I was glad to join Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Mujahid Farid for a discussion about abolition in September 2016. The conversation was sponsored by Critical Resistance and is now available on video.
I’m a founding member of a formation called Survived and Punished. We came together in 2015 to leverage the work that our individual organizations are doing around the criminalization of survivors of violence in order to build collective power.
This week S & P is highlighting the cases of several women and gender non-confirming people who have been criminalized for survival and self-defense. The week of action kicked off with a focus on Bresha Meadows. The following video created by Love and Protect (one of the groups that is part of Survived and Punished) illustrates a solidarity action that was organized in support of Bresha in Chicago.
This week, my fellow Survived and Punished member Alisa Bierria and I co-wrote an op-ed (published In These Times) about the need to prioritize criminalized survivors in the Trump era even as we continue to fight for decarceration:
“On the eve of his inauguration, we think that it’s critical to ask what impact Trump will have on the criminal punishment system—and in particular, on criminalized survivors of violence like Bresha. We must carefully consider how to organize around prison and criminal legal issues in this new context. There will be a scramble to prioritize issues that need our attention and advocacy. It’s important that the experiences of criminalized survivors of domestic and sexual violence not be lost in the shuffle.”
Learn about the other criminalized survivors featured during this week of action here.
I’m excited to share this abolitionist bystander intervention video today.
How can we defend each other? One way is to interrupt racist and transphobic attacks without calling the police (unless you are asked to). This new video has tips for how to respond, and talks about going beyond reacting to individual incidents, and getting involved with organizing for systemic change.
The video is narrated by Aaryn M. Lang, and was produced by friends at Barnard Center for Research on Women – BCRW and Project NIA, including Lewis Wallace. It’s part of a broader pre-inauguration collaboration with Mariame Kaba (me), the American Friends Service Committee, Showing up for Racial Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace, Black Lives Matter and a bunch of individual teachers and librarians around the country to create and distribute cultural responses to white supremacy and rising racist violence.
Watch and most importantly share the video far and wide. It’s a great resource.
Also there is an accompanying arts-based curriculum that can be accessed here.
I greatly appreciate Critical Resistance’s work. Last year, they curated several conversations about abolition. I was privileged to participate in one of them. The video for that is forthcoming. For now, please watch long-time abolitionist organizers Rachel Herzing and Dylan Rodriguez in conversation.