CeCe McDonald released from prison

Cece McDonald with Laverne Cox, just after her release

The ANSWER Coalition actively supports the work of Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD)

WORD: Women Organized to Resist and Defend

Following a determined effort by community members, organizers and supporters, CeCe McDonald's racist, sexist and anti-trans 19-month-long prison sentence ended today. Communities are cheering across the country as our sister finally walks free.

A group of violent bigots assaulted CeCe, a young transgender woman of color, smashing glass in her face and threatening her life. She defended herself and was charged with second-degree murder. After both her assailant's neo-Nazi affiliations and his history of violent crime were found inadmissible in court, CeCe was forced to accept a plea bargain, reducing her sentence to 41 months in a men's prison for second-degree manslaughter.

The victory of CeCe's prison time being cut down to 19 months is definitive proof of the power of organized fightback movements. This is the same power that won Marissa Alexander a second trial and allowed her to come home to her family as she awaits it. It is the same concerted effort that forced the police to investigate the murder of Islan Nettles, a young Black transgender woman beaten to death just outside a police station in New York.

People of color and transpeople – particularly transwomen of color – find themselves criminalized by the “justice” system every day. In order to defend our communities and our sisters against these attacks, it is crucial that we stand together.

The struggles of all women are inextricably tied together. CeCe McDonald herself and her entire network of supporters are now putting effort towards fighting for Marissa Alexander's freedom. Women who have faced the “justice” system know that as long as one woman is in prison for defending herself, no woman is free or safe.

We stand in firm solidarity with our transgender sisters and brothers, who are constantly under attack from both the system and the bigots that knowingly go unpunished by it. It is through building a united fightback movement that all women will have justice and equality.

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