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[Mexico] [Police Brutality] [ULK Issue 47]
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The Fight Continues: One Year Anniversary of Students' Disappearance in Mexico

September 2015 marked a year since the mass kidnapping of college students in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Yet very little is said about it on the national news here in the United $tates. In fact, since last year I have caught nothing of what the families of the disappeared students are up to. How are they coping? Is justice of some sort still being sought? Well fortunately we still get reports on Mexico from the Spanish news and the small community of that region has not laid down hope, nor are they sitting down with arms crossed. The state of Guerrero has made it clear that they don’t trust the Mexican government’s competence in finding their loved ones’ remains but also in bringing down those who are responsible for the mass slaying of 43 college students out of Ayotzinapa.

On 26 September 2014 many students went into the town of Iguala in shuttle busses to protest against the local government. Something they had a reputation for doing. Usually these protests would be broken up by police and the crowds would disperse, but this night was different as the mayor must have had a different method to eliminate the frequent protests from those students in Ayotzinapa college. It was mentioned in the media that the protests were becoming a nuisance not only for the mayor Jose Luis Abarca but for the rest of the population as well. The protesters were stopping traffic, disturbing businesses and constantly shouting revolutionary slogans, waving their red flags with hammer and sickles. Instead of the usual police methods of dealing with the protesters, on September 26 the police just opened fire, killing six people. And then they rounded up the students and turned them over to the local cartel to deal with.

The mayor was in cahoots with the local cartels. After an international outcry both the mayor and his wife were arrested and are still behind bars. Many police officers were interrogated by federal agents and that’s when the story along with the names of those involved began to come out.

After being turned over to the “G.U.” by police officials, the 43 students were taken to a nearby garbage dump and strangled. Subsequently their bodies were burned and thrown in bags to be dumped at the lake. This story does not add up because it’s difficult to get rid of 43 bodies just like that. The population in Iguala remain skeptical of the reports released by the government. How can they not be when it was their own mayor and police officials who were responsible for their loved ones’ disappearance! Can it be possible that there are still higher government officials responsible for the students’ death out there running the investigation as if it were a unique incident? It is plausible given the prevalent nature of corruption in Mexico.

[h]Who were the 43 students? [/h]

Collectively they were preparing to become teachers. It was going to be their way to reach the masses. Ayotzinapa rural university was founded in 1926 as part of a new revolutionary government’s ambition to educate all Mexicans, especially in the rural areas. Since opening, Ayotzinapa has served as an advanced educational privilege for the exploited and oppressed masses in the rural areas of Guerrero state. The university offers underprivileged youth opportunities other than just being rural peasants. This campus is a place where ideas are discussed around social, political and cultural issues and of course methods of how to change circumstances in favor of the masses.

It comes as no surprise that Ayotzinapa produces some of that region’s most active agitators. Revolutionary discussions are a normal thing: “Los Normales Rurales” (the normal rurals) are a product of this university that has been a boiling pot for youth who are introduced to Marxist-Leninist revolution. We see images of Marx and Engels, students walking around campus with a Karl Marx t-shirt emblazoned with a hammer & sickle, and Che Guevara and Maoist murals on campus walls. Even universities for relatively privileged youth are often a breeding ground for radicalism, so it is no surprise that higher education for the poor would feed the revolutionary movement as people become educated in the systems of oppression and the successful and failed options for fighting back.

Los Normales Rurales were protesting their local government i.e. mayor and cronies. They were revolutionary propagandists attempting to reach the masses through actions. Like Mao Zedong’s China produced the barefoot doctors to provide adequate health care to the rural areas, Ayotzinapa University is producing teachers who will eventually find locations in other rural or urban areas. They will take teaching positions, and, armed with revolutionary theory and knowledge of their national context, they are vital to organizing the proletariat, the peasantry, the students and other sympathetic classes.

[h]Responses to the massacre[/h]

The Mexican government run by Enrique Peña Nieto only made a cursory attempt to serve justice. This was the way the Mexican government handled the massacre of its’ citizens at the hands of its’ own officials. That area was infested with corrupt government officials and continuously disappeared citizens by the cartels. The search for the missing 43 students only produced the location of more than a dozen mass graves or “fosas.”

