Prisoner Justice Workshops with Kelly Pflug-Back

Prisoner Justice Workshop with Kelly Pflug-Back
Friday August 15th @ 7 pm AND Monday August 19th at 6:30 pm
At the AKA Autonomous Social Centre (up the wheelchair ramp at the red and black house with the sunflowers out front on Queen Street near the intersection at Wellington Street)

The AKA Housing Collective is excited to host, as part of our summer residency project, a workshop by organizer, activist, poet, and former political prisoner, Kelly Pflug-Back.

Childcare will be made available upon request. Please email akaresidency (at) riseup.net if you would like to have it made available during the talk. The AKA Autonomous Social Centre is wheelchair accessible. This event is free, but donations to help cover the cost of her travel, and to help support the space and our future projects would be greatly welcomed. Kelly will also have, for sale, some copies of her recent book of poetry “These Burning Streets”.

Facebook event : https://www.facebook.com/events/234931993320733/?ref=ts&fref=ts

——————-In her own words—————————————-

My goal in this workshop is to present a practical overview of issues which are of specific concern to women prisoners (and are often disregarded or portrayed as secondary within popular prison analysis), as well as a discussion of strategies for effectively addressing these issues using a broad spectrum of tactics including direct action casework, media activism, and community outreach, within a specifically anarchist, feminist, anti-colonial, and abolitionist framework.

While many prisoner solidarity efforts are centred around activities such as letter writing and noise demonstrations, women prisoners, particularly women prisoners of colour, are severely lacking in support and advocacy when it comes to more long term support regarding gender-specific issues such as maternal health care while incarcerated, child custody conflicts, leaving abusive relationships, finding safe and affordable housing for themselves and their children after release, accessing HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C related resources, obtaining employment or financial assistance, and accessing culture-specific resources.

It is seldom acknowledged that patriarchal violence in society is a significant factor in the criminalization of women, and we believe that effective solidarity with women prisoners must aim to acknowledge the fact that the majority of female prisoners are survivors of intimate partner abuse, rape, childhood sexual abuse, and other forms of gender violence. As a patriarchal and white-supremacist institution, prison relies on the disempowerment of poor, racialized, and otherwise marginalized women in order to continuously re-assert the inferiority of prisoners and prevent dissent and disobedience among them, and incidents of sexual harassment or assault upon female prisoners by guards must similarly be acknowledged as part of the broader historical picture of sexual violence being used as a tool of oppression by a dominant group against a subservient one.

My analysis is largely based on first-hand experiences of being criminalized , the time I have spent in provincial jail in Canada, and my experiences with activism and organizing both within prison and on the outside. I wish to help steer the rhetoric of prisoner solidarity away from a top-down approach in which activists decide what is needed by prisoners and towards a strong and militant anti-prison movement in which the needs of prisoners are determined by the prisoners themselves.

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