“A Tale of an American Political Prisoner”

Part 8.4: The DC Gulag; Washington, DC

–A Farewell to C2B–

by: Jessica Watkins (X: @J6ssicaWatkins)

A True Story; 100% verifiable with Text Messages, Emails, Video/Audio, Court Documents and Testimony.

The day I left C2B was abrupt and heartbreaking. A piece of my soul will forever remain in that Pod. While I can never forget the layout, it’s the memories of my J6 brothers that are most poignant. The huddling over tablets to analyze the events of J6; the incessant pacing with Sabol from one end of the pod to the other; the grunts and groans of Dominick weightlifting with bottled waters in a laundry bag; our poker nights and gambling with Jolly Ranchers; Mikey singing heavy metal like Slipknot and Disturbed in my window slit like a one man concert (“Seek and Destroy! Seek and Destroy!…”); Jeff McKellop walking with a mop bucket and cussing at the invisible flying elves; playing Magic with my friends Guy, Garrett, and Cleve; Billy Cressman yelling “Oh Billy!” and setting off a chain reaction of “Oh Billy’s” that lasted for minutes; the nights of the Hopium Den; and gathering for our National Anthem and singing together as we mopped up s*** water that was raining down from a broken toilet on the the Top Tier. So, while we suffered bad times together, there were a lot of memories built up over the year and a half that I spent in C2B. We came together to solve problems and to keep ourselves sane. So when I was finally taken out of C2B and to a Women’s GenPop Unit, it would be my time with my J6 brothers that I would miss most of all. Before I talk about that heart wrenching day, and the subsequent change in my J6 Political Prisoner journey, allow me to explain a bit on how this all came about.

Ever since my arrival in the DC Gulag, the jail had been attempting to coerce us into signing these bright green “Housing Release Forms”, in order to continue to house us in Protective Custody. At first, it was kinda a bureaucratic checkbox item. We signed them and moved on. But after a while, we got it into our heads to refuse. An attitude of “I ain’t consenting to s***…” prevailed. Furthermore, the jail deliberately misgendered me on these forms, using the wrong pronouns, etc. So, I had been refusing to sign, and correcting the pronouns/gender marker. I started writing “I have been a woman for 20 years. By refusing to use the correct pronouns and gender marker, I am being detransitioned against my will. I should not be housed with men, and I request to be housed with women”, and I did this on every form going forward. When I finally spoke with the Transgender Housing Committee for the first time, I was given a “screening” by the members. Now, I remind you that I look and sound female (I mean, I am… so…). I legally changed my name back in 2005. Surgery by 2007. My Birth Certificate, Social Security, and Drivers License all designate me as female. I first started hormones when I was 16; I have breasts and I have had a surgery “downstairs”. I have been living as a woman for 20 years. So when I say that the jail STILL refused to house me with women, it SHOULD piss you off. But, despite all this, the Transgender Housing Committee deemed that “January 6th is a unique situation” that they deemed it necessary to leave me housed with the J6 men. I grew increasingly concerned about this. For starters, if I don’t address it NOW, then if/when I went to prison… would I be housed with men THERE? I wouldn’t be with J6ers in that case anymore either, and I’d be at EXTREME RISK of sexual assault. I wanted to nip this s*** in the bud while I still could.

When I first arrived, the jail even fought to put me back on hormones, and continued to do so until my Judge finally got involved. (Judge Mehta was very good about ensuring I was being treated properly, and I can’t thank him enough). But despite this, the guards misgendered me often, just to humiliate me. They’d point at me in front of non-J6 inmates and say “Jessica is a man” or “He needs to go here…” I’m telling you, they got sick pleasure from it. I am not bulls***ing you, when I say they got a gleam in their eye when they’d “out me” to others. They went out of their way to do it. I quickly got pissed off about it. It’s kinda like sticking a screwdriver into a moving gear. I’ve been a she/her for so long, that my brain doesn’t even process that the person is speaking about me if they call me a he/him. It’s confusing, but once I figure it out, I get pissed the f*** off. It’s not accidental. Even Marjorie Taylor Greenes staff and aides were concerned during their visit, asking “Why are you HERE? Why are you with men?” So when the Transgender Housing Committee decided to house me improperly, I began to reject the jail entirely. If the people who are SUPPOSED TO advocate for me can’t, who can? One person from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s staff was someone named Jeri. She was a transgender woman herself. But, she said “…well, you being one of Trumps insurrectionists makes your situation…” I flipped out. “I’m not a goddamn insurrectionist! I was there as a Medic, don’t say that about me!” Yeah, it was like that (and recorded). So when someone like THAT refuses to protect me because of J6, who will? So after that, I started filing a LOT of paperwork – complaints about being detransitioned against my will, misgendered, and being housed inappropriately.

When the Housing Committee saw me the next time, I was finally approved to be transferred into a woman’s Unit. I got back to C2B after my hearing and I told everyone. An hour later, I was told to pack and get ready to move. I was shocked at how abrupt the transfer went through. I hadn’t been back in C2B for an hour when they came for me. I packed the best I could. I gave Guy Reffitt my real Magic cards, a set of Commanders and some dice. I gave away a lot of things. It was hectic to pack up my entire life. I wasn’t really ready for this. I felt elated (maybe I will finally be respected a a woman!), scared (what’s GenPop like? DC gangsters and addicts?), and quite sad (OMG I am going to miss my friends!). I dragged all my stuff out to a cart in 3 trash bags, loaded it up, and dragged it all out into the Day Room. There, were the entire Unit full of Political Prisoners. I stood before them, and they IMMEDIATELY began to sing the National Anthem. I stood at the position of attention, with tears streaming rivers down my face as I choked and struggled to breathe as I sang along. When the guys chanted “USA, USA, USA!”, I saluted them and stepped out of C2B for the final time, never to return; off to the Women’s Pod in E2B. The CO’s looked at me like I was crazy, surprised at the event they had just witnessed. Patriotism isn’t a common trait in DC, and there is no unity amongst prisoners where I was headed. I wiped away the tears in the elevator, put on a brave face, and I wheeled all my stuff down the hall to my new Cell Block. A new chapter as a Political Prisoner was about to begin, and I was shocked to find that I would not be spending it alone. The Unit where I was going had another J6 Political Prisoner waiting there for me.