Protesters chain themselves to CA GOV house
A California Highway Patrol (CHP) spokesman says that a dozen protesters were arrested yesterday after chaining themselves to a fence that surrounded a house owned by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
“There was 10 to 14 people that were chained to themselves and the gate that were obstructing public access,” Greg Zumstein, CHP public information officer, told the Sacramento Bee. “All of those people are going to be arrested for trespassing.”
The protesters, holding signs that say “Incarcerated Lives Matter” and “New Som Let them go,” want the governor to release prisoners as COVID spreads through California prisons.
“We want Newson to release the prisoners who have coronavirus and to also let people out because there are too many people getting the disease,” said one protester identified by local ABC 10 as Shanel A. “There’s a lot of loved ones that are behind bars, and they shouldn’t be treated any differently because they committed crimes. They shouldn’t be treated like animals.”
The group is also calling on the state to stop transferring illegal immigrants to federal custody.
“The protests come amid rising numbers of new coronavirus cases in the state and outbreaks specifically occurring in detention facilities within California including the San Quentin State Prison, where 537 cases have been reported,” says The Hill.
San Quentin had a prison population of about 3,800 prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
A photo by the Associated Press (AP) shows protesters sitting down in front of a large gate with a sign in the background saying “Set Them All Free,” as the police remove a female protester clad in personal protective gear from the premises.
Newsom owns a six-bedroom, 12,000 square foot, Mediterranean-style house in Fair Oaks surrounded by eight fenced acres at which the protesters demonstrated.
The AP says that so far, Newsom has released about ten percent of the state prison population due to COVID concerns, but that’s not enough for progressive activists in California.
“Meanwhile Monday, more than 100 University of California, San Francisco doctors were among 750 people signing a statement delivered to Newsom calling for more prison releases,” says the AP. “The move was organized by UCSF’s chapter of White Coats For Black Lives, which said the signers also include nurses and other medical and mental health providers, students and community members.”
The protest comes as death row inmate, Johnny Avila Jr, who was convicted of double murder after the gang rape of one of his victims, becomes the 10th condemned prisoner at San Quentin to die from COVID-19 complications, out of 19 San Quentin COVID deaths.
Avila was sentenced to death in 1996.
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