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[Hunger Strike] [Pontiac Correctional Center] [Illinois] [ULK Issue 35]
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Illinois Strike Ends Prematurely

Illinois prisoners hungry for justice
The 22 prisoner hunger strike at Pontiac Correctional Center that started at the beginning of October 2013 has ended, unsuccessfully, with prisoners being manipulated by the pigs to end the strike. One of the pigs' tactics was to not document prisoners who were on strike more than five days, thus causing some to stop striking. Others simply came off strike because the pigs "promised" to meet some of the demands that were being made. These demands included adequate sanitary supplies, programs for prisoners in long-term segregation, replacement of the current grievance officer, better recreation environment, etc. These requirements have yet to materialize and most prisoners who participated in the strike are scattered throughout the prison now. This separation was inevitable. For the pigs know in unity there's strength, so they reacted by separating us. But this will not stop the struggle. For each one will teach one and strengthen prisoner solidarity in the process.

The goal now is to continue to build unity and peace amongst prisoners so that next time we strike we will be more organized and prepared to struggle fully!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This report highlights some of the risks of getting ahead of the masses. This is at least the second hunger strike organized at Pontiac in the last year that we've heard of. So we do not mean to second guess the comrades' organizing choices there. But as these tactics show successes in some places, they are being imitated elsewhere. And it is important to assess your conditions where you are at, as you must gain more in terms of building peace and unity than you lose in the pigs moving people around and demoralizing the masses from engaging in future actions. The prison movement is on the rise, and by being smart it can continue to rise.

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[MIM(Prisons)] [United Front] [National Oppression] [Utah] [ULK Issue 35]
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Utah Street Gang Injunction Demonstrates Parallels Between Prison and Street Battles for Oppressed Nations in the U.$.

October 18 - The Utah Supreme Court overturned an injunction that had barred almost 500 people that Weber County claims are members of a lumpen organization known as the Ogden Trece from associating with each other. Members were banned from driving, standing, walking, sitting, gathering or in any way appearing together anywhere in a 25-square-mile area that covered most of the city of Ogden. It also imposed a curfew between 11pm and 5am for these folks. This ban has been in place since 2010.

The Supreme Court threw out the injunction on a legal technicality, because the county failed to properly serve summons to members of the organization. The county posted notices on a Utah legal notices website and in the Ogden Standard Examiner, a local newspaper. The court found this to be insufficient notice. Members of the organization also challenged the constitutionality of the injunction in denying their right to associate, but the Court did not rule on this challenge.

The Deputy Attorney for Weber County made a case for the injunction: "Case loads on average going from 16 per month on something like graffiti down to four. So we can show a 75 percent drop in criminal street gang activity." This is an interesting definition of "criminal street gang activity": acts of graffiti.(1) Clearly the police and courts are determined to go after this lumpen organization, which they call a "public nuisance," civil liberties and rights be damned.

We see a lot of parallels between validation in prison and identification as a member of a street organization in Ogden. According to the Ogden Gang Detective Anthony Powers, the police keep a "gang database" to document who belongs to a street organization. There are eight possible criteria, and anyone meeting two of them is entered in the database. A musician in a group that includes people believed to be Ogden Trece members was included in the injunction because he has been seen around with these folks.(2)

We only have news of this from the mainstream press, but we regularly see this same repression of oppressed nations both in prisons and on the streets. The trick of labeling someone a member of a lumpen organization is used to lock prisoners in solitary confinement and keep them from having contact with other prisoners. It's often used to target politically active prisoners. On the streets, whether in Utah or any other state, we are seeing that Amerikans, who are often willing to suspend constitutional rights for prisoners, are similarly unconcerned about this same practice on the streets.

What really worries the state is when lumpen organizations come together for peace and to promote national liberation struggles. This was seen in California during the recent hunger strike, in Florida during the September 9 Day of Solidarity last year, and in the many lumpen organizations and representatives signing on to the United Front for Peace in Prisons.

