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[COVID-19] [Political Repression] [Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 75]
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Warden Retaliates Against Grievances, While TDCJ Creates Hostilities Among Prisoners

I want to thank you for sending me the newsletter. I’ve been getting fellow prisoners together to help change the ongoing troubles we’re having here on the John B. Connally Unit. I’ve had my mom email the Ombudsman due to the fact that the Warden stated everyone filing a grievance on his officers actions or the units conditions will find themselves in building lockup, facing disciplinary.

So we can’t write a Step 1 or 2 cause they are getting stopped by the officials. Right now we’re on lockdown due to a racial riot that happened due to the guards making our environment ‘hostile.’ A lot of the guards don’t be wearing they mask; and they haven’t been vaccinated, yet they lock us down when one or two people take down our mask.

We try to get an ‘informal resolution’ but they refuse to talk with us. Sgt. J Sandoval stated “fuck you, we don’t care.” Exact words. When they put us on 23 hour lockdowns they make it into a 26 or 28 hour lockdown cause they don’t want to let us up. Some of the guards are 19-20-21 year olds who’ve been an officer for 2-3 months, and they get rank and misuse their power. I’ve also written the Ombudsman and my mom emailed him.

The riot was Brown vs. Black cause the Blacks don’t wanna wear they mask and were tired of going down behind one or two people. Last night everyone had enough, grievances don’t get addressed. They write bogus cases for going to respite for heat restriction. TDCJ policy says we’re allowed respite 24 hours 7 days a week even during count yet when we go to respite, Sgt. Reed and Sgt. Sandoval write out of places cases when policy says we’re allowed respite. Also, August 1st TDCJ is trying to take all our pics of females away and calling pics of women in lingerie or exotic poses ‘contraband.’

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[Civil Liberties] [Censorship] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 74]
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Campaign to Stop Censorship of Non-nude Publications and Photos in TX

PHONE ZAP STARTS 1 AUGUST 2021 more info

In the past few years censorship in TDCJ has reached epic proportions. In March 2020, the board on criminal justice enacted new restrictive policies regarding mail correspondence, greeting cards, and receiving monies. After a year of wide-spread resistance to this fascist policy, an exposé was written by Kerri Blessinger of the Houston Chronicle’s criminal justice department along with an inside comrade of the National Freedom Movement - TX Chapter.

The public outcry that resulted from this article which spoke specifically to the denial of greeting cards, moved TDCJ officials to annul this restrictive policy and now captives are again allowed to receive cards.

If the story ended there, things would be all well. Unfortunately, TDCJ officials have sought to retaliate against the prisoner population by instituting even more arbitrarily restrictive regulations.

Set to take effect on 1 August 2021, the newly amended Board Policy(BP) 3.91 will effectively ban ANY/ALL publications, photos, drawings, and images that We could possibly receive. This amendment bans any items showcasing thongs, lingerie, buttocks, sex toys, or bodily fluids, as well as photos that hides someone’s face.

Nearly all publications and photos one gets are subject to this rule. Harmless publications such as US Weekly, OK, National Geographic, Muscle Fitness, etc can/will be denied due to this rule. Accordingly, this denies TDCJ captives their visual stimuli, in the case of isolated captives in RHU/solitary such persyn will have NO visual stimuli at all.

The politicized prisoner collective known as Tx T.E.A.M.O.N.E. is calling ALL prisoners in teKKK$a$ to join Us and the souljas on ALLRED seg in Our campaign. We are striving to amass 75,000 grievances on this issue. Included please find a sample of a step 1, shortly We will distribute a step 2 and a petition to be sent to TDCJ Director of CID and the Chairman of TDCJ. We must showcase a show of solidarity as teKKK$a$ captives.


Offender Name:____________________ TDCJ#___________________ Unit:_________________________ Housing Assignment:____________ Unit where incident occurred:______________________

who did you talk to?_________________________When?________________ What was their response?________________________________________________ What action was taken?________________________________________________ sample: BP-3.91, amended on 6/25/21, goes into effect on 8/1/21, and effectively bans ANY/ALL publications, photos, drawings and images that we could possibly receive. This edict is in direct violation of our First Amendment rights against censorship, and fails to satisfy the four-part Turner test as TDCJ officials have failed to justify this policy.(see: TURNER V. SAFELY, 482 U.S.78(1987))

TURNER QUESTION ONE: Is the regulation reasonably related to a legitimate, neutral government interest? These magazines are non-nude, and are commonplace with no age requirement to purchase them. Thus, TDCJ cannot possibly believe such magazines may cause disorder or violence, or will hurt a prisoner’s rehabilitation. Prisoners have a right to non-obscene, sexually explicit material that is commercially produced, MAURN V. ARPAIO, 188 F.3d 1054(9th Circ.1999).

