Local Group Highlight: Redbird Prison Abolition
If you've been around Columbus in radical circles for the past year or so, you've likely heard about Redbird. These folks work diligently to keep folks aware of the growing number of people in prison. They write letters, run errands, research, transcribe, fundraise, and support prisoners in all kinds of other ways. They also put on events to help educate the rest of us about what's really going on.
Prisons are nasty. Yet, the Prison Industrial Complex is stronger today than its ever been. It's going to take all of us working together in order to win this fight.
From the about us page on their website:
"RedBird Prison Abolition self-identifies as a prison abolitionist group in keeping with this history of liberation, and in our desire to completely destroy the institution of prisons and jailing. We propose and support putting fewer people into prisons, getting people out of prison and developing alternative approaches to justice while dealing with social problems. We also support efforts to reduce the many harms prisoners face and maximize what freedoms they do possess while imprisoned."
To get involved, check out these links:
Book Packing (Event | Website) - Sending books to prisoners is so imporant because most prisons have terrible libraries and books available for prisoners. Plus, some prisoners want books that prison libraries won't carry for one reason or another.
Prison Abolition (Meetings | Website) - This is the political meat of the group. The Prison Industrial Complex spans far out from prisons and includes social service agencies, the police, and other institutions that support prisons. Abolishing prisons is essential if we're going to destroy the Prison Industrial Complex.
Letter Writing: It may seem simple and disconnected from the overall goal of abolishing prisons, but letters are very important to prisoners. Most prisoners do not have access to the Internet, so receiving letters from folks is a great way for them to stay in touch with what's going on. Redbird has a great tutorial on how to write prisoners on their website, so definitely check that out.
Redbird is always looking for more volunteers. See their projects page in order to find ways you can get more involved. They also have a helpful resources page where you can find other groups doing prison support and abolition work, find lists of prisoners, and learn about Security Culture and Grand Jury Resistance.
And, of course, if you'd like to donate money to help them with their work, mailings, materials, events, etc..., send your checks here:
Redbird Books to Prisoners
PO BOX 10599
Columbus, OH 43201
Redbird Prison Abolition
PO BOX 1291
Columbus, OH 43216
I'm sure they'd appreciate regular monthly donations ranging from $5 to $500 per month. :)