Call Out For Oso Blanco Legal Fund and FUNdraising Ideas

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Oso Blanco

This is a call for cities to sign up to help raise funds for Oso Blanco – for full information on him and his case: http://freeosoblanco.blogspot.com.

Here's the cities that have signed on thus far:

Denver: https://denverabc.wordpress.com/

Portland: https://www.facebook.com/Portland-ABC-246486995420157/timeline/

Atlanta: http://atlblackcross.nfshost.com/

Chicago: https://www.facebook.com/EllaBakerFreedomSchool

NYC, Cincinnati, St. Augustine: Coalition of groups and individuals led by local Amnesty Int'l chapter

Chattanooga: informal group of individuals

Anonymous Individual Contributor willing to match city funds.

In short, Oso Blanco was dubbed “Robin The Hood” by the FBI as he robbed banks and used the money to buy supplies for homeless shelters as well as funneling money to the EZLN in Chiapas, Mexico. He never brandished a weapon at the robberies. He has already served time for the bank robberies, escape and more bank robberies. But 70 years of his sentence was for being in a “shoot out” even though he ran from the FBI and got shot in the back.

 

Money will specifically go towards hiring a law firm – http://robinsonbrandt.com. They will be working every angle to explore how to reduce Oso Blanco's crazy sentence (80 years!). Specifically the supreme court just found the Armed Career Criminal Act, which Oso Blanco was sentenced under, to be “unconstitutionally vague”. It is important to jump on this quickly. Indeed, we have been writing him over a decade and this is the first time he's ever considered getting legal help! He could truly have his sentence greatly reduced and be a free man soon. 

 

We need to raise $4,500 so each city's goal is $450. But the more cities to sign on the lower that amount goes. All funds raised are to be turned in by October 30th. You may feel this is short notice but check out the suggestions below and see how easy it is to put on an event. Groups and individuals can send money through http://freeosoblanco.blogspot.com (donate button front page) or directly to us by contacting flintgray@gmail.com (or with further questions).

 

FUNdraising Ideas

There are a ton of ways to get some funds raised for good people behind bars. Here are just a few to hopefully motivate YOU to try this in your city. By all means, I'm sure readers are much more creative and successful than us in raising funds so please leave more ideas in the comment section.

 

Music

~ The tried and true way to raise money. If you're lucky ALL money will go to the cause but don't rule out possibly charging double at the door so the bands or the space still get some money.

~ Street busking is another way to utilize music.

 

Food

~ Turn your living space into a restaurant for a night. Basically you're having your friends over for dinner – a damn good dinner! - and charging them money.

~ We have also asked permission from small business owners to use their space. This has worked out two ways – one restaurant let us use their space during a time they weren't open so we cooked everything and reaped 100% of the money. Another restaurant split the money with us as it was on a day they were already open. But it was a slow day and we did promotions for more business.

~ Bake sale. I know this seems a little silly but who doesn't want a huge cookie or brownie outside a show or event? This is a simple fundraiser that can be setup anywhere (outside bars at closing time, during liberal protests, outside schools, yuppie or tourist districts, farmers markets, anywhere there is a lot of foot traffic). It also is an excuse to bake with some friends.

 

Junk!!!

Some of our most successful and EASY fundraisers involves a garage sale. Most people in 'merica have too much stuff and you'd be surprised how many will bring you their stuff to get rid of. In addition we dumpstered a ton of items including desks and chairs which usually only had minor scratches or were display items (if they are missing any parts just call the 1-800 # and tell them you bought the desk and it was missing 3 B or whatever part and they will happily ship it to you for free). Everyone knows at the end of college semesters are great times to find all kinds of furniture and household items to sell at garage sales. There's only one thing about garage sales – you need someone who is good at pricing and haggling with people. Very important, trust us.

 

Art

Many of our scenes have really creative and talented people. Place a call out for artist to donate pieces of work of any medium. Then there are lots of ways to sell (raise money) the art. Setup on the street during your city's yuppie art walk. Find a sympathetic business owner to allow you some space for a day or a week or a month. Setup on the night of a big show either inside or out on the sidewalk.

 

Tithe

Some religious people give a percentage of their income to the church, cause, ya know, God is all about that dolla. Using our fundraiser above as an example, we are asking each city to raise $450. Let's say you don't have time or aren't into holding a fundraiser. So just find 9 friends to kick in $50 each and you're done! Or pass the hat at any meeting you attend. Or each person in a collective can set aside a percentage of their wages for a month in order to meet their goal.

 

Crowdfunding

We put this last for a reason. All of the above suggestions involve direct interaction with people in your community. Crowdfunding does not. We're not haters though as crowdfunding has helped a lot of good causes. Unfortunately for our purposes, many sites won't let you raise money for convicted criminals. How lame!

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