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 164 PART I June 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. INDONESIA: SHAM REFORMS IN THE FACE IF CRISIS AND MASS
2. UCLA STUDENTS DENOUNCE PROP. 209 & CHAUVINIST CHANCELLOR
4. FORMER BLACK PANTHER PARTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION
ELDRIDGE CLEAVER DIES
5. FIGHT FASCISM: ORGANIZE AGAINST PRISONS
6. MORAIL AND NBUF HOST FIRST NATION DELEGATION
7. SERVE THE PEOPLE: BUILDING ASIAN-DESCENDED NATIONALISM
8. SENTENCE IS DEATH FOR STANDING NEAR PICKUP TRUCK
9. BOGUS IRISH REFERENDUM:
IMPERIALIST-BROKERED PEACE DEALS NEVER MEAN PEACE
10. PRISONS USED TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
11. IN SUPPORT OF THE INDONESIAN PEOPLE'S JUST STRUGGLE FOR
SOCIAL AND NATIONAL LIBERATION
12. NEW YORK WAGES WAR IN SCHENECTADY
13. UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROMS 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
* * *
INDONESIA: SHAM REFORMS IN THE FACE IF CRISIS AND MASS
The tremendous outrage of a people facing the devastation of
capitalist economic crisis and imperialist supported
military dictatorship forced former Indonesian head dictator
Suharto's resignation in late May. However, the imperialist
puppet government is still in place. B.J. Habibie, a close
friend and protege of Suharto, assumed the presidency of
Indonesia after Suharto was forced to step down in the face
of widespread public protest and a potential overthrow of
the entire government and military. The quick switch of
figureheads may temporarily save the comprador government
from total overthrow in the absence of strong and
revolutionary leadership of the people.
Shortly after assuming power, Habibie said that he would be
only a transitional figure and would hold an election before
his term expires in 2003. That right there could give the
government and the military almost 5 years to recover their
firm grip on the country. After 32 years under the
dictatorship of Suharto, with the imperialist puppet
government and military controlling every aspect of the
economy and political life in Indonesia, change will require
more than a new name in charge. In fact, Habibie is an old
friend of Suharto who served as Cabinet minister for 20
years and was an integral part of a corrupt and repressive
regime, not only as a Suharto protege but as an official
whose family and close relatives themselves control or
partly own 80 enterprises, according to the Jakarta Post.(1)
In a long and detailed speech televised Monday, Habibie
called for widespread reforms of the economic, political and
judicial system. But this lip service, although necessary in
the aftermath of widespread uprisings and protests against
the existing system, promises nothing more than pretty
words. Suharto along with his six rich and powerful
children, remain in Jakarta. By taking over much of the
country's economy for themselves -- from banks to power
plants to toll roads to automobile factories to agricultural
cartels -- Suharto and his children accumulated as much as
$40 billion by some estimates. Earlier this year, Forbes
magazine put Suharto's personal wealth at $16 billion,
making him the world's sixth richest man. It estimated that
his children are worth another $14 billion.(2) Habibie's
family and those of other government and military officials
have enjoyed similar privileges.
Minor reforms not major changes
The Indonesian military-political dictatorship is walking a
fine line, retaining the wealth and power while appearing to
implement reforms to keep the people pacified. The armed
forces announced that a preliminary investigation into the
shooting deaths of six student demonstrators at Trisakti
University revealed that eight soldiers were involved in the
shooting and that six officers are "suspected of supporting
This statement should strike any reasonable person as
ridiculous given that the Indonesian military has imprisoned
and killed opponents of the dictatorship for 32 years under
Suharto's rule. The shooting of six student demonstrators
was not an error on the part of a few soldiers, it was the
result of a systematic policy of military repression. Those
soldiers were doing a good job of carrying out the orders
and the will of their leaders. If a few individuals take the
fall for the military dictatorship this will only confirm
the military-government's fear of the people's strong desire
for justice. They hope that by throwing the people a few
reforms the military dictatorship will be able to go on
pretty much unchanged.
The government is making other small changes in an attempt
to prevent future popular uprising and ensure their future
in power. Habibie and his armed forces chief, Gen. Wiranto,
have both asked their family members to resign from
positions gained through nepotism. Ending nepotism was a key
demand of the student protesters.(4) The new government also
claims to be investigating the Suharto family wealth but few
in power have an interest in any move against Suharto that
might also threaten their own financial and political
standing. In fact, Gen. Wiranto stated, "the military will
protect all former mandated presidents, including Mr.
Suharto and family."(16)
On May 26th the government announced that it would begin
releasing political prisoners on a case-by-case basis,
releasing first those it considers least threatening. The
fact that the current government still has something to fear
from political activists reveals the lack of fundamental
The first two released were a former parliamentarian, Sri
Bintang Pamungkas, who was jailed in 1996 for insulting the
then President Suharto in a speech, and labor organizer
Muchtar Pakpahan, who was sentenced to four years in prisons
in 1994 for inciting workers and charged under the anti-
"It's just a trick, just to release those who are not
considered dangerous, for insulting Suharto," said Gustaf
Dupe, 61, a leader of a prisoners aid group. He was
sentenced to four years in prison in 1967 as a communist
Justice Minister Muladi specifically excluded the one dozen
activists of the People's Democracy Party who received heavy
sentences for setting up an unrecognized political party,
calling for a multi-party political system. Muladi said they
could not be released because they were 'communists' and had
violated the Constitution. The Justice Minister has also
said that thirteen men convicted in the late 1960s for their
alleged involvement in events in Jakarta in October 1965
which brought Suharto to power would not be released. Some
were members of the Communist Party which was outlawed by
Suharto while others were members of the Indonesian army.(6)
The change in dictators in Indonesia is not without
potential benefit for the people even if this is all the
protests accomplish. The increased freedom of the press may
make it easier for the long repressed communist movement to
organize. Mainstream newspapers are now able to report on
the Suharto family wealth and even criticize the president's
speech, something that never would have been allowed in the
past.(7) This freedom for the mainstream media may translate
into an opportunity for the people's movements to organize
more openly as well. The change in figure heads and the
scrutiny of the world may also give the people of East Timor
a greater opportunity to advance their fight for freedom
from Indonesian occupation.
U.$. financial and military support
The united snakes aided Suharto in his 1965 coup against the
Sukarno government. During the coup the military killed
hundreds of thousands of activists including a large portion
of the Indonesian communist party which was decimated by the
massacres after gaining significant strength and numbers in
Habibie's pronouncements about planned reforms came the day
before a team from the International Monetary Fund was due
to Indonesia to begin negotiating terms for the release of
the latest installment of a stalled $43 billion bailout
package.(3) The IMF has suspended payment of $3 billion that
was due in March as part of a $40 billion bailout plan. The
money was earmarked to help Indonesia begin paying back $70
billion in international loans as well as about $60 billion
in government debt. Indonesia's total foreign debt is
approximately $110 billion. The IMF package will increase
this debt to more than $140 billion. In the last 30 years
about 90 Third World countries have received loans from the
IMF, 48 are no better off and 32 are actually poorer.
The Indonesian government must pay huge amounts of interest
to the big US, European and Japanese banks every year. These
interest payments will leap again in the next few years,
ensuring greater dependency and sucking up any funds that
could otherwise be used to provide for the needs of the
people. This is a typical international imperialist
financing scheme which leads to greater impoverishment for
the people in the imperialist colonies and neo-colonies and
riches for the imperialist and their lackeys.
Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world with
202 million people who are growing poorer every day. The
currency is worth a quarter of its 1997 value, factories
have stopped working and unemployment is skyrocketing.
Habibie has pledged to adhere to the economic restructuring
program approved by the IMF.(1) But this program was what
brought about the increased economic hardship for the
On March 24, before the uprisings and overthrow of Suharto,
the United Snakes announced an offer of $56 million in food
and medical supplies to Indonesia. This offer expanded on
$45 million in what the imperialists like to call
"developmental assistance": money used to keep puppet
governments stable and loyal and their economies under firm
imperialist control. The u.s. has a number of economic
programs in Indonesia which total close to $490 million
according to the Under Secretary of State, Stuart
In a nifty trick designed to ensure u.s. economic
prosperity, $25 million has been offered by the US
Department of Agriculture earmarked for purchase of U.S.
food (and the quantities and products will be determined by
the USDA). This is a common policy of u.s. aid to Third
World countries. It ensures dependency while keeping the
money within the U.$.(8) The Export-Import Bank of the
United States (Ex-Im Bank) has offered to provide short-term
export financing of up to $1 billion for U.S. exports to
Indonesia to further back up this dependency strategy.
According to the Ex-Im's own description "Ex-Im Bank is an
independent U.S. government agency that helps to sustain
American jobs by financing U.S. exports to emerging markets
that otherwise would not go forward. In fiscal year 1997,
Ex-Im Bank supported $15 billion in U.S. exports."(9)
To justify past and continued U.$. economic and military
support to the Indonesian regime, US government officials
have been scrambling to demonstrate the necessity of u.s.
involvement. On May 7th senior representatives of the US
State Department and the US Department of Defense testified
before hearings in the House of Representatives about the
u.s. security concerns in Indonesia.
Stanley Roth, Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and the
Pacific tried to paint a picture of grave security threats
in Indonesia while making clear the U.$ economic interests
in the country. "The vast, ethnically diverse nation of
Indonesia is of broad strategic significance for the United
States. It is the world's fourth most populous nation and
boasts the world's largest Muslim population; it contains
over 13,000 islands which span important sea lanes and
airways; and it possesses vast natural resources, including
oil and natural gas. Moreover, whereas the Indonesia of
yesteryear championed an assertive nationalism which
unnerved its smaller neighbors, the Indonesia of recent
decades has played a crucial role in fostering regional
This Indonesia that he praises as fostering regional
stability is the same government that, with U.$. support and
training, seized power in a military dictatorship and
massacred hundreds of thousands of communists and other
opponents. Under the military dictatorship of Suharto,
Indonesia has massacred over a third of the population of
East Timor in a violent attempt to keep the country as a
colony of since invading it in 1975. The initial invasion of
East Timor was conducted with the approval and weapons of
the united states.
Walter Slocombe, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy made
clear the extent of the u.s. military involvement in
Indonesia: "Our cooperation with the Indonesian military, in
training activities and through the acquisition of U.S.
defense systems, enhances interoperability...We foresee a
continued growth in our mutual security interests, and view
Indonesia as an increasingly important and constructive
strategic actor.... Our bilateral military activities with
Indonesia, while not extensive, have incrementally increased
in recent years. Combined with our other bilateral defense
activities in the region, they offer a good foundation for
the continued long-term U.S. military presence..."(10)
For 22 years East Timor has suffered under the military
occupation of Indonesia. The active resistance of the
Maubere people has been met with brutal repression. Many
remember Nov. 12, 1991, the date that Indonesian soldiers
fired upon a defenseless crowd of thousands of East Timorese
pro-independence demonstrators at a cemetery, killing more
than 250. But this was just one of many murders and
imprisonments by the Indonesian military dictatorship in its
attempts to control East Timor.
The change in comprador dictators brings potential hope to
the struggle. With the Indonesian government's energy
focused elsewhere, the Timorese people may have a chance to
win their freedom. And with the international focus on
Indonesia, it is possible the new government will find East
Timor too much of a liability of both resources and
international public opinion.
