For well over 15 years, Critical Resistance, our Nonprofit of the month for November, has been striving to abolish the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). They identify the PIC as “the system of surveillance, policing, and imprisonment that government, industry and their interests use as solutions to economic, social, and political problems.” This is a massive systemic issue that has needed addressing for decades, yet powers in control of these systems are entrenched deeply within the fabric of Western society. Needless to say, anyone looking to combat, let alone abolish this issue, would need an international grassroots movement to do so. This is Critical Resistance’s main function.
While they do have chapters in Los Angeles, New York, and Portland, Critical Resistance’s Oakland chapter tackles this goal through many different programs. From trying to curb prison spending, to supporting prison hunger strikes, and even building relationships with prisoners through letters in the mail, the Oakland chapter consistently involves itself with meaningful, action-oriented projects throughout the year.
November is an exciting month for Critical Resistance, as it sees the release of its quarterly bilingual publication, The Abolitionist on November 23rd. The Abolitionist is written mainly by current and former prisoners, as well as other advocates. It serves as a window into the Prison Industrial Complex both from inside prison walls, as well as inside communities and families affected by it. It also often opens up discussions as to how the greater society can move to shift resources from detention and punishment to education and prevention. The upcoming issue is centered around Capitalism and how it plays into the PIC. For a sneak peak, click here to read a letter from the editors.
Join representatives from Critical Resistance at Oaklandish’s Dimond Store on Saturday, November 15th, from 12-4pm, and be sure to pick up some Oaklandish gear that day, as 10% of the Dimond’s proceeds for the day go back to Critical Resistance!
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