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Meet the activists disrupting LA’s unjust justice system / Part 1 of 12

By Patrisse Cullors

RESIST | Meet The Activists Disrupting LA’s Unjust Justice System

Resist – This short documentary series maps the profoundly racist landscape of LA’s Justice system through the eyes of the activists working to change it.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Jayda Raspberry
Helen Marie Jones-Phillip
Bamby Salcedo
Jonathan Perez

RESIST is a 12 episode docuseries that follows the grassroots work of the intersectional organizations fighting the Los Angeles county’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan in 2018. RESIST examines the issues of cash bail, unlawful arrest, over-policing of Black and brown neighborhoods, and mass incarceration.

Transcript provided by YouTube:

00:08

– We love our police. We love our sheriffs.

00:12

And we love our ICE officers. They have been working hard.

00:23

(police radio): Shots fired, shots fired.

00:25

(Patrisse): The mass incarceration of poor people,

00:28

Black people, Brown people, and undocumented immigrants

00:31

is not the way to make America great again.

00:41

We cannot rely on the President…

00:43

or the justice system to fix this.

00:46

We have to join together as a community…

00:49

and fight for our rights.

00:51

This is a call to action. It is a cry for urgency.

00:55

Black people are dying every single day.

01:06

My name is Patrisse Khan-Cullors.

01:10

I’m one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter,

01:13

and a local organization in Los Angeles

01:16

called Dignity and Power Now.

01:19

with some of the people that I love the most

01:24

and being forced into incarceration.

01:26

I could either be extremely angry,

01:28

and let that anger fester,

01:31

or I could do something with that anger.

01:34

I made the choice that…

01:36

my anger could be used to help change

01:39

the State’s relationship to Black people.

01:42

We live in a city that’s tearing families apart

01:46

right now. What are we gonna do, y’all?

01:49

Justice LA is a coalition organization in LA County.

01:54

To stop the 3.5 billion dollar jail plan.

01:58

The other goal is to reallocate those funds

02:02

into education, access to employment

02:05

and people having access to housing.

02:07

♪ Throw your hands up ♪

02:09

– Well, my name is Jayda Rasberry.

02:14

I’m organizing director at Dignity and Power Now.

02:17

I did 6 years inside Valley State Prison.

02:19

While inside, I experienced a lot of crazy stuff.

02:23

By building these facilities,

02:24

the Board of Supervisors are saying

02:26

that state-sanctioned violence is OK.

02:28

A very close friend of mine passed away

02:30

inside W, due to medical negligence.

02:32

She was supposed to be home in a year,

02:36

Well, stroke-like symptoms. We…

02:38

The autopsy report is really choppy.

02:42

I was fuming, I was really pissed.

02:44

I was like, “I have to do something.”

02:45

I started working with Dignity and Power Now

02:52

The Sheriff’s Department in Los Angeles has a history

02:55

of brutalizing Black and Brown people.

02:59

It’s scary knowing that

03:00

two new jails are going into our backyard.

03:02

People will be dying in our backyards.

03:05

That scares the shit out of me.

03:12

– My name is Helen Marie Jones-Phillip.

03:18

My son John-Horton Thomas III,

03:22

he was incarcerated in 2009.

03:26

He was in there thirty days.

03:30

the day that they came by and told me

03:36

They said he had a fight with an inmate,

03:38

and they put him in the “hole”,

03:43

I knew that John wouldn’t have killed himself.

03:47

because we talked about that.

03:48

I said, “The police did this.”

03:50

I said, “They beat my baby to death.”

03:55

right then and there. I filed a lawsuit

04:00

The case was settled for 2 million.

04:02

The bruise that’s on my son’s head,

04:04

you can see it clear as day.

04:05

He’s been hit with a billy club, or a flashlight.

04:09

What brought me into working with DPN

04:13

is from what I went through with my son.

04:16

I wanted to speak out and help other people,

04:18

and try to save other lives.

04:20

’cause I couldn’t save my son’s life.

04:26

– My name is Bamby Salcedo.

04:34

and CEO of the TransLatina Coalition.

04:38

You know, my childhood was very difficult.

04:42

I was basically raised on the streets in Mexico.

04:46

I have been incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail.

04:49

I was at Twin Towers when they opened it

04:52

in the mid 90s. I have been beaten up

04:56

both by inmates and by guards…

05:00

to the point of unconsciousness.

05:02

I feel that I was given an opportunity

05:05

to turn my horrible experiences

05:10

To be a voice for those who are not able to speak.

05:17

– My name is Jonathan Perez.

05:21

Currently, I am the development coordinator

05:24

for the Immigrant Youth Coalition.

05:29

My family came because of the civil war

05:32

that has impacted my home country.

05:35

That’s really informed what I’m dedicated to.

05:37

Assata Shakur says that we have nothing

05:41

This is that moment. What kind of future do we want?

05:45

Justice LA is the coalition

05:48

that is really gonna push against jail expansion

05:52

Particularly the 3.5 billion dollars

05:54

they are gonna put forward to constructing

05:57

and so we’re gonna launch

05:59

a dynamic and fierce campaign

06:03

to really reinvest these resources

06:05

back into our communities.

06:09

– Today is the last day before we drop

06:13

of the Board of Supervisor’s office

06:15

to protest the building of more LA jails.

06:18

(woman): Right now, there has been approval for two new jails.

06:23

that will replace Men’s Central Jail,

06:26

and a women’s jail that will be out in Lancaster.

06:31

On Tuesday, there’s a few components.

06:35

Um… Please don’t share this with anybody.

06:43

where the beds are gonna be at about five in the morning.

06:46

And we’re going to transport the jail beds

06:49

to the front of the County Board of Supervisor office.

06:52

– Beds, in general, can represent where we dream

06:54

and our vision for Los Angeles,

06:56

but they can also represent another tool

07:00

So many of our folks die on those beds,

07:04

and are restrained on those beds,

07:06

give birth on those beds, and so this dual symbolism

07:10

hopefully will move not just the Board of Supervisors,

07:13

but other folks that see the action on Tuesday.

07:16

– What is the messaging in terms of signs?

07:20

– I think the strategy overall is to have people

07:23

reimagine what all this money would go into

07:25

if we had the power to define that.

07:28

Why isn’t the County prioritizing low-income housing?

07:32

Why isn’t the County providing

07:35

mental health services outside of the jails?

07:37

It’s to light a fire in people’s imagination.

07:41

– How are Black people being reflected in this?

07:45

Particularly since we are the people

07:47

who are most incarcerated.

07:49

– I think it’s actually an important point about

07:53

– The beds are very personal to me,

07:55

because they accused my son of sitting on a bed,

07:58

with his buttocks on the bed,

08:00

with his feet touching the floor and hung himself from a vent.

08:03

Can we do anything to represent victims like John?

08:07

– We should create alter space. – I appreciate that.

08:11

– Anytime organizers get in a room

08:16

some of our biggest enemies,

08:18

it’s powerful, it’s exciting.

08:20

I have the jitters about Tuesday,

08:23

but also, I believe in us,

08:25

and I just believe in what’s possible.

08:34

(Patrisse): It is our duty to fight for our freedom.

08:37

(crowd): It is our duty to fight for our freedom.

08:39

– It is our duty to win.

08:41

(crowd): It is our duty to win.

08:43

– We must love each other, and support each other.

08:45

(crowd): We must love each other and support each other.

08:48

– We have nothing to lose but our chains.

08:50

(crowd): We have nothing to lose but our chains.

08:51

– It is our duty to fight for our freedom.

08:54

(crowd): It is our duty to fight for our freedom.

08:57

– It is our duty to win.

08:58

(crowd): It is our duty to win.

09:00

– We must love each other, and support each other.

09:02

(crowd): We must love each other and support each other.

09:05

– We have nothing to lose but our chains.

09:07

(crowd): We have nothing to lose but our chains.

09:09

– It is our duty to fight for our freedom!

09:11

(crowd): It is our duty to fight for our freedom!

09:14

– It is our duty to win!

09:15

(crowd): It is our duty to win!

09:17

– We must love each other and support each other!

09:19

(crowd): We must love each other and support each other!

09:22

– We have nothing to lose but our chains!

09:24

(crowd): We have nothing to lose but our chains!

resist

This post was previously published on YouTube.

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