Archive for the ‘Rebellion’ Category

Gatineau cruisers vandalized overnight

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
CBC News [Quebec]

A dozen police cruisers were vandalized overnight in Gatineau, Que., and fingers are being pointed at the city’s police officers.

The cruisers were covered with orange paint.

Both the city and the officers’ union said the officers could have been behind the vandalism, because words written in the paint referred to negotiations and work contracts.

For more than two years, police in Gatineau have been without a collective agreement.

Their protest has consisted of wearing cargo pants and khakis instead of police-issue slacks, but the mayor said he thinks it’s possible that the vandalized vehicles mark another step in the protest.

While the cars are being washed, said Mayor Marc Bureau, they’ll be out of commission.

Neither the union nor the city, however, has confirmed officers were involved in the vandalism.

Jean Pierre Bussière, the union’s vice-president, said there will be an investigation, but the vandalism is probably a simple sign of frustration.

“You know, in my understanding, it was probably a way to inform the people on what’s happening – that the city … they’re doing nothing to end the conflict.”

Bussière said he’s not sure applying poster paint could be considered vandalism because it could easily be washed off.

On Friday, Gatineau police officers who were being sworn in at the Elgin Street police station said they would be willing to wear their proper uniforms when they conduct investigations on the Ottawa side of the river.

But on the Gatineau side, they said, they planned to continue their plainclothes – or at least pants – protest.

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Tensions between Montreal North’s youth, police

Updated Wed. Jun. 17 2009
CTV.ca News Staff [Quebec]

A fire burns on a north Montreal street after police and youths clashed on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. (CTV)

A fire burns on a north Montreal street after police and youths clashed on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. (CTV)

Some residents of Montreal North are worried the neighbourhood’s youth are relying on violence to express their frustrations with police, after a night of vandalism resulted in nine arrests.

“I’m worried that young people are developing a culture of violence against the police,” Brunilda Reyes, a community spokesperson, told CTV Montreal in French. “We have to change that.”

The Montreal borough has seen several violent protests since teenager Fredy Villanueva was fatally shot by police last August. During the latest bout of vandalism Tuesday night, businesses were damaged, fires were set, and police were pelted with bottles.

Youth worker Will Prosper said young people are concerned they have been the targets of racism. After Villanueva’s death, politicians and law enforcement officials spoke about reaching out to Montreal North’s youth, but Prosper said there has been little or no concrete action.

“The leaders have not listened to them,” he said.

Most of the suspects arrested Tuesday night are in their twenties. They face a range of charges including assault with a weapon, assaulting a police officer, trespassing, vandalism and public mischief.

According to reports, police went to the park at about 10 p.m. in response to calls about fights in the area.

When they arrived the fight had broken up, but between 50 and 60 youths were in the park.

Officers stayed on the scene to observe the group, but eventually became the target — with the group pelting the officers with bottles and rocks.

About 100 riot police were called in to clear the group, which then went on to cause damage to parked cars, businesses and a school in the area.

Const. Andre Leclerc told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that the group quickly broke out of the area around the park.

“The young people were going in the back alleys and the streets,” Leclerc said. “They were damaging cars and houses and a school.”

One officer was slightly injured in the melee while trying to arrest one of the suspects.

On Wednesday morning, Montreal Police Chief Yvan Delorme visited the scene of the Tuesday night confrontation — a sign of the high level of concern about relations between police and residents in the area.

“The police are saying they know this is a hotbed, there are occasionally clashes with police and there’s a high level of mistrust of police — but also that they have a job to do and when there’s a call about a disturbance they’re going to go ahead and do their job,” Lurie told CTV News Channel.

In Quebec City, provincial Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis said a small group of agitators are responsible for the high tensions in north Montreal.

Dupuis vowed that police would not turn a blind eye but would continue to bring order to the area.

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Protesters out on bail

Photo: Belleville Intelligencer

Photo: Belleville Intelligencer

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A handful of protesters arrested late last week in connection to the Skyway Bridge blockade have been released on bail.

John Boots, Brendan McLaughlin and Benjamin Loft were all released on $1,000 bond with conditions not to associate with the others charged following Friday’s arrest and not to participate in “unlawful protests” following their bail hearings at the Ontario Court of Justice Monday. McLaughlin and Loft had been charged with mischief while Boots faced charges of mischief and assault.

