Updated at 16:00 on 01 February 2023 to add information on the outcome of the protest.
Comrades of Elliot Jellytot has been in prison since last year for breaching an injunction against protest at the High Speed 2 (HS2) train line.– also known as Jellytot – blockaded one of the government’s new megaprisons on Tuesday 31 January.
In the early hours of Tuesday 31 January, protesters erected tripods to block the entrances of the megaprison construction site at Full Sutton in East Yorkshire. The government has awarded private company Kier £400m for the construction.
‘Shutting down construction’
The protesters said they were:
A later update added that:
Four activists occupied the bamboo tripods for over ten hours, preventing any deliveries from being made. Police forces attended the scene but failed to remove the protestors.
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Protestors came down from the tripods at around 4pm, after ensuring construction was stopped for the entire day. Two arrests were made and three more were charged with aggravated trespass at the site. Those arrested were released from custody in the early hours of the morning
The campaigners explained that the action was in solidarity with their friend, and against the government’s prison expansion programme:
Today, our friend Jellytot serves his 131st day in prison.
He is 1 amongst 82,000 people in prison in England and Wales right now. Within the next few years, the government plans to create 20,000 new prison places as they ‘crack down on crime’.
He is one of many campaigners who have been imprisoned for resisting HS2. Last year Dave Buchan was sentenced to 100 days in prison for breaching an injunction at an HS2 site. He was released after an appeal in September. Another protester was sentenced to 15 weeks this week, although he had already served the time on remand.
A new prison at Full Sutton will only lead to more violence
The campaigners released a statement which gave a strident abolitionist message:
The campaigners’ statement was clear that we need to build alternatives to the prison system:
- Check out Corporate Watch’s ‘Prison Island‘ report to find out more about the prison expansion programme.
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