Today, January 27th, 2017, the US Human Rights Network celebrates that Marissa Alexander was finally been released from house arrest, ending a nearly six year ordeal with the State of Florida. Marissa was punished for surviving and stopping abuse she was experiencing with a warning shot that harmed no one, including her abuser. Rather than re-affirming her human rights to safety and security of person, the State of Florida prosecuted her and attempted to punish her with 20 year and 60 year sentences, reinforcing a legacy of racial and gender discrimination in Florida’s criminal legal system. As we witness a resurgence of feminist resistance in the wake of the Women’s March on Washington, it is critical that we center the voices and experiences of Black women and other cis and trans women of color who have survived violence only to be punished and criminalized for their survival.
We want to lift up the incredible and necessary work of one of the USHRN’s member organizations, The New Jim Crow Movement in Jacksonville and the leadership of the Free Marissa Now campaign who are doing transformative human rights work to protect Black women and girls from both state and intimate partner violence.
The family of Marissa Alexander said, "We are grateful to God that this chapter of Marissa's life will come to a close on January 27, 2017. We are sincerely thankful and appreciative to all who rallied, supported and prayed for Marissa's release. As she enters a new chapter, with endless possibilities, we ask that you will continue to support Marissa through her non-profit organization that was established to end domestic violence and injustice in the criminal justice system, The Marissa Alexander Justice Project. Without you, today would not be possible. Thank you again and again."
(Art by Dignidad Rebelde)