At a retreat in the beginning of 2015, Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander (CAFMA) members decided that we wanted to continue the work of supporting women who are incarcerated for defending themselves against violence by abusive partners. Under our new name, Love and Protect, we will continue to provide support to women of color, particularly in Illinois, but also around the country, who are incarcerated or in other ways criminalized for defending themselves against domestic violence. The name Love and Protect comes from a quote by freedom fighter Assata Shakur, “it is our duty to fight, it is our duty to win, we must love each other and protect each other, we have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Our work going forward will include acting as a defense committee and/or providing other types of support for women incarcerated for defending themselves against violence. This will include teach-ins, letter writing campaigns, court support, Twitter town halls and general awareness raising. Additional work will include the development and dissemination of a toolkit for domestic violence service providers on how to support formerly incarcerated survivors, and a one day conference centered around the same theme, that will bring together organizations that work with incarcerated women and domestic violence service providers.