Issue: 2445

December 2001 - February 2002



By Ella Polyakova, Elena Vilenskaya

For two years, with a small break of a couple of months, our human rights organisation “Soldiers Mothers of St Petersburg has held a picket every Thursday on Nevskij Prospekt, where members of the group gather opposite the Kazanski Cathed

Gandhi practised two types of Satyagraha in his mass campaigns. The first was civil disobedience, which entailed breaking a law and courting arrest. When we today hear this term, our minds tend to stress the “disobedience” part of it.

By Roberta Bacic

When we think about prison we usually imagine the loss of physical liberty - of a life behind bars. But what about our minds? Roberta Bacic discusses the practical and political impact the practice of torture has on people in detention and within the wider community.

By Matt Meyer

New Yorker and regular PN contributor Matt Meyer links the issues raised by the 11 September action against the symbols of US power with the status of political prisoners in the US, and the relationship with peace activists on the outside.

By Tikiri

The management of private prisons in many countries is netting some big profits for a handful of companies based in the west. French activist Tikiri examines the drive towards private provision and the connections with the “defence” industry.

By Pedro Enrique Polo Soltero

Explaining their work to support lesbian and gai activists in prison, Pedro Enrique Polo Soltero from Madrid-based group Gais Antimilitaristas places the need for nonviolent action - both inside and outside of the prison walls - in the wider context of working to globalise human rights and of supporting activists living and working under oppressive and militarist governments worldwide.

By Paul Hodkinson

Usually referred to as Alternative Nobel Prizes , the Right Livelihood Awards started in 1980 and are presented annually in the Swedish Parliament.

By Simo Hellsten

Finnish CO activist Simo Hellsten recounts an inspirational tale of symbolic nonviolent direct action to liberate a comrade from incarceration.

By Andreas Speck, Coskun Usterci

In 1979 Coskun Üsterci began a prison sentence, of which he served nearly 12 years. During his imprisonment he moved from belonging to a leftist political group which advocated armed struggle to becoming a strong advocate of nonviolence. Here he talks with Andreas Speck about his prison experiences and the current struggle against isolation cells.

By Jyotibhai Desai

What are the positive aspects of prison? What can being imprisoned or working with people imprisoned offer nonviolent activists? Jyotibhai Desai offers three short tales of the use of prisons in creating a humane society.

By Ippy D

Timed to coincide with the annual Prisoners for Peace list and associated articles, Peace News takes a look at prison and nonviolent struggle.

By Janet Kilburn

As a nonviolent activist who has been to prison for short periods on a number of occasions over anumber of years, the issue of how much we, as prisoners and as activists, participate in our own incarceration is something I have found quit

According to the Washington Post "FBI and Justice Department investigators are increasingly frustrated by the silence of jailed suspected associates of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, and some are beginning to that s

By Dr Clara Meijer Wichmann

You could argue that a lot of things were different in 1919, but Dutch anarcho-pacifist Clara Wichmann certainly had some progressive ideas on crime and punishment.

By Claire Hanrahan

Imprisoned for six months following a School of the Americas action in November 2000, Claire Hanrahan writes from her cell about life, war, solidarity and gardening.