Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Welcome to our brand-new Abolition Action newsletter, Jailbreak! We will be sharing thoughts, art, and writing on prison abolition on a monthly basis, alongside interviews with and spotlights on abolitionists. With our calendar, we hope to support folks engaged in the work by creating a central listing of NYC abolition events. We emerged out of a NYC-DSA Socialist Feminists prison abolition reading group, which stoked our hunger to act and organize for transformative justice. We hope to plug people into ongoing work; to share approachable entry points to understanding, talking about, and organizing for prison abolition; and to build community and coalition. You can reach us or request to join our listserv here, learn about our other projects and organize with us in the #abolitionaction and #jailbreak channels here, and submit events and article/art pitches for future issues here.
Abolitionist Spotlight: MARIAME KABA Ms. Kaba is a leader in the transformative justice and prison-industrial-complex abolition movements. She says she came to her current politics on the criminal punishment system through numerous points of access, including growing up in New York in the early '80s and witnessing “conflagrations of racialized violence”—the death of Michael Stewart in 1983 and the Central Park Five in 1989; and seeing how disparities in race and class led to selective criminalization of “identical behaviors:” rich kids at Lower East Side private schools freely did every kind of drug imaginable, while the kids she grew up with got arrested for doing the same thing on street corners.
A sociologist, organizer, educator, and curator, Mariame Kaba is currently a researcher in residence at the Social Justice Institute at Barnard in New York. Ms. Kaba is also the founder and director of Project NIA, an organization with a grassroots approach to ending youth incarceration, and co-founder of Survived and Punished. Ms. Kaba’s work has been influential for those looking outside the criminal punishment system to account for interpersonal violence. “Our culture does not encourage people who cause harm to take responsibility. We have an adversarial model where the person who is actually placed on trial is the survivor.” To learn more, listen to this interview with Chris Hayes, read her OP-ED, follow @prisonculture on Twitter.
What Abolition Means to Me "Abolition, to me, is about ending capitalism, since jails play such a vital role in protecting private property and making us too afraid of disrupting the status quo." - Marian J.
Soundbites for Skeptics "What do we do with all the murderers and rapists?"
"Murderers & rapists? Oh, you mean cops? In the US, deaths from police shootings amount to 458 per year. There’s barely any correlation between crime and incarceration rates, so if you want to stop violence, prisons aren’t the way to do it."
"What happens to murderers and rapists now? The current system is not moving our rapists to prison, nor is it solving rape or protecting us. The system is not, at its core, rehabilitative."
October 12, 19, 26 Close Rikers Table, No New Jails, locations at Jay St. Metro Tech and 125th/Lex (Brooklyn and Harlem)
October 21, Abolition Action Group general meeting, DSA Socialist Feminists, BAM (Brooklyn)
October 26, Party with a Purpose, RAPP, National Black Theatre (Harlem)
Submit an event to the calendar here!
© Abolition Action Group
Our mailing address is: