If you're among the millions of viewers who have suffered from Making a Murderer addiction, there's a good chance you have an opinion on whether the Netflix docuseries' main subjects are innocent or guilty. If you lean toward innocent, then listen up: Supporters are holding a worldwide protest this June to show solidarity with Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.
The details were posted on freebrendan.org, a website run by Injustice Anywhere, a group working to fight wrongful convictions. The protests will be occurring across the nation, as well as in Manchester, Dublin, and Melbourne, on June 11. New York City, D.C., and Sacramento all currently have contingents planned. You can also travel to Manitowoc, Wisconsin if you want to put pressure on the local officials.
Emily McCarthy of Asheville, North Carolina posted demands on the "We Stand 4 Innocence" rallies' Facebook group:
We stand united worldwide in support of the immediate exoneration and release of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. We believe they are both 100% innocent. At the very least, both men should be granted new trials based on documented misconduct. We implore Wisconsin’s Attorney General, Brad Schimel, to investigate accusations of corruption within Manitowoc County, and to hold accountable any members of law enforcement who have committed acts of misconduct.
Several online communities have developed since the show was released in December, sharing articles on the two, photos from prison, and updates from Dassey and Avery's family members. One, the Steven Avery Project Facebook page, has more than 110,000 likes. Others are closed groups that foster conversation. Carla Chase, Avery's niece and Brendan's cousin, has been an active member.
Much of the organizing has understandably focused on Avery and Dassey, but the criminal justice system in general is also a focus of the June 11 protests. McCarthy explained the group's long-term goals:
Making a Murderer has opened our eyes to the fact that wrongful convictions are far more prevalent than most people realize, and most cases lack the attention they warrant. Our long term goal is to shine a spotlight on the current wrongful conviction problem, while also seeking reforms designed to reduce errors in the future.
Among the reforms they would like to see implemented are the use of body cameras by officers, videotaping all interrogations, and ensuring a lawyer is present during the interrogation of a minor.
The Wisconsin protest will be followed by an event featuring a guest speaker and a silent auction. The organizer, Megan Prather of Genoa, Illinois, is currently raising money on GoFundMe. You can donate and/or send in an item for the silent auction. To see if there's an event being planned closer to you, check out the Facebook page for details.