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#FreeThemAll May 2021 Days of Action

From May Day to Mother's Day

Photo credit: Sarah-Ji @loveandstrugglephotos

Everyone deserves dignity and justice. But in the United States, 2.3 million people are locked away in prisons, jails, and detention centers, where they are subject to civil and human rights violations and a lack of access to adequate health care.

This Mother’s Day, the #FreeThemAll campaign will highlight the strength and resilience of mothers and caregivers forced to parent their children across walls–mothers in immigration detention who are separated from their children, mothers whose loved ones are in jail, and the incredible labor of all the mothers and caregivers who are leaders in the struggle for a more just world.

Immigration activists, prison abolitionists, and those calling to defund the police are organizing across the country under the call to #FreeThemAll. Together, we're calling for the immediate release of people from behind bars as we continue to work for a future without incarceration. 

Here is a listing of #FreeThemAll May Day to Mother's Day's of action events by state. You can find out what's happening, both online and in-person (socially distanced and COVID-19 safe), near you. Visit to create your own event.

See our guide "How to stay safer at a protest."


Care Across the Walls
Thursday, May 6 (Virtual)

7:00 p.m. ET // 6:00 p.m. CT // 5:00 p.m. MST // 4:00 p.m. PST

This Mother’s Day join us to honor mothers and caregivers raising children across prison walls–and call for their release.   

Everyone deserves dignity and justice. But in the United States, 2.3 million people are locked away in prisons, jails, and detention centers, where they are subject to civil and human rights violations and a lack of access to adequate health care.   

On May 6, join us online for a virtual teach-in featuring learnings and calls to action from those of us confronting the unique challenges of trying to maintain the mother-child bond while separated by walls of incarceration. We will also learn from community-based activists and advocates about how we can join efforts to overcome and dismantle these injustices as we work to #FreeThemAll. Register here to participate.


Write Mother's Day Cards for Incarcerated Loved Ones
Now until Saturday, May 8

It's always a good time to send cards to loved ones on the inside. Mother's Day can bring special forms of pain and grief to those separated from their mothers, caregivers, and families, and especially to incarcerated mothers separated from their children. Take a few minutes to send a card to someone in prison, jail, or a detention center this Mother's Day to let them know we're fighting for care, not cages!

Want to organize your own card writing event? Here's how!




We are Essential! Dignity and Health Care for ALL
Saturday, May 1

10 a.m. - Program Begins at Chicano Park (San Diego)
11:30 a.m. - Caravan Begins at Chicano Park
1:30 p.m. - Caravan arrives at Washington Park (Escondido)
2:00 p.m. - Carvan continues from Washington Park
AFSC's U.S./México Border Program's May Day caravan in collaboration with 16 local partners in San Diego, CA with a focus on the Otay Mesa Detention Center makes the call to #FreeThemAll.  



#FreeThemAll Vigil at GEO Immigrant Detention Center
Monday, May 3
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. MT (In-person)
In front of GEO // 3130 Oakland St. // Aurora, CO 80010-1502

The American Friends Service Committee partners with others to offer a vigil and protest on Monday, May 3 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the ICE Detention Center at 3130 Oakland St. in Aurora, CO.

We believe that All Families Belong Together and we must Free Them All from detention! In recognition of Mother's Day, we stand in solidarity with the families separated by this unjust system and commend the parents who fight for family unification! Register here.
Spread the word on Facebook!


El Comité de Servicio de American Friends se asocia con otros para ofrecer una vigilia y protesta el lunes 3 de mayo de 6: 00 - 7: 00 p.m. en el Centro de Detención de ICE en 3130 Oakland St. en Aurora, CO.

¡Creemos que todas las familias pertenecen juntas y debemos liberarlos a todos de la detención! ¡En reconocimiento al Día de la Madre, nos solidarizamos con las familias separadas por este sistema injusto y felicitamos a los padres que luchan por la unificación familiar!
Questions: Contact Jordan at


Friday, May 7
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (In-person)


'Come on JB, Set Our Loved Ones Free!'
Friday, May 7
11:00 a.m. (In-person)
Location shared with RSVP
AFSC's Chicago Peacebuilding Program is hosting a Mother's Day action, together with MAMAS and the End the IL Prison Lockdown Coalition. A group of #FreeThemAll activists will deliver a giant Mother's Day card, signed by mothers and loved ones of incarcerated individuals across Illinois, demanding that Governor Pritzker restore contact visits, sign clemencies on his desk, and #FreeThemAll this Mother's Day. We'll also demand he cancels his plans to build a new youth prison in the state, and #StopLDC! Moms, caregivers, kids and loved ones deserve to live free and cared for, not separated by cages. Register here.

For more information, contact Debbie at

Please sign the petition to end prison lockdown!


Communities Not Cages Car Caravan & Rally
Friday, May 14
2:30 p.m. (In-person and online)
Meet at Blessed Sacrament Parish
14 Elm St.
Manchester, NH 03103

Join the AFSC, impacted community members and community partners for a car rally in Manchester to uplift the strength and resilience of mothers separated from their children and loved ones; and the incredible labor of all the mothers and caregivers leading the struggle for a more just world.

Together with local community partners including directly impacted community members, join us for a caravan around the Valley Street Jail and virtual rally to show solidarity with incarcerated loved ones and demand an end to cages as the solution to our communities' needs.

Register here: and spread the word on our Facebook event page!



'Ain't I a Woman' Mother's Day Vigil - #FreeThemAll!
Saturday, May 8 (In-person)
12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women
30 County Rte. 513
Clinton, NJ 08809
A vigil outside the women's prison featuring those with lived experience in that facility, condemning recent abuse, ignoring the scathing Department of Justice Report, and commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Attica and Rahway State Prison Rebellions which took place in 1971.

For more information contact Bonnie at


MOMS SPEAK OUT! - Demanding Humane Immigration Policy
12:00 p.m. Saturday, May 8 (In-person)

970 Broad St. #904
Newark, NJ 07102

#defundhate, #abolishice, #FreeThemAll, #CitizenshipforAll



***Can write and send letters from anywhere in the world***


On Saturday, May 8, 2021, the day before Mother's Day, hundreds of people will depart from at least eight different parts of Oregon and Washington and converge at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, WA with a call to Gov. Jay Inslee to shut it down. Run by the for-profit multi-national GEO Group, the NWDC holds nearly 1,600 people. For years, detainees have suffered from abuse by guards and inadequate medical care and foodWhile Gov. Inslee took the powerful step to end new contracts with for-profit prisons and detention centers by recently signing HB1090 into law, the NWDC needs to be shut down now.



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