Happy new breath. Happy new beginnings. Happy life. I’m grateful that Governor Brown granted me an unconditional pardon. It validates my transformation and rehabilitation, but it does not minimize the wrongs that I had done at age 16 and the trauma I had inflicted on my victims. I couldn’t have become who I am today and be in this special space without the continued support from my family, friends and community. Please continue to hold me accountable and inspire me to do better. On behalf of my family, my heart bows to you. –Eddy
On Wednesday, November 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, formerly-incarcerated and convicted people, and our allies, from all over the United States will convene to discuss and ratify a National Agenda to restore our civil and human rights. We believe that unity of purpose will allow us to build political power. Many of us are already working on similar campaigns, to achieve the same demands. After November 2, we hope to organize and mobilize other people who have suffered at the hands of the criminal justice system to stand up for our rights around the country. After November 2, we plan to mount unified national campaigns to register voters, to end all forms of discrimination based on arrest or conviction records, to support the human rights of people locked up in cages, and to serve our families and communities.
PLEASE REGISTER NOW to attend the November 2 conference in Los Angeles.
There is no registration fee and no deadline for registering, but please register now so we can plan for food and reserve housing in advance.
Our conference will begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, and the convening starting at 9 a.m. in Freedom Hall at the Watts Labor Community Action Center (WLAC) in South Central Los Angeles (10850 South Central Avenue).
TRAVEL and HOUSING: The November 2 convening is 100% self-financed. We have received no grant money so far to organize this event, so we hope everyone will be able to fund-raise for expenses, which we are trying to keep low. Unfortunately, there are no scholarships available for travel or housing for the November 2 convening. If you’re coming from out of town, please plan to travel the day before (November 1). Housing for the night of November 1 will be available near WLCAC at rates of $59-$69 for a double room. Rooms for that night will also be available at the the Westin Bonaventure, in downtown Los Angeles at DPA conference rates — $140 per room for double occupancy rooms.
APIs Behind Bars – Incarceration and Immigration Detention
Place: Spring B
Workshop Track: Civil & Human Rights
Immigrants are the fastest growing population of prisoners in today’s prison system. Sixty-five percent of API prisoners in California are immigrants and refugees. The growth of the prison industrial complex has paralleled a surge in deportations and immigration detention resulting in a disastrous impact on API communities. The Obama administration has prioritized deporting immigrants with criminal convictions. Since 1996, Congress has stripped away the rights of immigrants with criminal convictions by eliminating certain discretionary waivers, subjecting individuals to indefinite detention, expanded the definition of an “aggravated felony,” and removed judicial review and discretion from Judges.
Programs like Secured Communities aimed at attrition through enforcement result in more immigrants in jail while racially profiling anyone who appears to be undocumented.
How does the immigrant detention issue reshape how we think about the prison system and racial profiling of people of color?
How will the overcrowding crisis in California’s prison system affect the immigration detention system?
What is the impact on the API community as the Obama administration deports a record number of immigrants?
October 1-7 is National Ethnic Studies Week and the School of Social Transformation invites the ASU community to a lecture on October 3 and a teach-in/panel discussion on October 6 to mark the occasion.
Activist, community organizer, and former prisoner Eddy Zheng will speak about his experiences and perspectives concerning youth, education, immigration, and the prison industrial complex, as well as coming into political consciousness while reading ethnic studies texts behind bars.
Eddy Zheng is a Chinese immigrant who spent 21 years of his life in prison for crimes he committed at the age of 16. Since his return to the free world, Eddy has dedicated his life to serving the youth and communities of the greater Bay Area. Currently Eddy is a Project Manager with the Community Youth Center of San Francisco. He is a Mayor Appointee of the San Francisco Reentry Council, a member of the board of directors for the San Francisco’s Neighborhood Vision Project, a national advisory board member of the Asian American Law Journal, a member of the Community Police Advisory Board, and the co-chair of Asian Prisoners Support Committee, based in Oakland. Eddy led a book project that culminated in the publication of Other: An Asian and Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology and is the subject of a forthcoming documentary, “Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story.” He hopes to use his experiences to inspire and motivate young people to invest in their education, raise awareness about the detrimental impact that the prison industrial complex has on the Asian and Pacific Islander population, and promote racial harmony among people of color.