The u.s. administration currently observes a ban on the sale
of small armed, armored personnel carriers and helicopter-
mounted weapons to Indonesia (weapons frequently employed in
the repression of the East Timorese people) as a result of
public outcry after publicity of the 1991 massacre. But the
U.$. continues to supply spare parts, ammunition and other
military equipment to the Indonesian regime. The US
government Export-Import Bank has also financed helicopter
sales to the Indonesian military.
In addition, the U.$. has carried out ongoing training of
Indonesia's notorious military units in spite of a
congressional ban after the 1991 massacre in East Timor.
This program, known as the Joint Combined Exchange and
Training (JCET) program run by the US Department of Defense
found ways around the congressional ban to continue training
the Indonesian Armed Forces. On March 8th the Defense
Department was forced to suspend the JCET when their
activities were revealed to the public.(11)
The fight for self-determination goes on in East Timor. On
May 23rd the Indonesian military killed one person and
wounded three in a shoot out with Fretilin, the armed wing
of the East Timorese independence movement which has been
fighting Indonesia since its invasion in 1975.(12)
The new Justice Minister Muladi announced he would be asking
President Habibie to grant what they call Indonesia's 27th
province a special status. "We ought to change our
attitude," Muladi said. "If we can make East Timor a special
territory, that would give us a better bargaining position
with the military."(13) This change of status is a likely
outcome if one of the more liberal presidential candidates
should win. But East Timor will not be free until it is
granted full independence, all outside military and economic
forces withdraw, and the Maubere people of East Timor have
the opportunity to decide for themselves how to run their
The Justice Minister also announced that Xanana Gusmao, a
military leader of the Fretilin resistance forces who was
sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1993, didn't fit the
criteria for potential release as a political prisoner.(13)
The indigenous Acehnese nation and the West Papaun nation
are also demanding self-determination and fighting
New elections, same old system
Under the current laws, the president is not elected
directly, but by an assembly whose candidates are approved
by the government in advance. In the seven elections held
after Suharto took office, he was the sole presidential
candidate of all three parties.(7)
Even if the entire electoral system is fundamentally
reformed to resemble imperialist "democracy" this will not
change who controls the money and political power. This
control and power is what wins elections and without it the
people will never enjoy true democracy.
Sukarnoputri, the daughter of former president Sukarno, has
announced her candidacy in the next election.(3) Sukarno was
the president before being overthrown by the Suharto
military coup. He led a coalition government that included
the Communist Party of Indonesia which has since made self-
criticism for their failure to lead the masses in opposition
to imperialism and instead tailing the bourgeois democracy
of Sukarno. Sukarnoputri likely represents the most radical
of the potential presidential candidates but she does not
offer the people and end to the exploitation and oppression
of imperialism, just a kinder and gentler face for the
system with possibly a less brutal military.
The Former parliamentarian, Sri Bintang Pamungkas, recently
released from prison, is also planing to run for presidency.
Although he was imprisoned by Suharto, he does not represent
any significant difference from the current government.(14)
Revolution is the only solution
The people's mass struggle against the government-military
dictatorship in April and May was not led by a revolutionary
party with the demand of overthrowing imperialism. This lack
of leadership made it easy for the change in figureheads to
allow the government to regain control over the country.
One organization that played a prominent role in the student
and worker's protests was the Peoples Democratic Party
(PRD). Many of those arrested during the rebellions reported
being questioned about membership in this organization. The
PRD operates entirely underground since a severe crackdown
last July 27 and focuses its work on publishing leaflets and
building their mass organizations.
The PRD represents a broad mass movement willing to operate
within capitalism. They called for the overthrow of Suharto
but do not offer an alternative to capitalism to put in his
place. According to the PRD, "The mass political struggle
must be developed and must be able to build a country with a
multiparty, democratic and popular-based nature, to replace
a country of exploitation and oppression with all their
instruments of violence, such as the military, the courts
and the police."(15) They demand "the military must return
to the barracks" but do not demand a dismantling of the
imperialist backed military.
As mentioned above, movements for formal democracy such as
the PRD can be progressive, in the sense that they unite all
who can be united against the current puppet government and
give the people more freedom to organize for real
revolutionary change. But movements for formal democracy
cannot fully address the basic social and political problem
facing the Indonesian people: imperialist domination. There
is no way that capitalism can be reformed into a just system
that serves the people. And because of this, the overthrow
of imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism, is
necessary and inevitable.
In spite of tremendous repression the people of Indonesia
have been fighting for years. During 1994, the Indonesian
workers demonstrated (on strike) 1,130 times. This was a
350% increase on the figure for 1993 when there were 312
strikes recorded.(15) But these widespread protests and
strong sentiment of discontent needs the leadership of a
vanguard party to offer the people the necessary analysis of
history and the line, strategy and tactics that can defeat
their enemy, imperialism. MIM commends the people of
Indonesia for their successful protests against the
imperialist backed military dictatorship. And we point to
the lessons of history so that the Indonesian people will
not have to suffer another year under imperialist rule.
1. Washington Post 25 May 1998, p A26.
2. New York Times 25 May 1998.
3. Washington Post 26 May 1998, p. A01.
4. Associated Press 26 May 1998.
5. Washington Post 26 May 1998, Page A11.
6. TAPOL, Indonesian Human Rights Campaign, press release,
May 25, 1998 TAPOL, Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 111
Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 8HW, UK Phone:
0181 771-2904 Fax: 0181 653-0322 email: [email protected]
7. New York Times May 26, 1998.
11. East Timor Action Network press release, May 12, 1998
from [email protected]
12. AAP NEWSFEED May 25, 1998, Monday available via etan-
13. Deutsche Presse-Agentur May 25, 1998, Monday, BC Cycle.
14. BBC, Tuesday, May 26, 1998 Published at 09:20 GMT 10:20
15. Statement from the National Committee of the PRD,
Jakarta, 22 July 1996.
16. Philippine Daily Inquirer 23 May 98.
* * *
UCLA STUDENTS DENOUNCE PROP. 209 & CHAUVINIST CHANCELLOR
by a MIM Comrade
On May 19, over 1,500 UCLA students rallied against
California's Proposition 209, which prohibits consideration
of race, ethnicity, or sex in public sector hiring, school
admissions, or other accomodations. About 400 students also
occupied UCLA's Royce hall for several hours, demanding that
newly-appointed Chancellor Albert Carnesdale declare that
UCLA will not comply with Prop. 209. Because of Prop. 209,
the admissions rate for Black, Latino, and First Nation
students at UCLA dropped drastically this year.
The intensified activism around Prop. 209 is the inevitable
response to the crass chauvinist maneuverings of
California's reactionary bourgeoisie and its allies in the
white petty bourgeoisie and labor aristocracy. The
discrimination contained in measures like Prop. 209 and the
infamous Prop. 187 are part of the larger picture of
national oppression in California. This larger picture also
fuels the protests. Indeed, as student leader Kandea Mosley
said, "Our opposition to Prop. 209 ... is not a result of a
skewed perception of affirmative action as a cure-all for
all of our communities and the racist, classist violence
perpetuated on our people daily. Rather, the reasons behind
raising a political struggle in this university is created
out of our understanding that organized struggle ... is
necessary on every level."(1)
When students link up with the broader struggles of the
oppressed masses, inside and outside of u.$. borders, they
become a powerful force for change.
The rally, which also commemorated the birthday of Malcolm
X, gathered force throughout the morning of the 19th. In the
early afternoon, the protestors marched around the campus,
calling on students and other observers to join them. Many
did, and others cheered the marchers on. One participant
reported that the crowd of protesters tripled in size during
the march. The rally then turned to Royce hall, which some
protesters occupied, draping banners over the upper-story
balcony and giving speeches.
Besides denouncing Prop. 209 and criticizing Chancellor
Carnesdale for not clearly opposing it, the students
denounced Carnesdale's bourgeois, Amerikan-centered approach
to university education. According to one observer, the
students were particularly outraged by Carnesdale's comments
that they should learn something useful, not "the Queen of
Sheba," a reference to African history.(2) Students --
especially students from Amerika's internal colonies -- have
a hunger and thirst for knowledge of their own history, the
roots of their oppression, and the means to overturn it.
They should be allowed to determine their own curriculum.
Carnesdale's comments show that he is a lackey for a so-
called educational system, which does not educate but
instead assimilates students into the economic and political
The campus authorities eventually called out more than 50
LAPD riot police because, in the words of Chancellor
Carnesdale, "we must not establish a precedent that students
can stop the functioning of a university."(1) When the riot
pigs showed up behind Royce hall, about 100 protesters
formed a human barrier in front of them and shouted: "This
is our campus."(1) The police eventually arrested more than
80 of the students who refused to leave Royce hall.
Unfortunately for Carnesdale, the protesters' actions that
day did show that students can disrupt university business.
Historical and international precedent show that students
can not only disrupt the functioning of a university, they
can also lead revolutionary change. Witness current student
struggles in Indonesia, student struggles in south Korea in
the late 80s, the "First Quarter Storm" in the Philippines,
the anti-Vietnam War movement within the United Snakkkes.
The Black Panther Party, the Communist Party of China, the
Communist Party of the Philippines, and many other
revolutionary and anti-imperialist movements and
organizations all grew out of student activism.
Oppressed nation students lead resistance
The core of the protest leadership was Black, Latino, and
Asian/Pacific Islander -descended students. No surprise
there, since they come from the communities most affected by
the recent spate of anti-oppressed nation referenda in
The group of applicants admitted to the UC system for Fall
1998 was the first group to be affected by Prop. 209's "race
blind" policy. Despite an increase in the number of Black,
Latino, and First Nation applicants, the number of students
admitted from these groups dropped sharply.(See Table 1)
Black, Latino, and First Nation students made up 23.1% of
the students admitted to UC Berkeley in 1997, but only 10.4%
of the students admitted in 1998. The same figures for UC
Los Angeles were 19.8% and 12.7%.(3) All this despite the
fact that Blacks, Latinos, and First Nations make up 35% of
the population of California(4), so the higher 1997 figures
already showed gross discrimination in University
Latinos and some Asians have also been caught up in a wave
of anti-immigrant sentiment by measures such as Prop. 187,
which would cut off all public services (such as emergency
health care and education) to undocumented immigrants.
This all goes to show that in its quest to humor the yahoos
in California's predominantly white labor aristocracy and
petty bourgeoisie, the bourgeois state is creating allies
for the proletarian struggle within u.$. borders. There's no
denying that the principal goal of a UC education is to
assimilate its students comfortably into the status quo,
maybe even make them administrators over the status quo. But
as the UCs deny this future to more students, and as the
crass chauvinist nature of the existing system becomes clear
to those students already enrolled, the number of students
with less to lose and more resolve to fight increases.
Table 1: Admissions to the entire UC System, by year and
Black First Nation Latino TOTAL
1997 3198 711 11818 15727
1998 2255 574 9907 12736
% change -29% -19% -16% -19%
1. Daily Bruin, 20 May 98.
2. Interview with rally participant, 22 May 98.
3. New York Times, 1 Mar 98.
4. Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1996.
* * *
Thank you for providing me with the necessary materials
aiding in my revolutionary consciousness; they will be put
to good use, as well as shared with other progressive
I've been studying political economy for at least 3 or 4
years now, and as I continue to deeply grasp the principles
and laws governing these complex structures, I keep in mind
what Karl Marx said: "Everything starts out difficult. Every
science is this way." In the concrete analysis of objective
phenomena, Marxist political economy penetrates the surface,
grasps the essence, and undertakes scientific abstraction.
But I will be honest, comrade, at times I get bitter when I
see people behind these concentration camps capitulating to
capitalist ideology. What I mean by this is the rapid apathy
for struggle inside these walls, not on a physical level,
but the struggle on a theoretical and ideological level. So
many brothers have been duped by "cultural nationalism" to
the point where political an ideological line, "they
believe," is unimportant. They are somehow convinced that
the teachings of revolutionary politics, and the study of
political science is preaching "practical politics."
This is attributed on the one hand to the vampire like media
who insist on convincing New Afrikans that to change the
current state of affairs is to work within the capitalist
empire and not through armed resistance. And on the other
hand, we got flag waving buffer New Afrikans running around
the empire promoting "everything Black is beautiful"
philosophy, a philosophy which suggests that our line should
be: Buy Black, think Black, and live Black... "and
capitalist America will start to listen in some near
--A California prisoner
We are always heartened by letters like yours, which show
both a willingness to struggle for real revolutionary change
and enthusiasm for a materialist and scientific approach to
politics. As Stalin wrote, "Theory becomes purposeless if it
is not connected with revolutionary practice, just as
practice gropes in the dark if its path is not illuminated
by revolutionary theory."
We agree with your criticisms of cultural and bourgeois
nationalism. Bourgeois nationalists promote reform and
reconciliation with Amerikan imperialism, which MIM rejects.
And cultural nationalists are ultimately not even
reformists, but vulgar idealists. According to the Black
Panther Party, "Those who believe the 'I'm Black and Proud'
theory - believe that there is dignity inherent in wearing
naturals; that a buba makes a slave a man; that a common
language, Swahili, makes all of us brothers... In other
words cultural nationalism ignores the political and the
concrete, and concentrates on a myth and a fantasy."
However, MIM is confident that we can win over the most
oppressed to a revolutionary and materialist perspective.
There will always be people under the influence of bourgeois
nationalism, right up to the revolution, because there are
bourgeois and petty-bourgeois classes in the oppressed
nations. They pick up the ideology that promotes their
interests. On the other hand, bourgeois nationalism does not
promote the interests of the exploited and most oppressed
sectors of the oppressed nations. Only revolutionary
politics have relevance for them. We believe that patient
political and ideological work will counteract bourgeois
influences among the most oppressed. The work you are doing
setting up study groups (with the help of the "Free Books
for Prisoners Program") is part of that process.
Note: Phillip Foner, ed., "The Black Panthers Speak," JB
Lippincott: Philadelphia, 1970, p. 151.
MORE ACADEMICS OPPOSE POLITICAL EDUCATION FOR PRISONERS
I did not mean to imply that only the authors on my list are
suitable for reading and further enlightenment of prisoners.
If you choose to send only certain books then YOU ARE
sending a bias view of the world. Stop arguing with me about
these things. Some people do not want to know the truth.
Some people look for a reason to lash out. Everyone wants to
be able to say their life was hard, but there is always
someone worse off than you. Don't be satisfied with life,
but YOU ARE NOT offering an unbias view.
I did not mean to imply that you should not send what you
are sending , just that you should send variety. Not
everyone has access to the authors I have mentioned. I went
to a school in the suburbs and I am going to a high priced
public institution. Money buys access!! I did not read some
of these authors until I got to college. I know that you
think that I have an over glorified view of the world, but
don't assume that just because these authors have some
recognition that everyone has access to them. It's not
information or enlightenment...it's guidance.
--an academic in the midwest
This is one more in a series of letters we have received in
response to our political Books for Prisoners program which
does discriminate about which books are sent in to
prisoners. We give prisoners access to political education
from the perspective of the oppressed of the world. And in
response to our end of the semester campaign for book
donations on many college campuses, MIM has received a
number of letters like the above from well off academics who
want to preserve the hegemony of bourgeois academic
We readily admit that the MIM Books for Prisoners program is
offering a biased view of the world to prisoners. We offer
the bias of the oppressed people of the world. While there
is the entire educational and cultural system offering
prisoners and everyone else the bourgeois perspective, there
are few revolutionaries and even fewer resources on our
We do think it is worth everyone's time to study the
reactionary as well as the progressive perspectives. But
prisoners would not have access to revolutionary political
education if it were not for groups like MIM. And we hope
that from this biased view of the world prisoners learn that
their lives don't have to be worthless and that it is
possible to fight the imperialist system.
To make donations to MIM's Books for Prisoners program send
checks or money orders to the address on page 2.
* * *
FORMER BLACK PANTHER PARTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION ELDRIDGE
Eldridge Cleaver, former Minister of Information of the
Black Panther Party (BPP), died of natural causes on Friday,
May 1, at the age of 62. Eldridge played a leading role in
the Maoist BPP in the late 1960s, but in the 1970s he
recanted his revolutionary politics and became a christian.
According to Reuters News Service, in the 1980s he ran for
the u.$ senate as a conservative Republican.
While he was in the Black Panther Party under the leadership
of Huey Newton, Eldridge performed great services for the
revolutionary movement in the Black nation and for the
broader anti-imperialist movement in the u.$. He inspired
and taught many. As Mumia Abu Jamal recently wrote, "It was
because of his revolutionary audaciousness that I threw
caution to the winds and joined the party and was assigned
to the organization's Ministry of Information. He used words
as weapons and scored the enemy with his acidic tongue."
However, Eldridge himself summed up the last 20 or so years
of his life, when he wrote in Soul on Ice, "A slave who dies
of natural causes will not balance two dead flies on the
scales of eternity."
The internal causes for Eldridge's degeneration were ultra-
left idealism and individualism. He was upset that existing
socialist and anti-imperialist countries had failed to
immediately create a workers' paradise, but instead lagged
behind in terms of productive forces and what Eldridge
considered individual freedoms. He also nit-picked them for
failing to realize what he considered perfect interpersonal
At the same time, he could not stand up to the significant
pressures his politics placed on his lifestyle. According to
an upcoming MIM Theory review of "Soul on Fire," the book in
which Cleaver explains his degeneration: "[Cleaver] felt
guilty that his wife and children suffered on account of his
legal problems with the u.$. government. 'The most powerful,
single breakthrough, in my Communist-held position, was the
birth of my children...' (p.135) He was not willing for his
children to learn French and soccer instead of English and
football; even though he had complete citizenship rights in
France.(pp. 208-209). He had witnessed countless
revolutionaries give their lives, but having his kids grow
up in France was too much sacrifice for Cleaver." Eldridge
Cleaver at once became impatient at the steady progress of
individual states towards Communism, and unwilling to make
even slight sacrifices in lifestyle for the revolution.
Of course, the external condition for Eldridge's
degeneration was political persecution by the u.$.
government. Eldridge had made great personal sacrifices for
his work with the Black Panther Party in his revolutionary
political period. He was almost killed in the same shoot-out
in which the Oakland pigs murdered Bobby Hutton, and he
faced imprisonment and probable assassination for his
revolutionary politics. As he became older and saw personal
enemies falling from power and old comrades becoming mayors
and influential members of the ruling class, Eldridge "cut a
deal with the devil," and denounced his revolutionary past.
Even while he was in the Black Panther Party, Eldridge had
ultra-left and individualist problems. He was associated
with the "armed struggle now" line in the party. Huey also
criticized him for being down for big flashy actions, but
disregarding the day to day details of Party building, such
as running the party's newspaper, The Black Panther.
MIM looks at the legacy of Eldridge Cleaver in the spirit of
Mao's dictum that "one splits onto two." We should learn
from his mistakes, inside and outside of the movement.
Eldridge provides a clear negative example of the problems
of ultra-leftism, liberalism, and individualism. We must
also uphold his correct legacy within the Black Panther
Party. The brutalities of national oppression and the
Amerikan prison system made Eldridge recognize the necessity
for revolutionary change. And for few years, he put his life
on the line in order to make socialist revolution here in
the belly of the beast.
For more on the history of the Maoist Black Panther Party of
the late 1960s and early 1970s, write to MIM for a copy of
our pamphlet Maoism and the Black Panther Party, or send $10
for a copy of Philip Foners' The Black Panther Party Leaders
* * *
FIGHT FASCISM: ORGANIZE AGAINST PRISONS
On May 9th, organizers of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist
League (RAIL) distributed hundreds of MIM Notes, RAIL Notes,
and flyers called "Who is the primary enemy of the people?"
and discussed correct organizing strategies against
oppression with hundreds of people attending anti-Klan
rallies, marches and picnics in Ann Arbor, Michigan. RAIL
emphasized anti-imperialist and pro-national liberation
struggles to people demonstrating against an Ann Arbor City
Hall-hosted Ku Klux Klan rally.
Two counter-demonstrations marched through Ann Arbor and met
at City Hall to oppose the small Ku Klux Klan rally. The
Klan's rally lasted less than one hour on the steps of the
Ann Arbor pig department building. The AAPD defended the KKK
with thousands of dollars worth of fencing and riot squad
personnel. (Various activists estimated the cost of KKK
protection to range from $75,000 - $120,000.)
There were three main groupings of counter demonstrators.
The vast majority were youth who opposed the Klan but agreed
with RAIL that genuine activism goes beyond physical fights
with individual fascists. The second group and the main
organizer of the City Hall counter-demonstration was the
National Women's Rights Organizing Committee (NWROC). This
Revolutionary Workers' League (RWL) front-group advocated
'smashing the Klan' by physically forcing the Klan to stop
its rally. The third grouping was mostly pacifists and older
left Ann Arborites who gathered in a separate location for a
'Unity Rally.' The Unity Rally organizers also formed a 150-
person 'Peace Team' and worked with the Ann Arbor pigs to
physically maintain the barricade between the Klan and
counter demonstrators and to prevent violence between the
Neither RAIL nor MIM organized the counter-demonstration at
City Hall or the Unity Rally. The Peace Team spent 18 months
preparing for its non-violent action. The pseudo-militant
groups spent a tremendous amount of resources preparing to
tail the Klan rally. Neither of the groups' anti-fascist
organizing (if any) rival RAIL's. While RAIL has organized
for national liberation struggles and against oppression in
Michigan's prisons, the pseudo-left has been organizing to
rally against the 37 Klan members who traveled from Butler,
Indiana to Ann Arbor for one day.
RAIL organizers attended both counter-demonstrations to
organize progressives to support genuine struggles of the
masses against imperialism. We offer organizing as an
alternative both to throwing rocks at pigs (in blue uniforms
or white sheets) and to apolitical socializing. We found
many progressives at both gatherings who opposed white
supremacy but saw that the leadership of the anti-Klan
rallies lacked a correct analysis and strategy. Many were
impressed with RAIL's practice and agreed that putting out a
newspaper and organizing daily with prisoners and anti-
imperialists is more correct than yelling at, threatening
and beating up white supremacists.
Pigs, pacifists & provocateurs react to KKK
NWROC led the larger of the two counter-demonstration
contingents from the University of Michigan Union to City
Hall. The contingent contained the groups' pseudo-militant
base and much tough talk about death to fascists and
smashing the Klan, but most of the contingent were youths
not involved in NWROC. RAIL found that most marchers agreed
with having a counter-demonstration, but not with NWROC's
overall strategy. When the Klan rally started, some of
NWROC's group tried to break down the barriers protecting
the Klan. The Peace Team, which had been trained to non-
violently intervene, worked with the cops to maintain the
A group of counter demonstrators battled the Peace Team at
the fence and later overcame a different part of the
barrier. After the pseudo-militants attacked the Peace Team,
pigs sprayed tear gas and pepper spray, forcing the
demonstrators to disperse. The demonstrations ended without
any arrests, but the AAPD vowed to identify some counter
demonstrators by video tape and prosecute them.
