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It's been a wicked week for most Americans. The Trayvon Martin injustice was a punch in the stomach. In Texas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, we witnessed Republicans using sleazy backdoor tactics to chip away at women's rights, introducing bills aimed to silence and control women. Women will ultimately win this war - but what a shame we have to witness such an unjust system, as well as watch them waste millions of tax dollars on congressional sessions, that debate unconstitutional bills which will ultimately be thrown out.

As the saying goes, something good often comes from something bad. As all of the above events were taking place last week, the story of Marissa Alexander re-emerged. In April 2010, Alexander, then 29, fired a warning shot to stop her abusive husband. She was a battered wife and he was coming towards again, fully intending to do her harm. She was frail at the time, having just given birth days earlier. Alexander did not fire the shot directly at her husband. The bullet ended up in the ceiling and no one was hurt. Her abusive husband even claimed he meant to 'lay hands on her' and that she did the right thing in trying to stop him. Yet, Marissa Alexander was arrested and is now serving a 20-year prison sentence.

Alexander's story resurfaced because it was a Stand Your Ground case, as was brought up in the Zimmerman case. Many protests by the public and by activists took place in Florida during Alexander's trial, and after, but were to no avail. Now, thanks to the Zimmerman case, there is renewed attention and hope for Alexander. A group of attorneys have come together to appeal for a another trial, along with a new petition, which is gaining momentum.

It's important Marissa Alexander is released immediately for more than one reason. One would be the obvious - she is innocent and deserves to be free. She was unjustly incarcerated for defending her own life. The other reason we need to see her released immediately, is because Americans are beaten up with the corrupt and unjust legal system in Florida. We need to find some respite - some sense that America is still democracy, made up of basically good people who will stand up for their rights, and the rights of others.

Here is a letter Marissa Alexander wrote last October. It helps us realize that she is a real person, not a news story. She is the mother of three and the victim of recurring emotional and physical domestic abuse, and she deserves our help:

Hello Everyone,

I want to thank each and every one of you for writing me, praying for me or even thinking of me in your heart and are continuing to do so. For the most part, I’m hanging in there, as well as one could in this environment. Prison is definitely NOT what’s happening. It’s dreadful here, but hey, it’s supposed to be, it is after all captivity.

My good days out weigh my bad days only because God is my source of strength. Please know that you all inspire me thru your communication and please know that the prayers that you offer up on my behalf are being answered. I’m so very blessed to have some of the most extraordinary people and organizations who are committed to supporting and encouraging me in every way. I will continue to believe in our justice system. I choose to do so because I have complete trust in God, and we are still a nation that has this fundamental belief embedded in our core, displayed in our courtrooms and written on our money, and more hopefully in our hearts.

Truly I couldn’t begin to express to you how much I appreciate your wonderful letters of encouragement. Please know that I do not take your time and kindness for granted. Your heart-felt concern I am most grateful for.

With all sincerity & respect,

Marissa Alexander

I started writing about Alexander in June and have pledged to continue covering her case, until she is a free woman and reunited with her three children. I will have statements from her new attorneys today or tomorrow. We can do this. We can and will speak out, protest, boycott, petition and vote - until we free Marissa and restore some faith and credibility back into the Florida/American court system.

One way to help is to sign this petition to Florida Governor Rick Scott. It’s one of the few circulating the Internet. He needs to hear from us. You can also email Governor Scott directly. There is a Free Marissa Now national campaignFacebook page. Let's take care of this. Let’s get this done – for Marissa - for all of us.

Update - I just received this:

You can personally write to Marissa in prison at this address:

Marissa Alexander #2012033887
500 East Adam St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202

If you include some First Class stamps, or even an address and stamped return envelope, it will be easier for her to reply.

Originally posted to Leslie Salzillo on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 02:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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