Our workshop at the Sisters’ Uncut occupation of Holloway

Members of CAPE and Smash IPP attended the occupation at Holloway a few weeks ago. We gave a workshop on the links between prison expansion and sentencing, and tried to draw out the many ways this hurts women.

It’s hard to put into words just how emotional it was to be at the occupation. There was a shrine to women who had lost their lives in custody. We saw the name of a woman we’d been in contact with through Smash IPP.

Remembering these women and fighting for those still inside is everything to us. Charlie Noakes was the name of that woman and on the anniversary of her death we will protest outside HMP Peterborough.

No more cages! Those in the prison system need freedom, not torture at the hands of screws and administrators, stuck in never-ending sentences like IPP – and they don’t need to be patronised by the paternalism of liberals and the phony discourse of “rehabilitation”.

Transforming Holloway, a place saturated with grief and loss, into a community hub shows the potential of what can be done if we take matters into our own hands. Although that place will never be cleansed of the memories of bureaucratic torture and abuse, Sisters Action illustrated that nothing is forever, and we can bring the concept of prison into ruin.