ISSUING AN APPEAL FOR
We have the power to resist the injustice in the legal system that ensnares so many of us, because we as humans are the ones who built them.
In a year fraught with enormous change, systemic failures, protests, and resistance, one question frequently comes to mind: How do we keep going? In innocence work, specifically, but in resistance to an unjust world in general. We think about wrongful incarceration, or racism, or any of these other huge, systemic failings as just that: huge. Overwhelming. Immovable.
An innocent person doesn’t just end up in prison because one thing went wrong. Entire systems failed around them. Racism doesn’t just happen. Entire systems are structured to support it. And a pandemic ravaging through prison populations doesn’t just happen: entire systems are breaking down right in front of our eyes.
It’s no wonder that resisting these systems can feel so exhausting — even defeating at times. How do we keep going, especially when we’re faced with so much resistance, too? We face resistance in the courts, in the legislature, in the sheer number of innocent people in prison. We see the progress we’ve made, but then we hear that whisper of “How could it be enough? Look at what we’re up against.”
But these systems , these societal failures, are made up of people. And people can resist. Humans create the systems in which we operate. And we can , we must , do the work to tear them down and start anew.
So then the question becomes: