Embodying power and resilience, organizers and communities employ new and old strategies to identify and resist criminalization while dreaming up new worlds free from state violence and control. The movement responses shared in this report are built out of longings for freedom from the state’s carceral apparatus, and from colonial and contemporary restrictions on identity, geographical movement and connection to land, and economic exploitation; they are built out of longing for communal liberty, resilience and sovereignty.

Organizers are using a myriad of strategies that range from organizing, to policy and advocacy, to political education, to somatics, to technology developments and beyond. These strategies demand decarceration and decriminalization, divestment from surveillance economies, harm reduction in platform moderation, exposing the extent of carceral systems and technologies. They also include building concrete community structures driven by the needs, safety and direct engagement of communities. Acknowledging the destructive principles of the prison industrial complex, and its reliance on punishment and surveillance technologies, organizers forge intersectional analyses that center abolition, healing justice, and community-based interventions in their work. These adaptations represent movement technologies that point towards a future beyond policing, creatively circumventing systems of criminalization and extractivist practices.

Critical Resistance defines abolition as the goal and practice of ending the prison industrial complex, which the organization describes as “the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing, and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social, and political problems.” According to Critical Resistance, abolition is not simply about eliminating physical prisons, but about transforming the social conditions of oppression that give rise to violent systems of policing and incarceration.

Abolition is the vision. Abolition examines the root causes of systemic and interpersonal violence and how dominant narratives of policing have become internalized in our collective thinking. Abolition is an iterative practice that not only seeks to eliminate physical prisons, but also strives to transform the social conditions that lead to and feed oppressive, violent systems of policing, punishment, and incarceration.

Abolition is the antithesis of surveillance culture. What distinguishes abolition as a strategy is that it does not assume that the use of carceral technologies and mass criminalization are inevitable. Drawing from historical lessons and legacies of resistance, an abolitionist approach calls for “a deep rethinking of our reliance on policing and surveillance to resolve all conflict, violence, and harms within our communities and society. It requires confronting our own sense of safety and the responsibilities of public safety, said a researcher and policy analyst interviewed for this research. If surveillance is, as one organizer put it, about “constant control of the body,” then movements for abolition ask: How do we make structures of oppression and control irrelevant?

Organizations are creating successful abolitionist campaigns to fight tech and criminalization. In 2019, The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition (SLSC) won a hard-fought campaign to eradicate “Chronic Offender Bulletins” (COBs), which the LAPD had used to track so-called persons of interest in low-income communities of color. SLSC organizes on multiple fronts to abolish all surveillance tools and programs. Toward this end, the coalition has developed what it calls “abolitionist technologies” —creative interventions using art, media, and performance—to galvanize public support against the state’s deployment and funding of surveillance technology. In its campaign to end the LAPD’s drone program, SLSC disrupted a police commission meeting using political theater to draw connections between the violence that drones inflict on migrant children in the US and children in occupied Palestine. SLSC calls for redirecting funding for surveillance programs into community resources instead: “We urgently need more investments in public housing, education, health centers, youth development programs, healthy food, and steady employment–factors that promote real public safety.”

What distinguishes abolition as a strategy is that it does not assume that the use of carceral technologies and mass criminalization are inevitable. Instead, abolition begins with the following questions: What resources were not available to communities that led to relying on the state for a sense of safety? What resources do communities need to build and sustain interdependent networks of care that would make surveillance culture obsolete? Ultimately, ending the criminalization of communities of color in the US requires dismantling the state’s architecture of surveillance, policing, and criminalization and the systems upon which it depends.

