Fighting censorship is part of power struggle for justice

Having received your Under Lock and Key Access Alert warning of the memorandum issued by the Director [of California prisons], directing an immediate ban on the receipt, possession or distribution of literature/publications from MIM to or by prisoners in the custody of CDCR, I am writing out of concern for this, the department's latest attempt to further alienate prisoners from the public, their supports, and silence their voice with this new (or I should say revived) endeavor at hindering the free flow of information.

Having been the subject of repression for so long now, these attempts to frustrate, hinder, bloc, etc communications are really nothing new and even with previous examples of defeating the numerous attacks and attempts at stifling this timeless and epic struggle, here we are again, confronted by principalities of injustice, inequality and immoralities. To be sure there is nothing fair about this power struggle at all, but so it is with this venture and enterprise of politics and the baseline war games. So let us brace and prepare ourselves for the worst our adversaries will offer, keeping in mind that we must stay at our best at all times combat ready, and as we proceed we must understand that power concedes nothing without demand.

The Department's attempt to censor particular publications is a recurring tactic prison officials resort to to test the water on how much the courts will allow them to get away with. State and Federal law clearly established that mail can not be censored because prison officials believe it improperly magnifies complaints, contains inflammatory remarks and/or where they may disagree with the political or philosophical content; this does not seem to stop prison officials from trying. To say that this cycle is frustrating is an understatement.

I am in the process of exhausting administrative remedies to address the Directors rules CCR III.15 3006(16) recently revised which incorporates a vague definition of what can be considered contraband, confiscated, denied, or disallowed - their shenanigans never cease to surprise me and glaring acts of hypocrisy at this stage are just infuriating.

I have not received any notification from the prison mail room regarding any denied or disallowed mail from MIM but I already have a civil rights complain pending in the U.S. District Court on an 8th amendment claim, it wouldn't take much to amend the complaint to include this illegal censorship.

- a California prisoner, April 2007