Help Fight Censorship in NY
The lady in the mail room here has committed so many mail fraud violations she should be my neighbor.
I didn't know anything about the package sent back to you, but I did receive about five MIM Notes and one MIM Theory on the 24th of July minus several pages, courtesy of media review. They said that the material excited rebellion, as if any rebellion isn't a direct result of this systems abuse and oppression.
Around the same time I sent you my initial letter conveying my interest in your organization, I also wrote the SYDA Foundation, which is also based in Cali. It's basically a yoga study course. Anyway, after my first lesson they began taking pages out of each lesson, which destroyed the lessons. After that I lost interest in the course.
Media Review is just another way for them to control population, they label almost everything gang related if they don't understand it, and any group that is not on the commissioner's approved list is unauthorized organization material, etc.
These people have little regard for our rights, as long as they can hide they harrassment behind the goose of "security reasons" and get away with it they will.
MIM responds: This report is more evidence that NY State Dept of Corrections is violating its own rules regarding censorship, not to mention the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Despite the department's stated purpose of, "encourag[ing] inmates to read publications from varied sources if such material does not encourage them to engage in behavior that might be disruptive to orderly facility operations," it now appears that "varied sources" is often interpreted to mean a small selection of publications hand-picked by department officials.
There have been numerous reports of prisoners being charged with 105.12 violations for possessing materials from certain political groups, including MIM. We are currently working with comrades from the New Afrikan Maoist Party, who are leading the efforts to bring a class action suit against these violations of our First Amendment rights to communicate and affiliate with people thru prison walls.
Rule 105.12 doesn’t prevent NY prisoners from, writing about, writing for, possessing the literature of, corresponding and associating with, or being members of any outside organization, so long as the organization is not a gang and the prisoners don’t organize inmate chapters of it within the facility without approval. But due to incompetence, lack of training, and prejudice many staff members are applying Rule 105.12 to written materials related to outside organizations they’re not familiar with or don’t like or agree with. This tactic has been effective in scaring a number of potential comrades away from working with us, or even reading our literature.
Prisoners in NY can join and contribute to this case by writing affirmations attesting to the facts around this struggle. If you have faced a 105.12 charge or similar censorship it is even more important that you help out. Write us to request more information on the case and how to compose an affirmation. Readers on the outside will be able to get more information about this battle soon at www.prisoncensorship.info.