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All Our TrialsPrisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence$
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Emily L. Thuma

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042331

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042331.001.0001

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Lessons in Self-Defense

Lessons in Self-Defense

From “Free Joan Little” to “Free Them All”

(p.15) 1. Lessons in Self-Defense
All Our Trials

Emily L. Thuma

University of Illinois Press

Chapter 1 demonstrates the catalytic role played by campaigns to defend women against criminal charges for killing men who sexually assaulted them in the emergence of anticarceral feminism. The cases of Joan Little, Inez García, Yvonne Wanrow, and Dessie Woods galvanized black, Latina, indigenous, and white feminists to expand the boundaries of who was considered a "political prisoner" and call attention to the coercion of women by the state. Centering the criminalization of women of color who resisted rape, feminists of color and antiracist white women critiqued criminal justice–centered approaches to violence against women and contributed to the nascent prison abolition movement.

Keywords:   self-defense, defense campaign, Joan Little, Inez García, Dessie Woods, Yvonne Wanrow, women of color, rape, political prisoner, anticarceral feminism

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