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No Males in Women's Jails!
Keep Prisons Single Sex!
This past Saturday, I got together with some awesome friends to hold a banner off an overpass over a busy Calgary road that read: NO MALES IN WOMEN’S JAILS.
We stayed on the overpass for roughly an hour, hanging the banner from both sides and getting endless honks of approval.
At the same time, my dear friend and women’s advocate Heather Mason was holding a protest in front of the parole office in downtown Toronto.
And other friends including Amy Hamm were doing a similar overpass operation in Vancouver!
This was not the first time we’ve held an overpass banner protest (and it won’t be the last!). Myself and a few other amazing women did this back on March 4 of this year in coordination with other groups of women across the country.
I think it’s a great demonstration to do in tandem or in lieu of protests on the street, though I hope to attend more of those as well. In October of 2022, I was able to fly to Toronto to take part in the protest there, and I hope to be able to do so again in the future.
You can read more about that experience here. You can also watch a Rebel News segment about it!
Prior to that, in March 2022, I was involved in a smaller protest on the streets of Calgary where we also held signs and engaged people in conversation.
In general, the reaction we receive to these actions is positive. Most people have no idea what is going on, but a good portion of the ones who actually stop to talk end up horrified to learn about Correctional Services Canada’s self-ID policy.
However, there are usually at least a few people who feel the need to shout at us and, this past Saturday, the shouting happened on Twitter from “misconduct/prison justice lawyer” Amy Matychuk.
The sight of us on the overpass caused Matychuk much consternation, and she went on a 10-tweet rant where she referenced “women with penises” multiple times and expressed dismay that such “women with penises” can’t get women’s clothing, makeup, and wigs in prison.
Anyway, we had a great time, our banner was seen by hundreds of people and thousands upon thousands more on Twitter. I also had a lovely conversation with a woman who passed by and was curious about the issue. She couldn't believe what was happening!
We are excited to do this kind of thing again next time with even more people and with fliers to give to curious passers-by.
I’m grateful for every one of these wonderful people across Canada who is willing to take this stand.
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