Hull Prison Riot (1976) Account by Jake Prescott 093763
There are two main workshops, textiles and woodmill. The woodmill is known, with hate and loathing, as ‘The Mill’. A huge squat concrete building, no more than five years old, the latest in prison treadmills, three floors, each floor a workshop. On the ground the woodmill proper, then next up the assembly shop, then top floor, the spray shop.
Briefly what happens is that large timbers go in at the bottom, get cut up on machines, go to the assembly shop, get sanded and fixed together, go to the spray shop, get coated with paint, varnish, lacquer what have you. They are now pieces and sections of fitted prison cell furniture, for Arabian prisons (mainly the 600 in Iran). The shops are so noisy and choked with dust that a factory inspector visiting earlier this year entered each shop, stopped, wrote NOISE! DUST! on his clipboard, ordered the authorities to issue earplugs and filter masks to everyone and left. Needless to say, they only got these articles a couple of months later and they did not issue them, only reluctantly handed them out to those prisoners who persisted in asking for them.
Have you ever heard wood machines going all at the same time? Massive ‘six cutters’ chewing up wood all day, saws screaming, sanding machines groaning? The noise and dust are hard to believe or imagine, it’s like World War II in there. Although the mill is huge, the amount of wood and work material is colossal, and it is slave labour being so crowded there is hardly room to turn, and ‘work places’ are wherever you can squeeze elbow room.
As for personnel, there were a hundred prisoners in there, and 19 ‘instructors’ (glorified screws/overseers) and 20 screws, sometimes more. Also 2 senior screws who oversee the whole mill, watching ‘security’ and checking ‘discipline’. On the instructors side there are, a works supervisor, a quality control manager, and an industrial supervisor. All these people are there to get as much work for as little as possible – of course. The instructors nag at the prisoners each day, always cutting down the time for each job. Everything is timed to a split second, all work is piece rate (the so called incentive scheme) and there was no way we could argue the time. One time and motion study man told us the rates we got were one fifth of outside industry. The instructors were penny pinching (literally) all the time, they had two things to do: keep the prisoners’ wages down and production up. As each deadline for the contracts came up (and we are happy to say ‘went’) they got more frantic – the latest one, half a million pounds for Arabian prisons, was really driving them nuts.
For a basic target, you had to earn forty two pence a week, if you didn’t earn this (for a 30 hour week) you did not get the ‘cost of living allowance’, which was 42p in the North of England; and if you earned substantially less than 42p you got nicked. The third time that happened they took remission off you, and every time after that. The average wage for people in ‘The Mill’ was 95p a week – that’s including 42p cost of living allowance of course – and out of a hundred prisoners there were always about twenty getting 17p, 28p, 40p and so on each and every week, and always a steady stream going up and down the segregation unit.
There was always a queue of prisoners at the instructors’ office on a Friday when we got our wages, all arguing about being cheated out of earnings – whereas it’s pounds outside it’s pence you’re arguing about here. If you add the 40 men’s wages in the Assembly you wouldn’t have £40 – that is not one screw or instructor’s wage. The wage bill for prisoners in the Mill was altogether not more than £100 a week, whilst the wages of the screws and instructors, at say £40 a man (and that’s way below the real) would be £2000. The cost of keeping a man or woman in prison is about £60 a week now, and if you look at the yearly prison expenditure, you’ll find five sixths of that goes on screws’ wages. And out of that 80 pence a week that prisoners get you have to buy tea, sugar, milk for breaks and you could not possibly work in that dust without it – so 12p a week has to be spent in this way. At one time there used to be a free issue of tea or a hot drink but when Kearns, the previous governor, came 3 years ago he stopped it, so the prisoners had to supply their own and many could never afford it. The rest of the wage went like this: 10p for the film club (prisoners run and pay for one film a week); 5p a week for the people in the segregation unit – there was always 20 to 25 men in there, and we all used to collect this and buy tobacco and get it smuggled down to them; 6p a week for T.V.(rented by prisoners), not everyone paid this or watched, but the majority did; 1p a week ‘common fund’ (this was compulsory and was supposed to be for the buying and upkeep of recreational facilities, and the extra food at Christmas – for ‘that menu’ that The Mirror never fails to print each year). That left about 60p a. week (if you were lucky) for a half ounce of tobacco and a ‘canteen letter’ (you’re only issued with one and have to buy any extra) and maybe a pot of jam every other week … The canteen was run at 10% profit, and despite frequent requests, the authorities would not disclose where this money went – they robbed us in every way.
