We Keep Us Safe— Organizing Toward Abolition
What will it take to create a world where prisons, police, and institutional systems of harm are no longer conflated with safety and justice? This panel will explore the Defund the Police movement, the abolition of police and prisons, and the beautiful systems of community care that abolitionist organizers are building up all over the country as alternatives to the violent and carceral status-quo. We will challenge the belief that policing and caging people make communities safer, and envision and organize around new strategies and systems of restorative and transformative justice practices.
Participating Organizations and Panelists:
- Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.
Alex Ludington (he/they) is an organizer with Critical Resistance’s Oakland chapter. He is engaged in local-to-state level campaigns to free people from cages, defund policing, and invest in community-based resources. Alex is interested in international solidarity and the roles art and media play in shifting perceptions of safety and justice.
- Decarcerate Sacramento is a coalition working to prevent jail expansions, decrease jail populations, and shift county funds away from policing and incarceration towards community-based systems of care that promote community safety and health.
Niki Jones (she/her) is an organizer and outreach worker in Valley Miwok/Nisenan land (Sacramento).
- Poder in Action’s mission is to disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression and determine a liberated future as people of color in Arizona by building power through our lived experience, leadership development and civic participation. To formally challenge the narrative that police equals safety, Poder in Action conducted a community-driven research study to document resident perspectives and experiences with police. Between 2018 and 2019 Poder in Action collected survey data from over 10,000 people and found significant, though unsurprising, differences in how police treat different groups of people. See report HERE
Rebecca Denis (She/Her/Ella) currently works at Poder In Action, whose mission is to build power to disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression and determine a liberated future as people of color in Arizona. They are a self proclaimed “desert brat” who grew up on the westside of Phoenix and wants to ensure that the valley is a place that is safe and healthy for all people. She is passionate about mental health and creating a world where we not only learn to heal from our trauma, but create new ways of being that eliminate and mitigate traumas in our communities.
- Ten Demands for Justice envisions a new society in which prisons and police are no longer necessary, and communities are equipped to provide for their own health and safety. Ten Demands for Justice offers a roadmap for the defunding and then full abolition of police and prisons, beginning with immediate actions to end police violence as well as racism and classism in policing, prosecution and sentencing.
ZOYA is co-founder of Ten Demands, Decades-Long Anti-Prohibition & Justice Activist, Union Organizer, Campaign Advisor, Multiple Mutual Aid Volunteer, Holistic & Plant Medicine Facilitator
Nick is co-founder of Revolutionary Blackout Network, Citizen Journalist