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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.


We begin from an understanding of policing as a social relationship made up of a set of practices that are empowered by the state to enforce social control. Rather than a discrete agency serving a separate purpose, policing is a defining feature of the prison industrial complex (PIC).

Refusing an ever-narrowing path from court room to cage, PIC abolition and the fight against policing is led by a vision of liberation that grows our capacity to care and resist, to overcome state and interpersonal violence, and transform our conditions in addition to ourselves. We publish The Abolitionist as a labor of love and struggle, and we create and share this resource with hope that it will nourish our common fight to create a life and world free from the violence of prisons, policing, and empire.

Finally, we celebrate and are inspired by victories everywhere, as with the various pieces in this issue that lift up the historic Ashker v. Brown settlement win reached by solitary prisoners in California against the prison regime’s notorious use of isolation.

In Solidarity

The Abolitionist Editorial Collective


Full list of contributors in this issue:

Aida Seif al-Dawla
Micah Bazant
Nick Bygon
Melanie Cervantes
Sophia Dawson
Chanelle Gallant
Chris Herring, SF Street Sheet
Christina Heatherton
Rachel Herzing
Ali Issa
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
Robin Kelley
Members of Critical Resistance
Fred Moten
Jalil Muntaqim
Isaac Ontiveros
Plaintiffs in Ashker v. Brown
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
Maisha Quint
Peter Sierra
Alex S. Vitale

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