to Press Release of August
25, 2006 RE PROTEST AT SALINAS VALLEY PRISON AND CALIFORNIA TREATMENT FACILITY
Sacramento, CA, August
- The protest at SalinasValley
organized by the U.N.I.O.N. (United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect)
has been called a success on many fronts.We are grateful that Associated
Press has put a small story on the wires and to the Salinas Californian
for a large pictorial feature about this unnecessary human suffering.
families of ill and abused inmates were heard, heartbroken visitors denied
visits told their stories, and all visitors to the prison that day learned
about the U.N.I.O.N. Some have already joined its ranks.
Bird, said, "This protest is evidence of the system-wide abuse and dysfunction
that is destroying hundreds of thousands of families in the name of justice
and sometimes in the name of God. It is a story that needs to be told again
and again to stop the whipsaw machine from taking away any more lives."
were a few tense moments among the purposeful and sometimes sad stories
of the day: A gray-haired woman in her late 60'S, who had gone over to
the prison side of the road to take a photo of the crowd, was ordered back
to the protest side of the road by ten young officers and one middle-aged
"bully" with "plastic handcuffs."
"waved and smiled" when Corrections personnel brought out a video camera
in what seemed like an attempt to intimidate them. Someone noticed that
the person behind the camera had a Green Wall tattoo on his left arm. Someone
else said he looked like Sgt. K. Nuckles' boyfriend who is the father of
her child who works in ad seg. Others told stories of how charges are made
up on the loved ones of those who give Sgt. Nuckles a hard time by her
boyfriend, the guard in ad seg, One lies, the others will swear to
it. That is how the Green Wall's code of silence works and was one
of the reasons that it was so necessary to have a large crowd out there
yesterday as the last one was simply intimidated into going home.
Sgt. Nuckles is the Salinas Valley Visiting officer who last June had denied
Rev. Bird visitation with her son for six months for "disrupting the visiting
room." What Rev. Bird did was question the policy and it sent
Nuckles into such a tirade that anyone dared stand up to her that she called
six guards to have Ms. Bird moved to the Friends Outside trailer.
That day Rev. Bird interviewed 60 people whom Sgt. Nuckles also turned
away who had traveled for long distances. One was a Hispanic
family who had a six month old baby in a carrier wearing blue jeans.
Bird has written columns in the past for americanchronicle.com detailing
visiting abuses to others that she's witnessed never thinking it was she
who would be targeted.
also routinely turns families away for wearing sleeveless tanks under their
three piece suits, even elderly women, "because their bare arms in the
visiting room might cause a sex frenzy amongst the inmates.", Nuckles and
her crew also turns people away for wearing white and sometimes gray as
well as green, blue, and brown. All the common colors, it is difficult
for men especially to find clothing in whatever colors are left pink, purple,
orange and black.
protesters were strip-searched and abused during visiting. Rev. Bird
has made it clear that any such harassment of people who protested will
be reported directly to the media. Legal counsel has asked that all
strip searches of UNION family members to be documented and if asked to
give their permission for the search to write "in protest" on the page.
The U.N.I.O.N. plans to officially ask Special Master Hagar to fire
all prison guards with the Green Wall tattoo, in particular Sgt. Nuckles
boyfriend in ad seg who was out on the street videotaping everyone, a very
visible form of attempted intimidation and chilling of First Amendment
are photos of the strong police presence on the street and six more guards
at the guard house, but only witnesses to describe a huge mobilization
unusual for a SUNDAY which covered an entire area the size of a football
field. CDC called it "Protest Training" but the elderly and ailing moms
and dads out in front of the prison did not back down from their purpose
or fold to the intense intimidation.
still photos and perhaps some video footage of the protest from a professional
photographer are available to media folks who were not there on Sunday.
U.N.I.O.N director, Rev. B. Cayenne Bird has the email address of the photographer.
It was certainly a colorful event: police in full riot gear; elderly, aging
and grieving families representing a rainbow of races; a parade of visitors,
some having been denied visitation, leaving the prison.
Bird also has some good still shots of the crowd already formatted as .jpg
files. If any media folks want an original unpublished still shot, contact
Rev. Bird before Tuesday afternoon, August
more information, visit the U.N.I.O.N. website: