Cattle trucks and police faced a crowd of protesters blocking the Bath Road entrance to Frontenac Institution today, amidst heavy rains and the honking of supporters in passing cars.
The protesters were there to prevent Correctional Service Canada from loading trucks with the Institute’s 300 dairy cattle, and transporting them to the Ontario Livestock Exchange in Waterloo to be auctioned off on Tuesday.
It is one of six prison farms being closed by the Harper Government, who claim the farms cost $4 million a year to run and do not train the convicts any marketable job skills.
Those closures are being fought by farm and social justice groups along with ordinary citizens. They believe farm work teaches convicts a number of useful skills, including empathy and the value of hard work – all valuable job skills for any place of employment.
Supporters gathered this morning for the anticipated cattle removal, and were later engaged with police – who made a number of arrests, reportedly charging the protesters with mischief – and arriving cattle trucks which were successfully turned away from the prison.
At approximately 6:30 pm, protesters entered negotiations with police and within the half hour prison they posted that an agreement had been made:
After dramatic moment and group vote, blockade was taken down until 6am tomorrow morn
Police promise to not have cattle brought out until then, threaten to charge people after the fact based on videotape
The Twitter Feed for @prisonfarms is embedded here and will update as supporters post new ‘tweets’ to their account.
Leave this page open to see new posts as they are streamed in.
UPDATE: Videos from Monday’s protest. Will open in new window or tab.
(source: Rob Tripp / CanCrime)
– Prison Farm Protesters and Police (KPD & OPP)
– Arrested Man Being Led Away by Police after 2nd Truck Left
– Prison Farm Supporter / Queen’s University Prof Describes Rough Arrest of a Protester
– Second Cattle Truck Leaves Prison Farm w. Police Escort
…more at CanCrime’s Twitter Page.
Cow photo courtesy Keven Law
Video thumbnail via Twitvid posted by Rob Tripp / CanCrime on Twitter