Activists in SHU Still Face Total Censorship

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[Censorship] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 17]
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Activists in SHU Still Face Total Censorship

I want to send a fraternal embrace to everyone. I am writing from the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU). I write this letter in response to some stepped up repression that seems to have increased here starting last year in 2009. It is important to understand when these restrictions occur so as to see more broadly if such occurrences are random or a wider campaign. I have within the last year had "returned to sender" eight pieces of mail from MIM(Prisons). I was never notified from the prison, and I had no idea of these returns or rejections until MIM(Prisons) notified me of these refusals. I reach out to highlight this situation, this tragedy that is occurring to me so that these lessons may be used by a receptive ear, worked with in some way, and possibly overcome in the future.

Censorship exists, not censorship of some technological weapons or some type of recipe for a plague of sorts but censorship of ideas, banning of political theory that is not compliant with the state norm. I have always taken on legal battles, jailhouse lawyer activities, anything to right a wrong and resist an injustice system that was built on the land of my ancestors. For this prison resistance I am rewarded by the state with an aggressive push to keep excellent political theory from reaching me, from comrades being able to send a letter of encouragement or perhaps a book on political science.

I was receiving literature and Maoist books from MIM for several years while on the "mainline" general population and I delved into those works so many times that even though I am currently subjected to censorship of political correspondence from MIM(Prisons) I have a strong understanding of the society we live in and the need for political power. It is situations like what I am currently undergoing that really drive home the need to liberate oppressed nations. Here in the SHU, Raza cannot even learn or read about their ancient pre-Columbian languages as the state says this is gang related. Now political science, the ability to theorize and have ideas of a society outside of what currently exists, is denied us.

Occupation is done on many levels all over the world. In some countries occupation may be more subtle but if you look close enough the similarities are there. When the Japanese occupied Korea after the war the Korean language was banned; the Korean people could only speak Japanese. All Korean history and political literature outside Japanese imperialism was censored. We must learn from history; not just our specific history of our particular country of origin. A study of all histories will show that what is occurring here has occurred many times.

The situation in California prisons in particular should be noted and learned from; the censorship we are experiencing has been employed in years past. This targeting of political organizations has been seen and felt on many levels, but today's censorship comes at historic times. It is because contemporary ideas and revolutionary theory in general and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in particular is essential for future struggles and because of the current "awakening" of oppressed nations people in prisons that CDCR has begun a program of censorship particularly in its control units, i.e. SHUs where it is no coincidence that the most politically advanced are held captive. Getting the independent press, such as ULK, in the hands of the imprisoned masses is of extreme importance.

The people are fighting to educate the political prisoners, uplift the consciousness of prisoners, and bring politics to the prison houses nationwide, and build the prison base for revolution. At the same time the ruling class sees the 2+ million potentially revolutionary prisoners behind bars and knows that every prisoner who takes up the struggle for a better society is another addition to resist their program. They understand that prisoners in general are becoming radicalized yet they know they can't shut down all so called "freedom of the press," so they spend their time and resources on what they feel are their prime target group or persons of influence which are what they label the people held in control units. By doing so they are basically isolating these comrades from correspondence, political literature or study material of any sort, even of basic contact with comrades on the outside.

This is being done to dull or attempt to dull the revolutionary edge in the prison population, starting in SHUs and expecting this dullness to permeate the rest of the population. The need for people who still have the ability to receive any papers, newsletters or literature from MIM(Prisons) to do so is of utmost importance, with vigor and hunger as if you will never get the chance again because once in a SHU you will be censored. The need to support independent press like ULK is on top of the priority list and should be done financially or any other way. It is times like now that I appreciate a crisp uncut publication like ULK; when only watered-down periodicals are allowed to reach me I see how precious ULK is.

I am embarking on another legal battle for the censorship here in Pelican Bay and i encourage others to do the same. United we will overcome this battle.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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