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Monday, February 27, 2012

RedBird goes to CANADA!

Yes, we went to Canada in February, and yes, it was totally worth the harrowing drive through a snowstorm, the bad motel room, and the hour-long stop at the border . . .

The reason for our adventure?  A conference called 'Breaking Bars, Building Bridges
of 'Harper's Crime Bill', a measure being introduced in Canada that would increase mandatory sentencing and prison expansion.  These actions would make Canada's system more like America, which has successfully been tearing apart families and communities for years now. ' that was organized by the WPIRG from University of Waterloo.  The conference was partly inspired by the threat

The conference also made sense because many people targeted by the state after the G20 are from Kitchener.  So, we trecked up to Canada to share a little bit about our experiences and work, and learn a lot from our northern comrades.

While at the conference, we presented a workshop on the Lucasville Uprising and performed the play.  Both things went well, and we contributed unique discussions to the conference.

We also met tons of people doing great work - including other books to prisoners programs, ABC groups, and groups focusing on queer prison resistance.  Some of our favorite workshops were: Men Against Rape, the Termite Collective, and SOLSOLO.

Big lessons learned:  1) G20 repression sucks, but there has been a strong community built in response.
 2)  We don't have much contact with other Ohio groups, and that we want to.  Having a network of support will only make us stronger.   3)  Expect snow when you go to Canada in February (duh).

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