Archive | November, 2012

Letter Writing Night For Roger Clement,Leonard Peltier and The Cuban Five

30 Nov

Letter Writing Night For Roger Clement,Leonard Peltier and The Cuban Five

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
4:00pm
Come out, enjoy good company and write to anti imperialists locked inside the Belly of Beast here in North America. Find out about there cases, why the imperialists have imprisoned them and help bring them some holiday cheer.

Brought To You By KW Anti Colonialist Working Group

Queen Street Commons Cafe
43 Queen St. S., Kitchener, Ontario

Irish Republican ballad night

30 Nov

though its not an event that im organizing its good people

Sweeny, Oneil, Lynch Association Toronto presents…

Ballad Night in Support of Irish POWs

Rebel Songs, Speakers, and Raffle to win Art done by Prisoners in Maghaberry

Come out listen to good music and find out about the torture of Irish Republicans at the hands of the British State in Maghaberry. Find out what you can do to support the prisoners and have a chance to win art done by the POWS.

Saturday Dec. 1st
8 PM @ The 460 Spadina Ave.
Toronto, ON

The Roger Clement I know

29 Nov

Roger Clement, Dedicated Cuba activist, community organizor and all around good guy was recently denied parole. His orginial charges, which i dont want to comment on cause i dont know the specifics,(to say that his charges and conviction are shifty is an understatement) are that he was allegged to have participated in a firebombing action at an RBC, which was financing the destruction of native land during the 2010 olympics and still are, allow the media to portay him as a fanatic, terrorist etc.

These allegations fly in the face of the Roger Clement that I have known and I feel it was time ithat I said something. I met Roger around the issue of Cuba, particularly the effect of the blockade and the U$ dirty war on children and civilians. This cause was something that was dear to both of our hearts. meeting Roger and talking about the issue of Cuba and the us attacks on Cuba one could see a warm in his eyes, and to anyone who knew roger, they could tell that to him this wasnt just some issue but something he cares about deeply. When talking about the gains of the revolution his interests werent necessary the military gains but things like the fact that Cuba would guareentee a litre of milk to everychild under seven, even during the special period, the fact that they wiped out illiteracy etc. demonstrating that his interests in Cuba came from a place of humanism and what drew him to the cause were the humanitarian gains of the revolution.

He was very active in raiseing the issue of the Cuban Five (now four since one is out) and when talking about the five one could see that he actually felt for them and was really appauled by the brutalization of humans in jail being tortured for there defence of their home land.

Roger also has has supported the social programs that we were implementing in KW around poverty, drugs and basic rights to housing and dignity. Whenevr I would meet him at a Cuba conference or he would meet someone i know he would ask how these programs were going and once even wrote a huge check to fund these programs out of his own pocket (to some it might not seem huge but to us it was)

From what i get from my conversations and knowing him, his interest in politics comes not from a place of militarism but rather of humanism, he is one of the most caring person i know and the best example is talking to people who get mail from his he says dont support me support the people in Cuba.

I ahve tried writing to him, but my mail has a way of getting lost, some doesnt even make it to jail. Many commies who should be standing behind him are now distancing themselves etc., which is sad, because from what I know about the life he leads he is a perfect example of the new person whom che guevara talks about. Roger has been an inspiration and if anyone reads this who is in contact with roger, let him know i think about him alot!!!!

List and addresses to write to Irish POWS

29 Nov

Today in Kitchener we has a letter writing night for Irish Republican prisoners. The event was well attened and successful, despite the fact that someone screwed up on a card and we ran out of stamps for Desmond Hamill (we will mail that card soon.). Yet you dont need to wait for letter writing night to write a letter, this holiday remember to write or send a postcard to those brave Irish people locked inside the belly of the beast.Below is a list of names and addresses of irish POWs that I took from the IRPWA page, please take the time to write to them.

Remember the POWs at Christmas! List for cards and letters

December in the Republican calendar is traditionally Prisoner’s month and as such we would ask that people drop a card or letter to a Republican POW and let them know we are thinking of them at this time.. A list of POWs and Internees is provided below with addresses underneath.

GRMA

Republican prisoners Roe 4, Maghaberry

Joe Allen
Joe Barr
Brendan Campbell
Brian Cavlan
Martin Connolly
Dee Duffy
Paul Duffy
Shane Duffy
Dominic Dynes
Harry Fitzsimons
Tony Friel
Sean Kelly
Brendan McConville
Sean McConville
Liam McDonnell
Mark McGuigan
Gerard McManus
Kevin Barry Nolan
Brian Sheridan
Brian Shivers
Kevin Vernon
John Paul Wootton

SSU

Gavin Coyle.
Austin Creggan
Desmond Hamill
Tommy Hamill
Martin McGilloway

Female Republican Wing – Hydebank.

Sharon Rafferty

——————————————————————————-

E3, Portlaoise Prison

Bernard Dempsey
Bobby Donohue.
Darragh Evans
Sean Farrell
Cormac Fitzpatrick
David Jordan
Jim Mc Cormack
Stephen McGowan.
Nick Kendall
Mathew Perry
Vincent Ryan
Brian Walsh.

addresses for cards and letters:

Hydebank Wood
Hospital Road
BELFAST
BT8 8NA

Maghaberry Prison
Old Road
Ballinderry Upper
Lisburn
BT28 2PT

Portlaoise Prison
Portlaoise, Co Laois
Ireland

“Moving Towards A true Commuity Based Model of Policing” and other bullshit I heard at the forum put on by the office of Of The independent Police Reviews Director yesterday and today.

28 Nov

For the sake of not exposing some of my professional friends i have edited them out of this peace.This gives the impression that i played a bigger role then i did, even though I have done it for the right reasons, i feel that there contributions should be aknowledged, some stuff i edited because of time, and also this is only what i know from the workshops i participated in. I would like to thank everyone who got texts for me and couldnt explain it all and ask for info, facts stats etc. I esp would like to thank those who only got a bit of the story and were like wtf??? here an account of a real sureal moment, maybe sometime in the future i willwrite about how scared and fucked up this experiance was, it was definatly surreal.

Sunday night one of my friends who works in the professional sector told me that they were going to a conference about the police complaints process put together by the Office Of The Independent Police Review Director. This forum was suppose to bring together Police, Legal Clinics,Social Workers and Community to discuss problems and issues with the police complaints program. the IPRD is suppose to be an indepoendent body in charge of police misconduct and investigating police complaints. There report on misconduct of police at the g20 was good but didnt mention anything that people didnt know.

