Updates from the blog

Free Tammy Garvin

Survived and Punished calls for the freedom of all incarcerated survivors. California has increased the number of commutations for Life Without Parole sentencing, meaning fewer people are sentenced to die in prison because they have a chance at parole.  One strategy has been raising public awareness of multiple cases within the intersections of sexual, racial, domestic, and carceral violence, and organizing public support to urge the Governor to commute more sentences and free more people.

Please sign the petition to #FreeTammyGarvin!

Tammy Garvin is an incarcerated survivor who was convicted for her trafficker/abuser’s lethal violence. For surviving, Tammy has been in prison for 27 years already. She is serving Life Without Parole in California.

Tammy was only 14 years old when she was trafficked, and by the time she was convicted and sentenced to Life Without Parole in her 30s, she suffered from the long-term effects of severe psychological and sexual abuse.

Incarcerated survivors are leading groups to support survivors and advocate to de-criminalize survival from within the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), the biggest women’s prison in the U.S. (and likely the world).

Tammy has a real chance at clemency during Governor Brown’s last year, but only if we insist on it.

Can you help us get over 100 signatures to #FreeTammyGarvin today on her 59th birthday?

Petition: bit.ly/CommuteTammy

#FreeTammyGarvin #SurvivedAndPunished

Bresha Meadows Returns Home After Collective Organizing Efforts — #FreeBresha

 

Welcome home, Bresha. In this post, #FreeBresha organizers Colby Lenz and Mariame Kaba review how #FreeBresha successfully advocated for Bresha Meadows, an Ohio teen who was jailed after killing her father in self-defense. (Originally published at Teen Vogue)

Bresha Meadows was released to return to her family on February 4, after surviving juvenile and mental health incarceration since her arrest in July 2016.

Bresha was only 14 years old when she was charged with killing her father, who her mother and family said had inflicted years of abuse on them. Instead of receiving compassionate care, Bresha was criminalized for what many consider to have been self-defense. Prosecutors charged her with aggravated murder and sought to try her as an adult. She faced a potential life sentence in prison in Ohio. After instead pleading “true” to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, Bresha was sentenced to one year in a juvenile jail (with 10 months already served), six months of confinement in a mental health facility, and two years of probation once released.

Bresha’s attempts to escape domestic violence and seek help were blocked by multiple systemsthat ultimately failed to support her, including the police and Child Protective Services. Bresha’s story reveals the powerful pipeline between girls’ experiences of domestic and sexual violence and their forced entry into carceral systems.

Once arrested, black girls like Bresha face disproportionately high rates of prosecution and incarceration. Once incarcerated, Bresha joined the 84% of girls in the juvenile justice systemwho have experienced family violence prior to incarceration.

We are both part of #FreeBresha, the small organizing collective that brought Bresha’s case to national and international attention. In August 2016, we formed a volunteer, ad-hoc defense committee to demand her freedom. A defense committee or campaign is a grassroots effort to secure the freedom of a person targeted for criminalization, through community organizing, political pressure, community education, legal and media advocacy, and other strategies. As part of an effort to #FreeBresha, we organized calls to action and then coordinated and publicized widespread decentralized actions into an organizing force to be reckoned with. Supporters across the world demanded care and resources, not cages, for Bresha and all survivors of domestic and sexual violence. …

Read full article: Bresha Meadows Returns Home After Collective Organizing Efforts — #FreeBresha

Free Ky Peterson

​#FreeKy PLEASE SHARE & TAKE ACTION TODAY

Ky Peterson is a black trans man from Georgia. In 2011, as he was walking home from a convenience store, a man hit him over the head and knocked him out. When he woke up he was being raped. In the midst of his struggle with his attacker, he shot and killed the man. Ky waited over a year in jail to meet with a public defender, who thenonly met with him twice. According to statements made by Ky’s public defender, they denied his right to plead self-defense because Ky is black and “looks stereotypically gay”. Ky was forced to sign a plea deal while on heavy mental health medications. He pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, according to Georgia law. But Ky was sentenced to 20 years, with 15 to serve in confinement. So far Ky has served over 5 years in prison.

In 2017, Ky was denied parole and put in solitary confinement for a month awaiting a sentencing hearing. At that hearing, the court changed his charge from involuntary manslaughter to voluntary manslaughter, claiming that the original charge was a clerical error.
Ky is asking people to join in a letter-writing campaign to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. Sign Ky’s petition, get information about the letter-writing campaign, and follow Ky’s case at http://freeingky.com.

