On December 24th, multiple ranges in unit 5 at the Central North Correctional Center (AKA Penetang) refused to go on lockdown. On one of these ranges (5F) Erik Lankin was held. During the holidays, it is common for prisoners to be on lockdown most of the time, because the guards are short-staffed. “Lockdown” refers to prisoners being locked into their cells, rather than being out on the range with about 20-30 other prisoners.
Between 12pm and 1pm, a lockdown was called over the PA, prisoners in multiple ranges refused to return to their cells. They demanded only to make phone calls to their families and friends on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Prisoners demanded to speak to a White Shirt (higher ranked officer). Three white shirt officers came onto range 5F to negotiate with the prisoners who refused to return to their cells. Through the windows, inmates on different ranges exchanged signs of solidarity. At 1:45, all guards including the white shirt officers left the range entirely. Shortly after, nearby ranges were released from lockdown. At that time, It was felt that they successfully broke a lockdown on the unit.
At roughly 2pm about 25 guards, probably all of the prison guards working, moved onto range 5A, forcing prisoners onto lockdown. One person on range 5A refused and was taken to the hole (solitary). When the guards arrived on range 5F, some prisoners continued to refuse lockdown until the guards promised that they would get out for phone calls throughout the holidays. In a tense moment, the guards gave their promise, and the prisoners returned to their cells.
Let this fearless collective rebellion inside a super-prison inspire us on the outside. Our comrades standing up for themselves can strengthen us to rise up against those who wish us to be imprisoned or silent.