- Build a United Front for Peace in Prisons (2/05/2021)
- Provide Phone Access and Video Visits in RHU during COVID-19 (1/16/2021)- VICTORY!
- We Demand Our Grievances are Addressed! (11/05/2020)
- We Demand Our Grievances are Addressed in Texas (10/12/2020)
- We Demand Our Grievances are Addressed in California (6/06/2020)
- Help Fund MIM (Prisons)! Donate Now!
- Hunger Strike on Pause While Struggle for COVID Justice Continues in SATF Corcoran
- Capitol Seizure Demonstrates Need for New Democracy
- Update from Lawrence Correctional Center
- COVID & Prisons: Observations from Behind the Razor Wire
We Can Choose the Next Phase of CDCR Prison Culture
On the subject of non-designated yards, the fact that the state’s actors have sanctioned this social experiment where the labels that the state themselves created are now being altered by their creators means that the G.P./SNY dual system has run its course and failed miserably.
It also means that prisoners have to be re-educated on the history of prison labels in California, understanding that at one time all prisoners went to any yard where there was space and they fit the classification points criteria. The only prisoners who got sent to special yards at that time were the wealthy, the law enforcement convicted prisoners, and those media vilified infamous. These yards held low numbers of prisoners and weren’t easy to get to, or gain reliable information about. However, once the state actors came up with 50/50 yards, SNY yard, it created new problems that would not only affect prisoner sub-culture in prison but an even huger problem on the streets due to the criminals’ new option not to play by the old rules of the GAME that is not a game.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all on the who’s who level, on the G.P. nor SNY lines – there are snitches on both sides, rapists on both sides, hustlers on both sides, politicians on both sides, killers on both sides, thinkers on both sides, lumpen orgs on both sides. What needs to be analyzed is why are we still judging one another based solely on convictions when we have seen 13, White Like Me, we’ve read The New Jim Crow, Blacked Out Through White Wash, The Black Panthers Speak, Locked Up But Not Locked Down, A Taste of Power, and Dark Alliance, etc.
WE know that all the courts care about is convictions and not truth or facts. We know that many people who go to trial get railroaded and made an example of. We know that many of us were forced to make deals based on the public defender’s inability to provide adequate defense and we know many prisoners are wrongfully convicted and sentenced to decades behind these walls. Yet we keep judging our fellow prisoners based upon convictions from a corrupt system that works to justify its high percentage of convictions and deals, plea bargains, bails, etc. As one of the GODS that’s locked inside of this INJUSTICE system I refuse to take our open enemy’s word about another oppressed prisoner, nor will I act on behalf of the STATE and harm another prisoner based on what happened as a result of the United Snakes Criminal Injustice system. Where I judge is based on the individual’s personal conduct and willingness to act when the time demands action or when I see them deal with difficult situations – if they’re rational, measured, and are they using reason-based decision making or not.
Comrades, we’ve got to think about what unity would bring us that is impossible if we continue being separated based upon STATE TITLE and LABELS. The question to all you self-styled revolutionaries is: can people change? Does experience and education reform an otherwise broken individual? Can we inspire the Blind, Deaf and Dumb to wake the fuck up and unite on some active social dynamics that is mutually beneficial to all commonly oppressed prisoners? Will we educate the next Revolutionary that will make change a reality? Or are we just pen and paper revolutionaries?
[email protected] Power Book Accused of STG Material
19 October 2016 – I received ULK 52 today and in one article I see that it states that the literature [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán is banned in Texas. Well, I have a copy of this book and back in June when the STG officers seized all my property before locking me up in Ad-Seg, the book was found among my property. I was questioned extensively about me being in possession of the book, because of the reason they were investigating me. They say that I am a ranking member of a security threat group that coincidentally is the Texas Chicano Brotherhood! They tried to say that the book was propaganda of said group! I argued that it in no way had anything to do with any group as they assume. I was still placed in Ad-Seg, but ended up being able to keep my book. If it was banned I believe they would of confiscated it.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade is correct that the book [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán is not related to the Chicano Brotherhood. However, the term Security Threat Group is used frivolously to label and restrict any group organizing in its own interests, if those interests are different from the state’s. Oppressed nation people (e.g. [email protected]) organizing for their own interests is inherently in opposition to the interests of the United $tates, because the United $tates has stolen the land of the [email protected] people, and oppressed [email protected] for as long as the two groups have been interacting. The term Security Threat Group is not about gangs or violence, it’s about politics, capitalism, imperialsm, and national oppression.
[email protected] Power book banned in Texas
The silhouette of his shadow which is cast upon the dirty concrete floor has finally become his only true trusted yard companion yet even then his cautionary ways still cause him to entertain a certain shadow of a doubt. Wondering if he can afford to exhale with a strong sense of content.
Is it safe to simply assume that it's a solidified fact that his shadow will always have his back? Or is that simply psychological lore?
If solitary forms of confinement nothing more than a plotted plan to lure, bait and seek out the weak.
If the only true permanent fact found in the parable of "anything behind the back will eventually try to attack."
If that should be the case, then how does one strategically wage an effective battle against his own damn shadow?
Is this a simple reflection of a parable and rhyme of a true reclusive mind or is it actually a classic example of a chicken shit battle of a man scared of his own damn shadow?
Although I believe this poem is somewhat entertaining, I simply used it as a vehicle to express something much deeper. That would be the psychological toll that it takes on one's mind when they are subjected to years of solitary confinement. Especially after being entwined one way or another in continuous acts of bloody violence all in the spirit of survival.
Sometimes trying to preserve one's way of life. Other times defending one's belief system. Or simply trying to stay alive to push forward and fight another day.
Adding to the mix and price of the psychological toll is the back stabbing acts of betrayal by those you once cared for, trusted, and in many ways still love. Amongst many other psychological issues it becomes extremely hard to know who and when to trust as your actual life and freedom can depend on it.
The stakes are high and the toll is heavy, so paranoia can and does run deep and rapid.
Shut Down the Control Units
Hatchets for Maoism UFPP Statement of Unity
Hatchets for Maoism (HFM) is a faction of Juggalos (fans of the musical group Insane Clown Posse) that agree to the five principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) and strive to organize to promote them in ourselves and others.
Because other groups use force, drugs, threats of violence, violence and corruption to further their cause and swell their ranks, we strive to take away each of those from them by denying them as tools we use to recruit comrades.
We refuse to be silent when others oppress anyone for any reason. We are a family of Brothers organized to end the injustice the pigs use to pit us against each other, and oppress anyone.
We strive to pull up all who seek a better life, and that are within the anti-imperialist struggle. We strive to create an environment of control through trust, peace through understanding and safety through right action. HFM chooses to give a hand up to ALL willing to pull their weight and work towards our stated goals. All are equal, all are accepted, all eat when one eats.
Power to the people – Anything else is theft.
Build a United Front for Peace in Prisons
Born With a Voice
I was born with a voice, but couldn't form words to speak
' When I learned to speak, it was mainly ignorance of things portrayed to me in the media
I've always been interested in politiks, but had limited knowledge.
If you woulda told me prisoner were operated at a loss, I woulda told you you were crazy, no one would do that.
I learned how to read, but read nothing with real knowledge
I learned science, but only about volcanoes
I learned history, from edited text books
Now I wake up every day, behind a lock
My days are filled with evolution
I'm learning how to read books with knowledge
I'm learning science about social reality
I'm learning history that's not been edited
I was born with a voice, now I'm learning how to speak
Now I'm Under Lock & Key
Censorship Battle Waged in Minnesota
I’m not sure if any of you have heard of my recent censorship battles, but let me catch you up on this ongoing and illegal censorship being perpetuated by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, or what we inside refer to as the Minnesota Department of Corruption.
While I was housed in Minnesota’s only Maximum Custody Prison, Oak Park Heights, I had been subjected to a bit of censorship. First it was censorship of my outgoing legal mail to national organizations for legal assistance in my Federal Suit. I had sent mail out in sealed envelopes, clearly marked “Legal Mail” to The Exoneration Project, The Innocence Project, The Equal Justice Project, The Legal Aid Society, The Lewisburg Prison Project, The Constitutional Rights Center for Prisoners and every envelope was opened outside of my presence by mailroom staff member “S. Henry” and sent back to me with a notice of non-delivery in which it said I had “sealed it in violation NOT Legal/Special as addressed.”
This is actually a violation of the mailroom’s own policy. DOC Policy 302.020 Procedure L.3 states that “An incoming or outgoing item purporting to be special/legal mail that fails to meet the policy requirements for designation as special/legal mail, or is otherwise questionable, is opened in the presence of offender by a supervisor.”
Yet, more than 10 “outgoing item[s] purporting to be special/legal mail” were opened outside of my presence and refused to be sent in a sealed envelope.
It gets worse though. After being forced to send these letters in unsealed envelopes, when these organizations replied, even when stamped with “LEGAL CORRESPONDENCE OPEN ONLY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ADDRESSEE” i.e., me, the mailroom still opened all of this mail outside of my presence.
And when I had to file internal grievances to exhaust all remedies due to the PLRA, of course the DOC said that staff did not act in violation of anything, and of course the mailroom staff opened this mail outside of my presence again violating their own policy and court decisions. And so I filed in the Tenth Judicial District Court, only for the judge, Gregory G. Galler, to dismiss it as frivolous or malicious.
And then I was given disciplinary segregation for allegedly “lying and/or misrepresentation.” Which is illegal retaliation, but what does the Department of Corruptions care? None. Next came the censorship of publications I had been receiving from Critical Resistance “The Abolitionist”, this publication “ULK” and other mail from MIM(Prisons) including over 10 different mailings, News & Letters – all of which are political publications geared towards enlightening people on real world issues and express anti-Prison ideology.
When fighting the censorship, according to our “policy” we have to send an appeal to the Correspondence Review Authority(CRA). Yet when I did, the mailroom staff, Nancy Leseman responded instead. I had included the disclaimer that MIM(Prisons) affixes to ULK only for Leseman to state “All publications are reviewed on an individual basis & can at any time be denied for violating policy. An article advocates to organized disturbances within prison walls, activities in violation of facility rules.”
So, not only does she violate her own policy by not forwarding the appeal to the CRA, she violates the law when censoring publications as well.
But it only gets better from here.
Being as N. Leseman didn’t follow policy I was forced to send the appeal to her supervisor, Lt. Jason R. Hills, in which he replied, “The publication has contents that are not allowed per DOC Policy. Appeal Denied. You may appeal to the CRA.” Again clearly he violates law for censorship, and policy.
So I was forced to send the appeal directly to the CRA, which was comprised of Cris Pawelk the Associate Warden of Operations, Sherlinda Wheeler the Associate Warden of Administration, and Byron Matthews the Captain.
In their reply they said, “We have read the material and determined the content should be denied for violating MN DOC Division Directive 301.030 Contraband. One of the articles advocates for organized disturbances within prison walls and activities in violation of facility rules. All issues are reviewed on an individual basis. Any issue can be denied if any part of the publication violates policy. Publications that [sic] doesn’t violate policy is allowed. Therefore the Correspondence Review Authority is in agreement with the Mail Room’s decision and your appeal is denied.”
The next step was to appeal to the Assistant Commissioner of Corrections Nate Knutson. His reply was, “This newspaper contains graphic depiction of violence that pose a threat to facility security in violation of DOC Division Directive 301.030 Contraband. Appeal denied.”
But that’s not the end, after that I filed suit in the Tenth Judicial District Court, only for the order to be dismissed as “frivolous or malicious” because it “has no arguable basis in fact or in law.”
Now the next step is Federal Court, and and will involve even more defendants and more evidence of censorship illegally conducted. As MIM(Prisons) can accede, more than 10 of their mailings to me have been met with censorship, causing loss of money, and all with absolutely no notice or reason given by the DOC.
Censorship is this country’s way of blinding the people to only seeing what is “favorable” to them. Freedom of speech is only true if you don’t speak out against the regime. Any advocacy critical of the standard is demonized and made to look as extremist and insane. And no wonder, when 90% of the population lives only to work, the power rests upon the sweating, bleeding, starving faces of those that toil in the dirt beneath their polished shoes. Take comfort in this: If you’re being censored, it’s because they fear the truth and its power. If you’re being retaliated against, it’s because they fear you and your truth and power. People only get mad at the truth, so go piss off those pigs!
MIM(Prisons) adds: We can confirm that we received no notification of censorship as required by law for at least 10 pieces of mail sent to this comrade in 2019 that ey reported not receiving. One of these items was our guide for dealing with censorship in prison.
We commend this comrade’s persistence and eir attitude. These battles are small ones. As our regular readers know, we win some and lose some. But either way we win when we use these battles to inspire others and expose those set on oppression.
Sleepwalking to the sound
Of captains and ships
Molten hot chains
Bond to the ignorant and lost
Each metallic clang! Each step
Down towards the cliff
Where freedom has been willingly
To their masters
Happily at the will of their own
That taketh away
Revolution and freedom
Reigns in my bones
To break the chains
Off of my brothers and sisters
Shedding the light towards
The happily oppressed
For they have forgotten
The legends and stories
Of their ancestors;
Sweat and blood on their brows
Staff Ignoring Assaults
I just want to thank you for the Texas Pack. It’s quite sad the things that are kept from us so that we ignore the corruption. Let me tell you what’s going on with me.
I did a I-127 to appeal a case and 40 days passed without me hearing from the grievance lady. Your packet came today and pretty much walked me through what I needed to do next, because I had no clue. The case that I’m appealing lowered my custody level to G4. This goes to the next set of problems I’ve encountered.
I did an Offender Protection Investigation (OPI) because an offender who was also G4 was Gun Ho on kicking my ass. They failed to investigate properly, then said “unsubstantiated evidence” even though officers seen what happened.
It’s so much that happened with not enough room to write. But I’ll keep it basic.
They moved me to another dorm. And a few days ago I got assaulted by another offender. That’s right man, hit on my right eye with a scratch under my eye. The officer that seen it said nothing about seeing it, yet she called an “ICS.” The offender that did it was G2 status and should not have been mixed with G4s. OPI was done that rank did not want to do. So a fighting case was wrote. The other offender denied of course and “I folded.” That was my statement. I walked out with a march and they allowed the offender to go to work.
Now they have me on a unit transfer, but this offender has not been held accountable for her action. How do I press the issue on this when no one is talking?
Before I walked out my building I had no marks, but as soon as I step outside in less than 2 minutes I’m being escorted to medical.
PTT from MIM(Prisons) responds: This report shows how much effort Texas prison staff put into protecting prisoners. Seeking protection from staff offers predictable results. Sometimes they’ll listen, and sometimes they’ll transfer you. That’s if you’re lucky. Most of the time they pretend they didn’t see it, never got the grievance, etc.
If we want to end the assaults, we can ask ourselves: what are the core issues causing these assaults? When that’s clear, we can ask: will staff do anything to address those core issues? It would probably benefit them to do so, but decades of practice shows they likely won’t put in the effort to make that kind of difference.
So this report also shows the importance of prisoners building their own peace in prisons. We have a slightly different approach to ending these assaults than this writer. This might sound crazy, but what we’re working toward is helping prisoners build a culture of comradery and peacefulness on their units, so that this kind of behavior is not tolerated among the prisoner population.
When this comrade asks us what we think ey can do to end the assaults, we don’t advocate for more punishment from admin on the people committing the assaults. We advocate for building bridges, improving communication, and standing together in a United Front for Peace in Prisons.
That work is NOT EASY. But if we want to end assaults in prisons, and if we want to build a society that isn’t centered around unnecessary violence, then we have to commit to doing the hard work. No one is going to hand us a world free of oppression and exploitation. We have to build that ourselves. And that’s a beautiful thing. To be alive and have the opportunity to contribute to the future in this way.
MIM(Prisons) does everything we can to help support prisoners in this task, including providing education opportunities, organizing materials, and resources (like the Texas Pack). What of those materials and concepts would improve the situation with these prisoners who seek to cause you harm? Grievances and OICs aren’t working, and probably will never really work. So what do WE need to do about it?
We Demand Our Grievances are Addressed in Texas
Thoughts on "The Wind Will not Subside"
Salutations MIM(Prisons), and appreciation for the book The Wind Will not Subside about the years in revolutionary China. I wrote specifically to donate these stamps and to comment on what I’ve rend so far – because I’m not done with it.
Mao was a true paradox: simple yet complex, intellectual yet humble, he know how to control by letting go, he was an obvious mystery. And he was a Gangsta! I never knew hes wife and kids were tortured, raped and killed. He never spoke on the personal motivations of his mission, because he knew that his was just one story out of millions of similar stories. Se he wasn’t special.
Politicians of today would’ve used that story to their advantage, solely to get votes. And once ey got the votes, ey would then use that power to do the same thing that was done to em. Ey would’ve exploited to the fullest that tragedy. That was deep to me.
He also had the courage to go against traditional revolution (Russia), and challenge the status quo by not being afraid to fail if need be. Mao had the vision and intuition to understand that you don’t hamper the youth’s growth by pounding into them what ey are doing wrong. Ey will lose enthusiasm and ultimately give up.
About study groups. I have come to realize the less formal ey are, the more successful ey are. If we tell youngsters that we are going to start a “study group”, it reminds em too much of school. Although in essence, that’s what it is, the title rubs em the wrong way. I pass literature, books, ULKs around, then after ey’ve read them, I ask questions, give input and feedback. It is a slow process, but it works. I’m not perfect, and I am only one of many, but I have found the method that works for me. Maybe it will help a comrade who is sincerely trying to bring about change.
Salutations to all who labor in the name of communism
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