On the first day of the Strangeways protest, in April 1990, one prisoner declared that, ‘We are having no more. We are not animals, we are human beings’. This painful and angry message reflected the motivation behind what became the longest demonstration in British prison history.
In 1988, Partners of Prisoners (POPS) established itself in Manchester as a local support group for families of prisoners. Many of the families we supported were visiting loved ones in the prison then known as Strangeways. The stories they shared and our own knowledge of supporting our loved ones in that situation, were informing us that there were major problems at the prison, including overcrowding, negative staff culture, and ‘Dickensian’ visiting conditions.
The 25-day protest in 1990 at Strangeways prison in Manchester was the longest prison protest in British history.