Many citizens in Iguala are too afraid to speak out and voice their grievances but not their comrades, other “normalistas” still at Ayotzinapa. They are clamoring for the masses to join their fight against a corrupt and murdering government!

The protests were captured and televised and Mexican@s all throughout the country got involved, protesting against government officials especially those of the reactionary party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) who Mexicans hold just as responsible as the cartels who carried out the disappearances. PRI is an incorrigibly corrupt party run by the nation’s big bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie has its allies who can carry out their dirty work and would rather eliminate any opposition to their existence. The context in that country is ripe for a revolution! The contradictions between the masses and government is at the point of antagonism.

Recently during elections in Guerrero many students along with the masses wearing ski masks destroyed government offices. A concise response to who they wish to elect! The masses in Guerrero have become politicized like the masses in Michoacan state. Forming their own self-defense militias. The masses in Guerrero are on a likeminded path and still searching for the 43 normalistas, and finding more and more “fosas” with bodies. A leader of one of these self defense groups was just found murdered recently! The loved ones of the 43 normalistas are still agitating as strong as they were a year ago.

The Mexican government wants to sweep the incident from almost a year ago under the rug. Not the masses. It may seem like enough for Enrique Peña Nieto, but the Ayotzinapa campus has now become more intense in their revolutionary struggle. For the 43 fallen comrades and the population as a whole the protests persist and the masses have become more receptive to revolution in Guerrero than ever! None of this is reported by English news outlets and while the Spanish news downplays its reporting, revolutionaries in the United $tates must keep up with current events in the international context.

Many comrades in [i]ULK[/i] have expressed solidarity with Palestine, Syria, and Iraqi muslim fighters because of imperialist aggression towards them, yet we have a growing crises happening in Mexico that gets scant attention because it’s the norm down there. And there’s little mystery on why there are so many undocumented Mexican@s in the U.$. to acquire better employment opportunities and escape that country’s social crises. As internationalist revolutionaries we should advocate and support Ayotzinapa’s current struggle to liberate its community from oppressive forces like the Mexican government and drug trafficking groups. USW conveys its revolutionary solidarity to Ayotzinapa!

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[United Front] [Organizing] [Arkansas] [ULK Issue 47]
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Arkansas Study Group Responds to UFPP Discussion

I hope this letter finds you and your family in good health and high spirits. I received the information on how to form a study group and a copy of Fundamental Political Line of MIM(Prisons) you sent. Thank you. It has been very helpful. I also received Under Lock & Key No. 45.

The study group I started only has three people involved so far. It’s difficult because we are currently being housed in administrative segregation, so we basically have to yell back and forth to one another. But it’s not all bad. Having to yell to one another might get others involved in our discussions because they might hear something that touches base with them.

The material we used in our first study group was ULK 45. After passing it around we discussed some of the articles. One of those articles was “UFAO Links Up with UFPP [United Front for Peace in Prisons].”

The comrade in the article did some good things, like setting up a “poor box” and doing tournaments, but we feel that he stopped making progress when he waged a war against officers and a lumpen organization (LO). The comrade said that by a member of one LO breaking into the boxes of two other LOs, somehow his treaty was broken. I’m curious, did the comrade investigate the incident to determine whether the theft was sanctioned by the leadership of the one LO? If the theft was just an isolated incident then it should not have had any effect on the treaty. That’s assuming, of course, that the treaty in question was a peace agreement reached between the leadership of each LO in that particular barracks or at that particular unit.

We believe that if it was just an isolated incident then the comrade should have let the leadership of the LO the thief belonged to hand down punishment. However, since the comrade is the leader of the UFAO, he could have called together a “committee” to determine how the situation should be handled. We feel that if the comrade would have just prevented the thief from participating in, or benefiting from, UFAO function, he would still be in population pushing the cause forward.

We’ve learned from the comrade a lot of positive things we might try out in the future, like the poor box, but we also learned to never rush a decision, especially one that could possibly result in a “war.” We believe that all decisions made should be in line with the progress of our cause, and any decision reached should be a collective effort to ensure the best path forward is taken.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In our response to the UFAO article that this Arkansas study group is responding to from ULK 45, we asked others to share tactics for how to handle a breach of a peace treaty without resorting to violence if possible. Everyone’s conditions will be different, and what works in some facilities might not apply to others. This writer’s suggestion of approaching the leading members of the treaty-breaker’s organization is one potential option.