Decarceration and decriminalization are key goals in the abolitionist vision. A successful example is the nationwide #BlackMamasBailOuts campaign, led by SONG and the National Bail Out Collective. #BlackMamasBailOuts seeks to free Black mothers and caregivers so they can be with their loved ones for Mother’s Day. In 2019, the campaign raised over $1 million and bailed out 123 Black mothers and caregivers in 37 cities. As a decarceral strategy, #BlackMamasBailOuts offers a transformative model of investment in community support by directing funds not only for bail but also for childcare, sustainable housing, transportation, and legal services for Black mothers and caregivers. In doing so, the campaign recognizes that community support and services are necessary to keep people safe and well. It also celebrates Black trans mothers and caregivers who care for trans and gender non-conforming youth, along with Black queer families who defy heteronormative systems.

Along with decarceration, broadscale decriminalization is needed to stop the expansion of mass criminalization enabled by surveillance technologies. In Atlanta, Solutions Not Punishment (SNaPCo), a Black trans-led collaborative, observed that the use of mounted cameras with enhanced surveillance capability on police vehicles led to more arrests of Black residents. In response, SNaPCo implemented a pre-arrest diversion initiative with the city so that those who were frequently stopped by police, particularly sex workers and people with neurodivergence, could avoid arrest and detention and access supportive services instead. A community organizer and advocate interviewed in 2019 reported that since 2017, 130 arrests have been diverted. This initiative was part of a broader campaign to decriminalize sex work across the state of Georgia. SNaPCo also partnered with Women on the Rise, a sister organization led by formerly incarcerated women, to close down the Atlanta City Detention Center. They are currently working to repurpose the former jail into a community space. SNaP4Freedom School, an organizer training program guided by a “Black trans futurist framework for practical abolition,” organized a successful campaign to change a city ordinance that made marijuana possession a non-arrestable offense. These strategic interventions have led to a larger push for decriminalization, as other municipalities have followed SNaPCo’s model.

Resistance to profiling and ‘Racist AI’ has a long history leading to present-day battles against its use. In 2020, for example, partly in response to Black Lives Matters protests, the ACLU filed a case seeking to both ban the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement and put in place a moratorium on the sale of facial recognition technologies to police forces by mainstream corporations.

Migrant justice organizations are calling for broad divestment from the surveillance economy that escalates arrests, detentions, and deportations in migrant communities. Via the campaign #NoTechforICE (part of the larger #AbolishICE movement), organizations demand that tech corporations end their contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and stop building products that enable federal agencies to stalk and detain asylum seekers, refugees, and people of undocumented status. It also urges investors to divest from companies like Palantir that specialize in surveillance and data-sharing that have a direct hand in separating migrant families at the border.

We’ve been doing immigration enforcement work for a while and technology is popping up in it and really changing the rules of the game. That means we have to be thinking about how we change culture, industry and economy in the US around deportations, in addition to just thinking of the federal policy that’s coming down from DC.

— campaign organizer

While many are skeptical about whether or not tech companies will be held accountable, spotlighting collaborations between private firms and ICE is a critical strategy for exposing the roles that tech companies play in the larger ecosystem. In 2018, Mijente, a Latinx justice organization working at the intersection of immigration and tech, released “Who’s Behind ICE?” a report exposing the financial dealings between the US government and the tech industry.

This campaign is about exposing tech and data companies and getting people to understand how these companies are building the backbone of the deportation machine…and what it looks like to imagine possible strategies and tactics that we can engage with.

— campaign organizer

Mijente is organizing a geographically diverse, cross-sector network of migrant communities, tech workers, students, and social justice organizers to explore divestment strategies and intervene at the point of sale for surveillance products. For example, in 2019, migrant justice advocates championed California state bill “The Sanctuary State Contracting and Investment Act” (AB 1332), which would have barred local and state agencies from contracting with companies that provide data brokering services and data processing tools to ICE and CBP. Organizers hoped that AB 1332’s intervention model of creating economic consequences for cooperating with federal immigration authorities will shift the culture in Silicon Valley and push companies to adopt more ethical standards for conducting business.

