Last week, the five of us were arrested as we shut down a San Francisco Board of Supervisors hearing and demanded they vote NO on the proposed new jail. Along with a hundred of our comrades chanting in powerful solidarity, we turned the hearing over to the people for more than two hours.
Our community voice rang loud and clear, and San Francisco got the message.
Thanks to your support — your calls, your emails, your chants and protests at City Hall — we won a delay in the vote! Supervisor Mar closed the hearing by reaffirming his opposition to the jail, declaring, “I want to be on the right side of history.”
And the waves set off by our people power have been reverberating ever since.
At a committee hearing the following day, Supervisors Kim and Campos demanded that City officials explain their utter failure in exploring any alternatives to building a new jail — and received only ashamed silence and feeble excuses for answers. Even the Board President, London Breed, expressed concerns about the appalling lack of planning for the enormous project. Yesterday, after powerful testimony from youth with incarcerated parents, the San Francisco Youth Commission voted to oppose the jail project.
Together, we are shifting the political landscape of San Francisco.
Last week, after the Fire Department used power saws and bolt cutters to forcibly remove the five of us from the hearing room, we spent more than six hours in jail — a fraction of the time that so many people in our community endure, but enough to give us a glimpse of the brutality and unfathomable inhumanity that is inherent to imprisonment. While we returned to our homes and families, the sisters and brothers we met inside remain heavy on our minds and in our hearts. More than ever, we understand the need for alternatives to incarceration and community-based solutions. A new jail will only continue inflicting harm on our comrades and our communities.
Today, the Mayor will introduce legislation to build the jail, and the full Board will vote next Tuesday. Here’s what you can do to stop the jail project from moving forward:
1) Call and email the Board of Supervisors to demand they vote NO on the jail proposal! Four supervisors — Mar, Kim, Campos, and Avalos — have stood strong in opposition to the jail, and we thank them for their critical leadership. But we need to pressure the other supervisors to join them in supporting a strong, healthy, and safe San Francisco. Click here to let the supervisors know that it’s not too late to do the right thing!
2) Come to the Board of Supervisors hearing next Tuesday, December 15, at 2 pm in City Hall! The supervisors need to see, hear, and feel our presence and our power.
3) Sign this petition, and share it on social media!
We are so inspired to be part of a community of fierce freedom fighters like you, seeking to tear down those walls that oppress San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. The hope and energy in that room last week was beautiful and contagious, and we cannot let it dissipate.
See you on the 15th!