Atlanta Activists Bail Out Over 30 Women On Mother's Day

Mother's Day celebrations for incarcerated women took on a new light over the weekend when dozens of mothers were released from jail thanks to the queer liberation organization, Southerners On New Ground.

The group, also known as SONG, bailed out dozens of jailed mothers across the southeast, including cities in Georgia and North Carolina. WSB-TV reports a third of the women came from Fulton and Clayton County jails in Atlanta while others were from Wilmington, NC. The Campaign to End Cash Bail also took part in helping mothers in the latter area.

"I'm not free until all my people are free," said SONG bailout organizer Lisa Clinton. "There are too many people here in this world who are being discriminated against, and they’re being abused. We fight for the marginalized people, the oppressed people." Clinton says 700 donations helped pool their $40,000 fund to help provide assistance to those who cannot afford bail.

“Most of the women in jail are black women and most of them are mothers and it interrupts who we are as a community,” Janyce Jones of Campaign to End Cash Bail said. “Our black men are already incarcerated at enormous rates and now black women following them just interrupts who we are as a people– black people in the community. When we are affected, everybody is affected.”

SONG is just one of many organizations dedicated to bailing out black mothers. The National Bail Out's #FreeBlackMamas initiative was conceived by activist Mary Hooks in 2017. She is also the co-director of SONG. According to the Huff Post, the group has raised over $1 million and bailed out more than 300 mothers across the nation.

“I feel empowered. I feel blessed," Brianna White, a mother of two boys, told reporters. White was able to spend Mother's Day with her children thanks to SONG's initiative. She was previously arrested Tuesday (May 7) and charged with aggravated assault and criminal property damage. A judge gave her a $25,000 bond she couldn't afford. Instead of the falling into the trap of cash bail, SONG was able to help.

“I have never missed a holiday, a birthday or anything with my kids. I’m always there," she said. "I’m blessed, for real. You don’t get that every day."

Learn more about SONG here, and information on the Campaign to End Cash Bail in North Carolina here.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Mayor Willing To Pay Drug Dealers And Gang Members To Leave

A Mississippi mayor is asking local philanthropists and business owners to contribute to a moving fund. Who's moving, you ask? Well if Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy gets his way, it will be the city's drug dealers, gang members and anyone who wants to be a criminal.

“They may be in the wrong environment,” Espy told reporters at Clarksdale City Hall. “So, what I’m saying as the mayor today, I will put money on the line to assist those type of people to move out of the city."

The amount of money is reportedly $10,000.

Espy was adamant about his desire to divorce the city of criminals. "But make no mistake about it, we are asking those three groups of people; if you are just simply a criminal, if you are a gang member or a drug dealer, move out of this city now.”

The new initiative came following a review of the city's crime statistics. However, Clarksdale Police Chief Sandra Williams said there were only 12 homicides in 2018.

Espy said the city needs to be safe as the summer is approaching and children will play outside.

“We want everyone in the city of Clarksdale to live safe, to be safe. We do not want to see a child dead in the streets,” Espy said. “We do not want to see an innocent bystander getting shot."

Local Rev. John Givins is working with the police and mayor to reduce crime, however, he's asking for anyone who may want to be a criminal to stay in the area.

“We encouraged [potential criminals] to stay in our city and become great citizens. We will also be putting an etiquette class in place for these people. And we have skill sets to prepare them for jobs coming to the city of Clarksdale.”

Continue Reading
NYPD

Justice For Junior: Testifying Witness Says Hit Has Been Placed On His Life

Kevin Alvarez, one of several Trinitarios gang members responsible for the barbarous June 2018 murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, was indicted on murder charges.

However, after striking a deal with the prosecution, which involves flipping on his co-conspirators, Alvarez pled guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy and faces 25 years in prison. According to the 20-year-old, a death sentence has been placed on him for "doing something bad" like snitching to cops.

“They go out and look for you in groups until they find you and kill you,” he said. Alvarez said for "doing something bad

In a packed courtroom, Monday (May 21) he nervously identified the five others responsible for the vicious stabbing death of the Bronx teen. Alvarez said he drove one of the four cars to chase Junior and revealed the 15-year-old tried to run into nearby St. Barnabas Hospital for help, but blocked him, which is why Junior then ran into a bodega.

Alvarez said he assumed Junior was in another gang and involved in a rival shooting.

He then explained that he was the one who pushed the bodega door open, helped to drag Junior out and repeatedly punched and kicked Junior in the head while he was down. Junior tried to tell him he wasn't the person they were looking for, but Alvarez and co. didn't listen.

Video of Junior’s murder played again in court in slow motion. Junior’s mom with their heads between her knees, cried quietly throughout. #JusticeForJunior pic.twitter.com/APqZ2k8Odh

— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) May 21, 2019

The prosecution then played the heartwrenching footage from the bodega. Reportedly, Junior's mother turned away and kept her head between her knees crying.

If all members of the Trinitarios gang are convicted, they face life in prison.

Continue Reading
News Channel 8

Florida Teacher Arrested For Carrying Knives And Loaded Guns In Classrooms

A fourth-grade teacher at Starkey Elementary School was arrested Monday (May 20) after authorities found knives, a 9mn Glock with seven rounds of ammunition and other weapons.

According to reports, the 49-year-old had the weapons, including a six-inch fighting knife and a two-inch finger knife, in classrooms with students.

Reportedly, Starkey Elementary School principal saw Betty Soto behaving suspiciously as she carried the backpack with her wherever she went.

Law enforcement arrived on campus after being notified by the principal. They interviewed Soto and found the weapons. The teacher reportedly was let out on bond at 9 PM Monday night and when asked by reporters why she brought the weapons to school she attributed it to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"Ask Desantis," she answered. "Ask your governor."

In early May, the Republican governor signed a bill that will allow teachers to carry guns inside a classroom. The measure was a reported response to the Parkland High School shooting.

Soto's Facebook page will be investigated as part of the overall investigation due to a post that was shared. "Are you surprised I'm a revolutionary? You should have seen it coming. Hate that I was on my way to the plantation, but I had to free some minds."

Erica Kennedy, a mother of two at Starkey Elementary, described Soto's behavior as "militant" and "suspicious."

"She seemed very abrupt, the way she was speaking. I almost felt like she was talking to these kids like she was their parent, you know, just really, a little overboard. So, it made me kind of, something kind of went up in the back of my hair like, hmmm," Kennedy explained.

Soto reportedly will not be returning to Starkey Elementary School.

Continue Reading

Top Stories