A small group of pacifist youth marched from another part of
the University of Michigan campus, following a call "to show
Ann Arbor that we're mad, not stupid." The majority in this
march wanted to rally against the Klan but remain separate
from any violence.
Random acts of violence
A loud and irrational minority decided that beating up Klan
members/supporters, throwing rocks at City Hall, and
attacking pacifists would be their anti-racist deed for the
day. Some of these individuals were the only people who
crumpled up RAIL's literature after learning that our work
does not include 'kicking someone's ass,' and some beat up
individual racists on the streets.
Youth are correct to be pissed off at Amerikkkan society,
but anger is not enough. RAIL works to turn angry youth into
strong revolutionaries. We urge youth who do not work with
us to critically examine the leadership of so-called left
groups that try to get their members arrested. Examine the
differences between RAIL and groups like the RWL and its
NWROC front, the Trotskyist League and the Progressive Labor
Why do these organizations demand more pay for Amerikkkans,
ignore the immiseration of the Third World proletariat,
oppose struggles for national liberation, and organize from
the same mass base as the Klan does? Why do these
organizations oppose RAIL's work to support prisoners'
struggles and anti-imperialist revolutions? Why did the
Black Panther Party and the Young Lords Party build Serve
the People programs and publish newspapers? Neither party
intentionally got its members arrested, and each
accomplished far more in building public opinion among its
community than the pseudo-left that tails the Klan.
Oppressed nation youth in Amerikkka are increasingly
repressed and in prison. More oppressed nation youth are
studying and building on the legacies of earlier
revolutionaries like the BPP, YLP, AIM and I Wor Kuen. Some
white nation youth are also ready to mobilize against
Amerikkka society. We challenge white nation youth to make
revolutionary study and struggle much more than a one day
per summer pastime.
Random acts of non-violence
Approximately 80 different religious, pacifist and other
community groups formed a coalition with the Ann Arbor City
administration and cops to organize the Wheeler Park Unity
Rally, several blocks away from the Klan rally. Organizers
said that their goal was "to overwhelm [the Klan] with
positive energy."(1) The pacifist coalition came together
after the Klan's 1996 rally in Ann Arbor ended in violence;
the coalition wanted to take a more active role in this
year's counter-demonstration. The pacifist coalition did
much to legitimize the system that protects the Klan and
puts its ideology into practice.
Protecting the Klan's freedom of speech is the state's job,
and the state does that job well. Radicals, revolutionaries
and revolutionary nationalists are overwhelmingly denied
free speech in Amerikkka. With the AAPD on its side, the
Klan had nothing to fear, it did not need the Peace Team.
The one positive thing we could say about the Peace Team
would be if it prevented arrests from taking place. It is
still too soon to say if there will be less arrests related
to the rally and counter-demonstrations than there were two
Fight fascism, imperialism and national oppression!
RAIL organizers maintained an emphasis on the need to fight
the most fascistic element of Amerikkkan society -- the
prison system. The Amerikkkan prison system now incarcerates
1.7 million people; it disproportionately imprisons members
of oppressed nations, and it grows exponentially with
majority support from the white nation.
Given the example of prisons as a primary tool of national
oppression and racism, few demonstrators disagreed with
RAIL's depiction of the white nation as a reactionary group
whose material interests lie in oppressing the masses of
Third World nations and Amerikkka's captive internal
colonies. Many demonstrators were convinced to be more
critical of anti-Klan organizing when confronted with the
fact that the white nation as a whole supports the
proliferation of pigs and prisons and this is far more
dangerous to the majority of the oppressed nation masses
within Amerikkka than a few white supremacist extremists.
RAIL sees the white supremacists in the government, military
and prisons who physically enforce imperialism as more
dangerous than extremists who spread racist propaganda.
Exposing the chauvinist policies of the Amerikan government
is more difficult than yelling and beating up individuals
because it takes rational knowledge, analysis and day-to-day
work. It is also the only proven method of achieving
liberation of the oppressed masses.
White nation apologists fake left, run right
As front groups of the Trotskyist Revolutionary Workers
League (RWL), NWROC and its sister front group BAMN share in
the RWL history of infiltrating and splitting progressive
organizations in Ann Arbor. The RWL and its front groups
split other organizations by forcing the issue of so-called
militancy within these organizations.
While the RWL promotes the militancy of throwing public
tantrums, this does little to organize people into the day
to day work of anti-fascist, anti-imperialist work. The RAIL
and other MIM-led mass organizations see the progressive
potential of liberal organizations. These groups can fight
for progressive gains and provide young activists with
exposure to various single issue struggles.
Trotskyists and other revisionists maintain that national
liberation struggles and anti-imperialist struggles split
the working class, which they say is the true vehicle to
ending oppression. But in opposing national liberation, they
support white nation hegemony.(2)
In the real world, Amerika occupies the Philippines and
Puerto Rico. Blacks, Latinos and First Nations are
disproportionately incarcerated more than whites, less
employed and earn less than whites when they are employed.
We who call for national self-determination are not
"splitting" anything. We are simply calling a pig a pig and
a settler a settler, and arguing that centuries of
oppression are more than enough. It is time to take up the
anti-imperialist struggle, the quickest path to end all
forms of oppression.
Imperialist nation hegemony:
Enemy number one
After an interview with the Klan's lead organizer at the
rally, the Detroit newspapers said that "Much of their dogma
- good education, good jobs, strong family values - would
resonate well with a majority of the country."(3) The Klan's
mass base is the white settler labor aristocracy. This mass
base is happy to join anything that calls for protection of
white nation hegemony. Revisionist anti-Klan demonstrators
cannot face facts when it comes to white nation chauvinism.
NWROC called people out to the counter-demonstration arguing
that this would stop the Klan from recruiting. But reality
is that the Klan, Aryan Nation, Aryan Brotherhood and White
Citizens Council are all the same: white nationalist
organizations sprung from the white nation's drive to
protect its own privileges at the expense of the world's
RAIL campaigns against prisons in Ann Arbor and throughout
the United Snakes because prisons are the most fascistic
element in Amerikkkan society. Fascism is the merger of
state and capital, using force to exploit and extract wealth
from the oppressed. Fascism is a variety of capitalism, but
is not pervasive in Amerika. Fascist policies are most
prevalent in prisons where slave labor is legal. RAIL calls
on all who want to work for genuine anti-fascism and anti-
imperialism to work with us against prisons. Work with an
organization that opposes oppression 365 days a year, and
work towards a society in which no more organizations like
the Klan or the Amerikan gulag system will form.
1. The Detroit Sunday Journal 12-18 April 1998, p. 1, 5.
2. A revisionist is someone claiming to be Marxist while
revising Marx's ideas fundamentally. An example is that
revisionists of the RWL variety refer to the white working
class in Amerika as a "proletariat," the class that leads a
revolution. Revisionists make extra work for genuine
communists -- they spread reactionary ideas and call them
communist, then genuine communists have to clean up the
3. The Detroit News and Free Press 10 May 1998, p. A1 & A7.
* * *
MORAIL AND NBUF HOST FIRST NATION DELEGATION
The Missouri chapter of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist
League and the National Black United Front (NBUF) hosted a
delegation led by AIM leader Dennis Banks on March 22 in St.
Louis. A crowd of about 60 people gathered for the weekly
Sunday Forum organized by the NBUF which included a video
and talk about the African origins of Christianity.
In 1968, Dennis Banks and George Mitchell, two Anishinabes
(Chippewas), founded the American Indian Movement (AIM),
which was consciously patterned after the Black Panther
Party's community self-defense model. AIM chapters quickly
sprang up around the country and came to include
representatives from at least sixty four First Nation
When the First Nation delegation arrived they received a
standing ovation from the audience. Banks delivered an
inspiring speech which started with; "When the white man
came here, he had the Bible and we had the land; now we have
their Bible and they have our land! Christianity has been
used against us and other peoples to conquer us. They did it
which their ideology (Christianity) and military (the gun)."
Banks noted the similarity between the First Nations fight
for land and Black demands for reparations. In the case of
all oppressed nations within Amerika, their common enemy is
Amerikan imperialism. For over 500 years the white nation
has sided with First Nation genocide and Black Slavery in
efforts to raise the material conditions of only the White
Amerikan oppressor nation. This is why MIM says that
Amerikan oppression is national oppression. The only way to
take back land and reparations is to unite around national
liberation struggles and throw off Amerikan Imperialism(1).
In terms of the current struggle for land rights, Banks said
that the u.$. government has offered First Nations millions
of dollars for formal rights to land; under international
pressure the U$ is trying to make land theft look nice. In
response he upheld the righteous line that "Our land is not
Making another connection between Amerikan imperialism and
national oppression, he described Jericho '98 as a movement
to free prisoners incarcerated for political activism in the
united snakes. "The first political prisoners in this
country were indigenous peoples. Eleven Indian couples were
incarcerated on Alcatraz Island for refusing to send their
children to the white man's schools." Banks noted the common
link between Black and First Nations peoples; "They forbade
us to use our own language, practice our religion and
continue our culture." The injustice system has been used to
disproportionately imprison members of the Black, Latino and
First Nations in efforts to destroy any resistance against
Banks talked about the past leaders such as Chief Joseph who
was imprisoned by the united states because he dared to
fight for justice for his tribe. "Leonard Peltier, he's been
in prison 22 years when all the evidence points to his
innocence," Banks said.
The event was productive in exposing Amerikan oppression. We
call to all those who support the struggle of the First
Nations to expand their historical vision to the millions of
other people belonging to the Black and Latino nations who
have been subjected to the same exploitation and genocide at
the hands of U$ domestic imperialism. And further, we call
to all those activists to struggle against the innately
oppressive nature of imperialism not just in Amerika, but
also the exploitation and oppression of our comrades abroad.
Note: MIM Theory #7, p. 72.
* * *
SERVE THE PEOPLE: BUILDING ASIAN-DESCENDED NATIONALISM
by a RAIL Comrade
A RAIL comrade recently attended "Serve the People: A
conference on Asian American Community Activism" held at the
University of California at Los Angeles on May 15 and 16,
1998. This conference gathered together many Asian and
Asian-descended activists, elders and youth, with varying
levels of experience and politics on the left. The
underlying theme was to serve our communities. The purpose
was to educate community activists and "develop an analysis
of the crucial issues facing the Asian communities in the
U.S. and a progressive strategy for work around these
issues" through sector-oriented workshops and panels. The
workshops and panels included environmental and economic
racism, hate crimes, sexism, international solidarity,
resisting imperialism, criminalization, queer APIs, student
activism, and organizing Asian workers. The conference began
with a cultural performance by Nobuko Miyamoto and ended
with a powerful revolutionary spoken word performance by a
member of the League of Filipino Students.
The opening roundtable had a panel of four 60s activists
from the Black and Chicano nations and Asian-descended
communities. The topic of this panel was "Interracial Unity
and the Struggle for Liberation." Of the four
activists/panelists, the two activists from the Black and
Chicano national liberation movements, Bill Gallegos and
Leon Watson, maintained the most revolutionary perspective.
They spoke powerfully of the Maoist inspiration to their
respective movements. The other two panelists, Grace Lee
Boggs and Yuri Kochiyama were/are active in the Black
liberation movement and communities but lacked a consistent
Gallegos outlined a revolutionary history of the Asian-
descended movement during the 60s and spoke to how the
"Asian model created modern revolutionary history," how
China as the first Third World country to launch a people's
revolution served as tremendous inspiration to the struggles
of the Chicanos. He stressed the importance of
internationalism in the movements. "Internationalism is not
charity... [it is] a strategy." Gallegos went on to explain
the formation, perspective, and organizing work of
revolutionary Asian organizations in the u.s. such as the
openly Maoist I Wor Kuen (IWK) and Red Guards, and the East
Wind Collective, stressing that from the outset they strove
to be in solidarity with the Puerto Rican, Chicano and Black
national liberation struggles. He mentioned also that wimmin
played an important leadership role in the IWK. Gallegos
laid out the revolutionary "basis for interracial unity,"
which MIM would call "cross-national unity:" one, from the
struggles of our peoples emerge a common history uniting us;
two, we need alternative leadership in our communities in
opposition to electoral compradors; three, we must maintain
an internationalist perspective, oppressed nation movements
are integrally linked together; four, we must have an anti-
capitalist, anti-imperialist, socialist perspective. MIM
agrees on all four principles, only we would be specific
about what kind of "alternative" leadership we need:
proletarian and internationalist leadership.
Watson emerged out of the anti-war and Black liberation
movements, seeing common links in the Viet struggle against
Amerikan imperialism and the domestic Black situation. He
expressed the powerful sentiment of drafted Black soldiers
that "no Vietnamese ever called me nigger." In his
presentation, Watson called for unity against imperialism.
He pointed out that cross-national unity alone is
meaningless, using the analogy of Dodgers' games which
succeed in uniting fans of all ethnicities. He clarified
that we need cross-national unity for national liberation.
"Unity is built through struggle [for freedom]. It is not
abstract." Watson went on to outline the Black liberation
movement in the 60s and spoke of the influence of Marxism
and Maoism on the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the need for
serious theoretical study. He emphatically stated, one
becomes a communist; you are not born communist. One becomes
a Maoist; you're not born Maoist.
Boggs summarized the revolutionary origins of the "Asian
American" movement as a response to the Black Power
movement, a creation of a pan-Asian identity.
Internationally the impetus was the anti-Viet Nam war
movement, anti-u.s. imperialism and Third World revolutions
that were shaking the world. The heroes of the movement were
Mao Tsetung and Ho Chi Minh. The pivotal questions of the
time centered around revolution: how to achieve it in the
u.s. and its objectives. To even begin to answer that
question, Boggs said we must learn to distinguish between
rebellion and revolution. "Rebellion centers the anger of
youth, disrupting ties of society." Revolution requires a
"leap to consciousness" and institutions of the oppressed.
During that time period, the BPP was at war with u.s.
institutions and society. Boggs further stated that racism,
militarism, materialism (as in consumerism) and technology
were alienating people and "careerism" was degenerating the
youth. From this point on, her presentation wavered into
idealism, metaphysics, and post-modernism.(1)
Although Boggs presented herself as anti-capitalist, she was
clearly not communist. "We must move beyond capitalism; it
is too individualistic. We must move beyond communism; it is
too collective." This betrays (at best) a fundamental
misunderstanding of communism, which MIM has addressed in
articles such as "Maoism on Human Nature."(3) Petty-
bourgeois intellectuals - who value the feeling that "they
are their own boss," and are not used to the collective
existence and discipline of the proletariat - often raise
the shibboleth that there will be no individuality under
communism, and thereby put more value on "individuality"
than on the ability of the broad masses to live free from
hunger, poverty, and war.
Boggs went on to describe local conditions in her hometown
of Detroit. The loss of the auto industry displaced the
youth and created a drug community. Casino developers are
currently seeking to replace the auto industry. This
situation had lead to what Boggs calls a "most remarkable
struggle in the history of humanity" where "working people
and people of color are leading the struggle [against
casinos]" on the moral principles of "how cities should be
built." She concluded that the "city is the arena of
struggle" for the 21st century. Boggs statements take place
in an idealistic vacuum and could potentially mislead many
activists away from the correct strategy of struggle against
imperialism. RAIL points to the on-going and vibrant
national liberation struggles in the Philippines and Peru
and the past revolutions in other Third World countries as
the most remarkable struggles in the history of humanity on
the principles of how society should be built. These
people's wars should serve as the inspiration, not just
empty ideals. To state that the focal point for change lies
in First World cities blatantly neglects the lessons of one
hundred years of revolutionary history, totally ignores the
historical and material conditions of oppression, and omits
political economy altogether.
The final panelist, Kochiyama, is an anti-imperialist who
worked in solidarity with the Black and Puerto Rican
liberation movements. She reminded Asian activist youth to
get involved in issues of police brutality, prisons
industry, immigration and political prisoners, issues that
cut across ethnic and national lines. "Serve the people at
the bottom," she exhorted the audience, "the people at the
top don't need you." Finally, she concluded "unity is
strength and strength is unity." This last is an important
in the face of the polarization of Asian communities. It is
not unity for unity's sake, but a unity based on an anti-
imperialist Third World agenda.
This conference was the first of its kind and was self-
conscious of its place in the history of Asians in North
America. Much of the history of the Asian-descended movement
in the u.s. has been lost, neglected or glossed over -- from
its inception in the revolutionary tides of the 60s to its
foundering in the 70s. The conference provided a bridge
between the generation of elder activists from the 60s and
youth activists of the 90s to interchange experience and
knowledge. The fact that the conference was organized at all
is a positive indication of a developing pan-Asian
nationalism and the progressive direction it is taking
towards anti-imperialism.(2) The importance of this
developing nationalism in opposition to imperialism cannot
be stressed enough despite the complication of differing
historical and material conditions within Asian communities.
The MIM has previously stated that "it will be hard to
understand the politics of the Asian-descended population in
North America within the paradigm of the Black Panther Party
or other national liberation organizations . . . [because]
the Asian and Asian-descended population is both the
youngest and the most polarized of the national minorities
in North America."(2)
In this context, a criticism raised by conference
participants is significant. Throughout different issue- and
sector-oriented panels activists independently pointed out
that the "Asian American" consciousness of this conference
neglected or excluded the voices of Southeast Asians and
Pacific Islander immigrant communities. The activists
pointed out that these communities identify more strongly
with Blacks and Latinos than with "Asian-Americans." The
problems confronting Southeast Asian youth and communities
are poverty, unemployment and welfare dependency, and the
criminalization of Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander
youth. Concretely, this is a reflection of the greater
economic and socio-political forces oppressing these
communities than the first, second and third waves of Asian
immigration. The MIM has previously analyzed this fourth
wave of immigration as "the most economically oppressed
group in North America. . . [The disparity] contributes to
the lack of cohesive national culture and consciousness"(2)
The delicate task facing the building of pan-Asian-descended
nationalism is to overcome the different historical and
material conditions and polarization of Asian communities in
order to more strongly challenge our common enemy, Amerikan
imperialism. The blanket oppression of imperialism which
targets Asians as a "race" already kick-started this process
of politicization and conciousness in the 60s, and continues
to serve as a catalyst to nationalism. Certainly this
internal contradiction can be overcome with proletarian
perspective, dialectical materialism, and the proven science
of revolution, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism so that Asian and
Asian-descended peoples united can challenge imperialism.
The MIM and RAIL look forward to the day when the dragon of
pan-Asian nationalism overthrows the beast Imperialism.
1. "Postmodernism: Idealism Again" MIM Theory no. 12, pp.
80-82. "Those postmodernists with a more 'affirmative' view
. . . are into 'New Age religion and New Wave lifestyles'
and tend to be 'non-dogmatic' and 'non-ideological'. These
people failed in the 1960s, and they retreat into their
inner spiritual selves, albeit in a non-traditional way."
2. "Asian-Descended Nationalism Approaches" MIM Theory no 8,
pp 89-91, 96.
3. MIM Theory no. 9, pp. 46-47.
* * *
SENTENCE IS DEATH FOR STANDING NEAR PICKUP TRUCK
A Prince George's County, Maryland cop murdered an unarmed,
42-year-old man on May 20, for the crime of doing nothing.
The victim, Gary Leonard Sanford, was neither accused nor
even suspected of any crime. There had been no reported
crime, nothing illegal at all.
According to the cops, the killer, Cpl. Joseph M. Palmieri,
saw Sanford and another man sitting in a pickup truck in the
parking lot of a closed gas station late at night. Palmieri
says Sanford got out of the pickup truck, and Palmieri
ordered him to show his hands, which he did. Then --
Palmieri, who has no witnesses, says -- Sanford reached for
something behind his back, so Palmieri shot him twice, to
death. The police later admitted Sanford was unarmed.
A spokesperson for the police said they had no problem with
the shooting, since Palmieri had reason to fear for his
life. Police "investigation" revealed a half-empty beer can
in the truck, and some urine on the ground nearby. If the
beer-and-urine story is true, does that make the execution
more justified? No disciplinary action against Palmieri has
been reported as of May 27.
Every hyped "crime" story or supposed act of heroics in the
line of duty on the part of the police played up in the
media contributes to the whitewash of such murders as this
one. The imperialist media looks the other way while their
agents in uniform murder innocents with impunity - - using
force justified by the mantra of anti- "crime" hype.
NOTES:: Washington Post 21 May 1998.
* * *
BOGUS IRISH REFERENDUM:
IMPERIALIST-BROKERED PEACE DEALS NEVER MEAN PEACE
A bogus plebiscite on the future of the six English-occupied
counties of Ireland took place on May 22. A parallel
referendum took place in the neo-colonial 26 counties of the
Irish Republic. Both referenda passed, with 94% voting in
favor in the Irish Republic and by a smaller margin, 71%, in
the occupied Six Counties. This smaller margin in the
occupied Six Counties reflects the impact of the hard-linee
Amerika played a major role in making the agreement, with
former U.$. Senator George Mitchell serving as a key
The imperialists and their press proclaim that this
agreement will bring peace to Ireland. However, MIM has long
argued that peace will not be possible as long as Ireland is
divided and under military occupation. Even the bourgeois
United Nations recognizes in theory that removal of
imperialist troops is a pre-requisite for an honest
plebiscites on self-determination. Whether it rises from
within existing Irish political organizations, or comes up
from the youth influenced by the International Proletariat's
opposition to imperialism, a proletarian anti imperialist
movement will eventually oust England from Ireland and all
her other colonies.
On April 10, the Good Friday Agreement was signed between
the English government, the Republic of Ireland, and various
Nationalist, Republican, Unionist and Loyalists parties. For
parties linked to paramilitary groups, observing cease-fires
were an English-imposed prerequisite for attending the
talks. Of course English military kept up its armed
occupation of the Six Counties during the negotiations and
continued to use force against Republican movement through
the incarceration of POWs. The Agreement restricts
Republicans from using arms as political tools, but only
requires English imperialism to "reduce" the number of its
troops in the Six Counties.
