Considering police abolition in Montclair (Letter)
“Abolition is about presence, not absence. It’s about building life-affirming institutions.” – Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Over the past year, there has been much talk of defunding the police in Montclair and reallocating police funds toward resources that promote actual public safety. Over that same time period, there has been some talk, but less, about abolition — what it is, what it isn’t, and why it’s so important right now in our political moment.
In “We Do This 'Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice,” organizer and abolitionist Mariame Kaba writes, first quoting Fred Moten and Stefano Harney from "The University and the Undercommons."
“'What is, so to speak, the object of abolition? Not so much the abolition of prisons but the abolition of a society that could have prisons, that could have slavery, that could have the wage, and therefore not abolition as the elimination of anything but abolition as the founding of a new society.' … The logic of using policing, punishment, and prison has not proven to address the systemic causes of violence. It is in this climate that we argue that abolition of the prison-industrial complex is the most moral political posture available to us.”
It is with this spirit that Montclair Beyond Policing is organizing an Abolition Study Group every Monday evening from July 19 to Aug. 30 from 7 to 8 p.m. We will be using the Abolition Journal's recommended Study Guide as a framework for our discussion.
All are welcome — especially those who are curious and excited to both learn more and build together as we help create the world we need and the world we deserve.
To join, you don’t need to be an abolitionist, you don’t need to live in Montclair and you don’t need to feel pressure to attend all of the sessions — whatever works best for you works best for us.
Member, Montclair Beyond Policing
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