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Support Us!

Thanks for your interest in getting reading materials into the hands of people locked in our nation’s prisons and jails. We send books to people in North Carolina and Alabama. We also send zines (small booklets) to people in prisons around the country.

  • DONATE MONEY: Our biggest need right now is for money! We’re pretty much out of money. So in order to keep sending books and zines into prisons, we need your help!        We spend about $800 per month on: postage ($400), rent for our space ($300), copies/printing ($50), supplies ($50), and website ($5)!  Your help is so critical!!



Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For March 2017 Is Now Available

March Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for March.(11″x17″ PDF, 430KB) Also available in color here, and as a shareable PNG here (imgur link). Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  3. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 400KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on soon-to-be-released prisoner Chelsea Manning, Nicole Kissane, the Cleveland 4, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

Prison Books Collective needs a new home (again!)

We are again looking for a new home, by the end of May!! Please help. From April 2016 to now, we have been renting a room in a business in Durham. We have appreciated our new home and have gained many new volunteers, but we can’t afford the rent!! It is costing us $300/month to rent the space, and we really need that money to send books!  Our current lease ends on May 31, and we’d like to have a new place by late April.

A brief description of our needs: a space to store our books, folding tables and chairs, space for letters and office supplies, and room to have at least one weekly workday with 10-12 volunteers. We need a space that’s open and accessible to volunteers, that has parking and access to a bathroom, along with electricity (ideally heat and AC).

One idea is to share space with a church or non-profit. We’re ideally looking for a free space, but may be able to afford a small amount of monthly rent ($50-$100). We are hoping to stay in the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. We’d also consider further out, if the space was free and met our needs!

If you have contacts with any groups that have space they can share with us, or if you have a space we can use, let us know!! Email us at prisonbooks@gmail.com or post on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/prisonbookscollective/

What are our basic needs?

  • Shelves for books along one or more walls (our current shelves are about 15 feet across, by 8 feet high)
  • Access to a bathroom (it can be in an adjacent building, as long as it’s open to volunteers)
  • Space for a file cabinet for storing zines, and space to store letters and office supplies
  • Room for 2-3 folding tables and 10-12 folding chairs to be stored
  • Weekly use of the space for a 3 hours session (We’ve always had our workdays on Sunday afternoons, but we can shift if needed.)
  • Parking: about 5-6 cars, plus occasionally more when we have a group
  • Climate-controlled space without humidity problems and with heat. Ideally AC, but we can deal without. (We’ve worked for years out of garage-like spaces but climate control helps protect books and keep volunteers comfortable)
  • Occasional collective meetings in the space
  • The ability to share the address of the space with the public when we advertise our volunteer workdays via our website, fliers and Facebook, etc.

Our wishes:

  • Access to the space for collective members on non-workdays, to drop off supplies, pick up packages to mail, pick up book donations, sort and shelve books, etc.
  • Group nights (we sometimes have larger groups want to volunteer with us, and we’d like the option to host them on a different day than our regular workday)
  • Ability to receive mailed boxes of books (we occasionally get book donations from publishers, and they mail us the books)
  • Occasional book sales (about 2 times/year). This would involve: The week prior, storing boxes of books in the space. The day before, setting up. The day of, taking over the space we use for the workday (or another space, if our new home has a different space in mind)
  • Being able to host fundraisers. We had a comedy show once. Maybe bingo

Please share this post with others in your network, let us know if you have ideas for a space (prisonbooks@gmail.com). And if you’re able, we’d appreciate a donation to offset costs of the move (and our weekly postage expenses to mail books!).




Fundraiser at Nightlight Bar & Club

We’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Nightlight in Chapel Hill for a benefit show on Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 pm!Nightlight-Flier-Feb17-edit

What: Benefit Event for Prison Books Collective!! Help us send free books to people locked in NC and AL prisons!
When: Friday, February 17, 2017, 8-11 pm
Where: Nightlight, 405 W. Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill, NC
Cost: $10 ($8 for students, seniors and low-income)
Performers: Nicki Rivers + band, Reflex Arc + friends: extended set, UNC Wordsmiths
RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends!

More details:

Nicki Rivers + band
Nicki studied vocal performance at the New School of Jazz, New York, NY. She has performed in various venues from Japan to Paris, and has studied with Jazz masters from Shelia Jordan, to DeeDee Bridgewater, Drum Maestro Chico Hamilton, bassist Harley White, and mentored by pianist Jim Bell.
https://soundcloud.com/user-921602553

Reflex Arc + friends: extended set
A two piece experimental and improvisational band. Crowmeat Bob plays a variety of horns + sometimes electric guitar while Ginger Wagg plays a variety of body parts, spaces, and emotional states.
http://www.gingerwagg.com/reflex-arc/sugg6u38j7i9jrajatff5idpt1qofk

UNC Wordsmiths
Spoken Word Poetry
https://www.facebook.com/UNCwordsmiths/

Can’t make it to the event? You can still support us!

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For February 2017 Is Now Available

February Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for February.(11″x17″ PDF, 7.2MB) Also available in color here (11″x17″ PDF, 2.6MB), and as a shareable PNG file here (imgur link). Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Estraven for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  4. After 35 years, Oscar Lopez Rivera has been released from prison. His community, friends, and family are rejoicing, and we rejoice with them.
  5. Chelsea Manning has also had her sentence commuted, and we are absolutely delighted to remove her from our list of people to support, as she will be amongst us and not behind bars on May 17th of this year.
  6. This presidency promises to be a wild ride, with utter tragedy and beautiful resistance occurring on a daily basis. All of this is happening so quickly there is hardly time to catch our breaths. There are at least 250 comrades facing felony charges (some of whom you can support here), and more to come as the bootheel of the state attempts to smash out our growing movement against it. Be careful out there, comrades. Take care of each other so that you can be dangerous together.
  7. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Mutulu Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

2016: Crisis & Opportunities by Russell Maroon Shoatz

Long-time political prisoner, Russell Maroon Shoatz, recently wrote this analysis of this past year in politics. It starts with an analysis of the global stage, and then focuses on the U.S. It then ends with a call to action.

Read the full article.

Globally, 2016 has been dominated by political, economic, and social changes in the Northern Hemisphere. Massive upheavals have been occurring, seemingly churned up by the millions of asylum seekers fleeing wars and economic- and climate-related depredations in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

The upshot of these upheavals brought proto-fascists to challenge the welfare states of Western Europe and the guinea pig economic systems of the former Soviet states. The Left there has either been crushed (Greece), is now on the ropes (Spain and England’s Left Laborites), or is circling the wagons (Germany and the Scandinavian countries), while Russia under Putin is using its military muscle to try to replicate what China has been doing in the economic sphere: remain independent of the U.S. and Western economic domination.

Read the full article. And learn more about Russell Maroon Shoatz.

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For January 2017 Is Now Available

January Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for January.(11″x17″ PDF, 5MB) Also available in color here, and as a PNG here (imgur link). Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Jenna Peters-Golden for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. We’ve had some amazing news in the last month:
  4. 2016 was an amazing year: heart-rending, beautiful, and tragic. We won’t recap the events here, since others have done it so well elsewhere.
  5. Let’s help 2017 go in like a lion with this year’s New Year’s Eve Noise Demonstrations. In the words of comrades in Montreal: “Prisons were created to isolate people from their communities. Noise demonstrations at prisons are a material way to fight against repression and isolation. We want to extend a message of solidarity to folks inside, and wish them a happy new year. Although, a truly happy new year would be one without prisons and the world that needs them.” Here’s a list of events we were able to find, but check in with the prison abolition group in your area to see where you can get plugged in:
  6. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  7. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Oscar Lopez Rivera, Leonard Peltier, Standing Rock, and more.
  8. We recently updated our prisoner list, and this poster does not feature two people we think deserve your support. Help them celebrate their birthdays this year as well!
    • January 4, 1950
      Fran Thompson
      #1090915
      Chillicothe Correctional Center
      3151 Litton Drive
      Chillicothe, MO 64601
      freefran.noblogs.org
      Fran Thompson is serving life plus 10 years for killing a stalker who had made threats against her life after he broke into her home. Fran was a dedicated eco, animal & anti-nuke campaigner and had seen her prosecutor before on the other side of a protest. Her activism was brought up as a scare tactic to increase her sentencing and bias her jury.
    • January 18, 1995
      Janye Waller
      #BA2719
      CCC B Facility
      Post Office Box 2400
      Susanville, CA 96127
      handsoffjanye.tumblr.com
      In Oakland in 2015, a white liberal confronted several black liberation demonstrators protesting against non-indictments of police murderers. He shoved and swung fists at the young men to pacify them, one of whom retaliated with a hit from the head of a hammer to his head. Police said Janye Waller “fit the description” of that young black male. Despite witnesses denying his involvement, he was convicted of the assault. Before his arrest, Janye volunteered at a West Oakland social center that empowers black and indigenous people through education, mutual aid, urban farming, and community autonomy.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For December 2016 Is Now Available

December Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for December.(11″x17″ PDF, 25MB) Also available in color here(11″x17″ PDF, 25MB), non-PDF available here (imgur link) for sharing. Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. There’s a special urgency to fight back the fascist creep represented in our white house and the US government. This is a great opportunity to reexamine your position within society, and dedicate yourself further towards its upturn. Whoever occupies the white house, the same cops occupy our neighborhoods, and our neighbors occupy their cages. More now than ever, more today than yesterday, and more yesterday than the day before it. Renewing your dedication to the struggle to abolish this prison society can take many forms. Maybe you’ll be able to contribute financially. Maybe you’ll be able to contribute time. Maybe you have a special skill you can contribute to the struggle. This is the time to find out about yourself, the time to get together with your friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and the time to seize all available opportunities to disrupt and destroy the coming fascist menace. We are all we have, and no one is going to save us but ourselves. Sever the means of the reproduction of life from the market and share with the least of those around you. If we learn nothing else from 1936, it’s that the most potent fight against fascism is a vibrant movement of working class people against capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and the state. Dig in, folks, we’re in for a serious struggle. Trump might be our next president, let’s try to make him our last.
  3. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Corina Dross for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  4. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  5. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 252KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Chelsea Manning, Eric King, Oscar Lopez Rivera, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

We are accepting book donations again!!

Great news! We are once again accepting ALL book donations! As a reminder, books must be softcover and in20161101-lowonbooks very good/good condition (and no writing inside).

We’re getting very low on Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery and African-American/Black non-fiction. We know you have books you’ve been setting aside just waiting for us to start accepting donations again! Now is your chance!

Check out our donate books page for more info.

Email is at: prisonbooks@gmail.com to arrange a pick-up or drop-off. Or check out our contact page for other ways to get in touch.

Please do NOT stop by our space to drop off books without checking with us first.

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For November 2016 Is Now Available

November Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for November.(11″x17″ PDF, 28MB) Also available in color here. Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designer of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Dylan Petrohilos for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  4. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, [##]KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Mumia Abu Jamal, Seth Hayes, Walter Bond, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew