Niagara Prisoner Hunger Strike at Day 3! Phone Zap Monday May 3rd!

We can confirm that the hunger strike in the Niagara Detention Centre is just completing its third day! However, we spoke to someone there this morning who also shared that strikers are being targeted for repression by the institution. Today, COs entered their cells and stole their cantine items, saying they didn’t need it since they weren’t eating anyway. 

This escalation of repression is very concerning, and we need to find ways to show prisoners in Niagara that they are not alone. Tomorrow, Monday May 3, please call the jail and demand that the administration negotiate with prisoners to meet their demands. Calling the jail and circulating news of the strike is a simple way of keeping the strikers safe from reprisals and putting pressure on the admin. Read More …

Hamilton: Negotiations underway inside the Barton Jail

It’s been a big week. The short version is the admin at Barton promised movement on a crucial demand by striking prisoners, the ability to order books from outside. However, they have not yet followed through. Negotiations are ongoing, but public attention is needed to remind the admin that stalling or dishonesty is an unacceptable way of dealing with the legitimate demands of Barton Jail prisoners. Here’s the longer version: Read More …

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 …

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 …

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: Outbreak Coverup at the Barton Jail

As of November 28th, we’ve received reports from multiple sources that the administration is trying to cover up at least 2 new cases of COVID-19 among staff at the Barton Jail. Management is outright denying to both prisoners and staff that there are new positive cases, while at the same time introducing new policies in response to the outbreak. Read More …

Into the Second Wave: Barton Prisoners on past rounds of struggle and the challenges ahead

It’s been two months now since the last hunger strike at the Barton Jail. To end it, the administration made a slew of promises, but have they been kept? This past week, we had long conversations with several prisoners who participated in the strike and in negotiations with the admin, and they expressed deep disappointment at the Barton Jail’s failure to follow through on even basic promises. As well, there has been a steep increase in lockdowns in recent weeks, rolling back a gain from a previous round of struggle that saw an end to rotating lockdowns. And finally, as the second wave of covid hits, we talked with prisoners about masks, soap, and healthcare. Read More …

From Embers: Anarchists Ann Hansen and trans activist Naphtali discuss prison (in)justice

On From Embers, part of the Victoria Anarchist Bookfair Ann Hansen is former member of the anarchist organization Direct Action and served over 7 years in prison for her involvement with that collective. She is now living on a self-sufficient farm and works on prison-related issues as a member of the Prison for Women (P4W) Memorial Collective. Naphtali is a white non-binary trans Jew who is into prison abolition, anti-zionism, Read More …