Book Launch! Taking the Rap: Women Doing Time for Society’s Crimes

Taking the Rap: Women Doing Time for Society’s Crimes by Ann Hansen
Book Launch at AKA Autonomous Social Centre – 75 Queen Street
Thursday July 12, 7-9pm
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2045812105680675/

Through the looking glass into the Prison for Women (P4W) from 1984 and into the Canadian women’s prison industrial complex of the new millennium.

“Ann Hansen’s memoir combines a riveting story with a brilliant exposé of the inner workings of the prison industrial complex. Charged with empathy, courage, and an anarchist passion for justice, Taking the Rap is a must-read for scholars, activists, and troublemakers.”
–Allan Antliff, director of the Anarchist Archive, University of Victoria

When Ann Hansen was arrested in 1983 along with the four other members of the radical anarchist group known as the Squamish Five, her long-time commitment to prison abolition suddenly became much more personal. Now, she could see firsthand the brutal effects of imprisonment on real women’s lives.

During more than thirty years in prison and on parole, the bonds and experiences Hansen shared with other imprisoned women only strengthened her resolve to fight the prison industrial complex. In Taking the Rap, she shares gripping stories of women caught in a system that treats them as disposable-poor women, racialized women, and Indigenous women, whose stories are both heartbreaking and enraging. Often serving time for minor offences due to mental health issues, abuse, and poverty, women prisoners are offered up as scapegoats by a society keen to find someone to punish for the problems we all have created.

This event will include readings, discussion and snacks!

Books will be available at a sliding scale of $20-$30. For more information please contact germinations (at) riseup (dot) net.

Please use the ramp entrance on the left of the building. AKA has an accessible entrance and washroom. Please do not wear scented products at AKA.

Posted in Announcements, Local Prisoners | Leave a comment

A Criminal’s Guide to Bill C-75: Understanding the Liberals’ Crime Bill (Part 2 of 2)

This article was first published anonymously at North Shore Counter-Info. This is the second part of a two part series. Start at the beginning here.

In part 1 of this series, we saw briefly what the Liberals’ crime bill C-75 intends to accomplish and looked at one of the big tasks it set for itself: creating a legislative response to some recent Supreme Court decisions. Although those are perhaps the most important aspects of the bill, the remaining sections will also have major impacts on the lives of those who have to deal with the legal system. So here, we’ll look at how Bill C-75 gives more power to prosecutors to decide how to go after people, how it changes the treatment of youth, and finally how it is reacting to social movements, namely those around the death of Colton Boushie and #MeToo.

Probably the most controversial aspect of the bill is the discretion it proposes to give the crown about how to prosectute cases. Bill C-75 will turn a large number of indictable offenses into hybrid offenses, giving more power to prosecutors to decide how to pursue cases.

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Reflecting on the Prison Farms “Victory”

This anonymous individual reflection was first published at North Shore Counter-Info.

Yesterday, the Federal Government announced that a dairy farm would be established at Joyceville Institution alongside goat and vegetable operations, as part of the return of the prison farms work program at Kingston-area federal prisons.

This announcement basically means complete victory for the “Save Our Prison Farms” coalition, a group made up of farmers, foodies, and progressive Christians which has campaigned persistently for almost 10 years for this very outcome. At the press conference at Joyceville prison, coalition leaders stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Liberal politicians and prison administrators, who even brought a couple of animals with them for good measure. A public celebration is planned for next month.

As an anarchist who participated in this campaign during its build-up and direct action phase in 2009-2010, and spent the next couple years attempting (mostly unsuccessfully) to persuade the base of this movement to join a subsequent campaign against prison expansion led by End the Prison Industrial Complex, it’s bittersweet and a moment for some reflection.

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Posted in Collins Bay, Frontenac Institution, Prison Farms | Leave a comment

A Criminal’s Guide to Bill C-75: Understanding the Liberal Crime Bill (Part 1)

This article was first published anonymously at North Shore Counter-Info.

It’s the Colton Boushie bill and the #MeToo bill. It’s the bill that wants to speed trials up and change how people are impacted by bail while waiting. It’s a bill that frees the state’s hand to treat minor crimes more seriously or to use serious crimes more lightly. It’s a bill that talks about having fewer youth in the system but makes it easier to charge them as adults. It’s the bill that lets cops avoid cross-examination, sends you to court by video, and formally decriminalizes anal sex. It’s a 300 page omnibus bill from the party that spent years promising to never use omnibus bills.

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New arrests in Hamilton and Montreal: Updates, and call for support

We are sharing the following update and call for support from Hamilton Anarchist Support – to keep up to date with ongoing developments, keep an eye on https://hamiltonanarchistsupport.noblogs.org – and consider sending them some support!

