prisons (original version)

…and the struggle against them


This page will be subject to regular updates, most notably in the chronology , but also in giving references to interesting texts (and also in the comments boxes at the bottom). So far (22/8/15), in addition to the chronology, I’ve only put in a couple of  minor personal experiences related to prison which follows the chronology, and
some other reading material, which will be added to bit by bit. But I wanted to put this out in time for this week’s “solidarity with anarchist prisoners”
(originally posted on 15th August 2015).

prison strike 9 9 16

solidarity with US prison strike, 9/9/16

As the US prison strike keeps going, following FAM seems to provide pretty current news.
Also a prison radio show is online and has statements and updates.

This is dedicated to Keith LaMar, who in 1993 took part in a US prison uprising which united blacks with white “nazis” 1 against the prison system, in which 9 prisoners and one guard died. Keith LaMar has just had his final appeal against the death penalty turned down, and it looks very likely that, after over 22 years, he will be murdered by the state  (look here and here).

gordon riots 4gordon riots1

gordon riots 3

Pictures of the Gordon riots in London 1780, when several prisons were liberated and the buildings set on fire

I’ve put this out as a kind of contribution to the International week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners  (23-30 August 2015). A bit tokenistic maybe – as it’s only an internet page, but  if there’s something going on in my part of the world (Montpellier, France) I’ll probably participate. 

And whilst I really like, for instance, this from Emma Sheppard, why limit this solidarity to “anarchist prisoners”? Though obviously people who call themselves anarchists (I’m not one) are more in a position to express practical solidarity with prisoners who they know, do all those prisoners that they know call themselves anarchists? And on the most general level of information and propaganda, it seems  far more worthwhile to address all prisoners, considering the necessity for the abolition of prisons and of the society that requires them. Addressing only anarchist prisoners does not contribute to the necessity to overcome separations between “political” prisoners and other class war prisoners (and the vast majority of those in prison are because of class society, especially property laws). It seems to make a hierarchy between apparently “politically conscious” prisoners and others, even though most anarchists want the abolition of prisons. Which is why below I’ve listed a chronology of all prison-related riots, escapes and other things taken from my News of Opposition page, dating back to March 2013, regardless of whether they involved anarchists or not.


Amongst those who claim to want an anti-state revolution, there have been  some who  believe that “after the revolution” there will still be specialists-in-order (anarcho-cops) and prisons. For instance,  leading Libcom admin member Fall Back once called for, “far more complex, modern, well resourced kinds of ‘prisons’ with more progressive aims than currently exist…”communist prisons” …would be a place where people had broken laws would be forcibly detained”. 2 To talk about communist prisons being entirely different from capitalist prisons is like saying the communist State will be entirely different from the capitalist State: here so-called “anarchism” joins Leninism. Incarcerating anti-social leftovers of the mad alienation of class society (the recalcitrant ex-cops, ex-screws, mass-murdering politicians, mass-thieving bourgeoises, rapists, paedophiles, etc.) all in the same hellhole is obviously idiotic. If elements of communal constraint are necessary they will have nothing to do with the brutal repressive reality of prisons throughout history. To think that we’d call such forcible restraint a ‘prison’ is like calling ‘workers’ councils’ (or whatever term you’d like to imagine the future fantasy society to be) ‘the State’ or ‘the government’. This is not just a question of semantic terms but of a break with hierarchical notions and practices of social control. Killing scum is not the same as capital punishment. Forcible restraint is not the same as prison. A margin of rationing (where scarcity is not forced by capitalist property relations but comes about because of, for example, differences between different geographical areas) is not money. Obviously in this future possibility there will be some way of punishing people who act in ways the community they’re part of find unbearable. But it’s not just semantics that separates, say, “grounding” a teenage kid from the idea of putting him/her in prison, but a general attitude that you want social relations to constantly experiment with changes that have some healthy result. If we talk about the abolition of the State that also means abolishing specialists in social control; the task of determining the methods of making it clear to people that certain behaviour is unacceptable will be the task of the whole of the anti-hierarchical community. To ground this in the past and present: what punishments have we received or given that we considered changed a situation for the good? What punishments during intense moments of class struggle have changed situations for the good? What punishments are we prepared to mete out to those we consider beyond the pale? To anyone not clogged up with dominant perspectives, prison isn’t an answer to any of these.

Added 9/9/16: these pages (1,  2,  3 ) about Attica, 1971 (scroll down to the last paragraph of page 1 for the start). “We, the inmates of Attica prison, say to you, the sincere people of society, the prison system of which your courts have rendered unto, is without question the authoritative fangs of a coward in power” – The Popular Manifesto of Attica, September 1971.

See also this about the European maxi-prisons.

And this about a trial of anarchists arrested for solidarity actions in support of prison uprising in 2008

And this about the 1990 Strangeways prison  riot, when prisoners took over much of the prison for several days: Strangeways 1990: A serious disturbance which, despite being co-written by a member of a dreadful Leftist organisation (the Bolshevik organisation Revolutionary Communist Group) is an excellent read; its other author is an ex-prisoner.

Strangeways, 1990

And this: “mental illness & solitary confinement in Texas prisons”


This is a chronology of prison riots, hunger strikes and other prison-related matter taken from the News of Opposition page, going back to January 2016. Owing to technical problems December 2015 to March 2013 can now be found here.


Bulgaria, Sofia: call for international solidarity with prisoners here


Madigascar, Ikongo: about 600 people armed with spears and machetes, storm prison, take guards hostage and liberate 120 prisoners More here. It’s not clear what the reason for this was, as the 2 reports seem to differ (though the latter is in Malgache & the Google translate version isn’t clear). From the first one it seems that a prisoner was killed in transit and the crowd wanted to find the prisoners they assumed had done it. In the 2nd it seems like they wanted to free 2 prisoners innocent of the crime for which they’d been imprisoned.

Australia, Perth: small prison riot “…seven out-of-control inmates trashed part of a wing and made threats against staff.”


Italy, Caltanissetta (Sicily): part of migrant detention camp destroyed in arson attack by refugees


UK: report saying that riot cops called to prisons almost 600 times in 2016, 5 times more than in 2010


France, Paris: failed escape in migrant detention centre turns into riot; whole prison wing destroyed A failed escape, a mutiny, a dozen deliberate fires and a seriously injured [SF note: by smoke inhalation] prisoner who was barely saved by the police. The night from Monday to Tuesday was very hot at the detention center located in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris. The material damage is heavy. Unit 3, which is home to 57 illegal aliens, has been devastated. It will take nearly two months of work to restore it.”


UK, Kent: small riot in prison


France, Paris: crappy “dialogue” over prison reform disrupted with insults, stink bombs, leaflets, etc. Pdf of leaflet in French here


Australia, Melbourne: 7 vehicles belonging to prison/detention centre racket immobilised; lots of graffiti


New Caledonia: 10 escape from prison; 2 still free next day (19th November)


Brazil: prison work stoppage across 14 states

Switzerland, Bern: prison construction company vehicles torched


Chambery: screws cars torched In recent days, the jailers of the Chambery prison have been receiving a few paybacks for the violence they carry out daily on prisoners. On three occasions, they’ve found their personal vehicle in ashes parked just in front of the jail. On the night of Wednesday 2nd to Friday 3rd November, the car of a screw goes up in smoke. This same agent had already seen his first car destroyed by  flames a few months ago. A few nights ago, between Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th October, it was the car of one of his fellow tormentors which was burned. The cops say that on the night of one of these attacks, surveillance cameras near the prison filmed two people on motorbikes wearing scream masks.”


France, Ain: fires started in brief prison riot “…several incidents have occurred in recent weeks in the establishment. The detainees complain in particular about the judge’s decisions to enforce sentences they consider too harsh and the lack of washing machines on their landing.

South Africa, Limpopo: 6 escape during prison riot “The police in Makhado have opened cases of arson, malicious damage to property and escaping from lawful custody after the prisoners of Kutama Sinthumule maximum prison went on the rampage, torched and damaged some of the prison facilities” 



Indonesia,   East Kalimantan: 6 migrants escape from concentration camp


UK, Sussex:  mini-riot in prison Not sure if this was Tuesday 17th or Tuesday 10th


US, Hawaii: arson at incorrectional center


US: report on prison rebellions


Slovenia, Ljubljana: prison riot – 3 prisoners on roof


UK, Worcestershire: dozens of prisoners attack screws More here “Up to 80 prisoners are believed to have taken part in the incident and used pool balls as weapons.”


Mexico, Nuevo León: at least 13 prisoners killed by state after guards are taken hostage in riot …the riot occurred at the state prison in Cadereyta and the death toll could climb because eight people were in critical condition….police using non-lethal force were unable to quell the riot…So authorities decided to use lethal force to protect the lives of the guards and the prisoners. Authorities could see through video monitors that at least one prisoner had already been killed and guards had been taken hostage… The guards were being held and beaten on the roof….The trouble started Monday night when one of the half-dozen gangs that are normally kept apart inside the prison protested. The protest died down, but early Tuesday morning fighting broke out and a prisoner was killed and his body burned…When police first went in trying to take control they were met by about 150 prisoners who attacked them with metal tools and rubble from work that was being carried out inside the prison. No guards were killed in the violence, but a police officer was gravely wounded with a punctured lung.”


US, South Carolina: prison wing taken over by prisoners “…inmates were on the roof of the facility attempting to escape while a fire raged inside the prison….“All that happened (today) was inmates chasing officers with knives, which (is) pretty standard for (McCormick),” our source said.  …“Toilets can’t be flushed and the inmates are not being given drinking water at all!” …“This was rebellion not riot,” a Twitter group that bills itself as advancing prisoners’ human rights noted. “Due to no water being given to drink.” More details here and here. “Authorities were investigating Wednesday how several inmates got to the top of a dorm roof at a maximum-security prison “


Eire, Laois: confrontations in Portlaoise prison Unfortunately, and typically, these Republican prisoners want to be treated like an elite: although “they  were protesting over their living conditions”   they also  “demanded that they be treated as political and not criminal prisoners, thus setting up (or reinforcing) a hierarchy between themselves and the rest of the prisoners.


UK, Peterhead (Scotland): photos of prison riot 30 years ago go on display for first time

Peterhead prison, September 1987


Canada, Baffin Island: prisoners smash up part of prison “Four… inmates destroyed “85 per cent of the building’s medium security bed space and 33 per cent of the maximum security bed space,” according to information from the Department of Justice….no one was injured in the two-hour-long incident.” More on the conditions of this prison

UK, Liverpool: fires set on 2nd day of prison riot


Dominican Republic: 4 people escape prison, plus massive looting, in aftermath of hurricane “…police have been kept busy with the latest incident being a prison break that took place late Sunday in which four people escaped. However… two were captured shortly afterwards …”

Latest calls for support from US prison struggles


Argentina, San Juan: 6 young teenagers burn mattresses etc. in juvenile police station The kids demanded that their cases be sped up and that is why they decided to protest by burning mattresses and breaking everything. Moreover, after the incident the police station was out of service and the adolescents had to be transferred to other units. Some take a long time, three or four months”


British Virgin Islands: over 100 prisoners escape during hurricane


South Africa, Limpopo: 4 prisoners awaiting trial escape from police station


US, Kansas: huge prison riot “Buildings are burning and some inmates have gotten weapons” More here …a violent inmate uprising late Tuesday …saw multiple fires set in the facility. Inmates smashed windows throughout the Norton Correctional Facility. They took over staff offices and destroyed computers. They broke into the prison’s clinic and stole syringes. And some were wielding homemade weapons…The Kansas Department of Corrections described the incident as an “inmate disturbance,” but a correctional officer said it was a “full-blown riot” that involved 400 or more inmates in the prison in northwestern Kansas that houses roughly 850. “When a little disturbance is when the inmates take over the facility, I don’t know what a riot is,” said the correctional officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Basically, they tried to burn the place down.”


UK, Birmingham: prison “disturbance” “An unknown number of prisoners refused to return to their cells at the end of Sunday evening at the category B jail”. More hereSwitzerland, Bâle: 2nd night of attacks on state vehicles For two consecutive nights in Basel, fire burned cars of this world of control and authority. On the night of Saturday to Sunday 3 September, an unmarked  cop car was burned …Then in the night of Sunday to Monday 4 September … a company vehicle, probably a car of the company Swisscom, which went up in smoke.…...This fire is also linked to the struggle against the enlargement of the prison at Bässlergut.


UK, Cumbria: 9-hour prison riot breaks out after tobacco ban “Inmates smashed sinks, flooded cells and destroyed TVs at the Category C HMP Haverigg as they became the latest prison to be subject to the smoking ban….On Tuesday lags in the Langdale wing of HMP Haverigg, in Cumbria, staged a peaceful protest after they were told tobacco would not sold as part of the all-out ban. But anti-riot units were scrambled after violent confrontations broke out. A source said: “The protest turned violent and the whole place went up. Inmates were smashing up cells, flooding them, throwing TVs, breaking up pool tables. “Staff were forced to evacuate the wing, which was left looking like a bomb had hit it.”… There was also trouble at Cat C Featherstone prison, in Staffordshire, which is also implementing the ban. A dozen inmates refused to be locked up after lunch in protest at the 687-capacity jail going smoke free. Three prisoners were placed on report after guard’s used force to secure them in their cells on 30 July.”

Australia, Adelaide: prison riot stops with pizza delivery Prisoners barricaded themselves inside a cell, lit fires with matches, ripped cell doors off the hinges and smashed appliances before reportedly negotiating with guards to end the protest in exchange for 20 pizzas.”

South Africa, Johannesburg: 20 prisoners awaiting trial escape from prison van


France, Paris: truck belonging to prison construction company torched


Switzerland, Zurich: machinery for prison refurbishment destroyed


Venezuela, Amazonas: 37 prisoners massacred by Maduro’s left-wing capitalist filth during riot


Morocco, Rif: clashes between cops and protesters demanding release of prisoners


Australia, Tasmania: prison riot


Switzerland, Basel & Zurich : 2 separate incendiary attacks on companies involved in prison construction


US, Arkansas: screws taken hostage in maximum security Gulag


France, Toulouse: lorry belonging to construction company for prisons torched (communiqué)


Italy, Ventimiglia: 7 arrested refugees hurt 4 cops, smash frame of bullet-proof door and bullet-proof window


UK, Hertfordshire: 2nd day of “disturbances” at prison Personnel from the Tornado team were called in again less than 24 hours after spearheading efforts to restore order at the Category C adult male training jail. On Monday multiple prisoners were involved in a lengthy disturbance across two wings at the jail, which holds a total of just over 1,000 men. The first episode was resolved shortly after 10pm. No staff or inmates were injured, but dozens of cells are reported to have been damaged.” More here A prison that has been hit by two days of unrest and disorder has been keeping inmates locked up in their cells for entire weekends for as long as three months… around 50 cells were damaged. Prisoners in the category C jail, which holds about 1,000, had been locked up for the third consecutive weekend, with food being served cold through the cell door. … on Tuesday, trouble began again after prisoners took over a wing of the prison and smashed some windows ……prisoners at The Mount are routinely locked in the cells – known as being “banged up” – from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon because of staff shortages. Gloria Morrison, campaign coordinator for the Jengba group, which campaigns against joint enterprise sentences, said prisoners were becoming desperate. “Prisoners only want to organise meetings at weekends, because it’s the only time they get out of their cell,” said Morrison, who spoke to an inmate serving a life sentence on Sunday, and his mother on Monday. “It’s not just three weekends that this has been happening, it’s been at least three months. They are not getting fed until the late evening and they are just getting a sandwich, a biscuit and a drink in their cell, there’s no hot food. “I don’t like prisons but The Mount has always been a fairly good nick in the past.” Morrison said visitors were caught up in the disturbance on Monday and weren’t allowed to leave, which was corroborated by one eyewitness”….Wiltshire: 5 screws hospitalised


UK, Hertfordshire: prisoners briefly take control of 2 wings of hellhole


Goias: prison riot leaves 4 dead Four prisoners were killed, and one of them beheaded, in the latest of a string of riots at a Brazilian penitentiary…Nine other inmates managed to use the riot to escape from the prison in the central state of Goias, and four were still at large on Thursday.The violence broke out on Wednesday afternoon, with inmates torching the administration building and destroying a security vehicle in the city jail of Jussara, which housed 77 inmates….“Nine prisoners fled and took weapons from guards,” it added, noting that five of them had been recaptured within 24 hours. Fighting broke out among prisoners from rival criminal gangs, officials said.”


Guatemala, Guatemala City : prisoners of youth detention centre riot whilst some try to escape Several minors are being treated for tear gas inhalation or cuts and scrapes suffered when they climbed atop neighboring buildings…. Several of the escapees managed to get on the roofs and threw bottles and rocks at police

France, Marseille: arson attack on 2 cars belonging to screws

problem with the chokey, Baumettes Prison, Marseille

“Prison is a second-by-second assault on the soul, a day-to-day degradation of the self”

– Mumia Abu-JamalLive From Death Row


UK, Worcestershire: small prison riot


US, St.Louis: demonstrators against suffocating heat of prisoners dismantle perimeter fence outside prison and enter neutral ground With scorching temperatures expected to reach well over 100 degrees this weekend, protesters are again demanding closure of the city’s medium-security jail, which doesn’t have air conditioning. Police used pepper spray to disperse a crowd who had protested for about two hours…slogans … included “We treat animals better.” …At one point, several protesters climbed under an exterior chain-link fence around the workhouse and a few scaled a second fence closer to the building, but they stopped short of going over its razor wire top….Chants from the protesters of “Let them go” were met with a “Let us out” response from inmates inside who gathered at windows and waved towels” Anarchist report and lots of videos here.


US, Texas: 2 letters from prisoners about the truly terrifying inhumanity of the Eastham prison unit and the terroristic horrors of solitary confinementMissouri: as temperatures soar over 38°, baking prisoners have been screaming for help from the
windows for days
St.Louis: demo outside prison in the evening of 21/7/17


Greece, Athens:   expensive shops  smashed up in support of anarchist woman sent down for long time for “crime” she obviously didn’t commit (video)


Eire, County Laois: report of riot squads having been sent to prison 370 times in 2016

US, Oklahoma: prison riot More here “Hundreds of inmates — some armed with baseball bats and iron pipes — rioted at an Oklahoma federal prison for about eight hours, taking two guards hostage and refusing to return to their cells before they were finally corralled by law enforcement officers…about 400 inmates caused the disturbance in two recreation yards. Miller said prisoners, some toting bats and pipes, took two guards hostage at the outset of the riot, but that both were freed and uninjured.”

Guatemala, Guatemala City: prisoners escape during riot at juvenile prison after 2 inmates commit suicide Police launched tear gas canisters while inmates threw stones at the Guatemala City lockup on Monday. Interior Minister Francisco Rivas said about 10 inmates escaped during the riot, but six had been recaptured….The rioting juveniles occupied the roof of the facility in the capital demanding improved conditions, including conjugal visits. In March, a fire at a government facility for abused children killed 41 girls.”


