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Abolition Now

We changed the name of our resource page because this is what we mean and what we have always meant.

Abolition now.

Because anti-racist action and education is not separate from seeing the world through the lens of abolition.

This is a list of resources, tools, readings, methodologies, talks, podcasts, interviews, calls to action that engage the philosophies, teachings, histories, and actions of prison and police abolition that are inherent to transformative and racial justice. We can’t separate the fact that carceral systems, ideologies, and institutions are inherently anti-Black and anti-Indigenous, built from and for a colonial world view.

We are inspired by Black and Indigenous feminist scholarship and activism, the Black Lives Matter movement, The Unist’ot’en campaign, and the anti-colonial struggles here and around the world that strategize, organize, and build on alternatives for a world without colonial violence and white supremacy, which means a world without police, prisons, pipelines, and the insidious militarism that conditions our spaces and cities. “Decolonization is not a metaphor,” that’s what we learned from Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonization is not an ‘and.’ It is an elsewhere.” And abolition can get us there too. Imagining a world without police and prisons is imagining a world where everyone thrives because health care, education, the waters and lands, housing, community-led services are a priority, and are the focus of how we build a safe world where no more lives are stolen by sanctioned violence.

 


 

Calls to Action / Events

#8toAbolition

Scholar Strike Canada

Vtape presents an on-line screening series selected by Yaniya Lee: fractured horizon – a view from the body

Past

Happy Birthday, Marsha!
Screening, performance, reading and discussion with adrienne maree brown, Black Obsidian Sound System and Tourmaline, chaired by Lola Olufemi
Monday, August 24, 2020 | 1 PM CT

Call to Action for Justice for Eishia Hudson
Friday, August 21, 2020 | 6 PM
At the Manitoba Legislative Building

System Errors: Abolitionist Technologies and Aesthetics
Panel discussion with American Artist, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley and Sondra Perry, chaired by Legacy Russell
Monday, August 17, 2020 | 1 PM CT

Anti-Racist Educator Reads: Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard
Wednesday, August 12, 2020 | 6:30pm CT

Poetry is Not a Luxury: The Poetics of Abolition
Panel discussion with Saidiya Hartman, Canisia Lubrin, Nat Raha and Christina Sharpe, chaired by Nydia A. Swaby
Monday, August 10, 2020 | 1 PM CT

The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House: Abolitionist Feminist Futures
Panel discussion with Gail Lewis, Miss Major, Zoé Samudzi and Hortense Spillers, chaired by Akwugo Emejulu
Monday, August 3, 2020 | 1 PM CT

Abolition Can’t Wait: A Teach-In with #8toAbolition
Thursday, June 25, 2020 | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM CT

Scholars for Social Justice Webinar 
Saturday, June 20, 2020 | 10 AM CT

Call to Action for Justice for Eishia Hudson
Friday, June 19, 2020 | 6 PM
At the Manitoba Legislative Building

A Night of Poetry, Song, and Abolition hosted by Saskatchewan-Manitoba-Alberta Abolition Coalition (SMAAC)
In support of the Prairie Province Prisoner Support Fund
Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 7:30 PM CT

Live discussion between John Akomfrah, Tina Campt, Ekow Eshun, and Saidiya Hartman
Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 2 PM CT

Esi Edugyan, Robyn Maynard, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Ian Williams join Desmond Cole on Maclean’s Live
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | 6 PM CT
Zoom webinar link

Call to Action No Evictions on Stolen Land
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 | 1 PM
Manitoba Métis Federation, 150 Henry Ave.
Call and email your city representatives 

Call to Action Organized by Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg
Friday, June 5, 2020 | 6 PM
At the Manitoba Legislative Building

 

Articles to Read / Interviews to Watch and Listen to

 #DefundPolice Toolkit by Interrupting Criminalization

10 documentaries that explore race, racism and policing in North America

A Syllabus for Antifascist Cinema (part I) by Gelare Khoshgozaran

Abolishing Policing Also Means Abolishing Family Regulation by Dorothy Roberts

Abolition is Not a Suburb: Affluent white havens are not models of accountability by Tamara K. Nopper

Abolition Playlist: Podcast Episodes complied by Rebel Steps 

Against Innocence by Jackie Wang

Akilah Oliver: Good Grief by Susie DeFord

‘An Extraordinary Moment’: Angela Davis Says Protests Recognize Long Overdue Anti-Racist Work by Tonya Mosley and Allison Hagan

An Indigenous Abolitionist Study Guide by Toronto Abolition Convergence

Anti-Black Racism in Canada (CTV Interview with Robyn Maynard and Sandy Hudson)

