Speaking out in Evanston, IL for Marissa on International Women’s Day.
Then LA said, “"When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back…"
Dear Marissa, by Jasiri X
Dear Marissa is my apology to Marissa Alexander, a black woman who was sentenced in Florida to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband. Her retrial starts in July, and she is now facing 60 years in prison. To donate to her legal defense fund, click this link http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mar…
We’ve been speechless. The latest fundraiser for the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund has met and surpassed the goal and is currently at $31,366, thanks to 797 donors. You have to understand — we were at $12K on Saturday when the news hit that Marissa may face 60 years in prison if she’s found guilty at her July 28th trial. With just a week to go, we didn’t think the fundraiser would reach its goal. Then you all raised almost another $20K in just a few days. At first we thought that there must’ve been one or two big contributions of thousands of dollars. But we checked and…nope. The biggest individual contribution was $500: this fundraiser is mainly fueled by many small contributions of $10s and $20s. We’re freeing Marissa en masse.
Then, to make things a little sweeter, Indiegogo (where the fundraiser is located) included the fundraiser in their International Women’s Day matching project. This means, for every $25 we raise on March 3rd and March 8th, Indiegogo will match it with $1. Indiegogo also extended the fundraiser to March 12th as part of this project, so that gives us a few more days to really turn this fundraiser out!
So this freedom fundraiser is on a roll of greatness, y’all. Thank you so very much to everyone who has contributed, shared the link, or spread the word. As always, you are the best!
Let’s keep going! Black women’s lives matter. All women’s lives matter. 60 years for defending your life from an abusive husband? Not on our watch. #FreeMarissa!
Amazingly, the fundraiser for the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund raised $15,000 in the past three days, bringing us so very close to reaching our goal of $30K by March 9th! It’s a testament to how deeply people understand that it’s crucial for Marissa Alexander to win this case. The stakes are very high. It is about her life, first and foremost, but it’s bigger than that too.
In case you missed the news, Marissa is now facing 60 years in prison if she is found guilty in her new July 28th trial. 60 years for firing a single warning shot that caused no injuries during a violent, life-threatening attack from her abusive husband. Imagine if Marissa Alexander goes to prison until she’s 93 years old for defending her life. What will that say about the value of black women’s lives? What message will that send to any woman who is in an abusive relationship today?
Marissa Alexander has to win this trial — for her and for all of us. Please donate if you can and share widely. The deadline is this Sunday, March
9th 12th, right after International Women’s Day. And thank you to everyone who has already given so much. We’re almost there…
STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
March 1, 2014
From: Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign
Angela Corey Aims to Increase Marissa Alexander Sentence to 60 Years;
Outrageous Targeting of Alexander Impacts All Women and Their Right to Self Defense
Demonstrating a stunning abuse of power, Florida State Prosecutor, Angela Corey, announced that she aims to increase the prison sentence for Marissa Alexander from 20 to 60 years in the upcoming July 28th trial. In 2012, Alexander – an African American mother of three in Jacksonville, Florida — was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years for firing a warning shot upwards into a wall to defend her life from her abusive estranged husband. She caused no injuries. Alexander successfully appealed the unjust trial and was granted a new trial. In November 2013, after serving nearly three years in prison, she was released on bond to home detention until her new trial.
Yet as a consequence of winning the appeal to hopefully secure a more fair trial, Alexander now faces the alarming prospect that the original devastating sentence could be tripled in the new trial. In the upcoming trial, Corey says she intends to seek three 20 year sentences for Alexander to be served consecutively rather than concurrently, tripling the mandatory minimum to 60 years.
Free Marissa Now member and victim’s advocate, Sumayya Fire, stated, “Remember that this entire case boils down to a woman defending her life from her husband who attacked her, strangled her, threatened to kill her, whose beatings have sent her to the hospital and likely caused her to have premature labor. A husband who confirmed in a deposition that he beat her, that he was in a rage when he attacked her, and that he has beaten other women with whom he was involved. 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. 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. Anyone who believes that domestic violence is unjust should be deeply shaken by Corey’s abusive prosecution of Marissa Alexander and should be advocating for Alexander’s freedom.”
Sumayya Fire and other members of Free Marissa Now believe that Angela Corey has launched a campaign of escalating punishment of Marissa Alexander to shield herself from charges of mishandling trials and failing to secure guilty verdicts for the murders of black teens, Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, in addition to various lawsuits targeting her office for misconduct, and criticism for a pattern of maliciously over-charging defendants in order to bully them into plea bargains. ”Corey is on the defense and appears to be substituting vindictiveness for justice,” said Free Marissa Now member, Helen Gilbert. “If anyone still thought Angela Corey was seeking justice rather than making a political power-play, this latest news must erase all doubt. Corey is using the full power of the system to serve her own political ambitions, at the sake of one woman’s life and every woman’s safety.”
Despite Corey’s scare and smear tactics, the national Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign is resolved to fight for Marissa Alexander’s freedom, and for the lives and freedom of all victims of domestic violence. The campaign calls on the Florida legislature to repeal all mandatory minimum laws, and ensure that judges have discretion over whether sentences can be served consecutively or concurrently.
Jacksonville activist and Free Marissa Now leader Aleta Alston-Toure’ adds, “We also call on all people who want to end domestic violence, who believe in the right to self-defense, and who want to end mass incarceration to support the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund. Alexander faces $250,000 in legal fees and $2,205 for the ankle monitor she is forced to wear while under house arrest. All these cost are waged against an innocent woman who needs everyone’s help. A 60 year sentence for Marissa Alexander would not only be devastating for her, her children and family, and her community, it would be a decisive blow to the right to self defense for black women and all women. Incarcerating Marissa Alexander will send a strong message to all survivors that violence against them will be ignored and they instead will be subject to prosecution if they defend their lives. It is up to us to make sure victims of domestic violence are not forced to choose between saving their lives and spending the rest of their lives in prison. Enough is enough! Please join Free Marissa Now!”
Contributions to the Marissa Alexander Freedom Fund can be made at http://igg.me/at/freemarissa2. Free Marissa Now can be reached at www.freemarissanow.org, email@example.com, and on facebook, twitter, and tumblr at “freemarissanow”.
The Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign is an international grassroots campaign led by a core of organizers representing the African American/Black Women’s Cultural Alliance, New Jim Crow Movement - Jacksonville, Radical Women, INCITE!, and the Pacific Northwest Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander.
Marissa Alexander is currently under house arrest and is unable to leave her home unless there’s an emergency and she gets permission from a judge, effectively isolating her from the rest of the world.
Marissa Alexander’s PO Box was recently having a problem receiving mail, but the problem has now been resolved! Send Marissa a card or letter while she’s under house arrest and remind her that there’s a whole world of people pulling for her freedom! Here’s the address:
P. O. Box 23872
Jacksonville, FL 32257
(Always check for address updates here: http://www.freemarissanow.org/write-to-marissa.html
If for some reason your letter is returned, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can follow up, thanks!)