The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Expand ULK. Send us $50 concealed cash with an address and we'll send you a stack of each issue for the next year. help out
[Security] [ULK Issue 28]
expand

Snitch-Jacketing Aoki

On August 20, 2012 an article was released alleging that Richard Aoki, a Japanese national and early Black Panther Party (BPP) member, was an FBI informant. This claim was made by journalist and author Seth Rosenfeld, whose book Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power was conveniently released on August 21. On September 7, 2012 Rosenfeld published a follow-up article, with 221 pages of "newly released" FBI documents which he believes further implicate Aoki as an FBI informant.(1)

Let's start with Rosenfeld's political worldview, because we know no journalist is truly unbiased. Rosenfeld's opinion on liberation struggles is revealed in his characterization of the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), that Aoki organized in, as a violent student movement.(2) He blames the violence of the 1968-69 strikes of the TWLF on Bay Area college campuses on the strikers themselves, not the pigs. Yet the students did not initiate violence, and in fact were sprayed with so much teargas by the pigs that the trees in Sproul Plaza on the University of California at Berkeley campus were still irritating students' eyes even into the following school year. Coming from this perspective we must question Rosenfeld's assessment of the FBI right off the bat.

Aoki
Aoki in confrontation with police at a protest near UC Berkeley

Influencing the Party greatly from its beginning, Richard Aoki is most famous for supplying the BPP with their first guns. According to his biography, Aoki helped shape the early ideology of the Panthers through his relationship with Bobby Seale and Huey Newton at Merritt College by suggesting reading material and engaging with them in political debate.(3) Besides his work with the BPP, Richard Aoki also did much organizing and protest work with the Third World Liberation Front via the Asian American Political Alliance. Aoki remained politically active and revolutionary-minded even until his death in 2009. Surprisingly, Rosenfeld is from San Francisco and has been doing research for this book since 1982, yet it wasn't until 2002 or 2003 that he learned of Richard Aoki.

Understandably, Rosenfeld's claim has sparked a lot of debate on the internet and radio as to whether it is true or not. While we are open to the possibility of nearly anyone being an agent of the state, MIM(Prisons) agrees with those who have held out for clear proof before we will consider denouncing Aoki's legacy of the state. Objectively, the current evidence supporting this claim is inconclusive at best. The original article was highly sensational, focusing on vague, chopped up, and misquoted sound-bites of a 2007 interview with Aoki that the author interprets as admissions of guilt. Besides these sound-bites, the only other evidence offered are ambiguous FBI documents, citing Aoki as providing "unique" information not available from any other source, and the testimony of former FBI agents, of whom the only one that supposedly knew Aoki is also dead.(4) Yet none of the documents say what information Aoki supposedly gave the FBI; it has all been redacted.

On the radio program APEX Express, Harvey Dong, a close friend of Richard Aoki, offered the listener a thorough reading of the relevant parts of the FBI documents cited by Rosenfeld (as well as excerpts from Aoki's college term papers).(2) The only information which allegedly came from Aoki in the first set of FBI documents is about Aoki himself and could have been obtained using a wiretap (or informant) on Aoki. Assuming the released FBI documents are real, the set released on September 7 does establish that Aoki was giving information to the FBI from 1961 to 1977, but very little about that relationship is revealed.

Richard Aoki FBI file FOIA
First page of FBI documents released under FOIA
documenting his role as an informant for the Bureau.

The fact that the FBI redacts all names of individuals and organizations that Aoki allegedly provided information on makes it impossible to speculate on the nature of his interactions with the Bureau. Rosenfeld's follow-up article pulls many quotes from the 221 pages of documents indicating that Aoki provided valuable information, but any details that might substantiate these statements are redacted or absent. Despite this release of new documents, there is still no information on what intelligence he allegedly gave to the FBI on the BPP or other groups. While we should always be prepared for the possibility that a trusted comrade is an agent, we need to see evidence of harm done to the movement to condemn someone who did so much to advance the cause.

It is very conceivable that the FBI is snitch-jacketing Aoki to discredit his work as a Third Worldist revolutionary activist, discredit the Panthers as pawns of the FBI, and more simply to sell copies of Rosenthal's new book. One of the lessons we learned from the Panthers, and other political movements of the 1960s, is the importance of security. The COINTELPRO attacks on the Panthers led MIM to develop as a semi-underground organization that keeps comrades at arm's length, centering around political, rather than persynal, relationships.

Interestingly, on 20 August the FBI had yet to release about 4,000 pages of documents on Richard Aoki, and was claiming to have no main file on Aoki himself. This cannot be true considering how politically active and outspoken he was. Rosenfeld and others saw the FBI withholding these documents as indicative of Aoki's status as an informant, assuming these were reports given by Aoki.(4) Then supposedly some time between 20 August and 7 September, the FBI released at least 221 pages of documentation just on Richard Aoki. With all the heated debate, we note that the FBI chose a very opportunistic time to release these documents, which causes us to further question their legitimacy. Why would the FBI release documentation that says Aoki didn't provide valuable information? This controversy is feeding right into their agenda to undermine revolutionary activists and movements.

The distrust that has evolved surrounding this claim is classic, and a perfect example of why the BPP often quoted Mao by saying, "No investigation, no right to speak." This Aoki "scandal" should be a reminder of how snitch-jacketing can impact our anti-imperialist movement, and our prison organizing especially. One of the principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons is 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."(5)

This is a lesson we've unfortunately had to learn time and time again. A claim that everyone on SNY or Protective Custody is a snitch, or a rumor on the yard, is not sufficient evidence to call someone out as an agent of the state. Sometimes comrades suggest that we require USW members to submit their files from the Department of Corrections to determine whether they are compromised in any way based on charges, and where they've been housed in the past. They tell us we should ask the state who we should let into USW. Not only is this ridiculous in theory, but we know of at least one case where an informant was given doctored files and released back onto general population to be a Lieutenant in a prominent LO in California. A piece of paper from a government agency should only be considered as one piece of evidence, not the sacrosanct truth.

The state is already putting a lot of energy into making us suspicious of our fellow revolutionaries; we should not make their job any easier. Instead we should be communicating with each other directly if we suspect unprincipled divisions are being fomented. Our struggle is too important to get caught up in rumor mongering and sectarianism.

Even if evidence does eventually come out which proves Aoki was providing the FBI with information that actually helped them attack the liberation struggle, we will still not be devastated. While we don't agree with Fred Ho's subjectivist methodology of defending Aoki overall, we do have unity with his perspective on the consequence of truth in the allegation. "If Aoki was an agent, so what? He surely was a piss-poor one because what he contributed to the movement is enormously greater than anything he could have detracted or derailed."(6) This view is right in line with our view on how to maintain security within the anti-imperialist prison movement; don't give a pig the opportunity to do more damage than good. Distributing information on a need-to-know basis and applying high standards to different levels of membership will help ensure people contribute more to the cause than to the enemy.

chain
[Censorship] [Legal] [Civil Liberties] [Illinois] [ULK Issue 32]
expand

Fighting Censorship in Illinois

On 3 October 2011 I was notified by prison authorities that I had received the September/October 2011 No. 22 issue of Under Lock & Key (ULK) in the mail. I was further notified that I could not have ULK because it is banned throughout the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). I grieved this unconstitutional banning of ULK since IDOC cannot validate its claim that ULK is a threat to security. On 27 July 2012 I filed a Section 1983 Civil Suit against the director of IDOC, S.A. Godinez.

This lawsuit is based on the grounds that IDOC cannot substantiate the banning of ULK and that the banning of ULK violates my Constitutional Rights to:
1) Receive and own reading material;
2) Have freedom of speech; and
3) Have freedom of political expression.

In my Statement of Claim I gave a brief definition of what MIM(Prisons) and ULK are. However, I was wondering if you would like to prepare a statement about what exactly MIM(Prisons) and ULK are and the purpose of their existence.

In further news, on 16 August 2012 another prisoner and I received a notice saying that we had received the July/August 2012 No. 27 issue of ULK in the mail and that we couldn't have it because ULK is banned. We are both currently in the second of three stages of the grievance procedure and will be filing a Class Action lawsuit within the next six months challenging the banning of ULK. This suit will merge with my already existing one.

Any information that you can send me on this topic would be greatly appreciated.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The comrade above has not received an issue of Under Lock & Key since November 2011. Appealing the censorship and going through the grievance procedure will often successfully get you the mail that the authorities are attempting to deny. If that doesn't work, we need to be prepared to take the censors to court when possible.

Unfortunately, due to our very limited resources, it is very difficult for us to offer legal assistance directly on your case. Instead we run the Prisoners' Legal Clinic in an attempt to empower and encourage our subscribers to do their best putting together and filing their case on their own. Recently another comrade offered h legal services to help fight censorship in Illinois, which is not just an ongoing problem for the author of this Civil Suit. We are attempting to facilitate this anti-censorship battle and push it to a head. Remember to send in your censorship documentation and status updates on your anti-censorship grievances and cases so we can publicize them on our website. If you are a lawyer on the outside and want to work on this issue, please get in touch.

chain
[National Oppression] [Estelle High Security Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 28]
expand

Texas Guards Encourage Oppressed Nation Fights

On or around 31 July 2012 there was a small scale race riot on the Estelle Unit which is located in Huntsville, Texas. Sad to say it was Brown on Black and a New Afrikan prisoner was killed. As a member of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party I hate to see two oppressed groups going at each other while the oppressor remains unscathed and ignored.

