Support Mumia!

Call now to demand freedom & medical care for Mumia!

Cheat Sheet to calling Prison & State Officials

Often when we call in, prison and state officials have taken their lines off the hook. Know that every single call matters, even when they don’t pick up. Here are three numbers that usually work; please focus on calling:

John Wetzel, PA Secretary of Corrections: (717) 728-4109
Governor Tom Wolf: (717) 787-2500
SCI Mahanoy:  (570) 773-2158,  then dial zero

Wetzel’s number will go to voicemail. Wolf’s number will usually be answered. Mahanoy, extension 0, will usually be answered. We’re asking everyone to call these numbers repeatedly for 15 minutes per day.

  • If you get voicemail, leave a message.
  • If answered, say as much as you can before they end the call. Please call that same number and do it again. Our experience is that after calling the same number multiple times, whomever answers the phone will eventually talk to you, if only to try to persuade you to stop calling. This is your opportunity to fully state your concern and demands for freedom and lifesaving medical care.

Mumia’s life is on the line. Your calls, letters, and organizing are what could literally help pull him through this crisis.

Please support Mumia’s access to medical and legal care by helping us raise over $40,000! 

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Upcoming events and updates!

A Few Upcoming Community Events and Actions in June!

 

6/11 = tonight!: Passage & Place Letterwriting Night! We won’t be having a B&P letterwriting night this month, so please consider supporting the Passage & Place letterwriting night this Wednesday, June 11, 7-9pm at Alley Cat Books (3036 24th St, SF). They’ll be sending letters to the 100 incarcerated queer/trans folks who contributed to their anthology.

 

By 6/13: Stop Jail Spending! In the battle over whether to allot up to $500 million to building jails, Senator Hancock said “If there are no alternatives to incarceration, there will be no alternative but incarceration!” Call your legislator!

 

6/14: Support From Outside the Walls – Training on Advocating for Incarcerated People. Organized by the NLG, as part of their conference, this training will happen Saturday, June 14 at 3:45pm at the Woman’s Building in SF. It will focus on practical skills development for activists, legal workers, and lawyers to understand the nitty gritty methods and best practices for supporting and advocating for people inside prisons.

 

By 6/17Please submit a statement opposing the proposed CDCr regulations on “obscene” language. We encourage everyone to send a statement individually and/or sign the petition. These regulations are a blatant attempt at censorship across prison walls and are another aspect of the attempted retaliation against the hunger strikes.

 

6/25: Bay Area Anti-Prison Happy Hour! Join CURB members, allies, friends and other anti-prison activists at our upcoming anti-prison happy hour mixer.  Meet, share stories from these past exciting months, hang out and affirm our ongoing fight to end the caging of our communities! Wednesday, June 25th from 6-8pm @ SomaR Bar (1727 Telegraph Ave, Oakland). RSVP here.

 

6/27: Bustin’ Out 2014! Party Against the Prison Industrial Complex!  Join the annual Trans March after party and TGI Justice Project fundraiser at El Rio! Get there early, cause the line gets long!

 

Now until 6/28: Stop the Prison Party! If you haven’t heard yet, a darker cloud than usual will hang over Pride this year. Several promoters are banding together to throw a prison-themed party. This party disrespects the real suffering of incarcerated people, especially since our LGBTQ+ communities have historically been (and continue to be) the targets of police and state violence, are disproportionately criminalized and incarcerated and face higher percentages of violence and rape once in prison. The decision feels especially insensitive given that three of the SF Pride grand marshals, Chelsea Manning, Jewlyes Gutierres, and Miss Major are trans women who have been directly affected by the Prison Industrial Complex. See local press coverage or our recent blog to read more about it. Then, please sign this petition in opposition and sign onto our ThunderClap campaign to spread the word.

Decriminalize Queer Youth

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Summer is just around the corner and youth across the country are looking forward to 3 months of freedom. Unfortunately, not all youth will be celebrating their freedom this summer. For a disproportionate number of gay and transgender youth who have been pipelined into the juvenile justice system, no such freedom is coming.  That’s why we are putting out a call in support of the 2014 Global Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth.

In recent years, schools have been increasingly relying on law enforcement to manage school discipline issues, creating a criminalizing link between the school and juvenile justice systems known as the school-to-prison pipeline. Gay, transgender, and gender nonconforming youth are disproportionately funneled into the school-to-prison pipeline and are over-represented in the juvenile justice system. According to the FIRE Initiative at the Center for American Progress, approximately 300,000 gay and transgender youth are arrested and/or detained each year, of which more than 60 percent are black or Latino.  So while gay and transgender youth represent just 5-7% of the nation’s overall youth population, they comprise 13-15% of those currently in the juvenile justice system and 40% of the homeless youth population. A shocking 39% of homeless gay and transgender youth report being involved in the juvenile justice system at some level according to the Fire Initiative.

