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John Graham Case Update – Rhizome Cafe

June 8, 2010


Solidarity with the Anti-Olympic convergence arrestees

April 12, 2010

SACA Mission Statement

In February 2010, 27 anti-olympics resisters were arrested on unceded Coast Salish Territories known as Vancouver. SACA is made up of people who were arrested and supporters opposed to state repression.

We stand in solidarity with all people who are criminalized for struggling to survive and resisting this capitalist and colonial state.

We raise awareness about the legal attacks and ongoing surveillance faced by some of those who openly resisted the Olympics. We are fighting the unjust and politically motivated charges in the courts, while doing popular education in the streets.

We ask for your support through donations, fundraisers, and court solidarity.

Charges stayed in Fraser Regional prison riot

March 23, 2010

The Crown has stayed all charges against two men charged with participating in a riot at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre on Feb. 9, 2008. The riot involved 31 inmates on remand awaiting trial. Crown Prosecutor Ali Yusuf said in his opening statement that inmates caused $400,000 in damage during the riot.

Repression in Vancouver

December 3, 2009
by 12thandclark
December 1, 2009

Hi All,

This week, one member of our small collective, was deported from Vancouver to the United States.  Although supposedly arrested for “overstay in Canada,” this kidnapping was clearly targeted.  This deportation is a result of increasing social control around the Olympics, as this person was recently threatened by members of Vancouver Integrated Security Unit, the overseers of Olympic security. (see article, How Much Does An Anarchist Cost?)

On October 15th, 1284 E12th hosted an anti-olympics film night.  Since then there has been a marked increase of surveillance and harassment in our lives.

The police are trying to isolate and intimidate anyone involved with anything that disturbs their social order.  This tactic can be successful unless we act to strengthen and forge ties of real solidarity.

And so, we continue to host events and projects self-organized resistance and invite you to do the same.  That said, “Proposal’s Night” this month is the 16th of December (7-9pm). a note re: proposals.  Also, The December Calendar will be out over the next few days, so please check back in.

Since borders are like prison walls, are we all living in some kind of prison?

Until we are all free,
12th and Clark

Tactical police put down Manitoba prison riot

October 6, 2009

Police called in to quash riot at Brandon jail
Isolated to one area of facility

By: Jillian Austin
Winnipeg Free Press
October 5, 2009

A member of the BPS Tactical Response Unit trains his weapon on a portion of the east side of the Brandon Correctional Institute on Veterans way during a disturbance that lasted over four hours on Sunday afternoon. A group of prisoners took over a portion of the facility and began damaging it. They were eventually contained by members of the Corrections Emergency Response Unit.

A member of the BPS Tactical Response Unit trains his weapon on a portion of the east side of the Brandon Correctional Institute on Veterans way during a disturbance that lasted over four hours on Sunday afternoon. A group of prisoners took over a portion of the facility and began damaging it. They were eventually contained by members of the Corrections Emergency Response Unit.

BRANDON — It took four hours and heavily-armed tactical police units using pepper spray to bring a riot by 27 inmates of the Brandon Correctional Institute under control Sunday.

Witnesses say police also used flash-bang stun grenades and water hoses to regain control of the jail.

One inmate suffered minor injuries in the riot, which began about 12:45 p.m.

Officials are still assessing the damage to the Brandon jail, and still trying to find answers — why did the riot start? Who was involved? And was it gang-related?

Officials said the riot was brought under control after roughly four hours of emergency response and negotiations.

It was a dramatic scene outside of the jail, as members of the Brandon Police Service’s tactical response unit lined the perimeter with guns trained on the east side of the facility.

Authorities said the incident began around 12:45 p.m., when inmates began damaging the units.

“Initially, what was requested of us was to contain the situation from a perimeter standpoint,” Brandon police Sgt. Bruce Klassen said in a press conference Sunday night.

“Upon further incident… our tactical response unit was also requested.”

Klassen confirmed pepper spray was used as a tactical response.