The agreement sets up a 108-member "power-sharing" body for
the occupied Six Counties. According to the Agreement,
paramilitary prisoners will be freed within two years if the
signed parties uphold nonviolence. A number of Republican
prisoners were also furloughed by the English government to
attend a Sinn Fein meeting and do other work in support of
the agreement. This adds an additional coercive aspect to
the agreement in that only prisoners (and their
organizations) who support the Agreement are eligible for
release. This is further evidence that the Irish people by
definition cannot consent to a peace when their leaders are
imprisoned if they don't agree to the other side's political
positions. To MIM, the Agreement has 3 significant
First, it treats Northern Ireland as a legitimate political
entity. This is the term used by the imperialists to
describe the occupied Six Counties of Ireland. The bulk of
Ireland won its independence in 1920 after an armed struggle
and negotiations. The English kept control of the Six
Counties as the largest contiguous piece of land where the
majority of the population is pro-English Protestants. This
move explicitly carved out the largest chunk of territory
over which England could continue to exercise direct rule.
It is important to note that in the 17th century these pro-
English Protestants were placed in Ireland as a settler
population that would support the colonial power. The
settlers are wary of the agreement because it means they may
be hung out to dry as England opts for a more distant neo-
Second, the Agreement requires a change in the Republic of
Ireland constitution to eliminate the Republic's claim to
the Six Counties. This provision requires the Irish state to
sanction England's claim to the Six Counties. This
officially turns the question of a unified Ireland from an
Irish question into an English one. Historically, the Six
Counties' Protestant population's occupying majority
nullified any electoral or military end to the occupation.
When Republicans raised the correct question of national
self-determination and national unity for Ireland, the
settlers had a standing veto. With this provision, the
question of Irish unification is constitutionally nullified
before it can be asked.
Third, while the Agreement does not demand disarmament, it
does excludes organizations who are linked to violence to be
excluded from the new assembly. The IRA has stated very
clearly that it will not turn in its weapons. The complete
disarmament of the Republican movement, along with a
continued English blind eye to Protestant paramilitary
violence, would leave the Catholic majority with no
advocate. In describing the reality for the international
proletariat living under imperialism, Mao Zedong said
"Political power flows out of the barrel of a gun."
Imperialism rules by the gun and so any people who are to
have a say in what happens to them under imperialism must
have their own guns. Leaving all of the guns in the hands of
the oppressor would leave the oppressed with no recourse
against the daily violence of imperialism.
There currently exists no proletarian party in Ireland other
than MIM. Only a proletarian party can successfully lead a
national liberation struggle that does not end up back in
neo-colonialism. An article on Ireland in MIM Theory 7, back
in 1995 warned: "Sinn Fein is showing its will for peace by
engaging in talks with the British government despite
continued violence from the Protestant settlers. The concern
is that, as it realizes the shortcoming of focoist
strategies, it will abandon the people's demand for self-
determination. History is at a turning point."
Sinn Fein claims that this Agreement is a step towards a
United Ireland. MIM is not aware of the full Sinn Fein
strategy, or whether the IRA expects to continue the cease-
fire indefinitely, so we will not comment more than we did
above. Principally, it remains to be seen how recognizing
Northern Ireland as a legitimate entity makes the struggle
Note: Boston Sunday Globe 24 May 1998, p. A1, A30-31.
* * *
PRISONS USED TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
by RC93 and MC206
The U$ Justice Department recently budgeted $492 million for
an effort to lock up more undocumented immigrants.(1) This
has come in reaction to recent reports alleging that poor
immigrants are contributing to crime in the u$. Putting
aside money for the specific purpose of incarcerating
immigrants only further encourages national oppression. With
Mexicans making up more than one-third of undocumented
immigrants to the u$ and Latin Americans as a whole
accounting for almost two-thirds,(2) Latinos have been and
will increasingly be targeted by immigration officials and
The labor aristocracy in this country claims that these
immigrants are taking away "their" jobs at lower pay.
However, most of those who come to the u$ from Central and
South Amerika end up serving the labor aristocracy in low-
paying, productive jobs that Amerikans don't take.
In Los Angeles, for example, more than 72% of the non-Latino
population is in the white-collar sector
(managerial/technical/sales), while less than 20% of the
Mexican/Central American population is in the white collar
sector.(3) There is also increasing dissimilarity in the
occupations of immigrant Latinos (documented and
undocumented) and the occupations of whites.(3) In
California as a whole, half of all farm workers are
undocumented aliens.(4) In the past, workers were herded
into the u$ from Mexico like slaves to produce food for
Amerikan tables.(4) Salvadorans and Guatemalans are over-
represented in the private service sector (as in household
workers, including cleaners and child care workers in
private homes) by factors of 12 and 13, respectively.(3)
Without these workers Amerikans would have to get their
hands dirty, produce their own food, and clean up their own
The labor aristocracy also complains that these immigrants
are using "our" tax money to survive. But, as MIM Notes
reported in December 1994, they are pissing and moaning over
pocket change. According to the Urban Institute, the
services which undocumented immigrants received from
California were worth about $1.09 billion more than what
California received in taxes from undocumented immigrants -
that's about $40 per California resident. That's nothing
compared to how much food and clothing bills would double,
triple, or quadruple for lack of immigrant labor. And more
than one-third of that $1.09 billion was the cost of locking
immigrants up and calling it a "service."(5)
Greedy Amerikans complain about paying for a third car,
while people in the third world can't afford to eat. In a
socialist society everyone will be provided with what they
need to survive, rather than be forced to starve so that the
wealthy can have more. When u$ corporations expatriate
billions from the third world each year it is obvious that
the people who risk their lives to sneak into the united
snakes are only trying to get back what was stolen from them
in the first place. That is why MIM believes in open
borders, so that one nation cannot use military blockades to
contain their wealth from other nations.
The increase in funding to incarcerate immigrants shows how
the injustice system is used to oppress those who do make it
past u$ military blockades. Latinos are specifically
targeted by the police, and this new award will encourage
such activity, especially in states such as California, New
York, and Texas who are receiving large portions of the
money.(1) The anti-immigration fervor that exists among
Amerikans reeks of the fascist belief in the oppression and
genocide of other nations for the betterment of one's own.
This is indicative of the reactionary nationalist sentiments
of the white nation in Amerika, and is why MIM recognizes
that the oppressed nations must use revolutionary force to
free themselves from Amerika's clutches.
1. Associated Press.
2. Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1996.
3. Waldinger and Bozorgmehr, eds., "Ethnic Los Angeles," New
York: Russel Sage Foundation, 1996, pp. 256, 194-296.
4. MIM Theory 7:Proletarian Feminist Revolutionary
5. MIM Notes #95, p.1.
* * *
IN SUPPORT OF THE INDONESIAN PEOPLE'S JUST STRUGGLE FOR
SOCIAL AND NATIONAL LIBERATION
[MIM reprints the following article from BAYAN -
International USA to show that the Indonesian people's
struggle against fascism and imperialist domination has
found support throughout the world - especially in the
oppressed nations, which face similar struggles. BAYAN -
International USA is a legal, multi-sectoral organization in
the broad national democratic movement of the Philippines.
MIM would only add the following comments to this article:
(1) The World Bank - IMF are tools of imperialism,
principally u.$. imperialism. The crises created by the WB-
IMF policies are the inevitable results of imperialism. (2)
A strong Maoist Party and People's Army - alongside a broad
United Front - are ultimately necessary for the true
liberation of the Indonesian people.
The Indonesian people have a long history of militant
struggle (Indonesia had the largest Communist Party outside
of China and the USSR in the 60s). MIM is confident that the
broad masses will overcome setbacks and ultimately overthrow
the rapacious Indonesian puppet regime.
This article was written before Suharto resigned.]
The BAYAN International USA together with the peace-loving
broad Filipino American community in the US condemns in the
strongest terms the brutal repression perpetrated by the
corrupt and fascist Suharto regime against the Indonesian in
the recent weeks.
The current fascist barbarities highlighted by the anti-
Chinese pogroms fanned and orchestrated by the Indonesian
fascist police-military exposed to the whole world the
rottenness of the Suharto fascist regime. Suharto's regime
that is being propped up by the World Bank - IMF $43 million
bail-out aggravates the hardship of the Indonesian people.
The so-called WB-IMF bail out is nothing but another
quagmire of oppression and exploitation of the Indonesian
The Indonesian crisis is only an offshoot of the WB - IMF
disastrous and usurious policy in Asia and worldwide. The
whole of Asia is now reeling under the WB - IMF economic-
political impositions such as structure adjustments and
bail-out programs. Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, and the
Philippines are now convulsing due to imperialist schemes
against the masses of workers and the peasants in the third
Economic miserableness, extreme poverty, deprivation of
basic people's needs is the order of the day prescribed by
the IMF-WB to fleece the third world nations of needed funds
to pay the new and old piled up debts. The result is
increased oppression, heightened exploitation and escalating
people's resistance as in the case of Indonesia, South
Korea, and the Philippines.
In Pakistan, India, South Korea and the Philippines, so-
called "democratic" transition through bourgeois managed
elections were held to divert the people's energy towards
peaceful means as a safety valve to people's indignation.
But the Indonesian fascist regime is bent to rule in the old
way - through armored cars, rifle butts, and the rule of
Therefore, it is not surprising that Indonesia is now the
flash point of protest and resistance to imperialist's
imposition and fascist suppression and will be the bourgeois
media's center of attention. The Indonesian upsurge is but a
symptomatic result of [...] the failure of the US policy of
sponsorship of fascist regimes while paying lip service to
The long running Suharto regime that was built on the
corpses of more than a million Indonesians in 1965 and
hundreds of thousands of East Timorese and Papuans who
struggled for self determination is vulnerable after all. We
wholeheartedly support the just struggle of all the
Indonesian democratic forces and people for waging bold
resistance against the Suharto regime. We especially admire
the Indonesian workers and peasants and the youth who now
realized their revolutionary potential in the service of the
people and their class.
Building a broad legal democratic movement is necessary to
arouse, organize and mobilize the broadest of people's
forces against the narrowest target - the fascist enemy of
Indonesia. We believe that with a broad united front, the
Indonesian people will finally shatter the more than three
decades of fascist terror that Suharto has been bragging
about in the whole of Asia for the last years.
As in the case of the Marcos fascist regime in the
Philippines, the ruling Suharto regime will be overthrown if
the Indonesian people unite and persist in their just
struggle for social and national liberation. We are
confident that the Indonesian people and the broad
democratic and progressive forces will continue to push
further the upsurge of the people's movement as a result of
the rapidly worsening crisis of the world capitalist system.
Down with the Suharto military fascist regime!
Long live the Indonesian people's just struggle!
Long live international solidarity!
BAYAN International - USA
May 17, 1998 BAYAN International - USA
PO Box 8625546 Los Angeles CA 90086-2546
* * *
NEW YORK WAGES WAR IN SCHENECTADY
by an RC
The New York Army and Air National Guard has increased its
activities in Schenectady including the use of helicopters
to spy on inner city areas.(1) The Guard has been increasing
its role by adding more of what it refers to as "peacetime
activities." However, MIM points out the u$ is currently
waging low-profile warfare around the world as well as in
certain areas within its own illegitimate borders.
Schenectady was chosen as the test site for the program
developed by Governor George Pataki and Co. The plan brings
military equipment, including helicopters, into chosen
localities to fight the "War on Drugs," or any other battle
deemed appropriate. The stress in the bourgeoisie press has
been under the cover of the "War on Drugs." This has
continuously been used to justify military actions at home
and abroad in the last two decades. However, MIM has shown
in many instances how this war has been used to destroy
people's movements and maintain u$ hegemony over both
internal and external colonies, while maintaining drug
trafficking profits for u$ imperialists.(2)
The expensive technology being employed in this small city
seems almost ridiculous, at first. The helicopters are used
to map out areas that are to be raided. Using infrared
technology they can determine the number and location of the
people in the local. Meanwhile, ion scans are used to detect
cocaine residues.(1) The use of such equipment shows the
serious repressive potential of the u$. The u$ continues to
produce warfare technology during supposed peace times,
maintaining a multi-billion dollar military-industrial
complex, and keeping the oppressed in their place. They use
force against the people, claiming to be eradicating poisons
that they fed into the communities in the first place.
