Demonstrators march for Marissa Alexander

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Supporters of Marissa Alexander came from far and wide Monday morning to take one message to the streets of Jacksonville.

The mostly peaceful demonstration they held began on the south bank at the Crowne Plaza hotel, stretched across the Main Street Bridge and ended on the front lawn of the Duval County Courthouse.

Participants could be seen holding signs and banners and heard chanting loud phrases like "Angela Corey must go!"

"We're all here from organizations from all across the country as mothers, daughters, as children as youth, as all of us today to bring justice for Marissa Alexander," said Ruth Jeanoel with the Empower Youth Center for Social Change in Miami.

In 2012, Alexander, 33, was convicted of firing a shot at her husband and his two children.

But, an appellate court later overturned that conviction, and now the Jacksonville mother is facing 60 years in prison when she is retried in December.

Currently, Alexander is confined to home detention and facing three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges.

Still, she has become the center of an international grassroots movement that's taken particular issue with what participants call unjust gender violence and the mass incarceration of minorities.

"We are one people, and if there's an injustice here, there can be an injustice any place in the world," said Alex Pittman with Project South in Atlanta.

The movement, which identifies itself as a conglomerate of non-profits aimed at supporting civil rights, is converging upon the River City for "Stand Your Ground" week.

Currently in its fourth day, people are in attendance from as far away as Los Angeles, New York and Denver.

"We believe that the system that should be protecting Marissa Alexander is the same system that's coming out prosecuting her," said Kwajelyn Jackson with the Feminist Women's Health Center in Atlanta.

Alexander and her supporters have long maintained she fired the shot in self-defense and should be immune from prosecution under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.

But, prosecutors have argued she didn't need to pick up the gun. Alexander was recently denied a second opportunity to have a "Stand Your Ground" hearing with the judge in the case citing a lack of new evidence.

Activist and spoken word artist Staceyann Chin said Alexander's case shows the criminal justice system is flawed, racially biased and runs deep.

"We have to fix it together. It means people in New York City have to join with people in Florida and people in Mississippi. Then it has to go global because this issue of injustice is systemic," she said.

By coming together in such large numbers, demonstrators hope their words and actions will get the state to drop Alexander's case.

"We need our rights, and I pray we get the people changed in this system, the justice system. That they will do the right thing," said Patricia Brooks of Jacksonville.

Jackelyn Barnard, the Director of Communications for State Attorney Angela Corey, released this statement to First Coast News following the demonstration:

"State Attorney Angela Corey has a duty to protect this community from those who commit violent acts against others. She also has a responsibility to seek justice for all victims in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, and she will continue to do so.

This special interest group has repeatedly asked for charges to be dropped in the Marissa Alexander case. This same group has claimed - "Marissa Alexander was originally denied the use of Stand Your Ground laws to defend herself in court." The facts are - Ms. Alexander had a full Stand Your Ground hearing in 2011. The judge ruled the defendant shot in anger rather than fear and was not "standing her ground." The First District Court of Appeal affirmed this decision. Recently, Judge Daniel ruled there will not be another Stand Your Ground hearing. The State stands ready to take this case to trial."

You can learn more about Stand Your Ground Week by clicking here.

More stories:

Alexander's lawyers ask for new stand-your-ground hearing

Corey's office sends Alexander case email to lawmakers

Warning shot bill passes Senate floor

Stand Your Ground -- in school?

Florida Gov. signs warning shot bill

Marissa Alexander denied Stand Your Ground hearing

Pastor seeks plea deal for Marissa Alexander


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