Marissa Alexander Granted a New Trial. . .

marissa alexander. . .but will it be a fair trial?

Marissa Alexander, 32 year old mother of 3, has been serving a 20-year jail sentence for firing a warning shot into the wall in 2010 when her estranged abusive husband (against whom she had already filed a restraining order) entered the house where she was attempting to collect her belongings, and threatened her.  After a trial considered by many to be undermined by racist application of Florida’s “10-20-Life” laws, Marissa was convicted in 2012.

On September 26, 2013, Marissa’s legal team won an appeal asking for a retrial because the jury’s instructions on what was to be considered “self defense” were erroneous.  However, as she was denied the same immunity under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Laws that recently paved the way to George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the murder of Trayvon Martin, Marissa’s supporters are doubtful that a new trial by the same justice system will give her a fair chance to plead her case and are calling for charges against her to be dropped.

As detailed in this recent Colorlines interview with Mariame Kaba, who is working to free Marissa, tremendous doubt exists as to whether the racist American justice system (under which Marissa was convicted in the first place) will protect and acknowledge her inherent rights; both as a survivor of domestic violence and as a Black woman:

Kaba states: “My own personal sense of heartbreak has been around the notion, in this case, that Marissa couldn’t be afraid, that she couldn’t feel fear, and that the jury couldn’t believe that she was afraid. That’s deep. And that’s why having another trial feels to me like a recipe for disaster—because I don’t think her humanity is taken into account. I don’t think people think that black women can feel scared, or that we have the ability to feel pain.

If you’re interested, here is a petition you can sign in support of all charges against Marissa being dropped, or donate to help her with her legal fees.

Monday updates!

We have a couple items to post this morning, one of which is that Hollaback! launches their site in ten cities today at ihollaback.org. Hollaback! combats street harassment via mobile technology and now has blogs for multiple cities all on their website.  They are currently recruiting more activists for the next launch in April.  Check out ihollaback.org for more info!

We are also going to be tabling on Sunday, February 6 at Sound Wave, the first of a feminist performance series presented by Permanent Wave at Death by Audio.  There will be music, poetry and art, along with other groups tabling as well.

This is a benefit for the Center Against Domestic Violence in Brooklyn, and the theme of the event is Relationship Violence. Both showgoers and performers will have a chance to engage in activities relating to awareness and activism!

You can find out more about the event and performers at the Facebook invite, by clicking on the flyer below!