When is a police state a police state? I it a police state when the state can break into your house with police and take your children away with impunity, abuse them in the name of helping them, and use psychological torture and economic discrimination to try to keep them forever?
The story I am telling is that horrible, and it is not an isolated case. The so-called “Child Protective Services”, or CPS (just one “o” as in “Oh no!” away from being CoPS), is an agency out of control.
Sam and Sal (not their real names) are two 9 year old twins from west Berkeley with great attitudes, lots of roly-poly wrestling energy, and very astute minds. They showed up at one of the Bicycle-Friendly Berkeley Coalitions (BFBC) celebrations last year.
Sam and Sal made friends with people quickly, and were eager to learn. Since that time, they came to many BFBC events, a beginner bicycle class, parades, and even rode the COUCH in Critical Mass.
Their single mom, Patty, home-schooled them because she wants them to have the best education possible. On May 20th, Sam and Sal were violently stolen by the state. Patty reports that the CPS came to her door with an army of about 10 Berkeley police. When she let them in, they threw her into a wall as they tore her children away. And then her little boys were gone.
“They didn’t show any papers, not anything, and didn’t even give me a receipt or proof that they had taken my children,” says Patty.
The official justification for this? The CPS documents read, “The Children are homeschooled and never see anyone but the mother.”
Social isolation-yeah right! These kids have had impressive experiences for nine year olds! At the first court hearing, 25 friends of Sam and Sal showed up on short notice in the middle of a work day. They were refused the opportunity to speak or even to stay in the courtroom.
Sam and Sal have suffered exactly the fate that the CPS claimed to be protecting them from. They are not permitted to finish their fourth grade school work and will have to repeat the entire grade instead of going into the fifth grade. Their medical and dental check-ups and new glasses have been postponed indefinitely, so they can’t see to correctly read. They are brutally and socially isolated, no friends can visit or call. They are allowed just one hour a week with their mom.
Now Patty has to face a very hard situation. She has no money and is faced with large fees for her attorney and court costs. The court action will be based in part on a psychological evaluation that CPS conducts. Patty needs $1,000 in addition to huge mounting legal fees in order to hire an alternate psychologist and avoid allowing the people who stole her children to decide if she is “mentally fit.”
Patty is fighting back with everything she’s got. A trial is expected to begin in mid-July, please contact her at (510) 666-0411 if you can help in any way. Patty has found two bands willing to play a benefit July 23rd from 1-4 PM at Ashkenaz (1317 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley) and could use another big-name band, help promoting, help the day of, and any other form of benefit that can be organized to raise money. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. $2 -$20 donation requested. Kids free! Live Music, Dancing, Potluck Brunch and Lotsa Love!