CR Structure & Background

Critical Resistance (CR) is a national grassroots organization building a movement to abolish the prison industrial complex (PIC). We think of 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. Because the PIC is a huge, complicated system, we have to attack it from all different angles using many different strategies. Our broad abolitionist strategy embraces 3 main frames:

  1. Dismantle
  2. Change
  3. Build

Our work reflects the local problems we think are most pressing and local solutions we think are most appropriate. As such, our organizational structure is based on a chapter structure.  Chapter projects range from fighting policing in working class communities of color, to community education projects, to grassroots campaigns to oppose prison and jail construction. What unites all of these projects is a commitment to working for the eventual elimination of the PIC as well as to taking practical steps to create the communities we envision for ourselves.  CR currently has chapters in New York City, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Portland.

CR members across the country also collaborate through national working groups and projects such as the Abolitionist Educators Support Campaign and The Abolitionist newspaper, and through local, statewide, and national coalitions and networks.