by Ann Hansen
Between the Lines
When Ann Hansen was arrested in 1983 along with the four other members of the radical anarchist group known as the Squamish Five, her long-time commitment to prison abolition suddenly became much more personal. Now, she could see firsthand the brutal effects of imprisonment on real women's lives.
During more than thirty years in prison and on parole, the bonds and experiences Hansen shared with other imprisoned women only strengthened her resolve to fight the prison industrial complex. In Taking the Rap, she shares gripping stories of women caught in a system that treats them as disposable-poor women, racialized women, and Indigenous women, whose stories are both heartbreaking and enraging. Often serving time for minor offences due to mental health issues, abuse, and poverty, women prisoners are offered up as scapegoats by a society keen to find someone to punish for the problems we all have created.
"Ann Hansen's memoir combines a riveting sotry with a brilliant expose of the inner workings of the prison industrial complex. Charged with empathy, courage, and an anarchist passion for justice, Taking the Rap is a must-read for scholars, activists, and troublemakers." -Allan Antliff, director of the Anarchist Archive, University of Victoria
About the Author:
Ann Hansen is a Canadian anarchist and former member of Direct Action, a guerrilla organization famous for the 1982 bombing of a Litton Industries plant, which made components for American cruise missiles. She was sentenced to life in prison, but was released after eight years.