Sin Barras

Dine ​with Sin Barras at Pizza My Heart​

Come dine ​with Sin Barras over yummy pizza and beer at Pizza My Heart​ on​ Tuesday May 26th from 4-9pm!

30% of Pizza My Heart’s proceeds will benefit​ ​our organization​ and we’ll be there alll night. You can choose to dine in, take out, or order delivery. ​*​All you have to do is mention that you’re supporting $in Barras when you order.​*​ ​​Since we are not a registered non-profit, receive no government or foundation funding, and are unstaffed​, ​we rely on grassroots fundraising to sustain our work.​ ​​So please turn up and help us spread the word​!​ ​L​et’s affirm our ongoing fight to end the caging of our communities​, ​​I hope to see you there.

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Ni Una Muerte Más, Justice For Frank Alvarado Jr. & All Killed By Salinas Police Department

Statement read at Salinas demonstration August 17th, 2014

Sin Barras (Spanish for “Without Prison Bars”) is a Santa Cruz grassroots organization to abolish prisons and support prisoners’ rights and struggles, part of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB).

Frank Alvarado Jr., murdered by the Salinas Police Department on July 10, was a member of Sin Barras. We met him in April in Watsonville, at the annual Walk to Stop the Silence against childhood sexual abuse. He signed a petition to stop jail and prison expansion and a letter to stop retaliation against CA Prisoner Hunger Strikers who are fighting the torture of long-term solitary confinement and for better conditions. He talked about having been locked up for eleven years and getting out and working to heal from prison trauma. The next week he joined us, spoke openly about his experiences inside and outside of prison, and worked for healing, resources, and rights for Formerly Incarcerated Persons. He took great joy in encouraging and helping everyone he met. (more…)

An Open Letter to the Organizers of “Police Legitimacy in Communities of Color” at the Monterey Institute of International Studies

To Dr. Pushpa Iyer, Professor Edward Laurance and anyone else it may concern:

On October 9th, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin is scheduled to speak on a panel titled “Police Legitimacy in Communities of Color” presented by the Center for Conflict Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Under Chief McMillin’s command, four unarmed Salinas community members — all Latino men — were shot and killed by officers in a span of four months. Between March and July of 2014, Salinas police officers shot and murdered Angel Ruiz, Carlos Mejia, Osman Hernandez, and our dear friend and activist Frank Alvarado. Mejia and Hernandez were allegedly shot because officers felt threatened by work tools that they were carrying. Ruiz had a pellet gun, and Alvarado had a cell phone.

We believe it is unethical and disrespectful to give Chief McMillin such a privileged voice in a space that is uncritical of his department’s policies and the violence he has continually justified. None of the community activists, family and friends of the murdered men were invited to present on the panel and likely view the space as hostile — given that they would have had to sit across from the person ultimately responsible for these deaths.

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Cut health care costs by cutting incarceration

Our Letter to the Editor at the Sacramento Bee

Last week, Emily Harris of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) came to Santa Cruz to facilitate a Letter to the Editor Training. We collectively wrote a letter at the training, Courtney submitted it, and it got published! Check it out:

Cut health care costs by cutting incarceration

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 10, 2014 – 8:09 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 12, 2014 – 10:48 am

Re “Health costs for counties with influx of inmates” (The Public Eye, Sept. 8): Thank you, Brad Branan, for writing a piece that illuminates the disastrous difficulty of asking county jails to provide adequate mental health treatment.

Our county jails are hemorrhaging. For Jerry Brown, realignment has meant the literal shift from prison overcrowding to jail overcrowding.

Let’s make sure we don’t make the same mistake that was made when the state decided to build its health care prison in Stockton, which proved to be a $900 million disaster. To cut health care costs, we must cut incarceration by responding to the War on Drugs as a medical crisis, rather than a criminal issue.

This looks like investing in community-based treatment centers that have a long-term vision of quality healthcare for everyone.

— Courtney Hanson, Santa Cruz

sacbee.com/2014/09/10/6697251/to-cut-healthcare-costs-we-must.html