Letters to Jean in Jail

Please write your letter to Jean in the form on this page, and we will get the letters to Jean as soon as is possible

On June 30th, a group of seniors and water protectors, including Jean Swanson, blocked Kinder Morgan's gate to stop the building of the Trans Mountain pipeline. They took a stand to protect the future of this planet.

The court interpreted this action as criminal activity and sentenced them to seven days in jail. Jean and seven others started their sentence on August 15th. Read Jean's statement to the court here.

We are all heartbroken to think of Jean in jail and outraged by the decision of the court. We also know that civil disobedience can help stop the pipeline. As Jean said in her statement to the court:

“Why are the crown and the courts so scared of us ‘sinister seniors’ that they have to throw us in jail? Because they know that if we take a stand against injustice, we can win.”

Join us in sending Jean notes of love and solidarity for when she returns. We will get all the letters to Jean as soon as is possible.

    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-27 23:06:01 -0700
    Jean,

    Thank you for taking a strong stance for your right to believe and act. That law enforcement should manhandle someone like you speaks of the long way we have yet to go to have a fair justice system. And I guess we all know our law enforcement has a long way to go, but when people like yourself are at the receiving end of such treatment, the many others the dark forgotten others who have received such treatment as well, can lift their heads and believe again in themselves.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-20 12:43:06 -0700
    I pledge to you that I will work hard to ensure that the next cell you occupy will be the City council chamber. Thank you for your untiring efforts and sacrifice on behalf of sanity. I hope the grub is reasonable in there. Be well! - Rob ( some old guy who lives downtown :).
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-19 23:17:44 -0700
    Thanks you Jean for your continued efforts to stop the pipeline, and help those who need it. You are an inspiration to me and I hope I can find the same passion and heart in me to be more like you, to stand up to injustice and fight for what’s right. The world can be a dark place sometimes but people like you and others working towards the similar goals make this life worth living & worth fighting for. Looking forward to seeing you when you get out, and to helping on the campaign.

    Maxim
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-19 21:57:09 -0700
    Jean, many thanks for your courageous and principled actions. If the human race manages to overcome this crisis in some fashion (even partially), coming generations will always remember people like you and your co-defendants.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-19 08:03:15 -0700
    Hi Jean,


    I hope you’re doing ok in jail. Still can’t believe they sent you there for being a good citizen . . . what a backwards world we live in.


    Just wanted to echo what I’m sure so many have already told you. Many, many thanks for standing up for justice for me and for so many, and for fighting for a safe and clean environment while putting yourself in harms way. You are an inspiration to me, and amaze me with your fearlessness, kindness, generosity, and grace under these tough and unpleasant circumstances.


    Your statement in court was incredible – hope it spreads far and wide. Damn our system that is valuing corporate interests over people and the environment.


    Sending love and support, and may all the good karma you deserve for your courage and selflessness come back to you a million times over!


    hugs,

    kathy
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-18 12:56:13 -0700
    Really Respect your stand!

    Hang in there- Janis and Ken

    Four Sisters
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 22:54:21 -0700
    Thank you so much Jean for all you do and for your passion and determination! Take care as best as you can.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 21:40:54 -0700
    I just want to thank you for taking this stand. I fully support you, and admire your conviction. We must stop this pipeline and make the government answer to the people.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 20:21:33 -0700
    Hi Jean, saw Tessa and Tylee at the Hogans Alley

    modular housing info session on Wed. the day of your sentencing. I noticed they were asking very tough questions of the City. Your work goes on. Bill Weir.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 18:56:35 -0700
    Hi Jean, this is Leah from the data entry team. I’m sending you and the other seniors who are in jail for doing what is right lots of care and love. Thank you for standing up for our planet, for Indigenous rights and for the future for all of us. I smiled when I read your statement, which is so true, that sending you all to jail shows that we have power. You have reminded me time and again that we can fight for a more just world, that it’s a real possibility, not just a dream. Thanks for getting us closer to that possibility. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 15:03:52 -0700
    Thank you Jean for the courage on behalf of many, many people to stand up against the Kinder Morgan pipeline. With deep respect and love from me, my children and my grandchildren
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 14:02:54 -0700
    Thankyou Jean and everyone for the love and the tenacity! Sandy must be beaming his energy into these amazing acts of love! We will carry on with you!
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 09:04:00 -0700
    I am a senior, who has lived across the country. I live on the coast of the Atlantic ocean in N.S., where offshore drilling has just started, with no capping stack close by (approx 3 weeks away) A blow out will devastate this coast. Nowhere to put my body but you inspire me to use civil disobedience if I have opportunity. Thank you for standing up for the planet and the people on it! I lived in Vancouver for a dozen years and want to protect that coast too. Thank you for proving that we will stand up, we will not be deterred by bad law. Bravo sinister seniors!!!
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 08:23:54 -0700
    Dear Jean,


