The Free Ashley Diamond Week of Action

Free Ashley Now

As a baby abolitionist organizer (I only started last September), I’m constantly learning from and inspired by older and more experienced abolitionists around the world. I’ve been lucky enough to connect with some organizers in the fake state of America through Twitter and other networks and I’ve tried to learn from their campaigns, actions, and political education from afar. Some of these folks whose work I greatly admire come from organizations like Survived and Punished, Red Canary Song, Hacking and Hustling, and Critical Resistance. One of my newest and now dearest friends and comrades organized with Red Canary Song in New York City and she’s deeply principled and knowledgeable. This week is a Week of Action organized by some of the groups previously mentioned in a campaign called Free Ashley Now in support of Ashley Diamond—a Black trans woman activist who is currently incarcerated in a Georgia men’s prison. Ashley has been incarcerated in men’s facilities at different points since 2012 where she’s been repeatedly sexually assaulted, violated, and medically neglected. Because she was also denied her hormone therapy and medications, Ashley’s mental and physical health deteriorated to a dangerous limit. She was released on parole in 2015, but in 2019, she technically committed a violation when she went to a treatment facility in Florida that, according to the Free Ashley Diamond website, was “trans-inclusive and provided the gender-affirming healthcare she needed.” Ashley is now facing the same type of abuse and violence she experienced before her release and abolitionists have rallied together to create this Week of Action in solidarity with Ashley. The campaign is to support her while she’s inside and create community and safety for her when she’s released while raising awareness about the enormous harms of the prison industrial complex. This week organizers have put together a packed schedule where supporters will be encouraged to write letters, participate in phone zaps, and watch discussions between organizers about topics like the criminalization of survivors and PIC abolition. Some organizers with our Hawaiʻi Abolition Collective participated in today’s action posting selfies with information about the campaign and we intend to uplift the next several days of work for Ashley. Please follow along on Twitter and Instagram #FreeAshleyNow and @freeashley_now or on their website for more information!