Principles & Values
- We aim to organise horizontally without hierarchy.
- We recognise the intersecting nature of oppressive systems (such as racism, sexism, speciesism) and place none above the other in terms of importance or harm. We are consciously trying on a daily basis to understand, unlearn and act upon eradicating all forms of domination.
- We reject the ideas of having ‘answers’ or ‘one size fits all solutions’. We are committed to building collective knowledge from our own lives, from listening with others and creating projects and conversations together that emerge from our collective understanding of what we desire and what we can do to make it happen.
- We identify as abolitionists because we believe the movement to reform prisons only helps to perpetuate the prison industrial complex. It can legitimise the prison system and the state, and fails to address the root causes and harmful nature of the prison system.
- We are inspired by the Anarchist ideas that we can take responsibility for and be self determining over our own lives. That we can govern ourselves by listening and responding together to collective needs and refuse to be governed by the state that is a violent monopoly that forces the will of an affluent minority upon the majority of society.
– The Empty Cages Collective, November 2013
Please note we feel its important to be open about our principles & values so that many of us with similar aims & intentions can work together. We recognise that a diversity of tactics and perspectives will be necessary in abolishing this prison system. We regularly evaluate our aims & principles