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[Organizing] [Campaigns] [Civil Liberties] [Eastern Correctional Institution] [Maryland] [ULK Issue 82]
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Small Victories at ECI, Organizers Keeping Pressure On

I appreciate all the comrades who assisted us with our struggle for change here at Eastern Correctional Institution (E.C.I.) We have begun to gain traction. Delegate Charles Otto has responded with a response from Maryland Department of Public Safety. Once I make copies I will send them to you all so that you can see the crap they’re saying. None the less the prison is beginning to change. Our visiting time has increased and so has our outside rec. They are even talking about allowing us to take pictures. We are not stupid though we understand that this is all to pacify us. But there has been something major that we have recognized. The system has now exposed their hand and now they are open for the guerrillas to attack – in one of the buildings here they are renovating due to the pressure from the people and as such they have to move people out of the building. So they must find space for these men. They are scrambling for spaces to put them. Now understanding this I have come up with an idea which is now under way. The plan goes as follows:

Mission #1 Fire Starter

Primary Objective: Exposure. We must expose the prison’s conditions to the outside world. We must present these conditions to our local politicians. We must network through our channels and use our families and friends to agitate those in position.

Weapon of Choice: Media

Mission #2 Fire Spreader

Primary Objective: Spread what you have done in your prison to the other prisons in your state. This must be done simultaneously.

Weapon of Choice: Letters, Phones, Social Media

After these missions are complete it will unleash a fire storm that will burn these prison systems from the inside out. Once comrades are released they are then to assist the cells from the outside.

It must be understood that every prison in Amerikkka has its issues and for them to be exposed in the manner we are seeking will force the people in position to react. They will then have to renovate these prisons and to do so they will have to decarcerate, releasing our brothers and sisters on to the streets because they will have no where to put them once they are forced to clean up the prisons. This is the beginning of a prison abolition movement I believe that will deliver a major blow to the system. The comrades here at E.C.I. have completed Mission #1 Fire Starter and we are now underway with Mission #2. It must be understood that it may not work every where but I do encourage all to try it.

It is time for the dragon to be released. Long live George Jackson.

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[United Front] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [ULK Issue 82]
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A Message To All Lumpen Organizations

Building Peace, Unity, and Solidarity Behind Enemy Lines

Introduction
1. Security Threat Group Wrongful Validation
2. Case Law
3. Oppressed, Oppressing The Oppressed!
4. What It Means To Be A Leader
5. Peace Behind Enemy Lines

Introduction

“I’m going to join the fight wherever Negroes ask for my help…” - Malcolm X

Amani (PEACE) to all Lumpen Organizations (“L.O.’s”) held captive in Amerikkka’s prisons. As we fight against dehumanizing and tortuous conditions that’s done by prisonkrats, we must get united and stay united!

Eye stand with each and every last one of you. Eye take a solidarity stand to see to it that all our needs are met. Of course Eye am one man, however, though these few pages with revolutionary strength we can all liberate ourselves behind enemy lines.

Eye will be building on some topics that need to be addressed. We are the change. Therefore, we must organize, agitate, and educate. Stay on course comrades as we seize the time!!

Security Threat Group Wrongful Validation

“A healer need to see beyond the present and tomorrow. He needs to see years and decades ahead. Because healers work for results so firm that may not be wholly visible till centuries have flowed into millennia. Those willing to do this necessary work, they are the healers of our people…” - Ayi Kwei Armah

Eye am a general of the Damu Nation. Eye am wrongfully validated as “Security Threat Group” (STG) in the state of South Carolina. An STG is a classification that prisonkrats classify Lumpen Organizational members who they fear pose a threat.

The so-called threat can be educating, organizing, agitating, litigating, money getter, and/or violent. In my as well as many it’s all of the above, however all these pigs have on STG’s are Confidential Inmates (C.I.’s). When pigs validate you they place – rather kidnap – you and hold you hostage in segregation.

The only way off of a STG validation is by “snitching”, make parole, max-out, win through lawsuits, or you die. All sorts of foolishness can get you validated such as wearing flags, tattoos, literature, violence, snitches, and just being in a leadership position. Be mindful who you associate with, watch what you do and say etc.

Amerikkka’s prison colonies have contracts with other prisons throughout Amerikkka. When pigs consider you a threat they will send you out-of-state to other prisons within Amerikkka. Comrades STG is not a game this label is on you for life so be very careful…PEACE.

Case Law

“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed…” - Steve Biko

  • Frasie v. Terhune, 283 F.3d 506 (2002)
  • Taylor v. Rodriguez, 238 F3d 188 (2nd Cir.2001)
  • Sostre v. McGinnis, 442 F.2d 179 (1971)
  • Incumaa v. Stirling, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 11321 (2015)
  • Koch v. Lewis, 96 F. Supp. 2d 949 (2000)
  • Harrison v. Institutional Gang of Investigations, 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 14944
  • Rivera v. Long (2011)

Oppressed, Oppressing The Oppressed

“Our objective is the destruction of the evil system of global white supremacy and the re-assertion of our right to self-determination and the resurrection of divine humanity that we brought to the world in the beginning…” - Heru Akki Seb

As EYE build with each of you today know and overstand this – if you fail to overstand how white supremacy works, everything that you think you know will only confuse you!! EYE speak these words too because look at how “we” are carrying on? Every organization is at war with each other.

How are we supposed to fight against oppression but yet we are doing the oppressing? We sell the enemy drugs to one another. We use derogatory language towards one another. We do everything we can to destroy one another.

These prisonkrats no longer have to get “down and dirty” to infiltrate the people anymore, you know why? You have as EYE write this C.I’s (Confidential Inmates) within every lumpen organization. And these cowards are feeding all sorts of information to pigs.

Comrades today think that it is cool to be sitting in the office with female pigs running their mouth. Overstand this – pigs use the women to seek information, in return they pass the information on to the higher up pigs.

Overstand without the drug trade in prison majority of those pigs will not work back here. We have to end this oppression, all forms of it, because as of now all EYE see is agent provocateurs working against our liberation…PEACE.

What It Means To Be A Leader

“The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above him and those below him, cannot long maintain his leadership. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth, and brings down on one’s head the contempt he deserves. Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life…” - Napoleon Hill

EYE am sure that every lumpen organizational leader has his/her own definition for “what a leader is?” However, a leader is one who leads self first, then he/she leads others. A leader is one who judges according to his/her own actions and ways. A leader leads from the front never from the back in retreat.

A leader teaches his/her subjects the necessary knowledge and skills on how to live a productive life as men and women. A leader listens to the people effectively and intently to overstand the needs of the people.

A leader never moves off feelings or emotions nor do he/she feel fear. A leader has hands-on experience with the people and his community. A leader never plays the role of a politician, he/she is out in the field with the people he/she governs.

To be an effective leader one must know him/herself first, his/her culture, history then one recognizes his/her enemy. You must listen to the people and respond to them without lies and false hope. A leader must investigate everyone who declares themselves a member of his/her community. A leader must always educate, organize, and agitate…PEACE.

Peace Behind Enemy Lines

“Revolution is not a speed race, it is a race for he who runs to the end of his life, it is not a race for racehorses, it is a race for warhorses…” - Kwame Ture

There should not be any wars with lumpen organizations! Comrades EYE need you to overstand how oppression works – it works by turning us against us. EYE overstand that people will have differences however, our differences must stop leading to riots, stabbings, degrading one another and murder.

