Happy 2024! Critical Resistance has continued hustling through the start of the new year, and January proved to be a busy month for us. Thank you for answering our fundraising call to wrap up 2023—You showed us the value of our organizing and the power of grassroots fundraising, helping us raise over $100,000 for the entire organization (triple our goal)- with donations ranging from $10 to $10,000. Your donations and support have ushered us into this next year strong.
Critical Resistance (CR) started the new year off waking up Nancy Pelosi outside her house in San Francisco on New Year’s morning demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire and an end to the genocidal campaign against Palestinians in Gaza with numerous Bay Area movement partners. Throughout January, CR continued to organize with movement partners on both the east and west coasts for an end to genocide, apartheid, and militarism in Palestine and beyond—from protesting the siege on Gaza by shutting down three bridges and a tunnel across New York City with local movement partners in a historic multi-site road seizure; to putting weapons manufacturers like L3Harris on notice with Bay Area healthcare workers; to once again blocking and delaying the return of a US military ship carrying weapons to Israel; and supporting early campaign planning with Atlanta partners to resist the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program, which facilitates collaboration between military and policing forces like the Israeli Defense Forces and US police. This week, we mobilized to San Francisco again to provide court support for the Bay Bridge 78—a group of Bay Area residents who occupied the San Francisco Bay Bridge in a peaceful protest demanding a ceasefire in November when Biden was in town for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
Last month, CR’s The Abolitionist Editorial Collective also traveled to East Tennessee for a national retreat during Martin Luther King Day weekend at the historic Highlander Research and Education Center. Together CR members from California, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Argentina spent five days strategizing about how to grow and strengthen our bilingual, cross-wall newspaper project providing radical political education through abolitionist resources, news, analysis and organizing strategy to thousands of imprisoned people for free. Thank you, Highlander Center, for hosting us!
CR also honored and reflected on the loss and legacy of our dear comrade Zachary Ontiveros for his birthday (January 26) this past week. Zachary, a humble and solid member of CR’s Oakland chapter for years, passed away in 2015. CR Oakland now has The Zachary Project in his honor, an eight-year-and-counting mutual aid fund for CR’s Bay Area community and movement family to use when in crisis that was initiated by Zachary’s family.
Each year in January or February, we honor Zachary and uplift his impacts on our organization by sharing updates of the project, news and thanks from the previous year’s recipients of project funds and more. Check out 2023’s annual newsletter here, and please consider donating to the fund so that CR can carry on Zachary’s legacy and support more community members in need through the trying times that surely lay ahead of us this year.
Your generous end-of-year donations have already covered travel expenses for our editorial collective’s retreat, supplies and support costs for Palestine solidarity mobilizations, venue costs for in-person workshops on the prison industrial complex (PIC), abolition, CR’s campaign work and more, rent for a new chapter office space in New York, digital and physical materials for corresponding and organizing with imprisoned comrades, and much more. CR would not be able to do the work we do without your support.
In 2024, CR strives to make even more campaign advances against systems that aim to criminalize, cage, and disappear our communities, and we will continue to create and share tools to strengthen resistance to the violence of militarism, policing, imprisonment, and surveillance. As we embark on another daunting presidential election this year in the US with both major political party top candidates campaigning on vows to enhance repressive strategies and expand the PIC, CR understands how vital it is for our work to remain strong, grounded, and rigorous. CR starts this next year eager to continue connecting across geography and liberation fronts with new and old connections to build an international movement to abolish the PIC so that all of our communities can live lives truly worth living. We are grateful that you sustain our ability to carry this work forward—toward abolitionist horizons. Thank you!