My friend had to go for work and said it would be cool if i came, because they were sure i would have alot to say about this issue. Registration was theoretically closed and chances of me getting in were slim to none. i called another friend and found out they were going. We had a discussion about how forums like this that were consultive were not only a waste of time, but a way in which the state silences real community voices while at the same time legitimizing there rule. Still, since they also had to work that day and attend they said my perspective might by interesting. I ran some fake names to use to get in of revolutionaries that people may not know, discarded ernesto guevara, Vladimir illych a few other and decided to use the name of a revolutionary from Ireland who is not that well known over here but a Hero there. After all the chances of me getting in were slim, and had nothing to lose.

I woke up very early , downed as much coffe as i could smoked a few ciggerrettes and told my other friend the plan, and mentioned the fact that i would register at the same time they do so i look more legitimate.

i get to the registration desk, give my fake name, memorized a fake address postal code and all, and instead of asking me for that info, they ask what organization im with, i make one up and go in.

The first thing that struck me was the heavy police presence in uniform, with guns, vests jackets etc., Since this was a community forum, I expected that there would be some cops but public relations officers, not the goon squad, talking to delegates after, this really intimidated many community members, and played an important role into intimidating silence. The Panel was full of police officers, whose comments were very dismissive of people who launch complaints, and those who face violence from the police. The only person who was critical of police was Anna from the Toronto Coalition On Police Accountability, who gave a good speech. Registering made me late so I missed two community speakers who may or may not have been good.

One of the organizors of this forum was from University of Waterloo and knew me so we spoke for a bit but she did not call me by my real name and respected my confidentiality. Later I am approuched by the person at the registration desk and im like shit, im busted, only to find out that even though they knew that my organization that i said was made up , I was welcome as a member of the community, given tokens and promised an honorariam if i stuck around, i got it i was being tokenized as a member of the public, and given the fact that to the organizor I looked like someone who comes from a at risk community, i was to be used as one of those people who gives credence that this is a “legitimate” consultation.

The ideolgue of the conference starts speaking and i feel like Im watching a bad PSNI commercial, as hes talking about community policing that reflects the community and other such shit. When asked about the paramiliterization of the police, he states quite clearly that the police is a paramilitary force(this part is important given who this person is and where he trained people etc. I wont jump ahead but give you the hint that he had a thick british accent). The whole time a uniformed officer is seriously staring at me. We break for lunch and i talk to other people in the social service sector or legal sector who know who i am.

At lunch im like shit its only a matter oftime before a cop id’s me and figures out i gave a fake name. I read the bio of this ideoluge of the police and it reads like counter insurgency (which is later confirmed).

Dr. David Webb is a graduate of the Bramshill Police Command College in England, holds a Management Diploma from the national examination board in the UK, where he has worked for 30 years before starting LEMITS in the US, The last 12 a Chief of Police, ran Devon and Cornwall Police College, Marine Anti Terrorism,, Senior Police Advisor to Home Office Police Department Office of Science and technology, London England, worked extensivley overseas in Europe, Africa and Asia and his interests are POLITICAL VIOLENCE, HUMAN TRAFFICKING, AND ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES. (Before I break for lunch he makes a comment that i hear about how most youth under 25 PERCIEVE that the RUC/PSNI are the same, and as a friend pointed out the word PERCIEVE becomes very important)

We go back to the conference and im approuched by a Toronto Cop I know well from the G20 who joins the break off group that im a part of. He asks me about my health and other things making it obvious that the gig is up. I answer in a cordial tone, stating only what he already knows about my health acting as if im not worried and several other cops and the lawyer from the OPP and others who keep trying to talk to me make me know that they know who I am without mentioning my name. I try to remove myself several time from the presence of the one cop who either was extra friendly (which i doubt) or obviously trying to intimidate me.( At that time I thought and think the gig was up the first few minutes I walked into the room and my presence was tolerated to legitimize this so called consultation)

So i know that they know but pretend i dont they know that i know and its kinda really wierd. Dr. David Webb is also in my break away group. Its obvious to everyone who is not a cop that the police are setting the agenda and controling the discussion, My role at this point in time is to say nothing and learn as much as possible before i get booted out. It becomes obvious (by a friend pointing it out quietly) that the word of the day is perception and victims of police misconduct only percieve that they are being mistreated, and there perception is right but if there perception is to change by interacting with the police through dispute resolution then the world would be a better place. The discussion shifts (which is clearly steered by police) from the diffrent forms of the complaint process to pushing this agenda of dispute resolution., as well as putting forward this agenda of shifting peoples perception towards the police, paticularly in targetted communities. We go for break, and i talk to people about how to proceed. its obvious that that the police are ither intimidating people into silence, stacking the room or people are to blind to see whats up due to the fact that as workers they are insolated from the targetted community by the saftey of the rules of social work and law that makes you see things people as a case or file as oppossed to seeing them like humans.

So how to interced and create room for discussion. The simplest way is to discuss what is at hand and the problems with the OIPRD. I interced by pointing out that even if the OIPRD is really neutral, despite the fact that half of the OIPRD is ex-cops it has no teeth and can only make recommendations, its up to the chief of police to implement the reccomendations, making it relativley toothless and leaving the police to punish the police, furthermore as a point of clarification, I would like to know how many times the chief of police has refused to implement there recommendations, at this point in time i was not given an answer. Given the fact that the facilitator took great pains to point out that the police are diffrent then other employees like a librarian, and is an issue of governance not employment, the police kept on argueing that it was a dispute between employer and employee, and only the chief should punish them.

After the break when we came back the subject was once again changed to perception, and the bootlickers kept on talking about the good role that TAVIS plays in there community, and how amazing it is that they play with the youth and hang out and shoot hoops and other such knowledge.

To those who dont know in theory TAVIS is the anti gang unit, sent to racialized communties as a special taskforce. There role in racial profiling, targetting minorities, jacking people etc. is very well known. As a side note Guns and Gangs, which TAVIs falls under is in charge of political prosecutions such as the G20, my current charges and many others, the G20 cop that was in the room, was the head of the TAVIS programs she was talking about. TAVIS is also known for intimidating and threatening community organizors who refuse to work with police, accept police funding via charities that say you must work with police, and try to solve problems of poverty etc. on a community basis. At this point a community legal person started talking about all the bullshit that TAVIS pulls nameing off stuff very legally, and how its not a metter of perception but fact (i am seriously paraphracing this for a matter of time) Another person speaks about how there are problems with the police but they always tell there youth to show there ID etc. Still he is forced to lament the fact that the police will not always meet them halfway. The discussion shifts back to getting people to talk to the police and implementing this local resolution bullshit. One person brings up the fact that there is no statistical data to show that this is the only or best method or good or bad so its unscientific to focus on this method at the expense of all others.(eg. formal complaints etc.) Which forces the meeting to be called to order as this rational explanation is bood down by the police and others.

