Friday March 18th
Opening Panel – 7pm
with Ashanti Alston, Bridget Tolley, Julie Matson, Jaggi Singh
MRT 205 (U of O campus)
In this opening panel the panelists will speak about their various experiences with and analysis of the police, prisons and alternatives to both.
is a former member of the Black Panther Party and ex-political prisoner. He publishes the Zine Anarchist Panther and has been a guest lecturer at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont, speaking on the Panthers and the history of Black nationalist movements. He has spent time in Chiapas, Mexico, studying the autonomous structure of Zapatista communities and working on his memoirs. Ashanti resides in Rhode Island, where he is presently the national co-chair of the Jericho Amnesty Movement, and an active member of Estacion Libre, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and Critical Resistance.
is a member of the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec. Her mother was struck and killed by the Quebec Police on October 6th, 2001.She believes that there was homicidal negligence on the part of Surete du Quebec officers and is presently working on a complete review of the investigation, arguing that homicide files were filled with inaccuries and incongruent reports and that police procedures were not conducted according to accepted practices.Bridget feels the dignity and respect of the deceased and family members was greatly breached by all police officers and the investigation team involved.
is the daughter of Ben Matson who was killed by Vancouver police in 2002. She is an activist who opposes police violence and impunity. She says investigations into police killings and brutality should be conducted by a third party not connected to any police force. She says the way police there handled the investigation into her father’s death is typical of what happens across the country.
“I witnessed first hand cover-ups, lies, misinformation [and] conveniently forgotten reports,” said Matson. “It’s not recognizing the real story that’s happening there. It’s just recognizing what they want to see, and that’s protecting themselves.”
is a long-time organizer and activist. He has been involved in many groups and campaigns over the years, especially the anti-capitalist movement (CLAC), anti-racism and migrant-justice (with No One Is Illegal – Montreal), indigenous solidarity and anti-police brutality. He was also targeted for arrest during the recent anti-g8/g20 protests in Toronto.
The Justice for Anas Coalition
Early in the morning of December 1, 2005, Mohamed Anas Bennis, a 25-year old Canadian of Moroccan origin, was on his way home following morning prayers at a nearby mosque in the working-class migrant neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges when he was shot twice and killed by Montreal police. The police claim that Anas inexplicably attacked them with a kitchen knife. However, Anas’ family and friends have always found this version hard to believe.
Since 2007, the Justice for Anas Coalition, which came together under the leadership of the Bennis family, has fought to shed light on what happened that morning. The Coalition — which has received endorsements from over 40 activist, community and political organizations over the years — has organized rallies, delegations, letter-writing campaigns to garner public support and to put pressure on politicians and government officials who have continued to cast a troubling veil of secrecy surrounding Anas’ death. In June 2008, the Coroner-in-Chief of the province of Quebec finally called for a public inquiry in Anas’ killing, which the Montreal Police Brotherhood and the City of Montreal unsuccessfully attempted to quash. The inquiry is supposed to begin on April 27, 2011. The Coalition has also contributed to radical social justice organizing through its various initiatives and campaigns, including by spearheading the Forum Against Police Violence and Impunity, held in Montreal in January 2010.”
Saturday March 19th
(all workshops in Morisset building)
**poverty, streets and dealing with cop violence – Room 250**
Gaetan Héroux from OCAP and Andrew Nellis from the Ottawa Panhandlers Union
**Undercover Sex: RCMP Spying on Women’s Liberation Groups, 1960s-1970s- room 221**
Christabelle Sethna – Professor at U of O
**Justice for Levy coalition** – room 256
a group in the process of supporting a legal challenge against the OPP following the shooting death of Levi Schaeffer by an OPP officer.
(all workshops in Morisset building)
**queers, sex-workers and survivors: mistrust of the police, resistance to violence – room 221**
Jackson Ezra from ASSTEQ, members of POWER and Sunny Mariner from SASC
**disability, direct action and ableist policing – room 256**
Anne K Abbot from DAMN 2025 and OCAP, Matthew Morgan-Brown from IPSMO
**Supporting political prisoners while opposing the prison industrial complex – room 250**
Sara Falconer from ABC-Toronto, Certain Days Calendar and 4Strugglemag. Karl Kersblebedeb from Kersblebedeb publishing
4:30 to 5:30
strategizing session: where do we go from here in the fight against police violence?