“What do we want?”
“When do we want it?”
This was the chant used by a group of people protesting for the rights of the prisoners in the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary.
Last December, a riot was sparked due to issues in the penitentiary’s kitchen, as well as the size of food portions.
Around 20 people, including members from Colonialism No More and the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism (SCAR), brought signs and banners to the corner of Victoria Avenue and Scarth Street. The letter written in January by Colonialism No More to federal MP Ralph Goodale about the response to the riot was read to the group.
The group was supporting the prisoners’ rights to better food, access to basic health care, access to cultural activities and improved treatment from staff.
Chris Kortright with SCAR said it is important people take a stand because those involved can’t do it themselves.
“Often prisoners and their families are unable to voice their concerns without fear of repercussions,” Kortright said.
Andrew Loewen agreed it’s important to stand by people, no matter where they are from.
“Down here in Regina and across the province, people are thinking about them, they’re in our hearts and minds and we’re standing up and trying to stand alongside their own demands to be treated like human beings.”
Kortright also said these sort of issues not only affect those in Prince Albert but prisoners in institutions across the country.