Statement by the Burnside prisoners issued at the conclusion of their non-violent and courageous prison strike. “While our demands have not yet been met, and as we grieve this unnecessary tragedy, we remain hopeful that our words will be carried forward. We will continue to speak and fight until no more lives are lost.”
On the evening of September 9 police forcefully removed some thirty protesters attending a rally outside of the Burnside jail in support of the non-violent prisoners’ protest taking place inside. Rather than making an effort to resolve the matter in a civilized fashion, police threatened protesters with a dog, used pepper spray, and threw one protester violently to the ground and then arrested him. All this without a warning, according to the protesters, and while they were just about ready to call it a day.
Last Saturday, one day before the non-violent protest at Burnside prison was set to end, nearly two dozen community members gathered for a workshop to reflect on the protest and to discuss strategies to keep its momentum going. Yazan Khader reports.
We, the members of the Halifax Monthly Meeting of Quakers, are writing to express deep concern for the inmates at the Central Nova Correctional Institution at Burnside whose basic human rights are not being addressed, in fact, are being violated in multiple ways. We support the prisoners in their peaceful strike for we believe that all their demands for better treatment and conditions are legitimate requests.
Protesters who rallied at the Burnside Jail last night in support of demands issued by protesting prisoners were pepper sprayed and violently thrown down by officers of the Halifax Regional Police (HRP). One protester was arrested and will face charges. Updated.
News release: The African United Baptist Association (AUBA) stands alongside all Nova Scotian prisoners especially those who are righteously protesting for justice at the local Burnside facility.
A new statement on the peaceful Burnside prison protest by Sheila Wildeman & Hanna Garson (for East Coast Prison Justice Society). “We ask the Ministers of Justice and Health: How do they propose to show that they are listening? How do they propose to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that conditions of confinement are improved to meet basic human rights standards?”
Another statement of solidarity with the Burnside prisoners. Claudia Chender, NDP Justice Spokesperson: “I urge the Minister of Justice to take meaningful action to address the concerns that have been raised at Burnside.”
This Labour Day the Burnside prisoners are asking for solidarity: “We know that fighting for human rights for prisoners is not popular. But we remind the labour movement that it used to be popular for children to work in factories, for women to be burned alive locked in sweatshops, because people thought that workers and the poor deserved it. Now is the time to rise up collectively and to fight against injustice everywhere.”
Solidarity statement from No One Is Illegal Vancouver and Harsha Walia: “We write in solidarity with prisoners at the Central Nova provincial jail in Burnside as you enter three weeks of ongoing, peaceful and inspiring protest within the prison. We are responding to the specific call for groups on the outside to support your statements and demands. As you state, all of these demands are reasonable and promote basic wellbeing. Prisons, detention centers and borders maintain racial, economic, and social power structures. No cages, no borders!”