In 2019, we be hosting 2 events every month:
Every 1st Thursday from 6-8pm
Every 3rd Monday from 6-8pm
In 2019, we be hosting 2 events every month:
Every 1st Thursday from 6-8pm
Every 3rd Monday from 6-8pm
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.
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.
Tues, Sep 26 The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, A Workshop
Hello SF Bay Area B&P family! Thanks to all who joined us in May. Lots of beautiful new faces and we got plenty of mail processed, despite some slow internet. We hope to see you in June and July! Our … Continue reading
Monday, Sept 19
1727 Telegraph Ave in Oakland
Please join us for our September monthly letterwriting meetup!!
Letterwriting is one way we can help our incarcerated LGBTQ+ family remember they are an important part of our community, that they are not forgotten, and that we are still fighting for them!!
You can write a one-time letter, find a new ongoing penpal, and learn about the many ways we, and others, are fighting to tear down prison walls.
Food and drink available for purchase at the bar – please support this amazing venue that supports our communities!
21+ (Under 21 folks, please join us in SF on opposite months, when we meet at Wicked Grounds cafe)
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:
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.
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!
Ah, Happy Sunday!
TGIJP has published their next issue of the newsletter Stiletto! It is being sent in to 1,800 people, most of whom are TGI, inside of prisons, jails and detention centers along with distributed to our recurring donors and movement allies. For this round, they made Stiletto bigger than ever with articles by members inside and movement allies outside. But now they need to cover the cost of production and distribution, so they’re throwing a huge party. A bunch of Flying Over Walls folks will be there volunteering and supporting, so come on through!
Join us for our next Monthly Letter writing Night! This month we want to highlight our solidarity with long distance revolutionary, Mumia Abu-Jamal who is currently in a Medical Crisis.
Showing our support is critical at this time as Mumia doesn’t have access to internet and unless told, he has no idea that people are mobilizing on his behalf. He once credited his ability to survive Death Row was because he knew he was loved. May he never forget that.
This is a chance to learn, connect, support, shatter stereotypes, and break down the walls of the prison industrial complex through direct solidarity. Even if you can’t attend please send Mumia a letter of support:
As the SF Bay Area chapter of Black & Pink, our focus is to connect the non-incarcerated LGBTQ+ folks who participate in our events to B&P members in Northern California prisons. We have all the writing and card supplies, provide addresses and info of folks to write to, provide a po box for letters back to you, and offer an orientation to new members at every letter writing night. We’re also here to offer support and answer questions. If you’re not ready for an ongoing commitment, you can still come to send a one-time card, learn more about the process and the PIC, and learn more about local organizing.
Black & Pink invites you to participate in our annual Multi-City Winter Holiday Card-Making Party for LGBTQ+ People in Prison! Organizing a card-making party in your town is easy and a ton of fun – Here’s how: Step 1: register … Continue reading
Miguel, a gay activist, artist, and migrant farmworker who has lived in the U.S. for 22 years, is currently living with HIV, Hepatitis C, and has fought cancer currently being monitored by doctors. He is detained in the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, WA, where it took about three months before he was able to see outside specialists regarding his various medical conditions despite his frequent requests to see a doctor. Due to his desperation, he was driven to attempt suicide in the first few weeks of his detention. Even though Miguel’s condition is unique and requires special medical care, NWDC has refused to release him on humanitarian grounds, asserting that they are equipped to handle someone with his medical problems. Miguel is asking for our help to pressure the ICE officers who have the authority to grant his release.
Please call the Tacoma ICE office and ask them to grant the immediate humanitarian release of Miguel Angel Armenta Olabarria! (A# 076-343-950). Call ICE Officers Bryan Wilcox at 253-779-6080 and Nathalie Asher at 206-835-0058.
Miguel Angel Armenta Olabarria! (A# 076-343-950) is currently living with HIV, Hepatitis C, and has fought cancer currently being monitored by doctors. and attempted suicide. It took NWDC about three months to begin giving Miguel the proper medical care he requires, which was only possible by reaching out to specialists outside of NWDC. Miguel is in no way a threat to community safety. Since his return to the United States in 2004, he has dedicated himself to LGBT and HIV issues and who has volunteer countless times to helping less fortunate children. As a member of __[your group/organization]_ I am asking you to immediately grant him humanitarian release while he awaits the decision on his asylum. Thank you.
After you call, please forward this email and please spread the word!!
Can you come to Miguel’s asylum hearing on October 30th at 1 PM in Tacoma? Please RSVP to Alex at email@example.com.
P.S. You can watch the lastest videos of Miguel sharing his experience as one of the leaders of the spring 2014 hunger strike in the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA, and his birthday wish here http://youtu.be/4E5G3th10zs and here http://youtu.be/ZNl_XarVt4U
Flying Over Walls stands in solidarity with Marissa Alexander and the Standing Our Ground Week, a celebration of exercising our civil and human dignity rights. Hundreds of national members and organizations collaborating with Free Marissa Now will attend week-long festivities in Jacksonville from Friday, July 25, 2014 until Friday, August 1, 2014.
Please join us in Oakland this Wednesday, as we discuss her case, send postcards, and raise money to send to the organizations offering her direct support.
So many are already in support of her and we cannot possibly speak more eloquently, so we have included statements of solidarity below:
Below is a list of powerful statements sent by individuals and organizations who stand in solidarity with Marissa Alexander and demand her freedom. Send your statement to firstname.lastname@example.org!
There are times when one woman represents all. Today it is Marissa Alexander who represents those millions of women who every day face continued violence from a brutal husband or partner, who seek desperately for ways to save their children and themselves, who do not want violence in their lives but must do something to defend themselves and their families. For the sake of all of us, the state of Florida must honor her appeal and set Marissa Alexander free.
– Suzanne Pharr, anti-violence and racial justice community organizer and strategist, political educator, trainer, speaker, and writer
Especially in light of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin, we must mobilize to end the injustice of the criminal legal system and it’s targeting of Black women and men. The lack of protection for those who are victimized and the unchallenged systemic violence in both of these cases is a call to action. The movement to end domestic violence must include a demand for Marissa Alexander’s freedom from prison.
– Beth E. Richie, veteran black feminist anti-violence activist and scholar, and author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation
Marissa Alexander has suffered a profound injustice, one that makes a mockery of the criminal justice system in Florida. George Zimmerman – who had a history of violence – was allowed to walk free after “standing his ground” and killing an innocent, unarmed black teenager. By contrast, Marissa Alexander, an African American mother from Jacksonville, Florida, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot in a desperate attempt to halt an attack by her abusive husband. Alexander had no prior arrests, was licensed to carry a gun, and had a restraining order against her husband. And unlike George Zimmerman, she harmed no one. Her husband wasn’t even injured. She simply fired a warning shot to try to protect herself and deter an attack by her husband. Yet despite the restraining order she had obtained and the history of domestic violence, Marissa was denied a self-defense plea under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Her twenty-year sentence shocks the conscience, and speaks volumes about the extent to which racism and sexism have warped Florida’s justice system. The time is overdue to end Jim and Jane Crow justice in Florida. Marissa Alexander should be set free now.
– Michelle Alexander, author of the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Instead of protecting women in our communities, particularly from domestic violence, women are subjected to unjust policies that result in more barriers to their safety and well-being, as well as that of their families. Mandatory arrest policies and deportation programs like Secure Communities do not recognize the intersectional realities that women of color and immigrant women face. These policies and programs often do more harm than good in terms of protecting survivors of domestic violence, who are simultaneously overpoliced and underprotected. Women of color are more likely to be arrested or detained themselves for acts of self-defense that are interpreted from a viewpoint of stereotypes and seen as aggression.
Therefore, it is vital that we call attention to the plight of Marissa Alexander as she awaits her new trail. We call on our partners, our allies, and our communities to be vocal and visible in supporting Marissa, and joining the call for the State of Florida to drop the charges against her. We call for the development of transformative community-based responses to violence as alternatives to current criminal systems that continue to harm our communities. We urge you to join us and mobilize towards the vision of a community free from all forms of violence.
– API Chaya, anti-domestic violence organization in Seattle that serves API and South Asian survivors; full statement here
The treatment of Marissa Alexander is a consequence of the growing crisis of prisons and policing in the US as well as a product of anti-black racism and sexism which drives individuals and institutions to punish black women when they defend themselves from violence. Her case is one of many that shows us how black women and other marginalized people are especially likely to be blamed and criminalized while trying to navigate and survive the conditions of violence in their lives. We call all members of anti-violence, reproductive justice, and anti-police/prison movements and our allies to also support the call to Free Marissa Alexander!
– INCITE! Women of Color & Trans People of Color Against Violence; full statement here
Women of all races who fight back against abuse find little sympathy from police, courts, or media. The Battered Woman Syndrome defense, which has been successfully used in court to justify why a woman killed or took action against an abuser, is often denied to Black women. The racist and sexist double standard exists at every level of U.S. society. Radical Women demands the immediate release and pardon of Marissa Alexander and an end to race and sex discrimination in the criminal justice system. In addition, Radical Women calls for massive increases in funding for jobs, aid to families, and shelters and services for everyone fleeing domestic violence regardless of their sexual orientation or immigration status.
– Radical Women; full statement here
As much as the system has tried to break her, we know Marissa stands unwavering. Like so many survivors, she is tenacious in spirit. She is made of courage and conviction. We know she has not lost hope and has not given up. We have not and will not give up either. We will remain steadfast in our fight for Marissa until justice is served and she rightfully returns where she belongs… to her home, her children, her family, and her community.
– Miami Workers Center/Sisterhood of Survivors; full statement here