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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 32]
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A Dog with a Bone

There is a saying,
A dog with a bone in his mouth don't bark or bite.
Will you sell your soul or continue to fight?
They give handouts to tame the wolf,
They set the trap when most don't look.
An addict of the state give me all I can take.
You stay in the projects, I'll stay in the White House,
You spend your food stamps until they run out.
We'll exploit the Third World, we'll be alright
A dog with a bone in his mouth don't bark or bite.

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[Campaigns] [Control Units] [Gang Validation] [ULK Issue 31]
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Setting Goals in California

In 2011, the organizing in California made connections to the plight of prisoners across the country and even globally. As cipactli discusses in h recent article, the demands from the Pelican Bay prisoners have not been met and a new phase of that battle has begun.

The example set by those who went on food strike in California was like Rosa Parks refusing to sit in the back of the bus. They weren't the first to do it, and they didn't single-handedly change the system, or even significantly reform it. But they did serve as a prime example that continues to inspire those struggling for basic humyn rights behind bars. Since 2011, MIM(Prisons) has been in dialogue with USW leaders in Pelican Bay and across the state about those historic events, and how we can push that struggle forward.

One change that has been proposed by comrades in Pelican Bay this time around is that prisoners develop their own demands locally and hold the CDCR/state to the demands that they think are most pressing. While, ideally we would all unite around one set of demands, we agree with this tactic at this stage. There were many who came out to propose changes to the five core demands for many different reasons. So this approach allows those who had critiques to put their ideas into action.

In practice this means each prison could have their own demands focused on conditions specific to their location, building unity within the prisoner population at that facility. We caution people though that the broader our unity behind core demands the more pressure we can put on the criminal injustice system to make change. As much as possible, prisoners should try to come together around common demands within each prison.

MIM(Prisons) is working to unite United Struggle from Within (USW) in CA around some goals that are strategic for the anti-imperialist prison movement. These are goals that could be won within the realm of bourgeois democracy and will strengthen our cause and more long-term goals.

Please note that neither USW nor the statewide councils are able to operate on the basis of democratic centralism through postal mail. So while this draft incorporates the ideas of the California Council of USW, it is principally authored by MIM(Prisons) and does not/will not necessarily represent a consensus among council members or USW in general. However, the two principal points are points that MIM(Prisons) has long held to be strategically important in expanding the ability of the oppressed to reach the medium-term goals of organizing for self-determination. So we do not believe that they will be very controversial within our circles. We do hope they will push the limits of what is possible more than what has been proposed so far.

If there are already demands in place where you are, we'd encourage you to push for an inclusion of more focus on these goals. If not you may still need to adjust the document below to meet your local conditions for various reasons. But we should all be able to agree on what the major issues are here, and the more we can speak as a united voice with a united mission, the more successful we can be. There is very little in here that is specific to California, so comrades in other states can also use this as a model.

Here are our demands:

  1. An end to torture of all prisoners, including an end to the use of Security Housing Units (SHU) as long-term isolation prisons.

    Basic humyn needs are centered around 1) healthy food and water, 2) fresh air and exercise, 3) clothes and shelter from the elements and 4) social interactions and community with other humyns. It is the SHU's failure to provide for these basic needs that have led people around the world to condemn long-term isolation as torture. Therefore we demand that the following minimum standards be met for all prisoners:

    1. no prisoner should be held in Security Housing Units for longer than 30 days. Rehouse all prisoners currently in SHU to mainline facilities.
    2. interaction with other prisoners every day
    3. time spent outdoors with space and basic equipment for exercise every day
    4. healthy food and clean water every day
    5. proper clothing and climate control
    6. an end to the use of and threat of violence by staff against prisoners who have not made any physical threat to others
    7. access to phone calls and contact visits with family at least once a week
    8. timely and proper health care
    9. ability to engage in productive activities, including correspondence courses and hobby crafts
    10. a meaningful way to grieve any abuses or denial of the above basic rights

  2. Freedom of association.

    As social beings, people in prison will always develop relationships with other prisoners. We believe positive and productive relationships should be encouraged. Currently the CDCR makes it a crime punishable by torture (SHU) to affiliate with certain individuals or organizations. This is contrary to the judiciary's interpretation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We demand that prisoners of the state of California only be punished for violating the law, and that there be:

