This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
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THE MAOIST INTERNATIONALIST MOVEMENT
MIM Notes 158 March 15, 1998
MIM Notes speaks to and from the viewpoint of the
world's oppressed majority, and against the
imperialist-patriarchy. Pick it up and wield it in
the service of the people. support it, struggle
with it and write for it.
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. TRANSFERRED PRISONERS RETURNED TO MICHIGAN
2. AMERIKA WAGES WAR AGAINST IRAQ
3. LETTERS: CHARITY VS. REVOLUTIONARY WORK, A CONFERENCE ON
4. PUERTO RICO: 100 YEARS OF U.S. COLONIALISM
GOVERNOR SPEAKS IN SUPPORT OF COLONIALISM
5. D.C. PROTEST AGAINST U.$ WAR
6. AN OPEN LETTER TO ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS
7. OVERCOME THE BEND IN THE ROAD: DEVELOPING THE PEOPLE'S
8. YOUTH: UNITE AGAINST HYPOCRITICAL AND OPPRESSIVE CRIME
9. SMASH PORNOGRAPHY THROUGH REVOLUTION
10. HARASSMENT OF MUMIA AND HIS SUPPORTERS CONTINUES
11. PAUL ROBESON GETS A GRAMMY
12. GERONIMO JI JAGA UPHOLDS REVOLUTIONARY LEGACY OF THE
BLACK PANTHER PARTY
13. MICHIGAN PRISONS:
14. SMALL GAINS IN PRISONER LITERACY PROJECT
15. WIMMIN INMATES WIN LAWSUIT AGAINST MASS DOC
16. AMERIKAN PRISONS ON TRIAL:
17. THE PEOPLE FIND AMERIKA GUILTY
18. MDOC INCARCERATES: DOES NOT EDUCATE
19. REVISIONIST CASTRO RETAINS CUBAN PRESIDENCY
20. UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS
* * *
WHAT IS MIM?
The Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) is a
revolutionary communist party that upholds
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, comprising the collection
of existing or emerging Maoist internationalist
parties in the English-speaking imperialist
countries and their English-speaking internal
semi-colonies, as well as the existing or emerging
Spanish-speaking Maoist internationalist parties
of Aztlan, Puerto Rico and other territories of
the U.S. Empire. MIM Notes is the newspaper of
MIM. Notas Rojas is the newspaper of the Spanish-
speaking parties or emerging parties of MIM.
MIM is an internationalist organization that works
from the vantage point of the Third World
proletariat; thus, its members are not Amerikans,
but world citizens.
MIM struggles to end the oppression of all groups
over other groups: classes, genders, nations. MIM
knows this is only possible by building public
opinion to seize power through armed struggle.
Revolution is a reality for North America as the
military becomes over-extended in the government's
attempts to maintain world hegemony.
MIM differs from other communist parties on three
main questions: (1) MIM holds that after the
proletariat seizes power in socialist revolution,
the potential exists for capitalist restoration
under the leadership of a new bourgeoisie within
the communist party itself. In the case of the
USSR, the bourgeoisie seized power after the death
of Stalin in 1953; in China, it was after Mao's
death and the overthrow of the "Gang of Four" in
1976. (2) MIM upholds the Chinese Cultural
Revolution as the farthest advance of communism in
human history. (3) MIM believes the North American
white-working-class is primarily a non-
revolutionary worker-elite at this time; thus, it
is not the principal vehicle to advance Maoism in
MIM accepts people as members who agree on these
basic principles and accept democratic centralism,
the system of majority rule, on other questions of
"The theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin is
universally applicable. We should regard it not as
dogma, but as a guide to action. Studying it is
not merely a matter of learning terms and phrases,
but of learning Marxism-Leninism as the science of
-- Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 208
* * *
TRANSFERRED PRISONERS RETURNED TO MICHIGAN
by Ann Arbor RAIL
25 February, 1998
In December, 1997, 38 prisoners from Jackson, MI were
transferred to a Federal Prison in Morgantown, W. Virginia.
The prisoners were transferred in violation of
MCL.791.211.83, a Michigan statute which prohibits shipping
prisoners out of state unless the prisoners volunteer for
The state lied to the media and the public in December,
saying that all the prisoners who were transferred had
volunteered to be moved, but this was a lie. Prisoners who
were transferred were bullied into accepting the transfers.
All of the prisoners sent were non-violent offenders, and
were in prison for short terms. They were transferred under
threat of being messed up with the parole board and other
such nonsense harassment. The state of Michigan violated its
own laws in forcibly sending prisoners out of state, and
then lied to cover up its abusive actions in transferring
Prison Legal Services of Michigan, Inc. has filed a motion
to show cause, and hopes that the courts will give them a
hearing soon. Prison Legal Services opposed the initial
transfers and is hoping to prevent future transfers of
Michigan prisoners out of state. RAIL has been gathering
petition signatures to oppose the transfers which have
already taken place and any additional transfers. We wish
Prison Legal Services success in getting the transfers
stopped and in exposing the reactionary lies of the DOC.
RAIL opposes transfers of Michigan prisoners out of state
for several reasons. The increased distance from friends,
families and attorneys create an unfair burden on prisoners
who are transferred. Even in this society which relies so
heavily on locking people up and chooses repression over
education, it is cruel to push prisoners farther away from
their means of support.
Governor John Engler has justified the transfers saying that
it is necessary to house some prisoners out of state while
Michigan builds five new prisons to keep the population
locked up. RAIL points to the fact that prisoners in
Michigan are very disproportionately Black and argues that
prisons are not the vital component of "public safety" Mr.
Engler makes them out to be. Rather, prisons are a tool of
repression aimed specifically at the Black nation. RAIL
opposes the transfers as we oppose all schemes to build
additional gulags for locking up the oppressed.
Today, the Department of Corrections is stalling its plans
to send an additional 470 prisoners to a private prison in
Oklahoma. According to an employee at Prison Legal Services
the Michigan state legislature will likely try to rewrite
the statute on transfers so that prisoners can legally be
sent out of state against their will. State shenanigans like
these are the reason RAIL opposes the prison system
RAIL is glad to see groups like Prison Legal Services
keeping watch and making life difficult for the so-called
Department of Corrections. It is important that there be
some progressive lawyers and paralegals to do legal work on
prisoners' behalf and to point out where the state is
violating even its own standards of treatment of prisoners.
RAIL seeks to work with groups like the Prison Legal
Services, and also to raise awareness about the fact that
the criminal INjustice system is thoroughly corrupt.
Under imperialism, the role of prisons as an apparatus of
repression will not be reformed. A system which first makes
people poor and then locks them away to treat their poverty
will not be turned into something productive. RAIL works for
the long term -- for an end to imperialism and to prisons as
we know them today. Contact RAIL at one of the addresses on
page two to find out how you can help us expose the
injustice of Amerika's criminal system.
* * *
AMERIKA WAGES WAR AGAINST IRAQ
Amerika has been waging a war against Iraq for years. The
Gulf War was not over when u.s. troops stopped bombing Iraqi
people. The on-going warfare waged through the economic
blockade and continuing military threat has lead to the
death and suffering of thousands of Iraqi people. Military
invasion will lead to even more of these deaths and must be
opposed by all anti-imperialists. But even if a "diplomatic"
solution is found to the current u.s. demands for total
control over Iraq, the gulf war will not end until the
imperialists withdraw military and economic control and
allow the people self-determination to choose their own
As February drew to a close, the United Snakes was moving
closer and closer to launching another shooting war against
Iraq. On February 16, Defense Secretary William Cohen said
he "was sending 5,000 to 6,000 more troops to Kuwait", bring
the total number of troops in the region to 9,700-10,000.(1)
The 3rd largest weapons contractor, Raytheon, is licking
it's chops at the chance for another real test for it's
weapons. Raytheon claims to support a diplomatic solution,
but a spokeperson erased those words with: "Let's be
practical. No matter what happens, the actual battlefield is
the ultimate test, isn't it?"(2) Besides the test on flesh
and blood that shoots back, Raytheon benefits through
replacement sales as well as the advertising to other
governments that the media coverage will generate.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appears to have negotiated a
settlement to the stalemate. Iraq's government-controlled
media correctly "expressed concern that Annan arrived with a
'prepared script from the United States.'"(3) The U.$ didn't
want Annan to go to Iraq, and delayed his trip arguing
within the Security Council over the terms to be presented
to Iraq. Annan's draft proposal does not create a timetable
for the ending of sanctions against Iraq. So even if a
diplomatic solution can prevent a shooting war, it will not
stop the brutal economic war against the Iraqi people.
Truth not an impediment to war machine
On Feb 17, Clinton tried to explain to the Amerikan people
why Hussein's presidential palaces were so important to
inspect. He said that one of the palaces was "about the size
of Washington, D.C." or 62.5 square miles. "He did not
identify the palace, ... but his national security advisor
made the same comparison and identified the site as the
Thathar Palace compound." A recent team of surveyors sent by
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reports that Thathar covers
1 square mile.(4)
The United Snakes claims that it wants to bomb Iraq to
protect the Iraqi people and Iraq's neighbors from
biological weapons. Furthermore, Clinton says "We want to
seriously reduce his capacity to threaten his neighbors."
but all of Iraq's neighbors with the exception of Kuwait
oppose an attack upon Iraq.(6)
1. Boston Globe 17 February 1998, p. A1.
2. Boston Globe 18 February 1998, p. A7.
3. Boston Globe 21 February 1998, p. A1.
4. Boston Globe 20 February 1998, p. A15.
5. Boston Globe 20 February 1998, p. A17.
6. Boston Globe 18 February 1998, p. A8.
* * *
CHARITY VS. REVOLUTIONARY WORK
I would like to take exception to some of your comments
regarding the Amerikan welfare system ("New welfare cuts
take effect, leaving immigrants hungry," #155, p. 3).
I stand with you in deploring the Welfare Deform Act, but I
question your understanding of its meaning. MIM wrote: "Its
[welfare] purpose is to keep the people from fighting for
more." Having welfare does not prevent people from demanding
more; in fact, one would think that having housing, health
care, and food would make it easier to fight for more. I am
by no means suggesting that welfare is an "easy life," but
if there was no welfare at all and you had to spend last
minute searching out income, it would be pretty hard to
organize! I've received food stamps before, but it didn't
make me passive because I was already educated. If I hadn't
been educated, food stamps wouldn't necessarily keep me
In a related sentence, MIM wrote: "When charity
organizations step in and fill the holes left by government
pulling out of welfare programs, they do a disservice to the
people. The money spent by charity groups only helps to keep
the people passive when it is not coupled with political
education and organizing work. MIM does not wish to see
anyone go hungry or without shelter but we know that
offering a few meals to a few people is not going to change
the system that creates this hunger and homelessness." First
of all, what is true of welfare is true of charity - having
it does not prevent one from demanding more. I would agree
that charity ought to be coupled with political education
and organizing work, and the best "charity" agencies do this
(any example I can name would give away my location). But
charity without ed/org is not a disservice; it's just not
"full service." Full stomach and still ignorant is better
than empty stomach and still Ignorant. Finally, you insult
volunteer/paid social work by depreciating it to "a few
meals and a few mouths.', Neither charity nor welfare have
ever, alone or in conjunction, met all Amerikans needs, but
they were/are both widespread and doing a lot.
