We write with a heavy heart to share that Orlando Romero, from our study group, died this past Sunday of complications related to COVID-19. He was 48 years old. He was the 20th person, I believe, to die at San Quentin from COVID-19.
We have been re-reading his letters, and reflecting on his initial hesitation to join the study group. He wasn't sure if he had anything worth sharing or contributing.
We wanted to share this excerpt:
"Over the years, I’ve been around and seen, the worst conditions, which lead directly to the worst that could befall a human being. I’ve been in the middle of riots where people were trying to kill each other, all set in motion by cops who stood 2 floors up and watched with smiles. I’ve seen men drop dead after 3 steps seeking safety, with large holes in their chests, perhaps knowing they were already dead. But most of all, I’ve seen these walls, these cold steel bars suck and drain the energy, the life, the spirit from men, until their bodies gave out. Over and over seeing someone drop to their knees, heart attack or stroke, only to be told to wait, while the doctor is called. Dying alone, on the floor of a cage, is no way for anyone in this world to pass...
Online or otherwise, please shout my words loudly to whoever will listen, because human beings matter. We all felt it as children, the injustice of neglect and pain, nobody had it perfect, but somehow many of us turned away from good, from love, from compassion and understanding! So here is my truth, bright light of day and in your face! The truth does not hurt, nor is it a tough pill to swallow, people just choose to ignore or turn away from it! And if they took the time to figure out how they got that way, maybe if we show the “enemy” some compassion or understanding, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did, then maybe one of them, and then another, might listen, might open their heart, and start a real revolution! A revolution worthy of our common humanity.
Never give up the hope, because we are worth it, and our children and grandchildren depend on us! So for now, I send my energy and strong love to any and everyone who has ever felt sidelined, made to feel unworthy of a smile or simple joy, or different, because let’s face it, WE ARE DIFFERENT, AND PROUD FUCKEN OF IT!!"
We mourn his loss together, and will let you know if we hear of any services organized for him, as he was connected to a number of other organizations, and was especially dear to those who were supporting him through his appeals process.
We invite everyone to light a candle sometime this week in honor of his memory. May he rest in peace and rest in power.
Below are three images - one of his art and a photo and the flyer from the rally that happened outside SQ on Sunday, the same day Orlando died.
TGIJP Mail Nights
July 21, 2020 at 11:30 pm – 3:00 am
234 Eddy St St, San Francisco, CA, United States
Join Flying Over Walls/Bay Area B&P in support of Transgender, GenderVariant, Intersex Justice Project Volunteer Legal Resource Mail Nights Every Tuesday Evening! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for up-to-date info. http://www.tgijp.org/programs.html
Chapters X National Chat
July 23, 2020 at 11:00 pm – 12:30 amHey folks! Our National Program team headed by Andrew would like to meet with y'all. They would like to overview the work they have been doing and get feedback from all of y'all. ────────── P&A is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84390720397?pwd=OW45dTdzOTNEV0ZRYkpLdnNxRk5mQT09 Meeting ID: 843 9072 0397 Password: 074755 One…