TURNER QUESTION TWO: Does the regulation leave open another way for you to exercise your constitutional rights? No. As an Ad-Seg inmate, the only visual stimuli we receive are pictures and magazines. Yet the very images that are being banned are the EXACT same content any observer can see on TV. Newspapers have circulars with bra sales, etc. Effectively banning those as well. BP-3.91 destroys our ONLY visual link to the outside world.

TURNER QUESTION THREE: How does the issue impact other prisoners, prison guards, or officials and prison resources? BP-3.91 treats ALL inmates, especially Ad-Seg, like sex offenders and pedophiles, creates unrest throughout the prison population, and punishes non-sex offenders, while GP sex offenders still see images that arouse them on TV. It punishes normal inmates while missing the intended targets.

TURNER QUESTION FOUR: Are there obvious easy alternatives to the regulation that would not restrict your rights to free expression? Yes. Restrict these BP-3.91 original to the Grievance DEPT. on (date) copy to my records BP-3.91 is too vague, encompassing a littany of correspondence (see: Alello V. Litacher, 104 F. Supp. 2d1068, 1045-81(W.D.Wis.2000) which struck down similar ban). BP-3.91 actually says, “Any photo that conceals or hides the face of the individual photographed in a manner that prevents identification of that person.” What penological interest does this serve? And during a pandemic when people are still wearing masks?

Action Requested: That the DRC and TDCJ repeal or annul BP-3.91 in its amended form as it does NOT pass the supreme court’s TURNER test.


ALL TDCJ inmates should file a grievance on this issue, it affects all genders and sexualities as pics with an erection will not be allowed. The paper trail begins now, and We may have to file a class action on this issue. By all means, COMBAT GENOCIDE!!

UPDATE: Grievance officers here are saying this is not a grievable matter. THIS IS NOT TRUE. We suggest that if others run into this problem they should write i60 informing the GR.DEPT that the Offender Grievance Operations Manual (OGOM) says that policy is grievable, due to the fact that We are grieving the unit’s interpretation of the new board policy. Prisoners should also see Thornburgh V. Abbot, 490 U.S. 401 (1989). Be sure to attach the returned step 1 to i 60.

Here officers are also saying that we can’t grieve it because the policy isn’t effective yet, and we can do so on 8/1 when policy goes into effect. This policy must be resisted on all fronts on all units. [By the time you receive this it will be in effect.] A separate, more extensive petition has also been submitted to the Deputy Executive Director and a phone zap was scheduled to occur on 1 August by outside supporters.

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[Africa] [U.S. Imperialism] [Yemen] [Campaigns] [Ethiopia] [Eritrea] [ULK Issue 74]
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No U.$. Involvement in Ethiopia! Shut Down AFRICOM!

Anti-imperialists watching the Horn of Africa have sounded the alarm that Amerikans are scheming to further their exploitation of Ethiopia. In May, United States Agency of International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance head Sarah Charles spoke to the U.$. Congress about how the Ethiopian government and other armed forces were restricting the access of Amerikan staff and equipment in the country.(1) Ten days before the 21 June 2021 elections in Ethiopia, the U.$. State Department issued a statement expressing “grave” concern about the conditions of the elections and said they were ready to “help Ethiopia address these challenges” in order to cast doubt on election results.(2)

Many concerned about the talk coming from the U.$. government refer to Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria as warnings of what could happen in Ethiopia. Amerikan troops left the infamous sprawling Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on 2 July 2021, allowing looters to enter the grounds the following day.(3) In 2001, the U.$. overthrew the Taliban-ruled government of Afghanistan. Twenty years later, the Taliban are poised to regain control of the country following the longest war in U.$. history. All peace-loving people have an interest in preventing another one of these long, drawn out wars that have become the norm for U.$. imperialism as it struggles to dominate the rest of the world.

