Trans march, letter writing, and much more!

Dear FoW community,
 
Happy June! We’re excited to be tabling at SF Trans March on Friday June 28th – be sure to find us at Dolores Park before the march (2-6PM) to decorate a postcard and send some love to our trans Black&Pink inside members. Afterwards, we’ll be heading to the official afterparty and annual fundraiser for TGIJP at El Rio, Bustin Out 14: Party Against the Prison Industrial Complex. Hope to see you there. ✨
🌈
We’ve also got SF and Oakland letter-writing coming up! Details and community events below.
Monthly Letter-Writing
 
San Francisco:
Join us THIS THURSDAY for letter writing in San Francisco! Every month on the 1st Thursday, we’ll have birthday cards to our LGBTQ members in nearby Norcal prisons AND penpal info, so join us for whatever your pleasure is (and invite your friends)! We will have info on folks to send letters to, all the supplies, and ways to get more involved in the movement to abolish prisons. Letter-writing is one incredible way we have to overcome the isolation intended by the PIC. This is an important way to show solidarity with our incarcerated LGBTQ+ and HIV+ community members.
 
Thursday, June 6th, 6-8PM
Wicked Grounds Cafe
289 8th St, SF. Near Civic Center Bart. Wheelchair accessible. 
 
More about Wicked Grounds: Some food and beverages are available for purchase from Wicked Grounds which offers coffee, community, and kink in an inviting and all-inclusive space. 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 sensitivities. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
 
 
Oakland:
Please join us for our regularly scheduled letter-writing night at Farley’s Cafe. Since we are covering lots of monthly birthdays at our SF event, we will send birthday cards to incarcerated folks who have not specified their birth date, and also work on mail processing. 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!).
 
Monday, June 17th, 6-8pm
Farley’s Cafe
33 Grand Ave in Oakland near 19th St Bart. Wheelchair accessible, though outlets for laptops are on the 2nd floor only.
 
More about Farley’s: Beverages and some snacks are available for purchase from the cafe. 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 sensitivities. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
 
Community Events 
Thursday June 13th Join the SFAC for a screening of  Criminal Queers (2015, 63 min, dirs. Eric Stanley and Chris Vargas) followed by a Q&A with Eric Stanley. “Criminal Queers visualizes a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex and toward a world without walls. Remembering that prison breaks are both a theoretical and material practice of freedom, this film imagines what spaces might be opened up if crowbars, wigs, and metal files become tools for transformation.”
Friday June 28th After Trans march, follow us to El Rio and Virgil’s for the official after-party and annual TGIJP fundraiser, Bustin Out 14: Part against the PIC. Hope to see you there!
Thursday July 4th SF LA Queer Connection is hosting the 5th annual Queer as Fourth Radical Resistance Fundraiser at El Rio. “We are fundraising for MyRem, a local nonprofit whose mission is to assist in precluding eviction and foreclosure for individuals, families, and small businesses. This is not only a great opportunity to give back, but to be amongst other queers who believe that America isn’t worth celebrating until we are all living equitably. Come be amongst radical community in resistance with us!!”
Saturday July 13th The Green Life at San Quentin “invites the communities most impacted by the intersections of incarceration, re-entry, social identity and place, including youth of color and their families” to the Reentry Leadership Forum. This reentry community building leadership forum will bring together incarceral system impacted leaders, young people, and community partners. This forum will utilize and explore best practices in transformative and restorative justice to engage with intersectional challenges of race, gender, ageism, exceptional abilities, equity, and the need for community based solutions.
Our friends at TGIJP have mail night every Tuesday this month from 4-8pm at 234 Eddy St. More info here.
Exciting News!
We are honored to announce that Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), an LGBTQI Bar Association, has awarded Flying Over Walls with their annual Community Service Award! 
 
Our partner collective, ABO Comix, publishes the work of incarcerated queer and trans people with profits going back to them and their families. They currently have two comic anthologies written and drawn by LGBTQ+ prisoners as well as zines, artwork and merch. You can support the artists and buy copies for yourself or your penpals at www.abocomix.com
 
California Coalition of Women Prisoners (CCWP) announced that Governor Brown granted 73 more commutations for people with Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences. Brown also granted 58 commutations for people with other sentences and 143 pardons. From their announcement: “Thank you to all who have supported the DROP LWOP campaign in so many ways! Let’s build the momentum in 2019 with Governor-elect Newsom to win commutations for all 5,000+ people with LWOP sentences and end LWOP and all forms of extreme sentencing!” Read more here.
***
Sign up anytime here for a penpal.
 
