U.N.I.O.N.
United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect

Lancaster Protest Rally
April 2, 2005
 
 



Photo by Daniel Wharmby

April 2 Protest


UNION
P.O. Box 340371
Sacramento, Ca. 95833
916-924-3053

Protest Theme:  Nobody hears our screams

Contact

B. Cayenne Bird
UNION Director
916-924-3053

Web site is here

http://www.1union1.com

Rally flyer is here

April 2, 2005 - Lancaster Rally
 

Tomorrow, April 2,  families who can barely afford the trip will converge upon Lancaster Prison where several inmates have died under suspicious circumstances since September. Others report severe psychological torture and beatings at the hands of guards because they filed complaints.

The protest will be held in front of the prison at 44750 60th Street West in Lancaster. The media is urged  to show up at 12:30 pm  (we've asked protesters to arrive by ll am but with some people coming from long distances, we're giving it time to congregate.  You can come earlier if you like and some inmate families will give interviews)

There are no restrooms out there in the middle of the desert so no fluids three hours before you arrive.  This is one of our issues that families line up alongside a lonely road beginning at midnight and there are no restrooms for them without driving a distance back into town.

The purpose of the protest is to shine the media floodlights on abuses at Lancaster for the murder, torture, cover up of deaths and beatings, and  medical neglect of many inmates under Warden Michael Harrison.   There is a media black out so you can't know what's going on in there without us! 

Additionally, the Guard Assault Task Force President Lt. Charles Hughes is headquartered in Lancaster and the politicians in charge of that area have taken large sums of money from CCPOA. Assembly member Sharon Runner took hundreds of thousands of dollars  Therefore there is no place to go for help, even in life and death emergencies at the State level since the politicians seem to be powerless against these monsters and the Inspector General's office passing the buck back to CDC.  The result is no place to go for help even in life and death emergencies resulting in preventable lawsuits and needless suffering and dying 

The UNION families are appealing to the voters to PAY ATTENTION, CSP-LAC is our Abu-Ghraib and they're getting away with it right under our noses.

The protest is being coordinated by B. Cayenne Bird, United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect.  The son of the group's director Eric K'napp was psychologically tortured for more than a year at this prison, sent four hundred miles away from his family against doctor's orders for filing complaints against guards who had a goal to break him and stop the UNION organizing by scaring families who witnessed the move.

K'NAPP was cast into the hole for five months "for his  own safety" which was a lie.  He was cast into the hole to cut him off from making more complaints and reporting abuses to the media and legislators and to punish him for doing so in the past. 

K'napp was unlawfully strip searched in front of female guards and other inmates on several occasions to prove the "UNION couldn't help him" His food portions were cut and he was locked in a cell the size of a closet, often being denied yard or asked to go when he was in the shower.  He was not allowed access to his legal materials, no contact visits from his loved ones which caused him great duress with a habeas petition in progress and on deadline. 

His mail coming into and going out of the prison was tampered with, delayed or simply thrown in the trash. With 30 complaints and lawsuits against law violations of the guards and prison officials in progress and given only a pencil to write with, K'napp who is studying law was cut off and hampered.  K'napp has Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder which he did not have before entering prison and the sensory deprivation and  confinement in small spaces made his condition deteriorate.  Just before Saturday's rally he was shipped out of Lancaster to an equally dangerous prison, CSATF Corcoran instead of to New Folsom where he can get visits from his family members. The UNION contends that anyone who challenges  Harrison was told that the guards would likely kill and torture K'napp at Corcoran due to the UNION's activism work there since 1998 but he was shipped there anyway.  There appears to be cooperation between Lancaster, Corcoran, and Tehachapi to abuse dissenters at whichever prison they are hidden out at to avoid exposure of this wrongdoing.

George Jacobs is a young man who was also standing up for other inmates and filing complaints against guards.  His mother and family members will be present to describe his brutal beatings at three prisons.  He is now blind in his right eye due to these beatings and has been transferred between Tehachapi, Corcoran and Lancaster to hide severe injuries. The most recent beating was January 25, 2005.  His mother is worried for her son's life and he hasn't been given medical care.  He is one of the inmates successfully sued by the Guard Assault Task Force which the families are calling a public relations farce.  I will have more press information on this case at the rally

Philip Allen was murdered by guards under a spit mask with pepper spray and taken to a hospital more than an hour away.  There is a hospital four miles down the street where other inmates are taken frequently. This is the second incidence of this misuse of pepper spray in a Californian prison that we know about it.  The first was Anthony Brown, a mentally ill inmate at CMC, San Luis Obispo.  UNION is supporting a lawsuit against the State and those responsible but Philip Allen's family could not be located.  The manufacturer of pepper spray recommends one or two short bursts NOT under a spit mask.  The families believe the Lancaster guards are carrying large containers of pepper spray used too frequently in too great a quantity. 