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New arrests in Hamilton and Montreal: Updates, and call for support

We write this just to give a quick update on the rapidly changing situation in Hamilton. since yesterday, May 31 2018, three more people have been arrested in connection to the so-called Locke St riot: one was picked up by the SPVM in Montreal and was flown to Hamilton, where they are in custody awaiting a bail hearing, and the other two were arrested
in Hamilton. One of these people is already out on bail and another will appear again on Monday. Further, the police released an additional three names of people against whom they have laid charges and are seeking to arrest. Charges against all six include mischief against property, unlawful assembly while masked, and variations of conspiracy and counseling to commit those things.

As anarchists, we want to be clear that we oppose all acts of repression aimed at those who resist oppression and exploitation. Police and prisons do nothing to address the fundamental injustices of this society and locking people in cages is a horrible thing to do. These systems continue to value property over people’s bodies. Solidarity to all those accused, regardless of their charges, and we call on everyone to show their support for these six people.

This is a large number of charges and a huge burden on our material and emotional resources. Our priority right now is getting everyone out on bail, which has so far been costing about $2000 per person (because justice, right?). We hate to be asking for donations again so soon, but the backlash against anarchists and their projects in Hamilton just keeps going on and we’re pretty tapped out. If you can, please make a donation at https://fundraising.the-tower.ca and encourage your friends and comrades to as well.

We’ll keep posting updates as they appear. Check out https://north-shore.info as well for a good source of up to date information about events and conversations in the region.

That said, we’re a pretty determined bunch and aren’t going to abandon our ideas or projects in the face of these attacks by the state. Of course, seeing your friends get arrested is scary, but watching people pull together to organize and defend each other and seeing how those charged hold themselves with courage and integrity is a powerful reminder of our individual and collective strength.

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Stories of Repression and Resilience

Community Discussion and Fundraising Dinner for Cedar Hopperton

May 11th, 2018 from 5:30-8:30pm
Kingston Unitarian Fellowship Hall (206 Concession St.)

Come enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner while listening to members of our community share stories and wisdom from their experiences of political repression within grassroots social movements.

A few weeks ago, our friend and comrade Cedar was arrested during a house raid in Hamilton. After police kicked in the door and threw a flash grenade into the living room, a SWAT team trashed the house with assault rifles drawn. The people in the house were targeted for organizing publicly as anarchists and being involved with The Tower, an anarchist social centre in Hamilton. Cedar has been charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offense – the state is trying to prove that they helped organize a demonstration in one of Hamilton’s wealthiest neighbourhoods where masks were worn and property was damaged. A more detailed overview of recent events in Hamilton can be found at https://hamiltonanarchistsupport.noblogs.org

Increased repression of social movements concerns all of us who care about resisting the rise of authoritarianism and building better worlds. Because the government and police are oppressive institutions, we can expect that our resistance will inevitably bring repression.But how much that repression succeeds at disrupting our lives and movements depends on how we deal with it! Here in Kingston, we’d like to take this moment to come together to build connections and solidarity and hear from one another. Folks will share stories about political repression and about how they and their communities have supported one another and continued to build strong movements in spite of it. We are lucky to have many committed and strong organizers here who have a lot of experience and wisdom to share with us.

We’ll be collecting donations for the Hamilton Community Defence Fund for legal expenses for Cedar. No one will be turned away for lack of funds – if this event sounds at all interesting to you but providing a donation is currently not within your reach, please come anyway! And if you’d like to donate online: https://fundraising.the-tower.ca

The Unitarian Hall is wheelchair accessible, and dinner will have both vegan and gluten-free options. You’re also welcome to bring your kids! If you have other food-related requests or any other questions, please get in touch with us at epic [at] riseup.net

Hope to see you there!

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Kingston May Day 2018!

Tuesday May 1st 2018
5pm: BBQ at Skeleton Park
6pm: March!
maydaykingston [at] riseup [dot] net

Since the Haymarket affair in 1886, May 1st has been marked around the world as International Workers Day or May Day. In Kingston, anti-capitalists have been gathering on May Day to share food, hear rousing speeches and hit the streets on May Day since 2011. We’re proud to be a part of this tradition, but also want to make sure we continue to be creative, dynamic and responsive to the current conditions. May Day is an opportunity to gauge and build our capacity, connect our struggles, and have fun together.

There’s no shortage of reasons to hit the streets with enthusiasm this year. Greedy employers respond to a modest minimum wage increase with petty rollbacks. Students around the world mark 50 years since the revolts of May 68. Tenants in Kingston organize to fight back against their landlords. Gentrification continues to displace poor folks and devastate the waterfront. A lawsuit by federal prisoners challenging 30% cuts to already pathetic prison wages is thrown out by a Federal Court, paving the way for unrest. Justin Trudeau proves that he cares more about big business than indigenous consent or the planet, as his government attempts to force the construction of the TransMountain pipeline despite massive opposition. The far right rears its ugly head and gains momentum for its racist agenda, energized by the US election. But as Confederate statues start toppling down south, efforts grow to attack the legacy of the genocidal founding fathers of the Canadian state.