These are minor points but they have important theoretical
meaning for effective action. Charity will not "change the
system," but it does feed, clothe, shelter many. I accept
that MIM genuinely does not want to see people go hungry or
without shelter, but I sometimes think that MIM is so
concerned with "changing the system" that MIM would be
willing to risk thousands of people's starvation for an
uncertain chance at revolution. I don't mean this to sound
as harsh as it sounds, but since you don't participate in
electoral politics, how did you expect to prevent the
passage of the Welfare Deform Act?
Furthermore, I question whether or not your position is
truly Marxist. It may be true to the rhetoric of some black
nationalists (Rev. Louis Farrakhan, for example) , but I
don't think Marx was interested in making sure things "got
worse" (human suffering) so that they'd get better
(revolution) - See the "Communist Manifesto" were he wrote
"The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest,
by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie ... " He went
on to make a list of a few changes that would occur "on the
conditions of bourgeois production," one of which was "a
heavy and progressive income tax." What would this money be
spent on if not, at least in part, a temporary and partial
downward redistribution of wealth? These reformist measures
were not, as we know, all Marx had in mind, as they would
prove to be "insufficient and untenable." Marx wrote that
the "organization of the proletariat ... into a political
party... compels legislative recognition of particular
interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the
divisions among the bourgeoisie itself."
Despite the fact that Amerikan workers did not have their
own party, they had nonetheless exercised their numerical
strength in the 1930s-60s within one of the bourgeois
parties to gain a degree of economic security.
So, finally, let me relate this to praxis. MIM wrote: "Those
truly interested in ending hunger should be working with MIM
to develop serve the people programs that provide for the
needs of the oppressed in the context of building a
revolutionary movement to overthrow imperialism." Given the
wealth of charitable organizations and the U.S. gov't, MIM's
"serve the people" programs will never be able to compete
with welfare or charity. So, I suggest that if MIM wants to
reach its constituency, then MIM members ought to volunteer
in homeless shelters, food pantries, etc. , and ed/org
within these institutions rather than creating ineffective,
parallel institutions. The people want results, not
--a reader in the midwest
MIM responds: This reader is correct that some reforms
under capitalism are progressive. And although such reforms
will not bring about revolution, they can allow people more
freedom to organize against imperialism. For this reason, we
do fight for some reforms within imperialism while
organizing people for the larger fight against imperialism.
The key is to figure out which reforms are progressive and
which do not serve the people.
MIM does not denounce those volunteers who work to provide
free food and shelter to the hungry and homeless. But we
will struggle with these people to put their time into more
effective work. There are many people willing to hand out
food and offer this Band-Aid to cover up the inadequacies of
capitalism. But this service work will only ever be a Band-
Aid and it will never address the underlying problem which
is the cause of hunger and homelessness. What we need are
more committed revolutionaries working to overthrow the
system which perpetuates these problems.
It is not just rhetoric to say that historically the
progress of feeding the most people, housing the most
people, and saving the most lives from starvation has come
from revolutions. Food pantries and other hand outs, both
governmental and non-governmental, may help a few
individuals survive or be healthy a little longer but they
have never done more than this.
A better example of combining reformism with revolutionary
work comes from the Black Panther Party which started Serve
the People programs like its Free Breakfast for Children
program. These programs combined the work of providing for
the people's needs with the work of educating and organizing
the people to overthrow imperialism. MIM already has some of
these programs in place in the prison work that we do as
well as the educational programs we offer. As we grow we
expect to take on more and more such work.
The letter writer raises the question of how MIM expects to
influence things like the Welfare Deform Act if we don't
participate in electoral politics. We know from history that
it is very possible to influence the system from the
outside. It was not just the reformists like MLK that won
civil rights gains for Blacks: it was the fear the
government had of the independent revolutionaries like the
Black Panther Party that sent them running into the arms of
MLK, willing to do whatever he wanted if it might pacify the
BPP and its supporters.
It is precisely because the independent power of the
proletariat can be so strong that the government is forced
to take extraordinary measures to attack it. The COINTELPRO
attacks on activists have always focused on the most radical
organizations, those which tend to be much smaller than the
reformist groups this writer champions, but groups which are
correctly viewed as a much bigger threat by the government.
The key to responding to this entire letter is the study of
history and so we offer our readers references from the
Black Panther Party on our web site
(www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext) as well as books such as Black
Panthers Speak ($10) and an extensive literature list of
books that cover many other aspects of relevant history.
Send $1 for a copy of the literature list.
* * *
A CONFERENCE ON WALL STREET
from a Michigan Prisoner
Jesse [Bourgeoisie] Jackson, leader of the Rainbow/PUSH
Coalition, held a conference to "beg" and "shuffle" for Wall
Street to include Afrikan Amerikans and other peoples of
color in its investment of kapital and training for better
paying jobs. The three-day event was held in New York
starting January 15.
It is said that this conference drew a who's who of Wall
Street investors and top government officials. People such a
Alan Greenspan, head of the Federal Reserve Board, and
powerful insurance company representatives, and financiers
from investment and brokerage firms such as Lehman Brothers,
Merril Lynch, Solomon Smith Barney, Discovery, Morgan
Stanley and Dean Witter. President [K]linton was also
reportedly, in attendance at this conference.
Jackson laid out three main objectives at the conference
calling for: (1) to establish consumer education programs in
about 50 cities; (2) to set up a Rainbow/PUSH trade bureau
that would track the progress of the 400 biggest U.$.
corporations in reaching out to "minority" communities and
(3) an intense effort to lobby elected officials to use
pension-fund dollars to revamp the U.$. infrastructure.
Jackson's bootlicking appeal to the racist Wall Street
kapitalist is an insult to Afrikan Amerikans and other
peoples of color for it is these kapitalist racists on Wall
Street who are responsible for poverty, unemployment,
homelessness, disenfranchisement, prison construction, slave
and sweatshop labor and all the other social deprivations
that exist in Amerikkka and globally with the help of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).
Further, Jackson has no authority to attempt representing
Afrikan Amerikans or any person of color for he is not
calling for the same agenda, but who is begging for
assimilation and crumbs for from "massahs" plate.
These vultures who sit on Wall Street are responsible for
the aggression (military aggression) against members of the
Third World for kapitalist expansion and imperialist rule by
creating neo-colonies of human suffrage and displacement.
They are responsible for the police brutality that abounds
in Amerikkka; for the racist attacks and divisions among the
working class; the continuing assault against First Nations
and their right to sovereignty; for hate crimes against the
lesbian/gay/bi/tans community; immigrants and those who
adhere to the teachings of al-Islam Muslims.
The pirates of Wall Street cannot and will not offer a
solution to the problems facing working and unemployed
people. Wall Street manufactures and orchestrates these
problems in their greed for more kapital, power, influence
and sadistic domination of the world.
Jesse [Bourgeoisie] Jackson only serves the rich by
reporting to them what Wall Street needs to do to continue
its acts of vileness by mere fact of him crawling for help.
This is not a time to crawl, beg scratch or accept the
brutality of corporate Amerikkka, its banking and investment
systems. Nor is it feasible to seek assimilating into the
kapitalist world of business. However, it is the time and
the season for the total dismantling of kapitalism,
imperialism and neo-colonialism.
We must build our own system, our own politics, our own way
of distributing the wealth to the people, and seek
diligently for ways to dismantle Wall Street, the IMF, the
WB, and all other extensions of oppression.
MIM responds: We agree with the author's assessment of
Jesse Jackson's pleas to the bourgeoisie. But unlike the
author, we would not blame the imperialists "for the racist
attacks and divisions among the working class." We can see
that, as Engels predicted, under imperialism there is a
split in the working class and in imperialist countries like
the u.s., the majority of the working class is a labor
aristocracy bribed with the profits of exploitation of the
oppressed nations so that they have a material interest in
imperialism. It is not racism that divides the working class
but national oppression. The oppressed nations have an
interest in throwing off the chains of imperialism in their
fight for self-determination but the white nation has an
interest in defending imperialism and the benefits it gets
from this system of chauvinist national oppression.
* * *
PUERTO RICO: 100 YEARS OF U.S. COLONIALISM
GOVERNOR SPEAKS IN SUPPORT OF COLONIALISM
[Note: The print version of this article said there was no
minimum wage in Puerto Rico. This was incorrect and was
corrected in MIM Notes 160. In fact, U.S. companies in
Puerto Rico do have to pay the minimum wage of $5.15. The
rest of Puerto Rico is required by Puerto Rico to pay
Pedro Rossello', governor of Puerto Rico and willing lackey
of u.s. colonialism, spoke at Harvard University in mid-
February. A graduate of Yale medical school who later went
on to finish his medical training at Harvard, Rossello' was
elected chair of the New Progressive Party, a pro-statehood
party, in 1991. He was then elected Governor in 1992 and
reelected in 1996 by a large margin. He was at Harvard to
commemorate Puerto Rico's "100 years of solitude" (100 years
of colonialism). It was 100 years ago in 1998 that the u.s.
invaded Puerto Rico and took over as its colonial master.
At times Rossello' sounds almost radical in his opposition
to the current status of Puerto Rico which he correctly
labels colonialism while calling for self-determination. But
this radical rhetoric is just a cover that helps him sell a
referendum on statehood as self-determination for the Puerto
Rican people. As a "Freely associated state" or
commonwealth, the Puerto Rican people have u.s. citizenship
but if they live in Puerto Rico they can not vote on u.s.
ballots. Puerto Rican's can and are expected to fight in
u.s. wars, and Rossello' pointed out that Puerto Ricans
sustain combat causalities in u.s. wars in numbers far
exceeding their proportion in the population. Rossello''s
goal, like that of other colonial lackeys who desire greater
access to their master's wealth and privilege, is to gain
full statehood for Puerto Rico as the 51st state.
Congressman Young from Alaska has proposed a bill in the
u.s. congress, now referred to as the Young bill or HR856,
which calls for a political status referendum in Puerto
Rico. Rossello' refers to this as the "self determination
process," an "orderly method" which would allow the people
of Puerto Rico to decide what they want with all the
definitions spelled out clearly for them. But this so-called
self determination is not real democracy. It is not possible
to talk about the Puerto Rican people exercising their right
to self determination with u.s. troops occupying their
island and the u.s. government controlling the country.
The referendum would offer the Puerto Rican people three
options: current commonwealth status, statehood, or status
as an independent republic. One of the reasons Rossello' is
such a supporter of this referendum is that in similar
previous referendums Puerto Ricans have supported statehood
in large numbers so the chance that it would win is high. In
Puerto Rico's last country-wide vote on status in 1993,
48.6% voted to remain a u.s. commonwealth, 46.3% for
statehood and 4.4% percent for independence. [Note that MIM
in no way sees this as truly representative of the people of
Puerto Rico.] Commonwealth status, which dates back to 1952,
means that Puerto Ricans are legally u.s. citizens and may
serve in the armed forces. But they pay no federal taxes and
cannot vote for president.
