Prisoner Solidarity Car Caravan in Kingston

On Sunday afternoon a caravan of about a dozen vehicles drove to Collins Bay Institution, a federal prison in Kingston, ON to hold a noisy demonstration in solidarity with prisoners demanding to be released in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This demo was organized in response to a call from Solidarity Across Borders for caravan actions against imprisonment and for status for all.

We stayed in our cars for the duration of the event and took care to maintain physical distancing among ourselves, as we felt it was important to avoid contributing to the spread of this deadly virus. This spirit of care is the same reason it felt important to take action to help free those imprisoned by the state in prisons, jails and migrant detention centres, where COVID-19 is a disaster waiting to happen. Read More …

Hamilton: Update message from Barton Prisoners

The prisoners of Barton Jail continue to feel that they are forgotten. Telling us that ‘No one stands up for prisoners, we don’t have a voice’ and that its a relief to have a number to call to tell the outside about what happening inside.

Lock downs seem to happen intermittently on different ranges at different times for different reasons but all stem from the guards unwillingness to deal with any situation. We have reports that folks are slowly being let out but in an excruciatingly slow and dragged out process. And still, even with the state of the country during this covid crisis new people are being brought into the jail. Many feel as if the guards will just ‘sit back and watch us die’ when the virus makes its way in to the jail.

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Two Demos for Barton Prisoners: What’s possible in the streets during Covid?

Last Friday, April 10, the Barton Prisoner Solidarity Project (BAPSOP) published a report that some prisoners had been attacked by guards after refusing a lockdown, and today two actions occurred to support the prisoners and call for their immediate release. During the day, there was a public call for a car demo, then at night, an invite-only action to go set off lights and fireworks.

This kind of solidarity mobilizing happens not infrequently around here, but this time felt a bit different because of the virus and the repressive social context around it. As an anarchist who participated in both actions, I wanted to share a few reflections on this campaign and on doing demos in the covid era, as a letter to others who are also asking what’s possible in these strange times. Read More …

#FreeThemAll: Email campaign to release federal prisoners

Anonymous submission to North Shore. If you choose to contact government or prison officials, be mindful of what you say, consider hiding your identity, and avoid linking yourself to specific prisoners. SUPPORT ALL PRISONERS NOW! NO ONE SHOULD SPEND A PANDEMIC IN PRISON! The situation facing prisoners during the COVID19 pandemic is terrifying. It is widely understood that prisoners are in a dangerous position during this pandemic due to the Read More …

Lambs to the Slaughter: An Ontario prisoner on COVID-19 behind bars

For the past two weeks, we have heard from dozens of prisoners locked up behind the walls of the Hamilton-Wentworth detention centre. People are feeling scared about catching the virus, concerned for their families, and angry about the myths that are being reported about the conditions that they’re living in.

Some prisoners, despite fear of reprisals from guards, have decided that it’s worth risking their own safety to get their stories out. As one put it, “this is bigger than me”.

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Hamilton: Barton Jail Update — Freeing all the prisoners is possible

Since last Friday when it was confirmed that a Barton Jail employee tested positive for the coronavirus, we’ve been on the phone daily with inmates asking how the news has played out on the inside. Today, the jail is on lockdown — just the most recent in a string of at least ten lockdowns in the last month. This one, however, is expected to last since it’s caused by guards no longer showing up to work due to the virus. It is expected to last until at least Thursday, though some have been told to expect it to last even longer. Read More …

Hamilton: March 27 Update from the Barton Jail

A lot happened in Barton today and the people we talked to were feeling stressed. Late morning today the jail was put on lockdown, we got a quick call from someone just as prisoners were being made to return to their cells. While they were locked up, word came out that a prison employee had tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, March 25th after being told to go into self isolation on Friday, March 20th. Prisoners were allowed back out of their cells in the afternoon, so seemingly they were just locked up in case people had strong reactions to the news that they could have been exposed to the virus. Read More …

Hamilton: Coronavirus Phone Line for Prisoners at the Barton Jail

On March 20 and 21, we stood outside the Barton Jail with a banner reading: “Jail Sucks! Tell us about it #coronavirus2020” with a phone number on it. The phones in provincial jails only work to make collect calls to Bell land lines (because they are scumbag profiteers), so we had to set up a service in order to be able to receive these calls. This tactic is easy to replicate in different places and only requires a small group, so we share our experience in order to encourage others to open direct lines of communication with prisoners during this time. Read More …

Hamilton: For the eleventh year, New Year’s Noise Demo at the Barton Jail

For the 11th year in a row, anarchists and other rebels gathered on New Year’s eve to march on the Barton Jail. This is an international tradition, rooted in showing our disgust for prisons and their world and our solidarity with all prisoners, and especially to remember anarchists facing repression.

So we circulated a text by the Operation Renata defendants in Trento, Italy that contains some important reminders: “We have seen the suffering of families, friends, and those who have lost their own children to the hands of the state, and we have also seen most people’s silence and indifference, in spite of how much closer these tragedies are to us than we’d like to believe.”

We also circulated postcards in support of the five people with charges for defending Pride in Hamilton from the far-right this past summer: “Those who were targeted were not targeted only as queers or as Pride attendees, but as anarchists and radicals, who are are always opposed to the power of the state and who carry a vision of a world without cops, haters, or politicians.” Read More …

International Call For New Year’s Eve Noise Demonstrations

This is a call for a raucous night of strong solidarity with those imprisoned by the state on one of the noisiest nights of the year. On New Year’s Eve gather your crew, collective, community, organization, or just yourself and come together to raise a racket and remind those on the inside that they are not alone.

Internationally, noise demonstrations outside of prisons are a way to remember those who are held captive by the state and a way to show solidarity with imprisoned comrades and loved ones. We come together to break the loneliness and isolation. Read More …