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As we know, surveillance is an integral component of the prison industrial complex. Equally as important is our ability to confront surveillance in order to create a society in which people are free of constant tracking and cataloging as a means of driving them into cages or turning their homes and neighborhoods into virtual prisons. This issue seeks not only to document the terrifying sophistication of surveillance systems, while offering examples and spurring dialogue about how to abolish them.
While the topic of surveillance spans a vast variety of issues and sectors, the pieces in this installment of The Abolitionist offer some points of entry for understanding the topic. From how it is used to limit funding of political organizations, to its role inside Security Housing Units (SHUs), the authors and artists featured in this issue of The Abolitionist help us think about both the impacts of surveillance, and means of resisting those impacts. In these pages, we will see the socio-economic costs of surveillance as well as the history of surveillance used against our organizations and our responses to that pressure. While not directly addressing the surveillance, we are also excited to bring you Letters to The Abolitionist in response to past issues of the paper, and two authors, David Gilbert and Eric A. Stanley in dialogue via reviews of each other’s books.
Walking the fine line between caution and paralysis takes patience and care. We hope that the sampling of perspectives offered here provides new insights and information and generates energy and a renewed commitment to fighting for a world free of the fear and mistrust on which surveillance depends.
Thanks to all our contributors!
Kijana Tashiri Askari
Inger P. Brink
Larry James DeRossett
Eric A. Stanley