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Public Panel
Abolition in the UK

Abolition requires that we change one thing: everything.” Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Over the summer, scores of protestors and organisers made it clear: the UK is not innocent.
What then, does justice look like here – and what does abolition mean for the UK?

The first panel in this series looks at abolition movements in the UK, and how we might meet but also go beyond the powerful calls to defund the police and close prisons.

Spanning the work of organisations and campaigns against criminalisation, racism, border violence, gender, prisons and other carceral institutions – we will be looking at what networks and collective histories we can draw lessons from in forging abolitionist paths. We will talk through movement challenges, how wider systems of violence are enforced and what it is that makes abolition so essential.

We are delighted that our speakers are:

Sita Balani, a lecturer in contemporary literature and culture whose work explores the relationship between imperialism and identity in contemporary Britain; Farheen Ahmed, public / immigration law caseworker and member of Legal Sector Workers United trade union; Amal, an anti-psychiatry and prison abolitionist community organiser who works with the Prisoner Solidarity Network (PSN) and Queercare; and Harry Josephine Giles, a writer and performer who makes “art about protest and protest about art”. Chaired by Josh Virasami, an artist, writer and political organiser involved in movements such as UK Black Lives Matter and London Renters Union.