A Look Back at Critical Resistance South

The Abolitionist

By Kim Diehl

To understand the power and significance of Critical Resistance South Conference and Strategy Session, we begin with its ending – a funeral for the prison industrial complex in the form of a second line parade. Led by a traditional brass band on a warm Sunday afternoon in April 2003, thousands of conference attendees and residents of Tremé, the oldest Black neighborhood in the U.S. rejoiced, strutted, danced and swayed past Congo Square, the only space where enslaved Africans were allowed to congregate in the 18th and 19th centuries. The second line slowly marched through the heart of New Orleans declaring the end of mass incarceration, suppression and cages.

The second line funeral for the PIC told the
story of CR South: a gathering by and for southerners who organize through the
lens of liberation from enslavement. For it is only by living in the South…

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