One more report back from Standing Our Ground actions in July organized by the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander.  Yesterday, we shared photos of actions in Chicago, including a teach-in, an art exhibit, fundraisers, media projects, and a community gathering/rally. Below are some links with more info about these events.

We’re sending these links not only to celebrate Marissa Alexander’s amazing supporters in Chi-town, but also to give everyone who is in this movement to free Marissa more ideas about actions to take from here to her Dec 8th trial.  We’ve got a lot to do, y’all.  Let’s get started!
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#FreeMarissa love from the Save Wiyabi Project, teaching us how to decolonize the anti-violence movement!

#FreeMarissa love from the Save Wiyabi Project, teaching us how to decolonize the anti-violence movement!

Free Marissa buttons are popping up everywhere!  Do you have one yet? Get yours now at the Free Marissa store! All proceeds go to the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund.
Represent!

Free Marissa buttons are popping up everywhere!  Do you have one yet? Get yours now at the Free Marissa store! All proceeds go to the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund.

Represent!

The Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander also had an incredible week of action in July!  They organized a teach-in on Marissa Alexander, women of color, & self-defense; a stunning art exhibit entitled No Selves to Defend that visually engaged these issues; a screening of Crime after Crime; and a community gathering and rally to support Marissa’s freedom. Order a copy of the zine pictured above at the Free Marissa store, organized by the Chicago Alliance!

Standing Our Ground Week also featured beautiful rallies, fundraisers, & vigils organized in Phoenix, New Orleans, Trenton, Oakland, Philadelphia, & Brooklyn.  The movement for Marissa’s freedom runs deep and wide, y’all!  Let’s keep going — we won’t stop until she’s free!

From July 29-31, we engaged in political education about feminist movement building, the prison nation, the criminalization of our communities, and legal rights.  

Then on August 1st, the final day of Standing Our Ground Week, we honored the four year anniversary of Marissa Alexander’s warning shot that saved her life with a press conference on the Duval County Courthouse steps.  Afterwards, we went inside the courthouse to go to the law library to read and discuss the Stand Your Ground statute.  The law library staff were not happy with our presence in a public building, so they stalked and harassed us.  Erin Wilson drew a hilarious cartoon that pretty much summed up that experience.

Then we went to the Jacksonville Public Library to ask them to carry books that are relevant to Marissa’s case and display them in October, which is domestic violence awareness month AND a month of action to end prison/police violence.  This is an action that can be replicated everywhere! 

And that was a wrap for the week in Jax!  Thank you to everyone who donated to the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund in solidarity, who took #SelfiesforSelfDefense, which Marissa and her family loved, and who sent their love for the week, we definitely felt it!

More photos from the July 28th rally at the Duval County Courthouse.

Hello, supporters of Marissa Alexander!  We’ve been behind on our tumblr duties, but we wanted to do a visual report back about Standing Our Ground Week, July 25 - August 1, 2014.  It was an incredible week of direct action, political education, and strategic planning.  We worked hard to build a movement to free Marissa Alexander and we want to take it to the next level from now until the trial!  More on that soon…

Meanwhile, the photos above are from the July 28th march to the Duval County Courthouse! (Check out our facebook page for a more complete photo archive.)  More photos from our times in Jacksonville and actions in Chicago to follow…

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#Marissa418: To Set the Oppressed Free - By Their Strange Fruit

KilljoyProphets, a collective of Christian women of color, are organizing to free Marissa Alexander:

With Marissa Alexander’s case we also see the same sorts of character assassination that has been attempted so many times  before. It reveals our desire to seek out excuses to ignore the cries of the oppressed, and our reticence to believe the voices of the abused. It’s far too easy for us to say how the situation should have been handled differently. The constant battle to defend one’s own personhood, one’s own humanity and deservedness, is exhausting.

This coming week, follow #Marissa418 and the many posts from Christian voices that are taking up the call for Marissa Alexander. For more than four years, she and her supporters have been fighting for her freedom. Will we aid in her struggle?

#Marissa418:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” (Luke 4:18)

The group invites all Christians to submit a 30 second video to boldly speak in support of Marissa’s freedom.

The numerous protests outside your Duval County Courthouse office — the Tipton family, Marissa Alexander’s supporters, groups protesting your tough-as-nails approach to juvenile justice, etc. — show a growing loss of public confidence in our legal system. …
All these protesters have different issues they’re concerned about, but the common denominator, Angela [Corey], is you, and how your office interacts with the public.

