Happy May Day! Don’t forget to support striking workers and don’t shop at all today if you can help it, but especially not with Amazon, Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Instacart.
Our interview with WNYC’s The United States of Anxiety about our poem 45 Questions to Ask While Waiting and its relevance to life in quarantine is now up, and can be listened to here. Our friends at Museo del Chopo also translated the poem into Spanish, which can be read here.
We have an essay in Out of Print, the brainchild of one of our idols, Chicago emcee Noname. Noname’s Book Club is introducing this new publication, featuring art and writing from members of the club’s various chapters across the country. Our essay, In A Pandemic, Prison Abolition Is More Necessary—And More Possible—Than Ever, delves into what COVID-19 means for the fight to end incarceration, and how the chaos of the moment has also helped prove that grassroots movements’ most radical demands aren’t merely feasible, but practical, and necessary for our collective survival. Look for it in print and online.
In this time of growing fascism, it’s crucial we maintain our practice of hope. One way of doing so is remembering that so many of the authoritarian measures being implemented are in direct response to the radical gains and new possibilities for the revolutionary redistribution of resources that have also been made possible by COVID-19. When it feels like we’re losing, we may just be on the verge of winning.
As Mariame Kaba famously says, hope is a discipline. We hope, wherever you are in this pandemic, you are both making room for your feelings, and finding ways to anchor them in a longterm vision for what this moment is teaching us, the potential for liberation it is also opening up.
In this scary and unsure time, we are particularly thankful to those who have become patrons on our Patreon page. While we were already planning some time off for ourselves during this season, the current pandemic has made our future prospects—like so many other artists and freelancers—hard to predict. We appreciate your generosity in new ways during this difficult period.
On that note, we were interviewed for the WNYC podcast The United States of Anxiety about our poem 45 Questions to Ask While Waiting. Originally posted on our blog as a response to Dean Spade’s questionnaire Workaholics Anonymous, we reflected on the poem in a time of pandemic, added some questions to the list, and even provided some answers years after we originally posed them. We hope the interview can bring some comforts and insights as we collectively navigate a period of deep waiting. Look for it later this week.
Acknowledging the bleakness of some of the shifts happening under COVID-19, we wanted to share a few resources and bits of analysis that have been giving us hope, reframing this crisis as an unveiling rather than a deterioration, an opportunity for ushering in the radical new world so many of us have dreamed of:
The Intercept – Organizer Mariame Kaba: We Need A People’s Bailout to Confront Coronavirus
Newsweek – To Fight This Pandemic, We Need to Take Over The Military’s Resources—Not The Other Way Around
The New Yorker – Reality Has Endorsed Bernie Sanders
Financial Times – Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’
Stay safe, slow down, keep fighting.
We don’t have many major updates for March, as we’re taking the month to rest up after some heavy traveling on the front end of the year.
We will be continuing our facilitation for Chicago Community Bond Fund, as well as leading a Linking Anti-Blackness and Anti-Immigration workshop for the Revolutionary Oak Park Youth Action League. Some of these badass young people recently occupied their city hall to demand #PoliceFreeSchools and the redistribution of their city’s resources for public education in place of incarceration. We are honored to support them and learn from them.
In writing news, our essay on asylum seeker Francisco Morales Torres, originally slated to be published by Them, has finally come out on Truthout! Please share his story, and consider donating to Organized Communities Against Deportations, who continue to do invaluable advocacy around his case and others.
We’ll be laying a bit lower in the coming weeks, but we’ll continue to update you here.