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Old 05-12-2017, 06:28 AM
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Default BLFecalM Philly Wants to Bail Out Sows For Mammy’s Day; Movement Spreads Though The Kwa


BLM Philly Wants to Bail Out Women For Mother’s Day

In less than four days, organizers have raised more than $15,000 to release incarcerated women who can’t afford to pay bail.

May 11, 2017 at 11:51 am

UPDATE: Organizers have now collected more than $18,000.

This Mother’s Day, Black Lives Matter Philly wants to give at least a dozen women – and their families – an unexpected gift.

The organization has joined several others to bail out incarcerated women who, despite the fact that they haven’t been convicted of a crime, are currently being held in Philly prisons because they can’t afford to pay bail.

BLM Philly, the youth-led Philadelphia Student Union and the No215Jail Coalition (along with at least five other groups) launched a fundraising campaign for their efforts on Monday. They met their $6,000 goal within 24 hours – so they raised the bar to $10,000. Wednesday afternoon, they surpassed that amount, too – the organization has collected more than $15,300 as of Thursday morning.

The Philly crusade branched off from a national Black Lives Matter Mother’s Day bail out effort, which aims to draw attention to inequality in the criminal justice system. The movement is also being implemented in cities like Memphis, Tennessee and Tucson, Arizona.

Hiram Rivera, executive director of the Philadelphia Student Union, said the response has been “huge” and that it speaks to a timely issue in Philly: bail reform.

“Never did we imagine we should be able to [reach our financial goal] in one day,” Rivera said. “I think that speaks to just how important the issue of cash bail is to citizens of Philadelphia. I think it speaks to the need for bail reform here in the city.”

About 30 percent of prisoners in Philadelphia (a city that has more than twice as many inmates per capita than the national average) are pretrial status – meaning they haven’t been convicted of a crime. Many of them, according to Philadelphia Department of Prisons spokesperson Shawn Hawes, are being held on low-level charges, for things like prostitution, shoplifting or drug-related offenses (typically nonviolent charges).


Mama's Bail Out Day

“Money kept them in.
Black love got them out.”
— Pat Hussain, Co-founder of Southerners on New Ground


The activist group Southerners on New Ground (SONG) is spearheading a national campaign called National Black Mama’s Bail Out Day. The campaign plans to free dozens of jailed Black mothers across the United States in time to be home for Mother’s Day. According to the SONG website:


Cheryl Diston, an Essie Justice Group member, returns to her spot amongst her fellow community activists after speaking about her personal experience during a press conference on the steps of the Renee C. Davidson Superior courthouse in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Community activist come together to highlight reforms to the state’s “bail-for-profit” system. The Essie Justice Group and Black Lives Matter Bay Area held the press conference on National Mama’s Bail Out Day an effort to bail out mothers in jail so they can be home for Mother’s Day.





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