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RIP Taylor

Three weeks ago we had the terrible news that long term IPP prisoner, anti-authoritarian, and all round bad-ass Taylor had died. Later that day some of us joined with other supporters and friends of Taylor’s to head to HMP Eastwood Park. Taylor may have died by their own hand, but it was no less a murder by HMP Eastwood Park who prefered to show brutality and transphobia than even the basic levels of respect that could have kept him going. It was a murder by all those who are part of the so-called Justice system that kept him inside for so long under IPP, a type of sentence since ruled illegal.

We brought with us our love and our rage, as several dozen of us circled the prison fences, banners held high, voices loud, and smoke from our flares drifting back in the wind. At several places not only could prisoners hear our very loud protest but were able to shout back to us an converse. A small act, but one that shows prisoners they are not forgotten, and the screws that they are not forgiven.

Taylors close friends have already said everthing better than we ever could. So rather than ramble on ourselves we will share their writting on the subject from the Bristol Anarchist Black Cross website, it is hard but important read.

Solidarity now and forever to Taylor, Taylor’s loved ones, and all who suffer at the hands of the prison-industrial complex.

“Content warning – suicide (graphic), prison, violence, self harm, abuse, homophobia, transphobia

Taylor is dead. He was pronounced dead in prison at 10.37pm on Saturday 9th July after cutting his neck. He was meant to be on suicide watch but the prison failed him. We were informed by the prison governor at 3.30am on Sunday. His cell has been sealed by police and we await news of the autopsy. We will announce news of his funeral in the coming days and weeks. 

His story is one of abuse, injustice, transphobia and tragedy. It didn’t have to be this way. He was murdered by the state. His death should trigger resistance and rebellion inside and outside of prisons everywhere. We have no investment in his inquest, or that the state can deliver any kind of justice. This is a call to arms to abolitionists and anarchists all over the world. 

With rage in our veins and love in our hearts, until every prison turns to ash. Taylor: you were our best guy. Our queer family will forever miss you. You will never be forgotten and the state will never be forgiven. 

Who is Taylor? 

Taylor was a trans prisoner trapped in the UK prison system for over 14 years. He was an IPP prisoner, who had served 10 years longer in prison than his original sentence. He was a beloved friend to anarchist comrades who met him in prison. He had ACAB on his knuckles and an anti-authoritarian spirit and a deep love for animals. He was a working class ‘old school’ prisoner who knew which side he was on. He hated the system with every ounce of his being. 

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