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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Something about the womyn….



It takes a good hour to process me into jail. The womyn jailers here also act surprised to see the likes of me – if they only knew, I hit the court in my airplane incognito clothes. They are very respectful, even almost pandering – bringing me a drink of water, first of all, and then in a paper cup, 2nd of all, because I tell her I can’t drink out of {fuckin} styrofoam.

But to my surprise, that I did my best to hide with my confident authoritarian face, no one could finger print me as I told them I’m allergic to chemicals after reading the list of shit in the ‘lotion’ they wanted to put on my fingers.

They then offer baby wipes instead, that I refused as well after reading the horrific chemicals people in Adel are putting on their babies’ bottoms, which one of the womyn whose initial concern was amping up toward irritation, explains slowly to me that she uses these on her own child’s bottom – a child who has rashes frequently.

I give her my serious “see! Your child has chemical sensitivities too!” nod while I encourage them to use coconut oil, cocoa or shay butter or even any vegetable oil.

They tell me how sensitive and expensive the finger printing machine is so they don’t know about these other natural products. I declare oil without chemicals is much better than oil with chemicals and suggest they go to the kitchen, if there is one. As they cannot find any natural oil, I then offer to go to my truck – or give them the keys – to get the proper non-toxic oil for the finger printing machine.

They give up, hand me my jailhouse rags, accompany me to the bathroom to hold out a clothes bag for any article of clothing I have on that isn’t white. Hmmmm

I am not made to strip as I have on a white t-shirt, or squat frontwards and backwards – as we were forced to do in North Dakota jails – nor was I told to bend over, spread my cheeks, lift my breasts. My hair was not searched, nor my mouth as North Dakota did.

I am lead to cell block 400 where I find out later the 9 or 10 female inmates are housed, this being a mostly male jail.

The 8 womyn are all sitting down at two long tables eating their dinner, for it is 5:00pm. They all look up in concert, beaming at me, as I get led into the cell. Introductions are interrupted when the jailer asks me if I want food.

I begin to say hell no, but the womyn all jump up to circle around me and motion discreetly, alert eyes wide with begging, for me not to refuse. So I don’t.

After the jailer leaves, they emphatically explain to me that I will be put in solitary confinement if I refuse 3 meals in a row. Then they all figure out how to divide up my food tray so amicably and quickly I have no idea what was for dinner!

Everyone settles back down, warning me not to say or do anything I don’t want seen or heard because they are under 24 hour every second observation and eavesdropping.

There are two Black womyn, one brown womon, 4 so blond and bright blue-eyed white women they are almost translucent, and two brown-haired white womyn. I will learn later that at least half the womyn have been arrested with either a boyfriend, husband, or 18 year old son. One womon has a $20,000 bail – drugs – and another womon has a $12,000 bail – drugs.

One womon was accused of stealing toothpaste and the others are there on parole violations. From what I can discreetly learn, most are locked up for speeding tickets, driving without or on a suspended license, operating a vehicle under the influence, and even failure to obey the legal command of a police officer.

I believe the drug of choice for at least three of the skinny skim milk pale white womyn is amphetamines.

But really, they are all in here because they are poor and can’t make bail. Some have been here a few dayz, others weeks. They are all waiting for their trial, which means they haven’t even been proven guilty.

The womyn let me know what I need to do, what the rules are, who my cell-mate will be, when lock-down happens, what to expect next. This is the first time my crime for being in jail is not standing up for justice, at least not directly.

I mean the other times, the womyn have already known I’m a water protector or anti-war or Black Lives Matter activist, etc, because they know of the protests or actions. This time I’m just trying to enter a “Not Guilty” plea and get a court date.

I am most anxious about my truck but I try to trust the judge and the police officer who called 9-1-1 to give them my license plate number and instructions not to tow her.

The womyn quickly show me a pile of books and encourage me to grab one quickly before we are all locked in our cells. Most of the books are bibles or bible-related pamphlets but there are a couple of mysteries so I grab one and head off to read as the locks bang into place.








JAIL



Who the hell ends up in jail after going to court to enter a “Not Guilty” plea for a fuckin traffic ticket? That would be me! 

And where? In fuckin Adel, Georgia of course.

That’s right. I went yesterday to my arraignment for a lousy misdemeanor traffic ticket, thinking I’m going to get my day in court and smash this ignorant redneck sheriff to hell and back for his southern white boy bigoted domination and I end up being taken to jail because the judge demanded a $400 bond – cash no less – before I would be allowed to walk free.

COURT

The courtroom, located in an ancient (for the u.s.) marble, wrought iron, and golden oak tall (for Adel) two story building with the 20 foot ceilings and lazy overhead fans, full of important white people expressing undisguised surprise that I’m here as they buzz around to make sure I don’t enter the hallowed court room with a water bottle. Of course the podium of the judge, clerk, recorder have a can of soda, glass of water or clear soda, covered coffee mug, bottle of water and bag of candies in evidence.

