Dear friends,

Critical Resistance (CR) has been rigorously putting our abolitionist politics into practice in our campaigns, projects, political education and movement-building efforts. This year has been filled with serious challenges, as well as powerful victories that we celebrate and amplify as beacons of possibility.  

We are deeply appreciative of all that you have given us in building an abolitionist future—through your solidarity, joint action, generous donations, and boosting CR and the movement! None of this is possible without your support; together we are building people power! We invite you to celebrate our victories in the struggle and support CR this season—into the future.

We are majority grassroots-funded – so our work is only possible because of your support! Will you help us reach our $50,000 year end goal and make a gift to CR this monthThank you for celebrating our wins and building for an abolitionist future with us. 

Onward, toward liberation, 

Jess Heaney and Shirley Leslie, Critical Resistance Development team

and the CR National Fundraising Committee


Image, top: CR Los Angeles at the victorious mobilization to stop jail expansion in LA (August 2019) and Los Angeles for Abolition 15th anniversary event (September 2019).

This month we ask you to donate generously to keep this grassroots organizing going strong. Will you help us reach our goal of $50,000 and 20 new monthly sustainers? Join us in the abolitionist vision of healthcare, housing, education, and liberation- not cages or policing. Support our campaigns and projects to dismantle the PIC! You can…

  • Donate generously. We’ll put amounts of $15, $50, $500, or $50,000 to best use! You can give online or send a check in the mail. 

  • Become a monthly sustainer online or by check (some workplaces have giving programs!). 

  • Donate to The Abolitionist, our bilingual newspaper that we send to imprisoned people for free.

  • Spread the word to family and friends by sharing this newsletter and our website, posting on social media, and encouraging people to support CR.

CR Los Angeles turned 15 this year and won a historic campaign!

CR Los Angeles (CRLA), the JusticeLA coalition, and LA communities defeated the huge $3 billion proposed construction plan for TWO jails in LA this year! In February, we stopped construction of a new women’s jail in LA County and, in August, successfully halted the second proposal for a new mental health jail facility. The task in front of us now is to ensure that LA County follows through on resourcing decentralized, community-based care – and that those resources truly reflect the communities who are directly impacted by the prison industrial complex. 

Together we struck serious blows against jail expansion and imprisonment.

CR New York City

CR NYC and the No New Jails coalition built power this year — in neighborhoods, in organizations, and in NYC jails and state prisons— by galvanizing powerful opposition to jail expansion across the four boroughs facing new jails. Our rigorous opposition to the Mayor’s multi-billion-dollar jail expansion plan shifted the grounds in NYC, made media headlines, and compelled the boroughs’ community boards to reject the Mayor’s plans. While pro-jail forces in NYC Council voted to approve the plan despite overwhelming grassroots opposition, we know the fight is just beginning.

No New Jails NYC popularized the reality of a future for NYC without cages this year! We invite you to celebrate the abolitionist vision that CR NYC helped make irresistible.

CR Oakland

This year CR Oakland and the No New San Francisco (SF) Jail coalition advanced the fight for an abolitionist future with campaign demands to close the seismically unsafe jail at 850 Bryant. CR Oakland produced vibrant visuals for the campaigning and organized with people most heavily impacted by this decrepit building – including those inside, loved ones, and other community members — to bring compelling testimony against jailing to decision-makers and the public.

With creative actions, mobilizations, teach-ins and presentations to galvanize grassroots opposition, we advanced the demand to “Shut Down 850 Bryant!” Your gifts help CR fight to close jails, oppose “mental health” jail expansion plans, and build community health.

CR Los Angeles

Since 2004, CRLA has been organizing with communities across Los Angeles and California to stop jail expansion and build a movement to abolish imprisonment. We are humbled and thrilled to have made history in LA this year, defeating proposed expansions to the world’s largest jail system. Your support will celebrate this milestone and help us keep fighting for an abolitionist future!

Together we are chipping away at the power of policing.

CR Portland

CR Portland and the Care Not Cops coalition are igniting the people’s vision and sparking their skills to resist policing this year. Our powerful spring campaign season compelled a Portland City Council member to boldly adopt and propose one of our main demands—defunding the Portland Police Bureau’s Gun Violence Reductions Team (formerly named the Gang Enforcement Team, a violent tool of policing that targets Black and Brown youth in Portland).

To continue to sharpen our readiness for abolition, we partnered with community groups to kick off a Building Beyond Policing series. Events so far have included workshops on overdose prevention training, community resource mapping, and alternatives to policing practices—we’ll have one more early 2020! Your donations help us build power in this vital campaign to eliminate racist anti-gang programs and build beyond policing in Portland.

CR Oakland

When the local Sheriff attempted to steamroll ahead with another militarized SWAT training and weapons exposition this year, CR Oakland and the Stop Urban Shield coalition mobilized powerfully and defended our victory against the largest SWAT training in the world. Our organizing blocked his ill-intended plans and stopped Urban Shield for good!  

CR Oakland continues to boost anti-policing strategies. We hosted over a dozen Abolition of Policing workshops this year, shared the “Know Your Options” Anti-Policing Health materials at the “FreeHer Conference” hosted by National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, and distributed hundreds of the Abolitionist Policing Reform posters.

Together we are supporting prisoner political education and organizing.

Prisoner Mail Program

CR chapters hosted over 75 prisoner mail correspondence nights and sent hundreds of political organizing resources and issues of The Abolitionist to our comrades on the inside. Over 7,500 people in prison received The Abolitionist newspaper this year, and the editorial team has revamped the paper to include more current organizing events and columns featuring Letters to the Editor from people inside. Every gift to Critical Resistance helps us defy the prison regime and keep impris­oned people informed and part of our or­ganizing.

New staff and growth

As you might know, CR has been advancing a slow and steady staff growth plan since 2016 and expanding the 3-person national co-director team into a larger, more robust infrastructure. We are thrilled to have brought on five new staff roles this year, including two in Los Angeles. We invite you to welcome our new staff to CR and to wish us well on this next significant era for Critical Resistance!