Preston Mitchum and Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, in their articleBeyond Bullying, report that “as with the racial disparities in school suspensions and expulsions, these higher rates of punishment do not correlate to higher rates of misbehavior among gay and transgender youth. What the research suggests is that gay and transgender youth actually face harsher sanctions by school administrators even when committing similar offenses.”

Take, for instance, the local case of Jewlyes Gutierrez, a 16-year-old transgender student at Hercules High School in the SF Bay Area, who faced battery charges after standing up to her bullies. Gone are the days of a phone call to the parents and in-school efforts to remedy these situations. The D.A. initially reported he had no choice but to press charges, despite the fact that a precedent for this had not been set until it was a transgender teen of color in question. As reported inThe Daily News, a huge force of community resistance swelled and the outcry led to the charges against Jewlyes being dropped after completion of a conflict resolution process. Unfortunately, this is not the case for so many other targeted youth.

As a chapter ofBlack & Pink, a national organization focused on building support and solidarity with LGBTQ prisoners, we are specifically interested in looking closely at the ways that marginalized bodies and lifestyles are stigmatized, surveilled and policed as well as how to resist, respond and build resilience within our communities. That’s why we’re participating in second annual Global Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth, an event developed by the grassroots group,Save The Kids from Incarceration. Our commitment is to host a workshop for our community on Thursday, May 29th in San Francisco entitled, “Caging Deviance: An Introduction to the PIC and Queer Resistance.” Our goal is to support participants in exploring the underlying framework of the prison industrial complex while giving a historical analysis of the policing and incarceration of LGBTQ people.

Criminalization and mass incarceration of LGBT youth, youth in poverty and youth of color is not the solution; another world is possible. Please support the future of our youth by joining the Global Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth – discuss this issue with family and friends, bring it up in your classrooms, support queer and POC youth organizations, uproot and replace the oppressive stereotypes we have been taught about who does and doesn’t deserve to be criminalized and demand an end to the school-to-prison pipeline.

 

Sources:

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2014/02/27/83604/infographic-schools-are-failing-lgbt-youth-and-funneling-them-into-prison/
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/report/2014/02/27/84179/beyond-bullying/
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/charges-dropped-transgender-california-teen-bullied-report-article-1.1783780
http://savethekidsgroup.org/
http://www.blackandpink.org/

 

If you cross-post, please include: Flying Over Walls is a Queer/Trans Prisoner Solidarity Project in the SF Bay Area, currently working in collaboration with Black & Pink. To find out more about our group, which hosts prisoner letterwriting nights, political education workshops and study groups, focused on the damaging effects of criminalization as it relates to queer/trans experiences and through a queer/trans lens, look us up at https://flyingoverwalls.wordpress.com

Stop retaliation in the Corcoran SHU

From our friends at PHSS & CURB:

Please check out this Emergency Response Alert about human rights violations by prison officials against prisoners in the Corcoran SHU.  And take the suggested actions:  email, write or call the prison officials and CDCr to protest.

Demand the end to destructive and retaliatory cell searches.

7/31 Day of Solidarity with CA Prison Hunger Strikers

Flying Over Walls has added our name to the list of organizations that support and endorse the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers. We do this as an act of solidarity with all prisoners and survivors/victims of state violence and to stand in opposition to the structural racism of the prison industry. As queer and trans folk, we are members of a community that is constantly targeted by systemic violence and overrepresented in prisons. As part of our endorsement, we are sharing this announcement about an upcoming way for all of us to show support and solidarity. Please join us in making a call to Gov. Brown and encouraging him and the CDCR to negotiate.

Hunger for Justice

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On Wednesday July 31st, people around the world will fast and take other action in solidarity with the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers. Join family members of hunger strikers along with James Cromwell, Angela Davis, Mike Farrell, Danny Glover, Elliott Gould, Chris Hedges, Alice Walker, and Cornel West. We fast knowing that the criminalization that killed Trayvon Martin, and the criminalization that justifies the torture of prisoners in solitary confinement are one and the same.

We fast in solidarity with the demands of the hunger strikers. And we fast to get justice for Trayvon and for people of every gender, race and religion who have been killed by state and vigilante violence. Support efforts everywhere for Justice for Trayvon Martin.

“We have taken up this hunger strike and work stoppage… not only to improve our own conditions but also an act of solidarity with all prisoners and oppressed people around the world.”   -Hunger Strikers in the Short Corridor Collective at Pelican Bay State Prison SHU

Join us to help win the 5 demands of the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers:
1. End Long-Term Solitary Confinement
2. Abolish the Debriefing Policy, and Modify Gang Status Criteria
3. End Group Punishment & Administrative Abuse
4. Provide Adequate and Nutritious Food
5. Expand and Provide Constructive Programming

On July 30th the families and loved ones of prisoners on hunger strike are visiting Sacramento to demand that Governor Brown pressure the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to enter into negotiations with the hunger strikers.

Call California Governor Jerry Brown and let him know you’re fasting in solidarity with the strikers, ask him to meet the strikers demands: (916) 445-2841, (510) 289-0336, (510) 628-0202.

Cities and countries participating thus far: England, Germany, the US (Jackson Mississippi, Los Angeles, Oakland CA, Philadelphia PA).

“Hunger for Justice” convened by members of: Alexandria House; Alliance for Global Justice; Anti-Racist Action-LA; Brandywine Peace Community; California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement; California Coalition for Women Prisoners; California Prisoner Solidarity Coalition; Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB); Critical Resistance; DCFS/DHS-Give Us Back Our Children; Ecosocialist Horizons, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; FACTS Education Fund; Fair Chance Project; Flying Over Walls; Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement/ Nat’l; Freedom Archives; Global Women’s Strike; Hank Jones – San Francisco 8; Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; LACAN; LA Laborfest; Lives Worth Saving Gang Intervention; Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater LA; National Hood Alliance; Ordinary People’s Society/ Alabama; Palestinian Youth Movement; Payday men’s network; Peter Laarman/Progressive Christians Uniting and Justice not Jails; Prodigal Child Project, Alabama; Project South; Queer Strike; Rev. Louis Logan; Ruckus Society, Scientific Soul Sessions; Sin Barras; Theresa Shoatz – Maroon Philly Committee; Transgender, Gender-Variant, Intersex Justice; US PROStitutes Collective; White Noise Collective; Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike; Youth Justice Coalition.

Endorse, support, and/or join the “Hunger for Justice”
Or contact: hunger4justice2013@gmail.com

WE ARE ALL PRISONERS OF INJUSTICE!

An update on TGIJP!!!

TGI Justice Project moved to Oakland! & Mail nights starting up again!

TGIJP is an organization (of transgender people—inside and outside of prison— creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom) that our group has been supporting and loving on for the last year and a half. They are just settling in to their new home in East Oakland with Tracy House (Transgender Resources and Advocacy Center for Youth), an exciting program of AIDS Project East Bay. We are excited for them, because we know they are thrilled with this new partnership and the opportunities it presents.

Their new address is:

1201 46th Avenue
Oakland, CA 94601
info@tgijp.org

AAANNNDDD…

Janetta just called to say that they are going to start up mail nights starting next week. For the next few months, her plan is to open the space every Tuesday evening for volunteers who want to come and help respond to resource-related mail from prisoners. Hope to see you soon!

Here is what they say about mail nights:

As a result of our activism we have become a known resource to people inside prisons and thus receive a significant number of letters from prisoners regarding a variety of issues. Although our agency is focused on providing services to transgender, gender variant/gender-queer, and intersex people in California prisons, prisoners with normative genders from all over the country write us on a daily basis.

We answer all prisoner letters. Prisoners who actively work on their own cases and also help other prisoners inside sometimes request TGIJP to conduct research for them. Volunteers are able to gain experience advocating for prisoners by providing them with information and encouraging self-advocacy. In addition to working under the supervision of an attorney, we have also developed several form letters that are used and can be tailored to answer prisoner letters.

Occupy the Prisons Action Photos

Originally posted here on 2/20/2012.

Our banner drop on the way to San Quentin:

Our newest banner:

Banner:  Pro-Fabulous, Anti-Capitalist, Queer & Feminist Bloc

For more photos, visit our flickr page!

California Hunger Strike representatives imprisoned in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison, who launched the historic hunger strike in July, have written a statement of solidarity which Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity read at the demonstration outside San Quentin:

“Corporate Amerika has coalesced its efforts around the exploitation of human beings, while using the political apparatus of the U.S. government, federal, state and local to institute policies that set in motion the creation of a corporate police state, which has targeted the poor as a surplus for incarceration and exploitation.

Those of us housed in solitary confinement throughout California and Amerika, support “Occupy Wall Street” and understand the necessity to resist against corporate greed.  We will no longer willingly accept the subjugation, oppression and exploitation of humanity.

Banks and the prison industrial complex are corporate empires that prey on the souls of humanity. Therefore we officially join you all in Struggle. One Love, One Struggle!”