South Africa, Pretoria: prison riot over parole issues The riot follows the handing over of a memorandum to the Justice Minister Michael Masuthla two weeks ago from prisoners in three Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal prisons listing a string of complaints about parole‚ overcrowding‚ poor food and violence meted out by warders. Prisoners from several Gauteng prisons told The Times that the strike would begin in other prisons in the province from tomorrow (Monday). “We are gatvol [tired] of the way we are treated. We are not going to let this continue and will do whatever it takes‚ including going on strike‚ to get the minister to address our issues‚” said a Johannesburg Central prisoner. A Pretoria prisoner said the problems had been a long time coming. “We are sick and tired of how the parole boards operate. We are treated like animals. Yes we have done wrong‚ and we have been punished‚ but the prison authorities and parole boards continue to punish by not releasing us on parole when we should be.” He said the strike began when prisoners who were in an exercise yard refused to return to their cells. “When they wanted them to go back to their cells they refused. The warders started pushing the prisoners back‚ but they fought back. Several of them were armed. That’s when they called in the specialised security warders who assaulted the prisoners‚” he charged. Contrary to the official statement‚ he said that at least 15 prisoners and four warders had been injured in the clashes. “One of the warders was beaten with a brick after he called the prisoners the K word. He got what he deserved. He’s lucky he wasn’t killed and the other warders dragged him away‚” the prisoner said.”


France: report about 3 lorries belonging to company involved in prison construction being torched


India, Mumbai: women prisoners get violent after screws kill fellow prisoner “Over 200 prisoners and undertrials were booked after they fought off guards to climb out on to the jail terrace to protest the death of Manjula Shete, who was allegedly beaten up following a confrontation with prison officials….a post-mortem revealed that she had sustained internal injuries, including many in the head. This prompted authorities to register a murder case against Byculla jail superintendent Manisha Pokharkar and five guards….DIG Sathe said that this is the first time in her service over two decades she had come across such a violent protest by women prisoners which left many cops injured….The Nagpada police are likely to arrest the jail superintendent and the five guards who have already been suspended…Shete, a Bhandup resident, had been recently transferred from the Yerwada jail in Pune to Byculla recently. It is suspected that she stole two eggs. The discrepancy was found during dinner, triggering a chain of events leading to her death.” More here and here“…a witness described hearing the woman’s screams as female guards forced open her legs and inserted a stick into her vagina. According to reports, the woman was beaten because she complained that prisoners were not receiving sufficient food. She died in a hospital, where she was taken hours after being beaten…She had lain in the barracks bleeding until she lost consciousness,…Six female prison officials, named in the police report for their involvement in the prisoner’s death, were suspended, and the women’s commission of the state of Maharashtra summoned the director-general of police to explain how such a death could happen. All 291 inmates at Byculla jail were booked for rioting in protest of the inmate’s death….Jaising said that the focus on Mukerjea rather than the slain inmate boiled down to a “class issue.” “One of the defining characteristics of India is cruelty to people of the lower classes,” she said. “There is an utter lack of concern for the people of the working class and the underclass. If you look at the facts [of this case], shocking is an understatement.” Conditions in India’s prisons are notoriously bad. Beatings and torture to extract information or confessions are standard. Crowded, dingy cells, poor hygiene and a conspicuous disregard for basic rights are widely documented.”  Description of these specific miseries here. “…even the slightest hint of a complaint — over food, lack of space, mosquitoes, or threats from other inmates – can invite several rounds of beatings from the jail staff. “The golden rule at the Byculla jail is, keep your mouth shut. From the time you are woken up at 5 am (see box on jail routine), till the time you fall asleep, say nothing and you’ll be fine,” she said. The Byculla women’s jail has a sanctioned capacity to accommodate 262 inmates, and currently houses 300, of which 17 inmates are accompanied by their children. According to the information accessed by this newspaper, trouble has been brewing over the quality of food handed to the inmates for six months now. Already lodged in filthy conditions: the inmates are given one soap bar to bathe and wash clothes and utensils, there’s barely enough water for bath, and several inmates suffer from rashes and urinary tract infection….Another former inmate, Sheetal Sathe, who spent two months inside the Byculla jail in 2013 on charges of helping the Naxals, said her plight was worsened because she was pregnant. “We were crammed in overcrowded barracks and were at the complete mercy of the jail staff. Inmates who won’t, or couldn’t, pay bribes were at the receiving end of some of the worst torture. There were several inmates who were ailing, but no doctor would visit them,” Sathe said. In 2015, an inmate, Angela Sontakke, went on a five-day hunger strike to protest the plan to install CCTV cameras inside the jail premises. Enraged jail officials subjected her to solitary confinement to “teach her a lesson” More here

Switzerland, Zurich: CCTV camera destroyed  during wildcat demo against prison Includes communiqué in German.


Indonesia, Bali: 4  men tunnel their way out of prison


US, South Carolina: fires started, screws attacked in prison riot


India, Kolkata: prison riot between privileged prisoners used as spies and other prisoners


France, Montreuil (Paris): windows of company collaborating in prison construction smashed


Canada, Saskatchewan: prison riot causes $100,000 worth of damage


Mexico, Tamaulipas: 3 cops killed in prison riot ….More here “A prison riot in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas has left three police officers and four prisoners dead, the state government said on Wednesday.” Not absolutely sure from this report whether this was the work of some drug cartel gang or other or not, but the State of Tamaulipas is almost entirely controlled by narcos, so it probably was..


US: Folsom prison hunger strike updates


US, California: hunger strike launched at Folsom Prison “Prisoners in B4 ASU are forced to sit or stand idle in their cells or yard cages without meaningful exercise, education, or rehabilitative programs. We are already forced to endure atypical and significant hardships due to being in segregated housing and solitary confined. When taken together, these conditions constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the US Constitution. We are being deprived of basic human needs, including normal human contact, environmental and sensory stimulation, mental and physical health, entertainment, physical exercise, sleep, access to courts, and meaningful activity. Prolonged exposure to these deprivations has caused and will cause serious physical and psychological harm. FSP (Folsom State Prison) is deliberately indifferent to prisoners suffering. They are aware that prolonged social isolation, and lack of environmental stimuli causes “serious psychological pain and suffering and permanent psychological pain and suffering, and permanent psychological and physical injury.”


US, California: 8 screws hospitalised in prison riot

Turkey: imprisoned anarchists & others go on hunger strike


France: letter from anarchist imprisoned for burning cop car


Australia, Victoria: riot at youth detention centre


Bulgaria, Sofia: prison workers strike over slave labour


Australia, Perth: riot in juvenile detention centre

Indonesia, Pekanbaru: over 200 prisoners still at large after over 400 escape


France, Seine-St.Denis: Vinci (involved in prison construction, etc.) utility burnt, tyres of Sodexo (prison food supplier), Engie (main gas supplier) & JCDecaux (involved in prisoners’ exploitation) punctured in solidarity with anarchist prisoners

pdf in French of text in solidarity with these prisoners here


France, Essonne: 6 screws injured in youth section of prison  This attack at Fleury follows demonstrations by screws in front of prisons in Fresnes (Val-de-Marne) and Bois-d’Arcy (Yvelines) to protest against the assault of two of them in front of their home or on their way to work, poor things. The one at Val-de-Marne was recognised by former prisoners and ended up in hospital.
Overpopulation at Fleury  is 148.8% on average, which implies several people per cell with beds on the ground. The situation is more critical in the men’s quarters (171%) than in the women’s sector with an average of 246 inmates. Prison overcrowding is constantly increasing as the rate of occupancy among men was 150% in 2013 and 156% in 2014.  The state is planning to build well over 30 prisons, though inevitably these too will become overcrowded as, for obvious reasons, capital is forced to lock up increasing amounts of those they need to crush and/or to put to slave labour.

satellite view of Fleury Merogis prison
The screws have decided to go on strike against the counter-violence of those on the receiving end of state brutality. We should support such a strike as long as it continues for a minimum of 100 years.
Rwanda, Kigali: prisoners riot just 3 days after previous riot “Inmates protesting living conditions at Gasabo prison in the Rwandan capital of Kigali hurled stones over the prison’s walls on Monday, damaging nearby houses and disrupting traffic, residents and officials said. Rioting began on Friday when the prison, which houses at least 5,000 inmates, caught fire, according to residents living near the prison. Police used tear gas to stop the protest….Riots are rare in Rwanda. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association has in the past described Rwanda as a nation where protests are not allowed.”It was like 200 people throwing stones at the same time and when the riot police arrived, they kept throwing stones…They were hurling stones over there and it looked like hundreds of stones being thrown. You can see it, the window and door glasses have been smashed”


Iran, Tehran: horrendous report of prisoners forced to pay 2$ for just half a litre of water


Mexico, Nuevo Leon: 2 prisoners die on 2nd day of riot “…at least two inmates died and 13 people sustained injuries, including two guards, at the Cadereyta prison near the city of Monterrey….A riot on Monday, in which at least nine people were injured, began as inmates protested the use of X-ray machines to screen visiting relatives, while the one on Tuesday began after inmates set fires and attacked the prison’s pharmacy in what they said was a response to a lack of food and water caused by Monday’s riot. Aldo Fasci Zuazua, the public security secretariat for Nuevo León state, said the riot at the prison on Tuesday began after 56 inmates from the group known as The Renegades broke into the pharmacy to steal medication. Fasci Zuazua said the inmates stole the medication to use them recreationally and burned mattresses in two areas of the prison to distract authorities. He said one inmate died in a hospital after inhaling smoke and injecting or taking drugs, while the other burned to death.”



Mexico, Nuevo Leon: 4 screws taken hostage during prison riot…video & report here Four prison guards were taken hostage after a riot broke out at Cadereyta state prison, Monday, with hundreds of inmates reportedly setting fire to mattresses, sending smoke billowing into the sky over the facility. Some 600 members of the prison’s 2,000-strong population allegedly began burning the mattresses in retaliation to strict security controls. The four prison guards were taken hostage during the uprising and at least 45 people, both guards and prisoners, were wounded.”


Australia, New South Wales: clashes with cops as protesters trying to stop deportation, camp outside detention centre


Mexico, Tamaulipas: mass prison tunnel escape and riot precedes fatal clash between prisoners

The interior of the 40-metre tunnel, through which 29 inmates escaped; 13 have since been re-captured


US, Missouri: prison riot


Canada, Montreal: 6 youths show their humanity against inhuman conditions


US, Pittsburgh: county jail attacked by about 25 masked protesters “… a group of 20-25 protesters had become disorderly. They were throwing rocks at the building and setting off fireworks. Windows and glass panels were broken but the jail remained secure. Two Bike Officers were first to arrive on the scene. They encountered a group of people all dressed in black or dark clothing. Their faces were covered with masks or bandannas. Large-scale fireworks were being launched…As members of the group fled, some ran outbound along Second Avenue and others ran down the bike trail toward Downtown and cut through the parking lot. They damaged several vehicles by breaking their side mirrors and broke the mechanical arm of a gate that opens and closes the driveway. An Allegheny County Sheriffs vehicle and a civilian’s vehicle had shattered rear windowsA side door to the Municipal Court Building was graffitied. Anarchist report here


Guatemala, San Jose Pinula: 2 “jail monitors” killed in  prison riot   “…inmates also started a fire in one part of the prison. Police threw tear gas canisters to control the violent outbreak.”3rd screw dies



US, California: several screws injured in prison riotNebraska: 4 prison staff attacked by prisoners


US, California: 2 riots in same prison


US, Nebraska: 2 prisoners die in riot “…inmates revolted against staff members and started a fire in a courtyard. Prison officials offered few details about the deaths but said the disturbance at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution in southeast Nebraska involved about 40 inmates in a unit with 128 prisoners. The prison was placed on lockdown for several hours after the inmates refused to return to their cells….inmates had taken mattresses out into the prison yard and threw them into the fire”


Indonesia, Jambi: prison canteen and meeting hall burnt down during prison riot


Germany, Staufen: refugees attack security guards in refugee “shelter”


UK, Wrexham (Wales): report over how prison, sabotaged during construction in May & July 2015, is structurally unsound

Mexico, Mexico City: small riot in youth prison


US, Delaware: 8 screws resign, 7 more file for retirement, after riot in which 1 screw was killed (see entry for 1/2/17)


Australia, Victoria: teenagers riot in adult maximum security prison Video of riot here


US, California: prison riot; no details


US, Delaware:  prisoners take over part of prison and hold screws hostage “”…the prisoners are against improper sentencing orders. Status sheets being wrong. Oppression towards the inmates. We’re trying to explain the reasons for doing what we’re doing…Donald Trump. Everything that he did. All the things that he’s doing now. We know that the institution is going to change for the worse. We know the institution is going to change for the worse. We got demands that you need to pay attention to, that you need to listen to and you need to let them know. Education, we want education first and foremost. We want a rehabilitation program that works for everybody. We want the money to be allocated so we can know exactly what is going on in the prison, the budget.”Screw killed Apparently the standoff ended after 18 hours, when guards used construction equipment to smash through a wall, surprising and overwhelming the prisoners.  


Malta: home of sergeant major with prison connections in arson attack


Australia, Victoria: another mini-riot in a youth injustice centre


Australia, Melbourne: further riots at youth injustice centre


Australia, Melbourne: riot pigs crush “disturbance” at   youth injustice centre


France, Valence: 10 kindergarten, primary, middle and high schools have their locks blocked by action in solidarity with revolt in prison (the trial of the “mutineers” starts this day)  “Tags left on their walls, as well as a tract …Various messages appeared, such as: “Prison is death. Life is in revolt. Solidarity with the mutineers of Valence and elsewhere “,” In prison the bad guys are above all the screws “,” Tired of homework, long live freedom “, “Every age wrecks their cage “,” Long live the mutineers of the prison of Valencia – trial today, 6/01 to 14h “, “Neither prison nor religion, long live  mutiny and insubordination” (on a private catholic school).
Tract left at schools:
” Hello,
Allow us to waste a little of your time to speak of those from whom the state steals all their time, when it is not their life. It’s happening here very close to you, but also everywhere in France and elsewhere. Yet we do not often talk about these places where the government puts aside those that it considers detrimental to the smooth running of the system. The recalcitrants who no longer accept being crushed, those who initiate a violence which the powerful ones would like to monopolise, or simply the undesirables that can easily be removed in order to perpetuate the established order.
We do not often talk about prison, yet it is part of our lives. When one passes between its walls, when one goes to see a relative in the visiting area, when one submits to its threats. Like the cops and the legal system, it is one of the gears of a machine whose aim is to make us accept without complaint a world based on exploitation and domination.
In recent months rumors have come to us from  inside the French prisons. These are the cries of some of the forgotten who try to break through the walls and barbed wire. Vandalism, revolts and uprisings have rapidly exploded since last summer. It seems that some have decided to return some of the violence back to the people who imprison them.
On 25 September at the central building (for those destined to long sentences) of the penitentiary center of Valence, a mutiny broke out. A keychain was stolen from a screw under threat, the doors of the cells were opened by mutineers, furniture and cameras  destroyed, fires lit.
Friday, January 6, three people will go to trial at the criminal court of Valence, accused of being the leaders of this revolt. By designating the guilty ones, the law seeks both to punish heavily by example (they risk up to 20 years in prison) and to minimize the collective character of the revolt. Reducing what happened to individual deviations helps to hide the reasons for revolting against imprisonment. This was when the mutiny occurred in a context of general tension within the prison and a second mutiny occurred on 27 November despite the transfers that followed that of September.
To designate leaders is also to satisfy the screws who will be able to generously round up their monthly wages with damages and appease their thirst for revenge. Flatter them a little so that for a moment they stop  whining about the conditions of a job they choose to do knowing it is akin to that of a hangman.

Maybe it’s time to listen attentively to what’s happening inside prisons. Not to turn your eyes away again just hoping not to be the next one. To bring our solidarity to the mutineers and those accused of being so. For example by coming to support them during their trial, but also by fighting daily against the disgusting shit  that is prison.



Australia, New South Wales: 70 prisoners teargassed in riot

Out this month: Avalanche, which on pages 4-5 has a critique of the Free Alabama Movement, followed by an assessment of the prison strike movement in September 2016 on pages 6 & 7


France, Besançon:  demo outside prison, heavy duty fireworks thrown over wall, “Everybody out!” graffitied, loud slogans – “stone by stone, wall by wall, we will destroy all the prisons”, “death to jails!”, “set fire to the  prisons, the screws in the middle …”; similar demos round Paris and Toulouse

Similar demos in Greece (Athens), Germany (Dortmund, Flensbourg, Wuppertal, Cologne, Stuttgart & Fribourg) and USA (Ashville, Portland, Oakland, New York, Minneapolis, Bloomington, & Philadelphia)


Congo, Brazzaville: 3 die – a gendarme, a rioting prisoner and a civilian – in brief prison riot


South Africa, Limpopo: 50 prisoners attack screws


South Africa, Port Elizabeth: 3 prisoners killed during riot The riot began as an attack on screws but these reports  give no indication of who the prisoners were killed by – prisoners or screws. Given that the authorities would normally indicate that it was prisoners doing the killing, one suspects that this was yet another case of state murder. And this report implies the killings were by the state: “During the attack on the warders, which started in the food hall in the late morning, another group of inmates forced their way into the administration building and locked themselves inside. They used teargas to keep the staff and ERT officials at bay. Some of the records housed in the building were destroyed. Thirteen warders were wounded – some of them stabbed with home-made knives – and 19 prisoners were injured, besides the three fatalities.”

UK, Wigan: noise demo at UK’s “worst jail” “Right now a prisoner takes their own life every 3 days, and many more harm themselves, at the highest rate since records began. “IPP” prisoners, trapped inside without a release date, are the most likely to kill and harm themselves.”  IPP: In 2010 a joint report by the chief inspectors of prisons and probation concluded that IPP sentences were unsustainable with UK prison overcrowding. In 2012 the IPP sentence for new cases was abolished by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, although over 6,000 prison inmates remained imprisoned for public protection; over 4,600 remained as of June 2015. Three-quarters of them had completed their minimum term, and about 400 had served five times the minimum.” See also this on IPP.


Australia, Papua New Guinea: asylum seekers riot at notorious detention centre over  death of  Sudanese “Asylum seekers held at a Papua New Guinea detention center briefly took control of two compounds and expelled guards following the death of a refugee who fell ill at the center…The man’s death is not being treated as suspicious by Australian authorities, but detainees and refugee rights groups have claimed the man was seriously ill for months and had made repeated requests for medical assistance before the emergency.”