At this point i go into research mode, and call people, study stuff re read what i know and come to the conclusion that this forum iis not a community forum, nor is it about the complaints process, but rather a way to justify the new nicer face of targetting policing and repression of minorities, poor people and indigenous people. Those who have good relations with TAVIS are the people who allow the police in marginalized communities to control and patrol, and the state funding for programs have nothing to do with helping kids but everything to do with collecting information, encouraging collaboration, setting up a network of people who are friends of the police and feed them information at the expense of there community.Political organizor who are interested in alternative are to be isolated, intimidated or pressurred into silence.

The problem with this forum is that its purpose, as well as the purpose of the toothless IPRD, is to legitimize an illegitimate process and instill faith in the system. The issue of accountability of police, which can only be achieved by true community accountability, which gives the community a direct say in policing, as well as the power to enforce there will politically. Without political power and the ability to determine there own destiny, recognizing the heredtirary rights of the indigenous peoples whose land this is, all these nice sounding words are bullshit, even if they are co oped from progressives.

The next day the presentation started (well i was late) with an Anishnabek Police officer saying not much of anything other then everything is hunkey dorey. This is followwed by Dr. Webb Addressing the issue brought up in the break up group that there is no data around the affectivness of the local solutions. He then says (and apparently my face turns red at this point) that “accross the pond in Northern Ireland” these solutions have been tried and work. He then goes on to talk about accountability and forums and surveys making it sound all nice and good. At this point in time i start texting people for data and statistics on the PSNI, its early in the morning so i get no response, i drink a cup of water to relax go back in and hes talking about all the successes of the pSNI in community policing, I wait for the question period, and i ask “given the fact that this summer has been full of attacks on Catholics in Northern Ireland, with the blessing of the police, that there has been a growing number of selective arrests, targetted policing, collusion esp during organge marches, and more and more people see the PSNI as a continuation of the RUC, cant one state that this model of policing has failed. If this is not the case then why is there a growing hatred against the PSNI, making policing the major example (except for the return of internment)used by Republicans as proof that the Good Friday Accords have only entrenched British occupation.Why would we want to replicate an exiperiment that has failed so miserably here esp. since it is obviously an example of counter insurgency, not peace time policing.(i also added something about the fact that 80% of PSNI Specialists are RUC who cover up and practise shoot to kill”

He responded by saying that he was working in the Six Counties during the troubles, and he understands and he doesnt want to talk about what is happening today over there but that the problem is biggotted cops who arent educated, and if they payed them more they magically would stopping being biggotted. He then continued to say that those people who mascarade as republicans are really criminals and no one wants a unified Ireland. We then broke out into break up sessions and given that i went for a ciggerrette i entered when there was someone attacking a professional and trying to talk over them. It was my time to re introduce myself, i gave my first part of my fake name and WEBB winked at me and let me know that I wasnt the only one who did research last night at which point i said obviously this is not my real name, and im not gonna give you my real name given my history with the police, but I have started one the first youth drop in centres in Canada, have worked creating drug prevention programs in the city of Startofrd, the Meth capital of north America, have started free food and programs to get youth off of drugs in Guelph have been program co ordinator at Inuvik Youth Centre dealing with issues of addictions and a bunch of other shit that i did, including some of the current stuff like dealing with drugs as a social issue etc. and my work speaks for itself or some other shit like that. After the introduction the strangle hold has been broken and more and more people talked aboutdiffrent ideas that were silenced before. The TAVIS cop came back and mentioned that he was just policing a pipeline protest (one i was suppose to attend) and actually explaining the issue. His demenor changed compleately and backed up most of the suggestions. When the facilitator didnt want to read my comment on addressing power imbalences by not having cops come to a meeting on police complaints carrying guns, the whole group asked that it be read. Yet there was lots of discussion on how as leaders in our community we need to go back and say how our voices are heard I felt un comfortable, and the facilitators, several times didnt write what people were saying or altered it, yet people were talking. At the get back together session alot became obvious the agenda was aleeady set as were the resolutions people walked out of the room in disgust, one facilitator yelled at his group to shut up when the IPRD rep. started to change the working groups suggestions, and there were countelles other examples of how this process was a fraud, the IPRD was shown to many for what it was, as we were told by one presentor WE MUST BELIEVE IN THE SYSTEM, as people voices were excluded and many community members left in disgust.

i myself was pretty pissed off, yet when trying to explain why i couldnt I knew from the begining this meeting was a fraud, i knew from the begining that KKKanada was built on genocide and has sent officers to train in isreal and learn from the IDF, there was no new surpirise to me, in fact given the response from people in some ways it was a success because the process exposed itself. As I was leaving one person said if they put ten percent of what was said in the report this will be amazing yet i think that a facilitator that wont read a comment about people bringing guns to a meeting on police complaints then they will have no problem leaving things out of a report, to be totally honest maybe my anger was because at one point in time despite all i knew I thought that during the fight, it would mean something. Still I told myself exposing them was a possative victory. it wasnt till I got back to my community dealing with the problems we face every day that I realized what a waste of time this is. The report is coming out in Feb. giving them enough time to edit and make nice, but one peace of satisfaction I have is that they wanted us to go back and sell this as a solution, instead what people are telling there communities is how the system can never work!!!!!

Successful march against cuts to Start up benefits end with occupation of police station!!!!

24 Nov

On Saturday Nov. 24th Poverty Makes us sick, with support from Alliance Against Poverty and The Spot Collective held a rally and march to highlight how the Liberal cuts to Community Start Up and Maintance program further encourgages violence against wimmin. Lead by wimmin and trans folx this rally aimed to highlight the violence marginalized wimmin face as a result of austerity implemented by the state. Nov. 25th being the international day of Violence against wimmin.

The Rally started with stacey speaking about how community start up has helped her in the past and how the cuts will definatly have a violent affect on her. Britt from The Spot Collective spoke about needing community start up when she was pregnant and the devestating effects it would have had on her if this program was not there. S. from AAP spoke about how the attacks on social programs are a direct attack on wimmin who because the reality is that marginalized wimmin and single mothers feel the brunt of austerity.

A member of Anti Colonialist Working Group then spoke about the violence that British state is perpetrating on Republican wimmin and families in the occupied six counties. The case of Marian Price, who has spent almost 600 days in isolation, half of that time in a mens jail, is a perfect example of how the colonialist British state is the perpetratot of violence against wimmin who refuse the colonialist yoke.

After speeches people took to the streets chanting solgans against the cuts and john Milloy, minister of Social Services aka minister of misery.

The March then proceeded to the new “terrorist proof’ courthouse downtown Kitchener where someone from the Justice for Ashley Smith Campaighn talked about the Murder of Ashley Smith through the use of isolation at Grand Valley institute, where screws sat back and did nothing while she hung herself under there watchful eyes. As well this speaker also Spoke about the sexual assualt committed by guards on inmate at The GVI and how the court is a symbol and tool of perpetrating violence against wimmin.

The March then proceeded to the police station where protestors occupied the lobby, kept ringing the “liberty Bell” and chanted slogans against the police being used as a tool to implement austerity and a force to brutalize indigenous people, marginalized communities and poor people.

The police kept trying to remove people whith little succuess until they started to forcefully remove people and threaten mass arrest. Outside, where police was on horses veronica and stacey talked about the need to resist and how the police was being used to silence legitimate dissent. one anti poverty activist then spoke about an intimidating phone call that was recieved very late at night by police with the purpose of intimidation.

Two detectives then got in the face of one activist demanding that he go inside to talk about how protestors traumatized people at a previous action (a bunch of bullshit) the two detectives got into his face but other people backed him up and did not allow the detectives to implement there policy of intimidation and politically targetting. After they left they returned to ask if i would like to tealk to them to which the answer is obvious…..NO.

As the cuts are implemeted and poor people are under attack more and more people will resist. Today was just one example of how poor and marginalized communities will no longer suffer in silence.

save the community start up benifits and Maintanence program Rally Tommorrow Nov. 24th

24 Nov

Save the
Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit
Rally and March
Saturday November 24, 2012; 3pm, Kitchener City Hall

November 25th marks the ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women’. In the lead up to this day we will gather to protest a government that is making life much more dangerous for women and trans-people in this province.

BACKGROUND:

This year’s Ontario budget included a cut to a vital Social Assistance benefit known as the Community Start-Up and Maintenance (CSUMB).

The CSUMB is the only government benefit available to anyone on assistance who is transitioning out of a shelter or institution, or trying to get new housing.

It is the only benefit available to women and trans-people on assistance who are trying to leave violent situations.

This cut will increase the levels of violence against women and children in this province who will be forced to choose between homelessness and staying in a dangerous environment.

For more information on the CSUMB visit:
wellesleyinstitute.com/publication/the-real-cost-of-cutting-csumb/
ocap.ca
incomesecurity.org/
povertymakesussick.wordpress.com

Free Market (clothes, coats, toys, housewares) 1:30–3pm
Rally with music and speakers begins at 3pm
Including speakers from We Remember Ashley Smith

For details, or to become involved in the event contact:
ianhstumpf@gmail.com

Learn more about the CSUMB visit povertymakesussick.wordpress.com and ocap.ca
Join the Poverty Makes us Sick email list by contacting forspecialdiet@gmail.com
Twitter: @kwpmus #RaisetheRates, #SaveCSUMB

Incarcerated political prisoner Mandy Hiscocks Statement on her filing a human rights complaint against Vanier Corrections Centre

22 Nov

I’m filing a human rights application today against Vanier
Published by mandyon Thu, 2012-11-22 09:28mandy’s blog
classification, discrimination and human rights

here’s a Media Release and important Statements of Support from NOII and DAMN2025

today i’m filing a Human Rights application against the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Vanier Centre for Women. i hope to initiate some changes in their security classification system, which is opaque and discriminatory and contains no fair grievance process.

in previous posts i’ve tried to describe the difference between the maximum and medium security units but i probably haven’t done it justice. you’ll have to trust me on this: the freedoms i enjoy now may seem limited and the privileges minor, but they make a world of difference. so who gets to live in which world and what are those decisions based on?

in my case the decision seems to be political, although i can’t say for sure because nobody here has ever told me the reason. i was kept on maximum security (Unit 2) for seven and half months. i never had a misconduct, was never sent to the hole, was occasionally argumentative and sarcastic with guards but never violent or aggressive towards them, and i had no run ins with other inmates. i tried for months to find out why i wasn’t being given a chance on a medium security unit but my questions went unanswered by Classifications, the Superintendent and the Regional Director. eventually i was told that it might have been something i once said to a social worker – this shocked me, because during our one conversation i’d told her i was uncomfortable with her question and she’d gone to great lengths to assure me that everything was confidential. i’ve since learned that “don’t trust the social worker” is fairly common knowledge in here, but i didn’t know that then. in august i was told by the head of Social Work that she’d find out what it was that i’d allegedly said. to this day i haven’t heard back from her, but i was moved to medium security (Unit 4) about a week later. i don’t believe there ever was a good reason to have kept me on Unit 2 for so long. this process (or lack thereof) is unacceptable – there should have to be a clear reason and inmates should have the right to know it and grieve it under a fair process if we disagree. this is something i hope can be addressed at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

another concern that i hope will be addressed is the way the classification system discriminates against groups of people who are already marginalized in society. this happens in a few different ways: by refusing medium security eligibility to certain groups as opposed to evaluating individual circumstances and behaviour (this is true for people detained on an immigration hold), or simply because the institution is unable to accommodate inmates’ needs (for example, the medium security units are not wheelchair accessible). finally, the rating system used by provincial institutions to give inmates a security designation is stacked against certain groups: women, poor and indigenous people and people of colour to name a few. what it boils down to is that those who are privileged on the outside continue to be privileged on the inside. at Vanier, Unit 2 is full of migrants, people with disabilities, people of colour and the poor while Unit 4 is a predominantly white, younger, relatively better-off crowd.

i realize that this is merely one injustice among many, and that in a system that is fundamentally rotten it may not seem like the biggest deal. but it’s one injustice that i’m in a position to do something about. prisoners are deprived of liberty but shouldn’t also be denied basic human rights and equal treatment.

you can click here to see the full application and here to read the Toronto Star article. i’d like to encourage others to join me – if you feel like anything in this application applies to you (or someone you know) and you (or they) are interested in becoming a co-applicant or getting more information, please email vanierapplication@gmail.com.

CAM Mapuche Political Prisoners Initiate New Hunger Strike

22 Nov

CAM Mapuche Political Prisoners Initiate New Hunger Strike

November 14th, 2012

Public Communiqué

The CAM Mapuche Political Prisoners, Hector Llaitul Carrillanca and Ramon Llanquileo Pilquiman communicate the following to the Mapuche Nation, and general public opinion:

1.Beginning today, Wednesday November 14th, we once again have initiated a hunger strike to the final consequences if necessary, as a way to denounce and demand the following.
2.We have been persecuted and unjustly convicted of 8 and 15 years respectively through the application of the Antiterrorist Law, and use of “faceless witnesses” due to the ongoing conflict between our People and the Capitalist Chilean State.
3.Moreover, we have gone under double jeopardy by the courts, one civil and the other military, violating the judicial principle of “NOS BIS IN IDEM.” We had been convicted to 3 and 4 years by the Chilean Civil Court, when we had already been absolved for the same charges processed by Prosecutor Elgueta through the Military Court.
4.Therefore the demands of this mobilization are:
■Freedom for All Mapuche Political Prisoners in Chile.
■To adhere to the “NOS BIS IN IDEM” Principle, allowing our sentences to be lowered from 8 to 4 years (Llanquileo and Huillical) and 15 to 11 years (Llaitul).
■Right to prison benefits, and in the case of Ramon Llanquileo, and the right to political status as a Mapuche prisoner.
■Recognition as Mapuche Political Prisoners, and the right to dignified conditions, separate reclusion, a right to proper health service, and spaces to practice our culture and traditions.
FREEDOM FOR ALL MAPUCHE POLITICAL PRISONERS!!

