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!”
The East Coast Prison Justice Society on the Burnside jail protest: “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?”
Alec Stratford: “The stories of both prisoners and their advocates paint a picture of a system that overuses solitary confinement, has untrained and unscreened guards, provides poor health care, has unsanitary conditions and is an unsafe environment for both inmates and guards.”
New contributor Yazan Khader attended Monday’s Burnside Jail info meeting. Here’s his report. “Despite being pregnant she lost weight in the first few months at Burnside,” a formerly incarcerated mother reported. “She blamed this on the food offered at Burnside, which “wasn’t nutritious” and “not fully cooked. She was often given old leftover food to accommodate her dietary needs, she said.
“I have been reading about the prisoners’ strike at Burnside. I understand that the conditions are not humane and that prisoners at Burnside are asking for necessary improvements in health care, exercise, visits, food, quality of air and library access. As a Palestinian and former resident of Gaza, I get the feeling that I am reading about the people of Palestine in general and Gaza in particular.”