    I have followed, respected, and admired your activism ever since I met you in the End Legislated Poverty office back in the early 90s. I am so sorry that you have been arrested and jailed. It’s just not right. I wish I could come in and bust you and all the land protectors out of there!!! Thank you for your courage and perseverance after all these years. I honour you and work for change, always.


    All my love, Dana
    @BeMindful1234 tweeted link to Letters to Jean in Jail. 2018-08-17 07:13:05 -0700
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 07:12:48 -0700
    Thanks for standing up for us all. We love what you do and have donated to your campaign.


    In solidarity,
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 05:46:39 -0700
    thank you for standing for me

    I promise to stand for you


    Strength to the Peace-Seekers, Strength to Life

    Long Live Love
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 05:39:41 -0700
    Dear Jean,


    Thank you for protesting against the pipeline. Thank you for holding the lone for us all. I hope this is one of the last sacrifices people have to make to stop this wasteful and destructive project. Tis a shame people can deter a corporation but not present collective representatives of their interests like those running the Neo-liberal parties, especially when there are so much work to be done in constructive jobs like homes for ordinary people, as you will remember Harry calling us all, and green energy and local food.


    Much love and best wishes coming your way from Scotland, The Brave, to you, Brave and Braugh Jean.


    Gayle
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 00:57:53 -0700
    Thank you for putting yourself on the line to stand up for what’s right and to help protect our environment for future generations. It is shameful that civil disobedience has now become a criminal offence. What happened to freedom of speech? This is a sad day in Canada and it’s thanks to people like you who are willing to put principles and yourself on the line to defend what’s right.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-17 00:57:53 -0700
    Thank you for putting yourself on the line to stand up for what’s right and to help protect our environment for future generations. It is shameful that civil disobedience has now become a criminal offence. What happened to freedom of speech? This is a sad day in Canada and it’s thanks to people like you who are willing to put principles and yourself on the line to defend what’s right.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 22:28:44 -0700
    You are a courageous example of the right way to live. You have my vote. I look forward to a new sense of urgency and purpose about pressing issues with you in the captain’s chair.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 21:56:33 -0700
    There are really no words to capture the importance of your actions—or to commend you for sacrifices (jail time—my god!) in taking a necessary stand against all these injustices.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 20:32:11 -0700
    Dear Jean,


    Thinking lots about you and I am hoping that you are being treated with the respect and dignity that you deserve.


    Please accept my appreciation and applause for what you have done and no doubt will continue to do.


    Kind regards,


    Aidan D. Gregory
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 19:31:19 -0700
    Dear Jean,


    This is Dustin Cole. We met once at a VTU meeting shortly after Liam McClure and I cancelled my eviction notice through an arbitration with the RTB.


    Recently I have moved back to Alberta, my home province, because I’m fed up with the indignities of gentrification in Vancouver. I’m happy that I fought on behalf of, and with, the rest of the Belvedere Court residents. I firmly believe that the highest and best use assessment policy needs to be revised, with a rent freeze for starters, and ultimately the re-allocation of tax payer’s squandered billions towards affordable housing.


    It is my belief that the cost of housing in Vancouver is a human rights violation. Even people with well-paying jobs are complaining. You hear something negative about housing everyday. It would not be an over-reaction to bring this atrocious issue before the UN.


    When I heard you and your comrades were going to potentially do prison time, I did not know whether to laugh or cry. It has come to this? I thought. In a so-called democratic state?


    When I read your speech I was very proud of you for your fine eloquence, moral integrity, and great courage. Knowing that we had met and shook hands that one time, it made it that much more special. I look up to you, Jean. You are an inspiration and a beacon of hope in a dark-hearted world which seems bent on its own annihilation.


    Please accept my appreciation and applause for what you have done and no doubt will continue to do.