Even though the specific agreements you adopt will vary, it’s a good idea for everyone forming a peace treaty to discuss this question in advance, before an actual breach of the treaty happens. That way you’ll already be in agreement about how to handle a situation like the one explained by UFAO in ULK 45 where the peace treaty was thrown out the window, a “war” was initiated for retribution, and the leader of the peace treaty ended up in solitary confinement.

We hope to continue this discussion of how to make our efforts to build the United Front for Peace in Prisons as fruitful as possible. Send in tactics that have worked in your peace-building efforts to maintain course when it seems to be going off the tracks.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 49]
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The Awaken


Rising from the ashes like a phoenix
Emancipated from the fetters of oppression
O, the beauty of freedom!
Imperialism is the absolute adversary
And capitalism the daunting sin
I was branded a rebel
Because of my revolutionary stance
This was a nightmare
From which my only escape
Was to awaken

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Embrace


I ask that you embrace
the tides of the times
we are no longer confined
with binds on the mind
once we embrace
united front, scientific thought
and study for line
the long arm of imperialism
is no longer strong
when through theory and practice
we arrive at the decision
to take up arms
which is a must
if we are to defeat
imperialism’s parasitic lust
with too much greed
we fail to heed
even the most basic of humyn needs
so turn the tides of the times
study correct line
and overthrow imperialism
hystory is on our side

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[Abuse] [Rhymes/Poetry]
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Overcome


Cowards will hit you when you’re in chains.
Anger fits you, coursing through your veins.
Inflicting violence when you can’t fight back.
Demanding silence or the charges will stack.
Stop resisting, I’ve got mace!
Was sleeping, now on your face.
Throwing grenades when you are unarmed and compliant.
Snitches, puppets and police can’t take down a giant.
Most are grimy, with much snake in their blood.
The rest, evil flowers beginning to bud.
Giving us bad water and rotten food.
What the hell put them in such a bad mood?
Don’t think they can get the cuffs any tighter.
Of course they will have to chain up a fighter.
Excuse me, I’ve done nothing wrong, sir.
Under his saddle must be a burr.
Getting sprayed after being cuffed.
Wearing a badge must make them tough.
Everyone should apply a little resistance.
Make the pigs call “Officer in need of assistance.”
Like a martye against ten, maybe more or less.
Just give as much as you take, simply do your best.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Serious Ideal


Sister China
1949
Chairman Mao caught her eye
Imperialism reigns
But soon will fall
Socialism will rise
And prevail
Hammer in hand
The vanguard will swing
The capitalist pig will be nailed
The lumpen will grow its wings
We stand and fight
Instead of flight
Until the proletariat is finally free

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[Texas]
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AMBI Statement of Unity

The name of this organization is the AMBI Foundation. The purpose of this foundation is to bring prisoners to full awareness internally. Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has a way of making prisoners believe that they have no rights, but, if brought to full awareness, real eyes will realize real lies. The AMBI Foundation is under the guidance of MIM(Prisons). We recognize, understand, as well as apply the five United Front for Peace in Prisons principles. Our foundation is based on them.

Peace - We believe in peace, because without it, there’s no unity amongst inmates.
Unity - We believe in unity because only when we unite will we actually see change as well as growth
Growth - We believe in growth simply because it’s power in numbers.
Internationalism - We believe in this because we fight for freedom from discrimination as well as equality, we must practice what we preach.
Independence - The system does not and will not serve us. AMBI also stands for A Movement Built Independently

Those are all important as it is the forefront of our organization.

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[Aztlan/Chicano] [ULK Issue 47]
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Chican@ Power Marks 100th Anniversary of Plan de San Diego

Back Cover
Revolution in Texas! Revolution in Utah! Revolution in Arizona! And Revolution in California!

