event listings / Prisoners' Justice Day

Prisoners’ Justice Day Vigil 2012

PRISONERS JUSTICE DAY 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012 6:30pm
Outside the Toronto Don Jail 550 Gerrard Street East
ASL Interpretation Provided

Join us for speakers, performers, children's programming, a mini march
and a candlelight vigil at dusk.

August 10th, 2012 marks the 37th anniversary of Prisoners Justice Day.
On August 10th, 1974 Eddie Nalon bled to death in a solitary
confinement unit at Millhaven Penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario.  The
emergency call button in his cell failed to work.  An inquest into his
death found that many call buttons in the unit were broken.  The
guards had also deactivated the receiving mechanism in the control
tower. In 1975 on the first anniversary of Eddie's death, prisoners at
Millhaven went on a one-day hunger strike, refused work and held a
memorial service, even at risk of punishment.

On May 21, 1976 another prisoner, Bobby Landers, died in the same
segregation unit at Millhaven. Landers, active in the struggle for
Prisoners Rights at Archambault Penitentiary, was involuntarily
transferred to
Millhaven and thrown in the hole.  He had a heart attack, but the call
buttons had still not been repaired and staff ignored his pleas.

Prisoners continue to observe August 10th each year.  Community groups
and family members gather outside prisons in solidarity.  It is a day
of protest against all deaths in custody, the inhumane use of solitary
confinement, racist policing, the detention and deportation of
immigrants and refugees, the taking of land through colonization and
the criminalization of First Nations defence of their territories, the
denial of justice for Indigenous women and transpeople, the disabling
effects of prison, the cruelty of psychiatric incarceration, poverty
and homelessness, the separation of families, security certificates,
tasers for prison guards and cops, the over-incarceration for people
who use drugs or involved in sex work, the over-incarceration of
people living with disabilities (especially people labeled with mental
health issues and learning disabilities) and the medical neglect of
prisoners with HIV/AIDS and the lack of harm reduction in prison.

It is a call for alternatives to incarceration - at a time when
governments are enacting repressive U.S. style get-tough-on-crime laws
to build more prisons despite a falling crime rate.

Resist Harper's Omnibus Crime Bill: The first part of Bill-C10, the
so-called 'Safe Streets and Communities Act', comes in to effect on
August 9th, 2012, one day before the annual Prisoners Justice Day.
Bill C-10 ensures construction is beginning on new prisons and new
units across Canada. Prison construction contracts promise to make
well-connected private firms wealthy at the expense of our
communities. Social programs are being gutted while money is directly
transferred to infrastructure for criminalization and incarceration.
Bill C-10 will see the enactment of measures like mandatory minimums,
harsher sentences especially for youth, an increase in drug related
sentencing, and increased criminalization of migrants, just to name a
few. Things are about to get much worse: now is the time to get
involved!

Friday, August 10, 2012 6:30pm
Outside the Toronto Don Jail 550 Gerrard Street East
ASL Interpretation Provided

Join us for speakers, performers, children's programming, a mini march
and a candlelight vigil at dusk when we read the names of those we
have lost to the prison system.

To sign on or donate, email: pjdtoronto@gmail.com
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