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I encourage all men and women prisoners to continue to press onward with our Agreement to End Hostilities through all corridors of state and county facilities. We are fighting for human justice. We call on all citizens to get involved with social change now. We shall not allow even Gov. Brown to destroy our faith in humanity. The Prisoner Human Rights Movement shall stand as ONE clenched fist in solidarity against CDCr oppression.
The issue of “gender responsiveness” as an excuse to open more prisons has been rearing its ugly head lately with the expansion of CDCR’s supposed “reentry hubs” and “community based facilities,” totaling 4,090 new beds altogether. Yet one woman in the new Female Community Reentry Facility (FCRF) in McFarland recently called Justice Now, saying she feels like “they were sold a dream.”
In California, policy-driven sterilization programs have reared their ugly head once again. Women prisoners in the care of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) have been confronted with coerced sterilization, according to a report released last July by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Nearly 150 women prisoners were sterilized between 2005 and 2013 without the necessary state approvals.
Beverly Henry died. I just got the email today. The state of California owes women prisoners their lives back – imagine going into prison healthy and leaving with a terminal illness. This is the case for many of the women there. Beverly Henry told me to tell her story and I plan to begin right now. A warrior to the end, it was her voice that told women to stand up for their rights even perhaps especially behind bars.
As prisoners across the country prepare to strike, our hearts and thoughts are with them. As incarcerated women we know firsthand many of the abuses the strikers face on a daily basis – as well as many of the repercussions they may face in retaliation for the action against this abuse. As we stand in solidarity with striking prisoners, we ask you to stand in solidarity with us.
Wanda flew from the Bay Area on June 5 and landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two days later. She sends these commentaries on the rather rare occasions she has internet access. Enjoy! June 13 – I am in Gondar, Ethiopia, left Lalibela this morning. It was a short flight. It is entering the rainy season, so I walked into a storm. I didn’t have my coat and got drenched to the core.
The CDCr are masters at pulling the wool over the eyes of the California taxpayers, activist organizations, civil and human rights organizations, religious institutions, prisoners, men and women, and state and federal courts. Their blatant disregard for the truth is rooted in their drive to build the California sector of the prison industrial slave complex.
The solution must exist within our form of struggle. The resistance currently resonating across Latin America is not just saying “No” to what they do not want, but at the same time constructing what it is they want to see. They say it is no longer enough to be against a system of exploitation and domination, because we have the power to create the alternative.
The Clean Lounge, a clean and sober space located in Bayview Hunters Point in San Francisco, was full of Fired Up! women and supporters, family and friends.There was so much collective healing wisdom in the room. Fired Up! is an insider-outsider grassroots network founded by CCWP former prisoners that meets weekly in the San Francisco County Jail.
For 15 years the California Coalition for Women Prisoners - activists on the outside together with prisoners on the inside - have published an extraordinary newsletter called the Fire Inside. Hear Angela Davis keynote the anniversary celebration, hosted by our own Wanda Sabir, Friday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m., at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th St. at Valencia, San Francisco.