SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – #FreeBritney activists are taking center stage at the Utah State Capital to raise awareness of conservatorship abuse and advocate for reforming the probate court system, July 14.
Starting at 2 p.m., the protest aims to end the conservatorship of Britney Spears and bring to light the issues that accompany the politics of the United States’ current judiciary.
According to event organizers, the rally is scheduled during Britney’s next conservatorship hearing and coincides with other #FreeBritney rallies worldwide, including in London, Norway, Brazil, France, Washington, D.C, Los Angeles, and New York City.
“For 13 years, Britney has been denied basic human rights under a conservatorship designed for incapacitated individuals. Spears’ case highlights the need for conservatorship reform across the country due to thousands of documented abuse cases,” informs Shannon Egan, leader of the #FreeBritney movement in Utah. “Many of the claims involve conservators misappropriating and misusing the conservatee’s assets and charging excessive and unjustifiable fees.”
When regarding the United States court system, the moment a conservatorship is established over an individual, they are revoked of their common civil rights such as due process, deprivation of property, and liberty.
According to Egan, a conservatorship also “unlawfully confines and isolates, and chemically restrains. Because it is such an extreme measure, a conservatorship is typically reserved as a last resort to provide care for people with severe disabilities like dementia.”
On June 23, 2021, Britney Spears “testified in a public court hearing that the conservatorship had exploited her. As she went on to share her side of the story, she condemned those with power over her, saying she has been forced to perform live shows, compelled to use an intrauterine device for birth control, made to take lithium and other medications against her will, and prevented from getting married or having another child.”
“I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive,” Spears shared.
“Ever since hearing Britney share her truth out loud, I have been haunted,” says Egan. “If this can happen to her — one of the most powerful performers in the world — it can happen to any of us. This rally and movement are not about being a Britney or pop culture fan; it is about standing up and together for all of our basic human rights, especially the rights of those who are most vulnerable and marginalized, including women and those with disabilities and mental health issues.”
Since Britney’s testimony, many political figures such as US Representatives Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Burgess Owens, and Andy Biggs invited Spears to testify about her conservatorship in front of the U.S. Congress. The invitation was considered a massive victory amongst #FreeBritney supporters, consisting of hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide.
“Supporters do not claim to know Britney’s medical history and believe it should remain private. However, misleading the public about her mental state is a common tactic among those invested in keeping the conservatorship in place,” event organizers detail. “Moreover, implying that mental illness justifies the removal of human rights is dangerously stigmatizing.”
“Britney is not allowed to drive her own car, buy a cup of coffee, or have friends visit her without the permission of her conservators. Yet, she has generated millions of dollars in revenue for her team while under the conservatorship,” Egan adds. “What is happening to her is 100,000% a violation of human rights, and we will not stop until she is free and those responsible are held accountable.”