Chowchilla Freedom Rally Media

The Chowchilla Freedom Rally made big waves in the local media! Below is a compiled list of the media coverage of the rally including radio interviews, television segments local to the Central Valley and articles written about the solidarity actions held in Santa Clara, Philadelphia and London.

Chowchilla Freedom Rally: It Just Ain’t Right, Interchange Blogspot, 2/2/13

Despite realignment efforts, numbers are still high in California’s women’s prisons, FSRN 1/31/13

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle with Ida McCray, Adrienne Skye Roberts, Windy Click, Community Video 1/30/13

Many speak out against possible CIM expansion, Daily Bulletin 1/30/13

CCWP member, Windy Click and Youth Justice Coalition Organizer Leslie Mendoza on Monday Morning Mix, KPFA (min 28) 1/28/13

Officials insist inmates’ needs are being met at Central California Women’s Facility, Merced Sun-Star 1/29/13

Inside the women’s prison in Chowchilla, CBS 1/28/13

Protest against prison overcrowding draws hundreds, KSBY 1/27/13

Manifestación de la Libertad, Univision 1/27/13

VIDEO: Hundreds of prison protestors rally outside of Chowchilla, Merced Sun-Star 1/26/13

Thousands Rally Against Prison Overcrowding, KSEE 1/26/13

Protest Against Overcrowding Held Outside Philadelphia Women’s Prison, CBS 1/26/13

Protest against prison overcrowding draws hundreds, The Tribune 1/26/13

Protest Against Overcrowding Held Outside Philadelphia Women’s Prison, CBS 1/26/13

Group to Protest Outside Jail Saturday, Redwood City Patch 1/26/13

Op-Ed: Angela Davis/Windy Click: Rallying to end women’s prison crisis in California, Fresno Bee 1/25/13

Chowchilla Freedom Rally to draw hundreds of Bay Area residents to Central Valley to protest women’s prison, SF Bay View 1/24/13

Groups set to protest crowding at Chowchilla women’s prison, Merced Sun-Star 1/24/13

Mumia Abu-Jamal Speaks Out Against Crowding More Into Chowchilla Rally Jan, Prison Radio 1/16/13

Legislation to Allow Media Access to Prisoners

Media Access to Prisons Under Legislative Review
Prisoners Continue to Struggle Against SHU Conditions
Press Contact: Jay Donahue
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
Oakland ? The public safety committee of the California State Assembly will review the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) policies regarding media access to prisons and prisoners in a public hearing today at 9am in room 126 of the Capitol building. According to the language of the proposed bill, A.B. 1270 seeks to restore the media?s ability to conduct pre-arranged in-person interviews with specific prisoners according to the discretion of CDCR. The bill would require CDCR to respond to media requests for in-person interviews within a 48 hour period. ?Passing this bill would be a really big success for both prisoners and the press in terms of being able to hold the CDCR accountable,? said Carol Strickman, an attorney with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. ?Lack of media access to prisoners has created a real issue with transparency regarding the deplorable conditions in California prisons.? Media representatives were allowed to request interviews with prisoners for over two decades prior to 1996, when the CDCR made changes to their policy through an internal regulation.
During prisoner hunger strikes in both July and September 2011, members of the press made repeated requests of the CDCR to interview strikers held in the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU) that were protesting conditions which have been sited by numerous human rights groups as inhumane. Prisoners detained in the SHU are kept in total isolation without telephone privileges and with only limited family visits. SHU prisoners are confined to small concrete cells for 23 hours of the day without any contact, conditions that have been shown to exacerbate mental illness. A number of prisoners at Pelican Bay have been in the SHU for 20 years or more. After significant pressure from members of the press and the public, media representatives were allowed to tour the Pelican Bay SHU and interview several prisoners on August 17, 2011. ?The media visit to the SHU was essentially a CDCR publicity stunt,? said Emily Harris, statewide coordinator for Californians United for a Responsible Budget. ?This was a highly orchestrated event designed to show only what the CDCR wanted the public to see. A.B. 1270 will allow the media and the public a better look at exactly how the CDCR uses $9.2 billion dollars in tax payer money annually.?
Even with this bill on the table, SHU prisoners around the state continue to struggle to make gains around the five core demands laid out during the recent hunger strikes. The CDCR is reportedly reviewing its controversial gang validation procedure with a proposal expected for review by stakeholders in the coming months. Molly Porzig of Critical Resistance notes, ?Prisoners took an extraordinary risk by going on hunger strike and they continue to face retaliation for doing so. They brought the conditions in California?s SHUs to light and we will continue to struggle to make sure their demands are met.?
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