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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  MIM Notes 167             August 1, 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.


* * *


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 
this country.

MIM accepts people as members who agree on these 
basic principles and accept democratic centralism, 
the system of majority rule, on other questions of 
party line.

"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

* * *


On July 7th the workers in Puerto Rico began a 48 hour 
general strike, blocking the main highway to San Juan's 
international airport. The strike was organized by over 60 
trade unions and a large number of civic, religious, student 
and cultural organizations. These organizations protested 
the sale of the state telephone company in solidarity with 
the 6,400 telephone workers who had been on strike since 
June 18.(1) The general strike paralyzed the country.

The general strike was called for by the General Committee 
of Labor Organizations which includes workers in the state 
water and electricity unions. Annie Cruz, spokesperson for 
CAOS, said that the strike had attained the main goals, to 
paralyze the industry, the banks and the commerce, and so 
she called it a complete victory.(2)

The stoppage was extended to all the country at dawn. 
Several businesses announced that they would close for the 
strike including all the main commercial malls, the Banco 
Popular, several large supermarket chains and restaurants 
and a number of independent stores. The University of Puerto 
Rico was closed after negotiations with the unions and 
student organizations who agreed to allow some critical 
operations to continue. The Federation of Teachers picketed 
at the entrance to the Education Department.(2) Throughout 
the country people reported virtually no activity as the 
streets were empty of cars and the few open stores had no 

Among the specific targets of the strike was Eli Lilly, the 
u.s. pharmaceutical company.(3) U.$. corporations already 
control 90% of the Puerto Rican economy. This attempt by the 
government to sell off the remaining national enterprises 
has outraged the public -- many of whom refer to this as 
"selling the national patrimony."

Masses battle imperialist lackeys in phone strike

Declaring a strike shortly after the decision to sell the 
phone company was announced, early in the morning of June 
18, the telephone workers were in front of every office of 
the company. In the company's headquarters and the main 
cellular office the workers established clearly their 
intention not to let anybody break the strike. The police, 
in open violation of Puerto Rico's Constitution, that 
establishes the right to strike, were mainly concerned with 
defending the "right to work" of those contracted to break 
the strike. So they pushed, hit and used gases against the 
workers. A lot of the cops took their identifications off 
while at the picket line.(2)

Several acts of sabotage on the Banco Popular, the largest 
local bank involved in buying the telephone company, and on 
the phone company itself, crippled phone services, closed 
down stores and injured a few individuals.(1) In addition 
the phone workers' strike shut down many ATM machines 
because they rely on the phone service for operation.

The telephone company is only one of many state businesses 
being sold off to the private sector by Governor Pedro 
Rossello'. Hospitals, prisons, ports, hotels and other 
utilities are among the businesses that have already been 
sold or are slated to be sold off soon. This privatization 
has already led to losses of jobs and decreases in services. 
The phone company workers fear for their jobs and the people 
fear a return to the terrible phone services to poorer 
communities that existed before the phone company was taken 
over by the state.

In early July, Rossello' signed a law completing the $1.9 
billion sale of the phone company to a consortium led by GTE 
corporation and including Citibank financing $1.5 billion of 
the purchase.(4)

The telephone workers' union is calling for a general 
referendum on the sale. But it would cost the government $25 
million to abandon the deal and Rosello has declared his 
refusal to even consider such an idea. A national one-day 
strike on October 1 last year saw 100,000 workers marching 
to San Juan opposing the sale. A survey made public last 
week by the main newspaper, El Nuevo Día, shows that 65% of 
the population opposes this sale.(2)

Former Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon tried to sell the 
telephone company in 1990 but was dissuaded by massive 

The ongoing strike by state telephone workers had already 
drained $100 million from Puerto Rico's economy by the end 
of June. Banks, Internet and cellular phone services as well 
as long distance services were all affected. The tourism 
industry reported losing $700,000 a day in revenue due to 
the strike.(4)

The phone workers received support from many other unions in 
Puerto Rico including the electrical workers who joined the 
strike and donated funds to help the striking workers. 
UTIER, the Electrical Authority union, with about 6,000 
members, engaged in a three day stoppage; the UIA, the 
Independent Authentic Union of the Water and Sewage 
Authority, with around 5,000 affiliates held a one day 
stoppage; the State Insurance Fund union with about 4,000 
and several other unions also joined in the strike. Some 
stopped for a day, and some went to the picket lines at 
noon. Several religious leaders, moved by the police abuse 
scenes showed by TV, went to the picket lines to show their 
sympathy with the workers cause. This included one well 
known right wing preacher as well as Cardinal Luis Aponte 
Marti'nez, the leader of the catholic church in the 

*El Nuevo Día* reported that "When confronted by the 
newspeople with the photos that clearly show police agents 
making undue use of force, and throwing gasses to the 
strikers, Toledo, whom in part of the conference looked 
nervous, said that the weight of the law will fall not only 
in the strikers that break the lay, but also in the 
policemen that act in an undue way." But in fact the police 
continued with their harassment, brutality, and arrests of 
the striking workers. One striker, Raul Santana, remains 
hospitalized, after been beaten by the police. In that case, 
in Metro Office Park, in Guaynabo, three more strikers 
needed attention in San Juan Medical Center.(2)

In the fifth day of the phone worker's strike, at Cellular 
Plaza, in Hato Rey, the SWAT team, with their IDs removed, 
in open violation of the law, ambushed a group of strikers, 
to get the scabs inside. When retiring, the last of the 
policemen hit the protesters, initiating a confrontation in 
which that policeman was hit. The scenes, showed in the 
news, were used all day by Police chief, Pedro Toledo, to 
try to look like the victims of violence were the Police.

From there, the police contingent went to Metro Office Park, 
in Guaynabo, where they left 6 strikers wounded, 4 grave, 
and 4 policemen slightly wounded. The scenes of the police 
carrying a worker by his legs, unconscious and bleeding from 
his head, served to deny the police chief allegations that 
this was all violence initiated by the people.(2)

U.$. maneuvers for stronger imperialist position

The South Command of the U.$. armed forces is planning to 
relocate in Puerto Rico, after full change of command in the 
Panama Channel. GTE holds a contract with the South Command 
to manage their communications. It follows then that one of 
the reasons for buying PRTC is to guarantee their service to 
the military interests of the U$A in the region.(2)

The government bought the telephone company in 1974 and has 
operated it at a profit ever since so this is not an issue 
of cutting losses in national industry.(5)

The economy of Puerto Rico, where the average wage is far 
lower than in the u.s., suffers from high unemployment and 
low paying jobs. Since the Puerto Rican people have never 
had the opportunity to develop a self-sufficient economy, 
their livelihood is dependent on the many foreign (mostly 
Amerikan ) corporations that set up shop for the cheap labor 
and good tax deals. As an amerikan colony, Puerto Rico has 
provided the u.s. a very strategic military base, a resource 
of cheap labor for manufacturing plants, and a vacation 
resort close to home.

U.S. imperialism has created a "split in the working class" 
in Puerto Rico through its relationship with the island. The 
workers are not all sub-minimum wage proletarians and they 
are not all labor aristocracy. Because Puerto Rico is a 
colony of the united snakes, the people have a strong 
interest in national liberation to free themselves of 
imperialist domination. But the economic benefits of special 
status as a colony which is so closely tied to the U.$. has 
convinced many people to support statehood or commonwealth 
status in continued colonial subjugation to the u.s.

As the Puerto Rican lackey government moves to sell off what 
little of the island is not currently under direct U.$. 
control, the people can see more clearly the results of 100 
years of u.s. colonialism. The people's outrage and protests 
against the selling of the telephone company will contribute 
to the struggle for national self-determination and 
independence from u.s. imperialism.

At press time the unions were planning general and regional 
strikes throughout the rest of the summer and on until the 
government agrees to their demand to hold a national 
referendum on the sale of the phone company. But the narrow 
demands of the strikers do not represent demands for 
independence. It is the job of revolutionaries to point out 
the connections between u.s. imperialist occupation and the 
struggles of the people in Puerto Rico. 

1. Associated Press, Tuesday, July 7, 1998.
2., This 
page has been created to make public information and images 
3. El Nuevo Dia, July 8, 1998
4. AP, June 30, 1998.
5. Washington Post, July 8, 1998; Page A02 

* * *


RAIL proudly announces the founding of the Sison Family 
Defense Fund. The SFDF was officially launched on June 11, 
1998 at the Anti-Imperialist Solidarity Night organized by 
BAYAN - International. The purpose of the SFDF is to raise 
money for the legal expenses involved in the Sison family's 
petition for political asylum and to raise awareness of 
their case in the broader context of the Filipino people's 
struggle for economic and political freedom. 

Jose Maria Sison and Julieta de Lima-Sison are both 
prominent anti- imperialist activists from the Philippines 
who have been living in exile in the Netherlands since the 
late 80s. De Lima-Sison has been very active within the 
national democratic movement. She has been in the 
Netherlands since 1988, but has been denied legal permit to 
reside there. Only this year was she and their son Jasm 
granted residency on humanitarian grounds although the Dutch 
government does not recognize her status as a political 
refugee. This in spite of the fact that she is on the "order 
of battle," the hit list of the Armed Forces of the 
Philippines (AFP), and that her colleagues had been 
kidnapped, tortured and murdered by AFP personnel. 

Sison was a leader within the national democratic movement 
from its inception. He was the founding chairperson of the 
reconstituted Communist Party of the Philippines. Because of 
his political activity, he was subject to intense state 
repression by the Government of the Republic of the 
Philippines (GRP). He was imprisoned and brutally tortured 
from 1977 to 1986 for his involvement with the national 
democratic movement. He currently is serving as consultant 
to the National Democratic Front-Government of the 
Philippines peace talks. The Dutch refusal to grant him 
political asylum in accordance with international 
conventions is an obvious attempt at derailing the peace 

After Sison's release from prison, he was doing a university 
lecture tour in west Europe when the Aquino government 
canceled his passport and falsely charged him under the 
Anti-Subversion Law. In 1988, Sison applied for political 
asylum in the Netherlands. The following year, the Manila 
government placed a million peso bounty on his head and a 
half million peso bounty on the head of de Lima-Sison, 
although no charges were made against her. In 1992, the Raad 
van State (RvS) -- Council of State, the highest 
administrative court in the Netherlands -- nullified a prior 
negative decision made by the Dutch Justice Ministry and 
decided in Sison's favor. 

In the Philippines the anti-subversion law was repealed and 
the charges against Sison became groundless. Nevertheless, 
the Dutch Justice Ministry continued to decide against 
Sison. In 1995, the RvS ruled that Sison is a political 
refugee with a justified fear of persecution in the sense of 
the Refugee Treaty of Geneva, that he cannot be sent back to 
the Philippines and needs protection under Article 3 of the 
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and 
Fundamental Freedoms. 

In September 1997, the Dutch Rechtseeheidskamer (REK) agreed 
with the RvS ruling, but insisted that Sison cannot be 
legally be admitted to the Netherlands as a refugee because 
he is liable for crimes on the basis of "maintaining the 
credibility of the Dutch state to its allies" and CIA secret 
intelligence dossiers. However, in recognition of the 
primacy of the NDFP-GRP peace talks, the Philippine justice 
secretary issued Sison a certificate stating that there is 
no pending criminal charge against Sison; previous charges 
were dismissed or nullified. But in contradiction to its own 
court and in defiance of international law, the Dutch 
Justice ministry and Dutch Alien court continue to refuse to 
grant the Sison family political asylum. 