UK, Isle of Sheppey (Kent): 60 or so prisoners take over prison wing

hmp-swalesideSwaleside Prison: no face no case


US, California: 100 prisoners riotaudio & video report on the September 9th prison strike


UK, Cardiff: Winson Green prisoners barricade themselves in cells in protest against being moved


UK, Hull: semi-riot in prison “Order has been restored to Hull Prison amid fears 15 dangerous prisoners transferred from Birmingham were attempting another riot….Prison officers said staff had been assaulted, CCTV cameras were torched and inmates refused to return to their cells following the arrival of the prisoners from HMP Birmingham”


UK, Birmingham: major riot in Winson Green prison “Sources claim the full scale riot started in P Wing when a prison officer was overpowered. They claim it quickly spread to N Wing – and keys have been taken by inmates. One hardened lag, speaking through a relative, said: “I have been in riots before and this is, by far, the worst I’ve come across.”… The prisoner claimed the trouble was sparked by the death of an inmate two weeks ago. It is believed the man committed suicide….it all started over there no being enough hot water in the shower or something like that. There are no officers on the wing now. They have abandoned it. There is major damage to the wing….as I understand it, there is a major disturbance on N Wing which has now spread to L and M wing. “Apparently prisoners started by smashing light fittings and wing fire hoses and that is why they cut off the water. “They tried to get the prisoners back behind doors and as they were trying one officer was threatened with a syringe. Another prisoner came up behind him and snatched keys and broke the security chain.” More here “Water has been switched back on at Winson Green prison and inmates are being encouraged to extinguish fires as safety concerns heighten. With riots raging at HMP Birmingham for nearly 11 hours, fires are burning in several parts of the jail.” and here “When we were told this morning that we were not getting exercise everyone went mad. They have had enough. “They cancel gym all the time, the showers are cold, the food is crap, the heating is never on and we never get our mail on time.” The rioting kicked off at around 9am today as officers were ordered to abandon wings that fell under inmate control. Pictures from inside the jail show inmates wearing stolen police riot gear, bashing down prison doors and showing off a pair of keys.” More here “The incident sparked the takeover of at least four wings of the Category B prison by around 400 criminals – including the gym, pharmacy and security equipment store….It took 14 hours for specialist ‘Tornado team’ prison riot officers and armed police to get the situation back under control…. inmates had breached internal gates and threw paint at the Tornado team as the riot continues to spread…. inmates had breached wings and had entered exercise yards after starting fires, destroying files and throwing computers from windows in the offender management unit….”If they destroy all of those records it is going to take months or even years to rebuild the information.”


Winsome Grin: prisoners dress up in riot gear

France, Creteil (Parisian banlieu): prisoner escapes during his trial 


France,Besançon: 4 ATMs destroyed in solidarity with imprisoned anarchistsMarseille : 2 ATMs destroyed in solidarity with imprisoned comrade

Canada, Saskatchewan: prisoner killed during prison riot “They ripped beds off walls, heavy steel beds. Desks were thrown into a pile. They used them to block doors. Windows were smashed out, they were setting fires to mattresses, smashed the fridges and microwaves. It was confined to one portion of the medium security area — an area that housed approximately 185 inmates. It was in the living unit. …Meal portion sizes may have been a contributing factor, but there’s no way to determine if that was the trigger or not. …It wasn’t just kitchen workers who refused to go to work (on Wednesday). At the point when this happened, everybody — 185 inmates — refused to go to their programs, their work, their school. At that point, normally, we lock up. But when they went to close the area, the inmates refused to go into their cells.”More here. “They smashed out all the lights, all the cameras, all the windows.” The inmates also set up barricades.”


France, Riom : prisoner escapes during bicycle ride


France, Valence: new prison riot … several cells …were set on fire…Shortly after 12:00 on Sunday, two detainees threatened a prison officer with a “knife” , in order to steal his set of keys…The supervisor was then released and was not injured…The detainees then opened cells on the three floors of this section intended for long sentences. A fire broke out …Several cells were burned and water damage was reported but no injuries were reported”


Myanmar, Irrawaddy:  4 prisoners “riot”


Bulgaria, Harmanli: refugees trying to escape detention centre clash with cops


France: Vinci (company involved in prison construction and the Notre Dames de Lande airport project) becomes the object of a fake press release, by supporters of the resistance at Notre Dame de Landes This press release claimed that there’d been 3.4 billion euros worth of accounting irregularities and that the director of finance had been sacked. It included a fake link to a site which was almost exactly the same as the Vinci site, with a phone number to the pre-paid mobile phone of a person who confirmed the report. The media publishes the information immediately and the price drops 18%. Since it is unprecedented to publish such  things during stock trading hours, and suspicions were aroused, a 2nd fake communique is issued with the sentence “Malicious people have harmed our group by diverting information that has been leaked from our offices”, which implicitly confirmed the content of the initial communique.   Just before the closing of trading, Vinci issues a very clear denial, but they still finished 4% down. The “pirates” welcomed Vinci’s stock market downturn, and attacked them for a variety of projects, notably the Notre Dame des Landes airport, whose forest “already feels its retreat under concrete”, and “the blows that this company constantly gives  to the Nepalese and the Indians who die every day on their construction sites in Qatar “.


UK, Doncaster: “serious disturbance” at prison


UK: fires etc. at 3 prisons as screws complain about how unhappy their lot is “Six fire engines were called to Channings Wood on Tuesday after a fire started inside the building but the blaze was out when they arrived….An inmate at HMP Featherstone near Wolverhampton contacted BBC WM on a mobile phone which he said had been smuggled in to say the the jail was “totally out of control”. He said inmates were unaware about the protest being staged by prison officers, a claim the Ministry of justice (MoJ) denied. …There were also reports of a small fire in a cell at Norwich Prison on Tuesday which the fire service extinguished.”

Spain, Murcia: attack on cops in migrant detention centre; at least 9 prisoners escape


Australia, Melbourne: prison riots again “Windows were smashed, walls destroyed and security doors, weighing hundreds of kilograms, ripped down. Hammers, chisels, screwdrivers and lumps of wood were seized from a tool storage area as staff beat a retreat.  The 20-bed Eastern Hill unit was flooded after inmates smashed the sprinklers using stolen tools. An angle grinder — used in a metal work program — was then used to cut through locks on several doors and breach restricted areas. Other children, frustrated they were forced into lockdown most of the weekend, began pulling sprinklers in their cells to cause flooding….computers and game consoles were smashed and litres of paint splashed around. Inmates from the West Gate unit later joined in, smashing expanses of ceiling, destroying locks and doors, tearing away electrical wiring and ripping out state-of-the-art security cameras. Some teenagers smashed through the ceiling of an inmate who did not want to take part and beat him. The nightmare for staff was compounded when, at one stage, they had to change their communications channel because they believed inmates had got hold of a radio and were listening in.”


Australia, Perth: riot in juvenile prison causes at least $350,00 worth of damage “The latest violent incident at Perth’s juvenile detention centre – the 10th in less than two-and-a-half months…The youths barricaded themselves in, removed bricks from walls and threw them at staff, broke every reinforced glass window and pulled panelling and cabling out of the ceiling”…Melbourne: and an even bigger riot in a prison for young “offenders” causes $2m worth of damages “Rioting inmates have destroyed security cameras and ripped ceilings and walls apart, causing an estimated $2 million in damages at Melbourne’s youth detention centre. About 20 inmates at the Parkville facility were left without beds on Saturday night after their cells were trashed. The riot came as an inmate at another prison facility attacked four prison officers, inflicting a serious neck injury….the sprinkler system was also severely damaged after the group broke into one of the buildings and found a sledge hammer and shovel. Computers were then thrown through the windows before the group climbed up on the roof and demanded junk food and a phone…The disturbance is believed to have been started by the same youth who triggered another riot on Thursday at the centre….In September, inmates and staff clashed for three consecutive nights and several juvenile offenders threatened staff and took control of part of the centre….In the separate prison incident on Saturday night, four Port Phillip Prison officers were assaulted during a cell search, with one suffering a suspected serious neck injury.”


France, Marseille: report of all of  Vinci (involved in prison construction) office windows being smashed  


UK, London: pretty rare, corny, classic yet wonderful escape from famous Caledonian Road prison It is understood the pair used diamond-tipped cutting equipment to break through their cell bars before scaling an outer perimeter wall….the runaways had folded bedsheets into the shape of mannequins to fool staff into believing they were still asleep… the two men escaped through a cell window on the fifth floor…it was rumoured they had used bedsheets to lower themselves down.” Almost 300 years after Jack Sheppard’s famous escapes and so far modern totalitarianism has yet to find ways to suppress the beautiful innocence of tried and tested proletarian inventiveness. Tempted reflexively to say“Thank God!” –  but “Thank the Human Spirit!” is  far better.


UK, Bedford: up to 300 prisoners riot, forcing guards to flee “Reports say “hundreds” of inmates are reportedly causing chaos at the category B jail after “ransacking” guards’ offices and arming themselves with knives….A man claiming to be an inmate said cops have swarmed the prison, with up to 300 prisoners involved in the riot. He told Mirror Online: “We’ve got control of the prison.  Prisoners are walking around with knives and coshes. They’ve nicked mobile phones out of the office, everything’s been smashed.”… prisoners ripping up toilets and causing mass damage. Guards are said to have fled the prison” More here “…inmates carrying blades are ransacking guards’ offices, setting small fires and stealing medical supplies.” October 2017 report here and here “…some inmates had no soap, toilet paper or even pillows and were living in cold, cramped and cockroach-infested conditions.”


France, Toulouse: 3 cars belonging to prison construction company destroyed by fire


UK, Sussex: prisoners go “on rampage” 


France, northeast : Two Vinci (company notorious for involvement in prison construction) engines vandalised


US, Denver: Starbucks Vandalized in Solidarity with Prison Strike


Haiti, Arcahaie: over 100 prisoners escape More than 100 mostly barefoot inmates overpowered guards on Saturday and escaped from a lockup … One guard was reported killed and others were injured. The escapees stole an unknown number of weapons and some exchanged gunfire with police during the chaotic breakout….The inmates attacked after they were released from a crammed holding pen to bathe…Haitian prisons are notoriously overcrowded and many inmates spend years in pre-trial detention….Three prisoner were wounded, including one who died as a consequence of his wounds.” This claims that 174 prisoners escaped.


Spain, Madrid: 30 or 40 migrants imprisoned in detention centre break up furniture and  climb onto roof


UK, Northumberland: report of how keys stolen during riot force state to spend £1m to change locks


Brazil, Sao Paulo: 55 prisoners escape after starting fires; 18 recaptured

France, Savoie: prisoners torch parts of prison – 50 cells out of use Video here


Eire, Dublin: 5 screws hospitalised after attack by prisoners


US: report that prison strike cost capital $600,000 a day in California


France: P.M. Valls announces construction of 33 new prisons


sites of the first 9 new prisons to be constructed


Spain, Murcia: 28 migrants escape from detention centre after revolt


Ethiopia: prisoners freed during uprising 

France, Pantin: a utility of a company involved in prison construction burnt in soidarity with people being put on trial in Italy’s Opération Scripta Manent

Chile, Santiago: barricades and clashes in solidarity with  several class war prisoners Leaflets scattered around the place, expressing their solidarity with  Tamara Sol Farías Vegara, Andrés Aravena (Chico), Jean Gutiérrez (Legua) and other comrades being put on trial in “the PDI case”.


Greece, Korydallos:  prisoners refuse to regain cells in solidarity with American prison strike


Germany, Berlin: 50 asylum seekers attack guards


Brazil, Sao Paulo state: 200 prisoners escape after riot, just half re-captured “The riot began at the morning check-up, with prisoners burning mattresses and rushing the fence. Once the fence broke, the prisoners escaped down a four-meter slope and across a road….According to G1, the Jardinopolis prison has a capacity for 1,080 prisoners but currently holds 1,864 inmates.” Latest report says 470 PRISONERS ESCAPED!!!!


France, Orne: prisoner single-handedly attacks 5 screws……Alabama: report on screws supporting prisoners’ strike


France, Valence: prison revolt – 2 screws attacked, keys seized, cell doors opened


UK, Wolverhampton: head screw hospitalised and 3 other screws injured in Young Offenders Detention Centre

US, Alabama: prison dorm resists confiscation of mobile phone, force screws to leave


Eire, Dublin: riot in youth detention centre “senior management were in the centre all evening but were unable to prevent serious damage being caused to one of the remaining wings of the centre, which is supposed to house up to 90 inmates but is thought to contain only between 30 and 40 now.”More here Since the €56m centre officially opened in January last year, there have been dozens of serious attacks on staff leading to high levels of sickness leave….In the last attempted break-out in August eight young offenders broke out of their secured rooms and onto a detention centre roof after a staff member was overpowered and threatened with boiling water. The incident that led to the riot and fire was started while staff were protesting about attacks, injuries and fears for their lives at the gates of the facility in north county Dublin. … the offenders used the protest to their advantage when one requested refreshments, and a staff member who brought them was confronted, threatened and overpowered at the door and had their keys taken. The offender was then able to free others who then took over the accommodation block. Eight offenders then accessed the roof and started pulling the tiles off, and set fire to Blocks 1, 2 and 3. When emergency services were called it is reported that some of the offenders on the roof threw roof tiles down at them. There were no reports of injuries to fire crews, but the blaze took hold and eleven units of Dublin Fire Brigade spent hours fighting the fire. Accommodation Block 3 collapsed due to the extent of the blaze, and Blocks 1 and 2 were left gutted. One staff member was injured and treated in hospital when searching the facility for detainees who had absconded from their accommodation.”


Australia, Victoria: prisoners riot at young offenders prison “Inmates repeatedly beat down windows and other sectors of the complex as well as allegedly set a building on fire”


USA, Alabama : screw stabbed by prisoner dies More info on what happens at Holman here and hereHolman Prison, AL: Free Alabama Movement issues press release calling for an end to the humanitarian crisis at the prison. They state through social media that many guards are not reporting to work and that much of the prison remains unguarded…As the prison strike keeps going, following FAM seems to provide pretty current news, re: the CO who was just killed, the strike, etc.

France, Rhone: fire in young offenders’ prison


UK, Lincoln: screw taken hostage during prison riot


US, Florida: prisoners take over dormitory “These riots will continue to increase in frequency, increasing the likelihood that our corrections officers will be injured, said Kimberly Schultz, president of Teamsters 2011, the union representing FDC’s officers. She said that prisoners have assaulted 30 officers since April and that one prison, Franklin, has had three inmate riots this year alone.”

France, Vivonne: a hundred or so prisoners  revolt and set fire to part of prison More hereA dozen cells were destroyed”


France, Toulouse: 5 vehicles belonging to companies involved in prison construction have their tyres punctured


A prison radio show about the strike is online and has statements and updates.



US:  prison strike in 24 states and 40 prisons… More here and here

The friend who sent the following  said “hard to tell how connected it is, but i guess well never know…”) :

Pelzer, South Carolina

Kincheloe, Michigan

Nashville, Tennessee
Wewahitchka, Florida

Mayo, Florida This article also references “pockets of inmates refusing to work across the state”. Alsothis reports “smaller [disturbances] were reported in a number of other prisons across the state”.

Bristol, Florida (yet another Florida panhandle prison).

Marquette, Michigan    Site of this previous food strike

Lincoln, Nebraska

Tecumseh, Nebraska (in anticipation of sept. 9?)

Waterville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Guantanamo Bay (“small number of men at Camp 6 are continuing their hunger strikes”)

Kearny, New Jersey

North Carolina

This is from here:

A few women incarcerated people refused to work and because of the nationwide prison strike, and fear of an uprising, the prison was locked down stopping ALL slave labor!

And this references “confirmed strikes underway in Florida, South Carolina, and Texas”

More snippets of information here.


US, Florida: at least 4 prison dorms barricaded “The action is believed to be part of a nationwide prisoner strike planned for September 9 in observance of the anniversary of the Attica Prison riot that occurred at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York in 1971.”

More here.


See these pages (1,  2,  3 ) about Attica, 1971 (scroll down to the last paragraph of page 1 for the start). “We, the inmates of Attica prison, say to you, the sincere people of society, the prison system of which your courts have rendered unto, is without question the authoritative fangs of a coward in power” – The Popular Manifesto of Attica, September 1971.

France, Savoie: 8 prisoners refuse to return to their cell, attack guards, destroy bathroom, burn dry grass


US, Michigan: prison incorrections officer stabbed, another hurt

France, Essonne: arson attack on future detention centre for migrants


Canada, Nova Scotia: 5 prison staff hurt in “mélée”


France, Nimes: 6 refugees escape from detention centre, 4 re-captured


Australia, Perth: mini riot in juvenile detention centre The Department of Corrective Services’ special operations group were brought in and used flash bombs and pepper spray on four males aged 17 and 18 who barricaded themselves in a wing of the Banksia Hill centre on Thursday. The detainees smashed windows and pulled doors off cupboards, the fridge and oven and the centre was in lockdown from 12.55pm to 2.30pm, according to the CPSU/CSA union, causing up to $150,000 damage. A similar incident occurred on Monday when three teenagers barricaded themselves inside a unit and smashed a television and furniture.”


UK:outbreaks of rebellion in prison archipielagoBristol: 2 attacks on screws’ property


Eire, Dublin: youths set prison on fire

Nigeria, Kuje: prison riot over cellphone confiscation


Canada, Quebec: an appeal to spread the US prison strike to Canada


UK, Edinburgh: 3 screws’ cars firebombed


UK, Bridgend (Wales): prisoner starts 3 fires

Nigeria: prison riot leaves 13 prisoners and 1 screw dead  “… the inmates rioted over alleged poor meals served them by the prison officials…. the inmates allegedly snatched a rifle from one of the guards in the prison yard and purportedly shot some of the prison officials which provoked the officials into retaliation.”


Mexico (Mexico City) : inmates of Teenagers’ detention center block screws from entering and injure three of them (in spanish) Authorities say the action has to do with fights between prisoners, while it seems it has much more to do with the conditions of detention (or detention itself).


UK, Wolverhampton: week of disorder as screws attacked and ‘multiple’ fires

Chile (Santiago) : barricades and clashes with molotov cocktails in solidarity with imprisoned comrade Tamara Sol   (in spanish)


Italy (Brindisi) : revolt in migrants detention center (in Italian with a few pictures)


UK, Norfolk: prison governor beaten up in provoked attack “A prison governor has been seriously injured in an “unprovoked” beating at the hands of an inmate….Mr Cawkwell, who has held a number of senior positions in the prison service, has received hospital treatment for his injuries….There have been a number of reports of disruptions at HMP Wayland this year. In May, about 20 inmates were involved in a “food fight” which broke out during lunch, while two inmates attempted to grab keys from officers in a separate incident in June. Another HMP Wayland inmate was jailed in June for an assault on two guards, during which one was bitten, according to police.”


UK, Northumberland: an eye for an eye, a jaw for a jaw…screw finds himself in hot water “A prison officer has been left with a suspected broken jaw and fractured eye socket after he was attacked by an inmate….A prison officer, who asked not to be named, also alleged an inmate had thrown boiling water over another guard on the same day. The whistle-blower said: “We have lost control of the jail and there will be another major incident if something isn’t done. … staff are scared to go to work.”


US, Alabama: prisoners take over dorm, set fires


Morocco, Casablanca: buses burnt, 19 security officials hurt, in massive riot in young offenders prison Twenty-eight people were wounded in a riot … Most of the casualties were admitted to hospital….19 security personnel, firefighters and prison administrators were wounded when officials tried to contain the unrest and restore order. The rest of the casualties were inmates…. the “insurgency and riot”…caused “massive material damage.”


