#OneYearLater, #StillNotSafe Toolkit

Background

May 30th marked one year since the transfer of incarcerated people from CIM prison in Chino to San Quentin State Prison without proper testing or quarantining. Following the transfer, in a matter of weeks, San Quentin went from 0 known COVID cases to what quickly became the biggest COVID outbreak in the nation. In response, loved ones, advocates, and community members came together to form the #StopSQOutbreak coalition and demand large scale releases without categorical exclusions.  #StopSQOutbreak coalition continues to amplify demands from inside and highlight the need to decarcerate across California state prisons, jails, and ICE detention centers as mass incarceration continues to be a public health crisis. 

Last week, there were over 100 new COVID cases at Solano State Prison. And this past month, West Block of San Quentin was once again put on lockdown because of an ongoing norovirus outbreak. As writer and community member Thanh Tran puts it: “Here I am, fully vaccinated and fully unsafe, at risk to now another virus… Just when vaccinations had us tossing the term ‘post-pandemic’ around, norovirus has come back to San Quentin to remind us that for California’s 35 prisons, we are not done – we are not safe. As long as these overcrowded prisons, these factories for contagion and disease exist, we never will be. To protect human lives, both the incarcerated and the communities surrounding prisons,
our only solution is to decarcerate.

Actions To Take Today

Here are a few actions you can take today to learn more about the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin, support incarcerated community members
still struggling to survive unsafe conditions inside CA prisons, and demand decarceration.

Watch Adamu Chan's film:
#StopSanQuentinOutbreak

Watch and share this short video by filmmaker Adamu Chan which chronicles the outbreak at San Quentin and rapid response organizing by the #StopSanQuentinOutbreak coalition calling for decarceration

Adamu Chan is a filmmaker, writer, and community organizer from the Bay Area. He draws inspiration and energy from the voices of those directly impacted, and seeks to empower them to reshape the narratives that have been created about them through film.

Watch film: bit.ly/StopSQFilm 

  1. Watch this video by @ChanAdamu about the #StopSanQuentinOutbreak coalition and the continued need to decarcerate prisons, jails, and ICE detention centers across CA. #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe bit.ly/StopSQFilm
  2. “Shelter in place started and all of us who knew anything about prison could just see the train wreck ahead. It was like a race against time. We knew that when COVID got in, it would be devastating.” #StopSQOutbreak #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe Watch: bit.ly/StopSQFilm
  3. “As a public health professional I call into question the entire system of incarceration as a fundamental threat to public health. I firmly believe that incarceration is the driver, viruses are just the vector.” #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe Watch: bit.ly/StopSQFilm
  4. “Both North Block and West Block are filled with elderly and chronically ill people. I just want to be clear – if COVID begins to spread in those units. There WILL be deaths.” – @ChanAdamu #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe Watch: bit.ly/StopSQFilm

Share Orlando’s Illustrated Timeline

During this one-year anniversary of the prison transfer that led to the horrendous COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin State Prison, artist Orlando Smith (currently incarcerated at SQ) illustrated this timeline tracking the outbreak at San Quentin and statewide organizing in response calling for urgent releases. View the timeline here

Orlando Smith is an illustrated journalist, whose work has been published in the Appeal, the Davis Vanguard, the Columbia Journalism Review, the LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. As an artist, Orlando has produced over 39 protest poster series which he has donated to numerous activists and social justice organizations. 

  1. It’s been 1 year since the transfer that led to the COVID outbreak at San Quentin. Incarcerated artist Orlando Smith created an illustrated timeline detailing the outbreak & organizing in response calling for decarceration: bit.ly/OrlandosTimeline #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe
  2. May 30th marked one year since the transfer of 121 incarcerated people from a known COVID hotspot to San Quentin. Orlando Smith shares his reflections surviving COVID behind bars through this illustrated timeline: bit.ly/OrlandosTimeline

    #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe

Donate to Our Zine Project

#StopSanQuentinOutbreak is working with currently incarcerated artists and writers at San Quentin to create a zine highlighting art in response to the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin. The zine will also document the organizing (within and beyond prison walls) to call for large-scale releases across California prisons, jails, and ICE detention centers.

Help us fundraise $10,000 to provide honorariums for incarcerated artists and our Inside Editors.

Learn more about the project and “meet” our Inside Editors here

Donate to the GoFundMe here

#StopSanQuentinOutbreak needs help fundraising for an upcoming Zine featuring incarcerated artists and writers at San Quentin State Prison. Donate and share the GoFundMe here: bit.ly/ZineGoFundMe 

Share #StillNotSafe Toolkit

  1. It’s been one year since the transfer that led to the COVID outbreak at San Quentin. 2,200 COVID cases and at least 28 deaths of incarcerated people by COVID later, and our communities are #StillNotSafe. We need #ReleasesNow
    Toolkit: bit.ly/StillNotSafe
  2. “As long as these overcrowded prisons, these factories for contagion and disease exist, we never will be [safe]. To protect human lives… our only solution is to decarcerate.” – Thanh Tran #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe
    Toolkit: bit.ly/StillNotSafe
  3. “They left us there to suffer, like we were San Quentin’s ‘dirty little secret.'” – From a testimonial at the SQ Evidentiary Hearing. #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe
    Toolkit: bit.ly/StillNotSafe
  4. #OneYearLater those incarcerated during the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin share their story: “We didn’t get masks until late April, and they were cloth masks…Masks would be worn by staff when in front of a superior officer, but inside the unit their masks were never worn.”
  5. “We were cramped like sardines in a holding tank before the transfer. No ventilation, no movement for 3-5 hours.” – Testimony from an incarcerated person at San Quentin about the transfer that led to the COVID outbreak last year. #OneYearLater and it’s #StillNotSafe. #ReleasesNow
  6. “I don’t understand what you mean by [improved conditions], because from my perspective, I’m drowning and you let me up 2 feet I’m still drowning because we’re overcrowded in the prison.” – Testimony from J on the San Quentin COVID Outbreak #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe
Graphics

Thanh Tran reflects on his experience surviving COVID-19 inside San Quentin State Prison in his recently released Op-Ed with the Sacramento Bee Newspaper. Read his article here: bit.ly/ThanhTranOpEd 

  1. “Injustice thrives in the silence of people, so the first step to ending this injustice is to no longer be silent about what we’ve experienced. The next step is to decarcerate.” – Thanh Tran op-ed in @SacBee bit.ly/ThanhTranOpEd #OneYearLater #StillNotSafe #ReleasesNow 
  2. “On May 10 2021, SQ began to experience an outbreak of norovirus, proving we are still vulnerable to contagion &  that the steps taken are not enough. We need elected officials to hold CDCR accountable for their human rights abuses.” – Thanh Tran #OneYearLater  #StillNotSafe  
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Support #StopSQ Members

Support folks currently inside San Quentin through donating to their GoFundMes and supporting their petitions here

More Actions to Take

On May 30th 2020, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI) hosted a vigil to commemorate the one-year anniversary since the transfer from CIM to San Quentin that led to the horrific COVID-19 outbreak. Loved ones, formerly incarcerated community members, and faith leaders to call for releases and to remember the over 200 incarcerated people across CA state prisons who list their lives to COVID.

View photos from the vigil here. 

Donate to IM4HI here.

From May 19th to June 4th, 2021, the Marin County court held an evidentiary hearing to determine whether San Quentin State Prison (SQSP) and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) violated incarcerated people’s 8th amendment rights by subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment during the COVID-19 outbreak at SQSP. Throughout the hearing, the court heard testimonies from several currently incarcerated community members about their lived experience during the outbreak. We anticipate Judge Howard’s ruling in the coming months. 

See Updates from the SF Public Defender website here

Read notes from the evidentiary hearing by Davis Vanguard here

#OneYearLater, #StillNotSafe Toolkit
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