Rachel Gutin Profile picture
Jul 17, 2019 28 tweets 4 min read Read on X
The sixth panel I attended at #Readercon was "A Post-Police World," with L. Timmel Duchamp, Josh Jasper, @publichumanist, and Nicole D. Sconiers, moderated by @pablod. A more intense panel than I expected.
As with my previous recaps, I'm not sure which words in my notes are quotes, and which are paraphrases. Also, there's some terminology in here that I may not have a full grasp of. Feel free to correct what I get wrong.
A question from Josh Jasper: If we remove cops, can we still have procedurals?
From L. Timmel Duchamp: Growing up, I was taught police don't solve crimes; they're there for afterward.
From Nicole D. Sconiers: America is very punitive, and there's a human cost.
From Nicole D. Sconiers: There's an abuse to prison pipeline. What alternatives exist?
From Josh Jasper: We need to treat people's trauma as it happens, and be comfortable talking about it, and what drives people to do bad things.
From Josh Jasper: We need to talk about the drive to punish people we view as less than us.

L. Timmel Duchamp added: Also, mentally ill people.
And @publichumanist brought up podmapping: Who do you call when you're being harmed, or see someone being harmed or harming? Focus on community-based alternatives.
From @publichumanist: Our current framework asks :
- What's the law?
- Who broke it?
- How do we punish them?
Vs. Restorative Justice:
- Who was harmed?
- What relationships were affected?
- How do we repair that?
(Note: my last line above is inference. I missed a few words.)
From @publichumanist: Society isolates us, and crime is seen as individual harm rather than affecting the community.
And @publichumanist noted the importance of building relationships and trust.
From Josh Jasper: Prison punishes more than just one person; it punishes the community.
From Josh Jasper: We should look at the desire for revenge and ask, what's the effect?
And @publichumanist asked: Does punishing the person transform the conditions?
From @pablod: Someone confronted me with the consequences of my actions, and that was more powerful [than being punished].
Then, @pablod asked: Are there things the police are uniquely suited to dealing with?
From Josh Jasper: Police solve mysteries - but so do Holmes, Monk, and the characters on Leverage.
Another question from @pablod: The police purview is so broad, including mental health, community services, etc. What other ways can we build up competence in society so we don't have a punitive approach?
From @publichumanist: Bystander training emphasizes we all have a role to play in prevention.
Another question from @pablod: Police procedurals are a fantasy of justice: our conception of the actual justice system. How can we shift that paradigm?
From Nicole D. Sconiers: We need to acknowledge the trauma of police shootings. Writers have a responsibility to address this.
From @publichumanist: Trauma is something we don't address. Hurt people hurt people. A big way to prevent violence is to care for people who have been harmed.
@publichumanist Then, @publichumanist described a restorative justice model called the circle process: Everyone impacted by the crime gets together (along with facilitators), talks openly, and discusses how to address it.
Some resources mentioned during the panel:
- Common Justice (in NY)
- Howard Zehr Institute
- Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective
- transformharm.org
What narratives would you love writers to create?

@pablod: Handling murder without law enforcement.
L. Timmel Duchamp: Communication rather than action.
Josh Jasper: Show empathy.

(more answers below)
What narratives would you love writers to create? (continued from above)

@publichumanist: Podmapping: Who can I call for help
Nicole D. Sconiers: Community-based and survivor-based systems: the current prison system isn't working.

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More from @Rachel_Gutin

Dec 25, 2020
For those of us who aren’t celebrating Christmas, I would like to share a story:
In a small Jewish community on an outlying planet sits a museum. At its center, a narrow plinth. Upon the plinth, a boxy container, folded from heavy white paper, its edges charred. A wire handle across its top.

The label reads: In Commemoration of the Great Christmas Alliance
There is no further explanation posted, but ask any museum staff member, and they will tell you the tale of the time when Chinese food saved the Jews from boredom and despair, on the occasion of yet another Christmas.
Read 26 tweets
Sep 22, 2020
This Rosh Hashanah, my thoughts kept returning to a single story. It’s the story of a soul, newly arrived at the gates of Heaven And while I’m not sure I believe in a literal heaven, with an actual gate where angels stand guard, a story doesn’t have to be factual to be true.
So a woman arrives at the gates of Heaven. She is small of stature, but she stands tall before the imposing gates. A simple black robe hangs from her shoulders, and a lacy white collar adorns her neck. In her eyes, there is a gleam of steely determination.
In most stories, this is when the angels would stop her. They would ask her to prove she deserves a place in Heaven. But in this story, the angels step aside.
Read 15 tweets
Aug 23, 2020
After nearly five months at my parents’ house, I am finally back in my own apartment.

The first thing I unpacked: stuff that needed refrigeration.

Next: my laptop.

After that, books.

Here are all the books that spent time at my parents’ house. 39 books in three stacks, s...
And here are the books that I read while I was at my parents’ house: 26 books in two stacks, spi...
I also purchased a total of 18 books, 17 of which were shipped to my parents' house, and one of which I picked up while traveling.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 21, 2020
The eighth panel I attended at #ConZealand this year wasn’t technically a panel. It was a dialogue between @doctorow and @Ada_Palmer entitled “Corey Doctorow and Ada Palmer Discuss Censorship and Information Control”

I learned a lot from their conversation.
This thread will include some of the things the two of them said. I’m copying this over from my handwritten notes, so assume I’ve paraphrased unless I put something in quotes.
From @Ada_Palmer: Every time there’s new media technology, people worry about the new one and forget to censor older ones. Censorship focuses on the newest saturate media - and on where people get political information from.
Read 31 tweets
Aug 14, 2020
The seventh panel I attended at #ConZealand this year was “Justice in Science Fiction and Fantasy”, with @BrentCLambert, @AdriJjy, @MMSnodgrass, and Fred Lerner, moderated by @jennlyonsauthor.

This panel gave me a lot to think about.
This thread will include some of the things the panelists said. I’m copying this over from my handwritten notes, so assume I’ve paraphrased unless I put something in quotes.
The panelists began by listing pet peeves about how justice is handled in science fiction and fantasy:

@AdriJjy: I want more about societal institutions and systemic things rather than an individual. And I hate the bad guy getting redeemed by dying.
Read 32 tweets
Aug 13, 2020
The sixth panel I attended at #ConZealand this year was “Infinite Entangled Futures - Indigenous Voices in Conversation,” with @ShiningComic, @RoanhorseBex, @understatesmen and @toniwaiaroha, moderated by @sloanesloane.

This was a fascinating and enjoyable panel.
This thread will include some of the things the panelists said. I’m copying this over from my handwritten notes, so assume I’ve paraphrased unless I put something in quotes.
First, the panelists introduced themselves. Among other things, each shared which indigenous tribe they are a part of. Because most of these tribal names were unfamiliar to me, I didn’t know how to spell them, so I looked them up afterward on author websites and twitter.
Read 49 tweets

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