The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Criminal Damage and Deaths in Custody: Letter to my Sentencing Judge.

Resistance Alley, Phoenix, AZ
(June 4, 2011)
January 26, 2012

Honorable Gloria G. Ybarra
Phoenix Municipal Court
300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Dear Judge Ybarra,

I sure hope you’re having a good day. This is kind of long.

I appeared in your court this morning prepared for trial, but the charge I contested was dropped so I ended up entering a plea unexpectedly. When you asked if I had anything to say before you entered your sentencing orders, I was kind of at a loss for words. I’m not very experienced at being prosecuted and don’t know what the proper procedure is, but since my thoughts have caught up with me now, in the still of the night, I hope it isn’t too late to enter them into my official court record. My crime was one of civil disobedience, so this action just isn’t finished until my statement for sentencing is in your hands. This is it.

I first began investigating and blogging about Arizona’s state prisons 2 ½ years ago when Marcia Powell died at Perryville Prison. Marcia was a 48 year-old mentally ill sex worker with a long history of drug and prostitution convictions and no family willing to claim her body once she was gone. She got 27 months for offering a cop a $20 blow job, doing much of it on the maximum security yard at Perryville. Marcia was supposed to be on a 10-minute suicide watch when she was left in an uncovered cage, largely ignored, for nearly four hours in the mid-day sun.  It was at least 107 degrees that day. By the time someone noticed her unconscious on the ground, Marcia had defecated on herself, her organs were overheated and failing, and she had second degree burns all over her body. She went into a coma and passed away that night after the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections removed her from life support. 

"Free Marcia Powell"
Remembering women who have died 
from suicide and the violence of neglect 
at Perryville state prison in Goodyear, AZ.
(November 18, 2011)

In the wake of Marcia’s death, 16 ADC employees were disciplined, 7 of whom were referred for criminal prosecution. No one ended up being charged, unfortunately; they all got their jobs back, in fact - except for the deputy warden, who was allowed to retire. Conflicting testimony was one reason no one was prosecuted - all the prisoners said the guards ignored Marcia’s pleas for water and relief from the sun; the guards had another story, of course. 10,000 pages of ADC investigative material, and the county attorney couldn’t make a single case out of it to hold anyone responsible - not even on a misdemeanor.

What happened to Marcia affected me deeply; there, but for the grace of God, went I.

I had been a teenage alcoholic and addict, and traded my sex a few times in my life to get high and get by. What I did as a teen to support my habit could have landed me in prison for 20 years - not rightfully so, mind you, but there nonetheless. I’m manic-depressive, as well - I’m just lucky I sobered up young, had good health insurance, and was never criminalized. The places I landed when I got into trouble all had heated bedrooms, not icy cold cells; we were traumatized and ill, not fundamentally bad; we were watched by psychiatric aides, not guards - and they didn’t lock us in cages to “wait us out” through the hours or days when we most wanted to die. I was blessed where Marcia wasn’t - I wasn’t that far from where she ended up though.

 E. Roosevelt St. Artwalk
(April 2, 2011)

Since then I’ve done extensive research on the violence and neglect in the Arizona Department of Corrections. When I discovered from an analysis of state records that the suicide and homicide rates doubled almost immediately under the current administration - which wasn’t interested in any dialogue about my research or conclusions - I began pushing the ACLU and the Department of Justice hard to intervene. For a long time, my appeals for help were met by silence or answered with form letters. The body count kept growing. I began to draw the names of the dead in murals on the sidewalks of justice - the legislature, courthouses, the police department and jail, and the ADC itself. I put down memorials in chalk all over town, then made postcards out of them and sent them across the country, calling media, lawmakers, activists - anyone I could think of for help. I even engaged the Phoenix police in my quest for assistance - quite often, in fact. None of the prisons I have issue with are in their jurisdiction, but I didn’t think that should stop them. They still could have helped open doors.

By last spring, when I finally painted the names of the dead across my alley, this was all deeply personal to me. Because I write about prison deaths, trying to humanize the prisoners as much as possible, I hear from their families a lot. Daily I’m exposed to the secondary trauma of working with survivors of prison violence;  I live with the mother of a prisoner who was murdered by the West Side Crips at ASPC-Lewis two summers ago. Her son, Dana Seawright, was caught by the gang in a relationship with a Mexican prisoner, and by refusing to hurt someone to prove his loyalty to his own race, he died from a double hate crime for being true to himself. So the names I lay down on the earth in my murals are more than just criminals: I have spoken with many of their parents, lovers, teachers, siblings and kids. I know too many of their stories. Each time I add a new name to my list, I am acutely aware that - whatever their crime - it is still someone’s father or son, mother or sister, loved one or friend - someone I will be hearing from soon. 

  "Please Send Help"
Phoenix Police Parking Lot
(October 1, 2011)

On May 10, a meeting was held of the Maricopa County Commission of Justice System Intervention for the Seriously Mentally Ill. My analysis of suicides and homicides in the state prisons as of that date revealed that not only had they doubled under the current administration, but that prisoners with serious mental illness were at particularly high risk of being victims of both. I went to the meeting to tell them this, first stopping outside to chalk a memorial for them. The meeting was being held at the Old County Courthouse on W. Washington St.

I should note here that I’ve been exercising my free speech rights all over the sidewalks of Phoenix for a little over 2 years now; it rinses right off with the occasional desert rain. It took the Phoenix Police and County Attorney’s Office awhile to decide that my chalk alone didn’t warrant arrest or prosecution for criminal damage; bank security guards around town took a little longer to catch on. So I wasn’t too surprised when - not long into my project that morning - a deputy came running out of the courthouse waving his radio in the air and yelling “you can’t do that here!” 

 Old County Courthouse, Phoenix.
(May 10, 2011)
Before I knew it, he took his foot and rubbed out the name of a young mentally impaired boy who had killed himself just a week after arriving in adult prison. Within minutes I was surrounded by deputies and daring them to take me to jail for trespassing, furious about what I considered to be desecration. Honestly, it was at that moment that I decided the next time I put that kid’s name down on the ground, no one was going to be able to smudge it out. The deputies backed down after the presiding judge for the day told them to leave me be. They washed all the names away as soon as I went inside.

And so, a week or two later, I began to paint my back alley - first with a memorial spanning about 20 feet. Then, inspired by the graffiti of resistance around me (we have enlightened vandals in our neighborhood),  I figured that if I was going to go to jail for criminal damage, I might as well do it right. I spent that next week decorating my alley and getting it ready for a small demo at June Artwalk, when I invited the Graffiti Detectives to arrest me. I even decked it out with anarchy symbols. I figured if I did enough damage I’d be charged with a felony, and could then take my case to Maricopa County’s Superior Court. There I planned to use my prosecution to confront the judiciary about packing all these people into prisons without taking any responsibility for assuring that there’s ample mechanisms for protecting their rights and lives behind bars. I wanted them to call for a judicial investigation into the homicides, suicides, and medical neglect in the state prisons. Seriously.

 "Resistance Alley: SOS"
Phoenix, AZ
(June 4, 2011)

I don’t know why I thought my plan might work, or why I was willing to risk felony charges and state custody to try to get the courts more involved; it was kind of extreme. I think it had something to do with finding out at the time that my mother’s brain cancer was terminal, and feeling powerless to fight it - one friend observed that I picked fights with as many cops as I could around then. My mom’s illness aside, though, I felt like I was rushing another gunshot victim to the ER, day after day, and instead of escorting me there or summoning an ambulance, every time the police stopped me they just chided me for property damage - I wasn‘t finding that very helpful, and often told them so. Anyway, I actually wrote to the Superior Court - and chalked their walk a few times - and I don’t think they’re doing a thing.

I clearly wasn’t thinking things out too well when I planned to turn to criminal mischief in order to enlist their assistance - I was kind of manic last spring from not sleeping enough after Mom got sick. By mid-May I wasn’t all that organized or realistic about my strategies for instigating social change. I was just simmering with rage at the Department of Corrections, arguably the most heavily-fortified institution in Arizona, and easily the most well-funded. Director Chuck Ryan has a billion dollars at his disposal to fight me with - not to mention all the courts, cops, guns, laws and lawmakers in the state on his side - and I was out of ideas for soliciting help. I was utterly powerless to do anything myself, yet felt completely responsible for each new life lost that didn‘t have to be. For the death rates from suicide and homicide alone to normalize again, at  least one in every two would have to be prevented. Among many in the mental health field, suicide is 100% preventable - that, at least, should be our goal.

Artwalk, Phoenix
(June 4, 2011)

I didn’t really care at the time about the possible consequences to my life of committing a felony or two; I also didn’t think my neighbors would mind much what I was doing. When I wasn’t grieving, I was just plain mad. “The City” could go to hell as far as I was concerned. The potential that my outdoor d├ęcor would cause anyone harm - beyond, perhaps, a little consternation - seemed pretty minimal next to the crimes of the evil empire I was deploying my artistry against. It still does, I have to say…though I guess that sounds a lot like I’m simply minimizing and justifying my own criminal conduct. That much I stand guilty of as well, then. 

This may not be the wisest thing for me to say, since I still have to answer to you on this matter, but I’d still paint the town tomorrow if the circumstances seemed to call for it. I am, for the most part, an anarchist at heart, and want to see the art of resistance flourish all over the place. Phoenix is feeding a good number of people to the prisons and jails every day, and nothing about how the city has responded to this crisis has changed since I started. Not that I plan to repeat this action - I just don’t want to end up in Chuck’s custody myself. That would make what I do a whole lot harder.

Anyway, following my Artwalk demonstration, the Graffiti Detectives tried to accommodate my desire to get into Superior Court by folding all my charges into a single felony. I really appreciated that at the time, and told them as much. I think Bill Montgomery either didn’t want to be part of my theater, though, or he just knew I was a little compromised by certain stressors (I was actually sending him postcards of my graffiti trying to provoke him into prosecuting me sooner rather than later…). Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit for caring one way or the other, and his people just thought I’d be a nuisance to deal with so they dumped me on your court instead. I’ve picked on him and his prosecutors in my blogs before, though - I would have thought they’d love to get their hands on me. That speaks well of their professionalism, I suppose.

Anarchy: No Justice/ No Peace
Resistance Alley Artwalk
just to be provocative
 (June 4, 2011)

In any case, I’m grateful not to be facing prison for even a day or the brand of “felon” for the rest of my life. Sgt. Kaddatz and Detective Rowe could have actually lodged more complaints against me than they did because I vandalized my alley again later that month, impatient for them to file the first set of charges so I could take my fight to court. I’ve chilled out since then, by the way. I still chalk sidewalks - I just stay away from painting them. The Graffiti Detectives showed a lot of restraint, I thought - especially considering how hard a time I gave them when they didn’t arrest me. I didn’t think my intersecting privileges should exempt me from what any young Latino male might go through in my shoes, so I got a little provocative and baited them a few times. I’m kind of grateful to be a well-educated middle-class white woman today, though, because if I was anyone else I would have probably been tasered or shot by now.

 "Prisoners Dying: SOS"
The Phoenix Center
(April 23, 2011)

I’ve come down a lot since then, of course - otherwise you would have been seeing me in court in pink socks and stripes. I got really depressed after my Mom died this summer, and my financial situation deteriorated so my energy has gone increasingly into basic survival. My court proceedings this fall and winter have been tedious and anti-climactic, to say the least - I haven’t had the kind of manic drive to orchestrate what I initially envisioned I‘d be doing with all this. One of the problems with my bi-polar disorder is that the fallout from my grandiosity and expansiveness usually catches up to me just as I’m crashing the hardest and am the least able to explain myself - I get way in over my head, and can‘t account for how I got there. I actually haven’t had much to say of late, believe it or not.

 "Demolish the Prisons"
ACLU-AZ, Phoenix
(April 26, 2011)

Since my protest in June, the ACLU and the Prison Law Office have at least decided to file suit against the AZ Department of Corrections over the medical and psychiatric neglect of their prisoners, the abuse of solitary confinement, and the skyrocketing suicide rates under Chuck Ryan. I think my research and imprisoned correspondents were more influential in helping them take that step than all my protests and postcards were - but the fact that there’s an emerging and impassioned prisoner rights movement here must have helped convince them that Arizona isn’t a lost cause. That’s part of what I do with my blogs: I bear witness, and try to make this struggle - and the people we’ve relegated to the darkness - more visible. 

 MLK Day Memorial
Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix
(January 16, 2011)

Both before and after my June Artwalk action, I tried to get the Phoenix Police to prompt my guy at the DOJ more about investigating the prison homicides, to no avail. The Capitol Police aren’t any help, either. I have to hand off  the high assault and homicide rates to someone before I can let myself retire from all this, and I just don’t know yet if the DOJ is going to agree to CRIPA Arizona over the rampant prison violence. The state prosecutor association’s recent attempt to blame it all on an inherently more violent inmate population is a distortion of data, at best - it’s more propaganda crafted to justify locking increasing numbers of people away. ADC statistics actually show a decrease, not an increase, in the number of violent offenders committed to their custody in the past two years.

I’m afraid the problem behind the escalating violence in Arizona’s prisons lies in the institutional culture that‘s been cultivated there, and how the ADC does business these days - not in who their customers are. Their policies and programs (or lack thereof), and their fees and penalties all reflect more than indifference - there’s a deep and pervasive contempt for prisoners and their families under this regime. Chuck Ryan himself is a bully, encouraging subordinates to behave the same way towards their staff and prisoners alike. He actually had a mentally ill Supermax prisoner prosecuted for arson who tried to kill himself by setting himself on fire after begging for a year to get out of solitary. The court added a year and a half onto his existing 10-year sentence, and even ordered that the guy pay the state restitution for his medical care in the amount of $1.8 million. He was prosecuted while chained to a bed and recovering from burns over 80% of his body.

  Who will represent the dead?
Arizona State Legislature, Phoenix
 (February 22, 2011)

Anyway, I still have some work to do on the prisons, but will refrain from engaging in acts of civil disobedience that may have a negative impact on my neighbors or community. As for the taxpayer dollars involved in policing and prosecuting me - really, I think the money would have been much better spent by the city getting someone to investigate the state prisons like I asked them to in the first place. The Phoenix Police could have at least contacted DPS or the DOJ to express their concern about the homeless mentally ill people they’re helping send off to prison - where they’re being assaulted, castrated and killed - so it’s not just my voice falling on deaf ears about all this (there are a lot of us clamoring out here these days, actually). A phone call requesting that the proper law enforcement agency conduct an investigation is all I’ve asked them to make. Instead, today there’s a few more lawsuits against the ADC, a few more names for my murals, and a few more families grieving their dead than there were when I demonstrated in June.  I’m just a civilian needing law enforcement assistance or the persuasive power of an informed judiciary - why is that so hard to get here?

I’m not too happy with either the courts or the cops in this state, frankly. A whole squad of detectives turned out to protect the pavement and dumpsters from my paintbrush at Artwalk in June, yet none of them will try to help me stop this death toll from climbing. If I presented evidence identifying suspects in an unsolved homicide in Buckeye or Tucson proper - or non-law enforcement corruption at the state level - they would have facilitated interagency communication about it without hesitation. Prisoners draw silence and blank stares, though. A well-placed phone call six months ago could have saved lives - still can, really. Here we are, though, half a year later, and instead of nailing the folks with the guns and badges and power who are doing real criminal damage to people‘s lives, the city is still prosecuting me and ignoring the evidence that I‘ve compiled against far more guilty parties. 

What is wrong with this place?

"Criminal Damage"
Resistance Alley, Phoenix
(June 10, 2011)

The answer to that, I think, has to do with the fundamental disregard we have for human life in Arizona - except to the extent to which a living, breathing being means somebody’s profit. That’s a bigger issue, of course, requiring an organic solution like revolution. There’s nothing the DOJ or ACLU combined can do about a terrified, self-interested, ignorant electorate like ours. Look at how our laws reinforce dehumanization of certain populations, too - it’s pervasive. It’s “criminal damage” to impede access to water for livestock in Arizona, and yet you can be prosecuted for littering if you try to assure access to water in the desert for human beings…specifically, for migrants.  Brown-skinned ones. That’s pretty twisted.

So is the state constitution. We need to amend the Victim’s Bill of Rights to include prisoners in the definition of “victim,” or we’ll never get justice for victims of police and prison violence, neglect and abuse. Persons “in custody for an offense” are exquisitely vulnerable to trauma and victimization, and will continue to be so as long as we diminish their rights that way. They and their survivors (in cases resulting in death) are the only class of people excluded from the rights afforded all other crime victims. That’s only because the perpetrators in those cases are most likely cops, not because one becomes suddenly less deserving of life or safety once taken into state custody. I can’t believe that most Arizonans - if they knew about Shannon Palmer, Tony Lester, Marcia Powell, Brenda Todd, Susan Lopez, Duron Cunningham, and Dana Seawright, to name a few - would continue to deny prisoners and their loved ones the same rights they would preserve for themselves and their children. Maybe that’s the next place I’ll go with my murals - a public education campaign of a slightly different kind.

Well, I guess that’s my statement, for better or worse - the one I would have read at sentencing if I saw it coming today. Sorry it’s so long. I hope it’s not too late to enter it into my court record. It’s also going up on my blogs. It’s just intended to be explanatory, not to excuse me in any way. I was ready to take full responsibility for everything I did - I really was prepared to go to prison if I needed to, in order to advance my cause. Thank God (and the County Attorney‘s Office, of course) that I didn’t.

In any case, I didn’t mean to wait until after you sentenced me to articulate why I did what I did, and what I am and am not remorseful for (yes, my neighbor's wall, no, the alley and dumpster - I made great improvements to the scene). Maybe that’s not very fair of me; I think you’re supposed to get the last word in. Hopefully it wouldn‘t have made you any less inclined to cut me loose with only restitution and community service. You can always take it out of me the next time, though - I’ll be back again with the Occupiers soon. I was arrested filming the police at their Hance Park protest this fall…

 Abolish the Phoenix Camping Ordinance!
Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix
(October 15, 2011)

I guess there’s one more thing I need to say, actually - whether or not it gets me into trouble. Please try not to send any more mentally ill people like me and my brother to Joe’s jail. He’s killing us in there, too, you know - some violently, like Marty Atencio, and some quietly - like those who cycle in and out of there for years dying inside, unnoticed. We aren’t “safer” or getting “cared for” in there as opposed to being on the streets, for the most part. Rather, behind bars we are in constant danger of violence, trauma and despair.