And three containers of anti-bacterial shit, which is a much more dangerous substance that water in a bottle…even in the hands of an old not guilty womon!

We all are individually called up alphabetically to meet with the million-dollar suited, tall, thin white male prosecutor (I assume – he is not introducing himself), who sits with his back to us, goes over the charges, records the pleas, and forwards the info to the judge, a very large, very broad in all directions, white-haired white male judge who is probably in his 40’s.

When court starts, I’m shocked to hear how many people are pleading guilty to minor traffic infractions, or some vehicle equipment failure, speeding tickets – not even “no contest” pleas but one after the other “guilty”. When one womon tries to change her “guilty” to “no contest” I get a glimpse of why people aren’t embracing that lesser plea.

It seems when people plead “guilty”, they are given more time to pay the fine and a lesser fine. When pleading “no contest” the fine goes up and the time goes down: they have to pay now and more money. But guilty leaves points on their driving record while no contest doesn’t.

A 40-ish year old Black man tells me he was stopped for speeding, 82 the officer admonished, in a 70mph zone. When the officer returned with the ticket, it said 92mph and when the victim questioned him, the officer threatened to raise it to 100mph.

I think I hear the prosecutor tell a young Black womon that usually fines are increased for those going to trial, but will be decreased now if she pleads guilty.

Another Black man was stopped with an expired license that he claimed was renewed but he hadn’t received the new one yet. The officer calls DMV in Virginia because he sees a “St. Thomas, VI” address on the expired license. Right. Virginia DMV of course has no record of the driver, so he issues another ticket.

In addition to the man’s home address, across the top of the license – for those ignorant of the VA abbreviation for Virginia – in bold large print are the words: “United States Virgin Islands”.

A young, very slender Black womon has been charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana which the officer ‘discovered’ after stopping her for speeding….hmmmm

She trembles wide-eyed as she nods to the judge, giving her a year’s probation with monthly probation meetings, fined $1367.50, 20 hours of community service. And by the way, she agrees to give up her right to refuse the searching of her home, her vehicle, her possessions, and yes, her body by ANY police officer or ANY public official at ANY time…

Then it’s my turn. I enter the only “Not Guilty” plea I hear. The judge is not happy. He begins to read me my rights, which include a right to a public defender if I qualify, and a right to a jury trial. I request both.

He then orders me to pay a $400 cash bond pending the trial. I’m stunned. I ask why he is doing this and he lets me know that it is to ensure I will return for trial.

I tell him that I’ve already come back to Georgia 2 months after receiving the ticket to this arraignment to enter a “not guilty” plea. He riffles through papers, looks at the computer, and responds with something like it’s the law.

I inform him I do not have $400 cash – I don’t say I wouldn’t give it to the county of Cook (which the womon sitting next to me who lives here claims this is Crook County) to hold for months and months even if I had it, which I don’t.

He tells me I’ll have to go to jail if I don’t come up with the money. I tell him he misunderstands, I WANT this trial, I’m looking forward to this trial, I’m greatly anticipating going to trial.

He calls forth the youngish white woman police officer leaning boredly against the oak door frame behind which guilty people have been disappearing with the court bailiffs and asks her to escort me to jail. I ask the judge about my vehicle – I don’t really care about me going to jail but I’m worried about my truck. He assures me it will be fine for a day or two.

What the fuck??? The officer is visibly embarrassed, mumbles what sounds like an apology and a ‘just doing my job’ remark, then, even tho she mumbles she’s supposed to, doesn’t handcuff me until we get to her police car.

The judge comes down and catches us before I sit in the car & says he’s heard I want to speak to him. Has he? I reiterate again that this is not necessary: I want to go to court. I ask him to release me on my own recognizance and he claims he can’t. I ask him to reduce the bond to $100 and he claims he cannot.

So I ask about my truck, which he doesn’t see. He reassures me that will not happen and orders the police officer to make sure it is not towed. And off we go to jail.



"I'm still in control" Jesus

I really need to get a good camera so I can take pictures of these intense, ugly billboards some rich people are paying so much money to plaster on our highways.

This one I've seen before: it's a lovely picture of an angelic jesus, a lovely white boy a lovely shade of pinkish-white in his long flowing white robe, arms spread out, pink palms up, the robe sleeves gracefully hanging down from those arms, fine brown hair and neat brown beard.

Across the hem at the bottom of his robe several tanks are charging thru the folds; and to his right there are heavily armed u.s. soldiers pointing vicious-looking guns as they appear to be routing out the enemy, with more tanks flanking their backs.

The huge and only print reads: “I'm still in control”

REALLY? What the fuck does that mean???