by Aviah Sarah Day and Shanice Octavia McBean
Pluto Press UK
An introductory guide to the roots and contemporary context of, and resistance to carceral politics in Britain
George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis triggered abolitionist shockwaves. Calls to defund the police found receptive ears around the world. But to abolish the interlocking systems of police, prison, and border power in Britain, we must confront the legacy of Empire.
Abolition Revolution is a historical, theoretical, and practical guide to revolutionary abolitionist politics in Britain. The authors trace the evolution of policing and criminalization from their colonial roots to their contemporary expression, as found in 'Prevent' and drug laws targeting Black communities. They also draw out a rich history of grassroots resistance, from the founding of Notting Hill Carnival in 1959 to transformative responses to repressive community policing today.
With a forceful critique of carceral feminism, alongside an exposition of how these systems fail as a response to social dynamics such as crime, the book offers a compelling and grounded vision for abolition that takes us away from punitivity from above and into community-based forms of accountability from below.
"A powerful analysis of the transformative potential of the abolitionist project. Day and McBean show why we must go beyond shifting a few dollars around to directly challenge the logics of capitalism, racism and patriarchy at the heart of the carceral state" -- Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing
"Vibrantly chronicles the cultural and political landscape of abolitionist practices in the UK. Day and McBean weave a powerful array of analysis, histories and voices - from organisers, scholars, unionists and/or incarcerated people - to offer profoundly necessary historical lessons that formulate the pathways that shape our abolition feminist revolutions" -- Erica R. Meiners, co-author of Abolition. Feminism. Now.
'Not only does this superlative book expertly dismantle the dogmas of liberal anti-racism and carceral feminism which reproduce the systems of power, it also points the way forward to a post-abolitionist future in a meticulous, clear-headed way. Highly recommended' -- Silvia Federici, author of Caliban and the Witch
"Aviah Sarah Day and Shanice Octavia McBean speak with such eloquence, conviction and passion that readers will want to join their struggle for abolition revolution. Their trenchant and concrete analysis of the criminalisation of Black and Asian youth, of carceral white bourgeois feminism, gentrification, and police and state violence, makes for essential reading. Let's head their call for an abolitionist future" -- Françoise Vergès, author of A Decolonial Feminism
About the Authors:
Aviah Sarah Day is a Black community organizer with Sisters Uncut and Hackney Cop Watch. The rest of her time is spent lecturing in Criminology at Birkbeck, University of London, organizing in her trade union branch, and reflecting on how to build workers' power through anarcho-syndicalism.
Shanice Octavia McBean is a Black writer and activist in Sisters Uncut. She grew up in Handsworth, Birmingham, before moving to Tottenham. Describing herself as a revolutionary and Afro-Marxist, she has also organized in anti-racist groups and trade unions.