London: Kier AGM disrupted by anti-prison expansion protestors

Protestors against prison expansion have disrupted the Kier AGM, hanging banners, chanting and releasing alarms attached to helium balloons. They say the company have shaky shares and shaky morals.

The action was taken in response to a call out from Community Action on Prison Expansion (CAPE) to take action against the company who are contracted by the government to build a mega-prison in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

Kier Group Plc are a failing company with immoral business practices, and yet they have been contracted £253 million to build a new mega-prison in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. In September this year, the chairman of the company, Philip Cox, stood down after profits fell by £245 million. This follows the company admitting to unlawfully blacklisting union members and denying them work, after being successfully sued alongside other construction firms.

Community Action on Prison Expansion say that the 1.3 billion being spent on prison expansion should be invested in addressing the root causes rather than the side effects of social and economic problems in our communities. Prisons disproportionately incarcerate people who have been victims of state violence and neglect; 24% of adults in prison grew up in the care system and 29% are survivors of childhood abuse. People of colour are disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system, with over half of the boys held in Young Offenders Institutes from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, despite only comprising 14 per cent of the overall population.

CAPE strongly oppose Boris Johnson’s renewed commitment to building 10,000 new prison spaces across England and Wales. They say this must be revoked by the next government and instead the money should be invested in community provisions such as schools, healthcare, housing and refuges.