Siwatu-Salama Ra, a mother and community leader in Detroit, was just trying to defend her family when she was violently confronted by a person who rammed her vehicle into Siwatu’s car while Siwatu's two-year old was playing inside, and then tried to use the vehicle to run Siwatu's mother over. Fearing for their lives, Siwatu, who is a licensed concealed gun owner, held her weapon in plain sight, hoping it would stop the person from running them over. The gun was unloaded and no one was hurt. Still, she was sentenced to two years in prison and is now behind bars and pregnant.
Siwatu’s legal team is pursuing various tactics, including requesting she be released on bond pending appeal, reversal of the conviction, and a commutation and/or pardon. After already going through one high-risk pregnancy, Siwatu’s doctor warned the judge of the serious health threats she will face while in prison. Her lawyers are doing everything they can to get her home so she can have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Local Detroit activists, who’ve known Siwatu through her environmental justice and youth organizing work for years, are demanding the abolition of all mandatory penalties, which remove all discretion by the sentencing judge, as well as fighting for the humanity of all pregnant incarcerated people inside Michigan prisons.
While her brilliant and passionate team of lawyers strategize and move , we need to mobilize with all our power to Free Siwatu! The case has already cost her family thousands of dollars in legal fees and lost wages. The ongoing legal process will be a hardship no family can sustain alone. We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support that has helped us reach our initial fundraising goal. In the appeal phase of this fight we realized we must raise much more than ever anticipated to get Siwatu and her family the best possible support.
Siwatu has been a committed activist for environmental justice in Detroit and globally since her youth. She's dedicated her life to supporting youth leaders and improving the neighborhoods of Detroit. We need to pay it back by pulling together to fight for her freedom.
Thank you so much for dedicating your time, love, and energy!
Note about gifts: Your donation is a gift to help Siwatu and her family because of the immense financial burden this unexpected and unjust incarceration imposes on their family.
Read more here:
Black Lives Matter co-founder seeks justice for pregnant mom incarcerated by Stand Your Ground law:
How a flawed criminal justice system put a pregnant Detroit activist behind bars:
Get involved in the Siwatu Freedom Team and write her letters: