Participatory Defense Campaigns as a Strategy for Freedom

– Good morning. – [All] Good morning. – My name is Alisa Bierria. I’m a co-founder of Survived and Punished. (cheering)
Thank you. Yes. (audience applauding)
Survived and Punished, welcome. This is our second national convening. Our first national
convening was in Detroit I believe at the Allied Media Conference. Thank you. Thank you. In 2017. Who was at Detroit in our
first, oh a good bit of you. Okay. Welcome back. Welcome back y’all. I wanted to start us off with a quote. I was also, I’m a co-founder
of Survived and Punished. And I co-founded that with a group of incredible comrades in my capacity as a member of the Free Marissa Now mobilization campaign. Marissa Alexander, as
I’m sure you all know, defended her life from
her abusive husband. She fired a warning shot. Some have called that
the warning shot heard around the world. She caused no injuries. She was in Florida. She tried to invoke Stand Your Ground she’s a black woman, mother of three, and thus she was denied the right to have Stand Your Ground
immunity from prosecution. At that moment she was being interviewed by the media and she
was telling that person that this is my life, this is my life that we’re talking about. And she said, “If you do everything to get “on the right side of
the law, and it is a law “that does not apply to you,
where do you go from there?” And I always come back to that quote because when I first heard it I remember feeling a sense of despair that I think she was pointing to. And but as time went
on and as the campaign went forward, and particularly as she was eventually freed,
and thank you to everyone in the room that helped
make that freedom happen, she, I rethought about that quote and decided to hear it as a provocation. A challenge. A challenge to everyone who watched that happen and needed to figure out how to build a completely
different pathway to freedom and liberation in a world that does not acknowledge your right to exist and to thrive. And so, that’s where Survived
and Punished came in. In the historic Detroit convening in 2017 many of you were there. It was a wonderful, beautiful, warm event. I felt that it was historic. I had never seen an event that focused on criminalized survivors of domestic and sexual violence. An event that brought
criminalized survivors to the foreground and gave all of us an opportunity to learn directly from their powerful experiences as organizers, and
activists, and visionaries. Since that Detroit
convening, there have been so many wonderful successes. I’d like to ask folks from
Survived and Punished California to please raise your hands. Yay! (cheering)
(audience applauding) I’m just gonna start out with California because I’m also, I live in California. – [Woman] Aye. (laughing) – Yeah, so, there we are. (laughing) And in California over
the past couple years we’ve been working on a
major commutations campaign to focus and get more
survivors out of prison. Freedom has been our number one priority. And since then, we have
seen a lot of freedom. More freedom than we, I anticipated, that thought could happen in
that brief period of time. So we’ve seen the commutation of people with life without parole. Cristina Martinez, Gabriela Solano, Tammy Garvin, Barbara
Chavez, Kelly Ann Savage. We’ve seen the successful
parole of Lynn Noise and Kelly and Barbara. We’ve seen the freedom
of wonderful Ny Nourn and it’s just been such an incredible ride and I just want to take a minute to give everybody, those wonderful survivors,
a round of applause and a welcome back. (audience applauding) If you’re from Survived
and Punished New York, can you give me your hand? And do a what what? (audience cheering)
(audience applauding) So, Survived and Punished New York is almost as good as Survived
and Punished California. (audience laughing) (laughing) I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. They’re equally as good. It’s been incredible to watch
Survived and Punished New York grow like fire, like it just feels like fire, the growth is really fast, and the work that y’all have been doing, like I can feel it all
the way on the west coast. It’s exciting. They have been, y’all have been doing these incredible direct actions, you’ve been having very particular impact on the state governor’s race, you’ve changed that conversation in really powerful ways. We saw some wonderful dialectics going on between California and New York, whereas in California
we saw a historic number of commutations, we saw in New York Cuomo wasn’t doing shit. Right? And so we had the opportunity to juxtapose those two realities,
and to basically raise the consciousness, raise
awareness about life sentencing, and the need for freeing people who have these long sentences, particularly survivors of violence, which I also think helped
to change the conversation, and to helped to create a climate in which Cyntoia Brown
eventually saw freedom as well. It’s really incredible, and also throughout that two years Survived and Punished has produced really exciting material, so there has been the production of the defense campaign toolkit, the research guide, which
we talked about yesterday, the criminalized survival curriculum. If you had anything to
do with the production of those media, those guides, can you please raise your hand? Yeah. (audience applauding) Thank you so much. Those documents are a labor of love, they were collectively produced, they were driven by the fire of the great Mariame Kaba, so. – [Man] Yeah! – Yeah, I don’t know is she here? (audience applauding) Yeah! Don’t even try it! (laughing) I know she hates that,
so that’s why I did that. (audience laughing) We’ve had Twitter storms,
we’ve had weeks of action. There have been beautiful artwork, we’ve occupied the streets of New York, we’ve occupied ICE
Detention in California. We’ve been fucking shit up, you know? It’s good, it’s great. So I’m so excited to continue
to change this conversation around surviving domestic
and sexual violence and ending domestic and sexual violence and abolishing prisons and
all forms of criminalization. And building that freedom path that Marissa Alexander invited
us to start building, right? So welcome to the second
National Annual Convening, no, second …
(audience laughing) Second National Convening
of Survived and Punished where we will continue to build that path, and think about ways to fuck some shit up. Hello!
(audience cheering) (audience applauding) Our first keynote panel is
Participatory Defense Campaigns as a Strategy for Freedom. So I’d like to invite our
distinguished panelists up to the front of the room, please. That would be Cherelle
Baldwin, Ceyenne Doroshow, Michelle Horton, Ny Nourn,
moderator Hyejin Shim, and we are hoping to get
Kelly Savage on Zoom. – She’s on Zoom.
– She’s on Zoom. Hey Kelly, can you hear me? – [Kelly] Yes, I can hear you. – Hey girl, how you feeling? – [Kelly] Fabulous. – Great. All right, so we’re gonna
get that panel started. Please help me welcome
our first keynote panel. (audience applauding) – Good morning everyone. – [All] Morning! – Who’s a morning person? (scattered laughing) Not me, and I’m still a little jet lagged from being on California time, but I am so happy to be here with you all, and to see you. I hope I get to meet a lot of you today. My name is Hyejin and I am a co-founder of Survived and Punished. I organize with California
Survived and Punished, and I’m honored to be
here with all of you, and especially with our panelists, many of whom I met through first working on their defense campaigns. I first started organizing
defense campaigns with the Stand With Nan-Hui
campaign in California as a domestic violence advocate with a shelter in San Francisco, and I quickly realized how
seamlessly abuse from batterers melted and transforms into
the violence of police, prosecutors, prisons, and deportations. It’s been about three years since we started Survived and Punished. Stand with Nan-Hui, Free Marissa
Now, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, and Love and Protect, and it’s been amazing
to see this work grow. And it wasn’t that we were
alone in doing the work before, but that many people were
doing the work before also, just in isolation from each other. So building this movement
to free survivors together has been an amazing way to
grow not only our efforts but our sense of scale
in what is possible. Efforts to organize on behalf of survivors can sometimes repeat a
dynamic in which victims and their pain go seen, but
their voices go unheard. This is in part due to
the repressive nature of the legal systems that cage them, that first retaliate against survivors for not being the right kinds of victims, and then ramp up punishments
for those who continue to fight back, who continue
to fight for their lives. Sometimes the response to
survivor criminalization is to fight for them by
molding them into the shape of a more recognizable victim, and we saw this in the case
of Cyntoia Brown so clearly where she was repeatedly
called a sex slave by the media and by people who wanted to help because it got attention. Even if that was not her self
definition of her experience. The existing paradigms for
recognizable sympathetic victims not only limits survivor
self-determination but also our imagination
for how survivors deserve to be seen and supported, so this panel is an opportunity
to listen to advocates and organizers who are
also formerly incarcerated to reflect on defense campaigns
as a political strategy. So I’m going to introduce our panelists, first here we have Ny Nourn. Ny was criminalized for
surviving an abusive relationship as a teenager, and sentenced
to life without parole for her abusive boyfriend’s
deadly violence. After 16 years in prison,
Ny finally won parole, but immigration officers
arrested her at the prison. Although she was a US permanent resident, Ny’s conviction made her subject
to mandatory deportation. Ny was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, after her mother fled
genocide in Cambodia. In November 2017, after an
outpouring of community support, Ny walked out of jail for the first time in over 16 years. Since her release from ICE Detention, Ny continues her advocacy
work as an organizer with Survived and Punished and the Asian Prisoner Support Committee. Ny is a 2018 Yuri Kochiyama Fellow of Asian American Advancing Justice Asian Law Caucus. (audience applauding)
(audience cheering) Cherelle Baldwin, right to my left, is from Bridgeport Connecticut. Cherelle was raised by her mother who was a single mom. She went to grade school and graduated high school in Bridgeport. In 2011, Cherelle met and became pregnant by her son’s father. Over the years, he became abusive. In 2013, the abuse got so bad that she got a protective order to
keep him away from her. On May 18th, 2013, he violated that order and entered her house, trying to kill her. At that moment, Cherelle
knew it was him or her. She did what was best to defend herself from any more harm that
he was causing her. Can we get a round for Cherelle? (audience applauding)
(audience cheering) Michelle Horton helped start the Nicole Addimando
Community Defense Committee, a group of women in New
York’s Hudson Valley committed to helping
Michelle’s younger sister, Nikki Addimando, find freedom and justice. In September of 2017, her
sister Nikki was arrested and subsequently charged
with second degree murder for killing her abuser. Since that day, Michelle,
a single mom, quit her job to take care of Nikki’s
two traumatized children, now four and six years
old, as well as to support her sister’s defense. Nikki’s murder trial is
set for later this month in Poughkeepsie, New York. She is currently out on $600,000 bond after a year-long effort
to raise bail funds, and remains on electronic
monitoring throughout trial. Can we get a hand for Michelle? (audience applauding) Ceyenne Doroshow is a
passionate powerhouse performer, activist, organizer,
community-based researcher, and public figure in the trans and sex workers’ rights movements. As the founder and
executive director of GLITS, she works to provide holistic
care to LGBTQ sex workers while serving on the following boards, Sex Worker Organizing Project USA, Caribbean Equality Project,
SOAR Institute, and NYTAG. As an international public speaker, her presentations include
the Desiree Alliance, Creating Change, Sister Song,
Harm Reduction Coalition, and the International AIDS Conferences. She was a featured MC for Toronto Pride, and MoMA PS1 Sex Worker
Festival of Resistance, lifting her voice as a
trans woman of color. Ceyenne has been heavily
featured in the media, has performed on television
for Showtime’s OZ, Oz, for the documentaries
“Red Umbrella Diaries” and “Miss Major.” known for her skills in the kitchen, Ceyenne co-authored a Caribbean cookbook, “Cooking in Heels,” while incarcerated on prostitution charges. She is currently working
on her second book, titled “Falling into the Fire.” Get a round for Ceyenne? (audience applauding)
(audience cheering) And joining us over the phone today is my friend Kelly Savage. Kelly served 23 years
in prison for surviving a domestic violence relationship. She was attempting to leave
when her ex-husband found out and took her son Justin’s life. Justin was only three
and a half years old. Kelly was alone and
isolated in a small town six hours away form any support. Her attorney chose to
allow her abuser’s attorney to prepare the entire four month trial. Kelly believes that if she had the support of Survived and Punished, she
would not have suffered alone. Not only during the three
years in county jail, but the next seven years in prison, before somebody actually told
her that it was not her fault. For Kelly, offering support
to incarcerated survivors means even more than freedom. Being alone at the worst
possible time in life is the most horrible feeling,
and no one should have to endure that alone. Can we get a round for Kelly? (audience applauding) Okay, so I’m gonna start
with our first question with this powerhouse panel. And I’m gonna start at
the far left with Ny. And everyone’s gonna have four minutes. Stacy will have signs for timing, and yeah, right there will be the sign for how much time you have left. So the first question is why is ending the criminalization of
survivors important to you? – Hi everyone. First I just wanna say
I’m so very grateful and honored just to be here. I’m really blown away, and
really emotional right now just taking this all in, so thank you. So the question, why is
fighting for the criminalization of survivors important to me. Three reasons, one because
it’s very personal to me. Those that are survivors
of sexual assault, domestic violence, out there, we know what it feels like
to have experienced it, and what will I look
like if I turn my back? And the knowledge that I
know, that lived experience, to have my loved ones, to have
those that I did time with, even those I don’t know, having
a moment a day with them, being in their cage room,
