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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Repression and resistance round-up for early July: Cardiff, Bulgaria and beyond…

Cautiously pessimistic

A quick round-up of repression-related news:

In Cardiff, three defendants facing charges related to an attempted disruption of an arms fair have just been acquitted.

In Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association have put out an urgent call for solidarity actions, as their members are facing increased harassment. Brighton ABC suggest a number of ways to support:

“The BPRA has had many successes in struggle to establish better conditions for prisoners and against the arbitrary rule of the prison authorities. For this reason Jock and his comrades became a target of repression. Recently he had been charged by the prison administration with the distribution of BPRA stickers. According to the authorities, stickers with a slogan “When injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes a duty” are promoting racism and are hate speech! No-one explained against which race or national group those stickers are supposed to be directed, but as…

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Book Launch. ‘Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey’. 11th July SOAS

Wessex Solidarity

“Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts… I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I and you, the people, are not free. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”

—Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment, 10 February 1985

Join Black Rose Books, Peace in Kurdistan, Kurdistan National Congress UK, Kurdish People’s Assembly in Britain, Freedom for Ocalan Campaign – UK for a special event marking the release of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey Edited by Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Dr Federico Venturini.

Wednesday, 11 July, 6.30 – 8.30pm at SOAS, Russell Square, College Main Building, Room DLT, WC1H 0XG Register for the free event here:

A solidarity donation of £2 is suggested to help cover our costs. Copies of the book will be available for half price! £12.50 Paper back

Speakers include: Dimitrios…

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Urgent call to support Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

Cautiously pessimistic

Prison rebel Kevin “Rashid” Johnson has been facing increased harrassment in recent days, and is requesting calls in support:

On May 21, 2018, Kevin Johnson was retaliated against for speaking up on behalf of a prisoner with a psychiatric disability named Murphy who was being brutalized by corrections officers at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution (SRCI). As Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) officers were gassing and assaulting Mr. Murphy for making too much noise, Mr. Johnson raised his voice from inside his solitary confinement cell (in order to be heard on the video and audio recorders on the cell block) and said that prison guards had been abusing Murphy by failing to provide him with needed mental health care, by withholding meals, and by responding to his psychiatric disability with violence by gassing him nine times and brutally extracting him from his cell.

Retaliation for Speech:

For this act…

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Unpaid work for the jobcentre, anyone?

We seriously need an Unemployed Workers’ network in this area. Obviously we’d encourage you to join the IWW, it’s a pound a month unwaged and we can help if you’re completely destitute but still want to play. We would nevertheless be happy to assist people in organising independently.

scottish unemployed workers' network

work experience cartoon_1

Once upon a time work experience was something school pupils did for a few days to give them a sense of what the future held in store for them. And basic training was provided by your job. Today, unemployment is portrayed as a personal failing rather than a function of the economy, and unpaid work experience is promoted as a way to help a person’s prospects of finding work. In theory, it is meant to compensate for lack of experience in paid employment, which makes it particularly difficult to justify when forced on someone with a lifetime of work behind them. What has developed is a new expectation that people must earn the right to get a job through unpaid labour. This is simply exploitation. It also undermines paid work – which makes it especially perverse that jobcentre workers should be pushing people to do unpaid work in their own…

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ATOS is ignoring DWP guidelines – again

scottish unemployed workers' network

Abandon hope ATOS

We have just written another letter of complaint to ATOS (or Independent Assessment Services, as they are now called), who have again ignored DWP guidelines about the role of companions accompanying people to their PIP assessment. Let’s hope they respond as quickly as they did last time. Here is our letter:

Dear Sir/Madam

We write again with a serious complaint about your assessment centre at Gemini Crescent, Dundee. Last Thursday (17th May) one of our volunteers accompanied a man to his assessment. The person being assessed has serious brain damage and had asked our volunteer to help him make sure that he fully answered the questions, and that all the difficulties he needed to raise were covered. This is something we have helped with many times before, in line with the DWP guidelines reproduced below. However, on this occasion the assessors told our volunteer that he could not…

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