Friends from Chestnut Hill and Frankford Meetings, along with many others, joined Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (CPMM) on Wednesday 10/24 for an evening at Friends Center on Imagining Philadelphia without Cash Bail, co-sponsored by CPMM and POWER. About 50 people gathered to hear from Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey, an organizer for the Philly Community Bail Fund, and a woman who had personal experience with the cash bail system, about the costs and injustices of the current system (even as it is being improved) and the possibilities for ending cash bail altogether. Few of us knew that a court case is moving from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in the South toward the Supreme Court, on the basis that cash bail is an unconstitutional violation of equal rights under the law. All of us left under the weight of grave injustice, yet hopeful that change is possible in Philadelphia and that we can be part of it.
This event was one way of acting on a minute that CPMM passed in June of 2017, saying that if we want to refer with pride to our Quaker history of support for ending slavery, we must speak up in the present against mass incarceration.
If you are interested in hosting a similar town hall meeting, or in participating in bail watch hearings, please contact Dana Reinhold at firstname.lastname@example.org or Terry Roberts at email@example.com.