Fist hand accounts of a massive work strike that involved 250 prisoners over several days. Originally sent to the Anarchist Black Cross
On the 13th of November this year (1995), prisoners at the high security dispersal prison Full Sutton, near York, went on a work strike. It is difficult to get accurate information about numbers, but one estimate reckons on 250 cons refusing to work.
Frustrated at the lack of help from the local or national government, being kept in terrible conditions, and frequent threats of deportation, 100 asylum seekers have occupied a church in Vienna – 27 of whom are now on hunger strike. Despite the possibility of alternative accommodation being found they are refusing to leave due to so many disappointments in the past.
In late December a large group of asylum seekers set up a tent city close to the Votivkirche church in Vienna. Following threats of eviction, many of them decided to occupy the nearby church.
Those that chose to remain in their tents were forcibly evicted this morning. Several were arrested for not having the correct documentation, and for allegations of assaulting the police.
Several prison officers are reported to have been injured during a serious disturbance at the Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre on Christmas Eve. One prisoner is said to be in a serious condition in hospital with a head injury. Between 30 and 40 Prisoners are believed to have started a peaceful protest against conditions within the facility, and refused to return to their cells when instructed to.
Despite the UK border agency playing down the incident, the POA (Prison Officer Association) claim that around 50 individuals were involved in serious violence that included the use of home-made knives, pool-cues, and snooker balls. They also claim that there was a serious escape attempt thwarted on Christmas day.
Hundreds of prisoners at Prison Number 6 in Kopeisk, in the Urals region of Russia, have fought fierce battles with screws and security forces and launched a rooftop occupation in a protest against draconian conditions, torture, extortion, and the use of solitary confinement. Four inmates have died at the prison in recent years following beatings from staff. The protest lasted for two days before the police and army special forces managed to regain control.
The trouble started when around 250 prisoners refused to follow the prison rules and routine, demanding the immediate release of those in solitary confinement. An end to barbaric treatment and extortion were the main demands that the prisoners had. Whilst on the roof, the prisoners unfurled placards that read, “Help us”, and “We have a thousand on hunger strike”
Hundreds of workers are striking against non-payment of bonuses, for an end to racism, and improved conditions at Sierra Leone’s largest diamond mine in Koidu. Following a blockade of the entrances and clashes with scabs, the armed forces were deployed, who opened fire on the workers, killing two and injuring many others.
The dispute is being reported as the ‘biggest’ to have hit Sierra Leone’s highly lucrative diamond mined for many years. The government have been heavily involved in the industry following the end of the civil war in 2002.
Over 300 precarious chemical workers have walked off the job at the Fajir petrochemical plant in Iran. They are protesting against a lack of job security, unpaid salaries of up to 22 months, broken promises on pay rises and permanent contracts, and health and safety issues.
Abbas Rezai, a local union activist reports that:
Four people have been killed and ten others seriously injured when police opened fire on squatters protesting about being evicted from the 1200 acre Twiga Estate farm in Kenya, which they have lived on since 1952.
152 families (4,000 people) have been living on the farm since 1952, but claim they have owned the land since 1965 when itwas given to them by a white settler. They built homes and schools, and farmed the land for over 60 years.
Yesterday around 70 immigrant squatters and protesters have stormed the Vatican Embassy in Paris in protest against the church and its decision to evict squatters from an empty church in Lille to “preserve the sacred space”. Many of the squatters are now on hunger strike.
The protest started mid-morning as the squatters pushed their way through police and security staff into the Embassy. They unfurled a banner through an upstairs window that read, “Jesus defended the stranger. What have you Christians done for your undocumented brothers?” The protesters decided that they had ‘made their point’, and finally left the building two hours later.
A run-down of the ten Libcom blog posts / articles that I found the most informative, interesting, or thought provoking in 2012
A collection of documents by and about the George Jackson Brigade, an urban guerrilla group active in the north-west United States in the 1970s. Reproduced here for reference, as opposed to an endorsement of their politics or practice.
Bursting into existence in the Pacific Northwest in 1975, the George Jackson Brigade claimed 14 pipe bombings against corporate and state targets, as many bank robberies, and the daring rescue of a jailed member. Combining veterans of the prisoners' women’s, gay, and black liberation movements, this organization was also ideologically diverse, consisting of both communists and anarchists.