ADVANTAGES

While we work to demolish the borders that keep our visions of social change artificially constrained within Canadian borders, we also need to dismantle borders between prison activists and other social movements. So we are talking about our work locally, inside and outside prison walls, as part of a larger global justice movement. If we are to bring about radical change, if we are truly committed to building a world in which prisons are, to quote Angela Y. Davis, obsolete, then we need a far bigger movement than the various prison activist groupings that are so valiantly putting on Prisoner Justice Day events and pushing for access to health care, education and legal advocacy inside prisons and jails. These goals are important and will make a difference in the lives of many women and men inside. But ultimately, our job as activists is to articulate and make possible a different reality in which poverty, mental illness, addiction, racism and gender violence are not pathways to prison. So one of our most important challenges today is to move outside our comfort zones and build coalitions with activists in other social justice arenas, from homelessness and mental health to Palestinian solidarity and peace activism.

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