Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Oregon Prisons

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www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Abuse] [Two Rivers Correctional Institution] [Oregon]
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Oregon grievances at Two Rivers "lost" by staff

When I started sending the Oregon grievance petitions to the ODOC director in Salem, Oregon, the fucking pigs shipped me all the way across the state to the penitentiary. I have almost 4 years clear conduct, and went from a prison that was my home prison of 4.5 years, to the worst prison in Oregon. They have me in segregation for no reason, and they say it's under investigation. All I did was expose their unbelievable lies and illegal behavior. These fuckers are literally evil. They protect each other at all costs, and they do whatever it takes to remove all responsibility away from the DOC.

All my grievances were filed at Two Rivers and now they "can't find" the ones concerning the two grievance coordinators out there. They are soooo astoundingly dishonest that it would blow your mind! If you know anyone that can help me get back to my institution, and hold them accountable for they're fuckin bullshit, please let me know.

I've sent these petitions to the DOJ in Washington DC and the ACLU in Portland, Oregon. It's been a couple months now, and I've never heard a thing from them.

I want to help be an advocate when I get out, to help my comrades that are being oppressed and abused. Please let me know how I can help.

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[Abuse] [Snake River Correctional Institution] [Oregon]
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Bogus ad-seg sentence messes up parole in Oregon

I would like for you to print my story, so that the rest of my brothers and sisters who are a part of the movement will know how I have been treated this past year.

It all started in June and July of 2016 when prisoners started passing out from smoking spice. Well because we have prisoners here who are cool with the police my name was said to them, then they came and snatched me off mainline (messing up my programming that the parole board told me to complete, so I would be able to go home). I was ad-segged in DSU. This is not an ad-seg building like I was supposed to be, where I would be able to make phone calls, have the same clothes prisoners have on mainline canteen.

So, not only was I ad-segged in the hole, but my wife was removed from my visiting list, the STM officer asked that I be ad-segged for 180 days, but the superintendent signed the paper and clearly said I was to be in ad-seg for 60 days. Well the hearing officer who used to be an officer here gave me the 180 days, even though his boss said 60 days. The STM released all the other inmates back to mainline that was under the same investigation I was under, so I filled out a discrimination form against the STM, because he was showing a complete indifference with letting them back to mainline, and keeping me ad-segged. Well the STM tried to force me to talk to the state police by telling me that they had me on tape bringing in contraband, which I knew was a lie, because I told them from the jump I know nothing about what their talking about. The STM continued to try to force me to talk, but I told the state police, and the STM that I have nothing to say, and I plead the 5th amendment. Then he threatened me with going to my wife's house. Well, of course he never went to my wife house, because he knew that she had nothing to say to him, because she didn't know anything.

Around November I went on a hunger strike, because the Lt Kleier wouldn't let me use the phone, or move me to an ad-seg building. I have bi-polar, anxiety and I had to fight with mental health about putting on the right meds, so I started tripping out seeing things, thinking that people was out to harm me. I ended up writing a note to someone that I considered a friend, but remember I was hallucinating, because of my hunger strike. Well this person held on to the note where I was talking about me paying someone to hurt another person who I had no problem with, it was all of the craziness I had going on in my head. Somehow the STM ended up with the note, and because they couldn't get me on the spice they decided to write me up for the crazy note, and have me sent to the SHU Program.

So, it's almost been a 2 year, and after all my grievances, my tort, and my civil suit against them they come and tell me that they're sorry for placing me on ad-seg because of hearsay, and they're sorry for taking my wife off my visiting list, and they're going to put my wife back on my visiting list, and that they have no evidence against me, so I'm not going to receive a write up.

Well they still sent me to the SHU program which is going to mess up my parole board hearing, so just like I told my wife I'm going to make them pay for all of this mistreatment of me and my family by getting paid on my tort claim, and my civil suit that I have against them, because during the time I was ad-segged I lost a daughter to suicide, a brother who was killed, and found out my mom is dying from throat cancer, and the only time I was allowed near a phone was when they let my wife call in and tell me the bad news, then I had to get off the phone. I wasn't allowed to call none of my family to speak with them about how I was doing, so of course I mentally checked out, because that was too much for me to handle.

So instead of easing off me they tried to apply more pressure, but they had to admit that I had nothing to do with their bogus investigation, so now I'm fighting against them with the court system, so to all my brother and sisters that's going thru mistreatment behind bars I want you to grab your pen, and run the ink out of it by filing grievances, tort claims, and civil suits, because that's all that they understand and they hate for you to go over their heads, so just like they had me under investigation, now I have their bosses doing an investigation on how I was mistreated at the Oregon state prison.

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[Abuse] [Two Rivers Correctional Institution] [Oregon]
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Mistreatment of prisoners at TRCI

First off I want to say that we are sentenced to prison for punishment but each day is a struggle inside these walls. The officers treat us like we're the scum of the earth and find ways to punish us every single day. I have been in prison for 15 years and am serving life without parole for a murder that I didn't commit but the justice system doesn't go by facts only falsehood by the good ole boys. I can't even go an hour without the pigs trying to set me up for whatever.

I have been a gangbanger since I was 10 and dropped out in 2009, so by doing that the pigs think I'm gonna just roll over and do whatever. I have a few staff assaults and they always win since they work together to make our days bad.

There has been almost 20 deaths at this prison since 2015 and the medical here won't help until we file lawsuits. Their prescription for everything is ibuprofen and gargle salt water so there's a lot of viruses and diseases going around this prison.

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[Organizing] [Education] [Federal] [Oregon]
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Revolutionary Leadership in Fedz

Having literally been raised in the fedz (age 23-40), I developed a very unique perspective/world view on the "struggle" and the varying dynamics associated with it. One of the things I saw in the fedz from the beginning was the abundance of "official" OGs on the yards. Revolutionaries and street entity! They put efforts into educating males that, at minimum, one only had to carry oneself with a certain level of convict decorum if you will, to stay on level 5 lines. The various nations policed themselves. Which in turn negated much of the reactionary interracial violence which'd typically occur.

My journey began in a United States Penitentiary (USP) where I lasted 6 months before an encounter in center hallway with an aggressive pig! Before my 1st full year was done, I'd added 24 more months to the 15 years I'd been given! That set the tone for my bid and life. In that the hatred I felt for authority manifested quite regularly over the next 2 years. Accumulating a slew of violence shots (writeups), FBI referrals for prosecution and ultimately my first SHU placement.

What I recall most of my first ADX stay (mid-late 90s) was the standard of the majority of men I met, be they euro-nationalist, Muslim, revolutionary nationalist, Chicano, tribal structures, New Afrikan, tribal cats, etc. All stood firmly against the pigs. Anti-rodent philosophies included. Granted, we had the typical frictions associated with being in unnatural environments, forced to occupy very tight spaces. Many cats got hurt, racial reactionary issues and intra-racial fratricide due to geographical biases typically. However, I recall many instances where those of us who had any "credibility" and/or "entity status" would regularly parley (i.e. politic) to maintain respect between us and thereby negate potential violence.

At this time, I personally put down my own "tribal identity" and embraced a progressive ideological precept, albeit infantile. Three specific men entered my life and changed it forever: a European communist, a founding member of the dominant Chicano structure, and last but not least, a bay area militant turned Muslim! While in "stepdown units" of ADX, each took time to work with me, share progressive literature with us, build via dialogue. Many of my/our (i.e. tribal cats) previously held biases and notions on particular ethnic groups, etc. These were proven false once we were put within the close confines of ADX and actually talked.

I learned of various German philosophers (Nieche, Clausowitch) from euro-nationalists; about Aztecs, Toltecs, etc. from Chicanos under structure; about Mao, Lenin, Marx from communists; about Chaka, Diop, Huey P., George, Fred, so many more fallen heroes (and sheroes) from Afrikan nationalists! All of which giving insight into how these men thought, crucial to forging any qualitative bonds across both tribal and/or national lines in prison! I left ADX for Lompoc, where I remained 4 years, got to finally visit my family, and where I was embraced to the revolutionary nationalist ideology via affirmation and deeds!

There I again encountered some truly conscious men who embraced one and aided in my growth from tribal reactionary towards revolutionary activist. [Many comrades freely gave of themselves on a daily to uplift all of us! What I learned from them was "struggle"! To educated ourselves and others to learn the needs of the people, stand beside all who share same struggle (i.e. quest for revolutionary political and economic change in U$). Skin color being a non-factor in assessment of one's revolutionary authenticity. This is a reality I took with me over the following 5 years, including a (3 year) ADX return. Each line I hit, my objectives stayed fairly fixed, but open to change depending on conditions and personnel. This led to many fruitful alliances with a cross section of the populace on one hand, and quite a few situations where we organized and in turn undermined the progression of our common oppressor.

The biggest hurdle that I see to Euro-nationalists truly embracing a genuinely revolutionary ideology is their own fears and inherent biases. The fear of being ostracized by other Europeans keeps majority from standing beside folks of color. Their shared sociocultural backgrounds with the pigs (in majority of states) oftentimes see the euro-captive identify with the euro-captor out of some misguided sense of cultural identity vs. those held beside them, who are of New Afrikan or Latino ancestry. Ray Luc and Richard W. (rip) showed exactly how one of European ancestry can be revolutionaries. Neither of them were cowards about reactionary BS! They walked as men, and as such, all respected them. And both had full military support of party, tribal sets, etc. should any of the racists attempt to move on them. Those who are really striving to be about the struggle stand on "people's power" not skin affiliations or entities which espouse supremacist rhetoric.

The article by Bro Rashid (ULK 55, p. 14) I related to as I am presently housed in the cesspool (twilight zone) of Oregon DOC. What he described from 2014 could've easily been today. Thus far I have lasted 1 month at East Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) and 3 months on this mainline. In both instances I was kited off yard, likely by other folks of color. My party jacket, coupled with the past tribal ties (i.e. gang) has apparently moved my captors to indeterminately SHU me. Oh, and my conversion to Islam a couple years ago likely didn't help my cause, considering all of the extremist activities going on globally, that is. It appears I shall be sent out of state at some point. Objective being to get the militants up out of ODOC so as to keep these cats asleep and complacent! Lifers content to own multiple pairs of shoes; mp3 players, etc. I am constantly amazed, daily, at how warped these Oregonians ideals are, as they relate to acceptable conduct for ethical men in prison! Kickin it with pigs is not only accepted by the so called "good dudes" (Oregon speak for a Euro-captive that is not a sex offender). Cell soldiering back and forth is a daily occurrence. I hear an abundance of anti-sex-offender rhetoric, but next to nothing about the "system" which creates misogynist cats who in turn abuse women?!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer brings up some good examples from eir history that demonstrate the potential for people to learn and grow, for unity across groups in prison, and for people of all nations to take up revolutionary struggle. While there are material reasons why oppressed nations have a stronger interest in revolutionary struggle, people from the oppressor nation in prison are in a unique situation that can inspire them to take up the struggle.

We also want to comment on the last paragraph in which this writer talks about ethical behavior in prison, as this is an important point. The ideals that make it correct to talk trash about sex-offenders but not fight misogyny is something we need to address head on. It is the patriarchy that makes males feel good to attack those convicted of sex offenses without thinking about their own patriarchal behavior. Further the idea that attacking sex offenders is correct but murderers are ok makes no sense. We need to create a culture where all crimes against the people are condemned. And then we need to struggle with those who commit these crimes to see the mistakes they have made and reform their lives.