We know that street organizations, just like prison organizations, are a natural result of imperialist society in the United $tates. The oppressed nations are going to come together in self-defense, and in the absence of revolutionary leadership they will join whatever group meets their needs. While lumpen organizations are fighting one another and targeting their people for street crime they are helping the imperialists. This is why we work so hard to build a United Front and bring these groups together for the betterment of all oppressed people.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [United Front] [ULK Issue 38]
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Mensaje de The Aves

Where I come from is The Avenues
And every corner that you turn you gotta know how to choose
Cuz life is ruff, only the strong can survive
Many of my homeboys since I've grown up have died
43rd and Figueroa till Cypress and Division
The culture has fallen, the killing has risen
Dogtown, Clover, Frogtown, and Toonerville
Puro Chicanos and their own blood they spill
Then Glassel, Eastlake, Brick City, and more
We all are Mexicanos, living in a war
Killing each other and in jail claiming Sur
El tiempo es ahora to unite in the neighborhood
Y quien no le gusta - aqui para
Don't talk behind my back dimelo en la cara
I speak this way so we can learn
A true veterano's only concern
First la familia then the neighborhood
Check the youngsters and teach them real good
Exactly wut it means to be in a gang
Cuz you can walk that walk and talk that slang
But only with a gun in your hand are you brave
Put another Mexicano to fill the grave
Si eres chingon y valiente
Fight with your hands en caliente
If he beats you down you can still shake hands
The same way our ancestors fought in the land
The ones who made it gacho fue el gabacho
And the system that they made is the one that gots you
Fighting each other killing your own race
Then give you 25 to life and laugh in your face
Not time served, you'll serve time
Cuz you were stupid enuff to kill your own kind
It's from The Avenues, please don't lose your mind
Don't kill your own kind!

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[Culture] [Rhymes/Poetry]
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Rise and Resist

The imperialists hide their flaws
By sewing our mouths shut in a web of their laws
Bury the real history by censoring the library
As long as we follow we will never be free
Kidnap our children and destroy our communities
They will never be able to burn all of the books
The truth is there for those who look
Knowledge is something that no tyrant ever took
Follow the signs, read between the lines, uncover their designs
That keep our minds in these confines
Separate the truth from the lies
Remove these blinders from our eyes
It's time to wake up
Time to get up, to stand up
Let us all rise up
The sleeping giant to overthrow the tyrants in a spirit of defiance
With conviction, separate fact from fiction
Spread our wings and bow to no kings
Empower the masses to kill the fascists and destroy all classes
Together we stand, divided we fall
Walk tall because life in a cell is no life at all
And I refuse to die inside these walls
Duty calls
When they say cease and desist
We say rise and resist

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[Political Repression] [Control Units] [Hunger Strike] [Gang Validation] [California State Prison, Corcoran] [California]
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Political Repression Against Peaceful Protestors at Corcoran Continues

Administrative and medical retaliations continue by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) staff as retribution for any sort of participation in hunger strikes and/or show of resistance. Recent validation reviews have shown futile since CDCR is utilizing hunger strike and single cell write-ups as proof of [security threat group] association. Doctors first question, before denying all subsequent inmate request for pain management, is: "were you in the hunger strike?" 602s [grievance forms] are disappearing from inside locked metal boxes.


MIM(Prisons) adds:Control units were developed as a form of political and social control within the prison system, and this blatant political repression against prisoners who protested against them shows that social control is still their purpose. The review process is a sham to allow the state of California to continue to torture oppressed people while pretending to make changes.

We must continue the fight against these isolation units, but we know that real and lasting changes will only be made when we dismantle the criminal injustice system. In the short term we fight for reforms to improve the conditions of those locked in these torture cells, but the imperialists will not reform away their tools of social control. This is why we see the fight against the criminal injustice system as an integral part of the anti-imperialist struggle.

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[Download and Print] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [Censorship] [Legal] [North Carolina]
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Downloadable Grievance Petition, North Carolina

North Carolina Petition
Click to download a PDF of the North Carolina grievance petition

Mail the petition to your loved ones and comrades inside who are experiencing issues with the grievance procedure. Send them extra copies to share! For more info on this campaign, click here.

Prisoners should send a copy of the signed petition to each of the addresses below. Supporters should send letters on behalf of prisoners.

Secretary, Division of Prisons
4201 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4201

Director of Prisons
831 West Morgan Street
Raleigh, NC 27626

ACLU of NC
PO Box 28004
Raleigh, NC 27611

U.S. Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, PHB
Washington DC 20530

Office of Inspector General
HOTLINE
PO Box 9778
Arlington, VA 22219

Jennie Lancaster, Deputy Secretary of DOC
4201 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4201

And send MIM(Prisons) copies of any responses you receive!

MIM(Prisons), USW
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140

*PDF updated May 2012, July 2012, January 2013, and October 2013*

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[Control Units] [National Oppression]
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Herman Wallace Was Free

Herman Wallace
We mourn the death of Herman Wallace, one of the Angola Panthers. Herman died on Friday after a judge threw out his case, as a result Herman was able to die outside of prison. The fact that Herman was held the longest in solitary confinement — approximately 40+ years, speaks of the history of torture in U.S. prisons.

For many of us Herman is much more than simply a prisoner who was held in the hole for decades. He co-founded the first prison chapter of the Panthers, and spent his time in prison serving the people. He dedicated his life behind the prison walls to educating people, ending the hostilities surrounding prisoner-on-prisoner crime and fighting guard brutality. For his determination to liberate his people he was framed for a crime in an attempt to neutralize him by sealing him in a cage for decades.

Herman refused to surrender and he was an example to other oppressed prisoners to resist even in the dungeon. This example was too much for the state and he was denied compassionate release by the oppressors. His liver cancer is also suspect, we know the state has many dirty tricks in its arsenal. But Herman, like others who rise up in prison, understood that he might in the end pay with his life for this resistance.

It has been reported in the press that Herman's last words were to the effect of "I am free" before he died. But Herman was already free, he was free while still in prison because he had liberated his mind decades ago, and this was his real crime that the state was making him pay for. Had Herman been a drug addict prisoner who preyed on other prisoners for a cellphone from the pigs or for a sack of dope he would never have spent over four decades in solitary confinement. Freedom comes from one's actions and this is something that the petty bourgeoisie does not grasp and so they will never be free.

Those of us here in the SHU understand that at any time we can be free from torture by simply making up information on someone or debriefing. But like Herman many cannot fathom doing this to another human being and instead choose to build our nation and RESIST! And for this we are also met with torture. But like Herman we are also free, more free than many people on the outside whose minds are in many ways more chained than SHU prisoners. May the example of resistance displayed by Herman live on in U.S. prisoners!

Aztlán Libre!


Related Articles:
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[Abuse] [Censorship] [Columbia Correctional Institution] [Florida]
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Florida Censorship, Brutality, and Disgusting Living Conditions

I was once a subscriber to your monthly newsletter. My last 2 newsletters: Sept-Oct and Nov-Dec 2012 were rejected. The reason given for the rejection:

"It is dangerously inflammatory in that it advocates or encourages riot, insurrection, disruption of the institution, violation of department or institution rules (per Florida DOC rule book Section 33-504.401 F.A.C)."
Sorry for not writing sooner, but I've been very busy. Informing you of why I no longer receive newsletters is not the only reason why I am writing.

Our living conditions are disgusting. The cleaning chemicals are watered down to the point where they are not worth using. No bleach is giving to kill tough germs. In order to get good chemicals we have to pay one of the prisoners. Here at the annex we have air conditioning. In some of the dorms the air conditioning is broken. All windows are sealed closed so there's no fresh air. The ventilation system is very poor. The state wants the air conditioning set to 77 degrees, which is hot and does not keep germs down. Each bunk is about 2.5 feet apart and the head of each single bunk in the dorm that I am in touches each other, so it's easy to get sick from the guy in the other bunk if he's sick.

Every six months existing prisoners, and every new prisoner, is supposed to receive new white under clothes and one new blue uniform (new prisoners). Instead we are issued used clothing upon arrival (boxers with piss stains or crust marks and boxers made from bed sheets, and white shirts with holes or bad underarm stains). Prisoners go through hell and back trying to get new whites every six months. Some of the clothes look as though they have crawled from under a rock or been in a knife fight.

Each prisoner is given a fishnet laundry bag to place whites and personal laundry in. When these clothes are washed the laundry bags are jammed packed into the laundry to the point where the clothes don't even move inside the machine because it's overloaded. When the clothes do come back they are no longer white, but look as though they were washed in rusty water. Towels are cut in half and issued half to each inmate. No wash rags are given and every 7 days 1 bar of hotel soap is issued that is good for 1 or 2 showers.

The chow hall is more than just disgusting. It should be closed down. You either don't eat and starve yourself to death or eat and take a big chance on getting bad health problems. Besides the fact that the Florida Department of Corrections has been serving the cheapest meat and other food products on the market since 2009, the portion of food that is served is not the correct portion for a full grown man. Even a child would ask for more.

The bad thing about it is most of the time the staff members make them serve with a smaller serving scoops or they water down the food and say it's the correct serving. Just one or two hours after each meal you're hungry again. Some meals are so small it's as though you didn't eat at all. And if a server doesn't want to shake the spoon or water down the food they will be sent to the box for refusing to work for 60 days, and with 60 days gain time lost. If you don't have family or friends sending you money you're out of luck, which causes people to rob or steal from the ones who have money.

A lot of times the cups, sporks, and trays do not get washed with chemicals, only hot water. Sporks are issued out greasy, cups are issued with dirt around the rim and muck on the inside. Sometimes there are drops of juice left in cups from the last person and trays are served with residue from the last man. Sometimes the food is served spoiled and if you complain they tell you to eat or get out.

The worst thing is that the kitchen is infested with roaches. Most of the time they come out while the food is served and at night it looks like a million of them all over the cups, sporks, trays, and cooking ware. A prisoner got transferred today because he killed about 100 roaches and sent them to the state capital, the health department, and a news station in a letter marked legal mail. The state called the prison and ordered that they get the prisoner off the compound.

The correctional officers (C/Os) take shanks, tobacco, cell phones, or drugs from out of their pockets and place it on the prisoners or in their lockers or under the bed to get prisoners sent to confinement or close management for up to a year. When they put prisoners in cuffs and walk them to confinement the C/Os start yelling "stop resisting" when the prisoner is not doing anything at all. They shake the prisoner to make him look like he is resisting so they can slam him on the ground and kick him, place their knee in the prisoner's back or have the other C/Os jump on the prisoner. They take their authority and abuse it. They take non-violent offenders and turn them into violent offenders. We call this the Department of Corruption.

I can go on about the poor treatment of medical: getting charged $5 to get cursed out or get a handful of ibuprofen and told to take lots of water for almost any medical problem. Or the poor teaching skills in education by the teachers who say their job is not to teach. Or the canteen prices that are so high it makes $100 look like $30 and the sale of items that say "not for individual sale" still being sold individually.

Prisoners can't even write a petition without getting charged for trying to start a riot. We don't get any help by writing grievance most of the time. They either go unanswered or some form of retaliation is afflicted on the prisoner who writes them.

We seek help, answers and true care, custody, and control. Not corrupt, custody, and control.


MIM(Prisons) responds: These reports of inhumyn conditions, abuse at the hands of the guards, and illegal censorship of anti-imperialist literature are far too common in the Amerikan Criminal Injustice System. This prisoner writes that he seeks help and answers. Unfortunately, the answer is that prisons are not about rehabilitation, or even just custody, they are about social control. And so this sort of treatment is actually serving the intended purpose. We won't be able to change it without a fight, and fundamentally it won't change until the system changes. We might win some small battles for reform though, while building to change the whole system. And for that we need to pick our fights carefully and build support as broadly as possible. There is no simple form of help that we can offer to end this brutality. But we can work with our comrades behind bars to build a base of support from within, and take on strategic battles that may win some reforms. We provide educational and organizing material, and we will support your battles from the outside. This must all be done in the context of building an anti-imperialist movement that will fight to eliminate the capitalist system that requires a criminal injustice system as a tool of social control. Only when we put in place a government that serves the needs of the vast majority of the world's people, rather than one that serves only a small minority of the wealthy, will we make significant steps towards ending oppression.

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[Hunger Strike] [Control Units] [Pontiac Correctional Center] [Illinois]
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Pontiac on Hunger Strike Again! Strikers join United Front for Peace in Prisons

2 October 2013 - Right now myself and 21 other comrades are on hunger strike. We started on Sunday 29 September 2013. Our purpose for the hunger strike is to bring an end to all the unconstitutional conditions that exist in segregation. These conditions include inadequate cleaning supplies, regular use of excessive force whenever they put prisoners in and out of cells, tampering with prisoners' food, denying prisoners access to recreational time on the yard, and failure to respond to grievances. We are also striving to receive new law library books because correctional officers destroyed the ones we had. We're also striving to get educational and other help programs for prisoners with long-term segregation time.

Most prisoners who are confined in Pontiac Correctional Center are here for staff assaults, and/or are labeled as "STG" (Security Threat Group) status. It is well known that Pontiac C.C. is a 'retaliatory facility' for prisoners with the above labeled offenses. That's why most prisoners who come here with a year of segregation time end up with five, six, seven years segregation time! This is all part of the oppressor's plan to keep places like this operating. That's why me and the other comrades on strike are writing local newspapers and organizations based around the country to receive some outside support.

Me and my comrades have embraced and accepted the United Front for Peace in Prisons Statement of Principles and plan to propagate them amongst the prisoners here in segregation. We see the necessity of all five principles being put into use, as a means to unite and gain unity amongst prisoners here, and hopefully to help free some from the psychological chains of mental slavery.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Just last summer we received a report on a hunger strike at Pontiac Correctional Center for similar demands, and in February a similar strike was reported by others. Our information is limited due to censorship problems in Illinois, but we are working to get better follow up this time around.

The problems at Pontiac were exacerbated last winter after the closure of Tamms Supermax, which, for years, was the primary destination for jailhouse lawyers and prisoner activists. One comrade reports from "North administrative unit where it's a constant battle with our rights and living conditions. Since the closing of supermax Tamms, a lot of guys are now being housed in this unit wrongfully." As long as the oppressor nation feels threatened by the oppressed they will not give up their tools of torture and social control willingly.

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[United Front]
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The Voice of Liberty Joins United Front for Peace in Prisons

Mission Statement: Libertas est naturalis facultas ejus quod, cuique facere libet, nisi quod de jure aut vi prohibetur.

Liberty is a person's natural power which permits one to do as he pleases.

Voices of Liberty (VOL) has organized to:

Break the silence about oppression.

Announce officially that we strive for unity and peace.

Proclaim our independence from the United $tates government and all its branches, right down to the local police, because this system does not serve us.

Educate comrades to bring an improvement of the mind, and to coach, cultivate, direct, enlighten, guide and prepare them to live above oppression through education and upholding the five principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons.

VOL fully supports MIM(Prisons) and upholds the five principles of - Peace - Unity - Growth - Internationalism - and - Independence.

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