Posts Tagged ‘Grant R. Sleeper’

Richmond Anarchist Black Cross

On the Richmond City Jail

In the context the possibility of a new Richmond City Jail, the Anarchist Black Cross must make it clear that we are against the existence of all jails and prisons. We believe that no new jails or prisons should ever be constructed, and that the old ones should be emptied and dismantled.

Jails and prisons are tools used to oppress people largely based on their race and class. They exist to intimidate and coerce into passivity all who are not incarcerated. Jails and prisons exist to perpetuate slavery (see the Thirteenth amendment which allows for the slavery of incarcerated individuals) and to make profit for the capitalists who have created industries around incarceration.

The Richmond City Jail has a long history of being overcrowded, inhumane, dangerous, and unhealthy. The new Sheriff prides himself on not providing inmates with the medical care that they need. Bails are set too high to be accessible to many of Richmond’s most destitute. As a result, Richmond City Jail has killed many inmates over the years. Five inmates of Richmond City Jail died in 2010 alone.

The solution to the overcrowded, inhumane, hot as hell jail is NOT the construction of a new larger jail. A new facility with more beds will only encourage more arrests to fill the space.

Richmond City Jail should never have been allowed to become overcrowded. Inmates over its capacity should be released immediately, which is what the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross called for in July of 2010 when Kerry Wayne Bennett and Grant R. Sleeper died from the heat. The Sheriff’s department is clearly too callous and incapable to keep people alive. They should not be entrusted with a larger population and they should never be allowed to exceed the official capacity of any facility. A new jail facility will not solve the problems of the old facility. (more…)

PLEASE show up to this.

Friday, July 9th
Demonstration in memory of Oscar Grant and in solidarity with prisoners suffering under inhumane conditions in the Richmond City Jail.

4pm-Demo at City Hall (8th and Broad)
5pm- March down Broad Street to Richmond City Jail- noise demonstration in solidarity with prisoners

Bring banners in memory of Oscar Grant, signs, fliers, etc

Bring ways to make noise so the inmates know we are out there. Buckets, sticks, guitars, horns, megaphones, boomboxes, etc.

Some information about Oscar Grant:

Oscar Grant was a young black man murdered by the police on Jan 1, 2009 in Oakland CA. Following reports of a fight on a BART train, transit police arrived, and detained Oscar and one other person.  Oscar Grant was prostrate, cuffed face down on the ground.  He was allegedly resisting arrest, and Officer Johannes Mehserle drew his firearm and shot him in the back.  The murder was recorded by several passengers on the train, and led to widespread riots in Oakland and international solidarity actions.  It also led to the first EVER murder trial for a police officer in the state of California.
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On June 30th an inmate at the Richmond City Jail, died. RIP Kerry Wayne Bennett.

That was the 2nd death in the month of June in the City Jail. Previously, Grant R. Sleeper, died after being moved from the Jail to the Hospital.

These are not the first inmates to have died at the Richmond City Jail due to overcrowding, poor facilities, intentionally cruel management, lack of access to food, water, medicine, and medical care etc. The Richmond City Jail is an atrocity.

The proposed solution to the torturous conditions at the current Richmond City Jail is the construction of a new jail facility.

We call for the immediate release of all prisoners currently being held at the Richmond City Jail. Moving them to a different facility, even as a temporary measure, will undoubtedly result in the overcrowding of that or those facilities. It will likely also result in the removal of those inmates from the Richmond area which will make it more difficult for them to receive support and visits from their family, friends, and lawyers.

In the long term we also oppose the construction of a new jail facility, particularly if it is an expanded facility. When our prisons and jails are all over crowded, we question the need to have so many people imprisoned.

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross is an autonomous Collective committed to prison abolition and prisoner support. As anarchists we are oppossed to all systems of oppression and repression and have concluded that prisons serve no positive function in society. We actively seek to abolish the institutionalized slavery of the Prison Industrial Complex. We are dedicated to working in solidarity with prisoners and drawing connections between a multitude of struggles.

http://www.criticalresistance.org has more information about reasons for supporting the abolition of the Prison system in the United States.

This Article, from the Richmond Times Dispatch has more details:

Richmond, Va. —

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate what it calls “punishing” conditions at the Richmond City Jail after the deaths of two inmates last month. (more…)