Monday, 23 September 2019

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!”

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.”

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!”