Inside News


In FRFI 237 (February/March 2014) we reported on a protest at Oakwood prison, saying: ‘Accounts of what actually happened in the latest incident on 5 January vary: G4S management claims it was an incident of “concerted indiscipline” which was brought under control without too much difficulty, while a prison officer from the “Tornado team” squad sent in to put down the protest has described it to the BBC as a “full-scale riot”.’

On 20 February 2015 six men were sentenced to terms of 24-28 months imprisonment for violent disorder in relation to this incident. Oakwood, which opened in 2012, is now Britain’s largest prison and is run by private contractors G4S.

Free Silan Ozcelik!

On 13 March FRFI supported a demonstration outside Holloway prison in solidarity with Silan Ozcelik, an 18-year-old British Kurdish woman, who has been charged with ‘engaging in conduct in preparation for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism’ under the Terrorism Act 2006 and remanded in custody until her trial on 1 April.

On the day of the protest the Peace in Kurdistan campaign stated: ‘We emphatically reject this labelling of the PKK, which we believe confuses the Kurdish people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination with terrorism and has the effect of criminalising anyone in our community who is part of peaceful political activity. We know that Silan has never committed any act of violence and poses no threat to the people of this country.’

A petition for Silan can be found at and cards and letters can be sent to Silan Ozcelik A8733DK, HMP Holloway, Parkhurst Road, London N7 0NU.

Strangeways anniversary

It is now 25 years since the historic uprising which began at Strangeways prison, Manchester on 1 April 1990 and swept through the prison system. In 1995 Larkin Publications published Strangeways 1990: a serious disturbance; this is still the only book about the protest and remains a vital read for anyone interested in the history of prison struggle in Britain. Copies are still available at the original price of £7.95 from Larkin Publications, BCM 5909, London WC1N 3XX or via our website.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 244 April/May 2015


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