Russia, Siberia : prison riot (video) “the interior of one of the prison’s buildings was destroyed from within by prisoners breaking off doors, throwing tables and overturning beds”   More here:  “they barricaded themselves into their barracks and demanded a lighter labor regimen… During the course of six hours of negotiations with the criminals, they were offered various solutions to resolve the situation, and the convicts were guaranteed full observation of their rights and lawful interests. However these convicts refused completely any options offered, demanding a significant weakening of the incarceration regime, which is against the law”… Novaya Gazeta reported that 242 inmates were said to take part in the rebellion”


Canada, British Columbia: young prisoners smash up detention centre “Inmates started smashing microwaves, windows and other items…The young offenders then broke into a staff area and a second living unit, and continued destroying items, pulling out sprinklers and starting fires…They continued to riot on the second living unit for some time, completely destroying windows, tables, microwaves, dishwashers and sprinkler heads, causing a major flood.” More here: “a rampage that lasted six hours and caused extensive …The Ministry of Children and Family Development confirmed Wednesday that there was a serious incident involving extensive dam-age, including some fire damage, but released few details…. the incident involved seven male youths aged 15 to 17 who extensively damaged furniture and electronic equipment after starting a small fire by putting paper into a toaster — a fire they later put out them-selves….Cronkhite said there is no indication that rival gang tensions were a root cause of the incident. “The primary motivating factor behind the incident appears to have been a room search earlier in the day, which resulted in a loss of privileges.” …Turpel-Lafond said she has been tracking a rise in assaults, saying attacks on officers and on other youth at the Burnaby centre are “routinely reported”


Chile, Santiago : clashes with police after anti-prison meeting organized in solidarity with 5 comrades jailed since last year


US, Kansas: mashed potatoes lead to smashed CCTV


UK, Birmingham:  prison protest after “unexplained” death of prisoner


France: screw hospitalised by Nice prisoner


France, Vincennes: refugees at detention centre riot to prevent deportation of one of them to Algeria; 260 square meters burnt out…More here in French (anarchist site)


France, Essert: 2 Optymo (company involved in prison construction) cars burnt out


New Zealand, Mt Eden: dormant volcano starts to rumble – prisoners refuse to be locked up


Mexico, Mexico City: riot and fire at prison suppressed by 600 pigs


UK, Wiltshire: prison riot after smoking ban “Two wings of the category-C jail were trashed when the caged jailbirds began to battle with each other.Staff struggled to control the chaos at Erlestoke Prison in Wiltshire after a rooftop protest. Toliets were ripped out, rooms were smashed and riot cells doors were kicked in, a lag’s wife claimed…And the inmates ruled the roost until the early hours of Sunday.”


Thailand (Bangkok) : musician receives two years’ of jail suspended sentence for painting an anarchy symbol on a sign in front of the Criminal Court, after his friend was murdered, and military trial of main suspect seems to cover the murder Gives a glimpse of present repression in Thailand under Military junta’s power, where things such as 20,000 preventive arrests before National holiday ( or sending people to years of jail for very light critics of the monarchy happen on a daily basis. Interesting to see that the sentenced musician (though seeming to put some trust in Justice) seems to receive support, in a very conservative country where his acts (tags) could be seen as pretty offensive. Also good to see that unlike in many public cases, he maintains a non-repentant attitude, when many usually accept their guilt for various crimes, apologize publicly, in the pure Thai institutional Theravada Bhuddism logic. (Note by Pi)


US, Pittsburgh: 3rd riot in 2 weeks at juvenile centre “Three were arrested for risking a catastrophe”


France, Essonne: detention centre temporarily evacuated after small bit of arson


Indonesia, Gorontalo: prison riot ends after long night


UK, Norfolk: trying to find the key to the doors of perception


Thailand (Phang Nga, south) : Rohingya migrants escape from detention center, one is killed by police One can never emphasize enough the absolute horror experienced by Burmese , Cambodian or Laotian migrants in Thailand, and the treatment of refugees by the authorities (and by some non-negligible part of the population) over several  decades. Thailand did not hesitate, in the late 70s, to return  Cambodian refugees, in the middle of the Khmer Rouge horror, across minefields and later to return  Vietnamese boat people by sea… similar treatment is reserved today for the  Rohingyas of Burma, a group coming from Muslim culture and  religion who are escaping  the state of Arakan en masse , where they are treated as outcasts.

Whilst this is going on, rednecks from our part of the world (who’d do better by joining the movement happening now) watch   “people from Marseille” [French TV reality show] in Thailand – some jerks (who could just as well be from Lorraine or Bearn) filmed close to Phang Nga, Koh Lanta, for the umpteenth pathetic broadcast for which the society of the spectacle has the know-how (and it can keep it!). [Pi]


France, Marseille: 3 cars belonging to prison guards completly burnt out by arsonists “According to our information, 2 cars belonging to guards of Baumettes [Marseille prison] had already been burnt out a month ago and 3 others three years ago”

Black Maria:

marseille prison cars

 screws screwed

France, Lille: local offices of  Bouygues, which participates in prison construction, tagged, windows  smashed 


US, Pennsylvania: riot in juvenile prison


Switzerland : car belonging to company involved in prison building set on fire (in french)


US (Alabama) : Alabama Prison Strike Ends After Scabs Brought In would be good to have more info on it, but communicate has some ambigueties to me, see strategy of dialogue led by outside representants (I wrote something on it in french) [Pi]


France, Nimes: 3 men saw through bars of migrant detention centre and escape, just 2-3 days after joyful demo of support outside (see 7/5/16)


Belgium: report on how 2-week strike by screws is effecting prisons and prisoners “The Belgian government “decided to requisition the assistance of the army, in order to provide additional humanitarian support in the Brussels and Walloon prisons”, said   the Prime Minister Charles Michel in a statement tonight. … In this chaotic context, prisoners have revolted in a certain number of establishments: destroyed furniture, beds on fire, broken windows … Lack of sufficient staff due to the strike, the detainees haven’t been able to go out of their cells for fourteen days. They have no outlets in the yard, no family visits and have had  the opportunity to have access to showers only  three times during the two-week strike…. Amateur images of the prison of Andenne, between the Belgian city of Charleroi and Liège, have been leaked on the internet and social networks this Sunday. A prisoner filmed a scene inside the institution and we see a room  ravaged with  objects on fire. … “They set fire to pieces of paper or tissues and throw them into the yard. There were some incipient fires but nothing that requires the intervention of firefighters, “…In the prison of Namur, “prisoners are breaking furniture and throwing mayonnaise and urine on the rare guards who are working”


Belgium, Anvers: major prison riot ” 170 prisoners refused to return to their cells. They set fire to several places and threw stones….according to the mayor the damage is very significant. “This is the largest uprising that’s  happened in this prison,” added the mayor. “It caused a fire,  walls were broken, windows were broken, locks were foced . This will weigh on our capacity for the coming months. In some blocks, the cells are totally destroyed.”

France, Gard (Nimes): small very lively demo at detention centre for undocumented migrants Lots of tags, a bit of sabotage of centre’s door keypad, traffic disrupted for some time and encouraging support from hooting cars and passers-by.

nimes 7 5 16

“Neither documents nor borders” , “Forged papers for everyone!”, “”Neither law nor borders”


France, Villepinte prison : prisoners refuse to return to their cells for several hours

UK, Norfolk: prisoners show their appreciation of prison food


Burkina Faso, Dedougou: cops threaten to release all detainees after massive riot attacking them for beating to death man held in custody “…protesters threw projectiles at the police facility, after ransacking the homes of some gendarmes…This has created frustration within the gendarmerie and some police stations are considering  releasing their detainees, according to security sources which state that negotiations are underway with the military hierarchy. A government delegation arrived at the scene. For several months,  Burkina Faso has been facing a rise in incivility and distrust of state authority. On Saturday, angry people burned a transit bus within the walls of the gendarmerie of Ziniaré, about thirty kilometers from Ouagadougou, after an accident in which a motorcyclist died.  In mid-March, a mob consisting of about 1,000 people, confronted the Cinkansé gendarmerie, in order to attack an alleged murderer of two stockbrokers from Cinkansé-Togo, who was in custody in a cell… killing one gendarme and injuring four others.”
More here:

” …traditional authorities, religious and administrative, were forced to intervene to try to calm the situation down. But it was futile because the event  flared up with the sacking and burning of the private homes of the commander of the  brigade and his deputy. ”


Syria: Prisoners seize control following riot


US, Nebraska: mini-riot in county jail

Greece, Athens: victory for anarchist prisoners after setting fire to isolation wing & inspiring solidarity from other prisoners – they receive the transfer they were demanding


Chile, Santiago: building for retired screws firebombed


Indonesia, West Java: prison riot after suicide of prisoner “Part of the Banceuy Narcotics Prison was set alight during the riot, causing extensive damage to the front of the facility. Two cars and two motorcycles were also destroyed in the blaze, before the arrival of three fire trucks. At least five of the nearly 600 police officers deployed at the prison were injured when inmates threw stones at them, before reportedly setting fire to the building.”

west java prison fire 23 4 16

West Java, prison riot – fires started in 6 different places


Indonesia, Bali: prisoners riot against transfer of murderous gang to their prison “Prisoners inside the prison, numbered in the hundreds, broke windows, threw stones and tried to kick out the returning inmates”


Thailand, Yala: 1000 prisoners riot, quickly repressed 


US, Tampa: small riot at juvenile prison Check out this on US prison slavery


Nauru: clashes between guards and migrants at Australia’s notorious detention centre “…members of the Wilson Security emergency response team hit teenagers who had been protesting…the detainees locked the response team members out of part of the camp, and retaliated by throwing rocks and chairs.”


India, Uttar Pradesh: prisoners take over prison after screws beat up prisoner (video). More here.


Greece, Chios: 100s of migrants break out of detention centre


UK, Dorset: fires started in young “offenders” prison Following incidents on Wednesday, which led to firefighters being called on three separate occasions, there was further trouble today when it was claimed some inmates had tried to flood their cells….Initially, three fires were reported in cells although it was claimed by a prison source that there were in fact many more. The source said: “There were indeed four prisoners who managed to get onto the netting between the landings. However, there were at least 12 cell fires. The prison was locked down because of the multiple cell fires. “Prisoners smashed up their cells, causing a large amount of damage.”Birmingham: screw hospitalised during prison protest


US, Nebraska: riot in juvenile detention centre

Mexico, Oaxaca: CNTE teacher’s protest for political prisoners and block Congress session

Bolivia: rooftop prison riot (video)

Venezuela, Lara state: 14 prison employees held hostage, one prison guard killed, in prison riot


France, Marseille: communiqué  about burning of vehicle belonging to GDF (national gas company) which collaborates in migrant detention centres


US, Alabama: 2nd riot within 2 days at prison See also this and this (both from “It’s going down”). Solidarity with prisoners expressed here.

France, Paris: 3 escape from migrant detention centre


South Africa, KwaZulu Natal: uprising stops as local state agrees to release 122 prisoners


US, Alabama: prisoners riot, set fireswarden and screw stabbed… more here “There are videos circulating on social media of prisoners burning the control towers and opening all doors. “We’re tired of this shit, there’s only one way to deal with it: tear the prison down” one of the participants stated.”

 …blog by one of the prisoners here, unrelated to the riot.


France, Montreuil (outskirts of Paris): front window of architectural business designing prisons and detention centres torched

New Zealand, Wellington: prison riot “TEARGAS was used to quell a fresh wave of violence that erupted yesterday in the state’s prisons, including a deliberate ambush of guards after two cells were set on fire”


South Africa, Gauteng: prisoners escape


Australia, Melbourne: 6 youths riot on youth prison roof for 7 hours


France, Mesnil Amelot: several fires at migrants’ detention centre


Guyana, Georgetown: 3rd day of prison riot  leads to negotiated truce; 17 dead

“The riot first began Wednesday when inmates angered by a search and confiscation of cellphones set fires in one part of the prison, located in the capital of Georgetown. On Thursday, police and prison guards moved in, setting off battles with inmates armed with pieces of wooden bed frames, officials said. Prisoners began the violence anew Friday morning, setting another fire, breaking out of cells and lobbing teargas canisters back at police and prison officers. Soon thereafter a delegation of more than 12 shackled and handcuffed inmates were escorted from the jail to participate in closed-door talks with the South American country’s minister of state and public security minister.”


France, Toulouse: several trucks belonging to Vinci (famous for prison construction) burnt out


Papua New Guina : 11 killed in prison escape, more injured, others could escape


France (Rennes): migrants declare hunger strike in detention center after a miscarriage and a suicide attempt


Greece : Police allege helicopter escape attempt by revolutionary comrades held hostage in Korydallos Prison, implicate a comrade in clandestinity, Pola Roupa, of Revolutionary Struggle


New Zealand, Auckland:  cops stop No Pride In Prisons protesting cops and screws on march from joining gay pride; punches thrown

“Protesters held placards and chanted slogans, such as “stop the police, abolition prisons”…Punches fly as police block #NoPrideInPrisons from their parade. Pride began as protest against police brutality”


France, Metz: 2 buildings of detention centre for refugees awaiting expulsion from country made unusable by arson


Sweden (Kalmar): small riot by adolescents in refugee detention centre after staff member refuses youth the right to buy sweets


Mexico, Axapusco (State of Mexico): after strange death of 15 yr old in custody, 300 locals try to lynch police officer


Greece (Korydallos): prisoners protest


South Africa, Johannesburg: 500 riot outside hospital in response to death in police custody (video)


Brazil, Recife : second prison breakout in a week, this time 2 killed and only 1 ex-prisoner still on the run
40 are still on the run after last week’s escape.


Spain : anarchist prisoner Gabriel Pombo da Silva on hunger strike


France, Moirans – 3 months after direct actions, repression strikes against gypsies demonstrating for prisoner friends
See October 20 news for more on what happened


Australia, Christmas Island: migrants riot at detention centre
“Detainees set buildings alight and armed themselves with baseball bats in a riot at an Australian immigration facility on Christmas Island…Officials admitted the disturbance, sparked by the unexplained death of an escaped asylum-seeker, was out of control.”

France, Seine-et-Marne: 2 female screws deliberately hit by car and badly wounded in prison car park


Nigeria (Okere): prison riot
“…the inmates had complained bitterly about a lack of water, electricity, and the high handedness of ACP Okoro who always confiscated items donated to the inmates by charities for his own use and mailing these items to his home State of Imo. It was learned that ASP Okoro had recently assaulted an inmate for fetching water in the yard following which the inmates requested to meet with  him on Monday through the Prison keeper to register their grievances. However, Mr. Okoro refused to make himself available . It was also gathered that the already inmates demanded to see the Controller of Prisons in the State on Friday. Unfortunately all of their efforts were rebuffed and, as a result, the inmates began a hunger strike and then began to riot on Saturday morning. In response to the riot, the driver of ASP Okoro was seen using teargas on the inmates and in reaction, the inmates destroyed the administrative building and some of their cells and demanded for the immediate sacking of ASP Okoro. …the situation was brought under control by the Nigerian Army, police, and prison warders. The incident caused a serious gridlock on the surrounding road”

France, Calais: 2 refugee prison container construction site machines destroyed in arson attack
Containers were also tagged. The tags were demands or inscriptions such as “Fuck Cameron”…or”Fuck government”



Guatemala: warden and 19 insecurity guards taken hostage in prison riot


Zambia (Lukulu): 27 prisoners escape when crowd attack police station after man dies in cop custody
“some residents …turned their anger against police, looting, vandalising and breaking locks to the cells holding the 27 suspects who included remandees”


US, Massachusetts: prison riot; at least 2 screws hospitalised


Chile (Concepción) : genuinely “happy new year” for prisoner who escapes from jail

This chronology continues here

A couple of very minor personal experiences


At the age of 19, I had my only very short-lived experience of being imprisoned. I’d been arrested for “insulting behaviour” putting on a “guerrillla theatre”-type agit-prop play outside a school in Kings Cross, which caused a semi-riot. We were packed off to Ashford Remand Centre, even though our parents had turned up in court to put up surety for the bail which most of us had been granted (the only one of us that wasn’t was a couple of years older than us, the only one of us who was from a working class background – he went to Brixton for a week before bail was granted). Ashford, though technically a “remand centre” was no different from an ordinary prison – prison gate, barbed wire on the fencing, etc. There we were made to have a public cough ‘n’ drop medical inspection. In fact, this was the most humiliating moment for me – being forced to undress in a hallway surrounded by cells consisting solely of bars (no walls) and being examined naked whilst being stared at by several screws and prisoners whilst my balls were held by a doctor to see if I’d had a hernia or something (being a virgin probably made me feel even more anxious about being naked in front of so many people). And then made to have a semi-public bath. We then had to wear prison clothes: my trousers were far too big – I had to permanently hold them to stop them falling down (no belts allowed), and my shoes were far too small, cramping my toes.

The cell smelled half the time of piss – someone had thrown out his slpping out pot out of the cell above and the piss had hit the outward opening window, hinged at the bottom, and the piss had run back down into my cell. Unable to sleep due to the proximity of London airport and a railway line (though the window was too far up to look out of), plus the ever-echoing sound of slamming doors or footsteps along the concrete corridor, I somehow half-composed the following in my mind (no pens or paper and only a Western, with half the pages torn out, to read) and wrote it up properly as soon as I got out – a slightly pretentious poetic-type of attempt at something influenced by the surrealists, but which, despite its literary rhetorical style, also genuinely expresses some life-affirming emotions:

There is no freedom for the enemies of freedom, the slaves of their hate and fear of freedom. Inside the corridors of tyranny the jackboots, the truncheons, the barred windows, the barred wire, the barbed wire, the 40 foot high double electrified fencing – are all screaming out the admittance of THEIR failure to exterminate OUR minds. Their judgements, their amnesties, their reprieves, their mercy – are the judgements, the amnesties, the reprieves, the mercy of the dead to the living – the dead beckoning the living to join them in the graveyard. Soon, from the warm comfort of their coffins, six foot under, they will wake up to find their nightmares becoming reality – obscene words painted on their gravestones, shit smeared over the epitaph, and finally their coffins disinterred and thrown into the burning astreets. Soon freedom, the imagination, bruised, castrated, decapitated, buried alive in the dungeons of Pentonville and Ashford – soon, the imagination running riot, shall rise up, shatter the walls and gates, smash the locks, burn down the factories of pain and misery, and seize total power! The dictatorship of the imagination!

It was only 24 hours, but when it’s your first time in prison and you’ve got no idea how long you’ll be there, and you’ve never known anyone who’s been inside, it was a little worrying, though it was the boredom I remember most, because we were kept isolated for most of the time. I was so naïve, I remember being really outraged at the fact that teenagers were kept in prison without bail for 6 months or more before trial, at which they were often let off. (see this, for the context of this arrest and the subsequent trial).

2. On July 14th 2013, I was in St.Louis with my daughter at a demo called the day after George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer, was found “not guilty”. This happened at the end of the demo:

So it’s pissing down and we all loudly head back toward what I somehow thought was the town courthouse, and I go first into the little vestibule banging a saucepan very noisily. Everybody else seemed a little hesitant, like I’d stepped over an invisible barrier that everybody normally respected. But then this was the vestibule of the city jail, and not merely a courthouse as I’d assumed. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. The noise we were making was deafening, and seemed to echo into the area beyond the glass doors we were not going through. I suggested going further than the vestibule. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, urging others to join them. Ignorance is bliss. A masked guy (Zorro? the Lone Ranger? Billy the Kid?) ran in and chucked the only thing that moved – a floor mat. When he returned a bit later, and threw in some flowers that he’d just picked from outside the jail, a black woman got upset – “This is meant to be a peaceful demonstration – Trayvon Martin’s family insisted it should be peaceful”. What sad/mad times these are when throwing flowers is somehow thought of as not peaceful enough.

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Angels never go to war – they masturbate instead”

We then retreat from the jail as we get pushed out by armed guards. A few minutes later the courthouse is surrounded by heavily armoured riot cops with their sticks at the ready, the TV cameras reappearing for the first time since the downpour. We all go off back to our cars, and then off to a birthday party of a woman friend of my friends. She was born on July 14th, famous in France for what happened in 1789 – Bastille Day – appropriate, since we’d “stormed” the city jail. Well, almost – the vestibule…still, it sounds good – “WE STORMED THE CITY JAIL!!! – ON BASTILLE DAY!!!!!”

– from here


Ideology materialised

Recommended reading

The list below has only just begun (22/8/15) (see also the comments box below this page for some additional material):

Victor Serge’s “Men in Prison” (1914) “Modern prisons are imperfectable since they are perfect. There is nothing left to do but to destroy them”.

Although officially “fiction”, because it was illegal to write factual books about prison camps at this time, it’s factual, though the names have been changed.

Os Cangaceiros: freedom is the crime that contains all crimes (1985). About the prison revolts throughout France in 1985. Also this by Os Cangaceiros about the theft of architectural plans for prison construction by this group, and some parts of this which put both of the above in context.

This has some interesting things to say about the Attica uprising in September 1971.

This has a report of the 18 (at least) prisons that took part in an uprising in the UK in spring 1986 (see entries for 29/4/86 to 3/5/86 on pages 31 – 34 ). The UK, 30th April 1986: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EVENT OF THE YEAR. Between 18 and 21 prisons (depending on which figures you accept) involved in varying degrees of ‘disturbance’. 841 gaol places (just under 2% of the total) are destroyed….

northeye 1986

Northeye prison, Sussex, UK – destroyed by rioting prisoners

Strangeways 1990: A serious disturbance The riot at Strangeways prison in Manchester, UK lasted for over 3 weeks during April 1986 and involved fires, the virtual destruction of the prison and a rooftop occupation. Despite being co-written by a member of a dreadful Leftist organisation (the Bolshevik organisation Revolutionary Communist Group) this book is an excellent read; its other author is an ex-prisoner.

Prison riots A pdf of accounts of various riots, including Strangeways, 1990 but also other riots around the world: Hull 1976, various riots in state capitalist Russia’s gulags, various US prison riots of the 20th century, Australian riots, etc.

Alexander Berkman’s “Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist”

Bad – the autobiography of James Carr – and this online version of the afterword. Bad is one of many books written by prisoners who have become radicalised by their experiences in American jails. However it stands out from a lot of the others because it avoids portraying the prisoner as a passive victim of social injustice – and also refuses the martyr role that liberals and leftists try to impose on convicts as a vehicle for their own fantasies and careers (whether as social workers, sociologists, politicians or “professional revolutionaries”). Freed from all these limitations James Carr was able to tell his story, warts and all, without worrying about what might or might not alienate liberal/leftist support. So, there is no glossing over his involvement in gang rapes, protection rackets or any of the more horrific aspects of his daily life in jail – nor are there any useless guilty apologies for his past. (Anyway, the story of his development makes clear his eventual understanding of why the prison regime deliberately encouraged this kind of divisive behaviour.)” These are some recordings of Jimmy Carr which were made for the book. “James “Jimmy” Carr, founder of the Wolf Pack, an infamous prison gang in California during the 1960s, tells the story of life behind bars. Carr had unique experiences in the prison system as he was at seventeen still a juvenile and incarcerated in California’s oldest correctional facility. The incidents described on this album are taken from tapes Carr recorded as testimonial of his time in prison, and his evolution as a leader.”

L’envolée This is a regular anti-prison journal and website in French. Pi writes: It is one of the few papers addressing prison issues with a radical perspective but not focusing on anarchist or “political” prisoners.
This pdf
is the latest issue, dedicated to Hafed Benotman, a rebel prisoner and writer who considered himself a thief. He wrote beautiful books: a moving autobiography, excellent novels, short stories, and was one of the co-founders of L’Envolée. This issue contains extracts of his works. He evokes outlaws’ and delinquents’ lives in many of his works, though there is much more than that. His reflections on prison life in France are brilliant, and even fundamental, as he evokes all its aspects: for example sexuality, or the role of Islam in diverting prisoners’ combativity and accepting their fate.


1Apparently in US prisons, you are effectively forced to join one gang or another, divided on racial grounds. Whites who do not join the nazis have to go to black or Latino gangs for protection, but this is risky. If the black or Latino gang refuses you, you lay yourself open to horrific brutality from the nazis, since they will automatically hear of what most of them would consider as “betraying your race”.

2 This comment was originally posted on a thread about prison guards going on strike. Significantly, it has disappeared down the memory hole. Though reactions to the comments exist, Fall Back has airbrushed his own reflections from the thread. It is one thing to be embarassed by one’s past, it is another to hide and falsify it. I should just add that, though I have no respect whatsoever for libcom admin, they do not – as far as I know- have a collective line on prisons, and I doubt if any of the others have voiced such a Leninist perspective as openly as Fall Back.


27 Responses to prisons (original version)
  1. A couple of comments sent by email from people I know:

    Like your intro, also like the attitude in the novel ‘Woman at the edge of
    time’ where the utopian society simply kills repeat offenders after
    attempts at ‘restorative justice’ fail because ‘nobody here is willing to
    be screws for the sake of a few screwballs’ or something to that effect.
    Personally I’d prefer simple banishment to murder, but there are practical
    considerations (the risk of the banished posing a continued threat to the
    community, basically).

    Secondly have you thought of addressing the relation between the
    (relatively marginal) situation of prisoner struggles and the general
    criminalisation of proletarian existence? The way the Ferguson state makes
    most of its income through fines, etc? The causes, consequences and
    implications of the illegal character of basically all means used in
    proletarian struggle around the world (massive incidence of ‘illegal’
    strikes in South Africa and China, occupations and barricades, riots etc everywhere)?

    And this:

    Re: ‘Forcible restraint is not the same as prison’ – no, but I guess you can also imagine the term ‘forcible restraint’ (or any other term adopted by anti-authoritarians) being used (‘co-opted’) for authoritarian ends. “Don’t worry we’re not going to put you in prison, we’re just taking you to the forcible restraint area for a while…”

    Fair enough point about “forcible restraint” – but I don”t think there are any words that avoid hierarchical as well as anti-hierarchical interpretation or use. Everything is recuperable if we allow it to be recuperated. When it comes to words, unless one is precise and one attacks the recuperation of ideas, expressions and phrases, absolutely anything can be used for hierarchical purposes, but at the same time, also almost everything that this society produces (including words etc.) can be used to attack hierarchy.

    ”When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

    – Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking Glass.”

  2. Another email from someone else:

    A documentary about the famous Lecumberri jail in Mexico
    José Revueltas, the leftist writer and activist, can be seen at the end with other political prisoners
    The George Jackson Brigade seemed to have interesting perspectives on fighting against prisons.

    I thought this recent publication was pretty interesting, and not too ideological (though sometimes leaning towards leftism) :

    Couldn’t find Pedrini’s autobiography online in English, but it’s highly recommended :
    here is some information, at least :

    Spain also has a very interesting history of prison struggles, with a high level of combativity by prisoners not considered “political”.
    What Xosé Tarrío wrote about his experience in jail is good :

    In France, people like Charlie Bauer or Jann-Marc Rouillan wrote beautiful and powerful things about jail, and against it (though I personally don’t agree with their ideas). Another good book is the one dedicated to Thierry Chatbi, “A ceux qui se croient libres” (“To those who think they are free”, Éditions L’Insomniaque), a French combative prisoner.

    Though these books often make excellent points, so do prisoners’ revolts around the world and since jail exists, though the memory of these struggles often only reminds in prisoners’ hearts : society is so well organized that true eruptions of anger and revolt can be forgotten almost as quickly as they’ve appeared (and the same can be said about other revolts: you often mention it in your texts).

    And while people’s attitudes in their rejection of society’s various forms of oppression might be full of contradictions, the same can be said about prisoners’ rejection of prison. There are of course, and fortunately, forms of clear and coherent struggle (against prisons and the whole hierarchical world), but most often the system is so well established that people often accept it (forced or encouraged) as much as they’re struggling against it. As alienated as they can be (and even inhuman in some cases), all the forms showing people’s insuitability to the hierarchical society are, in my mind, clear arguments against it. Many testimonies, though, tend to make me think that imprisonment, being such a clear, extreme and little-refined form of torture (some are much more inventive, in the State’s perspective …I’ll leave its specialists to decide which are more effective) has often been a first step to the rejection of something much bigger (that jail is of course a part of).
    Keith Lamar and the Lucasville 5 are a good example of that (according to what Keith wrote about his own life experience).

  3. ABC says:

    There is already a day for ALL prisoners, August 10, International Prisoners Day, that is why there is a specific date for anarchist prisoners (23-30), but you can naturally give solidarity to all prisoners if you like during the anarchist week.

  4. Another email lists the following prison-related struggles in the USA dating from 2013, most of which are not included in the chronology. Since they don’t have links, I’ve decided to put this list here. They’re divided into a list of struggles inside prison (from September 2013 onwards) and a list of prison-related struggles outside (from July 2013 onwards):



    Officials at Gulf Coast Treatment Center juvenile detention facility in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida reported rioting youth there threw chairs, flipped tables, damaged jail property, and used a seized staffer’s radio to communicate with guards.
    -Associated Press, September 15

    Upset over the current grievance officer, inadequate sanitary supplies, no programs for prisoners in long-term segregation, and a poor recreation environment, 22 prisoners at Pontiac Correctional Center in Illinois went on hunger strike.
    -WJBD Radio, October 15

    Fifteen inmates at Potosi Correctional Center in Missouri went on a week-long hunger strike to protest neglect, sanitation issues, and physical abuse by guards. Thirty-five inmates there also signed a petition in support of the strikers’ cause.
    -San Francisco Bay View, November 17

    Frustrated inmates in C-Pod at Baxter County Jail in Mountain Home, Arkansas broke sprinkler heads, lights, and a window, and flooded their cells.
    -The Baxter Bulletin, November 21

    Protesting a policy limiting the number of prisoners allowed in the yard at one time, 33 prisoners at Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln refuse to return to their cells after dinner and set small fires in trash cans.
    -KHAS TV, December 3

    Two dozen inmates at Santa Clara County Jail in California launched a week-long hunger strike protesting the reduction of visiting hours.
    -San Jose Mercury News, December 19

    In October, frustrated inmates at Strafford County Jail in New Hampshire, refused to return to their cells, damaged property, erected barricades, and threw objects at responding corrections officers.
    -The Boston Globe, December 29


    Officials reported that since Jan. 1, prisoners at four Alabama State Correctional facilities (St. Clair, Holman, Elmore, and Donaldson) refused to work in kitchen and laundry areas and perform other jobs because of unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, small pay, and an unfair court system.
    -The Montgomery Advertiser, January 6

    Prisoners at Florida’s Moore Haven Correctional Institution engaged in a sit-down strike until their demands were met (the removal of policies of taking money out of prisoner’s commissary for each visitation and each disciplinary report.)
    -Fox4 News Ft. Myers, January 6

    Officials reported that multiple jail guards were assaulted as inmates at Fremont County Jail in Canon City, Colorado, attempted to riot.
    -Canon City Daily Record, January 9

    Thirty-three prisoners at the U.S. military’s Guantanamo Bay prison facility remained on hunger strike after more than 12 years of imprisonment without charges.
    -The Guardian, January 12

    Indiana prison officials resumed serving hot lunches to prisoners at Westville Correctional Facility after prisoners there had launched a week-long hunger strike after months of enduring cold sack lunches.
    -WFHB Bloomington, January 20

    Twenty-five inmates in the High Security Unit at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois went on hunger strike against severe isolation, poor food and living conditions, and mail delays. A week into the strike, 20 supporters gathered outside the facility making noise loud enough for those inside to hear and shout back “We Love You!”
    -Riverfront Times, January 21

    A prisoner at Potosi Correctional Center is on hunger strike to try to meet his demands for a transfer.
    -Riverfront Times, January 23

    Frustrated with the various rules and regulations, an inmate at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific, MO, was reported to be on hunger strike for 6 days.
    -KSDK, January 28

    Fed up prisoners at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, Alabama, somehow managed to upload 60 videos in three days to youtube, documenting the abuse and unsanitary conditions at the prison.
    -Alabama Media Group, January 28

    Houston County Jail officials in Dothan, Alabama, reported that a group of unknown people broke into the facility through a fence and window in a failed effort to free a group of prisoners.
    -WTVY-Dothan, February 6

    Three prisoners threatened with deportation are on hunger strike at York County Prison in York, Pennsylvania. Two dozen supporters demonstrated at the Philadelphia, office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the release of the men and they also accused the feds of targeting the undocumented in nearby Norristown, PA.
    -CBS Philly, February 11

    Football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson, a prisoner at Lovelock Correctional Center, in Lovelock, Nevada, launches a hunger strike.
    -The Daily Mail, February 12

    A scuffle between prisoners and guards at the Cameron County Detention Center in Olmito, Texas sends 9 guards to the hospital.
    -KFXV-McAllen, February 12

    Hunger-striking prisoners at Menard Correctional Center, in Chester Illinois, were met by a second demonstration in support of them beneath their cell windows. Demonstrators banged drums and shouted support, and prisoners shouted back their demands and gratitude. In Chicago at the same time, dozens of hunger-strike supporters rallied outside the state Department of Corrections headquarters.
    -The Southern Illinoisan, February 14

    Ninety male inmates at the Durango jail, in Phoenix, Arizona, joined their 9 female counterparts at the nearby Estrella jail in launching a hunger strike against vegetarian-only meals of poor quality.
    -KSAZ-Phoenix, February 17

    About 200 prisoners at Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan, left their cells and demonstrated in the yard over their food, two months after the DOC contracted out its food service.
    Detroit Free Press, February 18

    Complaining of abusive conditions, bugs in the food, sexual harassment, denied access to the law library, and improper medical treatment, 10 prisoners in the special management unit (SMU) of the Georgia Diagnostic Correctional Prison in Jackson, Georgia, launched a hunger strike.
    -San Francisco Bay View, February 19

    More than 10 prisoners inside Eloy Detention Center in Eloy, Arizona, went on hunger strike to protest their pending deportations. Friends and families of the prisoners set
    up a protest encampment outside the Phoenix ICE office, declared a hunger strike themselves, and demanded an end to all deportations. One week later, the police raided and evicted the sleeping encampment, arresting two. The next day, the protesters re-established the encampment.
    -Phoenix New Times, February 25

    Nine prisoners held in the H-Unit at the U.S. Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado were on hunger strike.
    -The Nation, February 27

    A prisoner ended his individual, 16-day hunger strike at Lanesboro Correctional Institution in Polkton, NC, after many of his demands were met, including cleaning supplies, a clean mattress, appropriate-sized clothing, paper, pens, and envelopes.
    Charlotte Observer, March 7

    Citing inspiration from the Feb. 24th protest blockade outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, that stopped the deportation of 120 people that day, 1200 inmates there launched a hunger strike protesting poor food, low pay, high commisarry, and mistreatment.
    The Seattle Times, March 7

    Detained immigrants launch a massive hunger and work strike at Tacoma Detention Center with 1200 participating. Their demands are for improved working conditions and for an end to the deportations every week.
    -The Tacoma Times, March 12

    Following the lead of hunger-striking immigrant inmates in Tacoma, Washington, 120 immigrant prisoners at Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe, Texas also launched a hunger strike demanding an end to deportations, overcrowding, and poor treatment.
    Houston Chronicle, March 17

    Officials at Butte County Jail in Oroville, California, report that about 30 inmates organized a hunger strike to protest being placed on lockdown.
    -Chico Enterprise-Recorder, March 26

    After months of complaints over food, officials at Hinds County Jail in Raymond, Mississippi, reported violence broke out in one of the jail’s pods leading inmates to expel gaurds and take over that pod for a number of hours.
    -WSFA-NBC Jackson, March 31

    Officials at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, announced that prisoners there were on “work strike,” refusing to go to work out of frustration with crumbling infrastructure, cold winter conditions, poor access to medical care, bad food, no gym time, and harassment of family members during visitations.
    The Mobile Press-Register, April 3

    Zoo officials reported that seven chimpanzees escaped for the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri. “One of them either found or broke off a 5- or 6-foot log or branch, leaned it against a wall and clambered to the top. Then that chimpanzee- the ‘ringleader,’ persuaded six friends to join him.”
    -The Kansas City Star, April 10

    Attorneys for 8 prisoners at Honolulu’s Federal Detention Center, in Hawaii, relayed that those prisoners were on hunger strike to protest isolation in a segregated unit and a lack of clean underwear, loss of family visits, and maggots in food.
    -West Hawaii Today, April 12

    Indian press reported that 42 youths from the Punjab region of India were on hunger strike at the El-Paso Processing Center (Jail) in El Paso, Texas. They were demanding their release after 10-months imprisonment for crossing the border on their own.
    -The Tribune of India, April 13

    Prisoners in Alabama state prisons announced the launch of a system-wide work strike, which includes kitchen and laundry work, chemical and license plate production, and furniture-making. This is the second strike thus far this year. The first, in January, included prisoners at the prisons at the St. Clair, Holman, and Elmore facilities. The prisoners initiating the strike claimed, “This Movement isn’t about getting ‘some outside support,’ or having our family ‘call the politicians or mayor’s office,’ ‘call the news station’ and on and on and on. The reason for this is simple: we can’t form a movement conditioned on ‘outside’ people without first unifying the ‘inside people.’”, April 18

    After prisoners at Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, in Pikeville, TN, were told there would be no showers because of the Memorial Day holiday, they kicked doors, screamed, and generally raised hell for two hours. Prison officials then granted them shower access.
    -Chattanooga Times Free Press, May 28

    Over 100 immigrants imprisoned at 3 different maximum-security prisons across Ontario, Canada (Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene, and Toronto’s Metro West Detention Centre) refuse to appear for their detention reviews, insisting the process is stacked against them.
    -Toronto Sun, June 3

    At least 8 prisoners at Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, NC, went on hunger strike- upset over unsanitary conditions, no library access, denial of outdoor recreation, and disciplinary practices. After 17 days, many of the demands were met.
    -ABC11-Raleigh, June 16

    The family and friends of detained immigrants imprisoned in Wisconsin chain themselves to the doors of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Milwaukee demanding their immediate release.
    -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 19

    Around 1300 prisoners at SCI Coal Township in Coal Township, PA, refused to go to the dining hall from June 16 and June 22 in protest of cutbacks to food portions, the inability to hold cultural events, an ineffective grievance process, poor medical care, and policies that punish prisoners and their families.
    -Harrisburg Patriot-News, June 24

    Prisoners at Zarzal Correctional Institution in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico rioted together against the guards after authorities discovered a stash of “illegal substances” in a cell. Ten guards and several prisoners were hurt during this full-scale riot.
    -Fox News, July 8

    Upset over a months-long lockdown, inmates at maximum-security Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville, SC, assaulted an officer, took his keys and started unlocking cells. The 6-hour long disturbance sent 3 correctional officers and 5 inmates to the hospital. Two years ago, in the same wing of the prison, prisoners upset over steady meals of bologna, rampaged for five hours, smashing windows, trashing common areas and offices, and setting off water sprinklers. They broke off metal desk legs and used them to assault two officers.
    -The Post & Courier, July 10

