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Toward Abolitionist Horizons: 25 Years of Critical Resistance with Angela Davis

Friday, May 05, 2023
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Panel Discussion
Critical Resistance
Location Details:
McKenna Theatre
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
(or free live stream)

Tonight, over 400 people are scheduled to attend Toward Abolitionist Horizons, Critical Resistance's 25th Anniversary event. The event will feature a panel headlined by Dr. Angela Davis as well as Andrea Ritchie of Interrupting Criminalization and coauthor of No More Police and Ny Nourn of Asian Prisoner Support committee. The event will also feature performances from Dancing Through Prison Walls, an organization that puts together performances led by currently incarcerated people. 

This evening's event is both to reflect on Critical Resistance's history, discuss what the state of imprisonment and policing is currently and to resource the future of the organization's work. CR's current work includes its role in Californian's United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) coalition campaign to close 10 prisons by 2025. CR is also helping to anchor the campaign to pass Dignity Not Detention legislation in New York State, which aims to cancel all Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts with public and private facilities within the state.  "I'm honored to celebrate Critical Resistance's 25th year anniversary and pioneering movement work to end the prison industrial complex,” said Ny Nourn.” Their work and leadership paved the way for me as an activist and for the movement to abolish immigration detention.”'

CR began in 1997 with a group of activists and organizers that came together to put on a conference at UC Berkeley in 1998, Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). Since then, CR has become a national organization with chapters in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City and Portland, Oregon. CR has conducted several successful campaigns and launched projects that both popularized the concepts of the prison industrial complex and PIC abolition, while also winning successful campaigns against prison and jail expansion as well as policing programs. 

"Over the past quarter century, Critical Resistance has shaped the consciousness of generations about what is possible, necessary for our collective survival: abolition, now,” says Andrea Ritchie.  “CR has been foundational to my evolution as an abolitionist - since I first attended the Critical Resistance South conference and read the Critical Resistance - INCITE! Statement on Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex twenty years ago, I have turned to CR again and again for abolitionist visions, strategies, and practical tools that bring us closer to the world I yearn for - one free from violence in all its forms, for all of us. I am deeply honored to join in enthusiastic celebration of CR's rich legacy, past present and future."

Whether it was disrupting CA's prison boom with the Stop Delano II campaign, uplifting the struggles of incarcerated New Orleaneans as part of the Amnesty for Prisoners of  Katrina Campaign or spotlighting solitary confinement by supporting the historic prisoner hunger strikes in CA,  CR has consistently pushed forward an abolitionist politic and fought to whittle away at the PIC and shift and power and resources toward everyday people. Tonight's celebration will acknowledge this work, celebrate and help fuel the organization's work moving forward. 

Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) 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.

Added to the calendar on Fri, May 5, 2023 3:46PM
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