24 year old Jamie Pearce died on the 10th of December though her death has only just been rerecorded as “self inflicted” from “Unclassified”. There are now officially 8 such deaths recorded in England and Wales in 2007 a 166% rise from the year before. This was the 27th protest that Pauline has staged since her campaign began in 2004.
The group of protesters included two ex-prisoners (male); two grieving mothers whose loved ones had died in the 'care' of prisons in England; the mother of a teenager currently incarcerated in HMP Holloway; and a friend of the late Harry Stanley, who was shot dead by police in 1999.
Another death at Holloway...
...provokes another demonstration.
Gwen Calvert mother of Paul who died in Pentonville down the road.
More cops in attendance than usual.
Keeping everyone confined to the pavement.
Pauline attempts to discuss health and safety with the driver of a prison van...
...but is prevented form having her discussion.
The scenario is repeated...
...for the duration of the afternoon...
...with the inevitable strain in relations.
This continues into the evening...
...until the demo finally ends.
She has now been arrested fourteen times for blocking prison vans trying to enter the locations of recent fatalities. Despite all her arrests she is yet to receive a single conviction despite the best attempts of the authorities. Last year the state pulled out all the stops in trying to give Pauline a criminal record but to no avail. See:
14 failed attempts at prosecution can’t be good for morale. So now the cops have decided that containment is the best strategy. So on Wednesday each time Pauline attempted to discuss health and safety issues with a prison van driver she was pushed back onto the pavement by the assembled plods who steadfastly refused to arrest her. At one point she ended up on the deck but there was no repeat of the scenes that were witnessed at the previous Holloway demo. See:
The fact that the Police now have to commit nearly ten plods, reluctantly employing the ‘softly, softly’ approach, to control Pauline is in itself a small victory. The campaign continues…
I have been active in prisoner support and campaigns for about four years; the fact is the judicial system is an oppressive and chaotic mess. The building of super size prisons will achieve nothing in the long term and perhaps we need to think more about what constitutes a crime and why has it taken place - we also need an authenticallyindependent body (which the IPCC is not and never has been) to investigate and regulate the behaviour of the police and easier access to redress for those wrongly imprisoned, fitted up and ill treated of which there are many. My own involvement has stepped up considerably following my own ill treatment and fitting up by police in Brighton, their physical andmental cruelty at a time when my health was not good led to an attempt on my life.
I identify with gwen Calvert and her situation regarding Paul and again send condolescences and good wishes to all who have lost loved ones to the "care" of the state or who are suffering in any way because of the judicial arm of the state
Dr george Coombs
Dr George Coombs