Learn about campaigns for other people like Ky who have been locked up for defending themselves and surviving at survivedandpunished.org.

This video was conceived by Mariame Kaba and narrated by CeCe McDonald. Directed and produced by Dean Spade and Hope Dector. Audio editing by Lewis Wallace. Art by Micah Bazant. Created by the Barnard Center for Research on Women and Survived and Punished.

TAKE ACTION! 


Filed under: Take Action! Tagged: LGBT/Queer, prison industrial complex, self-defense, sexual violence, survival, survived and punished

New Toolkit for Organizing Defense Campaigns

#FreeBresha

National grassroots organization, Survived and Punished, just released a new downloadable toolkit for organizing defense campaigns for survivors who are criminalized.  Excerpt:

​#SurvivedAndPunished: Survivor Defense as Abolitionist Praxis is a collection of tools, tips, lessons and resources developed through our own experiences. It is also an effort to document and reflect on our own movement work. It is important for us to document especially because our organizing work has been led by Black women, women of color, immigrants and queer/trans people, who are so often erased from history. We hope to preserve some of these histories, build solidarity, and share hope as we continue our collective struggle.

Visit S&P’s website to read and download the toolkit.

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Filed under: General News

Statement on Bresha Meadows’ Plea Deal

#FreeBresha

May 22, 2017

The #FreeBresha campaign is infuriated that 15-year-old domestic violence survivor, Bresha Meadows, has been forced by Ohio prosecutors to submit to a plea deal that would keep her in juvenile detention for a full year (which includes 10 months of time served) and an additional 6 months of incarceration in a “treatment facility.”  Though an earlier version of the plea deal would have released Bresha to the “treatment facility” today, the final plea deal has increased Bresha’s time in juvenile detention for another two months. Prosecuting Bresha, including the pointless punitivity of adding time in juvenile detention, should be condemned by all who care about the well-being of children.  

Bresha’s move from juvenile detention to the “treatment facility” is scheduled for July 30th.  Once transferred, this facility has the power to determine whether they will confine Bresha beyond the 6 months stated in the plea deal…

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Filed under: General News

Black Girl Altar Project

#FreeBresha

We welcome supporters of Bresha Meadows to create Black girl altars in advance of Bresha’s next hearing on May 22nd. Download resources below:

TOOLKIT#DefendingBlackWomanhood: A Toolkit for a Community Altar Building Project for Black Women and Girls, by Black Feminist Future

CURRICULUM: Four Black Girl Altar Rituals for Grieving, Remembrance, and Praise, by Piper Anderson

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Filed under: Take Action! Tagged: art, Black women and girls, domestic violence, self-defense, survival, survived and punished, young people

#FreeBresha Campaign Statement on Proposed Plea Deal

#FreeBresha

May 8, 2017

15-year-old domestic violence survivor, Bresha Meadows, was offered a plea deal at a pretrial hearing this morning at the Trumbull County Juvenile Court in Ohio. While the details of the proposed deal have not been finalized, our understanding of the terms is that Bresha will be under state control for a total of 18 months. This includes 9 months she has already spent behind bars and an additional 9 months of incarceration in a “treatment facility.” Bresha’s attorney hopes Bresha will be transferred from juvenile detention to the treatment center by May 22nd at the latest. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for May 22nd. Bresha’s record, as it relates to this case, would be sealed on her eighteenth birthday.

Without a plea deal, Bresha would face an aggravated murder charge for defending herself and her mother against the unrelenting abuse of her father, Jonathan Meadows. A conviction…

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Filed under: General News, Guest Post Tagged: Black women and girls, domestic violence, prison industrial complex, survived and punished, young people

#FreeBresha DAYS OF ACTION: OCT 5 & 6

#FreeBresha DAYS OF ACTION: OCT 5 & 6

by Molly Crabapple (2016)

Bresha has an important court hearing on Thursday, Oct 6th when the prosecutor will determine if Bresha will be prosecuted for a crime (possibly charged as an adult) instead of given the support & safety that she needs.

We take action in solidarity with Bresha and demand that she is returned home to her family and that all charges against her are dropped.  We call on #SayHerName / #BlackLivesMatter supporters, victim advocates, feminists, racial justice activists, young people, and people of faith to take action in solidarity with Bresha and all survivors of domestic & sexual violence who are criminalized for surviving.

