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[Grievance Process] [Willacy Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
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Duplicate Grievances and Send to District Clerk

I see a lot of complaints in ULK 76 about problems with Grievance Officers. I’ve been having those problems too and have gotten in the habit of undertaking the laborious task of hand-copying several copies of my grievances and keeping one to “file”, sending one to the “grievance box” and one to the “District Clerk”. That seemed to get a response when I did it on Willacy and sent a §1983 along with incorrectly screened (blocked) grievances. The wheels of justice quickly started turning the other way. Even though I don’t really have the money to file another §1983, I can’t afford to allow these Grievance Officers to get away with not responding to our grievances even more.

This grievance system was certified by the District courts as you’ve explained in the TX Pack and I’m hoping the courts will not be happy to see TDCJ blocking and denying our access to courts.

I’m not even sure a §1983 would be necessary if I were to somehow be trying to file for Contempt in the Cole v. Collier class action but I think Contempt has to be filed by Class Counsel? I’m not sure but am looking into it. It is a little confusing to know who all is a “class member” of that suit since the class extends to all who may be housed at the Pack Unit in the future that seems to me it covers the many prisoners TDCJ has rapidly assigned “Heat Scores” to.

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[Police Brutality] [Drugs] [Abuse] [Pasquotank Correctional Institution] [Granville Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 77]
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Will prisoners' iPads feature apps that record police brutality?

Today at Polk Correction Institution the prep-team beat a young man in full restraints named Mr. Fox as he screamed for help during a shake-down: video surveillance was not provided.

15 March 2021, a few weeks before the killing of Andrew Brown by Pasquotank Sheriff’s Department, I was maced, tased, beat, and nearly killed by almost 20 Pasquotank C.O.s. The beating occurred in 6 different locations in the building including 3 elevators. I received several life lasting injuries to the head, face, and mouth from being punched and kicked over a hundred times while laying flat on the ground on my stomach and/or side. A chunk of meat was ripped out of my shoulder from being dragged over 50 ft. I was choked while beaten til they thought and asked one another if I was dead.

Another official cut my thumb with a switch blade and I received several other injuries that medical refused to treat or document. The officers said, “they’ll be back to beat me every chance they get and that I better not eat.”

I was emergency shipped, and 3 hours later pictures were taken of my injuries when I arrived at Polk Correctional Institution (High-Risk-Security).

Pasquotank Prison Officials deny to have ever touched me and claim their innocence while not even bothering to explain how my injuries were sustained. The disciplinary officer found that the video footage of the incident had been tampered with and cut-short.

18 October 2021, all mail for North Carolina prisoners will be received at TextBehind in Phoenix, MD with long time promises of iPads in the future. Should department of public safety provide proper video surveillance for safety before iPads for profit and entertainment? Surveillance is critical to maintain and monitor unwanted violence.

Relief in the claim I’ve filed against Pasquotank Correctional Institution include that the courts enforce a policy with an injunction ordering hand-held cameras be used when escorting offenders or using force in blind spots.

Unfortunately, body-cams in prison make it harder for guards to smuggle contraband or have relations which would decrease the rate of violence from drug related issues allowing more prisoners to focus on rehabilitation and money management.

With this we would ask for higher pay rates to support our families and conjugal visits for married couples.

Prayers out for the family of Andrew Brown and the victims of police brutality.

For a full report of Pasquotank Prison Incident, see: “Two Letters From North Carolina Prisons Make the Same Demands 45 Years Apart.


MIM(Prisons) adds: In the last issue of Under Lock & Key one of our comrades addressed the use of tablets to pacify and surveil the oppressed in A Strategic Objective to Disrupt and Surveil the Communication Between Prisoners and Our Loved Ones. The article above connects this to the many campaigns prisoners have waged to get cameras in prisons so that there is documentation of the regular abuse and illegal happenings that go on inside.

In 2014, comrades in North Carolina won a lawsuit to [require staff of NCPDS to record with video cameras any use of force incidents]((https://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/north-carolina-prisoners-preliminary-victory-on-use-of-force-lawsuit/). This suit however, left it up to the pigs to determine when cameras need to be used. As AK47 asks, if the state is to invest more money in technology, shouldn’t it be on this important task of preventing physical abuse and drug trafficking, both of which leads to the loss of humyn lives?

We can also take lessons from the implementation of universal cameras, including audio recording, in California which brought up concerns of excessive monitoring of prisoners, including in counseling and rehabilitation programs. Just last year, another lawsuit in California brought a federal court order requiring body cameras in Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in California, resulting in passive protests from staff in the form of not running programs for prisoners.

Modern surveillance and communication technology can be used for good and for bad, for the interests of the oppressed or the interests of the oppressor. The interests of the oppressed lie in holding the state accountable for the rampant abuse and drug dealing its employees commit every day, while being able to maintain connections to society, engaging in rehabilitation programs where they can speak freely and openly. The interests of the state lie in pacifying the population with pop culture media and surveilling the communication of those who cannot be pacified.

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[Censorship] [Grievance Process] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Coffield Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Criminal Gangs Controlling Mail and Punishing Grievers in TX

Quick update on BP 03.91 – Yesterday, while at the law library, one prisoner recently received an order of photos that had been previously banned. This happened months after our legal group filed injunctions in relation to BP 03.91 and how it arbitrary enforcement wasn’t congruent with its parameters. What is even more eye opening is how staff and administration keep taking (and breaking) property. All grievances come back with “your allegations could not be substantiated.”

Some are fighting back small. Dragging the administration through many small litigation claims will weaken their resolve on bigger ones. The grievance system is a joke. While staff continue to bully prisoners around, by throwing away their property in the shakedown, confiscating their religious items, and cutting down their eating, showering, and dayroom times. Texas prisons are becoming more and more run by inmates who utilize drug connections with officers. Recently I had a sergeant who tried to intimidate me into recanting a grievance which I wrote about prisoners passing out mail (a new “hustle” some STG’s have turned up on by holding certain mail “hostage”). When I didn’t relent, he sent one of the gang members to talk to me. How do you threaten the life of a lifer? SMH These kids don’t get get it.


MIM(Prisons) adds: As staff shortages become the excuse to abuse and deny prisoners basic necessities, we are receiving reports of prisoners being used in this manner to deliver mail, do counts, even utilizing department walky-talkies to assist staff. In the short-term this is being used to further divide the prisoner population by granting some the role of the slave catcher and granting them benefits. But this also indicates a crisis in the TDCJ that will create new opportunities as the state loses control over day-to-day operations.

The police state may prove to be over-extended if they cannot get enough Amerikans to run the machine. With pigs dying from covid-19 at higher rates due to their bad hygiene, retiring faster, and refusing to go to work in the biggest prison systems in the world, we will certainly be seeing shifts in the near future in the terrain of the U.$. criminal injustice system.

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[Release] [Drugs] [Independent Institutions] [ULK Issue 76]
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Providing What They Can't - Rehab for Releasees

lumpen education study group

Shortly after receiving this issue of Under Lock & Key, a number of USW leaders and other supporters of our work will be receiving the first edition of our Revolutionary 12 Step Program. This has been in the works for over a year now and we are excited to get it into the hands of comrades who are ready to implement the program and provide feedback.

The Revolutionary 12 Step Program is a significant advance for our Serve the People “Re-Lease on Life” Program, which has been in existence in some form from the early years of MIM(Prisons)’s existence.

Who is it for?

