Law & Disorder

Inmate Drops Dead from Heatstroke at California Women’s Prison; Bay Area Activists Return from Protective Work in the West Bank

Today, we discuss the case of a woman who dropped dead at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, apparently due to heatstroke. Last year, the Sacramento Bee reported that the prison’s cooling systems had failed during a heat wave. According to prisoners, temperatures inside the facility had topped 80 degrees. Our guest Elizabeth “Leesa” Nomura was formerly incarcerated at Chowchilla. She is a longtime prisoner advocate and Membership Organizer for the California Coalition of Women’s Prisoners. The organization is calling for a public health investigation into the death at CCWF.
The International Solidarity Movement or ISM, which was an active protective presence in Palestine for many years in the earlier 2000s has returned. The perhaps-best known activist from that earlier round of International Solidarity Movement protective work was Rachel Corrie, a name many of our listeners are familiar with, because while putting her body in between an Israeli bulldozer at the home of a Palestinian family she was staying with in Rafah, the bulldozer drove over her, crushing her to death. Now, international activists are returning to provide a protective presence, with the same group – the International Solidarity Movement, now in the West Bank. A delegation from the Bay Area just returned from that protective presence work. We’ll hear more from them later in the week, but today, we hear a brief reflection from one of those Bay Area activists who just returned, Maria Lewis
Former Al Jazeera reporter and Palestine correspondent Renee Lewis joins us to recount her experiences covering life under occupation in the West Bank from 2008 to 2010. We also dig into the challenges of fundraising for Palestinians and a GoFundMe campaign that Lewis started to help evacuate six children and their families out of Gaza into Egypt across the Rafah border crossing.

More on that campaign here:

This week’s Resistance in Residence artist is transgender rhythm guitarist, orchestrator, composer, and producer, Ella Rae Feingold, who has toured and recorded with the whose-who of modern Black music including Queen Latifah, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Jay Z, Corrine Bailey Rae, Eric Benet, Silk Sonic (which is Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars), and many more. 

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