San Diego activists: ‘Free Marissa Alexander’

WW photo: Gloria Verdieu

WW photo: Gloria Verdieu

An hour-long rally was held in City Heights Park in San Diego on Sept. 14, in support of Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive spouse. No one was hurt, yet Alexander is in prison.

The rally was hosted by the Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization and Marginalization (AF3IRM) San Diego. It was sponsored by the San Diego-based Peoples Power Assembly-United for Racial Justice, the Committee Against Police Brutality and the Committee for Prisoners Rights.

Christina Griffin of PPA-URC, and the San Diego Chapter of the NAACP acted as emcee for the event. “We’re all out here today part of a national movement to bring justice and freedom to Marissa Alexander,” Griffin told the crowd of 60 attendees and park onlookers. They applauded her opening remarks.

Griffin also noted that Alexander was sent to prison for firing a warning shot in Florida, the same state where George Zimmerman was set free after killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

Speakers included activist Shamekia Watkins, Jerrett Grey of PPA-URJ, Gloria James of CAPB and Workers World Party, Cathy Mendonça and Amelia Ortega of AF3IRM, Sylvia Telafaro of African American Artists and Writers and hearing-impaired activist Kimberlyn Harris, who spoke through activist Norma Villegas.

They talked about Alexander’s struggle. Many on the program connected her struggle with the broader movement against the injustices of the prison-industrial complex. Some speakers, especially from AF3IRM, focused on injustices against women.

At the event’s end, attendees celebrated the Florida mother’s 32nd birthday, and signed a card for her, wishing her well.