Rossello' said "the Puerto Rican electorate should be given
the right to end colonialism." But MIM agrees with the
representative from the National Committee to Free Puerto
Rican POWs and Political Prisoners who asked during the
question and answer period: "How can you speak about self
determination without the withdrawal of u.s. troops from
Puerto Rico?" Self determination is not possible for an
occupied people. Any referendum held under such conditions
does not offer the people real power and real freedom of
Several Puerto Rican activists protested outside the talk
before it began shouting "Piti Yanqui go to Hell, Puerto
Rico not for Sale." Those who spoke during the question
period in favor of independence got loud applause but only
from a minority in the audience: most of the Puerto Ricans
in the crowd were Rossello' supporters who cheered loudly
when he gave the stupid response to one question about the
national oppression of Puerto Rican people in this country
"You have a choice, you can go back to Puerto Rico." As if
in Puerto Rico the people are all living free from national
oppression because they are not in the minority. This
demonstrates Rossello' 's total lack of understanding of the
concept of colonialism and makes it clear that he only uses
the term as rhetoric to appease the Puerto Rican peoples
genuine desire for self determination.
A Puerto Rican activist with Latinos for Social Change
pointed out that in 1917 u.s. citizenship was imposed on
Puerto Rico after the Puerto Rican legislature voted against
it. And in both Puerto Rico and the united states they have
criminalized the struggle for independence. He pointed out
that resolution 1514 in the United Nations states that every
colonial country has a right to self determination and can
use every means necessary to struggle for independence. When
Rossello' tried to respond to him by also suggesting he go
back to Puerto Rico he pointed out that 60% of Puerto Ricans
on the island live off of food stamps, 13% of the island is
occupied by the u.s. military and unemployment is 19%. MIM
would add to this that Rossello' himself said that as many
Puerto Ricans live in the u.s. as on the island (where the
population is 3.8 million) so carrying out the struggle for
self-determination for Puerto Rican people within u.s.
borders is an important part of the national liberation
After he had spoke for about a minute both Rossello' and the
Harvard moderator tried to shut up this activist, telling
him he could only ask a question and could not state his
opinion. They threatened to call security when he went on
for another sentence. And rather than respond to the
activist's statements, Rossello' said "you have demonstrated
what system you would impose on the Puerto Rican people by
your actions here tonight." This is ironic considering that
the pro-colonialism view is given hours of free speaking
time but when the pro-independence view attempts to speak
for a minute (less time than several of the other pro-
statehood questions), the speaker is threatened with arrest.
As we commemorate the 100 years of u.s. imperialism in
Puerto Rico MIM fights for genuine self determination for
the Puerto Rican people. In the united states, within the
belly of the beast, we organize again u.s. military and
political control over the island. At the same time, both in
Puerto Rico and the u.s., we organize the people for the
national liberation struggle that will overthrow imperialism
and allow the Puerto Rican people to finally exercise their
right to self-determination. Commemorate the 100 year
anniversary of Puerto Rican colonialism by joining MIM in
the fight to overthrow imperialism.
* * *
CAPITALIST ANARCHY OF PRODUCTION & DRIVE TO LOWER WAGES HURT
PUERTO RICAN WORKERS
Workers at G.H. Bass & Co. shoe company factory in Puerto
Rico will inherit 350 jobs when Bass' Maine plant closes.
The jobs are being moved to Manati, about 40 miles south of
San Juan, because it is cheaper for the company. The factory
currently employs about 400 workers and Puerto Ricans fear
that their jobs will also be moved somewhere even cheaper.
Workers in Puerto Rico make $5-$6 an hour while the average
hourly wage for a worker in Maine is more than $9. The
difference is even greater when benefits are added in.
Leather workers in the Dominican Republic earn $1.50 an
hour. The move to make manufacturing even cheaper may lead
Bass to move business there or to other Third World
countries where costs are even cheaper.
Last year in Puerto Rico 63 manufacturing plants closed,
although the total number of jobs declined only slightly
because some plants were expanded. In Manati, pharmaceutical
companies Hoechst-Marion Roessel and Hoffman-LaRoche & Co.
announced earlier this month they will close their plants.
While manufacturing jobs are leaving the united states, this
does not mean a drop in the standard of living for the white
nation. In fact, most of these workers are shuffled into
equal or higher paying paper pushing or equivalent parasitic
positions. (See MIM Theory, issues #1, #7, and #10 for the
arguments and statistics backing this up.)
Unemployment is already close to 20% in Puerto Rico. Aside
from the usual reasons for underemployment in a capitalist
economy (the anarchy of production, the need for a relative
surplus population, etc.), the competition between exploited
workers and super-exploited workers is causing job loss for
the Puerto Rican proletariat. As a u.s. colony of particular
use to the imperialists, Puerto Rico has special status as a
"freely associated state" which, along with the u.s. dollar
and investments has raised the economy of the island to a
position where the standard of living is higher than in most
Third World countries.
But even with the economic incentives the u.s. offers the
Puerto Rican people in an attempt to tame resistance to
colonization, the U.$. puppet regime in Puerto Rico still
does not allow unionization of workers.
Note: Associated Press, 22 February 1998.
* * *
D.C. PROTEST AGAINST U.$ WAR
by a comrade
Hundreds of protestors marched through Washington, D.C.
streets on February 21, in opposition to a U.$. attack on
Iraq. The protest was cosponsored by a number of groups from
Workers World front groups to Mumia activists, Catholic
Worker, and the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee.
A large portion of the protestors was immigrants and
sojourners from the Middle East. The Washington Post
estimated about 2,000 marchers.
Most people chanted slogans such as "1-2-3-4, we don't want
your racist war!" or "No war -- peace!" One contingent had
big models of Clinton and a large dog, and they chanted
things like "Monica says, 'make love, not war!'" In
Lafayette Park, across from the White House, a speaker from
the Workers World's International Action Center described
conditions in Iraq under economic sanctions. A good
proportion of participants was interested in MIM Notes,
whether seeing it for the first time or just glad to get the
February 15 issue.
As with the protests against the 1990-1991 war against Iraq,
the message of the rally was confused by many people who
supported Clinton and the U.$. but just didn't want a
bombing campaign. So some signs had slogans like "Negotiate
harder," or, "Kill the tyrants, not the children." Another
set of signs declared that "sanctions are weapons of mass
destruction." MIM argues that any U.$. intervention in the
Middle East, whether in the form of war, sanctions, or even
in the form of "normal" trade, is really a weapon of mass
destruction against the oppressed and their land and
resources. While MIM has nothing good to say against the
Iraqi government, support for any U.$. intervention at all
ends up as bottom-line support for imperialism.
In WTOP radio's news reporting after the event, one
protestor condemned the un-Amerikan practices of other
protestors, insisting that they were really all patriotic.
This pro-Amerikan attitude is one of the things that
weakened the anti-war movement in 1991, and it operates
again today. MIM thinks it's good for anyone to oppose
imperialist bombing for any reason, but a movement that does
that while supporting imperialism in general will have much
less lasting impact than one that uses anti-war sentiment to
organize for genuine long-term anti-imperialist work.
* * *
AN OPEN LETTER TO ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS
The Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) salutes the
rising tide of anti-war activism in North America, most
visible on the college campuses. Students at Ohio state
brought national attention in their disruption of a Clinton
Administration propaganda event on Feb 19. Surely the
Amerikan regime will have to be much more careful as to
which part of "town" is allowed into future "town meetings"
on the question.
This tide is rising quickly and perhaps it's rise will pass
that of the Clinton propaganda machine. In order to be
successful and sustainable, however, it must resolve some of
it's internal contradictions as to leadership. A significant
portion of the anti-war leadership is coming from
Congressional Republicans who see military strikes as
ineffective at forcing change upon the Saddam Hussein
regime. Other reactionaries want the CIA to kill Saddam
Hussein, as if whoever is 2nd in command in the Ba'ath Party
in Iraq would be significantly different that Hussein's
leadership. Then there is also the ultra-yahoo element that
wants a ground invasion to occupy Baghdad and install a
puppet regime more loyal to the United Snakes.
These are not the portions of the "anti-war" movement that
MIM addresses here, although the question of how to lead
these elements in a way so as to avoid the resumption of a
shooting war in Iraq is an important question to be
The movement against the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991 split
along the line of sanctions. One side wanted to "Give
sanctions more time." Some of these people honestly
preferred a different brand of imperialist oppression than
the military style of the Bush Administration. The rest just
took the opportunist line of supporting sanctions (economic
war) to avoid a shooting war.
The correct side of the split opposed sanctions as an act of
war and called for the United Snakes to keep its hands off
Iraq. When the Gulf War ended, sanctions were kept on, and
the results of sanctions are now clearly shown to be just as
murderous as a shooting war.
Analogous to the movement's split in 1990 and 1991, the
issue of on what basis to oppose war in Iraq threatens to
prevent effective resistance to the on going Amerikan policy
that has killed 1.4 million Iraqis.
Most speakers at rallies and teach-ins attended by MIM start
off with a condemnation of Saddam Hussein. This misses the
point and in fact plays into the imperialist war machine. If
the oppressiveness of a country's leader or government is
the reason to oppose it, then it must be Amerika which
should be opposed first and for most.
The only country to use nuclear weapons? The U.$. The only
country to have been proven to have used biological and
chemical weapons in the Gulf War? The U.$. The country that
used banned biological defoliants? The U.$. in Vietnam. The
country whose police and corrections officers use banned
biological weapons? The U.$.
Some people may respond that "Saddam Hussein is still bad,
so we have to stop him" regardless of the U.$. motives or
purity. Hussein's "badness" never stopped Amerika before, as
he was installed by the CIA in 1963 and was a loyal ally
until the Gulf War. "Badness" doesn't stop Amerika from
supporting oppressive regimes around the world, so to
support Amerikan action against Iraq allows the U.$.
imperialism to continue the system of using puppet regimes
to suppress the people, and then changing the top leaders
when they become too much of a liability.
In order to most effectively stop oppression, we must do so
on a clearly anti-imperialist basis. We need to cut through
all of the confusion propagated by the enemy and those in
our own camp in order to deal concrete blows against
* * *
OVERCOME THE BEND IN THE ROAD
DEVELOPING THE PEOPLE'S WAR
One of the latest documents of the Communist Party of Peru
is entitled: "Overcome the Bend in the Road Developing the
People's War." This text is dated September 1995, and it
contains an excellent report on the current situation in the
The document reaffirms again that Chairman Gonzalo is the
leader and guide of the Peruvian revolution. The document
has been received with great elation by all the political
organisations and support groups that for many years
continue to render indefatigable support to the armed
struggle in Peru.
There are various extremely important elements in this Party
document. In this brief note we want to deal with only two
aspects: The first is the reaffirmation of the good
situation of the armed struggle in Peru, which implies the
defeat of the Fujimori armed forces.
The second aspect relates to the fidelity that the PCP
expresses towards Chairman Gonzalo. This latter factor,
deals a heavy blow to the capitulators, traffickers and
bogus friends of the Peruvian revolution, who -- using
various ruses -- have attempted to slander the leader and
guide of the revolution, portraying him as a vulgar
capitulator and as the author of the "peace letters."