Organizers are challenging electronic monitoring as an alternative to institutional imprisonment. One example of these efforts is MediaJustice’s #NoDigitalPrisons campaign. As political support mounts for decarceration (the reversal of decades of mass imprisonment in the US), MJ launched the #NoDigitalPrisons campaign to challenge the notion that electronic monitoring is a more humane replacement for traditional detention. Warning that electronic monitoring could become the new “technological” mass incarceration, MJ points out that the number of people shackled to electronic monitors has doubled in the past decade, and that more systems, including immigration and juvenile detention, are using these devices. MediaJustice is shifting the narrative to show that the experience of confinement and surveillance under “digital prisons” is a direct extension of physical incarceration.

As part of #NoDigitalPrisons, MediaJustice initiated the #ChallengingEcarceration project to develop a set of guidelines for advocates and policymakers seeking to defend the rights of people under electronic supervision. These guidelines include provisions like credit for “time served under surveillance,” since electronic monitoring is a type of state detention. They also include restrictions on the kinds of personal data that can be collected by electronic monitors and how that data is shared. The guidelines also call for minimally invasive technology, with prohibitions on implants, biometric tracking, audio and video recording, and inflicting pain as punishment. Over 50 racial justice, criminal justice, and civil rights organizations have endorsed the guidelines.

I spent a year on an electronic monitor and I don’t think electronic monitoring is an alternative to incarceration, I think it’s another form of incarceration. The capacity of these devices, like cell phones, is going to greatly increase. Not only do they become devices of carceral control, they become devices of state surveillance. The data from them gets blended in with other databases. There’s very little accountability for how the technology is used or what happens to the data that's gathered by electronic monitoring.

— technologist & policy analyst

Securing work via digital platforms is a harm reduction strategy for many sex workers; online work is often safer than street-based work. Documenting the direct negative impacts of FOSTA-SESTA on the safety, livelihoods and activism of sex-workers, organizers and allies illustrate how movement technologies and research are integral tools in the fight for social justice. While aimed at sex workers, FOSTA-SESTA represents a pernicious type of legislation that has chilling implications for the broader ecosystem of digital organizing.

Hacking//Hustling is a sex worker led collective working at the intersection of social justice and technology intentionally bridging gaps between the siloed communities of tech development, legal advocacy, academia, and grassroots movement organizing around the myriad ways that sex work is mediated by technology, including FOSTA-SESTA and the EARN IT Act. In partnership with academic institutions and tech organizations, the collective organizes in spaces where sex workers normally aren't invited in order to ensure that the voices of people who experience the direct impacts of criminalization and loss of online spaces are at the center of all policy conversations. They conduct community-based participatory research with fellow workers in the industry to learn how FOSTA-SESTA is harming economic self-determination and how sex workers are responding. According to their new study, approximately 33% of online sex workers experienced being kicked off a payment platform, with many reporting that the platform also seized their funds (ranging from $300-$1,000), and 81% of online sex workers report that they face difficulties advertising their services online after FOSTA-SESTA. “A sex worker losing their account can mean they’re not able to pay rent, support kids, or afford medicine or health care, and may also mean being disconnected from organizing efforts with friends who would help them,” explained a sex worker activist. Many workers in the sex trades are experiencing economic instability and increasingly precarious working conditions as tech companies, fearful of federal and state prosecution, de-platform them. Major digital payment platforms like Paypal and Patreon, whose original models benefited from sex workers being among the first users of this technology, are now blocking them from collecting payments.

Through their reclamation of community-based research methods and resourcing sex workers to share their lived experiences and expertise, groups like Hacking//Hustling remain at the forefront of movements by creating knowledge by and for sex workers impacted by surveillance. Hacking//Hustling also provides peer-led digital security and digital literacy trainings to strengthen the knowledge and security of their community (discussed further below).

Community-centered technology is a powerful countervailing force in the fight against criminalization, equipping communities to use technology to resist surveillance culture. Grounded in self-determination, organizers and movement technologists view their technology as a tool for liberation; they aim to shift the balance of power by actively supporting communities to have “access to the power to develop, control, and own technology.

How we approach the creation and use of technology has to be part of our vision of change. If we can create that, then new technology can actually unleash a bunch of power and not have it just be a way for corporations to monopolize and control people’s information.

— campaign organizer

Organizers are using principles of design justice to re-envision who shapes technology, what it does and who has access to it in the first place. Organizers identified “design justice” as a theory and practice that centers engagement of communities in the design and development of technologies that impact them. Design justice is also “concerned with how the design of objects and systems influences the distribution of risks, harms, and benefits among various groups of people.” As a framework, design justice considers: “Who gets to do design? Who we design for or with? What values do we encode in designed objects and systems?” As a participatory model, design justice ensures that community members have a direct say over the goals, methods, and outcomes of creating and using technology infrastructure and tools. This holistic approach to design proactively prioritizes what communities most desire and need from the design process.

Community technology and consentful technology are key conceptual prisms through which organizers are re-envisioning technology to support movement values. As movement work increasingly relies on digital organizing, relationship building remains more critical than any tech tool. The Community Technology Network Gathering at the Allied Media Conference created guiding principles of community technology, which include access, empowerment, privacy, ownership, resource sharing, and collective expression. Relatedly, the concept of consentful technology, developed by Allied Media, centers consent as a core value of empowering communities to access technology. Organizers emphasize strengthening community self-determination in accessing digital technologies by teaching community members how to protect themselves and their data. In this way, movement organizations help community members navigate their complex relationships with tech, both to reduce the harms of surveillance and to use tech for grassroots organizing and liberation.

Organizers are finding ways to adapt their digital organizing strategies to align with their values, ancestral knowledge, and traditional methods of convening people. For organizations whose approach hinges on digital organizing, the efficacy of their work continues to rely heavily on building interpersonal relationships in and across digital and physical spaces. A technologist, advocate & educator described this challenge: “Our work as online organizers and our big movement contribution is about figuring out how to create feelings of belonging at scale in ways that are honest and real.”

I think one of the things that's very challenging about being a smaller organization building software to solve complex problems is that it's hard to resource. From a funding perspective, funders only want the sexy part, which is building software, and not the organizing part. It takes a lot to bring grassroots partners along on a process of developing and rolling out technology.

— technologist, advocate, & educator

Using these principles of design justice and community technology, communities are developing alternative technologies and solidarity platforms grounded in their politics. Corporate infrastructure can expose organizers and community members to state surveillance, as many of these platforms permit government agencies and police to monitor social movements. In response, organizers are developing their own technologies that allow them to control their data and the security protocols needed to protect it. To that end, some technologists are building community-owned infrastructure to provide internet service to their communities. By installing high speed internet antennas that share gigabit connections with people’s home computers and building their own local wireless mesh networks, they are able to cut out the corporate middlemen.

In Detroit, the Equitable Internet Initiative (EII) —a collaboration between Allied Media Projects and the Detroit Community Technology Project (DCTP)—is building community wireless networks and bringing digital education and empowerment to a city where 40% of residents don’t have access to the internet. Their solar-powered infrastructure can withstand flooding, storms, and utility shutoffs. Free, open Wi-Fi networks also help with emergency response, like when Superstorm Sandy destroyed the power grid in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Despite the loss of cell service, residents and responders were able to communicate through their community Wi-Fi network. DCTP consists of community technologists—those with the desire to design, build, and facilitate a healthy integration of technology into people’s lives and communities, allowing them the fundamental human right to communicate. DCTP works to demystify technology and expand digital literacy in their communities through community technology programs. Through the EII, they support historically marginalized residents to build and maintain neighborhood-governed internet infrastructure that fosters accessibility, consent, safety, and resilience. EII trains residents as Digital Stewards and works to strengthen neighborhoods through community organizing, participation, collaboration, and resilient infrastructure.

In a context of colonialism and climate disasters, building community resilience is critical for building power and movements. Puerto Rico-based nonprofit La Maraña illustrates the power of design justice through its community participatory recovery model: “In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and María in 2017, the failed government response sparked a collective movement of community-based initiatives that have come to the forefront of their communities’ justice-based recovery.” Its Imaginación Post-María initiative combines microfinancing, capacity-building, participatory budgeting, and design programs (such as Illustrator, GIS, and AutoCAD) to conduct mapping and planning for community-driven infrastructure projects. La Maraña has deep respect for local communities’ relationship to the land, and the organization supports reclamation efforts as a central part of its methodology.

La Maraña begins each of its community maps by collecting oral histories, which are a powerful mapping tool when climate disaster has rendered the landscape of a neighborhood unrecognizable. This practice also records community members’ desires for infrastructural changes. In this sense, La Maraña fashions a portal of possibility for a just future. One organizer described this process: “I tend to speak about the work that we're doing in communities as a way of going into a bubble. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by what's happening in Puerto Rico that when I go to the communities, I feel like we're living in a parallel universe, where we can dream, we can construct, and we can think of alternate lives.”

For organizers in Puerto Rico, community-driven infrastructure, including technology, is vital to a just and ongoing decolonization from US imperialism, imposed economic austerity, and disaster capitalism. Community technology project Resilient Just Technologies (RJT) creates DIY Wi-Fi networks for emergency response and recovery, leveraging existing media and decentralized technologies for immediate use by organizers in the racial, economic, and climate justice movements. RJT has collaborated with Community Tech NY to adapt their standalone communications platform called Portable Network Kits (PNKs). PNKs are mobile, affordable, and secure, with resiliency features—including solar panels and battery packs—that make them useful when power grids are down. They work with the internet and function as a local network without the internet, which allows people to stay connected during and after climate disasters. RJT has also been working with healing justice practitioners and mutual aid centers to promote communications justice as central to our decolonization efforts.

Community-owned infrastructure is a powerful way that Indigenous communities exercise sovereignty. Native tribes receive less than 1% of all FCC funding for broadband infrastructure support because they often do not meet funding criteria, which are based on a colonial internet model of a single carrier and individual subscribers. However, Native communities are creating their own infrastructure based on “tribally centric deployment models” that promote education and connectivity through community technology centers and libraries.

The Indigenous Connectivity Summit emphasizes that infrastructure initiatives for Native communities must prioritize community-owned networks, sustainability, cultural preservation, respect for tribal lands, community health, and capacity building. During demonstrations at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), water protectors at Oceti Sakowin built an open-source mesh network to allow activists and journalists to report what was happening at the camp. This helped galvanize an international solidarity movement in support of defending land and lives from extractive industries, even as private security firm Tigerswan launched cyber-attacks on activists and broke into fiber cable boxes on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe land.

Other organizations forging solidarity platforms are May First Movement Technology, a nonprofit cooperative of movement organizations and activists across the US and Mexico that has created a solidarity platform that hosts over 10,000 email addresses and over 2,000 websites on collectively-owned, encrypted hardware. Palante Technology Cooperative provides social justice-informed tech support, including data management and digital security, to movement organizations looking to use technology to advance their work. Riseup is an autonomous tech collective that runs secure online communication tools, including its own email, chat servers, and VPN (virtual private network). VoterVox, a project of, is a translation app that breaks down language barriers preventing limited English-proficient Asian American and Pacific Islander voters from participating in elections.

We can't create a magical policy to fix this. We can't create one research project that's going to unveil the entire thing. It is going to be a constant process where we have to be thinking about how to change the narrative and build power. And that can only happen with movement in communities that are directly impacted, involved and in the mix, and so funding has to be reflective.

— campaign organizer

Movement technology is a resource-intensive investment because it is created by and for communities with a participatory design process that guarantees its accessibility and usefulness of the technology. Developing movement technology is critical for transforming the surveillance culture. Developing solidarity platforms and tech tools for movement work is usually cost-prohibitive for small nonprofit organizations operating with limited budgets. Building platforms that aren’t just functional but also user-friendly is essential to moving from mainstream platforms to secure digital spaces. Creating successful movement technology requires long-term investment and support.

Organizers are creating healthier digital ecosystems that center data sovereignty and community-based training around digital security. The mainstream use of social media and search engine platforms is linked to increased surveillance; however, these same tools are necessary for effective organizing and community mobilization.

Because of the security risks posed by mainstream platforms, QT2SBIPOC organizers are increasingly switching to open source platforms that use E2E. When they adopt encrypted technology, they shift the balance of power in the digital ecosystem because their data can no longer be captured and weaponized against them via social media intelligence (SOCMINT). But even those platforms marked as “progressive” aren’t always safe: the culture and economy of tech development continues to exclude QT2SBIPOC communities from the design process, resulting in products that may negatively impact these communities.

Holistic approaches to community capacity-building, education, and training around digital security are imperative to the larger abolitionist vision of social change and the fight against criminalization. Most mainstream digital security resources and trainings focus on the security of an individual, which means they often fail to address systemic and community issues. Many grassroots organizations don’t have IT staff or funding to update devices, which increases vulnerability to security breaches. For this reason, trainers adapt their approach to improving digital security protocol so it can be seamlessly integrated into an organization’s existing infrastructure without placing burdensome and inaccessible demands on staff. Holistic safety addresses the technical risks that organizations encounter, and, equally as important, the somatic trauma that organizers and community members experience due to digital attacks and surveillance. Radical QT2SBIPOC digital security (digisec) and information security (infosec) trainers are bringing principles of holistic safety into their work, centering community safety, well-being, and contextual responses to meet the security needs of these organizations. In Hacking//Hustling’s inaugural sex-worker led event in response to FOSTA-SESTA, they partnered with T4Tech, a trans and sex worker led organization, to lead the digital security trainings. Community members reported the importance of having trainers from their community lead the workshops and attributed it to why these trainings were more effective than previous efforts led by outside experts.

Organizers are designing tools and trainings for data defense and stewardship in response to how government agencies, tech companies, and corporations collect and weaponize data. Organizations like the Data Justice Program are actively fighting to end the conflation between surveillance/security and safety. They have been intricately involved in equitable census organizing and resistance to facial recognition and mass surveillance. Through the Our Data Bodies’ (ODB) research, they determined that organizations who ‘innovate’ from a security or surveillance mindset, make already marginalized community members less safe. The program reshapes narratives and nurtures the existence of a more equitable and just future online and offline. The ODB project takes a holistic view on creating healthy digital ecosystems based on the principles of digital justice: access, participation, common ownership, and healthy communities. Its recently created Digital Defense Playbook is a participatory training model that engages community members in learning about their data bodies, the ways their personal information is digitally collected, stored, and shared to surveil and criminalize them. This work helps community members gain a more embodied understanding of the hidden flow of personal data between government and private agencies. One exercise, “What’s In Your Wallet?,” asks participants to examine the contents of their wallets (ID, credit cards, public benefits cards, etc.) and map the types of personal information that data-driven systems collect from them every day. They then learn how this data may be used to deny them access to public assistance, housing, employment, and other basic resources. ODB frames this analysis around how data-driven systems and technologies impede self-determination and chances for advancement in QT2SBIPOC communities. Participants are equipped to identify points of vulnerability and become informed stewards of their own data.

Organizations are fortifying their data sovereignty by conducting their own research, data collection, and data analysis for social justice, in addition to data stewardship. Indigenous feminist organizers are making critical connections between the importance of data ownership, land sovereignty, and gender justice with the #MMIWGT2S (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Trans, and Two Spirit People) campaign. After noticing that official state reports grossly ignored or misrepresented the level of gender and sexual violence against Native communities, the Sovereign Bodies Institute (SBI) created its own comprehensive #MMIWGT2S database to honor the Indigenous women, girls, trans, and two-spirit people who have gone missing or been murdered. Researchers from SBI centered Indigenous methodologies in gathering data about the identities of those in the database, including information left out of state reporting about whether these individuals ever returned to their tribal communities, received a traditional burial ceremony, or were targeted as sex workers. The database serves as a resource for activists and advocates to seek justice for their stolen siblings. SBI has also collaborated with Three Sisters Collective, a feminist Pueblo organization in New Mexico, to hold intergenerational community organizing events. Gatherings like the ones held by SBI and Three Sisters Collective integrate data sovereignty with personal and collective healing.

Healing justice is part of our abolition work. It is to equip folks with the memory of healing in us so that we don’t call the police to address a situation, but rather we take care of ourselves and each other. We’re not turning to the violent state...we’re actually resolving it ourselves. A lot of our work is intentionally to build the alternative as we’re trying to shut down or dismantle these systems. We will be much more powerful when we notice how much state violence impacts us and we’re able to end it within ourselves. Because if we’re well and we stop harming each other, I don’t see what else could stop us.

— healing justice practitioner & organizer

Building movements that are powerful and sustainable enough to dismantle systems of oppression necessitates healing the personal, collective, and generational trauma that these systems cause. In our previous report, Healing Justice: Building Power, Transforming Movements, we were excited to show how QT2SBIPOC organizers have long known and developed practices to support healing and resiliency as part of building community power—a framework known as healing justice. Having become deeply skilled in conflict resolution, community accountability methods, and transformative justice (which seeks solutions that do not use punishment, incarceration, or policing), movement organizations are creating interdependent networks of care within their communities as alternatives to reliance on the state. These organizations support addressing harm and resolving conflict without involving the systems that enact violence upon QT2SBIPOC communities.

These care networks provide communities with resources to develop their own protective practices from a place of healing the harms of internalized state violence. These holistic approaches integrate abolition, healing justice, and holistic safety into their organizing strategies. For example, Dignity and Power Now (DPN) supports “communities most impacted by mass incarceration and state violence with tools to interrupt, respond to and mitigate the harms of violence by law enforcement agencies.” They coordinate a rapid response network of organizers “who act as Healing Justice first responders following an act of police brutality” and who serve as listeners, police de-escalators, street medics, and healers. To transform systems of oppression, DPN believes in resourcing individual and collective healing and resilience with healing modalities that will “help lessen dependency on the state to respond to crisis in communities.” More organizations are centering healing justice in their rapid response to digital and physical attacks, including working with movement funders to resource time for frontline organizers to recover from the toll of these attacks so that they can take care of themselves, prevent burnout, and continue to stay engaged in movement building. Healing Justice is a strategy that strengthens communities, an intentional and direct counterbalance to the ways in which tech surveillance and mass criminalization disaggregate and disrupt organizational power.

People need resources to heal from emotional, psychological, and physical harm in order to keep doing the work. Our movement work as LGBTQI activists of color is made stronger when we lose fewer people.

— funder & community organizer

Community-based healing justice circles are another way in which organizers work toward abolition. Healing circles seek to heal generational trauma, they honor the ancestors whose work was the foundation of current resistance movements. These healing justice circles carry forward and draw upon indigenous practices of ceremony and medicine to foster healthy, sustainable movements for decades to come.

Southerners on New Ground (SONG), an LGBTQI liberation organization fostering a multi-issue justice movement in the South, hosts intergenerational circles where members listen together to audio recordings of SONG’S founders sharing stories about the organization’s early resistance work, such as fighting the Ku Klux Klan in the 1990s. This cross-generational passing of stories preserves SONG’s history and connects members across different eras of movement building to strengthen SONG’s base as it faces new and ongoing threats from surveillance technology.

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Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures | 2020
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