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 In memoriam

This last year, two dear friends of the November Coalition passed away - Robert Lunday and Cyndi West. Our profound sympathy goes out to their friends and families. They are missed.




Trusts, Foundations and Estate Planners

Since 1997 The November Coalition Foundation has devoted itself to 'putting a human face' on all victims of our nation's century-old drug war. Our quarterly newspaper, The Razor Wire, is a means of expression for drug war prisoners, their families and other concerned people. We coordinate and stage numerous public events and workshops. We serve as 'information brokers' for national media outlets doing stories related to the drug war, and we have chapters in most states throughout the country. We are a nonprofit organization (a 501©(3) public charity) seeking funds from trusts, estates and foundations to continue and expand our programs.

For further information, contact Nora Callahan, The November Coalition Foundation, 795 South Cedar, Colville, Washington 99114, call 509 684-1550 or email:

Oakland activist youth in new video - Books Not Bars

The Razor Wire featured in the July/August/September 2001 issue a story called "Oakland youth rally to oppose jail." Using a variety of bold, creative tactics, 70 young people "crashed a stuffy meeting of California's Board of Corrections," and convinced Board members to withdraw $2.3 million in pre-approved funding that was earmarked to help build a new juvenile prison in Alameda County.

Now you can see the power and resourcefulness of young people in a new video depicting this important, local struggle for justice. As such, the video can be a powerful and effective tool for people mobilizing to reform this country's juvenile justice system.

"Books Not Bars" is a twenty-one minute video that documents the inspiring youth-led movement to reform a system that over-incarcerates working class people and people of color, according to information released by its distributor, WITNESS. "Featuring music by Dead Prez and Sweet Honey in the Rock, "Books Not Bars" examines the criminalization of young people, corporate gain from the warehousing of youth and the disparity between money spent on prison and money spent on education in the United States."

WITNESS, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the Human Rights Law Institute at Columbia Law School collaborated to make this video. Additionally, WITNESS is also able to provide an action pack designed to give local activists concrete tools for creating change, and a high school lesson plan that places these issues within the human rights framework.
To see for yourself, you can watch a short version of "Books Not Bars" online at The Internet feature includes a background "story" section, links to relevant websites and an opportunity to take action by writing to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in California to demand that they completely reconsider their plan to build a super jail for youth.

According to information from WITNESS, MTV and BET are considering broadcasting "Books Not Bars" on television and online this fall. In anticipation of this broadcast and increased traffic to its website, WITNESS is trying to identify a nationwide network of activists working on prison issues who would be willing to serve as a regional contract for people interested in learning more about these issues. WITNESS "would love to hear from you about the incredible work your group has been doing, as well as your advocacy objectives in the coming months so that we can add your organization to our juvenile justice-related database and direct viewers to you."

WITNESS Program Associate Ronit Avni wants to know if you are interested in using "Books Not Bars" as part of your particular advocacy campaign. WITNESS is providing the video at $15.00 "for those groups who are effecting change at the grassroots."
Contact Ronit Avni by email: or by phone: 212-274-1664, ext 201.

New websites you want to visit for legal and prison research

Thanks to Brigette Sarabi of Western Prison Project for telling us about this special website. It appears to encompass many areas of law and expertise that may be useful to anyone who needs to do his/her own legal research without professional help. Check it out.

Another new website with a name that says it all,, indexes links to empirical research and fact sheets on prisons and crime control policy. You can sign up on the site to receive regular announcements when new reports are added, about 2-4 times a month. is a Prison Policy Initiative website. ·

Prison Policy Initiative ·

Upcoming conferences

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

2003 Conference-San Francisco
April 17 to April 19, 2003
Hyatt Regency Hotel
5 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 788-1234

Drug Policy Alliance

Biennial Conference-New Jersey
November 5 to November 8, 2003
Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center
2 Meadowlands Plaza
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Phone: (201) 896-0500

Visit the Journey for Justice archive!

The Razor Wire is a publication of The November Coalition, a nonprofit organization that advocates drug law reform. Contact information:
795 South Cedar - Colville, Washington 99114 - (509) 684-1550


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