Theory & Event

In this essay, Charmaine Chua reflects on Minneapolis’ efforts to redefine abolitionist futures through projects of mutual aid and abolitionist world-making. Although we might rightly attribute the current global upswell of calls to abolish the police to the burning of Minneapolis’s Third Precinct and all that act of rebellion signified, this essay argues that we have as much, if not more to learn from preceding and ensuing local efforts to build an abolitionist infrastructure as we do from the spectacular act of the riot. In the aftermath of the fires, mutual aid organizers sought to engage Minneapolis residents in intentional, affirmative, and often fractious efforts to organize forms of collective care and provisioning. These acts of care—and the challenges faced in producing durable coalitions to sustain such work—provide an opportunity to reflect not only on the imaginaries and horizons opened by global demands for abolition, but also the enormity of the project of collective organizing required to enact such visions in the here and now.


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Mapping Visions for Transformative Change

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