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Aug 17, 2021

Rory Elliott and Woods Ervin from Critical Resistance’s newspaper, The Abolitionist, join the show for a wide-ranging conversation on abolitionist media.

According to their website, The Abolitionist, sometimes lovingly referred to as The Abbey, “launched in the spring of 2005 as a bilingual publication dedicated to the strategy and practice of prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition. It is distributed absolutely free of charge to thousands of people in prisons, jails, and detention centers throughout the US, who in turn share the paper with many more of their fellow prisoners.“

“From analyses of racial capitalism and imperialism, to housing, education, land struggles, mental health, confronting gender violence, fights to build life-affirming infrastructure for community self-determination and more, each issue is packed with fresh analytical articles, reflections, poetry, visual art, and organizing resources and tools for resistance inside and outside of prisons.”  

This wide ranging conversation touches not just on the history of this publication, but the role of history and historicizing in the journalism they produce. We talk about how the ethics of abolitionist journalism differ from that of traditional US journalistic norms. We also discuss some of the pieces that have been published in the Abbey recently and the intentions behind their editorial decisions. 

Rory Elliott (she/her) has been a chapter member with Critical Resistance Portland since 2019. She is a core member of the mutual aid project The Imprisoned Firefighter Fundraiser that raised $61,000 for prisoners fighting wildfires across the state of Oregon, and worked closely with other organizers to get stimulus check information to everyone locked in the Oregon prison system. She is the Distribution Coordinator & an Editorial Collective member with The Abolitionist Newspaper. She's a t-girl against assimilation, for queer liberation and prison industrial complex abolition.


Woods Ervin (they/them) is a Black nonbinary trans person from the South who has been deeply immersed in movements for racial and gender justice for over a decade. Woods has been a member of Critical Resistance since 2010, and from 2014 to 2018 was part of rebuilding Transgender, Gender-variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). Through both organizations, Woods organized as part of multiple campaigns to halt jail construction and policing. Woods is the current Communications Director at Critical Resistance. 

Episode Resources & Notes

Subscribe to The Abolitionist Newspaper:

Subscribe a loved one inside to The Abolitionist Newspaper:

Issue 34 Sneak Peek: Finding Our Way Forward – Past Neoliberalism, Austerity, Fascism, and the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) - by Woods Ervin

Read past issues here:


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