The prime instigator in this attack on their basic rights as 
political refugees is not the GRP but actually its 
imperialist puppeteers, the u.s. and its Dutch ally. Sison's 
role as chief political consultant to the NDFP-GRP peace 
negotiations in The Hague is a prime motivation in his 
family's persecution by the Dutch and Amerikan governments. 
The u.s. has a vested interest in seeing national liberation 
struggles fail. The victory of the Filipino national 
democratic movement would be a devastating blow to the 
corpulent imperialists. The vibrant and dynamic nature of 
the national democratic movement in the Philippines already 
has forced the GRP to the peace tables as an equally 
belligerent force. 

This international recognition of the strength of the 
Filipino national democratic struggle has earned the wrath 
of the u.s. imperialists. BAYAN International states "it is 
necessary to keep up the legal struggle of Prof. Sison in 
order to keep up the political struggle. Which is the 
international mass campaign in defense of his rights. For 
this reason, the Sison Family Defense Fund must be seriously 

RAIL encourages concerned and progressive people to 
contribute to the struggles of the Filipino masses against 
oppression. Get involved in the Sison asylum case and help 
build the Sison Family Defense Fund by donating money and 
labor, hosting events and publicizing this case.

* * *


June 1, 1998

Dear Comrades!

Thank you very much for your letter and for our acceptance 
into MIM! We hope that in close cooperation with you we will 
be successful in spreading Maoism in Russia!

In our opinion, the best (in the given circumstances) and 
the most democratic way of constructing the Russian branch 
of MIM will be setting up by us an Initiative Group for the 
preparation of the Founding Congress of the Russian 
organization of MIM. Besides our own comrades from the 
Obninsk VLKSM organization we are planning to attract 
comrades from other places: Moscow, Leningrad (now St. 
Petersburg), etc.

As a first step to this, we have begun constructing the 
homepage of this Initiative Group (tentative Internet 
tentative e-mail address: [email protected]). The page will 
be centered round five cardinal points (four of yours, all 
of which we accept, plus a fifth, which we consider of 
paramount importance in the conditions of present-day 
Russia: no toleration of the oppression of national and 
sexual minorities and - as a consequence - the complete 
inadmissibility of any manifestations of nationalism, 
chauvinism, sexism, and clericalism).

 In addition, we are planning to use this page to launch a 
wide discussion with Leftist comrades of various opinions 
about the applicability of Maoism to Russian conditions 
(both past and present). In this connection, we would be 
very grateful if you could provide us with factual 
information on the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, 
either in English or in French (especially documents, 
speeches of the period, photographs). Undistorted data about 
the Cultural Revolution are very hard to get here.

Besides, we are very much in need of information 
(unclassified, of course) about the history and present-day 
condition of MIM, as we want to give MIM as much publicity 
here as possible. This information would also be useful in 
case we could arrange the invitation of your 
representative(s) to the XXV Congress of VLKSM. Now we are 
working in that direction and this will be possibly decided 
at the Plenary Meeting of VLKSM Central Committee in the end 
of June. Are you interested in this proposal?

With proletarian greetings and hopes of fruitful 

P. S. Our work of getting the Russian translation of the Red 
Book on line is under way, but owing to technical reasons 
has delayed a bit.


*Editor's note: The cardinal principles and scientific 
weaponry of Maoism are very powerful. Although Maoism is 
unpopular and undeveloped in the U$A, the potential exists 
for a quick breakthrough with the Russian proletariat, a 
breakthrough reaching thousands of comrades in many 
different time zones. By holding line to be decisive, the 
leadership of the communist movement bears a heavy burden in 
the face of temporary obstacles.*

May 18, 1998

Dear Comrades! Thanks a lot for your detailed letter and for 
somewhat clarifying the situation on the international 
Maoist scene for us. As far as we understand, you have only 
a vague idea of the situation in the Communist movement in 
Russia today. So a little information. As stated in our 
previous letter there are eight parties calling themselves 
communist. The largest is the Communist Party of the Russian 
Federation (Russian abbreviation KP RF, membership circa 
200,000, leader Gennady Zyuganov). It is made up mostly of 
aged people - ex-Party apparatchiks or middle-rank 
industrial managers. In its economic program the party is 
close to the Social-Democratic parties in Western Europe. On 
the political plane nationalism and social-chauvinism 

The next one is the Russian Communist Workers' Party 
(Russian abbreviation RKRP, membership circa 60,000, leader 
Viktor Tyul'kin). It is an extremely dogmatic ultra-
Stalinist (in the worst sense of the word) organization. The 
age and social make-up is similar to that of KP RF, with a 
larger share of the lumpen-proletariat. The once-famous RKRP 
public figure, Viktor Anpilov, recently seceded and formed a 
party with the "unpretentious" name of CPSU (KPSS in 
Russia). Its basis is the most extremist-minded sector of 
the former RKRP. Its nationalist and chauvinist tendencies 
(more pronounced than in RKRP proper) have allowed it to 
form a bloc with the National-Bolshevik Party of Eduard 
Limonov which is openly semi-fascist. The social make-up of 
the latter is several intellectuals trying to shape the 
political consciousness of the milieu of punks and other 
marginal youth groups using its slogans of protecting 
national Russian capital, "purifying" Russia of national and 
sexual minorities, etc. 

The Russian Communist Party-CPSU (Russian abbreviation RKP-
KPSS, membership circa 5,000, leader Dr. Alexei Prigarin). 
One of us (X Y) so far continues to belong to that party. 
The relative attractiveness of the theoretical positions of 
the Party leadership is counterbalanced by the dogmatism of 
aged rank-and-file members whose ideology is close to that 
of RKRP. 

Pretty much the same could be said about the Russian Party 
of Communists (Russian abbreviation RPK, membership circa 
5,000, leader Dr. Anatoly Kryuchkov). The exception is that 
the ideology of the leadership is closer to Trotskyism 
("pure" Trotskyism is represented by tiny groups of Western 
origin having practically no influence). 

Similar to RKRP is the All-Union Communist Party of 
Bolsheviks (Russian abbreviation VKPB, membership circa 
1,000, leader Nina Andreyeva). This party is much more 
consistently internationalist than RKRP and has more 
widespread international ties, but its influence within 
Russia is extremely limited. RKRP, RPK, RKP-KPSS, and VKPB 
form a vague coalition called the Russian Communist Union 
(Roskomsoyuz in Russian). There are two more parties (Sergei 
Stepanov's Union of Communists and A. Lapin's VKPB) which 
are gradually fading out of the political arena and of which 
practically nothing can be said at present.

As to the purely young communist movements, the main ones 
are our own organization, VLKSM, (led by Andrei Yezersky, 
overall membership in the former USSR circa 26,000), and 
Pavel Bylevsky's Revolutionary Communist Union of Youth 
(Russian abbreviation RKSM(b), membership circa 500, this 
organization is a collective member of VLKSM).

The old VKLSM, which was one of the chief promoters of 
bourgeois restoration, collapsed in 1991. In 1992 a new 
young communist organization bearing the same name and 
covering a large part of the old USSR territory was forged 
at the XXIII VLKSM Congress in 1992. The XXIV Congress in 
1995 adopted a new Political Program drafted by the Moscow 
organization. You can find its Russian text at This text is, in our opinion, a 
Marxist-Leninist one, but having serious omissions as to the 
explanation of the contemporary situation and as to the 
political status of VLKSM (a separate party or a youth wing 
of some other party). We are rather of the opinion that 
VLKSM should eventually become a separate party with a 
revolutionary Marxist-Leninist internationalist line. The 
Programme is currently being attacked by pro-KP RF and pro-
RKRP milieus within VLKSM. In our point of view, this 
Program does not contradict the four (or rather three for 
Russia) cardinal points suggested by you, and we try to 
defend it against dogmatically and revisionistically-minded 

At the next, XXVth, Congress of VLKSM, scheduled for 
December this year, we would like to try to alter this 
Program in a Maoist, internationalist spirit. If MIM 
representatives are interested in visiting the Congress as 
guests, we could try to arrange this. RKSM(b) has ambiguous 
relations with RKRP, the latter desiring to turn the former 
into its own youth organization. RKSM(b) leaders Pavel 
Bylevsky and Dmitry Kostenko would like to turn RKSM(b) into 
a town guerrilla organization (similar to RAF, MRTA, etc.). 
Last year they made some attempts into that direction 
(blowing up the Czar Nicholas II monument, etc.). However, 
virtually all the militants are imprisoned by now. 

In our opinion, these abortive attempts demonstrate the fact 
that contemporary Russia is unprepared for the appearance of 
organizations concentrating on armed action against the 
regime. The RKSM(b) newspaper, "BUMBARASH-2017", tried 
(before those events) to propound Maoism, but exclusively as 
one of "Third-World" revolutionary ideologies (in the same 
vein as Kim Il Sung, Khmer Rouge, MRTA, etc.), and the whole 
newspaper has an unpleasant "postmodernist" tinge, that of 
"playing at revolution."

On our side, we would be very much obliged if you informed 
us in more detail about the political layout both in the 
Communist and pseudo-Communist movement in the U$A and on 
the Maoist scene internationally. If you have any more 
comparatively small programmatic papers (like the 
gay/lesbian and the Trotsky papers we read on your server) 
and if you can send them to us, we could translate them into 
Russian and publish them in our newsletter (it has an 
English name, "Power to the People") and place them on our 

With proletarian greetings, 

X Y 

P. S. Do we understand you correctly that from now on we can 
consider ourselves a branch of MIM? Or is a decision of your 
central bureau (committee?) necessary? 

North American MIM comrade replies:


Thank you again!

You touch on another important subject. No, we do not need 
Central Committee approval to declare you part of the Maoist 
Internationalist Movement. I am empowered via the Congress 
for international affairs (outside N. America).

There is again a difference of opinion internationally on 
this. The RCP-led RIM believes that parties have to prove 
themselves to central international leaderships, while we 
have rejected (through Congress resolution), the idea of an 
"emerging international center."

There is no Maoism without its application to concrete 
conditions, and that is simply beyond our capacity at this 
time in any international center. It will have to be up to 
the ex-Soviet proletariat to decide if your organization is 
living up to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principles. 

As to the layout of U.$. politics, you should find some 
interesting information in "What's Your Line?" on our web 

The one good thing we can say about U.$. politics is that 
relative to social-democracy, communism is strong. Our DSA 
(Democratic Socialists of America) commands little respect 
unlike the situation in Europe. The Black Panthers and other 
real communist groups quickly surpassed our social-
democratic tendencies. So there is some hope that if the 
people here ever get to wanting the job done, they may want 
to do it thoroughly.

* * *


MIM makes self-criticism for lack of leadership in Spanish-
language work, begins rectification, calls for mass 

Over the last seven months, MIM's work among Spanish-
speaking masses inside u.$. borders dropped dramatically. 
The biggest example of this is that MIM ceased to correspond 
with Spanish-speaking prisoners over that time period. The 
amount of original MIM propaganda being written in or 
translated into Spanish also dropped over this period. This 
is truly a criminal error on MIM's part. The masses will 
make revolution, when effectively led by a proletarian, 
internationalist Party. MIM's failure to maintain or expand 
its work among the Spanish speaking masses cut the link 
between the masses and the Party's leadership.

Indeed, many of the letters written to MIM by Spanish-
speaking prisoners over the last six months acknowledged the 
Party's leadership role. Some explicitly said that they 
wanted revolution, but were not sure how to wage it, or what 
they should be doing. It is exactly the Party's role to 
provide those answers.

The main reason for the drop off in Spanish-language work 
was MIM's failure to effectively mobilize and lead activists 
who were willing to aid MIM's Spanish-language work. MIM 
comrades gave these relatively inexperienced activists very 
responsible positions - nothing wrong with that per se - but 
failed to explicitly lay out what their main tasks should 
be, and, more importantly, failed to check up on their work. 

When it became clear that important work was not being done, 
the main Party contact for these activists did not move 
quickly to make sure it would get done - either by the 
activists who were technically in charge or somebody else. 
This was clear liberalism and paternalism on the Party 
contact's part: On the one hand, S/he did not want to 
strongly criticize or remove these activists from their 
positions, because s/he thought that they would quit if s/he 
did. On the other, s/he judged these activists by their 
claims that they would do work tasked to them by the Party, 
and not by their actions: lack of Party-led work. This kind 
of behavior will not do: We must be up-front with our 
criticisms and encourage our close comrades to develop 
"thick skins," and we must also be materialists and judge 
people by their actions, not their pretty words.

MIM has already begun to rectify its errors, however. First, 
by recognizing them. Second, by recovering its lost practice 
and improving its leadership. With the valuable help of some 
RAIL comrades, MIM has already published a new edition of 
Notas Rojas, its Spanish-language newspaper, which had not 
been printed in over nine months. MIM has also re-started 
its correspondence with Spanish-language prisoners, and 
improved its ability to translate and write articles in 

Get involved!

But MIM's renewed leadership is not enough - as always MIM 
needs people who will step up and help with revolutionary 
tasks. One of the most important tasks right now is the 
development of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League's 
(RAIL's) work among Spanish-speaking masses. From public 
educational events exposing Amerikan imperialism to 
circulating anti-prisons-brutality petitions to building a 
Spanish-language Books for Prisoners Program - these are all 
projects we need your help with. If you can translate 
materials, distribute Notas Rojas, circulate petitions, or 
go on-line and encourage people to support these practices - 
do it! Together, we can win!

* * *


The previous MIM Notes reported on a CNN and Time Magazine 
report that the U.$. used nerve gas in Laos in 1970 in an 
attack on a civilian village containing Amerikan defectors 
from the war in neighboring Vietnam. Such use of poison gas 
would be considered a war crime, although at the time the 
U.$. had not signed the Geneva Protocol against such 

After the story broke, a firestorm in the bourgeois press 
was launched against the CNN/Time story. MIM commented on 
this in its story:

"The current Pentagon denies any knowledge or record of the 
use of nerve gas in the Vietnam War. However, the very 
nature of these operations required that very little written 
record be kept, so it is to be expected that the Pentagon 
can't find "proof" of this war crime." 

Since then, CNN/Time has retracted the statement that sarin 
gas was used in the attack, and that Amerikan defectors were 
the target in Operation Tailwind. With defectors not a 
target, the CNN/Time retraction makes MIM ask: Then just 
what where Amerikan troops doing massacring civilians in 
Laos, where they weren't supposed to be?

"From 1965 to 1973, the U.S. dropped over two million tons 
of bombs on Laos, far more than all sides dropped in World 
War II. The bombing was so ferocious that over a quarter of 
the population became refugees, with many people living in 
caves for years at a time." And on the subject of lying 
about whether sarin gas was used in Laos, for years the 
United Snakes denied the war in Laos even existed.(2)

The CNN/Time retraction emphasizes the lack of written 
records and the statements of other Amerikan military 
leaders who claim to have no knowledge of gas use or an 
attack on defectors. MIM considers the original story to be 
believable based on the evidence presented and the lack of 
evidence in the retraction.

Even if it were true that the reporters working on the story 
were "overzealous" in trying to get evidence of sarin gas 
use, and stretched their evidence and testimony to that 
effect, that would not justify the widespread reaction and 
condemnation of the story -- as if the retraction proves the 
opposite, that no gas was used. 

At best, critics of the original reporting should still be 
saying, "there is considerable evidence that sarin gas was 
used, even if it is not decisively proven, which is unlikely 
to be possible because of the nature of the operation." That 
would not be reason to celebrate the Tailwind death-squad 
and rule out such murderous actions on the part of Amerika. 

It is likely that this chain of events could make it harder 
for people to use the imperialist press to expose the evils 
of imperialism. Many reactionary pundits are arguing that 
when exposing "black operations" for which a paper trail 
does not exist, reporters should be required to find more 
evidence than they would be required to find for a story 
about aboveground operations. This is clearly nonsense, and 
a standard ignored when the imperialist system wants to 
slander the revolutionary movements. The high profile CNN-
Time retraction, like the lower profile retraction of the 
San Jose Mercury News from the story about the CIA role in 
the crack epidemic, also serves to discredit the exposure of 
the system that does go on.

CNN apologized to viewers and said that CNN "owes a special 
apology to the personnel involved in Operation Tailwind." 
The apology that's actually being made is from CNN/Time to 
the imperialist system for bring to light yet another 
embarrassing detail of Amerika's dirty war against Southeast 
Asia. The true apology that should be made is from the 
Amerikan imperialist system to the people of Southeast Asia. 
The oppressed masses of the world will only get that apology 
long after their revolutions and the United Snakes is put 
under the dictatorship of the international proletariat.

1. Boston Globe 3 June 1998, p. 3., Time Magazine 13 June 
1998, p. 6.
2. Zepezauer, The CIA's Greatest Hits, Odonia Press, p. 42-

* * *


Several RAIL comrades recently attended a rally protesting 
massacres carried out by the reactionary Mexican government, 
from the massacre of students in 1968 to recent massacres in 
the state Chiapas. The RAIL comrades passed out the 
following flyer from MIM at the rally.

The rally was sponsored by the Comite Pro-Democracia en 
Mexico, and put forward the slogans "Castigate those 
responsible for the massacres! Liberty for political 
prisoners! No to US military assistance! Reinitiate the 
dialogue in Chiapas! End the war of low intensity!" MIM does 
not believe that negotiations with the Mexican government 
will bring true peace or democracy to the peasants of 
Chiapas - as the MIM flyer makes clear. MIM also has some 
fundamental criticisms of the strategy of the EZLN 
(Zapatista Army for National Liberation), the main guerrilla 
group operating in Chiapas. But despite the fact that the 
rally's organizers were predominately pro-EZLN, they 
explicitly allowed the RAIL comrades to distribute the MIM 
flyers. The RAIL comrades in turn supported the rally's 
efforts to expose the atrocities of the u.$.-backed Mexican 
government and build opposition against u.$. intervention in 

Several days after the rally, while soliciting signatures on 
an anti-prisons-brutality petition, these RAIL comrades ran 
into several people who were at the protest rally. These 
people refused to sign the anti-prisons-brutality petition, 
because they claimed that the RAIL comrades had distributed 
"anti-Zapatista literature" at a "pro-Zapatista rally." When 
MIM heard about this, MIM thought that this was a classic 
case of "anti-sectarian" sectarianism.

First, the rally was not advertised as a "pro-Zapatista 
rally," but rather as a protest against the anti-people 
massacres in Mexico. Second, these individuals argued that 
it was incorrect for RAIL to distribute a flyer with 
ideological criticisms of the Zapatistas at the rally, but 
then they turned around and refused to sign RAIL's anti-
prisons-brutality petition, because this ideological 
difference with RAIL! This behavior is rooted in the 
Menshevik logic that "revolutionary sentiment alone" can 
bring unity among anti-imperialist or so-called left 
activists. The fact is that there are different ideologies 
and parties out there representing different class 
interests. Our critics actually have recognized this 
implicitly by putting their weight behind the Zapatistas and 
against MIM's line. But they hide this fact beneath a muddle 
of righteous sounding "unity at all costs" rhetoric.(1)

This Menshevik confusion can lead to some absurd and 
dangerous results. Take the Worker's World Party, for 
example. The Trotskyist WWP claims to support the Maoist 
Communist Party of Peru (PCP), while at the same time 
supporting the petit-bourgeois "revolutionists" in the Tupac 
Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). 

This despite the fact that the MRTA was supported by soviet 
social imperialism and clearly favor "negotiated solutions" 
to Peru's problems which will be implemented more or less 
under the current reactionary governmental framework. But 
here is what Comrade Gonzalo from the PCP had to say about 

"The idea of talks is being bandied about, and it is also 
part of the superpower's game, especially the social-
imperialists. We see the situation this way: there is a time 
in the development of a people's war when relations and 
diplomatic dealings become necessary and do occur... But we 
must start from the understanding that in diplomatic 
meetings agreements signed on the table only reflect what 
has already been established on the battlefield, because no 
one is going to give up what they have not obviously lost... 
Well, one could ask, has that moment arrived in Peru? That 
moment has not arrived. So why raise the issue of talks? 
Such talks are simply aimed at halting or undermining the 
people's war, that's what they are aimed at and nothing 
more... And who talks about talks? The revisionists, 
opportunists, and those who have hope for the APRA [the 
then-ruling party], for this demo-bourgeois order, for this 
reactionary order."(2)

So by "supporting" both the PCP and the MRTA the WWP is 
calling on people here to, on the one hand, support peace 
talks with the reactionary government, and, on the other, to 
reject talks. What does this accomplish except confusion?

MIM calls on our critics to thoroughly study our positions 
(and their own) and judge whether or not they are actually 
anti-Zapatista (let alone anti-the peasants of Chiapas). We 
also call on them to openly state their criticisms and 
allegiances - give the masses a chance to make up their own 

1. Lenin, "The tasks of the revolutionary youth," in VI 
Lenin on Youth, Progress Publishers (Moscow), 1970, pp. 87-
2. Interview with Chairman Gonzalo, CSRP (Berkeley). pp. 65-
66. END

* * *


The government of Mexico is a puppet of u.s. imperialism. As 
it further sells away its resources and labor to the highest 
bidder, and at the same time draws itself closer to the 
united states with military aid and monetary loans, the 
economic situation of the Mexican people gets worse each 
day. In the countryside, the paltry gains of the 1910 
revolution are rapidly being liquidated which leads to the 
formation of huge foreign-owned plantations. The small 
peasant as a result faces poverty and a life of hardship. In 
the city, where there is a high percentage of unemployment 
and street crime, workers in factories are brutally super-
exploited and face even worse living conditions as the 
reactionary state is moving towards the privatization of 
many public services, such as education. Since the current 
lackeys of u.s. imperialism usurped power in 1917, Mexicans 
have been on the receiving end of poverty, misery, hunger, 
massacre, repression and corruption.

What are the people of Mexico to do? The people of Chiapas 
and Guerrero have demonstrated that the only solution to a 
fascist dictatorship is armed struggle. The heroic attempts 
of the Chiapaneco peasants on January 1, 1994 demonstrated 
to Mexico that there can be another answer to solve the 
problems of corruption and oppression besides the electoral 
booth: the just raising of arms. There is no other way to 
dissolve the ties between Mexico and u.s. imperialism, since 
the u.s. has a huge stake in maintaining Mexico a 
militarized, regionally-stable country. 

Build the anti-imperialist movement!