When most of us think of the 12 steps, we think of Alcoholics Anonymous or a more general Narcotics Anonymous program. However, our program takes an approach similar to a program called Criminals & Gangmembers Anonymous to address the anti-people behavior of the lumpen class in a more general way.

Drugs and alcohol are a big part of the problems the people face. It is estimated that at least 65% of people incarcerated have a “Substance Use Disorder”, while the number goes up to 85% if you include all who were under the influence during the crime they were convicted of.(1) That’s a lot! As recent understandings of the brain tell us, the lack of impulse control that can lead to destructive behaviors is caused by unhealthy social conditions during childhood.(2) Drug abuse will often overlap with violence towards others and other behavior that is deemed criminal by the bourgeoisie and by the people as well. In the long-term, communism can eliminate the causes of these tendencies, but in the meantime we need to address all forms of anti-people behavior to transform ourselves from a lumpen state of being to a revolutionary proletarian one.

Some people in prison are innocent. Some broke a law in a conscious decision – sometimes even for righteous political reasons. But the vast majority of you reading this broke laws through actions you would have preferred to not have taken. The vast majority of people in prison could use this program to avoid regrettable actions in the future.

All of us have rehabilitation that we must go through because we were raised in a sick society. Ultimately, everyone born in this oppressive system could benefit from our Revolutionary 12 Step Program, but many of you need it if you ever want to stay out of prison.

Why do we need it?

The state, by definition, is run by the oppressors. In our imperialist conditions today the oppressors are the bourgeoisie, the imperialists, the oppressor nations – Euro-Amerika. The institutions of the state will always serve those interests. In the current system you have law enforcement, religious organizations, private prison companies like Geo Group, and more small-time profiteers running reentry programs for the state. None of these serve the interests of the oppressed.

Today, we don’t have the influence to abolish these imperialist institutions, but we do have the influence to build independent proletarian institutions. Not only that, this is part of our central task today as a movement, “create public opinion and the independent institutions of the oppressed to seize power.”(3) We discussed previous independent institutions of the oppressed in ULK 59 on drugs.(4) Since then we’ve been working on developing our own.

One of the lessons we can take from the practice of our Re-Lease on Life Program to date is the need to address the drive to do drugs, engage in dangerous sexual activities, and the temptation of the thrill of the life of crime. We must put in its place the thrill of revolution; of fighting the real enemy; of building something new.

Before MIM(Prisons) had a Re-Lease on Life Program, we had one comrade who was one of our top theoreticians and USW leaders while in the SHU. Ey was released from prison and quickly slipped into alcoholism again. Ey stayed in touch for the first year, and then we stopped hearing from em, and ey never did any political work on the outside. At that time MIM(Prisons) had little to offer this comrade to help em adapt to life on the outside, and we certainly had nothing like a 12 step program to help em with eir alcoholism.

A story that has become too common is USW members who are released and never write us for years. When we finally do hear back from them it’s because they ended up back in prison. One such comrade recently explained:

“something I felt lack of was community. When I left the gates I went straight to a sober living…. During the time there I worked and attended A.A. meetings. I pretty much gave all my attention to my sobriety and recovery. Simultaneously my career was getting started. At this time I am getting myself situated and also enjoying my freedom, it was a really good feeling getting to move around, good food, and women…”

“I got emotionally attached to a girl that did not fulfill my needs or expectations and I became emotionally unbalanced. All it took was one instance of drugs to get high and begin my relapse. All this was in the lapse of a year. The last three months was just a chase for thrills.”

“I felt loneliness because for sobriety I left everything behind, friends, places, everything I’ve ever done, made and been. Also I felt a need for thrills, action; that was my itch for crime. I lost track of it all and I couldn’t find like-minded people.”

From the above testimony we see how sex and romance plays into this as well. We all know how common “crimes of passion” are in our society. Many of us have done time for them. This comrade wanted community and felt lonely, and seemingly tried to find that in a womyn who maybe was not in a good state herself, or maybe just couldn’t fill the large gap in this comrade’s life. The original AA puts god in that gap, a higher power. Our program puts the proletariat, the people. We will all have important individuals in our lives who help us out and other individuals who set us back. But we cannot rely on any one individual to save us, nor to meet all our needs. One of our needs is a spiritual need to be a part of something that gives us meaning. The bourgeois institutions offer you job training and maybe the prospect of a marriage. But as we see with this comrade’s story, you can attain those things and still be lonely, still not be on the path to rehabilitation. That is why we need an independent institution of the oppressed.

Another lesson we can take from this comrade, and from others, is that success will usually mean leaving behind a lot, especially at first. The easiest way to go back to prison is to go back to the same people and places you were around before you got locked up. Ultimately, our aim is not to cut you off from where you came from like a bourgeois program might do. We must stay connected to the people, and your past may offer some such connections. But those connections can only be good ones if you approach them from a new way of thinking and being. There must be a new community that you can rely on that supports your transformation into a new socialist humyn.

Even in the best case scenarios, the bourgeoisie cannot provide the support comrades need to rehabilitate. However, more often you do not end up in the best case scenario in this system as one comrade describes:

"I spent 6 years in the Drug Court program in York, PA, where a predatory judiciary, local bar, probation department (teamsters union) and suck ass ex-junkies prey on the weak and pile them 3 and 4 men to a room in some old crack house and charge them $500 per month rent plus a $500 deposit, which they would lose when they relapsed (95%) and went back to jail.

“Bless his wife-murdering heart. Bob Allen’s (Life’s Beacon House) means well and has the nicest of these houses but we can do better. The”group homes" or “recovery houses” have 3-4 month waiting lists and so do the rehabs, which county dollars are 95% of their $1000/day business. These houses are 501(c)(3) non-profits and if you start a business to employ the guys that live in these houses, it can operate non-profit too."

Next Steps

As we said, the Revolutionary 12 Step Program should address something that our Re-Lease on Life Program has been lacking for so long. But to do so, the program must be actualized. Here are some 3-year goals we have related to actualizing this program:

  • build a broader network of local contacts across the country so comrades can get more hands-on training and support from other communists

  • establish a revolutionary 12-step program, run by released comrades, where others can stay and immerse themselves in the program

  • establish satellite programs in prisons across the country that report to the program on the street, learning from each others’ experience and feeding releasees into the street program

Clearly this will require the participation of many of you to succeed. We need comrades on the outside to volunteer to be support people or sponsors for our comrades who are released. Even if you can’t administer the 12 steps, giving them someone to talk to and organize with on a daily basis will be important.

We need comrades on the inside to begin implementing this program locally. Ideal candidates will have successfully gone through the 12 step program themselves and MIM(Prisons) political study courses. And finally, we need similar people on the outside to run our program for post-release. If you think you can play any of these roles, get in touch so we can start building.

Notes:
1. Center on Addiction, Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population, February 2010.
2. Burke-Harris, Nadine, 2018, The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-term Effects of Childhood Adversity, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
3. What is the plan? What concrete actions can I take? What is to be done? What are you doing?
4. Wiawimawo, November 2017, Drugs, Money and Individualism in U.$. Prison Movement, Under Lock & Key No. 59

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[MIM(Prisons)] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 76]
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MIM(Prisons) Update: January 2022

This is your newsletter, as evidenced from the vast majority of articles, reports, poetry and artwork coming from prisoners in every issue. In the last year comrades inside really came together to support our fund drive and our distribution drive as well, and we are making steady progress on both. 2021 was a good year for us overall and we hope to build greater things in 2022, some of which are outlined in this issue of ULK.