Nevertheless, the extremely reactionary prisoncrats took this opportunity to show us what they're all about. About one week after the incident we were placed on a special disciplinary lockdown and fed "Johnnies" seven days a week. These weren't any normal "Johnnies," they were concentration camp like rations. An example of one meal that actually sparked a group demonstration across all color and race barriers was: 1 corn dog, a small biscuit with a sliver of peanut butter and jelly and 10 or 12 raisins! I myself wrote a letter to the Assistant Warden, Steven T. Miller, shedding light on the sub-par meals and asking him if the administration was using food (or the lack thereof) as a means to torture prisoners or as a draconian behavior modification tactic.

Once the administration became aware that the focus was now on them they immediately prepared and delivered more food and I have never ever seen that response before. However, I must say the meals being served were way beneath the caloric intake requirements set forth by the ACA (American Corrections Association). This particular incident took place on 15 August 2012 and it was the last meal served that day.

There is an ugly under-current of racism that exists here in Texas prisons. Many white male officers take pleasure in seeing Brown men and Black men attack each other. As conscious people in struggle against prisoncrat imperialists, we must realize we do ourselves a great dis-service by attacking each other. It is not just about white male officers in Texas, it's about all of them that wear these confederate-army-gray uniforms. They beat us, degrade us, dehumanize us, and refuse time and time again to set us free. Who is the real enemy?

Lastly, one of the main keys to maintaining the peace amongst oppressed groups is respect! We can't talk to each other any kind of way, and we can't treat each other any kind of way! Remember that violation of the rules of respect among human beings can be deadly.

Would you believe that one month prior to this race riot and death white male officers were caught encouraging prisoners to make "shanks"?! The New Afrikan prisoner was killed with a homemade shank! These officers in Texas are very wicked.


MIM(Prisons) responds: It is a sad result of the criminal injustice system in Amerika that oppressed nations must demand the right to peace. But as this, and many other stories from behind bars demonstrate, this is the reality we face. And this is why the first principle of the United Front for Peace in Prisons is Peace. The United Front is fighting to unite the oppressed: "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."


Correction from the author 9/31/2012: The dead prisoner in this report was not New Afrikan, he was Mexican.

chain
[Idealism/Religion] [ULK Issue 28]
expand

The Failure of Spiritualism to Fight Oppression

This missive is directed to those who have taken up the responsibility in leading the masses up the road to absolute spiritual consciousness.

How can any individual choose work in guiding the misguided or unconscious to the discovery of the eternal truth, but at the same time instruct people to turn away from the world and only focus on themselves? If we are one in spirit, then wouldn't helping the world be a righteous practice of helping oneself? I have learned that the only way I can really help myself is by rejecting the interests of the individual desires and submitting my will to the interests of the world.

The value systems which dominate the world in this current era of imperialism are philosophies propping up the values of the powers of the world. The perpetuation of ideas like economic "survival of the fittest," and economic competition in a "free market" are but subtle justifications for the exploitation and oppression of others. These philosophies come from individualism (selfishness) which, if analyzed deeply enough, will turn out to be an illusion for the fact that every person's given situation is the result of what the world has put into motion.

Matter is the physical manifestation of the spirit, so how do we ignore the lessons of history which provide us the ability to precisely analyze the spirit through the material which it produces? A spiritualist can only conclude that the current force which dominates the world is the negative, so the ideas which are applied to overcome the negative force must be put into practice in material reality to give the future a clear understanding of what has proven to be effective and what has not. Our practice is our dialogue with the future.

We can effortlessly project the message to the misguided and unconscious that selfishness, lust, and hate are the epitome of evil, but what good does this do when we ignore the current physical manifestations of these evil forces in material reality? For the oppressed nations who suffer under the full pressure of the physical world, it must be understood that the struggle to end oppression is not an illusion but the natural continuance of the spirit. Spiritualists who reject this eternal fact may have good intentions but inevitably create the duality which divides and isolates the spirit from matter to create the illusion of "mental oneness" with the spirit while ignoring the spirit in matter.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We appreciate the direction this comrade is going here in trying to convince spiritualists that they need to join the fight against oppression. This is a good example of uniting all who can be united in the anti-imperialist struggle. There is much in the theory and writings of popular religions that is amenable to the struggle for justice and equality, so there is room for unity between materialists and idealists there.

But as materialists, we do not agree with the idealists that "matter is the physical manifestation of the spirit." Materialists recognize thoughts and ideas (such as religions) as products of the physical world we live in and interact with, as this comrade hints at above. And as monists, we do not believe in a spirit or essence that stands apart from a thing itself, including humyn beings. These basic pieces of our philosophy will determine what conclusions we make and what actions we take.

Materialism has already proven to be more correct than any brand of religion in the results it produces in the real world. And once the masses of the oppressed have grasped materialism in practice by taking their own destinies in their hands and throwing off the yoke of oppression, they will have no use for religious thinking and we will set about educating everyone in materialism. As scientific thinking advances and becomes the norm, the class interests of the oppressors that keep religion alive to serve their interests will be eliminated and we expect belief in religions will slowly fade away in the transition to communism.

chain
[Censorship]
expand

ULK Censored in Retaliation for Grievance Campaign

I have come to write this letter because the oppressor has struck again. Under Lock & Key [issue 27] is now on North Carolina Division of Prisons master list of disapproved publications. I received a notice stating "This publication appears on the statewide master list of disapproved publications because it was disapproved during the previous twelve months by the Division of Prisons Review Committee. There are no additional appeal rights to this decision." "This publication/material violates division of prisons policy at section D.0109 and is disapproved for the reason listed..." Facility reasons for disallowance: "Has information detailing illegal activities."

North Carolina comrades I don't know about you all, but I am sick of this oppression! We have allowed these pigs to take too much, it is time we come together and follow the lead of our fellow comrades in other states and fight these pigs! The oppressor has gone too far, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! How much must they take from us before we stand up? You know and I know the only reason Under Lock & Keyhas been disapproved is because MIM(Prisons) is helping us and other prisoners fight the oppressor. Think about it, Under Lock & Key was not denied until MIM(Prisons) started the grievance campaign and comrades in North Carolina started using it. It's retaliation!

To all my comrades, keep your heads up and never give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We may lose a battle or two, but together we will win the war! MIM(Prisons) I want to thank you for all you are doing, not just for prisoners but the community as well, THANKS! Keep up the good work and together we will reach our goal. Unity is key!

chain
[Organizing] [Political Repression] [ULK Issue 28]
expand

Solidarity and Peace Demonstration Builds, Guards Retaliate

Approximately 30% of the population of this unit is committed to participation in the Solidarity Demonstration on September 9, which inevitably results in "leakage." On August 25 I was interrogated by two investigators from the inspector general's office about the food petition and then about organizing an uprising or disturbance in the dining room. While this was going on, two COs were destroying my cell. Upon return, my legal work and papers were all over the cell, as was my cellmate's. Nothing was taken except for one document which I cannot be certain is in their possession, but I must assume it is. Then they got a second prisoner out and repeated the process. One prisoner was taken about two hours prior to this episode for "different reasons."

Yesterday (28 August 2012) 17 COs, led by a Lieutenant, came into the unit and searched the entire unit. Two reasons were proffered: 1) Retaliation for grievances, 2) Suspect "gang" is being organized.

Nothing was found relating to September 9, "gangs" or anything else.

It is evident that they are aware that something is going on, and they are uneasy about the level of apparent coordination and secrecy. They are fishing right now, but this has been predicted and prepared for.

Aside from the obvious, there is some opposition to the September 9 action from segments of the prisoner population, which is the only apparent threat to its success. This has appeared in the form of disinformation and criticism of both the action and the integrity of persons involved in it. Predictably this segment is predominantly white power who always object to prisoner unification.

We created a cheat sheet for people at this institution, which we modified after hearing from you about how a prisoner organizing in another state suggested it would be more powerful to go to chow hall and sit without eating.

September 9 Cheat Sheet


1. Go to chow hall, accept food, go to clipper room window, render tray/sack inedible, go directly to seat
2. Go to chow, refuse tray go directly to seat
3. Unless directly confronted by CO ignore all comments, provocation and questions
4. Repeat at dinner
5. If directly confronted by CO about what is going on, politely tell them: "I am fasting." If you are asked why, tell them: "In support of my fellow prisoners..." and/or "because I am tired of..." and state your complaint.
6. Nothing more needs to be said

Important: Do not become belligerent, combative or antagonistic. Do not provoke a confrontation. More than 70% of major prison disturbances start in chow hall. By not provoking the COs we preserve the integrity of the action, and we protect each other. Most important, we do not give them our day.

chain
[Spanish] [ULK Issue 29]
expand

El Mito del "Complejo Industrial de Prisiones"

Muchas personas caen presas a la idea de que millones son esclavizados en este país, y que el principal factor motivador trás la gran explosión de prisiones en décadas recientes, es el hacer trabajar a los prisioneros con el fin de enriquecer a las corporaciones o al gobierno. MIM(Prisiones) claramente ha comprobado que las prisiones de los Estados Unidos no son primaria, o significativamente, para explotar a trabajadores, puesto que no son una fuente de ganancias, sino que más bien tienen un gran costo financiero para los imperialistas.(1)

"De verdad, en su punto máximo alrededor del 2002, menos de 5,000 presos estaban empleados por empresas privadas, el equivalente a un cuarto del uno por ciento de la población carcelaria. En lo que respeta al aproximadamente 8 por ciento de convictos, quienes bajo llave, trabajan para las industrias estatales y federales, son 'empleados' a pérdida de las autoridades correccionales; incluso a pesar de las enormes subvenciones, de las ventas garantizadas a un mercado cautivo de administraciones públicas, y al exagerado pago mínimo (un promedio de menos de un dólar por hora)."(2)

En oposición, nuestro argumento es que a lo ancho de este país, y a diario, hay un sistema de control de población que incluye todos los elementos de la definición internacional de genocidio, y que generalmente utiliza métodos de tortura contra los Nuevos Afrikanos y personas Latinos, así como una representación desproporcionada de las personas de la Primera Nación. Mientras el nuevo movimiento de prisiones crece y gana mas atención en el ojo público, es de mayor importancia que mantengamos nuestro enfoque en la verdad y no dejar que los nacionalistas blancos definan lo que es al fin de cuentas, una batalla de las naciones opresas.

Para analizar por el cual el término "Complejo Industrial de Prisiones" (PIC por sus siglas en inglés) es incorrecto y es engañador, veamos unos esloganes típicos de los demócratas sociales, quienes dominan la izquierda nacionalista blanca. Primero hablamos del eslogan "Si a la asistencia social y no a la guerra." Este eslogan es una falsa dicotomía que demuestra una falta de entendimiento del imperialismo y el militarismo por parte de quien lo proclama. En el mundo del día hoy, no es una coincidencia que los más grandes "Estados de asistencia social" son países imperialistas. El imperialismo trae más ganancias a la casa al irse a la guerra para robar recursos, al controlar el labor, y al forzar políticas económicas y contratos de negocios sobre otras naciones. El militarismo es el producto cultural y político de ese hecho. El "Complejo Militar Industrial" fue creado cuando la industria privada se unió con el gobierno E$tadunidense para combinar sus mutuos intereses imperialistas. Estas industrias adquirieron contratos gubernamentales, con ganancias garantizadas incluidas; mientras que el gobierno posee las armas que ellos necesitaban, para que, el dinero de las naciones opresas continuara fluyendo hacia los E$tados Unidos. Esta concentración de riquezas produce los altos salarios e infraestructura de los cuales se benefician los Amerikanos, y esto sin mencionar el dinero de impuestos que se hace disponible a través de los programas de asistencia social. Entonces, es ignorancia de los activistas el denunciar que se empobrecen por las guerras de los imperialistas, tal como es dado a entender por la falsa dicotomía de asistencia social vs. hacer la guerra.

Otro eslogan de los demócratas sociales que habla y da a entender porqué son tan rápidos para condenar al "PIC" es el de "Escuelas no Cárceles." Este eslogan resulta de que solo hay una cierta cantidad monetaria de impuestos hecha disponible en un estado para financiar o a las escuelas, o a las cárceles, u otra cosa. Si, la cantidad de dinero es limitada porque extrayendo más impuestos solo incrementaría el conflicto de classes entre el estado y la aristocracia laboral. Esta batalla es real, y es una batalla entre diferentes sindicatos de servicio público de la aristocracia laboral. El eslogan "Escuelas no Cárceles" es el grito unificador de un lado de esa batalla entre la aristocracia laboral.

A diferencia del militarismo, el imperialismo no tiene un interés de ganancia en el preferir a las cárceles en vez de a las escuelas. Esta es precisamente la razón por la cual el concepto del "PIC" es una fantasía. Mientras que la economía E$tadunidense seguramente colapsaría sin los fondos que entran por concepto de las industria armamentísta, Loïc Wacquant señala que las industrias de bebidas gaseosas es casi dos veces más grande que la industria de prisiones, con la prisión siendo meramente un 0.5% del producto interno bruto (PIB).(2) Comparado al complejo militar industrial, que es el 10% del PIB de los E$tados Unidos, el sistema de prisiones no es obviamente un "complejo" que combina intereses estatales y privados. Este podría ser desmantelado sin graves consecuencias para el imperialismo.(3) Por supuesto, aquellos que condenan la linia "PIC" deben admitir que más de 95% de las prisiones en este país son propiedad de dueños públicos y manejadas por ellos.(4)

El hecho de que las agencias federales usan el sistema de prisiones para controlar elementos sociales que ven como una amenaza para el imperialismo, es la motivación principal del sistema de injusticia y no el deseo imperialista de obtener ganancias monetarias. Más aún, el sistema está mayormente decentralizado e incorporado en los intereses de la mayoría de de los Amerikanos al nivel local, y no solo los sindicatos locales y pequeños negocios quienes se benefician directamente del gasto de las prisiones. Lo más seguro es que no tendríamos el alto ritmo de encarcelamiento sin la presion de quienes son llamados "la clase media."

