The issue of prisoner neglect and abuse is never far from the public domain when it comes to Maghaberry prison and this new pamphlet provides a welcome step in highlighting prison struggles and life from the inside.
Coming on the back off the largest prison strike in the US in 2016 and 2018, involving tens of thousands of prisoners, that including work stoppages and hunger strikes, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Ireland Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee (IWOC) are trying to provide an organising voice for prisoners fighting for collective rights to education, health and employment.
This 23 page well designed pamphlet contains a variety of article and poems from prisoners ranging from healthcare, to disability awareness and the damaging affects of isolation and punishment. As the authors of the pamphlet point out:
Prisons are weapon of class warfare. Though there stated aim it to protect the public, the real aim of prisons is to maintain class privilege and inequalities … The IWOC was founded on the basis that harms prisons do to working class communities can only be combatted with the conscious participation of prisoners and solidarity with fellow workers on the outside.
While many of the contributors to The Pensive Quill are no strangers to the harsh reality of oppressive imprisonment, this pamphlet marks a new step in seeking to provide a voice for the voiceless and one I am sure the Maghberry prison censors will try to silence. Solidarity is Strength!
As one anonymous contributor wrote in their poem called Who am I:
‘What defines me is what I do, What defines me is what I’ve been through…’
⏩To find out more about the IWW and IWOC or to contribute to Bulldozer write to: Bulldozer, PO BOX 346, Derry City, BT48 4FZ, Ireland.