Category Archives: Organizing

Bring Our Loved Ones Home: End Overcrowding in California’s Women Prisons

This video features three incredible members of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Misty Rojo, Samantha Rogers and Thao Nguyen telling the stories of people whose lives were taken by the system and those still struggling to survive inhumane conditions and inadequate medical care.

This video was made in effort to send a message to Jerry Brown about the state of overcrowding in the California prison system, as he continues to deny the problem and avoid the federal court’s demand that he reduce prison population immediately.

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Chowchilla Freedom Rally draws 400 protesters and all local media

The Chowchilla Freedom Rally drew over 400 people from throughout the state and caught the attention of all local media and many independent media sources. Below is an 8 minute video of the day created by the Freedom Archives and links to the articles, videos and op-eds.

Windy Click and Leslie Mendoza on Evening News, KPFA (min 28) 1/28/13

Officials insist inmates’ needs are being met at Central California Women’s Facility, Merced Sun-Star 1/29/13

Inside the women’s prison in Chowchilla, CBS 1/28/13

Protest against prison overcrowding draws hundreds, KSBY 1/27/13

Manifestación de la Libertad, Univision 1/27/13

VIDEO: Hundreds of prison protestors rally outside of Chowchilla, Merced Sun-Star 1/26/13

Thousands Rally Against Prison Overcrowding, KSEE 1/26/13

Protest Against Overcrowding Held Outside Philadelphia Women’s Prison, CBS 1/26/13

Protest against prison overcrowding draws hundreds, The Tribune 1/26/13

Group to Protest Outside Jail Saturday, Redwood City Patch 1/26/13

Op-Ed: Angela Davis/Windy Click: Rallying to end women’s prison crisis in California, Fresno Bee 1/25/13

Chowchilla Freedom Rally to draw hundreds of Bay Area residents to Central Valley to protest women’s prison, SF Bay View 1/24/13

Groups set to protest crowding at Chowchilla women’s prison, Merced Sun-Star 1/24/13

Crowding More Into Chowchilla Prisons, Prison Radio 1/16/13

Chowchilla Freedom Rally, Rise Up and Join Together

The Chowchilla Freedom Rally is 5 days away and many of us throughout the state of California are getting ready for what will undoubtedly be an empowering and impactful day. We can’t wait to be there with all of you to raise our voices loud enough to let our loved ones inside know they are not alone. Let’s make enough noise so that the decision makers in Sacramento have no choice but to hear our demands!

We are so inspired by the energy building around this rally. On Saturday in Oakland, we packed The Hold Out’s community room raising awareness (and money) about the injustices occurring in Chowchilla. The Youth Justice Coalition in Los Angeles is busy getting people to board the bus to Chowchilla or fund a seat.

Across the country in Pennsylvania, Mumia Abu-Jamal recently shamed California’s Department of Corrections for the inhumane and unconstitutional overcrowding in Chowchilla’s prisons during his Prison Radio broadcast from State Correctional Institute Mahanoy. And in a beautiful act of international solidarity, the Global Women’s Strike in London is planning a protest and speak-out in front of Holloway Prison on January 26th in support of the Chowchilla Freedom Rally and prisoners locked up in the UK’s women’s prisons.

If you haven’t yet, now is the time to sign up for a ride. We will send out information for the day-of shortly including a safety plan, directions and contact information. Thanks so much everyone and we will see you Saturday!

Chowchilla Freedom Rally, I am free today

We are 3 weeks away from our statewide mobilization to Chowchilla to protest the unconstitutional overcrowding in California’s women prisons and show our support for our loved ones inside who are struggling to survive as the conditions worsen. As a result of the conversion of Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW), one of the remaining women’s prisons has now reached 179% capacity. A woman recently transferred to CCWF informed us that they were given clothes and bedding that “you wouldn’t want even your dog sleeping on.” Another person confirmed, “Everything we rely on to survive, including medical and legal, is highly impacted by overcrowding. Overcrowding is the issue. It causes everything else to come crashing down like dominoes.”

We need your help to show the U.S. Supreme Court, the government, and prison officials that not only are we witnessing this discrimination and abuse but we will not be silent! Join us in demanding an end to overcrowding! Our loved one’s deserve humane living conditions and their freedom! Bring them home!

Chowchilla Freedom Rally, One Millions Reasons to Go

Last week Governor Jerry Brown proclaimed that the prison crisis in California is over and overcrowding is a “distant memory.” This outrageously untrue statement added even more fuel to our already burning, hot fire! In less than two weeks people from throughout the state will gather in Chowchilla and march from Valley State Prison to Central California Women’s Facility–now the most overcrowded prison in California–to demand an end to this gender discrimination and the release of our loved one’s locked up in Chowchilla’s prisons.

The support and enthusiasm for this rally is overwhelming and the word is spreading. Check out our recent interview on KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio program, a recent article covering the overcrowding in the Merced Sun Star and our latest promotional videos featuring some of our incredible leaders: One million reasons to go and I am free today!

Let’s not wait until the 26th to share in our collective power! Come to our pre-protest party this Saturday in Oakland to learn more about the conditions in Chowchilla’s prisons and the history of resistance to this inhumane system. We will be making signs and noise-makers!

BRING OUR LOVED ONES HOME! Chowchilla Freedom Rally, January 26, 2013

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The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is converting Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) into a men’s prison in response to a U.S. Supreme Court order to reduce overcrowding. Instead of releasing people and closing VSPW, they are squeezing over 1,000 women and transgender people into the two remaining women’s prisons. The population of the other women’s prison in Chowchilla, Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) is dangerously close to 4,000 even though its maximum capacity is 2,000. The conversion has aggravated overcrowding, created dangerous conditions, and healthcare is already getting much worse. What’s more, they have added yet another men’s prison to their inhuman system. We’ve had enough! Come show support for all people locked up in Chowchilla’s prisons and tell the Federal Judges that overcrowding must stop now!

CHOWCHILLA FREEDOM RALLY, Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rides available by bus and carpool. Contact chowchilla.rally@gmail.com or 415-255-7036 ext. 314

Caravans leaving from MacArthur BART in Oakland at 10:30AM and Chuco’s Justice Center in Inglewood at 8:30AM. We will gather at 2PM at the SE corner of Avenue 24 and Fairmead Blvd. off Highway 99 in Chowchilla.

Rally begins at 3PM at VSPW.

OVERCROWDING = DEATH

BRING OUR LOVED ONES HOME!

COMMUNITY RELEASE PROGRAMS * PAROLE FOR ELDERS * RELEASE FOR MEDICAL REASONS * END LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE (LWOP)

Solidarity actions encouraged! If you cannot make the rally or do not live in California, we encourage you to organize a solidarity action on the same day in your community. Hold a demonstration in front of the DOC offices or the county jail, organize a speak-out against prisons in a public space, stand in solidarity with the Chowchilla Freedom Rally! Please let us know how we can support you! Contact info@womenprisoners.org

Interested in helping organize this event? Join our coalition! Our next meeting is Wednesday, January 2, 2013 from 6 – 8PM at the CCWP offices. 1540 Market Street, Suite 490, San Francisco. Or contact adrienne@womenprisoners.org
The Chowchilla Freedom Rally Coalition includes members from California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Justice NOW, All Of Us Or None, Legal Services for Prisoners With Children, Fired Up!, Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project, Critical Resistance, Youth Justice Coalition, Global Women’s Strike, Occupy 4 Prisoners, Asian Pacific Islander Support Committee and the California Prison Moratorium Project.