On Sunday, April 18th, 40-50 Anarchists and their friends held a noise demo in solidarity with prisoners locked up at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex and Vanier Center for Women. This superprison is located 30 minutes west of Toronto. As the march began, the front sign into the prison was spray-painted with the slogans “against prison” and “against police.” We walked around the (large) perimeter of the institution with banners, yelling fierce chants, lighting fireworks and banging on drums. The prisoners mirrored our excitement with powerful rhythmic banging, yelling and cheering. This enthusiastic response was felt deep in our crew. We were inspired to see the immediate and tangible result of our solidarity. The cops and screws were certainly not pleased with our presence there (and we certainly are never pleased with their presence anywhere). Despite the cops’ intentions, no arrests were made. On the way out we cut through the parking lot to distribute flyers.
Here is the speech that was read through a megaphone twice – once next to Vanier, and again near the maximum security wing of Maplehurst:
“There are about 1900 people locked inside this provincial superprison. Over 2/3 of whom are awaiting trial and haven’t even been convicted of a crime.
“The reason I’m here today is to express solidarity with prisoners locked behind these walls, and all prisoners fighting for freedom. I want the people inside Maplehurst and Vanier to know that they are not alone; that we are thinking of them out here, and we desire to destroy these cages with them. With all its violence and cruelty, repression and isolation, surveillance and harassment, prison is a daily reality that can’t be ignored or tolerated.
“Ultimately, the reason I’m standing here is because I want freedom. Not just this shitty excuse for ‘freedom’ we are offered on the ‘outside’ as long as we stay confined within the realm of acceptable behavior. I want a lot more than that. I want freedom from rape culture and patriarchy, police repression and court battles. I want freedom from borders and deportations, colonization and racism, and freedom from the State constantly dictating my choices.
“We can gain strength to fight for a world that we want to see, and challenge each other to create it. The dim reality that is this fucked up world can be confronted, as the function of prison can be weakened by our solidarity.
“I want to express solidarity with Giannis Dimitrakis, a bank robber and anarchist revolutionary from Greece who has an appeal to his 35 year sentence coming up on April 28. I also want to express solidarity with comrades in Vancouver facing repression and charges for the resistance during the Olympics. This is for all our comrades in Greece and everywhere who are rising up real fierce to tear down the prison-world. Across borders and oceans we can inspire each other and share struggle.
“There are no ‘humane’ forms of incarceration and punishment. Because the one thing the state can never give us is our freedom. This we will always have to take for ourselves.
“THE PASSION FOR FREEDOM IS STRONGER THAN THEIR PRISONS!”
Here are some chants to share:
“In Every City, In Every Town, Burn Their Prisons To The Ground!”
“They Can Take Our Lives Away, But Not Our Dignity! Our Hearts Will Pound Against The Walls, Until We Are All Free!”
“Prisoners Everywhere, Solidarity and Love! Against The Violence of Capital, Our Struggle Is One!”
“Maplehurst and Everywhere, Fire To The Prisons!”
“Milton To Greece, Fuck The Police!”
Tags: Canada, Demo, Milton, Ontario, Solidarity Action
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 11:37 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.