U.$. imperialists have already begun waging warfare in the form of economic sanctions against both Ethiopia and Eritrea. Meanwhile, they continue to push for access by USAID and its affiliated NGOs to meddle in African affairs. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front(TPLF) launched attacks on the Ethiopian armed forces back in November 2020, which began the war that seems to have reached a stopping point this July and has been used by the Amerikans as a reason to get involved. The TPLF led the Ethiopian government until 2018 when the TPLF president resigned due to popular pressure. In addition to domestic abuses, they led Ethiopia in a war for territory against Eritrea during that time. Eritrea has made peace with the new Ethiopian government led by Abiy Ahmed and sided with Ethiopia in the recent war against the TPLF.

Ethiopia’s Importance

Ethiopia is the 12th most populated country in the world, and the second most populated in Africa. In the 1970s, the Derg government led a quick, forced nationalization of the Ethiopian economy. Current President Abiy Ahmed has overseen the privatization and liberalizations of the economy, which began after 1991, when Ethiopia shifted from the Soviet Union to a U.$. client state. These moves by Abiy will increase foreign investment and involvement in Ethiopian industry. A 2018 plan by the Abiy-led government targeted 25% growth rates in manufacturing until 2025.(4) While falling short so far, this indicates their intentions to become Africa’s leading manufacturing hub. In other words, the Ethiopian masses still living in semi-feudal conditions are a potential source of a newly proletarianized population for imperialist corporations to extract surplus value from.

During the recent conflict, Abiy froze the assets of many TPLF associated companies with U.$. and other foreign investments, which may have concerned the Amerikans as well.

As part of their new plan to provide power for this growth in industry, Ethiopia has been operationalizing the new Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). On 6 July 2021, Ethiopia began the second stage of filling the dam. The Egyptian and Sudanese governments have been calling for U.N. intervention for fear of the impact on their water supplies. This will be the biggest hydroelectric project in Africa.(5) Egypt (run by U.$.-backed dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi) has indicated it would support intervention in Ethiopia to stop this project by saying all options are on the table. Egypt is one of the most important U.$. client states, historically falling in the top 3 receivers of military aid from the imperialists. The Trump administration had supported Egypt’s interests regarding the dam, and we expect U.$. support to continue.

Land-locked Ethiopia’s access to the Red Sea is through Eritrea or Djibouti. Djibouti is a small country between Eritrea and Somaliland. It is the home of AFRICOM, the United $tates military’s Africa Command, and a number of other imperialist militaries. These military bases provide 5% of Djibouti’s GDP. China has their only foreign military base in Djibouti, making it a potential location of conflict between the Amerikan and Chinese imperialists. This location is also important for access between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea including large movements of fossil fuels.

President Abiy has formed alliances with Eritrea and Somalia, countries the U.$. has used Ethiopia to destabilize in the past. This show of unity in the Horn of Africa could allow for greater serving of African interests, rather than Amerikan interests.

Strong Marxist History

National liberation struggles influenced by Marx, Lenin and Mao are central to the recent history of Ethiopia and Eritrea. In its early days, MIM often mentioned Eritrea as one of the locations of a liberatory people’s war in the 1980s. Current President of Eritrea, Isaias Afewerki, was one of the first members of the Eritrean Liberation Forces(ELF) to train in socialist China in 1967. He was later part of the leadership to form the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), which split from the ELF and combined the ELF’s strong nationalism with an explicit Marxist-Leninist line and the strategy of People’s War.(6)

In Ethiopia a series of Marxist-Leninist organizations emerged to challenge the feudal system of Haile Selassie. This led to the removal of Haile Selassie by his own military leaders in 1974, who formed the Derg government. The Derg undertook a massive nationalization campaign, labeling itself “Marxist-Leninist” and a socialist state in 1975. The Derg assigned head of state to U.$.-trained Mengistu Haile Mariam, but became an ally of the social-imperialist USSR. Their national-brougeois ideas fit nicely with the revisionist distortions of Soviet “Marxism-Leninism.”(7)

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front also began in the revolutionary period of the 1960s. By the late 1970s it was waging guerilla war against the Derg, under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray. At this time there was a split in the revolutionary movement of Ethiopia around the question of secession, with the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front leading the call for the right to self-determination of Eritrea independent of Ethiopia. Others saw secessionist movements in Ethiopia as linked to the reactionary regionalism of feudalism, and a division of the peasant masses.(8)

In 1991, MIM Notes celebrated the overthrow of the “social-fascist Mengistu regime” by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front(EPRDF) as well as the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front(EPLF), which abstained from the provisional government of Ethiopia opting for independence instead. They noted, “MIM doesn’t have much information about the”revolutionary programs" of the EPRDF, so we must watch and let the practice of both the EPRDF and EPLF speak for itself.“(9) Yet, MIM Notes had already quoted the New York Times under the heading”Victories Betrayed":

"The best insurance against another hard-line Marxist regime in Ethiopia appears to be the presence in Ethiopia immediately after the EPRDF’s victory, of an Amerikan, Paul B. Henze.

