State Repression and Movement Defense


This episode turns to questions of political repression, movement defense, and solidarity with political prisoners – questions which have been accentuated in the wake of the massive legal attacks visited upon protesters who participated in the #J20 demonstration in Washington D.C. on the day of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration.

Ashanti Alston, a former Black Panther and member of the Black Liberation Army who spent 14 years incarcerated due to his activity in the revolutionary movement, discusses the uses and pitfalls of distinguishing between political and social prisoners, and argues that defending political prisoners is essential to the struggle for abolition.

Jude Ortiz of The Tilted Scales Collective speaks on the importance of situating legal defense campaigns within a movement-centered strategy for liberation, and the ongoing campaign to defend the #J20 resistance. Payton, a current #J20 co-defendant, closes with his experience of the #J20 repression and this Fall’s courtroom struggles.

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