I don’t know why there isn’t anything the judiciary can do about guys like Arpaio and Ryan, since you entrust us so confidently to their custody. Once you get our fingerprint and designate us as property of the state, it seems you’re pretty much done with us, too. Surely if you can order cops into our private homes to enforce drug laws, you can send them into our public jails and prisons to enforce important laws that protect vulnerable persons from neglect and abuse, and promote the civil rights of all. It would seem to be your legal duty, in fact, to make sure that the places you lock us away in for our punishment - or our protection - aren’t routinely violating our rights to health, safety, sanity, and life, and that when you do learn of such things, you have them investigated further, or you dig into it yourself. We deserve to be treated with some humanity, whatever our crime.

Sadly, I heard a Municipal Court judge this week say she couldn‘t order or otherwise compel the jail to give a mentally ill prisoner his meds, even though his attorney said he was decompensating rapidly without them. That’s deeply troubling. She can’t convince or coerce the jail to give him essential medical care, but she’s empowered to imprison him for the next nine months on a Rule 11 getting restored to the level of competency that the MCSO destroyed. He would be punished if he was non-compliant with treatment in there, but the jail staff get off hurting him scott free. That’s stealing a piece of a man’s life from him because he’s ill, not because he’s a criminal. He hadn’t even been sentenced. How does that resemble justice? If that judge can’t have a clerk call Magellan or Correctional Health Services and get that guy his injection before he gets sicker, then she should at least have ordered someone to make a civil rights complaint on his behalf - not just leave him to unravel in jail between hearings like that. That’s real criminal damage.

"The Trial of Officer Kevin Gerster"
Maricopa County Central Courthouse, Phoenix
(March 11, 2011)

Having one’s “hands tied” by the politics of dealing with an incompetent but popular elected sheriff - or the governor’s appointed chief disciplinarian, for that matter - doesn’t keep them free of the blood of prisoners when one knows specifically who is suffering, how, where, and what could be done to alleviate it. Even I accept that responsibility when a plea for help arrives in my post office box, and I have no power to exert but that which I create myself - in fact, I‘m just another convicted criminal now. I’m not the one putting all these people in jail and prison, either. I think the feigned helplessness of people who could intervene meaningfully if they tried is an excuse for laziness or cowardice. It also explains why we have to beg the feds to investigate every law enforcement agency, detention center, and penal institution in this state in the first place - our own people won't do the job when it's clearly called for.

So, that’s basically what my crime - this particular crime of expression, anyway - was all about. While I take responsibility for making amends where I offended and restitution where I harmed, I don’t think I’m the one who needs to be rehabilitated here. Please share my concerns with your colleagues and ask them to be more pro-active in the future when it comes to the well-being of the vulnerable people they order confined in the custody of those who have already shown they will neglect, torment and kill us with startling frequency.

"Please stop killing your prisoners"
Arizona Department of Corrections: 
Central Office, Phoenix
(November 22, 2011)

Thank you for your time and patience with me. I wouldn’t have been so candid with most judges, I don’t think, so I sure hope you’re as cool as you seem to be; I mean no disrespect. If anything, take it as a sign that I trust you to be able to handle it, which is saying a lot for someone with your kind of power.

Take care,

Peggy Plews
Prison Abolitionist

Abandoned Tent City Guard Tower
Maricopa County Jail, Phoenix
(April 4, 2011)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Phoenix Arrests: Resistance is Not Futile

Spent about 18 hours in custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Sunday, after being grabbed in the Phoenix Police Department's sweep of Margaret T. Hance Park Saturday night - the first night of our People's Occupation of the city. Things got a little intense once we settled. I walked home and got my tent and other camping gear - passing through about a hundred riot police on the outskirts of the park on my way back. It was dark by then, and no one had put up any tents. As far as I knew we didn't have permission to do so - so I did, hoping it would create space for others to do so as well. It made a perfect backdrop for the sign I had carried around all day.

Occupy Phoenix:"Resistance is not Futile"
Margaret T. Hance Park
(October 15, 2011)
original photo by robert haasch
sign and post-production rendition by margaret j plews

Neither the City of Phoenix nor the negotiators appointed by the Occupy Phoenix General Assembly to interface with them seemed pleased with my decision. Nor did the police - three of whom in succession approached me to warn me that I was violating the Phoenix Camping ordinance and could be arrested. The third cop was most emphatic - at which point I began yelling to the crowd for help:

"Mic Check!" "Mic Check!" (that's how you signal you need the floor and the group lets you know when you have it). I hollered that my tent was in protest against the camping ordinance and the criminalization of homelessness, and asked them to protect me from being arrested. I pointed out that if I was a tired, 47-year old woman with no place to sleep and no energy to walk any further, I could be arrested for laying down there to sleep - and that's anywhere in Phoenix. The crowd converged and the cops backed down.

I began talking more about the city's homeless but was cut off by a couple of apparent organizers or representatives of the larger collective trying to de-escalate the potential for a conflict with the cops. Even as one officer was threatening me with arrest, my comrades were reassuring the gathering crowd that an agreement had just been reached with the city that no one would face arrest for putting up a tent (only later did we learn that was only for so long as the park would be open - after closing we were arrested for just being there).

Away from the circle, after erecting my tent, I asked members of the negotiating team (I think that's who they were, anyway) to please seek amnesty for all the campers in Phoenix that night, not just us. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that part was heard. I'm hoping we can get the abolition of the camping ordinance on the larger group's agenda - more likely, now, I think, that more people have experienced first hand a small taste of the police harassment that our homeless brothers and sisters get on a regular basis.

photo by robert haasch (who saved my ass by being there)

I went on to provoke the police a little more that night just before the mass arrests. Unlike most of my fellow occupiers, I was not seated and linking arms with the group - I was out filming the columns of riot police sweeping the park. Another protester, Cody (our flag handler) and I strayed too far from the collective and into the path of the police, and got nabbed early on. They yelled a warning right at us that if we didn't leave the park we'd be arrested (that was pretty clear), but before I managed to take two steps back I was apprehended by Officer Chad Shiply (at least, that's who got the credit on my booking papers) - in fact, I think he was yelling at me ("you in the red hat") even as our warning was being issued.

Cody got pretty roughed up when they tackled him - I think he was hit in the head and they kept yelling at him to let go of his flagpole, all the while pinning it between his body and his arms. A cop stepped so hard on his neck that he was wheezing all the way to jail, and his flex cuffs were on so tight he lost feeling in his hands.

Whoever it was who arrested me wasn't very gentle, either, by any means - my left arm is pretty bruised up from where he twisted it behind and under some piece of equipment (it felt like the rim of a riot shield, but I don't think he was carrying one), and the skin around my wrist is broken from where he put the flex cuffs on too tight. I told him it was cutting me, but his answer was simply "It's supposed to be tight", and put me in the wagon. I got another cop's attention, though, and he and a couple of other officers tried to cut it off, only to find that it was so digging deep into my skin that they couldn't remove it until we got to the station where they had a special tool. They loosened the pressure by cutting the other piece off my right hand and pulling out my bracelet from under the remaining plastic band, putting me in regular cuffs for the ride.

From there on out, any mistreatment I was subjected to was the same that all the other prisoners I was with was subjected to: extremely cold cement slabs and floors to discourage sleep or even simple comfort, over-crowded and filthy holding cells, and two meals of barely-edible food (an oatmeal creme cookie, a small container of peanut butter, two small loaves of funky bread, two moldy decorative oranges, and a "blue hug" - the syrupy concoction that's also known as "bug juice", to those of you who went to summer camp). Being moved from one cell to another repeatedly and never finding ourselves in the view of a clock or window, we were constantly disoriented as to time and space.

Only a couple of our guards seemed to enjoy abusing their power and being mean; most were just matter-of-fact or indifferent to prisoner complaints and questions, and in the course of giving us orders - although some were curious about our protest and increasingly bemused at the crowd growing outside the jail awaiting our release. I felt blessed that we were kept together; I so needed the company of the other women who chose this same path. They kept my spirits up, and my heart warm.

That's saying a lot, given my condition. I reported upon intake what medications I needed every day, but didn't get any of them. With my thyroid level falling Sunday morning, I spent most of the time shivering in a deep freeze. I don't know if denying me two doses of my mood stabilizers made much of a difference, but I sure had moments of pretty deep demoralization and despair. At the very least it threw me off my schedule; I skipped a few beats.

I didn't even bother asking for aspirin or motrin for my headache - that seemed to be the least of my worries. I was exhausted, stressed, and my body temperature and mood were crashing hard. I was acutely aware that it would not look good to my judge, if informed, that I already have a case in municipal court for another act of civil disobedience involving 3 charges of criminal damage. I felt incredibly vulnerable to being trapped there, and missed my Mom so much that I silently cried.

Some of you who know me well are aware that while I was a delinquent and trouble-maker from a young age, I was never criminalized. Instead, for using drugs, running away, and trying to kill myself so often I spent my adolescence locked up in psychiatric institutions, being rehabilitated instead of just punished. Relapse part of the recovery process from alcoholism and addiction (I started drinking at 13), so while I was a traumatized, deeply depressed youth, I could have also easily gone through the juvenile justice system (like my big brother) and landed in prison at 18 for all my drug-related crimes. Instead I pretty much sobered up and became a responsible citizen at 20. With my history of institutionalization, my mood disorder, my addictions, and lack of any resources by which to survive, I could have so easily lived and died like Marcia Powell - there but for the grace of God go I.

Now, at 47 years old, I'm more radical than I was as a teen. I think that's because I see what's at stake for the people so much more clearly now - not just what's at stake for me. This was my first arrest and booking into the county jail. It was a disturbing experience, even though endured with friends and comrades - I don't look forward to this again. I'm afraid that given the persistence of my disobedience I'm likely to end up doing more than a few hours next time, if there is one.

Though I haven't been arrested before, I have been confined as a patient. No matter how good the conditions or how kind my keepers are, I never much liked being treated like a prisoner, which is what being a psychiatric patient entails as well - only our sentences and subjugation to a higher authority on the appropriateness of our conduct are indeterminate and not subject to effective appeals - nor does our imprisonment garner much public sympathy.
Think about it: it's just not the same trying to rally people to "free Peggy" if I'm in the nut house than if I'm in jail for taking on the riot police - few people are willing to second-guess the good judgement of anyone who calls themselves a mental health professional and declares one of us to be a danger to ourselves or others.

With limited rights as subjects in mental health court, we can be placed under surveillance of the psychiatric system indefinitely, be forcibly injected with mind-altering drugs that stay in our system for weeks at a time, be deprived of some of our civil rights (like convicted felons), and be violently seized by police and put back into state custody without even being suspected of a crime. It's chilling to know how easily they can still do that to me - especially since I walk a fine line some days between outraged artistic expression and just plain madness.

That does not mean I really aspire or prefer to take a stroll through the criminal justice system as a defendant, though. I just felt that in both cases an act of civil disobedience was essential to bring attention to serious problems that the law enforcement community, for one, needs to take some responsibility for. That means everyone from the beat cop on the street to the head of the Maricopa County Superior Court should be part of the conversation about the escalating violence and despair in the state prisons, and the tragic deaths of so many people who never should have even gone there - like people who are criminalized for their mental illness or housing status.

Prisoners like Shannon Palmer and Marcia Powell could have been helped long before heading to prison with outreach and supported housing programs, like we developed in the 1990's. If prosecutors like Bill Montgomery want to reduce both victimization and criminalization, they'll support more resources going into our mental health system than into building new prisons, and cops should support legislative changes that take them out of the role of social workers by insuring social workers are around to prevent crisis from escalating to police attention.

Anyway, I'm now in rather deep trouble, I think, over too many minor infractions, and must behave myself - so next time you hear me taking on the Phoenix police, remind me to chill myself out. I've been booked, printed and detained once already - I even have a mug shot now (I'm a serious criminal here). I'm really kind of a wimp, and don't want to go through that all again.

So, I'll be trying to behave myself these next few weeks, as my pre-trial for my graffiti activity is also approaching (November 14, 1:30pm, PHX Municipal Courthouse, room 508).

I'll still be out there, though - just not fighting with the police. Look for me
chalking Power downtown or handing out Real Cost of Prison comic books, promoting the November 30 ALEC Resistance. The people need to tune into that one quick if they really want to make a difference in our current social state.

For those of you doing any kind of jail support for Occupy Phoenix, by the way - I think we all have our arraignments on October 26, 2011 at 10am (phoenix Municipal Court 300 W. Washington St). At that time some may both plead guilty and be sentenced, hopefully to time served (or have a sentencing date set). Some will no doubt plead not guilty and ask for a bench trial (no jury for misdemeanors like this). We have to be facing probable jail time or probation in order to be appointed an attorney if we can't afford one. Since there could be up to six months of jail time and a huge fee involved, I'm asking for an attorney, myself. In any case, a little support for us defendants that day (I believe there were 46 arrested) would be appreciated.

In the meantime, there are stipulations to our freedom (these are mine, anyway). The first one is the only one that worries me, since that can be subject to interpretation at the discretion of a cop...but at least she didn't order us to stay away from the scene of the crime:

1. Obey all laws.

2. Appear at all court hearings and follow all court orders.

3. Notify the court if you move from the address listed on the complaint.

4. Do not harass or threaten alleged victims, witnesses, and/or arresting officers.

Remind us to stay out of trouble please, folks. We won't be released on PR again if we don't. There's a whole lot of damage we can do without being criminal anyway, and we need to be employing a diversity of tactics, as the anarchists often say - and not everyone can afford to be arrested. To those of you who think you can - please be careful not to get hurt out there. The cops can be brutal, and it's really no fun going to jail. Here are some tips if you expect to be arrested, though:

- Don't let any of what I just said scare you from taking action: we really need more arrestable citizens willing to step up when others get taken out. Just go in with your eyes wide open.

- Give all your stuff to a friend ahead of time who can greet you as you come out - they'll probably need to take you to the impound of the police department that arrested you. Just keep your license handy - everything else, including your shoelaces, will have to go.

- Have your jail support team planned out, including some clue about the possible legal consequences you may face, and where, other than the PD's office, you can get legal assistance.

- Writ
e the phone numbers you may need with a Sharpie on your arm - including the person you need to drive you. You may want to include the number of a bailbonds-person, too. I'll post a link to one when I hear of a good one to refer you to. The jail staff are NOT likely to let you pull any numbers off your cell phone, so be prepared.

- be well-layered for your action, erring on the side of being too warm. Everyone is freezing in jail, and there's nothing soft on which to sit or put your head. Extra, warm clothes are priceless.

- save all food you are given, even the moldy oranges. You may get hungry enough to eat it before they feed you again, or another prisoner may come in without having had food in days.

- bond with your comrades and fellow prisoners, to the extent they are comfortable doing so. It makes the time pass and can pull you out of your own misery. Almost everyone was in a worse predicament there - with more to lose - than me.

- let supporters know it could be up to 24 hours before you even see a judge, so they aren't hanging from the get-go. Tell them when your initial appearance is scheduled for, and that they probably won't be able to get you until 2 hours after that - if you get released. Again, my little stay was about 18 hours from pulling into the jail to my release.

- once free, getting your property will probably take time - it may take your entire workday. Be careful what you promise your employer - you may not have your car keys in the am following your release (if at night or on a weekend), and need to deal with all that.

- and, this should go without saying: don't talk to or trust the police, before or after an action, be it solitary or a collective one. Their job is to shut us down - period. They'll do it with their gas and clubs or simply with their smiles - the latter is most insidious. Don't let them in your head either way.

-------mainstream media coverage by the Arizona Republic-------

Arrests made after Phoenix occupy protests

About 50 Occupy Phoenix protesters descended on the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix to support the 45 demonstrators arrested early Sunday. "Bankers get a bailout and we get jail," they chanted before marching back to Cesar Chavez Plaza on Sunday afternoon.
Later that evening, about 150 demonstrators crowded the sidewalks at the plaza under the watch of police officers. Three demonstrators were arrested when they refused to get off the street after the plaza's closing hour.
In the early hours of Sunday, Phoenix police arrested 45 Occupy Phoenix protesters who refused to leave downtown's Margaret T. Hance Park at its 10:30 p.m. closing time, according to Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.
Marking the first time the group staged a demonstration in Phoenix, more than 1,000 members of a movement that decries corporate greed among other issues demonstrated at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix before moving to the park.
But unlike in cities such as New York, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been given the okay since last month to camp out on a privately owned parcel, Phoenix riot police forced protestors out of the park and arrested those who wouldn't go, Crump said.
"Most of those arrested were passive in nature and no injuries were reported to either officers or demonstrators," Crump said.
The arrests capped a day that saw more than 1,000 people packed Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix to protest what they view as abuses by banks and other major corporations.
The protest was an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement that spread Saturday to cities such as Raleigh, Denver, Seattle, Chicago and Tucson, where several hundred people rallied at Military Plaza Park.
Like the New York crowds, Occupy Phoenix protesters championed diverse causes, united by grievances against corporate greed and political influence.
The targets of protesters' anger ranged from Washington, D.C.'s partisan politics to the abuse of children by Catholic priests.
Protesters blame these problems on wealthy corporate CEOs and what they termed big businesses' lack of compassion for the "lower 99 percent" of the population.
Earlier Saturday, the protest went smoothly, Crump said.
"There were large crowds with no known injuries or arrest. The plaza had cleared out late in the afternoon, prior to its 6 p.m. closing time," Crump said of the earlier gathering. Protestors Saturday afternoon marched to Hance park, in part because of its later hours of operation, which are posted as 10:30 p.m.
"As the park closing hour passed many of the demonstrators refused to leave," Crump said.
Detectives from the Phoenix Police Community Response Squad personally urged group members to leave quickly. More requests made by ground and by air.
"However, a large group remained and refused to leave the park," Crump said.
Before midnight, Field Force Team moved in to clear the protesters, whose chants and other loud noises prompted police reports, Crump said.
The team formed a line and moved across the park, arrested and pushing the protesters ahead of the line, Trump said. Sprinklers came on and many demonstrators moved north, Crump said.
As of this morning, 45 arrests had taken place for criminal trespass, a Class 3 misdemeanor, Crump said.
"Most of those arrested were passive in nature and no injuries were reported to either officers or demonstrators," Crump said.
Despite the arrests protesters vowed to return today in force, but by early Sunday just a few clustered near the Cesar Chavez Plaza.
The gathering was primarily organized through social media, and the movement has no official spokesman.
"Non-violence is really good practically," said Carolyn Vesecky, a trainer with the Phoenix Nonviolence TruthForce. "We have a lot of passion, but we need to direct it in the most constructive means."
About a dozen musicians played instruments, sang and rapped revolutionary lyrics at various times.
When they closed the park, the police flew their chopper past midnight, and by 1:30 had pushed everybody out of the park. Protesters said that Phoenix Assistant Manager Cavazos made the problem worse by pushing the protesters out of the park into neighborhoods in the middle of the night.
By Sunday afternoon, the crowd at Cesar Chavez Plaza had swelled to a couple hundred people, some of them yelling, "We love you," to motorists driving on Washington Avenue and waving signs that read, "We are the 99 percent," "End the Corpocracy," and, "Money is not speech. Corporations are not people," a reference to the controversial Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United.
Several wore T-shirts with the epigram, "Think: It's not illegal yet."
Among the demonstrators was Dave Reilly, 47, of Chicago, who had been in Occupy protests in New York and Chicago before he came to Phoenix.
Reilly had been a training coordinator for an electronics corporation but lost his job in 2007 because the company switched to less-expensive online training.
"I've been looking for work; it's a black hole," said Reilly, who has worked part-time jobs including pedaling a rickshaw, cleaning toilets and working as a lifeguard.
He worked construction in Phoenix for two months but quit after he didn't get a paycheck.
"They shrugged and said, 'When we get paid, you get paid.' People are so desperate, employers are taking huge advantage of the situation. They can replace you; somebody else will come along and do the job for free."
Still, he carried a sign saying "I (heart) USA" explaining his sign by saying, "It's the greatest country in the world; it's just a little bit mismanaged."
Among the protesters was Ondi Scibilia. She said she had been living in Santan Valley, but her home is being short-saled, so she's staying with a friend in Goodyear.
Her green-cleaning/concierege company was doing well until the economy tanked. It folded in December 2008.
Scibilia grew vegetables and goats for cheese on her land, but her husband lost his job with a cement company in December 2009, and in 2010, their marriage ended.
She has turned in hundreds of job applications, which have prompted only two phone calls and one interview.
"I still have hope," she said. "Without hope, I wouldn't be breathing."
Sylvia Trainor of Peoria is two weeks away from losing her house to auction. Until she lost her well-paid engineer husband to cancer, the couple paid still paid the mortgage from their savings.
She's in deep debt because of his cancer treatments but says she can't get coverage under AHCCCS, the state's Medicaid system, not even for her son who has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.
"All I have is Social Security," she said. "If I pay the mortgage, I don't have enough money for food. I get food boxes, but that's not enough with four children at home."
When she loses her home, she wants to keep her family together, so she expects to pitch a tent in a park.
"The only thing holding me together is my faith," she said.
Also at the protest Sunday night was Peter Szayer of Mesa, who had just spent 18 hours in the Fourth Avenue Jail after being arrested for being in Hance Park after it closed.
"It put things in perspective how things are run here in Arizona in the jail system," said Szayer, who was a college student but had to quit because he couldn't afford school.
He now works as a caregiver to physically and mentally challenged people at Tungland Corp. in Phoenix.
He said he was put in pink handcuffs, had the option of sleeping on the floor or a concrete bench, and was fed once - bread, peanut butter and two small oranges.
"I could totally tell they did not care about us," he said. "They didn't care how big or small our crime was. I was sitting next to a guy (not one of the protesters) who was bleeding all over the place."
He said detention officers made fun of him and his fellow protesters, taunting them by saying, "Are you having fun occupying this jail?"
Szayer said he faced the prospect of being homeless Sunday night because his backpack containing his car keys, cellphones and ID had been impounded and he couldn't retrieve them until Monday.
He was concerned because he said he needed an ID to get them.
"It's something I'll have to deal with tomorrow," he said Sunday night.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We will not be Ignored: Occupy Phoenix, October 15.

But First: 
This land is already occupied.

Friday, October 14, 3pm 
Downtown Phoenix 
Civic Space Park
424 N. Central Avenue

Support Indigenous Resistance


pass it on.


‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest slowly spreads across the United States

the Raw Story
By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, September 26th, 2011 -- 6:17 pm

Small groups of demonstrators in major American cities have started their own "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations and organizers are planning further actions in more cities across the United States.

A diverse coalition of people have pledged to occupy Wall Street until something is done about corporate greed and the financial system's undemocratic influence on the U.S. government.

The protesters have been camped out in New York’s old Liberty Plaza, one block from the Federal Reserve, since Saturday.

"The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99 Percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the one percent," said a statement on the Occupy Wall Street website.

At least 80 to 100 people were arrested over the weekend in the first big crackdown since the demonstration began. Police accused the protesters of blocking traffic and resisting arrest.

Video recordings showed female protesters being rounded up in an orange-colored mesh pen by police and subsequently sprayed with mace, seemingly without any provocation, and other protesters being dragged across the street by police. Another protester said she was arrested for trying to film the demonstration and locked in a police van for over two hours.

The protest spread to other cities over the weekend.

A small group of "Occupy Los Angeles" demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to show their support for the protesters in New York City.

"Corporate interests seem to be controlling both parties,” one protester told “The ‘little man,’ the ‘American every man,’ just isn’t getting their voice heard. When you need $35,000 to donate to a campaign to get your voice heard, to have a meeting, that’s not democracy.”

"Occupy Los Angeles" protesters plan to begin a demonstration at City Hall on October 1. The "Occupy Los Angeles" Facebook page had nearly 2,000 likes as of Tuesday afternoon.

Another demonstration popped up in Chicago over the weekend. Around 20 "Occupy Chicago" protesters gathered at Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, on Friday and then marched to the Federal Reserve Bank. Some protesters have remained camped out in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the organizers said the "occupation" had grown from 4 people to about 50.

Other "occupation" protests are being planned for Detroit, Denver, Cleveland, Boston, Phoenix, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. The site has been set up in hopes of coordinating the protests.

Although the New York Times described the protest as a "noble but fractured and airy movement of rightly frustrated young people" whose purpose was "virtually impossible to decipher," the demonstration has attracted some prominent voices in the progressive and liberal community.

Journalist Chris Hedges described the protest as “really where the hope of America lies.”

“The real radicals have seized power,” he asserted, “and they are decimating all impediments to the creation of a neo-feudalistic corporate state, one in which there is a rapacious oligarchic class, a thin managerial elite, and two-thirds of this country live in conditions that increasingly push families to subsistence level.”

MIT professor Noam Chomsky also said he supports the protest.

"Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street -- financial institutions generally -- has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world)," he said. "And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power."