We must end the beef amongst the oppressed if we want to be liberated. If the various leaders within the L.O.s are not leading right he/she must be removed. The only people that can liberate us-is-us!

P.E.A.C.E means Proper Education Activates Constant Elevation, therefore we greet each other with PEACE. From me to you we all we got so we must act like it…P.E.A.C.E

SEIZE THE TIME

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[Deaths in Custody] [Civil Liberties] [Black Lives Matter] [Censorship] [Federal Correctional Institution Tucson] [US Penitentiary Terra Haute] [Federal] [ULK Issue 82]
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Why Prisoners MUST Speak

statue of liberty communism

There’s an ongoing debate as to why prisoners must have rights to the First Amendment, the right to free speech. Prisons often suffocate prisoners from speaking about what happens in prisons, as if it is a “security” risk. While there are elements that can pose a prison interest, most times this is not true, but prisons use flimsy excuses to prevent prisoners from telling the world what goes on. Prisons, like USP Tucson, use the Las Vegas mantra, “what happens in prison, stays in prison” (even if it’s illegal).

Let me share with you an example of prisons illegally suffocating a prisoner’s right to tell the public what is going on:

A magazine called Labyrinth published a story about two Black prisoners at a federal facility, Terre Haute, who died of asthma. Apparently, in January of 1975, a prisoner died, then in August at the same prison, another Black prisoner died of asthma.

During that time, the prison (Terre Haute) had only one respirator, which was known to have been inoperative in January when the first prisoner died. It wasn’t working when the second prisoner died either.

That is negligence. The prison’s incompetence cost two Black prisoners their lives.

However, when Labyrinth tried to send their magazines to Marion Federal Penitentiary, the prison blocked it, claiming that the article could be “detrimental to the good order and discipline” of the institution. The courts disagreed, stating that the incidents in Terre Haute, a federal facility, are newsworthy and of “great importance” (Pell v. Procuiner, 417 US. 817, 830, n.7. 94 S. Ct 2800, 2808 n.7, 41 L.Ed 2d 495 (1975)).

In that incident, the necessity to report prison negligence outweighs the prison’s vague idea that anything that happens in prison are not for the public’s ears. The public has a tremendous right to know that prisoners are dying in American prisons, and more so, if those working in prisons are indirectly, or directly, responsible for it.

Prisoners must be allowed to tell society if human beings in American prisons are treated with humane dignity, or like slaves at a plantation, or Jewish prisoners at a Concentration (and Extermination) camp. Left unchecked, this is exactly where prisons will gravitate to.

A few years ago, I personally wrote an essay about a prisoner here at USP Tucson, who was murdered while in the SHU (Special Housing Unit). I wrote that the staff knew that if they put the prisoner in a cell with a certain prisoner, that he would be killed. And so it was.

After getting the essay out, I got a letter from a law firm representing the victim’s wife. They wanted to talk to me, to get information about the staff working at the time of the murder, because USP Tucson refused to release such information. Even though staff was directly responsible for a man’s death, they refused to give the attorney the information, protecting the officers that facilitated the murder.

Sadly, I did not have such intel, because while the prison population all knew what happened, and how, most didn’t know who worked that day. A prisoner who was in the SHU that period of time, however, would have known. This is not about “safety and security” …it’s about murder.

Prisoners must be able to inform the public of what goes on in prisons, because if not, then there is no counter to prison staff brutality. Prisons like USP Tucson can toss every law over their back, and treat prisoners like dogs. They can beat a prisoner, steal their property, rape them, and no one on the outside would ever know. And, if it did get out, the prison would suppress all information and “defend the shield.” The First Amendment allows prisoners the equalizer, to hold prisons responsible for how they treat those under their custody.

Let’s be clear; the prison staff do not have the right to torment or torture prisoners, they prevent society from knowing about it; but unless prisoners get the word out, prisons will almost always violate humane treatment.

Left unchecked, prisons will always gravitate to persecution, torment, or torture. There must be a level of accountability by prisons, otherwise there would be no fear in allowing prisoners to speak.

So, let me share another recent example of why it is critical for prisoners or captives to speak. It is all too easy to prove that if prisons prohibit prisoners from writing, it gives the prison staff a green light to neglect their responsibilities.

On Friday, 18 November 2022, USP Tucson put the entire prison population on an institutional lockdown for an unknown incident. The week prior, on November 13th there was a “code red” because a prisoner at a different facility acquired a gun and would have shot an officer except the gun didn’t fire because the bullets didn’t match the gun.

Now let that marinate for a bit: how the heck did a prisoner at a federal facility acquire a gun, and what pushed such a person to that extreme? Shouldn’t that be an issue that the prison needs to look at, as far as how staff treat prisoners? It is not always just a prisoner’s fault: it takes two to tango. What did the officer do to provoke a man to such an extremity of hate that he had to get a gun? But prisons won’t look at that. There are other essays that could be written on that, but that’s for another time.

After that incident, on Sunday November 18th, another incident involving staff resulted in an immediate and excessive 30-day lockdown. All prisoners were restricted to their cells (the word “all” really needs to be defined as certain situations clearly show that the prison did not go by their own rules) with no outside movement except to the showers every 2-3 days. But, in this, there were numerous violations by the staff at USP Tucson, most with what may be legally called “deliberate intent.”

Earlier, I was attempting to make a compelling argument about the reasons why it is critical for society to hear from prisoners. Most times people think that once a person goes into a prison they lose all of their rights, this is often told to society by people working in prisons.

This is a lie.

Prisoners walk into Amerikan prisons with most of their rights, including the First Amendment, which is the freedom of speech. This is critical in the prison environment because left unchecked it will always result in prison abuse by staff. I might sound extremist when I say all, but history has clearly shown that if prisons are left to do what they want without any check on humane treatment, it always gravitates to neglect and abuse of the prisoners.

So the First Amendment allows prisoners to voice their grievances whether the prison likes it or not, to the people on the outside who have an interest in what goes on in prisons. We did not lose the right to say what is going on in prisons, in fact, who has a greater experience than us. Often times, courts use a “hands off” approach on these issues, usually deferring to the “expertise” of prison officials. I get that, but expertise does not mean these prison officials use humanitarian elements in their decision making.

So, I gave you a real example of a situation that happened here at USP Tucson; we were put on lockdown on Friday November 18th for what was identified as a “staff assault” in a separate dorm. The prison identified the perpetrator, moved him out of general population then it turned to the rest of the prison and punished them severely as if we all had a hand in it. This is called mass punishment and it is frowned on by many countries, yet the United $tates continues to use it.

I mentioned in the first part the numerous violations that USP Tucson may have committed in what is termed “deliberate intent.” This means there was no mistaking the actions the prison took, it was intended to cause harm. Here are some of the violations:

  1. The warden never issued a memo for the official reason the prisoners were on a 30-day lockdown. If a person or people are to be punished, he or they must know why they are being punished so they can challenge it. This may very well be a violation of their due process – another constitutional right.

  2. USP Tucson prevented prisoners from filing a grievance or a “BP.” When prisoners asked for them, the counselor flatly refused. This alone, is illegal.

  3. Unit Team (Unit manager, case manger, counselor) avoided all prisoner questions, except legal calls or when passing out disciplinary charges. Unit team was working the entire time we were on the lockdown, but deliberately refused to do their job, avoiding all prisoners asking for help or assistance.