STOP THE REPRSSION AGAINST THE MAPUCHE COMMUNITIES IN CONFLICT!!

TERRITORY AND AUTONOMY!!

WEUWAIÑ!!

From Angol Prison

Wichan Info al Día

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

http://wccctoronto.wordpress.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged CAM, Hunger Strike, Mapuche Political Prisoners | Leave a reply
After 10 Years of Impunity, Alex Lemun Family Reaffirm Compromise for Territorial Struggle
Posted on November 14, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
Reply
After 10 Years of Impunity, Alex Lemun Family Reaffirm Compromise for Territorial Struggle

Nov 13th, 2012

Public Communique

On the 10th Anniversary of the murder of our son and Weichafe [Warrior] Alex Lemun Saavedra on November 12th, 2002, the family communicates the following to National and International Opinion:

We deeply lament and denounce that after 10 years of this deplorable crime, there has still been no justice for Alex’s murderer, Officer Marcos Aurelio Treuer of the Chilean National Police Force, whom remains free and carrying out his functions as an officer, demonstrating that crimes against humanity by the police force are still being carried out in Chile.

This Saturday and Sunday November 10th and 11th we will carry out a Guillatun [Ceremony] in his memory, with the communities of Malleco as well as other territories.

We reaffirm our compromise with the struggle for the rights of the Mapuche People, as with the restitution of all usurped territories.

We demand an end to the militarization and criminalization by the government in turn against our communities demanding our lands, in the same way that we demand the freedom of all Weichafe [Warriors] and Mapuche Political Prisoners that are held in the prisons of the Chilean State.

Lemun Saavedra Famil

Alex Lemun Communi

País Mapuche

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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On the 10th Anniversary of his Murder: Alex Lemun Lives in Every Day of Mapuche Struggle
Posted on November 9, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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On the 10th Anniversary of his Murder: Alex Lemun Lives in Every Day of Mapuche Struggle

November 8th, 2012

In the next few days, it will be the 10th Anniversary since Chilean Police would murder the young Weichafe [Warrior] Alex Lemun Saavedra in the Area of Ercilla. As is the case every year, his brothers and sisters will remember him throughout all Wallmapu, continuing the struggle for which he gave his life.

On November 7th 2002 at around 6PM, the Montutui Mapu Community together with Mapuche from other communities in Wallmapu were working within the Santa Elisa estate in the township of Ercilla, then territory in conflict that was being collectively occupied through productive work. By the order of Mininco Forestry Inc, special militarized police forces proceeded to raid and remove the Mapuche from the site.

The defense of the communities would be able to contain the police fury for a brief while, when a contingent of three police officers shot live ammunition to a group of Mapuche.

Peñi [Brother] Alex Lemun Saavedra, was the fourth of nine brothers, and ever since his People began to mobilize, he would participate in every meeting, gathering and ceremony that the communities in the area would have, and would never hold himself back when entering and working in the occupied estates.

Alex received a gunshot to the head from a firearm of Major Marcos Aurelio Treuer Heyssen. The bullet ran through “10 centimetres in its trajectory, finally ending at the nape of the neck” as determined by medical specialists later on.

Alex was immediate helped by his people, being transferred in a wagon and then in an ambulance to Angol, later to Temuco, and finally in an effort to try discarding some responsibility, the Chilean government transferred him to the German Clinic of the city, where he remained resisting for 5 days connected to a mechanical respirator. The bullet could not be removed and had destroyed an important percentage of brain mass.

After 5 days of agony, on November 12th at 6:15 AM, Peñi [Brother] Alex Lemun leaves us.

The projectile was shot by Major Marcos Treuer of the Chilean National Police Force, with a Winchester rifle loaded with lead bullets and according to his version, was “used to repel an armed attack;” a vile lie that was immediately discarded, even by their Chilean Justice system.

No one could negate the crime, as even the repressive institution would recognize it. However despite the judicial trials, the international pressure, and the many demonstrations, a decade has now passed and there had been no justice.

Alex Lemun was 17 years old, son of Edmundo Lemun Nekul and Sonia Saavedra Horta, and resided in the Rekem Lemun Community of Ercilla, growing up surrounded by forestry plantations that pertain to the many large corporations and particulars.

He was characterized as being a very healthy, responsible and disciplined youth, which was stated by all who knew him. As he began acquiring conscience on the reality of the Mapuche People and of the communities that carried out productive reclamations, he gave himself to the struggle completely, supporting the mobilizations where his support was important, as was that November 7th, together with his Wetrukurawe.

The murder was absolved and today his murderer continues carrying out his work as a police officer, having been promoted twice.

Chilean Justice does not recognize the murder of a Mapuche as being a crime, as it seems to be an achievement of their military and genocidal policies. We painfully proved this once again with the with new terrorist crimes against our People: the Weichafe [Warriors] Matias Catrileo and Jaime Mendoza Collio that were murdered with impunity by the oppressive Chilean State, as with the many Mapuche brothers and sisters that have murdered in one way or another by the institutional oppression that is spread over Wallmapu.

Today the communities affirm that only Mapuche justice – that which blossoms in daily struggle, in resisting and exerting political and territorial rights, with the strength of our ancestors and continuing on the path they defended with their lives – is the only way that our Weichafe [Warriors] will not have died in vain.

[ASIDE] The Murderous Offensive of the Chilean State

■The murder of Alex Lemun was initially called “Operation Patience,” a strategy of the Chilean State that articulated various intelligence services, police, Government, and with the approval of business sectors, which was destined to detain the process of Mapuche Community struggle in their territorial reclamations through repression, cooptation, divisions, as well as harassment, persecution, violence, judicial criminalization against communities.
■Marcos Treuer murdered Alex Lemun as a Major; today he is a commander, a Lieutenant Coronel. After his action on November 7th, 2002 he was transferred to Rancagua. Today it is unknown whether he continues in the force there or in another location. Treuer continues in impunity, as with the police special forces of the GOPE that murdered both Matias Catrileo and Jaime Mendoza Collio, and remain free to this day.
País Mapuche

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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Lemun Renace

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Mapuche Resistance, the Mass Media (RE: “Informe Especial”) & the CAM National Liberation Project
Posted on November 8, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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Mapuche Resistance, the Mass Media (RE: “Informe Especial”) and the National Liberation Project of the CAM

