Stevie Wilson, FCI Dallas in Pennsylvania

*Statement read at Toward Abolitionist Horizons benefit event for CR on May 5, 2023.

First, I would like to say that Critical Resistance celebrating 25 years in the struggle is significant in itself. Think about how many organizations, collectives and groups engaged in this work that have folded within that time. To still be in existence, actively involved in the struggle, is remarkable. Critical Resistance’s longevity, what enabled it to grow and continue in the struggle, is something all of us can learn from.

Looking back over the past 25 years, CR has provided cogent analysis and practical leadership on how to dismantle the PIC and create a world where all of us, human and nonhuman, can thrive. What is especially noteworthy is how CR has been able to keep us informed of the PIC throughout its many reforms, adaptations, adjustments and makeovers. The PIC is dynamic and sprawling. CR has not only spotlit the changes and the carceral creep, but also highlighted the many ways people are resisting the PIC on both sides of the walls.

Moving forward, we need to continue to connect with people, inside and outside, so we can build a broad based movement. We need to be in the community. We need to listen to the people. We need to struggle alongside them.

In order to connect with people inside, we must stay invested in print publications. People inside, those experiencing policing and imprisonment everyday, those closest to the problem, don’t have internet access. Print media is how they get their news. The Abolitionist connects people inside to the movement. It provides analysis, history, current events, and a forum for discussion. It is a space where community is created and practiced. So much of our activism has moved online. We need to remember that many of our community members don’t have internet access. Supporting print media enables them to be in the conversation. And we need to hear their voices.