The Dalhousie Black, Indigenous & People of Colour Caucus (BIPOCUS) would like to express solidarity and support with the incarcerated people striking at Burnside. Incarcerated people have the right to adequate health care, nutritious food, and physical contact with their families, all of which are currently being denied to them, among other things. We wholeheartedly support their demands for better conditions and know that these demands are entirely attainable.
As BIPOC students, we know that BIPOC, particularly Black and Indigenous folks, are over-represented in prisons while having limited access to post-secondary institutions like Dalhousie.
It is also incumbent upon us, as students, to recognize the ways in which our institutions are connected to prisons. At Dalhousie, our food service provider is the same as the prisons. It is necessary that we hold our institutions accountable for participating in systems that disproportionately target BIPOC folks while claiming to be a “welcoming” space for BIPOC students.
Finally, it is important to understand that the over-representation of BIPOC folks in prisons is by design. The prison system in Canada is a part of the settler-colonial project and therefore, entrenched in colonialism and racism and it is up to us to challenge and dismantle these institutions.
We encourage you to read the full statement and demands of those incarcerated at Burnside and how you can help support them.