Marielle Franco PRESENTE!

It is with a heavy heart that we write to you today to honor the life of Marielle Franco, a fierce Black, Queer, feminist leader from Brazil who was murdered last Wednesday, March 14th. Marielle Franco was a city council member representing the Maré Favela in Rio de Janeiro, where she grew up. She was outspoken against police brutality and the criminalization of poor and working class black communities in Brazil. She stood for women’s rights, worker’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and the rights of all marginalized peoples. She had just attended a Black women's empowerment event the day she was killed.

We join the World March of Women in condeming the assassination of Marielle Franco, and demanding a full investigation into her murder, as released in their statement:

The World March of Women expresses its sadness and deep indignation at the murder of Marielle Franco, a feminist militant and city councillor of PSOL - Partido Socialismo e Liberdade in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil...

In this moment of pain, we demand that the crime be investigated to ensure that her murder does not go unpunished... There are strong indications that the Marielle’s murder was a political execution motivated by the serious denunciations that she had been making about the barbaric actions of the Military Police in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro...

Marielle’s execution is an attempt to intimidate all those who struggle against state violence and inequality... The WMW around the world will continue supporting the demands for an investigation of the crime and pressuring the authorities responsible for this investigation. Read the full statement here.

Please help us keep up the international pressure for a full and transparent investigation into Marielle's murder by sharing about her case via social media using these hashtags: #MarielleFranco #MarielleFrancoPresente and #SayHerName

Marielle Franco ¡PRESENTE!

We thank everyone who wrote letters of support for Siwatu-Salama Ra, and contributed to her legal fund. She is still in need of support, now more than ever. Siwatu is the Co-Director of GGJ member organization, East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), and an expectant mother. She was just sentenced to 2 years in prison for trying to defend herself when she was violently confronted by her neighbor. The neighbor rammed her vehicle into Siwatu’s car while her two-year old was inside and then tried to use the vehicle to run Siwatu and her mother over. Fearing for their lives, Siwatu, who is a licensed concealed gun owner, held her weapon in plain sight, hoping it would stop her neighbor from running them over. She is now behind bars and pregnant. Read more about her case and donate to Siwatu's freedom fund here.

Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matters, sums up the audacity of this case in an article pblished in the Grio on March 6th.

"Siwatu’s story is just one of many that shows if a Black woman asserts her rights and arms herself from potential violence, she is putting herself at risk of being criminalized, prosecuted and incarcerated.

Due to the racial and gender biases that plague our criminal court system, women of color are the fastest growing population in U.S. prisons, and they are twice as likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts."  Read the full article here.

Sign up here to follow Siwatu's Freedom Campaign. We continue our support efforts and will keep you up to date with regards to her case.

This year, in honor of International Women’s Day, GGJ member organizations
launched a social media campaign, standing up and speaking out about why we
must reclaim feminism for the grassroots. As an alliance of grassroots based social
justice movement organizations we are reclaiming the term feminism, and centering
gender justice in our movements. Click here to see the beautiful memes with
affirmative statements reclaiming feminism for the grassroots created by members
and organizers of GGJ organizations.

GGJ member organizations also organized events, teach-ins, marches and
participated in activities for International Women’s Day. Click here to see photos of
our members in action across the country.