October 18th: Prison Farms Zine Launch and Discussion

Reap What You Sow: Prison Farms Zine Launch and Discussion
6:30 PM on Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
AKA – (Red & black house on Queen Street at Wellington)
Free / Wheelchair Accessible

In 2010, hundreds of Kingstonians participated in the “Save Our Prison Farms” campaign to oppose the Harper government’s decision to close down the farm programs at prisons across Canada. Prison abolitionists related to this campaign in various ways. The campaign peaked in August 2010 with a 2-day blockade of Frontenac Institution in an attempt to prevent the prison farm cattle from being sent to auction. Since then, the campaign leadership has primarily pursued a strategy of lobbying opposition politicians, defeating the Harper government in elections and now urging the new Liberal government to follow through with its promise to re-open the farms.

Under Trudeau we face a new political context on the federal level, and it appears the prison farms may in fact be restored. In early 2016 a call-out was circulated to prison abolitionists to reflect on the situation and contribute to this zine, asking the following questions: Is this a victory? What have we gained? What opportunities have we missed? How did or didn’t this movement strengthen our goals as prison abolitionists? How should we relate to single-issue or reformist movements?

The result was a zine called Reap What You Sow: Radicals Reflect On Kingston’s “Save Our Prison Farms” Campaign, which is comprised of five diverse submissions and published by 613 Anarchy in Spring 2016. This event will feature short presentations from some of the zine contributors, followed by a facilitated discussion focused on the lessons of the prison farms campaign, and the sharing of ideas and perspectives on how radicals might relate to similar campaigns in Kingston in the future.

sopf

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Flyering visitors at Collins Bay Institution

Last Saturday, September 17th a small group of people wore orange vests and intercepted cars entering Collins Bay Institution at the start of visiting hours for the day. We were distributing flyers to visitors encouraging them to let their loved ones know about the U.S. prison strike and solidarity being organized in Canada, and to get in touch with us if they want to know more or otherwise correspond. We had many short, positive exchanges with visitors over the course of about an hour and a half. A copy of the flyer is pasted below.

vistor-flyer

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A Major Prison Strike Is On Across the United States

Since September 9th, 2016 – the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising – prisoners across the U.S. have gone on strike to end prison slavery. This is expected to be one of the largest prison strikes in history, and is being coordinated by groups such as the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, the Free Alabama Movement, and a diverse network of prison abolitionist and prisoner solidarity groups across the U.S.

In Canada, we have helped circulate a call from La Solide into Canadian prisons to make connections across the border, and a letter of support has been published by the Termite Collective in Quebec. There have been info nights and banner drops in Montreal. If you know someone inside, let them know what’s going on and that we’d love to hear from them.

To stay up to date with what’s happening, follow It’s Going Down, Support Prisoner Resistance, and live updates from Mask Magazine.

 

IG

 

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Talking Radical Radio interview

A few of us were interviewed by Scott Neigh for Talking Radical Radio in Hamilton about EPIC’s attempts to challenge prison in Kingston. Check it out!

 

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Flyer distributed outside prison farms town hall

We heard Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was in town to hear people talk about re-opening the prison farms, so we distributed a flyer to people gathered outside about ending migrant detention. Here’s the text of the flyer:

Front

Detained migrants in two Ontario jails were on hunger strike for several weeks in July. Through their courageous hunger strike they have succeeded in exposing the cruel and unjust treatment of migrants by the Canadian Government. Along with their families and supporters, they have been calling for Ralph Goodale to meet with them and grant the following demands:

1 – Freedom for the wrongly jailed: Release all migrant detainees who have been held for longer than 90 days.

2 – End arbitrary and indefinite detention: If removal cannot happen within 90 days, immigration detainees must be released. Limits on detention periods are recommended by the United Nations, and are the law in the United States and the European Union.

3 – No maximum security holds: Immigration detainees should not be held in maximum security provincial jails; must have access to basic services and be close to family members.

4 – Overhaul the adjudication process: Give migrants fair and full access to judicial review, legal aid, bail programs and pro bono representation.”

In recent days, Chief Jailer and Notable Asshole Ralph Goodale has responded to these demands by announcing a number of upcoming reforms in a $138 million makeover of the immigration detention system, including “increasing the availability of alternatives to detention” and “improving physical and mental health care.”