Two other inmates have died there since September but the newspaper reporters cannot learn their names.  They allegedly died of drug overdoses.  Unverified reports to the UNION director describe one inmate being found dead of a heroin overdose with the needle still in his arm.  With the heavy searches of family members upon entering and exiting prisons, and elimination of packages from home, the UNION believes that drugs are brought in by the guards who are never searched. 

Two years ago guards and vendors were caught bringing in drugs to Lancaster prison which is documented  at our web site.  The UNION would like for a full body strip search to be conducted on all guards when they enter the grounds and drug sniffing dogs placed at their check in counter to prevent more of these overdoses.  The UNION does not believe the Inspector General's office is conducting any real investigations and is calling for federal intervention into these two deaths.  The Governor and legislators are supporting cover up of the names of these two dead inmates from the media which invites more of the same dangerous actions. 

The UNION has received reports than an inmate, also un-named and hidden from the media, fell to the floor in late February having a heart attack and the guards made no effort to administer CPR.  When inmates tried to give CPR, they were ordered away at gunpoint.  This has happened time and time again at all prisons in California, even resulting in lawsuits and nothing is ever done about teaching the guards basic first aid. 

Eddie Arraiga was in the Enhanced Outpatient Program for the more severely mentally ill and so was his cellmate Frank Perez.  After being locked in a tiny cell in ad seg 23 hours a day for weeks, Perez broke and acted out his mental illness.  A predictable situation that the prison officials knew could happen.  Reports to the UNION were that Arraiga screamed for an hour as Perez stomped and tortured him but no one came.  The UNION believes that the mentally ill do not belong in prisons because they become much sicker in this sort of inhumane and punishing environment.  It is unusual that two inmates are ever in the same tiny cell in ad seg.

Right now there are several inmates who are also EOP mentally ill in ad seg who are frightened and refused to be double celled with other inmates.  We have documents but are worried for their lives as the guards think nothing of killing those who speak out. The documentation shows that they are being punished for refusing to double cell with inmates they fear.  They are also being punished by having money taken away from their personal accounts which is unlawful.  Their charge is "disobeying orders" and this is nothing less than psychological torture, discrimination against mentally ill inmates and the money sanctions are unlawful.

There is much more which will be detailed in a second press release.  The family of Daniel Provencio, who recently died after a guard shot him in the head at Wasco prison will attend. The UNION has had an  ongoing campaign in favor of compassionate release of inmates who are severely disabled.  The family of Ed Rister which has cost the State over $1 million dollars for guards even though all he can do is blink may also be attending to demand release of their loved one.  He is still in shackles and guarded 24 hours a day when he cannot move.

The protest includes a strong objection to the Prison Plan which will not have a civilian oversight commission or any restrictions on the legislators who will do appointments. The UNION families believe there is no place to go for help even in life and death emergencies.  There will be copies of letters from the Inspector General's Office that advised tortured inmates to file 602's with CDC stating that they did not handle individual complaints.  The UNION families believe that Civilian Oversight of people who are NOT in criminal justice or law enforcement is essential to any real reform - doctors, teachers, nurses, clergy, social workers should be in charge.  The UNION wants only those legislators who did not take large CCPOA donations should be allowed to choose those on the oversight committee.

Specific abusive guards and prison officials will be listed in the next more detailed press release.

Murder

Physical and psychological torture at CSP LAC Lancaster and most California prisons

Cover up and withholding dead inmate names from the media or not reporting them at all

Objection to the prison plan which eliminated a civilian oversight commission.  The UNION believes that doctors, teachers, nurses, social workers and clergy should comprise this commission or the prison plan will not result in reform.  Also that legislators making the appointments could not have received large donations from CCPOA


BEATINGS OF GEORGE JACOBS 




George Jacobs has been sued by the Guard Assault Task Force.  He has been beaten almost to death at three prisons.  They keep transferring him back and forth between Lancaster, Corcoran and Tehachapi.  He has no business being at either one.  The UNION wants Federal Intervention since we do not believe the Inspector General’s Office can conduct real investigations.  When his mother Robin Goods reported these beatings to the Inspector General she was sent a generic letter that advised her to have George file a 602 with CDC.  This is precisely the reason he was beaten – for filing 602’s and other complaints.

His life is in grave danger at Corcoran CSATF.  There seems to be cooperation between Lancaster, Corcoran and Tehachapi where inmates labeled “staff assaulters” are transferred back and forth. George’s injuries are serious yet he is getting no medical care according to his mother.

B. Cayenne Bird

This description of what happened  is in his own words. Note only two days between these beatings at two different prisons.

Re George Jacobs J48666

Tehachapi's torture -January 24, 2005

I requested to see the SHU sergeant concerning my issue. Some time later a unidentified person knocked on the door and called by name. "JACOBS" I said what! I want to speak with the SHU sergeant. Someone again said JACOBS are you in there, don't worry about nothing buddy we are coming to get you. . During all of this time no one identified themselves. Someone opened the tray slot and sprayed mace inside the cell and slammed the tray slot closed. 