“Henze, the station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency at the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa from 1969 to 1972, was invited to the capital as a personal guest of President Meles. He spent five weeks in Ethiopia advising Meles and was upbeat when he left. ‘Meles is pragmatic,’ Henze says. ‘He and his colleagues are not bothering with ideological matters. Ethiopia has a good chance of becoming a productive country.’”(10)

Meles Zenawi was a member of the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray before becoming the first president of Ethiopia under the EPRDF government. As the CIA agent predicted, rather than struggling against differences between classes and nationalities in Ethiopia, the TPLF used its power to dominate the government at the expense of other nationalities and regions, and it soon became a pawn of U.$. imperialism in its maneuvering for power. As a result, by 1998, Meles(TPLF)-led Ethiopia had invaded Isaias(EPLF)-led Eritrea. It appears that both organizations abandoned their Marxist-Leninist lines prior to the overthrow of the Derg and their seizing of state power as part of the process of forming the united front against the Derg. This indicates that there were right-opportunist, liquidationist errors within the leadership of both movements that allowed them to put the liberation struggle and overthrow of the Derg above and in place of the struggle for socialism and a dictatorship of the proletariat. They did not heed the lessons of Mao’s China on how to keep proletarian leadership within a united front of class interests against imperialism. This led to reactionary bourgeois nationalism to play the leading role in these countries, despite the promising Marxist origins of this shift in power. The result gives credence to the warnings from those Marxists who argued against regionalism and secession and opposed the politics of the earlier ELF and original TPLF.

The Organization for African Unity, started by leaders like Kwame Nkrumah and Haile Selassie, also took up a line that it was against the interests of the people of Africa to begin dismantling the states that were amalgamations of peoples imposed by the colonial powers. History has proven this strategy to be effective in preventing divisions among the oppressed. Nkrumah had hoped for the OAU to become a federal government uniting all of Africa, but that strategy did not win out.

At the same time, Maoists recognize the right to self-determination of all nations. And the liberation movement in Eritrea held much promise leading up to liberation. Eritrea also differed from other regions in Ethiopia in that it was previously a separately administered state under Italian colonial occupation. Today, Eritrea remains the only country in Africa without AFRICOM presence, leading to much derision from the United $tates and Europe over the years. They took pride in their non-aligned stance in a world divided by the United $tates and the social imperialist Soviet Union. In 1984, Isaias Afewerki also declared they had no links or support from China. They did not take a position on whether China was still socialist at the time. Isaias did look at Cuba as an example of what happens when you become a client state of the Soviet Union. Isaias claimed the Cubans disagreed with USSR policy in Ethiopia and Eritrea, yet Cuban troops operated in Derg-ruled Ethiopia on behalf of Soviet interests in the 1980s.(11)

While Eritrea has a history of independence and remaining politically neutral, they have recently provided support for the U.$./Saudi war on Yemen that has led to a massive loss of humyn life since 2015. This was likely motivated by financial gain.(12) In the 1980s, South Yemen was in solidarity with the Eritrean liberation struggle despite opposition by the imperialist Soviet Union. Like Cuba, South Yemen took on the form of “Marxist-Leninist” state years after its liberation under the influence of the Soviet Union. Like the Cubans, they seemed to recognize the righteousness of the Eritrean liberation struggle. Today, we cannot view the Eritrean leadership as serving real self-determination when they are being pitted against Yemen by the imperialists. Ultimately, it was the abandonment of proletarian politics that led Eritrean leadership to side with imperialism in the Middle East.

While revisionism seems to have thwarted the popular revolutionary forces in the Horn of Africa in the late 20th century, the proletarian, revolutionary line is no stranger to the people of the region. This is further evidenced by President Abiy having to specifically address and critique Marx, Lenin and Mao in his recent book.(13) It is only through the unified struggle of all African people that the current violence, death and starvation can be properly ended. U.$. and other imperialist involvement will continue to pit Africans against Africans and other oppressed people.

Our Role in the Horn of Africa

In April 2018, Abiy Ahmed of the Oromo Democratic Party was elected Prime Minister of the EPRDF government of Ethiopia. This marked the end of TPLF leadership in the EPRDF, which was replaced by the Prosperity Party coalition in November 2019, excluding TPLF. After his confirmation, Abiy quickly established peace with Eritrea, still headed by Isaias Afewerki. This was a historic peace agreement, returning land to Eritrea that the TPLF had been occupying, signalling unity in the region against the U.$.-backed TPLF. Eritrea and Ethiopia have remained united in the war that began in November 2020 with a TPLF attack on Ethiopian forces. Until the people of the region can mount proletarian-led struggles for power again, the Eritrean-Ethiopian alliance remains important for strengthening the region against further meddling by foreign imperialism.

Our role in all of this is determined by the imperial nature of the United $tates government. Like all people in the world, it is our duty to build towards a dictatorship of the proletariat in our own backyard. But we have the added duty of countering the imperial machinations of our current government.

We should expose the imperialist nature of State Department agencies like USAID that want to present themselves as humanitarian organizations. While President Trump celebrated the Ethiopia and Eritrea peace deal, the Biden administration has brought those favoring intervention in the Horn of Africa back into the White House.

Toward the end of his presidency, Barack Obama appointed Gayle Smith to Administer USAID. Gayle Smith was first employed by USAID in 1994. She had lived in EPLF-run areas dating back to the 1970’s, where she was a “journalist” working undercover for the CIA. She later spent time embedded with the TPLF where she mentored Meles Zenawi, who would go on to wage decades of war against the EPLF.(14) Another close confidant of Meles was Susan Rice, who was national security advisor to Barack Obama.(13) And as we mentioned above, Meles had open relations with local CIA agents from the very beginning of his presidency.

In 2021, Biden has appointed Samantha Power to head USAID. Samantha Power had succeeded Susan Rice as Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations after being mentored by both Rice and Obama. Rice was involved in the violent separation of South Sudan from Sudan and lied about mass rapes to justify the invasion of Libya. Rice and Power worked with Hillary Clinton to greenlight the invasion of that killed Muammar Gaddafi, which Clinton later laughed about on television.

In 2013, Power led the charge within the Obama administration to bomb Syria, which Rice came around to support. Power’s book A Problem From Hell justifies intervention against genocide. She used this mission statement of hers to justify bombing Syria and Libya, and now stands behind it to intervene and defend the TPLF.(15) We oppose the continued expansion of U.$. troops in Africa since President Bush started AFRICOM in 2008. U.$. support for the TPLF clearly aims to divide Africans so that they can be better controlled for the benefit of imperialist-country corporations.

U.$. Out of the Horn Of Africa!

Shut Down AFRICOM!

Notes:
1. https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/congressional-testimony/may-27-2021-statement-assistant-administrator-charles-humanitarian-situation-ethiopia
2. https://www.state.gov/elections-in-ethiopia/
3. Emma Graham-Harrison, 2 July 2021, US troops leave Afghanistan’s Bagram airbase after nearly 20 years, The Guardian
4. Arkebe Oqubay, 28 June 2018, Industrial policy and late inustrialisation in Ethiopia, African Development Bank.
5. Al Jazeera, 6 July 2021, Egypt angry as it says Ethiopia has resumed filling GERD.
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaias_Afwerki
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derg
8. Challenge: Journal of the World-Wide Union of Ethiopian Students, prepared by the Ethiopian Students Union in NOrth America, February 1970, Vol.X No.1.
9. MC67 & MC42, December 1991, Revolution Unfolds in Ethiopia and Eritrea, MIM Notes 59.
10. The New York Times Magazine, 22 September 1991, p.57. cited in MIM Notes 58, November 1991.
11. James Firebrace with Stuart Holland, 1985, Never Kneel Down: Drought, Development and Liberation in Eritrea, The Red Sea Press, Trenton, NJ, p.130-134.
12. Magnus Taylor, 22 January 2016, Horn of Africa States Follow Gulf into the Yemen War, The Africa Report.
13. Pan-Africans for Liberation & Solidarity, 24 June 2021, The Tigray War in Context: A Report by the Horn of Africa Pan Africans for Liberation and Solidarity. 14. Thomas Mountain, 1 July 2015, CounterPunch.
15. James Traub, 28 September 2019, The Women Who Shaped Obama’s Foreign Policy.