The talk will be introduced by Jeffrey Ow, lecturer in Asian Pacific American Studies in the School of Social Transformation.
Organized by Jeffrey Ow and Wendy Cheng
For more information, contact Professor Wendy Cheng.
Monday, October 3, 2011
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Arizona State University
West Hall 135
Announcing the release of a live concert CD
by Eddy Zheng, Martin Dosh, and Paul Dosh:
An Evening of Spoken Word, Music, and Inspiration with Eddy Zheng
In 2010, Paul and Martin Dosh hosted activist Eddy Zheng’s first visit to Minnesota. The three of them performed at Macalester College, introducing the Twin Cities community to the extraordinary story of Eddy’s two decades in prison and his ongoing fight against deportation to China.While still in prison, Eddy began fundraising to support neighborhood activists in the shantytowns of Peru. Eddy continues this activism today by selling the CD/book as a fundraiser for the non-profit Building Dignity. Building Dignity promotes education, leadership, and development among Peru’s poorest neighborhoods. Make a donation (in any amount) and you’ll receive a copy.
The CD includes seven spoken word poems, four original Dosh tunes, Eddy’s presentation, and Q&A highlights. The tracks range from the sobering “Autobiography @33” to the hilarious “Dating Etiquette.” The accompanying chapbook includes text of the poems and information on Eddy Zheng and his struggle. Tracks include:
Listen at: www.myspace.com/pauldosh.
Two Ways To Order a Copy
- Donate online ($10 suggested donation) at http://www.buildingdignity.
org/donateand we’ll mail you a copy.
- Or send a check made out to “Building Dignity” to
Building Dignity/Zheng CD
1622 Hague Ave.
St. Paul MN 55104
Note: CD production/postage have been donated, so 100% of your donation goes to Building Dignity, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations in excess of $10 are tax-deductible.
Eddy, Martin, and Paul
Sometimes we must surrender in order for us to become victorious.
The 5 Core Demands
- End “group punishment” where an individual prisoner breaks a rule and prison officials punish a whole group of prisoners of the same race.
- Abolish “debriefing” and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. False and/or highly questionable “evidence” is used to accuse prisoners of being active/inactive members of prison gangs who are then sent to the SHU where they are subjected to long-term isolation and torturous conditions. One of the only ways these prisoners can get out the SHU is if they “debrief”—that is, give prison officials information on gang activity.
- Comply with recommendations from a 2006 U.S. commission to “make segregation a last resort” and “end conditions of isolation.”
- Provide Adequate Food. Prisoners report unsanitary conditions and small quantities of food. They want adequate food, wholesome nutritional meals including special diet meals and an end to the use of food as a way to punish prisoners in the SHU.
- Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates—including the opportunity to “engage in self-help treatment, education, religious and other productive activities…” which are routinely denied. Demands include one phone call per week, one photo per year, 2 packages a year, more visiting time, permission to have wall calendars, and sweat suits and watch caps (warm clothing is often denied even though cells and the exercise cage can be bitterly cold).
Today I was out of my cell the longest since I’ve been in here. I didn’t even get a chance to take a nap as I normally would. It was chili and overcast this morning. I was out on the yard for about 4 hours. I walked, played ball, and did some crunches. It was too cold. This is the first time we got yard consistently. Time goes by faster that way.
Then I went to the law library for 2 ½ hours. I was able to make some copies and did some research. I need to get ready to file a return to the AG’s return. I’ll have to go back on Thursday. I found out the library schedule is very chaotic. Rico didn’t make it cause he didn’t turn in any request form. We’ll be going on Thursday if all is smooth.
I received my Harper magazine. I have way too much to read. I will share with others of course. I wrote CC an update letter. I hope I’m not being a pest. I wrote N a letter and told him my concerns. I asked him to write me back. G came by to say hi. He’s been doing a lot of climbing of stairs. I asked him to get me a bday card from the chapel.
After dinner, I worked on my autobiography poem. I’m not writing the natural way. I brainstorm and write down things that came to my mind. I’ll organize them later. I started to brainstorm on another poem. Hopefully I can have two first draft poems written. I have to make it happen. I need to write an article on my current situation.
