Occupy San Quentin


We have been informed that the road block-off will begin at 10am on Monday.

The buses and carpools will have to drop off passengers at Francisco Boulevard East and Grange Avenue, see this map.

It is about 3/4 mile from that point to the prison. If you park farther away, the shuttle can only bring you that close.

Therefore if you are unable to walk to the gate you must get dropped off before 10am. We can help arrange for transportation for you that will bring you there before 10am. We are sorry for any hardship this may cause, but it is outside of our control. Please email occupy4prisoners@gmail.com to make  special arrangements.

Sign up for a ride or to volunteer for carpool. We strongly encourage you to go to a meet-up for a ride or to carpool. Signing up helps us get an idea of how many people are coming. NOTE: We have buses and carpools leaving from Oakland, and carpools from SF. We need more carpools in SF – Please help spread the word!

Oakland: meet-up at Oscar Grant Plaza/ 14th and Broadway – 10am

San Francisco: meet-up is at 1540 Market @ Van Ness – 10am

Directions and parking information PLEASE READ, especially if you are going to the prison without going to a meet-up first. There will be NO PARKING on the road leading up to the prison or in the prison parking lot. You will need to park 1-2 miles away and either walk or wait for the shuttle to bring you closer to the prison. This shuttle, however, will only bring you within 3/4 mile walking distance to the gate. If you need a ride all way up to the gate, you will need to get there before 10am when the road is closed. Please share that information in the rides sign-up or by emailing occupy4prisoners@gmail.com.

Public transportation options – Please consider the available public transportation, including bus routes from SF, Marin and Richmond.

Occupy San Quentin will feature reading of statements by people in prisons, art, music and bringing together our movements. This demonstration is in solidarity with those behind prison walls, their loved ones, and formerly incarcerated people. These communities ask that the spirit of solidarity create a safe space for all on February 20th.


31 thoughts on “Occupy San Quentin

  1. […] bus/carpool or get public transportation/driving/parking directions – PLEASE READ – at https://occupy4prisoners.org/occupy-san-quentin/ website: www.occupy4prisoners.org facebook: www.facebook.com/occupy4prisoners twitter: […]

    • JC says:

      From what I understand, one of the missions of the Occupy movement is to represent the “little guy”? My husband is employed by San Quentin. He works his rear end off . He just barely makes a living wage and I am out on disability from my job as a psychiatric/public health nurse.
      Today we had plans to spend some much valued and scarce time together. However, due to your gathering that sympathizes inmates, some of which don’t even deserve the air they breathe (my opinion), he has been mandated to come in to work all day. So much for the opportunity for some well deserved peace and relaxation for the little guy.

  2. Frances Barbour says:

    when it comes to prison-related activities, I formally represent the residents of San Quentin Village, where the event currently is scheduled to occur. It is a 2-block, intimate and civilian community, consisting of about 27 dwellings and maybe 60 people, who have nothing to do with the politics of the Department of Corrections; they just want to live peacefully and quietly in their homes.

    I hope your arrangements have taken into consideration the safety and welfare of this innocent community and their private property. What kind of law enforcement will there be? Will the residents be inconvenienced or put in harm’s way by your demonstration?

    The residents think you are better off protesting at the West Gate, where the public will drive right past you and see you there, whereas in the Village there is no public view.

    Further, the West gate is near the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, and near a large shopping center, with plenty of parking and a multi-use path leading to the West Gate.

    The West Gate has a big San Quentin sign, and is where the bus loads of inmates arrive to be incarcerated. Much better statement for your groups!

    Finally, I hope you will have petitions ready at your event to end/ammend the 3 Strikes Law and to abolish the Death Penalty, so we can get them on the November ballot and save our State’s economy and morality.

    Frances E. Barbour
    SQ Village Liaison
    Citizen’s Advisory Committee Member
    San Quentin State Prison

  3. […] Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners HomeAboutEndorsersMaterialsNational ActionsOccupy San Quentin Feb 08 2012 Leave a comment By occupy4prisoners […]

  4. Occupy4Prisoners says:

    This note is a thank-you to Frances Barbour: we appreciate your feedback regarding our Occupy San Quentin event being organized by a large coalition of Bay Area social justice groups and individuals opposing mass incarceration in the United States and the violation of the human rights of prisoners.
    Occupy San Quentin will be held at the prison’s East Gate. Your suggestion that we choose the West Gate is not viable because the West Gate has a number of logistical as well as safety problems that militate against holding a rally there. So we have made our decision. However, we are very open to meeting with you and any other representative from San Quentin Village to discuss our existing plans for a peaceful rally that respects the welfare of the residents of your community.
    We are open, as well, to hearing your ideas for supporting our goal of holding a peaceful demonstration at San Quentin’s East Gate.
    Please email us at occupy4prisoners@gmail.com with your contact information and we will reach out to you with a time and meeting place to discuss the above matters. Again, thank you for your feedback. We look forward to a face-to-face discussion.