Our MIM(Prisons) annual review meeting in December was focused on re-prioritizing tasks in order to expand our outside support base, increase subscribers inside and support the growth of a broader Maoist movement. To increase subscribers inside we’ve been slowly increasing our list of ULK distributors who receive extra copies of ULK to distribute to others in their prison. We’ve reached the point where almost 10% of the newspapers we’re sending into prisons are going to distributors, but we want to see that number much higher in 2022. If you’d like to receive extra copies of ULK to distribute let us know how many you can use and send us reports on your distribution efforts each issue.

Because of the decrease in frequency of ULK and the decrease in subscribers, we are sending less than a fifth of the number of newspapers into prisons we were sending in some years ago. The main way we think we can improve our numbers is by increasing ULK back to every other month. However, we will need to recruit much more outside support to make this happen as we are barely pulling this together every 3 months. Issue ULK 76 was almost delayed, and much work was rushed together at the last minute because we don’t have enough steady supporters.

In spring 2021 we announced we would be doing an annual Fourth of You-Lie fundraiser drive among the readers of ULK. We told you that 7 stamps would cover the cost of your 4 issues for the year. Below we’ve graphed the contributions we received from our readers in prison for the whole year. In Q1 and Q2 we removed the contributions of one particularly generous comrade who contributed over $200 in Q1 because ey was skewing our results so much. By excluding em, we see a steady growth in contributions coming in, and more importantly a steady growth of individuals sending contributions. While we welcome our comrades to send in $200 that can, it is by increasing the number of donations that we know our mass base is growing. Looking at our numbers for the last quarter of 2021, we see about 8.5% of the people receiving ULK 75 sent a donation during that quarter. While we didn’t do the math to track this over time, we believe this is probably one of the higher contribution rates we’ve ever had!

Q1 and Q2 excludes large donations from one persyn

The line on the graph above represents the number of people contributing funds over the four quarters of 2021. The bars represent the money coming in as donations or payments. (All numbers include prisoners only.) ‘Payments’ means people sending money for a specific book or document. In some cases the difference is not important. However, if we get 100 people ordering copies of the TX Pack next quarter, that would shoot up our contributions but none of that money would be going to ULK or other projects, it would just pay to print and mail TX Packs. So it’s better to see the donations portion increasing. If we look at just the donations on the graph, prisoners are covering 18% of the cost of printing ULK! This level of support will make it much easier for us to increase the frequency of ULK, but we still need outside comrades to help do the work.

We hope you will be a part of ULK’s success in the coming year by doing any of the following: donating 7 stamps or more, sharing/distributing ULK, sending in conditions reports, writing articles, creating anti-imperialist artwork and promoting MIM(Prisons) work with your contacts outside prison. Of course, ULK exists to serve the anti-imperialist prison movement, and anything you do to build that movement is why we are here.

TX Pack and book orders

For those of you who are sending payments (no checks/money orders) for books or resources, please expect about 2 months between the time you mail out your request and you receive your item. For TX Pack requests, you must pay 7 stamps or $3.50. We do not have anyone working on the TX Pack, so the 2020 edition is all we have.

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[Revolutionary History] [Civil Liberties] [Censorship] [Security] [Texas] [ULK Issue 76]
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A Message to the Movement

In the forthcoming piece We would like to point out the particular inter-connectedness of many of the enemy-states’ recent counter-offensive to Our collective progress. When We speak to ‘progress,’ we’re speaking to the strategic goal of establishing a national prison movement - a revolutionary oriented prison movement. A national revolutionary prison movement that is intrinsically connected with a national revolutionary oriented united front on the outside. In this piece We’ll attempt to illuminate to the reader that recent and present ‘security’ and censorship methods enacted by the enemy-state are indeed counter-offensives and are intrinsically inter-connected both outside and inside.

Any conscious observer will readily concede that in recent years, particularly within the prisons across the empire there has been an increase in censorship tactics. In some cases these methods border on extreme.

For all intents and purposes We can understand that the current prison movement took its first primitive steps forward towards nationalization with the hystoric hunger strikes organized in California from 2011-2013. The underlying blueprint for these actions, the Agreement to End Hostilities, showcased the way forward for many around the empire. Furthermore, and what’s harder to measure, is the amount of inspiration that those actions initiated.

We have a small window into this reality, as it has been recorded that prison officials in other states, by the advent of the third and final strike, began pleading with CDCR to settle the issues the comrades in Califas raised, as they had began dealing with similar unrest in their state’s prisons.

Here it may be necessary to pinpoint that the prison movement as We know it today didn’t begin in 2011. Rather there have been other organizations that have connected the functions of prison to the human rights movement. A notable organization is the Human Rights Coalition led by elder BLA and BPP veteran political prisoner/prisoner of war Russel Maroon Shoatz. [Rest in Power, Shoatz died on 17 December 2021, at age 78, less than 2 months after eir release from prison with cancer.] However, beginning with the Califas hunger strikes there was a substantial qualitative leap forward in both participation and interest, inside and outside countrywide.

Moving forward towards the 2016 National Prison strike; the collective action, along with its subsequent 2018 sequel, did wonders in nationalizing the Prison Human rights movement gaining corporate media attention and subsequently grasping the attention of previously uninterested parties. Some of these parties were prison officials, C.O. unions, police unions, and others intrinsically woven into the criminal injustice apparatus. Others were concerned persyns: a new generation of abolitionists began to spring up, usually deriving from the college campus sector. The spokesperson of the national prison strikes, Sis. Amani Sawari, along with imprisoned activists within key organizations like Jailhouse Lawyers Speaks, Free Alabama Movement, and many in Califas helped bring the key “Ten Demands” of the National Prison strike to the mainstream as these issues began to be debated among presidential candidates throughout 2019 and 2020.

Before We move on it is important to pinpoint here that the Prison Human Rights Movement, has had and continues to have much stratification within its ranks. The first and major stratification point derives from differences in political line surrounding the role of the movement.

Similar to the days of the Civil Rights movement, when the question of ‘non-violence’ was seen by some as a philosophical or theological commitment, while for others it was simply a tactic, one to be discarded if/when it proved un-useful. The current prison movement has many of the same components. While there are many more revolutionary oriented groups/persyns who see the success of the prison movement with the advent of voting rights, or other prison reforms. Instead many of these groups agree that prisons can not be reformed, as it is an intrinsic part of the state apparatus. These groups agree that revolutionary consciousness and commitment are the most meaningful things that can come of the prison movement.

Simultaneously, in recent years there has been an upsurge in radical activity on the outside. Much like in the prison movement there are many youthful combatants, and much decentralized activities. The fact that these movements have risen parallel among each other should not be considered a coincidence, nor should the corresponding and parallel counter-offensives be seen as unrelated coincidences.

As BlackLivesMatter and abolitionist praxis protests arose around the country, particularly in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, reactionary lawmakers (persuaded by reactionary constituents) began implementing new repressive laws to quell protest. Federal lawmakers, led by the Trump-Pence duo led the way and most states followed suit. Such laws, or rather counter-offensives, included making the blocking of traffic, as had been done repeatedly in recent years, a first degree felony. In states like Tekkk$a$ that means that such protests would be punishable with sentences of 5-99 years!

Also, in a move to revamp Black Liberation era counter-offensives, federal legislators (followed by various states) felonized crossing state boundaries to partake in protests. Some students of the movement may recall that this measure was first enacted against Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the former H. Rap Brown of SNNC, BPP, and RNA at the apex of the Black Liberation struggle.

These are only a few key examples of the criminalization of radical dissent as it pertains to those on the outside. However, C.O. unions, DOC headquarters, and various reactionaries began their countervailing efforts on radical and revolutionary forces on the inside first.

In the almost immediate aftermath of the 2016 National Prison Strike, DOC’s around the empire all began complaining of the same issue: an illusionary influx of drugs coming through the mail. Reading from the limited research materials i have in my cell, it seems that the counter-offensive attacking prisoner mail under the pretext of a major drug influx began in 2017, and the first states to initiate this offensives were Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida. States like Tekkk$a$, initiated a different sort of attack on prisoner correspondence by severely limiting indigent mail in 2015. However, relating to the “influx of drugs” ruse, many other states have since followed suit. Another related component to the attack on prisoner mail is the wide spread switchover to digitized mail services. States have begun denying all physical snail mail and mail that have implemented this repressive tactic have also by and large prevented prisoners from receiving books from “unauthorized” vendors, basically mandating that reading material be sent from a sole approved vendor.

All these measures described above are ‘on trend’ among the various states around the empire, meaning these measures are likely to be making their way to a prison near you. What We’re experiencing now is a proving ground for the state, in which they’ve been observing to see which countervailing measures will stir the masses the most, which ones will survive the initial jailhouse lawyer onslaughts.

Again, it must be understood that the major drug influx cited by (all) these state DOC’s is illusionary. That isn’t to say drugs aren’t in prison, but they’re flowing in the same frequency as prior to 2016 (national prison strike). So why now? Why suddenly the state-to-state focused attack on prisoner correspondence, and the digitizing of mail, only after 2016? The answer points to a New-COINTELPRO type program (NCTP). Part and parcel with this NCTP is the widespread, coordinated countervailing attacks against progressive and revolutionary prisoners. From Califas, Oregon, Nevada to New Mexico, Indiana to Pennsylvania; from Virginia to North Carolina, South Carolina to Florida, Alabama to Tekkk$a$, dissident prisoners are under attack. These attacks range from down right malicious assaults to poisoning of food/water supplies, from permanent solitary placement to the systemic silencing of these militants. In places like TDCJ’s Allred Unit, which Texas uses to isolate and torture political prisoners and captive journalists. They’ve employed a specialized individual, ex-military/ex-cop, to survey ‘specific inmates’ mail and book deliveries. Is it clear yet?

As the 2020 summer uprisings raged on into the late fall in some areas of the empire the Trump-Pence regime had already began laying the foundation to begin the mass warehousing of political dissidents on the outside utilizing some of the new laws mentioned above. As these protests raged on, political radicals have filled up prisons and jails around the empire. Do you all understand what this could mean for the prison movement?

The last time in movement hystory that We experienced a mass influx of militants and revolutionaries entering the prisons was during the Black Liberation era (late 1960’s into the 1970’s). Atiba Shanna, and the New Afrikan Prisoner’s Organization did a superb job illustrating the effect political prisoners entering the prisons in mass had on the already bubbling prison movement:

"As a result of the repression exercised upon the struggle taking place outside the walls in the late sixties and early seventies, leaders and activists in these struggles were captured and imprisoned. These were the political prisoners and prisoners of war. Their initial imprisonment was a result of consciously motivated political actions.

“The escalation of struggle outside the walls also resulted in a significant increase in the number of politicized prisoners already inside the walls… We can admit that the economic and socio-psychological ties that these politicized prisoners had with the oppressive system were such that they represent the most conscious element among us - the most conscious, that is, of the presently waging undeclared war between themselves and those who rule. Thus, they are the most receptive and responsive to the need to become ‘the people in uniform.’ BUT, their politicization resulted primarily from their being members of oppressed nations!” (1)

The people who are responsible for holding people in cages, and keeping us in cages, are acutely aware of the possible and very likely culture shock that is to overtake U.$. prisons that experience an influx of political radicals. Never forget that in the time frame mentioned above by Comrade Atiba, that the activities of the BLA and other similar formations eventually led to the U.$. moving to build more newer, more ‘secure,’ and high tech prisons designed to keep Our political prisoners and prisoners of war within them, and to prevent anymore political prisoners of war from arising from among the captive populace.

Therefore i concur that We’re currently experiencing such countervailing efforts by the enemy-state so that they may monitor captive militants, their networks and families (with the design to turn them into captive militants themselves) and prevent the rise of a more militant, more ideologically consolidated, more revolutionary national prison movement that is intrinsically inter-woven with a more militant, ideologically consolidated, more revolutionary outside united front.

By this point We hope it is clear that just as the prison movement and the movement on the other side of the walls have a dialectical relationship; the enemies on both sides of the wall also have a dialectical relationship, they also work together to the detriment of Our progress. As more revolutionary oriented comrades advance the national prison movement forward, repression will increase in intensity. We must begin to operate in a way that one’s struggles become all Our struggle. If comrades in one state are being overly repressed We must band together in multiple states, letting the pig power structure know “WE SEE YOU AND WE WON’T STAND FOR IT: 1LOVE 1STRUGGLE!” We must reach such a level of organization and operation, and We are on the cusp of it NOW. I encourage progressive and revolutionary captives to begin dialoging, corresponding, with each other. Seek out the means to do so. We must keep each other abreast to the local happenings from unit to unit, state to state. Comrades that is why publications like Under Lock & Key, San Francisco Bay View, and others are so important. However, We aren’t utilizing these platforms to their greatest extent if We aren’t constantly sending in reports, articles, informing other comrades on what’s happening. And We must also begin to support these institutions more effectively as a whole. I challenge all ULK subscribers to raise at least 10 stamps to mail to MIM(Prisons)! Which state can raise the most funds? TX where ya’ll at!? Those 10 stamps can go a long way towards prisoner organizing and educational efforts.

RE-BUILD TO WIN

1. Notes from a New Afrikan P.O.W. journal #1 by Atiba Shanna

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[Black Lives Matter] [Independent Institutions] [Principal Contradiction] [White Nationalism] [ULK Issue 76]
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What Are Prisons For? Should we send Rittenhouse and the McMichaels there?

Sadly far too many people who should know better believe that a sign of “equal justice” would be if Kyle Rittenhouse was housed in the empty cell down the tier from me. Additionally far too many people actually felt and argued that a sign of the system working was the guilty verdict given to the McMichaels for killing Ahmaud Arbery. However i wonder what exactly such people believe happens when these people are in fact placed into prison. Do people believe these people would share the same experiences as someone from the semi-colonies? Do they believe these people will be subjected to the same level of brutality from the state or its representatives? Do they believe this is “rehabilitation”?

i’ve even heard far too many people state that these people should not even be given bourgeois rights while going through the courts. Such people obviously believe in amerikkkan “democracy” and only aim to put and keep their people in power specifically through the Democratic Party where they can use the levers of bourgeois civil society to dominate* the Republican Party. This is vengeance against the Amerikan bourgeoisie’s political party by another - not justice and definitely not revolutionary. We should condemn this at every turn.

2020 was lost because spontaneity dominated instead of actual consciousness. Lenin stated in 1900 that the “spontaneity of the masses demands a high consciousness from us.” Another obvious failure was the failure of analysis of what amerikkka’s capitalism-imperialism is and who her citizens are and their relationship to this specific form of late capitalism-imperialism. Had this been done there would’ve been less talk of trying to stuff a true history lesson down the settler-colonist throats as if this would make them see the light and instead teaching this history to New Afrikans, First Nations, Raza, API and receptive whites with an emphasis on self-determination struggles, self-reliance, anti-imperialism and internationalism. A proper class analysis would’ve concluded there’s no real opposition to capitalism-imperialism (in 2020) and most amerikans benefit from this system. The people protesting, thinking pigs would be or should be neutral, while their system was under attack; that they would not welcome vigilantes and even thank them were foolish. If any one was surprised at all by how that night played out, regardless of the Rittenhouse verdict, they need to go back to the ABC’s of amerikkkan history (maybe Critical Race Theory would’ve helped them).

Not only should we not root for U$A injustice system even against our enemies**, we should denounce bourgeois criminal behavior, not just gangsterism but even in protests. We are not terrorists nor do we believe in focoism or anarchy. We advocate revolutionary consciousness. We do not lead the people to slaughter. We gather forces or at least sympathy for revolution.

What are prisons for? We know all too well about the school-to-prison-pipeline and who this is designed for. We know we are considered surplus-population and prison acts as a social tool to keep idle people idle. We also know that amerikkkans are infatuated with law and order (and punishment). We know amerikkkans rest assured when its carceral system locks people away for 40 or 50 years for whatever crime…we know amerikkka does not bat an eye at such abuses. In fact immediately after Rittenhouse’s GoFundMe page successfully got him acquitted Vice President Harris professed her role as top-cop in California was to make the system more “equitable” and his acquittal means there’s obviously “more work to be done”. Again, but what are prisons for? Rittenhouse should go inside a box (for obviously many, many years), get old and then be judged (by a specific faction of the bourgeois dictatorship - the democrats**) to see if it’s enough years gone by. This is the only purpose prison in bourgeois society serves so what kind of people advocate such a thing?

Even in prison it’s not well known what prison is used for. Not only that, even in prison bourgeois mentality is prevalent and ubiquitous… We sit in cages like animals. We are psychologically tortured, sexually humiliated, manipulated and harassed. We must fight for outside contact, safety, humanity and freedom but a majority of captives sit around in their assigned boxes and literally direct their anger and future violence at other captives. Not just that but rebellion against our circumstances and capture is far too often shunned. Revolution even in hell isn’t automatic. Bourgeois society will go down as the most adaptable. When almost everyone has a price how could it not?

When i hear “lock em up” or that “justice” was served i know for sure i’m in the midst of enemies. i know such people deep down believe i’m exactly where i should be. Revolutionaries cannot parrot Jesse Jackson, Alicia Garza, Amy Goodman or anyone else’s call to “lock em up.” Let’s leave that to Trump and Clinton and all the other enemies of the revolution. Instead let’s learn how to protect each other starting with a proper class analysis. True political consciousness going into 2022 must start from the empire’s utter success in buying off all but a small percent of its population and the knowledge that this demand and lame-ass attempt to take over the bourgeois system “from the inside” with this pro-police imperialism, pro-FBI socialism, anti-revolution revolutionaries is worse than a joke.

Salutes to TX Team One, FPC, Republic of Aztlán, and the entire USW,

NA Struggle RL NAIM CA-MLM

*Obviously if this had the potential to advance anti-imperialism in any way it is to be considered but we will not first exploit internal contradictions between the capitalist then as a response to this build our forces. No, there must first be a revolutionary force to galvanize otherwise it’s just more imperialism and pro-imperialism.

**It would have to be Democrats because Republicans believe this was just.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrade’s focus on building our forces, building anti-imperialism, building movements for self-determination. As we say on page 2 of every Under Lock & Key, we have a different solution to the bourgeois prison system and that is proletarian justice. We distribute the book Prisoners of Liberation about Amerikan spies in a Chinese socialist prison that we use as a starting point for how prisons can be used to serve the people and give everyone the resources to reform and contribute positively to society.

But implementing pro-people rehabilitation on a mass scale is a ways off for us in this country. And we agree with our comrade here that these calls for “justice” are the battlefield of bourgeois politicians. If Rittenhouse was given a long prison term, that would only increase the chances of him becoming the Nazi that he has been branded already in the media; an indication of what these bourgeois prisons actually do. There are class enemies, and both sides will use force against their class enemies. But we must first build proletarian institutions, before we can implement proletarian justice.

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[Organizing] [Independent Institutions] [ULK Issue 76]
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An Ongoing Discussion on Organizing Strategy Pt. 3

Revolutionary greetings to all the comrades!

In this article I-self will be building with ya’ll in unity, criticism, unity on the ongoing discussion on organizing strategy that’s been going on in the last 3 ULKs. But where my focus is going to be on are the questions that the comrade Wiawimawo stated at the end of Comrade S. Xanastas’ “An Ongoing Discussion Organizing Strategy Pt. 2” in ULK No. 74. Also, a little on the redefining words that are used to villianize WE from Comrade Triumphant’s article “Forever Protecting the Community: We Are Our Own Liberators” in ULK No. 75.

The questions posed by our comrade Wiawimawo are stated below:

"can building the Re-Lease on Life and University of Maoist Thought programs mobilize and reach the masses in the same way as the campaigns making demands from the state?

“…Isn’t a campaign exposing the widespread use of torture in U.$. prisons an undermining of U.$. imperialism regardless of the maneuvers the various states make to cut back on or hide their use of long-term isolation? Or should we focus solely on the Third World neo-colonies and expose U.$. meddling in Ethiopia, Cuba and Haiti?”

To answer the first question: can building the Re-Lease on Life and University of Maoist Thought programs mobilize and reach the masses in the same way as the campaigns making demands from the state? I would have to say yes, and I also think that the Re-Lease on Life and the University of Maoist Thought Programs will aid and assist with the campaigns making demands from the state. Reason why is that the University of Maoist Thought programs and the Re-Lease on Life will give the de-imperialization study groups, programs, or classes, etc. Plus the most right and exact educational class WE can bring to the masses so WE can liberate ourselves. Which will in turn not just promote these campaigns, but these individuals who “over”take these classes will have a sense of duty to not just self, but the whole commune to start up campaigns that are making demands from the state. In turn, this will open the opportunity to capture the minds of more of the masses from the imperialist reigns of control to be re-directed to our de-imperialization study groups and/or classes, and then that situation repeats until the masses are overwhelmingly pushing S.O.P.s in these koncentration kamps and communism to the outside free world.

Next question is: Isn’t a campaign exposing the widespread use of torture in U.$. prisons an undermining of U.$. imperialism regardless of the maneuvers the various states make to cut back on or widen their use of long-term isolation? I knowledge that these campaigns that expose widespread use of torture and long-term isolation, with the many campaigns to teach the deaf, dumb, and blind of our First World lumpen class to see, be mindful, and more nationally, internationally, revolutionarily conscious, and be able to discern the difference from what is revolutionary and what is not. This will breed the revolutionary souljas which is needed to topple U.$. imperialism and imperialism as a whole. Souljas like those in the Ayiti (Haiti) revolution (Aug. 14, 1791 - Dec. 1803) the first and only successful revolution of Afrikans where General Francois Capois yelled this battle cry at the final battle:

“Grenadye, also! Sa Ki Mouri, Zafe a yo! Nan pwen manman. Nan pwen papa. Sa ki mouri, zafe a yo! Grenadye, aloso!”

Which translates to:

“Soldiers attack (or to the front and move forward)! Those who die, so what! There is no mom. There is no dad. Those who die, so what!”

