Censorship Victories are Possible
In 2010, the Black Order Revolutionary Organization (BORO), with the assistance of MIM(Prisons), initiated a campaign to fight censorship. BORO last provided an update on this campaign in ULK 17. Since that time there has been censorship of some issues of ULK and IRRs (appeals) and grievances were filed. Issue 28 was censored in October 2012 and we fought it. On 19 December 2012, we won the grievance and were issued the ULK on the same day.
Prison activism can be very discouraging at times, but we must hold firm to our commitment to struggle. Whenever an issue of ULK, or any other material, is censored, our advice is to not sign the censorship notification and covenant not to sue forms. Although signing these forms will allow you to send the material to whomever you want, you effectively give up your right to grieve the issue or file a legal complaint in the courts.
Another new development is that the mailrooms now have to notify publishers when they censor any of their mail sent to prisoners. This is a strategic win for us and should be further encouragement for those of you who complain "we can't beat these people".
MIM(Prisons) adds: To the comrade who wrote in asking for more news on Missouri in ULK 27, this is a good example of how to make news by carrying out work over the long term and reporting on it. We got another response to that letter from a comrade in Missouri who reported being on a solo hunger strike going on fifteen days on 1 January 2013. S/he wrote, "I'm hoping some other prisoners in Missouri will read this article and start to ride on some shit. The way they run prisons in Missouri is screwed up and it's time to stick together and change some stuff." We warn our readers that hunger strikes without support and planning can be dangerous and reckless. But make no mistake, not all prisoners in Missouri will accept abuse.