Algunos de la izquierda blanca nacionalista parecen disentir con los otros Amerikanos sobre la necesidad de tener más prisiones y más policías. La raíz de ambos lados es la creencia de que la mayoría de Amerikanos son explotados por el sistema, mientras que las voraces corporaciones se benefician de ello. Bajo esta línea de pensamiento es fácil aceptar que generar utilidades es la razón de ser de la prisiones, tal como lo es todo lo demás, y que la avaricia corporativa puede ser culpada por la explosión del sistema carcelario.

En realidad, la explosión de prisiones está directamente relacionada a las exigencias de la gente Amerikana de tener políticos "duros contra el crimen." Los Amerikanos han forzado al sistema de injusticia criminal a convertirse en una herramienta para la histeria blanca. Los imperialistas han dado grandes pasos para integrar financieramente a las semi-colonias internas, sin embargo, la nación blanca exige que estas poblaciones sean controladas y excluidas del patrimonio hereditario nacional. Hay muchos ejemplos del gobierno tratando de cerrar prisiones y de tomar otras medidas de ahorros costosos que podrían haber reducido al sistema de prisiones, pero los sindicatos laborales pelearon con diente y uña contra ellos.(1) Este es el continuo legado de opresión nacional, expuesta con gran detalle en el libro "The New Jim Crow," (El Nuevo Jim Crow) el cual cubre el término "Complejo Industrial de Prisiones." El encubrimiento continuará sin que importe cuanto estos seudo-Marxistas lamenten las grandes injusticias sufridas por los Negros y los Morenas a manos del "PIC".

Este desafortunado término ha sido popularizado en la izquierda Amerikana por un número de teoristas seudo-Marxistas que están detras de algunos grupos externos de activistas de prisiones. Al rechazar explícitamente este término, estamos marcando una linia clara entre nosotros y las otras organizaciones que estos activistas representan, con muchos de los cuales hemos trabajado de una manera u otra. En mayor parte, estas organizaciones mismas no se atribuyen alguna influencia Marxista o por lo menos un análisis particular de clase, sin embargo, los líderes de estos grupos están muy conscientes acerca de los puntos de desacuerdo con el pensamiento de MIM. Es importante que las masas también esten conscientes de este desacuerdo.

Por estas razones, en el congreso del 2012, MIM(Prisones) aprobó la siguiente política:

El término "Complejo Industrial de Prisiones" (PIC) no será generalmente usado en Under Lock & Key porque está en conflicto con la linia de MIM(Prisones) acerca de la composición económica y nacional del sistema de prisiones en los E$tados Unidos. Solamente será impreso en contexto cuando el significado del término sea declarado por el autor, y sea criticado por ellos o por nosotros.

Notas:
1. MIM(Prisiones) en la Economia de Prision Estadunidense, Under Lock & Key 8, Mayo 2009.
2. Wacquant, Loic. 2010. Prisoner reentry as myth and ceremony. Berkeley, CA.
3. Endres, Mike. Reflections on the military/industrial complex. 4 Agosto 2010. Mientras gastos director militaries due $800 billions en el 2010, este article pone el total circa de $14.4 trill ones (tea nota 2).
4. Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California. Universidad de CAlifornia imprimidora: Berkeley, 2007. p.21.
5. Gracias al prisionero de Michigan que propuso esta nueva linia.

chain
[Organizing] [ULK Issue 28]
expand

Black August and Bloody September, Rise Up and Remember on September 9

Salute comrade, today we stand on this crest of time as we reach through the recess of our minds and commemorate, honor and salute our collective struggle as a people and our daring revolutionary heroes.

The month of August and September — Black August and Bloody September as it is referred to by many New Afrikan comrades, cadres and revolutionary organizations — are both months rich with our blood, our struggle, and our resistance as a people. During August and September we focus our energies around the discussions of New Afrikan revolutionary political education, progressive actions and revolutionary history.

As progressive revolutionary thinking men and women, we do not view history through the lens of the bourgeoisie, who separates history into sub-parts. Under the Eurocentric bourgeois thought process history is a dead relic, a souvenir or memento of past events to be waved at with fleeting thoughts and no real or concrete links to the present.