  5. ingrid says:

    Having a meet-up at OGP 14 & Bway is difficult given traffic etc etc. Why not move the meet up to the north side of OGP at 16th & San Pablo? Its quieter and there is much more space.

  6. […] Transportation Meet-up at 10am for bus/carpool: 14th & Broadway, Oakland and 1540 Market @ Van Ness, SF. SIGN-UP for bus/carpool or get public transportation/driving/parking directions – PLEASE READ – at https://occupy4prisoners.org/occupy-san-quentin/ […]

  7. […] the local actions for Occupy the Prisons day, February 20th, were being planned, Occupy Oakland members played and continue to play an important […]

  8. […] the local actions for Occupy the Prisons day, February 20th, were being planned, Occupy Oakland members played and continue to play an important […]

  9. […] the local actions for Occupy the Prisons day, February 20th, were being planned, Occupy Oakland members played and continue to play an important […]

  10. Wendy fox Rankin says:

    Unfortunatly i am working be thewre in spirit

  11. Jackson says:

    I agree, the East Gate is better. East Gate has the “Castle” in the background which is needed for the backdrop of photos and the media. The other side is dangerous and no exposure to the prison, basically out of sight out of mind. We will be chantin’ and burning candles. Nothing but love for the villiage.

  12. beth waitkus says:

    You are negatively impacting the inmates at San Quentin on Monday. They are locking the prison down, everyone will have to sit in their cell all day, and volunteers who provide important rehab programs, education and good works for prisoners won’t be able to get in to provide their services to the men.

    Finally, because the prison is already so strapped for resources, they have to hire extra staff to come in on Monday to deal with your protest. So taxpayers will once again end up footing the bill.

    Next time, try protesting the policy makers, special interest groups, and the CDCR who put prison policy in place.

    • Thank you for your comments.

      We put a lot of consideration into where we could hold this rally and when we could hold this rally. Many of the people who are participating in the decision-making of this Occupy 4 Prisoners effort are recently released men from San Quentin. So we had valuable input from folks who know San Quentin intimately. As a consequence, we deliberately did not hold this event on a weekend when visiting could be impacted.

      We are in contact with many men who are currently incarcerated at San Quentin and they are supporting the Occupy 4 Prisoners event. We even have statements from some of them to read on Monday.

      • Joy says:

        From what I heard in visiting yesterday, there are many, many more men inside who oppose you. They asked me to try to contact you and see if you’d relocate somewhere else. They’d like to be able to go about their normal days of working and programming and going to their rehab programs.

    • Joy says:

      I am totally with you here, Beth. My husband an other inmates in the visiting room yesterday are extremely unhappy with the interruption in their programming and believe that Occupy Oakland is harming them, not helping.

  13. […] To arrange transportation to San Quentin:  If you are planning to take the bus that leaves from the plaza at 10 am, or to arrange a carpool, sign up here: […]

  14. […] @ Van Ness in San Francisco. Email occupy4prisoners [at] gmail [dot] com for more information. See https://occupy4prisoners.org/occupy-san-quentin/ for transportation information, including to sign up for a ride or volunteer for carpool. See […]

  15. wwelsh says:

    I am in total support of the occupy movement, especially this one. About 17 years ago, I was wrongfully convicted of false imprisonment in Santa Clara County. I had to spend about $30,000 of my own money in order to defend myself against a system that has unlimited resources at their disposal. As I am writing this comment, The United States of America is the worlds largest jailer, with about 25% of all the planet’s inmates. It is also the fifth most prolific executioner of prisoners in the world. Only China, Iran, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Vietnam execute more prisoners that the United States of America. The time to fight back against this travesty is now!! America is not a democracy, it is a facist police state with a government of and for the 1% and their corporat cronies.

