New IWOC Newsletter: The Imprisoned Worker #1

We are happy to announce the first issue of The Imprisoned Worker. This zine has been put together by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Incarcerated Workers’ Organising Committee (IWOC) in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England. It aims to provide a platform for prisoners, ex-prisoners and fellow workers to educate and organise one another in order to agitate against the prison-industrial-complex.

You can download the Imprisoned Worker in colour here (2mb): Imprisoned Worker #1 Colour

Or download the version for printing (2mb): Imprisoned Worker #1 for Printing

If you would like to order printed copies to distribute, please email iwoc@iww.org.uk

If you have a friend in prison that would like a copy, please email us their address and we would love to post one in.

Entries are welcome for the second edition. Email them to iwoc@iww.org.uk or post them to IWW, PO Box 5251, Yeovil, BA20 9FS

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New government attacks on independent union in Algeria

Published on IUF UITA IUL

New government attacks on independent union in Algeria
24 January 2018 Urgent Action

The government of Algeria has further escalated its attacks on the independent energy union SNATEGS, which organizers workers at the state energy company SONELGAZ. SNATEGS is affiliated to the IUF through its catering workers.In May 2017, the union had its legal status revoked and the Labour Ministry made the fabricated claim in December that the union had formally voted to dissolve itself. Hundreds of union members, delegates and officers have been dismissed, harassed and persecuted on bogus legal charges for exercising their fundamental rights. Union President Raouf Mellal was sentenced to 6 months in prison for exposing a long history of SONELGAZ fraudulently overcharging Algerians for their utility bills.

Now the government is inventing new charges to persecute Mellal and cripple the union. On November 28 the union president was sentenced in absentia to two months in prison and fined EUR 5,000 for allegedly defaming SONELGAZ. The court hearing will take place on January 30.

RaoufMellalMellal has learned that he was sentenced in absentia in January last year to 6 months in prison and a fine of EUR 2,000 in a suit brought by the director of a security agency following a complaint of sexual harassment by a women worker who was fired as a consequence. Mellal was sued for defamation after expressing his solidarity with the victim. Expressing solidarity with a victim of sexual harassment now risks imprisonment in Algeria…

And on January 17 2018 he was sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment and fined EUR 3,000 in yet another ‘defamation’ lawsuit brought by SONELGAZ. As a consequence of these absurd and arbitrary judicial decisions Raouf Mellal has been forbidden to leave the country.

The government of Algeria is waging war on basic human rights. If you have not yet had a chance to do so, please CLICK HERE to send a message to the authorities.
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Bristol IWW Workshop for Workers of Migrant & Refugee background 25TH FEBRUARY 2017

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Bristol IWW will be holding a

WORKSHOP FOR MIGRANT & REFUGEE WORKERS ON SATURDAY 25TH FEBRUARY AT 10.30-12.30 AT THE STATION, SILVER STREET, BS1 2AG (Triangle Room, 1st floor)

The workshop will consist of a short introduction to basic work rights in the UK with some practical tips on how to deal with issues in the workplace, either individually or with your colleagues. We will be talking about things like types of contracts, pay and national minimum wage, discrimination, how to submit a grievance. You will also have a chance to ask questions.

This workshop is open to anyone from a migrant/refugee background and will be in collaboration with the migrant initiative “One Day Without Us”, which will be taking place on Monday 20th February across the UK. For information on the Bristol event, check their Facebook event.

P.S.

We have been asked on social media to clarify whether this workshop will be safe for “undocumented” migrants working without permission. The answer is that it will be as safe as it can be for people in that situation to attend a public event open to anyone. We are not going to ask anyone to provide that kind of information.

As difficult as it would be to provide formal workplace support to someone in that situation, we certainly wouldn’t turn people away. So, if you are in that situation it may be best to contact us via email at bristol at iww.org.uk AND/OR you can also fill our online questionnaire “Rate Your Boss“. You can do this anonymously if you wish.

Whatever you decide, please know that you are not alone and forgotten. The IWW IS FOR ALL WORKERS, AND FIGHTS FOR ALL WORKERS. Stay strong.

2017: Year of Resistance to Free IPPs

More than 3989 people are serving IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) sentences in British prisons [1]. Five years since the sentence was legally abolished, thousands still languish in jails with no release date. Parole board delays, prison overcrowding and sheer neglect is leading to unprecedented rates of prisoner suicides. IPPs have one of the highest rates of self harm in the prison system in its entirety [2].. 80% are over tariff and desperate to be free.

Only last year, a prisoner whom Smash IPP supported died in prison. We have worked with IPP families who have lost their kids and their partners. Children have grown up with having a parent stolen by this sentence. A Mother with a son who’s an IPP describes the IPP sentence as a “Death sentence”. One IPP wrote how “Our families are doing the sentence just us much as us, is it right for them to never know if we will ever come home? Sometimes I feel that if I died it would be better for them because they could bury me and move on with their lives and not worry anymore.”

Smash IPP say enough is enough. This is life and death. We will not let any more people die because of prison bureaucracy and neglect. “This year we call for a year of action to free all IPPs.”

“The time is now to escalate and generate unrelenting pressure on the government, prison profiteers and the parole boards who are all complicit in ripping families apart, ruining lives and killing working class young people who have died as a result of the mental strain of being an IPP.”

We want to help build relationships between IPP prisoners and their families and anarchists and others that are experienced in campaigning and anti-state struggle. We want to overcome the brutality and social isolation that prison inflicts on us and come together to fight back.

Smash IPP! Set them Free!

If you are keen to get involved in any way please contact Smash IPP:
info@smashipp.noflag.org.uk

We are looking for:

  • Groups that can host nights on an upcoming info tour about this  horrific sentence. We will be talking about what IPP is, share stories from people who have been affected by it and explore what we can do to fight it!
  • Fundraising help & donations
  • Individuals that are keen to get involved in the Smash IPP collective to make this year of action a success
  • Individuals that can potentially support prisoner families with their campaigns
  • Letter writing buddies for IPP prisoners
  • Groups to emerge around the UK that can organise actions and get involved with current resistance

[1]. For more information about IPP sentences see: smashipp.noflag.org.uk
[2]. http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/PressPolicy/News/vw/1/ItemID/335