thinking who’s out there fighting for me? Who’s out there listening to me? Who’s out there sharing my story? Who’s out there willing
to provide that support? Because the isolation is really real. Even though you’re roomed
in with peers around you, folks’ families to come
visit you, phone calls, there’s that sense of
companionship with survivors amongst each other, and as well for me to be
here, I’m not really free. I’ve shared that in a previous talks that though I do have my physical freedom I’m still very much caged in because there’s this anger inside of me that as long as there’s survivors inside, we’re not free. Not one of us are free. As well, being able to share my story, being able to share my narrative, to shift that change, that we are human so we do all make mistakes, and we are unfortunately
do have to pay that time and why should we continue to criminalize, facing deportation,
separation from families, from loved ones, and I think that definitely it’s a powerful
movement being together in unity, and I’m just so very grateful to have that opportunity. – [Hyejin] Thank you, Ny. – Good morning, everybody. – [All] Good morning! – Morning. I’m a little nervous. (giggling) (audience cheering)
(audience applauding) Well my name is Cherelle Baldwin. I was incarcerated for
three years, two trials. My first trial was a hung jury, my first trial was a hung jury, my second trial I was acquitted. While I was incarcerated I felt very alone I had my mom and siblings, and my father, but I just felt very alone until one day I received so many cards and my mom was like there’s
people petitioning for you and I’m like, huh? I’m just sitting there like,
what are you talking about? And she’s like people
are writing you letters and I’m gonna send them to you, and I’m like, you know, why am I incarcerated for fighting for myself? I wasn’t the one going out
there looking for trouble, and I felt that was very important to me that a lot of these
fantastic ladies in this room were fighting for me, and gentlemen too. And it definitely helped me, day by day, knowing that there’s people out there that actually cared about
me, and never met me a day in my life. I just felt like with that
type of support, it’s needed. We all need to stick
together because it actually helped free me. I’m able to, I’m working a
normal job, nine to five. I have my son. My life, I’m not gonna
say is completely normal, but I’m trying to go back
to living a normal life after being incarcerated for three years. I don’t have a criminal
record due to the fact that so many people supported me, I was able to be acquitted
and just have my son and be able to get a job,
and go back to school. Go back to school, and I just
feel like nobody should be in jail for defending theirselves
against abusers at all. (audience applauding) – Hi everyone, I’m Michelle Horton. I wanna just thank everyone
here, first of all. And I also want to say that I’m very aware that this is being live
streamed right now, and I am at a very particular point in the criminal process,
where I’m very scared to say the wrong thing,
so I’m not gonna say too much about the case, if anything. But this issue is important to me because it’s my life right
now, and it’s my baby sister who is finally home on bond, which was, that’s another topic
for another conference, but my experience with that was telling, and in a few weeks she
could be taken away again. And knowing my sister, I
mean it’s not just an idea. I’m living it and I’m watching how really when I read the toolkit
for Survived and Punished was the first time that it
put language to the fact that my sister lived in
an abusive environment and then stepped right into
the next abusive environment, and that people kept saying
how is she surviving this? Being held, she was held
for I think nine months before she was indicted,
and how is she being away from her babies, who at
the time were two and four, grieving, and just surviving
the environment of a jail, and it was because she
had learned to adapt to that kind of environment
for a long time. And it’s just, it’s always
wrong to dehumanize, and to shackle, and to strip search, but knowing what survivors have lived and then to have it
retraumatized so particularly has been, I mean it’s inhumane, and it’s just so particularly cruel to watch her have to endure
those very standard processes. Everything from the
policing to the prosecution to the environment that is
being prepared for right now which is trial, which
could be highly publicized. It is so wrong to have
to put them into that very vulnerable situation
that so clearly mimics what they had endured for so long. And it’s also important to
me because I have her babies. And criminalizing a survivor,
it’s not just about her. Our community has been torn apart. And those children are really traumatized, and their interests, and their experiences are not advocated for in any way in the criminal system. There’s family court and
then there’s criminal court, and they don’t overlap. And so I mean, it’s important to me because this is my life right now. And I might be radiating anxiety, but that’s where I am right now. Thank you. (audience applauding) – We’re gonna start with saying make sure for black trans women,
we have working stuff. Being black, being trans, and being Ceyenne Doroshow
was very difficult. Somebody told me when I started this work that you can never, ever stop. Once you start advocating for a community, this is your life’s work. Being Ceyenne Doroshow is not easy. I am a survivor. I’m never gonna be a victim, ever. I’m a positively, positively
black trans woman. (audience cheering)
(audience applauding) I sit in an area, being a
public, I guess role model, or whatever you wanna call it, I’m still a normal bitch
like everybody else. (audience laughing) But being in this area of
decrim, and what that means and decriminalization in New York, for a black trans woman, it
means absolutely nothing. Let me be very clear here. My black ass will still
go to jail for something I may be innocent of. It’s common that I’m going to go to jail for something way less
important or serious than anybody else. So all of these laws and benefits that people are saying
we’re going to have, when you got this pigmentation, I’m sorry, you’re gonna be
criminalized on many levels. If you’re a black trans
woman, triple that. Regardless to what these laws
are gonna be setting in place they’re not for me. My experience is never
gonna be your experience, or your experience, because
you don’t have my experience. Which is boing boing. But it’s very difficult
to navigate these waters and how we deal with politics, and also dealing with the everyday person. I’m dealing with sex workers,
I’m dealing with abuse just yesterday I got a woman
and her kids to safety. I literally went into a
man knocking this woman in the head yesterday. I could have got my ass kicked. But my job is to answer that
call when somebody calls me and says listen, this is bad and I need to get out. So it was my need to go and be with her til the cops came, which I don’t like because that too, for a black
woman, looks very different, and so I had to stay
through that negotiation and also convince her to leave, and that’s hard when you’re a parent and you’re an ex-sex worker,
and you’ve dropped everything to try to live a normal life,
and then have your partner throw it up in your face
where you came from. Well, I can positively say
I may not be selling it like I used to, but I’m still a whore, because now I’m working
for saving people’s lives, and that’s what this is about. It’s about going to
Congress and politicians and telling them I deserve real rights. Not what you’re glossing over. Real rights that saves humanity. And if I can do it as a black trans woman, all of you can do it. (audience applauding) – Kelly, can you chime in for why ending this
criminalization of survivors is important to you? Kelly, are you there? – [Kelly] I can hear you. I think for me the
biggest thing to remember is that there is so many who do it alone and feel that shame the guilt because they’re doing it alone. When we don’t find someone to assist us, we tend to take on the shame
of whatever that circumstance turns out to be, instead
of acknowledging that maybe there’s limits, and as survivors
we don’t want to see that. We don’t want to see that