The bourgeois power structure uses the disconnection of the past from the present as a tool or weapon of divide and conquer. The divide and conquer strategy has never been more effective than it is today: cut them off from their past, make them feel alienated, alone and separated from a collective history, and you weaken them enormously. This moment of weakness gives our enemies great power to maneuver us into the corner of political, social, economic and cultural inaction.

But through the lens of a dialectical-materialist, we must see history as a never-ending stream of past events that gave and constantly give birth to present realities. This chain of historical events is constantly moving us forward into the ocean of endless possibilities. We must use this view of a "living history" as a source of defining who we are and the direction we're heading as a people.

A tree without roots is dead, and so is a people who is not rooted in their history. So let's use Black August and September as months of mental reflection as we unearth and trace the glorious and bloody footprints of our past as a people. Let this reflection galvanize us forward into a new level of political struggle and resistance.

Historical Overview

The 1960s and 70s liberation struggle and movement gave birth to New Afrikan revolutionary heroes such as Malcolm X, George Jackson, Jonathan Jackson, Huey P. Newton, Sundiata Acoli, and many, many others. Historically then, as it is now, the United States judicial arm was used as a weapon of repression and class subjugation.

Men such as Malcolm X and George Jackson went to prison as colonial criminals. But within those prison walls the alchemy of human transformation began to take place. Inside the deep dark confines of a United States concentration KKKamp they both began to turn the cells that held them into libraries and schools of liberation. George and Malcolm both unceasingly strove to create new social relations and social realities in the world around them by and thru revolutionary transformation. They both knew to create a new world that they themselves had to be representations of this new being, this new man, in word, thought, actions and deeds. So as their cells became classrooms, they internalized the most advanced ideas about human development.

George Jackson stated: "I met Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Engels and Mao...they redeemed me. For the first four years, I studied nothing but economics and military ideas. I met the Black Guerrillas, George 'Big Jake' Lewis, James Carr, W.L. Nolen, Bill Christmas, Tony Gibson, and many others. We attempted to transform the Black criminal mentality into a Black revolutionary mentality."

George Jackson and his comrades became living examples and inspiration for organized resistance for prisoners across the country. On August 21, 1971, George Jackson and two other New Afrikan prisoners were was killed (along with three prison guards) in a gunfight inside one of California's maximum-security prisons called San Quentin.

[CORRECTION from a California Prisoner: This information is not only erroneous but also serves to advance the state/CDC/law enforcement in general, who spun the mysterious manifestation of the 9mm handgun and a wig. There was no gunfight that dreadful day, nor were there three brothers killed either. The only brother lost on August 21st 1971 was mwenzi George.]

To many, George Jackson was the embodiment of the New Afrikan man. George was fearless, upright, daring, self-educated and intelligent with revolutionary style. He took the lead with his brains and muscles.

In response to the murder and assassination of George Jackson, prisoners in one of New York's prisons called Attica immediately responded. On 22 August 1971 some 800 prisoners went into the chow hall not saying a word as they sat with black arm bands as a tribute to George Jackson. As one set of events leads to the next, 19 days later Attica prison went up in a revolt. The September 9, 1971 prison uprising and revolt in Attica led to the colonial captives controlling parts of the prison. In an address to the Amerikkkan people, the rebels stated: "We are men! We are not beasts and do not intend to be beaten or driven as such."

On September 13, after five days of a heavily armed siege, the NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller gave the order to the state troopers to retake the prison. The state swine opened mass fire killing 32 colonial captives and 11 prison swine who were held hostage.

So today as we reach our hands through time and space, connecting our past to our present, let's use Black August and Bloody September as a moment of reflection, study, observation and movement in the direction of striking terror in the hearts of our captures by unifying in principle and action. We're calling on all colonial captives/prisoners of war and political prisoners to stand up as a collective in a work stoppage. Our aim is to bring attention and awareness to our collective situation.

George Jackson stated: "You will find no class or category more aware, more embittered, desperate or dedicated to the ultimate remedy — revolution. The most dedicated, the best of our kind — you'll find them in the Folsoms, San Quentins and Soledads."


MIM(Prisons) adds: See the MIM Notes supplement "Lessons from the Attica Prison Uprising" for more historical information on this important event.
One aim, one goal, one destiny.

chain
[Abuse] [ULK Issue 28]
expand

Debating Tactics to Fight Corrupt Officials

I'm writing in response to one of your statements in the May/June 2012 issue of Under Lock & Key. In your ULK you erroneously stated "Many prisoners write about the horrible things happening to them with the mind-set that once the outside world finds out, their problems will be over and the perpetrators punished. This expectation is a myth..."

