About 150 people protested at Cornton Vale women’s prison near Stirling last Saturday to mark International Women’s Day. Demonstrators chanted, “Being poor is not a crime — too many women doing time!”
Women and children waved through their cell windows in response to the samba band playing and protesters singing.
The action was called by the Scottish Socialist Party’s women’s network.
Speakers demanded alternatives to prison for women with addiction issues and mental health problems from the poorest areas of Scotland, who make up the vast majority of women prisoners.
The women’s TUC was mainly uncontentious — motions covering topics such as the gender pay gap and the need for more robust legislation on flexible working hours were warmly received.
The PCS civil service workers’ union put forward an emergency motion on pensions and one on defending jobs in the public sectors. Speakers for these motions publicised the strike action on 23 March.