In our current moment, it is imperative that we come together as workers, as abolitionists, as anti-imperialists to resist oppression and fight for liberation. Our struggles are all linked – when we fight for improved working conditions and prison closure at home, we can strengthen global movements against war, militarism, and colonialism.
In the US, unions are reminding us that they are vehicles for building worker power. The historic United Auto Workers strike and the Screen Actors Guild strike are showing no signs of slowing down, and the United Educators of San Francisco just won a tentative agreement with $9k salary increases, additional stipends, and future raises. Unions and ALL workers are powerful levers of change, and all their support is needed to close prisons across California. On November 18th at 518 Valencia, CR will be hosting a workshop with University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) about the shared struggle of organized labor and prison closure!
Critical Resistance as a part of Californians United for a Responsible Budget have been working to close 10 prisons across the state by 2025. So far 3 prisons have been named for closure with an additional private prison’s lease terminated. Unfortunately the 2023-24 budget did not include any prison closures and included a $380 million dollar package to “rehabilitate” San Quentin State Prison. This package was originally blocked by the Legislature and we firmly oppose this move. We know that prisons can never be safe and can never be rehabilitated. The only safe prison is a closed one!