Following a highly successful callout last month, the Empty Cages Collective has announced the details of a ten-day run around Britain for its Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons (CFTP) tour, talking about the fight against the social and ecological impact of the United States prison-industrial complex. The topic is of particular interest in Britain, which as in many other arenas has been undergoing a long-running transformation to bring its prison system more into line with US norms.
The tour is set to kick off in London on Thursday (see full details below). Writing in an essay last month, CFTP explained:
The ‘Prison Industrial Complex’ (PIC) is a term coined to describe the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems.
The UK currently has the largest prison system of all Western European countries and is home to the most privatised prison system in Europe. Its cultural embrace of surveillance, policing and repressive policies are making it open ground for colonisation from North American and other companies seeking to exploit the custodial markets in the UK. This capitalist force is now extending to other repressive projects in Europe.
Britain is in the midst of a massive prison building programme which activists fear will not only lead to significantly worse conditions for prisoners and their families but further prise open the sector to private interests, raising the spectre of jailings for profit, environmental destruction and lethal resource-grabbing becoming as common as they are in the US.
The tour is set to coincide with a day of action at the Australian High Commission in London on September 29th against youth prisons. An aboriginal-led coalition of Australian abolitionists initially made the call, seeking international support for their campaign to close youth detention centres and end deaths in custody, which is being backed by British prison abolitionists.
Thursday September 28th
7pm, 125 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9RG
Friday September 29th
With IWW Cymru Wales and No Prisons De Cymru
Connect International English Academy, First Floor, 26-28 Churchill Way, CF10 2DY Cardiff
Saturday September 30th
10.30am, Aberavon Beach Hotel, The Princess Margaret Way, Swansea Bay, Port Talbot, SA12 6QP
Swansea September 30th
With No Prisons De Cymru
7pm, Swansea Environment Centre, SA1 1RY
Sunday October 1st
With Bristol Anarchist Black Cross
7pm, Kebele, 14 Robertson Road, Bristol, BS5 6JZ
Monday October 2nd
With Manchester No Prisons
11am, Partisan Collective, 19 Cheetham Hill Road, M4 4FY Manchester,
Tuesday October 3rd
With Yorkshire Campaign Against Prisons
Wharf Chambers, 23-25 Wharf St, Leeds LS2 7EQ
Wednesday October 4th
With Leicester Prison Resistance
Thursday 5th October
With DIT Collective
Space Studio, Swan Lane, Norwich, NR2 1HZ
Friday 6th October