Date: July 23, 2014
From: Aleta Alston-Toure’ — 904-631-6019
Alisa Bierria — 650-799-7741
For Release: Immediately….Notice to the Media
Free Marissa Now and thousands of Marissa Alexander’s supporters around the world are strongly disappointed that the Florida courts on July 18 denied Marissa a fair hearing to support her right to self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws. Yet again, Florida refuses to free this survivor of domestic violence and undermines women’s right to self defense, though it failed to convict two white men for the murder of two innocent black teen boys. It appears that Florida courts place less value on a young black mother’s fear in the midst of a life-threatening attack and more value on the anger and unsupported fear of two white men.
Nine days after a premature birth, Marissa Alexander harmed no one when she fired a warning shot to stop another life-threatening attack by her estranged husband. She faces possibly sixty years in prison as a result of prosecution by the state of Florida. Is Marissa being used as an example?
Incarceration happens more frequently when black people are convicted of crimes, but women of color who are victims of domestic violence serve more time for self-defense. Female incarceration rates show 78% of inmates are Black and Latina and most women in prison have been victims of abuse. This should not happen to anyone. Mass incarceration of women is a lucrative business at the stake of women’s lives and the well-being of families.
Supporters of Marissa Alexander urge opponents of unjust incarceration to mobilize during the Standing Our Ground Week of Action: July 25-August 1. A week of programs will be held in Jacksonville, Florida and other communities to demand Marissa Alexander’s freedom, women’s right to control their own bodies and lives, and an end to mandatory minimum sentencing and mass incarceration. For more information on Standing Our Ground Week: http://www.freemarissanow.org/standing-our-ground-week.html.
Details of Jacksonville Standing Our Ground Week activities are below:
Friday, July 25:
10:00am – 4:00pm: Reproductive Justice 101, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1201 Riverplace Blvd.
4:00 -6:00pm: Welcome Awards Program, Crowne Plaza Hotel
6:00- 8:00pm: Mingle and Social Media Party, Crowne Plaza Hotel
Saturday, July 26:
10:00am – 6:00pm: SisterSong Reproductive Justice Institute, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1201 Riverplace Blvd.
10:00am – 6:00pm: Youth-led Movement Assembly, Crowne Plaza Hotel
7:00pm: Social Media Party, Crowne Plaza Hotel
Sunday, July 27:
10:00 am – 2:00 pm: Beach Day Action, Jax Beach, near the Boardwalk
4:30pm: VIP Eventbrite Benefit for Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund, Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Dr.
6:00pm – 9:00pm: Standing Our Ground Week Benefit Concert for Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund, Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Dr., Riverfront Stage
Monday, July 28:
7:30am: March to Duval Courthouse from Prudential side of Blue Bridge
9:00am: Press Conference, Duval County Courthouse steps, 501 W. Adams Street
11:00am People’s Investigation, University Sin Fronteras, and People’s Tribunal
Tuesday, July 29:
12noon-2pm: Stand Our Ground Week Booksigning, Chamberlain’s Book Store, 215 N. Laura St.
3pm-6pm: Women’s Movement & Social Change Panel, Keynote Speaker: Professor Beth Richie, author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation, followed by panel of local and national feminist and antiviolence organizers, Downtown Public Library, Conference Center Basement, 303 N. Laura St.
Wednesday, July 30:
2:00 – 5:00pm: Prison Industrial Complex/ Mass Incarceration Forum, Edward Waters College, Milne Auditorium, Grunthal St. and W. 5th St.
Thursday, July 31:
1pm – 2pm: Reception, Edward Waters College, Edward Waters College, Assessment Center, 1658 Kings Road
2pm – 5pm: Civil Rights Law & Community Legal Support Teams, Milne Auditorium, Grunthal St. & W. 5th St.
6pm – 8pm: Jazz at the Ritz Theatre and Museum, 829 N Davis St.
Friday, August 1:
9:00am: People’s Investigation/People’s Tribunal, Duval County Courthouse Library, Duval County Court House
Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign