Remember to include hashtags when you share them: #FreeJasmine #FreeAll PoliticalPrisoners
From Democracy Now June 2, 2016- In Pasadena, California, Black Lives Matter organizer Jasmine Richards is facing four years in state prison after she was convicted of a rarely used statute in California law originally known as "felony lynching." Under California’s penal code, "felony lynching" was defined as attempting to take a person out of police custody. Jasmine was arrested and charged with felony lynching last September, after police accused her of trying to de-arrest someone during a peace march at La Pintoresca Park in Pasadena on August 29, 2015. The arrest and jailing of a young black female activist on charges of felony lynching sparked a firestorm of controversy. Historically, the crime of lynching refers to when a white lynch mob takes a black person out of the custody of the police for the purpose of extrajudicially hanging them. In fact, the law’s name was so controversial that less than two months before Jasmine was arrested, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation removing the word "lynching" from the penal code. Democracy Now spoke with Richards’ lawyer, Nana Gyamfi, and Black Lives Matter organizer Melina Abdullah. "Her conviction is not only about punishing Jasmine Richards, but also is the lynching," Abdullah says. "So it’s really disgusting and ironic that she’s charged and convicted with felony lynching, when the real lynching that’s carried out is done in the same way it was carried out in the late 19th, early 20th century, where it’s supposed to punish those who dare to rise up against a system."
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. If you will be in California: Pack the courtroom for her sentencing hearing: Tuesday, June 7th 8:30AM Pasadena Courthouse -- 300 E. Walnut.
2. Help build BLM-Pasadena and all SoCal chapters. Join them for an EMERGENCY MEETING THIS SUNDAY 7PM, Chuco's Justice Center.
3. Sign and circulate the "No Jail Time for Jasmine" petition to the judge.HERE.
4. Donate to Jasmine's legal defense and/or books HERE. Note "Jasmine" in your comments.
5. Use your voice, talents and resources to elevate Jasmine's case and cause which is an end to state-sanctioned violence against Black people. Create memes, videos, write and organize your community to demand that Jasmine be freed along with all political prisoners!