The Prison Experience

Brunette River 6: (left to right) Zain Haq, Janette McIntosh, Catherine Hembling,
Ruth Walmsley, Tim Takaro, Bill Winder. Photo by Cynthia Lee. 

The Brunette River Six are six climate activists who breached the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) project injunction and were arrested at the Brunette River TMX construction site in the fall and winter of 2021. This document describes our experience with the arrest, the court and custody, and what we learned about the justice system. It also builds on the experience of previous arrestees who kindly shared their experience with us. We hope it will serve those who may be arrested at other climate and environmental protests in BC: Fairy Creek, XR's protests, Indigenous land defenders, and others. See our reasons for risking arrest and jail (PDF).

Ruth Walmsley's Guide to the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women (PDF) collects the experiences of her and her sister inmates, Catherine Hembling and Janette McIntosh, during their stay at Alouette in February 2022. 

William Offley's Guide to North Fraser Pretrial Centre (PDF) documents his pre-COVID 2019 experience. Bill Winder and Zain Haq annotated William Offley's text with their stay in February 2022. 

Others have preceded us on the same path of arrest, court and custody:

Although we are speaking almost exclusively about breaches due to the TMX injunction, some of our remarks may apply generally. Obviously, we are not lawyers: You must confirm any legal matter with your lawyer.

It is also important to note that our experiences in custody, and to some extent our court experiences, were affected to different degrees by COVID restrictions.

These webpages are compiled in a single document, the Protester's Guide to Arrests, Court and Custody in BC (PDF).  You can also find out more information at Protector's Resource page.