unccfeministunion:

Making buttons for our Free Marissa Alexander Fundraiser. :D

Y’all can get some this Monday April 14 at Prospector from 10:30 am to 3 pm with a minimum donation of $1.

Thank you UNCC Feminist Union! You can also order some Free Marissa buttons at the Free Marissa store: http://www.zibbet.com/freemarissaalexander

A powerful meeting of minds and organizers for Marissa Alexander took place in NYC last week with Aleta Alston-Toure’ from New Jim Crow Movement (Jacksonville), Emily Woo Yamasaki from New York City Radical Women, Kerry Toner from CONNECT, and others. This followed on the heels of successful tabling outreach in Harlem.

A powerful meeting of minds and organizers for Marissa Alexander took place in NYC last week with Aleta Alston-Toure’ from New Jim Crow Movement (Jacksonville), Emily Woo Yamasaki from New York City Radical Women, Kerry Toner from CONNECT, and others. This followed on the heels of successful tabling outreach in Harlem.

UltraViolet members delivering over 100,000 signatures to Gov. Rick Scott, Color of Change, and the Black Youth Project, demanding justice for Marissa Alexander! Check out this Fox 30 Jacksonville article for more: http://bit.ly/1hPvWlK

"Marissa Alexander’s case has struck a nerve because of the way it demonstrates the racial bias that exists in our justice system, resulting in disproportionate prosecution and harsher sentences handed to women of color. This case also demonstrates how the justice system has failed women— 75 percent of female prisoners are domestic violence survivors and 82 percent are survivors of child abuse. Worse, 1 in 10 face further sexual abuse while in prison," wrote the group in a statement to local news outlets.

UltraViolet members delivering over 100,000 signatures to Gov. Rick Scott, Color of Change, and the Black Youth Project, demanding justice for Marissa Alexander! Check out this Fox 30 Jacksonville article for more: http://bit.ly/1hPvWlK

"Marissa Alexander’s case has struck a nerve because of the way it demonstrates the racial bias that exists in our justice system, resulting in disproportionate prosecution and harsher sentences handed to women of color. This case also demonstrates how the justice system has failed women— 75 percent of female prisoners are domestic violence survivors and 82 percent are survivors of child abuse. Worse, 1 in 10 face further sexual abuse while in prison," wrote the group in a statement to local news outlets.

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Banning 'Bossy' Won't Help Black Women and Girls Seeking Justice

"While campaigns like Ban Bossy focus on whether or not girls and women are called bossy and how that affects their ability to lead, it’s also important to expand societal notions of leadership to include the ways that women lead outside the board room and classroom, and the ways Black women and girls are systematically inhibited or punished for doing so because our motivations are seen as misplaced anger and spitefulness.

Black women and girls are not just faced with the fear of how we might be perceived when we raise our hands in class or ask for a major promotion at work. We fear that being assertive will threaten our quality of life. While it may just sound like strong galvanizing rhetoric, Black women are under attack, so despite our fears we know we have to be assertive and aggressive just to have a chance at fighting back. Because the systems—political, judicial, and social—are constructed in such a way that is oppressive for some groups and not for others, when a particular group, such as Black women and girls, break away from being silent or passive to take the lead through expressing justified rage while aggressively fighting to defend ourselves, we can end up facing unreasonable consequences. We saw this in the recent events surrounding CeCe McDonald and Marissa Alexander.”
- Amber J. Phillips

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#DecolonizeSAAM Week 2: Carcerality and Militarism

save-wiyabi-project:

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Decolonizing the Anti-Violence Movement & Sexual Assault Awareness Month Reading List.

Week 2: Carcerality and Militarism

1. Moral Limits of the Law: Settler Colonialism and the Anti-Violence Movement http://www.academia.edu/1835172/Moral_Limits_of_the_Law

2. Criminalizing the Reservation…

This reading list is GREAT!

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An Open Letter to Ken Adkins

A great open letter from Charles F. Coleman, Jr. to a group of local Jacksonville pastors who are requesting that Angela Corey give Marissa Alexander a plea deal and who are pressuring Marissa in the press to accept this hypothetical plea deal as if it were a fair outcome. An excerpt from Adkins’ response:

It borders on the offensive to me that you would suggest Marissa Alexander’s saga is a “distraction” to the Florida community. Really? Alexander is the distraction? Not Michael Dunn, not George Zimmerman, not Stand Your Ground? Not the issue of sensible gun laws, or adequate resources or protection for our young people in urban communities…not the state of Florida ITSELF with its myriad and well-document issues of criminal and social justice? It’s Marissa Alexander? Her trial is the problem?

Respectfully, sir, I must disagree.

Listen, I’m sure you’ve watched countless episodes of Law and Order, which means, of course, that you are basically kinda like almost an attorney. But you making suggestions to Marissa Alexander about what she should do in regards to a plea bargain is as irresponsible and ill-advised as me telling someone when they should give their life to Christ simply because I grew up in the church (shout out too Black folk, everywhere).  FYI, even real lawyers don’t tell their (paying) clients what to do when considering plea bargains, so please keep the unsolicited opinions to yourself and let Alexander continue her fight for her truth the way that she sees fit. If your goal is to lobby the State Attorney’s Office for a lenient plea bargain, then do so without comment to Marissa Alexander about what you believe is “a very fair deal.” I have never experienced life in jail and could not fathom “settling” for three minutes behind bars—much less three years—for a crime that I had not committed. Marissa Alexander should not either. She has every right to reject any plea deal in the same way if she cannot allocate to any guilt with a clear conscience.