Have you subscribed to the Black & Pink newsletter yet?
 
We are actively seeking new folks to get involved to help grow our Leadership Circle in order to help make sure this work continues. Email if you want to get involved and we’ll make a time to connect.
 
Prison visits are ongoing! We regularly visit San Quentin and Mule Creek, and are expanding our visitation program to other prisons in the future. Let us know if you’d like to be involved!

May 2019 Updates

We hope to see some of you tomorrow night for letter-writing in San Francisco, or later in the month in Oakland! Details below, plus some community events happening this month.
🌹🌱🌻🌿🌸🌳🏵🍀
Monthly Letter-Writing
 
San Francisco:
Join us TOMORROW for letter writing in San Francisco! Every month on the 1st Thursday, we’ll have birthday cards to our LGBTQ members in nearby Norcal prisons AND penpal info, so join us for whatever your pleasure is (and invite your friends)! We will have info on folks to send letters to, all the supplies, and ways to get more involved in the movement to abolish prisons. Letter-writing is one incredible way we have to overcome the isolation intended by the PIC. This is an important way to show solidarity with our incarcerated LGBTQ+ and HIV+ community members.
 
Thursday, May 2nd, 6-8PM
Wicked Grounds Cafe
289 8th St, SF. Near Civic Center Bart. Wheelchair accessible. 
 
More about Wicked Grounds: Some food and beverages are available for purchase from Wicked Grounds which offers coffee, community, and kink in an inviting and all-inclusive space. 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 sensitivities. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
 
 
Oakland:
Please join us for our regularly scheduled letter-writing night at Farley’s Cafe. Since we are covering lots of monthly birthdays at our SF event, we will send birthday cards to incarcerated folks who have not specified their birth date, and also work on mail processing. 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!).
 
Monday, May 20th, 6-8pm
Farley’s Cafe
33 Grand Ave in Oakland near 19th St Bart. Wheelchair accessible, though outlets for laptops are on the 2nd floor only.
 
More about Farley’s: Beverages and some snacks are available for purchase from the cafe. 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 sensitivities. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
 
Community Events 
Saturday May 11 SURJ Oakland is hosting Quest for Democracy Day Lobby Visit Workshop in preparation for a statewide lobby day on May 20, when SURJ will lobby alongside Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and All Of Us Or None Of Us to support pending legislation that will support those impacted by incarceration. “Participants will learn how SURJ shows up to lobby in accountability with our partner organizations and the ways that policy combined with grassroots movement can be used as a tool for collective liberation.”
Wednesday May 15 No New SF Jail, alongside the Budget Justice Coalition, are mobilizing people for a budget hearing to divest from policing and jails, at SF City Hall.
Saturday May 18 Join SURJ Bay Area’s Queer and Trans Committee for a backyard garden party! This event is a fundraiser for TGIJP.
Sunday May 19 Kehilla Synagogue and First Congressional Church of Oakland are hosting the third of a series of workshops imagining and creating alternatives to relying on policing.
Our friends at TGIJP have mail night every Tuesday this month from 4-8pm at 234 Eddy St. More info here.
Exciting News!
We are honored to announce that Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), an LGBTQI Bar Association, has awarded Flying Over Walls with their annual Community Service Award! 
 
Our partner collective, ABO Comix, publishes the work of incarcerated queer and trans people with profits going back to them and their families. They currently have two comic anthologies written and drawn by LGBTQ+ prisoners as well as zines, artwork and merch. You can support the artists and buy copies for yourself or your penpals at www.abocomix.com
 
California Coalition of Women Prisoners (CCWP) announced that Governor Brown granted 73 more commutations for people with Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences. Brown also granted 58 commutations for people with other sentences and 143 pardons. From their announcement: “Thank you to all who have supported the DROP LWOP campaign in so many ways! Let’s build the momentum in 2019 with Governor-elect Newsom to win commutations for all 5,000+ people with LWOP sentences and end LWOP and all forms of extreme sentencing!” Read more here.
***
Sign up anytime here for a penpal.
 
Have you subscribed to the Black & Pink newsletter yet?
 
We are actively seeking new folks to get involved to help grow our Leadership Circle in order to help make sure this work continues. Email if you want to get involved and we’ll make a time to connect.
 
Prison visits are ongoing! We regularly visit San Quentin and Mule Creek, and are expanding our visitation program to other prisons in the future. Let us know if you’d like to be involved!

March and April 2019 Updates

Spring is upon us and we’ve got some exciting events to share with you, coming up at the end of this month + next month! Plus save the dates for April letter-writing in San Francisco and Oakland. Details below <33.
🌹🌱🌻🌿🌸🌳🏵🍀
 
Community Events 
 
March 27th: Join Justice Now for “Forgiveness: The Pathway to Healing,” Women’s Reentry Conference, in solidarity  for national women’s month. From the event page: “Hear the success  stories of returning  citizens who  have  entered back  into their  communities  and  taking charge of their  lives.  come  be  encouraged  and  inspired by  a  message from  Gloria  Lockhart, author  of  “Unmasking  A Woman’s Journey” and upcoming book “Forgiveness.”” The event is from 6-7:30, at the St. Columba Church in Oakland.
April 27th: We’ll be at Survivor Alliance’s 2nd annual REDEFINED: A Day of Healing, talking about prison abolition and letter-writing as a form of being in solidarity with incarcerated LGBTQ+ and HIV+ community members. From the event page: “At this one day retreat, we are cultivating a community for allies and survivors to come together and heal. REDEFINED brings together resources, workshops, arts, and more, dedicated to promoting healing through unity and creativity. Anyone who has been impacted by trauma, directly or indirectly, is encouraged to attend.” Join for part or all of the event, 10AM-6AM at Humanist Hall in Oakland!
Our friends at TGIJP have mail night every Tuesday this month from 4-8pm at 234 Eddy St. More info here.
Monthly Letter-Writing
 
San Francisco:
Join us early next month for letter writing in San Francisco! Every month on the 1st Thursday, we’ll have birthday cards to our LGBTQ members in nearby Norcal prisons AND penpal info, so join us for whatever your pleasure is (and invite your friends)! We will have info on folks to send letters to, all the supplies, and ways to get more involved in the movement to abolish prisons. Letter-writing is one incredible way we have to overcome the isolation intended by the PIC. This is an important way to show solidarity with our incarcerated LGBTQ+ and HIV+ community members.
 
Thursday, April 4th, 6-8PM
Wicked Grounds Cafe
289 8th St, SF. Near Civic Center Bart. Wheelchair accessible. 
 
More about Wicked Grounds: Some food and beverages are available for purchase from Wicked Grounds which offers coffee, community, and kink in an inviting and all-inclusive space. 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 sensitivities. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
 
 
Oakland:
Please join us for our regularly scheduled letter-writing night at Farley’s Cafe. Since we are covering lots of monthly birthdays at our SF event, we will send birthday cards to incarcerated folks who have not specified their birth date, and also work on mail processing. 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!).
 
Monday, April 15th, 6-8pm
Farley’s Cafe
33 Grand Ave in Oakland near 19th St Bart. Wheelchair accessible, though outlets for laptops are on the 2nd floor only.
 
More about Farley’s: Beverages and some snacks are available for purchase from the cafe. 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 sensitivities. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
Exciting News!
We are honored to announce that Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), an LGBTQI Bar Association, has awarded Flying Over Walls with their annual Community Service Award! 
 
Our sister collective, ABO Comix, publishes the work of incarcerated queer and trans people with profits going back to them and their families. They currently have two comic anthologies written and drawn by LGBTQ+ prisoners as well as zines, artwork and merch. You can support the artists and buy copies for yourself or your penpals at www.abocomix.com
 
California Coalition of Women Prisoners (CCWP) announced that Governor Brown granted 73 more commutations for people with Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences. Brown also granted 58 commutations for people with other sentences and 143 pardons. From their announcement: “Thank you to all who have supported the DROP LWOP campaign in so many ways! Let’s build the momentum in 2019 with Governor-elect Newsom to win commutations for all 5,000+ people with LWOP sentences and end LWOP and all forms of extreme sentencing!” Read more here.
***
Sign up anytime here for a penpal.
 
Have you subscribed to the Black & Pink newsletter yet?
 
We are actively seeking new folks to get involved to help grow our Leadership Circle in order to help make sure this work continues. Email if you want to get involved and we’ll make a time to connect.
 
Prison visits are ongoing! We regularly visit San Quentin and Mule Creek, and are expanding our visitation program to other prisons in the future. Let us know if you’d like to be involved!

February 2019 Updates

Dear FoW community,
 
Come out tonight for letter-writing in SF, or join us for letter-writing or one of the many community events happening later this month! Details below 💖
 
Monthly Letter-Writing
 
San Francisco:
Join us TONIGHT for letter writing in San Francisco! Every month on the 1st Thursday, we’ll have birthday cards to our LGBTQ members in nearby Norcal prisons AND penpal info, so join us for whatever your pleasure is (and invite your friends)! We will have info on folks to send letters to, all the supplies, and ways to get more involved in the movement to abolish prisons. Letter-writing is one incredible way we have to overcome the isolation intended by the PIC. This is an important way to show solidarity with our incarcerated LGBTQ+ and HIV+ community members.
 
Thursday, February 7th, 6-8PM
Wicked Grounds Cafe
289 8th St, SF. Near Civic Center Bart. Wheelchair accessible. 
 
More about Wicked Grounds: Some food and beverages are available for purchase from Wicked Grounds which offers coffee, community, and kink in an inviting and all-inclusive space. 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 sensitivities. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
 
Oakland:
Please join us for our regularly scheduled letter-writing night at Farley’s Cafe. Since we are covering lots of monthly birthdays at our SF event, we will send birthday cards to incarcerated folks who have not specified their birth date, and also work on mail processing. 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!).
 
Monday, February 18th, 6-8pm
Farley’s Cafe
33 Grand Ave in Oakland near 19th St Bart. Wheelchair accessible, though outlets for laptops are on the 2nd floor only.
 
More about Farley’s: Beverages and some snacks are available for purchase from the cafe. 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 sensitivities. More info: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/
Community Events 
 
Thursday February 14: Come out on valentines day for Love Letters for Liberation: “Join GABRIELA Oakland on this Valentines Day for 1 Billion Rising to rise against all forms of violence against women. Create letters of love and support for women, trans, and gender non-conforming prisoners as we resist systemic violence against women. 10% of drink sales will directly support incarcerated women.”
 
Saturday February 23: We’ll be at Berkeley FemFest with ABO Comix! Join us for a letter writing workshop to queer and trans prisoners at 11am, and for the rest of day that will include a zine fest & performances by local acoustic bands, poets, and educational speakers–all showcasing femme/queer/trans educators and community members.
 
Online Course, February-March (6 dates): Health Justice Commons is putting on the online course, Understanding and Transforming the Medical Industrial Complex! Topics include: an overview of the Medical Industrial Complex (MIC), Medical Apartheid, basic principles of Disability Justice, Intersex Rights + gender justice issues within the MIC and more! Sliding scale for the course is $150-275, with work exchange and partial scholarships available, NOTAFLOF. You can enroll for the course here
 
Exciting News!
We are honored to announce that Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), an LGBTQI Bar Association, has awarded Flying Over Walls with their annual Community Service Award! 
 
Our sister collective, ABO Comix, publishes the work of incarcerated queer and trans people with profits going back to them and their families. They currently have two comic anthologies written and drawn by LGBTQ+ prisoners as well as zines, artwork and merch. You can support the artists and buy copies for yourself or your penpals at www.abocomix.com
 
California Coalition of Women Prisoners (CCWP) announced that Governor Brown granted 73 more commutations for people with Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences. Brown also granted 58 commutations for people with other sentences and 143 pardons. From their announcement: “Thank you to all who have supported the DROP LWOP campaign in so many ways! Let’s build the momentum in 2019 with Governor-elect Newsom to win commutations for all 5,000+ people with LWOP sentences and end LWOP and all forms of extreme sentencing!” Read more here.
***
Sign up anytime here for a penpal.
 
Have you subscribed to the Black & Pink newsletter yet?
 
We are actively seeking new folks to get involved to help grow our Leadership Circle in order to help make sure this work continues. Email if you want to get involved and we’ll make a time to connect.
 
Prison visits are ongoing! We regularly visit San Quentin and Mule Creek, and are expanding our visitation program to other prisons in the future. Let us know if you’d like to be involved!
Our friends at TGIJP have mail night every Tuesday this month from 4-8pm at 234 Eddy St. More info here.

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.

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