Organizing for Abolition: Building Dreams, Defending Against Fear

Organizing for Abolition: Building Dreams, Defending Against Fear

There was absolutely no mention of the abolition of police or prisons in mainstream headlines at the time of the founding Critical Resistance conference in 1998 or when Critical Resistance (CR) officially became an organization in 2001. Now, almost 20 years later, a columnist for The Washington Post writes, “Cop culture, historically rooted deeper in racism than in justice, simply cannot be ‘reformed.’ It must be abolished; the institution where it festers must be dismantled.”

Our years of diligent work and wild dreaming are paying off. This shift in the discussion is a mile marker victory, and it is energizing and somewhat astonishing to see the questions and demands CR has been raising for years entering public discourse in full force through popular outlets. Thank you for being with us on this historic journey. 

Can you make a donation this year and keep us moving toward liberation?

As the year draws to a close, we are being met with grave challenges that threaten many of these gains. Our current political climate is one filled with divisiveness and fear mongering. The threats posed to our immigrant, Muslim, Black, native and queer communities are very real. We know we must move now to redouble our efforts. Our vision for liberation, health and wellbeing in our communities is ever more clear and urgent. Our goal at CR is to continue lifting up visions of freedom and self-determination as we tear down walls, cages, and policing. Together, we will continue to fight back against attacks on our people and build the road to abolition.

2016 has been an incredible year of struggle and gains in our efforts to dismantle the prison industrial complex (PIC). Every step of the way, we forefront the necessity to invest in health and community resources as we divest from the systems of policing, cages and surveillance that harm us. As you read this letter, we ask you to reflect on how CR’s work across the country has helped prove that it is possible to dismantle the PIC piece by piece and build up alternatives block by block. Would you help us continue to prove this? We’re committed to the movement, and we value your support.

Please help us continue to make abolition common sense, shift who is recognized as a movement expert and amplify abolitionist reforms. We can create, lift up, and vitalize solutions as we tear down walls, cages, and policing—with your support. Help us build toward liberation this year and in 2017.

We aimed to raise $40,000 in December, and we raised over $50,000. Thank you for helping us hit this target!

The struggle continues, and your support is essential to help us fight against state repression. Every penny helps chip away at the PIC! You can:

  • Donate $50, $500, or $5,000. Please support us by giving online or by sending a generous check.
  • Become a monthly sustainer. Contribute $15, $25, or $50/month online or by check (some workplaces have giving programs!) to keep CR strong and steady.
  • Order CR merchandise and gear – for yourself or as a gift! See our goods at http://criticalresistance.org/cr-gear/
  • Subscribe to The Abolitionist, our bilingual newspaper that we send to imprisoned people for free. Outside subscribers like you sponsor the readership of over 5,000 people inside prisons, jails, and detention centers.
  • Spread the word to family and friends and encourage people to support CR.

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Thank you! Our work and our vision would not be possible without you. And, with your help, 2017 will edge us closer toward liberation. Together, we’ll continue to make abolition common sense and irresistible.

In solidarity,
The members and staff of Critical Resistance
CR Co-Directors: Lily Fahsi-Haskell | Jess Heaney | Mohamed Shehk

P.S. You have helped us intentionally and successfully transition from being funded primarily by foundations to being funded primarily by grassroots donations. Individual and family donors like you now provide 65% of our total budget, which gives us increased stability and a strong base from which to keep growing. Thank you so much for your continued investment!


Visit here for project and campaign news from our grassroots organizing.

We remain dedicated to the work of making abolition common sense, shifting who is recognized as a movement expert, building campaigns and projects that are used as models for abolition, and amplifying life-affirming, abolitionist solutions.

CR’s campaigns, projects, workshops, and public events are dedicated to making abolition irresistable and practical.