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”.

With Ahmed Said, Ather Zia and Vincent Wong. Moderated by Mahvish Ahmad.

See details here.

Infographics below by @Lizar_tistry

Transformative justice & anti-carceral politics

The Global Prison Abolition Coalition invites you to a panel on Transformative Justice and 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).

Transformative Justice entails a political approach that seeks to build a anti-carceral politics while engaging in harm/violence reduction. This panel will unpack different understandings of abolitionism generated from an internationalist & anti-capitalist politics. The speakers will explore the history and significance of TJ in three locations, namely, Bolivia, Rojava in Northern Syria, and the United States.

https://www.facebook.com/events/914916035657763/

Speakers:
Joy James is the F.C. Oakley Professor in Humanities at Williams College, where she teaches in Political Science, Africana Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and American Studies. She is the author of Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics and Resisting State Violence: Radicalism, Gender and Race in U.S. Culture. Her edited books include The New Abolitionists: (Neo)Slave Narratives and Contemporary Prison Writings, Imprisoned Intellectuals, States of Confinement, The Black Feminist Reader, and The Angela Y. Davis Reader.

Nazan Üstündağ received her Ph.D. in 2005 from the sociology department at Indiana University Bloomington. Between 2005 and 2018, she worked as an Assistant Professor at Boğaziçi University, Department of Sociology. Since 2018, she resides in Berlin first as an Academy in Exile and IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund fellow and then as a Gerda Henkel Stiftung Patromonies Program fellow. Her most recent academic articles on state violence and Kurdish Movement appeared in journals South Atlantic Quarterly, History of the Present and Differences. She also worked as columnist in the journal Nokta and the newspaper Özgür Gündem. Üstündağ is a member of Women for Peace and Academics for Peace. Recently, she is finishing a book manuscript with the working title Mother, Politician and Guerilla: The Emergence of A New Political Cosmology in Kurdistan Through Women’s Bodies and Speech.

Raúl Zibechi is a Uruguayan journalist and one of Latin America’s leading political theorists. He is an international analyst for newspapers like La Jornada (Mexico) and Brecha (Uruguay), and a professor at the Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina. Zibechi has written numerous books on social movements and politics across the Americas, including Territories in Resistance: A Cartography of Latin American Social Movements (AK Press, 2012) and Dispersing Power: Social Movements as Anti-State Forces (AK Press, 2010).

Moderator and Translator: The panel is moderated and translated by Linda Quiquivix who is a popular educator, geographer, and translator based in California. Linda Quiquivix (“Kiki”) is daughter of the undocumented migrant community in California and granddaughter of the Mam (Maya) people of Guatemala and Mexico. She places her university training as a geographer at the service of under-resourced communities in Palestine, Mexico, and the U.S. who seek clean water, land, and tools to build autonomy. In her hometown of Oxnard, California, she is part of a collective of seed savers and farmers who intervene against food insecurity, rebuild respectful ecological relationships to Mother Earth, and collectively organize toward climate resilience. She’s also a writer and researcher, currently working on a book manuscript entitled. Palestine and the Wretched of Empire: Race, Cartography, and the Afterlives of 1492, which traces the uses of cartography and international law in Palestine/Israel to show how movement leaders come to replicate domination when the world of empire becomes the starting point for politics.

Toward a Global Prison Abolitionist Movement: Webinar

In this panel we will we offer an overview of the prison and refugee camp populations and situations in the U.S., Syria and Iran. We will address some key obstacles to the formation of a global prison abolitionist movement,  offer ways of overcoming them and present ideas about an alternative to the capitalist carceral and authoritarian system. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has given new urgency to the need to abolish prisons, refugee camps and the inhuman capitalist carceral system.  Prisoner and refugee populations are facing an imminent death sentence from the fast spread of the virus in the crowded and unsanitary conditions of prisons and camps.

During the past three weeks, there have been protests inside some detention centers and prisons in the U.S., Iran, Italy, Colombia and elsewhere.  Prison abolitionist and refugee and immigrant support groups around the world are calling for the release of  people from jails, prisons, and detention centers.  Although, the U.S. and several other counties have started to release limited portions of their prison populations, the numbers released are too few to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Effectively fighting the COVID-19 pandemic demands a global prison abolitionist movement based on opposition to all forms of exploitation and domination.

In this panel we will we offer an overview of the prison and refugee camp populations and situations in the U.S., Syria and Iran.   We will address some key obstacles to the formation of a global prison abolitionist movement,  offer ways of overcoming them and present ideas about an alternative to the capitalist carceral and authoritarian system.

Speakers:

Romarilyn Ralston:

Program Director of Project Rebound at California State University, Fullerton, a program that supports the higher education and successful reintegration of the formerly incarcerated. She served 23 years at the California Institution for Women (CIW) and is a long-time member and organizer with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP). Incarcerated at 24 and released at 47, Romarilyn has seen and survived the effects of extreme sentencing and medical neglect in prison. Since her release, Romarilyn was a Women’s Policy Institute Fellow, a volunteer with the Ferguson Commission, and an organizer with the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Families Movement (FICPFM) voting rights campaign in Florida. Romarilyn is a prison abolitionist tirelessly advocating for the women she left behind in prison in California, many serving life without the possibility of parole.

Joseph Daher:

Author of Syria after the Uprisingsthe Political Economy of State Resilience (Pluto Press and Haymarket, 2019) and Hezbollah: The Political Economy of the Party of God (Pluto, 2016). He is an academic, social activist,  founder of the blog Syria Freedom Forever and a co-founder of the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists.

Sina Zekavat:

Architect, anti-war activist and member of the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialist.  He has written articles on the student movement in Iran and solidarity with Syrian revolutionaries.

Moderator

Shiyam Galyon:

Communications coordinator at War Resisters League, the oldest secular antiwar organization working to resist war in the United States and abroad since 1923. She is also a member of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement, a multinational network of Syrian women fighting for political justice for all Syrians.

The moderated discussion will be followed by 30 minutes for  answering questions from the facebook audience.