there is actually nothing else that we can do to change our circumstances at that moment. For me, knowing that I left
so many other survivors behind in prison, weighs heavy,
because as I helped them in their process and
understand why they made the decisions they made,
I know that they’re still being punished every single day for whatever decisions they made, and I know that no matter how
important one single case is, there’s at least 20 more
happening at that same exact time where they’re sitting in silence and they’re sitting in hurt, and so that’s why it’s important to me to end the criminalization of survivors. (audience applauding) – Thank you Kelly. So I’m gonna go to our next question. How has it felt to be at the
center of a defense campaign, or fighting to free your loved ones? – So those that don’t know
me, I am really introvert. It felt very honoring grateful for myself, because before, even my release, during my incarceration, my case, I was demonized as, shamed, to be this evil, you know, as Asians we’re supposed to be like the model minority? And being sentenced to
life at that a young age, at 20 years old at that time, I internalized it that
really, yeah it is my fault. That I was responsible
for my abuser’s behavior, and that I should have
prevented my victim, his death, and then being able to tell my story and without it being questioned, the totality of it, you
know not being picked apart through attorneys, people
started believing my story that I never wanted my victim dead, it was out of fear for
my safety for my life and slowly they were reaching out to me and said yes, it was not your fault, that you were not responsible for your co-defendant’s behavior who was twice your age,
and I started to think about those things they were telling me and I said you know,
you’re right, you’re right, because ultimately as
survivors, as Kelly has shared, that sometimes we really
feel like it’s our fault, that we should have known better, but people they told me they said we believe in you, how can we help provide support for you? And being able to reach out and said how can we help fight for my freedom, I want out of here. I want out of here. And I was able to say okay,
there’s my attorney right there, Anoop Prasad, my immigration
attorney, amazing. (audience applauding) She was part of my strategy for my immigration defense campaign as well as Survived and
Punished California, that’s how I got to know them, and they were willing to put themselves on the front line to tell my story, to shift that narrative, that she does deserve her freedom, and it gave me power to
continue to show my story to not kind of like see people as judging me, and it’s just I can’t, I’m very grateful for this part because
it’s just overwhelming. It’s just, my freedom
was, even me sitting here it’s just unreal to me, because it said it’s not impossible for you to be here because you should have been deported a long time ago, or you should have been still sitting, rotting
away to die in prison because I never was to be
sentenced to life without to be free, so it’s very
grateful and honoring. Thank you. (audience applauding) – During the three years
that I was incarcerated, at first I felt very
ashamed of my situation, and I wouldn’t really talk about it, but then when I started
seeing the petitions and the cards and all
the love that was getting sent to me while I was incarcerated, I felt very grateful. But the reason I was sad on the other hand is because a lot of women in there were facing the same thing I was, and they were not getting
the attention I had. There was about five
women that was on trial during the same time I was, and I was the only one that got acquitted. And when they came back
from court they were crying because some of their
trials ended before mine, sorry, and some of their trials
ended before mine, and they were like, I got found guilty, or I’m gonna be facing life, and I felt like all hope was, I was giving up, but I was
receiving so much attention that it helped me a lot, and I think all the campaigning for me definitely helped for my situation, and I think we have to start doing that for a lot of people that’s incarcerated wrongfully convicted,
or pending conviction. And I am very grateful for that. I don’t know how it happened, but I am very grateful
because a lot of women in here are still in there, and they still fighting 20 years later, they’re still fighting, and I think that we could
still even help those people. I seen a lot of people
come out after 20, 15, 10, 13 years, so I think
us sticking together and campaigning for these women will really help for the future, and I think it’s the more
and more people we get, the better it will help. That’s how I feel about it. (audience applauding) – So my situation is a little unique in that I am working closely
with the defense committee every step of the way, and when it happened, I mean
it sent out shock waves, and people naturally
gravitated towards us, so we had this group of women who, you know, we were texting back and forth, and a lot of these
women, I had never known, and if I had known them, it was
in a very different context, and then we got the language
of a defense committee, and we understood what we were doing and it gave us a purpose,
and it gave us language, but I also was in it
in a very different way because I had, shortly after it happened, my mom got very sick, and
she ended up passing away a few weeks ago, and then
working with therapists and supporting the children through this, and all the other
traumatizing aspects of it, I couldn’t do this by myself. There’s just, there’s absolutely no way, and it was the support of other people who knew her, or who had never known her, and a lot of that is the work
of not just our little group but Survived and Punished as a whole, in some ways it has been, it allowed me to productively channel a lot of the passion I was
feeling about the injustice, and then in another way
it really has carried me and other members of the
committee along the way. My mom passed away a week
before we had a big fundraiser and Eve Ensler was coming,
and we had two weeks to put it together, and
I couldn’t do any of it. I mean, it wouldn’t have
happened if it was up to me. And the committee really
rose, and they put it together and it was beautiful,
and it was successful, and the women in Survived
and Punished New York know that one of the biggest
hurdles we have faced as a defense committee
is having so much to say and not being able to say it yet. You know, when is the right time, and what is the right press strategy, and as potential witnesses,
all of the complications that come with that. So I think it’s helped my
sister in feeling less alone, and it has given her hope, and right now in particular it’s the hardest because
we’re facing the reality of the criminal justice system, and the reality of the
odds that she’s facing, and just coming here and
seeing all of the support for the issue at large
gives us a lot of hope because sometimes it can feel crushing, what we’re up against. (audience applauding) – Oh, I have an unusual story. So before I was arrested, I was on the Hudson
County Planning Council, I was on the Ryan White
HIV Planning Council, I was the coordinator of
Jersey City Connection, which a GLBT organization first dealing with transgender county in Hudson County. I worked 14 hour shifts a day and still did not have my needs met, but I was meeting community needs. And I had a fetish ad that was online. Fetish in New Jersey,
that could be considered, as long as there’s no
transfer of funds, legal. Well I knew that, and that’s
why I chose fetish work, but that’s not what happened to me. I was locked up. I didn’t get the pomp and circumstance of you know, we’re going to do this. I was out the next day. I went to court for six months. The DA told me you’ll have no problem. You’ll get a ticket and get out. That’s not what happened. They put me in three pages of paper they put a internet interactive map. When you clicked it,
it took you to my door, upstairs, to my apartment. They put me in harm’s
way in Hudson County. It almost destroyed my life. Every trip in New Jersey was outside my very quiet neighborhood
