Saturday, January 25th, 2020

This Woman Saved A Man’s Life By Being An Instagram Activist

Published on August 25, 2017 by   ·   8 Comments Pin It

Alison Brettschneider is not a communications exec, she’s not a lawyer, and she didn’t know a damn thing about being a professional activist – except what her heart has told and led her – which is to always speak out and act fast when she sees injustice. Based on her New Yawk no-fucks given attitude and not being a smidgen camera shy, she has garnered over 227k followers on her girl power-themed instagram account @25Park (the name of her now closed NYC clothing store.)

Never shying away from anti-Trump rhetoric, outing body shamers and bullies, and sex-positive messaging, Brettschneider didn’t wince when she got her usual inundation of petitions one morning. While signing away, as modern armchair activists now do, she noticed one particular petition one Friday night – the story of Marcellus Williams in St. Louis, scheduled to be executed on Tuesday at 6 p.m. with only about 30,000 signatures, despite new DNA evidence pointing to his innocence, the state of Missouri still planned to move forward with his execution.

With days to spare, Brettschneider went rogue, contacting Williams lawyer for more details and doing her due diligence by fact checking. What she found out so enflamed her sense of justice, that she went to work – contacting all her celebrity and media friends (as one has when they live in Los Angeles or New York) to get the word out. She (and her power posse) flooded the Governor of Missouri’s instagram page with thousands of comments, and what happened next was a sheer miracle. They might have even used bots, there is a company that uses Instagram bots for good, if you’re interested, check out how KENJI works.

After jumping on a plane to Missouri, CNN picked up the story, and with minutes to spare, Williams’ life was miraculously pardoned.. for now. There is so much more work to be done on this case, but the moral of the story is, as Margaret Mead said; “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Her first post;

THIS IS A REALLY SERIOUS POST, as SERIOUS as they come. I was made privy last night to a man who is on death row in St.Louis scheduled to be executed TUESDAY night at 6 PM. However, new evidence has emerged that points to the fact that he is INDEED INNOCENT; the DNA does not match his. They have gone to the courts to appeal asking for more time so they can present this new evidence that will have him exonerated, instead of executed. The courts rejected their pleas without any explanation ? However, the governor of MISSOURI can override the judges decision but he too has decided to deny it. I was up all night researching who his lawyers are, what jail he is in, how to reach the governor and spoke to their local news stations. I wrote an email at 2 AM to his lawyers after tracking them down and they responded and I am now in touch with them and extremely knowledgeable about this case. For all of you who spent days harassing me that “BLACK LIVES MATTER” put your money where your mouth (or fingers are) and sign the petition in my bio, leave tons of comments on the governor of MISSOURI instagram @ericgreitens tag your friends, repost this, get the story viral; we don’t have much time. I think they are banking on the fact this story doesn’t have much media attention, I would think in this racially charged political climate MISSOURI would not want the attention of ignoring the pleas to save an innocent black mans life on DEATH ROW. I’m willing to fly there and march into that court room myself and save this mans life. Please join me in this social media grass roots mission as I can not do this alone. COMMENT NOW @ericgreitens #stoptheexecution #marcelluswilliams as of now, he will be lethally injected 6 PM TUESDAY. Social media is SOO POWERFUL, let’s use it for the greater good. We are coming for you @ericgreitens When you go to his account there is an option to call or email him…flood his inbox, have his phones ringing off the hook. There is an innocent mans life at stake here ?? If you are a lawyer, a politician, have ties to MISSOURI I welcome all the support & help I can get here; let’s do this ?? @ericgreitens @ericgreitens @ericgreitens

A post shared by Alison Brettschneider (@25park) on

and last post;

I love this shot of us that was featured on a clip in the news of MARCELLUS WILLIAMS son and I announcing that we had just received the call that we had been granted the stay and the execution was off! Keep in mind, this was less than 4 hours before the 6 PM execution, the press and news stations had already started to arrive at the facility where MARCELLUS WILLIAMS was being held and they were starting to prepare for the execution. I wrote a piece for @huffpost about the power of social media, my experience in MISSOURI and how we should all be using our platforms to create awareness on important topics and to help others. I have a very loyal following, but let’s face it…I’m a small fish in a big sea. If I can help save a man from death row in MISSOURI, imagine what somebody like @beyonce or @kimkardashian could do? We could really save the world if everybody stepped up to the plate. I have been saying this for so long aka my charity @fivefuckingdollars It is a privilege and honor to have this kind of microphone to the world, WHY NOT use it for the greater good? We are all in this together; especially you and I @theboxinggoon. Please read the article in my bio. I would love to hear your feedback ?????THANKS AGAIN to ALL OF YOU ?? The battle is not over as we will now have our day in court, where I am confident #marcelluswilliams will walk out a free man #exonerated

A post shared by Alison Brettschneider (@25park) on

Read the rest of this story – from Alison’s self-penned piece on Huffington Post – here.

Alison Brettschneider and Marcellus William Jr

Alison Brettschneider and Marcellus William Jr

Follow Alison Brettschneider on instagram @25park to continue to help with this case, and other social justice endeavors.

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