Issue 28: Organizing Against Fascism

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With a theme of “Organizing Against Fascism,” Issue 28 packs a punch with writings by political prisoner Herman Bell and other imprisoned authors, transcriptions of recent talks by Ruthie Gilmore, Mariame Kaba, and Tarso Luís Ramos, and features art by political prisoners in the Philippines who are resisting the attacks of a fascistic regime.

The pieces in this issue are aimed at sharpening an understanding our current political moment, equipping us with the knowledge of what our movements for abolition and liberation are up against. While we have seen just the beginning of a Trump presidency’s disastrous consequences for people in the US and all over the world, we know that he is not exceptional. In a talk hosted by The Center for Political Education and transcribed here, Tarso Luís Ramos articulates the political forces and conditions that have led to Trump’s electoral victory, showing that the current rise of the right wing is a global phenomenon not specific to the US. Ramos offers us much needed and lucid context of how we must think strategically if we are to defeat this threat in the long haul. And yet with so much at stake, a photo essay and interview with Lara Kiswani by Brooke Anderson and Pete Woiwode illustrates just one example of powerful resistance when people mobilized by the thousands to the San Francisco Airport’s International Terminal to demand – and successfully achieve – the release of Muslim immigrants detained under Trump’s Muslim Ban.

We humbly offer this issue of The Abolitionist with the goal of providing a greater sense of understanding, analysis, and hope – especially in this seemingly grim and dangerous period. As always, repression breeds resistance, and it is the willingness of people to struggle, to fight back, in ways both big and small, that gives us the drive to continue fighting for a world without imprisonment, policing, surveillance, or oppression.

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Issue 27: The Black Panther Party Ten Point Program

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We hope that this issue of The Abolitionist contributes to the growing thought and movement seeking to strengthen and sharpen our collective resistance in this current moment, and for the coming years.  With pieces including an opening from former Black Panther and current political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, to an elaboration of the BPP’s internationalism by civil rights and Black Power scholar Robyn Spencer, to the sharp prescriptions from imprisoned writers on responding to Trump’s fascism, we are humbled by the range of contributions to this issue, the historical lessons they draw, and their reflection on current struggles toward liberation in the spirit and ongoing legacy of the Black Panther Party, fifty years later.

Abolitionist Issue 26: Obstacles and Opportunities

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The ground is shifting beneath us. The harm and violence of the prison industrial complex (PIC) – including policing, imprisonment, and surveillance – have been pushed to the fore of people’s consciousness. Yet we are not mere spectators to this shift; on the contrary, we know very well that this is the cumulative effect of collective struggle on many fronts. For instance, without the dedication and sacrifice of the California hunger strikers in 2011 and 2013, particularly those in Pelican Bay’s solitary units and their supporters on the outside, we would not be witnessing an unprecedented denunciation of solitary confinement coming from virtually all layers of society. Similarly, without combative and sustained outrage by people in Ferguson in response to the killing of Michael Brown in 2014, we are doubtful that today’s increased attention and resistance to policing would be as far-reaching. We are deeply inspired by this shift, and are energized by the potential to challenge the PIC in significant and lasting ways.

For PIC abolitionists, the question is, what is the most strategic way to build and escalate the struggle during this time of increased calls to reform policing and prisons? What kinds of demands and strategies should we pursue that don’t simply adjust the operations of the PIC, but disempower it? Ultimately, how do we expand the radical potential of our moment to realize what we want – a world free of policing, imprisonment, surveillance, and all the forms of political, social, and economic violence that they maintain?

It is precisely a future beyond the PIC that we are fighting to achieve. Our vision is abolition, and we humbly join all those who seek to find every opportunity to make our movement flourish.

ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 25: POLICING

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Welcome to Issue 25 of The Abolitionist ! This issue we delve into “Policing and Abolition” with hard hitting pieces from powerful authors like Fred Moten, Robin D.G. Kelley, Rachel Herzing, Aida Seif al-Dawla, Ali Issa, and Chanelle Gallant (see below for full list), who lend a critical eye to the various movements against policing. Their insights are particularly impactful as community organizing against the cops continues to grow “After August 9,” as Herzing’s piece is titled, when Ferguson and the rest of the country rose up against the murder of Michael Brown.

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 24

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“Prison abolition is an intentional and critical commitment to struggle, but it is also a battle of imagination, creativity, and love. It is about possibilities. It is expanding our mind to imagine a world in which prisons do not exist, one made up of societies and communities that are self-determined, accountable, safe, healthy, and free. To share those ideas with each other by any means necessary. And so, we dream; we read and we write.” – Letter from the Editors

Welcome to Issue 24 of The Abolitionist!

At Critical Resistance we see the prison industrial complex (PIC) as a system of violence that works to manage, defend, and extend social economic, and gender inequity–as well as inhibiting the self-determination of the peoples it targets. We see abolition as framework for us to not only undermine the nature and  logic of the PIC, but to also expand our political horizons.

In this issue of The Abolitionist, we had the opportunity to expand our analysis of the connections between education and the PIC — and our resistance struggles. The written pieces and artwork in this issue explore education’s transformative potentials as well as the violences institutions of education can perpetrate against our communities. All this work hopes to illuminate historical and present day struggles to address these important issues.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators:

This issues features contributions from a diverse array of  powerful and though-provoking folks, including: Asar Imhotep, Amern, Rick Ayers, Sam A., Bermudez, Kimonti Carter, Luigi Celentano, Malcolm X, Erica Meiners, Isaac Ontiveros, K.S. Peters, Therese Wuinn, David Stovall, Jordan Thompson, Cat Willett.

Love and struggle

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 23

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“Placing the PIC at the center of the way that we think about capitalism troubles the lie at the heart of capitalist ideology—the notion capitalism has given rise to freedom and democracy around the world. In response, the abolitionist asks, freedom for whom? Which world?” – Letter from the Editors

Welcome to Issue 23 of The Abolitionist!

At Critical Resistance we see the prison industrial complex (PIC) as a system of violence that works to manage, defend, and extend social economic, and gender inequity–as well as inhibiting the self-determination of the peoples it targets. We see abolition as framework for us to not only undermine the nature and  logic of the PIC, but to also expand our political horizons.

The prison system is inextricably linked to the extraction of resources from our most vulnerable communities, so in our struggles we must ask who stands to benefit from policing and prisons. Doing so reminds us that our struggle against the PIC is also a fight against the social, political, and economic mechanisms that perpetuate the PIC. Through this work we undermine the ability for people, corporations, and governments to financially, socially, and politically benefit from a system of policing and punishment.

In this issue of The Abolitionist, we are excited to explore the manifestations of global capitalism and expose their relationships to the PIC. The written pieces and artwork in this issue expand our analysis of the “industry” of prisons and punishment, illuminating historical and present day struggles to challenge these important issues.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators:

This issues features art and written contributions from a diverse array of  powerful and though-provoking contributors, including: Timothy J. Muise, Naomi Polina, Beehive Design Collective, Julie de Dardel, Breonne Dedecker, Larry James Derossett, Nidal El-Khairy, Craig Gilmore, Eve Goldberg, Ronnie Goodman, Rachel Herzing, James Kilgore, and Bruce Reilly.

Love and struggle

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 22

abby-22-english-0408-1.coverWelcome to issue 22 of the Abolitionist, our first paper of 2014. As we go to production in the month of March we are inspired and motivated by the history and legacy of International Women’s Day.  International Women’s Day was first celebrated in the early part of the 20th century in Europe, highlighting the the struggles of women’s political participation in various nations, along with amplifying the role of women in the the pitched labor battles of the time.  It has  has gone on to uplift and be uplifted by social movements all over the world, playing an important role in anti-imperialist, national liberation, and other freedom struggles and campaigns for economic justice…

At Critical Resistance we see the prison industrial complex (PIC) as a system of violence that works to manage, defend, and extend social economic, and gender inequity–as well as inhibiting the self-determination of the peoples it targets.  The violence of the PIC take on a particular character in how it  polices, surveils, and imprisons women, trans people, and gender nonconforming people.  We see this in the attacks on programs of services in communities of color throughout the US, the sexual violence of military occupation, the ubiquitous violence of police policy against queer and trans people, and the conditions of women inside prisons and jails.  We also see it in the beyond-offensive language used to justify the expansion of the PIC–for example, claiming new jail and prison construction will somehow be “gender-responsive” and cater to the needs of women, children, and their families.  In turn, we see abolition as framework for us to not only undermine the nature and  logic of the PIC, but to also expand our political horizons.  As it relates to the the ever-intensifying fight for gender liberation, we are honored by how the fights of women, trans people, and gender nonconforming people have enriched our freedom dreams.

In this issue of the Abolitionist, we are excited to dip into the historical and present day struggles that embody these important issues.  As you will see, the pieces that comprise this issue span different times, places, publications, and political projects that uplift and contribute to the spirit of International Women’s Day….

With articles by: Misty Rojo, Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign, Assata Shakur, Charlotte Kates, Che Gossett, Reina Gossett, and AJ Lewis,  Silvia Federici, Lisa Rudman and Marcy Rein, Fire Inside Editorial Collective, Audrey Huntley and Everyday Abolition, Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent, and Dorie Klein and June Cress.

Click here to read “Prison as a Border” by Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent! (originally published in Signs, Vol. 26 No.4)

Love and struggle

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