[Pnews] Marissa Alexander Released from Prison; Supporters Celebrate, Demand Full Freedom

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 28 10:25:58 EST 2015

*Marissa Alexander Released from Prison- Supporters Celebrate, Demand 
Full Freedom*

Supporters of Marissa Alexander in Jacksonville, across the US, and all 
around the world are overjoyed that Alexander has been released from 
jail after serving 3 years behind bars for defending her life.In 2010, 
Alexander, a black mother of three from Jacksonville, Florida, was 
forced to defend her life from a life-threatening attack by her 
estranged husband by firing a single warning shot that caused no 
injuries.State Prosecutor Angela Corey prosecuted Alexander, pursuing a 
60 year mandatory minimum sentence.On November 24, 2014, Alexander 
accepted a plea deal that included time served of nearly 3 years in 
prison, 65 additional days in the Duval County jail, and 2 years of 
probation while under home detention.Today marks the end of her time 
behind bars.

€œWe are thrilled that Marissa will finally be reunited with her 
children, her family, and her community,€ said Sumayya Coleman, co-lead 
of the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign.€œToday€™s hearing 
revealed that Marissa intends to attend school to become a paralegal and 
she is a wonderful mother to her children who urgently need her. 
Amazingly, the State continued their campaign of punishment by trying to 
add two more years of probation. Fortunately, they failed, and Marissa 
will be released today! Marissa and her family will need time to begin 
recovering from this arduous and traumatic experience.It€™s been a long 
and painful journey and, though her release from jail is definitely a 
win - no 60 years, the journey of seeking ultimate freedom is not 
over.Marissa will be forced to be on strict home detention while being 
under surveillance for two years.This is by no means freedom in the 
sense we feel she deserves.Our next agenda is to seek full restoration 
for Marissa and her family, including the expunging of her so-called 
criminal record, and a systemic transformation that prevents black women 
and all survivors of domestic violence from experiencing the hostile and 
brutal treatment from policing, prosecution, and prison systems that 
Marissa has endured. We will push for improved legislation and 
monitoring of systems that penalize victims of domestic violence who 
choose to save their lives by force. This is by no means a conclusion.€

Alexander will be forced to wear and pay for a surveillance ankle 
monitor, and forbidden from leaving her home with the exception of 
attending work, church, her children€™s school, and appointments with 
doctors or the court.This will effectively €œprisonize€ her home, as 
noted by journalist, Maya Schenwar.This practice of extending a prison 
culture of surveillance, punishment, and confinement into people€™s 
homes and communities has significantly increased in the U.S., creating 
what Prof. Beth Richie has described as a €œprison nation,€ especially 
for black women.Coercing probationers to pay for surveillance monitors 
is also part of the increasing privatization of punishment in the U.S.

Since 2012, the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign has organized to 
free Alexander from the punishing experience of being prosecuted for 
self-defense.Supporters have organized in Jacksonville, across the 
United States in dozens of cities, and around the world to demand 
Alexander€™s freedom.Aleta Alston Toure€™, co-lead of Free Marissa Now 
said, €œFor almost three years, this campaign has raised critical 
awareness about Alexander€™s case, raised much needed donations for her 
legal defense fund, and raised a movement that takes a stand against 
mass incarceration and domestic violence.If this targeting of Marissa 
had unfolded behind closed doors and without powerful pushback from 
people who believe in justice, we believe she would still be in prison 
today.Organizing matters.€

Organizers are hosting a number of direct actions in support of 
Alexander€™s freedom.In Jacksonville, organizers will hold a press 
conference today at 12pm on the Duval County Courthouse steps.They will 
also welcome a display of The Monument Quilt, 350 quilt squares 
containing stories from survivors of domestic violence and sexual 
assault in solidarity with Marissa Alexander.The quilt will blanket the 
Duval County Courthouse lawn on January 27th, 8 am €“ 2pm.

Local organizers will convene a televised People€™s Movement Assembly to 
be held on January 28th, 1pm at WJCT/ PBS, 100 Festival Park Ave.The 
assembly discussion will focus on state violence against women and will 
include Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw, Columbia University, UCLA, & the African 
American Policy Forum; Kerry McLean, National Lawyers Guild, Dr. Faye 
Williams, National Congress of Black Women; Dr. Rose Brewer, University 
of Minnesota; and Dr. Beth Richie, University of Illinois, Chicago and 
INCITE!.The assembly will be hosted by local Free Marissa Now member, 
Denyce Gartrell.

The Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander led a recent major 
fundraising push that raised $11,000 to help Alexander cover the cost of 
her ankle monitor for the two year period of home detention.They are 
organizing a January 27th discussion about how to talk to children with 
imprisoned family members about incarceration, which will occur at 6pm 
at 637 Dearborn St. in Chicago.

The Free Marissa Now Bay Area collective also organized a caravan that 
traveled from Oakland, CA to Jacksonville, FL, raising awareness about 
Alexander€™s case in cities along the way.Details about all of these 
events can be found at freemarissanow.org.

€œIt€™s hard to summarize the incredible outpouring of rage, love, and 
commitment to freedom that has arrived from all around the world in 
solidarity with Marissa Alexander,€ said Alisa Bierria, also from Free 
Marissa Now. €œHundreds of people have Hundreds of people have donated, 
created art and media, and organized direct actions, letter writing 
sessions, and teach-ins in Jacksonville, Chicago, Berkeley, Los Angeles, 
New York, Pittsburgh, DC, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, Denver, 
Miami, Canada, Australia, and many other locations.The dozens of 
projects that Marissa€™s supporters have organized have been creative, 
brilliant, and impactful.Together, we have not only helped to ensure 
Marissa€™s release from prison, we have hopefully shown why we must keep 
addressing the connections between domestic violence, reproductive 
violence, and state violence.We warmly thank and honor every person who 
has contributed to this historic freedom movement."

Free Marissa Now notes that Alexander has asked supporters to use her 
case to bring more attention to women in similar circumstances, such as 
Tondalo Hall and Charmaine Pfender.

Organizers will publish a report about the Free Marissa Now Mobilization 
Campaign on their website, freemarissanow.org, in the coming weeks.

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, and INCITE! Women of Color and Trans People of Color 
Against Violence. For more information, see www.FreeMarissaNow.org.


Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign

Donate to the Marissa Alexander Freedom Fund!

More info: freemarissanow.org

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Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org

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