What The Fuck Is Happening In Prisons Right Now?

This is a guest post in response to the news and events surrounding the rioting in UK prisons.

The recent “incident” in HMP Birmingham is just the latest in a wave of rebellions taking place across the country this autumn, from Bedford to Lewes and elsewhere around the country, and it has little to do with the availability of televisions. And it’s not over – it looks like Hull is next.

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Monotonous, Repetitive Failures – We Need To Change The Way We Protest In 21st Century Britain

In 2011, during my second year of university, Time Magazine chose The Protester as their Person of the Year.

On the one hand this is a great cause for celebration as the millions of individuals committed to the struggle were, in some way, rewarded for their actions. The hours of work, the days of organisation, the minor victories; whatever it was, their efforts were now recognised, and praised, on a global stage.

One of the reasons given by Kurt Anderson of Time Magazine for choosing their Person of the Year as The Protester, was because protest had once again become “fashionable”. (So long as it was being conducted in the MENA region and toppling dictators).

But this representation of “the protester” did not sit well with me. No protester wants to be on the cover of Time Magazine, and if they do it would be for the wrong reasons.

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A Spark That Ignites The Flame

It is easy to criticise a government. Apologists and supporters defend it by claiming that they are doing the best they can, and they point to small token victories as evidence of progress. “Look at what this government has done for you”, they say, but my response is always: “Is that it?” The ease of criticism is supported by the necessity with which it needs to be made. Without speaking out against your government, you are giving silent approval to the actions they conduct.

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