***please forward widely and forgive multiple reposts***
This month, America reached the ugly milestone it has been headed to for years--- the day where 1 out of every 100 adults in the country are incarcerated in prisons.  For African-American men under thirty, the number is 1 out of every 9.  These outrageous numbers come in the same month that the US occupation of Iraq reached its 5th year and 4000th military death, and predatory lending by banks helped spark a recession.
What a fitting coincidence for a society where economic, military and legal violence seem to be competing at injustice.  Where minimum wage, the army, the drug trade or jail are increasingly the only choices offered to many people and communities in poor states like Ohio.
To do our part to try to turn the tide, a few activists in Columbus are taking this moment to revive the Red Bird Books To Prisoners Project.  This group--- one of dozens working to provide reading material and other support to the imprisoned throughout the country--- had previously functioned in the basement of Ujaama bookstore in Columbus for a time, but fell into inactivity after that great High Street radical
bookstore closed.
Now that a new radical resource space--- the Spore Infoshop---has opened up just several blocks down 5th Ave from Ujaama's old site, some new and old blood are working to re-start it.  The biggest immediate need to get the group going again is to re-build a stock of books to send to those locked up and in need.
Most books to prisoners groups find that the books most often requested and needed are dictionaries, reference and legal books, and copies of the Autobiography of Malcolm X--- but books of all and any
kind can be of use for people denied  educational opportunities by a   prison system whose goal is
not rehabilitation but suppression and control.
So friends and strangers!  Your old dictionaries gathering dust since you got spellcheck on your computer?  Your overflowing bookshelf of already-read paperbacks?  Your crates of Steven King (or Angela Davis)
books?  Prisoners need em, and we can make it happen.  Please consider taking some time to donate as many books as you can spare to the Columbus Red Bird Books To Prisoners Project.  Such book donations can be dropped off at the Spore Infoshop located at 172 E 5th Ave, or a pickup can be arranged by calling Sara Demetroff (614.596.9267) or Brian Deller  (614.429.0324).  In the months ahead the group will (hopefully!) be having benefits to raise money to mail books, and packing nights for volunteers to answer prisoner book inquiries and package up books and responses.
In Solidarity,
Red Bird Columbus Books To Prisoners


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