    1. no punishment based on what books one reads or has in their possession
    2. no punishment for jailhouse lawyering for oneself or for others, for filing grievances or for any challenges to conditions of confinement through legal means
    3. no punishment for what outside organizations one belongs to or corresponds with
    4. no punishment for communicating with other prisoners if not breaking the law
    5. no punishment for tattoos
    6. no punishment for what individuals of the same race/nation/organizational affiliation do unless you as an individual were involved in violating a rule or the law, i.e. no group punishment
    7. no punishment for affiliation with a gang, security threat group, or other organization - in other words a complete end to the gang validation system that punishes people (currently puts people in the SHU for an indeterminate amount of time) based on their affiliation and/or ideology without having broken any rules or laws
The above goals are very similar to the original five core demands. However, you'll notice that they boil down to two main points, an end to torture of prisoners and freedom of association. Until both of these goals are fully achieved, the struggle continues.

Over the coming months, comrades behind bars need to focus on setting goals, setting deadlines, strategizing, studying and networking. The comrades in Pelican Bay are sticking to similar tactics used in the 2011 food strike. But there are other ways to demonstrate for our goals in a peaceful way that is long-lasting and can have great impact, just like Rosa Parks. One comrade last year suggested campaigns that affect the prison staff directly and financially, and there may be other tactics to consider. As the comrades in California have stressed, networking to break down divisions between prisoners must be a focus by implementing the peace protocol across the state. And as USW leaders have reiterated, study is instrumental in raising the consciousness of participants and allies to provide for a stronger base as the struggle advances.

We've heard from comrades in Washington, New Jersey and South Carolina who are organizing their own actions for July 8 or modeled around that struggle. Comrades in North Carolina and Texas have launched peaceful protests of their own in just the last couple months. As we address local conditions and petition institutions at the state level, we build unity around the common demands of the imprisoned lumpen class across the United $tates.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 32]
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Bleeding Eyes

My eyes bleed of day to day oppressing
I sit and think where the war began
Is it prisoner on prisoner?
Or is it the deception my eyes hold full of blood
And pain asking questions like will we all get along
And realize it's something been took every day that pass
Will anyone hear the cry of the real POWs
Or will I look in another brother's eyes only
To hear a threat that will lead to this
Administration patting each other on the back
With words saying "now that is what we need"
Another POW lost his life September 2012
Rest in peace Comrade, forever you will be
Known as a brother fighting to see freedom
This day to day oppressing we only hurting
Each other with tears full of pain and suffering
Prisoners of war, I am truly my brothers'
and Sisters' keeper. Knowledge Knowledge.

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[Campaigns] [California] [ULK Issue 31]
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Hunger Strike to Resume: California Prisoners' Demands Must be Met by July 8

Recently the state of California has created what they call the step down program which those of us at Pelican Bay SHU have rejected. The strikes that swept Amerikan prisons in 2011 were initially kicked off with the intention of obtaining five demands, and the State has so far failed to grant the five demands. This July it will be two years since the prisoner population first mobilized around the five demands and yet the State has been making excuse after excuse to go in circles and drag things out while making more promises.

We have reached way deep for what little patience may be left in us as people who have suffered years and in some cases decades under the brutal torture of the State. And yet this patience was taken as weakness as all oppressors take patience or good gestures coming from the oppressed. We have attempted to resolve this issue with the brutal state through dialogue, and through agreements, to no avail. We now understand that like all efforts for dignity and humyn rights it will take struggle!

Everywhere in the world where the people fought oppression it was done through struggle, with selfless acts of sacrifice in some way. The law of dialectics proves that struggle, sacrifice and suffering produces justice, freedom and peace. One relies on the other in a unity of opposites and a perpetual contradiction and it is this contradiction that prisoners today find ourselves in and which created the conditions in which the 2011 strikes were brought to surface.

California, like all imperialist prisons and jails, has relied on brutal treatment in order to control its prisoners. It is living within a capitalist society that creates these prison camps, these concentration camps that capture our people, capture our youth and have us living under an occupied force, colonized not only physically but mentally as well. The fate of our nations within prisons relies on what we do today.

For the past few decades the movement for prisoner rights has been in a semi coma, many have been bought off with petit bourgeois ideology where everyone is looking out to come up and get money, too many seeking escapism in dope or alcohol, too many times do I hear prisoners talking about 'get rich or die trying,' but like dead prez said we need to 'get free or die trying.'

