This past year, Critical Resistance (CR) has worked hard to bolster solidarity with our comrades inside jails, prisons, and detention centers. We have strengthened our ability to run our primary lines of communication with imprisoned people:
- Remotely-powered phone lines that answer collect calls from imprisoned people
- Prisoner mail correspondence programs through our Oakland, Portland, and New York City chapters
- The Abolitionist newspaper, a bilingual (English/Spanish) publication
CR’s Prisoner Mail Programs & Phone Lines
Through consistent volunteer recruitment, CR has significantly increased our ability to coordinate and answer our remotely-run phone lines this year. We’ve held several rounds of orientation sessions, getting our phone line volunteers firmly grounded in the history and purpose of CR’s phone line program. We currently have a rotation of 40 volunteers answering phone lines 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Our prisoner mail programs are still going strong! While some chapters continue to host biweekly or monthly mail nights virtually, some of our chapters have been returning to monthly in-person mail days that maintain COVID protocols.
Over the past year, we’ve consistently had meetings between chapter mail programs to assess the programs’ effectiveness in facilitating political relationships and supporting our campaign and project work. We’re even sharing strategies with and learning from movement partners’ mail programs! Sign up to volunteer with one of our mail programs or our remotely-run phone lines.
The Abolitionist Newspaper, staying steady!
Additionally, CR is still publishing and distributing The Abolitionist newspaper – fostering inside-outside relationships and sharing PIC abolitionist analysis and strategy. The newspaper has been in print since 2005, and is CR’s longest running political education tool, which we send to 4,500+ people inside prisons, jails, and detention centers for free. This past summer, we released Issue #37 on housing justice and prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition.
Our fall edition, Issue #38 features a range of interviews, articles and resources covering labor struggles and PIC abolition – from the rise of background checks and discrimination against people with records looking for work, to sex work decriminalization, “feminist unionism” in Ecuador, resistance to police violence during and after the 2021 national strike in Colombia, and more. Subscribe today to receive your copy of this essential publication and organizing tool, and sign up a loved one inside to receive a free subscription!
Lastly, if you’re looking for ways to support prisoner solidarity organizing this month, look no further! CR is ready to send out our annual holiday postcard with beautiful art and a heartfelt message of solidarity to all our contacts inside prisons, jails, and detention centers. You can support this mailing by signing and mailing some of these postcards yourself. Join us at one of our December postcard events to join the effort! And thank you if you already signed up to receive postcards to send out from home. Your people power and donations sustain CR’s strong prisoner solidarity organizing.
In struggle and solidarity,