The Dream Defenders develop the next generation of radical leaders to realize and exercise our independent collective power; building alternative systems and organizing to disrupt the structures that oppress our communities.
Find out more at: www.dreamdefenders.org
New Campaign Campaigns
Let Anthony Go HomeA judge determined that Anthony Swain was eligible for release, but set his bond at $650,000, an amount that no one but the very wealthiest would be able to afford. As a result, Anthony has suffered in jail for four years, waiting for a trial that never comes. He is a paraplegic man with a rare degenerative disease that affects his respiratory and immune system. Without proper medical treatment, the disease can be deadly. On top of that, Anthony was recently diagnosed with COVID19 and is now in isolation, dealing with incredible cruelty. The jail cannot care for him. Let Anthony Swain go home. Anthony is a 43-year-old Black man who is wheelchair-bound and has been paralyzed from the waist down for most of his life. In February of 2016, Anthony was arrested on drug charges. Before he was locked up, Anthony was a staple in his community. On any given weekend, he could be found at his church with his tight-knit family or doing fish fries to feed people in his neighborhood. Since he has been incarcerated, Anthony's condition has deteriorated. He was diagnosed with cystic myelomalacia in 2019, which causes respiratory problems and a weakened immune system. So when coronavirus hit Florida, Anthony knew he was especially at risk. He contacted Dream Defenders to file a lawsuit to secure the immediate release of medically vulnerable people like himself and wrote an op-ed to bring attention to the despicable conditions he has been forced to endure. Anthony believed that if he wasn't released immediately, he would catch the virus at the jail. He was correct. On Mother's Day, he could not breathe. He was taken to the hospital, where he tested positive for coronavirus. He was taken from the hospital back to the jail, where he is now in isolation in a tiny cell that can't accommodate his disability. Since he’s been in isolation, he’s been eaten by ants that have infested his cell, has open wounds all over his body from bedsores, and been unable to even clean himself. This is no way for a person to recover. In addition to immediate concerns about his health and well-being, Anthony is also at risk for long-term repercussions including blood clots, stroke, heart disease, neurocognitive disorders, and so much more. Anthony has been forced to endure utter cruelty for too long. An unaffordable bond shouldn't strip someone of their right to live a safe, healthy life.54,954 of 75,000 Signatures
Demand Democratic National Committee stop profiting off separating familiesIn recent news, we have seen children separated from their families at the border and taken, sometimes shackled in tinted buses, to places across the country. In our own neighborhoods, Black people are whisked away in broad daylight in the back of police cars. Private prisons like GEO Group and CoreCivic have made billions separating people from their families for decades and we’re going to put a stop to it. This year, as politicians vie for elected office across the country, we remind them that we aren't asking for "change" or "hope," we are demanding ACTION; that our elected representatives put our families and safety before corporate profits. It’s time for all politicians to stop taking money from the for-profit imprisonment industry--responsible for separating families from the border, to Miami, New York, L.A, Baltimore, Detroit, and all over the country. On Sunday, July 1st, The Florida Democratic Party passed a resolution to refuse contributions from GEO Group, CoreCivic and their representative PACs and lobbyists after a months long campaign by Dream Defenders to have candidates sign a Freedom Pledge which declares candidates opposition to private prisons and immigrant detention facilities. We celebrate this win in Florida, and are now partnering with Color Of Change to make this a reality all over the country. No politician should gain political power by accepting money from companies that are responsible for separating our families.853 of 1,000 SignaturesCreated by Dream Defenders
FL GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES: How will you end youth criminalization?Florida is home to some of the worst policing practices in the country. Described as "New York City stop-and-frisk on steroids," Miami Gardens Police have stopped and questioned more than half of the city's population, thousands of them kids, some of them as young as 5 deemed "reasonably suspicious" while playing outside. (1) Often, unjust police stops turn violent and deadly. Florida also leads the country in youth criminalization. Second only to Texas in the highest number of private prisons, Florida's entire youth prison system is privatized. Every day, Black and brown teens targeted by a deeply racist and discriminatory criminal justice system are forced to face abuse, torture, and neglect at the hands of private companies. (2) We don't want to live in a world where you have to put a bullet proof vest on your child in fear of fatal police or vigilante violence. We must take action to address this devastating criminalization targeting Black and brown Florida youth. Florida's important Governor election is fast approaching and our state's next leadership must be committed to addressing these key issues facing our communities. On October 21st, Gov. Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist will hold a debate, and moderators Jake Taper and Kent Justice are will have an opportunity to clarify the candidates position on Florida's for-profit prisons and systemic police violence. During last week's debate, we succeeded at garnering enough widespread public pressure to ensure that candidates were asked about Florida's notorious "Stand Your Ground Law," but we need candidates to answer to much more. The stakes are high. To ensure youth criminalization is on our next Governor's agenda and to secure transformative change after Election Day, we must call on Jake Tapper and Kent Justice to ask the questions that matter to our community. References: 1. "Florida City’s ‘Stop & Frisk’ Nabs Thousands of Kids, Finds 5-Year-Olds ‘Suspicious,’" Fusion 09-22-14 Fusion http://fusion.net/story/5568/florida-citys-stop-frisk-nabs-thousands-of-kids-finds-5-year-olds-suspicious/ 2. "Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America," (.pdf) Sentencing Project, 01-2012 http://www.sentencingproject.org/detail/publication.cfm?publication_id=3845,147 of 6,000 SignaturesCreated by Steven Pargett