Monday, November 18, 2019

There Are Abolitionists All Around Us

Earlier this year I had the privilege to sit down with veteran NYC abolitionist Pilar Maschi for a wide-ranging discussion of her path to politics and the successful attempt she helped wage to stop an earlier iteration of the NYC jail expansion currently underway. The interview appears in Issue 4 of Commune, and can be read online here without a subscription. But you should subscribe anyway!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Noel Ignatiev, 1940-2019

saying goodbye, the last time I saw Noel
The great revolutionary Marxist and my dear friend Noel Ignatiev has died. I had the honor of celebrating his life and work in the pages of Commune.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

NYC Jail Fight in the News

behind the scenes at "True Crime" on WGN
The NYC jail fight has been featured in a number of journalistic and activist outlets in recent weeks surrounding the New York City Council's shameful decision to add up to twelve jails to the City's carceral landscape with no guarantee that the jails on Rikers Island will even close. I have been honored to be called upon to speak on the history and political stakes of the present moment.

My research figured prominently into a story by Chelsea Sanchez for City Lab entitled "Rikers Was Planned As NYC's Kinder, Gentler Jail. What Happened?" in which I am also quoted.

I was also extensively interviewed alongside some excellent activists for Anakwa Dwamena's impressive New York Review of Books piece "Closing Rikers: Competing Visions For the Future of New York City's Jails."

Following the City Council vote I was interviewed and quoted by Teo Armus in a Washington Post article entitled "'A Stain on New York City: As lawmakers vote to close Rikers Island (sic) some see history repeating itself."

On that accursed day I also had the privilege of contributing to a powerful statement by No New Jails entitled "Nothing has changed. Together we will win."

In the lead-up to the vote, No New Jails circulated a short statement I wrote to each member of the City Council, for which I did not receive any personal responses. My favorite robo-response began with "Dear [name]."

Finally, I was invited on WGN radio's "True Crime" program for a freewheeling discussion with Kelly Pope and Bill "Professor Fraud" Kresse about Rikers History, invest/divest, the Rikers Island art heist, and building a world without police and prisons.

It's a real honor to find a tiny little spot for my work in the unfolding of such consequential events. I will continue to use my scholarship to serve the movement however possible. Otherwise, what's the point?