Global Prison Abolitionist Coalition

Founding member and Editorial collective: Global Prison Abolitionist Coalition

The formation of the Global Prison Abolitionist Coalition was compelled by the need to connect the struggles of political and social prisoners around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of imminent death faced by prisoners hastened this effort. Made up of organizations and individuals spanning five continents, this coalition actively draws connections between national and international struggles and between political prisoners and social prisoners, who are mostly working-class victims of poverty, racism, marginalization and neglect. Our position regarding prison abolition is informed by the need for an alternative to capitalism because capitalism is carceral and authoritarian whether in its neoliberal or statist forms. Continue reading

Panels organized

Transformative justice & anti-carceral politics

The main driver behind the public’s rejection to abolitionist movements is the fear that there might be no alternative to prisons. This notion widely pushed by the state as well as other institutions that benefit from the carceral system is not true. There are alternative ways to think about justice beyond prisons and state punishment. This panel will address one such alternative: Transformative Justice (TJ). The speakers will explore the history and significance of TJ in three locations, namely, Bolivia, Rojava in Northern Syria, and the United States.

Speakers: Dr. Joy James, Dr. Nazan Üstündağ, Raúl Zibechi. Moderated by: Linda Quiquivix. Watch panel

Forced Disappearances & Anti-Carceral Politics

Abduction and enforced disappearance have been increasingly used by oppressive regimes globally. Torture and enforced disappearances have been a structural problem of state punishment and repression rather than being exceptional instances of it. Used by colonial powers and liberal democracies these techniques have been widely shared and circulated between states as modes of extracting confessions. In many of these cases, people have been subjected to arbitrary arrest, detentions without a warrant, and sexual violence. This strategy has been frequently used in places like Argentina, China, Egypt, Kashmir, and Turkey. The speakers speak to these politics from their experiences in Egypt, Kashmir and “Xinjiang”. 

Speakers: Ahmed Said, Dr. Ather Zia and Vincent Wong. Moderated by: Dr. Mahvish Ahmad. Watch panel