Racialization and Racism

The Kings ain't playin’ no one tonight: Desanctifying property as an abolitionist practice in Sacramento

This article considers the significance of disrespecting property as a long-standing practice of abolition. As an organizer, observer and participant, I consider a series of Black Lives Matter protests in Sacramento that transgress the dictates of property in the city. I apply Cedric Robinson’s under-examined theory of the terms of order to understand these transgressions as fundamental threats to assemblages of capitalism, whiteness and policing. As the ruptures caused by protests and riots reveal, property is neither static nor infallible as an arrangement of space. Rather, it is relational and contingent on state force and self-disciplined social behavior. I argue that transgressing the physical markers of property reflects a more revolutionary practice of destabilizing the ideologies of social order upon which property depends. Such interruptions desanctify property by refusing its legitimacy as an arbiter of social life and movement in space. Desanctifying property practices the forms of collectivity, autonomy, and deviant kinship that abolition demands. In situating my methods in this work, I offer a framework of abolition geography as a way of study that participates in social movement, focuses on everyday practices of revolution, and refutes hegemonic ideas of social life and scale.

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Volume 40 Issue 2

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