FLARE

64,000 Black women are currently missing in America

Marissa Alexander fired her gun as warning.

There is a tradition of Black women gone missing.
Black women disappeared. Poof. Sky clouds of Black women
obliterated, erased, whole geographies of Black women
floated off cliffs, mountains of daughters marched off
into somewhere other, into the pink flamingo ether of night.

Engine still running in the car. Back door flung open. Purse
jacked and peppermints strewn on the kitchen floor, in the
stairwell. A co-ed screams into flax and rope. Black women
snatched, disappeared, and no alarms set off, no search
teams in tow, no news conference at 11 or 6 or ever.

There is another tradition of Black women
fighting for their lives.

Marissa Alexander, Black woman, mother of 3,
with an MBA, with a PhD in surviving domestic violence,
a woman of faith, who had already been in the hospital,
for other beatings her husband had given her,
who decided to take her gun and do the most non-violent thing,
9 days after delivering her premature child,
as her husband went into one of his usual rages,
while fleeing for her life, she fired once into the
garage wall, a warning, a No!

a single shot,
a ruby red flare sent up into the night sky,
a signal she would not go quietly into that growing number,

I have children to raise
a life to not be missing from.

She was arrested.

Black women are not allowed to protect their children.
Black women are never allowed to protect themselves.
Black women are not allowed to say No.

If a Black woman is fired upon it is target practice.
If a Black woman fires a gun it is judicial helter skelter.

After 12 minutes of deliberation she is given 20 years,
by a peerless jury, in great civic rush to put away a Black woman
refusing to disappear into the lie of a plea.

The husband admitted
he was the aggressor, admitted
he threatened her life.

The weather in Florida is funny.
So much heat, so much sea change, so much retirement,
urchin, starfish, anemone, jellyfish laws duck & float.

Marissa Alexander has been granted a new trial.
She waits for her new day in court under house arrest.

This time she could go free.
This time she could get 60 years instead of 20.

For defending her life, her life that no one else historically has ever
stepped up to protect, for sending her ruby red flaming pink flamingo flare

into the salty air, her Black woman mama bear warning, that she was alive,
that she would not go missing, her human refusal, to not be

another Black woman legally & immorally abducted from her life.

—Nikky Finney

Learn more here: freemarissanow.org
http://nikkyfinney.net/marissa.html

erinkwilson:

This is two of the 12 page comic I’m making for/about Marissa Alexander as we build up to her court date regarding the Stand Your Ground law (the one that allowed Travon’s murderer to walk free but was denied of Marissa) on August 1st. I’m going to Jacksonville to support her- there has been a week of action organized for it. Are you in Florida? Want to meet me in Jacksonville on August 1st?

more details FREEMARISSANOW.ORG

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Prison Culture » Beyond the Case & the Cause is A Person: #FreeMarissa

One of the important lessons that I’ve learned in my years of prisoner defense committee work is how isolating and lonely the criminal legal process is. This is particular true for detainees who find themselves jailed while awaiting trial or a plea deal. It is difficult to make peace with the loss of your freedom when you haven’t been convicted. Letters and other communications are lifelines for those who find themselves in such a predicament. The knowledge that people on the outside care about you, haven’t forgotten about you, and support you is encouraging. Often it makes the difference between giving up and staying hopeful. That line is an excruciatingly thin one.

- prisonculture

Please donate to the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund or shop at the Free Marissa store, which sends all proceeds to her fund.

Write to Marissa letting her know how much you support her, here:
Marissa Alexander
P. O. Box 23872
Jacksonville, FL 32257

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Sunday's Letters: Marissa Alexander treated unfairly

Marissa Alexander is a survivor of domestic violence who is facing 60 years in prison for an act of self defense. It was encouraging this week in Jacksonville to see the daily actions of the Free Marissa Now Campaign for Justice.

The group includes leaders and activists from throughout the United States. One of their concerns is that Jacksonville’s state attorney is again treating people differently based on race.

We incarcerate too many of our citizens of color and those who have limited financial resources.

Additionally, as a woman, Alexander faces a double challenge since the system is hard on women who defend themselves against domestic violence.

It is frustrating that we have not come further in the fair treatment of all of our citizens. Much work remains to be done.

- Judy Sheklin, president, Jacksonville Area National Organization for Women

#SelfiesForSelfDefense: Adorbs Edition!

The movement to free Marissa Alexander is all ages!
Photos from the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander.

Seattle & Dallas want Marissa Alexander to be free!