To celebrate 10 years of Critical Resistance, thousands will converge once more, September 26-28, 2008, in Oakland, California, for CR10, a 10th Anniversary Celebration and Strategy Session.
In September 1998, thousands gathered in Berkeley, California, for conference that founded Critical Resistance’s movement to abolish the prison industrial complex (PIC). Each participant, with their own experiences of oppression and resistance, watched as diverse struggles were unified: by humanity, hope, and the shared vision of a different world. We witnessed a vision of a world with truly safe, healthy, and whole communities; a world with unconditional access to self-determination and dignity for all; and, critically, a world without imprisonment, policing, and other forms of punishment and control.
Over the past decade, the movement to eliminate the PIC has faced tremendous challenges. We have witnessed rising levels of imprisonment in the US and around the world. We have endured passage of the USAPATRIOT Act of 2001, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, increasing surveillance and policing in our lives. Meanwhile, US-led wars continue to ravage communities around the globe. We have witnessed the increased repression and criminalization of migrants and immigrants, people of color, young people, and queer communities. We have seen California prepare to embark on the biggest prison building project in history as the Gulf Coast region continues to struggle and to prevail in spite of ongoing neglect and militarization.
During this period Critical Resistance has also developed into a leading force fighting against the use of imprisonment, policing, and surveillance as responses to social, economic, and political problems. During the past 10 years we have:
- Brought the idea of the prison industrial complex (PIC) into mainstream conversations;
- Substantially increased collaboration of PIC abolitionists with organizers in environmental justice, anti-violence, and queer movements;
- Promoted prisoners, former prisoners, and their loved ones as the real experts on the system;
- Provided a platform and jumping off point for new organizations and organizing efforts; and
- Contributed to dozens of local and regional victories across the country.
We have seen only the beginning of what we can accomplish together. CR10 promises to propel this momentum forward, with united, strategic force. Through workshops, skill shares, performances, action, reflection and celebration, CR10 aims to reunite our voices, reinvigorate our collective refusal to be silenced and strengthen our collective will to build a world without walls.