April 2018 Updates

Dear FoW community,
Join us for our monthly night of mail processing/data entry, birthday cards to our LGBTQ members in nearby Norcal prisons AND long-term penpal orientation and matching.

Next Monday, April 16th
6:30-8:30pm
Farley’s Cafe
33 Grand Ave in Oakland near 19th St Bart. Wheelchair accessible, though outlets for laptops are on the 2nd floor only.

Please join with or without a laptop – there is work for everyone! If you’d like, we’ll train you to respond to letters or to enter and update penpal request forms in our database. Getting these forms into our database helps get our inside folks matched to penpals, so this is an essential part of our work (and we have so much mail!). If you want to start a penpal relationship, we will also have info on folks to send letters to, all the supplies, and ways to get more involved in the movement to abolish prisons.

Food and beverages are available for purchase from the cafe. And please bring some dollars and change toward postage, if you can. Any money raised beyond the cost of supplies will be used to support both local & national Black & Pink projects.

While this space is open to the public and not scent-free, please avoid wearing scented products in order to support folks with chemical sensitivies. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
OTHER EXCITEMENT
Have you subscribed to the Black & Pink newsletter yet?
Save the date – we’ll be tabling again this year at SF Trans March and sending postcards to our members!
We are actively seeking new folks to get involved to help grow our Leadership Circle in order to help make this work happen more regularly. Email if you want to get involved and we’ll make a time to connect.

California Coalition of Women Prisoners (CCWP) is currently working on a campaign to end the use of Life Without Parole sentences as well as asking Governor Brown to commute all of the LWOP sentences to parole-eligible sentences. If you are a part of a social justice group, faith-based organization, or advocacy group, please sign on here to support the campaign and to learn more.

Last December we helped ABO Comix release a queer prisoners comix anthology – all written and drawn by folks on the inside with profits going back to them and Black & Pink. It’s just a few bucks to grab one for your penpal, and sliding scale for yourself. We have a long waiting list of incarcerated folks who would like to receive a copy, so if your budget allows a donation of $5.50, please help us get this amazing anthology in the hands of our loved ones behind bars: http://abocomix.bigcartel.com/product/abo-comix-copy-for-a-prisoner
Our friends at TGIJP have mail night every Tuesday this month from 4-8pm at 234 Eddy St. More info here.


We will be visiting Mule Creek State Prison on April 28th and scheduling more prison visits for 2018 to our B&P incarcerated members in Northern California. If you have a penpal and are interested in visiting them, request that they send you a visitation form and then send it in. Then let us know. If you are interested in visits with us but don’t have a penpal, we can match you to someone. We have visited Mule Creek State Prison, San Quentin and plan on returning to those as well as visiting California Medical Facility, CCWF, and possibly CSP-Sac or others.

2018 Letterwriting & Mail Processing Dates

Support Queer & Trans* Folks in Prison – Become a Pen-Pal. Join us monthly for mail processing, letterwriting, and sending birthday cards to our incarcerated LGBTQ+ and HIV+ Black & Pink members. Every 3rd Monday 6:30-8:30pm. 3/19, 4/16, 5/21, 6/18, 7/16, 8/20, 9/17, 10/15, 11/19 & 12/17. @ Farleys East – 33 Grand Ave Oakland, Near 19th St BART and wheelchair accessible. More info @ Flying Over Walls on FB.

More December Events

Y’all, we just can’t get enough. And wanted to let you know about a bunch of newly announced events happening in the next couple weeks in Oakland, Castro Valley and Albany. Scroll down to see about our 3rd and final holiday cards event of this year on Monday.
 

Friday, Dec 8 from 6:30-10pm
Smalltown December Gathering

Community event with comix and art from our incarcerated members (and others) for sale as well as t-shirts and other schwag. Poetry from: Lyrical Opposition and Music from: The Straight Ups. Check Website for more details: www.smalltownsociety.com

Location: 22222 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley, California 94546
Smalltown Society IN PARTNERSHIP W/ Brew Good Collective!

