A caravan of about 200 people from the Bay Area drove out to protest conditions at two of California’s state prisons in the central Valley on October 17. The caravan met up first in front of the women’s prison in Chowchilla where a roadside rally was held to draw attention to the substandard condition women face inside the facility. Much of the Caravan then continued on to the next demonstration a few hours later all the way down to the mid- state high security men’s facility in Corcoran. Corcoran has received extensive media attention in recent years for its notorious brutality. Guards have been exposed for engaging in numerous atrocities including, but not limited to, numerous murders of prisoners, setting up fights between prisoners as sport, and placing dissident prisoners in the same cell as a known prison rapist as punishment.
The Corcoran demo was also attended by about 200 activists who drove up from the Los Angeles region. People chanted “shut Corcoran down” and listened to speakers some of whom have relatives inside, including the father of Preston Tate who was murdered by Corcoran guards. The prison’s warden and other prison officials were present to observe the demonstration. Fresno Food Not Bombs served lunch.