    More than 60 prisoners at New York’s Rikers Island, upset over a new 9pm curfew, refused to return to their cells for around two hours demanding to watch their favorite TV shows in the common areas. Guards used pepper spray to force them back into their cells.
    -New York Post, August 12

    Mad about unfair treatment and the sending of two prisoners to segregation, 60 prisoners at Cibola County Detention Center in Grants, New Mexico, participated in a riot that caused $75,000 in damages. For 45 minutes prisoners destroyed porcelain toilets and sinks, air ducts, bunks, windows, microwaves, televisions, and security cameras. They defended themselves from guards using plumbing fixtures ripped from walls and railings from bunks with shards of porcelain strapped to the ends with cloth.
    -KOAT-Albuquerque, August 20

    Frustrated by restrictive rules on their movements inside Arizona’s Florence Correctional Center and upset about about being sent so far from their families in Vermont, 13 prisoners refused to enter their cells and for 30 minutes, smashed televisions, microwaves, and other equipment.
    -Vermont Public Radio, August 22

    Juvenile inmates at VisionQuest Academy in South Mountain, PA, assaulted and threw rocks at guards, injuring one.
    -ABC27-Harrisburg, September 8

    Upset over poor medical treatment, 3 prisoners at Corcoran State Prison in California launched a hunger strike.
    -KNFS-Fresno, September 26

    Thirteen teenagers broke out of the juvenile lockup at Woodland Hills Youth Development Center in Nashville, TN, after attacking a guard and stealing his keys and radio. The teens used the keys to escape their dorm and to an outdoor courtyard. One wriggled through a gap between the perimeter fence and a rolling gate, then threw a rock through the guard house window, and opened the gate, freeing the others. Three weeks earlier, 24 teens broke out of a common area by kicking through aluminum panels under windows. For hours, they occupied the prison yard with wooden sticks, pipes, and fire extinguishers. Two days before that, in a mass breakout, 32 teens kicked through dorm walls overnight and crawled under a weak spot in the perimeter fence.
    -The Tennessean, September 28

    Demanding their immediate release, 200 immigrant detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA, launched their third hunger strike of the year.
    -The News-Tribune, November 3

    Prisoners at Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility in Kenai, Alaska rioted against guards and ultimately five escaped.
    -KTUU-Anchorage, November 8


    Prisoners in the segregation unit at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, AL, threw items and urine on guards and started fires, catching one guard’s pant leg on fire.
    -WKRG-Mobile, January 30

    At the Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville, TX, 2,000 inmates, mostly immigrants, took over the facility in a riot over poor medical services. The riot erupted in the afternoon after prisoners had refused to eat breakfast or report for work. They gathered in the recreation yard, set fire to 3 housing units, wielded pipes, threw objects at authorities, and shook the perimeter fence. Afterward, the prison was deemed “uninhabitable.”
    -Associated Press, February 22

    Four prisoners at Georgia State Prison-Reidsville, started a hunger strike in protest over mail censorship and disciplinary practices.
    -Atlanta Journal Constitution, February 26

    Prisoners at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, AL, launched a work strike.
    -The Birmingham News, March 1

    Upset over shrinking food portions, 26 inmates at maximum-security Ely State Prison in Ely, Nevada, went on hunger strike.
    -Las Vegas Sun, March 11

    Around 25 Youths inmates rioted against guards at Les Peters Juvenile Corrections Academy in Tampa, FL, injuring one corrections officer.
    -WTSP-Tampa, March 16

    Over 30 prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary Supermax facility in Youngstown went on hunger strike fueled by poor conditions, the withdrawal of congregate recreation, and the denial of programming.
    -The Columbus Dispatch, March 17

    Frustrated over poor conditions and mistreatment by officials, a group of 10 mothers being held on immigration charges at Karnes City Family Detention Center in Karnes City, Texas started their second hunger strike. Earlier, on March 31, around 80 women at the facility participated in a 5-day hunger strike demanding their freedom. This strike was supported by a group of 30 protestors holding signs outside the jail.
    -International Business Times, April 15

    Prisoners from one cell block at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, AL, refused to return to their cells when placed on lockdown. They resisted being forced back into their cells for 6 hours, arming themselves with locks tied to belts, a few knives, and broken broom handles.
    -ABC3340-Birmingham, April 17

    Youth prisoners at the Hillside Children’s Center in Romulus, NY, rioted and attacked Sheriff’s Office staff with coffee cups, injuring three.
    -Syracuse Post-Standard, April 20

    On May 10, 40 inmates, upset over the lack of activities and poor living conditions at Nebraska’s Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, attempted to deliver a petition to prison officials in the exercise yard. Officials responded by firing live ammunition and rubber bullets into the assembly. As a result, 200 prisoners took control of two housing units (including staff offices), set small fires, and damaged security cameras, fire sprinklers, windows, and even tore down a wall before guards retook control the following morning. In its wake, some segments of the prison remained unusable because of the half a million dollar in damages to the facility. During the takeover, prisoners used a phone in the offices to call the Lincoln newspaper to explain their actions: “This is not a white thing, or a black thing, this is a people thing.”

    On May 31, girls at Pasco Juvenile Detention Center in Land O’ Lakes, FL, managed to steal keys from a guard and open doors inside the facility. This allowed other prisoners out of their cells who then attacked detention staff .

    On June 11, prisoners at St. Clair Correctional Facility, in Springville, AL, engaged in a “big clash” with guards. 3 Officers were injured and the officers in riot gear were dispatched to calm supress the prisoners.

    On June 13, a group of 200 immigrant detainees launched a hunger strike at Arizona’s Eloy Detention Center. They were furious about the deaths of two fellow detainees a month earlier. They said the inmates were brutally beaten, placed for days in solitary confinement, and left there to die. They were also upset over getting paid $1 per day for work and over poor medical treatment.

    Prisoners in Canada’s Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene, Ontario rioted for 6 hours on June 18. The riot began when 45 prison inmates in two separate units refused to be locked in their cells. After guards left, they began destroying meal hatch doors, cell doors, phones, duct work, and garbage bins. When prisoners refused to negotiate, a tactical team armed with pepper spray was sent in, but they were greeted to a surprise of floors coated with shampoo and soap creating a slippery situation for them. And to protect themselves from the guards, inmates had armed themselves with solid steel meal hatch doors and socks filled with concrete. They were swinging them over their heads in a similar fashion to a medieval mace.

    Prisoners at Arizona State Prison Complex in Kingman, Arizona, celebrated the July 4th weekend with three days of rioting. Family members say lack of air-conditioning and poor food had been a source of frustration among inmates. Day one saw minimum-security prisoners create a “major disturbance.” Day two saw the rioting spread to medium-security prisoners who became “non-compliant and caused significant damage” in two of the prison’s five housing units. And day three saw the remaining three medium-security units suffer additional damages from rioting. Nearly 1200 prisoners at the 1500-bed facility were transfered to other facilities, after four of the five units were “virtually destroyed” and deemed uninhabitable. Ten days later, the guard believed to have started the rioting by pepper spraying a prisoner commited suicide at home.

    On July 6, six youths at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon barricaded themselves in a campus building after a confrontation with a guard. For four hours, they ripped holes in the walls, raided an area containing prescription medications, and broke water pipes, sinks, desks, chairs, windows, doors, medical carts, computers, computer monitors, and TVs. They refused to negotiate with Oregon State Police who finally used tear gas to move in and apprehend them.

    On July 23, around 30 prisoners at McKinley County Detention Center in Gallup, New Mexico clogged their drains to flood their cells. As several of them were being relocated, others set a fire and barricaded themselves in the pod.

    On July 25, 22 asylum-seekers from India launched a hunger strike at Krome Immigration Detention Center in Miami, Florida, after the denial of a bond hearing.

    On July 29, over 80 prisoners at the Jefferson County Jail in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, rioted causing several thousand dollars in damage to the facility. The rioting came after jail security staff tightened security and restricted comissary and television privileges for the inmates. Surveillance footage captured at least one masked detainee covering one of the two cameras in the open jail pod with wet toilet paper just before the prisoners banded together to damage ceiling tiles, windows, duct work, the security system, and the sprinkler system.

    On July 30, county inmates being temporarily held at a State prison in Coal Township, Pennsylvania,launched a hunger strike. They were upset over a poor transition to services and treatment to which they were accustomed, including a lack of exercise equipment and access to the law library, limited religious services, and guards spitting chewing tobacco in trash cans and on floors.

    On July 31, prisoners at Saskatoon Correctional Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, staged a small “disturbance.” Using it as cover, six prisoners breached the ventalation system in a failed escape attempt.

    Also on July 31, over 40 prisoners at Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah, launched a week-long hunger strike demanding less time spent in isolation, more access to prison programs, more flexible housing policies, and an end to squalid living conditions. Prison officials responded by confiscating televisions and commissary food from cells, curtailing personal television access, and restricting spending for food and other items. Some prisoners responded in kind by flooding their cells by breaking sprinklers, covering up their cell windows, and refusing to submit to handcuffs so officers could enter their cells.

    On August 12, inmates at Silverdale correctional facility in Chatanooga, Tennessee, started a 5-hour long riot that significantly disrupted the court schedule the following day.



    Police in riot gear pushed back demonstrators who banged on the windows of the St. Louis downtown jail and threw trash in its lobby. Demonstrators were upset over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida and over the arrest of a fellow demonstrator during an earlier march through downtown.
    -KSDK St. Louis, July 14

    Over the last month, in solidarity with the hunger strikers in California state prisons, demonstrations (with many family and friends of inmates) took place in the California cities of Norwalk, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, San Jose, Eureka, and in Oakland, where thirteen were arrested for blocking access to the state building. Elsewhere, rallies occurred in New York City, Iowa, and Chicago.
    -NBC News & The New York Times, August 7

    Sixty protesters attempt to block buses leaving the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Fairfax County, Virginia. The buses hold undocumented immigrant prisoners en route to their deportation.
    -Washington Times, December 16

    Six people were arrested after chaining themselves to the doors of the Butler County (Ohio) jail to protest the detention of undocumented immigrants held inside.
    -Dayton Daily News, December 19

    Seventy protesters march to the Fresno County Jail and block the entrance in protest of the jail’s cooperation with federal authorities to carry out deportations.
    -The Fresno Bee, December 23

    On Christmas Day, dozens noisily protest against the mass incarceration of prisoners outside Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas.
    -CW39, December 26


    Outside the downtown Oakland jail, protesters rung in the New Year with fireworks and chants. Inmates inside responded by banging on the windows facing the street.
    -San Francisco Chronicle, January 1

    A dozen people marched behind a banner reading, “Prison makes war on the poor” to the downtown jail in Omaha, Nebraska. There, they set off fireworks and whistled loudly to bring in the new year. Prisoners inside responded by waving and banging on their windows.
    -Omaha World-Herald, January 1

    Seventy demonstrators rang in the new year outside the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. Demonstrators made noise with drums, air horns, pots & pans, chants, and a small marching band while prisoners inside flickered lights in response.
    -New York Times, January 2

    Protestors celebrated New Year’s Eve outside the King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle, Washington, setting off fireworks and throwing paint at the facility.
    -The Capitol Hill Times, January 2

    Outside the headquarters of the Mississippi Department of Corrections in Jackson, about 35 people chanted, held signs, and called the commissioner names while protesting the end to conjugal visits for state inmates.
    -The Clarion-Ledger, January 17

    Under the Banner “No More Money for Jails,” dozens of demonstrators rallied in downtown Santa Cruz, California, against the expansion of Rountree Detention Center in Watsonville.
    -Bay Area Independent Media, January 18

    Officials arrested six protesters outside the Travis County Jail in Austin, Texas, who blocked the entrance to the jail during a demonstration to stop the deportation of the inmates inside.
    Texas Tribune, February 3

    At a hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California, triggered by last summer’s state-wide hunger strike, hundreds crowd the room demanding an end to solitary confinement.
    -The Sacramento Bee, February 11

    Five thousand people protest the construction of a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Santa Maria, California
    -Santa Barbara Independent, February 13

    Dozens protested outside the Hennepin County jail in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling on the Sheriff to stop cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in deporting immigrants via that jail.
    -KSTP-Minneapolis, February 14

    Demanding an end to all deportations, seven undocumented immigrants and supporters locked themselves together and blocked the entrance of the Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsden, Alabama.
    The Gadsden Times, March 24

    In support of hunger-striking prisoners, dozens demonstrated at the entrance to the GEO Group CEO’s gated-community neighborhood in Boca Raton, Florida. The GEO Group runs for-profit prisons throughout the country including the immigrant detention facilities in Washington and Texas where prisoners were striking.
    WPEC-CBS 12, March 24

    One hundred relatives, friends, and supporters of those incarcerated at the Eloy, Arizona, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center walked over 60 miles from Phoenix to protest outside the facility demanding an end to all deportations.
    -The Washington Post, April 5

    Demonstrators calling for the release of all immigrants in detention ceneters blocked an intersection outside the Broadview Detention Center in Broadview, Illinois.
    -Chicago Tribune, April 8

    Outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Facility in Queens, New York, demonstrators held a noise demonstration for those locked inside, declaring their solidarity with the hunger strikers in Washington and and Texas and standing behind a banner reading, “Stop the deportations, or the people will.”
    -New York Times, April 6

    Officials reported that 500 people rallied outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington in support of 60 hunger-striking prisoners inside who are demanding a stop to deportation proceedings and their immediate release. During the rally, prisoners inside were able to establish a phone connection to people on the outside and hear the demonstrators.
    -The News-Tribune, April 9

    A crowd of people demanding the end to all deportations blocked the entrance to the Suffolk (Immigrant) Detention Center in Boston, MA.
    -The Boston Globe, April 17

    On May Day, the international workers’ holiday, and this the 56th day of the hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, 200 supporters rally outside demanding a stop to all deportations and the prisoners immediate release.
    -The News-Tribune, May 1

    As part of May Day protests around the city, crowds gathered outside the King County Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle, Washington, with banners proclaiming “No New Juvies.” These crowds later merged with others and scuffled with police and superhero vigilantes, set bonfires in downtown intersections, and damaged a luxury BMW convertible.
    -The Seattle Times, May 2

    Two hundred people protesting against youth incarceration marched to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL. One sign read “Battle the System.” Protesters made noise and projected the message “You are Not Alone” onto the jail, while prisoners inside responded by banging on their windows and waving at those below.
    -Chicago Tribune, May 20

    As part of the international day of solidarity with long term anarchist prisoners Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, and with all others who are imprisoned. Demonstrators converged on the Durham County Detention Facility in Durham, NC. They drummed, chanted and set off firecrackers, even throwing some at a line of prison guards protecting the entrance. Prisoners inside responded by holding up signs and waving.
    -News & Observer, June 13

    Protesters declaring “Destroy every prison, visible and invisible” unfurled banners to block access to the Greek consulate in New York City to express solidarity with the struggle in Greek prisons. A hunger strike that began on June 18 spread to every Greek prison facility. Around 4000 prisoners refused meals to protest new repressive measures designed to undermine the growing social antagonism both inside and outside of the prisons.
    -New York Times, July 3

    Marching through the streets of Boston, MA, in solidarity with anti-police riots in Ferguson, MO, demonstrators stopped at the South Bay House of Corrections, to make noise. In response, prisoners shouted to protesters below and one wrote “Mike Brown” on his window.
    -Huffington Post, November 25

    Hundreds marched through the streets of Durham, NC in solidarity with the anti-police riots in Ferguson, MO the night before. Demonstrators blocked the street outside the Durham County Detention Facility with construction materials, prisoners banged on windows upon hearing the drums and chanting outside, and “Burn the prisons” was spraypainted on the outside of the jail.
    -News & Observer, November 26

    As part of the wave of anti-police demonstrations around country, a loud protest was held outside the Durham County Detention Facility. Inside, prisoners could be seen cheering and banging on their windows.
    -WRAL, December 6

    Around 100 people marched to the St. Louis city work house on Hall Street calling for the facility to be shut down and the release of 40 people jailed during the Ferguson riots. Demonstrators shouted “Let them go!” while inmates inside shouted back “We love ya’ll. Keep up the movement!”
    -CBS-St. Louis, December 13


    Twenty demonstrators in Santa Cruz, CA rung in the new year by marching to the county jail and vandalizing county cars parked in the lot by throwing rocks, bottles, and paint.
    -KSBW, January 1

    People with banners and drums celebrated the New Year outside the downtown Jackson, MS, jail. Prisoners inside flicked lights, shouted, waved, and banged on windows.
    The Clarion-Ledger, January 1

    Fifty protesters shouted and banged drums outside the Durham County Detention Facility to celebrate the new year with prisoners inside. They held a banner reading, “Outside to Inside: You are Not Forgotten.”
    -WTVD-Durham, January 1

    For the New Year, demonstrators in Ontario, Canada, visited the Syl Apps Youth Detention Centre in Oakville and the Barton Jail in Hamilton. Outside each, they set off fireworks, drummed, and chanted, while prisoners inside flicked lights and pounded on their windows.
    -Hamilton Herald, January 1

    Youth detainees were involved in a New Year’s Day riot at the Cresson Secure Treatment Unit adolescent facility in Cresson, PA, that injured 3 guards.
    -Associated Press, January 5

    Two Hundred people marched through the streets of Santa Cruz, CA, to the local jail, furious over the sixth inmate death in less than three years. Their chants and music on the outside were greeted by female prisoners inside banging their windows and shouting back.
    -San Francisco Bay View, January 24

    Declaring solidarity with the Baltimore anti-police riots, vandals set fire to a construction truck at the site of the future King County Juvenile Detention Center.
    -Seattle Times, April 28

    Philadelphia protesters, marching in solidarity with the anti-police riots in Baltimore, scuffled with police before marching to the Federal Bureau of Prisons building. Prisoners inside the building banged on windows and flashed their lights, while those outside chanted “We are one!”
    -Philly Inquirer, April 30

    Over 100 people demonstrated outside the GEO Group’s annual shareholder meeting in Boca Raton, FL in support of hunger-striking immigrant women held at the GEO Group-operated Karnes County Family Detention Center in Karnes City, Texas.
    -WSVN-Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, April 30

    Protesters outside the immigrant detention center in Santa Ana, CA, took over a busy intersection outside the facility on May 28. They demanded an immediate end to detention and deportation, starting with the release of undocumented transgender women held inside the jail.

    On July 10, dozens of undocumented immigrants blocked the roads outside the federal New Orleans Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office demanding an end to the raids and unjust removals they say are continuing after the President’s executive action announcement.On blockader said: “If ICE is going to be out in the streets then we will too.”

    On July 18, more than 100 people protested outside the Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas. They were angered over the suspicious death of a woman inmate at the facility earlier in the week. Authorities claimed she hung herself, but a witness videotape of her arrest showed police had roughed her up.

    On August 3rd, several dozen demonstrators blocked a key intersection for two hours in downtown Seattle next to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. This I.C.E. office oversees the nearby Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. The demonstrators, primarily concerned over the treatment of transgender inmates, also called for the abolition of all detention centers and prisons.

