Statement of solidarity with members of Police Free Schools Winnipeg

April 26, 2023

As police abolitionists in Winnipeg, Bar None stands in solidarity with our friends and comrades from Police Free Schools Winnipeg who in March were publicly targeted by the chief of police, Danny Smyth, in one of his blog posts. We understand Smyth’s statements were an attempt to intimidate, discredit, and silence the growing chorus of voices in this city who are calling for a collective shift away from policing. The seriousness of Smyth’s actions is not lost on us. We know that police harass and intimidate people for a living. We know that the history of police violence against their political adversaries is long and sordid. This is why we will never stay silent or distance ourselves when police attempt to single out our fellow activists. Our love and admiration go out to all of the members of Police Free Schools Winnipeg for their work and their courage. We call on all community leaders and social justice organizations in Winnipeg to stand with them.

Other statements of support:

“Open letter to the Winnipeg Police Board in support of equity-based research” (has received over 250 signatures.)

March 27, 2023 statement by Winnipeg Police Cause Harm

March 30, 2023 statement by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Manitoba Office

April 15, 2023 “Police in schools: trusting the research” in the Winnipeg Free Press by Bronwyn Dobchuk-Land and Joe Curnow

International Day Against Police Brutality

Please join us in marking International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB) on March 15, 2023, 5pm-6pm, SE Corner of Donald & Graham (in front of the Millennium Library) in Winnipeg, MB

Everything you need to know about the rally and march can be found at aboli.sh/brutality, including files of flyers, posters, and social media graphics you are encouraged to print/post/circulate widely.

If you are willing to distribute some flyers but don’t have access to printing, send us an email (barnonewpg@gmail.com) and we will arrange for some to be dropped off with you!

In the lead-up to the rally and march we will be participating in a community art build at Graffiti Gallery (see info above) where everyone is invited to make signs, banners, and other art for the March 15 rally and march.

Upcoming opportunities to get involved!

We have a busy month ahead of us as we work to build the rideshare by bringing more people in to do the work it requires.

We are hosting two Open Houses (February 28 and March 5) and a Co-ordinator Training workshop (March 21). See details below!

(Please note that we are unable to accept volunteers who are currently or prospectively prison guards, border guards, police officers or otherwise employed in law enforcement. We are a secular organization.) 


Have you ever wanted to get involved with the Bar None Prison Visiting Rideshare? Do you have questions you’ve been too shy to ask? Drop in at one of our upcoming Open Houses to learn more!

Since 2015, Bar None has operated a rideshare to connect people with rides to visit their friends and loved ones who are imprisoned in southern Manitoba. When prison visits were shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19, we lost a big chunk of our network of riders, volunteer drivers, and coordinators. We need volunteers to get the rideshare going again.

Gather up your friends, neighbours, and kids and come on down to Sunshine House to meet Bar None members and volunteers, eat snacks, and learn more about how the rideshare works and the many routes to getting involved.

If you can’t make it in person, you are always welcome to email us to learn more: barnone.wpg@gmail.com

Accessibility: The front entrance of Sunshine House has three concrete steps with no railing. A mobile ramp can be deployed. Two single stall all gender washrooms are accessed by a steep flight of stairs with a handrail. There are no grab bars in the washrooms.

COVID-19 precautions: Masks required (and provided), HEPA filters running, please do not attend if you feel unwell.


Are you interested in volunteering for the Bar None rideshare in a way otehr than driving and visiting? The rideshare needs new volunteer coordinators!

You are invited to attend an upcoming New Coordinator Training on the evening of Tuesday, March 21, 2023 (time and place TBA). Please RSVP to barnone.wpg@gmail.com and plan to bring a laptop computer. If you do not have a laptop computer to bring, please let us know in advance. Please send any questions you may have to barnone.wpg@gmail.com

What does coordinating the rideshare involve? Coordinators connect people who need rides with people who can give rides. This mainly involves using the coordinator cell phone to reply to people requesting rides; using the coordinator email account to forward requests to volunteer drivers; and entering ride information into the online rideshare database.

What is the time commitment? Coordinators typically work about an hour per day (depending on how many requests are coming in) for two weeks at a time. You are welcome to take as many or as few two-week shifts as you are able to.

Statement of support for the family of Soleiman Faqiri

Bar None (Winnipeg) stands in solidarity with Yusuf Faqiri and the family of Soleiman Faqiri as we demand real justice, accountability, and transparency in response to Soleiman’s brutal murder by police inside the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario on December 15, 2016. We condemn this completely unnecessary tragedy and the institutions that committed it and continue to commit it. Our hearts go out to Soleiman’s family, in your fight against a system built on racism, brutality, lies, misdirection, and secrecy. No family deserves to be treated the way your family has been treated. We stand with you and with all victims of police violence, for real justice and a world without policing.

