Prisoners go on hunger strike to demand better conditions at Hamilton detention centre


Published April 21, 2023 at 10:38 am

In the wake of a hunger strike this week at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre, a rally is being planned for Friday afternoon for residents to show their support.

On Wednesday morning (April 19), prisoners began a hunger strike to demand better conditions at the Barton Street jail.

The strike began on the jail’s fourth floor, according to the Barton Prisoner Solidary Project, a group calling for reduced isolation in all prisons with a focus on ongoing issues at the Barton jail.

Prisoners are demanding less frequent lockdowns, daily yard time, faster mail, and to keep all of the channels currently available on the prison’s TVs (something the prisoners collectively fought for previously in 2021).

“As always, we stand in deep solidarity with all those who are locked up and all those who organize actions to defend their dignity and humanity,” said the Barton Prisoner Solidary Project on Wednesday.

“We call on the Barton jail administrators to negotiate directly with prisoners in good faith about how they will meet these demands.”

The group is organizing a solidarity rally, which is set to take place today (April 21) at 5:30 p.m. on top of the Ferguson Street bridge for those who want to show support for the prisoners.

Protestors are encouraged to bring friends and make signs to show their support.

The Barton Prisoner Solidary Project has previously called out other issues affecting the Barton Street jail, such as a shortage of razors leading to health and hygiene issues, and an issue in December 2022 with the hot water coming out oily and foul-smelling, which prevented some prisoners from taking showers.

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