Prisoners’ Justice Day is…

09 Aug, 2012

August 10, the day prisoners have set aside as a day to fast and refuse to work in a show of solidarity to remember those who have died unnecessarily – victims of murder, suicide, neglect.

… the day when organizations and individuals in the community hold demonstrations, vigils, worship services and other events in common resistance with prisoners.

…the day to raise issue with the fact that a very high rate of women are in prison for protecting themselves against their abusers.  This makes it obvious that the legal system does not protect women who suffer violence at the hands of their partners.

… is the day to remember that there are a disproportionate number of Natives, Afro-Canadians and other minorities and marginalized people in prisons.  Prisons are the ultimate form of oppression against struggles of recognition and self-determination.

… the day to raise public awareness of the demands made by prisoners to change the criminal justice system and the brutal and inhumane conditions that lead to so many prison deaths.

… the day to oppose prison violence, police violence, and violence against women and children.

…the day to publicize that, in their fight for freedom and equality, the actions of many political prisoners have been criminalized by governments.  As a result, there are false claims that there are no political prisoners in North American prisons.

… the day to raise public awareness of the economic and social costs of a system of criminal justice which punishes for revenge.  If there is ever to be social justice, it will come about using a model of healing justice, connecting people to the crimes and helping offenders to take responsibility for their actions.

… the day to renew the struggle for HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment in prison.

… the day to remind people that the criminal justice system and the psychiatric system are mutually reinforcing methods that the state uses to control human beings.  There is a lot of brutality by staff committed in the name of treatment.  Moreover, many deaths in the psych-prisons remain un-investigated.

2001,  Prisoners’ Justice Day Committee

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