Someone again said JACOBS you still want to speak with the SHU sergeant! Again the tray slot was opened and someone tried to spray mace inside the cell again Simultaneously someone begin to spray mace through the side crack of the door from top to bottom. Again another burst of mace spray was used when the control office cracked the door or someone pushed it open about 3 inches. The door was forced completely open and a crowd of guard where standing in the door way and surrounding area. I grabbed my mattress which was on the floor by the door and proceeded to block the entrance to prevent the guards from coming inside the cell. I was forced back into the cell where I immediately abandoned the mattress. 

The shield guard D. Blankenship badge #49581 was forcing the shield into my front body pushing me to the back of the cell. Behind the shield person another guard M. Crotty Badge #68392 was swinging his baton. The shield guard threw the shield down and ducked his head with his hands grabbing the back of his head at this time I dove on the bottom bunk face first towards the foot of the bunk.. at which time the guards jumped on top of me sprayed me again and put me in mechanical restraints. As I was being dragged out of the cell someone stated you are lucky we didn't kill you yet! 

I was escorted outside to the front of the building where I was placed on my knees and the jacket I had on was cut off of my back. Someone than turned a water hose on and proceeded to spray me with the water hose while I was on my knees bending over. The sergeant began to say to me what kind of man are you on your knees with snout running out of your nose. Did you think we were going to kiss your ass and just come running to give you what you wanted! I am old school, how you like that this sergeant and another officer picked me up off the ground and escorted me to dinning hall #4 and placed me in cage #8 by the kitchen door. 

The sergeant pulled out his mace and said how did you like that pepper spray! If you don't want no more you better take off all of your fucking clothes and give them to me right now. I gave him the clothes I had on he begin to shake up his mace MK-9 canister. He proceeded to walk out of the kitchen . When he returned He than radioed in on his walkie-talkie that inmate Jacobs just spit on me. 

I was then sprayed with mace while I was naked on my private parts , face head and back area. He then radioed in on his walkie-talkie that inmate Jacobs just spit on me. I was then sprayed with mace while I was naked on my private parts , face head and back area. At this time I requested the MTA. The sergeant said first let me decontaminate you.

Tehachapi assault officers Sgt. D. Watson Badge #38050
MTA J. Adams Badge # 68722


Re: George Jacobs J48666

Corcoran's torture- January 26, 2005

Again at no time did I display any harmful activity While under this escort I was handcuffed to the back with some type of dog chain attached to the handcuffs. I had leg irons around my ankles and a mask over my face! Under these conditions I was escorted from the HCH unit all to the way to unit 4A 2r. Once I was escorted into the Sally Port I was immediately thrown up against the wall. A guard applied pressure by pushing me up against the wall further where my face was smashed against the wall. This same guard put his foot between my legs and stepped down on the ankle chains cuffed around my legs.

At the same time I was forced up off the ground while this guard was stepping on the ankle chains. Another guard grabbed my wrist and fingers. While my hands were handcuffed from the back and simultaneously started bending and twisting my wrist and fingers in an upward motion, pulling and yanking them in different directions. 

Another escort guard started punching me in the ribs simultaneously. I also had a masked placed over my face at no time was I a threat to anyone or myself. At no time did I display any harmful activity while this assault was taking place the sergeant was watching!

At this point my arms were being pulled through the tray slot as far as they could extend and beyond. The sergeant than stated you must don't hear me! And my arms were pulled up and out some more. The handcuffs were than peeled of my wrist where I suffered injury. 24 hours later I lost sight in my right eye completely and loss of feeling in my wrist (right and left). Left thumb finger and point finger right thumb and point finger, right pinkie on 1-27-05 (Thursday ) I was calling "Man down" "emergency" the sergeant came by my door and stated Jacobs from Tehachapi right! 

And started laughing.

Corcoran assault officers - German unit 4A 2right
-Northcutt Unit 4A 2 right
Sgt. Martinez Unit Sgt. for 4A 2 right


The Beatings and false allegations of hitting a guard began here at Lancaster

September 2, 2003

Filed a citizen’s complaint against V. Herrera and L. Mijares - Dom ss54100.257.

On August 3, 2003 my son George E. Jacobs (prison #J48666) was a victim in an incident with two correctional officers at Lancaster State Prison, Officer V. Herrera and L. Mijares. 

th his hands and feet handcuffed! From this beating my son (inmate George Jacobs #J4866), sustained serious injuries. His right eye was left untreated bleeding internally and externally. The eye injury was the result of one of the guards using two fingers in an attempt to pull George's right eye out of the socket! The left side of George's face was oozing blood and fluids where his skin was scraped off because the guards dragged his face on the hot gravel concrete. George's ribs on the left side of his body were swollen and painful. 