where nobody knew my business. I think which was more shocking to me being an advocate at that stage in my life was that there was a brothel
right across the street from the police station
full of Latino women, but they came 10 blocks
away from the police station to my apartment for fetish work, so clearly I was sought out. But the domino effect of this arrest was my mom didn’t talk to me for years, my community that I had worked for, and this was from New Jersey to New York all called me with the sighs of oh, why, oh girl, you? Really? And I needed help. I needed my community
to embrace me and ride, I had lawyers that didn’t even know me rock my case, but I’ve also had advocates within our community bleed
and suck me fucking dry. They used me beyond compare, and pushed me to do this work. (audience applauding) – And Kelly, can you share how it has felt to be at the center of a defense campaign or fighting to free your loved ones? Kelly? – [Kelly] Hi, sorry. Can you hear me? – Yeah we can hear you. – [Kelly] I think for me it was amazing to know that I actually
had the opportunity that people would support me, and it was difficult to
know that I had that ability and feel overwhelmed at the idea of what everybody was doing for me. I didn’t realize just how
many people supported me until I had the opportunity to look at some of the different
information from people knowing that people were
writing encouraging words that I didn’t believe. I didn’t believe I had a right to it. I didn’t believe that I deserved it, and so that was really difficult. I didn’t know how else
to get the help I needed except to honestly look
at some of the things that were being said to me, and know that I actually deserved it. I know that having the
opportunity to have my voice out there also allowed other people, because it gave them an
opportunity to showcase some of the other cases that
also had failure to protect, also had the ability to
look at their situation because I was willing
to put myself out there. So by doing that, it allowed other people to also get some assistance as well. I know that when doing that, it was hard. I’m not gonna lie. It was very difficult
to put myself out there and know that I could be judged. But the truth is, the worst
judgment has come from myself. Knowing that I didn’t have the ability to change my circumstances on my own, having the help from others, I knew even though it was difficult, even though I feared judgment at times, there was a slight part of
me that feared repercussions on the inside, because
people were getting access to those articles, and one of my articles was printed in a college paper, and a college book as well,
and when that happened, one of my staff actually
was attending a class, and just happened to have
to read that article, and it was a classroom setting
of do I deserve to get out? And this is my situation, and
as a criminalized survivor do I deserve to get out of prison? And she had to stand up there and honestly say I know this person and I know her circumstances, and that wasn’t very fair that
she had to go through that. And I created that situation because I put myself out there, because I needed that assistance, and I couldn’t live in that fear anymore. So I know that all the
campaigning that was done for my behalf was worth it,
obviously, because I’m free but also it was worth it because
it started a conversation that was left in the dark a lot. – Thank you Kelly. (audience applauding) So we’re gonna go to our next question, and thank you all of you so much for sharing not only your
powerful experiences, but also your powerful insights. So the next question is about strategy, and oftentimes you know,
there is kind of this dynamic where because of the barriers
of isolation in incarceration sometimes I think for defense campaigns it can be a challenge to
keep survivors in the loop of their own campaigns,
which is so critical, that survivors also have
their self-determination when it comes to who is
advocating on behalf of them. So my next question is
what strategies were used to connect the fight for your freedom or your loved one’s freedom,
to the freedom of others and the larger issue of
criminalized survival. – When I was finally
found suitable for release by the parole board
ultimately in California the governor has the final say whether to agree to release me or not and by that time, Asian Law Caucus, Survived and Punished, and other orgs had reached out to the governor asking please grant her freedom. They flooded his office,
like over 500 postcards, and called his office
like once you do grab her can you please not hand over to ICE? He does have the authority to prevent that but it’s never really been
exercised by a governor. Unfortunately when I was free I was picked up by ICE,
and they wanted to help me with this. How can we help provide
the best support for you while you’re in detention,
because time in there is very isolating. It’s 24, it’ll be 23, 24 hour lockdown, and it’s like being
arrested all over again. You don’t have that
programming time in prison. So what they did was help keep me engaged. I was able to write
letters, receive postcards, get visits, and preparing for my trial, just it was my way of
definitely staying connected with community out there,
knowing that I do have people that love and care for
me, that wanted me out. And during my hearings
in ICE detention hearings it looks really good when
the courtroom is filled up, right, that you do have support, and every hearing that I went to they packed the courtrooms,
it was just beyond, I never did get to see
the actual live footage, but able to see the pictures,
like wearing T-shirts with my faces, and they even had a rally at the ICE office. Because of that rally and
that one getting shut down people are not authorized
to enter that building. It was amazing. (audience laughing) Yeah, they had a birthday
party for me, so. They kept me engaged but
I was able to call in during that time when they had that rally, and yeah people protest. Survived and Punished
California, they’re crazy, but– (audience laughing) Yeah, they were willing to
put themself on the line to be arrested, so. Yeah. But that’s some of the
strategies that were used for my campaign. I definitely think it
works for any survivors getting ready to be
fighting for their release, if they’re in detention,
fighting deportation, even in jails, it’s those
kind of examples that I use. I definitely have worked,
as well as commutations, campaign that Alisa had described earlier during the opening, it’s gotten many of our
loved ones, our sisters, out free, and overall
I think the messaging kind of, that as immigrants know, we’re already criminalized
and we’re doing that time, but yet they want to punish us even more. So everybody has a right to be homed, to call this is home, to
be with their loved ones and their families,
and it’s just humanity. Like, why do we want to continue mass incarceration, you know? The abolition movement,
I think it’s beautiful. It’s powerful. That’s the way to healing,
to evolving as humans. (audience applauding) – I can honestly say one of
the strategies for me was, I remember during my first trial, this was before trial, it was
at like one of the hearings, I had a male prosecutor,
and I remember him saying I don’t want to prosecute this case because there’s a petition, well it was told to me by my attorney that there was a petition going around, and it was making him nervous. So next thing you know,
I went to my next hearing and I had a female prosecutor. Because he was just like, I
don’t know what’s gonna go on. I’m not gonna try to
prosecute this no more. So then she was saying how
nervous she was about … (audience cheering) (audience applauding) Okay, so–
(audience laughing) That wasn’t expected. Hi. – [Kelly] Hello! – They were saying that the
petition was making them nervous about my case, because so
many people were reaching out to the prosecutors, and they didn’t know what they were gonna do, so many people didn’t want to prosecute the case, in the prosecution office, which was looking good. (audience laughing) So, I think that that was
very helpful, the petition. And then knowing that I
was getting tons of mail, and I think that it just,
that type of strategy helps with a lot of cases. I will say the petition,
definitely things like that, and they see that people are reaching out to the prosecutors, I think that helps end the situations that goes on. It does make them very nervous even though they seem to be tough, but they get nervous
about that type of thing because they think that
nobody cares about you when you’re incarcerated. So that definitely plays a part, as all you women come
together and put the petition, because I know that a lot
of, I see Moms United, Survived and Punished, I seen
it’s a long list of names I seen, and it were just
like, well are these people that want this girl out of prison? (audience laughing) But it was just like, all these strategies definitely helped me because like I said a lot of women weren’t fortunate like me to be able to get acquitted
and just go on with their life even though I still feel like I’m trapped but it definitely helped me, and things are moving along. I’m still kinda new to this. I’m learning how to speak out more, because for so long I was just so ashamed, and there’s a lot of people
that’ll make you still feel bad you know, there’s a lot of
people that’s against you. They won’t say it too much that they’re against you, and you know, I have an eight year old son. He’s actually here with me. (audience cheering) (audience applauding) Even though it doesn’t
know what was going on, people will say certain
things, and it’s just like, you know, my life will
never be normal ever again, but thanks to all you ladies for thinking of these strategies and ways
and scaring the prosecutors, and–
(audience laughing) intimidating them, they don’t
like that type of stuff. So just know that if you keep doing that it’s gonna scare them, and a lot of these
women will be free soon. I just think that helps. (audience applauding) – So for us, tying it to the larger issue has been part of our strategy
from the very beginning, not just because it’s the truth and because it’s powerful, and
the statistics are out there, but because we, quite
frankly, needed to raise a ton of money, and we had to do that without talking about the
specifics of the case, and we had to make people
understand why they should care about this enough to help
us with these insane costs, because the prosecution has
all the money that they need from taxpayers, and for survivors
who are being prosecuted, having the right legal team
and having the right experts, this is very costly, and having the money to pay for these things
is what will help people be able to understand and
believe the truth, the jury. So we’re kind of in a
particular place where after, if there is a conviction
and the fight continues then the strategies will continue, but for us, it’s really
been, we’ve been using it in a fundraising capacity,
and I just need Mariame and everyone at Survived
and Punished New York, I am blown away by your support and help because it is overwhelming. Our family doesn’t have
money, and our community is only so big, and we have had thankfully people keep reminding us
that there are so many women who don’t have the support
that my sister has, and we’re so grateful for that, but tying it to the
larger issue is important on just so many levels for us. And we’re gonna continue
to do that in the fight, like you were saying, when you’re in this, we’re in this now. And we started a website,
which is even hard to do because of what we can say
and what we can’t say on it, but you know, we stand with Nikki, but we also stand with all
criminalized survivors, and this is something I’m committed to, and I know a lot of us,
all of us on the committee, are committed to continuing this work. (audience applauding) – Labor. See this? So, strategies. You know, I’m the proud
child of Flawless Sabrina, AKA Jack Doroshow and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Two icons in the movement,
one just passed away, the other one is not going anywhere. (audience laughing) I have to say, you know, support, when you look at strategies,
we’re blessed here in New York and in San Francisco, and some of y’all are my family from
Brooklyn and San Francisco thank you to Columbia for doing this. But my sister right here Jenetta runs an organization
that does letter support, which is amazing and needed. That is an interaction, that’s a strategy, because you’re able to have conversations. F2L which does court
support here in New York. (audience cheering)
Amazing. Because that’s the work,
to see some smiling faces that look like you in a courtroom. I go above and beyond. I’m like in your face when you get out, I am that person, but we also have a scholarship program for your last year of jail, before you get out, and
that’s while behind bars, so I’m heavily resourced, and this resource so that
you can build your plate before you hit the streets to utilize that scholarship,
and we need to be pushing on our sisters and brothers in jail, we need to be helping them understand an education is going to
help them go so much further. That’s a strategy that counts, that’s something that is ching-ching. When you can help somebody
see a different light and guide them into another way of being, then you’re doing the work. I’m always gonna be criminalized. Always. No matter what. If I’m too pretty, if I’m too stylish, if I’m too black, I’m too trans. There’s no strategies for all of this. But we have to think, when it comes to our sisters and brothers behind bars, how to make this process flow. How can we really strategize to give them a better tomorrow in reentry? (audience applauding) – Hi Kelly. We can see you now. We’re so excited. – I think for me, knowing that
there’s so many still stuck, that’s the truth of it. It’s not a matter of doing time. Incarceration, they are stuck in a system that criminalizes them
even at a basic hearing. Can they see their families? How often can they see their families? In California they’ve now
allowed family visits, but of course that criminalized survivor isn’t going to be allowed
to do those 24 hour visits because it involves a family member or a loved one. Even if it’s a divorced loved one, even if that person violated their home and came in and assaulted them, they still are criminalized
for that offense so they don’t get that visit. And when they go to
committee to fight for it, they’re judged all over again. So for the bigger hole, knowing that people are
fighting to change that one simple signing of
a petition to somebody sitting in a conference like this if they could see a conference like this and know that there are people out there fighting for them, I think it would change some of their perspective. So for me educating
them on what I was doing during my campaign was important. Of course immediately it was what can I do to get support like that? And if we have the opportunity to open up to more individuals, then
I think it would make all the difference. If you’re talking about someone who is currently taking classes and trying to get support
for domestic violence, they’re already on that
road to healing in a way but also in acceptance of the judgment that they might be seen. And so I know that that
would be beneficial for them to just be
aware that there’s people that are fighting. When I was doing all
the different articles, and the different campaigning
about my situation, I was able to allow them to see that people cared enough. I had all these amazing
statements sent to me from perfect strangers, letters, cards, I had so much support that staff actually would call me to the officer’s station
to receive my mail because they were tired of carrying it. (audience laughing) And it wasn’t about boasting about it, it was about knowing
that people cared enough, and I attempted to write back to each and every person,
because it was important to me to let them know that they
took time to care about me to think about me in that day and it meant something. So I know that something as easy as that, obviously the big campaigns
that are happening, we didn’t get to see it. I don’t even know what
that looks like for me. I know you guys did it. I know the work was done for me, but I don’t know what it looks like. So I can’t wait to be involved in somebody else’s campaign, as well as continue to support the ladies that are still stuck. And they are stuck. That’s the truth of it. They’re stuck, and they need to know that you guys are fighting for them. And I’m hoping that you
