Tell us how you live toward the abolition of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) everyday!
PIC abolitionists–you inspire us everyday and we want to amplify your voices! Abolition of the Prison Industrial Complex is a political vision with the goal of eliminating imprisonment, policing, and surveillance and creating lasting alternatives to punishment and imprisonment. It is both a long term goal and a strategy that we see people living, everyday.
From where we are now, sometimes we can’t really imagine what abolition is going to look like. Abolition isn’t just about getting rid of buildings full of cages. It’s also about undoing the structures and reliance on the PIC that exists within the society we live in. Because the PIC both feeds on and maintains oppression and inequalities through punishment, violence, and controlling millions of people – it is necessary to build alternative structures to addressing real harm and violence that exists. Because the PIC is not an isolated system, abolition is a broad strategy. An abolitionist vision includes building models today that can represent how we want to live in the future. It means developing practical strategies for taking small steps that move us toward making our dreams real and that lead us all to believe that things really could be different. It means living this vision in our daily lives.
There is a growing and changing international movement to abolish the prison industrial complex and replace it with self-determined communities. This movement is rooted in political values and ideologies that include building communities and strategies that not only resist the punitive, abusive PIC approaches but also create and sustain alternative ways of addressing the harms that we experience in our communities. This struggle emerges out of and is in solidarity with larger struggles of resistance to white supremacy, imperialism and ongoing colonialism in the lands on which we live. There can be no end to the PIC without the end of settler colonialism.
As people part of that international movement, we integrate our political values of PIC Abolition in our everyday lives and relationships.
We’re collecting stories, interviews, poetry, and any other forms of literary/blog’able/zine’able art that explore one, two, or none of these questions intended to capture how we, as PIC Abolitionists, integrate our political beliefs and values into our everyday lives, relationships, families, work and communities:
Tell us how you your political beliefs and values fit into your everyday lives, relationships, families, work and communities:
- How do you respond and react to harm and hurt in your everyday without harming and hurting the person/people back?
- How do you handle violence, fighting, and harm in your life without involving police, correctional officers, or social workers?
- How do you make money or get your resources/needs met outside of the current status quo?
- What creative way does your community set itself up to purposely be different than the current status quo? How do these creative ways allow people to be self-determined (able to make choices and decisions for oneself, with access to the resources they need to see those decisions happen)?
We encourage people to think broadly about everyday ways we resist the PICincluding ones that might typically be overlooked or characterized as “personal” or “cultural” but not political (eg reclaiming Indigenous cultural and legal traditions, helping a friend avoid police/immigration while leaving an abusive relationship etc)
Our goals are to…
-Expand and amplify the spectrum of everyday abolition. From inspiring us with all the genius ways that we resist the PIC everyday—to showing us that sometimes that resistance is just what we have to do to get by. Let’s talk to each other about how we are already doing this everyday!
-Politicize our “personal”/interpersonal relationships. Because personal transformation is a critical part of structural transformation!
-Collect, document & archive the complex ways we are building alternatives and dismantling the PIC already, everyday.
-Build informal community between PIC abolitionists.
There is no size limit for blog entries, though we will edit for blog parameters. Not all submissions will be posted and all submissions will receive responses. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year of 2013, but for publication on blog launch, please submit by March 8.
Submissions can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or regular post. In the US send to
Lisa Marie Alatorre
25 Murray St.
San Francisco, CA 94112
In Canada send to
314 Jarvis Street Suite 100.
Toronto Ontario M5B 2C5