The document says: "Take everything Chairman Gonzalo and the
Central Committee have said before as the political
foundation, particularly the documents of the III Plenary
Session, and those of the Working Sessions of the Central
Committee, as well as the document "Against the Mass
Murderers and Quislings Dictatorship, Persist with the
It is worth noting that everything that Chairman Gonzalo has
said before refers to his political documents, military
instructions, speeches, scientific thesis on the national
and international situation, that, as a sum total,
constitute Gonzalo Thought.
This great theoretical legacy, is the ideological, political
and military basis upon which the PCP and the Peruvian
communists sustain themselves.
"Everything Chairman Gonzalo has said before" must be
understood within the historical process developing from the
sixties until his speech of September of 1992, when he was
already a captive of the Peruvian dictatorship.
The title of this document by itself, constitutes an homage
to Chairman Gonzalo. It raises as a banner of the revolution
his famous speech of September 1992, when surrounded by a
mob of policemen, snitches, and mercenary hacks from the
reactionary media, Chairman Gonzalo proclaimed that his
arrest was "merely a bend, nothing more. A bend in the road.
The road is long but we shall arrive and win victory. You
shall see it!"
In this same document we are commenting on -- and as if to
leave no doubt regarding the love and respect of the Party
towards the leader of the revolution -- militants,
sympathisers and masses are called forth to mobilise for the
coming December 3, and celebrate Chairman Gonzalo's birthday
and the Day of the People's Liberation Army.
In this context it is worth asking: What do the leaders of
the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) and of the
Revolutionary Communist Party USA (RCP-USA) -- those who
never tire of asserting and spreading the idea that Chairman
Gonzalo is the author of the "peace letters" -- say now?
It is evident that the issuing of the last document of PCP
once again unmasks the dirty game of the RIM and RCP-USA
It is now clear that this Yankee mafia of bogus "Maoists"
are trafficking with their feigned support for the People's
War and for the PCP. Today, no one can any longer hold the
slightest doubt that these individuals are openly opposed
and antagonistic towards the line of the Communist Party of
Peru, and are dire and overt enemies of Chairman Gonzalo and
El Diario Internacional No. 41 - September 1997
* * *
UNITE AGAINST HYPOCRITICAL AND OPPRESSIVE CRIME BILL!
The Senate is currently considering a piece of legislation
known as the "juvenile crime bill," mirroring similar
legislation passed last year by the House. Packed with
provisions for school expulsions for minor offenses, the end
of confidentiality of juvenile arrest and conviction
records, and the blackmailing of states with block grant
money to prosecute and incarcerate juveniles as adults(1),
the proposed Senate bill would make an already oppressive
reality far more draconian. MIM believes that youth are the
vanguard of the white nation in Amerika. In solidarity with
oppressed nation youth with whom they share this impending
threat, white youth should oppose not just these particular
bills -- but the whole capitalist system that wants to
stifle their creative potential and throw away the key.
The juvenile INjustice system varies greatly among states,
including different definitions of juvenile (with some
states cutting it off at 16 and others 18), and different
restrictions on prosecutors and judges on where they can try
cases against youth. And although there are currently
federal restrictions on where youth can be held in custody,
that might change with this new legislation. The bottom line
is, youth are facing an INjustice system that wants to
restrict what civil "rights" they have with a wave of new
curfews and laws governing their sex lives, and at the same
time treat them as adults when it comes to locking them up.
In contrast to current federal laws restricting the
detention of status offenders (so-called because the crime
is only a crime because it was committed by a young person,
such as curfew violation, running away or truancy), the new
Senate bill "permits the detention of most status offenders
for up to 24 hours and runaways for up to two weeks."(1)
And, as with the House bill, "14 year old children who
allegedly commit a serious violent felony . . . or, a
specified drug offense, . . . including conspiracy or
attempts to commit the offense, must be tried in adult
federal court." In some cases under this new bill, thirteen
year olds may be tried as adults, according to the whim of
And prosecutorial discretion, in contrast to judicial or
statutory waiver, is probably the most subjective and
dangerous route to adult (or criminal) court for youth.
According to the ACLU, "Minority youth are
disproportionately transferred into adult court under
mandatory or prosecutorial discretion transfer systems.
Native Americans account for over 60% of the children
prosecuted in the adult federal system."(2)
The House bill also "mandates states to eliminate
confidentiality for juvenile records or proceedings: states
must also eliminate the confidentiality of juvenile court
records or proceedings in order to receive federal criminal
justice funds."(2) Being tried as an adult, under the Senate
bill, means that fingerprints and photographs taken of youth
"shall be made available in the same manner as is applicable
to an adult defendant."(3) Again, these are more examples of
the rank hypocrisy of treating youth differently under one
paternalistic legal standard (like locking them up for
running away from home), and punishing them as if they were
adults in another.
MIM calls on all youth to organize against the oppression of
groups over groups, to fight the capitalist system that both
patronizes and vilifies them. Work with RAIL to build public
opinion against imperialism and for a just society.
1. Washington Post 8 February 1998.
2. ACLU Fact Sheet On H.R.
3 "The Juvenile Crime Control Act Of 1997" 3. S 10.
* * *
SMASH PORNOGRAPHY THROUGH REVOLUTION
by a RAIL comrade
Gail Dines is touring the country to promote her new book
called Pornography: The Production and Consumption of
Inequality. On February 11 at the New Words Bookstore in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Gail Dines read from her book and
spoke about the evolution of pornography in the United
Snakes as a growth industry. She discussed pornography as a
systematic form of oppressing wimmin through violence and
Dines introduced her discussion of pornography as a growth
industry by explaining that she approaches this topic from a
Marxist point of view. Since MIM has not yet read Gail
Dines' book, we cannot confirm that Dines is a true Marxist
or only a bourgeoisie perversion of Marxism. However, many
things that Dines said make sense in the Marxist
understanding of oppression within the state. She traces the
beginnings of main stream pornography back to the first
publication of Playboy in 1954 and discusses the drastic
changes in pornography since the fifties.
Dines analyses the marketing techniques used by
pornographers in order to create a class consciousness in
reference to pornography. Playboy was sold to the middle
class with an upper class image to it. Since Hustler
magazine came out in the seventies, Playboy sales have gone
down. Hustler is disguised as a magazine for the working
class, when its "readers" are actually middle-class. This
strategy is used because as Gail Dines says "Nobody wants to
see themselves as a Hustler subscriber". Therefore Hustler
magazine claims to be produced for the working class, who
are seen as being beneath the standards of the middle-class.
This allows the middle-class male to buy Hustler without
feeling beneath the standards of his class, because this
magazine is not really made for him. MIM would argue that
another reason this kind of advertising approach is feasible
is because there really is no working class in the United
Snakes. The working class has withered away into people who
work in previously designated working class positions but
receive middle-class wages, and those who are unemployed or
not permanently employed.
Like Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, Gail Dines
discusses the fact of pornography as oppressive within a
social and political context. She brings to attention the
fact that the pornography industry has made more money over
the last few years than the film and music industries
combined. She points out that the majority of this
pornographic material is heterosexual pornography where the
wimmin are being dominated by the men. As pornography has
become more and more main stream, it has become more and
more explicit and violent. Dines claims that the average
contemporary pornographic film requires wimmin being
penetrated in three orifices at once by three different men.
Snuff films are becoming more and more popular, where wimmin
are murdered and the murder is part of the sexual thrill for
the consumer. Many of these films have involved actual
murder for the making of the film. Dines described a film
called "Cherry Poppers" which is basically a step by step
instructional video on how to lure and rape a young girl.
This film has been at the top 10% of the highest selling
pornography films for the last three years
MIM agrees with Gail Dines that pornography is a facet of
oppression in Amerika, however we disagree with her
conclusion about this subject as stated at her talk in
Cambridge. Dines, does what so many feminists and pseudo-
feminists do when they are looking for a way to help end
oppression. She looks to reformism in the form of
legislation to curve the effects of oppression. MIM believes
that some reforms are good and can help the people in their
struggles to achieve overall freedom from oppression. Yet if
a reform gives more power to an already corrupt system like
the United Snakes government, what good will this do. We see
the discussion of a civil rights law against pornography as
an interesting approach to a worthwhile issue, but official
legislation to censor pornography will not free wimmin from
oppression. We urge those concerned about the growing
industry of pornography to organize and direct their energy
toward a socialist revolution where the oppressed will rise
up and fight for true freedom.
* * *
HARASSMENT OF MUMIA AND HIS SUPPORTERS CONTINUES
In mid-February several of Mumia Abu Jamal's friends and
political supporters visited him on death row at SCI Greene,
Waynesburg, PA. Mumia has been framed and convicted for
killing a cop and is facing the death penalty for the crime
of being a political activist who opposes the Amerikan
imperialist government. The harassment the visitors faced
was just one small example of the injustice rampant in the
criminal injustice system.
The visitors were subjected to a metal detector and then an
IONSCAN which is a detector for determining the presence of
drugs. It is supposed to detect the smallest amount of drugs
on a persons clothing or skin. One of the visitors was
turned away from the visit for failing the IONSCAN. The
prisoncrats claimed to have found "residue". The visitor
asked that guards search him for drugs as he had no drugs or
drug residue on him (unless the guards placed some on him).
Although they had no evidence of any drugs and this person
had walked past a drug detecting dog with no problem, the
guards used this excuse to turn away one of Mumia's visitors
and ban him from the prison.
The visitor later learned that many other people have had
similar experiences with the IONSCAN. The government is
using this device for political ends. MIM demands freedom
for Mumia Abu Jamal and an end to the entire criminal
NOTES: Press release from [email protected] 2/23/98
* * *
PAUL ROBESON GETS A GRAMMY
Paul Robeson, communist, football star, lawyer, singer,
actor and scholar, was awarded a posthumous Grammy lifetime
achievement award twenty two years after his death.
Robeson's activism destroyed his career. This recognition by
the bourgeois culture for his achievements can be taken as
an indication that the imperialists no longer consider
Robeson dangerous. Communists must use this opportunity to
let people know about Paul Robeson's ideological and
practical support for Lenin and Stalin and the world
A son of a slave, Robeson became a supporter of the
Socialist Soviet Union while fighting for civil rights in
the u.s., singing for Amerikans battling fascism in Spain
and supporting other progressive struggles in this country.
Robeson understood that national oppression meant that
Blacks are not a part of the u.s. and should not be fighting
to defend imperialism. He once said that Blacks in the u.s.
should not "go to war on behalf of those who have oppressed
us for generations."
Robeson lost his U.S. passport for his ideological support
of the Soviet Union. When questioned by the House Un-
American Activities Committee, during the McCarthy era he
refused to say whether or not he was a communist. He
accepted the International Stalin Peace Prize in 1953.
The sacrifices Robeson made, giving up his very successful
career to devote his life to the struggle against
imperialism and for socialism, are an example for all who
live within u.s. borders.
Note: Associated Press, 25 February 1998.
* * *
GERONIMO JI JAGA UPHOLDS REVOLUTIONARY LEGACY OF THE BLACK
SANTA BARBARA -- Former Black Panther Party leader and
former political prisoner Geronimo Ji Jaga (Pratt) spoke to
about one thousand people at the University of California
here on February 11. While MIM has important differences
with some of Geronimo's speech, we are happy to report that
Geronimo upheld the revolutionary legacy of the Black
In his speech, Geronimo advocated liberation and self-
determination for the Black Nation; he made no apologies for
the Panthers' belief that true liberation requires armed
struggle; and he emphasized the importance of study and
theory for the revolutionary movement. MIM wholeheartedly
agrees with all of these points.
Geronimo was a leader in the Southern California chapter of
the Black Panther Party. He was targeted by the FBI's
counter-intelligence activities and convicted in 1972 of a
Santa Monica murder he did not commit. The FBI's own
surveillance records prove that he was in Oakland the night
of the murder. Despite mounting evidence that Geronimo did
not commit the Santa Monica murder, Geronimo was not granted
a re-trial or even parole for over twenty years. The parole
board rejected his parole explicitly because "he remain[ed]
a revolutionary man."(1)
Geronimo's conviction was overturned just last year by the
bourgeois courts, because - unknown to the jury and
Geronimo's defense at the time - the main witness against
Geronimo was a paid FBI informant. Geronimo is still charged
with the Santa Monica murder, however, and the Los Angeles
County District Attorney recently appealed the decision to
overturn Geronimo's conviction.
The bogus legal harassment and imprisonment of Geronimo Ji
Jaga are more evidence that Amerikan courts and police are
tools of the Amerikan bourgeoisie, that Amerikan democracy
"Check and cross-check"
In his speech, Geronimo repeatedly stressed the importance
of studying revolutionary history and theory. He quoted Sun
Tzu, the Chinese military philosopher often cited by Mao:
"Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will win a
thousand battles." You must also study the roots of
oppression in order to combat it effectively. As a RAIL
representative said when s/he addressed the audience before
the speech, "Theory without practice ain't shit, but
practice without theory is blind."
Of note, Geronimo opposed reductionism, saying, "It's not
race, not class, not gender alone." This is a significant
position. Those who talk about class to the exclusion of
nation and gender, those who talk about (their) nation to
the exclusion of class and gender, etc., are often looking
to cut a deal for their narrow group, be it the labor
aristocracy, the gender aristocracy, or the national
bourgeoisie. MIM adds that while we must oppose all three
forms of oppression (nation, class, and gender), we must
also decide what the principal contradiction is and focus
our work on that. Right now, the contradiction between
imperialism and the oppressed nations is principal - in
other words, the class and gender contradictions in both
oppressed and oppressor nations cannot be resolved before
the oppressed nations win their liberation and exercise true
In the question and answer period, Geronimo clearly stated
that the Panthers studied the works of Marx, Lenin, and Mao.
He said that much of the Panthers' time was taken up with
study and theoretical struggle. A typical day at the Panther
office might look like this: Make breakfast for the children
in the morning, patrol the police at night, and study,
study, study, during the day.
Geronimo briefly lamented that current activists are
theoretically illiterate compared to the activists of his
day. Books such as Mao's "Little Red Book" and Fanon's
"Wretched of the Earth" were universal reference points. MIM
strives to raise revolutionary literacy levels, so it
distributes these books, as well other Marxist classics and
important non-Marxist books (write to the address on p. 2
for a literature list).
Geronimo encouraged people to study the history of the
Amerikan government's psy-war and counterintelligence
programs against the Panthers and other activists of the
60s. The Panthers and others had a faint idea of what they
were up against; we can learn from their experiences and be
better prepared this time. When studying the history of
these counterintelligence operations - as when studying
anything - Geronimo encouraged his audience to "check and
cross-check" their sources.
Geronimo also advocated study as a tool to expose "false
panthers" - people who distort the true history of the
Panthers and what they stood for. MIM agrees completely.
That is why MIM distributes articles from the Black Panther
newspaper (www.etext.org/MIM/Politics has a section devoted
to archiving the Black Panther's literature), and books like
"The Black Panthers Speak" and "To Die for the People." Some
ex-Panther sell-outs like Bobby Seale have gone so far as to
suggest that the Panthers were about electoralism and
reformism from the beginning.(2) Geronimo made it clear that
the Panthers were leading a revolutionary struggle for the
liberation of the Black nation, and that they were preparing
for armed struggle as a necessary step towards liberation.
Indeed, thanks to the many provocative attacks on the
Panthers by the FBI and other Amerikan military
organizations, the Panthers were actually engaged in armed
On several occasions, however, Geronimo made vague favorable
references to revisionists or reformists, more or less
because they used to be or appear down with the struggle.
For example, he hailed some former Trotskyists for "applying
the theory of Leon Trotsky." MIM knows that the "theories"
particular to Trotsky amount to a negation of the
revolutionary nationalist struggle. Indeed, Trotskyist
parties like to Sparticist league or crypto-Trotskyists like
the Progressive Labor Party denounce the Panthers as narrow
nationalists and uphold the pernicious and incorrect slogan,
"All nationalism is reactionary." Geronimo also voiced his
approval of former Panther Bobby Rush, without clarifying
that Rush is now a bourgeois politician. These errors only
serve to emphasize that when we evaluate leaders of the past
(and the present), we need to do so based on a thorough
study of their line and practice, not based on their
Geronimo made no secret of the fact that the Panthers
believed armed struggle was a necessary part of the struggle
for liberation. Geronimo himself helped train Panthers in
the tactics of armed struggle, and his tactics are credited
with saving his life and the lives of other Panthers during
At the same time, he emphasized that armed struggle serves a
political line, not the other way around. When one audience
member asked Geronimo to suggest where s/he could learn
military tactics, Geronimo told the audience member to
mobilize people politically. As for military tactics,
Geronimo said when the time came you can learn that in a
snap. MIM agrees. If we do a good job building political
support now, then learning how to build Molotov cocktails or
where to buy guns etc. will be easy - the masses will know
and learn these things. On the other hand, if we are
technically competent but lack a mass base, armed actions
will pose little threat to the Amerikan military and we will
be easily isolated, and imprisoned or killed.
Geronimo emphasized that armed struggle is not a game to be
taken lightly, and said that he constantly had to guard
against ultraleftism when he was training Panthers in self-
defense tactics. "You had to be careful what you taught
people, because they might hurt themselves or hurt others."
While MIM believes that armed struggle will ultimately be
necessary for the overthrow of u.$. imperialism, we believe
that now is not the time to wage armed struggle, since we
are too weak and our enemy is too strong. Instead, we seek
to build public opinion in support of revolutionary armed
struggle and hasten the day when the Amerikan bourgeoisie
will become truly helpless.
All prisoners are political prisoners
Geronimo agrees with MIM that "all prisoners are political
prisoners," for identical reasons: The definition of what is
and is not a crime, sentencing regulations, and enforcement
are all political (Why can the CIA kill and run drugs with
impunity, while more and more oppressed nation people are
imprisoned for petty drug offenses?). Geronimo also
criticized Amnesty International for bourgeois hypocrisy on
the question of political prisoners, saying "You cannot be a
revolutionary unless you act based on your consciousness."
Amnesty does not recognize those who have committed "crimes"
(as defined by reactionary states) in the name of their
politics to be political prisoners.
MIM is happy to report that Geronimo confirmed that MIM's
Books for Prisoners Program is successfully getting
revolutionary literature to our comrades behind bars. When a
MIM supporter approached Geronimo with an issue of MIM
Theory with an article on the Black Panthers in it, Geronimo
recognized it and said that he had read it.
Geronimo's speech was organized by Asian Sisters (and
Brothers) for Ideas in Action Now! (ASIAN), a mass
organization of progressives and anti-imperialists
unaffiliated with either MIM or RAIL.
1. MIM Theory 11, pp. 78-79.
2. Seale releases this noxious fart in "All Power to the
* * *
SMALL GAINS IN PRISONER LITERACY PROJECT
In the past six months, MIM has made great strides promoting
our Free Books for Prisoners program in Michigan prison
libraries. RAIL has shown tremendous success in raising both
money and books to send to prisoners. Michigan prisoners
have shown their appreciation for RAIL's and MIM's work by
helping to pull these books inside the prison walls.
Successful book drives on the University of Michigan campus,
and contact with the Overseas Development Network and
Student Book Exchange on the campus in Ann Arbor have been a
boon to RAIL's work for Free Books for Prisoners. ODN and
SBE have contributed boxes of books left over from their own
work and it is now RAIL's task to work with MIM and get
these books to Michigan prisoners.
To consolidate some costs of getting political, historical
and legal books to prisoners in Michigan, it is MIM's goal
to get Michigan prison libraries to accept donations from
us. Sending donations en masse will allow us to get more
books to more prisoners for less money. The libraries may
also be able to receive books which the prison mail policies
would keep from prisoners.
Students, progressives and activists can help with this
work, as can prisoners. People on the outside: contact RAIL
to donate your labor to the large task of getting in touch
with prison officials around the state. We do not want to
waste books or money, so we need approval from these
officials before we send books into the prisons. Prisoners:
if your institution's library has not yet received a
donation from MIM's Free Books for Prisoners program, try to
find out why. Is the librarian willing to accept donations?
Does s/he know that our program exists and that prisoners
are interested in getting more quality books into the
While legal, political and historical books are the most
frequently requested, we do also receive donations of
politically relevant fiction (Richard Wright, Chinua Achebe,
etc.) and academic theory on topics like race and ethnicity
theories and sociology. Prison librarians in Michigan who
wish to receive donations should contact MIM at the address
on page two. Please let us know if you have a preference for
the type of books you would like to have.
* * *
WIMMIN INMATES WIN LAWSUIT AGAINST MASS DOC
Wimmin at Framingham prison in Massachusetts won a lawsuit
against the Department of Corrections for brutalizing and
harassing the inmates. On September 1995 masked prison
guards dressed in black forced 112 inmates and pretrial
detainees from their beds and publicly strip-searched
(including vaginal and anal searches) 16 of them as a part
of a training exercise. This month the DOC settled the suit
by agreeing never again to use such techniques and paying
the wimmin $80,000 in damages. The DOC still insists it did
not break any laws.
During this raid the guards destroyed prisoner's property
while searching their cells, denied wimmin medical care when
they requested it, and refused to tell the wimmin the
purpose of the whole "training exercise." After hours of
detention in common areas the prisoners returned to beds and
clothing covered with officer's boot prints.
The DOC promised not to unnecessarily humiliate or subject
its charges to severe emotional distress. Their promises
Correction officers will not conduct searches in garments
that conceal their identities.
Guards will refrain from deliberate actions that inflict
emotional distress on inmates.
Random urine tests will no longer be conducted between 11pm
Inmates who request medical attention during raids will be
grated the attention in a timely fashion.
Strip searches will be done in relative privacy and with as
much dignity as possible. The searches will not be conducted
by members of the opposite gender or in the presence of
people not conducting the search.
Correction officers will not unnecessarily destroy or
disrupt inmates' property.
These rules of behavior would be a huge step forward for the
Massachusetts Department of Corrections if they were applied
to the prisons in the state. Currently both men and wimmin
in prison in Massachusetts face regular brutality and
negligence at the hands of the guards. This legal victory
lays the groundwork for future lawsuits from other inmates
experiencing similar harassment. Forcing the MDOC to pay
damages is a strategy that could force improvements in the
conditions in prisons if we can make it costly for the
guards to brutalize the inmates.
