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Still from animated film ‘shit’s totally fucked! What can we do? A mutual aid explainer’ – text and illustrations on paper and wood, that spells out “something really important about all this is that Mutual Aid is not Charity”

Mutual Aid on the Road to Abolition

Mutual Aid on the Road to Abolition

Mutual aid is the radical act of caring for each other while working to change the world.
Dean Spade

Dean has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice for the past two decades. His recent book Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the next) is the handbook we all need when thinking about how we create durable movements to combat injustice, while also meeting the immediate needs of the people harmed by poverty, criminalization, racism, transphobia, and ableism.

For this lively conversation and Q&A he is joined by members of Abolitionist Futures, to chat about how we make the connections between the mutual aid practices of our daily lives and anti-capitalist efforts to dismantle systems. What strategies do we use when we are fighting against the state, while also making demands of the state? How does mutual aid lead us to longer-term abolitionist struggles? And where do we put our priorities and our organising energies?

Dean Spade has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice for the past two decades. He works as an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law.

Dean’s book, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law was published by South End Press in 2011. A second edition with new writing was published in 2015 by Duke University Press. Bella Terra Press published a Spanish edition in 2016. In 2015, Dean released a one-hour video documentary, Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back!, which can be watched free online with English captions or subtitles in several languages. Dean’s new book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the next) was published by Verso Press in October 2020.

Abolitionist Futures is a collaboration of community organisers and activists in Britain and Ireland who are working together to build a future without prisons, police and punishment. They share information and resources to strengthen the network of existing and emerging abolitionist groups and allied organisations. Their aim is to support the flourishing of a diverse, vibrant and powerful abolitionist movement in Britain and Ireland. “It’s time to imagine and build the world we want.”


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