guys continue to do that. (audience applauding) – So all of you thus far have described just the interconnectedness
of surviving violence and of incarceration of criminalization and that there are so many
people inside and outside who are being criminalized
and policed all the time. And so surviving violence
is also interconnected with multiple issues, such
as racism, anti-blackness, transphobia, sexism,
criminalized migration, poverty, ableism, failing to protect, quote unquote, failing to
protect children, and so on. So how can we use defense campaigns and organizing for survivors to expose these conditions and the ways that survivors
are made more vulnerable to criminalization because
of these other forms of violence, how can we use organizing and defense campaigns to make
those connections more clear? – I think definitely before
survivors become criminalized the violence towards like
poverty, discrimination, gender, it’s kind of like bad seasoning, and when you put all of that together it’s like a terrible recipe and becomes, that’s how you
have the criminalized survivor. So I think with any
definitely defense campaigns that has happened, we
have to talk about it because it explains the
reasons why a person is criminalized, right? It’s like the bottom, and then to the top, at what point. And that’s how people that are racist that are ignorant to the
truth of what it means to be a criminalized survivor, they depend on these false ideas, and the only way to kind of shift that to engage them to rethink about it is to talk about how do people end up being in these abusive relationships? How do people end up being arrested charged, in jail, with
these life sentences? Because you have to talk about the racism that’s behind it, the people that are poor and what they have,
it’s like survivorship, how did it all come together. And I think without telling these stories you can’t really tell
criminalized survivor stories. And I think the more you educate people and talk about that,
that’s how you reach them, because I think every person that can have deal with racism one point or another have their own survivorship, correct? And it’s just being again
like sharing more of that. – With my situation, I know
when I first was incarcerated in the beginning, they would
tell me if I was a white woman that it would be totally different, and I try to not look at
race, but my attorney, it was coming from him,
that if I was a white woman, I would have never been
charged with the crime. And I think that does play a
factor in certain situations. And I was criminalized for something even with having a protective
order, defending myself, and so much proof, that they didn’t care. They just wanted me to
just take a plea deal and just go on with my life. I’m sorry. For the people in the
back that can’t hear me. Did you guys need me
to repeat it back there or are you good? Okay. And I think that if I
didn’t speak about it that it wouldn’t have helped me. I think that the fact that a
lot of people spoke about it on my behalf as well,
such as my mom, my sister, actually helped. I don’t think that no one
should be going to jail for being a survivor, and it seems like it’s like that nowadays. I think that more women are incarcerated because of that. The majority of women are incarcerated for defending theirself
against their abusers. Every single woman I met it was just because I was defending myself. It was a terrible
situation to be so young. I was only 21. I didn’t know nothing
about the jail system, and I’d never been to jail. Everything was just so new to me, and for them to tell me to take 20 years and I’ll be out soon, to them, was okay. It was just something so horrible. Just take this plea deal and
go about your life, basically. Don’t fight for your freedom. And I just think that a
lot of women do give up, men too, they give up
because they’re scared of the system. They’re scared of what might
happen, the consequences. In the beginning I was scared. I felt like I should have
just took a plea deal, and everything will be okay. I would never in a million years thought I would be acquitted, but
if you fight for yourself, and speak up for yourself,
and that’s what I did. I had to speak up for myself, because if you don’t tell
your side of the story, nothing will get done. And a lot of women don’t
speak up for theirselves. They have people telling
them that it’s okay for them to just sit there and be quiet, and I just think that no one
should be criminalized at all. I think everybody should
get a chance to speak out defend theirself, even if
it’s not on their behalf, like the lady next to me is
speaking out for her sister. I just believe that when you
have that type of support, that helps so much. It just, even if its
their friends, somebody, at least they know
there’s somebody out there that really care for you. And I know that, how do I put this? There’s a lot of people in jail, maybe there’s cases you
probably can look up and see who’s wrongfully convicted. That might help. Like Cyntoia Brown, she was
incarcerated for a long time, and look she’s getting out because people actually took time to look into her case and see what actually happened. So it’s all about helping, and you know. Some women really need that. There’s people out there
that don’t care about them, and there’s people that really do. And you guys are awfully,
definitely a big help in the community. (audience applauding) – So, when it comes to the strategies of the defense committee to tie it back to these core issues, I don’t
have an answer for that, but I have an intention to
want to continue to do that. And this kind of treads into territory that I can’t talk about,
but I don’t think anyone would be surprised that you
can’t tell my sister’s story without talking about childhood trauma, and I don’t think you could
tell many criminalized people, no matter whether they
were survivors of violence, or whatever kind of
violence they survived, it all goes back to childhood trauma. And I, because I don’t
have a very good answer for that question, to kind of
talk about childhood trauma a little bit, I don’t have an opportunity to say this very often, but
one of my biggest struggles in this, is I feel like I’m watching the cycle of violence continue, and it’s not just because of
what the children witnessed, and the devastation of losing
your parents instantly, but the system as a whole. They went almost nine months
without touching their mother, without seeing her, and it
was because the environment at the jail was more anxiety producing, and I had to fight in family court for them to have a private
room for them to see and that was very rare, and
they were very resistant to it, but the kids needed that, and when you look at
the people in the jail, and you imagine them as little children, I mean, hurt people hurt people, right? And you have a system that
is not only not addressing the trauma that the
children are experiencing, but perpetuating it. And if we want less
criminals, and less survivors, we can’t be causing childhood trauma. I mean, this is a system that
is perpetuating the abuse and I’m watching it, and if
they didn’t have the support that they had, and the
therapists that they had working with them, the
school that I got them in, and me, who’s fighting for them, we would have another generation of potentially abusers,
potentially survivors. And this is just an issue that
people aren’t talking about, and I feel like in the
case, in the experience I’m living, the children
are collateral damage, and it’s completely acceptable. – Can I have the question? (audience applauding) – [Hyejin] How we can use
defense campaigns and organizing to expose how survivors
are made more vulnerable to criminalization through
other forms of violence, like racism, transphobia, poverty, sexism, immigration, and so on? – Um … (audience laughing) Brace yourselves, this
is only four minutes. (audience laughing) I’ve been a survivor since day one. Since I identified as other, or different, I’ve been a survivor. Most trans women, black
trans women, are survivors. I had to survive some really serious shit. A childhood of complete fuckery. It was amazing, educationally. I went to Catholic schools. The abuse was severe, just
