This reflection explores two loose social formations in contemporary Brazil that offer potentially inspiring political models. One consists of queer, Afro-descended activists invoking quilombos to curate welcoming spaces for community engagement and support. The other is the Primeiro Comando da Capital, or PCC, a prisoner organization that at times has evaded state violence as effectively as some quilombos did in their day. This uneven set illuminates possibilities for social organization that might escape the vicious disciplinary and labor regimes of racial capitalism operative across the Atlantic since the sixteenth century. All have historical relationships to slavery, although very dissimilar ones, and share little else, so the patterns they reveal involve not likeness but iterations of the fact that people beset by state violence seek to evade it, occasionally by struggling to forge what it might help to think of as places without police.

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