The FreeUS Project
The Free US Project dedicated website: thefreeusproject.org
The Free US Project draws from the abolitionist history of Black Pittsburgh, also known as "Little Hayti." During the 1800s Pittsburgh was one of few communities in Pennsylvania which openly resisted the institution of slavery. The city was known for organizing to free any enslaved person that entered the city's limits accompanied by their captors. The Free Blacks of Pittsburgh understood that no one is free until everyone is free.
The Free US Project is an initiative facilitated by formerly and currently incarcerated persons. It's objective is to raise funds for legal defense and appeals, raising awareness about injustice in Allegheny County, and providing perspective and practical solutions to the cycles of injustice. Our inaugural event will raise funds for the appeal of Pierre Pinson, a Black man who was wrongfully convicted in 1999 for an armed assault on the Zone Six Police Station. (See: FreePierre.org)
The Free US Project recognizes incarcerated humans as a natural resource that when repatriated can contribute to the advancement of the human community and aid in combatting the destructive effects of the criminal justice system.
Abolitionism is the advocacy of the abolition of slavery.
Due to the 13th Amendment's abolishment of chattel slavery, abolition has taken a new form: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment or crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
While the 13th Amendment abolished chattel slavery it also acted as a reform. The exception (except for as a punishment for crime) allows for slavery to be accessed through the criminal justice system.
Mass incarceration is the new plantation.
To FreeUS we must create a world that does not need personal or institutional prisons.
Freedom is the ability to err, recover and heal. It is the ability to experience the fullness of one's humanity.
I am looking to collaborate with people inside and outside of prison, who have been affected by the corruption in the Allegheny County Criminal Justice system. I want to hear their stories and give them the outlet that Pittsburgh lacks.
Below are some stories about individuals as well as some of my thoughts on the system.
In 1995 a Pittsburgh fire department responded to a burning house in the Homewood section of the city. Three firefighters died attempting to extinguish the blaze.
At the age of 18 Troy was arrested for murder by former Pittsburgh Police detective Richard McDonald, who illegally coerced Joseph into signing a confession fabricated and written by the detective himself.
The Pittsburgh mentality reflects the city as a whole, simple but tough. We work hard for everything we get or as I've heard someone say, "We make steel, not excuses." We don't tolerate bums and we despise cheaters.
Hi, my name is James Dorsey and I am wrongfully convicted! I was charged in 1995 with Criminal Homicide, tried and found guilty (though I was never identified).