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:
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
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!