  5. Report about Kingman prison riot in Arizona, July 4th:

    Over the 4th of July weekend, riots broke out at a private state prison near Kingman, Arizona…. a new report says that the government’s response may have been worse than the riots themselves.

    … The report says that MTC, the company that ran the 3,500-bed Kingman prison, had had a history of security problems in the facility, with more than a dozen instances in the past decade of of “large groups of inmates refusing directives or chasing MTC staff off the yard.” In 2010, the prison saw both an escape and a violent brawl in which 150 inmates participated.

    In this riot, which spread over two days, five officers were injured. Nearly 100 SWAT-style officers from the state Department of Corrections were called in to quell the disturbance, and more than 1,000 prisoners eventually had to be transferred to other facilities due to property damage. But here is where the narrative gets interesting: “By most accounts, it is clear that the riots were motivated by prisoner frustration with MTC’s management and the actions of its guards. This frustration was directed at the physical facilities themselves. There were no altercations among prisoners.”

    In fact, the report says that the riot was not only spurred by inmate anger at the brutality of guards (such as routine and unnecessary overuse of pepper spray), but that the law enforcement reaction to the riot was itself brutal, “to the point where prisoners who were completely incapacitated were still being beaten, tazed, and shot with rubber bullets.” Here is a portion of one prisoner’s account of what happened:

    The guy next to me didn’t speak any English and when they came to his house and told him to get up off the ground and he didn’t respond they kicked him in the head and shot him twice and screamed at him again and again to get up. I yelled that he doesn’t speak any English and they kicked him again and shot him 4 more times and said “Do you speak English now mother- [expletive]?” Still he didn’t move so they dragged him out.

    The kid that came out right behind me had his head slammed in to the metal bars on the windows and had to get 8 staples in his head. He now has a 4 inch scar on his head… The man next to me was kicked so many times I thought they broke his ribs. A young black kid not far from me was on the ground and made the mistake of asking an officer to please loosen up his cuffs his hands were numb, the officer walked over kicked him in the face and told him to “shut up [expletive] and move your [expletive] ass closer to the guy next to you.

  6. Translation from French of a text ( ) about a prison construction company (Eiffage), with a list of some of the anti-Eiffage actions since 2012:

    Eiffage builds prisons of the 21st century
    (posted on 15/8/15 on Luciolles)

    With 69,000 employees and a turnover of 14 billion euros, Eiffage is a gigantic building and civil engineering company (the third biggest in France, after Vinci and Bouygues) and, like all the big bosses in the concrete business, the state, for them, is a privileged client. Offices (like the whole “Garance” in the twentieth district of Paris, for the Ministry of the Interior), schools, hospitals, bridges, highways (where Eiffage is also manager), CCTVs, fiber optics (8 contracts with local communities, for 5200 km of fiber optics for broadband communications), railway lines (they participate in the TGV Lyon-Turin line project) … and they obviously have thrown themselves into the lucrative market of Greater Paris: to begin with they got the work for extending metro line 14, from Saint-Lazare to Porte de Clichy.

    Eiffage also build quite a lot of prisons, the exploitation and maintenance of which they ensure as part of a Public Private Partnership (giving them lucrative rates from the Ministry of Justice). According to their advertising it is nothing less than “the prison of the twenty-first century […] this new generation of prisons combines maximum safety with quality of accommodation conditions.”
    They built the prisons of Maubeuge (finished in 1990), then the lot comprising those of Roanne, Lyon-Corbas, Béziers and Nancy -Maxéville towards the late noughties. Eiffage Construction Provence built between 2005 and 2008 the district of semi-freedom and remand centre for sentence management of the House of Detention in Aix-Luynes. In Rodez, a House of Detention with 100 jail places was supplied in 2013, while in Perpignan their bribes to win the contract for the renovation of watchtowers were too visible and Eiffage had to pay a big fine. At Fleury-Merogis Prison restoration work is underway, as is being done at the site of the prison of Marche-en-Famenne, in Belgium.

    We must also thank Eiffage Construction for the gendarmerie [police station run by section of the army] of Châteauroux (36) and Mézidon (14), and two other police stations in Calvados. These are also the ones who built the national headquarters of the gendarmerie (DGGN) in Issy-les-Moulineaux. But so as not to make any preferences, they also built the ordinary police station in Hyères and that of Draguignan and restructured the Court of Justice in Strasbourg.

    One of the Eiffage Group companies is Clemessy specializing in industrial engineering. It has a nuclear department, which is involved in the French nuclear power industry since its beginning, that is to say the construction of the Fessenheim plant in 1970. For a half a billion euros, Clemessy will provide EDF with the emergency generators for all French reactors (a security measure decided after the Fukushima accident – like that we integrate the disasters into the capitalist machine). The sister company Clemessy, Eiffage Construction Metallic, also participates in the nuclear industry, for example with the work of EPR in Flamaville, supplies for nuclear power stations of Gravelines, Chooz and Cattenom, or selling “French know-how” to Finland or China alongside Areva.

    It goes without saying that by building cages (or other crap) Eiffage becomes the target of a certain anger – and as a construction company its vehicles are almost everywhere, sometimes it’s enough to just open your eyes and the fury ignites …


    Here’s a little list of acts of fury that targeted Eiffage in recent years and which we have got to know about. It may be incomplete, some things could have escaped us, but mostly we hope that it will be increasingly extended in the future. Unless otherwise indicated, all these attacks have been claimed as clearly being targeted on the involvement of Eiffage in prison construction.

    In early December 2012, Roanne (42): an Eiffage van went up in smoke. Some days later, gallons of motor oil were spilled across the only road leading to the detention centre.
    October 2012, Paris and Montreuil: an Eiffage truck had its tyres flattened, a car’s tyres punctured and a window broken (other similar actions are conducted these days in solidarity with the ZAD of Notre-Dames-des Landes and against this world).
    April 15, 2013 in Pontcharra-sur-Turdine (69): four Eiffage construction machines were burned, 500,000 euros of damage; unclaimed action.
    May 12, 2013 in Rennes: an Eiffage machine set alight. Action claimed against the Paris-Rennes LGV line.
    October 3, 2013 in Pantin (93): an Eiffage fire truck (and a Vinci car).
    October 6, 2013, Paris: an Eiffage van set fire to.
    October 26, 2013, Paris: a utility of Eiffage Energie burns.
    October 26, 2013, Besançon: the windows of an office of Eiffage Immobilier are smashed with stones, the same as with a JCDecaux panel; the same evening, a machine of the tram construction site had its tank sabotaged. Actions claimed against gentrification.
    March 4, 2014, Exincourt (25): A fire destroyed an 800 square meter building owned by Eiffage and destroyed construction site machines; unclaimed action.
    September 14, 2014, Paris: the burning of an Eiffage car.
    March 1, 2015, Montreuil (93): burning of an Eiffage truck.
    May 25, 2015, Besancon: destruction of an Eiffage excavator tank, which builds luxury housing and a shopping mall in the city centre.
    June 14, 2015, Paris: an Eiffage utility up in smoke.

  7. France, Besancon: man held in police station cell sets fire to mattress (30/8/15):

  8. The following is a translation of a text about JCDecaux, a company involved in exploitation of prisoners (see, for instance, the entry above for 13/10/15 in the chronology), taken from here:

    The title is a loose translation of “JCDecaux : une pourriture sur tous les fronts” – which literally means “JCDecaux: rottenness on all fronts”. My title sounds a bit better in English.

      JCDecaux – scum of the earth

    The industrial group JCDecaux is known above all for having enriched itself from advertising from the middle of the 1950s onwards and then by extending its scope of activities in several aspects of the workings of capitalist and state domination.

    In exchange for installing bus shelters for municipalities for “free”, JCDecaux has carte blanche to invest, in the towns or on the outskirts, in bright inserts and screens – big and small – in which spread thousands of cubic meters of posters and advertising spots. Its work in lobotomising people’s brains is recognized as a “public utility” by the state.

    Almost all the main cities of France (Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, Strasbourg, Dijon, Nantes …) as well as Besançon are under contract with JCDecaux. Its empire stretches throughout Europe and the world: the firm gets rich through its displays in stations, airports, public transport, shopping centres and centres of tertiary activities in over 60 countries worldwide. In addition to being a showcase for this world of exploitation and oppression, the “street furniture” is obviously used as a propaganda tool by the local town halls and companies working for the proper functioning of society: whether to conduct campaigns against “incivility” in transport (mainly targeting fare dodgers), to promote subsidised cultural evenings contributing towards embourgeoisement or to instill obedience and servility in the population.

    Nearly 10 years ago, the company threw itself into the commodification of the “free service” of bicycles . This Greater Urban transport service is presented through its company marketing campaign as being sweet and ecological. As often regarding our movements within towns and cities, whether carried out by tram, bus, subway or car shares, the JCDecaux bike does not escape the social control and information gathering about those who use it. The GPS system built into each bike [this is not the case for the Velib ‘in Paris; NdAttaque] and the personal details of the individual required so as to be able to subscribe to these bikes bring together a wealth of information for the multinational database, such as consumption patterns and locations being visited (see footnote below).

    What about the production of these bikes?

    The construction of these rental bikes is provided by ‘Lapierre’, a subsidiary of the Dutch multinational ‘Accell group ‘. The headquarters of ‘Lapierre’ is located in Dijon (8, rue Edmond Voisenet). But it’s in Hungary, specifically in the city of Tószeg, located 120 km southeast of Budapest, that JCDecaux produces its rental bikes … and cheaply: in fact, the company exploits the workers for two euros hour, or 354 euros per month. They work on average 5 days a week for almost 8 hours daily without interruption.

    Launched in September 2007 in Besançon, the ‘velocity’ (to call it by its local name) [TN: ‘vélocité’ in French is a pun – ‘vélo’ means bike, ‘cité’ means small town – and the 2 together mean, as translated, “velocity”] is intended to attract a trendy and affluent population, which vibrates to all that is soft transport (this is also the selling point for the tramway). It is not by chance that the installation of bike stations (30 in total in Besançon) happens within neighborhoods that are being upgraded and in the process of gentrification. At the end of April 2015 in Besançon, several ‘vélocité’ stations were removed to be redeployed in areas of hotels and shops and close to the tram stops, as in ‘Chaprais’ or in ‘Fontaine Argent’, where new condominiums for the rich are being developed. Linking soft transport (tram, ‘vélocité’ and car sharing organised by the company ‘Citiz’) is a source of profits for developers and planners. The popular areas on the outskirts of Besançon, such as ‘Clars Soleil’, ‘The 408’ or ‘Planoise’ were deliberately avoided by the multinational. Because it takes at least 150 euros in your bank account and other fees to use it. So it is no wonder that the poor in large cities (Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille …) feel a strong hatred for these products of green capitalism, the theft and damage of which increase annually by several thousand euros.

    JCDecaux has found a solution: get minors (or not) who are indicted for theft / damage of its bikes to do Community Service work. In collaboration with the PJJ [Protection Judiciaire de la Jeunesse – the branch of the Ministry of Justice concerned with non-adult “crimes”], the judges and juvenile judges, the company enjoys the blessing of the state, which recognizes its bicycle system as a “public service”. The multinational officially participates in programs of “rehabilitation” for prisoners and profits from legal measures such as “penal reparations” and “alternative punishment”. In other words, people convicted of damage serve their sentences working 6 hours a day for free in the repair shops, which are managed by its subsidiary ‘Cyclocity’. This constitutes a capital interest in the company but also for the state which allows it to economise on judicial procedures and to reduce the congestion of its youth prisons (EPM, CEF, ERC ..) [TN note: EPM : Etablissement pénitentiaire pour mineurs – Penitentiary Establishment for minors; CEF : Centre éducatif fermé – education centre for pirsoners; CER : Centre éducatif renforcé – further education for pirsoners] Any prisoner who works behind bars is already paid a pittance (between 20% and 45% of the minimum wage). But in this specific case, there’s a word for this exploitation: slavery.

    Advertising, prison and capital exploitation leaves no room for debate and discussion. Going on the attack and sabotaging these facilities and these infrastructures is a way to break free from the chains of this society a little bit more . JCDecaux, which is present almost everywhere in diverse forms, opens up enormous possibilities to harm its dirty work.


    Here is a chronological list of multi-faceted forms of destruction against JCDecaux recently. Of course, it is far from complete, given that the figures of the damage done are provided to us by the media (and are often in reality higher):

    April 15, 2014, Paris: in the 10th, 11th and 12th arrondissements and in Montreuil, the tyres of 453 Vélib’ are slashed in opposition to JCDecaux’s prisoners of slavery.

    May 7, 2014, Paris: 80 Vélibs have their tyres let down along with three vans and a truck from the municipality of Paris who collaborate in the exploitation of prisoners.

    May 20, Paris: “453 Vélibs have their tires slashed in several districts. Ditto for 5 commercial trucks and 3 lorries belonging to the Town Hall. This attack represents a drop in the ocean of the 8000 attacks they suffer on average per year over the capital. ”

    November 8, 2014, Besancon: twenty “velocity”s are put out of service by punctures.

    November 23, Besancon: 11 bus shelters and its ads are shattered in mid-afternoon on the outskirts of the city. Unfortunately, a person is arrested.

    24-30 November 2014, Toulouse: JCDecaux “is entitled to two breaks in the evenings. One of them cost just € 21,445 and another € 12,129. No less than 250 billboards are damaged. ”

    Nov. 26, 2014, Besancon: around 1:30, a man chooses to treat his “depression” by smashing three bus shelters on Blum Avenue. He is unfortunately arrested and put in a police station cell.

    February 8, 2015, Bordeaux and its suburbs: 45 advertising panels are destroyed, making 90 to replace windows for the company. Tags against the ads are written on street furniture.

    May 2015, Besancon: thirty “velocities” are punctured in solidarity with the rebels of ‘Planoise’ and ‘408’. [reference to constant attacks on riot cops, BAC etc on estates in Besancon in May]

    May 27, 2015, Paris: a ‘JCDecaux’ van goes up in smoke. Incendiary sabotage is carried out in solidarity with anarchists jailed in Spain.

    End May / early June 2015, Toulouse: bus shelters and advertising are the target of “regular destruction” on the road to TOEC [sports club]. No figures for the damage are reported by the press.

    Mid-August 2015 Aurillac: during the famous international street festival, about sixty ads and shelters were smashed by anarchists.

    Between 2010 and 2013 in Besançon, no less than 800 acts of destruction were identified by the city against the bus shelter advertising panels and JCDecaux. The damage amounts to more than a million euros.


    (originally an insert)
    Besançon becoming a “Smart City”

    …dedicated to meeting the needs of
    the economy by promoting ICT (Information and
    Communication Technology). The socialist town hall after having redeveloped
    the Town Planning of the city with trams, complexes of luxury homes and
    shopping centres, is about to launch free wifi downtown.
    The goal is to make people swallow targeted advertising every
    half hour after their last phone call. After filling all
    your personal details, your wallet, limping along, can be
    tracked everywhere, and ads will be suggested
    targeted to your consumer tastes etc … The town sees there a
    boon to boost consumption in the city centre, a process already
    committed to with the “pedestrian Saturdays.” And J-CDecaux is obviously one of
    the main beneficiaries of this innovative concept.

    Before we put this edition of the paper out, we learnt that construction began mid-August
    in Moncey street in the city center. This is so the municipality can
    install fiber optics, among other things to improve the
    transmission of images and the flux of data for CCTV cameras
    (officially “upgrade the power grids”). The
    site, created by the construction company ‘Sobeca’, will last at least until
    next November. This leaves time to go and put your grain of
    sand into the gears of domination. …

    Also available here:

  9. Just seen this, from “Justice for Keith Lamar” ‘s Facebook page:

    5 September 2015

    Hello everybody:
    Well, I finally received and read the court’s decision. What can I say? It’s so blatantly bogus that it’s almost impossible to form words to describe how I feel. It’s tragic. I mean, I’ve read the State’s theory quite a few times over the years, and I’ve refuted it every step of the way. But to now have it stand as the final word on the matter is a real slap in the face (to say the least). This system is such a joke, and these people, with their fancy titles and fancy robes, are nothing but a bunch of racist idiots with power—a power that they don’t deserve. And I’m expected to continue this charade by filing this or that motion, writing to this or that person, as if appealing to these people’s supposed conscience really means something beyond reducing me to a sniveling fool. I’m done with that. I’m done pleading and begging for my body, as if “my life” is something that they can truly take. My life is the sum total of all
    the thoughts and feelings that reside inside my mind, and they can never touch that.

    We’ve given these people (?) way too much power over us, entrusted them with too much that is too precious, only to have them use, abuse and confuse us over and over again. Why? Why do we continue to believe in this dream, this lie that we live in a post-racial society that recognizes only human beings? When will we ever wake up and see that all they have ever done is hide what’s real by revealing what’s false? I mean, contradiction after contradiction, and we swallow it all. Why? And this is how we’re expected to live our whole lives: watching little boys get gunned down at the playground for playing with toy guns—and no one is held accountable. How is that justice? A man standing on the sidewalk selling cigarettes (in the richest country in the world, no less) is murdered in broad daylight, on video, for everyone to see—and still no one is held accountable. And I’m supposed to be shocked and surprised that I lost my appeal? Let’s get
    real. They’ve been killing niggers for centuries around here—hanging ‘em, burying ‘em, tar and feathering ‘em. . . And ain’t I just a nigger, a THING? No? Well, tell that to the Supreme Court who, in 1875, declared that Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom because HE WAS NOT A PERSON, BUT PROPERTY. Better yet, tell it to Eric Garner’s family who, instead of receiving justice for their loss, were given a bag full of money to bury their grief, as if he was some kind of farm animal. Make no mistake: when it comes to the so-called “justice system” in this country, we’re still stuck in the 1800s; the only thing that has changed is the vantage point from which we view what we choose to see. So look closely, adjust your scope, and you’ll see the tree and the rope. They’re still hanging niggers in America!

    Over 100 of you showed up at my oral arguments last December and saw with your own eyes how ridiculous this whole thing is; the State couldn’t defend what they did. Many of you left with an optimistic feeling, believing that there was no way such a mockery could be rewarded with a victory. I feel your pain. It’s the same pain I felt after the blindfold was ripped from my eyes twenty years ago when a man, testifying at my trial, got on the stand and claimed to have had microscopic microchips embedded in his brain. ‘There’s no way a jury is going to find me guilty of this,’ I told myself. But find me guilty they did—and then they sentenced me to death! Believe me, I know what it means to be disillusioned. Indeed, for the past twenty years, I’ve watched the so-called “wheel of justice” roll over my rights while my alleged attorneys have done nothing but sit back and collect a fee to auction off my life. Trust me, this whole process has been
    nothing but a sham.

    Case in point: Three weeks after oral arguments were heard in my case, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on another case in which the principal issue, once again, revolved around the withholding of exculpatory (favorable) evidence. In this case, a Mr. Darryl Gumm admitted to the kidnapping, attempted rape, and murder of a ten-year-old boy. However, since the State neglected to divulge to Mr. Gumm’s attorneys that other suspects—two of whom reportedly confessed to the murder—were initially pursued, Mr. Gumm was granted relief. He was also granted relief on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct, after the prosecutor improperly elicited testimony from Mr. Gumm’s ex-roommate who testified that he (Mr. Gumm) “fucked a horse” that belonged to the roommate’s family.