If you did not start work as soon as you went in to the shop at 8.10 and again at 1.10 you got nicked. The screws were situated thus: one in each of three strategically placed high box seats overlooking the whole shop, the others patrolling the shop the whole day, alternating with the ones in the seats, watching for people not working. If you read a paper during the ten minute break (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) they would come over and demand it – if you didn’t give it up, or told them to ‘fuck off’ you were of course nicked. The screws are pigs, they sat about in their seats (like judges’ benches) doing crosswords, dozing off, chewing the fat with their patrolling mates, discussing us, who’s not working, who’s next for getting nicked.
Also because of the fact that everyone was in for a long time, often ‘life’, and the work was so boring, repetitive and stupid, some prisoners would make a corner for themselves and their mates so they could take their breaks there, and make a shelf, a cupboard to hold their cups, tea and sugar, or a stool to sit on. But often we would come to work mornings and find that the screws had been in and smashed them up.
All the time, there was a stream of guys getting taken out for spins by the ‘burglars’, they come in and take whoever they want back to their cells, strip search them, turn the stuff in their cells upside down. The screws all try to outdo each other in who can look like gestapo, hats carefully shaped, boots shining, the tassels of their truncheons individually ornamented etc.
As for facilities : one toilet to 50 men, two taps (hot and cold) to 50 men, three baths or showers to 50 men – the prison proper was 100 years old!
The only modern parts were the sensitised steel fences, the barbed wire on top, and on top of all the roofs closed circuit television (the only answer to our country wide PROP demos of 1972). And of course the Mill.
Recreational facilities, paid for by prisoners wages, were virtually non existent; one billiard table to each of the 4 wings; one table tennis ditto; one T.V. to 40 men (all paid for out of wages). You were allowed cell hobbies which you paid for yourself or your friends and relatives outside did, and the regime used it against you whenever your ‘attitude’ was ‘wrong’. As we spent most of the evening in the cells (we were locked up at 8 pm) with nothing to do for many … everyone tried to make something, but you’d find you’d be allowed some of the materials one week, then next you wouldn’t – like, say, varnish or an adhesive or something – not allowed for ‘security reasons’.
This was the operative Catch-22 here and in most prisons – SECURITY. There are about 30 or 40 screws (including the ‘burglars’ who work in pairs) and a chief screw, Deputy Governor (Mr Withers) who form security. They are a fast growth industry since the Mountbatton Report and they regard themselves as the elite of the screws, acting as police in jails. In Hull they had carved themselves out power over all kinds of areas and aspects of the prison which had little or nothing to do with stopping people escaping. They acted as thought police, governing what kinds of reading materials prisoners could get both from the library and from outside. They were systematically stopping all long term prisoners from having the kind of things that both the Mountbatton Report and the ‘Guide to Long Term Prisons’ had suggested and allowed – like for instance altering prison clothing, wearing your own underwear, T-shirts, socks, handkerchiefs etc, getting towels sent in and other toilet requisites. Many had them from a few years back, but in Hull they kept stopping people from getting them in. You’d get handed stuff in by visitors and you wouldn’t be allowed to have it – the reason was always ‘it’s against security requirements, it’s nothing to do with us, see Security about it’ – but of course you couldn’t see Security, it was an amorphous malignant secret service.
They’d stop T-shirts, socks, underwear, towels, toilet gear (like tubes of toothpaste or after shave lotion), calendars, lampshades or whatever, and growing lists of banned cell hobby material like stuffing for toys (on the grounds that it was inflammable and could be used to start a fire – and this with a prison full of timber, lacquer, paint etc.!). They stopped clothing on the ‘grounds that it could be used as clothing on an escape, or to disguise a prisoner as a civilian’ – this with everyone having curtains in their cells (necessary to stop the glare of the powerful floodlights all around the perimeter and inside which make night time seem like a dull day – the birds sometimes whistle all night around modern prisons, they don’t know it’s night time), these curtains could be made into clothing very easily, so you could escape in a three piece red velvet suit if you were of a mind to … Of course a few people were allowed to have them, those who fraternise with Security, which also had a monopoly on the allocation of jobs, so that those who ‘played the game’ got working on the gardens or in the gym etc. (this on the grounds of Security of course). This might all seem trivial, but you have to realise that these small things are important to someone who is doing 20 years, or life with a minimum of 30 years, or whatever, and everyone was a long termer here.
Outgoing letters were often stopped, as people would tell their friends and relatives what was going on, but they have a ‘rule’ which says that a prisoner cannot complain, or make detrimental statements about prison conditions. You’re supposed to either go to the Visiting Magistrate or petition, but you always get the same reply from them. (The Secretary of State has sympathetically considered … etc.) Incoming letters, cards, etc. were invariably going missing, or ‘never arrived’. All letters to solicitors, NCCL, or any other body were always opened and read/photocopied, either surreptitiously or blatantly, depending on how well the prisoner had sealed them. These were ‘privileged’ and not supposed to be opened particularly if the matters relate to actions against the Prison Authority, but they opened and copied them anyway.
As far as visits went you were searched before the visit, strict surveillance was kept on them, there was often petty interference and a strip search afterwards, sometimes trying to get you to ‘bend over and expose your ass’ which they didn’t get away with as most refused. But this is minutes after being with your wife and kids or whatever – you cannot imagine the violent changes.
There is nowhere and no time when you are free of them, even in your cell in the evenings the door would spring open and they’d be there, 3 or 4 handed to give you a strip search. They were always trying to mix it too – they’d say they were acting on information received, like frustrated old bill which is what they are. They would wait till you were halfway through a class (if you were on education in the evening or whenever) and come in and remove you for a search. Kearns and the Security, headed by Withers, Stevenson (Senior Officer) and co. got the Irish language class, given by a priest entirely voluntary and unpaid, stopped on completely fabricated ‘conspiracy’ type reports. There was at one time about 25 people used to come in on a Monday for a debating class, give lectures etc. (called Social Studies), they got the numbers whittled down in the last 18 months from 25 men to 6 men. They squeezed everything to breaking point.
The Segregation Unit was always full. Always a couple in the strong boxes in strait jackets etc. Strict solitary for everyone there. They’d sent quite a few to the control unit at Wakefield, and they had just ‘glass bricked’ 8 cells, reinforced the walls and door so that little sound could get in or out, you could only tell it was night or day. These had only been there 2 months.
The incident of Artie Clifford was the spark, the one that broke the camel’s back.
What happened was that a prisoner called Artie Clifford who was in the seg. unit was goaded by a couple of screws as he was emptying his pisspot. He slagged them off. Later on the same two screws came back to his cell with another two screws, dragged A. Clifford out along to the ‘strongbox’ cells, beat him up. The screws were generally making a lot of noise having a ‘good laugh’ and unknown to them, another prisoner, a cleaner in the seg. unit, was watching then. This guy went to the strong box and had a look at Clifford and saw he was marked up. He got a chance to talk to some prisoners who were working outside the unit and told them what had happened. We were in the wing next door and heard about it very soon, and got to discussing it and what to do. The news went all around the jail by 5 o’clock on Tuesday the 31st August and it was just spontaneously agreed that we would go and confront the governor and demand for Clifford to be brought out of the seg. unit. It was agreed that this would take place at 7 o’clock on the centre (where all the blocks except B wing meet).
About 100 of us joined up at 7 and got out onto the centre and got a Deputy Governor, asked him to get the Governor, told him what we wanted. He got on the phone after trying to bullshit for a while and spoke to the Governor, telling him we wanted him, and wanted Clifford brought out of the unit. He told us the Governor refused to come and refused to give an order to bring Clifford out, so we stood around there on the centre for a while, and as it was getting near 8 o’clock (when we normally get banged up for the night) we agreed we’d not get banged up but also not to stay in the centre because it was too exposed to attack.
We decided to all move into A wing as it was 1) less exposed and 2) joined onto the seg. unit. The screws and Deputy Governors and other lackeys followed us in and when it came to be about 5 minutes to 8 o’clock they began making noises about ‘good and sensible’ and in a nutshell go in the cells and go to bed. Well they didn’t realise the mood I think. Someone got a bucket of water and chucked it over them all from the top landing and they galloped out of the gate onto the centre again leaving us in charge. As soon as they left (simultaneously) the place began to get demolished, with every place being attacked at once. There was an attack on the roofs and the prisoners got out onto the roof and began making entry to the Segregation Unit through that roof. Prisoners attacked all the cell doors, making strategic barricades within A wing and going along the roofs to the other two wings C and D, and building barricades at various places around the main prison block. (B wing is a separate entity and most of the 80 or so prisoners in B wing were locked up – when they saw it was ‘off’ many smashed their cells up – probably in frustration – and the windows and set fire to bedding etc. throwing it out of the cell windows. By 9 o’clock the whole main prison block was under prisoner control; everyone who was in the seg. unit, about 20 men including Artie Clifford were freed and were with us ; the offices were all opened up and masses of documentation was obtained, collected together into a central place; the canteen, censor’s office, chief’s office, welfare/psychologist’s office were all seized. All phones were cut except one which was unplugged and taken to the centre, our centre I mean, however all the outside lines were cut as we soon discovered. As you can imagine there was great rejoicing when all the guys were liberated from the unit and we embraced friends who had been down there for two months or more in solitary.