A witness reported seeing responders fire a stream of water into the area, as well as using flash-bang stun grenades.

Guards were seen wearing riot gear and gas masks.

The incident was quickly isolated to one area in the east side of the facility.

“The rest of the facility locked down without incident, and it was contained to those two smaller sub-units, which is a fairly small portion of the facility,” said Michelle Duncan, superintendent of the Winnipeg Remand Centre, who quickly came to Brandon to brief the media one behalf of the corrections division of Manitoba’s Justice Department.

The Riot Act was read.

However, Duncan said, officials at the scene didn’t consider it a “full-fledged situation” based on the number of prisoners involved.

Along with Brandon’s correctional emergency response unit, both the Headingley correctional response team and the provincial crisis negotiating team assisted with the incident.

About 282 inmates were in the jail at the time.

Once the situation was brought under control, inmates involved in the incident were either secured elsewhere in the Brandon facility or transferred to Winnipeg.

No staff members were injured in the incident.

One offender sustained minor injuries requiring stitches, Duncan said.

Authorities were satisfied with the quick and successful response.

“Our staff did an extraordinary job, as they always do,” Duncan said.

From outside the jail, substantial damage can be seen to the area impacted by the riot. Whether prisoners used weapons during the disturbance, or if the incident is tied to gang activity, remains to be seen.

“I’m not aware of any (weapons) but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t,” Duncan said, adding more details will be released once the province’s investigation is complete.

The provincial department of justice issued a statement Sunday evening that said 27 inmates were involved in what the government called an incident, and that 255 other inmates who had not been involved were in lockdown.

Yet, the government’s own website says the Brandon Correctional Institute is designed to hold 157 adult men, along with short-term holding areas for 10 young offenders and four women.

The Manitoba Government and General Employees Union spokesman John Baert said it’s too early to say if overcrowding played any part in the riot, which he believed was the worst to hit a Manitoba facility since the Headingley riot of 1996.

“We’ve said that about facilities in Manitoba, we’ve been vocal about the issue of overcrowding,” Baert said Sunday night.

MGEU opened its offices in Brandon Sunday evening to help any staff suffering stress or trauma, Baert said.

“I can confirm that no correctional officers were injured,” said Baert.

He said Ken Crawford, the MGEU’s representative for correctional officers, left Winnipeg for Brandon late Sunday afternoon, along with other union staff to meet with employees of the Brandon jail.

Baert said the union would likely make a statement this morning.

“Certainly, we’ll be asking those questions” about who was involved in the riot, how and why it happened and whether there were any warning signs of trouble, Baert said.

RCMP spokesman Const. David Obirek said that the Mounties were not called in to help.

Ontario prisoner commits suicide under riot lockdown

August 27, 2009

Warkworth Inmate Found Dead

Mix 97 News – ‎Aug 27, 2009‎

An inmate serving a 3-year sentence for robbery has died at Warkworth Institution. A release issued from the prison says Gregory Kuipers was found in his cell at 2am yesterday morning from an apparent suicide. Staff tried CPR and used a defibrillator but couldn’t revive Kuipers. The Correctional Service of Canada is conducting an investigation. Warkworth remains in a semi-lockdown following a fiery riot over a month ago.


Probe continues into Warkworth Institution riot

Northumberland Today
‎Aug 20, 2009‎

The longest lockdown in history continues at the Warkworth Institution. The cleanup and a probe into a July riot at Warkworth Institution continues, four weeks after an inmate riot damaged parts of the federal facility, sent 13 inmates to the hospital and led to the overdose death of another.

The riot began July 21 when inmates in the recreation area refused to return to their cells at about 9 p. m.

An intense standoff ensued, lasting for about 20 hours.

A fire burned throughout the night and correctional officers, dressed in riot gear, fired teargas in amongst the inmates.

For the first time in Warkworth’s history the Riot Act was used, allowing the institution to use whatever force necessary to regain control.

About 200 of Warkworth’s 579 inmates were involved.