For those who live inside the belly of the beast, one of the 
main tasks right now is to expose the crimes Amerikan 
imperialism and its lackeys. Information about crimes such 
as the massacres in Mexico should be spread throughout the 
u.$. empire, and these crimes should be presented as what 
they are: inevitable outcomes of the backwards, bloodthirsty 
system of imperialism. MIM calls on all genuine anti-
imperialists to work with MIM and the Revolutionary Anti-
Imperialist League, a MIM-led mass organization.

Study and apply Protracted People's War!

As communists, we raise the question of whether it is enough 
to pick up the gun to have as the ultimate goal a chance to 
reform the present reactionary state. For this we criticize 
the Zapatistas. This does not mean that we communists scorn 
the people who give support to the Zapatistas. No. It simply 
means that we believe that the Zapatistas need to re-
evaluate their perception of the current Mexican state and 
society to see that there can be no talk of negotiation 
unless the rebel forces have a strategic advantage. The pro-
imperialist puppet state has proven itself not to want peace 
and negotiation. It is also relatively stronger at this 
point in history than any serious opposition. It does not 
want to solve the economic and political problems facing the 
Mexican people. We criticize the Zapatistas for wanting to 
share power with the local imperialist lackeys, and not 
wanting to seize state power in the interests of the Mexican 
workers and peasants.

We hope that the brutal, but very real, lessons drawn from 
the state's repression will help all well-intentioned people 
of Mexico realize that the state held by people subservient 
to foreign interests does not want to negotiate. We hope 
that revolutionaries in Mexico raise the banner of Marxism-
Leninism-Maoism applied to the concrete conditions of Mexico 
as the guiding thought of their struggle. For only Maoist 
People's War in a semi-feudal, semi-colonial country can be 
the answer to state massacres. People's War builds 
independent support bases amongst the people in the 
countryside as it protractedly encircles the cities. Thus we 
repudiate the focoist and sensationalist strategy of the 
EZLN for refusing to recognize the real nature of the enemy. 
We cite the historical examples of China and Vietnam and the 
contemporary examples of the Philippines and Peru as shining 
examples of People's War. Only through People's War can 
their be a guarantee that the state's actions will not go 
unchecked. Only People's War can destroy imperialism and 
reaction in Mexico.

Long Live the Struggle of the Mexican People! Long Live 
Maoist People's War!

* * *


by MC53

A five week conference is currently being held in Rome to 
set up procedure, standards and rules to prosecute 
individuals for genocide and crimes against humanity. The 
United Snakes is pushing for stiff control of the 
prosecutorial power. The u.$. wants only the permanent UN 
Security Council member nations to determine which crimes 
and which defendants should be prosecuted.

Worried that imperialist soldiers may face scrutiny for 
carrying out crimes against the masses, United Snakes 
representative to the UN, Bill Richardson, said "Soldiers 
deployed far from home need to do their jobs without 
exposure to politicized proceedings."(1) This June 17 
statement was made in response to proposals to develop an 
independent prosecutor to investigate war crimes within the 
UN international criminal court.

The other nations and human rights groups at the conference 
reportedly oppose the position of the United Snakes. The 
majority of conference participants have pushed for a fully 
independent prosecutor with the power to start 
investigations without approval by the Security Council and 
without formal complaints by a nation's government. Human 
rights groups like Human Rights Watch argue that insistence 
on referrals or consent by the Security Council members or 
governments will obstruct genuine investigation of crimes.

While the conference majority seek open-ended power to 
conduct investigation and prosecute, the United Snakes has 
openly stated its fear that Amerikkkan footsoldiers may be 
taken before an anti-Amerikkkan judge if the imperialists do 
not keep tight reins over the international court. The u.s. 
is even being honest about its willingness to tolerate 
crimes against the people in order to defend imperialism. 
Richardson said, "This court... should not address every 
crime that goes unpunished, no matter how horrific or 

MIM believes it is better to have independent investigators 
because they may serve to expose genocide by the US. But 
these investigators working for the UN are not going to give 
the masses power to control genocide by imperialists. The UN 
itself has a history of participating in genocide as a 
puppet of u.s. imperialism. The UN actions in Iraq and 
Somalia provide just a few examples of this reality. Real 
accountability must come from governments of the people. 
This will only be achieved through communist revolution.

NOTE: 1. The New York Times 18 June 1998. p. A12.

* * *


July 4, Washington DC -- A few hundred people turned out for 
this year's "legalize marijuana" rally across the street 
from the White House. As usual, DC-RAIL cadre showed up to 
sell newspapers and, this year, to try to engage the masses 
in what should be a very relevant issue to the drug 
legalization movement -- prisons. DC-RAIL was there to 
collect signatures against the transfer of DC prisoners into 
the federal prison system and distribute our literature. 
Though mixed, the response to the petition and the 
newspapers was better then either the speakers or the 
literature of the rally would indicate.

Some enthusiastically signed the petition and bought the 
newspaper. Even those that wanted to draw a sharp 
distinction between "drug offenders" and "violent offenders" 
were persuaded that current prison conditions, including 
profit-driven transfers, were inhumane. And many were simply 
grateful for something to read and open-minded enough for 
that something to be a communist newspaper. It is that basic 
distrust of authority that gives MIM and RAIL an in at these 

The speakers ranged from, at best, those who promoted free 
needle exchanges in the interest of public health, to, at 
worst, those who insisted that the movement of pot-smokers 
was as patriotic and Amerikkka-loving as anyone else. "We 
love you, Bill Clinton," said one, seriously!

As we circulated through the crowd, in which many of the 
almost all white participants smoked marijuana, we couldn't 
help notice the absence of police that were so present at 
that same park a few months earlier for the Jericho '98 
rally to free political prisoners. So-called laws 
prohibiting selling anything in the park were not enforced 
at the pot rally as they had been for Jericho, and police 
were not strolling through the park hassling people as they 
had in March.

It's not that we want to see the pot-smokers arrested or 
hassled by the pigs. But we would love to see an 
acknowledgment by this First World youth movement of its 
privilege relative to oppressed nation peoples, and we 
challenge the better elements of this group to champion the 
struggles of those who are actually oppressed. Why don't 
they openly charge the pigs with hypocrisy for allowing the 
smoke-in to take place, while arresting and incarcerating 
oppressed nation youth for drug charges all the time? Why 
not force the pigs to admit that it's not the drugs they 
want to eliminate, but the oppressed nations? 

The drug war, with the vast discretion it puts in the hand 
of police-state agents, allows them to crack down on whoever 
they want -- mostly but not exclusively oppressed nationals. 
That also means they can leave alone most whites who smoke 
pot, and just use drug laws to persecute those who cause 
trouble in other ways. But this reactionary movement 
portrays itself as representing an oppressed pot-smoking 
population, and as the real victims of the war on drugs. One 
speaker, Marvin Marvin, likened pot- smokers to Jews in Nazi 
Germany, to the cheers of the crowd.

Two aging self-described libertarians attempted to discredit 
a RAIL comrade by repeating all kinds of bourgeois lies 
about Mao, including that Mao shot all drug users. The RAIL 
comrade tried to explain that every criticism they had of 
Mao and the Chinese Communist Party contained a vicious 
defense of something the libertarians claimed also to oppose 
-- feudalism (free Tibet!), inequality (oppression of 
intellectuals!) and poverty (we oppose all force!). "I knew 
an intellectual who had to work on the railroad for 10 
years!" one exclaimed. The RAIL comrade asked what was wrong 
with intellectuals working on the railroad -- especially if 
it meant that peasants could then go to school. The 
libertarian had no response.

MIM and RAIL hope to hear more from people who attended this 
rally who will read our newspapers and who are willing to 
think about the drug- legalization issue -- and any other 
issue -- from the perspective of the international 

* * *


by a Michigan prisoner

10 June 1998

*MIM is proud to introduce MIM Legal Notes, a forum for 
prisoners and others to help us agitate in favor of 
prisoners and against oppression. This issue deals with 
censorship in Michigan prisons. MIM has the full legal brief 
written by the prisoner, and it is available to our comrades 
under lock and key who are fighting censorship in their 
koncentration kamps. The following has been edited for 
clarity and space, with a response from MIM at the end. The 
initator of this regular column wrote this column*

What are the implications of Cain v. MDOC on censorship of 
prisoner mail in the penal concentration camps of Michigan?

Censorship is defined as: A review of publication, movies, 
plays and the like for the purpose of prohibiting the 
publication, distribution, or production of material deemed 
objectionable as obscene, or immoral. Such actions are 
frequently challenged as constituting a denial of freedom of 
press or speech. Blacks' Law Dictionary, West Publications, 
6th edition, 1990. p. 22 

In the case of Cain v. MDOC, the court dealt a devastating 
blow to prisoners' constitutional rights on December 5, 1997 
when it denied relief for many of the prisoner's claims. The 
plaintiffs (prisoners) were challenging the Michigan DOC 
policy of cutting back their rights to receive mail, books, 
and other printed materials. A Michigan statute provides 
that: "In a correctional facility having a security 
designation of IV,V or VI, not more [property] than the 
amount that can be contained in one duffel bag and one 
footlocker is approved by the department of corrections."

In Cain v. MDOC, the court upheld this statute, and ruled 
that the department of corrections may legally declare what 
items of property prisoners will be allowed to possess or 
acquire in a correctional facility. In November 1997, Prison 
Legal Services of Michigan (PLSM) filed a motion seeking a 
preliminary injunction to stop MDOC from implementing the 
new policy directive. While the judge denied the motion (and 
thus allowed the censorship policy, in the guise of a 
limitation on amount of property, to be implemented), he did 
rule that books, magazines, newspapers, and catalogs from 
approved vendors are "mail" and need not be ordered through 
the institution. The judge also ruled that calendars from 
books, magazines, newspapers or catalogs are permissible; 
added five paperback books as allowable items at level VI 
facilities (previously was limited to 10 books); allowed 
possession of personal correspondence and photographs at 
level VI facilities. The judge also ruled that prisoners are 
entitled to a Notice of Intent (NOI) for prisoner property 
taken by MDOC, unless the prisoner waives this notice in 

In spite of the above "relaxation" of the harsh censorship 
policies, prison officials have wide discretion in the 
regulation of how much, and a large extent, what types of 
reading material any prisoner can possess under the 
provisions. The constitutional implications surrounding 
MDOC's censorship of prisoner property/mail rights under 
these enactments are certainly issues of critical contention 
and grave concern for all Michigan prisoners, book 
publishers and distributors, newspaper columnists who 
reports on prison conditions, etc.

Another Michigan court recently addressed the issue of 
prison officials' censorship of prisoner mail in Winburn v 
Bologna. In Winburn a prisoner brought suit under Title 42 
U.S.C. Sec. 1983, against MDOC officials alleging violations 
of his United States Constitutional First and Fourteenth 
Amendment rights, where a prison mail regulation allowed 
corrections officials discretionary authority to censor and 
ultimately ban his receipt of certain objectionable racially 
inflammatory reading materials.

In this opinion, the court used the Turner standard (a 1987 
united snakes supreme court decision) of "reasonableness" 
regarding restrictions on prisoners rights. The Turner test 
is as follows:

(a) Whether there is a "valid," rational connection between 
the regulations and a legitimate and neutral government 
interest put forward to justify it, which connection cannot 
be so remote as to render the regulation arbitrary or 

(b) Whether there are alternative means of exercising the 
asserted constitutional right that remain open to inmates, 
which alternatives, if they exist, will require a measure of 
judicial deference to the corrections officials expertise.