Events are being planned across the US! Visit here and here for an updated list. We want to help promote your event! Please send us info about your action.

WAYS TO PARTICIPATE (Download as PDF): 
  1. TAKE DIRECT ACTION! On Oct 5th & 6th, organize a march & rally, a speak out, a vigil, a flash mob dance party, a concert, a block party, or a fundraiser. Use media! Create zines, short videos, postcards, music, and poetry.
  2. DONATE to the fund to support Bresha Meadows’ freedom:https://www.gofundme.com/BreshaM

  3. SIGN the petition to demand that Trumbull County Prosecutor, Dennis Watkins, drop the charges against Bresha and free her now:bit.ly/FreeBreshaNow

  4. WRITE letters of encouragement and support to Bresha and send to: Bresha Meadows, c/o Ian N. Friedman, Esq., Friedman & Nemecek, L.L.C., The IMG Center, 1360 E. 9th Street, Suite 650, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
  5. JOIN the “Open Letter to Dennis Watkins” project. Send us an open letter to Prosecutor Dennis Watkins who has the discretion to decide to drop charges against Bresha. https://freebresha.wordpress.com/open-letters/

  6. EDUCATE communities about the criminalization of black girls and survivors of domestic violence! Organize discussions and workshops about domestic and sexual violence, explore community strategies for safety and support, resist the criminalization of our communities.
    Educational Resources:
    #FreeBresha curriculum template
    *  fact sheet on domestic violence and the criminalization of girls
    * educational tools at survivedandpunished.org and No Selves to Defend

  7. ENDORSE the call to free Bresha Meadows. Urge your campus, organization, union, faith community, or collective to endorse the statement posted by Love & Protect:  http://loveandprotect.org/bresha-meadows/

  8. CONNECT WITH FAITH COMMUNITIES. If you are part of a faith community, join community prayer sessions for Bresha’s freedom and mobilize your community. More here:https://freebresha.wordpress.com/faith/

  9. SPREAD THE WORD with friends, families, communities, co-workers, and via social media. Write letters to the editor to your local news media. Blog, tweet, and spread the word on social media. #FreeBresha

Let us know what you’re up to!  Stay in touch via e-mail atFreeBreshaMeadows@gmail.com or connect with us @FreeBresha on twitterand facebook. All updates can be found at freebresha.wordpress.com.


Filed under: Events, General News, Take Action! Tagged: domestic violence, prison industrial complex, self-defense, young people

Sign Petition Demanding Prosecutor to Free Bresha Meadows

Free Bresha Meadows

The Bresha Meadows Freedom Campaign urges supporters to sign this petition addressed to Trumbull County Prosecutor, Dennis Watkins, demanding that he free Bresha Meadows and drop all charges against her. Brief excerpt from the petition:

TO: TRUMBULL COUNTY PROSECUTOR, DENNIS WATKINS

Drop all charges against Bresha Meadows & release her immediately!

Bresha Meadows is a child survivor of domestic violence who just turned 15 while incarcerated at the Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center. Bresha is charged with aggravated murder for defending herself, and her family from a father who had a long history of abusing them. We demand that the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s office drop all charges against Bresha Meadows and release her immediately.

Like Bresha, an estimated 15.5 million children in the U.S. are exposed to domestic violence each year. Girls and women incarcerated for actions taken in self-defense are disproportionately Black. 84% of girls incarcerated in the US…

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Filed under: General News

For Bresha On Her 15th Birthday

(Image: Kara Rodriguez )

We write this post for Bresha Meadows, on this, her 15th birthday. As Black and Brown organizers, many of whom have experienced violence in our own lives, it pains us that Bresha will spend this day incarcerated, rather than celebrating her life at home with her family. On July 28, acting in her own defense, and in defense of her mother, Bresha allegedly took the life of her father, Jonathan Meadows.

Jonathan Meadows was killed with his own gun — a firearm he is said to have repeatedly pointed at his own family, throughout the years of abuse they suffered. It is well documented that abusers with a history of violence are five times more likely to subsequently murder an intimate partner if there is a firearm in the home. Brandi, Bresha’s mother, was trapped in a cycle of violence, that both she and Bresha had…

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Filed under: General News, Guest Post Tagged: Black women, domestic violence, prison industrial complex, self-defense, young people

Night Out for Safety and Liberation on August 2nd

From Allied Media Projects:

Allied Media Projects is excited to partner with local and national organizations, including the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan and the Ella Baker Center of Human Rights, to present the “Night Out for Safety and Liberation” on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library. The event in Detroit is one of several events taking place in 20 cities across the country, that aim to redefine what safety means in our communities, beyond the current frame of safety through policing.

