This year, we’re sending nine Critical Resistance members to the 18th International Conference on Penal Abolition (ICOPA 18) which will be in London, United Kingdom! The 2018 theme is Abolitionist Futures: Building Social Justice not Criminal Justice. CR has participated in ICOPA for over a decade and this has been a unique and important space for internationalist exchange about abolition.

From June 15-18, CR will be presenting three workshops at ICOPA, where we hope to share on our work and learn from the organizing that’s happening around the world. Our three workshops that were accepted are: 1) Anti-policing Strategies in Campaigns for Community Care and Health; 2) Fighting Imprisonment Across Prison Walls, and 3) Abolitionist Strategy and Vision in Campaigns. We are getting ready to go!

Will you help us continue to grow and learn with the international abolitionist community? We’ve started an ICOPA18 fund and are looking for donations before June 15. You can make a donation online today. Thank you for helping us get there.

Here’s what some Critical Resistance members are looking forward to learning, sharing, and doing at ICOPA!

I’m excited to attend ICOPA because I truly believe that the abolitionist work we’re doing here in Portland, Oregon is connected to a much larger internationalist and anti-imperialist movement to abolish the prison industrial complex globally. And I’m looking forward to sharing more about our Care Not Cops campaign work to decouple policing from mental health self-determined needs and learning from others doing similar work. I hope to bring back new strategy ideas and a stronger understanding of the anti-policing work happening internationally to help strengthen our anti-policing work locally in Portland. – Cory Lira, CR Portland

This will be my first ICOPA gathering and first chance to speak with folks who are doing abolitionist work around the world. I have so much to learn, and I’m particularly keen to connect with people who are organizing to dismantle migration detention and all the policies that trap people on the move. –Jenna Loyd, CR member in Madison, WI

I’m attending ICOPA to share our CR campaigns that seek to build access to healthcare decoupled from policing. AtICOPA, I look forward to learning from the practical strategies others are building across different geographies toward mutual accountability and aid to promote connected and healthy communities. – Diana Wu, CR Oakland

CR will also host a Bay Area report back from ICOPA 18 at which CR members will bring movement lessons back to share with local organizations to inform ongoing work against the prison industrial complex in our chapter cities. Help us participate in this exciting political education and exchange! Every gift supports our trip. Can you make a gift today?

Why is ICOPA important? Why does CR participate?

Throughout our history, Critical Resistance (CR) has been a key player in the international movement to abolish the prison industrial complex (PIC). Our work by definition must engage an anti-imperialist and global anti-capitalist framework, working together to fight state repression and learning alongside liberation movements worldwide. Because the US has been dominant in exporting modes of imprisonment and policing, US-based organizations also have an obligation to engage in dialogue with others across the globe to stem the tide of mass criminalization, build meaningful alternatives, and share lessons and strategies. While technology increases organizations’ ability connect virtually, there is no replacement for face-to-face connections and exchanges.