Free Kara Wild!

Just created this simple poster to highlight Kara’s case. All of the information for this was taken from the Free Kara Wild website: https://freekarawild.org/

Here’s it in .pdf format too for printing: Free kara wild poster

Write to Kara, send her books, donate moneys if you can and let her know she is not forgotten!

Until all are free

 

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UK: No More Prisons conference Manchester, March 4-5

Re-posting from here: http://www.cape-campaign.org/no-more-prisons-conference-manchester-march-4-5/

Great to see that the first No More Prisons conference is being organised in Manchester in March 2017! See below for more information.

photo_2017-01-26_16-43-09-1024x724

We hope to meet each other, coördinate our struggles, share our skills, and educate one another on our campaigns..

Our anti-prison conference is designed to grow our movement nationally, in order to try and stop the five new mega-prisons in their tracks! Register on-line; we can offer transportation, funding and housing for people coming for the weekend.

As you may know, the government is in the process of building five new mega-prisons in the UK, while at the same time increasing the rates of arrest, conviction and the length of prison sentences. This is intimately connected to austerity: as services are cut, the police and prisons move in to solve problems caused by mental health, poverty and homelessness. At the same time, anti-immigration policy means more and more refugees and undocumented workers languish behind bars in detention centers.

But we can fight back against this trend! The wave of prison uprisings currently rolling across the system shows that prisoners are fed up and getting organized. It is a crucial moment for us to act. And across the country, anti-prison expansion campaigns are growing, alongside campaigns against unjust sentencing, police violence and brutality, racial oppression, and other issues intimately connected to the prison system.

Many of these struggles remain locally focused. We need a movement that can also address the national picture, that can coordinate large enough mobilizations and campaigns to truly stop these new prisons in their tracks. With that in mind, we want to gather the people working on these various campaigns to coordinate, learn, and build a network capable of fighting against the new prisons, unjust sentences, police violence, and for immigrant justice as a united force.

Please join us for a weekend in sunny Manchester to discuss all these issues. A program will be sent out soon. Please register if you’re interested in attending, and see you there!

 

 

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UK: Take Action to Stop the New Mega Prison in Wellingborough

Re-posting article from Community Action on Prison Expansion, original article can be found here: http://www.cape-campaign.org/take-action-to-stop-the-new-mega-prison-in-wellingborough/

And if you’re on facefook, you can follow the ‘Stop Wellingborough Prison’ page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/StopWellingboroughPrison/

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Take Action to Stop the New Mega Prison in Wellingborough

The situation: Wellingborough is set for a new Mega Prison which could have serious repercussions for local people, as well as those harmed by the prison system.

On this page you will find information about how to object to the planning application for Wellingborough Prison.

How to submit a planning objection

  1. Visit: http://pawebsrv.wellingborough.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OI7VLERBJ7D00
  2. You will find the application summary. Click “Make a comment.
  3. Fill in your details and submit your comment. You have a maximum of 1000 characters.

How to Find Background Information about the Prison

You can find all the planning documentation for HMP Wellingborough here: https://www.wellingborough.gov.uk/viewplanningapplications

Use the search function and enter the reference.

The Planning Application Reference is: WP/16/00786/OUT

You can also send questions to the Planning Department:

Email: planning@wellingborough.gov.uk
Telephone: 01933 231902

Potential Points to Make

Everyone will have different reasons for why they are concerned about having a new prison in their local area. For people that do not live locally, they may feel concerned about the harm the prison system causes and not want any more to be built anywhere.

This page aims to summarise some of the key points about the prison.

Click here to read about the ethical arguments against building a new prison.

Issues concerning the disregard for the Planning Process

  • The Public Exhibition held on the 24th and 25th November at the Hind Hotel was not sufficiently advertised and was a tokenistic endeavor. There has been no adequate community consultation for a project of this scale. Only 53 people attended within a local population of approximately 49,087. The prison will also have a significant impact on the region and should involve adequate consultation with communities across the region. The planning application was validated on Fri 23 Dec 2016, over the Christmas period when people are less able to respond and object.
  • In letters sent to local residents, the prison is categorized as A-C, however, in the planning documentation it states the prison will be category C. What commitment is there from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) about the prisons purpose when there is such clear inconsistency? How can residents be assured of its use and scale?
  • There has been no commentary on why the prison is not being re-opened in its current state, and why it is necessary to knock down and replace an existing building.
  • No alternative uses for the site have been explored by the Local Authority, nor has the community been consulted on alternative uses.
  • With the development of the prison being necessarily dependent on access to Local Authority Land for its construction and operation, it is a matter of public interest to have an adequate consultation about the use of the site.
  • It is impossible for the local Planning Authority to approve this planning application, even at outline stage, when the number of buildings, their use and layout of the prison are not fixed.
  • Nearly tripling HMP Wellingborough’s capacity to 1617 prisoners is generative of a huge uptake of local resources and impact on local services. This has not been adequately assessed in any of the planning application documentation.
  • There is inadequate information about the workshops within the prison and their relationship to local companies and the local labour force. The size, scale and purpose of the workshops have not been disclosed and are essential to the decision making on the prison.
  • The Landscape and Visual Impacts Assessment is inadequate while the placement of buildings has yet to be finalised.

