Hamilton: There is Always Resistance — Prison Demo Reportback & Solidarity with Koufodinas

Prisoners always find ways to resist, even during the outbreak. The prison’s power over them is arbitrary and nearly total — they are not given even basic information about the covid status of people on the range, let alone throughout the prison, and there is no consultation about how to deal with the situation. And yet, this past week, we heard that one range initiated a collective meal refusal while another collectively refused to be tested yet again for covid. Prisoners continue to use the few minutes they have out of their cells to call us and let us know what’s going on.

There is always resistance, but it is stronger when prisoners know they are not alone. With outside solidarity, we can change the balance of power between the institution and those it cages by amplifying their acts of refusal and responding with action. Read More …

Hamilton: Rally and hunger strike as conditions worsen at Barton Jail during outbreak

Since the covid 19 outbreak was declared at Barton jail, things have gotten drastically worse, and the information being released by the administration doesn’t tell half the story.

We are therefore calling for a public demonstration outside the jail this Saturday, March 6, at 1pm on the east side of the jail off Ferguson St.

While the jail is now officially reporting 58 cases, prisoners we’ve spoken to believe this number is way too low. One person reported that there are around 50 cases on his floor alone. Read More …

The Toronto IWW GMB Stands in Support with the Hamilton Pride Defenders

During the 2019 Pride Festival in Hamilton, Ontario, a group consisting of white supremacists, homophobes and Christian fundamentalists crashed the festival spewing hate and intolerance, even resorting to violence against Pride goers. However these attackers were met with resistance from the LGBTQ community and its allies. Following the attack, the Hamilton Police Department proceeded to prosecute the very people who defended the LGBTQ community. Read More …

Hamilton: Report back on Land Defender Solidarity Demo

Today, Hamilton cops arrested a Haudenosaunee woman while she was in her car with her kids for charges related to 1492 Landback Lane. We’ve seen time and again how Landback Lane has been hyper-surveilled and criminalized. In this case, the person was dealing with existing charges just for dropping off food and supplies at the site. And today, a false related charge apparently warranted ambushing and arresting her in front of her kids.
 
The community reacted quickly and met up this evening in front of thepolice station in solidarity. It was a strong a spirited display including music, speeches and chants. The crowd took the street and marched to the intersection of King and James, which was held for about an hour.  Read More …

Hamilton: 27 cases in Covid outbreak at Barton Jail

Since an outbreak at Barton Jail was declared 5 days ago, almost no information has gotten out from the people locked up inside. They have been on 24 hour lockdown for over 5 days as of the writing of this. According to the city’s covid outbreak website there are 27 cases at Barton, including both inmates locked up inside and staff.
Folks inside have been cut off from the outside because of this extreme, panicked, and unplanned lockdown. They have not been able to make phone calls and have not been able to send out any mail correspondence because of the guards’ refusal to handle it. This means no contact with lawyers, loved ones, or other important community supports. 24 hour lockdown also means no access to showers, making keeping themselves clean and healthy even more difficult. Read More …

Hamilton Pride Defender Update! Some charges withdrawn, others going to trial

Update from the Pride Defender Solidarity Committee and a solidarity statement from CUPE 3906

It has been nearly two years since Hamilton Pride was attacked by white supremacists, homophobes and fundamentalist Christians. Nearly two years have also passed since a group of determined people stood their ground and drove the attackers out of the park. In the aftermath of that bloody event, the Hamilton Police showed their true colours by dedicating their efforts to tracking down and identifying Pride Defenders, while letting all but one of the attackers off the hook (despite having clear video evidence at their disposal). Of the six Pride Defenders initially charged, three of those people are still facing charges today.

Two of those three people have recently accepted a peace bond that will see their charges effectively withdrawn. The peace bonds will come with one year of probationary conditions, which is essentially the same punishment doled out to Chris Vandeweide who was caught on film committing multiple brutal assaults both at Pride, and again the following weekend in Toronto. Read More …

Gidimt’en Territory: Solidarity is inclusive: We are one

It has been almost one year since the call went out for peoples across so called canada for solidarity; to respect Wet’suwet’en laws and jurisdiction to our lands and to fight together against colonization, industrial genocide, and to stop CGL and RCMP from invading our yintah.

As we asserted full control over access to our yintah and brought industry to a halt, many others rose up with us. From large demonstrations to rail blockades to clandestine sabotages against the infrastructures of colonization, many nations, groups and people fought alongside us. These actions gave us strength in the face of the looming buildup of militarized police. Read More …

Always Against Prison — From Hamilton to Minneapolis

This evening, we dropped a banner over highway 403 going towards Toronto in solidarity with the five people in Minneapolis facing serious felony charges in connection to a New Year’s eve noise demo in that city. Although we’re glad all five are out on bail, the arrests and charges mark a significant escalation of repression against an international anarchist tradition.

In our region, New Year’s noise demos started in 2009 in response to a hunger strike campaign by anarchist prisoners, and we have kept doing them every year since. These demos let us a share a moment of celebration with prisoners, breaking the alienation through direct action. As an international tradition, they are also a thread that connects us to anarchists elsewhere, allowing us to exchange ideas and tactics with people whose contexts are quite different than ours. Read More …

Hamilton New Years Noise Demo

For the 12th* year in row, folks in Hamilton rung in the new year with a noise demo outside the Barton jail. COVID has changed a lot of our organizing context this year, and made a lot of traditions harder to keep, but was too important to miss. 

If anything, COVID has exacerbated many of the existing horrors of prison. Barton prisoners saw the loss of visits for big chunks of this year, only winning them back for a period of time through a series of courageous hunger strikes. There is the constant threat of the pandemic spreading through the jail, as we’ve seen at countless other institutions. The administration’s response to the pandemic has been to further erode prisoner’s basic “rights”.  Read More …

Hamilton: Banner Drop in Solidarity with Freedom Camp

One week ago today, the 14 day occupation of Hamilton City Hall known as Freedom Camp came down voluntarily. For two weeks, Black and Brown youth organized the tent city and gathering place to demand a 50% reduction in the Hamilton Police budget and to have that money reallocated towards free housing for houseless folks who have been left out in the cold during a pandemic. Meals and shelter were provided to any houseless folks who came to find some help, until of course the city came in and ripped down all of their tents as is their disgusting mission these days. But those youth stayed strong and held out, helping folks come down from drugs in a gentle way, keeping people warm, and pressing the limits of what Sad Fred (the mayor) could handle. At one point, they even brought a coffin to his front yard. Read More …