The trio are among 13 individuals arrested late last week after a five-day blockade closed the Skyway Bridge connecting Deseronto to Prince Edward County.

Mohawk protester Shawn Brant also made a brief appearance in the courtroom where he was told he will remain in custody until June 22. Brant was charged with breach of conditions.

That courtroom was filled with approximately 75 supporters who cheered and applauded as each of the three released were welcomed by family and friends. Those supporters had marched from Market Square up Pinnacle Street to the Ontario Court of Justice to show their support for those who had been arrested.

“We’re just a few supporters who came up to show our support for the injustice that happened with our people,” Thomas Bruce Maracle said before the march began.

Maracle claimed Friday’s arrests were in contradiction to negotiations the protesters had been undertaking with police.

“They spilled Mohawk blood all over the highway,” he said. “They broke the peace, they broke their honour and they broke their word.”

Maracle said the police action has created “a whole new situation.” There is a great deal of anger among local Mohawks, he said, and the situation needs to be managed.

George Smart, who was also among the supporters, also pointed the finger at police for making the arrests prior to “proper discussions.”

“We’re here to say we should be able to exercise our authority and our rights on our territory,” Smart said.

Maracle, following the bail hearings, said the result was not what the people had wanted. He said the protesters should not have been arrested.

“We’re not happy that our people were incarcerated for standing up for what we believe in,” he said. “We were in a negotiating state with the community and the police were dishonourable.”

Further bail hearings are scheduled to take place later this week.

Paul VanHooser and Charles Kloestra, both charged with mischief and assault, will remain in custody until Wednesday when bail hearings are scheduled for the pair.

Terry Maracle, William Hartin, George Zachariah and Dave Barberstock were all released Friday after being arrested and charged with mischief.

Three youths have also been charged in connection to the matter.


Akwesasne Counterspin

Tyendinaga Support Committee

No One Is Illegal – Montreal Update on Akwesasne

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Mohawk police chief’s vehicle shot up

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six bullets were pumped into the personal vehicle of Tyendinaga Mohawk Police Chief Ron Maracle, The Intelligencer has learned.

The incident occurred while the vehicle– a black Ford F-150 — was parked in the lot of the police station on York Road between 4:30 p. m. Thursday and 7:30 a. m. Friday.

Three of the windows of the vehicle were shot out and the body along the passenger side was riddled with holes.

At the time, Maracle was at the scene of a protest that had blocked the Skyway Bridge near Deseronto.

Police would not confirm suspicions the incident was linked to the blockade, however, a criminal investigation has been launched.

A resident whose home is in close proximity to the police station, said she did not hear any gunshots Thursday night. The incident, the woman said, is “frightening” as living so close to a police station would lead one to believe she is safe.

“It’s scary. I thought living here we’d be safe but that’s a little too close,” she said, adding she did not want to be identified.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at [stop snitchin’] or Crime Stoppers at [stop snitchin’].

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Six Nations Solidarity Action: “Native protesters cause highway chaos”

Photo The Spec

Photo: The Spec

June 11, 2009
Paul Morse
The Hamilton Spectator [Ontario]

A protest march by Six Nations natives snarled traffic along some of greater Hamilton’s busiest highways today.

Several dozen natives on foot and in cars proceeded along the Red Hill Valley Parkway, Linc and Highway 403 to Brantford to protest the arming of border guards on the Akwesasne reserve in eastern Ontario.

The Six Nations group of up to about a dozen on foot, followed by a small convoy of cars, walked onto the southbound Red Hill Valley Parkway shortly after 8 a.m. with half a dozen Hamilton police cruisers, a motorcycle cop and one marked OPP cruiser behind.

Hamilton police, who patrol the Red Hill and the Linc, say they were informed of the protest last night and decided it was in the best interest of everyone to allow it to happen.

“We took a balanced approach, working with them and the community,” said media officer Sergeant Terri-Lynn Collings.

“We wanted to make sure that, if it was going to take place, that it was done safely.”

Police escorted the natives up the fast lane of the parkway from Queenston Road, along the Linc, then west on 403 to Brantford, throwing traffic into chaos.

At times, traffic was backed up for kilometres.

Native spokesperson Jessie Anthony said women from Six Nations organized the protest yesterday after receiving a call for support from the Akwesasne reserve.

“We knew this was going to be a rolling blockade march to support what’s going on in Akwesasne.”

Spokesperson Dawn Smith said the Red Hill Valley falls within the Haldimand Tract.

“We chose to start at Queenston because it encompassed all the major highways that run along our territory.”

“It was because of the way the highways connect,” Anthony said. “It was more a decision on how many people we could reach to make them aware of the situation that’s going on in Akwesasne.”

The native marchers would not say if Hamilton is now on their radar for land-dispute protests.

“When we do this, we don’t pick an area and say ‘OK, we’re going to go and bother Hamilton or Brantford,’” Smith said.

“It depends on the situation, what is being developed and how it is going to affect our next seven generations,” Smith said.

The natives said Hamilton police expressed concerns about the march until they learned that protesters did not plan to block the highway completely.

Anthony said the arming of Canadian border guards on the reserve was tantamount to an armed occupation.

The natives also protested the closing of a bridge that connects the American and Canadian sides of the reserve.

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Prisoner restrictions halted at Matsqui
Lawyers plan to take complaints to court

Mary Frances Hill, Vancouver Sun [British Columbia]
Published: Saturday, June 06, 2009

Corrections Canada called off severe restrictions on prisoners in Matsqui Institution on Friday after lawyers for the prisoners went public with complaints about deteriorating conditions.

Prisoners had been locked in their cells for 23 hours a day for nine weeks following a protest against an increase in work hours.

However, authorities did not reverse the transfers of 14 convicts who had come forward with prisoner complaints.

“This is a partial victory,” said lawyer Donna Turko, who represented the group along with prison rights lawyer John Conroy.

Turko said the convicts will again have access to toilets, sinks, phone facilities and common areas in their “ranges,” or wings of the prison.

She said the lawyers still intend to go to B.C. Supreme Court on Monday to deal with issues that have arisen from the conflict, such as the transferred prisoners and other rights issues.

Conroy said the 14 had acted as representatives for 220 Matsqui prisoners. Two of the transferred prisoners, Jean Paul Aube and Stephane Turcotte, had claimed in court documents that prisoners were getting limited access to food and facilities since staging the protest.

Some were defecating in their cells and throwing the waste out the windows, and the lawyers said the stench of human waste permeated the upper floors of the prison as record-high temperatures hit the Fraser Valley this week.

Turko said Corrections Canada had bowed to media pressure.


“Conroy said the prisoners have solidarity. When they held a strike vote, about 95 per cent supported the action. He said there is no threat of a riot.”

– Abbotsford New, June 6, 2009

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Matsqui prisoners transferred days before they were to air complaints in court

By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun [British Columbia]
June 4, 2009

Fourteen Matsqui prisoners — including two who filed a petition against the prison over inhuman living conditions — have been transferred to other institutions, just days before they were to get their day in court.

Prison rights lawyer John Conroy said the 14 prisoners had acted as representatives for 220 Matsqui inmates, who have been locked in their cells for 23 hours a day since May 11.

Those transferred include Jean Paul Aube and Stephane Turcotte, who claimed in court documents that inmates have been given limited access to food and bathroom facilities since staging a work stoppage nine weeks ago to protest an increase in work hours.

Conroy and lawyer Donna Turko plan said they intend to take the prison warden to B.C. Supreme Court on Monday.

“The people who were talking to everybody and keeping them cool … [the prison] is shipping out,” Conroy said.

He said the prison argues that the prisoner representatives had been stopping inmates from going to work but that in fact, 97 per cent of the inmates supported the work stoppage, which has been peaceful with no signs of violence.

Aube is now at Mountain Institution and Turcotte at Mission Prison, Conroy said, while three others have been transferred to maximum security at Kent. He didn’t say where the other nine were sent.

Conroy and Turko spent Thursday collecting affidavits from 50 inmates affected by the work stoppage.

In court documents, Turcotte and Aube said that for the first six weeks of the stoppage, the inmates were allowed to eat regular meals in the dining hall. But since May 11, they have been kept in their cells for 23 hours and are having to wait hours to use bathroom on each floor, which they say is inhumane, they say. Some are defecating in their cells and throwing the waste out the window.

“It’s not a healthy situation for them; they don’t even have any toilet paper or anything to clean themselves with,” Conroy said.