The question is, do we continue to be locked in oppressive conditions or do we finally stand up and demand our dignity? More and more of our youth enter these concentration camps lining up right behind us and walk in sync to the slaughter house known as SHU or hole. So many of our "privileges" have been taken by the state. Many times our loved ones out in society suffer from traveling to see us, paying outrageously for phone calls or goods and yet we sit and accept it. This has gone on far too long. Our patience has run out, we have grown old, our health is beginning to fail us, our sanity under such cruel and decrepit conditions is at stake and there is no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel. So we must make a spark that creates our own light at the end of the tunnel!

We have given the prison until July 8, 2013 to meet all five demands we listed in 2011 and if they are not granted by July 8 then our hunger strike will continue on that day. We will demand to be treated as humyn beings, we will not be tortured any longer.

What we learned from 2011 was the repression that will come from such a non-violent protest and many ideas have since come to the fore. Many lessons were learned since the last strike, lessons that will make us stronger next round. But we call on all those oppressed to use July 8 as your rally cry and to use this historic day to bring attention to your suffering, to your torture and to your oppression. And so we ask all to join us on July 8 as once more we hunger strike in unity for all prisoners, not just in the United $tates but around the world.

United we can accomplish anything, so long as we act as one. We need to remember that our oppressors act as one when they create harsh laws and throw away the key. They act as one when their sticks are breaking our heads and when we are placed in torture conditions. It doesn't matter their background or nationality, their sticks and boots feel the same on our bodies. So let all prisoners also use this unity in a united front where every dungeon forms their own demands on July 8 to better conditions wherever you're at.

There are still a few months until this date comes, and it is better to have time to get your mind right and be prepared. California has begun to develop peace zones in all prisons and jails where no longer are prisoners at each other, oppressing each other. Instead we are promoting peace and creating peace zones in all facilities. Now, instead of warring on each other, prisoners in California are beginning to find ways to better their living conditions. They are looking to the true oppressor and developing a more revolutionary culture in all prisons, jails and youth facilities. It is only by creating a more revolutionary environment that real change can come from not only our prison conditions but also in our relations with one another behind these prison walls. Let us create these safe zones and look to those who are also held captive as struggling against the same oppressor.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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What Would U Do?

What should I do in these days & times
Where my people's in a daze, drunk,
Submissive-to-the-oppressor state of mind.
Plus all he authorized, orchestrated & given
False lies as a religion wondering why caged up like
A zoo animal trapped in a prison,
Amongst our own honor, respect & love for our people missing
To me it don't matter what set or what nation cause 2 me
U Black Tribe
Just vision what all we can accomplish if we stand
For the cause of equality, justice & righteous communism
Stand together & ride
Maybe I'm tripping or you don't see what I see
Black on Black love, power of the people & undivided
Unity
It's time to seize the power over us that they
Maintained for years.
Raped my ancestor sisters, killed my brothers
Brutality for running away from your plantations
& refusing to work on your cotton fields.
Never would you change my outlook of being a
Communist until my heart cease
I'm always there ears & eyes wide open
Waiting for the opportunity to present itself so
The process of revolution & confirmed science that
Won in the past can repeat
Peace

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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These Pigs

These pigs are liars!
These pigs been tryin to set me up, for six months maybe eight.
Motivated by sick fun, oppression, and their self-hate.
Is it my intellect, my confidence, or the fact that I refuse to break weak?
These pigs are attempting to sabotage my success, my future is looking bleak.
These pigs never play fair, they have plenty of tricks.
Refusin to feed me, tamperin with my mail, teasin me about my faith! This is how the pigs get their kicks!
These pigs are playing with dynamite
Takin for granted that tomorrow is guaranteed.
But I'm a secret warrior and I yearn to be freed.
I guess somebody should've warned them
I don't play games, I play for keeps!
A retired Iraqi veteran, a contract killer from the streets!
The pigs are oblivious to my condition
They don't even have a clue.
These pigs are not held accountable for their actions, or the damage that they do!
Will I rise and take their bait?
Or will I be humble and abstain?
Realizing the sun always comes out after the most severe torrential rain!
Today I choose Political Activism!
Love, happiness, and peace!
A collective of soldiers from MIM
Has helped to tame this beast!

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[Mental Health] [Spanish] [ULK Issue 36]
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Solo Estoy Haciendo mi Trabajo, El Experimento de Prisión de Stanford

Un artículo publicado recientemente desafia el concepto sicológico de "prejuicio de conformidad" que evolucionó del experimento de prisión realizado por Zimbardo y del experimento Maestro/Estudiante de Milgram.(1) El artículo establece conexiones a un trabajo reciente sobre la opresión llevada a cabo por los Nazis en la Alemania de Hitler, el cual concluye en general que la voluntad de las personas para lastimar u oprimir a otros en situaciones semejantes es "menos sobre gente que sigue ordenes a ciegas y más acerca de conseguir que las personas crean en al importancia de lo que están haciendo."

En el experimento de prisión de Stanford (1971) estudiantes fueron asignados papeles de guardias y prisioneros en un simulacro, pronto de que los dos grupos tomaron el comportamiento típico de su papel, con los guardias tratando a los prisioneros con tal severidad que el experimento se detuvo prematuramente. MIM(Prisiones) ha utilizado esto como ejemplo de que la opresión es sistemática y no podemos reparar las cosas simplemente con emplear los guardias adecuados, mas bien debemos cambiar el sistema. En ULK19, otro camarada se refirió al artículo en una discusión de como el comportamiento de la gente en prisión está condicionado.(2) La conclusión más determinista que la gente se lleva de esto es que la gente se comportará mal para conformarse a las expectativas. El experimento Milgram (1963) involucró a participantes que eran el "maestro," siendo fuertemente animado a que aplicara falsos choques eléctricos a "estudiantes" que contestaren preguntas incorrectamente. La conclusión aquí era que los humanos seguirán ordenes ciegamente en vez de pensar por si mismos si lo que están haciendo está bien.

"Esto pudo ser la defensa a la que se inclinaron cuando buscaban minimizar su culpabilidad" (31), pero la evidencia sugiere que funcionarios como Eichmann tenían un buen entendimiento de lo que estaban haciendo y tomaban orgullo en la energía y aplicación que ellos le traían a su trabajo.(1)

El análisis en este artículo reciente es mas apropiado para un análisis de clase social. Como los autores señalan, está bien establecido que los alemanes como Adolf Eichmann, entusiásticamente participaron en el régimen Nazi, y es la evaluación de MIM(Prisones) evaluación que existe una clase y perspectiva nacional que le permitió a los alemanes ver lo que estaban haciendo como bueno para ellos y su gente.

Mientras que nuestro análisis del experimento de prisión de Stanford se presta para promover la necesidad de cambio sistemático, esto no sucede con la sicología que surgió de él. El concepto "prejuicio de conformidad" respalda la teoría del gran líder, la teoría de la historia, en donde figuras como Hitler y Stalin eran todopoderosos y omniscientes y los millones de personas que los apoyaban eran robots sin mente. Esta teoría evidentemente disuade un análisis de condiciones y de las fuerzas sociales que interactúan y cambian esas condiciones. En contraste, observamos la teoría psicológica mas reciente en este artículo como afin hacia un análisis psicológico que incluye clase y nación.

Como la mayoría de nuestros lectores reconocerán rápidamente, guardias de prisión en la vida real frecuentemente hacen sus cosas con gran entusiasmo. Aquellos guardias que no creen que se necesita golpear a los prisioneros para crear orden n o los maltratan. Claramente los diferentes comportamientos son decisiones conscientes basadas en las creencias del individuo, como los autores de este artículo afirman. Existe un fuerte componente de clase y nación en el quien se manda a prisión y quien trabaja en prisiones. Esto ayuda a justificar la metodología más opresiva en la mente del personal de prisión. A pesar de ser superior a las conclusiones originales que se han hecho, este artículo reciente está limitado al dominio de la psicología misma y así falla en proveer una explicación al comportamiento de grupos de gente con una posición diferente en la sociedad.

No deberíamos limitar nuestro análisis a guardias de prisión y policías, los cuales son los ejemplos obvios del problema de la nación opresiva. Ward Churchill recordó el nombre de Eichmann en su infame pieza sobre el segundo ataque al World Trade Center para mencionar aquellos que trabajaron en las torres gemelas. Como aquellos americanos, Adolf Eichmann no era un asesino, sino un burócrata que estaba dispuesto a tomar decisiones que le costaron la muerte a millones de personas. Churchill escribió:

"Apelar a la 'ignorancia' — después de todo una palabra derivada de 'ignorar' — es menos que una excusa entre esta élite relativamente bien educada. Esto fue hasta el punto de que muchos de ellos, teniendo éxito en las actividades en que estaban implicados, no eran conscientes de los costos y consecuencias a los demás. Esto ocurrió por el negarse absolutamente a ver."(3)

Los autores de este artículo reciente recalcan que el llevar a cabo algo como lo que los Nazis hicieron en Alemania requiere creatividad apasionada para sobresalir y reclutar a otros que creían en lo que estaban haciendo. Es lo que llamamos el factor subjetivo en el cambio social. Alemania se enfrentaba a condiciones objetivas de aflicción económica debido a haber perdido sus colonias en la primera guerra mundial, pero tomo el desarrollo subjetivo del Socialismo Nacional para crear el movimiento que transformó la gran parte del mundo. Es por eso que nuestro camarada, quien escribió sobre psicología y condicionalmente, estaba en lo cierto al recalcar el conocimiento es necesario para contrarrestar la opresión institucional que los prisioneros enfrentan.(2) Transformando el factor subjetivo, la conciencia del ser humano, es mucho más complicada que una necesidad inherente para conformarse u obedecer ordenes. Periodos de gran cambio en la historia ayudan a demostrar el elemento dinámico de conciencia grupal el cual es mucho mas flexible de lo que la psicología determinista nos haría creer. Esto es el por que la psicología nunca podrá determinar verdaderamente el comportamiento humano. Es estudiando, clase, naciones, genero y otros intereses de grupo que podemos predecir y cambiar el curso de historia.

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[Abuse] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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Texas Pigs Break Policies to Torture Prisoners

I am writing to update you on my current situation and the goings on around the gulags. On 1/23/2013 Delta wing was hit unexpectedly with a shakedown during which I was found in possession of a large shard of glass. This is a level three offense so I was left in the dayroom for several hours awaiting placement on L wing. Around 5:15pm John Ellis, who the porkchops bow to as a sergeant, brought four of his cronies to escort me to L wing. I have had words with Ellis in the past and he has threatened to smash me.

When we get to L wing I was greeted to murmurs of disapproval and a couple of porkchops who knew me shaking their heads and saying "there goes the peace and conformity." This brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye as it's good to know I haven't been forgotten. The porkchop assigned to the position of turnkey was asked by Ellis what cells were open, to which he responded quickly "121 is open". Immediately I realized it was a set up and mentally prepared for a physical assault. It was not a physical assault but a mental assault. 121 is the hotbox, a small cage with plexiglass surrounding the outside designed for mental torture and abuse. My placement in the hot box was proof that the porkchops disregard their own rules and regulations as possession of a weapon is not behavior that merits placement in the hotbox. Ellis did this in an attempt to break my concentration and push me into conformity. Ellis said "121 sounds good" and the rest of the porkchops conformed to his intentional breaking of TDCJ policy.

When the cell door was closed Ellis told me to "have fun in the shit water." Two nights earlier an HIV positive prisoner flooded the cell with water mixed with his blood, urine, and feces. To be honest I noticed water, but floods are typical on L wing. That night my request for cleaning materials was ignored. The porkchop working the wing was Casey Ellis and he refused to bring me my property and I was forced to sleep in boxers on a metal bunk with no type of clothing or covering, and the temperature dropped to around 30 degrees.

I woke up and started making noise by kicking on the door. When I was finally successful in getting the attention of a porkchop he threatened to spray gas on me. When he realized I was calling his bluff he asked me what I wanted and I told him I needed my property. He then told me he was under orders by John Ellis to not give me anything, but because it was their Friday he would personally inventory my stuff and get it to me before he left which he did. The next night I asked everyone who walked by for cleaning supplies but no one would give them to me. That morning I finally got someone to listen to my demand to be moved out of 121, and I was put in a regular cell.

After describing the specific abuse brought down on me, I'd like to bring attention to the contradictions within the Ad-Seg policy (AD) - 03.50 as authorized by Rick Thaler CID Director.

Section IV 2. states "Indoor recreational areas shall be equipped with a minimum of one exercise mat, one chinning bar, a game table, a toilet, and a drinking fountain." I have been on the Coffield Unit over three years and have not seen an exercise mat ever. There is a urinal but no toilet, therefore defecation is a process of torture because a prisoner who may need to defecate cannot and is forced to hold it for an hour or until the prisoner gets the attention of the wing chop and then the chop may refuse to let him out. Further, several of the Ad-Seg wings including Delta and L wing have either non working urinals and/or a non-working sink. It is also per policy that the outside recreation yards are furnished with basketballs, which they are not, as the porkchops are known to stand in the hallway and continuously dribble the balls.

This now brings me to Section IV F "wholesome meals." The policy states "administrative segregation offenders shall have access to nutritional meals in accordance with the food service policy. Safety precautions shall be followed in serving meals pursuant to PO-07.006 administrative segregation officer." There's no such thing as a nutritional meal on Coffield, the supposed diet for a healthy meal is usually an undercooked hamburger or pork patty and a small serving of undercooked vegetables. The regular trays are no better because the kitchen workers steal our food, bag it up and sell it back to us and the SS help them get over on us. Now I don't knock the hustle, but steal from porkchops not the prisoners. I'm doing a lot of research through TDCJ policies for more potential grievances to which I'll keep you informed on the outcome.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade does a good job of exposing the abuse at the hands of Coffield Unit pigs. And we need to document their violations of their own policies, and use those policies to try to gain some livable conditions for our comrades. The grievance system is one battle we can sometimes use to win these victories. Though as is documented by our Texas fight to get [url-https://www.prisoncensorship.info/campaigns/TX/16] our grievances recognized, all too often the prison ignores legitimate grievances. Under Lock & Key is a good tool for exposure of this type of information, but our work doesn't stop there, we must educate everyone around us about the need to fight back, and the ties between the oppression in prison and the criminal injustice system as a whole, and the underlying system of imperialism. This is our day-to-day job as anti-imperialists.

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[Organizing] [Washington]
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Ideas for Uniting in Washington for July 8

MIM Peace Unity Growth
Here in prison, particularly my side of the map in Washington state, there is a struggle for unity amongst the oppressed classes, due to racism and the overall lack of political and class consciousness as a whole. Merging together for the sake of strength and unification in order to combat these oppressive conditions seems bleak; unless the heads of the respective oppressed classes tune back in from their myopic ignorance.

It is not hard to recognize, while we're fighting amongst each other in this pseudo-war to obtain megalomaniac status and prestige - as the elite gang or organization - in the shadows lurk the fascist pigs titillating on our destruction. The time for us to wake up and smell the reality is now, but how do we go about it when egotistical individuals refuse to smell what's real?

Well, someone of level headedness, statesmanship and respect from each and every oppressed group, needs to act as the voice in order for a meeting of the minds to occur. At this meeting/sit-down understandings between groups have to be established, in a manner potently stated by Comrade George, in his book, Blood In My Eye, not quoting but referring to: We need to settle our quarrels and come together on behalf of not just ourselves, but the people.

Washington state, despite its fascist racist cops, is a beautiful place to do time (of course only if you have to be locked up). But don't get it twisted, it's real and heads get busted and sent to the ER just like any other place around the united snakes. I'm saying that to say, the beauty of doing time comfortably in the belly of the beast has to have more of a meliorate feeling in order for us all to coexist, and rid the pigs of their elementary tactic of "divide and conquer."

I am only offering this polemic style dictum as one of many possible solutions to help end the hostilities in the state of Washington; and hopefully to potentially create unity amongst the oppressed classes in an attempt to join the other brothers and sisters of the struggle, across the country held behind enemy lines, who want and seek change in this perpetual system of corruption.

July 8th is right around the corner, so in a brazen fashion, we the oppressed classes/groups of Washington State prisons, need to draw up our own core demands for the pigs to abide by. Or we shall, as the brothers in Cali have, orchestrate peaceful non-violent demonstrations in order to show the prisons and/or facility administration that we're as serious as the threat of a 9.0 earthquake.

At the end of the day, it is up to us my brothers and sisters, especially when the time is ripe and the levels of consciousness/political development around the country in prisons have risen. Ending with a quote from Comrade George: "to expect that someone else will take the full responsibility for our own liberation is suicide."


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's call for unity is consistent with the United Front for Peace in Prisons that many behind the bars have been working to build. The first point of the five UFPP Principles is Peace: "WE organize to end the needless conflicts and violence within the U.$. prison environment. The oppressors use divide and conquer strategies so that we fight each other instead of them. We will stand together and defend ourselves from oppression."

As this comrade points out, there are many strategies that will help achieve this peace and unity. The July 8th date that is mentioned above is something prisoner's in California are organizing around. MIM(Prisons) has been working with the USW California Council to develop a list of demands that embody what we feel are minimal requirements to meet basic humyn rights for prisoners in California. We encourage prisoners in other states to take up this task as well.

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[Organizing] [Theory]
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Building a Vanguard in Prison

When lumpen and cadre unite
"The vanguard is quite simply the most advanced proletarian, the most scientifically correct element of society that actually exists." - MIM Theory 6

I am bringing this topic to the front lines within ULK, so that every prisoner can be appraised of the significance of a revolutionary vanguard. A comrade asked in ULK 29: "Does anyone know the function of a vanguard: how one is built and how it can be effectively employed?"

Within U.$. borders there have been genuine communist parties, and doing a little studying on communist movements will tell you that since Lenin ushered in a new era with the October 1917 revolution in Russia, many communist parties throughout the world proclaimed themselves to be the vanguards in their respective nations. Within U.$. borders we had the CP-USA in the 30s and 40s, while in 1962 PLP ushered itself in as the new vanguard after CP-USA fell into revisionism. Then the Black Panther Party (BPP) came on the scene in 1966 and "became the greatest vanguard party in north American history before being smashed."

Each party aforementioned had the potential to bringing a revolution if circumstances were present. Typically a vanguard would be found in a communist party who has the most correct interpretation of the concrete reality of its nation, and the proletarian ideology to take the path required to attain the ultimate goal of each and every proletarian party, the seizure of power for the proletariat. Of course, this isn't a matter that is handled with spontaneity, putschist revolts, etc. A vanguard party focuses on organizing the masses, as no revolution is capable of success without the masses and their support. As Chairman Mao Zedong once clearly put it:

"if there is to be a revolution, there must be a revolutionary party. Without a revolutionary party, without a party built on the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory and in the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary style it is impossible to lead the working class and the broad masses of the people to defeat imperialism and its running dogs."

Furthermore he expresses the following:

"the correctness or otherwise of the ideological and political line decides everything. When the party's line is correct, we have everything. If we lack men then we will have them, if we lack guns we will find them, if we don't have power, we will conquer it, if the line is incorrect, we will lose what we have conquered."

Putting emphasis on a party's political line is what will develop the party and the masses to spark a revolution. One cannot put too much importance or sole reliance on a party being the vanguard as some fall into revisionism and once that occurs it is left to other parties or cell movements to lead the masses. For instance, behind these walls, especially in California, there is no political party organizing prisoners. The closest thing to it is United Struggle from Within (USW) under MIM(Prisons)'s leadership. Although scattered in various prisons and/or blocks, each USW comrade has the potential to organize and politicize other prisoners.

There's no doubt that USW is the pathway and the first step to uniting prisoners i.e. the lumpen into a class. As noted in ULK 29: "A class is defined by it's material conditions, specifically in relation to production and distribution, and each class has an ideology that arises from those conditions." And we must recognize that ideology should be the main factor that unites, otherwise we would just be eclectic and crippled amongst political issues. Every prisoner should strive to get acquainted with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, we must be up on the theories of Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong and then contribute our revolutionary knowledge to the application of our current circumstances. Every prisoner interested in revolutionary politics should do revolutionary work.

On the basis of building or employing a vanguard, I will leave that to MIM(Prisons) to enlighten us, and I suggest for further reading on this prisoners should check out V.I. Lenin's "What is to be Done".


MIM(Prisons) adds: We point people to the essay Maoism Around Us for more history on the development of MIM and MIM(Prisons). At this point we do not see MIM(Prisons) as a vanguard party, but we recognize the need to develop such a party within U.$. borders at some point in the future. We have laid out the five principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) to unite all who can be united at the mass level in U.$. prisons as we see this as our key strategic goal at this time. Where advanced elements exist, inside or outside of prison, we promote organizing local cells that have similar standards to a vanguard party, but maintain organizational independence from other cells to promote better security and self-reliance. As this comrade says, we should stress developing ideological unity at this stage.


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