MIM agrees with the strategy of pursuing these winnable
legal battles both as a way to expose the criminal injustice
system and to win small gains within the system. But this
strategy must be coupled with the fight to overthrow the
entire system. Only by eliminating imperialism will we be
able to establish a just system where poverty, national
origin and political activism are not crimes.
Note: Boston Globe 2 February 1998.
* * *
AMERIKAN PRISONS ON TRIAL:
THE PEOPLE FIND AMERIKA GUILTY
The Ann Arbor Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League
regularly holds revolutionary educational events and has
been slowly and steadily building opposition to Amerikkka's
crazed proliferation of prisons. Here we sum up two recent
events for the readers of MIM Notes because many of our
brothers and sisters are under lock and key are do not have
the freedom to organize as we do on the outside. To those
comrades: work with us on future events and help us to
continue to get your words out to intensify opposition to
national oppression and social control and specifically
On January 23rd, our scheduled event to have Big Black speak
at the UM campus was canceled because he was very sick and
unable to come. But half of the initial crowd, about 60
people, stayed and heard speeches from RAIL, from a local
progressive lawyer, and from a Black man who had been
incarcerated for 16 years in Amerika's gulags. Many left
saying that they learned a lot and some were turned on to
doing work with RAIL in support of prisoners' struggles.
Even people with fundamental disagreements with RAIL helped
out writing letters to prisoners and generally getting the
We outlined the main reasons that we oppose the Amerikan
prison system and specifically talked about Engler's ploy to
increase public support for the proliferation of prisons in
Michigan by sending prisoners out of state. RAIL also
outlined the case of Michigan prisoner Steve Wilcox who has
faced punishment because he filed charges against a prison
guard who raped him.
Generally RAIL and MIM oppose the current prison system
because it is one of the most fascistic elements of Amerikan
society and serves as a tool to intensify the settler
nation's war against oppressed nations within the
illegitimate borders of the United Snakes of Imperialism.
RAIL emphasized the need to intensify opposition to
disproportionate imprisonment of oppressed nationals,
continuous brutality faced by prisoners, censorship in
prisons and all of Amerika's oppressive tactics used to
corral the oppressed into the gulags. But as we emphasized
during the events, we can work to lessen some oppressive
tactics or free up some organizing space used against the
oppressed, but fundamentally, this system which breeds on
exploitation and brutality cannot be changed without
Ad-hoc event builds support
The local progressive lawyer explained how the current way
that plea bargaining is done only results in longer
sentences for prisoners. He also emphasized support for
public viewing areas in prisons so that people are able to
see how prisoners are treated.
Gary Fareed explained his experience of becoming politically
conscious while under lock and key for 16 years. While
incarcerated in about 20 different Illinois kkkoncentration
kkkamps, Fareed became political in part because of the
influence of groups like the Black Panther Party and also
because of his continuous transfers and repeated problems
with filing grievances.
Reading from RAIL's anti-prison pamphlet, Fareed exclaimed
"The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League - now that's
hip!" He emphasized to students, and in particular Black
students, that it is necessary to reassess strategy if anti-
imperialism is not part of their program.
Fareed also explained how the military-style structure of
prisons reinforces the fact that prisoners are thoroughly
controlled by their captures. He added that the way that
prisoners are treated strips them of skills necessary to be
successfully independent after release.
Black womyn leader advocates for prisoners
RAIL rescheduled the panel with Big Black for February 20th
and Cindy Owens, a local activist, discussed the Michigan
prison system as a part of the panel. RAIL had little
disagreement with what she said so we print some of it here.
"I'm specifically going to talk about the prisons in
Michigan because I visit many of the prisons here in the
state. I am an advocate for the men locked up, predominantly
Black men - over 50%. I am an advocate because I am a mother
of a son who is 30 years old and his chances of going to
prison are very great. So I speak for those who cannot speak
up for themselves and I speak for those who are locked
behind the prison bars. And I visit many of the prisons
throughout the state and hear the problems and concerns and
I do assist and try to aid as much as I can regarding many
problems we do have in the state of Michigan.
"We have a governor here who is driven somehow by whatever
forces to build more prisons in the state. Well, my position
is to educate versus incarcerate. Give people an education
and if you give people a sense of self, people will not
commit criminal activity
"I wanted to make sure I drive the point home to let all of
us know the problems that exist in the prisons here in the
state of Michigan and the reasons behind why the governor
wants to build more prisons.
"Michigan prison population is at a staggering total of
43,000 and rising as we speak. There are 42 prisons in the
state of Michigan with five new prisons being built by the
year 2000 - which will total 47 prisons in the state.
Governor Engler has proposed a total of 10 prisons by the
year 2010. Please note that for 42 prisons with 43,000
inmates, 50.3% are Black men. White males make up 41.9%.
Black men make up half of the population in the state
prisons in Michigan.
"Let's compare the percentages of females incarcerated in
the state prisons. Black wimmin total 430 which is 4.3%
compared with white wimmin which totaled 346 or 3.4%.(1)
"Why are there more Black men and wimmin in prison in the
state of Michigan? The Black population is approximately 14%
of Michigan's 8 million total population. Yet over 50% of
Blacks are locked up in what many inmates call koncentration
kamps, with a k - a modern day slave system.
"Crime does pay"
"Why did I start my speech with these statistical facts? I
cite these numbers first because in all of the many prisons
that I visit, I see predominantly Black men. I cite these
facts because they are real and the old adage that crime
does not pay is a lie. Crime does pay. Crime pays billions
of dollars to contractual companies and businesses who make
millions of dollars perpetuating and embellishing criminal
"With the proliferation of drugs, guns, longer and unfair
prison sentences, how ethical is it for private corporations
to run prisons when they have so much to gain by keeping
them full - particularly of Black men?
"Yes. Crime does pay. Aramark a so-called correction
facility service, the first business in this country that
contracts with prisons to take care of their mechanical
system And yes, it also pays big salaries. Aramark also
contracts to take care of the electronic system They make
billions of dollars each year. 'The founders and managers of
Aramark Correctional Facilities Services bring to the firm a
history in criminal justice planning and design - over three
billion dollars worth .'
"Crime pays Correctional Corporations of America (CCA) - a
multi-million dollar corporation that has seized the
dominant market share of private prison industry and has
fueled a historic rise in stock value. CCA now has 30,000
beds operating in 47 facilities in 11 states. [Also in
Puerto Rico, England and Australia.] In 1995, the [CCA
stock] soared from $8 a share to $37 a share. CCA is one of
the corporations on the cutting edge of prison businesses in
this country and the privatization revolution currently
sweeping the prison business in much of the United States.
"Ten years ago the country had barely 1,000 private prison
beds, today there are as many as 70,000 inmates incarcerated
in 104 private facilities in 19 states. In the last five
years, the prison industry has grown at an aggregated rate
"Because of the mindset that has spawned a new global
industry, corporations and powerful corporate players who
seek to make money off a new enslaved system has hatched a
new species of consultants, lobbyists, investment bankers,
stock analysts, and industry academics.
"The prison industry pays big bucks to the Wackenhut
corporation - that is poised alongside so-called Corrections
Corporations of America. Many companies are competing to
capture a lion's share of the growing market for private
"Nation-wide spending on prisons is the fastest growing item
in America and in Michigan. The prison industry is shifting
priorities from social programs and education, building more
prisons to warehouse more people.
Don't believe the hype: The criminals are in Lansing
"The state of Michigan has a governor who refuses to fund
schools. He refuses to fund welfare to feed the poor. [He]
recently closed Highland Park Community College that
provided educational opportunities for those who could not
attend the higher institutions. The state and other
officials saw fit to close the school yet they have proposed
to build ten new prisons by the year 2010 - building five
new prisons as we speak. Wonder where you'll get all those
"Feeding the prison industrial complex and driving the
current tidal wave of privatization are two forces. 1)
Feeding the public with the fear of crime 2) So-called
criminals for the pursuit of profit. The so-called war on
poverty became a war on poor Blacks and poor whites.
Cindy Owens continued and stated that politicians use the
hyped up myth of Black street crime to win their campaigns.
Owens noted Bush's use of the Willie Horton case as an
example. "So many politicians won elections by talking about
building more prisons and crime. "
"I ask you: Who is more criminal those bureaucrats who sit
and plan criminal activity? Like the CIA who allegedly put
crack cocaine in the inner cities of America. It has been in
the best interests of many politicians to enforce
"The deterioration of the inner cities and the so-called war
on drugs has put far too many men and women in many prisons
throughout the state. The unfair and inhuman 650-lifers law
is a law where low level drug dealers are put in prison for
life. It's an unfair, unjust law.
Owens continued and explained how the felony murder law
unnecessarily imprisons more people for longer periods of
time. Currently there are at least 260 men and wimmin locked
up under the felony murder law. The Michigan Supreme Court
ruled that this law was unconstitutional in 1980. But the
law was not applied retroactively. So the men who were
convicted before the court's ruling are still locked up.
Owens talked about her regular visits to Michigan prisoners
and said, "I go because there are people there that need us.
I go because they are locked up and many of their rights
have been taken from them. So we have to speak up for those
who cannot speak for themselves."
"Black men are stopped by police more than white. Livonia,
Michigan for example, a predominantly white community
arrests over 50% Blacks in that city when Blacks only make
up less than 1%."
"So that's why I go. Because of the vast injustices, the
lack of education, high unemployment and other systemic
social forces that can lead to criminal activity. At the
prisons that I visit I see predominantly Black men."
* * *
MDOC INCARCERATES: DOES NOT EDUCATE
"Black men are now denied minimum educational opportunities
in the prisons. They have discontinued GEDs in many of the
prisons in the state of Michigan."
"They work from 8 to 10 hours a day Cleaning the facilities
making furniture and cleaning land, even in the northern
region of the state. You've got people out there cleaning
the land - for snowmobilers, for hunters. Prisoners out
there cleaning the land, but there's no education for them.
"There used to be several prisons in the state that offered
college courses. They've discontinued that. Now there are
only one or two that you can take college courses from. So
there's no correctional system in the prisons. They're just
"I go to see them to keep abreast of what's going on behind
those bars. I want to know what is going on. The inhumane
treatments that are taking place, the rape that occurs daily
in prisons Putting the guys in the holes without clothing,
food, water. I go to have first hand knowledge of the many
crimes committed by the prison officials.
"As a society we pay more and more tax dollars to lock folks
up than to spend educational dollars to stand folks up in
life. We cannot reduce the very complex issues of crime to
political expedience and good old boy popularity. Owens
talked about the need to examine the history of oppression
against the Black nation. "America, too, must learn from its
hard past and the injustices that have been perpetuated on a
Isolation of prisoners
Owens then talked about the problems faced by prisoners'
visitors. "Because Michigan's prison population has grown,
so too has the number of people visiting the state
correctional facilities. Currently about 2,300 people a day
visit Michigan prisons that's about 820,000 visits per year.
The volume of visitors has brought much concern to the
Michigan Department of Corrections. Therefore, the MDOC
director, Mr. McGinnis, has put in place obstacles to
disallow visitors - particularly children. The MDOC belief
is that more people visiting escalates the ability to bring
in drugs. "
Owens explained the ridiculous nature of this alleged fear
considering the intense security at MDOC facilities. She
explained that the MDOC just does not want people visiting
the prisoners. "What they are trying to do is isolate the
men from their loved ones. And once they isolate them, they
begin to experiment on them. And once they experiment on
them, extermination is next. That is the order of the day."