In addition, George sustained numerous lacerations and cuts on his arms and face. As of this day September 2, 2003 my son has not been seen by or consulted with a medical doctor concerning his injuries. The denial of medical treatment to an injured prisoner violates Title 15, the Department Operations Manual and California and Federal Law.

I was informed by my son (inmate George Jacobs J48666) that 30 minutes after the attack took place an ISU Lieutenant and Lieutenant Hughes pulled him out of his cell in A-5 ,where he was taken after the attack on him, to photograph his wounds. We are also aware there was a cam-corder used to document my son's wounds. 

First, and most important, I am requesting that my son (inmate George E. Jacobs #J48666) be afforded the opportunity to be seen by the institution's medical doctors regarding his injuries. Second and equally important, I am requesting that my son's beating by CDC officers be investigated properly and that the officers background's be checked for a history of this kind of treatment towards any other inmates in this prison. It is highly probable that another inmate was injured just prior to my son's incident by the same officers. Finally, I am asking that the photos ,taken of my son's injuries, be looked at when considering the facts about the use of excessive force and abuse in this case. 

I thank you for your assistance in this delicate matter.

Sincerely, 

Robin Goods
 

The prison system has failed to protect George Jacobs and  he needs to be transferred out of state or to a federal prison as he will never be safe in a California prison.  Federal intervention needs to happen now!  And he needs to be moved to Pleasant Valley TOMORROW while permanent housing arrangements are made as Corcoran CSATF is very dangerous for him.

B. Cayenne Bird



We, the families of the UNION, demand the firing of the following individuals:

Warden Charles Harrison 

Associate Warden Fakhoury (now promoted to Chino in spite of murder and torture of inmates by guards under his command) 

Lt. Charles Hughes, President of the Guard Assault Task Force

CO Sumpter 

CO Solarzano 

Lt. C. Campbell 

Sgt. Henry 

V. Herrera and L. Mijares - Dom ss54100.257 

Tehachapi assault officers Sgt. D. Watson Badge #38050 MTA J. Adams Badge #68722 

Corcoran assault officers - German unit 4A 2right -Northcutt Unit 4A 2 right Sgt. Martinez Unit Sgt. for 4A 2 right 



Supporting Press Coverage 

Inmate dies of cardiac arrest 

This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press on Sunday, October 10, 2004 only partially describing Inmate Philip Allen's death.  The heart stops beating when a spit mask is placed over one's head and pepper spray is pumped under it by overzealous Guard Assault Task Force supporters. 

Happened before at CMC San Luis Obispo in August 2004 to Anthony Brown, so we have a trend here of a new way to murder inmates.  Definitely does not follow manufacturer's directions.  Inmates are reporting multiple cases of pepper spray abuse to the UNION at prisons statewide. 

By NICOLE JACOB Valley Press Staff Writer 

LANCASTER - An inmate who was subdued after attacking correctional officers Friday at the California State Prison in Lancaster died after going into cardiac arrest, prison officials said. The death comes on the heels of two recent cases at the prison of inmate-on-inmate violence which left one inmate dead and another severely burned. "Prison is an unpredictable environment," said Lt. Ken Lewis, spokesman for the state prison in Lancaster. "There can be violence without a moment's notice and all we can do is respond with our procedures." Officers used pepper-spray Friday to subdue the 49-year-old inmate after he shouted incoherently and abruptly rushed at an officer about 4:15 p.m. in the prison's Facility D. 

The inmate struck one officer, and was biting and kicking others, prison and sheriff's officials said. Once handcuffed and under control, the inmate was taken to the infirmary because he was having trouble breathing. His condition worsened and he went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics could not revive the inmate and he died after being transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. The inmate's name was not released pending family notification. He was serving prison time after a March 1998 conviction for voluntary manslaughter in Sacramento County, and had been at the prison in Lancaster since June 2000, Lewis said. 

Last month, inmate Eddie Ralph Arriaga, 27, was beaten, stomped and strangled to death by his cellmate. Arriaga, in prison for second-degree burglary was allegedly attacked on Sept. 10 by his cellmate, a convicted rapist. The district attorney's office is pursuing a murder charge against the cellmate, who is now housed at Corcoran State Prison, Lewis said. The case remains under investigation. 

Earlier this week another inmate was attacked by his cellmate and scalded with hot liquid, Lewis said. Neither of the inmates' names were released. Lewis said officers heard someone screaming from inside a cell just before noon on Thursday. They found the victim inside the cell covered in severe burns on his face, neck, upper body and arms. The victim was transported to the USC Medical Burn Center, where it was determined that he had second-degree burns. 

The victim is now recuperating at the prison's infirmary, Lewis said. Inmates are allowed to keep hot pots and coffee warmers in their cell, and officials suspect that the victim's cellmate scalded him with boiling water, Lewis said. 

