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Tag: San Quentin State Prison

Ronnie Goodman 1960-2020

Another star shines in the night sky. Ronnie Goodman passed away in early August this year. He died on the street, just after his 60th birthday, on the same corner where he’d been living for more than a year. We stood around waiting for the medical examiner to come and take him. The cops had put a sheet over him.

Ronnie Goodman, artist with ‘a visual voice’ on homelessness, 1960-2020

After a lifetime of creating art while homeless or incarcerated, on Aug. 7, Ronnie Lamont Goodman was found dead in his tent outside the Redstone Building in San Francisco’s Mission District, where he intermittently stayed and stored his drawings and illustrations. He was 60.

The situation at San Quentin: Give prisoners access to phones NOW!

San Quentin Warden Ron Broomfield announced the prison is cancelling all phone calls, in the name of protecting everyone inside from spread of the virus. Maybe it is more to keep any information about what is really going on there out of the hands of families, friends and the MEDIA!

Legal and medical experts urge SF courts to restore ‘zero bail’...

San Francisco – San Francisco County jail has seen a 40 percent increase in positive COVID-19 cases since June 18, 2020. This surge prompted a broad coalition of prominent entities to send a joint letter to the San Francisco Superior Court, urging it “in the strongest possible terms” to restore the zero bail policy in San Francisco to help reduce the jail population during the ongoing pandemic.

Gov. Newsom made a cynical gamble on prisons during the pandemic...

Gavin Newsom seems more interested in protecting a future run for president than the health and safety of the state’s most vulnerable populations, whether they be undocumented residents or prisoners in our state’s sprawling gulag. Being “tough on crime” while preserving a generally liberal reputation is the cynical balancing act.

It’s inevitable to catch this virus; I’m just counting down the...

I am a Harlem Native who is incarcerated, and nearing the end of my prison sentence – three more years. However, within this pandemic, I sit in a pressure cooker, Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Westchester County, where the coronavirus infection rates are among the highest. Staff and inmates are infected.

Coronavirus: The invisible enemy behind enemy lines

There are 2.3 million people incarcerated in America. I am one of them.

A plea to Governor Newsom: Don’t abandon elderly incarcerated people to...

It’s important we avoid using “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify abandoning thousands of elderly people, which endangers us all. And, it is no longer acceptable to put white folks’ fears ahead of the safety of Black and Latinx people.

Death penalty on the verge of extinction

Prisons are an extension of the slave trade, and the death penalty is just a more evolved way of lynching Black folks. With ACA(12), we can vote the death penalty into extinction.

Kevin Cooper: My thoughts on Gov. Brown’s executive order

I write this missive to you so that you will hear from me about how I feel and what I think going forward in this fight for my life. Like all of you, I am happy that we have finally “won” something from some entity in this state. But after learning what exactly outgoing Gov. Brown wrote in that executive order I am not as excited as I was at first, or should be.

Psychiatrist Mariposa McCall on mentally ill in solitary: ‘Change is possible!’

I am calling on colleagues and professional organizations to recognize publicly and use our influence to bring an end to prolonged solitary confinement in American jails, prisons and detention centers. Not only is there is a great need for solidarity among individuals and organizations to uphold human rights and ethical principles but also to reduce reprisals against any whistleblower. Considering that 95 percent of those incarcerated will be released back to the community, bringing with them the negative health consequences of their confinement, the conditions and traumas they face while incarcerated should concern us all.

Wanda’s Picks for November 2018

Congratulations to Brothers in Pen for a fantastic book party and reading Oct. 20 at San Quentin State Prison. The work, whether fiction or poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir or dramatic lit, is stellar and the huge panel afterward, where the writers shared their creative process and the importance of art in their lives, was equally valuable and enlightening. That such beauty is possible behind bars is testament to the power of art to light darkness.

Few prisoners strike at San Quentin

Few prisoners, if any, at San Quentin State Prison participated in what was reported to be the largest prisoner-led strike in United States history. There are many reasons for these prisoners’ lack of involvement. Most of the men imprisoned at San Quentin were unaware of the strike and the groups involved with it like Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and the Bay Area National Prison Strike Solidarity Committee.

Premier San Francisco artist Ronnie Goodman arrested, charges dropped, but artwork...

Ronnie Goodman, a well known San Francisco artist who is experiencing homelessness, had his artwork confiscated by the City, and was then arrested and spent a night in jail. He was charged with a state anti-lodging law known as 647e, which is probably unconstitutional, and felony vandalism, which was then dropped for lack of evidence. Ronnie is a very gifted, creative individual who has struggled with many challenging issues, including poverty, homelessness, racism, hunger and injustice.

Prisoner firefighters poisoned by Montecito mudslide – no forewarning

Incarcerated firefighters save bureaucrats in California millions of dollars every year by performing the various odd jobs that nobody else wants to do. On Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, two crews from Oak Glen Conservation Camp were sent to clean up the mudslides that wreaked havoc in the affluent neighborhoods of Montecito. Inmate crews were not forewarned of any hazards posed by the mud as they were deployed for one week.

Benefits for the Bay View: Performances of ‘Solitary Man’ Feb. 10...

Don’t miss the highly acclaimed play, ‘Solitary Man: My Visit to Pelican Bay State Prison,’ performed by Charlie Hinton and Fred Johnson. Fred and Charlie launched the new two-person version in September 2017 and return now, on Feb. 10 and 14, for two performances as benefits for the SF Bay View newspaper: Saturday, Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m., at ANSWER, 2969 Mission St., San Francisco and Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 p.m., at Freedom Archives, 518 Valencia, San Francisco – Show the Bay View some love on Valentine’s Day!

Wanda’s Picks for February 2018

Celebrate Dr. Espanola Jackson Day on her birthday, Feb. 9, with the San Francisco Bayview Hunters Point community. We take this opportunity to honor the memory of Espanola as a community leader during Black History Month. For details of the event, which will be held in the Alex Pitcher Room at the Southeast Community Center, go to the Facebook and register your RSVP online with Eventbrite. All are welcome. Spread the word.

The Death Penalty makes redemption impossible

The public, with its hunger for revenge, does not want to hear about personal acts of atonement by people who have been sentenced for a crime. Acts of atonement by the condemned are usually viewed as a ploy to save his or her own life – not as a genuine act of redemption. People on death row are deemed the lowest of the low. Many people believe death-row prisoners cannot be “reformed” because they are “unformed” as human beings.

Wanda’s Picks for January 2018

Congrats to new San Francisco Mayor London Breed! Congrats to TheatreFirst for “Participants,” the kind of collaborative theatre project which should be the norm, not the exception. Make sure you check out the finale for the TF 2017-18 season: “Between Us” and “Just One Day” beginning Feb. 18. Listen to two engaging conversations with playwrights and actors about “Participants”: Dezi Soléy and Cheri L. Miller, Skyler Cooper, Nick Nanna Mwaluko, Carl Lumbly.

The National Jericho Movement to Free All Political Prisoners

The Jericho Movement to Free All Political Prisoners was started by Safiyah Bukhari (d. 2003), Herman Ferguson (d. 2014) and Jalil Abdulmuntaqim, who is a Black Panther political prisoner incarcerated for over 44 years. Jericho has maintained a steady course for 20 years. Beginning with its famous march on Washington in 1998, Jericho has continued to campaign to free freedom fighters, community activists and revolutionaries primarily from movements of the 1960s and ‘70s.