Juneteenth/ Father's Day Bail Out

Juneteenth/ Father's Day Bail Out

From Elisabeth Epps

Juneteenth/ Father's Day Bail Out is an ambitious effort to raise funds to free as many Brothers as possible from Denver-area jails in June 2018. The action is organized by Denver Justice Project & BLM 5280.

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Denver's 2018 Juneteenth/Father's Day Bail Out is part of a national movement to end cash bail in the United States. Coordinated by the Denver Justice Project and BLM 5280, in solidarity with activists nationwide committed to collective liberation, our goal is to raise at least $35,000* and to buy freedom for as many Brothers as possible from Colorado cages June 14-19, 2018.

Thanks to community support and outpouring of love, in May 2018 we raised over $20,000 which enabled us to post 17 bonds to free 14 Mamas from cages in 5 Denver area jails for Mother's Day 2018.** Our Mama's Day Bail Out was a success, but it was just the beginning.

Carrying the Mama's Day love forward, we launched Juneteenth/ Father's Day Bail Out in the spirit of our ancestors who fought for and bought freedom.

We dedicate this action to the memory of Michael Marshall, to his family, and to the memories and families of all those who know the indignity and injustice of being caged unjustly. In 2015 sheriff's deputies killed Michael Marshall in the Denver jail. Michael was loved, valued, and should never have been jailed on the $100 bond that confined him to a cage for his last days.

Our focus is on Brothers trapped in Colorado cages due to the unjust system of pay-to-play civil liberties. Like Michael Marshall, these men have not been convicted of the crimes for which they are charged, haven't yet had their "day in court", and remain in jail pre-trial only because they cannot afford bond.

How the Juneteenth/ Father's Day Bail Out will work:

1) We will focus first on posting bonds for Black, Brown, and Indigenous Brothers in honor of Father's Day (June 17, 2018) and continuing through Juneteenth (June 19, 2018).

2) We further prioritize our incarcerated LGBTQI Brothers as they are routinely victimized in the jail setting. In regard to cisgendered men, we prioritize fathers, elderly and those with disabilities as they are also routinely victimized while caged.

3) In addition to reviewing public jail rosters, we have reached out to attorneys (private counsel, court appointed and public defenders) in Denver and surrounding counties for referrals to identify people who can be bailed out. 

4) The bonds we will post range from $100 to $2,000 and will be paid in full in cash. We do not and will not utilize the services of for-profit bail/bonds companies. Instead, we post entire bonds, not just the 10 percent that would be paid through a bail bond company.

5) Funds raised will be used to buy freedom for Brothers from any/all Denver-area jails (Denver + Aurora jails, as well as Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties) and to keep our families together.

6) NOTE: When defendants appear for court, eventually their bonds are released; those posted bonds will be returned to the bail fund and be reallocated to Denver's standing community bail fund, launching summer 2018.

***If YOU know someone in a Denver area cage that can be helped by our Bail Out efforts, please contact us at team@BlackBailOut.org.***

In years past, individuals in Denver rallied to free Black dads from jail; 2018 marks a coordinated collaboration among organizations to free as many Brothers as possible. We at DJP and BLM were inspired by Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler and Brother Jeff Fard, who bailed Black Mamas and Dads out of Denver jail in May-June 2017, and who were gracious enough to let us carry that work forward when we approached them for their blessing in 2018.*Fundraising goal updated Sat. (Father's Day Eve!) 6/16/18 from $30,000 to $36,125 to reflect the inclusion of the Mother's Day carry over + returned bonds, $11,125.00.**

**For several of those women whose bonds we posted in May 2018, their cases were already dismissed and their released bonds provided the seed money for this next Bail Out action. You see that reflected in the overall funding total with the single Mother's Day carry over entry of $11,125.00. Congratulations to those Mamas! We celebrate their success and thank them for letting us help.

Read more about the Mother's Day action, here: https://www.denverite.com/activists-have-raised-more-than-13000-to-bail-out-women-in-jail-in-time-for-mothers-day-51613/.

People should have the opportunity to be free and with their families on Father's Day, and everyday. People should not be caged because of inability to buy freedom. We must #EndMoneyBail.

Learn more about Denver's Bail Outs: www.blackbailout.org and about the National Bail Out Collective: nomoremoneybail.org.

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