Marissa Alexander’s case is not a “distraction,” it is an illustration of how systems of criminalization are structured to punish black women, black communities, and survivors of domestic violence in general.

We support Marissa to make hard choices amidst unjust circumstances as her case unfolds. But if anyone is calling for Angela Corey to do anything, it should be DROP THE CASE! Full exoneration for Marissa Alexander!

(Source: freemarissanow)

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Prison Culture » No Selves To Defend #2: Some Upcoming Projects…

Updates from Mariame Kaba, a member of the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander:

I am excited about two projects that I am currently working on, both relate to the Marissa Alexander case.

First, I am blessed to be working with a group of writers and artists to create a publication featuring stories of women of color who have been criminalized for self-defense over the years. The publication will feature portraits and short narratives. We will print a limited number and use the proceeds to support Marissa’s legal defense. I am in debt to my friends and co-strugglers who have come together on short notice to make this project a reality. Stay tuned for more information soon. And as a preview, I am excited to share one piece of art from the project; it’s a portrait of Lena Baker drawn by my extraordinarily talented friend Bianca Diaz.

Secondly, I am excited that I will be co-curating a new exhibition titled “No Selves to Defend: Criminalizing Women for Self-Defense.” The exhibition will run here in Chicago in July and August at Art in these Times. My thanks to my comrade Daniel Tucker for facilitating this opportunity. The exhibition will feature various artifacts from my collection as well as art from the project mentioned earlier. The Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander is planning a series of events leading up to Marissa’s trial at the end of July. I’ll share more about the exhibition as it comes together.

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Marissa Alexander's 'stand your ground' hearing next month?

Mark your calendar: On May 16th, a judge will decide if Marissa Alexander is granted a new Stand Your Ground hearing.  

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Prison Culture » “I Love Being A Mommy!!!” On Shanesha Taylor & Black Motherhood in the Age of Mass Incarceration

After the initial wave of sympathy that I felt for Shanesha, I got angry. A homeless mother was so desperate that she left her young children in a car while interviewing for a job. She was then arrested and incarcerated. How could jail be the solution for what was obviously (to my mind) a consequence of poverty and a lack of resources? Of course, I worried about the children’s safety but most of the time removing a child’s primary caregiver doesn’t improve their future outcomes. So I wanted to know more and to find a way to support Shanesha and her children.

More at the link and here: http://www.change.org/petitions/bill-montgomery-drop-the-child-abuse-charges-against-shanesha-taylor

Criminalizing and punishing black women and others who are trying to survive within conditions of violence must end. Transforming those conditions — domestic violence, economic violence, etc — must be prioritized.

Black women are also underprotected in relation to the various communities that should be accountable for their well-being. Within domestic violence advocacy circles, Black women may be seen but rarely are they heard; their specific vulnerabilities and the consequences of their over policing are marginal at best in the development of policy and advocacy. The risks and consequences of domestic violence are also marginal in the increasing mainstreaming of the movements against mass incarceration.

- Pricilla A. Ocen & Kimberle Crenshaw, “Marissa Alexander and Overpolicing and Underprotection of Black Women

Real talk. Feminist anti-violence organizations and racial justice anti-prison/police movements have a long way to go to really show up for black women.  We’ve seen that over and over again as this movement to free Marissa tries to build coalitions with these groups — it hasn’t been easy or simple.  Those groups must work to prioritize how these issues come together for black women and other women of color, figure out how Marissa’s case and many others challenge their politics to grow to be more effective for everyone, and fearlessly support black women who are defending themselves from homicidal violence from men, other individuals, the state, & corporations. This movement is an opportunity to really do something transformative with the work to end domestic/sexual violence and prison/police violence.

No more of this “all the women are white, all the blacks are men" boring business. Let’s follow Marissa’s example and be brave together.

Remember that when Marissa Alexander fired her warning shot to save her own life, she caused no injuries. Now she’s facing the very real possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison for that act of self-defense,” said advocate Sumayya Fire in the statement. “That should send a chill down the back of every person in this country who believes that women who are attacked have the right to defend themselves.

Marissa Alexander Now Faces 60 Years in Prison for Firing a Warning Shot in Self Defense

fucking unbelievable. completely believable, actually, but also devastatingly fucked up. 

(via disabilityhistory)

(via absolutezeronow)

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ColorOfChange.org | Free Marissa Alexander. Stop Angela Corey.

(Source: telvi1)

odinsblog:

SN: Angela Corey holds an *elected* office (x)

Aleta Alston-Toure, Free Marissa Now (right) and Meena Jagannath, Florida Legal Services (left) testifying at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing on Stand Your Ground, 3/25/14. Read FMN’s full statement here. 

Aleta Alston-Toure, Free Marissa Now (right) and Meena Jagannath, Florida Legal Services (left) testifying at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing on Stand Your Ground, 3/25/14. Read FMN’s full statement here. 

Black women and all women have the right to self-defense. Facing the possibility of 60 years in prison for defending your life from an abusive husband reflects a crisis in the law and the criminal justice system as a whole. Ms. Alexander’s legal team recently filed a motion requesting a new Stand Your Ground hearing, arguing that the evidence allowed to be presented at her first hearing was “at best, grossly incomplete” and the judge failed to evaluate her case under the “correct legal standard” within the statute. We very much hope that Ms. Alexander is granted a new, fair hearing and given the immunity from prosecution that she should have been granted years ago. In the meantime, we must immediately reform this law to undo the ways in which structural racism and ignored sexism drive how it is applied.
Free Marissa Now, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing on Stand Your Ground, 3/25/14