  16. manuel la fontaine says:


    As someone who was caged up in San Quentin, and in other cages throughout California, I recognize the significance of providing space for PEOPLE, inside to have a voice. Seldom if ever, are people inside giving an opportunity to express themselves in a way that others outside of their cells, yard, cage and family can hear or have access to. Tomorrow it is NOT about OCCUPY OAKLAND, it is not about ANY INDIVIDUAL, or ORGANIZATION, or ENTITY, but rather FOR people who have been impacted directly by mass incarceration, and the so-called “Criminal Justice System” to have their voices amplified though their personal statement(s), art, their loved ones, or extended relatives. I recognize that not everyone will EVER be on the same page or agree with anything anyone, or group of people do. I further recognize that some people inside are worried about their safety, program or lack of, and their overall well-being. Many of us who have been inside Quentin, and other cages have been working closely with Occupy for Prisoners, and Occupy Oakland to try to make this day one of peace, education, and resistance. Resistance because PEOPLE inside “prisons”, “jails”, and “detention” facilities throughout California, and the U.S. are perceived and treated as expendable people, as subhumans, and those at the worse end of this treatment have not only asked us to support them through actions like Feb 20, but also provided us with guidance through their words of wisdom, and inspiration. Education because the world needs to know about the torturous conditions of confinement that people have to experience when they stand up for their human rights, and dignity, as well as those people inside who have become immune to the inhumane treatment they receive. Peaceful because we aim to show the world that many of us have already accepted responsibility for any acts that may have caused harm to our families, our communities or ourselves,
    and we strive to continue to play an active role in making our communities safe for everyone. Now it’s time to HOLD all those responsible for their actions. Many of us recognize that these systems cannot be hold accountable, unless we as a society, as collective people help dismantle these cannibalistic systems and build communities that are inclusive of everyone, regardless of their persuasions. However, we will not resort to the same actions, and practices of our enemy: the status quo, the establishment, CDCR. We do not hate our enemy, but rather love our people inside, and in our “free world.” We ask all of those who doubt that one day can change the world, to challenge themselves and defy conventionalism. Do not be guided by fear. Join us and let the Bay Area, the world know that we stand against torture! We stand against the death penalty. We stand against “three-strikes”. We stand against solitary confinement. Overall, we stand for dignity! We stand for human rights!. We stand for Real Justice. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Pelican Bay Security Housing Units, all SHUs in Ca, and ALL cages throughout the world.

  17. Bridget says:

    I am in solidarity with Occupy4prisoners and especially with Occupy SQ. In the name of humanity and peace we cannot allow any fear – we all have to remain strong and courageous and show in peaceful ways how much we all care and how much a society need a change into the right direction. Wake up California! Abolish the Death Penalty! Abolish these inhuman treatments in that prison system. Put an end to Solitary Confinement! I am sending all my love and compassion 9000km across the ocean… I am sending all my love and compassion to my loving husband and to my loving brother. Peace, Love and Humanity are the key words we need to focus on. Occupy SQ will send the true spirit through these concrete walls and fill up these harsh metal boxes with love and humanity and let all our loved ones feel that they are NOT alone !

  18. […] TRANSPORTATION: Meet at 10:00 AM for bus/carpool at 14th & Broadway in Oakland, or at 1540 Market & Van Ness in San Francisco, http://occupy4prisoners.org […]

  19. […] Occupy San Quentin « Occupy4Prisoners. Share this:FacebookTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Categories […]

  20. Angela S says:

    I’m a volunteer at San Quentin, I’ve been going in for 9 years now and have established strong relationships with several of the men who form a peer education and co-facilitation group. My program is self-sponsored and I’m not in danger of losing my “job”, but there is always the consideration of perception by the prison as to how much of an activist I can be in situations such as Monday’s action.  I have marched to the port twice and visited and been at Occupy Oakland since the beginning (but not since the second port general strike). The men whom I work with at San Quentin and I found out about the planned day of action just last week and when we met on Friday, they and other men who know me spoke about some of their concerns with Monday’s action (specifically the concern about SQ being a “target” and the misunderstandings that generally erupt when the media gets involved).

    I’m in solidarity with the men of San Quentin as well as men, women and children who are incarcerated in an unjust and unfair prison system!

    To the people who are coming today to raise awareness and hopefully some of the voices of those who are incarcerated, I do thank, honor and appreciate your intentions, and I know that many of the men who live inside San Quentin are grateful… they will be thinking of you and praying for your safety. I do not pretend to speak for them, but can only give you my observations of their thoughts and feelings, which are as diverse as the Occupy movement, and contain many layers of experience.

