amplifying our everyday resistance to the prison industrial complex
Frequently Asked Questions about Everyday Abolition | Abolition Everyday
1) How do I submit?
See link here for info on submitting.
2) How is Everyday Abolition | Abolition Everyday different from other anti-PIC blogs?
Everyday Abolition|Abolition Everyday shares similar vision to online resources and story-gathering blogs in that we hope to elevate and highlight the stories of Abolition and PIC-resistance that are happening on the ground in people’s daily lives. One of the unique goals of Everyday Abolition|Abolition Everyday is to broaden the current lens to also include the pro-active strategies and tools being used in resistance to the PIC. Most anti-PIC blogs do an incredible job of capturing fierce and creative reactions and alternatives to addressing harm and violence–and we hope to better capture and highlight the BUILDING of strong, self-determined communities component of the abolitionist strategy. If PIC Abolition is a multi-prong process and approach of dismantling, changing, and building – we must celebrate and learn from all the creative ways people are activating this vision of change and see the 3 components as wholly connected, not separate or isolated from one another.
It is also our hope that Everyday Abolition|Abolition Everyday will add to the international conversation about PIC Abolition. This includes accounting for the limitations of (often U.S.-originated) political language and expanding the understanding of PIC Abolition to include larger anti-imperialist and anti-colonial strategies, structures, and practices that are currently being organized and happening internationally, particularly within indigenous and first nation communities and other communities of color. We want to prioritize and elevate these stories as experts in PIC Abolition.
3) What is the visioned impact of this blog past 2013?
We’ve committed to actively seeking submissions to the blog for at least the remainder of 2013. At that point we may stop actively seeking submissions (or not) but the site itself will remain live for as long as is possible in blog’landia. We aren’t certain about our capacity after 2013 and didn’t want to commit to anything we didn’t know for sure we could follow through with.
In addition, toward the end of year, Lisa Marie and Chanelle will be creating a tangible zine version of the site. As organizers and activists working with street-based, homeless, and poor communities, we are looking forward to using the zine in our on-the-ground work, to both popularize and share the vision of PIC Abolition in an accessible and engaging way. We will make the paper version of the zine widely available and hope to share it with other individuals, groups, or organizations also working to bring PIC Abolition to communities who otherwise are excluded from the (often) academic jargon of currently available materials.
4) Can you please clarify the blog launch date?
Everyday Abolition|Abolition Everyday will be launching on
March 31, 2013! Sorry folks, we have had to move our launch date to May 2013. It’s coming!
5) Can I help?
Yes! In a few ways. First by spreading the word and using this blog as a resource for having conversations about PIC abolition in your communities, families and relationships. Second, we want to make our work accessible to many folks and would love some help with transcribing or subtitling our audio or video interviews. If you can help us out, please email us at everydayabolition at gmail dot com
6) What is the Prison Industrial Complex? Self-determination?
The prison industrial complex (PIC) is a term we use to describe the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing, and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems.
Through its reach and impact, the PIC helps and maintains the authority of people who get their power through racial, economic and other privileges. There are many ways this power is collected and maintained through the PIC, including creating mass media images that keep alive stereotypes of Indigenous people, people of color, poor people, queer and trans people (in particular trans women), immigrants, youth, people with disabilities and other oppressed communities as criminal, delinquent, or deviant. This power is also maintained by earning huge profits for private companies that deal with prisons and police forces; helping earn political gains for “tough on crime” politicians; increasing the influence of prison guard and police unions; and eliminating social and political dissent by oppressed communities that make demands for self-determination and reorganization of power in the US. (adapted from Critical Resistance)
Self-determination refers to the right of individuals and communities to have full power over their own lives and for the needs of communities to be fulfilled and nourished. We live under complex legal, medical, social and state systems that restrict movement and mobility and privilege certain identities and communities over others. Self-determination necessarily includes access to and control over healthcare, holistic mental and emotional support, self-expression, affirming housing, education, social services, freedom from violence, harassment, and incarceration, and all the tools we need to be empowered and safe in how we live. Self-determination includes community-based strategies such as (but not at all limited to) community accountability models, transformative justice approaches to harm and violence, and trauma-informed approaches to social services and social change work with communities healing from state and interpersonal harm. (adapted from Transformative Justice Law Project)
7) What do you mean by abolition?
We mean ending the system, practice and institutions of the criminal legal system to solve social problems. People who support the abolition of the PIC call themselves Abolitionists, in the great tradition of those who opposed the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Unfortunately, there are also those who oppose sex worker justice and self-determination and are attempting to co-opt this language, terming themselves “abolitionists” (fighting for the abolition of sex work–and sex workers too presumably). We want to be very clear that we oppose this co-optation and stand in support of movements for sex worker justice internationally. Click here for more info about these movements.
In addition to the above definition, we prioritize the voices of people of color, poor people, women, trans* people, Indigenous and first nation people, former prisoners and their family, sex workers and folks in the street economy, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer folks. We believe these voices are often left out of the public and activist discourse on PIC abolition and see to shift that dynamic.
We publish pieces where we may/may not have knowledge about the accountability of the author(s) to severe harm involved. We do this from a place of humility and care, knowing we can’t predict the impacts of sharing these stories while also wanting to hold space for many different responses to harm in nuanced ways that don’t rely on traditional/legal forms of accountability and retribution.
Lastly, we believe that EA is more than just a collection of stories, it is an opportunity to further grow our movement and create a web of abolition and abolitionists able to hold each other up in this struggle. We value media and media making as an integral part of building a world without punishment and cages and seek submissions that are excited about using this strategy as well.