Resources

Aside from our own resources, like the “Enough Is Enough” report, our Frequently-Asked Questions zine, and our “Community Policing and Other Fairy Tales” comic, we wanted to share more resources and readings. Books, articles, essays, news items, toolkits, and much more—the following list includes writing from the post-uprising, latter-half of 2020, alongside older pieces and foundational texts too. We hope it can be useful.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive; but these are some great places to start if you’re looking to learn more about what a world without police might look like, and how we might get there.

BOOKS

WHAT IS ABOLITION? EXPLAINERS AND INTRODUCTIONS

  • Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police (New York Times)
  • What Is Abolition, And Why Do We Need It? (Vogue)
  • #8ToAbolition Is Advocating to Abolish Police to Keep Us All Safe (Teen Vogue)
  • Calls to reform, defund, dismantle and abolish the police, explained (NBC News)
  • What Does It Mean to Defund or Abolish the Police? with Patrisse Cullors, Josie Duffy Rice, Sam Sinyangwe, Mychal Denzel Smith and Alex S. Vitale (The Daily Show)
  • “Isn’t That Public Safety?” graphics
  • Building a Police-Free Future: Frequently-Asked Questions (MPD150)
  • What are we talking about when we talk about “a police-free future? (MPD150)

MAKING THE CASE FOR ABOLITION

  • Ruth Wilson Gilmore Makes the Case for Abolition (The Intercept)
  • Defund the Police (The New Yorker)
  • Incremental Change is a Moral Failure (The Atlantic)
  • How I Became a Police Abolitionist (The Atlantic)
  • Why “Crime” Isn’t the Question and Police Aren’t the Answer (Current Affairs)
  • No More Money for the Police (New York Times)
  • The Only Solution Is to Defund the Police (The Nation)
  • The Police Don’t Change (Slate)
  • The answer to police violence is not ‘reform’. It’s defunding. Here’s why (The Guardian)
  • Defund the Police Now (The Appeal)
  • “We don’t have time to wait:” Minneapolis anti-police brutality organizer Kandace Montgomery on defunding the police (The Intercept)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s June 7 (2020) show on policing (Last Week Tonight)
  • Cities Ask if It’s Time to Defund Police and ‘Reimagine’ Public Safety (New York Times)
  • Minneapolis City Council members consider disbanding the police (City Pages)
  • Movement to defund police gains ‘unprecedented’ support across US (The Guardian)
  • A New World Is Possible: Defund Police And Fund Black Lives (Essence)
  • The Time Is Now, Whatever It Costs (Yes!)
  • Black MPLS Public Safety Convo
  • The Abolitionist Movement (Vanity Fair)
  • Even A Pandemic Couldn’t Stop Police Shootings. Activists Explain Why Abolition Must Be Our Goal. (Refinery29)

ABOLITION IN PRACTICE

  • 10 Action Ideas for Building a Police-Free Future (MPD150)
  • I’m a Minneapolis City Council Member. We Must Disband the Police—Here’s What Could Come Next (Time)
  • What a World Without Cops Would Look Like (Mother Jones)
  • How the Police Could Be Defunded (New Yorker)
  • How Would Prison Abolition Actually Work? (GQ)
  • After four nights without police presence, neighborhoods protect themselves (Star Tribune)
  • Uprisings Are Driving a Surge in Mutual Aid in Minneapolis and Beyond (Truthout)
  • Minneapolis Organizers Are Already Building the Tools for Safety Without Police (Truthout)
  • The Reckoning Will Be Incomplete Without Black Women and Girls (The Atlantic)
  • 50 protest murals show the Twin Cities’ solidarity, grief through art (City Pages)
  • How Prison Abolitionists Are Meeting the Moment (The Appeal)
  • We Want More Justice For Breonna Taylor Than The System That Killed Her Can Deliver (Essence)
  • The Problem With “Community Policing” (Slate)
  • Why Social Workers Cannot Work With Police (Slate)
  • Pollution, Police, Pandemic: How the fight for Black Lives in Minneapolis connects Anti-Incineration and Police Abolition (GAIA US Canada)
  • Ending Mass Incarceration Is Only the Beginning (The Nation)
  • Where Calling the Police Isn’t the Only Option (Bloomberg CityLab)