Filmmaker Michael Moore and Current TV host Keith Olbermann both separately lamented the lack of substantial news coverage of the event, questioning why same-sized or smaller tea party protests garnered more attention than "Occupy Wall Street."

Even Stephen Colbert chimed in, wondering why his reporters couldn't find the stereotypical "mindless hippie argle-bargle" in the protest.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Love Police AZ: Chalking the Police 2011

Sometimes you need just need to step back and listen when the people have something to say - especially the youth.

This awesome video was composed and put up on YouTube by thelovepolicearizona.

Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The work of a true revolutionary...begins at home.

I just came home from court this morning, and finally had a chance to get my police report, detailing what I'm being charged with and what evidence is against me. I already gave them most of it in letters, blogs, and postcards about my protest. I was relieved I didn't have to actually enter a "not guilty" plea this morning, because after all that, it would seem pretty dishonest. I may have a defense against some of this, though, so I'm going to speak to the attorney they gave me at the public defender's office before digging a much deeper hole. But I still have amends to make to my neighbors, since I made such a thoughtless public display of vandalizing them. I even seemed to make light of it in the process.

See, this is all about me throwing that red paint down in an alley already covered in paint during the First Friday June Artwalk. I openly admitted doing that, and committed my act of resistance in front of the graffiti detectives themselves. In the process, though, my paint splattered a few inches up the wall of the building next door, an art studio/ collective that it turns out does work with people involved in mental health programs. I'm so clueless about some of my neighbors that I had no idea they were doing that kind of work, or I would have talked to them about this all in advance, even though I had no intention of hitting the alley side of their studio wall. Instead, I learned about my neighbors from my own criminal report, listing them as my victim. I feel pretty crummy about that.

In my police report, the manager of the place said she wanted to prosecute because what I'd done would have been so upsetting for some folks participating in the programs - which I inferred was of particular concern for those folks with pre-existing psychiatric conditions. I get that - and can see it upsetting others as well. That explains to me why it was important to clean it up, without messing around with my offer to re-paint it myself - even I would have called Graffiti Busters to clean up after myself if I thought it through. It really was unintended - that doesn't mean I'm not responsible, though. I acted out without much thought for the neighbors over there, or their members and guests. That's not very excusable, given what I could have brought out for some folks with images of bloodshed across the alley, as well as the names of the dead. That's me acting out my own unresolved trauma, in part - they don't need my help with theirs.

So, this blog post will no doubt be added to the evidence they use against me in the end, but I'm truly deeply sorry for having dragged you all into the middle of my protest. You're already doing your part to protect our people from ending up in prison in the first place. I hope that if my activities ever trouble you that way - criminal or not - you feel okay contacting me.

Most people with mental illness, by the time we're my age, have already been through too much.
I'm dually-recovering myself, survived a horrible, violent suicide of a loved one, and the last thing I would want to do is traumatize someone else further. We all need to feel safe in order to grow, and I undermined that for some folks, I suspect, by all my agitation and graffiti - which invited others to contribute more. I was also wrong to define the terms of resistance by my own standards without talking to others living and working around there that night, outside of what I call my own community.

I thought this protest would be all about getting my message out about the state's violence, not mine. It still is, in a way, but not how I thought it would be. It's been said that the work of a true revolutionary begins in the our own communities, taking care of others. Despite all I preach about the importance of doing so if we're to really hold each other accountable and not rely on the criminal justice system for amends to be made in cases like this, when it came down to it I didn't practice that. I think this is the bigger lesson in all this - it's for me, not for the cops. I understand why people get upset about graffiti, now. My total lack of concern for the effect of my actions that Artwalk on the people right next door is my real crime, though - even if I hadn't even touched their property.

But an apology alone is not an amends. I'm inclined to think that only those folks - and perhaps the participants they were concerned about - can say what they feel justice would be, having been harmed in some way by me - and I respect it if they feel the criminal justice system is the way to get that, and to restore their own sense of safety and order in their community. I'd have a pretty hard time pleading not guilty to that charge, after all this. The charges filed about city property, though, I'll probably fight.

I think I just threw myself at the mercy of the court - or my victims, I'm not sure which. I guess now I should wait until I talk to an attorney before commenting much further on all this. Thanks to my friends for showing their support today.


Margaret J. Plews, Editor
Arizona Prison Watch
P.O. Box 20494
Phoenix, AZ 85036

"Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness, and our ability to tell our own stories..."

- Arundhati Roy

Prison Abolitionist
Arizona Prison Watch
Arizona Juvenile Prison Watch
Hard Time Alliance - AZ
Survivors of Prison Violence

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Prison abolitionist charged with criminal damage.

State violence is criminal damage, too...

Look what finally arrived - all that stuff from June's Artwalk night got kicked down to misdemeanors. There's more to come, though, I think. I've been trying to get the attention of the Superior Court justices, not these folks handling the misdemeanors. It hasn't been easy. Hopefully I won't have to commit more felonious acts of resistance to do so...

So, I guess my arraignment for this round of graffiti ("criminal damage") is September 13 at 8:45am. Come early if you want to help me chalk the walk - I'm working on a memorial to Arpaio's victims for the Municipal Court judges...

Arizona Department of Corrections' Deaths in Custody:
Victims of prison violence/neglect
January 2009-June 2011

(suicide & homicide rates doubled under Director Ryan)


Pete Calleros, Mando Lugo, Dana Seawright, Shannon Palmer, James Jennings, Alex Usurelu, William Gray, Ulises Rodriguez, Albert Tsosie, Sean Pierce, Jeremy Pompeneo


Susan Lopez, Tony Lester, Duron Cunningham, Lasasha Cherry, Geshell Fernandez, Patricia Velez, Angela Soto, Hernan Cuevas, Jerry Kulp, Robert Medina, Eric Bybee, Erick Cervantes, Rosario Bojorquez-Rodriguez, Douglas Nunn, Monte McCarty, James Adams, Patrick Lee Ross, Caesar Bojorquez, Angel Torres, Harvey Rymer, Dung Ung, Ronald Richie, Michael Tovar, Carey Wheatley, Michael Pellicer, Jessie Cota

Institutional INDIFFERENCE:

Brenda Todd, Marcia Powell, Tom Reed, Edgar Vega, Huberta Parlee


Pete Childs, William Engelbert, Santana Aqualais, Carl Cresong, Christopher Francis


David Moreno, Gilberto Lopez, Luis Moscoso Hernandez