California: repression in St. Quentin and Soledad Prison under Covid-19

report by a member of the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (LAC), July 20, 2020

The situation in San Quentin prison in California, like so many others in the US and the world, is dire. As of today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) reports 13 deaths from or related to Covid-19 in San Quentin prison. This is within a current population of 3,524. Of this population of inamates, there are now 883 cases of infected prisoners. The statistics show that 36 prisoners have been released, and 1,157 cases have been resolved. The latest death took place in a hospital outside the prison.

Note: The CDCR is misnamed, because there is no actual „rehabilitation“ in US prisons.

In the US, the country with the most prisoners, and also the most Covid-19 cases in the world per capirta, the death rate from this virus is about 3.8 percent of confirmed cases. This calculation is modified by the lack of adequate testing in the US, due to the barbaric regime currently occupying the White House, which opposes tersting because that would „reveal more cases“!

But in prisons, specifically San Quentin, there is another calculation. The number of cases of Covid in San Quentin is about 27 percent of the inmate population! This demonstrates that prisons are petrie dishes for viruses like Covid. Mass releases are needed now!

These statistics change daily, and do not represent the real situation in prisons in the US. Prisons, including San Quentin, are over-crowded, lack adequate health care for prisoners, lack protective equipment for prisoners, lack supplies for cleanliness such as soap, and often put prisoners who test positive into solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is a form of torture, and many prisoners in the US refuse to get tested, due to the likelyhood that they may be put in solitary if they test positive. Without mass releases of prisoners, there is no possibility of physical distancing in these prisons, and no possibility of protecting prisoners from becoming infected.

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jama (LAC), and the No Justice Under Capitalism (NJUC) coalition which we support, are commited to Free Mumia! Mass releases of prisoners! and NO STATE EXECUTIONS BY COVID-19!

The NJUC is now preparing for a new caravan/protest at the San Quentin prison in Marin County of California–the site of a rapidly escalating number of infections of this virus. This protest is scheduled for the 2nd of August, 2020.

Another atrocity in US prisons in California, in the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) at Soledad Prison–known generally (and notoriously) as Soledad prison–happened on the 20th of July. This incident is noteworthy because it is so typical of the inherent racism in the US. On 20 July, in pre dawn hours, some 200 black prisoners–only black prisoners–were ripped from their sleep by Soledad guards in riot gear, and made to collect together without masks in a cafeteria. There was absolutely no justification for this atrocity. Apparently there were documents identifying one of the inmates as the son of a member of the Black Panther Party 40 years in the past!
More on this: (SF Bay View) Soledad 3 a.m. raid on 200+ Black prisoners ( July 20, 2020 )

This report was written by a member of the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu–Jamal (LAC)

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