In a previous MIM report exposing Amerikan militarism under
the "War on Drugs," we quoted the Nation: "[T]he majority of
the L.A.P.D.'s computer-enhanced surveillance concentrates
on the same neighborhoods in which local schools lack basic
P.C.s--not to mention adequate textbooks. But the social
causes of crime, such as poor education and lack of jobs, do
not concern the National Institute of Justice(NIJ) or most
police forces. Thus the N.I.J.'s director of science and
technology, David Boyd...is often quoted saying, 'This
[police use of military high-tech] is the real peace
dividend.'"(2) So internal law enforcement welcomes these
new technologies, while oppressed nations don't have the
equipment to get an education. The police will argue that
this high-tech equipment is not superfluous. MIM would agree
from the perspective of the oppressor nation which needs to
use force in order to maintain its position in the world,
but for the proletariat this equipment is a waste of energy
that could be used to better the many social-ills. MIM also
recognizes that it is the continuous militarization of
imperialist countries that makes it necessary for violent
revolution to overcome these ills.
1. Times Union, 21 May 1998, B-1. 2. E.g. MIM Theory no. 10,
2. The Nation. 3 February 1997.
3. MIM Notes 143, 1 August 1997.
* * *
UNDER LOCK & KEY
LET'S TALK ABOUT CHANGE
Many prisoners speak about change;
But there will never be any change;
until we as prisoners, combine our brains;
All else is futile
As the prison keepers continue to smile
The worst of criminals continue to run wild
While we continue to cry for relief
As our grief
Continues to mount
So does the prison count
We need to find a way to overcome and surmount
But talking about it
Isn't gonna help one bit
So what are we going to do?
Fight for our rights
Combine our minds and unite
Or keep letting the oppressors oppress
Us with their discriminatory and abusive mess?
We can't wait to plan tomorrow
We have to do it now
Remains a mystery
And secret unbeknownst to me.
-- A Prisoner
MIM responds: The most effective way forward in this fight
does not have to be a secret unbeknownst to the people.
Through a careful study of history and politics we can come
up with an effective line and strategy to fight the system
of imperialism. It was this study that led MIM to the
conclusion that Maoism is the ideology that has made the
greatest strides towards communism.
BIASED PAROLE OFFICER
...I am a parole violation. I didn't get a new charge. I got
a banishment for a five county area. And the parole man
wrote lots of bad things up on men, and sends me back to
prison, because I was making more money legally (in the
roofing industry) than he was....
--A Georgia Prisoner, 1 March 1998
AMERIKKKA'S LEGAL SLAVERY
...This system of prisons throughout the US is nothing short
of redeveloped legal slavery. Read the 13th Amendment in the
Amerikkkan Klanstitution! Why else is it necessary to put
one hundred thousand police on salary in the urban Black,
Brown and lower income White neighborhoods, if their task
isn't to capture fresh slaves for the prison industrial
complex. And the rebel, or the educators, people who demand
what small rights are due them? [They get] Punishment!
Sensory deprivation, psychological trauma, drug therapy to
correct the trauma and continued isolation.
You! You, must stop this. They are putting babies in prison.
10, 12, 14 year old children are being tried as adults and
no one is protesting this! Unemployment in the nation is 3%
but the in the Black community it is 32%, and they claim
that we don't need affirmative action and racism is dead!?
The police kick, beat and shoot people at will and it's
alright, after all didn't we see them do it on New York
Undercover? It must be cool, right?! WRONG! We are being
subjected to social engineering on a massive scale. Wake up!
Join the coalition for the eradication of control units.
Join the fight to save your children from slavery.
--A California Prisoner, 11 March 1998
MIM responds: Slavery has never been fully outlawed in the
United Snakkkes, as the constitutional amendment this
prisoner cites states that slavery "as a punishment for a
crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted" is
quite alright. MIM and RAIL are working to expose this
modern-day slavery in Amerika's gulags and we regularly host
public events and print articles in our press exposing the
details of Amerikan slavery. We agree with this comrade's
assessment that the police on the streets exist to lock up
more oppressed nationals in the prisons, but we believe that
imperialist control of these nations takes first seat over
any other concerns. Imperialism demands that the oppressed
be locked up, where they cannot organize most effectively
for revolution. This includes locking up children before
they even have a chance to learn the history of their
people's oppression by and resistance to imperialism.
We call on all comrades who oppose imperialism,
disproportionate imprisonment and unemployment, slave labor
in prisons, and brutality in the form of police and control
units to join in the fight to build independent institutions
of the oppressed. Help build this Under Lock & Key section
of MIM Notes and our newspaper as a whole; it is the first
organizing step to building a revolutionary movement that
will topple imperialism.
AMERIKKAN SENSORY DEPRIVATION CHAMBERS
I sit here and watch the proliferation of these new Control
Unit Correctional Facilities across these United States.
I see a political consensus among the White Power Elite to
carry out a massive program of genocide against the Black
male population. It's just that instead of using bullets and
poison gas, they have decided to use prisons. This is how
they have decided to resolve the Black Underclass problem:
To incarcerate as many young, unskilled, troubled Black
males as they can, for as long as they can.
...There is another sinister component to this covert
program of genocide that brings the real murderous intent of
the White Power Elite to the surface. It is the insidious
practice in the Correctional Facilities of segregating
[prisoners] Black males in particular, for basically the
duration of their prison sentence in deprivation chambers
called "Segregation Units" once they arrive at the prison
This segregation practice, along with poor, minimum dietary
practices, woefully inadequate access to health care, mental
health and exercise opportunities are having a powerfully
sinister effect on the mental and physical health, life
expectancy and morality rate of long term segregated
In Correctional Facilities all across these United States,
Black males are falling dead in these Segregation Units. In
the Segregation Unit that I am in at the El Dorado
Correctional Facility here in El Dorado, Kansas, an average
of two Black males a year die from stress, or from stress-
related diseases and/or complications caused by the
cumulative effect of these practices and inadequate health
care over time. And even more are attempting suicide, and
losing their minds as a result of being segregated in these
deprivation chambers (units) for extended periods of time.
On average, after about five years in segregation, an inmate
starts to exhibit physiological and psychological
Most black males have always believed that if given the
right cover/pretext, that the American White-Power-Elite
would do something to make the German Nazis look like choir
Is this our fear being realized, or is it just the first
step of something more ominous to come? It is time to holler
loud and clear and expose what is going on behind the walls
of these "Correctional Facilities" in American NOW!
Don't wait 'til they build the incinerators.
In Hope and Struggle,
--A Kansas Prisoner, 24 April 1998
EXPOSING NEW GANG UNITS IN NEW JERSEY
...On March 13, 1998, about 80 prisoners were transferred
from Rahway and shipped here to Northern State Prison to a
new gang unit. Here they are housing Latin Kings, Netas,
5%ers and some white hate groups. They have us all separated
and want us to deny any membership before letting us out of
I as a member of the Latin Kings refuse to do such a thing.
Therefore I will remain locked down in these new kages.
These Pigs are only trying to break the band of Brotherhood,
which will not work. And the reality is putting us all
together they only make us stronger....
Our Struggle Continues,
--A New Jersey Prisoner, 5 April 1998
OPPRESSING LATINOS IN MASS
Que Pasa Comrades?
...I'm a Prisoner in the Maximum joint. I'm Puerto Rican and
have been in this toilet for fifteen years. Right now these
low-lifes [guards] are hitting the Latino people hard. 90
percent of all Latinos are being accused of being a gang
member, so they made four special blocks for the Latino
people. You come out of your cell one hour a day, not
everyday. Three showers a week. One hour a week in the yard,
The racist low-life cops just harass everybody, and most
dudes don't even speak English. No jobs, no nothing. Now we
can't even take their so-called education program. We get
two hours a week in the law library. There are no Spanish-
speaking people down there to help anybody out.
This started back in April of 1995. I was there [Latino
Segregated Block] for two years. Then I was transferred to
DDU [Disciplinary Detention Unit]. You know the DDU is much
better than those Plymouth Blocks.
I just filed a lawsuit, but I can't even get the right help.
I don't have access to anything. I'll keep you posted on
things. Y'all stay strong....
In the struggle!
--A Massachusetts Prisoner, 10 April 1998
MIM responds: A RAIL Comrade's article on protests against
the so-called gang blocks at Walpole prison ran in MIM Notes
163, page 7. The "gang" block prisoners have been locked
down since last summer, off and on they have been denied
their property (including clothing) and food, beaten and
verbally harassed. In March of 1998 a group of prisoners was
told that they could be transferred to a level four facility
if they would renounce Neta membership. When the prisoners
refused they were shoved down stairs while in cuffs and
shackles, and then beaten by guards and bitten by guard dogs
one by one.
The Massachusetts DOC has claimed total ignorance of these
attacks even on seeing photos of the prisoners' injuries.
MIM will continue to use our newspaper to publicize the
pigs' indifference to and abuse of human life. We work to
expose these atrocities while we build MIM Notes as an
independent institution of the oppressed, because such
institutions are the basis for overthrowing imperialism. All
people who are righteously outraged by this brutality should
work with RAIL and MIM to oppose imperialism in the U.$.
criminal INjustice system and in all its other ugly forms.
ATTACKED IN MANACLES
Dear Under Lock and Key,
I am writing this letter to inform you that I am a prisoner
who has been assaulted in full manacles, off and on for the
past three and a half years. I was attacked coming back from
sick call. I was brutally beaten with a baton and pushed and
kicked for no reason. In asking for medical treatment I
received from this beating a broken nose, two injuries to
both knees, and broken hand/wrist.
Another time, I was in full manacles in my cell and an
extraction team ran in on me. I received injuries to my
face, nose and ankles. I had not been doing anything but was
accused by prison officials so they would have a reason to
assault me. They are trying to scare me from filing the
paperwork on a lawsuit I have pending in the court.
Just recently I was attacked while in a recreation area. Two
correction officers accused me of hitting an officer. This
is a lie he didn't have any injury at all. It was just an
excuse to get the extraction team to run in on me. The goons
intimidate me in retaliation against me for filing several
lawsuits in the courts. I received another broken nose and
injuries to my lower back, hand and wrist, while being in
I can not move my neck at all. A goon put his elbow in the
back of my neck, while they [the other pigs] tried to break
my arm and wrist. I received a black eye and another broken
They have covered it up through the Correction
Department.... My main reason for writing you is to let the
public know what these evil people have done to me....
--An Indiana Prisoner, 23 March 1998
...I'm in the Delaware Correction Center (DCC). This has to
be the worst prison on the East Coast. I have seen things
here no man should be faced with. Inmates are beaten and
maced, not to mention handcuffed for hours at a time, for
the mere reason the C.O. [Correction Officer] wanted to do
so. I have been called out of my name by this face ass
police many times. Yet that is only a small part of the
corruption going on here at DCC.
...Not only that, men are dying in here like crazy. I got to
the point, I had to call my family to come down here, so
this department of corruption could see I have loved ones
and they [the pigs] cannot just do anything to me.
