Monday, October 17, 2011

A short primer on jail support for #occupyphoenix from my experience (PCWC)

Here's how jail support goes from my experience:

(0) Get some money together.  Have a house party.  Rob a bank.  Organize a car wash.  Whatever.

(1) Get a land line that someone is going to sit at and wait by in case arrests happen.  That's their job. It's not exciting but it's fucking important. It's gotta be a land line in Maricopa county because Sheriff Joe is an asshole and you can't call cell phones from his prisons.  Let everyone at the action know the number to call.  It should be someone you all agree on and that you trust.  Reliable.

(2) Ask people who might get arrested what name they want to use when they call and who they want you to call for bail money, help, support, a ride, someone to cover for them at work tomorrow or whatever.  People might want to use fake names.  That's okay because fuck the cops.  Write that shit down so you get it right.

(3) It's gonna take a few hours for people to process out.  Maybe 24 hours even or more.  That's just how it goes because the pigs want to keep people out of the game while they protect rich people and the status quo.  That's why they sometimes arrest you and don't charge you.  They're pricks.

(4) Call all your fucking friends.  Have your friends call their friends.  Get your asses down to the fucking jail.  Call your friends who are musicians. The cops or idiot lawyers may tell you that if you stay that people in jail can't see friends, families or lawyers.  This is bullshit.  No one sees family or lawyers before their first appearance before the judge.  The asshole judge is not going to ask about guilt or innocence so lawyers don't really fucking matter at that point.  Don't fall for this shit.  Stay outside the jail and wait for your friend.  They will be happy you did.  If you're loud enough they might hear you.  They'll like that.

(5) Your friends are going to call you.  Do what you agreed to do in step 2.  They will really fucking appreciate it.  Being in jail, especially if your friends are alone, injured, or of a marginalized identity, can really suck.  It can be deadly.  They want to talk to you and to know they are getting out.  Help them with all your heart but don't lie.  Never lie about release prospects.  Don't talk about illegal shit.  The cops are listening.

(6) Pack the room where they are being read their charges.  These days because the fucks who run shit are afraid that we will liberate our friends like we used to back in the day, this mostly happens via video.  Your friends who are locked up probably can't see you, but they will be happy to hear you tell them you were there when it counted after they get out.  So be there.

(7) Bail your friends out if you can.  Really fucking important.

(8) Be outside in large numbers when they get out.  They are going to be so stoked to see you.  They might want a beer, too, so buy it for them because jail fucking sucks.  Maybe buy them two.

Others should chime in if I forgot something.  This shit always meant a lot to me.  And I'm a fucking militant, not a lawyer, so there's your disclosure.  Lawyers should advise but not tell you what to do.  Their job is to get your ass out of jail after you do what you do, not to tell you not to do it.

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