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[Abuse] [Oregon State Penitentiary] [Oregon]
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Oregon Drug Use Leads to Death and Repression

Civil Complaint filed by prisoner against J. Plante, Inspector

On 11 August 2016 at approximately 2:45pm on 1-Bar of D-Block, I approached J. Plante and politely asked him if I could have a moment of his time to discuss a matter of consequence. He agreed and permitted me to speak freely.

From June 2016 through July 2016, four black inmates [names] were hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Salem Memorial Hospital (SMH) for Spice consumption. Four black inmates hospitalized in the ICU at SMH in less than two weeks just wasn't enough to convince Security Threat, a white Management (STM) that OSP had a serious drug problem, but if you spin the barrel and squeeze the trigger enough times eventually...

STM's game of Russian-Roulette finally ended on 14 July 2016 when James Howland's body was still warm when STM vowed to conduct an immediate investigation, and to punish, with or without credible evidence, every inmate alleged to be involved in the Spice distribution supply chain.

It goes from outrage to just downright outrageous, for even this thoughtful gesture would be stripped of its noble intent by STM, which unanimously decided in favor of postponing the much needed and long overdue investigation a whole 72 hours so as not to disrupt or encroach upon the 15 July 2016 Annual Car Show at OSP; the crown jewel and last hoorah of the soon-to-be retired Superintendent of OSP, Jeffrey Premo.

From 17 July 2016 through 21 July 2016, ten inmates [names] were "randomly" rounded up, escorted to the altar of the Disciplinary Segregation Unit, and shamelessly sacrificed for the political purpose of appeasing the grieving mother of James Howland. Were these ten inmates potential suspects before James Howland's death or after? Liability Liability Liability.

Still more infuriating is this next fact: Black inmates make up less than 15% of the total inmate population at OSP, yet in the first week of STM's investigation, black inmates were seven times more likely to be targeted for punishment than their white counterparts.

J. Plante was visibly upset with the results of my investigation. I told J. Plante that I was going to publish my research of STM's investigation on my Facebook page, at which point, he said, "If you make my life hard, I will make your life a living Hell." J. Plante's behavior is unprofessional, unethical, and violates State and Federal laws. J. Plante threatened retaliation against me simply because I expressed my desire to exercise my constitutional right. J. Plante's comment violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; Oregon Constitution, Article 1, Section 8; Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 163.275 Coercion, Section (1), Subsections (a)(c)(d)(e)(g); and Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 291-006-0005, Section 3, subsection (d).

Notes: 1. Spice is a man-made, mind-altering chemical that is either sprayed on shredded plant material and smoked, or sold as a liquid to be vaporized and inhaled. Spice is often referred to as "Synthetic Marijuana"; however, the effect of this chemical on the brain is often much more powerful and predictable than organic Marijuana. Severe and even life-threatening reactions from the use of this chemical are a common occurrence. The chemicals used in the manufacture of Spice are listed as Schedule 1 Controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.
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[Organizing] [Snake River Correctional Institution] [Oregon] [ULK Issue 50]
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Oregon, Punished for Requesting Copy of Grievance Petition

I received a letter from you with a petition addressing complaints with these police retaliating and conspiring to violate prisoner First Amendment rights when exhausting administrative remedies. Well, as soon as I got it I filled it out and sent it in to get copies so I can send it to the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC), Director, Department of Justice, and Inspector General. But today I received a confiscation form for the petition and a write up for unauthorized organization for attempting to file a petition without ODOC function unit manager approval. I had no idea that if I file a petition addressing a complaint that I could be written up for it without warning but I ain't sweating it.

In fact, in order to prevent other comrades from being a victim to this corrupt process I have a couple suggestions. First, the back page of the petition at the bottom the last word says “petition.” I believe that not only should that word be replaced with “complaint” but that within this petition it should have a section which states that it is a complaint. Even though a complaint/petition are similar and requests the same conclusions, ODOC and maybe other DOC facilities are playing the word game. Until this is addressed in Federal court, Oregon prisoners, if not prisoners in other states, will be subjected to unnecessary obstacles in addressing their concerns through the current petition format you have. So please re-word it to be a “complaint” and disassociate it as a petition and then resend it to me.

The misconduct report this comrade received reads:

"4.46 Unauthorized Organization II: An inmate commits Unauthorized Organization II if, except as specified by Department of Corrections rule on Group Activities (inmate) (OAR 291 145) (B) 4.46.02 Engages in a petition drive without specific authorization from the Functional Unit Manager

Form was generated from https://www.prisoncensorship.info/, on 4/5/16 I was working in SHU Library, received a kyte from above AIC requesting copies of the petition, I approved one copy due to not being able to identify this form and it was addressed to the Director of the Oregon Dept. of Corrections, due to the question at hand I elected to error on AIC's behalf and allowed one copy. On 4/15/16 AIC is again requesting copies of the petition. This petition or authorization for envelopes has not been approved for circulation or approved envelopes through out SRCI and other Institutions in accordance with:

291-107-0015 Procedures

(1) Those inmates and/or community persons who have not been able to resolve problems through other available channels (i.e., the Ombudsman, Department of Corrections staff, or grievance procedure), may request approval to circulate a petition. Petitions may be circulated with the approval of the functional unit manager as directed in this rule. Circulation of a petition is a process through which inmates can show support for community endeavors. Any inmate or other person desiring to circulate a petition will present the petition to the functional unit manager adding any supporting information that would justify its approval. Permission to circulate petitions within a Department of Corrections facility will be approved if..."


MIM(Prisons) adds: The Oregon Department of Corrections has a policy denying prisoners the right to peacefully appeal denial of their rights. It is ridiculous to expect that the prison administrators would approve prisoners circulating a petition that is criticizing the DOC. What is interesting is that this comrade didn't even try to circulate the petition, ey merely tried to get copies made for eir peryonal use. Yet another example of the injustice system at work and why we can't expect any serious progress on questions of humyn rights within the criminal injustice system that serves imperialism.

Let us know if you need a copy of this petition rewritten as a complaint.

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[Abuse] [Gender] [Oregon]
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Funded Security is Setup for Target Harassment

After reading "The 2 Strikes Law" article in ULK 49, where the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was referenced, I decided to write the following article about something that happened recently in this prison regarding PREA funding.

Over the fall of 2015 and into the early winter of '16 this prison received more federal funding to implement PREA safeguards including the following measures. Now every unit officer has to display and provide a stack of pre-printed PREA cards with information on how and what to report. The leading PREA investigative Lieutenant at this prison, Lt. Carey, stands around the chow hall to randomly pull individuals over and ask them: "If you are sexually assaulted, what will you do?" Looking for the answer: "I will dutifully report it to you sir, of course."

And every unit and building in this facility has had the restrooms and showers reformed and renovated with large metal stalls and divides in them built from the small welding shop here so that during the upcoming PREA audit this smartass Lieutenant can show the public everything they've done to make sure "inmates'" genitals aren't in constant view of each other or any staff that walk by a bathroom or shower.

This was after doorbell alarms were installed on every unit to alert "indecent" prisoners as to whenever female staff entered a unit, to make themselves decent and to not accidentally sexually assault them or intentionally be exposed when they come around; i.e. when a female staff comes onto a unit to relieve the duty officer and then does a "shower check" to see who on the shower list is still naked and in there. Although none of the female staff seem to enjoy having a bing-bong doorbell ring every time they enter a housing unit, Lt. Corey personally installed most if not all of them, with pride.