"We need to be aware of the horrors that are going on behind
those bars. They want to ship a lot of the people out of the
state." Cindy then told the story of a young 16 year old who
was in a juvenile center and then shipped out of the state.
"They shipped her out in the middle of the night, her mother
got a call saying that she was in the hospital and that they
had to take her kidney. Her kidney was taken from her - and
was given to someone else. That's what happened."
"She was only 16 years old and they took her kidney and gave
it to someone else." After this case, Michigan stopped
transferring juveniles out of state, but currently Michigan
is maneuvering to ship 500 adult prisoners out of state.
Owens warned of the privatization of prisoner medical care.
She warned that there are no controls to protect prisoners
from experimentation - and Amerika has experimented on Black
men and Third World wimmin before. Owens quoted from a
bourgeois source, "'Michigan tax payers could save 10
million dollars a year on a contract that turns much of the
state prison system's medical care management over to United
Correctional Management Care - a private company in Anaheim,
California. The cost-cutting move by the Michigan Department
of Corrections is among the first steps toward fully
privatizing health care in the prison system.' So they're
going to privatize the medical inside the prisons and a lot
of experimentation will go on."
Owens reported that revolutionaries and radical men are
being experimented on with implants. She stated that an IBM
chip is implanted that allows the captures to put these men
to sleep at random. She also stated that she has seen young
men go into prison healthy and then in a short time they are
sitting in wheel chairs needing kidney dialysis without
clear explanation. Whether or not these specific experiments
can be verified, we know that Amerika has knowingly
experimented on Third World people inside and outside the
United Snakes and there is no reason to think that Amerika
has discontinued using the oppressed as guinea pigs.
The audience and speaker got into a heated debate about the
ways in which drugs get onto the streets. Owens and other
audience members agreed that the government is responsible
for this and that Amerika is not spending the necessary
money to help people stop using drugs. Owens also talked
about an upcoming announcement of activists in Detroit
filing a suit against the CIA for bringing drugs into
Amerika. [For more history on this topic, help RAIL hold a
showing of "Guns, Drugs, and the CIA" in your area.]
Cindy ended her speech by saying that Engler must go. RAIL
adds that Engler's plans for prisoner transfers, prison
construction are particularly hideous, but ultimately any
man or womyn sitting in his chair will make little
difference. Only the liberation of the Black nation and all
oppressed nations will completely end the Amerikan Lockdown.
In closing, she read a poem inspired after visiting many
prisoners held in Michigan's gulags:
Brilliant Black Men Born Free
Held captive in America
for the world to see.
Broken spirits. Broken wills.
Locked in Prisons
where thousands live.
Like wingless birds that cannot fly
The Black mother womb
weeps and cries
For Brilliant Black Men Born Free Held
NOTE: 1. Corrections Management Information System (CMIS)
1996-1997. Pick up the next issue of MIM Notes for coverage
of Frank "Big Black" Smith's lecture on the University of
* * *
REVISIONIST CASTRO RETAINS CUBAN PRESIDENCY
Long-time revisionist Fidel Castro was elected to a fifth
term as Cuban president on February 24th. Castro was the
only presidential candidate. Cuba's 601 member parliament
was elected in January and it opened its five-year term by
re-electing Castro and other top members of the council of
State, which works in conjunction with the Cabinet.
While MIM supports Cuba in its fight against u.s.
imperialism, we do not consider Cuba socialist. The country
entered into a dependent economic relationship with the
Soviet Union almost immediately after the revolution in
1959. The Soviet Union, having turned to state capitalism
under Kruschev's leadership, took advantage of Cuba by
forcing it to produce sugar as its principal crop rather
than diversifying and working towards self-sufficiency.
Kruschev forced Cuba to send troops to fight on the side of
social imperialism in Ethiopia and elsewhere. Cuba's
dependent relationship on the Soviet Union made it into a
In his speech to parliament Castro denounced a proposal
before the u.s. congress to distribute limited aid through
u.s. charitable organization as "humiliating." "We accept
with dignity that any country wants to help us," he said.
"But we are not disposed to play the role of beggars."
Unfortunately this was not true with Castro's relationship
to the Soviet Union and it was this relationship that
resulted in Cuba's failure to achieve self-sufficiency.
Furthermore, recent "reforms" aimed at luring foreign
currency to Cuba go beyond the realm of necessary compromise
and are in fact clear departures from the principle of self-
reliance and other basic principles of Marxism-Leninism.
The advances achieved after the revolution in Cuba were
undeniably progress over the colonial position Cuba faced
prior to 1959. But progress alone does not make socialism.
Neither the economic dependency nor the political
development which left out the essential cultural revolution
(the only possible way to prevent bourgeois takeover under
socialism) are socialist.
Notes: Associated Press, Feb 25, 1998. For more information
on Cuba's relationship to the Soviet Union send MIM $2 for a
copy of Kosmas Tsokas' essay "The Political Economy of Cuban
Dependence on the Soviet Union."
* * *
UNDER LOCK & KEY
SEVERE BEATING REQUIRES LIFE FLIGHT
I must bring to your attention that today, one of our
comrades was assaulted, and beaten unconscious and was near
death whenever these pigs sent him to the Hospital on "Life
Flight," via Emergency Air Ambulance.
Our comrade was beaten merely because he requested knowledge
as to why his MIM Notes were taken from his cell.
Other comrades came to the warden for an answer as to the
reason why comrade "X" was assaulted, because he merely
asked a sadistic pig guard why his MIM Notes were taken.
-- A Texas Prisoner, 5 January 1998
PRISONERS RUN INDEPENDENT LIBRARY
...I have a personal library which is used by a large
majority of the prisoner population here. I keep track of
the conditions of the books, who has them, and when they are
returned, which is 9 to 14 days from the day checked out and
can be re-checked out after inspection of the un-kept
condition of the materials.
The prison library here is greatly insufficient and will not
stock revolutionary, nationalist books, literature, or
materials. So I have started through donated materials a
library of my own which is run by myself and several other
revolutionary warriors of our cause rather efficiently.
But I am an orphan and also what is considered a "Lifer" in
prisons. This is my life now, but many of the men here are
going to be back in the free world and so I imbibe the cause
not only into their ideals but also into daily lives and
I am vastly in need of all types of materials such as MIM
Notes, MIM Theory, Notas Rojas and other revolutionary
literature. We have very limited to no real access to
educational activities and resources. It is primarily up to
us prisoners to educate ourselves as the supposed justice
system just locks us away and then forgets about us. They
don't have any money to spare on us, but they expect a
change in us. Although they don't even try to supply us with
the abilities and courses or programs to make a change.
Here in this letter [from MIM], it was stated that "some
prisoners in Texas start out making 24 cents an hour..."
Well in all T.D.C.J. -I.D. prisons, there are no wages paid
for any type of labor done, no matter how simple or how
great that labor may be.
The T.D.C.J.-I.D. systems have revoked the college course
programs and there is only limited access to GED classes and
the prisoner must pay for half of the costs required.
The Legal Law Library has recently made a new policy that
states, "Prisoners who are in need of legal materials must
give an active case 'cause number and must submit a copy of
the order from the court stating that such is required.
There will be no books checked out to prisoners in any other
matters (i.e., just to educate yourself to the law...)."
We are allowed both hardbound books, paperbacks, (plastic)
spiral bound, copies of literature, photocopied literature,
pamphlets and literature on loose paper, newspapers. All
materials must be sent from a bookstore, an organization, or
an address, which is typed under a heading of such a place.
I am in the process of getting statements, testimonials, and
explanations of what is going on, on the inside and being
hidden or covered up and not made known to the public.
At this time, this unit has been on a total lockdown and
there is no movement by prisoners. We are fed 3 meals a day
which consist of at breakfast, 1 boiled grade A egg, 1 small
biscuit made of flour with a teaspoon of diluted peanut
butter, 1 small box of cereal. No beverages are served.
Then at lunch we are served one sandwich which consists of 2
slices of white bread and 1 slice of cheese, or 1 teaspoon
of peanut butter and 1 sandwich which is either 2 slices of
bread with 1 slice of bologna or 1 slice of salami, or 1
sandwich which consists of 1 hotdog bun and 1 uncooked
hotdog. The same lunch is served at last chow meals. No
beverages are served. We must drink water from the tap.
These harsh meals have been going on for 17 days now and we
are informed that this is going to be this way for 90 days
total because of lack of funds. And because some of the
prisoners on this unit have been writing grievances on the
unit administration offices and those offices' employees.
This is also going on because the unit is under
investigation by the Texas Prison Board.
We must, in order to be fed, get off of our bunks and kneel
with our backs to the door, ankles crossed and hands on top
of our heads. The meals have no assigned times to be served
an hour or two apart or all at once; it's up to the whim of
the officer. It is his or her decision as to how they want
to do it personally.
...We need the help of our brothers and sisters in the free
world.... We need a lot of books in all the aforementioned
topics and subjects as our library now consists of 56 books
and is greatly inadequate to our group which has 387 members
at this month's count and is still growing....
Always in Struggle, A Clenched Fist Salute to All Comrades
-- A Texas Prisoner, 30 December 1997
A CALL FOR HELP: MISSOURI PRISONER NEEDS MEDICAL CARE
...I am having serious problems getting adequate medical
attention from the medical staff here at the Cross Roads
Correctional Center. I am having problems swallowing. My
throat stays sore all the time and this infection is causing
my tongue to have sores on it. I have serious nose bleeding
due to the fact that whatever is stuck in my throat is also
effect my nasal passages.
I have put in several medical requests concerning this
problem. I have even gone to the extent of filing a
grievance about my medical problem, but nothing is being don
for me in the medical department. Every time I go to the
doctor's office for an examination the doctor just looks
into my mouth and nose with a flashlight. And then tells me
that nothing is wrong with me. This routine is frustrating
and depressing to me because I am in constant pain. I am
suffering and can not get any medical attention from the
medical staff here.
I know for a fact that I am being discriminated against
because of my race and the fact that I am a revolutionary.
They know I am a revolutionary from my politics and my
reading material. I am very aware of what I am dealing with
in this concentration camp. I know the history of how these
prisons use their medical staff to murder certain political
prisoners who have power and influence among the masses of
I am being held in maximum security lockdown. I am isolated
from the general population. So whatever happens to me back
here in isolation is hidden from the eyesight of the rest of
the prisoners in general population. For all of you comrades
who are locked up in Administrative Segregation at any
prison, I am sure that you can identify with my plight.
All of this is political, my comrades. The prisoncrats are
keeping the money, which the taxpayers are giving them for
our medical care. The prisoncrats receive $50,000 a year for
each inmate they hold in the system. [We could not verify
this -- MIM] No wonder why the prisoncrats, the modern day
slave holders, are crying for more prisons to be built in
the United Snakes. The Imperialists and Capitalists are
getting fat off our captivity and enslavement, while we are
suffering and dying in these prisons by the thousands.
This is just a business for the white power structure. We
can't look for any mercy or expect any sympathy from the
ruling class in these prison systems. They are like hungry
lions feeding off the blood and guts of the lambs and sheep.
