The battle may be lost, but the war is not over as far as Dianne Dowling is concerned.
About 18 months ago, Dowling and the group Save Our Prison Farms embarked on a national campaign to keep Canada’s six prison farms from being phased out.
That campaign, which was backed by writer Margaret Atwood, culminated with two days of major protests at Frontenac Institution in Kingston, Ontario, when hundreds of demonstrators showed up to protest the removal of 300 cattle from the century-old prison farm.
A peaceful blockade by protesters prevented cattle trucks from entering the institution on Sunday, Aug. 8. But after 24 arrests and a massive police presence, the cattle were successfully shipped out the following day and sent for auction.
Aside from an abattoir at Pittsburgh Institution in Kingston which will continue operating, Canada’s prison farms are now all but closed. The government said the farms were losing $4 million annually, and plans to replace them with programs it says are more effective.