The ongoing scourge of police terrorism has reinvigorated an important national conversation about policing and incarceration — their history, purpose, and practice. While some have called for reforms, like stricter use-of-force policies and enhanced body cam protocols for officers, others have demanded more sweeping change.
“Abolition for the People,” a project produced by Kaepernick Publishing in partnership with LEVEL, seeks to end that debate once and for all. Over the next four weeks, the project will publish 30 stories from organizers, political prisoners, scholars, and advocates — all of which point to the crucial conclusion that policing and prisons do not serve as catch-all solutions for the issues and people the state deems social problems.
Not only do police and prisons fail to make us safer, but reform has only strengthened their most toxic ingrained practices. The only answer is abolition, a full dismantling of the carceral state and the institutions that support it. Instead, we need to invest in a future that puts justice and the needs of the community first. A future that, as Colin Kaepernick himself says in his introductory essay, makes us safer, healthier, and truly free.
The need for abolition is rooted in the anti-Blackness intrinsic to policing and incarceration — phenomena which will be amply proven over the coming days — but the realization of it offers justice for all people in all communities and global liberation from systemic oppression. We invite you to read and learn along with us.
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