    Now, I think we can all agree that there’s nothing more deplorable than the rape and murder of a 10-year-old child (to say nothing of the horse!)—and yet, in reviewing his claims, the Sixth Circuit, notwithstanding Mr. Gumm’s confession, was correct in granting him relief since the State violated his Constitutional rights by not turning over evidence that contradicted their theory of events. This is the exact same thing the prosecution did in my case (and worse), and I, likewise, should have received relief. In fact, not only did Mr. Gumm and I have the same issue, but we had the same attorney, the same federal judge, and appealed to the same court (I wish I was making this stuff up).

    On his initial appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, Mr. Gumm’s convictions were upheld (as were mine), after which an appeal was filed in federal court. Here, Mr. Gumm was appointed an attorney named Kate McGarry (as was I), who diligently pursued his claims, even after his sentence was reduced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. Chief Magistrate Michael Mertz (same judge as I) presided over the case and recommended that Mr. Gumm receive relief. The State appealed to the Sixth Circuit, who ultimately upheld the District Court’s decision to grant relief to Mr. Gumm.

    I present this case and its particulars, not to judge or castigate Mr. Gumm (obviously, he’s a very sick man), but to illustrate the arbitrary and capricious (and racist!) way in which “justice” is meted out in this country, and why the death penalty cannot be administered fairly.

    Unlike Mr. Gumm, I never confessed to any crime; indeed, when the State offered me a deal, I rejected it outright and demanded a trial. I said it then, and I say it now: I didn’t kill anybody during the riot. But instead of turning over evidence that would help prove my innocence, the State played a game of mix and match, mixing random witness names with random excerpts of statements, and then told me to figure it out on my own. They never attempted to treat me fairly.

    In 2007, when I was called back for an evidentiary hearing, I was allowed, through my attorneys, to put Lead Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier on the stand. He was the one who had fashioned the guidelines by which exculpatory evidence was turned over. Therefore, getting him on the stand was pivotal in proving that I was deprived of my right to due process. Under examination, he admitted that he had devised a Brady scheme that was decidedly narrow; to wit, in order for a statement to be viewed as favorable to my defense the witness had to “specifically exclude” me as a suspect. In other words, if a witness came forward and claimed to have seen one of the murders, his statement was not viewed as exculpatory unless he specifically stated, “By the way, Keith LaMar wasn’t there.” This is crazy. Why would anybody, testifying to what they saw, think it necessary to specifically exclude me if they didn’t see me? And if they didn’t see me, how could they
    automatically assume I was a suspect? It didn’t make sense—unless, of course, the whole purpose behind narrowing the qualifications was to stifle and hinder the defense.

    Because of what Piepmeier revealed on the stand at my evidentiary hearing, attorneys representing other prisoners who were sentenced to death after the riot (S.A. Hasan and George Skatzes) were able to convince the court to put their clients’ cases on hold while they combed the prosecutor’s files to determine for themselves what exactly was wrongfully withheld—and whether or not it was exculpatory. It was the only fair and reasonable solution to circumvent the preposterous provisions that were established by the State (note: this all happened in 2011, over four years ago, and their cases are still on hold!). But when I asked my attorney, Kate McGarry, to file the necessary motions that would put my case on hold and allow me to go back and review the files, she refused (after initially giving me her word that she would). Why?

    To put it plainly: racism. Kate McGarry is a racist. That’s the real reason why she didn’t diligently pursue my claims, and why I lost my appeal. I mean, how else to explain it? A white man admits to the kidnapping, attempted rape, and murder of a ten-year-old boy, and she goes above and beyond to protect his rights. Meanwhile, I’m swinging in the wind, strung up in a tree of lies.

    About being a racist, I’m sure Kate would vehemently deny such an accusation. But racists very seldom acknowledge that they are racist. Once, while engaged in casual conversation, Kate broached the subject of Trayvon Martin’s death, wanting to know what I thought about it. I told her point-blank that it was racist bullshit.

    “How can you justify killing a teenage boy who’s walking home drinking pop, eating Skittles?” I asked. She went on to explain George Zimmerman’s side, as if there was a plausible excuse for why he did what he did. That was the first time I saw it.

    On another occasion, I asked Kate about a Senate bill that was being proposed in Arizona, having to do with improperly stopping suspected illegal immigrants. I wanted to know if she was in favor of something that would effectively violate the rights of large groups of Mexicans. She said something to the effect that, “those people enjoy our freedoms, but they don’t want to pay taxes. . .” She went on to tell me about a time when she was having one of her houses built and suspected that there were a few “undocumented workers” on the site.

    “Did you go out and stop production? “ I asked.

    “Oh, no, I didn’t do that,” she replied, without the slightest sense of hypocrisy in being willing to benefit from their cheap labor while at the same time denying them the right to live as human beings.

    Imagine what it felt like coming to the realization that I was being represented by a racist. And before I’m accused of singling Kate out, let me be clear: this whole process was steeped in racism, from the strategic selection of the all-white jury to the hand-picked racist judge that presided over my trial. And that’s the true truth.

    So, here I am, standing on the other side of a very long and treacherous journey. What now? In thinking about what to do with what remains of my time, I think it’s important to turn my attention to the movement to abolish the death penalty. Indeed, if we are ever going to move beyond the 1800s, we have to end this barbaric practice of State-sanctioned murder. There will be a 7-day Walk to Stop Executions (October 4-10) from the Death House in Lucasville to the State House in Columbus to show opposition to capital punishment, and I want to encourage all of you who are able to come out and show your support. We have to stop this thing, and only we—standing together!—can do it. So please show your support. You can find more information at:

    In addition to that, I intend to increase my efforts to reach out to at-risk youth. I’ve had several opportunities to phone in to juvenile detention centers and talk with groups of young men who’re at the beginning of this road, and it’s been a very meaningful exchange. I want to double my efforts there and get them some books that’ll teach them about what it means to be alive. A very good book called “Between the World and Me” (Ta-Nehisi Coates) just came out, and I want to get as many copies as possible into juvenile detention centers. It’s a powerful piece, written to the author’s 15-year-old son about the perils of inhabiting a black body in a racist country.

    To raise money to purchase the books, I’m putting up for auction one of the paintings I recently finished, a piece I’m calling “Chillin’ on Green Court,” a reference to the projects where I spent most of my formative years. It took me 117 hours to complete, and I’m hoping you all will support me in my desire to get some books in to these young people. They need our help. The auction can be found online at Ebay through September 25th at:

    I also intend to resume writing my own manuscript. While awaiting the decision, I found it hard to concentrate on writing, which is why I took up painting. Now that the federal court has said what it has to say, I need to get back to my life. I refuse to allow these people, and this situation, to distract me from my purpose. They put me in this madness to make an example out of me, to show other rebellious souls what they’ll do to them if they resist. They tried to break me, to strip me of my strength and rob me of my smile, all so that they could parade me around as a warning to others. But, look! I’m still standing! I’m still smiling! I’m still fighting!

    It ain’t over,

    Bomani Shakur

    Of course, one could be pedantic and criticise this or that notion, but there seems little point.

  10. List of prison-related events sent by a friend through email:

    On August 14, 11 detainees began a hunger strike at Krome Immigrant Detention Center in Miami, Florida. The strikers, 10 from Pakistan and one from Armenia, demanded to have a lowered bond and to be released. Last month, a hunger strike by 22 inmates at the same facility ultimately resulted in their release.
    -Miami Herald

    On August 16, prisoners at Ontario, Canada’s Toronto South Detention Centre refused meals for three days upset over increasingly routine lockdowns in their 12×8-foot cell, without access to showers, yard time, or visits from family or lawyers. They also were upset over not having enough TV time and water leaking from the showers, making floors dangerously slippery.
    -Toronto Star

    On August 30, inmates at the Baltimore (Maryland) Pre-Trial Complex refused to “lock-in” to their dormitories after an argument between an officer and a detainee. Detainees then attacked officers before barricading themselves in the dorms. Media reported that inmates were frustrated because they had previously been held two to a cell, but are now held in larger dorm-style rooms. Eight guards and six detainees were injured were injured in the riot.
    -Baltimore Sun

    On August 22, for the second time in a week, protesters marched into the lobby of the Dallas County Jail in Texas furious over the killing of a man who three weeks prior ran into the jail looking for help. Sheriff deputies responded to his pleas for help by pinning him to the ground, resulting in his death. Riot police were called to force protesters from the lobby.

    On August 23, dozens of people marched into the Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsden, Alabama after visitation to immigrant detainees was abruptly cut off by authorities.
    -The Gadsden Times

    On August 28, protesters in St. Paul Minnesota blocked the doors to the upscale Whole Foods Market because the store profits from selling fish and cheese produced by Colorado prison inmates.
    -St. Paul Pioneer Press

    On September 4, 50 people noisily marched around the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, California. They were angry after guards beat to death a prisoner there a week earlier.
    -San Jose Mercury News

  11. SK in an email has sent me this:

    Just read your…intro to the prison page that
    talks about the libcon utopia of with classless prisons. Might be
    shocking if not for all the other tripe we’ve already witnessed from such people.

    You might find these quotes useful/interesting

    _”Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails.
    Therefore we had no criminals. You can’t have criminals without a jail.
    We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor
    that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We
    were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted
    to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and
    therefore a man’s worth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written
    law, no attorney or politicians, therefore we couldn’t cheat. We were in
    a really bad way before the white man came, and I don’t know how we
    managed to get along without the basic things which, we are told, are
    absolutely necessary to make a civilized society.”_

    — Lakota sage/shaman Lame Deer (from John Lame Deer, _Seeker of

    _”Societies which seem to us ferocious may turn out, when examined from
    another point of view, to have their humane and benevolent sides. Take
    the Plains Insdians of North America: they are doubly significant –
    first because some of them practised a moderated form of cannibalism,
    and second because they are one of the few primitive peoples who were
    endowed with an organized police force. This force, which also had to
    mete out justice, would never have imagined that the punishments
    accorded to the guilty could take the form of severing all social links.
    An Indian who broke the laws of his tribe would be sentenced to the
    destruction of all his belongings – his tent and his horses. But at the
    same time the police became indebted to him for the harm he had been
    made to suffer. This restitution put the criminal, once again, in debt
    to the group and he was obliged to acknowledge this by a series of gifts
    which the entire community including the police would help him to get
    together. These reciprocities continued, by way of gifts and
    counter-gifts, until the initial disorder created by the crime and its
    punishment had been completely smoothed over and order was once again
    complete. Not only are such customs more humane than our own, they are
    more coherent, even if we are to formulate the problem in terms of
    modern psychology. It would seem logical that in return for the
    infantilization of the guilty man that is implied in the notion of
    punishment, we should acknowledge that he is entitled to gratification
    of some sort. If this is not done, the initial step loses its
    effectiveness and may even bring about results directly contrary to
    those hoped for in the first place. The summit of absurdity in this
    context is to do as we do and treat the guilty simultaneously as
    children, in that they are meet for punishment, and as grown-ups, in
    that we refuse them all subsequent consolation. It is grotesque to
    believe that we have made a ‘great spiritual advance’ simply because,
    instead of eating our fellow human beings, we prefer to mutilate them,
    both physically and morally.”_

    — Claude Levi-Strauss, _Tristes Tropiques_

    On the question of punishment, there are two things worth mentioning.
    Firstly, the negative effects of jails are not only limited to those who
    are punished, but the punishers. You are probably aware of the famous
    psychology experiment where normal people were put into the position of
    screws and very rapidly developed such intensely sadistic characters
    that the researchers had to stop it prematurely. I think it’s called the
    stanford experiment. Notably, being in a university and designed by
    psychology professors, the experimental prison was an example of the
    “far more complex, modern, well resourced kinds of ‘prisons’ with more
    progressive aims than currently exist” that our comrade envisions.

    Secondly, most anarchist-communist societies that have been documented
    worked on the principle of restorative justice (described above by
    Levi-Strauss), and as a last resort exile or death (often, the
    impossibility of survival in isolation meant exile was practically a
    death sentence — unless a new adoptive community was found). Marjorie
    Perloff has an inhabitant of her utopia declare in ‘Woman On The Edge of
    Time’ that their society has no prisons because none of them is willing
    to impose on themselves the burden of becoming jailers for the sake of a
    few irredeemable assholes; if an individual continues to mortally
    outrage her peers after all steps at resolving the situation have been
    exhausted, they kill her.

    Importantly, the process of establishing an egalitarian resolution to
    the conflict was the main focus of restorative efforts — as opposed to
    bourgeois courts where cash ‘compensation’ is the sole object of a
    hierarchical procedure dominated by specialists:

    “_There were no fixed sessions and courts only met when there was a case
    to be settled. The judge, with his assessors and close relatives, sat
    facing the rest of the people (in effect the male members of the ward),
    who were free to take part fully in the proceedings. When all had had
    their say the matter was thrown open for general discussion. The
    criterion used by the court was a universal one; that of the ‘reasonable
    man’. Finally the judge summed up the evidence (and various points of
    view that had been expressed) and, if possible, quoted precedent to
    guide the court. His judgement should reflect, not his own views, but
    those of the majority… Eye-witness accounts and material evidence
    formed the basis of discussion, and the impression made on the court by
    disputants (as well as knowledge of their characters) all played a part.
    Circumstantial evidence was sometimes accepted, but hearsay was treated
    with caution. Tswana and Venda punished flagrant cases of false
    FORGIVE INJURY.”_ (Hammond-Tooke; _The roots of black South Africa_)

    You can see from the above that the role of judge here could easily
    involve simple facilitation of a collective decision. Historically of
    course, despite the democratic ideal, it had to do with authoritarian
    relations since the judge was always someone in a position of authority
    such as a chief. But the fact that this authority derived from political
    hierarchy rather than professional specialisation means that it is far
    more suitable to libertarian adaptation than modern versions since the
    authority of the ‘judge’ can easily be deflated by making it open to
    all, temporary on a rotational basis, and so on.

    _”Knowledge of tribal law and court procedure is part of the normal
    experiences of most Swazi men, who are expected to attend discussions
    held in the yard of the chief’s homestead, and to ‘talk cases’ with
    friends and acquaintances. The formality and technicalities of the
    European court present a sharp contrast to tribal procedure;
    conservative Swazi have stated that in the former, the question of wrong
    and right is of secondary importance, that ‘the only way to win’ is to
    have a smart lawyer.”_ (Hilder Kuper; _The Swazi_)

    In a way, the self-managed efforts of the Zapatista’s and the Kurds
    operate in a very similar manner to the tribal courts: ordinary people
    rely on an external power to mediate (historically a chief, today the
    ZLN and Tev-Dem) relations between themselves and their own collective
    dialogue and action. Ideologically this mediation simply lends authority
    to a process ordinary people control completely; practically it
    inevitably begins to reflect its own views, based its own interests,
    which increasingly tend to become autonomous from the views and
    interests of those it supposedly represents (hence the chief, originally
    a charismatic commoner, develops over time into the absolute autocrat).

    Lastly, lack of formality and specialisation does not necessarily equate
    to lack of rigour or arbitrary terror. The rapid degeneration of
    People’s Courts into Kangaroo Courts (many it seems, started off as the
    latter right away) in the townships during the 1980s and the spectre of
    Red Terror so successfully used (not without material basis) to defame
    the name of anarchy and revolution is enough to emphasise the importance
    of always making as cautious and _judicious_ a use of force as is
    possible under the circumstances. Another example from pre-colonial
    South Africa illustrates the exhaustive care directed by the entire
    society to such decisions:

    _”There is nothing in which their [the Xhosa’s] mental power is so fully
    developed, as in conducting their law cases, which afford ample space
    for all their forensic skill, and supply no questionable proofs of their
    decided ability. I will quote a part of one of those processes, as given
    by Mr. Dugmore: — ‘Then comes the tug of war. The ground is disputed
    inch by inch; every assertion is contested, every proof attempted to be
    invalidated; objection meets objection, and question is opposed by
    counter question, each disputant endeavouring, with surprising
    adroitness, to throw the burden of answering on his opponent. The
    Socratic method of debate appears in all its perfection, both parties
    being equally versed in it. The rival advocates warm as they proceed,
    sharpening each other’s intellects, and kindling each other’s ardour,
    till, from the passions that seem enlisted in the contest, a stranger
    might suppose the interests of the nation to be at stake, and dependent
    upon the decision. When these combatants have spent their strength, or
    one of them is overcome in argument, others step in to the rescue. The
    battle is fought over again on different ground; some point, either of
    law or evidence, that had been purposely kept in abeyance being now
    brought forward, and perhaps the entire aspect of the case changed. The
    whole of the second day is frequently taken up with this intellectual
    gladiatorship, and it closes without any other result than an exhibition
    of the relative strength of the opposing parties. The plaintiff’s
    company retire again, and the defendant and his friends review their own
    position. Should they feel that they have been worsted, and that the
    case is one that cannot be successfully defended, they prepare to
    attempt to bring the matter to a conclusion by an offer of the smallest
    satisfaction the law allows. This is usually refused, in expectation of
    an advance in the offer, which takes place generally in proportion to
    the defendant’s anxiety to prevent an appeal. Should the plaintiff at
    length accede to the proposed terms, they are fulfilled, and the case is
    ended by a formal declaration of acquiescence. If, however, as it
    frequently happens, the case involves a number of intricate questions,
    that afford room for quibbling, the debates are renewed day after day,
    till the plaintiff determines to appeal to the decision of the umpakati,
    who has charge of the neighbouring district. He proceeds with his array
    of advocates to his kraal, and the case is re-stated in his presence.
    The defendant confronts him, and the whole affair is gone into anew on
    an enlarged scale of investigation. The history of the case, the history
    of the events that led to it, collateral circumstances, journeys,
    visits, conversations, bargains, exchanges, gifts, promises,
    threatenings, births, marriages, deaths, that were taken, paid, made,
    given, or occurred in connection with either of the contending parties,
    or their associates, or their relatives of the present or past
    generation, all come under review, and before the “court of appeal” has
    done with the affair, the history, external and internal, of a dozen
    families, for the past ten years, is made the subject of conflicting
    discussion.'”_ (Kocourek, Albert. _Sources of Ancient and Primitive

  12. […] Down also has a huge amount of information, both on this specific page and across the whole site. The Dialectical Delinquents site also has a page of updates on worldwide prison struggles, and the Support Prisoner Resistance, Incarcerated Workers’ Organizing Committee, and Free […]

  13. While I remember, the Michigan Abolition folk have just uploaded this selection of audio interviews recorded by people who took part in the Kinross uprising last year, which looks to be an amazing first-hand document:

  14. McCormick in South Carolina has been going off these last few days: Twitter’s a horrible news source, but there’s reports from people in contact with those inside at and

  15. It feels sort of redundant to keep on commenting here every time IGD has new prison-related stuff up, because it has a lot, but they’ve had a lot of good stuff this week, including a report of a new strike at Holman: and this indepth interview with a prison rebel:
    Some interesting takes on dealing with screws in there.

    • Not redundant at all, though as you say there’s such a lot on IGD about prisons, which is why I don’t tend to put them up because I haven’t got the time to read them. Ones I read I put up is because I’ve remembered to and think they inform us a bit more.