Community Justice Coalition / DAMN2025 / education / event listings / Uncategorized

Community Justice Coalition Meeting (co-facilitated by DAMN2025)

Date: Saturday, January 22nd from 2 to 5 p.m.

Location: 519 Church St. Community Centre (Rm. 206)

!please… help spread the word!

On February 27th, 2010, and then again on April 17th, a group of over 50 people came together to create a coalition that is committed to creating community justice. The group consists of people from different backgrounds and disparate areas of expertise, but we are all united to find ways of opposing the Canadian government’s proposed new legislation that will increase prison populations. The government remains committed to building new prisons to accommodate them (despite ‘crime’ rates remaining stable or going down). Without a doubt, Canada is moving towards the US-style of justice that has proven to be ineffective.

DAMN 2025 is a direct action group currently bringing together disabled people, those affected by ableism, and our supporters. We believe that accessibility is more than adding in ramps, it is about ensuring that things are made accessible in a wide variety of ways to a wide variety of people. It also means looking at how different identities intersect and ensuring that there is room for everyone in our struggles. Disabled people must work towards cross disability organizing which allies us to other people with disabilities as well as with other oppressed groups. Whether it is blocking access to an inaccessible subway station or working with other groups to bring over a thousand people out for an Anti-Poverty Day of Action, we have and will keep fighting for what disabled people need to thrive. For more info on DAMN 2025, go to: http://

Without a doubt, Canada is moving towards the US-style of justice that has proven to be ineffective. Law-and-order legislation and increased prison construction will not make our communities safer. In fact, if things transpire as they have in the US, the result will be just the opposite.

Money spent on new prisons could be spent on increasing income subsidies, affordable housing, effective drug and harm reduction programs, youth programs, etc. – that is, actions shown to be far more effective in diminishing crime than are tougher sentences and additional prisons. The systematic dismantling of our social programs combined with the conservative enforcement agenda will ensure record numbers of Canadians experiencing the inside of a jail cell. This is not how we envision a healthy, free and democratic nation. Join us to talk about alternatives.

~~Goals of the meeting: building on-going dialogue and collaboration, making connections around issues of common concern, deconstructing the prison industrial complex, community development and capacity building~~

As part of the meeting a film called “Freedom Tour” will be screened.

“The Freedom Tour is a documentary created by People First of Canada, People First groups in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and The National Film Board of Canada. The idea for the film came about when the government of Manitoba announced it would be investing $40 million into fixing up the Manitoba Development Centre, one of the largest institutions built to house people who have been labelled with disabilities. People First groups tried to get the government to change this decision. We decided to travel across the prairies to tell people about the problems with institutions for people who have disabilities. The film shows the tour and gives people ideas about what life was like inside the institutions. The film show old pictures, video footage and powerful stories about survivors and their families.”

The film and process of community building and social action behind it is a powerful example of people coming together to try and effect change. However, as would be expected in a film about instiutionalization of people it is quite disturbing. Interviewees talk about the abuses they suffered in these institutions. There is discussion of physical, emotional and sexual abuse– as well as the horrible living conditions. While we feel that it is very important to show this film, we also recognize that some of the content may be triggering for people. We will have active listeners at the meeting, but we wanted to let people know beforehand. If you would like to get a better sense of the film here is the trailer: http://


*There will be ASL interpretation available at the meeting. tHE 519 is wheelchair accessible*
***Film contains difficult content and discussions/references to physical, emotional and sexual abuse***


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