Hey folks, wanted to post a brief update about working on my "prison abolition is necessary in solarpunk activism and fiction" thesis.
My first reference point and book I'm reading/citing for this paper is "Are Prisons Obsolete" by Angela Davis. This book is prison abolition 101, which is why I thought it would be smart for me to start there.
I wanted to pull a few quotes for ya'll and talk about what I've been thinking.
"Prison abolitionists are dismissed as utopians and idealists where ideas are at best unrealistic and impracticable, and, at worst, mystifying and foolish," (9-10).
This quote struck me initially because it sounds like some of the criticisms and things we're avoiding in the solarpunk movement. I thought it would make an interesting parallel that our line of thinking is along the same path.
"The prison has become a black hole into which the detritus of contemporary capitalism is deposited," (16).
The prison-industrial complex is one of the many unhealthy and oppressive cogwheels of capitalism, which solarpunk is actually trying to deconstruct and work against. To fight against capitalism, you must reject the prison-industrial complex, and, at the base, the prison.
"Other forms of punishment that predated the rise of prisons included banishment, forced labor in galleys, transportation, and appropriation of the accused's property," (42).
I've seen a lot of talk in the solarpunk community about banishment being an adequate replacement for prison. The idea has always bothered me, because sending someone somewhere else without any resources is not going to fix the structural problem that led to whatever happened. It also immediately demoralized them and gives them no incentive to heal. Seeing this quote about banishment being one of the things that predated prisons didn't surprise me one bit. Banishment doesn't work, and it's just about as bad as prisons.
So, that's my progress at the moment, those are my thoughts. I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments!