Category Archives: Prison Strike

New Zine: Right To Refuse

An Account of Resistance to Prison Pay Cuts

This second installation in the CPR Zine Series contains a transcript of an interview we did in February 2018 with Jarrod Shook. We discussed prison labour, resistance to prison pay cuts inside, the four-year lawsuit, and next steps in the struggle for better wages and dignity for prisoner workers.

Download an imposed PDF of this zine here: Right to Refuse

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Resisting Prison Pay Cuts: An Update With Jarrod Shook

Aired February 14, 2018
Posted to the Internet Archive

Tonight we bring you an interview with Jarrod Shook about the latest Federal Court ruling on prison wages.

In 2013, the Conservative Government introduced a 30% pay cut to wages for work done by prisoners and called it a “food and accommodation tax” as well as eliminating incentive pay work done at CORCAN facilities, a government agency that contracts out prison labour to both the public and private sector. Prisoners are forced to purchase items such as stamps and personal hygiene products through government designated suppliers, and wages had already decreased sevenfold in actual purchasing power, as they hadn’t been increased since being established in the 1980s.

After exhausting internal grievance procedures, prisoners at Collins Bay Institution launched a work strike, which spread to federal prisons across Canada. Since 2014, several prisoners were fighting a lawsuit against the Government of Canada challenging the constitutionality of the pay cuts. At the end of January, a Federal Court in Ottawa threw out the case, ruling that prison labour falls under ‘programming’ and that prisoners are not in an employer-employee relationship with the Correctional Service of Canada.

I spoke with Jarrod Shook, an ex-prisoner who was a regular contributor to CPR while incarcerated at Collins Bay. He was a spokesperson for the strike in 2013, an applicant on the lawsuit, and he is now studying criminology at the University of Ottawa where he continues to be involved in prison-related activism. We discussed the history of the Inmate Pay System, resistance to prison pay cuts inside, the four-year lawsuit, and next steps in the struggle for better wages and dignity for prisoner workers.

Links:

Incentive to Scrutinize: Inmate Statement on Federal Prison Strike by Jarrod Shook (Fall 2013)
Resistance To Prison Pay Cuts by Jarrod Shook
(Spring 2014)
Federal Court Decision (PDF)
National Post Article on CORCAN
Journal of Prisoners on Prisons

Music:

Johnny Cash – Man In Black

 

Photo Credit: Chris Roussakis

Defend J20 and August 19th Solidarity

Aired July 12, 2017
Posted to the Internet Archive

This week we syndicated two interviews from The Final Straw Radio. The first is with Ben Turk of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee about the August 19th call for solidarity with prisoners. The second is an excerpt of an interview with an arrestee and supporter of the J20 defendants, who were mass arrested at the Trump inauguration in Washington, DC on January 20th, 2017. Thanks Final Straw!

Music:

Blackbird Raum – A Rat In My Dream

June 11th Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners

Aired June 14, 2017
Posted to the Internet Archive

June 11th has been observed since 2004 by anarchists and environmentalists as a day of action to mobilize around imprisoned comrades. Tonight we bring you an interview conducted by June 11 organizers with Ann Hansen, a freelance writer living on a farm near Kingston and former member of Direct Action, an underground anarchist guerilla group active in the 1980s.

News: Incident at Henry Trail halfway houseSolitary Is Torture demonstration in MichiganSolidarity rally with Folsom hunger strikersBeatrice Hunter released

Music:

Sing Me Home – Sing Me Back Home
DECIDE TODAY – Strong Hearts Cannot Be Caged

Calls From Home (May 2017)

Aired May 31, 2017
Posted to the Internet Archive

Calls From Home is a monthly CFRC Prison Radio segment that connects friends and family with their loved ones behind Kingston’s prison walls through the power of community radio.

News: Fire at Quebec City jailFentanyl overdoses at Quinte Detention CentreFirst death at Southwest Detention Centre – Feds admit most immigrant detainees aren’t “dangerous” – Indefinite migrant detention court challengeCSC strikes prison farms advisoryHunger strike at Folsom Prison

Music:

Sampa – Reverse Faults
Imany – Slow Down
The Tidal Sleep – Words
Tristan Welsh – Locked Up

 

May Day 2017 Special Broadcast

Aired May 1, 2017
Posted to the Internet Archive

This year, CFRC 101.9FM held a special broadcast live from May Day celebrations in Kingston, on May 1st from 4-6pm (despite terrible weather!). As the whole CPR crew was involved in producing this broadcast, we have uploaded the broadcast here for your listening pleasure.

1:10 Speech from 2016 May Day event in Kingston
9:25 Interview with Doug Nesbitt, editor of Rank and File
48:00 May Day at Kingston Penitentiary, 1933
59:23 Interview with participant at anti-racist rally (March 4, 2017)
1:05:55 Reports from May Day around the world
1:21:54 The Incomplete, True, Authentic and Wonderful History of May Day
1:40:40 Live broadcast from Skeleton Park

 

Guelph ABC and Philadelphia Prison Strike Interviews

Aired December 14, 2016
Posted to the Internet Archive

This week we welcomed special guest M into the studio for a live on-air interview. We discuss the Guelph Anarchist Black Cross and its role in anarchist prison support, the emergence of the ‘noise demonstration’ tactic in Ontario, state repression and defensive infrastructure, and whether we can ever claim ‘victories’ in the struggle to destroy prison for anything short of, well, destroying prison.

Later in the show, we aired a short interview by a CPR contributor with anarchists in Philadelphia about the September 9th U.S. prison strike and the various ways people tried to support it in their local context.

News: Collins Bay Max Unit locked downBryen Madill died at Millhaven InstitutionRobert Brunet died at Joyceville InstitutionControversy over CORCAN “native crafts” workshop at WarkworthStrike organizer Kinetik Justice brutally attacked by guards and requesting support

Music: We Live by G.L.O.S.S.Last Legs by Leftover Crack

Call for information: We’d like to do a future show with M about Do-It-Yourself remedies for common ailments using items you can get at canteens and cafeterias inside. Send us your ideas and we’ll work on this for the new year!

noise-demo

Calls From Home (September 2016)

Aired September 28, 2016
Posted to the Internet Archive

This month’s show is dedicated to everyone locked down at Collins Bay. We discuss an upcoming public event reflecting on the Save Our Prison Farms campaign, flyering visitors at Collins Bay Institution about the U.S. Prison Strike, and a recent statement issued by the End Immigration Detention Network. We share a segment from Democracy Now with updates about the prison strike, and a poem submitted to our Facebook group. And of course, we play some music.

Credits

From Nothing To Everything by Neal Shannacappo

Democracy Now Strike Update

U.S. Prison Strike Update

Aired September 21, 2016
Posted to the Internet Archive

With the U.S. prison strike now in full swing, we set out to review the strike activity and outside solidarity to date across the world. We share several audio segments from across the U.S. covering what’s happening with the strike.

Credits

September 9th Prison Strike Roundup from The Final Straw

National Prison Strike & Yes, It Matters To You from Occupy

National Prison Strike segment from Democracy Now

U.S. Prison Strike Preview

Aired September 7, 2016
Posted to the Internet Archive

CPR hosts C and Reeko discuss the imminent U.S. Prison Strike. We play the initial call-out for the strike, Ohio prisoner Sean Swain’s statement in support of the strike, a poem by an outside organizer, as well as an original interview with a member of the Providence, Rhode Island chapter of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.

Credits
“Call To End Slavery” by Resonance Audio
“In Support of the September 9th National Prison Strike” by Sean Swain
“For September 9th” by Insurgent Theatre*

*Unfortunately we were running over time and had to cut this piece short.

slavery