Abolition Journal: If You’re New to Abolition: Study Group Guide

Abolitionists, simply put, are those beings who look out upon their time and say, ‘no’.

Mumia Abu Jamal

Abolition is about presence, not absence. It’s about building life-affirming institutions.

Ruth Wilson Gilmore

June 25, 2020

to our introduction to abolitionism!

We invite you to meet our historical moment, in which a Black-led popular uprising, launched in response to the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, and the white supremacist killing of Ahmaud Arbery, is spotlighting police violence and racist criminalization. Many people who witnessed the horrifying murder of George Floyd on camera, and are now confronted by the continuation of so much more racist state violence, suddenly feel that abolition can’t wait.

As this moment of drastic change continues in rebellion, spreading from Minneapolis to over 2000 cities and towns in the US and many more globally–while police violence continues to mount–we hope you’ll join us in radical study. This study holds the promise of both refusal of the current order, and the creation of a new one: sometimes, worlds are created in the midst of uprisings, in mutual aid efforts like the Minneapolis Sanctuary Hotel and the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. These are examples of what we call “making abolitionist worlds”. 


  • Welcome
  • Introduction
  • Week one: Prisons and Policing in the U.S. as a History of anti-Blackness
  • Week two: The Prison Industrial Complex
  • Week three: Policing and Imprisonment as Racial Violence
  • Week four: Reformist Reforms vs. Abolitionist Steps
  • Week five: Feminist, Queer and Trans Abolitionism
  • Week six: Abolitionist Alternatives
  • Abolitionist Actions
  • Further Investigation
  • Liberatory Study

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