Tilted Scales Collective is excited to release A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant, published by Combustion Books.


Announcing the “In Defense of Revolutionary Struggle” Tour

A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant Book Release Tour
June-August 2017

Tilted Scales Collective is coming to a town near you this summer for community discussions based on our new book, A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant. With increasing confrontations with the far Right, cops, FBI, ICE, capitalism, the Trump administration, and the systems of oppression that seek to keep us down, the importance of our resistance is crystal clear.

And so too are the costs and risks of our resistance. Since the inauguration, there have been hundreds of new felony charges filed against us across Turtle Island. Our book aspires to be a resource for radical Left struggle to help us all figure out ways to deal with serious criminal charges so we can strengthen our organizing and fight for liberation more strategically.

The defendant’s guide presents a goal-setting framework to help us be clear on our needs, priorities, and vulnerabilities as we figure out how to combat state repression and come out stronger as a result. This framework is based on two guiding principles: criminal charges are part of revolutionary struggle and we need to treat them as such; and we can handle our charges in ways that don’t help the State lock people in cages.

This summer, we’re traveling across Turtle Island (the so-called united states) to connect with communities and movements that are seeking to strengthen their organizing, protect and defend each other, and defeat the systems of oppression that are destroying us. Our events for June are posted already. Our tentative schedule for July and August is:

  • Early to mid July: going through the Rust Belt from Minnesota
  • Mid July to late July: moving about the Northeast, working our way down the Eastern seaboard
  • Early August: in and around the Washington, DC area
  • Mid August: cutting west, ultimately making our way down to TX
  • Late August: going through the Southwest, heading towards the West Coast

Want to host us? Contact us at tiltedscales (A) riseup (dot) net to schedule an event!

In these discussions, we’ll talk about how setting legal, personal, and political goals for criminal charges can help us deal with them in ways that benefit our movements; offer case studies about defendants from years and decades past who handled their cases in beneficial ways; and foster security-conscious conversations about being in solidarity with targets of state repression locally and nationally.

Tilted Scales Collective is a small collective of legal support organizers who have spent years supporting and fighting for defendants and prisoners across Turtle Island. The defendant‘s guide draws on the wisdom of dozens of people who have weathered the challenges of trials and incarceration, including many former and current political prisoners/prisoners of war.

In the spirit of solidarity and mutual aid, a portion of proceeds from our book will benefit Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC), a prison abolitionist collective that produces a free resource directory that is mailed to prisoners nationwide upon request.

More Information

We wrote this book after noticing that the state is highly skilled in using criminal charges to neutralize, disrupt, and destroy radical/revolutionary social movements–and that most defendants are ill equipped to handle those charges in ways that advance their struggles. We reached out to around 100 people across the country–including current and former political prisoners/prisoners of war–to provide radicals with the best tools and insights for fighting criminal charges while continuing their struggles.

We released the excerpt from our book in advance of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in 2016; in a time when anti-pipeline struggles are digging their heels in to prevent those Earth-destroying projects from moving forward; in the midst of protests and rebellions around the country in response to police murders of people of color and poor people, predominantly young black men. Since then, Trump was elected and a new political era was thrust upon us. We hope that our book will help the radical Left move our communities closer to the revolution we are constantly fighting for.

Many thanks to Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness for designing both our zine, “The Criminal Legal System for Radicals: Setting and Balancing Personal, Political, and Legal Goals,” and our full book. And to Combustion Books for publishing it!