Intro/Conclusion to Abolition’s Elections 2016 Blog Series

[Joy James gives an Intro/Conclusion to the Abolition Collective 2016 Election Blog.]

“Welcome to the party.

So, we “lost.” That is the refrain and the grief cue for those seeking justice or peace or freedom, or all of the above in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States.

In losing the election, which was not a referendum on justice or peace or freedom, we gained increasing clarity (and, from late night comics, more hilarity laced with obscenities).

To be clear, we wanted to share free land and labor, love, and sacred nature—what we’ve never had. To be certain, those who wield disciplinary and predatory powers were not and will never be our protectors, allies or benevolent governors. …”

Read More

For Antifa, No Platform for Fascism

– by Mark Bray –

Germany has a prohibition against advocating for Nazis publicly. That doesn’t mean that Germany is a closed society where people can’t say whatever they want to say. You can have some prohibitions against speech without going all the way. In the context of an increasing number of hate crimes — the Southern Poverty Law Center cited over 800 such crimes immediately following the election of President Trump — the idea is that the people who carry out these crimes are listening to Richard Spencer speeches, going on Stormfront websites, imbibing this hateful doctrine, and that, to the degree that we can shut it down, we will have fewer people copy-catting them into attacking vulnerable populations. Most people would agree that it was acceptable in the 1930s and 1940s to organize armed resistance to the Nazi regime. The question is: how terrible does it have to be before that becomes legitimate? And the anti-fascist answer is: you need to nip it in the bud from the beginning.

Read More

What a Trump Administration Means for Health in the Black Caribbean

by Jallicia Jolly and Veronique Ignace –

As echoed by many reproductive justice advocates, the lives and health of many Black women remain subject to the whims of American politics. Alongside the white nationalist revival and nativism that accompanies Trump’s platform of bigotry, the recent divestments in health evoke a special terror in the Caribbean – U.S.’s “backyard”, a region that continues to be a “strategic ‘battlefield’ for US geopolitics no matter the human costs.”
Health remains an important political tool used to define the quality of life of Black women as it characterizes historically disenfranchised groups as the repository of social death.

Read More

Abuse Thrives on Silence: The #VaughnRebellion in Context

– by Kim Wilson –

The #VaughnRebellion cannot be disconnected from the broader struggle against extra-judicial police killings of Black people in the United States. Freedom from abuse from corrections officers and other prison staff is part of the same struggle to end police violence.

The #VaughnRebellion read thusly, is also a direct response to unjust federal policies that are likely to influence the conditions within state prisons in Delaware and around the country. At a time when the federal government has targeted vulnerable groups of people in this country, the #VaughnRebellion should be seen as a signal that solidarity includes solidarity with incarcerated people.

Read More

In the Time of Trump: Housing, Whiteness, and Abolition

– by Manissa M Maharawal and Erin McElroy (The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project) –

How is Trump the landlord connected to Trump the president? How can we think about the rise of Trump’s reign through a lens critical of the US’s racist and colonial histories of private property? Focused on the geography of the San Francisco Bay Area and the analysis of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, this piece shows the relationships between luxury development, public housing, gentrification, liberalism, and racialized dispossession. For understanding the data and building an intersectional movement, this piece argues that we need an abolitionist approach to private property.

Read More

As the US Oligarchy Expands Its War, Middle Class White People Must Take a Side

– by Robert Nichols –
Now that the war and theft is speeding up and spreading outward, it is catching up many more people, including many of the white middle class people who used to think that they were safe from all that kind of thing. The big question will be: what will we middle class white people do? Will we fight only to return to the old system, that is, to return to the ‘slow war’ period, the time when people of color were exploited and dominated, with (some) of the benefits trickling down to us? Or will we stand with those people who have always been fighting this system against the authoritarians and oligarchs in order to produce a new and more universally just system? What side are we on?

Read More

The Inauguration of Fascism? Thinking Violence and Resistance in the Age of Trump

– by David Langstaff –
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, fascism has once again returned to center stage in left political discourse. If we aim to overcome the impasse of left praxis, our theories of fascism and resistance must refuse false dichotomies of race and class, as well as the treating of fascist violence as a radical departure from the normal operations of the liberal democratic state. Fascistic ascendance, as an historically specific manifestation of white nationalist revanchism, cannot be meaningfully apprehended apart from the foundations of the U.S. settler colonial state in racial slavery and genocide. Turning towards this “position of the unthought” opens up the possibility, not only of grasping systemic violence at its roots, but of recognizing and imagining, celebrating and embracing, forms of insurgent social life which already move beneath, against, and beyond the socio-ecological catastrophe that is the modern world.

Read More

Diluting Radical History: Blood in the Water and the Politics of Erasure

In this incisive critique, Orisanmi Burton argues that Heather Ann Thompson’s acclaimed book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising and Its Legacy actively undermines the significance of the rebellion by erasing racial violence from the normal routines of prison life, ignoring key aspects of the rebels’ critique of prisons, and distorting their radical abolitionist politics.

Read More