because I was different, and then dealing with the judicial system and going to jail, and getting out. And I didn’t spend a long time in jail, but those 30 days changed my fucking life. There was in just a not balanced situation where as a trans woman
I’m locked in the cell 23 hours, and let out for one hour, to have the police or
correctional officers tell other inmates, you
know she’s in the papers for being a sex worker. I’m a survival sex worker, first of all. I was using survival to
take care of a community. Where’s the crime there? But as a provider in this, the negotiations around taking care of another survivor is serious. When you’re a black trans woman and you’re in jail, all of
this visiting and letter stuff, that is wonderful for you. For a trans woman, you barely get a visit or a letter. Holidays are probably the worst time for a trans woman of color, period, because you’re now pushed
up against the inmates. You can’t go home. You don’t even get a phone call. It’s hard. It’s hard when you’re already stigmatized by a system, that’s gonna
further stigmatize you just a little bit more. So these, all of these
situations, look different for all of you, which I
really commend you all for what you went through,
but I have sisters that are being raped on a regular basis probably by the whole entire system. And then you add that
into them coming home, fragile, broke, poor. Poverty’s real. Poverty is freaking real. To a trans woman, she may not even be able to go to McDonald’s and get a job. I’m doing this work to educate girls and community, so we can find a better way to build resources for survivors. Other than have people
write the narrative, survivors need to be
taking care of survivors. And allies need to be taking care of us. (audience applauding) – [Hyejin] Kelly? Your turn, Kelly. – Okay. So I think for me, exposing
how difficult it is for someone who is charged
under failure to protect is really important for me I have a twofold situation. I was, I’m hearing impaired, and was unable to be allowed
access to my hearing aids during my trial until a
court order was issued. I had the whole three years in county jail where I could look at my hearing aids, but I wasn’t allowed
to obtain my batteries. So that was really difficult, trying to meet with lawyers,
trying to understand what was going on tended to be really difficult. Obviously I’m dealing
with the shame and guilt and judgment both from my own defense and others, I was pretty
blessed because I had a rare situation where I had police that worked at the county jail who were actually at my home that day and knew that I wasn’t at
home when the crime occurred so I didn’t receive some
of the harsh treatment most of my peers did who
had sensitive situations in incarceration, I
never went through a lot of the harassment, bullying, beating. I can think of two
different girls right now that are sitting in
California Williams Facility that can’t leave their room to do more than work because their roommates
basically keep them there. They know their situation, they’re bullied on a daily basis, and when they try to move,
the staff doesn’t allow it. The staff will inform
the bully in the room that oh, she’s just trying to get out, so no matter how many
attempts that we’ve made, they haven’t been able
to leave that situation. It’s not uncommon for someone
with a sensitive situation to be traumatized
repeatedly within the system both from staff and inmate. Which is pretty much common knowledge. Unfortunately it doesn’t change. I’m not saying that we make life easier but as our famous quote
for restorative justice tells us that everybody
is somebody’s baby, and a sensitive situation
is someone who has either their child has been injured
in the process of the crime either by the perpetrator being the spouse or by themselves, the woman incarcerated may also be the perpetrator, that person could be somebody
who didn’t get out in time and so who are considered
the perpetrator as well because you allowed
that child to be around domestic violence, drugs or alcohol, in a vehicle where an accident occurs, so there’s several
situations where that person is forced into a situation
that they can’t get out of. And the system will continue to abuse them because of that, as well as, as I talked about earlier,
with the visitation, they may not be allowed
to have that access to visiting a minor, and in some situations,
I understand that there’s that belief system that maybe
they don’t deserve that, but in others, when a child
is crying for their mother and they are not in fear of their mother and they want that contact,
it’s really difficult for the child to understand
why they’re being denied, and as well as for the incarcerated person who is trying to explain that
it’s not that I don’t want to see you, it’s that
the system won’t allow me to see you, even with, in some cases, even with court orders,
there’s a lot of limitations placed on that person,
and of course the children are the ones that pay. If there’s a situation where somebody is failing to protect,
and they’re not even in the house at the time, they’re not even present in the car when a situation occurs,
it does not matter. They’re still going to
be charged to stay away at the other person,
because it’s their child. And so it makes it really difficult for people to get the
support that they need. There’s obviously violence in many forms within the institution
setting, but when it comes to a sensitive situation, you’re bashed on many other levels, and for me, I was pretty blessed, because I didn’t receive
a lot of that treatment because people were aware of my situation, so I had people who would
entrusted me their information and asked for support, and
I know that at this time one of my heaviest weights
to support the inside is finding a way to support those people, whether they’re the
perpetrator of the crime or involved in some form or fashion and prosecuted for it. I know that they need
support and understanding, because the only way to make
that better, productive citizen is to help them get that healing. Whoever they are, whatever
their situation is and as I often remind them,
everyone is someone’s baby at the end of the day, everybody is paying the ultimate price, whether
it’s that victim’s family, or the person prosecuted for it, they’re all paying a price
for whatever that crime is, having someone continuing
to victimize them does not help end the cycle, and unfortunately it’s
perpetuated by staff as well, because staff will then inform somebody what somebody is incarcerated for, and so that makes it even more difficult. – Thank you, Kelly/ (audience applauding) I think for a lot of people who do work around domestic violence,
there’s this educational tool that people use called the
power and control wheel. It’s basically this circle,
with eight horrible slices and in the slices it’s
like physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal,
sexual, financial, coercion and threats,
isolation, et cetera. And this is often used to describe how multiple forms of
abuse can be happening within the context of domestic violence, but what we see from all of your stories and all of what you shared today is that these conditions of isolation, of financial abuse, of medical neglect, of all these things,
they often precede abuse, and people get stuck into a situation, into abusive relationships
they can’t get out of because a lot of times they
don’t have the resources, whether that’s financial resources, emotional resources, support, to get out, and then they get
punished for that further where you enter a system
where all these things are continuing to happen,
it’s just that I think like Alisa has talked about with me, you have abuse, but the
abuser isn’t there anymore, and the state takes on
the work of the abuser in continuing that cycle,
and so that repetition of violence is just so common for people, and it just takes so much
work to begin even undoing a piece of that, so thank you all so much for joining us today. Thank you to all our
amazing, amazing panelists. (audience applauding)
(audience cheering)

1 thought on “Participatory Defense Campaigns as a Strategy for Freedom

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