This panel explores abolitionist politics and practices among Asian organizers and cultural workers whose projects include prisoner support, anti-deportation work, disability justice, gender and sexual justice, anti-imperialism and anti-borders, and transformative justice.
We situate current abolitionist efforts and experimentation in a longer history of Asian American organizing against state violence and police brutality and prisons, paying particular attention to the work of the 1990s and early 2000s, and the various personal and political paths towards being Asians for abolition.
Victoria Law is a freelance journalist that covers the intersections of incarceration, gender and resistance. She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women and the co-author, with Maya Schenwar, of Prison By Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reform. She is also the co-founder of Books Through Bars NYC.
Mia Mingus is a writer, educator and community organizer for transformative justice and disability justice. She is a prison abolitionist and a survivor who believes that we must move beyond punishment, revenge and criminalization if we are ever to effectively break generational cycles of violence and create the world our hearts long for. She is passionate about building the skills, relationships and structures that can transform violence, harm and abuse within our communities and that do not rely on or replicate the punitive system we currently live in. For more, visit her blog, Leaving Evidence.
Tamara K. Nopper is a sociologist whose research focuses on the racial wealth gap, credit scoring systems and the push for alternative data, and the intersection between racism, financialization, criminalization, and punishment. She has experience in Asian American, immigrant rights, and anti-war activism.
Anoop Prasad is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco and also a part of Survived and Punished and Asian Prisoner Support Committee. Anoop’s work has focused on defending formerly incarcerated people from deportation with a particular focus on Cambodian refugees and domestic violence survivors.
Sarath Sarinay Suong (he/him) was born in the refugee camp of Khao I Dang after his family fled Battambang, Cambodia during civil war and immigrated to his hometown of Revere, Massachusetts. To cope with the violence and pain of growing up poor, queer, and refugee, he became a community organizer, centering the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Sarath moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1998 to attend Brown University where he majored in Ethnic Studies with a specific focus on Southeast Asian resettlement, resilience, and resistance. There, he became a co-founder and former Executive Director of Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), a community organization of Southeast Asian young people, queer and trans youth of color, and survivors of state violence organizing collectively against state violence. Sarath is also a founding Co-Chair of the Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE), an organization dedicated to working with Southeast Asian youth to organize for education justice. Sarath sits on the advisory board of the Immigrant Justice Network . And he is currently the National Director of Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN), a movement family of Southeast Asian grassroots organizations founded to fight against detention and deportation. Sarath loves his family, friends, young people, and is the biggest X-Men geek you’d ever meet.
Harsha Walia has organized in anti-border, Indigenous solidarity, migrant justice, feminist, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist movements for two decades through many community groups and organizations. She is also the author of Undoing Border Imperialism, co-author of both Never Home: Legislating Discrimination in Canadian Immigration, and Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, and contributing member of the Abolition Journal.