(c) Whether and the extent to which accommodation of the 
asserted right will have an impact on prison staff, on 
inmates' liberty, and on the allocation of limited prison 
resources, which impact, if substantial, will require 
particular deference to correctional officials.

(d) Whether the regulation presents an "exaggerated 
response" to prison concerns, the existence of a ready 
alternative that fully accommodates the prisoner's rights at 
de minimis cost to valid penological interest being evidence 
of unreasonableness.

While the Michigan department of corrections advances the 
hypocritically false proposition that prisoner 
rehabilitation is one of the main objectives of the statue 
and the policy, we have all witnessed the gradual whittling 
away of prisoners' constitutional rights and civil liberties 
by corrections officials and governmental bureaucracy. With 
the decision in Cain, the curtailment and censorship of 
prisoner mail rights under the constitution clearly came 
into focus. Available educational reading material and 
literature made accessible to political prisoners warehoused 
in close custody facilities will be sparse at best, while 
the illusion of so-called rehabilitation fades into 

Nevertheless, a successful challenge by prisoners to 
government censorship can be reached. A case in point is 
Amatel v. Reno, a federal case brought in D.C. In this case, 
federal prisoners and various publishers brought suit under 
42 U.S.C. sec 1983 against the Federal Bureau of Prisons 
(BOP) challenging the constitutionality of a statute which 
prohibited the BOP from using Federal funds to "distribute 
or make available" to prisoners "commercially published 
information or material" known to be "sexually explicit or 
featuring nudity."

 The "legitimate" penological interest advanced by the BOP 
(to be "balanced" against the "rights" of prisoners) was the 
"rehabilitation" of prisoners. The Supreme Court has already 
identified security, order and rehabilitation of prisoners 
as "substantial" government interests. When the court 
identifies the government interest as "substantial", then 
the prisoners' "rights" are given much less weight in the 
balance. The Amatel court addressed whether the BOP's statue 
drew distinctions between publications based solely upon the 
basis of their potential implementations for rehabilitation, 
and concluded that the statutory regulation's "distinctions 
on the basis of content were not drawn with a view to the 
implications of rehabilitation." The court found the statute 
was content-based with a sole focus on a publications' 
sexual content. Questioning the regulatory scheme, the court 
identified curious distinctions between the BOP's banning 
magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse as sexually counter-
productive to prisoner rehabilitation, while allowing other 
such publications as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 
and Victoria Secret catalogue. Through its analysis the 
court struck down the regulation's discriminatory 
selectivity: "If rehabilitation was the content neutral goal 
of the [statute], then presumably it would ban all non-
rehabilitative publications." Amatel. The court questioned 
the BOP's reasoning for concluding that publications such as 
Playboy and Penthouse could be considered any more or less 
rehabilitative than the other two publications. The Amatel 
court found that the statute was not "neutral" pursuant to 
the reasonableness standard of Turner v. Safley and further 
found the regulation facially violative of the First 

With this view in mind, and through further research, 
prisoners may be better equipped to challenge the Cain court 
order on the censorship issue. One final note: mail delays 
that are brief, occasional or accidental are seldom found 
unconstitutional, especially if there are not harmful 
consequences. If your MIM Notes is held up by officials for 
weeks you should first file an administrative grievance to 
find out why MDOC held up your privileged mail. [Again, MIM 
has the full legal brief with citations from which this 
article was excerpted, for those comrades working on 
censorship campaigns in their prisons.-ed.]

MIM supports winnable battles against censorship and other 
repressive prison policies. MIM is leading a mass 
organization of prisoners to work against repression in any 
way we can at this time. We gather information from 
prisoners and distribute this information, as well as books 
and other literature, back to our comrades under lock and 
key. We also agitate on the outside against prisons and 
prison conditions. Write to MIM or RAIL if you want to get 
involved in the struggle against censorship and other 
repressive conditions of confinement under this oppressive 
imperialist system!

* * *


On July 14, Nguyen Ngoc Loan died of cancer in Virginia. He 
was a general in the U.S. puppet army in south Vietnam. A 
photograph of Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in the 
streets of Saigon was circulated around the world, and 
symbolized the brutality of the war.

"On Feb. 1, 1968, ... Loan led the prisoner, his hands 
bound, onto a street corner and in front of a group of 
journalists pulled his pistol and show the prisoner point-
blank in the head. The general told the newsmen that the 
prisoner was a known Viet Cong captain."

When the people's army seized control of the entire country 
of Vietnam in 1975, Loan fled to the United Snakes and 
opened a restaurant. Neo-colonialist lackey pigs have always 
served imperialism well, and not all will die lucky deaths 
from cancer.

NOTE: Boston Globe 16 July 1998, p. B7.

* * *


U$A--On July 1, 1998, new tax code provisions went into 
effect which allow tax credits for 20% of the expense of 
going back to college or skill training. 

MIM has been talking about these plans of the imperialists 
for quite some time. Vice-President Gore took credit for the 
program in Iowa, as part of his presidential campaign for 
the year 2000. 

Contrary to some internationalist social-democrat friends of 
ours who hold that funding for college is a matter of class 
struggle, we at MIM believe it is a class struggle amongst 
parasitic classes in the imperialist countries. There is no 
G-8 conspiracy to attack college education on the financial 

While Third World workers do the heavy agriculture, mining 
and manufacturing work, people in the U$A, Western Europe 
and Japan go to college. After they get to college and 
graduate having been fed and clothed by the Third World, the 
parasites turn around and justify their squeezing the Third 
World for the products of imperialist country mental labor. 

Note: USA Today 9July1998.

* * *



by RC68

MIM is happy to report some of the best news to come out of 
Nigeria recently. Ruthless military terrorist dictator and 
boot licking dog of U$ and English imperialism, Sani Abacha, 
died at age 54 of a heart attack early in the morning of 
June 8th. The Nigerian people are not reported to be sad for 
the loss.

Sani Abacha dedicated his entire miserable life to the 
service of imperialism and the oppression of African people. 
He became an infantryman at age 18. Just after Nigeria's 
independence from the English empire in 1960, Abacha was 
admitted to the Nigerian Military Training College in 
Kaduna. In 1963 he received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant 
after study at Mons Defense Officers Cadet Training College 
in Aldershot, England.(1) Apparently Abacha knew at an early 
age exactly where to go for training in ruthless military 
terrorist repression of decent civilized human beings. 

In 1967 pig Abacha took a break from studying oppression to 
put some theory into practice and advance the cause of 
western imperialism by fighting to crush the Biafran 
liberation movement. After gaining some practical experience 
in massacre, Abacha went back to school. He continued his 
terrorist training in Monterey, CA and England. He was so 
well educated in his area of interest by the Anglo-Amerikan 
imperialist pigs that he played a leading role in three 
different military coups. Abacha was a good dog. The 
amerikan and english pigs gave him a big bone.(1) 

Before Abacha and his thug associates began their campaign 
of violence, terror, and imperialist backed repression of 
all things human, Nigeria was exceptionally prosperous. 
Nigeria's oil exports financed major economic recovery in 
the 1970s and 80s. Nigerian art flourished. Nigerian 
currency was worth twice the U$ dollar. Nigerian press was 
relatively free and Nigerian diplomats challenged the 
empires of England and the United Snakes over issues like 

Abacha and his bandit friends in the military, in true 
faithful service to their imperialist masters in the U$ and 
England, made sure to scrap all of that without hesitation. 
Thanks to Sani Abacha's sellout misleadership and faithful 
service to imperialism, Nigeria is still in steep decline. 
Water and electrical supplies are unreliable in most cities. 
Unemployment has soared in recent months, and inflation has 
cut the purchasing power of most Nigerians to bare 
subsistence levels. Pig Abacha was thorough.(1) 

For 15 straight years and 27 of the last 37 years Nigeria 
has suffered under brutal military terrorist regimes backed 
by England and the United Snakes. Until global public outcry 
over Abacha's murder of political activist Ken Saro-Wina, 
both empires were wholehearted in their support of these 
violently repressive regimes. Even since then the majority 
of foreign aid given directly to the Nigerian military 
terrorist dictatorship has come from the U$, England, and 
France. Abacha and his predecessors cranked Nigeria's 
foreign debt up to $34.7 Billion. Over $19 Billion of that 
is owed to the Paris Club of official creditors.(2) Of 
course this should not be a surprise as these three rogue 
terrorist empires are responsible for arming and financing 
every single military terrorist regime on planet earth. Not 
coincidentally Amerika and western Europe also receive the 
majority of Nigeria's oil exports.(2) Mobil, Chevron, Shell, 
Texaco, Tenneco, Total, Amoco, and Exxon all own oil fields 
in Nigeria. The Nigerian people own none.

Sani Abacha was not only a cancer on the people of Nigeria. 
He was also a menace to the safety and freedom of all of the 
peoples of west Africa. Sani Abacha has tried to use the 
Nigerian Army to take over parts of Cameroon and Equitorial 
Guinea.(2) When pig Abacha died, he was chairman of the 
Economic Community of West African States. The ECOWAS 
Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) is essentially the Nigerian Army 
under a different name. As the leading force in ECOMOG, 
Nigeria has done much to wreak havoc and spread military 
terror throughout that part of the world, especially by 
intervening in recent civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone 
and ensuring outcomes that met with the approval of england 
and amerika. RAIL joins the people of Nigeria and all of 
Africa in the hope that Nigeria's role as terrorist agent of 
Anglo-Amerikan imperialism will be diminished now that Sani 
Abacha is dead. Unfortunately it is highly unlikely without 
a true revolutionary national liberation movement in 

Even though pig Abacha is dead, his replacement General 
AbdulSalam Abubakar, is not likely to be much better for the 
Nigerian people. The English, French, and Amerikan investors 
are not going to leave. It is very important to the U$ 
imperialists and their ruthless allies to preserve the 
status quo of military terrorism in Nigeria. The comprador 
Nigerian Army is the 1 paid protector of first world rape 
and exploitation of Africa for profit. The Nigerian army is 
also the imperialists' key player in checking any liberation 
movement in the region. This works well for the imperialists 
because Africans are much more expendable to the U$ than 
their own troops. It also keeps larger numbers of their own 
terrorists invasion forces available to oppress and murder 
innocent people in other parts of the world. The sad truth 
is, this will likely not change now that Abacha is dead. 

Regardless of the fact that Abacha died of a heart attack, 
the death of a single pig will never change anything. There 
is no doubt that Abacha was a murderous criminal agent of 
imperialism that deserved to die. But his death has not 
given any power back to the Nigerian people, such as the Ibo 
people, whose lands and lives are wrecked without remorse by 
Shell, Mobil, Chevron and the rest of the major U$ oil 
companies. The people can and likely will liberate 
themselves, but they will only do it through a self-
sufficient national liberation movement. 

1. New York Times, June 9, 1998.
2. United $tates Energy Information Administration

* * *


by RC784

Mashood K. O. Abiola, winner of the 1993 Nigerian elections 
which were annulled by the military regime of General Sani 
Abacha, died in prison Wednesday, July 8, 1998 after five 
years of solitary confinement. Nigerians rioted in the 
streets of the capital, Abuja, to protest the military 
dictatorship that brought about the death of an elected 
president before he was allowed to take power. Whether or 
not Abiola was murdered, it is clear his five years of 
imprisonment contributed to his early demise as the Abacha 
regime frequently denied him medical attention. But MIM 
questions the importance of Abiola: what difference might he 
have made for the masses of Nigerians?(1)

There is no question that the Abacha regime was brutally 
repressive and that the profits from Nigeria's oil were 
going into the pockets of imperialist oil companies and 
Abacha's cronies. Nigeria has clearly suffered at the hands 
of these comprador thugs. But Abiola worked for the 
imperialists as well. He received an imperialist education 
in England, and "although from a modest family, he rode the 
crest of Nigeria's oil boom in the 1970s, and through 
involvement in a series of massive telecommunication 
projects with the Amerikan multinational, ITT, he became 
very wealthy..."(2) ITT is a U$ corporation involved in 
manufacturing electronic automobile parts, military 
equipment, and electronics, and the Sheraton hotel chain is 
one of their subsidiaries (Sheraton has 29 hotels throughout 
Africa and the Middle East including hotels in Abuja and 

Aside for securing the contract for the Nigerian telephone 
system with ITT, MIM does not know exactly what Abiola was 
responsible for as an employee of ITT, nor what business 
they have in/with Africa aside from their hotel chain, 
although some Nigerians have complained that the telephone 
system is "second rate."(3) ITT is a global corporation with 
its claws in many oppressed nations, and was implicated in 
supporting the 1973 military coup in Chile that toppled the 
elected Socialist president, Salvador Allende; cooperating 
with the fascists (Mussolini, Histler and Franco) during 
World War II; sabotaging production in its Hungarian plant 
during the Cold War at the behest of the CIA; monopolizing 
forest land in the U$ and Canada, and making phenomenal 
profits off of a substandard phone system in Puerto Rico.(4)

Furthermore, the 1993 election did not reflect the will of 
the Nigerian people. This was a military-supervised election 
which only allowed two parties to run: Abiola's Social 
Democratic Party and the National Republican Convention 
whose candidate, Bashi Tofa, was also a rich businessman. 
Clearly, Abiola was some kind of threat or his victory 
wouldn't have been annulled. But this was not a contest 
between a proletarian led government of the people and an 
imperialist led one. 

Clearly, though, Abiola was some kind of threat or his 
victory wouldn't have been annulled, and the Nigerian masses 
would have preferred his rule to that of the military. After 
his electoral victory had been annulled by the Nigerian 
military, Nigeria erupted in nationwide strikes which ended 
with the arrest of union leadership and a brutal military 

The Nigerian masses preferred Abiola to Babangida (head of 
Nigerian military at the time), but the 1993 election cannot 
be described as expression of the true will of the Nigerian 
masses. The pro-democracy opposition which generally backed 
Abiola is not proletarian led and is pursuing petit-
bourgeois and bourgeois demands. While opposition to a 
military dictatorship is progressive, only with proletarian 
leadership will the movement stand a chance of seizing power 
for the people in Nigeria and creating a government that 
truly represents the people.

1. R. W. Apple, Jr., "Jailed Nigerian Leader Dies Amid 
Envoy's Visit," and Michael T. Kaufman,"Mashood K. O. 
Abiola: From Wealth to Troubled Politics to Flawed Leader," 
New York Times, July 8, 1998, pp. A1 and A8. 
3. Ejike E. Okpa II, "Abiola should not return to power," 
The Black Business Journal,"
4. Anthony Sampson, The Sovereign State of ITT (NY: Stein 
and Day, 1973). 
5. Christopher Day, "Strike Movement Challenges Military 

* * *


A successful United Front which liberates the masses from 
oppression is a broad mobilization of various classes and 
interests which is led by the proletariat. Only United 
Fronts which have been led by the proletariat are successful 
in reacting to the strategies of the enemy. Only United 
Fronts which have been led by the proletariat are successful 
in ensuring that it is always the interests of the oppressed 
which are being pursued.

Historically, social movements have whimpered away from 
proletarian leadership in a variety of ways. These movements 
are usually led by interests of classes whose members 
vacillate depending on the conditions. The national 
bourgeoisie membership vacillates depending on the depth of 
imperialist plunder. The petty-bourgeoisie membership 
vacillates depending on the individual interests, some of 
which are progressive at times and some of which are not. 
But the proletariat does not vacillate because by 
definition, the proletariat is the class for which 
revolution is the only possible path toward liberation.

It is the proletariat that is able to keep social movements 
which include various other class elements on the 
revolutionary path. 

Many of the privileged classes claim that proletarian 
dictatorship eventually and proletarian leadership in the 
here and now is oppressive in itself. Many are anarchist and 
anti-leadership. But in every movement, there is leadership, 
the question is whether we are going to build a movement 
which is strong, headed in the correct direction, and 
fiercely opposed to imperialism - even if such a feat in the 
imperialist countries seems insurmountable. Or should we 
succumb to gathering many petty bourgeois or otherwise non-
proletarian masses in one place for a watered down cause and 
appease them by relegating the proletariat to leadership of 
its only temporary allies?

First World liberals, anarchists, post-modernists, and petty 
bourgeois activists tend to work toward the goal of building 
coalitions. These coalitions have no stated leadership 
though there is always a line which wins out, goals which 
are developed, and general direction that is taken. These 
come from the exertion of leadership. The issue is whether 
or not the line, goals and general direction which result 
from this hidden leadership is proletarian. Generally in the 
United Snakes, the coalitions succumb to extreme compromise 
and the watering down of genuine anti-imperialism.

MIM is happy to see various coalitions which from time to 
time accomplish progressive tasks to unmask imperialism and 
settler nation domination. MIM and RAIL work with 
organizations and individuals when they do not include 
revisionists and when they allow independence of initiative 
for the communist led forces. MIM and RAIL join these forces 
in United Front organizing when genuine proletarian 
leadership is allowed to exert the correct line and 

Part of correct line and leadership is carrying out the 
fight against all enemies of the people. Imperialists and 
revisionists are the main enemies of the People's movements 
for genuine socialist revolution. MIM includes revisionists 
in the enemy camp because the agenda of revisionists - to 
mislead and ultimately destroy the battle of the proletariat 
by putting forward their own class interests - is normally 
hidden and sugar-coated as a benevolent revolutionary 
Marxist force. Revisionists destroy the work of the 
proletariat (see historical examples of the destruction of 
the People's advancements by revisionists in the U.S.S.R. 
and China) all the while pretending to represent the 
interests of the people in the name of Marxism.

MIM wades upstream in the battle against imperialism and 
revisionism within the belly of the beast. But MIM uses the 
universal lessons by Marx, Lenin and Mao and works among the 
masses to wage a successful battle against the enemies of 
the people. We invite organizations and individuals who are 
not communist to work with us on various campaigns against 
imperialism, settler nation domination of internal semi-
colonies, various aspects of oppression through the prison 
system, gender oppression, environmental destruction and all 
evils created by imperialism. We will insist that all work 
which is done by MIM, MSG or RAIL foremost and always puts 
first the interests of the international proletariat. We 
encourage struggle through practice at both theoretical and 
practical levels. But we will not water-down the work 
undertaken in the struggle against imperialism.

* * *


by PIRAO chief

PIRAO faces an ongoing crisis for lack of leadership, which 
is part of what is called the subjective factor in making 

The support from the masses for PIRAO continues to be 
stronger than what PIRAO can muster the ability to weave 
together in one powerful web. For this reason, we need those 
of appropriate shrewdness and ruthlessness to step forward 
and take up PIRAO's logistical work. People willing to be 
central business, technical or medical leaders should step 
forward and not wait for PIRAO leaders, unless already 
working with PIRAO leaders.


For many, the discussion of PIRAO has hinged on a sharp 
reminder and lesson in centralism. Recently, an old friend 
donated $1500 to party causes out of recognition of the need 
for centralism.

There are many progressive and radical people being held 
back from making a full contribution to revolution by a 
failure to appreciate centralism. PIRAO hits this question 
right on the head.

Can there be any question anymore amongst progressive anti- 
imperialist people that there is need for material aid to 
the proletarian pole in the Third World? Many argue with MIM 
over many issues, but where does such debate begin--before 
or after minimal action?

PIRAO seeks to tap into the recognition of many that things 
have to get done while we struggle over matters of theory 
and line. There are many points of unity in action possible 
in MIM circles.

Acting first, arguing second

The individualism and anarchism rampant in Amerika push us 
all in an argumentative direction that ends up supporting 
armchair ideology. Furthermore, as we have pointed out 
before, MIM has no organized body engaged in armed struggle. 
This is another factor in vitiating the discipline and 
training of ourselves.

Often we sidetrack ourselves on issues of trifling 
significance. Under true centralism, comrades carry out 
orders whether they agree with them or not. Learning from 
practice does not mean learning only from practices we 
happen to like subjectively at a moment. It means learning 
from other comrades' practices, historical communist 
practices and even enemy practices.

When we carry out centralism on issues that are not of 
cardinal significance, we speed up the learning cycle--even 
when we disagree with the leadership. It is only on issues 
of cardinal significance where we must hesitate in following 
leadership that could very well be revisionist. MIM 
considers the Cultural Revolution, Soviet revisionism, the 
labor aristocracy and yes, democratic centralism itself to 
be cardinal issues.

The persynality cult practiced by the RCP-USA around Bob 
Avakian or the Moonies around Rev. Moon causes many to throw 
out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to centralism. 
However, even in following a leader such as Bob Avakian it 
is possible to learn some things from practice.

Failure to understand or "lack of explanation" is not a 
reason to oppose centralism. Comrades should take action 
first according to leadership instructions and understand it 
later. This means doing the best one can to prove the 
leadership right. When everyone tries to carry out existing 
policy, we can learn from practice. Nothing is learned of 
value when we spend more time debating non-cardinal issues 
than we do cardinal ones. 

There is some petty-bourgeois thinking that reasons that 
because of the example of Bob Avakian or because science is 
accessible to all people, that we should wait to observe 
centralism until after we understand policy or the 
leadership. Yet, especially in PIRAO logistical work, it is 
not worth debating details in the abstract. The science of 
advancing scientific understanding accords a large role to 

Imperialist country conditions

In the imperialist countries, we would prefer that the 
masses stay asleep rather than learn politics. When aroused, 
the majority of the oppressor nation will tend towards 
reaction. Nonetheless, those of us with anti- imperialist 
and anti-militarist inclinations should step up our activity 
while letting reactionaries sleep. For most people, 
effective activity means recognizing the need for 
organization and centralism.

PIRAO has had many setbacks in the past year, along with 
some victories. However, the setbacks PIRAO faces are 
nothing compared with the difficulties seen in setting up 
communist armed struggle or watered-down populist movements 
in the legal sector.

There are those who would have us debate whether now is 
right for armed struggle in the imperialist countries. 
Others want MIM to relax its line on single-issue 
organizations and revisionism in order to focus on numbers 
of people involved in politics. Both these traditional 
orientations misjudge the balance of forces in the 
imperialist countries.

A good imperialist country communist cannot be good at armed 
struggle (without Mao's theories of People's War which he 
wanted carried out in the Third World) and also cannot be 
good at leading popular movements. Both armed struggle and 
popular legal movements can only form in a given class 
context and they are not subject to the will of parties or 

Right now, in the context of the imperialist countries it is 
ultraleft to seek organized armed struggle and it is 
rightist to tailor slogans and organization with the 
expectation of forming majoritarian movements. Where MIM has 
intervened is applying Maoism to the conditions of our day.

