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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April 2015 Updates

Ah, Happy Sunday!

We just wanted to let everyone know about our next couple of events coming up –
 
tgijp stilettoTGIJP Stiletto Release Party!
Saturday, April 18 5-11pm
Omni Oakland Commons (4799 Shattuck Ave)

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!

Monday, April 20 6-8:30pm
St James Infirmary (1372 Mission St in SF)
We’ll be hosted by TGIJP for our next workshop! There will be a few similarities from our last workshop, but we’ll be focusing a little less time on exploring all the ins and outs of the PIC in order to have more time to spend envisioning alternatives. We’ll bring some snacks, and invite you to as well!
In this workshop, we will look at what the prison industrial complex is, the ways LGBTQ+ people are policed, and what we mean when we say abolition. Through presentation, activities, and discussion, we will break down “crime” versus “harm,” what we really need to feel safe, and how we can envision alternatives to prisons in order to create a more just world. We strongly welcome folks who have been incarcerated as well as those who wish to work in solidarity (workshop facilitators have not been incarcerated and will make space for people to share personal experiences). We will also draw on materials from Critical Resistance, Black & Pink, and Captive Genders. The workshop is 100% free to the public but we will be asking for donations to give back to Critical Resistance & TGI Justice Project (TGIJP). We hope this workshop will motivate folks to take action against the policing and incarceration of LGBTQ community, become committed to dismantling the prison industrial complex, and possibly join us at our monthly LGBTQ+ Prisoner Letterwriting Nights or weekly TGIJP legal mail nights.
Sunday, April 26 3-5pm
Wicked Grounds Cafe (289 8th St in SF)

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:

Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM-8335 mumia
301 Morea Rd
SCI Mahanoy
Frackville, PA 17932

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.

A few other things!
We are about to have the last meeting of this round of our study group (thanks so much to everyone who participated and to Lauren & Charlie for organizing), and will be recruiting free word folks soon to join the next round of our study group. We will be matching each free world participant to an incarcerated participant for the duration of the group. We already have recruited our incarcerated participants.  More details soon, and we will start in the late summer/fall!
We will be tabling at SF Pride this year! Be in touch if you want to volunteer with us.
There is a March/vigil today at 3pm in Emeryville for Yuvette Henderson, continuing to demand accountability from EPD and Home Depot.

Tuesday at 12pm there is a rally at SF City Hall as part of a day of resistance – April 14th is A NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION.

April 17 is Palestinian Prisoners Day, and there will be a roundtable discussion. The ReVisions art exhibit and round table discussion draws connections between community struggles and cultures of resistance to challenge state violence, policing and prisons.
April 27 is the Quest for Democracy Day– a day of grassroots legislative visits at the California State Capitol led by formerly incarcerated people, supported by Their Families, Friends, Allies & Comrades.
April 29 – Training on meeting people where they’re at – This training will teach participants how to be conscious of the experiences and conditions incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people face, in order to improve participants’ advocacy.
May 7 – Mariposa & the Saint – Join CCWP for a performance and a conversation about the shocking conditions in California’s women’s prisons and what can be done to change them.
Oct 16-18 – 10 year anniversary celebration and conference for Black & Pink – if your penpals are getting out this year, please put them in touch with us, because they are invited to join this weekend and we will help them get travel stipends to get to Boston!

Thanks to everyone who joined last night’s letterwriting night in support of Marissa Alexander and Standing Our Ground Week!

We had at least 20 folks come through the event, raised $68 that we just sent to Marissa, wrote 9 cards and letters to send her, 3 one-time cards to B&P folks and started 6 new penpal relationships!

If you want to offer further support to Marissa, please check out the freemarissanow.com site.

Also this fact sheet about Marissa’s case fills in some of the holes from our discussion last night: Click here.

See you in August in SF, and then back in the East Bay in September. Details soon!

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.

March 2014 Letterwriting Night

This month, in honor of International Women’s Day / Women’s History Month we want to reflect on the particular challenges faced by queer & trans women in the criminal justice system. We’ll also be lifting up the legacy of queer and trans women leadership in the prison abolition movement.

BECOME A PEN-PAL OR WRITE A ONE-TIME CARD

No matter which way you choose to go, this is a simple way to brighten someone’s day in prison. Prisons are very lonely, isolating, and disconnected places so any sort of bridge, supportive human contact from the outside world is a powerful interruption & is greatly appreciated.

So come hang out with us!

Thursday, March 20, 2014
6-8pm
Jump’n Java Coffeehouse 6606 Shattuck Ave. Oakland, CA 94609

As always, we’ll have some basic supplies, but feel free to bring pens, markers, paper, envelopes, watercolors, pencils and stamps. Please do NOT bring any stickers, glues, glitters or adhesives. 
towards a world without prisons

Flying Over Walls

End of January Updates!

We have been kicking off 2014 with a lot of getting things going again!   We had a great January Letterwriting night in South Berkeley at the Starry Plough – sending a few cards and making 4 new penpal matches! … Continue reading

Letterwriting Night this Thursday!

Prison is a f**ed up place to be. And queer/trans communities are disproportionately criminalized. And making a real life connection based in friendship, support and solidarity with someone behind bars is one of the most important ways to fight the prison and criminalization systems, which are *designed* to isolate folks from their families and communities.

I know it’s short notice, but we’re trying to get monthly letterwriting nights going again by exploring new venues for the next few months.

We will be having our January letter writing night this Thursday 1/9/14 from 6-7:30 at the Starry Plough in South Berkeley. (here’s the facebook event link)

Please stop by anytime to pick up your letter, write a letter, pick out a new penpal, bring a friend, share an idea or have a bite!!

Call out to join a Queer/Abolition Study Group

Dear Community,

Please help us spread the word – we are putting out a call and forming a Queer/Abolition Bay Area Study Group.

It will likely look like a group of 5-10 folks who are invested in deepening their critical and intersectional understanding of the prison industrial complex and prison abolition frameworks as they relate to queer/trans bodies and identities.

We will meet one Sunday afternoon/evening a month for a few hours (likely on 1st Sundays, except around the holidays – but this is negotiable) from about September through January (alternating meeting in east Bay and SF living rooms). We’ll hopefully do it dinner or potluck style and keep it casual. In our first meeting, or prior to it, we will collectively create a structure around readings/films/lectures that we want to use for our discussions and everyone will have a chance to propose material and/or co-facilitate a discussion group. We ask for a 5-month commitment, and we can decide in January if we’d like to keep meeting.

This study group will be held in conjunction with prisoner letterwriting times – an hour prior to every study group will be open for anyone in the community that would like to connect to a queer/trans prisoner penpal. We will hold orientations for new folks at this time and wrap up prior to the study group starting. Study group members would be welcome to come early to join letterwriting times, but not required.

If you are interested in joining or learning more, please contact flyingoverwalls@gmail.com by August 25-ish. Let us know: what interests you about this group, any potential readings you would like to suggest (articles, blogs, book excerpts, videos) and whether one Sunday evening a month would work for your schedule (and, if not, what days of the week/month would work for you).
Please forward out to others.

In Solidarity,

Beja & Charlie

prisons will not protect youqueer injusticecaptive genders

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

image004

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.