Photo: Alex Woodward

Dean Spade, Joshua Allen, We Will Rise & Tourmaline

Life In Flight From Every Prison

Is there a link between the ways we’re caged and exiled by the prison-industrial complex and the ways people’s bodies are violently categorised and segregated by race, class, gender or ability? 

Is there a link between how we’re divided by the prison-industrial complex into populations that can be caged and exiled, and the ways people’s bodies are violently categorised and segregated by race, class, gender or ability? What does it mean, in the face of such violence, to celebrate all the unruly ways we refuse to be defined by it? Can we escape its attempts to constrain us, tearing down the walls of normative culture and building joy in flight?

CeCe McDonald

One of the most electric public speakers we know, CeCe is a prison-reform activist, speaker and icon in the LGBTQ community. Rising to international recognition after surviving a white supremacist attack, her imprisonment, an act of transphobia and racism against a woman who defended herself, instigated an international campaign for her release. Experiencing the inhumane treatment of prisoners firsthand served to strengthen CeCe’s resolve to become a transgender leader. Since her release she has become a vital and brilliant voice of trans-resistance, using storytelling to articulate the personal and political implications of being both black and trans. She fosters important conversations around mass incarceration, sexuality and violence and is the star of the recently released feature length documentary about her life and story, Free CeCe!

Unfortunately CeCe was unable to travel to the Episode in the end, so this discussion took place without her. Tourmaline Gossett joined the rest of the panelists on stage for the discussion


Joshua Allen

Joshua is an organiser and abolitionist whose work revolves around issues of race, gender and policing. Through direct action, public intervention and movement building they commit their being to building a world without cages. Joshua is being heralded as leading the cutting edge of new racial and gender justice movements for a freer society; as a result they have been invited to organise, speak and workshop in countries across the world.


Dean Spade

We think that Dean’s speaking, organising and writing - inc. his book Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law - is vital to international critical trans-resistance. In 2002, Dean founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a non-profit law collective that provides free legal services to transgender, intersex and gender nonconforming people who are low-income and/or people of colour. SRLP also engages in litigation, policy reform and public education on issues affecting these communities and operates on a collective governance model, prioritizing the governance and leadership of trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming people of colour. Dean is an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law. He teaches Administrative Law, Poverty Law, and Law and Social Movements, and has taught classes related to sexual orientation and gender identity law and law and social movements at UCLA Law School and Harvard Law School.


We Will Rise

“We Will Rise is a group of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and their allies who have come together in Glasgow to organise and take direct action against the systems, institutions, and corporations who contribute to our oppression. We are the movement we want to see. We aim to take on all forms of oppression, including between ourselves. We aim to empower those most affected by migration barriers - to lead a movement for change, and for allies to work effectively with them. We also want to build connections and share experiences with our allies. We will tackle racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and all forms of oppression. Our regular protests at Dungavel will aim to embody our principles. Reform is not the answer: we want abolition. We expect our allies to respect our politics and work with us towards these ends.” 

  • Audio

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  • Video

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    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0