Last week California, next up Alabama? Fight to end cash bail comes to Birmingham

Bail bonds
[Photo Credit: AP Photo | Kathy Willens]

A Birmingham queer liberation organization will be hosting an “Ending Money Bail Workshop” later in September, calling attention to growing national movement to end cash bail.

Earlier this week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to end cash bail in the state. “Several U.S. cities and states have in recent years reduced their reliance on bail, arguing the system unfairly confines poor people, creating overcrowded jails and extra costs for taxpayers,” the Wall Street Journal reported. Those who have been accused of crimes will instead be assessed, released on their own recognizance, given conditions for their release (GPS trackers, placed on house arrest) or held in jail.

The Birmingham chapter of Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is hoping to spark the conversation here in the Yellowhammer State by hosting the “Critical Resistance: Ending Money Bail Workshop,” at the Beloved Community Church September 29th at 2:00 p.m.

“Join SONG Birmingham for the first political education workshop on the End Money Bail campaign. We will learn together about how this campaign fits into a larger narrative around prison abolition,” the description of the event on Facebook reads. “We will deepen our understanding of the local bail system, and we will envision alternatives together!”

“Across the South, we are building team justice to put an end to the policy and practice of Money Bail. We come from directly impacted communities – Black, Latinx, people of color, immigrant, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and trans (LGBTQ), and working class,” the description continues. “We know that people belong at home, in our neighborhoods, families, communities and not in cages.”

SONG Birmingham is a local chapter of Southerners On New Ground (SONG), a southeast regional “Queer Liberation organization” with allies in the immigrant, undocumented, disabled, LGBTQ and working class communities.

According to the group’s website, “SONG builds a beloved community of LGBTQ people in the South who are ready and willing to do our part to challenge oppression in order to bring about liberation for ALL people.”

“We develop leadership, build our membership base, and identify and carry out community organizing projects and campaigns,” the site continues. “All of our work strives to bring together marginalized communities to work towards justice and liberation for all people.”