Saturday, 22 September 2018

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.

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.

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?”  

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.”