Speaking Out On Prisoners Justice Day

 I read most of this joint RAP/CAPA statement on August 10, 2007, Prisoners Justice Day, during a vigil in front of the Don Jail in Toronto.  – Don

RESISTANCE AGAINST PSYCHIATRY
AND
COALITION AGAINST PSYCHIATRIC ASSAULT
SPEAKING OUT ON PRISONERS JUSTICE DAY

We see the psychiatric system and the criminal “injustice” system as mutually reinforcing approaches that the state uses to control human beings. We recognize that classism, racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, and ableism are all implicated in psychiatric oppression. We focus on anti-psychiatry activities while highlighting the connection among the oppressions. Toward that end, we demonstrate, do nonviolent civil disobedience, speak out, and distribute information. Our groups include primarily ex-inmates as well as other anti-psychiatry activists.

What are the connections between the psychiatric and criminal justice systems?

•     Prisoners of both systems are locked up against their will.
•     Prisoners of both systems are denied access to information, wanted services, visits, sex, the media, and the public at large.
•     Just as people die in prisons, people die in psychiatric institutions through drug overdoses and improper mixing of drugs.
•     In both systems public investigations do not occur.
•     Both systems use solitary confinement, sensory deprivation, and forced transfers as means of control.
•     Just as women in the prison system are subject to extra oppression, women in the psychiatric institutions are subjected to more electroshock, more damaging drugs, and longer confinement.
•     In both institutions, lesbians and gays are doubly oppressed.
•     Both systems use coercive treatment such as drugging and shocking without informed and free consent.
•     Both systems deny the need for AIDS education, prevention, and treatment.
•     Both systems claim to be benefiting society while actually promoting hierarchy and oppression.
•     Both systems claim to be helping the prisoner, while, instead, punishing and controlling

There are many humane and more effective ways to help people in crisis. As examples, we propose these alternatives to prisons and psychiatric institutions: crisis and healing centres, community justice circles, residential-therapeutic houses, supportive housing, and decriminalization of drug and petty offences.

RESISTANCE AGAINST PSYCHIATRY AND THE COALITION AGAINST PSYCHIATRIC ASSAULT ARE ANTIPSYCHIATRY ORGANIZATIONS WHICH OPPOSE BRUTALITY AND VIOLENCE EVERYWHERE.

For more information, call Don: 416-545-0796 or dweitz@pathcom.com

August 10, 2004

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