Victoria Law

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Victoria Law
Victoria Law at an ABC No Rio Halloween open house
Victoria Law at an ABC No Rio Halloween open house
BornJamaica, Queens, New York City
  • Freelance writer and editor
  • Prison abolition activist
Alma materBrooklyn College
Literary movementEnglish Literature
Notable worksResistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women

Victoria Law, familiarly known as Vikki Law, is an anarchist activist, writer, freelance editor, photographer and mother.

Background and education[edit]

Victoria Law is of Chinese descent and was born and raised in Queens, New York. As an A student in high school, she committed armed robbery to initiate herself into a Chinatown gang, but was given probation as a first offense.[1] Her exposure to incarcerated people at Rikers Island prompted her to get involved in prison support.[citation needed]


She continued fighting for prison abolition, co-founding Books Through Bars NYC as a joint project between Blackout Books and Nightcrawlers Anarchist Black Cross in 1996 at the age of nineteen.[2] The project moved to ABC No Rio in 1997 or 1998.[3][original research?] In 2003, at the prompting of women incarcerated in an Oregon prison, she launched the zine Tenacious: Art and Writing from Women in Prison.[4] In 2009, after a decade of researching and writing about incarcerated women in the United States, Law published her first monograph with PM Press, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles Of Incarcerated Women, with a second edition released in 2012.[5] She is a frequent invited speaker, especially since publishing the first edition of Resistance Behind Bars.[6]

Law works with Books Through Bars (now located at Freebird Bookstore[7] in Brooklyn). She has participated in many of ABC No Rio's projects, including its Visual Arts Collective and the darkroom that she co-founded and co-built. She has had tangential involvement in the punk collective, as well, and was the primary caregiver of art and activist space's last remaining squatter, Cookiepuss (1996-2013), a calico cat.[8]

In her twenties, after having a child, Law's activism began to include raising awareness of parents in anarchist communities' need for solidarity, including free childcare activities at events and protests. Together with long-time mamazine maker China Martens, Law began doing workshops and editing compilation zines about parenting for activists and their allies, called Don't Leave Your Friends Behind. The two eventually co-edited a book by the same name, also published by PM.[9] As her child got older and Law engaged with the literature her child read, Law began to focus attention on the lack of racial diversity in young adult fiction, including writing a series of blog posts on girls of color in dystopia for Bitch Media.[10]

Selected works[edit]


  • Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, 2012, 2009[11]
  • Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities, 2012. Edited with China Martens.[12]


In addition to many zines she has authored or edited:[13]

  • Tenacious: Art & Writing from Women in Prison, 2003–present, editor[14]
  • Nefarious Doings series, about travel in Hong Kong and South Africa, 2006[15]
  • Mamazines, contributor[16]

Articles, blog posts and web articles[edit]

In addition to print articles about gender, incarceration and resistance,[17] she is a regular contributor to online news and culture venues, most frequently BitchMedia[18] and Truthout.[19]


  • 2013, Health Behind Bars Fellowship, John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice[20]
  • 2011, Brooklyn College Young Alumna Award[21]
  • 2009, Prevention for a Safer Society PASS Award for book Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women[22]


  1. ^ Bennett, Hans (July 21, 2009). "Beyond Attica: The Untold Story of Women's Resistance Behind Bars". AlterNet. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Kimball, Whitney (September 5, 2012). "The ABC No Rio Interviews: Vikki Law". Art F City. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Email from Victoria Law
  4. ^ Chidgey, Red; Zobl, Elke. "Tenacious: Art and Writing from Women in Prison. An interview with Vikki Law from New York, United States". Grassroots Feminism. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Law, Victoria (2012). Resistance Behind Bars: the struggles of incarcerated women (2nd ed.). Oakland: PM Press. ISBN 9781604865837. OCLC 878836279.
  6. ^ Law, Victoria. "Events". Resistance Behind Bars. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Volunteer at Books Through Bars". Freebird Books. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Vidani, Peter. "Cookiepuss: RIP much loved ABC No Rio cat". ABC No Rio. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Law, Vikki; Martens, China (2012). Don't leave your friends behind: concrete ways to support families in social justice movements and communities. Oakland: PM Press. ISBN 9781604867978. OCLC 815480102.
  10. ^ Law, Victoria (March 22, 2013). "Do Girls of Color Survive Dystopia?". Bitch Media. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "Search results for '"resistance behind bars"' > 'Victoria Law'". OCLC. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  12. ^ "Don't leave your friends behind : concrete ways to support families in social justice movements and communities> 'Victoria Law'". OCLC. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  13. ^ "Search results for 'su:zines au:law' > 'Vikki Law'". OCLC. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  14. ^ "Tenacious : art and writings from women in prison". Barnard College Library/Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  15. ^ "nefarious vikki law". Barnard College Library/Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  16. ^ "vikki law mamazines". Barnard College/Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  17. ^ "Links to Articles about Gender, Incarceration and Resistance". Victoria Law. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  18. ^ "Victoria Law". BitchMedia. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  19. ^ "Health Behind Bars conference program, Fellows Biographies". truthout. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  20. ^ "Health Behind Bars, Fellows Biographies" (PDF). John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  21. ^ "2011 Young Alumna Award - Victoria Law '02". Brooklyn College Alumni. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  22. ^ "2009 PASS Award Winners" (PDF). NCCD National Council on Crime & Delinquency. Retrieved May 10, 2014.

External links[edit]