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N.L. prison protest coming to Confederation Building

The Canadian Cancer Society and Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation will light the Confederation Building yellow in recognition of Cancer Awareness Month. On Monday at 7 p.m. at the East Block main lobby, there will be a ceremony in honour or in memory of someone you love.
A group of people are bringing a protest about the Newfoundland and Labrador justice system and conditions in the province's prisons. - Telegram file

Advocates will gather on Oct. 5 to demand change to province’s justice system

When Samantha Piercey died at the women’s prison in Clarenville, family friend Patricia Day felt she had to do something.

Day says she is good friends with Piercy’s mother, Lisa Piercey, who has understandably been going through a hard time since her daughter’s death earlier this year.

“Anybody would be, losing a child, but the way her daughter died makes it even worse,” said Day.

“We get the same old thing, the same speeches he gives on TV. I don’t know if that would be very beneficial at all.”
— Patricia Day about asking Justice Minister Andrew Parsons to speak at rally

Samantha Piercey, 28, died on May 26 while in custody, awaiting trial. She left behind two young children.

The conversation surrounding the state of the province’s prisons is coming to the steps of Confederation Building in St. John’s and the Richard Squires Building in Corner Brook.

Speakers scheduled so far include lawyer and advocate Mark Gruchy, NDP Leader Gerry Rogers and Senator Kim Pate.

“We’re hoping this rally will bring a lot of this out in the public. It’s the only thing that seems to work. Government doesn’t seem to pay attention to letters,” said Day.

Day says she’s not sure if she’s going to invite Justice Minister Andrew Parsons to speak at the rally.

“I’ve considered asking him to speak, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea,” she said.

“We get the same old thing, the same speeches he gives on TV. I don’t know if that would be very beneficial at all.”

Day invites anyone with concerns over the state of the province’s prisons to come out and voice their concerns on Oct 5.

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