Love & Protect is a grassroots volunteer collective with a horizontal leadership structure, currently composed of ten members, the majority of whom identify as Black or people of color.
Working within a prison abolitionist framework, we understand that the state – in the form of policing, courts, prisons, child protective services, ICE, etc. – is a main perpetrator of violence in marginalized people’s lives, particularly Black women living in disadvantaged communities. In addition to recognizing and fighting this state violence, we seek solutions to interpersonal, gender-based violence that do not rely on violent institutions offered by the state that are not safe for BIPOC women and GNC people. We move towards abolition by building relationships and advocating for the release of incarcerated and criminalized survivors. We believe it is possible, and a necessary step in creating healthy communities, as Rachel Herzing stated to, “interrupt and repair harm and respond to crisis without law enforcement” or prisons.
Love & Protect supports those who identify as BIPOC trans and cis women and GNC people who have been incarcerated or criminalized by the state for defending themselves against interpersonal violence. We work with people by providing material and emotional support including adding funds to their commissary accounts, writing emails and letters, supporting clemency and, recently, due to COVID-19, furlough campaigns. We also provide support to survivors who have been released from prison and who are transitioning back into life outside. Additionally, we have started an emergency fund designed to support criminalized survivors who are not incarcerated and are in danger of losing their jobs, housing, or other necessities.