No more cops: Resource guide
Any struggle for environmental and social justice should be aimed at the abolition of police and prisons. Given the current fight against racist police violence in the wake of the George Floyd murder we have put together a small selection of the many different resources out there on police abolition.
These resources are meant as a starting point, for those who want to read, listen, or view. Longer lists of resources can be found at A World Without Police, Prison Culture, and Abolitionist Futures.
No more cops – Five groups to follow and support
- Black Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter UK. If you haven’t already, ensure you are doing as much as you can to support these groups in their struggle.
- US Bail Funds. The system of bail is a key mechanism to disempower and silence opposition. This tool allows individuals to split a donation to bail funds across the US.
- Critical Resistance. This group in the US struggles against the prison industrial complex. A great place for resources and information on prisons, police, and race.
- Anti Raids. This organisation works within the UK to protect people from immigration raids and the hostile environment. After all, immigration cops are still cops.
- CAPE. The expansion of prisons in the UK is being resisted by groups like CAPE who work across England, Wales, and Scotland.
For members of the black community who are unable to protest in public, Melz has written for gal-dem on how to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Goldsmiths Anti Racist Action have also shared a list of the many places to donate money and provide further support.
No more cops – Five books
- The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale. Currently a free e-book from Verso, stating the need to abolish the police. Verso have also produced a wider list of their output on abolition.
- Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? by Joe Macaré and Maya Schenwar. Another great (currently free) e-book on the role of police, and the need for their abolition. Haymarket have also produced a wider list of their output on police and prisons.
- Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis. This is a foundational text of prison abolition. A crucial read.
- Policing the crisis: Mugging, the state, and law and order by Stuart Hall. Albeit an older work on the functions of police, Hall provides an effective introduction to racism and policing in the UK.
- Hostile Environment by Maya Goodfellow. A key book on the making of the UK’s hostile environment policy, and the xenophobic role of immigration cops.
No more cops – Five articles
- From Minneapolis to London: who polices the police? by Ru & Adam for Freedom News. This piece stresses the need to recognise that the problem of police is international, whether in the US or the UK.
- Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind by Rachel Kushner for the New York Times. Ruth Wilson Gilmore has been one of the leading advocates for prison abolition. This article provides an excellent summary of Gilmore’s life and work.
- Origins of the police by David Whitehouse for Libcom. How did we get into this mess? Whitehouse looks to the early origin of police in this article.
- Summer Heat by Mariame Kaba for the New Enquiry. This essay brings together the heat of summer and the violence of police in an effective call for an end to cops.
- A World Without Police. This pamphlet, by a leading organisation working on police abolition, is an excellent extended read on approaching a cop-free world.
No more cops – Five videos
- How to Abolish the Police State by Verso Books. This panel discussion, bringing together numerous authors on the police, discusses how to bring about abolition.
- Ruthie Gilmore, “When the Prison Industrial Complex Masquerades as Social Welfare” by Critical Resistance. Just one of the many short and effective videos on this channel discussing police and prison abolition.
- Feminism & Abolition Lecture with Angela Davis by CAN TV. One of Davis’ many great lectures available for free online, discussing the police, prisons, and feminism.
- The 13th by Ava DuVernay. This award-winning film discusses the history of racist mass imprisonment in the US. Available on Netflix.
- Malcolm X’s Fiery Speech Addressing Police Brutality by the Smithsonian Channel. A historic recording of Malcolm X’s speech responding to a police murder.
No more cops – Five podcasts
- The Lockdown by Oonagh Ryder and Sam Swann for Novara Media. This podcast provides regular coverage of policing and prisons within the UK.
- Dig Deeper: Should the police be abolished? by Ashwin Nair for McGill International Review. A podcast episode discussing Vitale’s book on the abolition of policing, useful for those unable to read a copy.
- Prisons must be abolished for Srsly Wrong. This episode of the left-wing comedy podcast Srsly Wrong tackles the prison abolition movement.
- What abolitionists mean when they talk about abolition by William C. Anderson and Adam Johnson for The Appeal. Another great podcast episode introducing the key arguments for abolition and the history of the movement.
- Toni Morrison and Angela Davis on Connecting for Progress for New York Public Library. An excellent conversation, covering many topics, between Angela Davis and the late, great, Toni Morrison.
There’s a huge difference between advocating for community-based, democratically accountable policing and rehabilitation-based restorative justice, and the rather simplistic call for “the abolition of police and prisons”.
Green Party policy reflects the former approach: