Cindi and Siddharta Fisher

photo by Kendall

by K. Kendall

Cindi Fisher is trying to save the life and sanity of her 34-year-old son, Siddharta Fisher, and she wants our help.

Siddharta was identified as “gifted and talented” as a child. He was the Washington State Chess Champion at the age of 11, and when he was 12, he won an award from Johns Hopkins University for outstanding performance on scholastic tests. However the following year he entered a mostly-white junior high school where, simply because he was Black in a racist environment, he was ridiculed, feared, maligned, and falsely-accused of stealing someone’s coat. (His father was a pharmacist and his mother a teacher; he didn’t need to steal a coat. In fact his mother explains that when Police apprehended him, he was returning the coat, which he took from the person who did steal it.) That incident formed the basis of his “criminal record,” and from that time forward he was watched by law enforcement, blamed for crimes he did not commit, committed a few acts of rebellion against an unjust society, and within a few years was labelled “mentally ill.”

At the age of 17, Siddharta was medicated on a very high dose of Risperdal (6 mg, instead of the recommended half-mg. suggested for his age). Risperdal is a psychotropic drug that can have severe side-effects when given to adolescents, including violent behavior, suicidal ideation, and the development of chronic severe mental illness. A brief overview of the American custom of labeling children mentally ill and then subjecting them to psychotropic drugs that can result in lifelong mental illness, by Dr. Peter Breggin, is here.

Currently Siddharta is in Clark County Jail in Washington, about twenty minutes by car north of Portland, charged with spitting on a policeman, a third-degree felony. His mother believes he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and from psychiatric disorders brought on by pharmaceuticals administered to him without his consent. She writes, “He is in isolation and both his mental and physical health is deteriorating. He is in crisis.”

What she hopes we will do:

  • People anywhere in the world: help build his morale. Send a card or letter of encouragement, or a birthday card (his birthday is February 28) to this address: Siddharta Fisher #132508, Clark County Jail, P.O. Box 1147, Vancouver, WA 98666 USA. Tell him where you live and why you are writing. If you do this, let his mother know, at [email protected] because it will also give her encouragement.
  • People in the USA: Phone the prosecuting attorney, C. Banfield, 360-397-2261, and request the charges against Siddharta Fisher be dropped. (There is some hope that widespread outcry will lead the prosecutor to drop the case.)
  • People in the USA: Phone Vanessa Gaston, Director of Community Services, 360-397-2130, extension 7838, to request Siddharta Fisher be given “Intensive trauma-informed care with low or no dose medication,” as requested by his mother.
  • People in the Portland area: attend a rally on his behalf on his birthday, February 28, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the steps of the Clark County Courthouse, 1200 Franklin, Vancouver, WA.
  • People in the Portland area who have photographic or video equipment: document the rally with pictures and videos.
  • Cindi Fisher’s full account of Siddharta Fisher’s situation is here.