DTRTP Workshop: The Politics of Prisons - Abolition or Reform?

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Prisoners-on-the-roof-at--007DTRTP is hosting a series of new workshops on topics relating to protest, justice and incarceration. The first of these takes place at SOAS on Dec 9th 2014, 7-9, room 4429. the event is free and open to all (no need to register).


DTRTP has campaigned alongside other groups against state violence. This workshop will bring together groups organising against incarceration.

The prison population has doubled in the UK in the last 20 years. The UK has more private prisons than any other country in Europe. The government plans to build a new private super-prison in Wrexham, holding more than 2000 people, by 2017. The state is also intensifying attacks on prisoner rights. Prisoners are no longer eligible for legal aid. Sending books to prisoners is now banned.

Prisons reinforce dominant relations of oppression in society. Those incarcerated are overwhelmingly poor and working class, disproportionately people of colour, and in the majority of cases suffering mental health problems. The police and prisons institutionalise gender violence against women, and directly target LGBTQ people for criminalisation and punishment. Thousands are held in immigration detention centres.

This workshop will discuss how we can organise against prisons and immigration centres. What are the best strategies for challenging incarceration, supporting prisoners, and reducing harm? Should we aim to abolish or reform prisons? What is the politics of prison abolition? How are struggles around the prison connected to other struggles against state violence - such as struggles for justice and accountability in response to deaths in custody, racist policing, the policing of protest? How can we address the relationship between state violence and gender violence in our communities?

We will also discuss how we can create alternatives to the police and prisons for addressing violence and harm in our communities; alternatives which prioritize the needs of survivors, and promote accountability, healing, and the prevention of future harm.

Speakers will include:
- Empty Cages Collective, the main prison abolition group in the UK (http://www.prisonabolition.org/)

- Movement for Justice (https://www.facebook.com/movementforjustice) - a civil rights group organising against immigration detention centres

- Sarah Lamble

-More speakers to be confirmed

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