“Immigration detention including in immigration holding centres is imprisonment without charges or trial. It should end, not be expanded by throwing over a hundred million dollars at it” – Tings Chak, End Immigration Detention Network

endimmigrationdetention.com

 

Back

After several years of Harper’s “tough on crime” agenda, the Liberal government is now discussing various prison reforms – such as the return of the prison farms program and several changes to the immigration detention system. We celebrate prisoners winning their demands for better programs and conditions on the inside but we feel it is also important to remember that such reforms often expand and strengthen prisons in Canada, not dismantle them. We can support prisoners fighting to make their lives and the lives of other prisoners less unbearable and also clearly state that we wish an end to detention for all – not only those who are properly “rehabilitated” or those who were never “criminals” in the first place.

NO PRISONS – NO BORDERS

FREEDOM TO MOVE!

FREEDOM TO STAY!

FREEDOM TO RETURN!

epic.noblogs.org

 

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Pride Toronto has a prison problem

We’re happy to share an article recently published by Now Magazine that was written by Chester Abbotsbury, a pseudonymous ex-prisoner who has been an active contributor to various prison-related projects over the years including our newsletter Over the Wall.

Take a look here:
https://nowtoronto.com/news/pride-toronto-has-a-prison-problem/

flag

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New Prison Farms Zine

We’re excited to announce “Reap What You Sow: Radicals Reflect on Kingston’s Save Our Prison Farms Campaign” a new zine from EPIC with diverse contributions from past and present collective members and friends. It is available for reading and printing over at 613 Anarchy … and get in touch if you would like hard copies at cost. Please share widely and as always we welcome your thoughts and feedback!

cow

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Kingston May Day 2016!

MAY DAY MARCH AND FREE BBQ!

Sunday, May 1st, 2016
Noon: Free BBQ in Skeleton Park
1 pm: March Downtown

On May 1st, 1886, 40,000 workers in Chicago—and half a million across the United States—participated in a three-day general strike demanding an eight-hour work day. A week-long struggle resulted between protesters and police, and ultimately eight protesters were arrested, convicted without evidence, and executed. Their executions are widely regarded as some of the most overt political assassinations of radicals in North America, and May 1st has since been marked as International Workers Day in their honour. Since 2006, May Day has also been widely marked as a day to protest racist immigration policies in Canada and the United States and demand status for all. Strikes, pickets and protests take place around the world on May 1st to honour and celebrate the struggles of workers, immigrants and poor people all over.

In Kingston, we are gathering for May Day for the sixth consecutive year. Join us at noon for a free BBQ in Skeleton Park followed by a spirited march downtown. Come hungry and bring your neighbours, co-workers, classmates and friends!

For more information contact maydaykingston [at] riseup [dot] net

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April 22nd: Reportback From The Rojava Revolution

Friday, April 22nd at The Artel
75 Queen Street, Kingston (ramp entrance)
Dinner at 6pm, Presentation at 6:30pm
Free or by donation, everyone welcome, wheelchair accessible
Facebook event here
Contribute a few bucks to help cover Paul’s costs

U.S.-based anarchist writer Paul Z. Simons is touring Eastern Canada to speak about his recent trip to Rojava, a predominantly Kurdish region in what was once northern Syria that is being reorganized according to the principles of democratic confederalism. He will discuss his experiences in liberated territory, the challenges of building an egalitarian stateless society, and how we can learn from and support the Rojava Revolution.

How have millions of people tried to organize themselves along more egalitarian lines, moving power to local councils? What does it mean to organize for collective armed resistance without re-creating hierarchy? How do processes of structural and economic change relate to a change in social relations and questions of power in daily life? What can anarchists and others in the West do to show solidarity to revolutionaries in Rojava and throughout the Syrian territory? Paul’s presentation will touch on these questions, as well as provide descriptions of daily life and the impacts of war in Rojava.

For more information contact epic [at] riseup [dot] net

solidarity

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“EPIC Moment” Talk & Reception

Wednesday, February 24th at 5pm
Union Gallery, 1st Floor of Stauffer Library, Queen’s University
Press Release here

EPIC Moment features posters and a video screening of A Fly in the Ointment in support of prison justice and reform. The posters were made in January 2016 during the Union Gallery’s PosterACTION, a collaborative workshop with End the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) and facilitated by Toronto artist and JustSeeds collective member, Mary Tremonte. With prison abolitionism as an overarching focus of the workshop, the participants were challenged to create works that engage with a broad range of artistic strategies and representational materials. A Fly in the Ointment, a video by Peter Collins, accompanies the posters and aims to bring the exhibition together as it speaks more broadly about the depth of isolation and deprivation that prisoners endure.

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