Toronto Media Co-op

Local Independent News

More independent news:
Do you want free independent news delivered weekly? sign up now
Can you support independent journalists with $5? donate today!
Not reviewed by Toronto Media Co-op editors. copyeditedfact checked [?]

Photo Essay: No Prison Expansion, Toronto - December 10, 2011

by Mike Barber

The march begins.
Hundreds head out from St. James park and march to the Don Jail.
Protesters engage people in vehicles and on the sidewalks.
A call to remember Ashley Smith, 19, who committed suicide on October 19, 2007, while under suicide watch at the Grand Valley Institution for Women.
"Prison is Revolting"
The protest begins to cross over the Don River.
Chants included "they can take our lives away but not our dignity, our hearts will pound against these walls, until we are all free" and "our passion for freedom is stronger than your prisons"
Despite crime stats being on the decline, the Harper administration pushes for prison expansion and a draconian crime bill.
"Kids not criminals"
Speeches took place in front of the Don Jail.
Noise makers and fireworks were used to send a message of solidarity to the prisoners inside the Don Jail.

On December 10, 2011, several hundred protesters marched from St James park, the past site of Occupy Toronto, to the Don Jail in order to express their hatred of prisons and our contempt for the "Criminal (In)Justice System".

From the call out:

Harper's Crime Bill is an attempt to lock more of us away for petty crimes- to fill Canadian jails with drug users and people struggling with mental health issues.

The current and ongoing expansion of the prison industrial complex touches our lives every day-- from increases in street cops and surveillance to the overcrowding of prisons, and the further criminalization of poverty and targeting of marginalized communities.

The global capitalist economy is failing, and the environmental crisis is ongoing and everywhere. Increased policing and criminalization is an austerity strategy that will inevitably result in more of our friends and family members being locked away, more government money spent on policing and prisons, and the closures of community programs and schools.

The Canadian State is on a path towards US-style super-max isolation prisons and increased solitary confinement. There are plans for dozens of new prisons equipped with state-of-the-art security systems to further isolate prisoners from the outside world. The consequences to us and to our communities are dire; if the Crime Bill is passed, it will impose mandatory minimum sentences on various non-violent crimes, including simple drug possession (6 months in jail for 6 pot plants) and make it harder to get time-served or parole.

Inspired by the global struggle against the capitalist elite and their 
vicious program of austerity, we choose to resist.

In solidarity with all prisoners and exploited peoples struggling for 
freedom locally and globally.

In solidarity with indigenous peoples of this land, who face continued assault by the Criminal (In)justice System.

Against the current prison conditions of abuse and torture that only increase the violence in our communities.

"This is Just the Beginning" says Rob Nicholson the Justice Minister, 
referencing tough crime bills.

We couldn't agree more.

- Prison is Class War -

Want more grassroots coverage?
Join the Media Co-op today.

Creative Commons license icon Creative Commons license icon Creative Commons license icon

About the poster

Trusted by 0 other users.
Has posted 7 times.
View Mike Barber's profile »

Recent Posts:

Mike Barber (Mike Barber)
Member since May 2011


334 words

The site for the Toronto local of The Media Co-op has been archived and will no longer be updated. Please visit the main Media Co-op website to learn more about the organization.