Contact info@smalltownsociety.com to reserve childcare
Saturday, Dec 9 starting at 11am

East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest

EBABZ Fest is the premier gathering for zinesters, independent publishers, comic book writers, and artists in the East Bay. Our friends from ABO Comix will be there selling the comix anthology they put together featuring Black & Pink members!
Location: Omni Commons 4799 Shattuck Ave in Oakland, CA
Sunday, Dec 10 from 3-7pm

8th Annual Mercado de Cambio/Tha Po’ Sto’ Art Market/Knowledge X

 
If we don’t sell out of comix, art and t-shirts before Sunday, then we’ll be here! It will be a whole day of fun – original art for sale, performances, poetry, hip hop, & knowledge on what our struggles, liberation, resistance and movement building can be and is. Co-sponsored by Kiss My Black Arts, Krip Hop Nation, The San Francisco Bayview Newspaper and POOR Magazine.

Monday, Dec 11 from 6-8pm

Join us in Oakland to finish the last of our holiday cards for this year! 
Location: IOD, corner of Hamilton & Harrison by Lake Merritt (Text 203-241-2039 for exact address!)
Access Notes: The house is up 14 stairs to the front door & low scent. Feel free to text Andrea with any other questions!
Please note: IOD is a mostly QTPOC house, please be respectful.

Sat, Dec 16 6-8pm
Queer Resistance Soiree

Our friends at the Bay Area Queer Anti-Fascist Network asked us to send this one out. Join them in celebrating a year of resistance. Happy Birthday Queer as Fuck and all who have been resisting fascism and white supremacy in 2017. Meet fellow queer resisters. Eat, Drink, Talk, Smash the Fash! Support your local lesbian-owned venue.

Come for the queer resistance mingling and stick around for a kick-ass line-up of queer bands Homobiles, Year of the Fist, Side Pony, Slapmatics.

Ivy Room is ADA compliant and bathrooms will be gender-neutral for this event. We cannot guarantee a scent-free venue, but please come no or very low-scent.

And.. As always..

Prison Visits & Prisoner Support

We are continuing to visit some of our incarcerated members. We’ll hopefully be heading to Mule Creek on Dec 17. More visits to come in 2018. If you have a penpal and are interested in visiting them, request that they send you a visitation form and then send it in. We can assist, if needed. We have visited Mule Creek State Prison, San Quentin and plan on returning to those as well as visiting CCWF, and possibly California Medical Facility and CSP-Sac.

We may be launching a call-in campaign soon to support access to appropriate care for one of our incarcerated leaders in San Quentin. Stay tuned!!

Leadership

We continue to meet monthly to build our free world leadership team and our collective capacity. Respond to this email if you are interested in getting involved with leadership!

Trans Remembrance.

Cross posted from Critical Resistance:

In honor of Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20th, this week we remember trans and gender nonconforming comrades taken from our communities, many by prisons, police, transphobic violence, or the systemic and deliberate abandonment, oppression, and denial of resources to trans people. Transgender Black women and other women of color are primary targets of the prison industrial complex (PIC), facing extreme rates of police violence, arrest for quality of life charges or broken windows policing, and subjection to additional violence, isolation, and disenfranchisement within the prison system. On a global scale, militarism and policing provide fuel for both imperialism and transphobia, prompting migrant rights organizations such as Mariposas Sin Fronteras to call for abolition of borders and an end to migrant imprisonment.

Trans Resilience.

State driven attacks on trans and gender nonconforming people have pushed communities to respond with campaigns that work towards abolitionist reforms, build power, and address life sustaining needs for people targeted by imprisonment and policing. This year, trans people formerly and currently imprisoned led the fight to end restrictions on changing your name while imprisoned in California.

Ten years ago, Critical Resistance proudly supported the groundbreaking Transforming Justice gathering that brought renewed power and momentum to trans abolitionist organizing, providing models of people most impacted by the PIC organizing and leading the movement. Organizations such as Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project in San Francisco, Sylvia Rivera Law Project in New York City, and Racial Justice Action Center in Atlanta center bold and strong trans visions for abolition. Trans abolitionist leaders like Miss Major and Janetta Johnson continue to teach us that our movement centered at the intersections of trans people of color liberation and abolition must by definition and design foster support, growth, strength, and loving struggle among each other and ourselves. Image: Micah Bazant

Trans Resistance.

