Again on Printing Names and Using Aliases

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[MIM(Prisons)] [Security]

Again on Printing Names and Using Aliases

Recently a comrade wrote us upset that someone else “got credit” for an article ey identified as eir own. This confusion came from our assigning this comrade a USW# alias, as we do for authors who are members of USW and have not chosen their own alias. This comrade signed the article with a known alias within eir lumpen organization/association. Such aliases are well-known by the pigs and are the equivalent of printing government names. If you wish to go by a specific, anonymous, USW alias, let us know. If you disagree with MIM(Prisons)’s 6 points or do not wish to be a part of USW, please let us know that as well. Otherwise, regular authors will be assigned a random USW byline.

Printing bylines is a form of accountability, to track where ideas are coming from in an anonymous fashion. There is no “credit” to be had. All work submitted to and printed by MIM(Prisons) belongs to the movement. We do require people to cite us if they are going to reprint articles from our website/newsletter/publications. Again this is about political accountability. There are no individuals that can gain fame or fortune by claiming to own the content of our proletarian media outlets. Anyone who does is not a member of MIM(Prisons) or the organizations it leads.

Another reader recently rejoined our mailing list with an article submission, and responded by writing,

“As for MIM(Prisons) policy of not publishing authors names or known aliases, that should be a decision made by the individual. I’m sure this policy has been implemented to protect us, nonetheless I can relate to the honorable George Jackson,”I“m in a unique political position. I have a very nearly closed fortune, and since I have always been inclined to get disturbed over organized injustice or terrorist practice against the innocents – wherever – I can now say just about what I want, without the fear of self-exposure.” So with that being said I ask that any of the writing I submit be published under [my alias]. Why is this of importance to me? When the less politicized prisoner see another prisoner he knows having his writings published, it engenders a belief that they can do it as well."

We respect the rights of prisoner to publicize their cases and their works under their own name. There are benefits towards self-preservation of having an outside support base, we do not deny this.(1) But we do not agree that there are political benefits to publishing authors’ names.

As far as reaching and inspiring those around you, if you are reporting on actual organizing in your location, then the masses around you will recognize that. Our comrade in Maryland who has been reporting on the mass campaign around conditions at ECI is no doubt known to the masses there who are reading ULK and encouraged by eir reporting even though we print eir articles without even an alias.(2)

We have seen the self-appointed leaders of the so-called “panther” movement within U.$. prisons build cults of persynality around themselves seemingly as a rule. One such persyn we reported on proved to be an informant according to the SF Bayview.(3) This is not surprising to us as persynality cults are bourgeois tactics, and that persyn’s opportunist political line and self-promotion identified em as a confused mis-leader at best to MIM(Prisons) long ago. Another leader of that “party” was expelled, leading to the formation of a new party after allegedly utilizing movement events and funds for eir persynal benefit. Perhaps we are seeing a pattern?

We have a comrade who is locked back up, in no small part because of an organizing approach that was very public and social media-based. This comrade has also benefited from public support in the past. As ey sits in a jail cell with future unknown, we must double down on our assertion that public personas and revolution don’t mix.

Yes, our policy is about protecting imprisoned comrades’ identities. It’s also about not letting the pigs put poison information out through our media. It’s also about not letting people use proletarian media for self-promotion. It’s also about setting a good example of effective organizing practices and good security. It’s about building a resilient movement. It’s about trying to win for the proletariat as a whole.

For those who need to build up their persynal support base, there are other news outlets aimed at prisoners that do not have proletarian politics and will happily print your names. Bourgeois media loves stories that highlight an individual’s story, “their truth”, some photos, descriptions of persynal characteristics – that’s why we tell our comrades on the streets not to talk to bourgeois media. Under Lock & Key is a place to put proletarian politics in command and we welcome your submissions that share that mission.

Notes: 1. A Virginia prisoner explains the importance of outside supporters in the campaign for eir clemency in the June 2023 article “Proven Strategies for Waging an Effective Campaign for Clemency in Virginia”.
2. A Maryland Prisoner, April 2023, Support Incarcerated Citizens of ECI Mobilizing to Improve Conditions, Under Lock & Key 81.
3. MIM(Prisons), December 2021, Keeping Opportunism and Self-Interest at Arms Length, Lessons from a Recent Betrayal, Under Lock & Key 76.