Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day of Action in Support of John Bowden Monday 11th June

Imprisoned since 1980, (and in fact for most of his life before that),
John Bowden has been a thorn in the side of the English and Scottish
prison systems for three decades. John has paid a heavy price for being a
staunch defender of prisoners’ rights and a committed opponent of
injustice, spending years in the most brutal conditions, and suffering
numerous physical assaults and treatment that has frequently amounted to

Over the past decade though, John’s captors have been using a new tactic
to keep him behind bars – the lies of prison social workers and quack

First, a few years ago, Matthew Stillman alleged that the Anarchist Black
Cross were a ‘terrorist organisation’ and that John was therefore a
‘terrorist’ by implication. Brendan Barnett has now made even more
ludicrous allegations against John, but such is the corruption within
Edinburgh ‘Criminal Justice Services’ that John’s complaints have led to
his victimisation, rather than the disciplining of Brendan ‘Pinocchio’

You can read about the affair in these previous articles:
-worker-2/ , http://leedsabc.org/support-for-john-bowden/ ,
services/ , and

As John says in his most recent article

“Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, or what used to be known as the
plain Social Work Department, have seriously compromised their
professional integrity by defending a member of staff who deliberately
told lies in a report to the Parole Boards in an attempt to sabotage my
chances of release from prison. Behaving like corrupt policemen instead of
traditional social workers seems now to be acceptable practice at
Edinburgh Social Services.”

To rid themselves of John Bowden, so as to avoid having to deal with his
complaints, Edinburgh ‘Criminal Justice Services’ are now trying to
instigate John’s removal from the Scottish prison system back into the
English one. Two years ago, the Parole Board recommended that John be
moved to an open prison, something the Scottish Prison Service have
stubbornly ignored, and it is inevitable that if John is moved into a
different prison system any ‘progression’ to open conditions will be
delayed even further, if indeed it ever happens at all. John has been a
tireless critic of the human rights abuses frequently perpetrated by the
English Prison Service, and we believe that they would like him to die in

Once again, as with the Matthew Stillman campaign a few years ago, it is
time for supporters of John Bowden, and opponents of injustice everywhere,
to step up to defend John, and to send a message to the prison
authorities, that whether they are in jail or out of jail, no comrade of
ours is ever alone. Furthermore, these corrupt social workers need to know
that their lies and machinations will not go unchallenged.

We are therefore calling for a Day of Action in support of John Bowden on
MONDAY 11th JUNE. Please organise what you can – banner drops, demos,
phone-ins, letter writing, etc – and please help spread word of this call
as widely as possible.

Some useful contacts:

Brendan ‘Pinnochio’ Barnett, Grindlay Court Social Work Centre, Criminal
Justice Services, 2-4 Grindlay Court, Edinburgh, EH3 9AR. (Telephone: 0131
469 3408 Fax 0131 229 8628)

Michelle Miller, Chief Social Worker, Grindlay Court Social Work Centre,
Criminal Justice Services, 2-4 Grindlay Court, Edinburgh, EH3 9AR.
(Telephone: 0131 469 3408 Fax 0131 229 8628) NB Michelle Miller also works
out of Waverly Court, see details for Peter Gabbitas below.

Peter Gabbitas, Director, Health and Social Care Department, Waverly
Court, Level 1/8, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8DG. (Telephone
0131 553 8201 Fax 0131 529 6218).

Social Work Advice and Complaints Service, Waverley Court, Level 1/7, 4
East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG. (Telephone 0131 529 6217 Email

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, 4 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7NS.
Scottish Prison Service HQ, Communications Branch, Room 338, Calton House,
5 Redheughs Rigg, Edinburgh, EH12 9HW. (Telephone 01259 760 471 Fax 01259
762 003 E-mail gaolinfo@sps.gov.uk

Ian Whitehead (Governor), HMP Shotts, Cantrell Road, Shotts, Scotland, ML7
4LE. (Telephone 01501 824000 Fax 01501 824 001 ).

Letters and cards of support to John at: John Bowden, 6729, HMP Shotts,
Cantrell Road, Shotts, Scotland, ML7 4LE.

You can also send e-mails to John (or any other prisoner) via:

You can download John Bowden’s pamphlet ‘Tear Down The Walls!’ free of
charge from the PDF section of the Leeds ABC website at www.leedsabc.org

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