Thursday, April 15, 2004

How the Prison Service Works

1.Abuse and torture inmates at HMP Wormwood Scrubs
2.Take years to admit a regime of violence and torture.
3.Settle 46 claims, paying 1.7 million to prisoners.
4.Keep 11 of the 14 prison officers responsible in their jobs.

5.Carry on as before.

Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down

Congratulations to the prisoners employed to put the 1901 census on the internet. HM Prison Service's contract with the Public Records Office did not include anything even approaching the minimum wage for the prisoners doing all the work. But if you pay peanuts, you get monkey business.

As well as going slowly (well very slowly) prisoners ensured that every individual who was listed as a gaoler of prison officer was entered on the database as Screw.

Eventually the contract was taken off the prison service, and completed by workers in India and Sri Lanka.


Two one-legged convicts scaled security walls to break out of jail. They were among 26 inmates, [prisoners], who sawed the bars of their cells, shinned to the grounds using ropes and then jumped over the wall of the prison in Niteroi, Brazil. Ten convicts, including one of the disabled men, were caught, we are not pulling your leg.

Robbie Stewart

During 2003 Class War (and other political organisation's who support political prisoners) were contacted by Mr Stewart, who is currently in HMP Woodhill. He expressed interest in our ideas and described himself as an Anarchist.

What he did not reveal is that he is the same Robbie Stewart who in 2001 murdered his Asian cell mate, Zahid Mubarek in Feltham Young Offenders Institute. Convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, he was quoted as expressing support for nail bombings in ethnic areas, and made it clear at his trial that he was a committed racist.

Class War has decided not to correspond with Robbie Stewart due to the nature of the crime he committed. The fact that he chose not to mention why he was in prison, whilst in one letter making the aside that, I have ruined my life, implies that he is not someone who has come to terms with his own actions and the damage they have caused.

We do not know if his interest in Anarchism is genuine, is to pick up intelligence for a racist organisation or if it has been encouraged by the authorities so as to discredit those who support prisoners. We do know his crime is far to recent and vivid to forget. Or to forgive.

Campaign Against Prison Slavery CAPS, now has an excellent website at Campaign Against Prison Slavery Individual subscriptions to the group cost $4 per year, $100 for trades unions and organisations. CAPS can be contacted at PO Box 74, Brighton, BN1 4ZQ.

Riot Round Up

Think there is nothing going on? that everyone has given up? Corporate capital is unchallenged world-wide? save for a few religious mentalists trying to take us back to the twelfth century? Wrong! Have a look at some of these events from the tail end of last year. 7th October, HMP Lewes, England - prisoners damaged two offices and started several fires. 15th October, Baku, Azerbaijan - protesters clashed with police in the worst street fighting in the country since the fall of Communism, in protest at rigged elections.

15th October, Montreal, Canada - punk fans decided to do something useful for a change when their gig was cancelled and went on the rampage in the city centre, smashing shop and car windows, torching more than four cars and injuring two cops.

16th November, Seoul, South Korea - trade unionists hurled molotov cocktails at police, wounding over 44 coppers.

19th November, Seoul, South Korea - trade unionists attacked police with fire bombs and steel pipes in revenge for colleagues who had killed themselves over government policies.

21st November, Miami, Florida - despite facing hundreds of cops armed with batons, concussion grenades, teargas, stinking liquid spray, plastic bullets and stun guns, over 1,000 protesters set fire to rubbish, threw stuff at cops and tried to pull down security fences in opposition to a FTAA free trade meeting.

2nd December, Bangu 3 Prison, Brazil - a group of prisoners took 20 people hostage, killed a screw and wounded two others.

3rd December, Baker, California - prisoners rioted over the arrival of a known snitch.

3rd December, Caracas, Venezuela - street vendors threw firecrackers and fired guns at police after cops tried to seize illegal fireworks.

4th December, Saravan, Iran - protesters clashed with police after cops shot and killed a motorcyclist for failing to stop.

18th December, Manama, Bahrain - stones and petrol bombs were thrown at cops, tyres were set on fire to block roads and photographers suspected of being undercover cops were attacked in protest at officials accused of torturing political prisoners not being prosecuted.

24th December, Colombo, Sri Lanka - Buddhists (!) attacked police at the funeral of monk.

25th December, Qalqiliya, West Bank - 200 people scaled the new wall separating Palestinians and Israelis, burnt tyres and threw rocks at Israeli soldiers, while in Nablus youths threw stones at an Israeli tank and were shot at, one 20 year old Palestinian was killed.

27th December, Nablus, West Bank - Palestinians fired guns, threw bricks and molotovs at Israeli soldiers.

28th December, Grafton, Australia - youths an a juvenile detention centre armed themselves with tools from a workshop and shut down the prison, threatening screws, setting fires and causing a large amount of damage.

29th December, Seoul, South Korea - 3,000 farmers threw stones and steel pipes at cops while a free trade agreement was being discussed in parliament.

30th December, Amsterdam, Holland - residents started fires and threw molotov cocktails at police over a ban on the tradition of burning Christmas trees in the street.

30th December, Taupo, New Zealand - youths threw bottles at cops as they tried to enforce a drinking ban.

One Man Riot

It must have been one of those days! Congratulations to the Winchester man who decided he?d had enough and took direct action. Having been released from custody earlier in the day, the unnamed man returned to Chichester police station on appropriately the 5th of November. By the time he had finished four patrol cars were burnt out completely by petrol bombs, three others severely damaged and several windows in the station broken.

If you are going to do it, do it properly is our message and this was one Guy Fawkes Night that everyone in Winchester can remember!


A law firm in Orlando, Florida, has been shut down after it was revealed that not only were its partners not lawyers but that the founder was unable to attend evening meetings as he had to return to an open prison each night to complete a five-year term for fraud.

Perhaps George Bush will use them to count the votes in Florida in this years elections!

A Wankers Wanker

Hello to Sgt Sullivan of the State of Washington Department of Corrections. Not content with having to carry a truncheon all day to make up for having a very small penis, Sgt Sullivan gets to censor prisoners mail.

In the UK the authorities are working very hard to re-classify political dissent as terrorism - that's why a bunch of hippies demonstrating outside an arms fair get stopped and searched under the Terrorism Act.

In the USA, those advocating political dissent (and particularly those in prisons) are instead classified as gang members, with a whole set of laws and red-tape given to the authorities to fight this 'gang menace'.

According to Sgt Sullivan the friendly, cuddly, family newspaper you are holding in your hands right now contains 'gang symbols'.

So he bans it. He also deducts the cost of sending a letter to England informing us of this decision from the prisoners pay. All in all not a very nice man. Thanks for your work Sgt Sullivan you have just made some enemies for life.

Chapter 3: Leadership - The foundation for Innovative Practice

Campaign Against Prison Slavery
Millions of men, women and children around the world are in the 21st century still forced to lead lives as slaves - conservatively estimated to be 12 million, [1] more than during the 19th century slave trade. Although this exploitation is often not called slavery, the conditions are the same. People are bought and sold like objects; forced to work, through mental or physical threat, for little or no pay; owned or controlled by an 'employer', through mental or physical or threatened abuse; and physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.

By Just Us posted 15 April 04


Prisoners must get right to vote, says court
UK: The government will be forced to lift a ban on prisoners voting dating back to 1870 after the European court of human rights ruled yesterday it breached a lifer's human rights.

Cherie calls for women to be kept out of jail
UK: Cherie Booth today launches an impassioned attack on the jailing of women, warning of a 'cycle of poverty and crime' spiralling down the generations unless more female criminals are spared prison.

Blunkett charges miscarriage of justice victims 'food and lodgings'
UK: WHAT do you give someone who's been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn't commit? An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne?Compensation?

Prison needle cleansing programme
The Department of Health and the Prison Service appeared to be at odds last night over a needle cleansing programme designed to protect prisoners from blood-borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis.

England tops the EU in imprisonment
England and Wales jail more offenders per capita than any other European, Union country, according to new figures. The imprisonment rate of 141 per 100,000 makes the countries the prison capital of Europe for the second year running.

Don't put mothers behind bars
If we are to arrest the soaring prison suicide rate among women, we need to look at alternative punishment.

UK Prison Abuse: Guards Holding Nooses
'We will kill you. We will get away with it... we've done it before' Prisoners tell of hanging threats by officers holding nooses.

K K K in the UK
In the documentary it is alleged an officer dressed in a Ku Klux Klan mask at a training centre in north-west England. An undercover reporter from the BBC also claimed to have taped racist comments by some officers.

Suicides and unrest have soared, admits Home Office
UK:The already overcrowded prison population is set to go on rising and will top 80,000 within the next three years, a senior Home Office civil servant warned yesterday.

My Sarah was smart and talented - Why did she die in jail?
LONDON: Sarah Campbell was just 18 when she killed herself [? committed suicide,] one of seven women to die in jail this year. Our correspondent asks why so many women kill themselves in prison [? commit suicide in prison.]