As part of the No New SF Jail Coalition, DSA SF will be sending a delegation of members to observe the hearing about the future of the 850 Bryant county jail on Friday, October 18th at City Hall Legislative Chamber, Room 250 from 10:30AM-12:30PM. This is a great opportunity for new or prospective members to get front-row seats to the process of politics in San Francisco, and members of DSA SF and the No New SF Jail Coalition will meet up for coffee, tea, breakfast, and comradery at 9:30AM across from City Hall to discuss the campaign and connect with folks supporting this crucial effort.
DSA SF supports the abolition of the prison-industrial complex generally, and we’re starting with the most dangerous local example. 850 Bryant has been slated for demolition for more than two decades due to seismic instability, but even if the building were structurally sound the conditions inside would still be hazardous. Just a week ago, 14 people, including both inmates and officers, were hospitalized due to exposure to narcotics. This is just the latest example of a pattern of negligence and safety hazards that define this rotting building.
City Hall has decided to finally take action. But like all things that involve local politics, the more the citizens of San Francisco get involved, the more pressure elected officials will feel to follow through on this as-yet broken promise.
According to Alex Post of the DSA SF Justice Committee: “Right now, as you’re reading this, there are hundreds of people locked in cages on the upper floors of 850 Bryant, the main jail, which is seismically unsafe: it could collapse in an earthquake.
The city knows this, but the solution they are hearing from the Very Serious People, including the Sheriff, is that we need to build a new jail or they will have to transfer people to the notorious Santa Rita prison in Alameda County.
The Very Serious People will be at Friday’s hearing, so we need to make sure the supervisors see that the people don’t support this. If they think we don’t care or aren’t paying attention, they will go down the “easier” path of maintaining the status quo: keeping poor people locked up pre-trial.
This is our opportunity to make a powerful first impression: the status quo is unacceptable, and we are organized and mobilized to defeat those who uphold it.”
If you want to see how San Francisco government works and feel empowered to participate in local politics, join us at the No New SF Jail hearing this Friday at 10:30AM at City Hall. RSVP and find more information here.