WE have to come with this mindset while in this realm of revolution, and if WE are not there yet then WE better hop-scotch into a Usane Bolt sprint to it and lock it in for eternity. For this is the mindset which is going to get us to the transfer of power from imperialism to communism. WE gotta be expecting that the imperialists are going to try to hide their dirty laundry after WE show how filthy their ways are. So in saying that we ALL have to become counter-attack masters and specialists just as much as WE ALL ARE to be ready to become future leaders of the revolutionary struggle.

Which is also answering the following question: or should we focus soley on the third world neo-colonies and expose U.$. meddling on Ethiopia, Cuba, and Haiti? Now just stating that WE ALL have to become counter-attack specialists and be ready to become future leaders, the comrade with the most knowledge gets to speak on either of the three. If WE don’t have any of the comrades or leaders who have that knowledge, then WE gone get into that study hall classroom and get some knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and elect a cadre to each country.

So the focus that is needed to build campaigns that will undermine the imperialists here in the U.$. and the world abroad, will be there in full discretion. WE gotta become the monsters that the beast is scared to death of. Since everybody has or had a monster that they was afraid of, why not BE the monster(s) the imperialists shit and piss in their pants every time they think of WE. Then die of heart attack when WE manifest in the flesh.

Because WE as revolutionaries and FW lumpen have been villainized by the imperialists already right? It’s either now that WE redefine these words or abandon words like “monster,” “demons,” “gang,” “criminal”, and etc. Just how the comrade Triumphant stated in their article “Forever Protecting the Community: We Are Our Own Liberators,” I see and knowledge that this task is going to be a difficult one. First, redefining these words to the point it’s worldwide spread that even our opps – the imperialists – knows the redefinition of word that they use to villainize WE and use the new definition their damn selfs. Example: How many knows Tupac Amaru Shakur’s redefinition of the word ‘NIGGA’? Which is “Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished” or does the first thing a persyn think about is a New Afrikan individual? And this leads into part two: WE have to remember our leaders and souljas locked away like Larry Hoover Sr., Iman Jalil Amin, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Bomani Shakur, and many others’ lives are dependent on WE and if WE fail to redefine correctly and get it worldwide recognition; WE’ll do more harm to WE then forward progression of the movement. This will push us back like Gang injunctions and R.I.C.O. acts. Just something WE should keep in mind as we progress forward in these stages of organizing strategy.

L’UNION FAIT LA FORCE = UNITY MAKES STRENGTH

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[Gender] [Censorship] [Drugs] [Texas] [ULK Issue 76]
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Gov. Abbot Pledges to Eliminate Rapists while Porn is Forced on TX Prisoners

While Governor Abbot has enacted a full on assault on women’s rights here in Texas, I heard him defend his decision to not even allow young rape victims to have an abortion. His reasoning was that he has plans to end rape in the great state of Texas (and I have plans to win the powerball lottery). This is almost as good news as was President Nixon announcing that he was, “Not a Crook”, or George H.W. Bush promising, “No new taxes.” But what would you expect from a guy who cannot manage to keep the electric on in a state that makes its fortunes in the energy business?

So it should surprise no one to know that Gov. Abbot’s Texas Department of Criminal Justice(TDCJ) has enacted extremely stringent mail room policies (BP-3.91), which has prisoners and their family members up in arms! (see: Texas Censorship Rule (BP-3.91) Being Revised, Under Lock & Key No. 75) These restrictive policies were put in place because family members of sex offenders complained that their loved ones were not able to get the rehabilitation that they need while in prison because of all the drugs and photos of women in their underwear that all of the other prisoners possess. What does TDCJ do? They pass a rule that not only prevents sexually explicit photos from entering this prison it also does not allow any crayon, marker, colored paper, or greeting cards and many books and magazines are denied.

I myself had my Men’s Health and National Geographic magazines denied for “sexually explicit content,” and just today I was denied the opportunity to even read a letter from my aging, almost 80-year-old mother because it was written on colored paper. I was also recently denied a drawing, from a church member’s son for the same exact reason and he is only 7.

TDCJ thinks they can stop drugs and sexually explicit content from entering into prisons by trampling all over the First Amendment, but the sad fact of the matter is that outlawing and strict policing laws cannot and will not ever stop people from doing what they want to do. It hasn’t worked with the drug nor anti-sodomy laws and it darn sure won’t work inside of TDCJ while they have low-paid, over-worked, understaffed employees looking to make a buck.

Well, Governor, if you’re not too busy stalking abortion clinics or sifting through citizen’s personal mail, you might want to check out what all of those locked up sex offenders and gang bangers are doing here. Since you don’t feel it profitable to sufficiently staff your prisons so that prisoners have healthy activities like outside rec and mental health support groups to engage their minds, you leave them to lounge around in their rubber sandals all day, soaking up the wonderful air conditioning, selling their psych meds, smoking K2, tobacco and meth and snorting and overdosing on oxycontin, suboxone, percocet and alcohol while they eat cheese puffs and have guards scroll through the seemingly endless selection of partial and full nudity labeled shows on the On-demand cable TVs.

The really tough thing for Gov. Abbot and the unit Wardens is that it is against the rules for prisoners to operate or even touch the remote controls. So either their officers are not following the rules or they themselves are choosing to force this kind of programming on a captive audience. This is exactly why they don’t allow prayers to be read over school intercoms any more, because you cannot avoid hearing it even if you want to and believe me, there are some things you just cannot un-see or un-hear.

Here there is no escaping second-hand smoke, nor the scorn of porn, no matter how many mothers’ letters the mail room denies.


Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) adds: We’ve been pointing out the false logic in recent waves of censorship and digitizing of mail across this country, with evidence that drugs in prisons have not been reduced, which was the stated aim of these policies.(1) Now with BP-3.91 aiming to eliminate material that might prevent sex offenders from recovering we find out that the policy is used to censor educational material, holiday cards and letters from children while prisoners are watching porn on TV all day whether they want to be or not.

We like the connection this comrade makes to Abbot’s great plan to ban abortion and eliminate rapists. Below we print another story about gender and rape in prisons from a comrade who has been studying MIM’s writings on gender. This adds to the critique of Abbot by pointing out how all sex is rape under patriarchy, as well as pointing to the intimate relation between porn and profits that prevent rape from being eliminated under capitalism. The tying of pleasure and power to motivate the consumer class to keep capital circulating in the economy is so important to the bourgeoisie that rape has become an unavoidable feature of capitalism.


A California prisoner writes: After reading the MC5 paper Clarity on what gender is, I was a bit confused about MacKinnon’s line that all sex is rape. It took me a few days to comprehend what she was trying to say. First if something does not make sense, check your premise.

Her statement didn’t add up because my premise was that she was making a statement, when in reality her line is a metaphor of patriarchy (oppressive culture where men dominate). I recall feminists using a similar line in South America, “You are the rapist.” And I believe this is what MacKinnon was trying to say. This is a metaphor of the dominance of men in gender oppression.

It really became clear for me at “pill call.” I was waiting in line for my pills and on the other side of the fence some other prisoners were waiting in line for pills. One group was nuts to butts and a second the same. Both groups were standing 6 feet away from a sex offender as if he had some sort of contagious leprosy.

It is at this point a nurse walks by and the first group starts murmuring obscene comments amongst each other about her body. The second group started panting like a bunch of wild dogs and talking among themselves about the girl’s body. Meanwhile the isolated sex offender said nothing.

Everyone in line had something disgusting to say about the nurse except for the one man that everyone else is pretending to be better than. There is no doubt in my mind that every single one of those disgusting animals would be a rapist if it was just them and her in a room alone, thus giving merit to the feminist line “you are the rapist” and clarifying MacKinnon’s line “all sex is rape.”

Those men that so quickly became something less at the mere sight of a female are taught by an endless barrage of television commercials exploiting a woman’s beauty, that women are objects. Every time anyone wants to sell something in this capitalist culture the object is next to a beautiful woman, thus the object for sale is automatically associated with a woman as an object, similar to hypnotism.

Some of the men were probably only acting like wild animals just to fit in because they think that objectifying the woman is what is expected of them. However, that is somehow worse than the one who really is only seeing an object, because a mindless animal who can’t think for himself is always worse than a self-thinking man of reason.

From a woman’s perspective she truly must feel oppressed living in a world where all men act like disgusting animals. Truly she must feel like “all sex is rape” because all men act like rapists. As a reaction, women are past the point of tolerance and a lot of men are now doing serious time in prison for nothing more than what the capitalist system teaches them to do. For the liberation of women it becomes necessary for men to become oppressed, especially so here in Amerika where the answer to every conflict is a life sentence in prison.

Revolution from my perspective is never accomplished by half measures of compromise (small talk, legislation, reform, etc). Rights are never granted, they are won.

We all, female and male, must unite to win our right to be treated as a human being. We all must fight for our liberation. The monster that is the U.S. government cannot be reasoned with, cannot be reformed, every time we win 1 step, we lose 2. It is now all or nothing. For all of us that are oppressed the time is now. We must rise not for ourselves, but for a better future.


final comments by Wiawimawo: This comrade’s assumption that any of these men would have raped the womyn if given a chance contradicts eir assumption that some are just following along in the act. But this reinforces the point that rape is a systematic thing, that even if each of those men would not have raped that womyn if they found her alone, they participated in the culture of rape.

We’d also point out that many females do not “feel like all sex is rape”, and we argue that this is the case in the oppressor nations because of the gender privilege females have here they are gender oppressors, or men.

If Gov. Abbot’s big plan for ending rape is to lock up rapists, this will fail on two accounts. One is that Amerikan prisons do not reform or rehabilitate, which is why we are building our own independent institutions of the oppressed. But more importantly, rape is not about individual choices and behaviors, just like all crimes that are epidemic in imperialist society. Our culture creates rapists every day. It is only by transforming the relations between humyn beings that we can eliminate rape. And as mentioned above, capitalism is so dependent on selling sex, it is only through overthrowing capitalism that we can begin to make real strides in this transformation.

1. A Texas Prisoner, March 2021, TDCJ: Your Staff are Bringing in the Drugs, and it Must Stop, Under Lock & Key No. 73.

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[Drugs] [Political Repression] [Idealism/Religion] [ULK Issue 76]
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Suboxone: Chemical Warfare on the Oppressed

In 2017, MIM(Prisons) published Under Lock & Key #59 (ULK) which focused on the impact drugs have on the prison movement. ULK #59 was particularly significant to our cause, given the fact that drugs play a central role in preventing the lumpen from developing into a revolutionary force inside U.$. prisons. As various comrades attested to in that issue, drugs are poisons that eat away any potential unity of the oppressed, by fostering violence amongst the imprisoned lumpen, and the bourgeoisification of those involved in the trade. Also, discussed in ULK #59 was the scourge of the synthetic cannibinoid K2 and the rise of opioid use in prisons at the time. Since then, another opioid has gained popularity behind prison walls, mostly because of its availability; Suboxone.

In 2020, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation(CDCR) introduced Suboxone to its 33 prisons as part of its Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment(ISUDT). Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid addiction, specifically in the detox and withdrawal stages of care. According to the San Quentin News, “ISUDT is touted as the largest in-prison medically assisted treatment program in the nation.”(1) CDCR credits Suboxone with a sharp decline in overdose deaths in its prisons since its introduction. But is there more than meets the eye to this apparent miracle drug?

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone.(2) Suboxone is derived from opium, and was supposedly intended to be a less addictive alternative to methodone, morphine, and oxycodone.(3) Though viewed as a safe alternative to other drugs, Suboxone can still be deadly when taken intravenously or in combination with other drugs and alcohol. Other side effects are:

* cardiac arrhythmia* irregular blood pressure* respiratory issues* liver and kidney problems* constipation* urinary retention* sweating* short term memory issues* difficulty thinking clearly and focusing* impaired coordination* headache* nausea and vomiting* sedation (4)

Where Did Suboxone Come From?

Suboxone was developed in the 1970s by Reckitt Benckiser, a Briti$h company at the behest of the Amerikan government. At the time, the United $tates was searching for a “less addictive” alternative for patients with opioid use disorder. After Suboxone was created, Reckitt Benckiser shipped the drug to the United $tates narcotic farm in Lexington, Kentucky to be tested on detoxified addicts. The farm was also a prison and treatment facility as well as the site of the U.$. government’s Addiction Research Center.

It was at the Addiction Research Center that the government discovered just how addictive Suboxone could be, yet it was still marketed as a useful tool to combat addiction. Originally the doctors prescribing the drug had to hold special licenses and undergo special training. However, the government loosened its restrictions in response to the number of opioid associated deaths. Since then, Suboxone has raked in billions of dollars for pharmaceutical companies and millions more for the addiction treatment sector that sprang up in its wake.(5) Yet, there have been 100,000 overdose deaths attributed to opioids in the last 12 months.(6) Those same doctors trained by the government have also been found to be some of the most unscrupulous predators around.(7) As such, it was perplexing to many that the CDCR would provide such a highly addictive drug with such potential for abuse at a time when most prison addicts had already detoxed and gone through withdrawals, thanks to the statewide prison lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugs are Chemical Weapons

The use of drugs as part of a larger strategy of unconventional warfare dates back to the 16th century when Europeans created the drug trade to finance the expansion of their empires and the rise of industrial capitalism.(8) One of the most infamous examples of this was the Briti$h East India Company’s use of opium to subdue China and bring it into its sphere of influence by creating a nation of addicts. While the Portuguese and Dutch were the first to popularize opium smoking in China, it was the Briti$h who took full advantage of this. When the Chinese realized what was happening, they attempted to ban all foreign ships from entry and close their ports. The Briti$h claimed the Chinese were blocking their access to Chinese markets, and used this as a pretext to launch the first of two opium wars. By 1900, 27% of all adult males in China were addicted to smoking opium and China was forced to cede Hong Kong to the Briti$h.(9) This chapter in Chinese history marked the beginning of what Mao Zedong called China’s dark night of slavery to the west.

It was around this same time that alcohol was used by Amerikkkans to facilitate the genocide of First Nations people and the theft of their land. This period also marks the first recorded use of biological weapons, when the U.$. Army used smallpox infected blankets to decimate natives and clear the land for white settlers. Together, these acts of savagery resulted in the extermination of 98% of people indigenous to what is today the United $tates and the worst genocide in humyn hystory.(10) Events similar to these played out in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.(11)

During the 20th century, the Briti$h and Amerikkkan imperialists developed more sophisticated means with which to subdue the oppressed nations. Project MK-Ultra is one such example. Project MK-Ultra was initiated by the CIA in the 1950s along with the Briti$h MI6, their sometimes collaborators. This top secret project involved using drugs and the media to attack and discredit Amerika’s political enemies.

