About 20 people participated in a car solidarity demonstration for increased prisoner rights and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic on Sunday. (Baneet Braich photo)

VIDEO: #FreeThemAll group protests for prisoner rights in Abbotsford

About 20 participate in car demonstration outside of Matsqui Institution on Sunday

About 20 people are protesting outside of the Matsqui Institution on King Road in Abbotsford to stop what they say is the unnecessary risk of the spread of COVID-19 at the prison.

Those in attendance gathered on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. for an event called ‘Solidarity car demonstration for prisoners in Abbotsford’.

Video by: Baneet Braich

Organizers stated in a press release that only 22 COVID-19 tests have been conducted at the facility as of May 22. They stated that this amount of tests is too low, especially after an outbreak at the institution earlier this week. The group stated that they are calling for:

– Clemency & immediate release of all prisoners and detainees to meet and ensure adequate physical distancing and quarantine measures

– Testing for COVID-19 and urgent care for all prisoners across Canada

– Daily updates with details about the situation for family members of prisoners

– Public Inquest into COVID-19 Deaths at Mission Institution and the Federal Training Centre

“Outbreaks of COVID-19 across federal prisons show fatal flaws within the Correctional Service of Canada,” stated Michelle Thompson, a prisoner rights advocate in the group’s press release. “The flaws within this governmental body existed long before the onset of this global pandemic, and they have become increasingly deadly, as we learn of a new outbreak at Matsqui. As someone whose loved one is currently held inside a federal prison, I have firsthand knowledge of how CSC has not addressed the crisis. So many people inside are needlessly suffering without any means of holding the prison system accountable.”

RELATED: B.C. records 12 new COVID-19 cases, three more deaths


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
More than 200 new COVID-19 cases linked to Fraser Health region: Dr. Henry

Provincial health officer appeals to people to keep gatherings small

/ Kevin Mills Photo
BC NDP leader tours through downtown Mission

John Horgan talked to local business owners, accompanied by candidates Pam Alexis and Bob D’Eith

Mia Gill, with cousin Gavin Nahal, presents a cheque of just over $1,400 for the pediatrics unit at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Submitted photo)
Teen presents birthday cash to Abbotsford Regional Hospital for 8th year

Mia Gill has been donating to pediatrics unit every year since 2013

Jodie Fedun said her brother Jarrett Whitford hasn’t been heard from since early September, and his bank card was last used in Hope. (Submitted/Facebook photo)
Police spot missing Alberta man on video, in Hope

Family have not heard from Jarrett Whitford, 31, since early September

The Vancouver Canucks and Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen have agreed to a two-year deal with an average annual salary of $2.55 million. (@Canucks Twitter photo)
Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks agree to two-year deal

Two sides avoid arbitration, Virtanen will receive average annual salary of $2.55 million

Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien gives instructions during practice in Brossard, Que., Tuesday, July 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Julien energized by Canadiens’ busy off-season: ‘I expect us to make the playoffs’

Julien energized by Canadiens’ busy off-season: ‘I expect us to make the playoffs’

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read