During the riot prisoners gained access to the prison’s narcotics supply in its Health Care Centre.

One inmate died, the result of a suspected drug overdose. Thirteen others were taken to the hospital, and nine of those are suspected of overdosing on narcotics.

Ann Anderson, assistant manager of warden services, said prisoners are still in lockdown, which has been the situation since the riot ended.

That means prisoners eat in their cells, don’t mingle with other prisoners and aren’t allowed visitors.

Inmates are allowed to shower, Anderson said, but showers are done one at a time and are supervised.

Prisoner living units, or cells, have been searched, she said.

“We’re still searching the outside areas.” Anderson said she didn’t know how long the facility

would remain in a lockdown. “We believe the facility is safe and we’re working on

getting back to normal,” she said. Officials are working with staff and union representatives to make sure the facility meets all health and safety standards, she said.

The health centre has been cleaned up and inmates are receiving health care at a triage centre located in another part of the prison.

Anderson said the recreation area, damaged by fire during the riot, would likely need some construction.

She didn’t have an estimate for the damage. All 13 inmates taken to the hospital have returned

to Warkworth, she said.

The cause of the riot is still under investigation, and

Anderson said it’s served as a learning experience for staff.

Matsqui prisoner strike continues

June 18, 2009

Prison situation stalemated

Inmates at Matsqui Institution are still on strike and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Some inmates have already been transferred to other facilities as tensions mount. JOHN VAN PUTTEN (Abbotsford News)

Inmates at Matsqui Institution are still on strike and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Some inmates have already been transferred to other facilities as tensions mount. JOHN VAN PUTTEN (Abbotsford News)

By Rochelle Baker – Abbotsford News
Published: June 12, 2009

Inmates and Matsqui Institution officials are deadlocked again after prisoners who initiated court proceedings citing inhumane conditions during a work strike have been shipped off to other jails or put into solitary confinement.

“As I understand it, there’s an impasse now,” said Abbotsford lawyer John Conroy, who represents the prisoners.

He called the move by officials “outrageous.”

Conroy said inmates want their representatives back, and the strike will continue until that occurs.

The representatives approved by Matsqui officials, including Stephane Turcotte and Jean Paul Aube, are some of the same prisoners transferred out, said Conroy.

“[The spokesmen] negotiate in good faith on behalf of the prisoners, try to keep the peace, and what does the administration do? They grab the leaders trying to keep the peace and ship them out.”

Prisoners have waged a non-violent strike, he said.

“But one of the problems you always have to worry about in a prison context is that some may lose it and a riot will break out.”

Turcotte and Aube have been put into solitary confinement at Mission and Mountain institutions.

A number of tier reps were also shipped to Kent, a maximum security facility near Agassiz.

“We don’t know all the details. There are others in the hole at Matsqui as well,” said Conroy.

The inmates at the medium security prison went on strike March 30, refusing to go to work or participate in programs, to protest a restructuring of their workday and time in the yard.

A lock down initiated May 11 saw prisoners kept in their cells for 23 hours a day.

Prison officials said the restrictions were put in place because of threats to inmates inclined to break the strike.

Inmates were given limited access to bathroom facilities, and had to buzz guards to be let out of their cells, said Conroy.

After long waits, inmates said they were forced to find a plastic bag or waste basket to relieve themselves in their cells.

Matsqui, an older institution, has no toilets or sinks in the cells.

Conroy said the stench on the lower tier of the institution was vile, and that the situation was both cruel and unhealthy.

Conroy and Vancouver lawyer Donna Turko had plans to take the prison to Supreme Court at the beginning of this week.

However, the court date was adjourned Friday after the administrators agreed to allow inmates more freedom of movement during the day to access toilets, as well as more yard time.

Prisoners will also have some access to facilities at night, with guards accompanying two inmates at a time to the washroom.

However, at the same time Matsqui was grabbing inmate spokesmen, said Conroy. It bodes ill for the situation at the institution, he said.

“Who’s going to want to stand up, and be a representative in the future, if this is going to happen?”