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Groundswell Fund stands in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, the people of Ferguson, and with Marissa Alexander against the travesties of justice delivered yesterday by the U.S. criminal justice system.
 
We understand the community resistance to these decisions as fundamental to the fight for reproductive justice, and we stand in support of the reproductive justice movement, our many grantee partners, and all who are gathering, marching, protesting, and resisting.
 
The failure to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown; the pressure on Marissa Alexander to accept a plea bargain and return to jail because she fired a warning shot (one that harmed no one) to stop her abusive ex-husband from attacking her, are reproductive justice issues.
 
The heart of reproductive justice includes the right to have children and to be with, love and care for them.
 
Michael Brown was a son who is loved and will be dearly missed. He was separated from his family by state-sanctioned murder. Marissa Alexander is a single mother with a human right to love and raise her children. She is being separated from her young children through incarceration. These separations are part of a long legacy of reproductive justice violations against communities of color that continue at epidemic levels today.  
 
In America’s not so distant past, Black families were torn apart during slavery when parents were killed, or children or parents sold away from each other; Native American families were ripped apart when children were stolen and imprisoned in mission schools; immigrant families were split apart by deportation and policies that prevented women and children from entering the country to reunite with their husbands, fathers, and brothers.
 
Today, a Black person -- someone’s child, someone’s parent, someone’s sister or brother -- is killed by the police every two weeks in America. More Black people are incarcerated today than there were enslaved at the height of slavery, and the rate of incarceration for Black women -- most of whom are mothers -- has risen by more than 800 percent in the past 20 years. Thousands of children languish in foster care following the deportation of their immigrant parents.  And the list goes on, as U.S. systems continue to disrupt the human right of so many families of color to love, protect, and be with our children.
 
Reproductive justice cannot be achieved until the state-sanctioned violence that separates our families is brought to a halt.
 
In the words of Assata Shakur, now a popular mantra for young organizers in Ferguson, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."

One action you can take now is to sign this ColorOfChange petition, calling on the Department of Justice to press federal charges:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/justicemikebrownforward/

 
In Solidarity,
 
Vanessa Daniel
Executive Director
 

 

Copyright © 2014 Groundswell Fund, All rights reserved.


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