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

The history of the Mapuche nation from the arrival of the Europeans till now has been set across annihilation, scorn towards our people due to the Winka [Settler] ethno-centrism and the construction of its ideal, the continuous desire to homogenize cultural expressions and forced assimilation disguised as philanthropy, good intentions and the undervaluation of the capacity of our People (tai ñ com pu che). From the permanent dichotomy of good and bad, the correct and right path to liberty and progress, examples of development portrayed in history books and economics, the venality of the Chilean who aspires to become an entrepreneur and become as successful and competitive as the country’s richest families, Matte or Edwards. The Mapuche are a despised, cornered and usurped nation by the immoral ambition of those who desire the administration of Mapuche Territory, through blood and fire, however with our memory and our own story, which in the last few years has learned from itself; we recognize and reconstruct ourselves politically and territorially. The Mapuche is no longer Chilean, feeling and seeing oneself as Mapuche, which is a cumulative step forward. We sincerely value who we are, what we defend, we reclaim what is ours from our own position, from rhetoric reconstructed through Oral history, respecting our ancient authorities, the Pewma, the Nutram, the Trawun, our ceremonies the Ngillatun, Llellipun in thinking of our ancestors, in the words of our Lonko [Chiefs]. From a militant position of dedication and sacrifice, we state that being Mapuche today is a crossroads, disjunctive, it is not easy. Even then, we must carry on the path and respect the kiñe rupu tai ñ che yem, where we walk and decisively continue to be tai ñ mapu, integral People of the land.

We understand and know that these steps are not well seen by the owners of the official version of history. Moreover, the priorities of government, business and transnational corporations lie in the extinguishment of any expression of emancipation and territorial, political and spiritual reclamation, ta iñ Weichafe, expressions as the defense and reclamation of Pilmaiquen and Panguipulli against the Hydroelectric centres, in Arauco against mining and forestry companies, in Quepe against the construction of the Airport, in San Juan de la Costa and Osorno for the preservation of sacred sites, the reclamation of ancient territory in Ercilla, etc. Their arms: the mass media, the application of the Antiterrorist Law, militarized police in the territory, intelligence services and the backing of authorities giving administrative concessions, special police procedures, which overlook the unmeasured repression and violation of fundamental human rights, international treaties, thereby continually expressing the doctrine of racism. A “Wild West” where a Mapuche can be murdered shot in the back without the person responsible being given an adequate sentence, while another Mapuche is convicted of a 10 year sentence for defending their family from a police raid. Self-defence as a crime and the murder of an “Indian” deemed as heroic. These are the paradoxes of the new Pacification of Araucanía.

Ercilla, the New Threshold

Today we can see then mass media and the interests of Chilean institutionalism, especially the Executive Power, have demonstrated unusual concern over certain sectors of Mapuche Territory. The government in turn has permanently insisted in carrying out formulas to develop a strategy in the short and long run to demobilize the communities in resistance and territorial reclamation, generating a clear atmosphere of stigmatization and repression on the one hand and spaces for investment through the Indigenous Development Agency (ADI) as well as the development with friendly communities (first within Arauco Province and currently within Malleco), which enables the idea of progress through entrepreneurship and casting out expressions of autonomy and territorial control; thereby considering these proposals as terrorist or at least criminal. In the end the stigmatization of our expression as a Nation persists, the need to develop our ways and values (ad mapu-ad mongen) negates this so-called neo-liberal individualistic and market-dependant development, therefore we are deemed to be enemies of progress and of a national project. We are the internal enemy of the Chilean State that must be combated with any means possible and at any price.

Ercilla is a difficult threshold to ignore by the Piñera and Hinzpeter government, as they have transformed it into the thesis and antithesis of Mapuche resistance; staging development as the carrot and stick in its maximum expression, divide and conquer and other lessons learned at the School of the Americas.

In this context, “Plan Araucania” and the Security Summit are indivisible, as they are the carrot and stick: assimilation, cooptation and a deepening of institutional dependency, which absolutely in no way formulates or constructs an autonomous project. It is simply the continuation of paternalistic, assistance based policies on behalf of the government. The strategies promoted by the Chilean State are very far from the ad mongen ka ad mapu meu. They have only fomented division and violence. It is the predecessor to transnational investment, and therefore the definitive plunder of Mapuche Territory, Kimun and Rakizuam.

Meanwhile, the Security Summit means more repression directed to the territories in resistance and reclamation, where greater resources are allocated to increase and consolidate the militarization, intelligence and promotion of criminalization in perfecting the judicialization of just ancestral demands.

In this way the detailed preparation to cautiously stage repression is exerted with justification. Let the expressions of real national Mapuche liberation be imprisoned and persecuted; a situation that in Ercilla, and Temucuicui in particular, advances daily towards an autonomous process.

It is in this sense the CAM proposes a program based on three premises by promoting autonomy, territorial control and national reconstruction:

1.1. RECLAMATION OF MAPUCHE ANCIENT TERRITORY: That is, not limited to the land claims as dictated by the Chilean State through the CONADI. Ideally through “active” reclamations, and NOT through institutions (through buying land for example).
2. TERRITORIAL CONTROL IN THE COMMUNITY AND THE LOF: This is initiated through productive and permanent occupations of land, but demands qualitative aspects such as the transformation of economic and productive control of resources from a capitalist perspective, to the rupture of these ways and with the global system more generally. That is, we do not want lands in order to continue planting Pine and Eucalyptus trees, selling them to the forestry industry, handing these over to the system. Rather, Territorial Control as political management and cultural/religious reactivation of our worldview.

3.THE REGENERATION OF COMMUNTIES AND TERRITORIAL CONTROL OF THE FUTALMAPU: The regeneration of communities is necessary through their ancestral Lof and territorial identities. That is to say, the regeneration of these should create a process of accumulation of forces sufficient for Territorial Control of increasingly vast areas that re-establish the ancient Lof and Futalmapu.

This is the program given as a means for Mapuche national liberation and reconstruction. Moreover, the development of the Territorial Resistance Groups (ORT) in “defend[ing] the processes of territorial reclamation, carrying out territorial control, and on the other hand, visualizing the capitalist attack by large investments sponsored by the State; staling the advancement of transnational forestry/hydroelectric companies, investors and estate owners, etc.”

The State emphasizes their so-called law and order and their concept of an undivided and indivisible nation over the ancestral rights over our territory and autonomy. We understand that if we do not advance towards greater political and territorial rights, we are destined to disappear. Therefore our posture has always been clear, tai ñ kiñe rüpu, our unbreakable morale with an ethic of Weichan [War] from the communities that constitute their own expression to self defence and territorial reclamation, processes that should increase and that principally seek to detain the progression of investment and usurpation by transnational corporations, while at the same time exerting territorial control, reconstructing and recreating our lives as Mapuche.

Lie, Lie Through your Teeth

Two weeks ago, the transmission TVN Chilean National Television’s “Special Report” [Informe Especial] aired a report called “Red Zone,” by Santiago Pavlovic and produced by Sergio Ramirez.

This report aspired nothing other than to delegitimize the political/territorial reclamation of the Mapuche Nation and portray the State policies of investment and securitization (specifically the Indigenous Development Agency) with ridiculous comparisons, unfounded affirmations and tendentious guesswork. They begin by stating a “Red Zone” (territory understood as the area between Ercilla, Collipulli and Angol) while alleging ethnic cleansing on the part of more radicalized communities, where reclaimed territories are abandoned and without production, at the same time there exists a lands claims process given by the State benefiting many communities. Of course the first two points are assumed from a neo-liberal capitalist perspective regarding production, thereby de-contextualizing our relation to the territory, even going as far as alleging favoritism with Judges of the Court, stated by the regional prosecutor Francisco Ljubetic. Moreover, they describe a series of events, suggestively linked without any proof relating to the Mapuche cause, such as the arson of a school in Chequenco, theft of cattle, assaults to acquire weapons and money from poor peasants of the area as well as the arson of their homes, permanent harassment to small farmers, the death of GOPE Sergeant Hugo Albornoz and farmer Hector Gallardo, the arson of the home of Lonko [Cheif] Curinao, etc. They finally conclude with the statement that we are all Chilean and the debate should be on constitutional recognition and the possibility of having Mapuche members of parliaments.

We do not believe in the suggestions and affirmations of Mr. Pavlovic. On the contrary, we propose the debate should be centred around ideas such as: nation, autonomy, territorial control, reconstruction and national liberation; there is no instance where these topics leads to forced integration, much less promote forms of development that are foreign to our principles as a People. We must debate from our knowledge and propose autonomous alternatives of reconstruction of Mapuche ways, territorial and spiritual space, which is essential, then debate over its forms and further its meaning and development.

Over an hour of programming was dedicated to nothing more than the continuation of media campaigns that seek to invent contexts, prepare scenarios and generate conditions necessary to maintain the status quo, justifying repressive and judicial attacks by the Chilean State.

The mass media in its various forms (noting that there exists a high quantity of these in Chile) permanently advocate images that portray us as violent, without a national project, without values, background or history. On the other hand, they have always been considered an instrument of domination, in this case forging a story and generating the imaginary through omission, distortion, criminalization and censorship with the objective of misinforming, confusing and harassing communities, seeking to create an environment of terror and persecution that isolate the communities that tread the path of national reconstruction, placing an emphasis on violence to delegitimize this course. This “journalist piece” is no exception; it does not open the debate nor does it contribute, it simply deepens the stigmatization, prejudice and banality.

In conclusion, this program did not touch on the historical demands of territory and spirituality, of our project of national liberation, the processes of reclamation and territorial control in a serious and focused manner, the current situation, the [recent] hunger strike of our Peñi in Angol, which outline a path of decision to re-establish dignity and justice; extreme decisions that call to sacrifice and use the body as an instrument for the continuation of struggle.

The Mapuche Nation has initiated their path to liberation and it is urgent to debate over the notion of autonomy and national liberation. We will continue the restitution of territorial balance with strong conviction, advancing in territorial and spiritual reclamation, preparing ourselves politically, taking on the challenges and costs of our struggle with dignity. Whether the defenders of capitalism like it or not, we will carry it forward.

Wewaiñ, Petu Mogelaiñ!

MARRICHIWEU!

Wichan Info al Día

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Two Mapuche that underwent Hunger Strike Released
Posted on November 6, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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Two Mapuche that underwent Hunger Strike Released

November 3rd, 2012

The Temuco Court of Appeals revoked the pre-emptive custody that maintained Eric Montoya and Rodrigo Montoya in prison, two of the Wente Winkul Mapu Community members that held a two month hunger strike.

The judicial resolution considered there was insufficient evidence in the process against the two youth, switching remanded custody for house arrest during the Trial investigation period.

The Mapuche community members are being accused of Prosecutor Chamorro and police intelligence for mischief and possession of a fire arm, in the case of Eric Montoya, and possession of a hunting rifle in the case of Rodrigo.

Of the four Mapuche youth that were on hunger strike, only Daniel Levinao remains in Angol prison awaiting his re-trial as determined by the Chilean Supreme Court, set for December 17 of this year. Meanwhile, Paulino Levipan was released a week ago due to a reduction of his sentence.

The Violent Occupation of Juan de Dios Fuentes

What is ironic in this case is that landed estate owner Juan de Dios Fuentes could not present the deed that would certify the alleged infractions on his estate. This would be impossible, since he only is certified for 100 out of the 200 hectares of Mapuche Territory he currently occupies.

Nonetheless, the Chilean State through its militarized forces guard all 200 hectares, in this way illegally (even under Chilean Law) repressing Mapuche land claims.

País Mapuche

Distributed by: Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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The Daily Police Harassment in Wente Winkul Mapu
Posted on October 30, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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The Daily Police Harassment in Wente Winkul Mapu

October 26th, 2012

After the favourable decision by the Chilean Justice System on the Mapuche Political Prisoners and latter end of the hunger strike, the Wente Winkul Mapu Community was returning to their homes when they were detained by police.

This kind of police brutality can be seen daily in the communities that can be seen in this video. It was in the railroad crossing in Pidima, where GOPE riot and Special Force police interrupted the flow of traffic with the excuse of “vehicle control,” demanding identification.

In the end, the documents that they asked for had no importance, and let people through because they had already managed to implement yet another act of harassment.

País Mapuche

Distributed: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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Mapuche Political Prisoners Drop Hunger Strike in Angol
Posted on October 27, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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Mapuche Political Prisoners Drop Hunger Strike in Angol

Oct 25th, 2012

After the favourable sentence given by the Supreme Court, the Wente Winkul Mapu Community confirmed that the four Mapuche community members in Angol prison have ended their hunger strike carried out throughout the last two months.

In this way, Eric Montoya together with Paulino Levipan end the action after 60 days, accusing officials of irregularities in their processes.

Levipan and Levinao were initially convicted for attempted homicide to police and illegal weapons possession.

The end of the mobilization was made known from Angol prison by leaders of the Wente Winkul Mapu Community, along with representatives of different territories from across Wallmapu and social organizations that were also present.

País Mapuche

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

Ann Hansens Statement on her recent illegal imprisonment

21 Nov

Ann Hansen is a former member of Direct Action, an underground anarchist group active in the 1980s, who presently lives as a writer, farmer and public speaker in the Kingston area. On August 3, 2012, Ann was arrested and had her parole suspended for ‘unauthorized associations and political activity’ in the context of growing anti-prison organizing in Kingston, Canada’s prison capital. Ann, with the advice of her lawyer, chose to not publicize her arrest until after her parole hearing. On October 30, the Parole Board canceled her parole suspension and released her on stricter conditions. This is her first public statement regarding her arrest and imprisonment.

