INCITE! is a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end violence against our communities through direct action, critical dialogue, and grassroots organizing. For more info, please visit: http://incite-national.org
- Because we support black women’s right to self defense and support the call for freedom of Patreese Johnson, the last incarcerated member of the New Jersey 7, and CeCe McDonald in Minneapolis, MN,
- and because we condemn the FBI’s continued and escalated pursuit of Assata Shakur,
- and because domestic violence survivors of color have been targets of law enforcement violence through lack of protection, mandatory arrest policies, and physical violence,
- and because 90% of people in women’s prisons experience sexual and domestic violence prior to their incarceration and there is a crisis of sexual abuse within prisons, including juvenile and immigration detention centers,
- and because collaboration programs between ICE and local police, such as Secure Communities (S-COMM), endanger the lives of undocumented immigrant survivors of violence,
- and because law enforcement agencies routinely fail to respond to violence against Native women, allowing others to violate them with impunity,
- and because of militarized law enforcement violence, children like Aiyana Jones do not have the right to safety in their own homes,
- and because organizers had to sue Louisiana to remove black women and LGBT people charged with prostitution from the state’s sex offender registry,
- and because stop-and-frisk against women of color, including trans women of color, is state-enforced sexual harassment,
- and because doctors pressure and coerce inmates in California women’s prisons to get sterilized as a cost-cutting measure,
- and because, in two out of three states, pregnant inmates can still be shackled to their hospital beds while giving birth,
- and because the US is a prison nation that not only cages the most people in the world, but extends punishment and surveillance into the daily lives of low income women of color and our communities in the US and abroad,
- and because we support organized resistance to the prison nation such as the Dream 9, the Dream Defenders sit-in, and the California Prisoner Hunger Strike, the largest prisoner hunger strike in the history of California,
- and because we mourn the horrific murder of Trayvon Martin and send love, strength, and solidarity to his family and community,
- and because we honor all of the women, queer, and trans people of color who have been attacked, brutalized, or murdered and who have been given no opportunity for redress or public recognition,
- and because we call on our communities to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence and develop transformative community-based responses to violence so we aren’t forced to rely on an abusive criminal punishment system for safety and accountability…
Because of all of these reasons, INCITE! endorses the call to FREE MARISSA ALEXANDER from prison immediately. Marissa Alexander is a black mother of three and survivor of domestic violence from Jacksonville, FL. In August 2010, she fired a warning shot in the wall to defend herself from a life-threatening beating from her estranged husband. She had just given birth to a premature baby nine days before. Despite the fact that Marissa Alexander caused no injuries and has no previous criminal record, and despite the fact that Florida’s self-defense law includes the right to “Stand Your Ground,” she was subsequently arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison. She plans to appeal. More details on her experience can be found here and this pdf download. The treatment of Marissa Alexander is a consequence of the growing crisis of prisons and policing in the US as well as a product of anti-black racism and sexism which drives individuals and institutions to punish black women when they defend themselves from violence. Her case is one of many that shows us how black women and other marginalized people are especially likely to be blamed and criminalized while trying to navigate and survive the conditions of violence in their lives. We call all members of anti-violence, reproductive justice, and anti-police/prison movements and our allies to also support the call to Free Marissa Alexander!
ORGANIZE to free Marissa Alexander! Hold rallies, do a banner drop, have house parties, blog, write letters, organize workshops, make art, fundraise and donate, and sign this petition. Visit http://freemarissanow.tumblr.com/action for more ideas.
Urge your campus, organization, faith community, collective, union, or business to ENDORSE the call to Free Marissa Alexander: tiny.cc/EndorseFreeMarissa
Thank you for all you do to create communities and movements based on radical freedom, mutual accountability, and passionate reciprocity!
LOCALLY in Pittsburgh Check out: The Women In Prison Defense Committee