“Arab-Black” Solidarity Shouldn’t Erase Afro-Arabs & the Racism They Face in the Arab World by Lama El-Hanan

Author Ingrid Waldron on Africville and the history of environmental racism in Canada by Sierra Bein

BAR Book Forum: Robyn Maynard’s “Policing Black Lives” and Alex Vitale’s “The End of Policing” by Roberto Sirven

Being in the negative: An interview with Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme by Amal Issa

Black AfterLives Matter by Ruha Benjamin

Body cameras are not the answer by Phillip Dwight Morgan

Breonna Taylor warrant connected to Louisville gentrification plan, lawyers say by Phillip M. Bailey and Tessa Duvall

Calls to defund police grow, but Toronto’s mayor not buying in by Alastair Sharp

Canada police under scrutiny after two women die after encounters with officers by Leyland Cecco 

Canada’s Galleries Fall Short: The Not-So Great White North by Alison Cooley Amy Luo and Caoimhe Morgan-Feir

Canadian cultural institutions have silenced Black voices for years. Can we write a new chapter? by Amanda Parris 

Canadian Education is Steeped in Anti-Black Racism by Robyn Maynard

Canadian Universities Should Divest from Policing Interests by Stacey Hannem and Christopher Schneider

Defunding police: what it means and how it could work on Front Burner

Defunding The Police Will Save Black And Indigenous Lives In Canada by Sandy Hudson

Desmond Cole on Anti-Black Racism in Canada & US on Warrior Life by Pam Palmater

Dionne Brand: On narrative, reckoning and the calculus of living and dying by Dionne Brand

“Do I believe we can have a police-free future in our lifetime? Absolutely”: Policing expert Robyn Maynard on how defunding would work in practice by Lara Zarum

Drop the Charges and Defund the Police, Says New Artists’ Letter for Black Lives by Leah Sandals

Enforcing injustice, keeping the colonial peace by  Julia-Simone Rutgers 

Everybody Else Is Abolishing The Police, So Why Can’t We? on OPPO from CANADALAND with Sandy Garossino and Jen Gerson

Family of young black man killed in Brampton, Ont., says he was shot by police after calling 911 himself by Mark Kelley and Ronna Syed

Filmmaker and Activist Tourmaline on How to Freedom Dream by Tourmaline

Forget “Looting.” Capitalism Is the Real Robbery. by William C. Anderson

Freedom House Ambulance Service by 99% Invisible

Ga(s)p: Writing as Reparative Care with NourbeSe Philip, Leanne Betamasosake Simpson and Andrea Fatona, from Contingencies of Care, a virtual residency.

Give Us Permanence—Ending Anti-Black Racism in Canada’s Art Institutions by Syrus Marcus Ware

How Do We Change America? b

How Surveillance Has Always Reinforced Racism by Simone Browne

How Visual Culture Is Implicated in Mass Incarceration by Jessica Lynne

How Would Prison Abolition Actually Work? by Gabriella Paiella

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, calls grow to ‘defund the police.’ But what would that actually mean? by Douglas Qu

Indigenous woman killed by Edmundston, N.B., police during wellness check by Shane Magee 

Interview with Canisia Lubrin, Room’s Poetry Contest Judge 2020 by Hope Lauterbach

Inquiry Needed Into Police Violence Against Indigenous Peoples by Pam Palmater 

It’s long-past time to talk about policing of Black women in Canada by Robyn Maynard

Justice in America Episode 20: Mariame Kaba and Prison Abolition by Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith

Kicked by a Mosquito by Gelare Khoshgozaran

Layli Long Soldier on Wounded Knee and the Murder of George Floyd by Layli Long Soldier

Letters to America from Black Canadians by Desmond Cole, Andray Domise, Esi Edugyan, Lawrence Hill, Sandy Hudson, Eternity Martis, Rinaldo Walcott and Ian Williams

No more Criminalizing Black Dissent, no more Monuments to Racists and Racism: An Open Letter in Support of Black Lives Matter Toronto by Arrestees and Artists

On Basquiat, the Black Body, and a Strange Sensation in My Neck by Aisha Sabatini Sloan

People who deny racism exists in Canada are ‘like people who deny climate change,’ says El Jones by Jonathan Ore (interview produced by Steve Howard)

Powerful forces will fight the call to defund police departments interview with Robyn Maynard and John Sewell 

Police “Reforms” You Should Always Oppose by Mariame Kaba

Police Violence against Black People in Canada by Dr. Delia Douglas

‘Policing Black Lives’ author on confronting Canada’s historical amnesia, Black expendability, and the path forward by Harrison Samphir 

Policing the Pandemic: Tracking the Policing of COVID-19 Across Canada

Policy Options for Defunding the Police & Creating Alternative Services of Safety and Support by Sandra Hudson

Prison Unions: Briarpatch July/August 2020

Protesters’ Demands in Response to Police Brutality Have Come a Long Way Since the 1992 LA Rebellion by Tamara K. Nopper

Reading as resistance? The rise of the anti-racist book list by Gwen Aviles

Reading Towards Abolition: A Reading List on Policing, Rebellion, and the Criminalization of Blackness (Compiled by the Abusable Past Collective)

Report: Unheeded Warnings – COVID-19 & Migrant Workers in Canada by Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

Rise of the SWAT team: Routine police work in Canada is now militarized by Kevin Walby by Brendan Roziere

Robyn Maynard on Police Anti-Black Racism & Violence on Warrior Life by Pam Palmater

Ruth Wilson Gilmore Makes the Case for Abolition produced by Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill

Saidiya Hartman on insurgent histories and the abolitionist imaginary as told to Catherine Damman

The End of White Supremacy, An American Romance by Saidiya Hartman

The ‘Latinx’ Label Centers European Heritage. We Should Stop Using It. by Adriana Maestas

The Order of Time by Renee Gladman

The Problem With “Community Policing” by Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law

“The world is now seeing the racism that Black people experience all the time”: The Black Legal Action Centre’s Ruth Goba on the legal struggles affecting Black Torontonians

Thoughts of Liberation by Nataleah Hunter-Young and Sarah Mason-Case

To Bear Witness: Real Talk about White Supremacy in Art Museums Today by Dr. Kelli Morgan

Toward the Horizon of Abolition a Conversation with Mariame Kaba

U.S. Protests Stir Scrutiny of Police Treatment of Indigenous People by Rachel Pannett and Kim Mackrael

Using historical research to advance anti-racist and decolonial work in contemporary society by Justin Dupuis

‘We can enact the future we want now’: a black feminist history of abolition by Lola Olufemi

We must defund the police. It is the only option. by Sandy Hudson

We must work toward an abolitionist future for our world by Rinaldo Walcott

‘We refuse to accept fatal outcomes in police encounters as inevitable’ by Angela Robertson, Paulette Senior, and Debbie Douglas

What Did Cedric Robinson Mean by Racial Capitalism? by Robin D. G. Kelley

What Is an Anti-Racist Reading List For? by Lauren Michele Jackson

 

Books to Read / Films to Watch
Support your local bookstores!

As Black as Resistance by Zoé Samudzi and William C. Anderson

Assata: An Autobiography

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis
Questions to ask yourself while reading this text (Chapter 1) created by @urdoingreat

BlackLife: Post BLM and The Struggle for Freedom by Rinaldo Walcott and Idil Abdillahi

Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, eds. Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith

Demonic Grounds: Black Women and The Cartographies of Struggle by Katherine McKittrick

Freedom Dreams by Robin D.G. Kelley

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis

Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California by Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine by Noura Erakat

Living for Change by Grace Lee Boggs

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up directed by Tasha Hubbard

Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms by Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law 

Qeer (In)justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States, eds. Joey L. Mogul, Andrea J. Ritchie, Kay Whitlock

Stolen City: Racial Capitalism and the Making of Winnipeg by Owen Toews

The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology by Karina Vernon

Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention by Tings Chak

Whereas by Layli Long Soldier

 

Resources to Donate to

1492 Land Back Lane – Legal Fund

American bail funds, freedom funds + mutual aid networks (Compiled by Arts.Black)

In memory of D’Andre A. Campbell

Justice for Regis

Justice4Jamal Toronto

Paul Mpagi Sepuya Offers Photographs to Advocacy Organization Donors

Prisoner Emergency Support Fund

Support for family of Chantel Moore

Unist’ot’en 2020 Legal Fund

 

Local Organizations to Check Out

A Different Booklist

Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO)

Bar None Winnipeg

Black Lives Matter Toronto

Defund The Police

Prairie Province Prisoner Support Fund

The Prisoner Correspondence Project

Unist’ot’en Camp

Winnipeg Police Cause Harm

 


Acknowledgments

We are on Treaty 1 Territory. Plug In ICA is located on the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at plugin.org/support or by contacting Erin Josephson-Laidlaw at erin@plugin.org.

For more information on public programming and exhibitions contact Nasrin Himada at nasrin@plugin.org.

For general information, please contact: info@plugin.org or call 1.204.942.1043.