Unity as a Stronghold

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[Organizing] [State Correctional Institution Camp Hill] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 16]
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Unity as a Stronghold

Greetings brothers and sisters bound by the chains of injustice. I speak today about the urgent need as prisoners to unite to stand against prisoner abuse. Too many of my fellow prisoners become caught up in gang-warring, belittling each others' character to become the block's best gang-warring machine. Rather than us fighting against prison oppression, we engage in battles amongst each other. If the majority of prisoners confined in these special housing units (SSNU, SMU, RHU, etc.) come together to stand as one against staff on prisoner abuse, we could stop the abuse and place a halt on the unconstitutional actions by prison officials.

When we fight amongst ourselves we allow the prison officials to get away with their actions of brutality and mistreatment. The DOC was meant to break the strong-willed and to demolish the fighting mainframes of prisoners. Some of us do break and some of us can withstand the difference. Rather than attempt to break each other, we should be attempting to break the chains of injustice.

When we see one of our fellow prisoners stuck in a situation where he's trapped fighting these prison officials alone, let's stand with him and fight by his side to curb what they are doing to him. There are many outside agencies that we can contact to help stop prisoner abuse. It's not hard to write a letter to these agencies exposing prison officials' abuse. The more that the names of these oppressive people becomes public, the more society becomes aware of the abuse we go through each day.

The special management units of SCI-Fayette and SCI-Camp Hill are breeding grounds for abuse, neglect and high forms of oppression. In these units it is hard to organize a solid front to stand against the abuse. However, educating each other should open each others' eyes to the need to fight against oppression. Some of us are stuck in our cells each day pondering what we can do next to get back at these prison officials. Let's use our thoughts, ideas and possibilities to make a successful attempt at forcing these prison officials to think twice about abusing and mistreating us prisoners.

Another thing I see happening in these control units is prisoners co-signing the irresponsible acts of prison officials towards their fellow prisoners. This happens because someone is upset with the next man locked in his cell so he decides to applaud the abuse they receive. Because you had an argument with your fellow prisoners doesn't make it right for you to support abuse towards them by prison officials. Gang-warring behind a steel door each day should be against the prison administration that carries out these racist, oppressive and hostile actions, not against another prisoner.

This is where unity has failed and this is the place where it could start. One group of prisoners can make a difference. They can only separate so many prisoners until they get sick and tired of moving them all the time.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We agree with this prisoner's call for unity, especially among those prisoners in lumpen organizations (LOs) fighting each other rather than the oppressive system. And we offer prisoners an avenue to join this unity through the MIM(Prisons)-led group United Struggle from Within (USW) - an anti-imperialist organization for prisoners. We are also working on a project for peace among lumpen organizations and encourage all representatives of LOs truly interested in fighting imperialism to get in touch to help us move this forward.

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