  4. Unit Team refused to pass out paper, envelopes or writing instruments, prohibiting prisoners from writing. Here is the deathblow to the First Amendment. If a prisoner is refused these elements, there is no way he can communicate to the outside world.

  5. USP Tucson violated their own policy, forcing kitchen workers to work 10-12 hours a day – every day – to prepare and clean the cafeteria. Prisoner medical orderlies, laundry workers, and selected prisoners were forced to work, but the prison refused to allow the dorm orderlies to clean the showers. This implies that the staff deemed certain prisoners “less of a security risk” than others, even though 99% of the prison population had nothing to do with the incident.

    And let’s touch on the “incident” of the “staff assault.” Here is what happened, in a nut shell. USP Tucson brought a prisoner that is on a high care level, with clear and documented psychological issues, from a high-level prison. Hh has only been on the prison grounds less than a week, and the prison decided to take away his medication. Why? That makes no sense! He obviously needed it for a reason.

    So, when the prisoner was refused his medication, he got angry, and assaulted an officer. This had nothing to do with the rest of the prison population.

  6. USP Tucson never allowed prisoners a clean shower. At the point of this essay, each unit had eight shower runs the last 4 weeks. Each of the ten shower cells were used, on average 80 times and not once did staff allow the dorm orderlies to clean it, and the showers were toxic each time prisoners had to step in there.

  7. USP Tucson prohibited the sale of stamps, nor would distribute stamps, nor would take letters without stamps. This, for 25 days, prevented prisoners from any contact with the outside world. Another deathblow to the First Amendment, and obviously, quite illegal.

This act, the one just mentioned, may be the most malicious because unless you had stamps before November 18th, you had no way to communicate with loved ones, an attorney, a church, the media, or anyone. USP Tucson violated prisoner’s First Amendment for almost a month, and ignored every request and offer to rectify the situation.

Prisoners with no stamps had no way to let loved ones know that they were okay, or alive, or if USP Tucson was beating prisoners, stealing property or doing all sorts of things to them. When families and loved ones called the prison, many were told that we were on a “COVID-19 lockdown”. That was a lie. With no accountability, staff were free to be inhumane, for almost a month. This includes a “shakedown” where the prison took easily tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal and legal property from prisoners and threw them away or took them to their families for Christmas.

When the prisoners lose their First Amendment, when prisons like USP Tucson rob people of this protected right, it immediately opens the door to mistreatment. It always happens. Without fail. It is said in a case law, Thomburg v. Abbot, that

“A prison ban on prisons sending letters that complain of internal conditions in the institution restricted the First Amendment in two ways: one, the prisoner’s right to free speech is curtailed and two, the public’s right to know what is happening within the prison system, a right that can only be fulfilled through an informed press, is restricted.”

For four weeks, I didn’t have the chance to tell people what USP Tucson was doing to us. For 25 days, I could not let my mother know that I was still alive. For 25 days I could not tell society that these federal prison staff officers had denied us humane showers, stole property, and practiced slave labor.

For 25 days we were tortured and nobody knew until now.

This is why prisoners MUST write. And just wait until you read what I share after the four weeks ended, and we were finally able to find out everything that happened around the prison.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Black Lives Matter] [ULK Issue 82]
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Aftermath Tears

Can equal justice really be counted upon,
or will it be another Black shot dead
on the front lawn?

Police suffocating Blacks with their knees
Is the new hanging,
All this yelling, marching and burning things down
But ain’t nothing changing.
The list of Black youth being killed
by police grew longer,
but the memory of George Floyd in Minneapolis grew stronger.

We need to start recognizing, humanizing,
and see the unrequited injustice,
never forget the Declaration of Independence
ain’t no fate and irony in this,
we need to fight for Dred Scott
And the dead forgot for emancipation,
we should know a universal equality
will never get passed in this nation.

A cry from the heart,
can’t echo through the cracks,
until the litany end
what it do to Blacks.

Let’s put an end to the painfully
gradual process,
If we can shrink the blue foot print,
we can make an actual progress.

We know reform isn’t enough
We need heart and power
in their voices,
because only aftermath tears of justice
will see rejoices.

4P’s Vanguard

Panther Progress

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[Africa] [Sudan] [U.S. Imperialism] [ULK Issue 82]
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Comprador Military Generals Break Out in Conflict in Sudan

Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (left) and Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (right)

On 15 April 2023, a clash between two military forces broke out in the capital city of Khartoum in Sudan.(1) Two military generals, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head each of the sides involved. Out of the two military factions, the more “regular” armed troops of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) are led by Burhan, with the militia oriented Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Dagalo.(2)

The Political-Economic Prelude to the 2023 Conflict

On 30 June 1989, Omar al-Bashir came to power in Sudan in a coup d’etat. For three decades Bashir ruled Sudan under a military dictatorship where Dagalo gained prominence as a General of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). Under Bashir, the Rapid Support Forces grew out of the Janjaweed militias mostly compromising of the southern Sudanese peasantry. In the early 2000s, the RSF helped the SAF crush the rebellion in the western region of Darfur.(3)

map of Sudan

Under the military dictatorship of Bashir, Dagalo received gold mines for his actions in the RSF. Burhan also had close ties politically with Bashir.(4) However, with the turbulent political climate that the military dictatorship of Bashir created among the civilian population, the SAF and the RSF have ousted Bashir and the military dictatorship alongside civilian protests. This coup-de-etat, birthed a short-lived civilian government that went by the name of the Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok with elections to have originally taken place in 2023. Despite Hamdok’s appeals to the people’s movement at the time, he has also had backing from the U.$. imperialists aimed to make sure the new governing force in Sudan remained friendly to the United $tates. Previously, al-Bashir had defied the Clinton regime in the U.$. by harboring Al-Qaeda’s Osama Bin-Laden during the military dictator’s reign.

In October 2021, al-Burhan along with Dagalo led a coup d’etat against Hamdok which ended the two year long civilian rule born out of the people-power revolution.

Current Situation

Most of the current fighting is being done in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. On the second day of the conflict, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors have reported that 56 people were killed and nearly 600 were injured. The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on 16 April 2023:

“There are also reports of shortages of specialized medical personnel, including anesthesiologists. Water and power cuts are affecting the functionality of health facilities, and shortages of fuel for hospital generators are also being reported.”(5)

The Russian imperialists have taken a stake in this conflict with the Wagner Group’s support for Dagalo’s RSF giving the militia surface-to-air missiles and military training to the RSF.(6) On the eve of Russia’s war with Ukraine, the Sudanese military’s lapdogs of Russian imperialism granted Russia access to Sudan’s gold in exchange for military and political support.(7)

The Chinese and the U.$. imperialists (alongside many other countries such as Egypt) have taken a more reserved stance on this conflict with more focus towards evacuating their countries’ personnel. Hundreds of Amerikan and other western imperialist countries have taken part in evacuation plans.(8)

On 27 April 2023, the civilian death toll has surpassed 500 with more than 5,000 injured and still counting according to The New York Times.(9) The bourgeoisie portray Africa as a chaos-torn continent with myriads of countries filled with constant violence, but we must remember that political-economic forces and class struggle drive the violence. The beef between Dagalo and al-Burhan is between a disagreement in assimilating Dagalo’s RSF to al-Burhan’s Sudanese military proper. While bourgeois rhetoric portrays this as humanity’s woes of famine, plague, and war that are embedded within our nature, the more scientific way to look at this picture is that the comprador-bourgeoisie (both Dagalo and al-Burhan) always struggle among themselves to be the principal lapdog for foreign imperialist forces (in this case primarily Russian). This is typical of neo-colonialism where multiple imperialist forces oftentimes have stake in a single semi-feudal neo-colony. Mao understood this for his country during semi-feudal China when the Japanese invaded, the western powers won’t let go of China without a fight. This led to the birth of a strategy by the people of having two or more imperialist forces fight amongst each other while the people maintain independence. While the current fighting is between anti-people forces, the workers and peasants of Sudan and Africa overall have the historical duty of ending these wars of the imperialists and compradors with revolutionary war of the proletariat.

