On September 26, 2011, William Watkin was sentenced to 45 days in jail as a result of the Eris Parade arrests and subsequent charges. Lord David wrote a piece on his blog that day including all the information necessary to help Willy out. Given short attention spans, and the fact that this didn't even make it into the news cycle, I decided that half way through his sentence I would remind us all that while we're out here he's still in there, with about half his sentence left to do.
I felt it important that we not forget that he's there and that we not forget that he needs some support in whatever way we can give it. So with that in mind, I'm going to re-post the information sent regarding ways to help Willy get through this. I know everyone is watching the Occupy news and I know there's always someone asking for money for this cause or that. But this is one guy. A guy who came to New Orleans from out of state, marched in a parade and wound up with NOPD's version of hospitality instead of ours, so please, don't let him remember only that. Dig a little deeper. Write a letter. Put some money in his commissary. Go visit him. Whatever you can do. Let him know that our brand of hospitality doesn't include abandoning him to the predations of the Fifth District, one of our least reasonable judges, or the environs of OPP.
Below from email:
WRITING TO WILLY
> This would be lovely. Wouldn't you want a letter from the outside world,
> some personal note to let you know you're not as isolated as you feel?
> Something inane and friendly, cheerful and encouraging, something from a
> friend or from a stranger taking the time to let you know that you're missed
> and valued... think what that would mean to you.
> You may send Willy mail at this address:
> William R Watkin
> Folder 2303771
> 3000 Perdido Street,
> New Orleans, Louisiana, 70119
> There is a big list of what you CANNOT send Willy here:
> nothing but letters, money orders, and photographs (!) . No
> books, magazines, or 'zines, no toiletries, food, or tobacco, no clothing,
> no envelopes, no stationary, stamps or writing utensils... any of those
> things Willy wants, he must purchase, if he can, at exorbitant profiteering
> prices from the prison Commissary.
> PUTTING MONEY IN WILLY'S COMMISSARY
> Willy, an avid and ambitious leisure reader, can't be sent reading material
> besides personal letters. He will not have the means to write letters to his
> loving sweetheart back in Missouri or his frantically worrying parents, nor
> will he have access to remotely wholesome or even pleasurable, good-tasting
> food, unless money is put in his commissary account.
> You can put money in his commissary by mailing Willy a signed money order
> with his name (William Watkins) and his folder number (2303771) on it, or
> more easily by visiting the Sherriff's office (that same "temporary" trailer
> behind the jail where you go to bail people out) and using one of their
> anti-ATM devices there on-site, or most easily of all by visiting
> http://www.tigerdeposits.com/ and following the fairly straight-forward
> steps. "Watkins, William R." is of course in Louisiana >> Orleans Parish >>
> Orleans Parish Prison. Note that in accordance with the standard predatory
> capitalism of our privatized prison system, the helpful folks at "Tiger
> Correctional Services" will charge you a 7.0 percent fee.
> If your experience with Tiger Correctional Services really turns you on,
> you'll no doubt be gratified upon the conclusion of your transaction at the
> opportunity to follow them on twitter or "like" them on facebook. They just
> posted a picture album of their staff enjoying fresh-caught trout at a
> fishing tournament. I bet that trout was delicious! Delicious, and yet not
> half as delicious as the roaring blackout nihilism viewing the photo gallery
> DONATING MONEY TOWARDS WILLY'S FINES.
> Judge Pittman assigned Willy a grand or so in fines and fees, but
> additionally, at the request of NOPD, she has sentenced him to pay
> reparations. Apparently Willy shoving the officer didn't merely send the
> officer to the hospital and require the officer to take several days off,
> but the same single shove destroyed the officer's new and (apparently very
> expensive!) eyeglasses and police radio. So, Willy has to pay for
> replacements, which are hundreds of dollars.
> Willy ain't got that kind of cash. Please make a donation via paypal or
> credit card at http://eris12.org, or if that link doesn't work for whatever
> reason, or you don't want to use plastic or paypal, e-mail me and we'll
> figure it out. In the blessed but unlikely event that the amount thusly
> donated exceeds Willy's fines, it will be applied to the thousands of
> dollars of lawyer fees the other equally nice Eris arrestees have paid &
> still owe.
> VISITING WILLY
> After fruitless hours on the phone and web, I have been unable to nail down
> exactly how to visit Willy, because he's not in the state system yet the way
> he needs to be for me to get the ball rolling on visitations. This may be
> because he has not yet been assigned a DOC number, and may still be down in
> holding rather than up in the 96 tiers of the prison itself.
> Rest assured, I will figure this fucking shit out (or the lawyers will, and
> will let me know). In the meantime, if you'd like to visit Willy, drop me an
> e-mail and I'll keep you in the loop on that. One proactive step you could
> take is writing to Willy and giving him your full name so that he knows to
> put you on his visitor's list. Willy gets along with just about everyone, so
> don't be shy! I am sure he would love to see you, whoever you are, just for
> the chance at being reassured in person that people here in New Orleans know
> and care about his situation.
> That concludes this very long e-mail. Thanks for your time, and perhaps your
> money. Willy may be a stranger to most of us, but he is the first of the
> arrestees to get actual prison time. I hope he is the last. I hope the whole
> rotten prison cracks open like an egg, RIGHT NOW, and that all the unjustly
> imprisoned human beings inside can return to their families and loved ones.
> Willy doesn't deserve to be in there.