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), or just simply “acid” for short, became the drug of choice for the CIA at this time. LSD was created by Albert Hoffman, a Nazi collaborator working for the Swiss IG Farben. Starting in the 1950s, the CIA began producing their own acid in “tonnage quantities” after asking pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly to synthesize Hoffman’s formula. This was part of the CIA’s larger plan to dose the water supply of the Soviet Union. The CIA knew for themselves the effects of LSD as they tested the drugs on prisoners at the same facility in Lexington, Kentucky that Suboxone was tested at twenty years later! Here, prisoners were kept tripping for 77 days straight as part of Project Artichoke which was one of many programs under the umbrella of Project MK-Ultra.(12)

The connection between the development of Suboxone, the CIA and Acid’s early days are alarming given the fact that Suboxone was introduced to California prisons at a time of heightened political consciousness amongst prisoners, an economic recession, a rise in white nationalism, Black Lives Matter protests, a statewide no visiting lockdown, and the ten-year anniversary of prison hunger strikes that rocked CDCR and produced ripple effects across Amerikkka’s gulags. Thus, it was certainly in the interests of the imperialists to suppress the germs of any potential organizing amongst the oppressed lumpen.

And although the CIA’s plans with respect to the Soviet Union never came to fruition, they did use LSD to attack the political enemies of the Amerikan bourgeoisie. Outspoken college professors critical of the U.$., political activists, communists, government whistle-blowers and their families all fell victim to LSD and were publicly discredited.(13)

As the anti-imperialist movement gained traction both outside and inside of U.$. borders, the use of LSD and other chemical weapons was expanded. Throughout the 1970s heroin became part and parcel to the fight against New Afrikan, [email protected], and First Nations national liberation movements. Asian-produced opium also became critical to U.$. imperialism’s war against Vietnam. Drug money was used to help facilitate the creation of Taiwan as a U.$. ally against Maoist China prior to these events.(14) Methadone too was linked to the opioid problem in New York City in the 1970s. Methadone as “maintenance treatment” for heroin addicts was funded by the Rockefeller Program.(15) The Rockefellers have also been implicated in Nazi atrocities, the red scare media campaigns, and CIA operations.

The 1980s brought us the Iran-Contra scandal responsible for the introduction of crack-cocaine into the ghettos and barrios of the United $tates. Again, the CIA was found to be at the heart of these dirty wars which involved the use of Iranian money to buy Amerikan guns. Money from the Iranians was then use to buy cocaine from Colombia for sale in the United $tates. Amerikan drug money was then re-circulated to fund counter-revolutionaries in Nicaragua fighting the leftist Sandinistas.(17)

More recently, Operation Fast and Furious made international headlines when the CIA was exposed for selling firearms to Mexican cartels as a means of keeping the Mexican government destabilized and the Mexican people from fighting their oppressors. The last thing the U.$. wants is for a neo-colonial country on their doorstep to turn independent and determine their own destinies.

The Problem as We Understand It

If the imperialists really wanted to they could shut down the drug trade, but that runs counter to their interests. Addiction defines capitalist society. Addiction lies at the center of supply and demand economics and is what drives the anarchy of production. From cell phones, to soap operas, to opioids and methamphetamines, everyone living in a capitalist society is addicted to something. Addiction in capitalist society is encouraged as a means to realizing profit; but also as a way to keep people in general, and the masses in particular, distracted and unable to rise up against oppression. Nowhere is this seen better than in the recent hystory of the oppressed nations.

In a critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Karl Marx explained how religion had hystorically been urged to drug people much in the same ways the bourgeois uses actual drugs today:

“Religious suffering is at one and the same time the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”(18)

Marx was writing at a time of the industrial revolution when the “miracle” of capitalism was creating advancements in humyn hystory never before seen. However, it was also creating grinding oppression and poverty previously unknown. Capitalism also promoted ideas of individualism, self-centeredness, greed, and exceptionalism, some of the worst qualities in humyn behavior, and expanding them to include entire populations, most pointedly in the labor aristocracy. All this combined led to lives full of misery and desperation for the masses. Lives in which the only solace was that of an afterlife. And while religion continues to act as a smokescreen in the oppression of the masses, the use of drugs has proved indispensable.

Today the root causes of oppression can be better traced to nation, class, and gender contradictions which have completely warped the way people interact on both a macro and micro level. The root causes of addiction are much the same.

In regards to religious suffering, Marx knew better than to simply call for the abolition of religion. Instead, he realized that it was the conditions that led to religious suffering themselves that needed to be abolished. Otherwise, some other new feel good belief would come to fill the void left by religion, and the oppressive system itself would remain in its place:

“The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their conditions is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusion. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”(19)

In other words, religion sanctified capitalism and helped make it tolerable for the oppressed. Drugs play a similar role in today’s culture. If one is high all the time than ey does not think about the many years ey have to spend in prison. One does not have to deal with the fact that ey made a decision that impacted countless lives because of eir parasitic behavior. The use of drugs allows one to cope with the impact nation, class, and gender contradictions have had on em through intergenerational trauma, all the while keeping them unable to understand how the three strands of oppression manifest through that trauma.

We encourage people to get drug free and stay that way, but this requires more than the status quo in addiction treatment, which only teaches how to better cope with the trauma of imperialism. We encourage comrades to go further and destroy the conditions that require illusions. We encourage comrades to take up revolution.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We will be doing a follow-up on this article with the results of our second survey on drugs in prisons found in ULK 75. We are still collecting and aggregating your responses. It’s not too late if you have not responded yet.

We know the state is opposed to our efforts to expose and combat the plague of drug addiction among imprisoned lumpen. Branchville Correctional Facility in Indiana censored ULK 75 citing:

“denied based on the article about Suboxone, and the common drug slang terms and sale information used in one of the articles. The items in the article violate IDOC/BCF policies.”

The drug sale information of course was that the C.O.s were selling it. See Targeted as Mentally Ill for Honesty & Not Participating in Staff Drug Running and Retaliation for Writing On Drug Smuggling for more on repression of those who don’t play the drug game.

Notes: [1] San Quentin News, September 2021, Pg. 8.
[2] 5 Myths About Using Suboxone, Peter Greenspan MD, October 7, 2021
[3] Extended Suboxone Treatment Substantially Improves Outcomes for Opioid Addicted Youth, November 4, 2008
[4] Suboxone vs Methodone: Positives and Negatives, Avatar, May 21, 2021
[5] Addiction Treatment with a Dark Side, New York Times, 2013
[6] Amanpour & Co, PBS, December 7, 2021
[7] Addiction Treatment with a Dark Side, New York Times, 2013
[8] Drugs As Weapons Against Us: The CIA’s Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac, and Other Activists, John L. Potash, Trine Day LLC, 2015, Pg 7-9
[9] Ibid, pg 10
[10] J. Sakai, 1989, Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat, 3rd Edition, Morningstar Press, p. 7. Sakai cites 200-300,000 native people remaining by 1900, of an estimated 10 million people before colonization.
[11] Drugs as Weapons Against Us, Pg 10
[12] Ibid, Pg 29-30
[13] Ibid, Pg 31-36
[14] Ibid, Pg 45-51
[15] Under Lock & Key, Issue 59, Pg 5, 2017
[16] Drugs as Weapons Against Us, Pg 13-14
[17] Ibid, Pg 279-285
[18] Karl Marx, 1843, Introduction to “A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.”
[19] A Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Karl Marx

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