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The fight against mass incarceration takes many forms: from protesting outside prisons, to blocking jail construction, to journalism that reaches inside, to hearing prisoners’ voices, to making oneself aware of gross abuses, to viewing the most gruesome pictures, to letter writing, to education and more. Sometimes the fight requires coming together and “hacking” the system by sucking up costs collectively and *joyously* paying bail.

The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund is celebrating creativity, raising consciousness, and tackling unjust bail policies by paying them. The group is identifying poor people who needlessly languish in jail while they await trial. In the past three weeks, and at the time of writing, Philadelphia Bail Out has raised $98,000. A stunning effort.

 

 

No doubt, this short term *solution* also raises a longer term debate about the unfairness about cash bail and can potentially drive future positive change. Thousands of people have donated art, time, skills, money: small contributions that have amassed to a large reserve of cash to bring mothers home for Mother’s Day.

In order to secure release before Sunday 12th, Philadelphia Community Bail Fund has marked today as the last day to ensure your money goes to the release of women on the first round of bail outs on Thursday. Keep donating though and more bail outs will occur through next week.

FREE OUR MOTHERS POSTERS

Among the dozens of community-group-partners, I want to give a shout out the the People’s Paper Co-op, a women led, women focused, women powered art and advocacy project that promotes women in reentry as the leading criminal justice experts. PPC “uses art to amplify their stories, dreams, and visions for a more just and free world.”

People’s Paper Co-op has partnered with Philadelphia Community Bail Fund to create limited edition poster prints for you to buy and all the money goes to getting cis and trans women out of Philly jails. The posters are made of shredded and pulped criminal records that have been expunged.

Artists include Etta Cetera, Kate DeCiccio, Micah Bazant, Molly Crabapple, Molly Fair, Nile Livingston, Rose Jaffe,  Shoshana Gordon and Sanya Hyland.

“We need each other,” says Hyland. “We need community, in order to make the fundamental transformations necessary in our society. The women behind “Mama’s Day Bail Out” have organized something powerful and transformative, showing we do ‘have the power to transform our world’, but ‘we can’t do it alone’.”

Go buy art, or simply donate, get mums out of jail and support true community organizing.

 

   

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