But the most scathing display and culmination of target-harassment for generating PREA funding came in these early months of 2016. It's not female officers performing count at midnight, one, five o'clock in the morning and ringing a door bell while prisoners are trying to sleep that generated the imagined need for PREA awareness. It was this: DOC added revisions to certain rules in this state on 5 January 2016, including 291-133: "Marriages and domestic partnership solemnization ceremonies for inmates." which states: “These revisions are necessary to update the department's policies and procedures regarding marriages and solemnization ceremonies for prisoners in department facilities. The rules will recognize same-sex marriages to reflect changes in state and federal laws. The department will no longer transport inmates between facilities for the purpose of participating in a marriage or solemnization ceremony. Married or domestic partnership inmates who reside in the same facility will not be housed in the same cell.

Here is also what happened in January 2016. From one of this prison's units approximately 15 prisoners were taken to segregation from the same unit for alleged "sexual activity" and/or "unauthorized organization." They were all given 120s in seg. 120-day sanctions for the “unauthorized organization” convictions and those who could have been were convicted of “sexual activity” if they were “known homos” or even “suspected homos” if their names were close enough on the shower log to have communally showered together.

Many, or most, of the “known homos” and “suspected homos” were all transferred to this unit in the late months of 2015, to set up this target “unauthorized organization” and inevitable communal-shower-sign-up. Many prisoners lost their prison jobs, incentive levels, etc. for being a casualty of what the officer-pigs refer to as 2016's “Operation Fruit Roll-up.” All to bring more necessity to the prison's gathering of federal PREA funding for the April audit.

PREA information has also now been blasted nonstop on the prison's “information and education” channel since January. When the prison posted the 291-133: “Marriages and domestic partnership solemnization ceremonies for inmates” memo on units in early January, the prison then used that to say “unauthorized – organized” “suspected homos” thought it was ok to come out, so we sent them all to segregation for 120 days and set them up to be “identified homosexuals” for fellow prisoners and staff to “watch out for.”

I was not an individual who was segregated and I do not identify as homosexual, but other prisoners who were D-seged and other individuals who weren't, are too scared to associate with each other or stand up for themselves for successive retaliatory target harassment of this sexual nature. I am writing to bring attention to the korupt and disgusting lengths these pigs will go to, to secure prison rape funding “just in time” for the audit, but nobody is fooled.

This is one of the most disgusting and damaging pig setups I have witnessed and likewise read about. But what now can be done?


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a good example of the so-called Prison Rape Elimination Act actually leading to more harassment and gender oppression. We can't rely on the oppressors to take action to eliminate oppression. If we want to see an end to rape in prison, prisoners must come together to build unity and peace, and protect one another from any predatory or violent individuals. Of course the guards have the power, and when they are the rapists it is very hard to fight back. Even when the rapists are other prisoners, when this is sanctioned or at the bidding of the guards, it becomes very difficult to fight. But we will build far more peace and security through independent institutions and organizing of the oppressed than will ever be achieved by appeals to the administration or government for protection and new rules and regulations.

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[Police Brutality] [Snake River Correctional Institution] [Oregon]
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Assaulted in Handcuffs in Oregon

Earlier this month I was taken out of my "cell" and off of the seg-cell-block, and was assaulted by these pigs! My hands were handcuffed behind my back. yet these pigs continued to twist up my wrists, arms and shoulders. When I told the pigs to go fuck themselves and asked em if they felt "big and bad" cause they were assaulting a man in handcuffs they then slammed my head into the wall 3 times and placed a spit mask on my head and claimed that i tried to spit assault one of their officers. All to justify their actions.

It seems that these pigs feel that it is okay to assault us inmates. However, when we defend ourselves these pigs then jump us, beat us up, pepper spray us, place us in a cell with nothing more than our underwear and then file charges on us through the Oregon courts, for assault on a pig!

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[Education] [Control Units] [Oregon]
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Forming Prisoner-led Study Groups in IMU

I was discussing the difficulty of forming a study group in Intensive Management Unit (IMU), which is Oregon's Security Housing Unit (SHU), with a comrade (we are both in IMU) and we have figured that we two can at least do a study group with the two of us. We are hoping that you guys will be able to help with the literature. We are wanting to study "The Communist Manifesto" by Marx. If that is not a possibility we are hoping for "On Contradiction" by Mao. I don't believe my comrade is on the Under Lock & Key (ULK) list, but if you could put him on the mailing list and send us both copies of Marx or Mao or both or whatever is available. His info is enclosed.

