Change Everything: Racial Capitalism and the Case for Abolition

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Haymarket Books, Feb 2, 2021 - Social Science - 180 pages

Racial, gender, and environmental justice. Class war. Militarism. Interpersonal violence. Old age security. This is not the vocabulary many use to critique the prison-industrial complex.

But in this series of powerful lectures, Ruth Wilson Gilmore shows that the only way to dismantle systems and logics of control and punishment is to change questions, categories, and campaigns from the ground up.

Abolitionism doesn’t just say no to police, prisons, border control, and the current punishment system. It requires persistent organizing for what we need, organizing that’s already present in the efforts people cobble together to achieve access to schools, health care and housing, art and meaningful work, and freedom from violence and want.

As Gilmore makes plain, “Abolition requires that we change one thing: everything.”

Change Everything is the inaugural book in the new Abolitionist Papers book series, edited by Naomi Murakawa.

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About the author (2021)

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is professor of Earth and environmental sciences and director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at CUNY Graduate Center. A cofounder of California Prison Moratorium Project and Critical Resistance, she is author of the prize-winning book Golden Gulag: Prison, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California.

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