Since the first conception of the Anarchist Black Cross one of our central points of focus has been on supporting political prisoners and the abolition of the prison system itself.
Many unfamiliar with our work will ask some basic questions: do we really believe its possible to destroy the prison system? How could we expect to achieve something like this? And if no prisons, then what would we replace it with as a form of social control?
These questions are usually followed by half-formed arguments that, not only would it be impossible to annihilate the prison apparatus, but that mass incarceration is necessary to keep our society safe.
Not only do we disagree, but our conclusions, as well as our work, are based in in-depth historical and social analyses. Following the sequence of historical developments and our current social realities we conclude that not only is the destruction of our hostile and abusive prison system possible but that it is inevitable and necessary.
In fact, even now, through a constant process of revolutionary struggle, we see the methodical breakdown of this obsolete, inhuman, counte social institution. Often prisons and prisoners are hidden away from society and placed in far away rural towns, invisibalizing the struggle of those held captive. Its abolition will not happen in an immediate flick of a switch. But a broader analysis shows us that a vast change in our social chemistry is taking place. And that carceral system is crumbling on this wave. So is it possible to destroy systematic Incarceration? Yes it is.
But these things don’t happen on their own. We live in a very dynamic society which has many moving parts. Like a car engine, the function of one part will effect the rest of that entire engine. Something as minor as a spark plug, a fuel hose, a struck valve, can disable the entire machine and this, as revolutionaries is our work. And it is through the constant application of our work that we do, in fact see a massive transformation of our social, political and economic realities: including the crumbling of the prison systems.
These changes take place, sometimes very slowly. Always against the odds. But never stopping. We revolutionaries are the sole agents of social change. We are vastly outnumbered by our oppressive adversarial forces and those of our class peers who sit on the sidelines and do nothing to assist. Yet still, through a strong commitment to unify and apply revolutionary methodology , we continue to gain ground. Just think of how much more, and faster we could move if all of us worked for these revolutionary ends.
The Anarchist Black Cross works from the premise that not only is the prison system unnecessary, but that it is in fact one of the primary causes of social unrest and conflict. The prison system does not “cure” the problems we may have as a society. It only reinforces those problems through a violent, hostile, corrupt, ignorant application of authority.
We in the ABC put forth the fact that our problems can only be resolved by the body of people who they effect, and not by an aggressive army of armed thugs who claim our rights as their own to control.
We realize that to those unfamiliar with the exploration of these ideas there is a lot of skepticism. In fact many of our most zealous comrades began as critics who lacked a full understanding of these concepts. But we believe that through thorough debate and analyses of all opposing angles and view-points of the working class, including us prisoners, the synthesis of facts and ideas will emerge in favor of revolutionary modes, methods, principles and strategies.
This is why we feel completely confident to kick open this door, welcoming all criticisms, all questions , all opposing view points, all debates, and consideration of all ideas for, and against our positions.
Prisoner support and prison abolition are only a couple elements of the greater revolutionary movement. I’m often asked by antagonists why, if I want to create revolution, I don’t try to blow up the White House or snipe some politician or something.
What people fail to realize is that the White House is simply a house. A politician is simply a politician. Doing either of these things would achieve nothing in the way of reshaping the dynamics of our socio-economic realities. Houses can be re-built. Politicians are expendable talking-heads, nothing more. Besides, as history shows, acts of direct violence and terrorist demolition only serve in counter-productive ways to justify state campaigns to further repress its people. Us.
Another thing people fail to realize is that revolution is not simply some “event” that just happens at will. Revolution is a grueling, protracted struggle between social forces. A constant check and balance between progression and reaction. We, of the working class, must take it upon ourselves to be the agents of progression, because the state is poised in arms to quell any attempt by us to claim our own liberties for ourselves.
Revolution is a Constant struggle between social forces. And as our society is made up of several interacting elements on several different levels, revolutionary agencies must exist in all of those different facets on all of those levels.
ABC-OPC is focused on the social institution call the Prison Industrial Complex. More specifically, as those directly related to the Oregon situation., we target the Oregon System on behalf of the greater revolutionary movement.
At this time, our work focuses on three main points of interest
1. to build social and political awareness among our peers and comrades in the Oregon Prison System with the ultimate goal of politicizing our entire prison population.
2. To create and maintain a cohesive organizational structure that incorporates all social sub-groups within our class with the sole purpose of gaining a firmer grip on the rights and liberties which have been ripped from our hands.
3. To build and solidify networks with outside cells and supporters so that we can play a bigger role in the greater revolutionary movement and to build stable footings for revolutionaries releasing back into the greater body of our society.
We realize this might sound like a tall order. But we’re confident that these goals will be met and expanded. The first step is getting involved. Write us and ask how you can help. After all, you have nothing to lose but your chains.
By: Anonymous Oregon Prisoner