Notes 1. The New York Times, “Chaos in Sudan: Who Is Battling for Power, and Why It Hasn’t Stopped” April 27, 2023.

2. Ibid.

3. Elian Peltier and Abdi Latif Dahir, “Who are the Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitaries fighting Sudan’s Army?” New York Times April 17, 2023

4. Ibid.

5. CNN, “Fighting between Sudan military rivals enters a second day, with dozens dead” April 17, 2023.

6. Ibid. (The Wagner Group is a Russian paramilitary organization that first appeared in Ukraine as part of Russia’s seizure of territory there.)

7. CNN, “Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin’s war effort in Ukraine” July 29, 2022

8. Jennifer Hansler, “US has evacuated American diplomatic personnel from Sudan” CNN April 24, 2023

9. Ibid.

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[Aztlan/Chicano] [Campaigns] [United Front] [Revolutionary History] [National Liberation] [New Afrika] [ULK Issue 81]
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Texas History: Plan de San Diego or Juneteenth?

Biden Juneteenth disatisfaction

Last year prisoners in Texas took the opportunity of the declaration of a federal holiday on Juneteenth to launch the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative (JFI), triggering a repressive response from the state prisoncrats at the TDCJ. The JFI campaign said:

“As you may know, Juneteenth has now been made a federal holiday in amerika. On this day many will sing the praises of Our oppressors or otherwise negate the reality of the lumpen (economically alienated class), that according to amerika’s 13th amendment We are STILL SLAVES. While We do not wish to nullify the intensity of the exploitation and oppression that New Afrikan people held in chattel slavery faced, We must pinpoint to the general public, those upcoming generations of youngsters looking to follow Our footsteps, that to be held in captivity by the state or feds is not only to be frowned upon but is part and parcel with the intentions of this amerikan government, and its capitalist-imperialist rulers. We say NO CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH until the relation of people holding others in captivity is fully abolished!!”

The Juneteenth Freedom Initiative put forth demands and calls for action including:

End Solitary Confinement! End Restrictive Housing Units(RHU)!

End Mass Incarceration!

Transform the prisons to cadre schools! Transform ourselves into NEW PEOPLE!

The history of utilizing Juneteenth to fight the torturous long-term isolation cells in U.$. prisons didn’t start last year with the campaign to shut down the RHU. At the 2011 Juneteenth celebration in Berkeley, CA, MIM(Prisons) did an extensive outreach campaign in support of the first round of historic hunger strikes to protest the SHU in California. These we see as proper ways of honoring the spirit of Juneteenth, which is a holiday that was kept alive for over a century by the New Afrikan nation before the United $tates took it as its own.

In his 2022 book on the history of Texas, historian Gerald Horne points out some holes in the story of Juneteenth being paraded by the bourgeois Liberals of the Biden regime. He points out how the Emancipation Proclamation did not really extend to the territory of Texas that remained beyond the jurisdiction of the Lincoln government. Texas was an independent state of Euro-settlers claiming territory from Mexico in 1836. Texas remained its own country until 1845 when it joined the United $tates. By 1865, Texans were strongly considering rejoining Mexico, which was temporarily under the rule of the French puppet Maximillian in order to maintain the system of slavery. While this did not happen, slavery continued in many parts of Texas for many years after the historic date known as Juneteenth. According to one source, “two-thirds of the freedmen in the section of country which I travelled over have never received one cent of wages since they were declared free…” Horne cites another source saying “the freedmen are in a worse condition than they ever were as slaves.”(Horne, p.457) Texans were determined to hold on to their slaves until the U.$. government came in to compensate them for their “property.”

Some fifty years after so-called emancipation, the war continued to wage between the newly coalesced white oppressor nation and the oppressed nations in the region of Texas.

“However, given the dialectic of repression generating resistance – and vice versa – it was also during this same period that Jack Johnson, the heavyweight champion from Galveston, was forced into exile in order to elude spurious charges and wound up in Mexico City during the revolutionary decade. There he sought to establish a beachhead against Jim Crow. It was also then that the monumental “Plan of San Diego” was crafted, which was said to involve retaking the land seized improperly by the U.S. during the war of aggression of the 1840s and establishing in its stead independent Black and Indigenous polities."(Horne, p.565)

Minister King X honors the legacy and story of Jack Johnson
in this song that addresses the struggle for peace in California
prisons being scorned by some other rappers on the streets.

In 2017, USW comrades launched a campaign to commemorate the Plan de San Diego each August, as the military operations carried out in southern Texas by units of 25 to 100 men against the Euro-settlers reached their high point in August and September of 1915. If you want to commemorate this revolutionary history this August, write in and ask for copies of the Plan de San Diego flier to use for outreach and get more ideas for how to honor that history.

NOTES: Gerald Horne, 2022, The Counter-Revolution of 1836: Texas Slavery & Jim Crow and the Roots of U.S. Fascism, International Publishers, New York.

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[Gender] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [United Front] [ULK Issue 81]
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ULK 80 Responses on Sex Offenders, Pedophiles, Gunnas and Gangstas

mim adventure

In most issues on of Under Lock & Key we try to address response letters to the previous issue. These articles serve as a forum for ongoing conversations within our movement. One of the topics that came up in different forms this time is the question of who are our friends and who are our enemies, who can we form a united front with? This is a question of utmost importance. In Under Lock & Key 55 we focused on the question of allying with reactionaries (like white nationalists) and outcast groups (like sex offenders), so i encourage comrades to read that issue for more on these topics.

One of the questions we tackle in our intro study program is how to assess whether a group of people are friends or enemies. I’m gonna lead here with the controversial claim that i can see a much stronger argument for why gang members are enemies of the revolution than sex offenders. We have regular letters coming in about how prison gangs are agents of the pigs, flooding the masses with deadly drugs to keep them in a stupor, and then violently attacking our comrades who stand up for themselves and don’t succumb to the plague of drugs. Of course that’s not all lumpen organizations and conditions differ in different places. But i’ve never heard of sex offenders doing that.

In my response to Slaughter below i draw parallels between peoples’ attitudes towards sex offenders and drug dealers. The fact is that both have been used as political pawns to dehumanize groups of people and get votes through fear-mongering. The use of fear-mongering around pedophilia has surged in recent years, with reactionaries linking it to fear-mongering against trans-gender people. While it’s somewhat acceptable to hate trans people, it’s more acceptable to hate pedophiles, so people like U.$. House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-GA, are waging a campaign of pegging the Democrats as pedophiles for supporting gender-affirming care for trans youth. This campaign began in recent years with “Save the Children” marches funded by reactionary think tanks. While the marches were largely populated by QAnon reactionaries, some of our comrades have been taken in by the campaign. So there is some truth to what Slaughter says below about hating pedophiles being a unifying thing beyond politics. But this does not mean it is “not political.” It just means that fear can be used to motivate all kinds of people, and it demonstrates how subjectivism can not be our guide if we hope to achieve our goals of a world without oppression, which Slaughter shares with us.

Slaughter writes: This is a response to the article in ULK 80, “Gender, nation & class divisions – Discussion of ULK 79” by a California prisoner with response by Wiawimawo. I cannot refrain from commenting on this situation within the prison, that is, the common nature of prisoners in general and their attitudes towards sex offenders, and the possibility of organizing any productive work with them in the form of a united effort.

I’ve had to let the implications of what this comrade was saying resonate for a little bit because it sounds to me as if he is attempting to justify the sex offense of a prisoner unfortunately stuck with that tag on them and pass it off as if its the same thing for everyone else comes to prison for and/or has involved themselves with. The author seems to say that crimes of sexual nature aren’t serious offenses in the broader masses of the population. He says that its not a crime to have sex, which I completely agree with. But here’s the thing, when it comes to prisoners who are convicted of say, murder like myself, and prisoners who are convicted of sex crimes. To a certain degree sex crimes are dismissed as simply frivolous…

Many prisoners, like myself, have children (a daughter) who is young, no older than 10-15 years old. And if our child were victimized by a person who is a full grown man, then the outrage that the parents will have towards the perpetrator will be malicious and even murderous in nature. … It’s one of the few unforgivable crimes that most people in and out of prison simply cannot overlook. Killing, as a result of the dynamics of oppression, along with robberies blackmarket sales of weapons and drugs, assaults using weapons, and other violent crimes are seen as something of a necessity. People do not have sex with underage boys and girls because they are oppressed. They cannot say they are pedophiles as a result of the dynamics of oppression. Pedophilia is a mental illness that any rational society, primarily a utopian, would not tolerate and want to be eliminated. There can be no comparison, in my opinion, between New Afrikans unifying with neo-Nazis and prisoners convicted of typical felonies unifying with prisoners who prey on children for sex. To compare is the thesis ad absurdum.

Now I ought to be clear and let everyone know that, having been locked up for over a decade now, and having come in the system at 18 years old, and as a re-educated Rightist, I at one time held an extreme bias towards sex offenders. During my re-education, however, I eventually rid myself of all bias from the nature of certain peoples’ crimes (sex offenders) to other races that are clearly not my own. To be sure, the world I envision is one in which national boundaries no longer exist, a world without passports or visas or immigration quotas. True globalization in the human sense, in which we recognize that the world is one and that human beings everywhere have the same rights. A world in which the riches of the planet would be distributed in an equitable fashion. The goal for me, aligned with all my comrades who have nothing to lose but our chains, is communism.

At the end of the day, however, there is not a way for me to regard a pedophile in the same sense as I regard myself. It is a moral standpoint that is separate from all politics and I think I can speak for all of us when it comes to that point in itself. It is extraordinarily difficult to stand comfortably next to a pedophile, even if our political aims are synchronized.

These very well are potential allies, my comrades; though we also must look at the end results and distinguish if we will accept pedophilia in our commune, society, world. In my opinion, it sets a dangerous precedent to repress the nature of a person if it means attaining a significant end because once the end is reached the repressed nature of a specific person will once again appear on the scene and be in need of dealing with. One thing I’ve taken note of in great revolutionary movements is the tendency to repress a certain aspect of a group to meet future ends, and then once they are met, the fight continues among the party because the characteristic a certain group appear in conflict with the overall standing of the ends which were attained. WE overthrow the oppressors and then regress into civil war. Please correct me if I have understood incorrectly. In this way there are consequences for the deliberate unity of elements that would make for complications before the judgement seat of reason.

…As much as I hate to believe it, I don’t think there will be an opportunity for unification with pedophiles and forcible rapists. Why? Because, again, these are actions that are universally condemned. Actions that inspire murderous revenge and untold malice. When it comes down to it, I simply speak, as someone who was molested by the dad of someone I befriended as a youngster.


Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: Slaughter, you are not alone. As mentioned in the original article, doing this work we are well aware of the high frequency of child abuse and child sexual abuse victims those in U.$. prisons. There is research demonstrating how such traumatic experiences as youth can have all kinds of affects on a persyn’s health later in life, including engaging in various behaviors that can lead to being targeted by the injustice system.(1)

Your position on this topic is clearly informed by your experiences, and your position is understandable. Yet the issue we take with your essay on this topic is you offer no solutions. Do you subscribe to the purification solution mentioned in the original article? Lock them all up for life? or worse?

Consider the parallel story: Someone i knew succumbed to drug addiction, and i watched them deteriorate. I was young and it was the most horrible thing i had seen or could imagine. I took up a strong hatred for drug dealers, even began hanging out with others who did so as well. I knew of people who used extreme violence to attempt to purify their neighborhoods of drug dealers. I still find our approach understandable, but recognize its futility. I also came to recognize how the ideas of those i was hanging around fed into the oppression of the state. Thankfully, i came to realize these things soon thereafter. Now i work with former drug dealers and provide them support on a weekly basis.

One comrade wrote us last week to decry a different article in ULK 80, the one on Tookie. Ey saw Tookie as someone who just changed eir tune when they had no other choice left. This is a real phenomenon. We get all kinds of people writing us, many of them desperate for any kind of assistance. At the same time, we think it is an error to say that just because someone never served the people before going into prison that they cannot be for the people after. Such a position we call metaphysics, as it sees things as unchanging, it sees people as having an essence that is eternal.

Now, your argument is that Tookie did what ey had to do given eir conditions of oppression, and a pedophile did not have to do what they did. Okay, i see the distinction you are trying to make, but wouldn’t our comrade above say the same thing about Tookie. I grew up in South Central, and i didn’t become a gang-banger, I became a revolutionary. So there.

The poem, “The Government is a Rapist” by a Michigan prisoner reads:

“The sex offender registration doesn’t show them. The government is a rapist, a criminal at large,”

The poem is an analogy, but it’s also literal. Not only are most child abusers never caught and convicted, those who are among the people in charge are almost never convicted. As is true with most crimes, the most egregious perpetrators get off scott-free because they are the ones making and enforcing the rules. This is where we are sympathetic to the argument made by the California prisoner that targeting S.O.s in prison is just an emotional outlet for other prisoners to have a scapegoat to feel better than. What is a plan to end the sexual abuse of children that doesn’t let most abusers get off scott-free and keep doing what they’re doing?

The Chinese revolution reformed brutal landlords to join society as productive members. People who robbed, starved, tortured, killed and certainly raped people. Now not all can be reformed. But this was the default approach to all people after the Communists seized state power, to give everyone an opportunity to reform and get on board. Some of the former oppressors just went along to save themselves and became problems later on as you allude to. Yet, the Chinese prisons were very good at getting people to undergo thorough self-criticisms. They did not just let people apologize and get off the hook. See Prisoners of Liberation by Allyn and Adele Rickett. This is what we mean by offering solutions.

