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On this episode, Kumars is joined by Samantha Jacobs (@comradeSammy on twitter) for the intro segment to discuss May Day, tensions in North Korea, and the delightful Fyre Festival scam.
For the interview, Mariame Kaba, organizer extraordinaire and @prisonculture on twitter, returns as co-host. Kumars and Mariame talk to Jason Lydon, a queer anarchist Unitarian Universalist minister and founding director of Black and Pink, an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and unincarcerated allies working to support one another and abolish the prison industrial complex. Jason discusses how he got involved with prison abolition work, after having spent six months incarcerated himself where he was sexually assaulted by a prison guard. Jason talks about his approach to abolition, which strives to weaken the prison industrial complex toward its eventual elimination, disassembling it brick-by-brick if necessary. We dissect the difference between a reform that reinforces a system of power and one that truly weakens it. We learn more about Black and Pink and the major campaigns they are engaged in, including the fight to end solitary confinement. Jason stresses the importance of writing letters to prisoners, which keeps prison abolition work grounded in the needs of incarcerated people while also fighting the intense isolation experienced by those who are incarcerated. Jason also discusses the role of his faith in motivating and shaping his prison abolition work.