...Surprisingly you don't have a lot of guys going to the
hole for homo acts, but get caught with a sandwich you just
might get your good time taken. Delaware is an alone state,
meaning no one questions the things that go on here and
there is nothing to help the prisoners here.
I am in the struggle because my children need a better
chance at life, and I want for my brother what I want for
myself. The pigs that run this system here are KKK without a
doubt and the bullshit needs to cease quick fast and in a
In the Struggle for Life,
--A Delaware Prisoner, 12 March 1998
MIM responds: MIM says that all prisoners in Amerika are
political prisoners for just the reasons this comrade
describes. When prison pigs can beat, poison and murder
prisoners with legal impunity, serving a prison term is a
political sentence. The real criminals are those in the
government and prisons system who brutalize prisoners and
call it justice. Whether prisoners are punished for having
their own food or for their sexuality, the DOCs have no
legitimate authority to be handing out such punishment.
Prisons serve imperialism by controlling the bodies, labor
and political and educational activities of oppressed nation
men who commit the crime of trying to live within U.$.
MIM looks to revolutionary China (1949-1976) for a
progressive example of how to run a prison. For a prison to
enjoy true authority --that which is bestowed by a majority
of the people who may be imprisoned --it must promote
justice and social consciousness for all people equally.
Revolutionary Chinese prisons included criticism-self-
criticism for those who had been judged guilty of crimes by
the people. Chinese prisoners were encouraged to work and
study together as well and to see the value of their own
contributions to society. MIM works towards a society in
which all prisons will function on these basic principles.
To learn more about prisons in revolutionary China, send $10
for a copy of the book Prisoners of Liberation.
PIGS SPRAYING CHEMICAL IN TEXAS
I am writing this letter in regards to the continued use,
practice and unconstitutional experimentation of chemical
agents and other forms of excessive force, abuse, assaults
and conspiracy against persons confined in state first
maximum security segregation plantation in Huntsville,
Walker County, Texas and in this facility. I have witnessed,
experienced and suffered from the experimental practice of
chemical agents upon us (prisoners) by Texas prison
plantation officials and their administrators ...
On a daily basis, mostly minority prisoners are being
sprayed with gases of an unidentified nature which so burns
the skin for several hours and has internal side-effects
(causing difficulties in breathing, thought functioning and
chronic excretory functions/dysfunction's).
... But despite all the knowledge given through prisoner
legal assistant foundations to governmental officials, the
abuse, unconstitutional practices and chemical
experimentations that exist in this facility and other
prison plantations in this system have not been addressed.
... Today March 15th, 1998 fourteen prisoners of the Estelle
High Security Plantation in Huntsville took brief control of
the food slots on the cell doors. Only after requesting to
speak to supervisors, in protest to the continued denial of
adequate food [the] prisoners were only given one fried egg,
two flour tortillas and a container of milk.
... With no form of resolution being offered, immediate
supervisors began a series of assaults upon prisoners with
the use of chemical agents and a five man use of force team
totaling some one thousand plus pounds of body weight.
Twelve prisoners were gassed and four of that twelve were
additionally attacked by the use of force team.
... There was no form of adequate medical clearance by UTMB
staff nor was there a UTMB staff member present during the
first two assaults. In addition there were no examinations
or treatment given to any of us prisoners (with the
exception of the first two who were taken off the cell block
for several hours). ... After being gassed we were placed
back into the same contaminated cells with no clothing,
necessities or property (stationary, legal materials, etc.
etc.). And each prisoner was denied yet another meal some
six hours later with correctional staff stating we prisoners
refused to comply with procedures.
... Institutional officials Wayne Scott (Executive
director), Gary Johnson (director) and Chairman of the board
Allan Polansky along with Region 1 director Ed G. Owens have
been previously informed of the abusive unconstitutional
conditions here and yet no one had addressed these issues
Again the "Emergency Action Center" has been put on notice
of the events that have occurred on this date by way of my
pen (and others') to obtain some form of immediate
resolution and for assistance in putting society on notice
--A Texas prisoner, 15 March 1998
RULES CHANGE BUT GUARDS' BRUTAL BEHAVIOR CONTINUES
The requirements I need to have is a Line 1 or an S4. These
are level categories and as of right now I am at the bottom
of the list at a line 3 & the highest a person can get is a
S1. Yet they keep changing laws and regulations so that now
an offender has to do a year with no cases before we are
able to get any type of upgrade in status. Every time we get
a major case, it starts over from that day. So it really
ain't up to our behavior as much as it is to the officials
that might decide to give you a case all because you don't
want to play some kind of silly game such as indulging in
name-calling or horse playing.
In some cases even when a person indulges in the officers'
game and the prisoner gets the best of the officer; he may
retaliate by giving the prisoner a case of some kind. There
are at least 45 different offense codes to write a prisoner
up for and in most cases it's the offenders word against the
officers. So in those types of situations prisoners never
beat the case. So as you can see the law was made to keep
prisoners locked up ...
On the issue about paying for medical ... well they have
recently started charging us $3 just to get us checked out
where in most cases the nurse will tell us to take some
Tylenol and we'll be alright. I'll send you a little
something about this. As of right now I'm in Administrative
Segregation and we don't have no type of god or educational
programs whatsoever. They do have a general library with
reading and learning materials but only level 1s can use the
On the Wynne Unit they have a lot of inmate brutality where
prisoners are being slammed and beaten while in handcuff
restraints, which ad seg [administrative segregation]
prisoners are required to wear anytime they leave the cell.
I myself have been slammed and beaten and I am seeking legal
action for the official's unjustifiable acts of unnecessary
use of force.
The majority of the unnecessary use of force is done on
illiterate offenders who don't know how to read or write.
They're sometimes jumped on for spitting on officers,
cursing officers but the majority of the time it's for no
reason at all. Like when prisoners file grievances on
officers. Later on down the line the officer will retaliate
in that way. So the treatment is very bad in most of the
Texas prisons. Not to mention the use of chemical agents
which in some cases has killed prisoners. And if the gas
doesn't the 5-man suit up team might. For when they first
make contact with the prisoner that's been sprayed with
chemical agents they start punching, kicking, kneeing,
twisting body parts and in a lot of times they dig into your
eyes and squeeze your testicles.
There are also cases where prisoners are retaliated on in
other ways. Such as the officer throwing urine into the
cell. Or turn water off for the whole shift, where you have
no drinking or toilet water and a lot of the times they
refuse your meal, recreation or shower. Go into your cell
and throw everything around and give you a case for having a
milk carton in your cell or something as simple as that.
Sometimes we keep our milk cartons because they only give
you a cup at mealtime and take it back when they pick up
trays. And we are stuck to drink milk from our hand. Yeah
that's the type of treatment we receive in some of these
Texas prisons. Some worse than others like this unit has the
worst racial discrimination I ever seen.
--Texas prisoner, 5 April 1998
TEXAS PLANTATION CONDITIONS
In my last letter I conveyed some information to you
concerning the conditions of this particular slave
plantation. For some reason, I believe that the unit
mailroom intercepted my missive due to its potency.
Nevertheless, the sub-human treatment cannot be justified.
You may have recently seen a news segment on ABC Nightline
where I had a chance to demonstrate how we had to drink
water because the administration won't allow us to have our
own personal drinking cups. I also demonstrated how I have
to write letters because we do not have desks in our cells
to write on. These are the things that the tax payers are
unaware of. They are unaware of the fact that these
capitalist swine are denying us the basic necessities of
life such as toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrushes and other
grooming supplies under the guidelines of the A.D.03.50.
Under the A.D.03.50 we are denied the right to library
privileges also which means the right to education. People
in society are always reading or hearing something about
recidivism. But recidivism means job security for these
bakkkwoods rednekkks. So what's more important, job security
or a bunch of convicted felons trying to uplift themselves
in the belly of the beast? At any rate I am going to survive
as well as educate these young brothers that I have
influence over ...
--A Texas Prisoner
THE MISERY DEPARTMENT OF OPPRESSION
After throwing urine into the faces of several imperialist
flunkies who destroyed personal property of mine during a
"routine cell search," I was transferred to a maximum
security facility. I never knew the plight of my comrades
and brethren until transferring to Missouri's newest gulag.
After the uprising of the oppressed (described in MIM Notes,
Jan 15th Edition, "Concentration Camp in Missouri), the
administration (pigs in suits) created new rules allowing
only a single unit out of six to recreate on a rotating
schedule. Thereby oppressing us even more and making a
unified stand impossible.
I was in general population until I filed a civil complaint
against superintendent head pig, Mike Kemna, and Misery
Department of Oppressions Director, Dora Schriro. Now I'm in
segregation (the hole) for "Organized Disobedience" for
playing touch football in the snow.
Since I've been in the hole I've witnessed the continual
oppression of my black, white and latin comrades. I've seen
my brothers assaulted and beaten while cuffed behind their
backs. I've watch comrades being maced for banging on their
doors in attempt to alert the pigs that their cells were
being flooded by water and feces by the cell above. Large
canisters of pepper mace which are normally used for crowd
control are sprayed until empty in the confines of a six by
twelve foot cell, virtually suffocating those inside. These
and many more human rights violations occur daily by mace-
toting, jackbooted, hireling pigs.
We are denied access to legal material and sharpened pencils
so often it's almost policy. (I'm writing to you with a pen
smuggled in.) The pigs came and confiscated everyone's
toothbrushes last week. Claiming that they may be used as
weapons (against cavities and plaque, maybe.) We were then
given thimbles with bristles and they expected us to brush
our teeth with those. Several men have already choked on
While I am serving a 10-year sentence for assaulting the
person who assaulted my wife, many of my comrades are here
for life. The Misery Department of Oppression is a billion
dollar industry, through which the capitalist state regime
finances itself by the warehousing and exploitation paid for
by taxing the masses and by funding from the imperialist
Your Comrade in cuffs,
--A Missouri Prisoner, 6 February 1998
WHO'S THE REAL CROOK?
I am writing to inform MIM of the conditions and the overly
long duration of stay here at X complex Arizona state prison
that are being enforced upon not only myself, but all other
prisoners that get placed here, for good reason or not. That
includes smoking in a building, the reason I am here, which
goes to show the ridiculous application or usage of their
... They try to modify our behavior with placement in this
facility. I'm of the opinion that being single celled
without physical association with other humans tends to add
to, or bring out pent up animosity. Whether directed at DOC
employees or other prisoners. (From my understanding the
average stay is 10 months and up.)
... The warden took hot lunches and replaced them with cold
sack lunches 5 days a week; our food portions have seemed to
become strictly rationed at breakfast and dinner. We no
longer get hot cereal in the morning, nor cake with our
dinner. He took away soda purchase from the store. He took
razors from the store, which makes it extremely hard to
comply with DOC policy of being clean-every day.
The warden has brought out the ire of his inmate population
towards his staff with the institution of these policies. I
understand that if I mess up in prison I am subject to the
punishment of isolation in a super maximum facility for a
term of 180 days. My objection is the unnecessarily cruel
punishment for trivial SHIT!!!
--An Arizona Prisoner, 3 February 1998
THE REAL CRIMNALS RUN THE PRISON
...Everyone seems to be scared of the MDOC [Michigan
Department of Incorrections]. This facility I am at now is
one of the worst in Michigan. The guards spit and piss in
our food. Set us up. Gas us. Steel our property. Deny us
...These pigs bring weapons, drugs and so in here. They have
sex with prisoners. ...
--A Michigan Prisoner