My pain has lessened. I should be ready to workout again on Thursday. It’s been a good day. It’s time to relax and read today’s USA paper. I got some 3 cent stamps It’ll hold me for awhile.
Juvenile Hall Literacy
I will be speaking to approximately 25 youth and young adults who are locked up in the Juvenile Justice Center.
current favorite book:
How It All Began
One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
by Conor Grennan
2011 Alex Awards Committee
2500 Fairmont Drive
San Leandro, CA 94578
Write 2 Read – Juvenile Justice Center is an Alameda County Library program in partnership with the Alameda County Office of Education and the Alameda County Probation Department
I am honored to Co-Chair the campaign to support San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Please join us at the grand opening of our campaign office on Saturday, June 25, 2011!
A Message from Our Co-Chairs
We are excited by the outpouring of support that our Run, Ed, Run campaign has received in its first week! And we have much more planned to get the word out and to spread the message: We want Mayor Ed Lee to run in November!
This weekend, we will hold a grand opening of our campaign office. And we would like you to attend:
Run, Ed, Run Campaign Office Opening
Saturday, June 25th
1565 Mission Street (at S. Van Ness)
We hope to see you there!
Gear Up for PRIDE
Next Sunday, join your fellow Ed Heads at Gay Pride! We’ll be mobilizing teams of volunteers to pass out Run, Ed, Run stickers and materials during the Pride parade and festival.
Come get your PRIDE on, and show that ‘Ed Head‘ spirit!!!
Meet us at the Run, Ed, Run office at 9:30am (corner of Mission and South Van Ness)!
We’ll have some food and drinks (coffee!) in the morning before we head out.
How Do You Want To Get Involved?
There are so many ways to help out and get involved–that are just a click away…
Sign Our Petition
Go to www.runedrun.org now to sign our petition and send a message to Ed!
Get A House Sign
Show us your support in the most colorful way. Put up a Run Ed Run sign in your home! Click here to request a sign or give us a call at (415) 483-5659.
Smile For Our Photobooth
We love to show off our beautiful Ed Head supporters! Want to be featured in our Mustache Revolution Gallery? Set up a time with our Photobooth volunteers. We’ll come to you!
Donations small and large are accepted to keep our movement going. Ed needs to see how much support he has in the community. Make a contribution online today or mail in a check to:
Progress for All
110 Pacific Ave #334
San Francisco, CA 94111
Checks should be payable to Progress for All. State law requires that we use our best efforts to collect and report the name, address, occupation and employer for each individual whose contribution exceeds $100 in a calendar year. Also, please indicate if you are retired, homemaker, student, self-employed or unemployed.
From my lawyer:
“Exciting news! On May 6, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in a published precedent decision that Xiao Fei (“Eddy”) Zheng deserves a second chance to stay legally in the United States. The Court was reviewing the prior decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) which had found he should be deported to China because of his conviction for kidnapping at age 16 for which he received a life sentence with possibility of parole. The Ninth Circuit determined that the BIA decision against Eddy was incorrect and incomplete, because it failed to consider one of the most important factors in Eddy’s case – his value to the community, which has been outstanding.
The Ninth Circuit decision favoring Eddy quoted many community leaders, including Jake McGoldrick, then a Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Jane Kim, then a Youth Program Director, who had spoken or written on Eddy’s behalf in support of his request for a waiver of deportation (called the § 212(c) waiver).
With the overturning of the BIA decision, Eddy’s case will now return to the BIA for a new decision. Given the passage of time, including Eddy’ release from immigration custody, it is likely that within a few months, the BIA will order a new hearing before the Immigration Court, so that the Court can have an updated evidentiary record on which to make the new decision. Eddy’s increased value to the community now that he has been a part of that community for several years will again play a prominent role in his presentation of the evidence and, hopefully, in the new decision from the Courts about whether he is allowed to continue to live and work in the United States.
The Court rejected Eddy’s appeal regarding his application for protection under the Convention Against Torture. The Ninth Circuit decision was published as a precedent which means it can also be applied to others in the Ninth Circuit as well.“