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.”
Judy Haiven on the Burnside Jail prisoners strike, and why it matters.
News release: We encourage all individuals and organizations who profess to stand with workers and the marginalized against exploitation and oppression to publicly voice their unequivocal support for the statement and demands of the prisoners, and to provide any and all material assistance possible.
Message of support to the people inside the Burnside jail and everywhere else prisoners fight for more humane conditions, from the Termite Collective, a group of Canadian volunteers, former inmates, and currently incarcerated inmates. “We the inmates in Canadian prisons offer you our support, our solidarity, and our prayers; we hope that your demands will be met and that your conditions will improve. No human beings should be kept in cages and treated worse than animals; in fact, if animals were treated like prisoners, PETA would go off!”
We talked with El Jones to better understand what is driving the protest inside the Burnside jail, and how people on the outside can support the prisoners. “The prisoners are not saying anything that is in the least contentious. The demands are all very basic, we have known of these issues for a very long time.”
Prisoners in the U.S. have called a strike from August 21st-September 9th. The prisoners from Burnside have joined the protest. Here is their statement.
I went to yesterday’s Prisoners’ Justice Day event in the Halifax North End public library. Two full hours of information on prisons in Nova Scotia, not easy to summarize, and I am not even trying, to be honest. I just offer some fragments here, there is so much to learn.