Although gold does not pave the streets of the United 
$tates, it is much easier to make money there and in other 
imperialist countries than it is in the oppressed or semi-
imperialist nations. We communists are supposed to be 
dedicated and ruthless enough to take up armed struggle. 
Hence, we should also be willing to be dedicated and 
ruthless enough to spend time on boring and mundane details 
of setting up businesses and other independent institutions 
of the oppressed.

These institutions worked on directly cannot be stopped. 
Meanwhile the armed struggle, the traditional union 
struggle, the electoral struggle and other forms of "united 
front" usually conceived of as some kind of compromise--all 
these are dead-ends relatively speaking. Swimming as fish in 
the sea in the imperialist countries does not just mean 
yelling for higher wages garnered off the backs of Third 
World workers.

The PIRAO is one of MIM's key contributions to the 
application of Maoism in the imperialist countries. It is a 
"recognition of necessity" as the basis of freedom. We are 
not good at armed struggle or forming massive proletarian 
parties in the imperialist countries. Those who expect this 
of the Maoist in 1998 are like an albatross around our 
necks. The sooner the old orientation dies, the sooner we 
will enjoy communism.

Lest we be armchair intellectuals or Mensheviks, however, we 
imperialist country comrades must be good at something. Our 
ruthless determination to serve the international 
proletariat must help to make up for the many advantages the 
imperialists have in the struggle. There is much logistical 
work in building independent institutions of the oppressed 
that needs to be done.

Backward ideas in the imperialist countries

Now that MIM has a press and there is regular struggle over 
theoretical and line issues, we can pinpoint what exactly is 
backward ideology in not supporting that work of building 
public opinion.

Unfortunately, many people attracted to communism in the 
imperialist countries are in reality petty-bourgeois 
escapists. They seek to "drop out" or take up lifestyle 

Along these lines are various ascetics who believe in 
Buddhism or its Western equivalents. Yet, MIM needs money 
and lots of it. It also needs technical knowledge and lots 
of it. Some proclaim their willingness to kill and be killed 
for communism while failing to take a sufficiently ruthless 
attitude toward raising money for comrades at the front-

Some who would probably study guns fired at them won't make 
the same effort to understand all the other practical things 
we need to be successful revolutionaries and not just empty 
talkers. We at PIRAO must seek to make ideological remolding 
apply in all worldly affairs, not just armed struggle or 
political debate.

* * *


The Prisoners' Legal Service (PLS)is a program set up by New 
York State to help prisoners with civil grievances. However, 
Governor George Pataki cut the program this month. The 
government claimed there was no need to provide $4 million a 
year for the program when prisons have law libraries.(1)

However, New York State wasn't able to defend their own 
cases with hundreds of legal assistants and unlimited access 
to legal documents. Governor Pataki, Attorney General Dennis 
Vacco, and Comptroller H. Carl McCall spent a combined $1.3 
million to hire outside firms to defend the state on top of 
what is already spent to employ hundreds of state 
lawyers.(2) Yet they claim individuals with no legal 
experience or money can plead their own cases.

Anyone who reads Under Lock and Key regularly will know that 
where libraries do exist they are usually very poor, and if 
you happen to be locked down you can't access them anyway. 
Meanwhile many inmates are illiterate or wouldn't even know 
where to begin to plead their own case. You can bet that the 
DOC does not provide inmates with info on how to file 

Karen Murtagh-Monks, a co-manager of PLS's Albany office, 
notes, "We were created as a safety valve." She is referring 
to the fact that the PLS was created in 1976 in response to 
the Attica prison uprising five years earlier. Some 
government officials oppose cutting the PLS in fear of more 
prison uprisings as a result of the lack of ability of 
prisoners to better their conditions. 

While MIM supports the benefits of such programs as the PLS, 
we would prefer an independent group that can not be cut at 
the whim of the government. Right now the PLS is searching 
for independent funding to continue their work. MIM urges 
those interested in providing inmates with legal 
representation to contact MIM and work with us to set up an 
independent legal infrastructure to serve the people rather 
then to maintain passivity. 

1. Times Union, 29 June 1998, B-1. 
2. Times Union, 1 July 1998, A-1.
See MIM Theory 11 "Amerikkkan Prisons on Trial" for more on 
the criminal injustice system as a means of social control 
and its intentional failure to rehabilitate people 

* * *



I received your letter... The message was new to me, but 
this is why I wrote you, to learn how this oppression began 
and how it's still being orchestrated today!

-- a California prisoner


[A major issue dominating Ohio's prison system] is the new 
super maximum political prison that just opened in 
Youngstown. This prison has 500 cells but has not yet 
started receiving prisoners. All prisoner activists are 
being targeted for 23-hour/day lockdown at the supermax.

 -- An Ohio prisoner, 8 May, 1998


I am writing you this letter to inform you of the ways and 
actions of these New York State Incorrectional Pigs and as 
you might already know, when I was in Attica Incorrectional 
Facility I was being lied to about the incoming mail. I was 
being told MIM Notes was not sending me any literature. (I 
was told this because of the complaints I made about MIM 
Notes being censored.) Since then I've been transferred to 
the present facility and all my back issues of MIM Notes 
followed me. So now I've been caught up since February to 

I would like to thank you for the information you sent me on 
how to fight censorship. Not only have I been given my back 
issues of MIM Notes, but I've also been moved out of what's 
undisputedly the worst Incorrectional facility in New York. 

In Struggle, 

--A New York State Prisoner, 31 May 1998


To Whom It May Concern:

Last night about 1:30 in the SHU, Daniel Horn, committed 
suicide by hanging himself. He and I had gotten close during 
the time he was here. Below is a list of the facts 
surrounding his death: Sometime in January or early February 
of 1998 Horn had a disciplinary hearing which was conducted 
by Captain Kahaifa. During which Kahaifa stated on tape that 
he was certain that Horn had a serious mental condition. 
Horn was taken to the mental hygiene unit [MHU] directly 
from the hearing without returning to his cell. Then MHU 
transferred him to Marcy's Central New York Psychiatric 

Horn returned from Marcy about the second week of March. He 
was my neighbor. Horn was informed that he was being 
deprived of all out of cell activities and on full 
restraints (i.e. handcuffs and shackles).

Horn only had the clothes he came in with. He was without 
the state issue pants, shirt, undershirt, or T-shirts. Nor 
did he have a sheet or blankets. It was two weeks before he 
received another pair of underclothes, pants and shirt. He 
had to wait 24 hours to receive sheets and blankets.

From the day Horn got hereon this company, he was constantly 
asking for his property that was packed up the day he was 
taken to MHU from the hearing. He was given the run around 
for three weeks before sergeant Roxanne Arnone informed him 
that his property had been thrown in the garbage. Horn 
became very stressed because he said his property contained 
his eyeglasses, 2,000 pages of trial transcripts, family 
photos, history books, etc. 

Throughout his time next door, Horn was continuously 
harassed and tormented by officers from the third floor who 
would mock him and stand in front of his cell mimicking his 
pleas for help. They would verbally repeat his accounts of 
delusions and tell him how pathetic and worthless he was as 
a human being. He would become very disturbed by this and 
the officers would laugh.

Horn expressed deep sadness about his prison sentence, which 
he said was 35 years. Horn repeatedly sought counseling from 
Dr. Melendez, but they would just keep putting him on hold 
without giving him an appointment to speak with her in 
private. Horn became more and more depressed as the days 
went on and began constantly asking to be transferred from 
this jail because of this mistreatment. He asked the 
counselor, Mr. Waiter, Deputy Conway and Mental Health 
Staff. He insisted that he could not continue to put up with 
the harassment of the officers or the medical staff's 
indifference to his medical needs.

On occasion, Horn's sister called the facility to speak with 
Daniel Horn's counselor, Mr. Waiter, about Horn's well-
being. Mr. Waiter was very familiar with the problems that 
Horn was experiencing but instead of sharing this 
information with her, Mr. Waiter told her that everything 
was fine. Mr. Waiter's statement to her was very misleading.

In late March or early April, Daniel Horn went to a hearing 
conducted by Housing Officer Schellkopff. At the hearing 
Horn repeated yelled and screamed on tape about the 
harassment he was being subjected to. During this time, Horn 
made approximately three unsuccessful attempts to kill 
himself. Each time Horn would be removed from his cell and 
taken to MHU [Mental Housing Unit] and then placed in the 
SHU [Segregated Housing Unit] strip cell for a few days 
before putting him back in the same cell. Each time he would 
be brought back wearing only undershorts and full 

The last time they took him to MHU, they had him in a cement 
floor room without a "sleeping mat" for several days. The 
metal health chief of staff told him he would not be given a 
"sleeping mat" unless he agreed to take a needle. Horn took 
the needle and was told that the drug would remain active in 
his system for 20 days. Horn returned back to his cell (SHU) 
and began complaining that the drug was making him restless 
and he could not seem to get any sleep, day or night. Horn 
asked the medical staff for something to counter the effects 
of the drug to make him sleep. They started giving him 
Benadryl to help him sleep but they also began trying to 
force him to take another pill along with the Benadryl. Horn 
repeatedly protested this other pill but the nurse would 
always tell him that if he didn't take the other pill then 
they would not give him the Benadryl.

On May 3, 1998, the nurse did not give Horn his medication 
at all. (See gallery videotape.) Horn kept asking for his 
medication all day. Monday morning about 1:00 to 1:30 am, I 
heard Horn making a very, very loud slamming noise about 3 
to 4 times. I then heard a rapid frantic like banging 
against the gate. About five minutes later the CO 
[corrections officer] came and said, "Shit." He left and 
returned about ten to fifteen minutes later with another CO. 
They stood in front of Horn's cell a couple of minutes 
looking at the string and the way it was tied. Then they cut 
the string, had the cell opened and they dragged Horn out on 
the company by his arms, bumping his head on the floor and 
wall. They did not give him CPR!

...A corrections officer told me to mind my business. 
However, I spoke to officer X from the Inspector general's 
office about how Horn was being both tormented and neglected 
by staff prior to his death. But I noticed that the officer 
was not writing everything down that I was telling him. This 
officer said that the CO's took Horn out of his cell within 
six minutes. I disagree. I would like you to view the 
videotape of the gallery, the octagon, the dayroom, the 
kitchen, the elevator and the hospital as he was taken 
through these areas.

Horn's death was a wrongful death that could have been 
avoided had he NOT been tormented by officers and neglected 
by the staff and physicians.

...Additionally, as a result of a Federal Class Action 
brought before the United States Western District Court of 
New York by Prisoners Legal Services, Buffalo Office on 
behalf of inmates housed in Attica's SHU. The settlement 
agreement mandated that "seriously mentally ill inmates must 
not be housed in SHU." (See Eng v. Goord Civ. 80-3856) 
Daniel Horn was never even supposed to be held in SHU in the 
first place. He was trying to reach out and he did not 
really want to die but he just wanted to escape his 
problems. They could have helped. The SHU staff as well as 
the medical staff violated Daniel Horn's 8th Amendment 
Constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual 
punishment, as well as federal criminal codes.

It would be greatly appreciated if someone from your office 
would investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding 
the death of Daniel Horn. Thank you very much.


-- A New York Prisoner, 4 May 1998


On April 28, 1998, the SCDC [South Carolina Department of 
Corruption's] Pigs and medical collaborators killed a 
comrade by the name of Born Messiah God Allah (slave name 
John Green). A medical collaborator by the name of Joe 
Attman came to Comrade Messiah's cell on April 24, 1998 at 
approximately 4:00 in the afternoon. He told a pig named CO 
Green that he [Attman] was coming back. Attman could see 
that Brother Messiah was dying from starvation but that 
medical collaborator never came back. Attman is supposed to 
be a nurse for SCDC but he's a cold-blooded killer. 

That's how the SCDC works. The staff all witnessed this 
brother dying slowly and they never tried to get some help 
from a higher official. Their disregard and deliberate 
indifference was an act of murder. As such, those medical 
collaborators should pay for their heinous crime. They are 
trying to avoid this crime from being exposed to people so 
they can dodge persecution and the truth about life in 
behind the prison walls for Blacks and other oppressed 

That's what makes other comrades at Lee Correctional 
Institution Prison upset, is the way those pigs refused to 
call the news people. Those pigs and medical collaborators 
didn't put anything in the newspapers nor on television 
about the cold blooded murder of Comrade Messiah. That's why 
I know they are happy killing Comrade Born Messiah God 

Comrade Born Messiah God Allah never asked the pigs for 
anything. He relied on self. They couldn't understand the 
brother just like other comrades in the US prison system who 
the pigs kill in cold- blood and try to keep from being 
known by the masses. I would like MIM to help me expose this 
brutal murder.

I could see the brother was dying slowly, and i was telling 
the pigs but they just didn't care. All they want is to see 
another comrade die in the hands of the unjust. On April 27, 
1998 was the last time I saw Comrade Messiah. When I was 
being taken to the shower I stopped by his cell. He was 
lying on his bed, eyes popping out of his head. He had lost 
about 150 pounds. The brother was about 215 pounds, but when 
I when I saw him hew looked like he weighed about 110 
pounds. So if I saw it, the pigs and medical collaborators 
saw it too. But they wanted the brother to die. ...I would 
like MIM to request an outside investigation regarding this 
cold-blooded killing of Comrade Born Messiah God Allah 
(Slave name John Green). You can contact Warden Benjamin 
Montgomery at Lee Correctional Institution, 1204 East Church 
St, Bishopville, SC 29010.

 -- A South Carolina Prisoner, 12 May 1998


As always I write to thank you for the excellent coverage of 
our struggle to survive in this oppressive setting they call 
prison. Please know that though I can't support you 
financially, I do support you morally. 

I continue to see the goals of Florida's Dept. of 
Corruptions turn more repressive. Here in this prison we 
have gain-time taken away for wearing our ID's wrong, not 
lining up our sheet straight enough, not shaving close 
enough (though we only get two low quality, throw away, 
razors a week), or even for not getting out of bed quick 
enough in the morning. We are even sent to "lock-up" for 
being late to a call-out (appointment with staff/medical) 
when another staff person held us up.

But worse yet is that we have no unity here. Everyone tries 
to say how terrible it is, but does nothing to change it. If 
we would fight back, by joining together, trying to reach a 
united goal, rather than fighting against each other, trying 
to reach a separate goal, we would see changes. The system 
can conquer one of us, and maybe two, but what about the 1.8 
million of us? And how often do we hear from the other 4 
million out on parole or probation? It's time to speak up 
and be heard!

In Struggle, but with hope! 

--A Florida State Prisoner, 11 May 1998

MIM Responds:

You are right on in calling for greater unity against 
continued oppression. The systematic torture, separation and 
the disproportionate imprisonment of oppressed nations has 
divided the masses. MIM and RAIL struggle continuously to 
unite against the principle oppressive force in the world 
today, imperialism, in efforts to build stronger ties 
amongst the people to build for revolution and an end to 

We also recognize that right now one of the biggest 
obstacles we have to overcome is ignorance. Now is the time 
to unite the masses through education about the history and 
oppressive tools of imperialism in an effort to build a 
strong, mass based movement to bring a final end to 
oppression. For many prisoners, study groups have been one 
of the best ways to educate and organize, as well as 
publicizing prisoner struggles in Under Lock and Key.

MIM's books for prisoners program has many books to send to 
prisoners, and with further financial support from those on 
the outside, we can continue to send them to prisoners for 
free. MIM and RAIL encourage prisoners to know your enemy 
and unite to defeat imperialism through education, legal 
battles and revolutionary resistance.


My reasons for writing this letter is to share with you and 
the general public the many human injustices that has taken 
place within the adult prison facilities in the state of New 

I am a hostage in the New Jersey Prison System, locked 
presently at New Jersey State Prison, formerly called 
"Trenton State Prison".

The population in these New Jersey Prisons (human 
warehouses) are predominantly young Blacks, Hispanics, 
Jamaicans, Whites, Asians [who are] subjected to inhumane 
conditions, disrespect, dehumanization, harassment, 
ridicule, mental and spiritual abuse - all which are 
perpetuated by Custody (guards), Administrators, Staff 
members at every level.

I was handcuffed, shackled and kidnapped from Rahway in the 
morning of [month] 1997 and brought here to NJ State Prison, 
for reasons unknown. I had to wait three weeks before 
receiving my personal property from Rahway and upon it 
arriving most of it was stolen, lost and damaged, and no one 
here wants to address this problem which is forcing me and 
all the others to take it to a Small Claim Court.

Rahway like so many of the prisons here in the state of New 
Jersey has been making these randomly shipments, dating back 
two years ago. They are telling the news media and our 
families and loved ones that these transfers are the result 
of gang involvement (with not a thread of evidence to 
support their claim), jail overcrowding, time calculations, 
or one of their malicious rumors they concocted. All which 
is a bald face lie!!

The truth of the matter is, if you Black, or Hispanic or 
even White in some cases, and you are not running in the 
Chief Office after your duty of neighborhood watch and 
polishing his shoes, (boot licking) as you snitch and dime 
out the next fellow prisoners, you are a target of one of 
these mysterious transfers. They are quick to label you as a 
troublesome prisoners if you do not engage in their game of 
"tell me something". Many of those inmates there are walking 
around with Internal Affairs phone numbers in their pockets, 
and the numbers of various top ranking pigs in their stash, 
waiting to dial the hotline "giving up information". Their 
stool pigeon network runs that prison, and a stand up 
prisoners has not a chance of surviving in that atmosphere.

...A few years ago "Rocky" and John Amos made part of the 
movies "lock up" there and last year Spike Lee brought 
Denzel Washington there to do the "He got Game" new block 
buster movie. NJ State Prison on the outside has always been 
on the map but what the public doesn't know, it has an ugly 
history. They are still beating inmates there at an alarming 
rate and covering the assaults up. They are letting inmates 
die from poor medical neglect and nothing is being done. 
Inmates are being set up with drugs and weapons by certain 
guards and if you don't fold your hand and become their 
stool pigeons, they will burn you. Administration 
Segregation is full of prisoners who refused to become their 
snitch and they were set-up with faulty urine tests, or re-
used shanks, or bogus threatening charges. Their Internal 
Affairs Investigators are made up of former guards there who 
will not believe a prisoner over a guard or staff member 
They are cowards parading around in their J.C. Penny suits 
looking to nail another prisoners but turning a deaf ear and 
blind eye to all the misconduct prisoners are subjected to 
by custody and staff. 

Now sitting here today in NJ State Prison which is the only 
prison in the state of New Jersey that has a death row and a 
room set up to administer the lethal injection, I feel the 
walls are about to come crumbling down throughout the entire 
NJ prison system. We have on our hand, a new jack guard, 
going under the name of a Correctional Officer, a new Jack 
Administrator dress in his/her suit, who underneath has the 
mind of a cruel, wicked demon, far worse than Hitler could 
have ever been, and of course we have a new jack inmate not 
prisoner but inmate who feels no shame that he told on his 
co-defendant, and is still telling in here and who will not 
stand up to nothing that the enemy, the oppressors, does to 

He isn't mad at how poorly they feed him, or how they are 
constantly raising the prices on their out-dated commissary 
list. Or how they took away his right to make a decent 
collect call that is not going to be monitored or listened 
in on, or charge an outrageous rate, and don't have to use a 
nine name calling list that you can't change for ninety 
days. Or the fact that he hasn't seen a state-pay raise in 
years, and he can't get food packages on the weekend, or a 
better visiting program so his children, his families and 
friends wouldn't mind participating in, or better programs 
so one can better himself while incarcerated and be better 
prepared to go back into society as a contributor instead of 
a beggar, or the fact they took away his computers, college 
programs, and now his personal clothes are being taken away! 
I read once, that, "if a man has nothing to die for he has 
nothing to live for."

Those are just a few things everyone entering these 
warehouses in New Jersey should be mad and angry about and 
want to do something positive and collectively to bring 
about a change. If we're not careful, like down south, we 
too, will be on the chain gangs by the year of 2000.

I am asking the support of the communities to see that their 
family members, friends who are incarcerated receiving 
rehabilitation and treatment, training and education, and 
civilized punishment as they serve out their sentences. I 
need you to support the struggles of prisoners they oppose 
the unjust prison system in New Jersey. 

Print this letter so that our families and the public at 
large can write their politicians, clergymen, and anyone 
that is concerned for human rights to tour East Jersey State 
Prison and New Jersey State Prison and investigate the 
steady stream of abusive treatment of prisoners and 
incidents of violence going on unchecked as "reports 
indicated". Come in and speak to us, the downtrodden, the 
despised, the condemned prisoners and you will learn, we're 
all not crazy as the newspaper and media tends to portray 

Today I am in here, tomorrow I may be your next door 

--A New Jersey State Prisoner, 30 March 1998


Dear MIM,

I'm still in the hole in this slave camp but that doesn't 
prevent me from being able to see what's taking place. My 
most recent observation has been how members of oppressed 
nations get jobs at so-called correctional facilities and 
immediately accept views and opinions that the settle nation 
pigs have toward prisoners.

These lost members of oppressed nations evidently do not see 
and are not aware of the origin of these oppressive and 
racist views and opinions. The origin being capitalism and 

These members of the oppressed nations who walk around so 
proudly in their correction officer uniforms with their 
copycat badges do not understand that the oppressed nations 
that they are members of are exploited, murdered, tortured 
and imprisoned in the very concentration camps where they 
are employed. [These individuals are employed] in order to 
contain and control those oppressed nationals who lash out 
at this criminal government. [Oppressed nationals] have had 
enough of being exploited and seeing their brothers and 
sisters murdered and their people tortured and imprisoned by 
this illegally formed government so that it can continue its 
capitalist and imperialist activities. The unconscious 
members of oppressed nations who work in the prison system 
have not come to the realization that the settler nation 
pigs who happen to be their coworkers, do not truly see a 
difference between them [oppressed nation guards] and their 
oppressed nation brothers and sisters who are imprisoned. 
The settler nation pigs and their government see all members 
of oppressed nations as being one and the same. They view us 
all as second class citizens who must be exploited, 
murdered, tortured and imprisoned in order for capitalism 
and imperialism to survive in this country. Because if 
capitalism and imperialism are wiped out in this country 
this government will fall into ruin and this country and the 
world will be rid of one of the most oppressive regimes the 
world has ever known. 

In Revolutionary Love, 

-- A Missouri Prisoner, 20 March 1998

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