Now that Issue 35 is approaching print, our previous Issue #34 is ready for free download.
Check out the Letter from the Editors in this issue below, along with the #34 sneak peek piece, and download your copy of The Abolitionist #34 in English or Spanish now!
Like what you’re reading? Consider signing up for a subscription to The Abolitionist to sponsor free subscriptions of Critical Resistance’s newspaper for people locked up in jails, detention centers and prisons.
We hope this issue nourishes your commitment to prison industrial complex (PIC)
abolition during these trying times. As the editorial collective worked on Issue 34, COVID-19
surged through prisons, jails and detention: An estimated 1 in 5 prisoners have been infected,
four times more than the general population; the rates of COVID-19 related deaths for prisoners
rose from 1,700 in December to 2,459 by March, according to the Marshall Project. As more concerned communities and public health experts continue to insist mass releases will stop the spread and rising death toll, state by state decision makers have yet to budge while lives hang in the balance. In California, the majority of the people who were killed by the virus were already granted parole but were still locked up, while in Alabama the Parole Board has decreased parole hearings by about 50 percent, dropping parole grants to historic lows.
During this time, the Trump presidency broke a 130-year tradition of pausing executions amid presidential turn-over, instead he exited the White House with a last-minute killing spree of executing five more prisoners, totaling 13 since July. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have since took office resurrecting the moderate, pro-cop, pro-cages agenda, positioning neoliberal reformism as the antidote to Trumpism’s fascistic tendencies, still upholding the PIC and military as the solutions to the various social, economic and political problems exacerbated during the pandemic. As the neoliberal bloc tries to gain back lost legitimacy from federal
negligence during the crisis, we at Critical Resistance (CR) have been discussing: what are the connections between neoliberalism and fascism, and what do they mean for PIC abolition now and in the future? Are these ideologies truly at odds in the ways we are encouraged to think, especially during the 2020 US presidential election? Issue 34 presents a features section that explores the interrelations between fascism and neoliberalism with a set of articles packed with analysis, reflection and resources for organizing in and beyond this moment. We hope this issue works to sharpen our collective will and capacity to generate shared, effective strategies for organizing and movement building.
We recommend starting with a piece by CR’s very own Woods Ervin as a central analysis for the entire issue to ground your reading in some select historical materialism interrogating the relationship between fascism and neoliberalism. This issue’s set of featured resources and reflections include a bilingual centerfold photo essay on the Black Panther Party’s United Front Against Fascism convening thanks to The Freedom Archives, and action-oriented examples of how different communities today are resisting fascism and/or neoliberal conditions: From an abolitionist group, Trama Colectiva, in Brazil; to building autonomous community from a P’urephecha women-led uprising in Cherán, Mexico, as Yunuén Torres shares the second and final installment of her interview with The Abolitionist; to movement makers across the so-called US, sharing strategies, building solidarity, collective leadership, and unity for resistance across prison-manufactured racial lines and border walls in borderlands. Most features are original, like our interview with Cesar Lopez on organizing across the US-Mexico border, while a few are reprints courtesy of Truthout and The San Francisco
Bay View newspaper, like Ejeris Dixon’s Fascism Emergency Playbook, and the Short Corridor Collective’s Agreement to End Hostilities coupled with an excerpt of Todd Ashker’s 10-year reflection on the struggle against solitary confinement and gang validation in CA. Since Trump & the Republican Party scrounged to hold on to presidency with increased voter suppression, we thought sharing data from the Sentencing Project on felony disenfranchisement particularly useful and timely.
Continuing our new paper structure of features with recurring columns, Issue 34 also includes a return of 9971 with Stephen Wilson, Kites to the Editors, the Inside-Outside Fishing Line, and the “Abby” Throwback in tow. These turbulent times set an ever-shifting landscape. Please keep in mind how quickly news is moving when reading our news-based columns, like the CR Updates and Movement Highlights, as well as our political prisoner updates—Until All Are Free.
As always, we strongly encourage our readers to contribute to The Abolitionist. Check our Call
for Content with submission guidelines and deadlines on page 21 to contribute to our next issues, #35 out in July 2021, or #36 to be published by December.
Sending each and every one of you love, strength, and resilience.
Yours in struggle,
Critical Resistance & The Abolitionist Editorial Collective ♦