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Prisoner Solidarity: A Conversation With Asheville Prison Books

"I spent three years in the Virginia penitentiary system. I say it all the time, books saved my life while I was in there. I rekindled a love of literature that every English class I'd taken had destroyed. It made me reconnect with books in an intimate way... and I'd like anyone who finds themselves in that situation, alive in the grave, to be able to reach out and pick up a book to at least have that temporary escape because it is the greatest of luxuries on the inside."

For the fifth installment of our Community Sustainers Drive, we sat down with Julian and Julie from Asheville Prison Books, a loosely run volunteer collective that distributes free literature to people incarcerated in North and South Carolina. As a project rooted in anti-authoritarian politics, Asheville Prison Books finds ways to connect with, humanize, and meet the every day needs of incarcerated people while building collective power to challenge mass incarceration, the prison industrial complex, and the existence of prisons themselves. In our conversation, we talk about the lifeline books can offer to folks who are incarcerated, the vision of prison abolition, how listeners can get involved with Prison Books’ monthly packaging party, and what they have planned for this weekend’s recognition of Banned Books Week. We hope listeners enjoy this crucial conversation about the need to connect and work in solidarity with folks caught in the dragnet of the horrific repression that is the United States prison system.

Asheville Prison Books: https://avlpb.org

Banned Books Week: https://avlpb.org/banned-books-week-sept

APB Packaging Party: https://firestorm.coop/events/2495-asheville-prison-books-volunteer-orientation.html?date=1571529600

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