THIS ZINE explores what an accountability process can look like, provides some goals and ideas for those of us that are working towards community accountability, and questions what tools we have at our disposal. It includes some background readings on accountability, in order for the reader to gain further insight into different aspects of community accountability.
THIS ZINE is for people who want to respond to and minimize harm in their communities, and who are looking for something beyond the prison industrial system as a solution.
BACKGROUND READINGS: Below are some excellent readings for folks who are interested in participating in an accountability process, or who have found themselves in the midst of one. It’s good to read as much as you can ahead of time, in order to be prepared and ready to address harm when it does (inevitably) happen. It’s like having an emergency plan — it doesn’t help to talk through what you gotta do in the moment, when a fire’s already started in the house.
Think. Re-Think. (by the Northwest Network) — Overviews the organization’s experience with accountability, and talks through their focus on transformative justice and long-term work building communities of accountability.
Beautiful. Difficult. Powerful. (by the Chrysalis Collective) — BY FAR the most helpful thing that I’ve read in terms of how to strategically hold an accountability process. It really is strategic, telling a story of how a group of folks worked to form an accountability network that is strong enough to do the work of supporting the survivor and pushing the perp to be accountable for the long term. I recommend this, if folks only read one thing.
A Stand Up Start Up (by Philly Stands Up!) — This covers a lot of ground, with the focus on helping folks start up a similar project to Philly Stands Up in their city. it talks about transformative justice, accountability, and being strategic.
Portrait of Praxis (by Philly Stands Up!) — Breaks down holding someone who perpetrated accountable, how to set goals for a process, and how to actually get folks to follow through on them. It’s a really good reading if folks are down to hold a process for the long term.
Northwest Network Assessment Tool (by the Northwest Network) — This serves as a really good list of questions who are trying to dig into harm that happened, and to guide their strategy for moving forward.
Accounting for Ourselves (by Crimethinc.) — This piece is alright, but not my favorite. It provides more of a critical lens of accountability processes, and serves more as a review for more long-term strategies for addressing violence and assault in d.i.y./anarchist communities.
Do you have any more resources you thought were helpful for you that you would like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. — Zine written and compiled by TK