Statements

Upcoming Actions to Free Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander
Free Marissa Alexander!

Marissa Alexander is in prison, sentenced to 20 years for aggravated assault. Her supposed crime? Firing a warning shot with a permitted gun to stop her abusive husband in the midst of an assault just days after she'd given birth to her daughter.

Marissa was defending herself from a man with a documented record of brutality towards women. Past girlfriends testified about this abuse at Marissa Alexander's trial. Yet the so-called justice system let this man continue to abuse women while Marissa Alexander sits in prison for defending herself.

All of this occurred in the same state where George Zimmerman was freed after murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman made a bogus claim to be protected by Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. The travesty of Marissa's imprisonment and Zimmerman's freedom exposes the arbitrary and utterly racist nature of the so-called criminal justice system in this country.

Marissa Alexander's birthday is September 14. She should be free to celebrate with her children on this day, not languishing in prison. WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend) is joining in the calls for actions to recognize her birthday and call for her immediate release.

Actions on Saturday, September 14

Sacramento, CA
Gather at 1pm
at Robert Matsui Federal Court House
501 I Street
Contact sac@defendwomensrights.org
Join the Facebook event

San Francisco, CA
Gather at 4pm
at Powell & Market
Contact sf@defendwomensrights.org or 415-375-9502
Join the Facebook event

New York City, NY
Gather at 1pm
at 149th and 3rd Avenue
Bronx, New York
Contact nyc@defendwomensrights.org or 347-292-WORD (9673)

Seattle, WA
Gather at 2pm
at Westlake Park, 4th and Pine
Initiated by Seattle WORD and Pacific Northwest Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander
Contact seattle@defendwomensrights.org or 206-568-1661

Join us at one of these events, or list an action in your city.

Fight-back women's rally in New Paltz

Below is a report submitted by Mid-Hudson WORD.

WORD organizer Karina Garcia
WORD organizer Karina Garcia

A spirited rally and march in Defense of Women’s Rights took place in New Paltz, N.Y., Sept. 7, organized by Mid-Hudson WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend) in recognition of Women’s Equality Day.

A total of 135 people attended at some point during the rally in Peace Park before marching with signs and chanting “fight-back” slogans through the village’s business district before returning to the park for informal discussions among attendees and speakers.

Five of the eight speakers were in their upper teens or twenties, to the delight of local WORD organizer Donna Goodman, who viewed youth participation at that level as a positive sign for the future of the women’s movement. Among the speakers was Karina Garcia, who traveled upstate from New York City where she is a WORD organizer. She delivered an upbeat speech about building the movement.

Goodman spoke about the “the failure of the U.S. political system” to provide adequate social services for the people, pointing out that 35% of American women are more likely to be poor than men. She noted in particular the paucity of programs for single-mother families and the absence of a national paid parental leave policy. “Out of 173 countries,” she said, “only four do not provide some form of government-guaranteed leave with income to women in connection with childbirth: Liberia, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and the United States.”

WORD was helped in organizing the rally by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter and Mid-Hudson ANSWER. Some two dozen groups endorsed the rally, including: New York Civil Liberties Union, Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, Upper Hudson Central Labor Council, Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley, United University Professions (AFL-CIO), and various movement and left groups including PSL.

WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend) is a new grassroots feminist organization that is dedicated to building the struggle for women’s rights and equality for all.

Join us in building this new movement for our rights – and for a better world for all women.