On October 7, queers and their allies demonstrated against Governor Gray Davis’ prison policies during a fundraiser at the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.
Protesters expressed our anger with Davis’ policies that strip resources away from education, health care, housing and other social services and funnel millions of dollars into the prison system. Demonstrators stood in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in prison, demanding that Governor Davis end his assault on prisoner’s rights. The list of demands included:
- Abolish the death penalty
- Overturn the three strikes law
- Parole the lifers- release gay prisoners Robert Rosenkrantz and Mark Smith
- No more prison construction
- Fund education, not prison guard salaries
- Healthcare is a right for prisoners with HIV/AIDS
- Compassionate release for dying prisoners
- Stop the violence against LGBT prisoners
- Defend the rights of transgender prisoners-access to appropriate housing and hormone treatment
Although claiming to be a friend of the LGBT community, Davis’ actions speak louder than his words. As protesters pointed out, he most recently vetoed two bills; one that would have protected gay foster kids from discrimination and another that would have supported harm reduction programs. Under Davis’ watch, queer prisoners often face even harsher forms of discrimination, neglect and abuse than other inmates by prison guards. Despite the efforts of prisoners and their advocates to fight this blatant assault on human rights, Governor Davis continues to act with impunity and without remorse. Although he may pay lip service to the LGBT community, his alliances are exposed by his recent approval of a 34% raise in prison guard salaries.
Protesters were present at this fundraiser to let Davis know that we aren’t buying his act. We believe that an injury to one is an injury to all. We refuse to sit back while he locks up our brothers and sisters, allowing them to be tortured, abused and killed by the prison system. If you agree, then let him know it! Send your thoughts to:
Governor Gray Davis/ State Capitol Building/Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841/ Fax: 916-445-4633
Prisoner Rights=Queer Rights=Human Rights