Prisons

Empty Cages announce first No More Prisons conference

The Empty Cages Collective, a federation of prison abolitionist groups based in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and London, is backing a major new conference aimed at growing the movement nationally and gearing up for a campaign to fight the government as it pushes forward building new megaprisons.

The first of the new giant facilities, HMP Berwyn near Wrexham, is set to take its first prisoners in February… Continue reading

Book interview: Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist

An annotated edition of Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist has just been published by AK Press. Jessica Moran and Barry Pateman who edited it are both part of the Kate Sharpley Library team, so KSL took the chance to ask them a few questions. This interview and many other articles appear in Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 89:

KSL: Prison Memoirs is a classic,… Continue reading

This Black December

Banners are dropped across the first and fourth wings of the Korydallos Prison in Greece. Weeks earlier, prisoners, including hunger-striker Nikos Romanos, called for a “detonator for the restart of anarchist insurgency, inside and outside the prisons” in the stirring insurrectionist communique ‘For a Black December’. The banners ring true: “Insurrection is always timely”, as is proven by this Black December’s recent revolts. People have been hitting back at… Continue reading

Kropotkin and the Prison System

At the time of writing (12th August 2014), Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, has come to the conclusion that much of the country had come to months ago- that Tory policy on prisons is dehumanising, that being imprisoned makes you ‘uniquely vulnerable’, and that our current public discourse in regards to prisons is myth-laden and exasperatingly underdeveloped. Mr. Hardwick has a decent attitude toward the purpose of the prison system: ‘you’re sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment’, but he’s also hardly an anarchist. Nevertheless, I believe that any reform of the prison system ought to consider what Peter Kropotkin had to say on the matter, in his work ‘Prisons: Universities of Crime‘, originally read to the British Medical Association in 1913.

This article is not written with anything resembling the belief that Chris Grayling, the sadistic dullard afforded the title of Justice Secretary for now, would even consider what Kropotkin had to say about the prison system, or indeed that he would reform it in any way other than via a cloying privatization that merely pushes the problems outside of the democratic domain. This article is written is an affirmation that the anarchist position on prisons is the most humane, understanding and just. Continue reading

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