It’s worth considering how peoples’ views would be different in such a society that was adequately addressing peoples’ needs and questions of justice. I’d argue that we will see far fewer people resorting to vigilantiism in order to feel justice is served in such a system, and that the popular views that all sex offenders should die, or all drug dealers should die, would whither away as the presence of drugs and sexual abuse also whither away

You spend some time on the California prisoner’s claims in ULK 80 about all sex being outlawed. This is another point of unity we have with you and we did not defend these claims. Even in our belief that all sex is rape, we apply proletarian morality to justice. And in many cases after the seizure of power by the communists in China, proletarian morality meant the death penalty for former landlords and oppressors of the people. But the death penalty alone does nothing to end economic exploitation or child sexual abuse.

As we said in the original article, we see all people in the imperialist countries as reforming criminals. The worst criminals are not in prison, they are running the prison, the military, the country. But as a group, those in prison have also committed some significant crimes, despite some being completely innocent. If we require everyone to be righteous communists from birth, as the critic of the Tookie article seems to imply, then we will never succeed.

It’s striking that you don’t see a parallel between nazis and pedophiles. We argue in the original article that there are less antagonistic contradictions with pedophiles. How do you argue to the contrary? Nazis generally believe that the current system of national oppression, imperialism, should be more extreme and more oppressive towards the majority of the world! Including the genocide of whole peoples! What crime could be worse than this? That said, as we also discussed, some nazis in prison reform to take up anti-imperialism. But we do not say that nazis as a group are allies because some individuals reformed and denounced their anti-people fascist ways.

When you talk about the unbridgeable divide you refer to the outrage of the parent of a molested child, and an inability to stand comfortably next to a pedophile, these are subjective reactions. Understandable, absolutely, but subjective. In the first lesson of our intro study course we have comrades analyze a topic that is very emotional for them and sort out the subjective stories and the hard facts. This is a useful exercise to help us understand the world and transform it.

Another comrade responding to the self-criticism i wrote in ULK 80 around the “Gunnas Stop” article criticized the prisoner who wrote in for being understanding of sexual acts towards prison staff:

“Those who wrote in support of Gunnas are in the wrong. They miss the whole point, it’s not about sympathy for the enemy, it’s about oppression. Communism is the goal, get that: communism – not the trading of one oppression for another. Page 2, point #1: read that shit, live that shit, teach that shit – equality against the oppressor is one thing, a legit thing, becoming the oppressor? What?! Communism doesn’t have room for those who wish to become oppressors themselves, you feel like that, then you’re the enemy too. Page 2, point #1, understand that shit: frustration at being oppressed is natural, it’s needed, this is war; but don’t you dare assume that once the power is taken from the oppressor you can fill the role – never that – then you’re the enemy.”

We aim to end all oppression, and do not aspire to oppress others. However, it’s not that oppression is never used by communists, as that is exactly what the dictatorship of the proletariat is – it is a state, a tool used by one class to oppress another. We do think the comrade above is correct in terms of combating “murderous revenge and untold malice” by the communist camp. The Chinese communists did not kill every last landlord as they came to power. They acted objectively, applying proletarian morality, which is informed by the subjective feelings of the masses but in a way that works towards a practical shared goal of transforming material conditions.

There is no apolitical morality as you argue. We must deal with child sexual abuse politically as we do with all crimes against the people. We must figure out how to transform our society to eliminate these crimes, or else they will keep happening. The fascist strategy of purification gets us nowhere.

You say pedophilia is not a result of the dynamics of oppression. I’d challenge that. There are many cases of people abusing children seemingly as a direct result of the abuse they suffered as children. In addition, the sexualization of power and of young people in our culture certainly has an affect on humyn behavior in our society. Attacking this culture and supporting victims are two ways to combat the problem of child abuse. Bourgeois science suggest there are disorders in the brain that cause pedophilia, but like any psychological diagnosis under patriarchal capitalism we are holding out for evidence that these “disorders” still exist in a world where people don’t have power over others.

Your assessment of divisions after a revolution is very astute. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the furthest advance of socialism we’ve seen to date, was based on the idea that a new bourgeoisie arises with in the party. So this is not just about old enemies rising again from the ranks, but the internal contradictions of the system creating new enemies as well. This reiterates that it is idealists to believe we can build an ideologically pure party before waging revolution. Dialectics is the concept that their are always contradictions within a thing, and things are always changing.

Revolutions are won by uniting disparate forces on a common goal. One tool we use to address this issue is the united front. The united front allows separate parties with separate interests to act towards a common goal. It also includes mass organizations, with less developed political lines. The communist party is the proletarian pole, providing proletarian leadership in the united front.

People in the communist party must carry themselves as communists. Even here, we must not be too idealistic, no one is perfect and we are all products of our conditions. But anti-people crimes certainly would not be tolerated within the party. The united front allows for the party to lead and unite with other forces and organization that may not always work in the interests of the people. The united front allows for the party to be critical of our allies when necessary to show the masses there is a better way.

We must put politics in command. With politics in command we can sort out true comrades, allies and enemies. With politics in command we can win over potential allies and sometimes even win over individual enemies. People who have committed crimes against the people and do not recognize them as crimes are people who have not gone through the necessary self-criticism to be called true comrades. We are all products of this world (and victims of it) and we are all self-determining beings. That is the duality of humyn reality. It is up to us whether we struggle with the parts of ourselves that reflect the oppressive system we are in and transform them into something to better serve the people.

NOTES: 1. Nadine Burke Harris, 2018, The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity.

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[Police Brutality] [Black Lives Matter] [New Afrika] [Campaigns] [ULK Issue 81]
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The Struggle Against Cop City in Atlanta

stop cop city banner in trees

Since 2021, the city of Atlanta in conjunction with its police force and local developers and contractors, has been trying to bulldoze a significant part of the remaining forest in the city and construct an urban warfare training center for police officers. The forest, which formerly contained a slave labor camp and then a state farm ran on prisoner labor, has been the site of occupations, sabotage of construction equipment, protests and raids by the police. Recently, the cops murdered an activist staying in the encampment defending the forest, while revolts in downtown Atlanta and confrontations with police at the site of the forest have resulted in arrests and terrorism charges for dozens of activists. The movement has racked up several victories already, including delaying the construction of the training center by several months and driving several contractors off the project entirely. But the struggle continues. At press time, the forest faces clear-cutting for the initial stages of construction.

Background

Atlanta is a rapidly and brutally gentrifying city, with a nominally Black elected leadership but a housing and economic policy that has displaced thousands of lower income New Afrikan residents. Cops have been used to harass New Afrikan tenants out of public housing to facilitate redevelopment, rent has spiked well above the already bloated national average, and the arrival of movie production companies (facilitated by tax breaks and other favors) has been a major motor of gentrification across the city.(1) The elected leadership of the city is in a bind – they have to deliver economic growth and good jobs, and get re-elected by appearing to stand against police brutality and white supremacy, but are constrained by their own commitment to capitalism and inability to confront the real power structure of the city, which, as we will see soon, is mostly unelected.

Like most Amerikan cities, Atlanta saw a weeks-long uprising against the police following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. In Atlanta, also like other Amerikan cities, local cases of police brutality added extra impetus to the protesters and their demands. The murder of Rayshard Brooks in June of 2020 led to a revolt that burned down the Wendys he’d been killed at(2), the resignation of hundreds of police officers and even the trashing of the offices of the state police. Local lumpen organizations saw a temporary truce and occupied the Wendys site with arms against rumors of white militas seeking to march near the site of Rayshard Brooks’ death. In the wake of these and similar events police and correctional forces nationwide are facing difficulties filling their ranks and reeling from their abject failure to contain the disturbances of 2020, when over sixty thousand (3) National Guard troops had to be called out to back them up. The need for Cop City is itself a sign of weakness, paranoia and poor morale of the police force.

The Campaign in the City Council

In 2021, after the rebellion, the Atlanta City Council met in secret to arrange two land deals in the South Forest, the largest expanse of forest remaining in the Metro Atlanta area. One was to give a movie studio CEO, Ryan Milsap, a swathe of public land to bulldoze and build a large movie production studio on. A second was to give another large chunk of land to the Atlanta Police Foundation, a private nonprofit that gathers money from some of the largest businesses in the region and funds policing initiatives. The APF was to construct a mock city out of concrete, similar to U.S. Military urban warfare training sites, to prepare police to prevent another 2020 from happening. (4)

The Atlanta Police Foundation (APF) is interesting all on its own. It’s entirely private, with unclear finances and no accountability to the public. It’s staffed by former national security officers, real estate investors and retired police; and it has enacted several large-scale programs around the city by itself such as building a center for a massive surveillance network across the entire city which allows footage from thousands of cameras the foundation has installed to be reviewed at one location. The APF has also built up a house renovation program that buys cheap real estate in New Afrikan neighborhoods, remodels it and gives it to police recruits to live in. All of this is done with money donated by corporations ranging from Coca Cola (who did drop out of the Foundation after pressure from activists) to Norfolk Southern. To repeat: large capitalist firms are directly funding, with no public oversight, the extension of massive surveillance networks, police colonization of New Afrikan ghettos, and the construction of a training center intended to make cops more proficient at urban warfare.

The APF is best understood not as a slush fund or a shady organization behind the scenes, but as a de facto shadow government that actually runs the city on behalf of a mostly white bourgeoisie.(5)

Activists uncovered the land deals and organized protests and a campaign to persuade the city council to not approve the projects. After months of rallies, lobbying and canvassing, the Atlanta City Council voted in late 2021 to allow the project to proceed. This outcome, which many of the activists involved in the campaign predicted, marked the first defeat for Stop Cop City. The coalition that managed this campaign, DARC (Defund Atlanta Police Department, Refund Communities) dissolved among accusations that the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) had tried to take over the campaign and use it (and its failure which they banked on) as a recruiting tool. The DSA’s plan was to allow the campaign to fail instead of criticizing it openly, with the hope that its failure would radicalize people into their organization. Commenting on this, a local communist wrote “the notion that working class Atlantans, people who live their entire lives in the trenches of the city’s class war, require a civics lesson to be radicalized is self-evidently chauvinistic.” (6)

The Campaign in the Weelaunee Forest

Parallel to the campaign against the city council and continuing after it had been defeated, a growing and mostly anonymous group of people calling themselves “forest defenders” were ramping up their activity. Some engaged in tree-sits in the forest, others established gardens or engaged in mutual aid projects and free concerts, and others routinely sabotaged construction and surveying equipment preparing the forest for the project.(7)

At one point members of the Muscogee (Creek) tribe from Oklahoma, who lived in the South Forest before being expelled during the 1820’s, returned to the forest, conducted a stomp dance ceremony and shared the forest’s pre-colonial name: Weelaunee.

Several times, crews hired by Ryan Milsap to start demolishing the forest ahead of official permitting were driven out after direct confrontation by forest defenders. Outside the forest, protests against contractors, politicians and business-people involved in the project routinely escalated to vandalism and provoked repression from the police. In one case, a protest in East Atlanta Village was attacked by cops as it was ending, but the heavy-handed tactics of the police resulted in all 17 arrests being dismissed and thousands in restitution paid to those targeted. One of the general contractors of the project, Reeves + Young, dropped out after another direct protest at their officers and after several of their vehicles were sabotaged in the forest. It should be noted that not all interactions between construction workers and the forest defenders were hostile – when crews from the local power company showed up to do maintenance on a line in the forest, they worked around a garden that forest defenders had planted instead of destroying it.

Throughout late 2021 and 2022 this back and forth continued, with coordinated Weeks of Action bringing hundreds of people into the forest and a fluctuating smaller body of activists building and defending the forest in the interim.

Raids and the Murder of Tortuguita

Different police agencies routinely entered the forest and raided it repeatedly. Last May, following a Week of Action, cops came into the forest and smashed up a lot of protest infrastructure that was on the ground. Activists retreated to the trees, continued confronting work crews and burning equipment that was left unguarded at night. A statement issued after one of these incidents read “if you build it we will burn it.” In December of last year another raid resulted in the destruction of more shelters and 6 people were arrested and charged with ‘domestic terrorism.’

On 18 January 2023, a final raid into the forest by officers from the Georgia State Highway Patrol and numerous other police agencies attacked the forest with guns drawn. During the raid a forest defender sitting under a tarp refused orders to get up and leave, and the cops shot em several times at close range, claiming self defense. Eir name was Manuel Paez Teran (nicknamed Tortuguita or Tort), an indigenous anarchist from Venezuela, and ey’d been living in the forest for almost a year helping to coordinate its supply and defense. The cop story, that Tort had fired first from under the tarp and wounded an officer, began to unravel quickly. On body camera footage released weeks later an officer can be heard saying ‘you fucked your own officer up?’ after the shots, implying that the officer who was wounded was shot by his own people. Tort’s autopsy showed bullet wounds through the palms of eir hands, a story more consistent with an encounter killing than a firefight.(8)

Today

The movement is mostly evicted from the forest for now, and initial tree clearing has begun. The murder of Tortuguita, however, has dramatically raised the temperature of the struggle. The City council has already started walking back some of their plans for Cop City, and support for the movement and criticism of Mayor Dickens for being involved in it, has swelled. It’s also important to remember that without the resistance the whole forest would be gone and Cop City would be half-built already.

For Rayshard Brooks, for Tortuguita, and for victims of poverty and police violence in Atlanta whose names we know and those we don’t, we say Stop Cop City.

NOTES:
(1) Cde. KM Cascia “The White Left is Building Cop City” March 2, 2023.
(2) Greyhound, “On the Tragic Death of Secoriea Turner” July 2020.
(3) Alexandra Sternlicht, “Over 4,400 Arrests, 62,000 National Guard Troops Deployed: George Floyd Protests By The Numbers”.
(4) Crimethinc, “The City in the Forest: Reinventing Resistance for an Age of Climate Crisis and Police Militarization” Crimethinc, April 11, 2022. Background for the struggle aginst Cop City comes from this zine unless otherwise noted.
(5) Cascia, “The White Left Is Building Cop City”
(6) Ibid.
(7) Crimethinc, “The Forest in the City: Two Years of Forest Defense in Atlanta, Georgia” February 22, 2023. All info in this section comes from this zine unless otherwise noted.
(8) Alex Binder, “Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Terán’s Independent Autopsy Report Released at Press Conference” March 13, 2023.

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[China] [U.S. Imperialism] [ULK Issue 81]
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Chinese and U.$. imperialists Saber Rattle on the International Stage

On 7 March 2023, China’s new foreign minister Qin Gang, in his first public appearance, delivered denouncements and warnings that “conflict and confrontation” with the United $tates is inevitable if the U.$. imperialists do not change their course.(1) Before becoming China’s new foreign minister, Qin Gang was an ambassador to the United $tates known for eir non-confrontational and diplomatic approaches to eir job.(2) This new public statement marks a clear shift in tone from the diplomatic and cautious reputation that Qin has built as eir time as ambassador. On the National People’s Congress in Beijing, Qin has said the following:

“If the United States does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation.”(3)

Alongside these comments, Qin has condemned the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” of the United $tates which ey claims is sparking discourse and a new cold war in Asia and seeks the containment of China as a country.

