Freedom Cities had the deep honor of co-convening the “Beyond Alternatives” conference to discuss how to move past false alternatives to the prison industrial complex, towards transformative solutions. Shout out to on-the-ground Freedom Cities member Grassroots Leadership for bringing us together in Austin!
Freedom Cities member organizations from Oakland, Los Angeles, New York, and Austin, as well as partners from across Texas and across the country, worked toward a collective vision of how to shrink the carceral state and move towards abolition. This convening was a response to years of research by Grassroots Leadership to counter the expansion of false, reformist alternatives that make up thetreatment industrial complex.
Our organizers repped and shared critical insights from the following Freedom Cities campaigns:
5) How Grassroots Leadership in Austin countered the anti-immigrant SB4 law and eliminated discretionary arrests through the Freedom Cities Resolution
We integrated the arts and healing justice, calling in our ancestors, and reminding ourselves the work begins within us.
This action took place on the same day as the release of What’s Up With Our Jails, an explosive report from Oakland Community Organizations that reveals multiple human rights violations and poor conditions in the Alameda County jail system.
Chapter members organized events throughout the country. In NYC, Million Hoodies members held the “Safety & Justice Townhall,” where the community shared its visions for re-defining safety. Here is a quick snapshot of the conversation:
- “Safety is not having to worry about the whereabouts of those I am in relation with”
- “Safety is creating systems where we don’t rely on the police”
- “Safety is never needing to ask whether we are free”