    I was just in San Quentin on Friday and the group of men whom I work with plus a few others expressed a variety of concerns about this day of action, specifically that the protest in this area is in front of San Quentin, which is considered to have the most opportunity of all the state prisons for the chance of rehabilitation through programs (most run voluntarily by community members like myself) and therefore a better chance of re-entry back to their communities.  They are also concerned that their voices are not being heard and that they were not consulted at all about the Occupy day of action (apparently they were informed by a group of activists who had been inside a few years previously).  Some have read the notice sent out about Occupy 4 Prisoners, but most have not, so there is a lot of confusion about what is going on.  The men who have read it are in agreement with the intentions of Occupy but some of the concerns are surrounding the tactics and the location of SQ specifically, and the impact on all if there is even a little conflict.  One gentleman suggested that people go to Sacramento where the policies are made, and also for people to gather at prisons that do not provide the kind of programs found at San Quentin. There is a huge concern that corporate media will cover the event as it usually does and show pictures and video of inmates that continue to foster fear and prejudice against those who are incarcerated (I’m sure you know what type of media they are talking about!) Most have noticed that many regular programs and visits are being shut down (not just on Monday) and are therefore afraid that if there is any kind of conflict, they and their families will suffer and not allowed visits or programs. Yes, they are being fed propaganda from staff and officers inside who are reacting out of fear, and it also appears that they again are feeling marginalized by a lack of communication with the local organizers.

    So those are some of the concerns and yet there is encouragement and hope, especially after we had a dialogue about what could happen if the event was able to be entirely peaceful.

    We discussed them writing a letter to be read at the Occupy event, asking people to be peaceful in their legal demonstrations.  And if the prison would allow it, they would like to make a video message to send out as well.

    Lastly, the men told me to stay safe and not be involved in anything that could jeopardize my status as a volunteer, and it is for that reason that I am doubtful that I can be there physically to stand with the Occupy 4 Prisoners at San Quentin today.



  21. Christine says:

    I received an incredibly moving phone call this morning from my husband who resides on the condemned row at San Quentin. He told me he asked his tier officer about the crowd, and was told, “Oh it’s about 50 people out there.” “It was total over kill with officers out there in riot gear, etc.” And then they started seeing the news and hearing that there were over 700 people in attendance and hearing and seeing the crowd on their televisions. They had been on lockdown all day with no program as the prison prepared for the event. He said, it was so worth being locked down for this event, and he so appreciated the work of all the people and the organizations, and even the neighbors of SQ that were interviewed that questioned exactly what was going on behind prison walls today! This is the one time he didn’t mind being locked down!!! He asked me for addresses of the organizations that participated toso he could send written thank you letters.

    Just wanted to let everyone know how much it meant to those on the inside that everyone was there and for once they knew they were not forgotten!

    Peace and courage,


  22. […] February 20, San Quentin Prison (just North of San Francisco) was the site of a groundbreaking “Occupy San Quentin” demonstration linking Occupy Wall Street with the anti-prison movement. Inside on San Quentin’s […]

  23. Forrester says:

    The first and only Occupy related item which sounded a false note: Iran “hikers” add to the neo-con drumbeat for war. Every credible source reports the border they crossed is clearly marked. They are reputed expert hikers, but “got lost” anyway. They have continued to issue replicated phrases in every statement as if rehearsed. Their detaiment occurred exactly when the U.S. began its latest push for increased sanctions and war against Iran. Occupy supporters should be very careful about which resistance movements and revolutions it stamps instant approval on. The majority of avowed progressives follow the State Department line word for word. Pick any country where the U.S. Government is spoiling for a fight. You’ll find eager willingness to jump on the Orange/Green/Pink/Plaid/Polka-Dot Revolution bandwagon. At this point skepticism is desabled and cheerleading for unidentified groups (usually lead by U.S. supported expatriots) take hold. Now, wait for the hostile replies which follow this post — they will contain no factual refutation.

  24. wwelsh says:

    During the French revolution in 1792, the masses stormed the debtor’s prison and freed all of the inmates. Being that we, the United States of America is the world’s largest jailer, we need to do something similar here, but given the mindset of the American people, that’s not going to happen, at least not now. Most Americans are in favor of more prisons, harsher sentences, and harsher conditions within the prisons. This is courtesy or the corprat news media that puts out lie after lie about those that are incarcerated.

  25. […] TRANSPORTATION: Meet at 10:00 AM for bus/carpool at 14th & Broadway in Oakland, or at 1540 Market & Van Ness in San Francisco,http://occupy4prisoners.org […]

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