The National Night Out for Safety and Liberation’s mission is to “start a different conversation about what #SafetyIs—one that is focused on how we can build equity, power, and opportunity in our communities.” In the context of police brutality and mass criminalization in black and brown communities, the question organizers of the event are asking is: “Does an increased police presence in a community necessarily translate to more safety?”

AMP invites our network of media-based organizers to participate in this important national conversation about what safety and liberation means for our communities. How do we use art, media, and technology to change the narrative of safety? How can we shift public policy from prioritizing policing, incarceration, and surveillance to instead prioritizing investment in Black and Brown communities and the creation of a stronger social safety net?

Photo Taina Vargas-Edmond

Organizers of the event in Detroit shared this description:

“On Night Out for Safety and Liberation, we will bring together people with powerful visions for the future: a cross-section of community leaders, thinkers, artists and activists from all around Detroit. Together, we will envision building safe communities where public resources are reinvested from a wasteful criminal legal system and invested in other ways to ensure community safety and accountability like restorative justice hubs and peacekeepers.”


Photo Tawana Petty

To kick off the event, the the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will host a 1 hour TweetChat on Tuesday, August 2nd at 2pm EST. The TweetChat is an online conversation that will take place on Twitter. Participants can tweet their questions to @EllaBakerCenter using the hashtag #SafetyIs and or #NOSL16. Organizations can register for the TweetChat in advance here.

Stay up to date on the Night Out for Safety and Liberation Facebook page and Detroit event page.


Filed under: Events, General News Tagged: community accountability, community organizing

On Sex Work & Survival: Why We Must Stand With Alisha Walker

Transformative Spaces

Like all criminalized people, Alisha is more than a mugshot. (Photo: Sherri Chatman)

This guest post from Support Ho(s)e, a coalition of Chicago sex workers and advocates,  explains why those of us who believe in the rights of sex workers and the sanctity of self-defense must stand with Alisha Walker, a young woman who has been criminalized for taking a life in defense of her own. If you would like to learn more or get involved in the fight to free Alisha, you can visit the “Justice for Alisha Walker” Facebook page.

We recently became aware of an article published in the Chicago Sun­-Times, originally titled “Hooker gets 15 years for stabbing Brother Rice teacher to death” (they have since amended the title), that promotes an anti-sex worker, misogynistic gloss on the traumatic events it purports to report on.

The Chicago Sun-Times not only saw fit to publish…

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Filed under: General News

Navigating Neoliberalism in the Academy, Nonprofits, and Beyond

The Octopus, drawing by Nicci Yin

Scholar & Feminist Online has published an exciting collection of articles & videos that builds from the reflections in INCITE’s 2007 anthology, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex! This important multimedia resource is entitled Navigating Neoliberalism in the Academy, Nonprofits, and Beyond, and edited by Soniya Munshi and Craig Willse. The editors outline the core goal of the issue:

The essays that comprise this special issue tackle the nonprofit and school as two key sites in which neoliberal social and economic reforms are both constituted and contested. The issue demonstrates that these two realms are not distinct, but are deeply implicated in one another, often in joint projects of producing for neoliberalism—producing knowledge and producing communities. Put simply, this collection asks: What are the possibilities for transformative politics given the capacity of neoliberal capital to incorporate, absorb and/or neutralize demands for social justice? And what can we produce in excess of neoliberalism? Considering the nonprofit and the university together offers an opportunity to rethink the relationships between activism and scholarship, as well as a chance to re-theorize neoliberalism from the bottom up.

Check it out now!  To purchase The Revolution Will Not Be Funded anthology, it’s now available as an e-book


Filed under: General News, INCITE! Announcements Tagged: academic industrial complex, capitalism, neoliberalism, nonprofit industrial complex

Misogyny on the Mag Mile: A Turning Point

Originally posted on Radical Faggot:

After Black, queer women organizers were physically attacked on the Magnificent Mile, we must ask what the next steps of our movement will be–and who will be leading us.

