Archive for March, 2013

Pictures from the Melt the Freeze action in KW (March 22nd)

More details to follow but here are a few pictures from today’s action.  More on this provincial day of action and reports from across Ontario.







Melt the Freeze, Raise the Minimum Wage!

534,000 workers in Ontario make minimum wage, nearly one in ten workers in the province. The three-year freeze has effectively lowered their income by 7%.
Working full-time shouldn’t mean living in poverty.

Please join us this coming Friday for the launch of the Raise the
Minimum Wage Campaign!
Friday March 22, 3:30
MPP John Milloy’s constituency office, 1770 King St. E, Unit 6C Kitchener
(any Route 7 bus that is not heading to Waterloo)

Province-wide day of action

Ontario’s minimum wage has been frozen for 3 years, while the cost of
living continues to rise. Join us as we call for an immediate increase!

The minimum wage should bring workers and their families above the poverty
line. That means Ontario’s minimum wage should be $14 in 2013. A minimum
wage increase is an investment in healthy communities and good jobs for
workers in Ontario.

On March 22 cities across the province will be visiting their MPP’s office with a bucket of frozen money –
either ‘nickles and dimes’ or the current minimum wage of $10.25. 
Join Poverty Makes Us Sick here in Kitchener!

Also, on March 21st, the first day of spring and the International Day for the
Elimination of Racism, communities around Ontario will be coming together
for a decent minimum wage.

Contact PMUS at:
Twitter: @kwpmus , #RaisetheRates

The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is coordinated by ACORN, Freedom
90, Mennonite New Life Centre, OCAP, Parkdale Community Legal Services,
Put Food in the Budget, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto and York Region
Labour Council and Workers’ Action Centre

International Women’s Day demo at GVI


Friday, March 8th, 2013   4pm
Grand Valley Institution for Women

Women Don’t Belong in Cages!
Prison is Not a Housing Program!

Let’s let the women in GVI know that they are not forgotten!
Bring noisemakers, signs and lots of people!  
International Women’s Day is a global day of celebration of women and a day of resistance to all forms of gendered violence, exploitation and oppression. Women living behind prison walls are denied many of the basic “rights and freedoms” that will be celebrated by women all over the world on this day. Not only are incarcerated women more likely to have experienced both interpersonal as well as structural violence (poverty, racism, colonialism, ableism, etc.) than most other women, but every day they are forced to endure the state violence that is the prison system.
Grand Valley Institution for Women (GVI) is a federal prison located in Kitchener.  GVI is one of the institutions in which Ashley Smith faced torture, and it is where she was allowed to asphyxiate to death as guards looked on.  In recent months, Kinew James came forward to confront the sexual violence and exploitation perpetrated by guards at GVI.  Shortly after Kinew was transferred away from GVI she too died on a prison floor.  The system has attempted to silence voices of women who have dared to speak up.  Tragically we know that these stories are not unique.  We also know that women within GVI continue to resist the attempts by this institution to disappear and to silence them.  Among others currently in GVI, Nyki Kish continues to fight for freedom and for justice. Let’s act in solidarity with these women in their struggles until these prison walls are themselves disappeared.
In a report for the Harper Regime: Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator 2011-2012, Howard Sapers reported a severe spike in “self-harming behaviours” among people imprisoned in women’s institutions, in conjunction with an ongoing increase in the number of people held in solitary confinement.  The report also exposed the high rate of post incarceration mental health diagnosis and medication. On this international day of celebration and resistance, let’s demonstrate our love and solidarity with the women in our community held behind the prison walls.  
With new mandatory minimum sentences at the federal level and massive cuts to social services, including a homelessness prevention benefit called the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit, at the provincial level, there has been a renewed commitment to challenging the prison system.   As the powers continue to widen their criminalization of dissent, let’s once again come together to oppose the isolation and brutality of the prison in our backyard.

More info on the experience of women in prison:
Things That Shouldn’t Happen, written by Mandy Hiscocks while she was incarcerated at Milton’s Vanier Centre for Women.

Presented by We Remember Ashley Smith


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