    Yours truly,

    Dustin Cole


    PS. A seven day stint in the clink is nothing for a warrior like you. The image of Jean Swanson manacled in a cell adds to your hardened reputation. Well done!
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 18:35:47 -0700
    Hi Jean. How’s jail? I hope it’s peachy. I spent some time in Orleans Parish Prison once for an unpaid Louisiana speeding ticket. I’m glad you brought thick socks – I lucked out and was wearing puffy basketball shoes when I got arrested, and the jail was overcrowded, so I had to use them as a pillow on the floor. I really lucked out! I hope at least you have a bed.


    Anyway, just a note to say how proud of you I am. You’re such an amazing person and such a fantastic role model. You really define the term “keepin’ it real” .


    I love you so much Jean. Stay warm. Can’t wait to help you win that council seat.


    Take care,

    Jeremy
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 18:00:26 -0700
    Dear Jean,


    This is Nick Jones, Socialist Alternative activist from Seattle. We met a while back during the founding conference of the VTU. Wishing you solidarity in this serious fight against this disastrous pipeline, that could irreparably damage the places we call home. Looking forward to more years of struggle alongside you.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 18:00:25 -0700
    Dear Jean,


    This is Nick Jones, Socialist Alternative activist from Seattle. We met a while back during the founding conference of the VTU. Wishing you solidarity in this serious fight against this disastrous pipeline, that could irreparably damage the places we call home. Looking forward to more years of struggle alongside you.
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 16:28:02 -0700
    Dear Jean, you truly are now in the tradition of Eugene Debs and as I labour today on a film set I read the speech that resulted in his imprisonment with an eye to our current struggle:


    “I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets. They may put those boys in jail — and some of the rest of us in jail — but they cannot put the Socialist movement in jail. Those prison bars separate their bodies from ours, but their souls are here this afternoon. They are simply paying the penalty that all men have paid in all the ages of history for standing erect, and for seeking to pave the way to better conditions for mankind.


    If it had not been for the men and women who, in the past, have had the moral courage to go to jail, we would still be in the jungles.





    Who appoints our federal judges? The people? In all the history of the country, the working class have never named a federal judge. There are 121 of these judges and every solitary one holds his position, his tenure, through the influence and power of corporate capital. The corporations and trusts dictate their appointment. And when they go to the bench, they go, not to serve, the people, but to serve the interests that place them and keep them where they are.





    The government is now operating its railroads for the more effective prosecution of the war. Private ownership has broken down utterly, and the government has had to come to the rescue. We have always said that the people ought to own the railroads and operate them for the benefit of the people. We advocated that twenty years ago. But the capitalists and their henchmen emphatically objected. “You have got to have brains to run the railroads,” they tauntingly retorted.


    Well, the other day McAdoo, the governor-general of the railroads under government operation; discharged all the high-salaried presidents and other supernumeraries. In other words, he fired the “brains” bodily and yet all the trains have been coming and going on schedule time.


    Have you noticed any change for the worse since the “brains” are gone? It is a brainless system now, being operated by “hands.” But a good deal more efficiently than it had been operated by so-called “brains” before. And this determines infallibly the quality of their vaunted, high-priced capitalist “brains.” It is the kind you can get at a reasonable figure at the marketplace.


    They have always given themselves credit for having superior brains and given this as the reason for the supremacy of their class. It is true that they have the brains that indicates the cunning of the fox, the wolf, but as for brains denoting real intelligence and the measure of intellectual capacity, they are the most woefully ignorant people on earth.


    Give me a hundred capitalists just as you find them here in Ohio and let me ask them a dozen simple questions about the history of their own country, and I will prove to you that they are as ignorant and unlettered as any you may find in the so-called lower class. They know little of history; they are strangers to science; they are ignorant of sociology and blind to art but they know how to exploit, how to gouge, how to rob, and do it with legal sanction.


    They always proceed legally for the reason that the class which has the power to rob upon a large scale has also the power to control the government and legalize their robbery."


    See you soon!
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 16:08:29 -0700
    hello!! i thank you so much for what you stand for and hope to one day meet you in person, i am appalled the court would sentence you and protesters to ANY jail time, much love and peace.

    for your comrade

    Mazal Neptune Xc (מַזָּל)
    commented on Letters to Jean in Jail 2018-08-16 15:32:52 -0700
    Hi jean! Thanks for being part of imagining a better world! I hope they let you bring your knitting into jail!

    Rooting for you from Saskatoon!

    Love,

    Katelyn