Today, a group of Manchester and Salford locals staged an occupation of construction company Lendlease’s offices near Media City, in protest against the company’s involvement in harmful and wasteful prison expansion.
Building towards the International Day of Solidarity with Transgender Prisoners on Sunday, January 22nd, the action highlighted Lendlease’s work on the £250 million construction of a new 2100-person “mega-prison”, HMP Berwyn, in Wrexham in North Wales, and its potential work on future prison projects in Manchester.
The company, infamous for its Tory party donations and its work on overpriced gentrifying housing developments across the UK, is profiting from human misery through building new prisons.
The Conservative government, in collusion with the unaccountable Greater Manchester Combined Authority, is planning to force a “mega-prison” on Manchester as well, despite considerable public opposition to the plans.
Local resident Jess Bradley said:
“Over this winter the UK prison system has been rocked by riots and every 3 days a prisoner takes their own life. It’s clear the prison system does not rehabilitate, but traumatises the people behind bars. We desperately need to fund alternatives to prison. We don’t want a new prison here in Greater Manchester or anywhere.”
The action was supported by No Prisons Manchester and Action for Trans Health, who will be heading to Doncaster on Sunday for a demonstration in remembrance of Jenny Swift and other trans victims of prison harm — hope to see you there!