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[Police Brutality] [Black Lives Matter] [Youth] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 74]
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Ma’Khia Bryant: A Murder of An Oppressed Nation Youth Demands Real Solutions

On 20 April 2021, Ma’Khia Bryant – a 16-year-old New Afrikan girl – was murdered by a pig belonging to the Columbus Division of Police.(1) As the news of a guilty verdict on killer pig Derek Chauvin was barely starting to make news on various media, an Amerikan pig killed another New Afrikan child.(2)

At the time of the murder, Ma’Khia Bryant lived in foster care in the home of Angela Moore – the foster mother. The incident started as a conflict between a Tionna Bonner, 22 year old former foster child of Ms. Moore, and Ma’Khia Bryant and her younger sister Ja’Niah Bryant. The conflict was originally over housework, and how the former foster child Tionna Bonner said the Bryant children were not giving Ms. Moore the respect that was due. The dispute escalated when Ja’Niah called Ms. Moore who said she was too busy to get involved. Ja’Niah called her grandmother while Ms. Bonner called another former foster child by the name of Shai-Onta Craig Watkins. Watkins was 20 years old at this time.(3)

The biological grandmother of the Bryant children arrived who described the conflict. She tried protecting her grandchildren who were being threatened by the older former foster children Ms. Bonner and Ms. Watkins. By this time, Ms. Bonner had pulled out a knife (according to Ja’Niah and her grandmother) and Ma’Khia had grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen. This is when Ja’Niah called 911 to which she claimed “Angie’s grown girls trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put her hands on our grandma.”(4)

The police arrived 12 minutes later. Ms. Watkins has left the house while the Bryant children began to pack up their things. The Bryant children’s father now arrived at the scene as Ms. Watkins returned with two more people. While the two groups crossed paths, Ms. Watkins spat towards the Bryant family. Ja’Niah Bryant later said, “That’s when everything just went left.”

As Ma’Khia Bryant charged, Ms. Watkins fell to the ground in which then Ma’Khia’s father tried to kick Watkins. When Ma’Khia raised her kitchen knife, pig Nicholas Reardon shot Ma’Khia four times. Ma’Khia was dead.

Many activists and people on Twitter oriented towards the discourse of Amerika’s police brutality pointed out on social media how the New Afrikan masses couldn’t get a single second of judicial justice from the United $tates without having another Amerikan pig take the life away from another New Afrikan. This murder was closely dated with the release of the video footage showing the murder of a Mexican lumpen youth Adam Toledo who was 3 years younger than Ma’Khia Bryant. The liberals and left-wing imperialists oriented with the Democratic Party seemed too busy to pat themselves on the back in regards to the guilty verdict on Derek Chauvin that these two murders of oppressed nation youth seemed to not stay in their national headlines.

The Oppressed Nation Youth in the Foster Care System

In 2019, New Afrikan children made up 14% of the total child population in the United $tates – children ranging from ages 1 to 18 – while their euro-Amerikan counterparts made up 50%.(5) Despite their much smaller population size, New Afrikan children made up 23% of the kids in foster care, much higher than not only Amerikans, but also the [email protected], First Nations, and national minorities.(6) The number of New Afrikan foster children however, has been decreasing steadily for the past two decades with the year 2000 starting with a 39% and reaching a stabilization of 23% around 2016 up to 2019.

Throughout the history of the modern imperialist world there have been problems of vulnerable children; whether they be foster kids, orphan beggars, or a gang of youth thieves, crisis which inevitably comes from the capitalist relations of production will strike the youth populations as well. In the United $tates, one of the many major external factors of the oppressed nations’ material conditions in the recent decades have been the drug war. With the turn of the 1980s, the crack epidemic fueled by the alliance between the CIA and the comprador drug lords of Latin America has hit New Afrikan and [email protected] communities like a locust swarm would to a peasant’s rice field. As the drug game became more and more dangerous, the oppressed nation youth lost the little stability and the nuclear family structure that they had in the first place. The associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau stated that “most children enter the foster care system, not from physical abuse, but from neglect.”(7) From this we can gather that the primary cause of New Afrikan youth entering the foster care system is not physical and emotionally abusive parents per se, but lack of resources the family or the community around them has.

