Week of Action: Day Three – Manchester
A Day of Action took place in Manchester on Wednesday 4th of November as part of the Week of Action against the North Wales Prison and the Prison Industrial Complex.
It began with an invasion of the office of BIM Technologies. Located above a cafe in a shared workspace, it was the perfect opportunity to embarrass this company in front of their friends. BIM Technologies are the information managers for the project; utilizing Building Information Modelling. You can see them boast on their blog here about their involvement in the project here. We leafleted the office and repeatedly stated on the megaphone what harm prison causes and how they should abandon the North Wales Prison Project. A number of hipster security guards did their best to move us on before we left to avoid the police.
We then visited URS, the MOJ’s client representative for the project. Unfortunately we were clocked by security climbing four flights of stairs and so the door was locked and we couldn’t get inside. We remained in the lobby and highlighted pretty loudly and clearly that their involvement in the prison was not acceptable.
Moving on we headed to HMP Forest Bank on the outskirts of Manchester. While this young offenders was unlikely to have IPP prisoners, we wanted to create a presence so we could connect with prisoner families. We set up a stall and gave out leaflets before some very agitated staff called the police.
Later in the day anti-prison activists invaded the office of Lend Lease, a company massively profiteering from the Wrexham Prison. They are a multinational property and infrastructure company thathave donated vast sums of money to the Conservative Party. Globally they have been found to defraud the public purse for millions of dollars. Activists were chased up three flights of stairs to the lobby. Security attempted to lock them in there, preventing them from leaving. Lend Lease office workers heard how Lend Lease are complicit in the harm prison creates, from ripping families and loved ones apart, keeping people in cages to the self-harming and suicides that happen as a result of this. Luckily they got away, as security chased some of the activists down the stairs a load of leaflets were thrown into the air.
Lastly, a stall was held at HMP Manchester as part of the Smash IPP campaign. We spoke to families and loved ones of prisoners and gave out hundreds of leaflets.
If you’re interested in getting involved in a regular local group in Manchester please email firstname.lastname@example.org who can put you in touch with people.