HOW DID WE GET HERE? HISTORY AND CONTEXT

  • Enough Is Enough: A 150-Year Performance Review of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD150)
  • ‘You Can Only Demean People So Much.’ Minneapolis Activists Aren’t Surprised a National Movement Started There (Time)
  • MPD150, Reclaim the Block, and the Black Visions Collective Have Been Fighting to Abolish Minneapolis Police for Years (Teen Vogue)
  • How decades of racist policies and “white mob violence” heightened tensions in Minneapolis (Salon)
  • Minneapolis Was Long Overdue for This Crisis (The Atlantic)
  • Minnesota’s decades-long failure to confront police abuse (Vanity Fair)
  • Angela Davis: ‘We knew that the role of the police was to protect white supremacy’ (The Guardian)
  • How Defund and Disband Became the Demands (The New York Review of Books)
  • The Rush to Redefine “Defund the Police” (The New Republic)
  • ‘Abolish The Police’ Isn’t New. This Energy Is. (Huffpo)
  • The Minneapolis Group That’s Been Calling for Police Abolition Since 2016 (Next City)
  • ‘We can enact the future we want now’: a black feminist history of abolition (The Guardian)
  • Blue Bloods: America’s Brotherhood of Police Officers (Vanity Fair)
  • The New Wave of Young Black Activists (NYT Magazine)
  • After 100 Days of Protest, Writers and Photographers Reflect on What They’ve Witnessed (Harpers)

ABOLITIONIST RESPONSES TO VIOLENCE

  • We Have Already Stopped Calling The Cops: What we can learn about police abolition from domestic violence activists (Bustle)
  • ‘Defund the police’ movement could offer sexual assault survivors a different path for justice, experts say (NBC News)
  • Responses to Violence Must Move Beyond Policing (The Appeal)
  • How Can We Reconcile Prison Abolition With #MeToo? (Filter)
  • How I Became a Police Abolitionist (The Atlantic)
  • The Domestic Violence I Survived Taught Me the Importance of Prison Abolition (Transform Harm)
  • Surviving Rape as a Prison Abolitionist (Transform Harm)
  • Transform Harm’s website, “a resource hub about ending violence”
  • Survived and Punished’s Analysis of Gender Violence + Police Violence + Incarceration

PRE-2020 ARTICLES (Minnesota-Specific)

  • Police, incarceration don’t equal public safety (Star Tribune, December 2019)
  • Manufacturing Consent: A Timeline of Policing and Propaganda in Minneapolis (streets.mn, October 2019)
  • Star Tribune Editorial : We must look beyond police for community safety (Star Tribune, March 2019)
  • Mpls. council moves to shift $1.1 million from police department (MPR, December 2018)
  • Minneapolis Police Department budget cut by $1M to fund public safety programs instead (City Pages, December 2018)
  • 31 community groups tell St. Paul leaders: Don’t hire more cops, focus on investing in youth and communities (Pioneer Press, July 2018)
  • St. Paul Mayor Carter rejects police chief’s call for 50 new cops (Pioneer Press, June 2018)
  • More Cops for Who? (TC Daily Planet, March 2018)
  • Police Shooting of Justine ‘Damond’ Ruszczyk Exposes a Vicious Double Standard (Colorlines, July 2017)
  • Activists and organizers reimagine modern day policing in Minneapolis (TC Daily Planet, July 2017)
  • An Official Narrative, Built on Sand (Question the Premise, April 2016)
  • Dominant Narratives, White Media, and Jamar Clark (Question the Premise, December 2015)
  • Police Brutality 101 Online Course (Communities United Against Police Brutality)

PRE-2020 ARTICLES (Perspectives on Abolition)

  • Thinking about how to abolish prisons with Mariame Kaba: (Chris Hayes’ podcast & transcript)
  • Justice in America Ep. 20: Mariame Kaba and Prison Abolition (podcast & transcript)
  • Towards the horizon of abolition: A conversation with Mariame Kaba (The Next System Project)
  • Video: Why We Can and Should Abolish the Police and Prison-Industrial Complex (Films for Action)
  • What Does Police Abolition Mean? (Boston Review)
  • The Struggle to Abolish the Police Is Not New (Boston Review)
  • What Abolitionists Do (Jacobin)
  • This Study Found That Major U.S. Cities Spend Millions More On Policing Than On Social Programs (Blavity)
  • We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops (The Nation)
  • Policing doesn’t need reforming. It needs to be abolished and created anew (The Washington Post)
  • The Myth of Liberal Policing (The New Inquiry)
  • Abolish the police? Organizers say it’s less crazy than it sounds (Chicago Reader)
  • BEYOND REPAIR: While Republicans & Democrats Unite to Increase Police Power, Others Point to New Way Forward (Ricardo Levins Morales)
  • Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind (New York Times)
  • A Jailbreak of the Imagination: Seeing Prisons for What They Are and Demanding Transformation (TruthOut)

ABOLITIONIST TOOLKITS

FURTHER READING, STUDY GUIDES, AND RESOURCES

MPD150 Zines & Printable Resources