Children growing in those lumpenized households and impoverished labor aristocrat households vulnerable to lumpenization (and most importantly, surrounded by abysmal living conditions) creates a very unstable social element for the Amerikans (and even the oppressed nation masses!). So in that response, the foster system is utilized where petty-bourgeois households (many of them belonging to the oppressed nation themselves!) with the time and resource could take care of children coming from beneath their petty-bourgeois class status. Despite its well-intended individuals, the foster care system is just as unsafe from bureaucratic and profit-driven work methods that is embedded in the capitalist the capitalist superstructure. Abuse, emotional deprivation, and physical neglect reign amongst children in foster care. Just like how the police departments of every major city juke statistics and makes robberies and rapes disappear – and how the school system juke scores and encourage studying tests instead of studying fields of knowledge – foster homes oftentimes make their abuse and neglect disappear as well. Anti-communists claim that no one would work without the profit motive, and that the profit motive is the main source of good work in any society. Then how come foster parents who get paid hundreds by the government every month per child still can’t meet the emotional and physical requirement for vulnerable youth?

With the crack cocaine epidemic rising in the 1980s and 1990s, bourgeois nationalist ideas hardening the family structure of oppressed nations came to popularity. Bourgeois nationalists pointed at the lack of a nuclear family structure amongst oppressed nations, and rested the conditions of New Afrikans and [email protected] upon that point.(8) The absentee father; the drug addicted mother; the so-called “emasculated” gay man; the gangster who’s “too dumb” to use his parasitic gains to transform into a legal capitalist; and the participator of “loose sex” were seen as the reasons why New Afrikan/[email protected] youth were pulled into lumpenization and the foster care system. Maoists understand that the superstructure cannot change the economic base, and the idea of “superstructure first” will be fruitless without the overthrow of capitalism. Shaming single mothers, persecuting LGBT masses, and enabling the capitalist instincts of the lumpen class will not only fail to give us liberation, but will attack the masses even more.

Socialist Handling of Unattended Youth

In the Soviet Union, revolution, counter-revolution, and world war left millions of orphans in Russia commonly referred to as “besprizornye” (literally meaning “unattended”).(9) Most of these orphans worked as beggars while also looking towards odd jobs such as selling flowers and cigarettes or hoping to work in restaurants for scraps. Competition became more fierce, and many of these orphans turned towards prostitution and thievery.(10) Gangs of orphans as large as groups of 30 came to being; alcoholism and drug abuse became a common site; and STDs, physical, and mental illness became common things associated with the unattended children.(11) From this basis came the battle for communist transformation of not only the unattended children but all children under socialism in the USSR. Revolutionary orphanages were formed, children were provided with necessities such as education while expected to help with maintaining those independent institutions and decision making. The primary split between these orphanages under socialism and capitalism was the agency and self-determination given to the orphaned youth and the question of adoption: socialist orphanages didn’t seek to put children in adoption but give them a family through the productive life of the commune. During the latter half of the 1920s, the Soviet Union succeeded in the rehabilitation of the unattended children although the goal of creating revolutionary youth movement for all youth has not been met.(12)

The murder of Ma’Khia Bryant is overlooked unfortunately by both the Liberals and the revolutionaries. As a guilty verdict has been placed on pig Derek Chauvin, liberals are eager to put a book end to the rebellion that spread across the country from 2020-2021. As Mao Zedong taught us that the masses must learn revolution through waging revolution, we emphasize the work on us that must be done in pulling the correct lessons from the period of rebellion from 2020 to 2021. Many radical Liberals are heartbroken by such morbid killing of an oppressed nation youth – a habit Amerikkka is unable to kick – and often times let the bourgeois moralism alongside catharsis get the better of them. We emphasize again the importance of learning the essence of the reality around us and the importance of serving unattended youth while combating tailist and commandist attitudes.

