Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

Abolition Revolution with Shanice Octavia McBean & rs21

Featured Speakers

Shanice Octavia McBean

Abolition Revolution is a guide to abolitionist politics in Britain, drawing out rich histories of resistance from rebellion in the colonies to grassroots responses to carceral systems today. The authors - Shanice Octavia McBean and Aviah Sara Day - argue that abolition is key to reconceptualising revolution for our times - linking it with materialist feminisms, anti-capitalist class struggle, internationalist solidarity and anti-colonialism.

At this public meeting from our friends at rs21, Shanice Octavia McBean will introduce a discussion on the issues raised in her award winning book Abolition Revolution.

“There wasn’t a single moment when we became police and prison abolitionists. There wasn’t one event, or a single officer or an individual incident that turned us entirely away from the status quo. Things that come in ones or twos often have sensible explanations, reasons why they’re an aberration and not the norm. And we, like everyone, were convinced of these explanations for at least some of our lives.

But we are Black, working class, queer women – the realisation was perhaps inevitable. Over time, the one or two bad experiences with police became threes, fours, tens. The incidents we experienced weren’t just our own, but were the incidents of our moms, cousins, neighbours and friends.”

Shanice Octavia McBean will talk about the transformative potential of the abolitionist project and how it challenges the logic of capitalism, racism and patriarchy which is at the centre of the state.

“Working class boys, especially when they’re racialised, experience a viciousness with police that we were forced to learn about by watching it play out like a horror film in their lives. And we know how horror films go: the Black guy always dies first.’

“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.”

This is a hybrid event and in person accommodation is limited. A zoom link will be sent to online attendees on the day.

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