Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Compulsory Pampers?

Walking out of my door first thing in the morning, my only thought being the logistics of toast making, my brain was slightly confused when confronted by men dressed as aliens. Paper suits, gloves, goggles...Just what had happened to the world whilst I was asleep??
Then the rolls of Biohazard tape began to be deployed, sealing off a cell and its occupant. Ah, a dirty protest. For the uninitiated, a dirty protest is rather more than the avoidance of soap and water. A dirty protest is to smear one’s cell with excrement - and to keep living in it.
In days of old this form of protest was very disruptive to all involved and within olfactory range. This bureaucratic age, though, has seen the writing of a detailed policy for everything, including dirty protests. Out come the paper suits and striped tape, and life goes on as normal. The protestor is also charged with endangering Health and Safety.
Of all the many forms of protest available to prisoners, the dirty protest is one of the more extreme and one which I refuse to indulge in. Given the procedures developed to deal with dirty protests, their utility as a disruptive force has been much muted.

Living in a box smeared with crap is a desperate ploy but, thankfully, not the method of protect chosen by many.  


  1. Dear Ben,
    Over the course of the post, 'Protest' changed to 'Protect'. Was it an intentional spell-mistake? I would guess so, because the entire philosophy behind protesting is to protect some interest somewhere. The bottom-line of Protest is to Protect. I see a wise and subtle thread in, what could be an unconscious slip on your part.

    BTW, I don't subscribe to the dirty mode of protest too. Back in India, most of the protests are dirty - because they finally end up in two parties exchanging dirty words for each other. :)

  2. Love the title of this post

  3. This was a form of protest that only some of the most despairing would consider. 'Shi*ting-up' (as it's known in the prison vernacular!) often went even further.

    I can't speak for now, but the Blocks of old were usually austere, brutal places, - controlled by the most sadistic screws in the jail.

    Some prisoners would smear their bodies with faeces in the hope of deterring the 'heavy mob' from coming through the door and giving them a good kicking. After all, not even the dumbest screw fancies a wrestling match with a man covered in sh*t!

    Like Ben and Vikas,- Not for me.


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