Follow-up Press Release

 


Follow-up to Press Release of August 25, 2006 RE PROTEST AT SALINAS VALLEY PRISON AND CALIFORNIA TREATMENT FACILITY
SacramentoCAAugust 28, 2006 - 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.
The 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. 
Director 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."
There 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."
Protesters "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.
Nuckles 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.
Previous 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 rights.
There 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.
Professional 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.
Rev. 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 29, 2006, at rightor1@yahoo.com.
For more information, visit the U.N.I.O.N. website:
http://www.1union1.com