About this time however the mass of documentation was being scrutinised and very soon bundles of prisoners’ files were being unearthed and distributed to their ‘owners’ (it would be more correct to say victims in view of their contents) and the mood of everyone changed very quickly to at first shocked disbelief and then, rapidly, to a quiet fury. They read like the ravings of a very frightened, extremely paranoic and evil (amateur) psychologist. Every other word was ‘psychopath’, ‘misfit’, ‘anti-authority’, ‘manic-depressive’ and so on, and virtually no-one was excluded, they were all in the same language, and one prisoners file was almost interchangeable with another. What was the more sick, was that each of us turned up by name in some other prisoners file, and it soon was obvious that according to the system every friendship existing in prison was hatched out of inherent criminal tendencies, that every association was suspect, conspiratorial and everyone was up to no good. That is when everyone decided to begin demolishing the prison with their bare hands, and many did so.
Here’s some examples of what we found in the files:
“He associates with A, B and C (other prisoners named) and they spend a lot of their time in one another’s cells no doubt scheming and plotting. This foursome must be kept under observation at all times. They are all good 43b (solitary) material.”
“A is a professional criminal and a dangerous psychopath. He is bitter and has a biting wit which he employs against the staff at every opportunity. He has served 2 years of an 18 year sentence and will be 60 by the time he’s due for release, by which time he should be a cabbage.”
Everyone was going about in a state of seething anger at what they had read in their files – these files incidentally are not the full files, only the internal ‘working’ files and only consisted of a few photostat sheets – you may read that there was an area of the prison, the administration block, which was the most heavily contested area in the riot. This was where the main files for all the prisoners were kept. We did not succeed in getting them. It was the only place they did not surrender, leaving 50 screws in full riot gear in there, who made it pretty obvious that they would not leave, but equally they had no intention of advancing from that position either. This convinced us that the regime was more worried about us getting our complete prison dossiers back – they contain everything: police, security, surveillance, the lot – than anything else, and so we know now that the stuff we did get was just chickenfeed, that they would be seriously on the spot if we got our hands on these files. They must be dynamite. As it was though there were many guys feeling desperate from the stuff they read, especially the lifers, as the files stated they should be kept in for X no. of years more than they thought. Many of them were changed by the action and the files really made them realise what we had all along suspected; namely that screws, deputy governors, psychologists, welfare, the whole dirty bunch were forever writing reports about all your movements, your whole life was being reported.
Many of the files contained summaries of ‘interviews’ of prisoners by screws which were complete fabrications, the prisoners in the riot having to ask each other who a particular screw was, whose signature was on some very detailed report about the prisoner. They consisted of wholly manufactured ‘admissions of guilt’ supposedly made to a steely-eyed highly trained interviewer, i.e. yours truly Joe Turnkey who would make Alf Garnett jealous with the stupidity – I cannot stress too strongly the effect of these files on all the prisoners, even many of those who were previously adamant that the regime was ‘fair, straight, and everyone was working in their best interests etc.’ and that they would get such and such a prisoner out on parole etc. – this, coupled with the systematic beatings handed out to virtually all the prisoners at the end, will surely dispel any illusions that prisoners had and that the system was for ever fostering and boasting. I hope.
Most of the Tuesday night, and all Wednesday and night was spent then in smashing the place up, the files, trying to get the other files, gathering food together, gathering information, building barricades, watching and guarding vital spots, stopping fires and other counter productive incidents (it would have looked nice all having to run out into the path of squads of screws because of our own fires) setting up a small field hospital (three guys were injured earlier, one fell off a low roof and broke his leg, one got caught early by a loose gang of screws, got his head beat up, had concussion, the other I don’t know what was the matter with him, I think he was loopy temporarily). After a while, because of lack of sleep, having to stay on the alert Tuesday and Wednesday nights and all through the morning, and because of the murderous state some were in over the files, and others who had been on tranquillisers, sleepers etc. and now didn’t have them, and because of the influx of the guys who had been let out of their cells (all these guys, didn’t go on the original demonstration, so you can see they were not too enthusiastic – they helped to fan rumours about the screws charging en masse, the army coming in etc., etc.) things got a bit raggedy so we decided to stage a mass demo on the roof, get everyone out and showing solidarity and cheering – that happened Wednesday at 10 am and Thursday at 10 am and Friday at 8.30 am.