Several prominent Chicago youth organizers—all of them Black women, and the majority of them queer—were physically assaulted on Black Friday during the hugely successful shutdown of the Magnificent Mile in honor of Laquan McDonald.

The religious leaders and community elders who called for the demonstration rallied early in the day at the Water Tower in the Loop. Several youth organizations—BYP100, FLY and Assata’s Daughters—were invited to participate, and appeared in several photo ops with Jesse Jackson Sr. and other public figures, the majority of them men.

As organizers began to address the crowd, several well-known Black elders forced their way to the front, pushed youth organizers back from the mic, and one man actually began elbowing a young, Black, queer woman in the…

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Filed under: General News

Oct 22nd: #SurvivedAndPunished Twitter Discussion

#SurvivedAndPunished Twitter Discussion Thursday, Oct 22, 2015​
11am PT / 2pm ET

Everywhere!Join us on twitter to discuss connections between prisons, policing, immigration enforcement, and gender violence, and organize more support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence who are behind bars or trapped within systems of punishment.

Use #SurvivedAndPunished and #DVAM2015
More memes HERE. Subscribe to the SurvivedAndPunished twitter list.

Facilitated by @freemarissanow, organized by @standwithnanhui, @womenprisoners, @loveprotectorg, and @freemarissanow

More about the SurvivedAndPunished project: http://www.survivedandpunished.org


Filed under: General News

Oct 22nd: #SurvivedAndPunished Twitter Discussion

#SurvivedAndPunished Twitter Discussion Thursday, Oct 22, 2015​
11am PT / 2pm ET

Everywhere!

Join us on twitter to discuss connections between prisons, policing, immigration enforcement, and gender violence, and organize more support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence who are behind bars or trapped within systems of punishment.

Use #SurvivedAndPunished and #DVAM2015
More memes HERE. Subscribe to the SurvivedAndPunished twitter list.

Facilitated by @freemarissanow, organized by @standwithnanhui, @womenprisoners, @loveprotectorg, and @freemarissanow
Filed under: General News

Justice for Rasmea! Support her Oct 14th Appeals Trial

Rasmea Odeh is a 67 year old Palestinian American community leader who was tortured by the Israeli government in 1969. On November 10, 2014 in front of supporters in the courtroom, Rasmea was found guilty of one count of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization. Her appeals trial begins October 14, 2015 in Cincinnati.  Learn how to help here!

Chicagoans & All: everything you need to know about Rasmea’s appeal in Cincinnati

Stand with Rasmea and fill the appeals courthouse in Cincinnati!  Buses and carloads attending from Chicago; Ft. Wayne & Indianapolis, IN; Cleveland, Youngstown, Columbus & Cincinnati, OH; Florida; Milwaukee & Madison, WI; Grand Rapids, Flint, Dearborn & Detroit, MI; Minneapolis; and more!

Chicagoans:

  • Still a few spots left if you wanna GET ON THE BUS from Chicago for the appeal!
  • We’re only about $1,500 short of raising the money to pay for the two buses we’re taking from Chicago to Cincinnati.  Please help us reach the goal here!
  • We will be gathering at 10 PM the night before the appeal, Tuesday, October 13th, 2015, but you cannot just show upYou’ve gotta sign up first, and then you’ll be told where the pick up points are.
  • Those who are driving their own cars and can take others, or would like to carpool, should contact Joe Iosbaker (joeiosbaker@gmail.com) by Tuesday morning, October 13th, at the absolute latest.

As her defense attorneys have said since the beginning of this ordeal, “You [Rasmea’s supporters] provide public testimony when you rally outside the courthouse and then file in to fill the courtroom.  Public testimony of not only the power of Rasmea’s positive influence on her friends and colleagues, and the people she organizes, but public testimony also of the fact that she did not receive a fair trial and that there are people who are going to hold the system—prosecutors and judges—accountable.”

While in Cincinnati, we will organize a support rally in front of the courthouse at 8 AM EST on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, and then fill the courtroom immediately thereafter, as Rasmea’s defense and the prosecution each present their oral arguments to a three judge panel.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14, 2015. Rally outside the courthouse at 8 AM EST.  Oral argument for the appeal starts at 9 AM EST. WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
540 Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse
100 E. 5th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

More here: http://uspcn.org/2015/10/12/chicagoans-all-everything-you-need-to-know-about-rasmeas-appeal-in-cincinnati/


Filed under: General News

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