Central to Critical Resistance(CR)’s praxis, campaigns are essential to the success of prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition, and 2023 saw many campaign achievements and advances.
This year, CR propelled PIC abolition as part of two statewide campaigns against imprisonment and cages: the Close California Prisons campaign with CR Los Angeles (CRLA) and CR Oakland (CROak) in Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), and the Dignity Not Detention New York campaign with CR New York City in the Abolish ICE New York New Jersey Coalition.
Close California Prisons
The Close California Prisons campaign aims to close ten prisons in California by 2025. Throughout 2023, CR continued to support this essential work by doing in-person and virtual outreach to build broad bases of local support, meeting with state decision makers and developing legislative strategies and tools, strengthening media tools and outreach, and connecting imprisoned comrades with the campaign through CR’s prisoner correspondence programs.
- CRLA initiated and maintained a steady presence at in-person outreach days at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, CA to build relationships with prisoners’ families and people visiting their loved ones.
- CR members aided in mobilizing community members for state budget hearings to advocate for prison closures and investments in life-affirming resources.
- CR regularly corresponds and connects with imprisoned organizers to strengthen our joint fights for expedited prison closures.
Due to the coalition’s powerful organizing, two additional prisons have been confirmed for shutdown: Chuckawalla Valley State Prison will close by March 2025, and California will move to end its contract with California City Correctional Facility by March 2024. That brings us to four prisons closed or named for closure since our campaign began!
In the final days of 2023, CR and CURB are calling for phone & email zaps to pressure Governor Newsom to name at least 5 more state prisons for closure between now and the January 2024-25 proposed California state budget. Check out more about the action and use our toolkit here.
Your consistent support makes this prison closure work possible and powerful.
Dignity Not Detention NY
CR New York City (CRNYC) has been organizing in the Abolish ICE New York-New Jersey coalition to advance the New York Dignity Not Detention (DND) campaign to pass the DND Act, which would end New York state collaboration and contracts with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). CRNYC chapter members have continued outreach and media efforts to bolster support for the campaign, as well as inside-outside organizing to advocate for releases not transfers.
- In May, CR NYC traveled upstate and mobilized with 30 coalition partner organizations to the NY state capitol in Albany to meet with state representatives in support of passing the DND Act. Additionally, we joined our comrades from Troy, NY, at the Rensselaer County Jail, where we rallied against the county’s contract and the jail’s history of abuse and retaliation.
- Throughout the summer, CRNYC helped drive weekly phone and email zaps to state legislators to urge them to pass the DND legislation, and the chapter helped raise and distribute $1,700 to people currently or recently in immigrant detention.
These combined efforts have resulted in four state representatives naming their support of passing the Act. We are that much closer to getting Dignity Not Detention passed! Your contributions foster our strong campaign organizing against the caging of immigrants.
To support this critical work moving into 2024, donate to CR now and help us reach our end-of-year $35,000 fundraising goal. You can donate to the national organization’s general fund or to a specific chapter. CROak and CRLA both have chapter fundraising goals of $3,000 and $1,500 respectively. An irreplaceable way to support CR is by becoming a monthly sustainer, which you can also do for a specific chapter.
Your steady contributions keep campaigns against caging and imprisonment strong. Continue to sustain concerted efforts to dismantle cages, change the way our cities and states allocate resources, and build toward abolitionist horizons!
Bay Area – Wednesday, December 20 from 10am-12pm: Join CR’s Power Hour & Tell DA Jenkins to DROP THE CHARGES against the Bay Bridge 78 NOW!
- Last month, while President Biden was hosting cocktail parties in San Francisco, hundreds of people shut down the Bay Bridge to demand an immediate ceasefire, an end to US military aid to Israel, and a Free Palestine. Now, 78 protestors are facing charges for their civil disobedience. Arraignments are taking place from Monday, December 18 to Friday, December 22.
- For the week of arraignments, for the Bay Bridge 78, we need as many Bay Area residents as possible telling San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins: Drop the charges against the Bay Bridge 78 NOW!
- Join CR Oakland from 10am-12pm on Wednesday, December 20 for two power hours as we flood the DA’s phone and email.
Los Angeles – Wednesday, December 20 on Zoom: Send Messages of Solidarity to Imprisoned Comrades this Holiday Season
- This time of year can be very hard for imprisoned people separated from friends, family, and community outside during the end-of-year holidays. That’s why every December, CR sends messages of solidarity to our thousands of imprisoned comrades. If you already registered for CRLA’s event this Wednesday, we look forward to seeing you from 6-8pm on zoom!
Portland – Thursday, December 21: Send Messages of Solidarity to Imprisoned Comrades this Holiday Season
- Join CR Portland (CRPDX) for this year’s prisoner solidarity holiday mailing as we send messages of solidarity to our thousands of imprisoned comrades.
- Time: 5:30-7:30pm PT
- Location: Workers Tap 101 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
- RSVP here.
Take Digital Action to #CloseCAPrisons TODAY!
- Call and email Governor Newsom urging him to commit to naming at least five more state prisons for closure between now and the January proposed 2024-25 California state budget. As our state faces a staggering $68 billion budget deficit, the closure of additional prisons not only makes fiscal sense but also aligns with a transformative approach to California’s problems.
- Announcing five forthcoming closures will demonstrate Governor Newsom’s dedication to a responsible budget and substantive shift away from an over-reliance on incarceration. Let’s close out the year strong! Prison closure is a key step towards building a healthier, safer, and greener California for us all! Use this toolkit here.