Originally published by Torchlight: Anarchist News from Pittsburgh
With increasing confrontations with the far right, cops, FBI, ICE, capitalism, the Trump administration, and the systems of oppression that seek to keep us down, the importance of resistance is crystal clear.
And so too are the costs and risks of our resistance. Since the inauguration, there have been hundreds of new felony charges filed against us across Turtle Island. Our book aspires to be a resource for radical left struggle to help us all figure out ways to deal with serious criminal charges so we can strengthen our organizing and fight for liberation more strategically.
The defendant’s guide presents a goal-setting framework to help us be clear on our needs, priorities, and vulnerabilities as we figure out how to combat state repression and come out stronger as a result. This framework is based on two guiding principles: criminal charges are part of revolutionary struggle and we need to treat them as such; and we can handle our charges in ways that don’t help the State lock people in cages.
In these discussions, we’ll talk about how setting legal, personal, and political goals for criminal charges can help us deal with them in ways that benefit our movements; offer case studies about defendants from years and decades past who handled their cases in beneficial ways; and foster security-conscious conversations about being in solidarity with targets of state repression locally and nationally.
Tilted Scales Collective is a small collective of legal support organizers who have spent years supporting and fighting for defendants and prisoners across Turtle Island. The defendant‘s guide draws on the wisdom of dozens of people who have weathered the challenges of trials and incarceration, including many former and current political prisoners/prisoners of war.
In the spirit of solidarity and mutual aid, a portion of proceeds from our book will benefit Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC), a prison abolitionist collective that produces a free resource directory that is mailed to prisoners nationwide upon request.