Date: July 8, 2014
Text by Alisa Bierria (650-799-7741) and Aleta Alston-Toure (904-631-1674)
Hundreds of regional and national activists will come together in Jacksonville, Florida from Friday, July 25 through Friday, August 1 to support embattled domestic violence survivor Marissa Alexander, build awareness about domestic violence and reproductive justice, and strengthen opposition to mandatory minimum sentencing. “STANDING OUR GROUND Against Reproductive Oppression, Gender Violence, and Mass Incarceration” is envisioned by organizers as a celebration, an exercise of civil rights, and a call for human dignity. The date marks the one year anniversary of the verdict exonerating George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin and connects to the August 1 hearing where Alexander will argue for Stand Your Ground protection. Participants are linking the call to free Marissa Alexander with Florida-based movements for justice for Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and others.
The week will feature noted speakers, educational panels, workshops, cultural events, and community outreach. An opening ceremony will launch the activities on Friday, July 25. On Friday and Saturday, the national SisterSong Reproductive Justice Institute will hold panels and training workshops. Saturday will also feature a Youth Assembly. Sunday is highlighted by a benefit concert for the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund. On Monday, there will be a march from the SisterSong conference to the Duval County Courthouse. Tuesday will feature a keynote discussion by University of Illinois Professor Beth Richie, author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation, followed by a panel of local and national feminists and leaders in the movement for women’s safety. Wednesday will take on the issues of police brutality and wrongful imprisonment with a panel of speakers organizing on these issues. On Thursday, legal experts will conduct community training to inform people about their rights under the law. The day will end with a candlelight vigil. Throughout the week, activists will also take part in a People’s Investigation where they will bring their concerns and questions to organizations and institutions of power on the local, state and national level. Times and locations are being finalized.
From: Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign
Contact: Helen Gilbert – 206-473-0630
The Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign is calling for a week of action from February 8-16 to draw attention to Marissa Alexander’s case and other criminalized survivors of domestic violence. Marissa Alexander is the African American mother from Jacksonville, Florida who received a 20-year sentence for firing a warning shot to stop an attack by her abusive, estranged husband. No one was harmed in the incident. The case has become a rallying point for opponents of domestic violence and mass incarceration.
February 10th, the third anniversary of the day Alexander entered prison, is being marked by the launching of the Free Marissa DJ project (www.freemarissanow.org/free-marissa-dj.html). The public is invited to dedicate a song to the cause of justice for Alexander and ending domestic violence and mass incarceration. Donors can contribute at http://igg.me/at/freemarissa2, then post a link to a music video, a quote from their chosen song, or a video of themselves singing the song at facebook.com/FreeMarissaNow.
Free Marissa Now hopes to raise $30,000 for Alexander’s legal fund by early March. The cost for Alexander’s new trial, scheduled for July 28, is expected to be over $250,000.
Court Upholds Marissa Alexander’s Bond Release;
Activists Call for Angela Corey to Stop Harassment
Today, the court upheld Marissa Alexander’s bond release, which means she is allowed to continue her house arrest and remain with her children and family until her new trial begins on March 31st. State Prosecutor Angela Corey filed a motion alleging that Marissa Alexander broke the conditions of her release by making unauthorized trips outside her home. Yet, Alexander’s legalteam presented proof that the Correctional Service Counselor who supervised Alexander’s house arrest authorized every trip listed in the State’s motion and the Counselor asserts that Alexander is not in violation of her release.
Text by Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign
Words cannot express the relief and joy of everyone in the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign that Marissa Alexander is home with her family this Thanksgiving Day. Ms. Alexander has been released on bond until a verdict is reached in her new trial that begins March 31, 2014. We hope the decision means that the Florida justice system has relented in its vindictive, hostile and racist legal assault on this African American mother of three. Ms. Alexander has been victimized twice — once by her abusive ex-husband and again by the state of Florida, which has stolen nearly three years from her life for an act of self-defense that injured no one.
We are thrilled that Ms. Alexander will be able to prepare for her new trial amid the support and love of her children and family from whom she has been separated far too long.