It is with these hystoric words once shouted by Chican@ revolutionaries a hundred years ago that we proudly echo this sentiment today as we announce the completion of Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán, on this anniversary of the Plan de San Diego. A hundred years ago, so-called “bandits” and “heathens” in the conquered territory of the United $tates, known as Aztlán, declared their war of liberation from Amerikan imperialism. And just as the Plan de San Diego grew out of heightened national oppression both on a domestic and international level, so does Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán come out of the depths of Amerika’s dungeons at a time in which the Chican@ nation, and indeed the world, risks being swallowed whole by various imperialist factions; principally Amerikan imperialism.

Those once thought to be our old guard have come closer and closer to unity with our oppressors than to our own people, yet the Chican@ lumpen pushes through, rises to the challenge and presents us with the most correct political analysis to the most pressing questions facing Aztlán today. Vendidos (sell outs) might say that revolutionary nationalism is an ancient and dead phenomenon no longer relevant in a “globalized world.” But it is exactly because of this “globalization” (i.e. imperialism) that this work is more needed than at any other time since the last round of national liberation struggles inside of U.$. borders.

Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán has been in development for well over three years and is a collaborative effort between Chican@ revolutionaries from northern and southern Califas-Aztlán and MIM(Prisons). Our comrades on the outside facilitated, guided and made possible this manifesto. This work is an example of the political unity between both major regions of Califas-Aztlán that must come to bear by the imprisoned Chican@ lumpen on an Aztlán-wide basis before we are ready to put this ideological unity into practice.

Throughout the creative process of this book there were indeed many times in which we found it difficult to continue this collaboration. This was due not only to the same old tired divisions amongst Chican@s in California that have been keeping the imprisoned Raza from uniting as one, but due to ideological and political immaturity as well. However, through all of this, Chican@ revolutionaries from both major sections of Califas-Aztlán managed to resolve our differences through the tools and weapons refined for us by the great protagonists of oppressed peoples’ movements everywhere: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. But above all, the reality that bound us throughout this work was not only our common oppression but the want and need to one day see our people free. And so, largely through the method of unity-struggle-unity and the dialectical materialist frame of thought did we finalize this important task. And as great as this work is, and as much of a watershed moment we are celebrating, we remain very much aware that this is just the opening shot to the quickly flourishing revolutionary nationalist movements within Amerika’s prisons.

This book is in service to the imprisoned Chican@ lumpen in order that they may finally have a general framework from which to build ideological unity and from which to politically grow and wrest state power from Amerikan imperialism and the white settler nation.

Just as author Benjamin Heber Johnson makes the statement, “In fifty years the projected ninety-six million Latino residents of the United States would, if considered a nation, follow only Brazil and Mexico as the most populous country in Latino America” so will it probably take as long to see the fruits of our labor.(1)

The Chican@ nation is comprised of oppressed Raza and it forms a part of Latin@ America. Chican@s Unite!


Note: “Revolution in Texas,” Yale University Press, 2003.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Get your copy of Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán today! We are hosting a one-time study group with the authors, so ask for the book ASAP so you’ll have time to participate.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Stiles Unit] [Texas]
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A lie ain't nothing for the state of Texas to Tell


Sitting in a Texas Pen
Fed like it’s 1908
For we are given skimpy trays
So we have to lick the plate

They try to say we are well fed
I tell you that’s a lie
Tortillas to hide our scrambled eggs
Make grown men want to cry

One hot dog on our largest part
Slot two slices of bread
The last three slots will stop your heart
So you might just wake up dead

I’ve eaten better homeless
And I’m not too proud to say
I’ve had more food out of dumpsters
Then what Stiles puts on your tray

I came here weighing 222
I now weigh 151
The only way that I’ll get more food
Annie get your gun

No these are not my greatest words
But I’m about the starve to death
I’ve seen people feed more to birds
But in Texas, I’m out of breath

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[Legal] [Jester III Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 47]
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Indigent Mail Restrictions Silences Prisoners

The prison oppressors have maliciously transferred me to Jester III Unit here in Richmond, Texas. I have filed numerous grievance complaints and indicated filing a Section 1983 civil lawsuit, due to prison staff violating my Constitutional rights.

I had to wait about 15 days before I was allowed to write to you all, because the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) indigent program only allows me to mail out 5 personal letters a month. Once I have submitted the 5 letters, I’m forced to wait until the next 30-day period starts. I have filed a grievance, and hope a class action lawsuit is presented to the court so that I can join in.

According to Guajardo v. Estelle 432 F.Supp 1373, prison officials must furnish postage and stationary to indigent prisoners weekly, without a waiting period. By denying me communication with my family, friends and advocates, it hinders me from informing people of the extreme mistreatment I’m constantly subjected to here.

I respectfully request the recent issue of Under Lock & Key be mailed to my new address, plus any study material to help me teach the 5 principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons (Independence, Internationalism, Growth, Unity, and Peace) within the prison environment. I greatly appreciate my beloved comrades’ assistance and highly need support. I will write to you and other comrades in the struggle as much as is possible or allowed.


MIM(Prisons) responds: It is all too common that laws are set, but that the problems continue because prison officials simply don’t follow the laws. As this correspondent writes, there are already legal standards for how indigent correspondence should be handled in Texas. Yet the Texas Board of Criminal Justice modified TDCJ’s correspondence rules in opposition to this law.

In communication with Mumia Abu-Jamal, in Mumia’s book Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A., Ed Mead explains this phenomenon well:

“[The courts] may order that you have more peanut butter on the main line but they’re not going to do anything significant or fundamental in terms of serving the public interest. And that is the limitation of jailhouse lawyering, you can get yourself out but there will be another one to replace you. You can get a friend out; there will be another one to replace him. You can file a prisoner rights suit but they’ll just not enforce it… or if it’s enforced, after a while it just dissipates, like a puddle of water evaporating and nobody really notices that it’s gone.”

For those issues that people notice are dwindling away, such as the restrictions on indigent mail in Texas, what role can lawsuits play in ensuring these rights are protected? Our correspondent would like to join on to a Class Action suit on this issue, and surely there are plenty of Texas comrades who would be interested in something similar. Ed Mead breaks it down:

“[T]he courts are a part of the State’s apparatus of repression… and the State is the means by which one class suppresses the interests of another class. And since the police and the prisons are a part of that and the courts as well, none of these enforcement mechanisms are going to abolish themselves. Once you get beyond the point of litigating over ‘we want more peanut butter on the main line,’ if you’re looking for substantial issues, then the courts aren’t the place to go…

“And the way I look at it is that the prison is the factory that turns out the product. And that product is angry people who are released to the streets full of rage, which gets taken out on their family members, their neighbors, and the community. And to try to treat individual products that the factory spews out, it’s spewing them out faster than you could possibly fix the problem. You need to focus on shutting the factory down. And the courts aren’t going to be of any assistance in that.”

In the context of our anti-imperialist organizing, we see lawsuits as having two functions. First, they can be a way to organize people by bringing them into political struggle, and demonstrating the limitations of the injustice system. Second, when successful, lawsuits can help to make space for this revolutionary organizing. Lifting the severe restrictions on indigent correspondence would definitely be better for people who are submitting articles to Under Lock & Key, participating in our correspondence study groups, or just keeping their ULK subscription active. And we’re sure that most of our comrades behind bars don’t just write to us! But even if this restriction were lifted, as it should be, there would just be some other injustice being thrown our way. Or eventually the law would be “forgotten” and we’d have to go to court over the same thing, again.

Ed Mead is a former prisoner, jailhouse lawyer, founder of Prison Legal News, and long-time revolutionary. Ey presently publish the newsletter The Rock and recently had eir autobiography published by Kersplebedeb. With Ed’s vast and long-time experience in the anti-imperialist prisoner-focused movement, ey has this to say about putting our legal efforts into a broader context of struggle: “The main thing is to put jailhouse lawyering in a context of class struggle. And when you put it in that context its limitations become abundantly clear.”

Mumia reflects on Ed’s perspective on jailhouse lawyering,

“For this one man, jailhouse law was a doorway into other realms of social reality, where the courts, for all their pomp and ceremony, were largely irrelevant to the larger social struggles rippling through society. What Mead learned was that jailhouse law was simply a means; it was not an end. It had, in Mead’s view, severe limitations.”

To move beyond these limitations, we expand our scope. While this legal system fails us, we instead aim to set the stage for communist revolution on these shores. We have various campaigns and projects centered around this goal, which we report on regularly on this website and in Under Lock & Key.

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