[Hpn] Fwd: open letter to detainees

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Sat, 05 Aug 2000 14:36:09 -0700

Hey folks-

this version differs slightly from the final version on IMC Philly's 
url. you can view the final version on the Philly IMC url at:




>Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 23:43:31 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Andrew Rose <affirmingandy@yahoo.com>
>Subject: open letter to detainees
>To: talk@quiet.org
>X-Original-Envelope-From: affirmingandy@yahoo.com
>our legal team has agreed to bring this letter into meetings
>with activists in jail - we are having kind of a hard time
>relying on our council to carry the solidarity message, there a
>little more about 'the worst case scenario' and their not
>believing in the power we have collectively, which is
>problematic.  to strengthen our hand we asked them to carry this
>we are also getting sporadic accounts of 'fake' lawyers and
>'fake' activists visiting inmates and telling them to give their
>names and cite out - more in a bit
>This note is from the R2K Legal collective.  The person reading
>this note is a public defender or member of the R2K defense team
>who has agreed to read the note without modification.   If you
>are concerned if this is a fake-out, wait until you've heard the
>whole letter to decide that.
>First, SOLIDARITY IS VOLUNTARY.  IF you are feeling coerced or
>uncomfortable with the idea, be realistic about the amount of
>discomfort you are willing to accept and make your own decision.
>  Of course we are stronger together and we can survive hard
>things together, however YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR DECISION.
>That said, SOLIDARITY is AWESOME and holding at 75%.  At 3pm
>Friday, of approx 420 arrests, about 60 people have accepted
>release or have been escorted out of the jails without consent.
>The convention is over and Phila. doesn't need us in their
>jails.  We have power together and we encourage you to stay
>together.  While this city is not familiar with jail solidarity
>and some legal council may lead you to believe that solidarity
>is ineffective, some people thought so in Seattle and DC and we
>won there.
>Some public defenders have said that bail amounts would be lower
>if you 'comply' - this has turned out to be untrue.  The PD does
>not have the control to make that true.
>This is the current understanding of the legal collective of our
>demands: no isolation, full medical treatment, all charges
>dropped including felonies and people who have accepted bail,
>immediate release, we want all 13 R2K lawyers access to the
>prisoners, we want our phone calls.
>Current prisoner tactics are: demanding jury trials, demanding
>to see representatives of the R2K legal team, non-compliance,
>hunger strikes, water fasts, puppet making, singing, and
>Stronger tactics such as group non-compliance are appropriate
>when the group is threatened by separation, when people are
>being seriously abused, or specific concerns are not addressed
>such as medical emergency.
>There are approx 150 people on hunger strike; two have been
>hospitalized.  Most jailhouse brutality is reported from
>RoundHouse and conditions are better in County (PIC and CFCF). 
>Support from Phila. community is strong.  People are coming down
>from New York and other nearby cities on Sunday for a rally.
>Pam Africa and Rev. Al Sharpton spoke in support of us at a
>rallies across the street from RoundHouse.  Quakers and other
>local communities of faith held a candlelight vigil in the park
>which was beautiful and powerful.  Support pours in from around
>the US through emails and phone calls both to us and to City
>Council, Mayor, and Police offices.  Mothers held a sit-in at
>Mayor Street's office on Friday.  We're reaching out to the
>local community and getting your stories out into the media.  In
>short, we on the outside are doing EVERYTHING we can think of to
>support you and honor your contribution to raising awareness and
>fighting for justice.  You are heroes.
>Brutality, abuse and captivity can lead to disempowering
>feelings, physical and mental exhaustion.  History tells us that
>the best way to fight lasting traumatic effects is to STAY
>TOGETHER - talk together, learn from each other.  It will be
>important to grieve our losses now or later.  If you are sad
>about the loss of liberty, the loss of trust in the system, the
>loss of optimism or purpose, or the loss of faith in the people
>around you - it is important to feel that.  Acknowledging these
>losses sooner rather than later is healthiest.
>Stay strong, be concerned without fear. Call us when you can.
>We love you.
>215 925 6791
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Kick off your party with Yahoo! Invites.

Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
vox: (415) 346.3740
Fax: (415) 775.5639