The facilities where this week's incidents took place are now on a temporary modified lock-down in which prisoners are not allowed to leave their cells unless given special clearance to perform their job assignments. The Lancaster prison contains some of the most violent criminals in the state, with most serving time for murder, rape or robbery convictions 

--------------
There are all levels of inmates at CSP-LAC not just those in for serious crimes.  An abundance of mentally ill inmates such be taken out of the prison immediately.
 

There are more articles detailing the deaths posted on our Lancaster pages at the UNION website.

go to www.1union1.com

click on index

click on Lancaster pages


April 2 Protest


Daniel Wharmby

Note woman crying in upper corner of this 
child of a prisoner's artwork drawn at the April 2 protest. 

The UNION Protest against the Murder, Torture and Guard Assault Task Force's injustice held in front of CSP-LAC yesterday April 2 was a big success.  Beginning at 7 am in the morning until we ran out of flyers when there were only a few cars left, we had a steady flow of people. 

Everyone who took pictures, please scan and send to me, crowd shots, others of interest, I will have my photos developed, we had a journalism student from the prestigious Brooks Institute who showed up very late but we're anxious to see what he shot.  We will post photos later after

The Warden will definitely have a morale problem with the guards on Monday morning! 

UNION has communicated with the residents of the City of Lancaster who honked loudly to give us all moral support as we stood in the desert wind and sun after driving long distances. It was very clear that not all families of prisoners are too dysfunctional to organize! We were there in an unforgettable way! 
 

Fox News took video just as the Pope died but the reporter felt that what we had to say on the 75 signs that we had out there was important. 

The Los Angeles Daily News (circulation 600,000) sent a photographer. Daniel Whamby of the Brooks Institute came late when were least photogenic but he too got some great shots. 

Journalist Patty St. Peter was there with a carload of people that she brought.  She stood in the sun in black with a migraine headache with us the entire day. 

Publisher Michael Novick, Director of the Anti Racist Action coalition came in person and his wonderful young men and women came with a huge sign "Prison for the Poor Equals Profits for the Rich"  - They were truly a  blessing with their energy and hope for society.  The prisons are full of young people 18 to 23 years old and they are painfully aware that at some point they will be taken to prison themselves for standing up for their brothers and sisters inside. 

Ministry on Wheels volunteers showed up and helped pass UNION flyers later in the day. 

Over the course of the day I counted that Michael brought ten all the way to the middle of no where - CSP-LAC - Lancaster.  They helped us pass out flyers after we could no longer stand up. And Dale and Shirley and their grandchildren were marvels, we talked one on one with at least 400 families in the afternoon alone, a steady trickle as they were leaving. 

Alejandra spoke great Spanish and California Prison Focus leader Luis Telamandez drove all the way from South San Francisco with a message from Corey Weinstein in solidarity. We've been organizing since 1998 and never did we have support from Prison Focus although we backed up a number of their events with attendees in the beginning of our organizing work, it was never reciprocated until Luis came yesterday.  Alejandra building bridges and in the wake of these murders a true convergence of people from everywhere. 

Robin and her entire large family worked for weeks distributing flyers at three prisons, and the results of her work was very clear yesterday. Her family showed up!  We looked beautiful out there red, black, brown, white all standing together working to organize, not one bit of dissension or pettitness.  Not one bit of fear except when the Sheriff drove up, but since I had covered all the bases, we had no trouble. 

Every guard arriving to and from work had to pass at least 75 signs, some of them held by children.  They could not make eye contact with us.  One of them flipped us the bird finger.  Later on a car full of  guards came out in a car and CO R. Hendricks (yes I was that close to read his name tag) started snapping pictures with a polaroid.  An intimidating thing they do when people are getting to them with too much press coverage and attention. 

Alejandra aimed  her camera and shot right back, I approached the car and Hendricks put down his camera when I used their tone  "What do you think you're doing with that camera knuckledragger?" I implored? 

He started shooting again and I stayed on him with my camera letting him know how great this intimidation is going to look on our statewide television show on 100 cable stations.  I followed him the entire length of the picketing line about two feet away from his face so he couldn't get anything but me shooting my camera directly into his face.  All our protesters were very entertained by this and at the end when we reached the UNION banner that was held up the entire day long - hours and hours of holding the banner - I picked up one of my signs 

Eric K'napp tortured here for filing complaints and allowed CO Hendricks  to photograph that. 

He tried to get everyone to move behind the banner so he could get all the great signs and I told him he wasn't in charge out here and to "kiss me where the sun doesn't shine and move out of the area" 

That was the extent of the "trouble" and he was laughing at me in his face, after awhile. Older white women throw them and it is difficult for the guards  to fight back except by torturing their sons.  Had I been a young male of any race, they would have probably jumped out of their cars and pepper sprayed me. 

I can  shoot a camera through almost anything and I would have caught any attack on film too It was very clear that bullying us wasn't going to work! 

