A response to "Ambivalence in Texas" from ULK #70
After reading your article i was moved to share some insight from persynal experience. Comrade, each locale is somewhat unique, yet there are universal tactics of organizing and consciousness raising that are applicable wherever.
My first word of advice is to be less focused on those who are oblivious. Some elements are comfortable simply languishing while their life is dictated by those outside of themselves or their class. Remember, the amerikkkan experiment creates such a phenomenon and these elements are not individually at fault for their slavish obedience. At least not fully at fault.
Comrade, there is a simple yet profound adage, “organize the resistant.” See, we want to be the mind behind an already loaded gun, not having to load the gun and also pull the trigger. Simply put, observe your peers. There will be rebels in every grouping. This rebellion won’t always be of the revolutionary variety, yet this is why as Maoist, scientific leaders we’re to be the brains of the operation. Influence these cats. Provide direction.
Looking at the current uprisings surrounding police terrorism and systematic racism you will identify your own place in the overall picture. See the masses are energized by their own blatant oppression. Such constant oppression, combined with the economic downturn spurred by COVID-19 has unleashed a justifiable rage against the machine. However, single issue reform groups such as Black Lives Matter, mislead and misdirect the resistance and energy of the masses.
This is where the Maoists are to step up and take our place in history. Where the reformers, and integrationists, who false-flag as revolutionaries, misdirect and mislead, it is our duty to properly lead and direct the resistance and militant energy of the masses. Take that rage and organize into revolutionary productivity. Feed their imagination by allowing them to envision a communist society. Provide concrete formulas and programs that will get us from point A thru B and all the way to Z (communism). When it is being laid out like such, and the masses see your sincerity, that’ll add on.
Now, coming back to the individual organizer/influencer level. Again, seek unification with rebels. Those who’re already fighting the power in some form or fashion. Not everyone writes grievances, nor does everyone have to. Do not get caught up in having political allies meet you on your terms, meet them half way.
Secondly, in Texas, like most prison systems, the lumpen organizations and tribes largely dictate the flow of the prison activities. Therefore as an effective organizer you should make it a priority to build some form of communication line with the most influential members of each group. When you step to them be sure to have an effective plan of action outlined, or at least the beginning of one. Seek their input. In this plan of action you should:
- identify the specific problem you wish to solve
- articulate how said problem negatively effects these potential allies
- in your articulation, illuminate the reality of our collective identity as a prisoner class (this is important because it is the basis of your unity)
- Provide a list of possible campaigns y’all may partake in collectively, while illuminating different specific aspects of your struggle, such as there are those who can/may write formal complaints, those who can aid with outside support, some who can aid in physical protest, etc.
Furthermore, specifically when it comes to grievance campaigns, realize that some times you have to do all the work. Write multiple copies of grievances and pass them out to people explaining what the mission is and make it easy for them where all they have to do is sign the paper. After a while, people will become inspired by your sheer determination and raise their own level of contribution. But never, ever, focus entirely on what is not being done by the masses. Instead focus on what you’re not doing to inspire their actions.
For example, you can come to the masses which surround you with something similar to this:
- Announce the grievance campaign and what it’s about.
- Set a number such as 100 as the goal for grievances on a set issue.
- Write the master copy of the Step 1 yourself
- Circulate it around the cell block, around the building, at education, religious services, etc
- Again make it easy on them, provide copies.
- Articulate a set plan of action beyond the grievance campaign. What is it leading up to!? Because, justifiably Texas captives have no faith in the grievance system and thus see it as pointless.
- A good plan of action: organize grievance campaigns on all major issues. 1. new mail policies 2. new restrictive policy regarding funds 3. sanitation, etc.
Afterwards you should seek a federal investigation by the U.S. DOJ. The address is in your Texas Pack. Have all the participants mail in copies of all grievances, petitions etc.
Be mindful of the strict limitations of such an effort. The comrades at my locale have done this specifically and i’m currently awaiting the results of a federal inquiry. In conjunction, you may want to build off the unity and momentum by organizing actions that are more direct so to speak.
In conclusion, comrade, i hope some of this will be useful to you and others.