today i'm running down the walls

today i'm Running Down the Walls at vanier centre for women in milton, ontario, where i've been imprisoned since january.  during yard i'll do 48 laps of the small dirt track, and if we get called in before i am done i'll finish up in the hallway on our wing.

i'm running because it's not often that we have the opportunity to come together in this way.  prisons are designed to keep inmates from organizing with each other and with folks on the outside.  they want us isolated and disengaged. 

for example, when i first arrived i was told it was unlikely i'd be classified as medium security for quite some time, because i'm a political organizer.  because, and i quote, "we don't want people banding together up there."  i was held on maximum security for seven and a half months.  the jail has also gone to some pretty extreme lengths to keep me away from other G20 related prisoners. 

discussion and solidarity between jails is also discouraged.  the prison magazine Cell Count is routinely withheld from peoples mail, and most of the copies of the Peak Dispatches from Ontario Prisons didn't make it in either.  the prison administration and the state are afraid of us coming together to talk, to organize, to resist. 

events like running down the walls help to break the isolation the prison tries to impose and remind us of our collective power.

today i'm running because as someone who has benefited from legal defence and prisoner support funds, i know how important they are. 

i'm running because while i've had a reasonably easy time in jail, a lot of people don't.  i have a lot of support, i get mail and visits, i've never run out of canteen money and people take my collect calls.  these things make all the difference and i want all prisoners to have them.  prisoner support funds are essential - nobody should go without phone calls or envelopes or time with friends and family just because they can't afford them. 

i'm running because i appreciate and want to support the amazing work done by the anarchist black cross to bridge the gulf between the inside and the outside, and to link our struggles.

 finally, i'm running because i'm a settler here.  as such i'm complicit in a colonial system that criminalizes Indigenous people who defend themselves and their land, and a legal system that is stacked against them from start to finish.  i support Six Nations struggles and i'm excited to be able to raise money for the Six Nations defence fund.

 

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