Trans abolitionists have been at the forefront of moving a vision of abolition that works to dismantle the PIC and build transformative solutions to state violence, individual harm, and community abandonment while resisting liberal reforms. Trans activists, and in particular trans people of color, have boldly challenged liberalism within mainstream LGB(TQ) organizations (that often center white, middle class, heteronormative ideals) and dislodged part of the broader liberal agenda that reinforces the PIC. The words of Bassichis, Lee, and Spade in Captive Genders continue to ring true on the road to abolition.

“Struggling against trans imprisonment is one of many key places to radicalize queer and trans politics, expand anti-prison politics, and join in a larger movement for racial, economic, gender; and social justice to end all forms of militarization, criminalization, and warfare.”

As an organization that is devoted to dismantling the PIC, we salute the leadership of trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming abolitionists in our movements for liberation.

Towards trans liberation,
Critical Resistance

Name & Dignity Act for Incarcerated Trans People

On Sunday October 15, California Governor, Jerry Brown signed SB310, the Name & Dignity Act for Incarcerated Trans People! This means that for the first time in California history, a bill written by currently and formerly incarcerated trans people becomes law.

 

IN BRIEF: SB 310 establishes the right of a person imprisoned within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) or within a county jail to petition the court to obtain a name or gender change. The bill also requires CDCR and county jails to use the new name of a person who obtains a name change, and to only refer to the prior name as an alias. SB 310 will help ensure that transgender people are legally recognized for who they are while incarcerated, and it will increase the likelihood of their successful reentry into society upon release from custody. 

 

here is the official fact sheet and bill language​ where you can learn more. And below is the official press release. If you want to learn more or would be interested in running similar efforts in your state please reach out to Corel Feigin, Transgender Gendervariant Intersex Justice Project. coral@tgijp.org 
 
towards a world without prisons, 
FoW
 

Monday’s LGBTQ+ Prisoner Letterwriting + More

Please join us this Monday to fight hate and build love. We have new penpal orientation if you’re ready for the commitment as well as some mail to process and one time postcards to send in to our Queer & Trans members in San Quentin and RJ Donovan (down in San Diego).
We will also have our brand new “Queer Liberation” t-shirts for sale (currently sizes M-XXXL – more S and XS coming soon).
 
Monday, September 25  6:30-8:30pm
Somar Bar
1727 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA
Details Here (plus access info and pics of the t-shirts)
 
 
Save the Dates

Oct 7 Abolition 101 Workshop & Tabling at
Teachers for Social Justice Conference
Nov 5 Screening & Discussion Party of new video series about Abolition & the PIC put out by Critical Resistance
Nov 13 Black & Pink Annual Holiday Card Party at Somar
Nov 19 Breaking Headlines: The role of newspapers in organizing across prison walls panel with reps from The Abolitionist (Critical Resistance), The Fire Inside (CCWP) Black & Pink News (Black & Pink), and SF Bay/view
Dec. 2 & 3 (tentatively) ABO Comix Queer Prisoner Comix Anthology release party & B&P Holiday Card Decorating
Prison Visits
We are continuing to visit some of our incarcerated members. If you have a penpal and are interested in visiting them, request that they send you a visitation form and then send it in. We can assist, if needed. We have visited Mule Creek State Prison, San Quentin and plan on returning to those as well as visiting CCWF, and possibly California Medical Facility and CSP-Sac.
We’ll be going to MCSP this Sunday 9/24 and are planning trips to San Quentin & potentially MCSP in November. We are looking for a volunteer to send in a visitation form and to start corresponding with a specific member in SQ whom we want to visit. Please email if interested.
 
 
Leadership
 
We continue to meet monthly to build our leadership team and our collective capacity.
Respond to this email if you are interested in getting involved with leadership!

Tues, Sep 26 The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, A Workshop

Every Tuesday – our friends at TGIJP have mail night from 4-8pm at 234 Eddy St. More info here.