Category Archives: abolitionist

ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 16

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“Within our society, most of us have been conditioned to expect punishment as a solution to many issues. A school with sub-par test scores? Shut it down. A homeowner who can’t pay their mortgage? Kick them out. A parent that can’t afford to feed their kids? Take the kids away and put the parent in jail. As schools continue to close, homes are foreclosed, and prison funding is increased, we can see that the priorities of the state are clearly not aligned with what we know is needed to create a healthy a safe society.” – Letter from the Editors

Welcome to Issue 16 of The Abolitionist! Much work and re-structuring has happened since Issue 15 came out in Summer 2011. We want to thank you for your patience while we went through these changes. The goals of this restructuring are to reach out to more of Critical Resistance’s allies inside and outside, bring more analysis, and to make the paper more politically sound and cohesive. One of the ways that we are doing that is by using themes to help shape the paper. Issue 16 considers the theme of Life After the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC)—something we hope strikes a chord in everyone.

We challenge you to take the breadth and connections between each piece into consideration when creating your own vision for a world without the PIC. Because we have all been impacted in different ways by the PIC and learned to survive within a capitalist framework we should also ask what new opportunities and challenges for you, your loved ones, and allies await in a world without the PIC? In addition to responding to harm and violence, how will families stay connected? How will our relationships to labor change? What will be prioritized financially so that our needs are met and our society has an opportunity to thrive rather than just survive?

We hope this issue awakens new ideas, visions, and energies in both your and the collective struggle to create the new world that we all know is possible.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators:

Morgan Bassichis, Bench, Evan Bissell, Rose Braz, Craig Calderwood, Lydia Crumbley, Jason Fritz-Michael, Felipe Hernández, Gaurav Jashnani, JustSeeds Collective, Mimi Kim, RJ Maccani, Erica Meiners, Mustapha, Jenna Peters-Golden, Prison Research Education/Action Project, Project WHAT!, Rights for Imprisoned People with Psychiatric Disabilities, Carlos Sabater, Gil Serrano
, Raphael Sperry, Cheyanne Torres, Mary Tremonte, Jose Villarreal, Luigi Celentano, Susana Draper, Alaina Farabaugh, Leah Furumo, Kentaro Kaneko, Alma Munoz, Lynne Purvis, Alfonso Tovar, Alia Trindle, and Benjamin Wood.

Love and struggle

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 15

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“We know that the danger of trying to ‘fix’ the system allows the PIC to say that it is responding to our concerns providing justification for the mass imprisonment and policing of our communities, which makes the long-term goal of abolishing the PIC impossible. How can we transform the material conditions of our lives in a way in which we do not perpetuate and strengthen the ideologies that create the material inequality and devastation we face in the first place?” – Letter from the Editors

Welcome to Issue 15 of The Abolitionist! We hope that this issue of the paper reaches you in the best possible health and spirits.

We offer this issue of the paper in dedication to our comrade Marilyn Buck. Marilyn has been the Vicissitudes columnist for The Abolitionist since its inception in 2005. She recently passed away on August 3, 2010, two weeks after she was released from serving 33 years in federal prison. Her life provides us with a strong example of lifelong commitment in struggle to abolish the prison industrial complex. We offer her piece, “The Freedom to Breathe: In Confinement, what happens to the self?” written in 2004, which reflects on meditation as a path to peace while inside. To honor her memory we have also included a piece read by activist Yuri Kochiyama at Marilyn’s memorial in Oakland, and a poem from Alexis Pauline Gumbs, who has been active in CR, entitled “Catch”. We are humbled and saddened by this huge loss to our movement, and so we allow this moment to fuel our anger and strengthen our resolve to fight to win.

On all fronts, we see people fighting for more freedom than they have ever seen in their lifetimes, even while conventional political wisdom tells us to settle for incremental reforms instead of liberation. Taking these fights together, we feed the abolitionist fire by gathering the courage to resist control and the creativity to envision a world defined not by imprisonment, by bars, walls, war, or capitalism but by collective liberation, struggling for everyone’s basic needs to be met and daring to dream wildly.

Much love and many thanks to all of our contributors and translators!

Love and struggle

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 14

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Welcome to Issue 14 of The Abolitionist! For Critical Resistance, this fall was marked by the loss of Marilyn Buck, our recently released comrade who was the author of the Vicissitudes column. Her fierce commitment to the abolitionist struggle and visionary eloquence continue to inspire us. We will be dedicating space to her loving, poetic, and courageous spirit in Issue #15. Please submit us any writing or artwork you have that she has inspired.

In this issue you’ll find powerful conversations about what progress can really look like. In one section, Di shares “He Korero Iti” (A Small Story), a piece that reminds us to not forget the wisdom of the people who have walked before us and to heed the values and methods for resolving conflict in a way that keeps the community whole. In another, Renee Saucedo takes on immigration reform in “We Don’t Want Just Any Immigration Reform.” She encourages us to reject the current legislation that creates a pathway to legalization for some immigrants at the expense of intensified raids, detentions, deportations, and militarism for others.

As always, we hope this paper awakens your freedom spirit.

Much love and many thanks to all of our contributors and translators!

Love and struggle

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 13

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While the PIC continues to expand, as abolitionists we position ourselves to stand against further repression and to build the supports we need to achieve our collective liberation.

Welcome to Issue 13 of The Abolitionist! Spring 2010 unveiled new developments on the side of humanist efforts to build a world that is in harmony with life & the Earth, while state forces continued to funnel energy and resources towards repressive institutions, continuing cycles of violence and harm. This edition of The Abolitionist presents us with stories from both sides of this struggle.

Issue 13 describes state cuts to human services and further discrimination against former prisoners and people with conviction history records who would want to apply to ‘free world’ jobs (Attack on In-Home Support Services), while our allies maintain crucial services for holistic transitional healthcare in places like Southeast San Francisco (Critical Conditions). Hope continues to rest in our ability to come together as communities of people who are targeted by the PIC, to teach ourselves how to take action to end violence in our lives (Community Responds to Domestic Violence) and to insist that we build alliances and advance a united anti-racist agenda to benefit all working class people and people of color (Popular Resistance to State Violence: Part II).

As always, we hope this paper awakens your freedom spirit.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators!

Love and struggle

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 11

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“The moment we live in gives us the opportunity to highlight the starkness of the oppressive systems that affect every part of our lives. Never before have the connections between war and imperialism, economic exploitation and devastation, policing, imprisonment, and racism been so plain to see. By sharpening our analysis and strengthening our level of organization, we can uses these crises—as well as the global response to crisis—to push forward and concretize a more liberated way of living, and create even more common sense practices of community self-determination.” – Letter from the Editors

Welcome to Issue 11 of The Abolitionist! It’s been over a year since the last issue of the Abolitionist. While we’ve struggled with some technical difficulties, we are happy to be back and are eager to continue offering news and analysis from different locations in the movement to abolish the prison industrial complex. While the paper has seen a bit of a hiatus, the struggle has most definitely continued. As always, we hope this paper awakens your freedom spirit.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators!

Love and struggle

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 10

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“In all our work, we organize to build power and to stop the devastation that the reliance on prisons and policing has brought to our families, our communities, and ourselves.” – Letter from the Editors

Welcome to Issue 10 of The Abolitionist! We hope that this paper finds you in the best possible spirits and health. Th is edition focuses on some of the biggest challenges we face as a movement: US-led imperialist wars and their relationship to the PIC, corporate economic development, the repression and criminalization of immigrants, people of color, young people, and queer communities, California Propositions 6 and 9, and the widespread use of sensory deprivation units and supermax prisons. Several articles in this edition examine the far-reaching effects of isolation. From the use of gang injunctions and security threat management units against young people to the segregation of political prisoners, isolation is a key strategy in the repression of organization and resistance. These tactics flippantly violate international human rights treaties and have been codified in federal and state law and prison administrative processes.

What will it take to win prison industrial complex abolition? What are some victories, big and small from your life, inside prison walls and outside, from the history of this movement? What could a meaningful victory look like? Tell us about a strategy you found successful. Have you experienced/heard about any “false” victories, which seem like a positive step but might actually be something we’ll have to fight against down the road?

As always, we hope this paper awakens your freedom spirit, and we welcome any feedback.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators!

Love and struggle

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ABOLITIONIST ISSUE 9

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“As we mark five years and counting at war in Iraq and consider the manipulation of the poor and of communities of color in the name of the military and prison industrial complexes, we also must look ahead and fortify our continued struggles for the demise of these complexes.” – Rachel Herzing for The Abolitionist Editorial Collective

For the past 10 years here at Critical Resistance, we’ve maintained that the complex inequities and instabilities our most vulnerable populations face cannot be addressed with a single solution; particularly one that causes and exacerbates those same inequities. This spring while the collective was working on this issue of The Abolitionist you’re reading now, we were also reckoning with the harsh reality that it’s been over five years since the United States declared war on Iraq. It seems clear, then, that in mourning five years at war in Iraq, those of us concerned with abolishing the prison industrial complex (PIC), must pay close attention to the continued march of the military industrial complex (MIC) and the symbiotic relationship between the two. In this issue we set out to draw some of those connections. As always, we hope this paper awakens your freedom spirit.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators!

Love and struggle

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