Traffic and Environmental Impact

  • The local community have already been subjected to large developments, such as the Crematorium, which has significantly increased the amount of traffic. A new large prison will push highway infrastructure to capacity and endanger lives with its inadequate junction and subsequent roundabout design.
  • The public transport interventions (a new bus stop) are completely inadequate for the volume of visitors expected to the prison.
  • A project of this scale demands a full and comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment. It is not sufficient that the local planning authority deemed it unnecessary more than three years ago, when the project is significantly larger and will have a higher environmental impact.
  • Letters to residents stating the prison may include A-C category prisoners, means that the fence may need to be externally illuminated and this will impact local residents in close proximity to the prison. The prison will generate significant light pollution that is not adequately addressed in the planning documentation.
  • The demolition of the existing buildings and construction work will have a significant noise impact on local residents.
  • The development will lead to a loss of existing wildlife habitat including bats and barn owls. The planning application states that the development will lead to the loss of all existing habitats on the site. This contradicts the aims of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 in ‘encouraging and promoting environmental protection’.
  • No reptile surveys have been undertaken.
  • There is a risk during construction of pollution entering off-site ponds and construction dust impacting wildlife habitats.
  • There is no adequate commentary on the how the existing foul drainage system will handle triple the load of input. Or how the the current system serving the Millers Park Estate will be upgraded and separated from the prison system.

Impact on Local Services

  • The planning documentation does not adequately assess the impact of the prison on the local ambulance service. HMP Oakwood, which is a similar size to the proposed new prison had more than 358 calls to the ambulance service in 2014 alone. (1)
  • The planning documentation does not adequately assess the impact of the prison on the local police force. Data produced by North Wales Police estimates that “Based on the available data, incident and crime prediction work has been undertaken and current estimates put the police staffing costs at £147,000 per annum with £52,500 capital costs in year one and £21,000 per annum associated revenue costs thereafter.”(2)
  • The socio-economic impact assessment is completely inadequate. It does not adequately assess or analyse the impact of the prison on local services. Data must be provided on the new prison’s impact on mental health services, the NHS, local housing, social care and other welfare services.

Jobs & Economics

  • The planning documentation states there will be “workshop buildings where prisoners will carry out a variety of activities”. More information is required about these activities and their impact on local people, especially if they involve the use of prison labour.
  • There is no detail in the application on how prison labour will impact on the availability of jobs to local people in Wellingborough and how jobs undertaken by prisons may take jobs away from people in the region. This creates a net-loss of jobs and contradicts ‘Policy 22: Delivering Economic Prosperity’ of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031.
  • Prisons do not feature once in the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 – this is a project imposed by the Ministry of Justice that is not in the best interests of people in Wellingborough.

North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031

The prison contradicts a number of the aims of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy:

  • A prison will exacerbate health inequalities, decrease life expectancy, perpetuate social exclusion and divert spending from access to healthy lifestyle options to improve health and wellbeing.
  • A prison will be a high-impact project demanding large amounts of resources and materials, will strain on existing infrastructure, destroy habitat and harm local areas of important habitat, such as the Nene Valley. It will greatly increase car use and carbon emissions and impact on public transport usage locally.
  • Prisons are ineffective ways of reducing and preventing crime. Prisons divert spending from welfare provision and social support that addresses the root causes of crime. Prisons perpetuate anti-social behaviour and violence. The prison will enable local courts to sentence more people to custodial sentences and prisons do not show to reduce cycles of re-offending. The prison will decrease access to services and facilities which will be overwhelmed with demand following an increase of 1600 people into the local criminal justice system.

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25809660

2. http://www.cape-campaign.org/wrexham-prison-will-cost-north-wales-police-extra-147000-a-year/

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USA: Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War

NYC ABC has released it’s latest version of their illustrated guide to political prisoners and prisoners of war… It can be found here:

https://nycabc.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/nycabc_polprisonerlisting_12-0january2017.pdf

Until All Are Free!

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