Dear friends and fellow travelers,

2023 marked 25 years since the founding conference of Critical Resistance (CR), and we are proud to still hold the spirit and vision of that conference across our decades of work. We were grateful to have hosted an anniversary celebration where we reflected upon the past 25 years of CR’s ceaseless organizing, analysis, and continued commitment to building community power.

In our 25th year of organizing against the prison industrial complex (PIC), CR advanced our work to close California prisons, built resistance to immigrant detention in New York, bolstered our political relationships with imprisoned people, showed up in major ways for movement partners across sectors, and more. Throughout these recent moments of escalated crisis – particularly the genocide in Palestine – we’ve remained steadfast in our work to build an international movement for prison industrial complex abolition.

In addition to our current statewide campaigns, CR released two bilingual issues of The Abolitionist newspaper to about 5,000 people inside prisons, jails, and detention centers for free – Issue #39 on reproductive justice and Issue #40 on control units. CR also worked to sharpen the ways we carry out our mission toward PIC abolition, both internally and with movement allies. Along with the political education sessions we engage in regularly across the organization, we hosted a full year of regular conversations with our community advisory board and close movement partners to assess how the anti-PIC landscape is shifting. Across our campaigns, projects, and internal workgroups, we continued to strengthen the organizing of our individual members, the organization as a whole, and the movement for liberation at large.

As we enter what’s bound to be an eventful 2024, we wanted to share this compilation of campaign and project updates and wins, political education resources, and more from 2023. We utilize these materials in our analysis- building and organizing, and we hope you will too.

This year, we will forge on with our strategic campaign organizing, project work, and movement building to bolster the larger fight for liberation. We look forward to closing more California prisons, ending immigrant detention in New York, connecting with imprisoned organizers, and fostering connections with movement partners and allies. Your contributions to this work are essential, and we invite you to continue supporting CR’s organizing toward the long-term vision and practical organizing strategy of PIC abolition in 2024 and beyond. Thank you for sustaining us with your actions, resources, and commitment!

In solidarity,

-Mohamed Shehk, Woods Ervin, and Shirley Leslie (CR National Co-Directors),

Nick DeRenzi (Development Assistant),

and CR National Fundraisers