You're wrong. It's not a myth. I've heard about, and have seen, corrupt officials get walked off the unit. Once proper complaints (i.e. step 1 and step 2 grievances) have been filed and family, friends and/or representatives continue calling the director with complaints, an investigation is conducted. The rest is history. It may take a while before action is taken against corrupt officials, but with outside help, justice gets served!

Thank you for your time and concerns. Please continue the struggle.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree that it is sometimes possible to get individual corrupt prisoncrats removed from jobs through public pressure and complaints. But this comrade demonstrates the truth of what we wrote: just writing about horrible things happening is not enough. You need outside support, which is not something many prisoners have. Even when outside supporters call in to demand investigations, this is not necessarily enough to cause change. The prisons do respond to public embarrassment, and we can win some small victories this way. But with all the individual cases and abuses out there, there is just not enough energy and resources among people who care to fight each of these instances. Similarly, punishing one bad prison employee does not change the fundamentally repressive system. One repressive prison worker will quickly be replaced by another. Until we change the criminal injustice system fundamentally we will not have a true system of justice. In the meantime we must focus on battles that can mobilize prisoners around their common interests.

chain
[Abuse] [National Oppression]
expand

Anniversary of George Jackson's Death Marked by Ongoing Brutality Against Black Prisoners

For the past three days now. these weak and wicked scum dogs have been attempting to get us Black prisoners Black to viciously attack a brother by telling us he's a "child molester/sex offender." All this after the prisoner filed a few complaints against these wart hogs. Go figure. This of course caused these brain dead compromising prisoners, especially the porters, to exclude themselves from the brother. The pig gave direct orders to the white feed up porter to "don't feed him shit."

After two days of this torture, the prisoner attempted to sign in to Protective Custody in hopes that he could get away from the pigs and make it home in one piece, as he has less than 30 days left. The people incorporating genocidal slavery (P.I.G.S.) weren't satisfied and decided to up the ante. They told the brother he was moving to another cell block and to pack up his property. Once on the front of the C-Block 33/34 companies the prisoner placed his bags down and was cracked over his head by a white prisoner holding a 4 inch broom handle, in the presence of six pigs, 2 in the bubble, 2 on the staircase and 2 on the companies.

Making sense of the white man's fakery to jump him, the brother began backing up towards the rear of the company, dodging several swings with his arms as the attacking prisoner aimed at his face. Keep in mind the pigs are laughing and allowing the white prisoner to assault the brother with a weapon. Both companies are watching it all play out through the side of the cell doors and mirrors. One brother said "you might as well fight them, they (pigs) are gonna jump on you anyway." But he kept saying "nah, I ain't stupid, I'm trying to go home to my son!" Finally, the pigs told the white prisoner to "put the handle down and go kick his ass, he's scared." Feeling comfortable with his "support team" the white prisoner started towards the rear to fight the brother. But the white prisoner got his ass beat. Of course, this was such a disturbing scene for the pigs, just seeing a white man in their back pocket taking blows from a Black fist caused them to quickly pull the pin alarm and call 30 more pigs to C-Block as they yelled "get the fuck off him now!"

The brother got up and locked himself inside his cell while the white prisoner, all pink and red in the face, was dazed and confused was asked by the pigs, "are you alright?" before politely telling him to "go to your cell." All the while the brother was put in handcuffs, roughed up, and rushed out the block into the hallway where the pigs beat us up out of view, but we can all hear it. Later on the pigs came back on the company to the white prisoner's cell giving him one of the brother's dreds that they ripped out of his head. Somewhat of a token of remembrance, just like they did to Nat Turner in 1831. Make no mistake about it, this is Amerikkka in 2012 for the Black man. This is exactly what George Jackson was describing in Soledad Brother. Tomorrow is the 41st anniversary that he was slain in action, and the 181st anniversary of Nat Turner's slave rebellion. Nothing much has changed.

In hindsight and conclusion, when the pig was trying to get us to feed the lie that the brother was a "Rapo," he made a profound statement. The target of harassment said "these pigs been raping our women for hundreds of years and you gonna believe him and his words on face value!?" Enough said!


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade is right to point out that the oppressors will do everything they can to divide the oppressed. We can't trust them for information, but instead must judge our comrades through their actions. Those who work in the interests of the oppressed are our friends and those who work against the oppressed are our enemies, regardless of the reason for their confinement or what other people say about them. This is a good example of why someone might ask to be moved to an SNY/PC yard for good reason. The debate over protective custody prisoners has been ongoing in ULK for many months and MIM(Prisons) maintains that we can not let the prisoncrats divide revolutionaries with false labels and categories. There are genuine revolutionaries throughout the prison system and there are snitches and compradors found on every yard as well. Actions are much more important than prison-imposed labels.

chain