The Prisoners meet in the Atrium to agree their negotiating stance. Two positions emerge.
One is proposed by pPB – the Prisoner who took the keys. He is forceful, articulate and witty. He argues that the Prisoners should demand regular hot drinks as the price for returning the keys.
The Trades Unionist, pDM, interrupts. He proposes a more radical change: a change to the system. A daily forum should be set up where Prisoners and Guards come together to discuss problems in the prison. Critically, the proposal is inclusive as well as radical. It involves all the Prisoners in making decisions. It uses their collective power to make change.
pPB is dismissive. He doesn’t believe in the group. His actions created this opportunity for hot drinks. If others want more, they should copy his heroic example. He wants nothing of a forum. “We’re all here as individuals. And I am here as an individual individual” he argues.
The situation is finely balanced. Then one of the other Prisoners – the previously controntational pJE – responds: “but your grabbing the keys affects us all… the majority, we want to do things as a team here”.
It is a critical moment. pPB withdraws. pDM is chosen as the Prisoners’ representative. His strategy of harnessing the power of group has won out against that of the powerful but isolated individual.