Latest Drug War News

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!

Shop online at and a percentage of each purchase will be donated to our cause! More than 600 top stores are participating!

The Internet Our Website

Prisoners of Politics Campaign

First meeting develops projects, defines goals

By Jim Rosenfield

The Committee formed June 29, a Sunday evening in Los Angeles, to raise public awareness and support for the prisoners of the drug war. We met at the apartment of Dr. John Beresford, a noted psychiatrist whose essays run in this newsletter. Present were myself, Nora Callahan and Alayn Lowell. Nora, of course, is a co-founder of the November Coalition. Alayn is currently doing research for Parallax Productions, Inc. in preparation for a film documentary about the drug war.

We met to create a purpose, set specific targets and plan our Prisoners of Politics Campaign. Understanding we are formulating this material with limited participation from our membership, this published report requires your input and discussion.

At the heart of the project is assisting the prisoners of the drug war by highlighting the injustice, gaining public visibility and establishing a support network by, of and for the prisoners and their supporters.

Nora and John agreed to formulate our provisional two-year targets. You may be blown away by the courage and audacity of the goals. Within two years:

Early release of POWDs has begun
Drug War asset forfeiture has ceased
At least 25% of drug war expenditures will be diverted to Health and Education
Here are some additional goals for your discussion:
November Coalition grows to network at least 10,000 prisoners, their families and personal supporters.
We enroll at least 20,000 non-prisoner members in some form of active participation, including memberships (that will include a bracelet or pin, a pen-pal card, support guide and newsletter). Influential public figures will sign onto our advisory board to give us guidance and volunteer support. The November Coalition is a reputable organization that is spoken of favorably by the public.
We become a recognized voice in the public discourse.

We invite you to help us refine these goals for the November Coalition.

We also laid out two fund raising plans:

Plan One- We are building a list of target funding sources, particularly foundations and philanthropies that may make large direct gifts. We are reviewing our proposal documents, budgets and project descriptions which were prepared for our recent grant request to the Drug Policy Foundation, to make it general enough so that we can use similar documents to seek funding from the various sources. Our plan is to submit our proposals to the entire list. We need to tailor each proposal, but our back-bone documents will make the tailoring fairly easy. The proof will show up in our financial viability.

Plan Two- Design, produce and make available a membership program for our supporters. This will consist of: a piece of jewelry (token, bracelet, pin or broach) carrying our emblem. We feel we ought to have a couple different pieces to fit the tastes of our new members. The package will also include an information form to aid them in getting connected and offering their volunteer assistance, a subscription to our bi-monthly newsletter and a pen-pal card. The penpal program will give outside members the opportunity to correspond by postal mail with an inmate member. They will be invited to include a personal donation to cover inmates' postage if possible. Members who use the internet will be enrolled in online mailing lists to keep them informed and stimulate participation.

Our intention is to offer memberships through our contacts and networks, for example, inmate families and associations, schools and churches, drug policy reform organizations and policy-friendly retailers from T-shirt vendors to concerts and festivals.

Nora and I are producing an organizational plan and moving forward with various parts of this project as you read. At this time, our website features the winged dove and razor wire. We need help getting this emblem into a pin and a bracelet format, or we will consider other logo proposals. There is no reason to think that the inspiration and talent to transform a logo into a jewlery design can't come from one of our POWDs members. We are also hunting for "outside" talent on this key item. Please let us know if it is you.

For your information, Micki Norris and the Human Rights '95 Project are aligning with us on the Jewelry/Penpal concept. HR'95 is the highly successful display of drug war sentencing horrors which has appeared on hundreds of occasions in prominent public locations. I have recently taken on the task of putting this hard-hitting display onto the World Wide Web. Since we are talking internet, now, this is a good time to tell you that I am taking over as webmaster of your excellent presentation. As a professional in this field, I am deeply honored to do this for my country's political prisoners. I hope this will free up Nora, the Dynamo, from the work that goes with continuing development of the website. She has done a tremendous job to date, and I feel their is a big internet audience for your stories and your cause.

-Jim Rosenfield is a cyber-activist with roots in the anti-war movement, social justice and drug policy issues, and is presently ad hoc coordinator of "Largest Online Library of Drug Policy." He is a husband, father of two young children and makes his living as a computer consultant and a trader of industrial machinery.

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact