Anonymous group claims acid sabotage on superjail’s foundations

An anonymous group claiming responsibility for a raid on controversial superjail HMP Berwyn in May 2015 which destroyed the engines of diggers and construction equipment has said in a letter to insurrectionist site 325.nostate that they also fatally undermined houseblocks with acid powder shortly afterwards. The letter states:

It is important to announce one week before the opening of HMP Berwyn that two of the houseblocks in the prison are structurally unsound due to sabotage in 2015.

After our action in May 2015 where machinery was sabotaged, we knew that to regularly attempt to attack the prison would be impossible due to the prison walls being built around the site. After intensive research, it soon became apparent that we could have a dramatic effect with little effort.

In July 2015, a strong acidic powder was poured into the excavations of the groundfloor slabs of two of the prisons’s houseblocks. This has made two of these buildings structurally unsound – their foundations will eventually crumble and the buildings could collapse over time.

Given that the strength of these slabs has been greatly reduced, intrusive investigations and a full re-build of these houseblocks would be necessary before attempting to cage people in these buildings.

This action is dedicated to every human being that has died in the prison system at the hands of the State.

HMP Berwyn near Wrexham, is due to open on February 27th and with a capacity of 2,106, the category C jail will be one of Europe’s largest facilities. It is one of five megaprisons being built with a view to locking up 10,000 people at a time, mostly in areas far out of reach of friends and family.

While the exact substance used in the claimed attack is not named, there are a number of acids which could potentially do significant damage to concrete foundations over time.

Responding to the news, campaign groups Community Action on Prison Expansion and Manchester No Prisons said in a statement:

The revelations that two of the housing blocks are structurally unsound raises question marks about the safety of the prison before it is even opened.  Given this information, it would be morally and politically irresponsible for the prison to open as planned.

We demand an extensive investigation into the structural safety of the whole prison — it has only been announced that two blocks have been sabotaged, but in the interests of health and safety it would be essential for structures to be thoroughly checked, as the specific sites have not been named and it is possible that other part of the prison building site could also have been sabotaged.

James Finch, a teacher from nearby Bradley, said:

“This prison has faced huge local opposition from the start: building the biggest prison in Europe won’t help anyone, and it’s taking away hundreds of millions of pounds from vital social services which might actually make our communities safer and healthier. It’s outrageous enough that the Ministry of Justice is ignoring safety by commissioning this dangerous, un-tested type of jail in the first place; it would be beyond despicable to send prisoners into it when their housing blocks would be liable to collapse at any moment.”

Freedom has asked Lend Lease for comment, and will update as more information comes in.


Pic: Aapo Haapanen CC2.0