—-

On August 3, I was at my home near Kingston, Ontario, sitting in a lawn chair after supper when out of the corner of my eye I saw a line of black SUVs speeding towards our driveway. With a sinking feeling, I realized one of my reoccurring fears as a parolee was becoming a reality. Four SUVs turned into our driveway, slammed on their brakes and out hopped about six to eight cops from the Ontario Provincial Police dressed in full Darth Vader gear with a couple of them brandishing automatic weapons for full dramatic effect. As I struggled to stay calm, I noticed the acronym ROPE (Re-Offenders and Parole Enforcement Squad) in bright yellow blazoned across their bullet proof vests.

They parked askew all over the driveway, and while a couple of them with their fully automatic rifles took positions at the top of our property, the rest walked rapidly up to where I was and handcuffed me without saying a word. I asked the one female cop what this was all about and she said my parole was being suspended.

I spent a few days at the local remand center, Quinte Detention Centre, before a new parole officer (my regular parole officer was suddenly replaced) and a Security Intelligence Officer (SIO) from Correctional Service Canada (CSC) came to see me for a post suspension interview. They spent an hour and a half interrogating me and trying to intimidate me into giving them the names of anyone involved in EPIC (End the Prison Industrial Complex) or any other anti-prison activists, as well as information about any possible “bombings and arsons” which the SIO warned me I would be responsible for “if it all went sideways.” Needless to say, they were not satisfied when I told them I didn’t have names for them. The interview would have made a hilarious Monty Python script with the SIO comparing me at times to Ghandi and then in the next breath to James Holmes, the “joker” who killed twelve people during the Batman film in Colorado. The outcome of the interview wasn’t quite so hilarious.

On August 13, I was transferred to the maximum security unit at Grand Valley Prison for Women in Kitchener. Ten days earlier I had been lounging in my slippers in a lawn chair after supper, and here I was suddenly transformed into a high security federal prisoner who had to be put in leg irons and handcuffs just to be led from the admitting area into one of the pods of the maximum security unit. It was so funny, I felt like crying.

A few weeks later I received parole papers stating that the CSC parole office was “strongly recommending” that my parole be revoked with a long list of reasons why. As I suspected, the library was the scene of the ‘crime;’ I was not charged with any actual crime. The ROPE squad had arrived the day after I had screened a film about Prisoners’ Justice Day (PJD) at the Kingston Public Library. The film was followed by a ‘direct action workshop’ conducted by a lawyer who explained what to expect at a blockade/picket, which was to be held at the entrance to Collins Bay Penitentiary on PJD. These ‘direct action workshops’ have become commonplace globally as training workshops for large scale demonstrations or civil disobedience actions in order to familiarize people with the legality of different kinds of activities. They also teach people how to participate in large consensus decision-making processes, how to interact with the media, what to do if one is arrested and other skills necessary for protests.

The planned Prisoners’ Justice Day blockade/picket of Collins Bay was the most obvious reason why my parole was suspended, but there were many other ‘reasons’ listed based on paranoid suspicions that are not worth the time and effort of explaining. It is worth noting, however, the political context in Ontario, which provides the most logical reasons for my parole suspension. I believe that the reasons for my parole suspension are similar to the G20 Main Conspiracy Group prosecution; that is, ‘preventative security measures’ aimed at arresting people before any ‘illegal act’ is even committed. These kinds of measures are used not only to disrupt political actions but also to have a chilling effect on political resistance in general. They put us on the defensive and force us to fight for our basic rights, which are supposedly entrenched in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It could be viewed as a sad day indeed when we are reduced to fight for our basic human rights, but I think it is actually a sign of the strength of our resistance. In the minds of the authorities, they are so threatened by the potential of our movements that they are reduced to trying to pre-empt our organizing efforts by arresting us for going to meetings, speaking out, and demonstrating, which are supposed to be legal activities even in a capitalist society.

I think the back story to the latest rounds of preemptive arrests in Ontario begins in the year leading up to the Toronto G20 Summit in 2010 when undercover cops were embedded in the Guelph and Kitchener/Waterloo anarchist communities. Billions of dollars were spent on police security and intelligence gathering in the year leading up to and including the actual days of demonstrations against the G20 Summit. We see similar police preparations occurring now to counter organizing against the Alberta tar sands and the line nine pipeline reversal in Ontario.

In Kingston, local police forces were no doubt taken by surprise by the sudden emergence of a relatively large and diverse movement to stop the closure of the prison farms in 2009. Prison abolitionists saw this as an opening move to free up land and money at Collins Bay Penitentiary to construct a regional superprison, as outlined in the government’s “Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety.” In August 2010, hundreds of people in Kingston participated in a two-day blockade of the entrance to Collins Bay and Frontenac Institutions to prevent the removal of the prison farm cattle herd. The local cops were not prepared for the size of the movement and had to call in provincial police reinforcements on the second day. There were twenty-four arrests. Local prison abolitionists had also begun organizing against the plans for a massive prison expansion, which by 2012 has translated into the construction of six new prison units in the Kingston area alone.

In the months leading up to August 10, 2012, local prison abolitionists and some people involved in the prison farms campaign worked to organize for Prisoners’ Justice Day. Across the city, posters invited people to participate in an early morning blockade/picket of Collins Bay to halt construction on the new prisons as an act of solidarity with the prisoners fasting and refusing to work inside the walls. In the minds of the cops and CSC, visions of hordes of anarchists and outraged locals danced in their heads. Based on the ludicrous expectations for PJD expressed by the CSC during my Quinte interrogation, I don’t think it would have surprised them if ‘what to their wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.’

For three months I waited for my revocation hearing with the Parole Board. It’s hard to be optimistic inside the maximum security unit where Ashley Smith died, and Nyki Kish waits for her appeal after being convicted of a murder she did not commit. It’s always easier to do time when you have nothing to lose, but in my case I live with two others on a small self-sufficient farm and work with a great community of comrades locally, so I have a lot to lose. In the end the Parole Board released me with stricter conditions on October 30, 2012.

There is no doubt in my mind that I would have spent many more years in prison without the tireless support of a network of friends, family, anarchist allies and a good lawyer. It becomes clear in prison, that all the efforts of the CSC are directed towards isolating the prisoner from their networks of support both inside and outside the walls. I owe my ‘freedom’ to all those who supported me throughout this episode of my life, and I just hope I can reciprocate through my solidarity and by continuing the joyous lifestyle of resistance!!

1547 words

Topics: Police/Prisons