Politicians only offer us empty promises and thinly veiled threats. As the circus that is the Ontario election approaches, we call for people to stay focused on building grassroots and dynamic movements that can effect real change. The system is rigged: every vote is a vote for capitalism.

If this sounds up your alley, or you’re curious to hear more, join us for the May Day BBQ and March on May 1st starting at 5pm in Skeleton Park.

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Under New Management: Resistance to Prisons in Ontario & Quebec

We’re excited to share this new article, interview and zine first published by It’s Going Down (Part IPart IIZine PDF) with a brief history to some resistance inside and outside prisons in Ontario and Quebec.

Intro from the IGD Bloc Party column:

In an effort to broaden our coverage of prisons across the borders to both the North and South of us, we’ve brought in some comrades from so-called Canada to share a history of the establishment of the Canadian prison system, as well as a history of resistance in Ontario and Quebec.

While we know there is always resistance that we will never hear about outside the prison walls, these folks have done their best to contextualize what resistance has looked like across decades. We’re excited to share this history!

Now for all that history from the bloc…

Continue reading

Posted in Collins Bay, Construction, Kingston Pen, Local Prisoners, Peter Collins, PJD, research, Strike | Leave a comment

Hamilton Anarchist Bookfair: March 3-4, 2018

The Hamilton Anarchist Bookfair – Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, 2018 – takes place at Westdale Secondary School (700 Main St. W. MAP) Accessible from the 403 and a quick bus ride from MacNab Terminal in the downtown Hamilton area.

In the venue there are dozens of booksellers, zinesters, distributors and groups from all over Hamilton, Ontario, North America and beyond, sharing their publications and materials, most of which are hard or impossible to find at mainstream book stores. Many materials are available for free, and much is published specifically to be available at the Bookfair. Please note: Booksellers and vendors will be displaying on both days: Saturday, March 3 & 4. Workshops, theme rooms, and more will also take place on both days.

During the weekend, there is an Anarchist Film Room screening videos and documentaries produced by individuals and grassroots collectives.

Free childcare and kids activities are available at the Bookfair in the Kid Zone; kids and parents are welcome and encouraged to attend the Bookfair!

For everyone who attends, there’s also a Chill Space. The Chill Space was created out of the recognition that a Bookfair can be really overwhelming and intense for a variety of reasons, and that folks might need a place to be apart from the main Bookfair without feeling like they have to leave altogether.

There are also workshops and presentations throughout the weekend. Some are intended as introductions to anarchism for those who are new to anarchy, while others explore an anarchist-themed subject in some depth.

In general, during the Bookfair, don’t hesitate to ask members of the Bookfair collective, or folks who are tabling or presenting, any question or inquiry you have about the ideas and practice of anarchism. The Bookfair collective actively strives to create an accessible and safe(r) event.

The Bookfair site is close to a haldful of restaurants, bus stops and a grocery store.

The entire Bookfair is free, and open to all; however, your donations are appreciated so that we can meet our expenses.

Essentially, the Hamilton Anarchist Bookfair is for people curious about anarchism and wanting to learn more.

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October 12th: “No Justice, Just Us” Screening

No Justice… Just Us: Movement Defense Against State Repression
Trouble Episode #4 Screening and discussion
Thursday October 12, 7-9pm at AKA (75 Queen Street)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/463282944055640/

AKA and EPIC invite you to a screening and discussion of Submedia’s Trouble #4 No Justice… Just Us: Movement Defense Against State Repression

Description from Submedia:

The struggle for a new, better world is not for the faint of heart. Movements of collective liberation, if they are effective, will inevitably face repression. The institutional pillars of domination and exploitation are well-entrenched in society, well-versed in manipulation, and utterly ruthless in their efforts to crush any and all threats to their legitimacy. At this critical juncture in history, our movements are confronted by incredibly powerful enemies, who use a variety of sophisticated methods to discredit, disrupt and deter resistance. Far-right populist movements, goaded on by corporate fear-mongering and neo-fascist propaganda, are increasingly resorting to violent vigilante attacks against their perceived enemies. And as if this wasn’t enough… standing firmly behind these new reactionary movements lies the naked power of the state – namely its heavily-militarized police, racist legal system and vast network of prisons. Yet despite this terrifying political atmosphere, our movements continue to grow. Our future success and growth demands that we develop the capacity to anticipate the strategies and tactics that the state will use against us, build our own infrastructure to defend against these attacks, and incorporate meaningful solidarity and collective defence into all facets of our organizing. In this month’s episode of Trouble, anarchist media collective subMedia interviews a number of individuals engaged in legal defence and prisoner solidarity, and looks at some of the ways we can begin to build movements that are more resilient in the face of state repression.

This event is free, though donations for subMedia are welcome. Contact germinations (at) riseup (dot) net for more information.

AKA has an accessibility ramp and an accessible single-stall bathroom. Please don’t wear scented products or take photographs at AKA.

Posted in Events, Repression, United States, Video | Leave a comment