Critical Resistance


Critical Resistance

Critical Resistance is a national, member-based grassroots organization that works to build a mass movement to dismantle the prison-industrial complex. Critical Resistance has four offices (Los Angeles, Oakland, New Orleans, and New York City), and nine chapters across the United States.

Critical Resistance popularized the idea of the prison industrial complex after their first conference in 1998, which drew thousands of former prisoners, family members, activists, academics and community members, and by many accounts re-invigorated anti-prison activism in the United States.

Contents

Organization

Critical Resistance was founded by Angela Davis, Rose Braz, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and others. The organization is primarily volunteer member-based, with eleven members staffing across the Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, New Orleans, and New York chapters.

There are chapters throughout the country, including Gainesville, Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, Tampa, Washington DC, and New Orleans.

Each chapter determines its own work independently. Projects included:

  • copwatching
  • coalition-building and participation in the Community in Unity Coalition to stop construction of a 2,000 bed jail in the South Bronx.
  • facilitating education within prisons and the creation of political media by, for and with prisoners and former prisoners
  • contributing to stopping California's prison building boom
  • political education and leadership development
  • building a mass movement for genuine safety that doesn't rely on caging and control to address social, economic and political problems

Mission

Critical Resistance's mission statement is:

"Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope."[1]

Achievements

  • 1998 - "Critical Resistance to the Prison Industrial Complex" conference in Berkeley, California.
  • 2001 - Conference in New York City.
  • 2003 - Southern Regional Conference in Treme, New Orleans.
  • 2005 - Helped bring about the end of California's prison building boom; featured in Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, and others. Launched amnesty campaign for people accused of looting post-Katrina. Campaigns across country.
  • 2008 - In September, Critical Resistance held its 10th Anniversary "conference" in Oakland, CA.

Slogans

  • '"One day there were no prisons. That day will come again"'
  • '"A wall is just a wall and nothing more at all. It can be broken down"' --Assata Shakur[1]

References

  1. ^ Shakur, Assata. "i believe in living". http://www.assatashakur.org/poem2.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 

See also

External links


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