Victoria Law

Victoria Law

Victoria Law is a freelance writer and editor. After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations. Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce Tenacious: Art and Writings by Women in Prison. She has also facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published elsewhere. Victoria’s writings have appeared in Truthout, Bitchmedia, The Nation and Solitary Watch. The first edition of her book Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women won the 2009 PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award. She has appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry, Jansing and Co., and Viewpoint to speak about conditions inside women’s prisons.

In 2003, she began collaborating with China Martens to create Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind to address the specific (and often unacknowledged) needs of parents and children in radical movements; and has co-facilitated discussions in Baltimore, New York City, Providence, Montreal, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Boston. In 2012, she and Martens published Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind as an anthology with 52 contributors from across the globe. .

Since her high school days, Victoria has been involved with ABC No Rio, a collectively run arts center on New York’s Lower East Side. In 1997, she organized a group of activist photographers to transform one of No Rio’s upstairs tenement apartments into a black-and-white photo darkroom for community use. In addition, Victoria is part of ABC No Rio’s visual arts collective, which decides and facilitates visual arts exhibitions, many around themes of social justice such as housing, incarceration and organizing.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs guest-hosts The Laura Flanders Show and talks Revolutionary Mothering with China Martens, Mai’a Williams, Victoria Law and Cynthia Dewi Oka

Vikki Law on Democracy Now! March 31st, 2016
The Price of Fighting Back: How Woman Faces 60 Years in Prison for the Death of Her Abusive Ex

Vikki Law on the Melissa Harris-Perry show speaking on long-term solitary isolation
part 1
and part 2

Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities

SKU: 9781604863963
Editors: Victoria Law and China Martens
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781604863963
Published: 9/2012
Format: Paperback, mobi, ePub, PDF
Size: 9 x 6
Page count: 256
Subjects: Politics/Activism/Family/Relationships


“This book is mind-blowing, brilliant, and urgently needed! It is full of useful models and strategies for creating resistance that breaks down barriers to participation for children and people caring for children, and integrates deeply transformative commitments to building radically different activist culture and practice. This is a must-read for anyone trying to build projects based in collective action.” —Dean Spade, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law

Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind is an essential resource for the interdependence revolution in progress. As a queer, chronically ill woman of color who loves and needs the parents and kids in my communities, I am hungry for these on the ground stories of how parents, allies, comrades, fam and friends are rewriting the world by refusing to hold mamas, papis and kids anywhere but at the center of our movements and communities, where we’re supposed to be.” —Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, co-editor, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities

“Activist mothers Law and Martens propose that radical movements interested in winning must welcome parents and their children—the youngest rabble rousers. They have created a practical guide for us all to do just that, but with zero guilt trips and moralizing. Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind puts teeth into the slogan, Another World is Possible by showing us what a healthy left might look like.” —James Tracy, co-author of Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times

“A powerful mixture of self-help and literature, putting ‘family values’ in a new light and on the agenda of social justice movements. And it’s not just self-help for radicals who are parents, but food for everyone who seeks to become their better, more compassionate selves.” —Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, activist, teacher, author of Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years: 1960-1975

Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, 2nd Edition

SKU: 9781604865837
Author: Victoria Law • Introduction by Laura Whitehorn
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781604865837
Published: 10/2012
Format: Paperback, mobi, ePub, PDF
Page count: 320
Size: 6 x 9
Subjects: Politics/Sociology/Women’s Studies


“Victoria Law’s eight years of research and writing, inspired by her unflinching commitment to listen to and support women prisoners, has resulted in an illuminating effort to document the dynamic resistance of incarcerated women in the United States.”
—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

“Written in regular English, rather than academese, this is an impressive work of research and reportage”
—Mumia Abu-Jamal, death row political prisoner and author of Live From Death Row

“Finally! A passionately and extensively researched book that recognizes the myriad ways in which women resist in prison, and the many particular obstacles that, at many points, hinder them from rebelling. Even after my own years inside, I learned from this book.”
—Laura Whitehorn, former political prisoner

“Excellently researched and well documented, Resistance Behind Bars is a long needed and much awaited look at the struggles, protests and resistance waged by women prisoners. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the modern American gulag.”
—Paul Wright, former prisoner, founder/publisher of Prison Legal News, editor of Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America’s Poor and Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration

“Repression tries not only to crush but to quiet. But as Vikki Law shows in this multifaceted book, all that is unseen is not absent. Guided by years of anti-prison organizing and a palpable feminist practice, Law documents the many ways women challenge the twin forces of prison and patriarchy, each trying to render women invisible. In the face of attempts at erasure, women prisoners resist to survive and survive to resist. We would do well to pay attention.”
—Dan Berger, co-editor, Letters from Young Activists

“Resistance offers us a much-needed, much broader and nuanced definition of resistance—a woman’s definition based on the real material conditions of women. I hope that when one reads about the experiences of women prisoners’ organizing and resistance, the reader, both woman and man, will begin to glimpse the possibilities and necessity of such forms as we continue to struggle for a more just and equal world free from all forms of oppression. If women worldwide are unable to liberate themselves, human liberation will not be possible.”
—Marilyn Buck, anti-imperialist political prisoner, activist, poet and artist


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