They were great times and were good for everyone. The prisoners couldn’t believe the number and the joyous noise of the kids! Very early on some of us began making banners. And what we did was shout out to everybody around asking them what we ought to put on them, and after much ribaldry and some crazy suggestions like “What’s happening?”, “Send largactil urgent”, “We demand transfers to Holloway” etc. etc., the ones which appeared were the agreed upon ones in the end. “Four screws beat up one prisoner”, etc. Someone was pushed to the front of the roof to talk to the media, that was one of the best things – just to stand there, all of us with our arms around each other’s shoulders and to shout out our anger and our contempt and our hopes and our strength and for everyone to endorse by whispered “Yeahs” and “Go ons” and raised fists and people saying “say this, say that” and to stop, ignore the T.V., radio etc., and have a quick round of everyone to see that everything was fair. We said we were here because of brutality, that they could read some of the details on the banners, that this was just the tip of the iceberg, that the brutality was in every aspect of the system, in the control units, both the ones which were well known and the ones which operate in every prison under the names of segregation units and rule 43. (Like the fact that 90% of the men in Wakefield control unit had been sent from Hull prison). That right below our feet there was the control unit of Hull where a prisoner was beaten up by 4 screws, where they had just installed 8 cells which had the glass brick windows and the blank walls which are a feature of control units. We went on about the finding of the files, the language of them, the rampant lies, the hysterical paranoia, the completely inhuman marking down of every prisoner’s past, present and future in terms of ABSOLUTE HOPELESS EXISTENCE FOR LIFE, that they clearly showed what we all knew – that the prison system was an industry trading in our lives, that we were here to tell people we would never be relegated to being passive ‘products’ on the conveyor belt in order to let screws, police, judges, politicians, bureaucrats get fat off us, that we would protest and demonstrate and take action again and again and until the last prison in Britain is shut forever. Also we mentioned about the work we were forced to do for a few pence a week, making furniture for prisons in Iran, and asked the media and people standing there, is this what we’ve come to?, supplying everything to kill, torture and imprison people all over the world. We all screamed for a while :
“FUCK THE SHAH OF IRAN, FUCK THE SHAH OF IRAN.”
How the end was reached was so kind of natural, most people felt there was little point in staying, many of the guys who had been let out of their cells had wanted to give themselves up, (they- outnumbered the original 80 or so people). We didn’t want to let them go and many of the original lot too, leaving only a few to face what might come. There was a general feeling “we’ve done it anyway”, “for this time”, virtually put the jail out of action, so we got everyone together by general consent, a vote was taken, it was a vast majority for an end but not a surrender.
Someone was asked to go and talk to this Home Office bloke who was buzzing about outside, to get a procedure set up that would allow us to get examined by doctors so that nobody could get really seriously beaten, and to save some personal property. Many of us thought that this was naive, but others were genuinely indignant at the thought they might be beaten up. And none had been in a riot (amazing how few of us faced the fact that we had been!) Anyway someone went to this bloke out in front of all the prisoners and told him what we wanted, “A doctor, an M.P. to be there when we came through.” He hummed and hawed over the M.P. and after fruitless back and forth we were told John Prescott would be around to see every prisoner after we were through, that a doctor would examine each of us, that a local magistrate would be there, that he, Lewis, would be there. He asked us to start coming in then, that was Thursday one o’clock, but we told him to wait. We went back and told everyone what had been said. They agreed to go if 1) I was allowed to go and examine the procedure, 2) only Hull screws would be there. We agreed that if we got a ‘yes’ on this and everything was OK we’d start going in at 9 am the following morning. Lewis asked why the request for Hull screws, smirking and thinking he’d caught us out in a glaring contradiction (because we accused them particularly of brutality). He was shaken when we told him we wanted to recognise the ones who would beat us up – “better the dogs you know than the dogs you don’t.” And he was profuse in his assurance that there would be no violence whatsoever, that he had given orders “no violence”. But we just asked him, did he think we were fools, even after all this ? That was it.
I went that afternoon right through looking at the lay of the land, the doctor, the magistrate, the search area, the cells etc., all the time with Lewis at my elbow saying “trust me”. I just looked at him in amazement and told him he’d be bang in trouble if he was lying, which he did not like at all. Most of us were sick as hell, but happy too because everyone was really beautiful with each other, all very emotional and nice for the first time with each other. Wishing each other luck, promising to meet on the roofs of some other jail, helping each other with personal gear, saying goodbye to all the kids, booing Prescott M.P. as he held a press conference within camera range of the prison. The end.
Or the end of the “public” part of the riot.
We came down in batches – 6,7,8 at a time. Down from the roof, through the wrecked wings and galleries, into the “reception” area. There, stood waiting, looking more scared than us, were the doctor, the magistrate, and the other worthies, including Lewis. Alongside them were groups of screws, looking far from scared – they stood impassively but behaving themselves, whilst in sight of the distinguished guests.
This operation took most of the day, it was about 3 pm when the last batch – you probably saw in the papers the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” – were ‘processed’. We’d arranged a signal system, so that the first batches could signal up to those still on the roof, as they were leaving for their buses to other prisons, if any violence had been done. But this was not a foolproof system. Willy Gould got his story into the papers, but most of us got the same treatment. First we were met by the ‘reception’ group, headed by Lewis, here we were given a quick “examination” by the doctor -“open your mouth and say ‘ah’” kind of thing, then asked to get our property sorted out, and to say “yes, that’s mine”, or “I’m missing this or that” or whatever. Then, whisked off by a couple of screws, to be well roughed up, out of sight of the processing area – mostly this was digs in the ribs, kicks in the balls, hair pulled, shins kicked – mild stuff compared with what was to follow.
A lot of guys were transferred immediately after processing – they got their roughings up, were handcuffed, and subjected to abuse and more beatings as they made their way down the stairs – surrounded by screws, chanting, spitting, and kicking at them. And then onto the waiting buses.
Those who went to Strangeways, in buses of 12, all were met by some 20 screws, and while handcuffed, were beaten from the buses to D wing Seg. Unit. How many this was I don’t know – I only know about one busload for sure, but I’m certain the others must have got it too.
Those of us that remained, were taken off to undamaged areas, in various parts of the prison. I was in with a group of some 25 guys. We were banged up, in single cells, all in a row – this was about 4 pm Friday. Very soon after we were all locked up, the first group of screws arrived, – about a dozen of them – this was the start of the systematic beatings that were to continue until Sunday afternoon.
The screws split into groups of about 4 or 5, and worked their way up and down the line of cells. It was systematic and co-ordinated – either they would charge into a cell, push the prisoner on to the floor, and kick him into a corner, and carry this on for 5, 10 minutes or longer. Or they would drag you out, with your arms and legs flailing and hurl you against a wall, landing blows on the head, back, legs and kidneys – anywhere that was exposed. When being beaten like this you instinctively roll yourself into a ball-like position – legs tucked in, arms trying to shield the head – some cons shouted abuse at their attackers, some just rolled into a ball and were silent except for screams and gasps of pain.
WITHOUT EXCEPTION EVERY PRISONER GOT AT LEAST ONE BEATING IN THIS SESSION, WHICH CONTINUED UP TO ABOUT 8 PM ON FRIDAY NIGHT.
Saturday morning brought the first food since we came down from the roof. We were shepherded along to ‘breakfast’ which consisted of plates of hot food being smashed into our faces. Then, back to the cells, for another session along the same lines as Friday night.
THE BEATINGS ON SATURDAY BEGAN AFTER “BREAKFAST” AND CONTINUED INTO LATE AFTERNOON.
A few doors down from me (‘A’) an Irish prisoner suffered a long beating at the feet of 6 screws, who left him lying, half in, half out of his cell.
He was in a shocking state – bruised, bleeding and gasping. A few minutes later, another group of screws picked him up and bundled him back into the cell for another severe kicking. Immediately they’d finished, a Medical Officer appeared – saw him – and he was immediately taken off to hospital.
Sunday, I was transferred – and suffered the same treatment given to these who left on Friday – handcuffed, I was pushed and kicked down the stairs by a jeering group of screws.
I was taken to another prison and immediately locked up in solitary.
From: Don’t Mark His Face: Hull Prison Riot (1976), National Prisoners’ Movement PROP, London and Humberside 1976.