We are nothing to them except a meal ticket. They don't care
about our medical care. They don't care a thing about our
pain and suffering. They only care about their own greedy
We must build a strong united front to work for our own
common interest. We must fight against Imperialism and all
forms of oppression. We prisoners have to come together all
over the world and design a think tank to combat all the
injustices toward us.
I am need in support... I need comrades to put pressure on
the prisoncrats to give me the medical attention that I
need. My throat is hurting me to the point where I am having
severe headaches. It's difficult for me to sleep at night
because the pain is almost unbearable. My complaint is not a
joke or a prank. I am in need of some serious medial
Please address your letters and phone calls to the people
Governor, Mel Cornahan, State Capital Building, Jefferson
City, MO 65102, (314) 751-3222
Prison Director, Dora Schrino, 2729 Plaza Drive, PO Box 236,
Jefferson City, MO (314) 751-2398
Medical Director, Dr. Rhonda Almanza, Missouri Department of
Corrections, Cross Roads Correctional Center, Cameron, MO
-- A Missouri Prisoner, 26 December 1997
PLEA BARGAIN UNDER PROTEST
Greetings from the Gulag. In way of an introduction I am a
man twenty-four, (24) years imprisoned as a result of a plea
bargain made UNDER PROTEST, (in open court) after spending
nearly four months in 4-point restraints, and medicated with
huge doses of psychotropic medications. I am now in federal
court litigating that conviction, but am up against
I am a man of simple but compelling truths, (from essay) who
wants to join the struggle.
P.S. "If a law or policy is wrong, we are bound to oppose it
with the same will it acts to thwart. If any plot exist
which might deprive us of our humanity, then the plotters
shall feel the full weight of our solidarity..."
-- A California Prisoner, 30 December 1997
EXPOSING THE HYPE
Peace and Revolutionary Greetings MIM, ...This shit-uation
that's been going on here in Trenton has been that of
harassment and repression. The New Jersey Department of
KKKorrections has considered, categorized and labeled Five
Percenters as a "Gang" (Security Threat Group [STG]). As it
stands now, they have compiled a so-called "STG" list of
anyone who associates with Five Percenters or has any of
their literature in their possession. They have been placed
on this STG list and shipped to Northern State which has a
control unit specifically for so-called "gang members". They
claim that prisons throughout New Jersey are infested with
gangs and violence.
Nevertheless, this move is an attempt to isolate political
and conscious prisoners by lumping them together under the
banner of security measures. Prisoners in New Jersey are
beginning to re-awaken and are re-organizing. The Department
of KKKorrections is fully aware and they are frightened
because the oppressed are seeing the contradictions between
the oppressors and the oppressed. Once we prisoners organize
and build public opinion against Amerikkka's KKKriminal
injustice system and replace it with proletarian justice,
the bourgeois injustice system will collapse.
I am, I remain, In struggle,
-- A New Jersey Prisoner, 4 January 1998
STILL STRUGGLING IN SOUTH KKKAROLINA
I've received your publication about a week ago. It arrived
almost a month late. Hmm, i wonder was holding my mail.
...i am flat broke! And the Devils are stopping pay come
Jan. 1, 1998. As you know all hell is going to break loose
down here in Klanolina!
I'm still on a Security Detention Unit (A new term for lock-
up) since April 28th 1995. For being a security threat, a
5%er or member of the Nation of Gods and Earth.
The sad part is that legally The System is winning. Right
now our lawyer... is appealing to the Supreme Courts, which
will take another year (?) to get a damn answer! And Black
so-called helpful organizations don't struggle with us! We
are DEAD down here! At least MIM speaks with us from time to
time. What about the organizations we represent?
This jive is enough to make me give up! I can see why many
revolutionaries quit struggling. How can you fight a monster
when everyone is against you or running in fear?! Yet I will
continue to fight regardless of no support.
The 5% is in the Struggle,
-- A South Carolina Prisoner, 30 December 1997
UNITY GETS RESULTS
Greetings, I am a young Asiatic Black youth who is in
search of a lot of things. I am incarcerated at Odom
Correctional Facility, which is located in Jackson, North
At the present moment, I am separated from general
population for a variety of infractions. These came about
because a sergeant was trying to take a ring that I
constructed at the wood shop. They asked me for it stating
it was contraband. I refused. The pigs also asked for my tam
[Rasta Cap]. This time I replied, "No Devil." The remark got
the sergeant radiated and I was maced and jumped on by three
Well I want to start a movement within the system to put an
end to how they treat us. Before I was separated, I was
working or getting brothers to stop doing slave work in the
fields, kitchens and various places.
...I am twenty-two years of age, and I know that all it
takes is unity and results can happen. I will get long term
but that's no problem as long as I study and read things
that may benefit the brothers here or within North Carolina
that are downpressed daily.... I'll be trying to teach
prisoners what's going on....
Peace and Love,
-- A North Carolina Prisoner, 25 December 1997
THE STRUGGLE INTENSIFIES
The struggle goes on! At this time I'm still on segregation.
I've passed our publication [MIM Notes] around to a few
like-minded comrades on lock-down. The publication has been
received with a warm welcome and dialogue has been
transformed. We speak of the oppression our people are
under, in particular the education institution.
... At this particular time the DOC [Department of
Corruptions] has intensified their oppression of their
captives. The adjustment procedures have drastically been
changed. Comrades are being held on segregation for weeks
without an adjustment hearing. And visits are being
terminated indefinitely in an attempt to cut off all outside
and family support. The climate is being set for
The struggle intensifies! Psychological liberation is
-- A Maryland Prisoner, 3 January 1998
PIGS HARASS REVOLUTIONARY PRISONER
Yesterday, I was under the impression that my captors were
keeping my subscription of MIM Notes from me, and filed a
grievance against my oppressors, and as I just mentioned
comrades, today I was given my Nov 1, 1997 and Nov. 15, 1997
issues of MIM Notes.
But my oppressors, as a result of me filing a grievance
against them, have taken my radio, typewriter, coffeepot,
etc. as a form of harassment.
One pig guard even went on to say that it was behind me
receiving revolutionary literature. I told the pig guard
that by them harassing me and confiscating my property, that
it only enforced what I already know. That is, that a pig
will always do whatever he can to down a revolutionary
comrade in the struggle.
I also informed this same pig guard that my comrade brothers
and sisters of the Maoist Internationalist Movement firmly
support their comrades in the unjust prison system in
Amerika, and are in solidarity with me in fighting against
the brutalities and inhumane conditions in the prisons. ...
And in the end...justice will win!
I know that this pig guard did not really understand what I
was pointing out to him, because justice is something he
Your Comrade in Struggle,
-- A Texas Prisoner, 2 January 1998
PIGS THROWING SPITBALLS AT BATTLESHIPS
MIM, Comrades Hotep, Here at Smithfield Prison Camp in
Pennsylvania, the Klan is no longer hiding. There has always
been common knowledge that the KKK and the more elite Aryan
Brotherhood has filtered into the PA prison system, and
other prisons across the country disguised as Correctional
Officers, Counselors, and into the Medial Department.
Because in the Prison Camps they don't have to plan their
clandestine move against Blacks and other oppressed POW's,
--They can be their good old boy self and practice their
kicks, swing and biological warfare and lying skills without
Smithfield is so vicious and brutal that anyone who has
stoop up for his basic prison right, has been beat down and
locked down in solitary for 60 to 120 days. Until the Klan
Staff feel you have learned your lesson which is to keep
your head down, And go along with their program -- NKYP
(Nigger Know Your Place).
This is the only state institution in Pennsylvania to make
up their own SHU (Special Housing Unit). Where they continue
their harassment of all willful POW's who stand on their
principles. As the warrior knows principles are what we live
by and sometimes die for.
Anyone can look around any of the three holes at Smithfield.
You will see they are only trying to break the Black and
We want our Comrades and Supporters to know that our enemies
who control Smithfield are throwing spitballs at battleships
trying to break out spirits. We still recognize that we need
the people out there to combat this ongoing racial treatment
by Smithfield pigs.
We are in a corner, and we who are in the intestine of this
beast at Smithfield ain't going down without a fight. The
battlefield is any place you say enough is enough. And we
had enough. Here our cry.
-- A Pennsylvania 1 December 1997
P.S. ...We both know what Mao meant when he said: As the
wind blow change We must learn to build a windmill And
I'm in the hole... and I thank you for reaching out to all
the dragons who are left behind these walls, bars, and
breathing fresh air underneath our wings....
FAMILES PROTEST FLORIDA'S DEPARTMENT OF CORRUPTIONS
"FDOC Policy = Get Tough on Families" "Cut out the
middleman, Allow Prisoners to Keep Their Property and We'll
send our money directly to Lawton Chiles" "Stop the FDOC
Monopoly" "FDOC Profit Statement: Inmate Canteens, Inmate
Telephones More Inmates!"
These were just a few of the slogans that appeared on poster
signs in a citizen demonstration in front of the capitol
building in Tallahassee on October 15, 1997. Several family
members and friends of Florida prisoners travel to
Tallahassee to participate in the rally that included
carrying signs, talking with and distributing flyers and
information to pedestrians and motorist about the Florida
Department of Corrections (FDOC's) price gouging and
monopolistic practices toward prisoners' families and
The demonstrators, consisting of men, women, and children,
were surprisingly well received and encouraged by numerous
supportive comments from the public and capital employees.
This was the first of what is hoped to be a series of
demonstrations that are intended to challenge the FDOC's
policies and practices. These policies are artificially
creating the appearance of "getting tough on prisoners" but
in reality only financially punish and double-tax prisoners'
families and friends.
This demonstration was initially proposed by staff from
Florida Prison Legal Perspective (FPLP) at a recent Florida
Prison Action Network meeting, which consists of Florida
based groups that include: FPLP, Families with Loved ones in
Prison (FLIP), Florida Institutional Legal Services, and the
Parole Elimination Network (PEN).
The intention was to raise awareness of the growing
financial burdens being imposed against Prisoners' families,
friends and all state taxpayers by the FDOC. Our approach
was to organize and hold a demonstration in the state's
capital to raise the awareness of the public, our state
legislators, and other elected officials.
The first issue expressed in this demonstration was the
FDOC's plan to take all Florida Prisoners' personal property
on January 1, 1998. But allow their families to send them
money to replace the property with identical or similar
property to be purchased from the prison canteen at recently
inflated prices. The second topic was the monopoly and
gouging that is occurring against prisoners' families and
friends with the exorbitant collect telephone scheme being
operated by the FDOC.
...Thank you, to those who showed up and participated [in
the demonstration]. Your participation was important and
greatly appreciated. I think we all had a good time and
learned a lot. ... Widespread notice will be given on the
future demonstrations that are to occur so that everyone
will have the opportunity to participate.
In other news, another Florida Prison Action Network meeting
was held on November 2, 1997. It went very well. These
important meetings, to which everyone is invited, are being
well attended and strengthening the voice of Florida
prisoners, their families, friends and associates. Attend
these meetings to learn about what efforts are being taken
to change and improve our criminal justice and correctional
system in Florida....
-- A Florida Prisoner, 30 December 1997