We were as always absolutely peaceful.  The little children would scream gleefully everytime someone honked, they were drawing pictures  of guards hurting inmates and tears coming out of women's eyes.  I died a little inside at their graphic depictions and realized that these little children will never forget this day.  It was their fathers and brothers in prison.  For me, the children are always the joyful part of any gathering we have and two little black boys who looked like twins, maybe about six years old, were standing with me at times yelling "power to the people, power to the people."  And doing it with feeling, no just parroting something they heard. 

I was saddened, entertained and amazed by the children throughout the day, none of whom were whining, "let's go home"  Words cannot express what we were all feeling. 

Nancy Mendoza and little Nancy Anaya showed up in time for Fox News but left before the Daily News of Los Angeles photographer arrived. However with eight international stories appearing since mid- January, this fantastic, courageous family has more than exposed the murder of Danny Provencio.  Nancy is still very much in grief and she had lost considerable weight but I could see that even though it was a strain, she appreciated the love and support that UNION folks showered upon her for the good that she has done for everyone. 

Nancy, a pre-school teacher who is not working now (who could work with all this going on!) has ten children.  Leo and little Nancy stood with us in grief as well alongside a desolate road in the wind and heat in the middle of no where.  And I cried inside seeing this allegiance and support for our work, wondering if I could have been as strong in the same circumstances. Some of the families parked their cars as they were leaving visiting their loved ones throughout the day to come and join us.  More tales of abuse surfaced. 

One of the media trucks broke down alongside the road we heard but we didn't know where to send help.  The very isolation of these bloodhouses often allows the abuses. 

One middle aged lady came up to us and said "Don't tell me about these deaths, I have a son inside here."  As if we didn't have a loved one there who had been abused.  She'd rather not know.  Patty said "My hands are getting tired holding this sign for you, won't you please help carry the responsibility for putting an end to murder and torture?" 

It was something that the woman had never thought about.  95% of the families leaving honked and when we called to them, "we need your help" most said "all right."  But it remains to be seen if they will actually transcend the apathy that causes their chains to rest heavily on their ives.  Only organizing enough working numbers and voting the bums responsible out of office can put an end to the oppression. 

Susan drove ten hours, worked the entire day at the rally and then we drove home.  She paid $65 for a room as were exhausted but had time to sleep four hours only.  The work she put out with one lung and several medical problems with phenomenal and I could not have attended without her driving me with this arthritic ankle, not to mention helping with the expenses. From what I can see hundreds of dollars were spent on flyers - we bought $36 worth of press releases and flyers on the way out of town, Cheryl brought flyers, Robin and her family distributed maybe a thousand flyers the past six weeks. 

None of us could afford it but we delivered enough of a crowd to the middle of no where and all cockroaches saw it, We wished we had whistles to hand out to the guards leaving.   So many shaved heads with bulging neck muscles, they were all looking the same to me by the end of the day. 

What kind of person would take a job like this, accept blood money for putting people's family members in cages and abusing and murdering unarmed men.  I'll tell you what kind of person.  Sadistic cowards and those who don't actively participate but fold to the Code of Silence are equally as guilty for all the mothers crying alongside the road on Saturday, April 2. 
 

Judy was diagnosed with pneumonia on Thursday but made calls from her bed right up to the last minute realizing the importance of Saturday to every inmate's future.  Sandy continued to alert the media and Janice put up the later stages of the press release as it evolved through all the phone calls I was getting at this website. There's an index page. 

During the last two hours of the rally, those of us who arrived early were struggling to stand and our voices were hoarse.  We thought we had grits of sand all over our faces but it turned out to be salt that we were putting out as the wind whipped around our signs. It appeared to us that the  guards were trying to hold back exiting visitors but when they saw we were leaving (we actually had new volunteers show up as late as 2 pm for the finale of the visitors exiting). 

We receiveda big burst of energy at the end and we had fresh troops, there was no  way we were going to drop the ball after all we had endured. The flyers held up until the last few cars. Robin, Alejandra and Dale were phenomenal and the entire line of people holding signs was impressive although they were about 30 people who couldn't make it to the end of the day after arriving early. 
 

We still had a good showing even in the final minutes.  We were fighting for our lives, for their lives and the reception was excellent, so we will see if we can't get past this victim mentality. I noted so many people present who almost never go out to recruit, they certainly got the message yesterday of what was necessary and what was possible. 

The Los Angeles Daily News Reporter came too early and went away "because there wasn't enough people there yet."  I nearly died thinking he wouldn't return but he did later when the crowd was around 60 people, so the photographs should be great. Our records show that about 100 different people stood with us and protested over the course of the day.  The truly devoted stayed for the high point, which was the end!  But we had lots and lots of coming and going as some people traveled from far, far away. 

Then when Fox News arrived, it was the same first question, "what would you estimate the size of today's crowd?" - our people witnessed this primary question and it sunk in for a change!  At that point they realized that the only reason in the world so much suffering and murder is taking place is due to the silence and failure to organize the numbers. But we had them yesterday. The Pope's story dominated all the television news yesterday but the Fox camera crew told us they will try and get out it today. I told him we will be suffering forever so a day or two makes no difference. 

I am tired today but will mention more of the attendees and events at the protest later on after I unpack the car which is covered with thousands of butterflies who were sacrificed as I drove down the State of California. 

If George Jacobs and Eric Knapp don't get moved, we're going to picket Corcoran which we haven't done since 1999. 

It was amazing to see all the citizens who passed us by without a loved one in prison honking in support.  During the week each time I made arrangements with the City or the Sheriff's department, I told the stories of murder and abuse and we made an indelible mark 
 

April 2 

The Day the UNION STOOD UP FOR INMATES.being murdered and abused at CSP LAC and prisons statewide. 

God bless all of our families and friends who stood with us.  All of the out of state people who distributed flyers from as far away as Virginia.  Linda Chian, Sandy, Beverly Bittner. 

Everyone who didn't send anyone, show up or send any money had better not talk to me for awhile and pay pennance with ten letters to editors once the story breaks  in the LA Daily News and hopefully on the Fox Network News. 

In the past, Fox  a Republican owned television network, has been completely pro-guard, we never know what they will say, but the video feed is out there for the other networks to possibly pick up. 

Everyone who didn't help or show up can cover us on Tuesday when all these threatening bills are supposed to come up for  a vote before the Public Safety Committees.  We aren't here to do your share of the fighting for you and list sitters weakens us all.  If you can't make up the fact that you didn't help in this dire emergency, then don't talk to me, write me or call me at all. We don't  need you. 

The day the Pope died, the people of the UNION put human rights in Lancaster in a high profile position.  I am very proud of everyone who helped make this happen! Very proud! 

-------------------
We, the families of the UNION, demand the firing of the following individuals: Warden Charles Harrison 

Associate Warden Fakhoury (now promoted to Chino in spite of murder and torture of inmates by guards under his command) 

Lt. Charles Hughes, President of the Guard Assault Task Force 

CO Sumpter 

CO Solarzano 

Lt. C. Campbell 

Sgt. Henry 

V. Herrera and L. Mijares - Dom ss54100.257 

Tehachapi assault officers Sgt. D. Watson Badge #38050 MTA J. Adams Badge #68722 

Corcoran assault officers - German unit 4A 2right -Northcutt Unit 4A 
2 right Sgt. Martinez Unit Sgt. for 4A 2 right



Great rally Cayenne!!!  Good for you.  I know you are exhausted, sun burned, wind blown and overworked.  I believe many heard our screams yesterday. Those who missed lose as they were not able to see the enthusiasm in the young people who helped with the rally.  They did not see the strength and tears of the Provencio family proudly wearing their t-shirts in remembrance of Danny. 

Patty the go-getter dressed all in black in the blazing sun in remembrance of Danny.  They did not see you get the pictures of the guards who tried to intimidate us by taking photos of us and our signs.  You got their pictures as well.  You stood up to them and they did not quite know what to do. 
 

Susan was tired but steadfast and working till the end when all visitors had left.  Our Alejandra from San Francisco was a blessing in speaking Spanish and interpreting and in recruiting others.  She was definitely an inspiration. 
 

The group of young people from Michael Novick's group who joined us were delightful.  They are so knowledgeable about prison problems and proudly held their black flag and flyers.  I am impressed. 

They were not afraid to stand up and be counted as against torture, death and abuse.  George Jacobs loved one worked steadily helping to spread the word to strengthen the U.N.I.O.N. and making signs for everyone to hold.  I did not get everyone's name and do not remember all the names but I remember the faces and the work they did.  The kids made great signs as well and held them proudly. 

We passed out hundreds of flyers so hopefully we will be getting more members who are not afraid to stand up for their loved ones and right the wrongs that they face behind the walls of prison. 

I understand people asked if Judy was there....I know she was in spirit as she made many calls and encouraged many to attend even though she has pneumonia.  Get well quick Judy, we need you. 

Thanks again Cayenne, you are truly a great inspiration and teacher and organizer, 

Shirley Weatherwax



Cayenne, 

I was so happy to finally meet  other U.N.I.O.N. members face to face. My day had begun with a rather screwy start with the babysitter and our other guests having the flu. The other three people who were coming with me are the parents and grandparent of the babysitter. To make matters worse I kept it all to myself but I had a migraine headache the whole time out there in front of that hell hole prison. I have had it for weeks now and it is allergy related. I have already had scans done at UCD Med so I know that nothing else is wrong. 

The purpose for being out there today with U.N.I.O.N. was more important than my head pain and I thank everyone else for being there also. WE are all energetic and motivated to make changes. 

I was so impressed by Danny Provencio's Mother being there and standing up to those bullies. I have no doubts that she would have been there face to face with them all if that was what it was going to take! I love that woman's spirit. She is an inspiration to us all!  May no other Mother be forced to stand at a prison gate picketing because of the way that their child was mistreated and murdered by those evil hypocrites ever again! 

We are not through yet. There is still a lot to be done. 

I am so glad that we have caused those Goon Guards to be worried. They should be afraid! Very afraid that we will get their names, badge numbers and incidences and have them published all across California and America!  It's time to expose the cockroaches! Let them see how it feels to for once be held accountable for the abuses they commit behind those prison walls! 

There are guards who are decent human beings that also dislike the abuse and who want to speak out. They need to come and talk to us. Get their dignity back by making things right!  No one else will listen to them and some are afraid to talk. We are their sounding boards. We are the outlet that they need. We have the media and legal force behind us! Let the administration and CCPOA mess with them. We will eat the Admin and CCPOA for breakfast! 

Do you ever wonder how it will be when one day all of this is finally over and the abuse put to an end?  We all agree that if you do the crime then you do the time but no one deserves to be treated inhumanely! We do not tolerate corporal punishment of children, spouses or animals. We did not tolerate the abuses in Iraq and we damned sure aren't accepting it here in our own countries prisons either! How could they even think for a moment that we would? 

I also believe in victims rights as I once was a victim. My rights are not being protected by allowing the abuse of inmates. Far from it. One day these inmates will return to the general population and by being abused in these hell holes they will only come out more screwed up than they were when they first got put in. As a taxpayer I demand "real prison reform"!  I demand real rehabilitation! I demand that the inmates with mental health problems are to be treated in hospitals where they can get the medical care that they need to live more productive lives!  I demand that the prison system implement programs that will bring real positive changes and lower recidivism! 

Once again, thank you Cayenne for being the fearless Momma Bear who brought us all together. Patty St. Peter Journalist whose sister was recently released from Norco after nearly dying of medical neglect there



Still grieving after burying her son, Daniel Provencio, shot in the head and killed with a "rubber bullet", Nancy Mendoza stood along the desolate highway in front of CSP-LAC Lancaster.
Her message?  Get together in the UNION voting block to put an end to murder and torture




The family of George Jacobs held up this sign for five hours appealing to families of prisoners to get active in the UNION.  Jacobs has been severely beaten and is permanently maimed at Lancaster, Corcoran CSATF and Tehachapi and wrongfully sued by the Guard Assault Task Force headquarter at Lancaster CSP-LAC




The little girl sitting under the sign  was active with us all day Her sign said "Stop the Murder and Torture of Inmates"  The UNION families oppose Living Wills for Inmates as these give CDC even more of a license to kill.  The proposal is up for consideration brought forward by Assembly Member Sharon Runner (R) Lancaster who was bought and paid for by the CCPOA. She accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Guard's Union and allows the murder and torture at Lancaster to take place with  no accountability of State employees.
 
 




One hour before the families were to be released from visiting, a car with three prison  guards came out and started photographing the protesters.  UNION Director Cayenne Bird took her camera right up to their car and started snapping her camera right back. In this shot CO R. Hendricks puts his camera down and tries to shield his face from Cayenne's camera.




CO R. Hendricks and two other guards roll on slowly and out comes their camera in an effort to intimidate the families to leave before the visitors were let out.  Cayenne Bird stayed with the car calling them "knuckledraggers" and blocking their shooting view.  It was a camera shoot out, until the guards started laughing and backed off.  Cayenne allowed them to take a photograph of the UNION banner and the sign she was holding "Eric K'napp tortured here for filing complaints"  The guard tried to direct everyone to stand behind the banner and Cayenne told him "Kiss me where the sun doesn't shine, you're not in charge here, this is taxpayer property, clear the area."   They left.


 See Pictures Here

Somewhere there's a shot of Cayenne shooting the guards with her camera.  Here Hendricks shoots around Cayenne.  The goal of intimidating the protesters to leave didn't work and 400 families got flyers and many stood with the UNION, reporting new abuses.  Silence and fear are the only reasons we have all these problems! Silence is deadly!



To:  letters@dailynews.com  BCC:  Rightor1  

To the editor: 

I want to know more about the abuse, murder and problems at Lancaster Prison. Your article did not tell the stories. One hundred or more picketers on April 2, 2005 were not out there for nothing and I want to see all the stories printed by the press to allow everyone to know what happened out there and why. I look forward to your stories and to hearing the truth from the press. 

Getting the facts from the people, (men, women and children) who were out there with signs of death, torture and sickness might just help fix these problems. Does the governor know what is going on out there? Does he care? Do our representatives listen to the press on these matters? I hope so. If you do not print the stories to 
initiate thought and conversation about the issues then why do we need the press at all? 

We all have been interested in the Pope and what is taking place in Rome but we need to be just as informed about California and what is happening to fathers, mothers, sons and daughters and their children here. Lets do a bang up job here. I would like to see it online as I read more newspapers online than in newspaper print. 

James Jackson 

 


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