Because the PIC segregates and isolates individuals, communities, and issue areas, we know that our efforts can only be successful if we build stronger, deeper, and wider alliances as we go. So far this year, we have made over 70 presentations and workshops to supporters, decision-makers, media and movement partners. CR facilitated foundational political education for several movement partners and supporters, offering our Intro to Prison Industrial Complex and Abolition sessions to public health allies, formerly imprisoned and systems-impacted youth, the Abolition NOW network, CR volunteers and more. Your support helps us seed strong and unified abolitionist politics in movement partner orgs so they can advocate and organize from abolition as experts in their sector. Thank you for helping us strengthen our movement!
In addition to chapter weekly and monthly volunteer nights online, CR has hosted some socially-distanced public events to keep the spirit and analysis of PIC abolition bright in 2021. In case you missed it, you can catch our “Abolition is Essential” webinar on our Youtube channel. (And coming up, keep your eyes open for a Summer 2021 Donor Forum!) From December 2020-Summer 2021, the new Freedom Fridays series at our 4400 Telegraph building in Oakland activated Oaklanders to take action and build essential connections despite the pandemic. Through Freedom Fridays we have engaged over 600 people in abolitionist activities- both in person and online. Here are some early 2021 highlights we want to share with you.
We were also fortunate to partner with artists Hank Willis Thomas, Arthur Jaffe, and For Freedoms for their Oakland stop of Monumental Tour installation! The 28-foot Afropick sculpture by esteemed artist Hank Willis Thomas served as a radical centerpiece for 4400 Telegraph events this spring. We are humbled to replace this radical statue with an interactive gift from local 8th graders who created a “Dismantle, Change, Build” sculpture-community bench, inspired by their workshop with CR Oakland! Your gifts will help us create essential community spaces like this that foster abolition in action.
In response to the increased attacks on Palestinians, Critical Resistance signed on to the international 2021 call to Block the Boat and the new national network called Demilitarize US to Palestine. As an organization dedicated to the abolition of the prison industrial complex, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and oppression. CR members supported the victorious Block the Boat effort at the Port of Oakland, bolstering the leadership of our movement partner Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC). In the spirit of local and international solidarity and to celebrate the incredible organizing feat of Block the Boat, we invite you to donate to AROC this month and help keep their leadership strong! With AROC’s support, CR has been part of the victorious 2014 Block the Boat effort, the 2017 “No Ban, No Wall” SFO Airport shutdowns to free detainees, and the 2014-2019 Stop Urban Shield campaign to end the largest SWAT team training in the world. Internationalism is essential, and we invite you to keep our internationalist partners thriving too!