One day after, on 8 March 2023, U.$. ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel made a response to Qin’s claims that China should not be surprised at all that Washington and its allies are deepening military ties in reaction to China’s aggression:

“You look at India, you look at the Philippines, you look at Australia, you look at the United States, Canada or Japan. They [China] have had in just the last three months a military or some type of confrontation with every country. And then they’re shocked that countries are taking their own steps for deterrence to protect themselves. What did they think they were going to do?”(4)

Emanuel responded to Qin’s claims that the Amerikans’ Indo-Pacific strategy is not in fact containment of China but a “deterrence” of China’s aggression in the previous months. In the past three months, Chinese ships harassed the Filipino navy;(5) conducted military drills near Taiwan and fired missiles (those missiles landed on Japan’s territorial waters);(6) and have had border skirmishes in the Himalayas with India.(7)

The Indo-Pacific Strategy of the U.$. imperialists

The Indo-Pacific strategy of the United $tates was a particular target of Foreign Minister Qin’s condemnations. The Indo-Pacific strategy is a political-economic program launched by the Biden administration which has highlighted the economic importance of the region of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific. In the program, the U.$. imperialists also highlight the “aggressive forces” of the Indo-Pacific region – namely China and the DPRK – which the program claims furthers destabilization.(8)

“The United States is an Indo-Pacific power. The region, stretching from our Pacific coastline to the Indian Ocean, is home to more than half of the world’s people, nearly two-thirds of the world’s economy, and seven of the world’s largest militaries. More members of the U.S. military are based in the region than in any other outside the United States. It supports more than three million American jobs and is the source of nearly $900 billion in foreign direct investment in the United States. In the years ahead, as the region drives as much as two-thirds of global economic growth, its influence will only grow—as will its importance to the United States.” - The Indo-Pacific’s Promise (The Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States, February 2022). (9)

This pamphlet of the U.$. imperialists lays a clear plan for the shape of things to come. The question is whether the U.$. imperialism can defeat rising new star Chinese social-imperialism who is also looking to pierce their fangs into the region.

Qin Gang has made the claim that this strategy of the United $tates is the Southeast Asian version of the NATO; asserting China’s position parallel to that of the USSR and the countries of India, Japan, South Korea, and Australia as the NATO alliance which plays the part of Western Europe.

We see these particular trends among today’s big imperialist powers as incredibly worrying due to the similarities to the political-economic contradictions among the imperialist forces of the early twentieth century, which resulted in the first World War.

One difference/advantage that Amerikkka always will have over China or Russia is battle hardened experience. The Amerikkkan empire have been at war (against other imperialist powers during the two world wars and against colonies fighting for self-determination alike) for nearly all of the 20th century. While China and Russia have had some military conflicts with other nations during their post-socialist capitalist restoration era (namely in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe respectively) these little post-capitalist restoration wars are nowhere near the level of experience the United $tates have had against Nazi Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Cracking down on Chechnyan “terrorist” cells in Eastern Europe by the Russian Armed Forces, or beating up revolting farmers/ethnic minorities on the countryside by the so-called “People’s Liberation Army” is a cakewalk compared to the genocidal wars Amerika waged throughout the 20th century.

Saber Rattlings in Taiwan

After Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen met with U.$. house of representative speaker Kevin McCarthy, the so-called “People’s Liberation Army” of China began conducting military drills in Taiwan waters.

Taiwan’s modern history began with the losers of the civil war in China. The Kuomintang (the nationalist party - KMT) of China fled from the people’s wrath and the Communist Party of China (CPC), which had overthrown the KMT’s bourgeois dictatorship, replacing it with a proletarian one. The KMT fugitives have massacred the indigenous people of Taiwan, and began the nation building project sponsored by U.$. imperialism. For many years Taiwan actually held the legitimate position recognized by the international community as “real” China. With the restoration of capitalism in China, the KMT of Taiwan actually seeks to cozy up to the social-imperialist CCP and takes a “moderate” stance on Taiwan independence affirming that Taiwan is still Chinese while the Taiwanese nationalists of the pan-green alliance and the Democratic Progressive Party take a more harder stance on Taiwanese national identity.

After president Tsai Ing-Wen’s meeting with the U.$. imperialists in Los Angeles, China began a 3 day long military exercises on the doorsteps of Taiwan. With precision air strikes designed to intimidate the Taiwanese government, and a naval blockade, the so-called PLA have certainly flexed their muscles on the front. (10)

The official statement from the Chinese military reads as follows:

“The theater’s troops are ready to fight at all times and can fight at any time to resolutely smash any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ and foreign interference attempts.” (11)

On 10 April 2022, Taiwan detected 91 flights by Chinese bombers as well as multiple fighter jets. (12)

Capitalism-Imperialism Makes Inter-Imperialist Conflicts Inevitable

The Indo-Pacific strategy recognizes the economic importance that the region of Southeast Asia and the Pacific holds not only for the United $tates but also for the imperial core overall. China also recognizes this. Under capitalism, where labor in itself is a commodity, the cheap labor and the immense surplus value that the world imperialist system plunders from Southeast Asia is invaluable to China as a new rising imperialist power.

Qin Gang proclaimed warnings that the actions of the U.$. imperialists will cause a new cold war. We at MIM(Prisons) say that the social-imperialist forces of China and the United $tates are creating the precedence for a new world war as the nature of capitalism-imperialism makes it inevitable for the great imperialist powers to eventually battle over and reorganize their respective neo-colonial turfs/territories.(13)

If fascism arrives in the United $tates, then the communists and the revolutionaries will have their duties and work to do just like always. If inter-imperialist conflict breaks out and a new world war enters in our world, then we will have our duties and work to do to as well. The nihilism of impending crisis is common here in the belly of the beast. But Marxists recognize these developments as the inevitable playing out of the inherent contradictions of the capitalist system. Periods of great conflict are when qualitative transformations happen, and this is a good thing. It is our role to understand these changes so that we can move things in the interests of the world’s majority.

NOTES: 1. Nectar Gan, 8 March 2023, China’s new foreign minister warns of conflict with US, defends Russia ties, CNN.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Brad Lendon, Marc Stewart, 8 March 2023, Exclusive: China’s ‘attacks’ unite region against Beijing, US ambassador to Japan says, CNN.
5. Brad Lendon, 13 February 2023 2022, Philippine Coast Guard says Chinese ship aimed laser at one of its vessels, CNN.
6. Brad Lendon, 4 August 2022, China fires missiles near Taiwan in live-fire drills as PLA encircles island, CNN.
7. Ibid.
8. The White House Washington, 24 September 2021, Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States.
9. Ibid.
10. Ben Blanchard Yimou Lee, 10 April 2023, China ends Taiwan drills after practicing blockades, precision strikes, Reuters.
11. Ibid.
12. Huizhong Wu, 10 April 2023, China military ‘ready to fight’ after drills near Taiwan, ABC.
13. Wiawimawo, February 2018, China’s Role in Increasing Inter-Imperialist Rivalries, Under Lock & Key No. 60.

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