“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson
What is a participatory defense ?
Participatory Defense is a community organizing model for people facing charges, their families, and communities to impact the outcomes of cases and transform the landscape of power in the court system.
The West Philly Hub meets every Thursday from 6:30-8pm to support people with their cases or a loved one's case. We are not lawyers, but community members, volunteers, formerly incarcerated people, and those with open cases. We offer knowledge from lived experience, help with creating mitigation matierals (a social bio), and in person court support.
What can I expect at a hub meeting?
We begin hub meetings with intros and community announcements. The hub meeting is spent strategizing and supporting each person with an open case. We hear case updates and create a list of "To Do's" for each participant. The hub works best when folks come back each week - this way we can get to know you, support you through each step of the case, and learn from you. We aim to move at the speed of trust. Hub meetings are public, community spaces so we remind everyone not to share any info about a case that should remain confidential.
When & where are meetings?
West Philly Hub meetings are every Thursday 6:30 - 8:00 PM in-person and virtually on zoom.
In-person meeting address:
Elmwood Community Methodist Church
4523 Chester Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19143
Or on zoom:
Meeting ID: 842 2802 3552
Phone: +1 929 205 6099
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested and you have questions, join us.
Are there other Participatory Defense Hubs?
West Philly Hub is part of a city-wide and national movement to change the imbalance of power in courts.
Visit the National Participatory Defense Movement here.
There are other Participatory Defense hubs in neighborhoods across Philly. Find information on all other Philadelphia Participatory Defense Hubs here.