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. We hope it can be useful.

We’ve also put together a kind of “top 25 list” of #AbolitionReadings here, and are currently sharing the most recent writing and resources on abolition via our linktree.

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

MAKING THE CASE FOR ABOLITION

  • Ruth Wilson Gilmore Makes the Case for Abolition (The Intercept)
  • Why Arguments Against Abolition Inevitably Fail (Angela Y. Davis)
  • To Stop Police Violence, We Need Better Questions—and Bigger Demands (Mariame Kaba)
  • 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 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)
  • Defund the Police Is a Demand—and We Should Heed It (Bitch Media)
  • The Fantasy of Community Control of the Police (The Forge)
  • Police Convictions Are Not the Goal. Abolitionists Have Bigger Dreams. (Truthout)

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)
  • 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)
  • What Public Safety Without Police Looks Like (The Appeal)
  • Defunding the Police Isn’t Punishment—It Will Actually Make Us Safer (Cosmopolitan)
  • What If We Just Stopped Calling the Cops? (Vice)

ABOLITION IN PRACTICE: PART 2: SPECIFIC EXAMPLES

  • Health care workers replaced Denver cops in handling hundreds of mental health and substance abuse cases — and officials say it saved lives (CBS News)
  • Seattle cut its police budget. Now the public will decide how to spend the money (The Appeal)
  • Austin will use money cut from police budget to establish supportive housing (The Appeal)
  • San Francisco voters abolish mandatory staffing levels for police (The Appeal)
  • Five Days Without Cops: Could Brooklyn Policing Experiment be a ‘Model for the Future’? (The City)
  • Oakland Takes First Steps Toward Directing Some 911 Calls to Community Responders (The Appeal)
  • Minneapolis Defunds Its Police. Organizers Made It Happen. (Gen)
  • Los Angeles voters just delivered a huge win for the defund the police movement (Vox)
  • Where Calling the Police Isn’t the Only Option (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • Campaigns to Defund Police Have Seen Major Wins — and They’re Not Stopping (TruthOut)
  • What Traffic Enforcement Without Police Could Look Like (The Appeal)
  • The section on “city by city victories” (p.44) in Interrupting Criminalization’s The Demand Is Still Defund the Police: Lessons from 2020 Toolkit

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)
  • 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)
  • The New Wave of Young Black Activists (NYT Magazine)
  • After 100 Days of Protest, Writers and Photographers Reflect on What They’ve Witnessed (Harpers)

UNREFORMABLE: ON POLICE AND PRISONS

  • Blue Bloods: America’s Brotherhood of Police Officers (Vanity Fair)
  • The Police Don’t Change (Slate)
  • Angela Davis: ‘We knew that the role of the police was to protect white supremacy’ (The Guardian)
  • The Bad Cops: How Minneapolis protects its worst police officers until it’s too late (MN Reformer)
  • The Lies Cops Tell and the Lies We Tell About Cops (The New Republic)
  • The Enemy Within: Race and White Supremacy in American Policing (Rolling Stone)
  • Police and State Violence Have Secondary Impacts: Complex and Lasting Trauma (TruthOut)
  • Arrested, then traumatized: Black people on what comes after police encounters (NBC)
  • Getting Real About Prisons and Why They Don’t Make Us Safer (Movement Memos)

ABOLITIONIST RESPONSES TO VIOLENCE

  • Aching for Abolition: As a survivor of sexual violence, I know prison isn’t the answer (The Cut)
  • How I Became a Police Abolitionist (The Atlantic)
  • 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)
  • 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
  • An Anti-Rape Movement Without Police (The New Republic)
  • What Does Accountability Look Like Without Punishment? (Yes!)

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 & RESOURCE GUIDES

FURTHER READING AND RESOURCES

MPD150 Zines & Printable Resources