We are, of course, willing to do political work for trade. Besides the essay enclosed, I am also working on an essay about "The Chicago Anarchist Trial" of 1886, in which the in-justice system fixed a trial and put four revolutionaries to death. My comrade is also working on a separate essay about revolutionary nationalism. We will send them in when they are completed.

On the invoice it was asked to answer those four questions, so here we go.

1. The most valuable thing I learned was about the "labor aristocracy." I had some prior knowledge, but the concept was expanded greatly in my mind.

2. I can't say that I disagree with the idea of a "white working class" as "labor aristocracy." But I am just trying to assimilate this fact with my previous revolutionary theories.

3. I would like to learn more about dialectical materialism and social sciences in general.

4. What most relates to the day-to-day struggle is to stop seeing the U.$. working class as potential revolutionaries. They are part beneficiaries from imperial exploitation.

As I said before, I am in IMU or SHU and so face different challenges when it comes to group study. I am really hoping ULK 45 will address the special circumstances that are part of the SHU study groups, and how to deal with and get around those challenges. But, if you can help us with the literature we will report back on how our SHU study group works out!

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[Organizing] [Oregon] [ULK Issue 45]
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Education is Critical to the United Front

The basic logic behind the United Front for Peace in Prisons is simple, but genius. The concept is self-explanatory. How else do circumstances get resolved without the five principles?

Individualism and evasion counters liberation. Regardless, whether we are into politics or not, believe that politics are into us. All aspects of life have an element of control that dictate our lives, and if we don't seek unity and ultimate internationalism, chaos will always follow. Sharing information about ourselves to each other in collective formats is the first step. Guarding ourselves is natural; it is something we do to protect ourselves from opposing forces. However, through self-discipline and some simple confidence and motivation, progress is possible.

Our biological nature is to be selfish. It is primal instinct to seek ultimate survival and power, and without a balance or some consciousness, humyns want to oppress each other. The ones who have blindfolds on have the idea that oppression = peace, and perhaps they have been programmed to think and view life in such a manner. However am I the only one, or does that logic sound irrational to you too?

In my opinion (and I could be wrong) I believe a better approach is to educate as many people as you can to obtain growth and progress. There will always be contradictions, of course (no matter what). But to give up is to give up on your people and yourself.

I like Mao's quote from "Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership":

"[T]ake the ideas of the masses (scattered and unsystematic ideas) and concentrate them (through study turn them into concentrated and systematic ideas), then go to the masses and propagate and explain these ideas until the masses embrace them as their own, hold fast to them and translate them into action, and test the correctness of these ideas in such action. Then once again concentrate ideas from the masses and once again go to the masses so that the ideas are persevered in and carried through. And so on, over and over again in an endless spiral, with the ideas becoming more correct, more vital and richer each time. Such is the Marxist theory of knowledge."

Educate to liberate!


MIM(Prisons) responds: We have a lot of unity with this writer's call to action around the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP). But we do disagree that there is a biologically inherent trait of selfishness in humyns. While there is certainly an instinct to survive in all living things, this does not mean there must be an instinct to take power and oppress other people. We can see that this is what many people do today, but the culture of capitalism teaches us that's how to get ahead, from the time we are born. So how can we separate out instinct from culture in this situation?

As Maoists we believe in the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat after the revolution, where the formerly oppressed majority take control of the government and run it in their own interests while dictating to the minority (who promoted exploitation) how society will be run. During this period of socialism we will need cultural revolutions to challenge the ingrained mentality of capitalism that has taught everyone to look out for themselves first and to get ahead at the expense of others. We know it will take many generations of cultural revolution and re-education of humynity but we do not think the reality of capitalist culture determines what humyns are capable of under communism.

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