Prison Protest: Discrimination Has To End
Members of the Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee and members of the Wootton family gathered this afternoon in protest and the ongoing treatment of miscarriage of justice prisoner John Paul Wootton. The protest action took place outside Maghaberry Prison on the outskirts of Belfast as part of an effort to draw attention to the ongoing discrimination directed at political prisoner John Paul Wootton.
John Paul is currently fighting an ongoing miscarriage of justice campaign together with Brendan McConville, as part of the Craigavon Two.
Several members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) gathered with family and relatives of John Paul at the gates of Maghaberry as a letter of protest was handed into the Prison by John Paul's mother, Sharon Wootton.
A spokesperson for the IWW Ireland said "We are here today to lend our voice and solidarity with our fellow worker John Paul, at a time such as this when he continues to face further discrimination at the hands of the state who have already wrongfully imprisoned him. As if they haven't suffered enough with being fitted up for a crime they did not commit, John Paul has to continually face repeated attacks against him from a system that continues to keep him incarcerated despite the fact that they know full well that both him and Brendan are innocent men. We echo the families call here today and demand an end to the discrimination directed again him.
"For ourselves as a union, it is always important to highlight that no matter how much repression there is, no matter how much they through, working class solidarity will always win through."
In a statement issued on behalf of the Wootton family during today's protest action, it read:
Today the 18th July, the Wootton family, supported by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) trade union, held a small demonstration outside the gates of Maghaberry prison. Our purpose was to show solidarity and love to John Paul and call for an end to the discrimination to which he has been subjected by the prison authorities.
Over the years John Paul has been denied many of the opportunities readily available to the other prisoners and has had restrictions imposed and above those endured by others. In recent times we have engaged in a lobbying campaign, reaching out to those with influence, in an attempt to improve the situation.
Unfortunately, despite best effort‘s issues remain on resolved. It is John Paul view that many of the problems he faces could be dealt with by transferring to Magilligan prison. However, despite the fact that he meets the prison service criteria, he remains in Maghaberry.
John Paul first applied for a move two years ago but the present service has constantly prevaricated, stalled and at times completely ignored his request. Two years, is a long time when others with only a matter of weeks.
This is a clear case of discrimination and we will not standby silently. We tend to continue to support John Paul and his fight for justice as we have done for over 12 years now and we will continue that fight until he is freed and fully acquitted. We will also make every effort to ensure he is treated properly whilst being held by the state. We decided against issue a public call for support on this occasion in order to keep attendance low. This was due to the ongoing threat from COVID-19. However, we do not rule out such a thing in the future.
You can send a letter of card in solidarity to John Paul directly to him at the following address:
John Paul Wootton Maghaberry Prison Davis House Old Road, Upper Ballinderry BT28 2PT, Ireland