It’s beautiful that now there’s a better connection with us who are in this new sentence to a slow death due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions of free society. The majority of these in-prison cases are caused by nurses and pigs and other free-world staff who choose not to wear masks, either in here or out there. It’s not our fault we catch COVID-19 when we can’t go no further than the yard gates unless we’re being escorted to the prison medical facilities, an outside hospital, or to other yards or prisons. We’re not the ones who are the cause of the spread of the disease inside these prisons, but we’ll get a Rule Violation Report (RVR), which extends our sentence, for not wearing a mask from a pig who isn’t wearing one themselves.
Also now there’s no programs for us prisoners to even gain any good time kronos like attending CGA, AA, Anger Management, GED classes, or college classes. The chapel isn’t running either but the chaplains still show up to collect their check. Prisoners don’t have a way or avenue to stay out of trouble, unless they are really doing nothing. Myself and other prisoners have been harassed by the pigs for group exercising together even while using social distance procedures. CDCR ain’t working on helping us prisoners rehabilitate, we’re doing it our damn selves.
Medical facilities on the yards won’t even do a check up on individuals like myself, but they will call you up to draw your blood for testing, for COVID or not. On some straight vampire shit but us, who are the vampire slayers, the N.G.E. School of Carthage, slay the vampires by the United Front for Peace in Prisons Statement of Principles, which are:
Peace WE organize to end the needless conflicts and violence within the U.$. prison environment. The oppressors use divide and conquer strategies so that we fight each other instead of them. We will stand together and defend ourselves from oppression.
Unity WE strive to unite with those facing the same struggles as us for our common interests. To maintain unity we have to keep an open line of networking and communication, and ensure we address any situation with true facts. This is needed because of how the pigs utilize tactics such as rumors, snitches and fake communications to divide and keep division among the oppressed. The pigs see the end of their control within our unity.
Growth WE recognize the importance of education and freedom to grow in order to build real unity. We support members within our organization who leave and embrace other political organizations and concepts that are within the anti-imperialist struggle. Everyone should get in where they fit in. Similarly, we recognize the right of comrades to leave our organization if we fail to live up to the principles and purpose of the United Front for Peace in Prisons.
Internationalism WE struggle for the liberation of all oppressed people. While we are often referred to as “minorities” in this country, and we often find those who are in the same boat as us opposing us, our confidence in achieving our mission comes from our unity with all oppressed nations who represent the vast majority globally. We cannot liberate ourselves when participating in the oppression of other nations.
Independence WE build our own institutions and programs independent of the United $tates government and all its branches, right down to the local police, because this system does not serve us. By developing independent power through these institutions we do not need to compromise our goals.
As we build and live by these Principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons, we destroy the monster that imperialist/capitalist governments have created with this U.$. prison system.
Currently I’m in confinement in Florida, pending CM (Close Management) waiting on state classification officer decision. PIGs (Pro-Imperialist Goons) claim I was organizing or encouraging a riot or disturbance. All a ploy to get me behind the door for pushing the pen too effectively. I’ve just successfully appealed 4 disciplinary reports (D.R.s) written against me, including a D.R. written by the Assistant Warden.
In the mean time, I’m reading throw-back ULKs. Stuck in No. 54, learning so much. MIM, you have been so much help in my gaining political awareness, revolutionary transformation and personality. My first ULK was in 2012. I haven’t looked back since. Thank you so much.
I’m reading the article, “Coffee house revolutionaries or real militants?” by an Ohio komrade, who referred to MIM as coffee house revolutionaries, which I see as a constructive complement rather than a dis. And as I expected, in response MIM is not offended. I’m feeling this article because its helping me realize that in the struggle, everybody can’t be infantry guerrilla, the struggle need planners and other part players. The hand is made of 5 fingers, and each finger plays an equally valuable role in doing whatever the hand does.
If it wasn’t for the dialectics of coffee house revolutionaries like MIM, I would not be as effective as I am today. I would still be fighting these pigs with emotions rather than revolutionary intelligence, discipline and creativity. In order for our struggle to be effective, we need the historical analysis of coffee house revolutionaries, just as we need solid boots on the ground. We are all in the same struggle, against the very same enemy oppressor, and we are effective and victorious as long as we never forget this one point in unity for solidarity.
It’s only best that we learn from each other, constructive criticism plays a major role in self-criticism. I did a drawing once of Obama, with an obelisk in the background. MIM wrote back sending me a list of historical reasons illustrating why Obama and obelisk should not be in the same piece. The picture was contradicting itself more than doing what it was intended to do; show Obama as a black face for capitalist imperialist white supremacy. I missed my mark, and MIM made me see that via the show of Obama’s repeated drone assassinations, mass deportations, granting impunity to PIGs lynching us in the streets and court rooms, he did nothing about mass incarceration, knowing that Blacks and poors are being targeted. MIM showed me the truth, and being a good revolutionary has a lot to do with gaining truth and putting that truth into practice, and learning from the result of that practice.
MIM has been with me from my beginning stages, responding to all my letters and requests for study materials, and guidance when no one else cared or was able to care. I learned that i had to establish myself in the struggle, and MIM made it easier for me to do so. The books, the study materials, the jailhouse lawyer’s manuals and the plain old camaraderie needed as a lone operative. MIM inspired a creativity in me that the PIGs came to know and fear. PIGs are afraid of pen pushers, but when you go to reaching out and over the heads of their impunity granting bosses, they pay attention. There is nothing like a warden receiving a phone call from someone, or several people on the outside about some brutality that was not supposed to leak out from behind the Amerikkkan iron curtain. I kept reporting to MIM and anyone I thought cared, MIM would publish my reports, someone would read it and call the institution. All it takes is one phone call. And you know when they get phone calls, their body language tell it all, they speak without words.
The bigger their show, the bigger their fear. One time in 2014 they woke me up, sliding my cell door open with a bang at 1:00 in the morning, cuffed me up and took me to the security building just to ask me, “Who is MIM?” My only response was, “We want egalitarianism.” They didn’t even know what egalitarianism was. These PIGs are terrified of revolutionary civility. They expect us to behave like the animals they’ve been conditioned to believe we are, and when we show the opposite, we disarm them. They know we can go from zero to 100 in a split second, but our self-control, organizing, discipline and solidarity makes them unable to sleep at night.
Do your historic research, the revolutionary has never been the one to initiate violence, violence has always been initiated by the government. The revolutionary has only responded with self-defense. Self-defense is a must. The first thing every revolutionary must learn is that the capitalist-imperialist white supremacist is not just going to peacefully pack up and go home. They’re not just gonna give up the means of production and subsistence and power.
We need coffee house revolutionaries in the towers, at the computer screens, in the libraries, etc etc. to let us know what we are dealing with or what’s coming and the most effective scientific means of engagement. Just as importantly, we need mechanics, technicians, carpenters, plumbers, cooks, teachers. We all have to play our individual part in this struggle as a collective, in theory and in practice. MIM has taken on the practice of teaching theory and practice and that’s what revolution is, theory in practice.
With MIM’s help, I have learned and I have grown to the point where I am in solidarity with myself and others on the inside and outside, and I am still learning and growing, making a difference by being different. Sentenced to life for the gun, and being buried alive for the pent. Thanks to MIM, who gave me precious time and undivided academic attention, I’m giving these PIGs hell, with just an ink pen. Just imagine me holding a gun again, this time genuinely rehabilitated. And I am a state(enemy)-labelled sex offender. I believe in rehabilitation, I don’t care who you are, you can be rehabilitated. You can be a revolutionary, practice self-criticism, and let your action do the talking. I’ve been in and out of prison more than half my life, and I have never seen the state genuinely rehabilitate anyone. Genuine rehabilitation is like freedom, you have to give it to yourself.
For every male prisoner locked up in the state of Pennsylvania, I pose some questions:
Do a prison have the right to deprive you of food?
Do a prison have the right to deprive you of a shower?
Do a prison have the right to deprive you yard?
To determine when you can see your children and how long you can hold your children?
Every prison in the state of Pennsylvania allow gay prisoners inside of each prison to hold hands/hold each other, have make-out sessions and have intercourse. The Department of Corrections in the state of Pennsylvania even sell bras/panties, makeup, provide hormone injections and sex changes.
Why can’t we hug/hold/kiss our girlfriends and wives for more than three minutes on a visit?
Why don’t we fight for conjugal visits?
Do the prisons have the right to talk however they want?
Brothers, they don’t respect us nor treat us like human beings because under the 13th Amendment, we are slaves. Under Dred Scot v. Sanford, no black man has “rights that a white man is bound to respect” and blacks shall never have rights under the Constitution. Under Plessy v. Ferguson, we are cattle.
That is why correctional officers in the state of Pennsylvania do all these things to us and why police officers in society can kill us with little to no consequences.
Brothers, the female prisons in the state of Pennsylvania still have everything and much more, that we allowed the D.O.C. to take from us, men. Two female prisons fought to be treated like human beings and won through pain and sacrifice.
This goes beyond our personal dislikes, gang colors, religious perspectives and individual wants. Ask yourself, if two female prisons can accomplish it, why can’t 3 or more male prisons do the same?
We at SCI-Albion believe we have the power to accomplish it, so on 1 November 2020 we are hunger striking. We are not helping the D.O.C. get rich off of this oppression so we are not spending money on commissary/cable/bake sales. WE will be doing more but can’t go into that here.
We are a group comprised of Muslims from America and the Middle East, Christians, a Pastor, G.D., Loc’s, Damus, Kings, Netas, neutrals old and young. Blacks, Latinos and whites.
Here in Freedom, Love & Prosperity we promote unity and love. With the freedom to be ourselves and stop the oppression of all peoples including those in the LGBT community. We believe we are all one! We believe every one has the potential to prosper and beat oppression. We do not promote violence but awareness through group and social activities. We believe love is the ultimate goal in order to achieve unity of all minds, souls and spirits.
At the moment, during this pandemic and major outbreak inside prisons, CDCR has decided that it is best to shuffle/transfer prisoners like never before in prison history. There are transfers going on, on a major scale, daily. The administration sent out a memo and order to open up a ‘quarantine’ block in every prison across California designated for people coming in from and going to another prison –- we are being quarantined for fourteen days on our way in and out, at every stop.
Before, if you’d asked any prisoner in California if they ever got transferred out a prison they didn’t wanna be in or got transferred due to their custody points level dropping (therefore belonging to a lower/higher security yard) they would answer ‘fuck no’!!! People would be stuck in a Level 4 yard (high security) while being Level 3 (lower security) eligible for up to years at a time – or at the very least, six months. And now, at this precise moment and time of outbreak and pandemic, CDCR decides to look at each case factor and execute transfers according to their ‘code.’ People are coming in and out of every prison in California to these designated ‘quarantine blocks.’ For the first time ever, Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 are meeting up in these blocks, meeting up from all prisons and transferring out to all prisons. It would be irresponsible to think that this is not an operation by the system with the intent and agenda to exterminate its population.
On paper, the administration is making it look good by conducting and documenting daily medical and temperature checks for the two weeks of quarantine, and doing two COVID-19 swab tests before allowing prisoners on a transportation bus… but what CDCR is not telling the public is that if one refuses to take a temperature check and refuses to take the COVID-19 swab test, you will still be transferred, still get on the bus, still spread whatever you have around, still use the same showers, phone, water fountain, and be allowed to roam around!!! Yes, the ones that refuse do not leave on the 14th day mark, instead they’re documented as not transferring due to their refusal, etc. But CDCR still transfers them after an additional week of being on ‘quarantine.’ In the fifteen years I’ve been captive, never have I ever seen so many transfers myself –- nor seen the prison system shuffled up in this manner where we have about 10-15 prisons in one ‘block.’ We got people from Chino, Folsom, Lancaster, Jamestown, Corcoran, Salinas, Delano, San Quentin, Calipatria, the Bay, Solano, High Desert, all coming in four times a week on a consistent basis, and we are all confined in these newly implemented ‘quarantine blocks.’ How’s this for fighting COVID-19?
One would be ignorant not to see what these suits and ties at the table are putting in motion here. I’ve been doing my research and talking to people as they come from all these prisons they are coming from and it is amazing to hear how correctional officers and wardens are bouncing people around within the prison itself before shipping them out, how the administration gave out orders to correctional officers to do this, do that, try this under the ruse of combating COVID-19 while putting prisoners in harm’s way via reckless transfers. The stories are lengthy and too many to describe, but I will do so in a future piece and with proper equipment. For now, I’ll just use my case and experience as a small window to provide insight to the public about what the system is doing and to expose their agenda.
First off, I am a radikal intellectual, politikal prisoner, activist, abolitionist, revolutionary, Sureno artist, who has been targeted by the system throughout the years and well-documented. I was housed at New Folsom for three years before the pandemic kicked off and I went under quarantine. I had just got out the hole because the administration attempted to blame and charge me for an attempted murder that I had no knowledge of. I was back on the main line after the long battle of the torture and mental stress of being in the hole, then out of nowhere, the administration kidnaps me once again and I’m placed under another ‘investigation.’ They refused me my due process of signing a liability chrono to go back to the yard, and instead stuffed me in the hole again.
Then, as COVID-19 begins to worsen inside the prison, the administration puts me on a bus … I end up in Lancaster … I’m there for two weeks, then they let me run around the prison for one full day just to come back to my living quarters to be informed that I’m gonna be transferred again!!! I’m like, what the fuck is going on here? I’m telling the counselor, captain, committee, that what they are doing is wrong and how they putting me and everyone else at greater risk of getting sick by doing this. They told me that is not them, its the federal courts who ordered this!! I’m trying to tell them about all they’re doing wrong and how I just got to that prison two weeks prior that, etc. … nope, nothing, on another bus!! Now I get to Calipatria and I come to find out that everyone around me is experiencing the same thing! I was already in a yard of my ‘custody level’ so why continue to shuffle people like there’s no tomorrow? It is clear to see what’s happening here. If there’s a way I can file a lawsuit or join one already taking place I would like to do that. If not, well fuck it, its still fuck CDCR on mine!! Nothing about what this system is attempting to do is towards a healthy California – the only ones making sure we maintain a healthy structure is the prisoners ourselves and our loved ones. The agenda of the system is still more boxes and forms of genocide, war, population control.
This is a statement of unity issued by Dead Man Incorporated(DMI) to inform all concerned of our alignment to and full co-operation with the United Front for Peace in Prisons.
After discussion we have come to the general consensus that a unity amongst us and other oppressed peoples caught up in the struggle would best suit all involved in the interest of our common goal of ending the tyranny of the imperialist states.
The maintaining of the principles of the UFPP are critical and imperative in our mission. We, as DMI, value Peace, Unity, Growth, Internationalism and Independence. From henceforth each of us promise to uphold those principles; mind, body and spirit.
Furthermore, let it be known that We as DMI stand in alliance with the UNited Struggle from Within.
The Maryland Prison Labor Organization (MPLO) exists for the purpose of defending and preserving the rights and dignity of the incarcerated working class men and women, who are confined to correctional facilities within the State of Maryland.
Maryland’s incarcerated workers contend daily with abusive staff, inequitable compensation, unsafe or unsanitary working environments, arbitrary termination, inadequate health care, poor diet, and inhumane conditions of confinement.
As a collective and as a Class, we find this set of circumstances unacceptable, therefore our mission is to amend these circumstances by securing social and economic justice for the thousands of imprisoned laborers who have been exploited by Maryland’s Department of Corrections, and who continue to endure such exploitation as a consequence of the labor arrangement that persists behind the walls of Maryland’s correctional facilities.
We are conscious of the fact that the labor we provide is critical to the orderly and efficient functioning of the Department, and as a result of the aforementioned realities, We, the members of the MPLO, seek the following changes to the current labor arrangement within the state’s prisons:
Equitable Good Conduct Credit Compensation.
An end to Arbitrary Adjustment & Reclassification.
An end to Oppressive Conditions of Confinement, including Excessively Restrictive Management Systems, Overcrowding, and Abuse by Guards & Administration.
An end to malicious social engineering practices that are designed to cause friction, foment conflict, and incite violence amongst incarcerated citizens.
An end to collective punishment.
Increased access to economically relevant vocational & technical skills training, including that which is currently made available by the DLLR. We also seek access to state sponsored college education.
Increased access to cognitive programs currently available at the prison.
Higher quality food and more sizeable portions.
For the reasons mentioned herein, the Maryland Prison Labor Organization is hereby established for the benefit of its members, and for that of the entire incarcerated working class within the state of Maryland.
I want to give our readers a brief status update. This is the first issue in 5 months, and the one before that was about 7 months prior. Unfortunately, we will be sticking to what we called “plan C” in the last issue, which was relaunching Under Lock & Key(ULK) on an irregular basis.
We have went ahead with the new newsprint format, which has reduced our costs. With this new format, we launched the new logo that was to go on the new newsletter. Thanks to the USW comrade who drafted, and redrew the artwork for that. Otherwise, the contents of ULK should remain about what you are used to.
Before I go on, I want to include one of the appreciative letters we received from a newer subscriber:
"I want to sincerely thank you all for altering my outlook on the world and on life in general. Not to mention politics. I don’t know how to explain it, but just in the relatively short few months that I’ve been seriously studying the various ULKs and related materials, I can see and feel so many positive changes in myself, my outlook, attitude, mindframe, actions, words, thoughts, etc.
"… For example, just navigating the daily struggle in here has become much easier for me as far as interactions with the guards, etc. I just feel like I have been equipped with a much more stable mindframe and a more mature attitude. As I’m writing this I’m actually realizing that this is probably my reactionary mentality being steadily stripped away and replaced with knowledge and wisdom of what’s really going on.
“This has even had positive effects on my personal/family life as well and my ability to express myself and communicate with individuals I had a difficult time with before. I’m able to control my emotions more and deal with sense and reason which has produced better results.”
It is letters like this that reinforce the importance of Under Lock & Key and our determination to keep it going. But we can’t do so without rallying more support.
Some of the things that go into this one project include: processing incoming letters to update our mailing list, typing articles, scanning and editing art, responding to articles, editing, formatting and proofreading, layout of the newsletter, compiling and processing our latest mailing list for the USPS, proof reading the laid out newsletter, folding and packaging the newsletters, bringing them to the post office for delivery to you, and paying for all that printing and postage. We know our readers in prison can’t do most of these things. But by promoting ULK and recruiting others around our work, you can build the network of support we need.
And many of you can send donations. Thank you to all of you who have sent in stamps in recent months despite the lack of ULKs. We are still sending out lots of letters and literature and making good use of your donations!
In addition to ULK, we are prioritizing responding to letters, providing resource guides and political literature. We remain focused on our serve the people Re-Lease on Life program, which has gained some good experience and seen some setbacks in the last year. And we are working to develop Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support, so that we can expand our work to what it used to be and beyond. Finally, we continue to put time into engaging with the development of the Maoist movement here in occupied Turtle Island so that all these programs can feed into real revolutionary change in the future.
Our readership has always talked about fascism more than the mainstream because they face some of the most fascistic aspects of imperialism within U.$. borders. As the dialogue around fascism in relation to the White House enterslj6 the mainstream, it becomes more important for us to distinguish our line, and the potential strategies that follow from that line.(1)
The first draft of an article on the self-determination of the Lakota people referred repeatedly to the fascism that they faced. The parallel is certainly justified. As we know Hitler was very inspired by the Amerikan genocide and colonization of First Nations. Yet, fascism arose hundreds of years after settlers first came to Turtle Island. There are many similarities, but also differences, between Nazi Germany and the early United $tates, and the United $tates today.(2) Understanding what fascism is is important for fighting it.
Fascism as Inter-Imperialist Conflict
“Marxist-Leninists eventually argued that fascism is qualitatively more evil than ordinary imperialism. First, fascism occupied imperialist countries and exterminated national self-determination in direct ways that the other imperialists did not. Second, and less important, fascism is the open dictatorship of the bourgeoisie instead of just the more masked dictatorship of bourgeois democracy.” MC5, May 1993, “Historical applications of Line, Strategy and Tactics: The United Front”, MIM Theory 6: The Stalin Issue, p.76. ($5)
MC5 goes on to say that the principal contradiction during the period of the rise of fascism was actually that between the socialist and the imperialist camps. That the Nazis focused so much on the destruction of the Soviet Union, undermining their own success, demonstrates the role of fascism as a response to socialism.
Stalin’s strategy in this period was to divide the imperialist camp. It’s hard to see how the socialist camp today could employ such a strategy since we are not operating from the base of power that Stalin was (the USSR actually had the military might to stop the Nazis). But in his time, Stalin’s strategy proved correct.
A Global Threat or Bourgeois Politics
Antifa and the unorganized rebellions against the police in cities across the country have forced anti-fascism into the mainstream. Yet the mainstream rhetoric has quickly transformed the “battle against fascism” in the United $tates into a thinly veiled campaign for the Democratic Party presidential election in November. The likes of Bob Avakian, Angela Davis and Noam Chomsky have all called on people to vote for Joe Biden, citing this battle.
Stopping fascism is a lower level goal than ending imperialism or building socialism. There are times, like World War II, when stopping fascism is the appropriate focus for communists. At that time fascism was waging a military assault across Europe and threatening the first dictatorship of the proletariat.
Presidential candidate Biden has already promised a significant increase in military spending, and President Trump has increased military spending during his term, despite his criticisms of the self-interest of the military industrial complex. Both candidates are clearly behind continued U.$. militarism to wage war against the oppressed peoples of the world. Neither candidate has indicated a rapacious military campaign to conquer and occupy other nations. Between the two options offered by the U.$. imperialists, we do not yet see the principal characteristic that led the communists of the COMINTERN to see fascism as a greater evil than imperialism.
Those who are crying “fascism” in the U.$. today are arguing that state repression internal to the United $tates is ramping up. So let’s look at what MC5 called the “less important” distinguishing characteristic of fascism.
The Democratic Struggle Against Fascism in the Third World
“The imperialists export fascism to many Third World countries via puppet governments. And imperialist countries can turn to fascism themselves. But it is important to note that there is no third choice for independent fascism in the world: they are either imperialist or imperialist-puppets. Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan had all reached the banking stage of capitalism and had a real basis for thinking they could take over colonies from the British and French. … The vast majority of the world’s fascist-ruled countries have been U.$. puppets.” – MIM Congress, “Osama Bin Laden and the Concept of ‘Theocratic Fascism’”, 2004
Strategy varies from place to place. An example of this from the past is when the Filipinos waged a campaign against the GATT trade agreement. In the Philippines this was a righteous campaign against imperialist control over their economy. However, in the United $tates the campaign against GATT was one focused on protecting Amerikan jobs, which implies fortifying imperialist borders against labor from other countries. So you can see how the same campaign can have very different impacts in different contexts. It is our responsibility to understand our own context and organize accordingly.
In a previous article on this same topic, we mentioned the anti-imperialist rhetoric of the newly elected President Duterte in the Philippines. After Duterte’s anti-United $tates rhetoric fizzled, the National Democratic Front in the Philippines have begun campaigning against the “fascist US-Duterte regime.” This framing is important. The fascism is coming from the United $tates and being implemented by the puppet Duterte. This allows for their propaganda to be consumed within the United $tates without fueling U.$. militarism for an invasion of the Philippines to rescue them from fascism.
This is in sharp contrast to the rhetoric around “islamo-fascism” in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This framing was of course propagated by the Pentagon, but also by many calling themselves “communists.” It fueled anti-Muslim sentiments in support of U.$. militarism in Central Asia.
The framing of fascism in the form of puppet regimes is useful for the national democratic movements in the Third World to unite all who can be united. But these puppet regimes do not signify a shift in the global balance of power that warrant a strategic re-orientation like the rise of fascism within an imperialist country would.
Don’t Vote, Build Bases of Power
Another important point to note is that there is an active People’s War in the Philippines. The National Democratic Front is led by the communist party. The united front to get Trump out of office is led by the Democratic Party, in other words, the imperialists. The imperialists are not facing the threat of a communist revolution in the United $tates like they are in the Philippines that would warrant a shift to outright bourgeois dictatorship.
The imperialists responded to the 9/11 attacks with a series of changes in law, such as the Patriot Act, which legalized some of the things Trump has been doing domestically. Initially, MIM was part of the movement to oppose the Patriot Act. However, they decided to leave that movement when it was clear it was dominated by libertarians. Other “communists” tailed this movement with calls to “Drive out the Bush regime” often referring to Bush as a fascist. These same “communists” who were effectively campaigning for Obama’s election by offering no other alternative to Bush, because they have no power, are now openly endorsing Biden.
When the Soviet Union allied with the United $tates, and the Filipino communists ally with the bourgeois forces, they do not put down their guns, or give up their goals of building socialism. To be real players in the anti-fascist struggle, we must first build power like the Soviet Union did and the Filipinos are doing. Stalin did bite his tongue about U.$. imperialism to defeat German fascism. To bite our tongue today about Joe Biden’s militarism and targeting of oppressed nations with mass incarceration is to abandon the oppressed nations of the world.
It is good to see those in the imperialist state defending bourgeois democracy. That is their role. Our role is to build public opinion against imperialism and build independent institutions of the oppressed. As Trump attempts to frame Biden/Harris as the radical left, it is important to demonstrate real revolutionary politics in this country. And the target of the revolution is imperialism. Imperialism must be overthrown before we can really begin the task of building a society without oppression. To put this goal to the side to focus on getting Trump out of office, especially at a time when more and more people are looking for systemic change, is to stop representing the international proletariat. In this era in the United $tates, anti-imperialism is the radical position, while anti-fascism and anti-racism are the reformist positions.
Notes: 1. order MIM Theory 5: Diet for a Small Red Planet ($5) for an in-depth look at the relationship between line, strategy and tactics 2. order our Fascism and Contemporary Economics ($3) for a deeper look at the history and economic of fascism
I am sincere and stand by when we say Black lives matter, but I think we should say and believe that all life matters. I am in a political/race-driven prison just like in California and Texas. We say Brown Pride, White Pride, Black Pride, then White Power and Black Power. We should take all race out of it and be power to the people!
I am 50% Mexican and 50% white and in Juvenile D.O.C. it was mostly Black and Mexican. My last name is [white-sounding] so I got jumped every day for years with a couple of the other white kids. If we are to fight hurt, pain and suffering of being oppressed and rejected. But it’s hard when we are surrounded by so much hate. I only know my dad on that side of the family, the Mexican side, hates me and disowns me cuz my mom and dad was never supposed to happen.
We only admit there’s a problem when it surfaces. I got sprayed by the cops a couple months ago for no reason, filed my grievance, but don’t have no help nor know how to take further actions. It sucks that it takes people to die to get action. …
If each one of us did what was right it would be all good, but you can’t change the people that want to look at every one else instead of being a solution. I will be the solution whether anybody is watching cuz all life matters!
MIM(Prisons) responds: Since the uprisings in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, we have received many letters echoing the slogan “All Lives Matter.” Like this comrade, they are not doing so in opposition to “Black Lives Matter” but in solidarity based on similar experiences.
We want to commend this comrade for standing with all oppressed people, and with Black Lives Matter as a movement despite eir experience being jumped by New Afrikan youths while in juvie. It speaks to the unity of the oppressed, that ey could see past that experience and not paint a whole group as eir enemy, when those who have lived much more privileged lives are quick to paint whole groups based on something they saw on TV.
In today’s globalized culture it is sometimes hard to have conversations that are limited to one audience, and as a result other audiences are often offended.
In case any of our readers are unaware, the phrase “All Lives Matter” became popular among cops and white nationalists as a rejection of “Black Lives Matter.” The implication is that “Black Lives Matter” somehow means Black lives matter more than others, when on the contrary the slogan was developed by New Afrikans who just wanted their lives to be given the same respect and value as others, specifically as euro-Amerikans. The less forgiving implication is that people who say “All Lives Matter” just want to keep Black lives in a position of less value.
In contrast to this mainstream narrative, every letter that we’ve got so far from prisoners who are white or Raza, stating “All Lives Matter” seem to be coming from a genuine place of respect for all lives. But you all should know what the implications of the saying can be.
We agree with this comrade that race should not be brought into politics, as race is a baseless concept. So why do we talk about whites, and New Afrikans and indigenous and all these other groups of people so much in our writing? Well, we are talking about nation – a group of people with a common culture, language, territory and economy. While integration is greater than previous points in this country’s history, there are still independent New Afrikan, [email protected] and countless First Nations within this prisonhouse of nations that is called the United States. And until these nations are liberated from imperialism, from the United $tates, there cannot be justice here.
What about euro-Amerikans? In prison, euro-Amerikans will generally experience life as an oppressed persyn. Certainly there are hierarchies, and there are white supremacist groups that work with the pigs, etc. But most of our “white” readers are feeling more oppression than your average persyn walking down the street in the United $tates. That is why we see uniting the imprisoned lumpen on a class basis as an important project that is primary within the prison movement, while recognizing the national contradiction as primary in this country overall. To highlight this class unity, we prefer the slogan “Prisoner Lives Matter” to demonstrate what all of our comrades are facing in the Amerikkkan gulags, where you can be murdered for nothing like George Floyd was.