Turcotte and Aube also claim prisoners aren’t getting enough food, have limited access to call family or lawyers, and that the situation has affected prison transfers and unescorted temporary absences to visit dying relatives.

Alain Charette, spokesman for the Correctional Service of Canada’s Pacific region, insisted the inmates were not in a lockdown situation but noted “there are some restrictions.”

The issue arose after CSC decided to implement a more structured work day, in which prisoners were required to be involved in work and scheduled activities — including counselling and schooling — for 12 hours a day instead of eight.

Matsqui is the first prison in the Pacific region to implement the new policy, which is aimed at preparing inmates for reintegration into society, Charette said.

He wouldn’t say if the prisoner transfers were related to the work stoppage.

“I’d rather stay away [from that issue],” he said. “If [the lawyers] see a link, that becomes an issue for the judge to decide. It’s too close for me to say it’s not linked or not going to be linked.”

Charette refused to comment further, saying the matter is headed to court.

“We’re still working on coming back to a normal situation in a new structured 12-hour day,” he said.

But Conroy said if the prison wants to implement community standards, it should be improving basic living conditions, such as providing toilets and sinks in cells.

The prisoners say previous jobs held by inmates have been cancelled and now everyone must fill out applications for new jobs, which has the potential to cause serious conflict among inmates.

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Springhill prison on lockdown
Guards leave building after bomb threat, return after deadline

Last Updated: Friday, May 29, 2009
CBC News [Nova Scotia]

Guards at a locked down federal prison in Springhill, N.S., are back on the job following a bomb scare.

Earlier this week, Correctional Service Canada was warned there could be an unauthorized device in the building. The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, which represents the guards, says it was a bomb threat.

The guards left the building after the lockdown was implemented, saying it was not safe for them to be the ones looking for any such device.

A note said the device was supposed to go off Thursday.

The regional president of the union, Paul Harrigan, said the guards returned Friday when the deadline passed without incident — though they’re still refusing to search for any suspicious devices.

Harrigan said the RCMP, military or Canada Border Services Agency is trained to find these kinds of devices, “as opposed to our organization which is trained to deal with people.”

In the meantime, the medium-security facility remains on lockdown.

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Prison uprising halted

Peterborough Examiner [Ontario] ‎
May 22, 2009‎

Prison guards used gas and shotguns to contain an uprising at maximumsecurity Millhaven penitentiary.

The incident began Wednesday night and lasted roughly 16 1/2 hours, until noon yesterday, when the convicts agreed to return to their cells.

Corrections Canada says 48 prisoners remained in an outside recreation yard during the standoff. The inmates have made some complaints to prison managers.

“That’s still being investigated,” said Stephanie Fullerton, a Corrections spokeswoman at the regional headquarters.

“I know that there were some general issues about the institutional routine.”

The inmates refused orders at 7:30 p. m. Wednesday to leave the yard. They tried to break into an adjoining yard but were stopped by prison guards who fired shotguns and gas.

“We were lucky we were able to respond,” said union official Jason Godin, who was at the prison during the uprising.


Collins Bay penitentiary protest is over

The Kingston Whig-Standard [Ontario]‎
May 12, 2009‎

Convicts at medium-security Collins Bay penitentiary have abandoned a protest in which they refused to report to work or programs.

“It was a one-day protest just as a way to raise their issues with the management team,”said Holly Knowles, a spokeswoman for the Correctional Service at its regional headquarters in Kingston.

Yesterday, the prison’s 327 inmates refused to go to their prison jobs and activities because of concern about routines and social development issues.

Knowles said inmates were concerned they were being denied free time out of their cells because clocks in different parts of the institution weren’t in sync.

They also complained that the baseball diamond needed repair and they wanted the option of repairing or replacing appliances they use in their living units.

Knowles said prison managers are working with a committee that represents prisoners to address their concerns.

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They won’t say sorry

South Asian Post [British Columbia]
Wed, April 22 2009

During the long hours he drives a Chilliwack cab to support his three young children, Jagjeet Sidhu has a lot of time to reflect upon the life that would have been had his young wife not died needlessly in a freeway crash two years ago.

Today, all the struggling father wants is safer transport for farm workers like his wife, and an apology from the couple he believes was complicit in her death.

Read the rest of the article here…

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