Read the family’s statement

Support justice for Soli on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justiceforsoli/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Justice4Soli

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justiceforsoli/


Winnipeg folks, anti-Blackness it’s time to show up for our Black relatives.
If you’d like a drop off of poster making supplies, send us an email at barnone.wpg at gmail and we’ll do our best to drop some off before Friday. There are posts in the facebook event about other ways to support if you can’t be there in person. You can also follow @justice4blackliveswinnipeg on instagram for more information

Suicide Intervention for Weirdos, Freaks and Queers

Carly Boyce is coming to Winnipeg on November 10th and 11th to facilitate two workshops on suicide intervention titled “Suicide Intervention for Weirdos, Freaks and Queers”.

Registration is required

This event is being organized as a response to the devastating impact suicide has had on our communities. We recognize that there are institutional barriers to accessing mental health care and that many mainstream services are inaccessible for marginalized folks, or may do more harm than good, while we’re also at a higher risk of needing mental health supports. Carly’s workshop acknowledges that within marginalized communities we often take care of each other due to the lack of other options, and encourages us to find boundaried, genuine, sustainable ways to show up for each other.


This is an intro-level workshop for folks who want to build and share skills around supporting people who are suicidal. This is not a certification course- it’s an opportunity to gather and share what we know about supporting suicidal family, friends and community members, in a structured and facilitated way. We will discuss commonly held beliefs about suicide and suicide intervention, and how those impact folks seeking support. We will then name, describe, and practice some concrete skills and tools to use in conversations with folks struggling with suicidal feelings or impulses. There will not be any role playing, and participation in all activities is voluntary.

Some of the questions we will be exploring include: what are my beliefs about suicide, and how might those impact how I react to someone else feeling suicidal? How do I know if someone i care about is thinking about ending their life? What are the wrong things to say? Is suicidal thinking always an emergency? What if the emergency services that exist don’t feel like safe options for folks in my family or community? How do I know what my boundaries are, and how do I talk about them with someone in crisis?

Workshops are free, but registration is required by November 1, 2019. Each workshop has the capacity of 20 participants. All are welcome to register, although we are prioritizing registration of people who are structurally at a disadvantage getting this sort of care; people who are 2SBIPOC, disabled, queer, do sex work, use drugs, have had harmful experiences with psychiatric care, or face other barriers in their daily lives.



Sunday’s workshop: November 10th from 2- 5pm at R.A.Y. (126 Sherbrooke Street)

Monday’s workshops: November 11th from 2-5pm at DMSMCA (823 Ellice ave)

*This workshop date is open only to people who are two-spirited, transgender, nonbinary, agender, or anyone whose gender does not match with their assigned gender

November 11th from 6:30-9:30pm at DMSMCA (823 Ellice ave)
– evening workshop open to all

Childcare and snacks provided.

If there are further questions, feel free to email barnone.wpg@gmail.com

We’d like to thank the funders who made this event possible Eadha, West Broadway Community Organization, Women’s Health Clinic (WHC), Winnipeg Quakers Thank you so much for your support in making this event possible and free to all participants. Thanks also to Resource Assistance for Youth (RaY) and Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Association for donating space for the events.


Carly is a 35 year old white genderqueer femme. They are a facilitator, writer, and therapist, mostly doing work around death, sex, and money. Carly has been doing suicide prevention work informally for 20 years, and teaching about it for the last three, training over a thousand people in seven cities on Turtle Island. She likes bitter foods and yarn, and hate gelatinous things and capitalism. You can learn more about Carly at tinylantern.net

Bar None’s new Land Acknowlegdment

Bar None recently expanded the land acknowledgment on our About page to state that we are “based out of Treaty 1 territory, on the land of Anishinaabeg (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation” and that “we view our commitment to prison abolition as related to the dismantling of the ongoing occupation and theft of these lands.”

The new acknowledgment strives to recognize the many nations and peoples who have used the lands and waterways now known as Winnipeg, Manitoba, over centuries and millennia. Indigenous knowledge, resistance and self-determination not only make it possible for all of us to share this land today, but also mark the path forward out of colonization and dispossession.

Prisons and policing on these lands are a product of the colonial project that is Canada. Canada’s first prison, Kingston Penitentiary, was established by settlers more than 3 decades before Canada even existed. It was designed to subject each of its prisoners to an environment “so irksome and so terrible that during his afterlife he may dread nothing so much as a repetition of the punishment.” Ensuring that prisoners experience terror and dread until and beyond the grave: this was the intended treatment for all those who did not conform to English law, mandated by the Consolidation Acts following Confederation in 1867.

Imprisonment has always gone against the spirit of non-interference, consent, and reciprocity that Treaty 1 is all about. Anishinaabe negotiators insisted on this when they refused to discuss Treaty 1 until Canada released people imprisoned at Lower Fort Garry. Two years later, Canada created a mounted police force to impose colonial order across the West, through violent suppression of Indigenous resistance, sovereignty and laws.

Alongside the genocidal projects of Residential Schools and the Sixties Scoop, policing and legal systems have been complicit in the disappearance and murder of Indigenous women and girls. Yet Indigenous persons are also imprisoned in Canada at rates seven times that of the general population, and those rates are increasing. Manitoba, where ¾ of prisoners are Indigenous, has the second-highest rate of incarceration of Indigenous peoples among all provinces. There is absolutely no carceral solution to this gross travesty of justice. No prisons on stolen land!

Statement on the Report on Inquest and Recommendations related to the death of Errol Greene

An inquest conducted by Judge Heather Pullan into the 2016 death of 26-year-old Errol Greene in the Winnipeg Remand Centre has concluded that the facility’s medical unit is lacking oversight and requires a third-party review to ensure that medical operations are up to standard.

Greene died on May 1, 2016, after having two epileptic seizures and not being given his anti-seizure medication by staff at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. An inquest into his death was called December 6, 2016, following pressure from his family and community of supporters. Twenty-three days of hearings began in late 2017 and concluded in October 2018, with one lawyer representing Greene’s family and six government lawyers participating. Rochelle Pranteau, Errol’s spouse, along with her network of community supporters, were present in Court for nearly the entire inquest.

Judge Pullan released her inquest report on June 11, 2019, making several important findings, including that:

  • Greene was clear about his diagnosis and his needs with staff. When admitted to the Winnipeg Remand Centre, he clearly described his epilepsy, his prescription for anti-seizure medication Valproic Acid and the frequency at which he took the medication, and his recent seizure history. By making that finding, the judge rejected the attempt by Manitoba corrections to write Errol off as unreliable.
    (pg. 5, para. 2)
  • Errol was repeatedly restrained after having seizures. When the paramedics arrived and Errol didn’t have a pulse, the correctional officers initially refused to remove the restraints. The epilepsy expert who testified explained that the fact he was restrained could have contributed to his death. (pg. 16, para. 60)

As a result of finding multiple issues and significant challenges with the medical unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre, Judge Pullan recommended “an independent, third party agency with no relationship with Manitoba corrections, with a mandate to recommend change in all operational and clinical areas, to perform a full and comprehensive review of the medical unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.” This was part of one of the recommendations proposed by Rochelle Pranteau.

This recommendation and the evidence supporting it (see pg. 160, para. 708) is crucial: it shows that the judge had serious concerns about multiple critical issues in health care delivery at the Remand Centre. These issues included: physician availability and accessibility; deficiencies in nurse training; nurse recruitment and retention; nurse staffing levels; quality of medical charts; nurse access to patient information; medical staff performance reviews; and bed usage in the medical unit.

Judge Pullan’s role was to determine the circumstances of Errol’s death and make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future. However, the inquest she conducted had no real power to hold individuals responsible, and Manitoba Corrections is not obligated to take action upon any of her recommendations. It has been difficult for Errol’s family to place faith in a process designed by the very system that failed him and ultimately cost him his life. Attempts to consider systemic racism as a factor in Errol’s death were repeatedly objected to and blocked from consideration—although it is hard to imagine that it played no part. Still, this process was the only way for Errol’s family to seek even this limited form of accountability and demand answers from the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Judge Pullan made a total of 11 recommendations, all of which address the issues raised by Rochelle Pranteau at the Inquest—issues around training, ensuring that epilepsy experts are involved in policy-making and training, ensuring inmates can be properly identified, and ensuring better access to medical treatment.

The Judge strongly criticized Manitoba corrections for not having external accreditation for the medical unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. She explained:

“The medical unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre is not accredited. It is not clear from the evidence why this is the case. If the focus on healthcare delivery in an institution is on quality and excellence, surely being held to an objective standard, assessed externally, is the best means by which excellence can be achieved and maintained.” (pg. 156, para. 687)

The Judge also criticized Manitoba’s claim that accreditation would be too expensive and labour-intensive. She explained:

“I appreciate that bringing the medical unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre up to accreditation standard may be resource and labour intensive. That would only be the case should the current operations of the medical unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre fall far short of standards required. If that is the case, it enhances the need for accreditation.” (pg. 157-58, para. 694, emphasis added)

Pranteau would like to receive an apology and recognition of their family’s deep loss. She hopes that Manitoba Corrections takes these recommendations seriously and that no one else needlessly suffers this way – “I never want another family to go through what we had to”. With the Inquest now concluded, Pranteau will be proceeding with a civil claim for damages against Manitoba Corrections on behalf of herself and her family.