Bibliography
1. Will Wright, 8 May 2021, “Ma’khia Bryant’s Journey Through Foster Care Ended With an Officer’s Bullet,” The New York Times.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Kids Count, September 2020, “Child Population by Race in the United States,” Kids Count.
6. Kids Count, June 2021, “Children in foster care by race and Hispanic origin in the United States,” Kids Count.
7. Administration for Children & Families, January 15, 2020 “Child abuse, neglect data released: 29th edition of the Child Maltreatment Report,” Administration for Children & Families.
8. The New York Times, July 31, 1994, “Facing Complaints of Bias, Farrakhan Speaks to Women Only.”
9. Alan M. Ball, 1994, “And Now My Soul Hardened,” University of California Press.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.

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[Abuse] [Legal] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 76]
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CO's Sabotage Programs Out of Spite Over Court Order

Ever since prison officials at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) were made by a Federal court order to wear body cameras and to cease their terrorist practices and abuses upon the most vulnerable prisoners, the disabled and elderly, (see: Armstrong vs. Newson, et al. Case No. C94-CV-02307 CW) the RJD prison has experienced total lack of programming abilities resulting in lockdowns, modified programs, and other programming restrictions which impede or otherwise undermine one’s opportunities to earn sentence-reducing credits and to perform in a manner expected by/from the Board of Prison Terms, in order to parole. Especially on the weekends, when the Warden and other Department of Corrections administrators are unavailable to mandate corrective actions.

RJD ranking officials will tell you that this is due to a staff shortage, training mandates etc. The truth, however, upon my information, is that these are calculated and coordinated efforts of something more sinister indeed. A Union-coordinated boycott.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) at the RJD prison complex is, apparently, unhappy with the fact that years and years of beatings, false reports, lying for one another and even murder, yes MURDER, has resulted in a Federal court order in the Armstrong case, requiring the staff to wear body cameras. Cameras that not only record the video interactions of sworn personnel and those they speak to, but the audio versions thereof as well.

The actions and omissions of RJD’s sworn officers and other CCPOA members is organized, timed, and planned for maximum effects, and is very clearly a snubbing of their proverbial noses at the RJD Warden and other Corrections administrators.

Through this sophistication these officials protest and boycott the lawful orders of a Federal court judge – a judge they have subsequently claimed was/is biased and therefore should not have presided over those proceedings leading to the court-ordered wearing of body cameras.

If you’re doing what you are paid to do by the public, and if your tactics and demeanor is not disturbing and offensive, why worry about body cameras? They are allowed to turn them off in the bathrooms even.

Through a sophisticated scheme, these prison officials organize and conduct mass strikes via fraud and the misuse of sick leave and personal days, holding prisoners’ access to programs and such hostage. Knowing that, without access to and completion of which (many times, in a set time frame), the prisoners participating in such (now unavailable) programs and activities, will suffer by not being able to benefit from good time sentence reduction for successful completions.

Instead of taking its direction from the federal court (by court order), RJD corrections officers turn their ire on their employers: the CDCR and RJD’s Warden. Under injunction, the very corrections officers who so blatantly demonstrated a propensity for criminal thought processes, activities, brutality upon disabled and other prisoners, and other such criminal misconduct, now employ further, separate and additionally questionable practices intended to undermine, and to otherwise circumvent the lawful processes of the Federal court and the Honorable Claudia Wilken, United States Federal District Court Judge.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT AND IT’LL GO AWAY, RIGHT?

That is called ‘blackmail’ where I come from. It is illegal, anti-people, and is being committed here by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Whether by approval or turning a blind eye thereto. It is still an anti-people and illegal violation of a Federal court order in Armstrong v. Newson, C94-02307 CW.

In fact, a recent order in the above case acknowledges that many of RJD’s correctional officers have assumed a gang-like culture and behavior. The CDCR does not contest these assertions and the Federal court has openly acknowledged the veracity of same. RJD has many Mexican corrections officers who have acclaimed and begun carrying themselves in a manner akin to their Mexican Mafia prisoner counterparts. Both in vernacular, actions and conduct. Including secret identification to one another of membership. And this is anything but the first time. For more on the history of this kind of behavior in California prisons read The Green Wall by D.J. Vodicka.

Racketeering: Today, racketeering often has the broad sense of “the practice of engaging in a fraudulent scheme or enterprise.” Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, 2nd Ed. by Bryan A. Garner.

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[Education] [Aztlan/Chicano] [ULK Issue 74]
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Brown Berets and AIPS Training in the FPL Intro Study Program

Back Cover

The Republic of Aztlán (ROA) is happy to announce our online study group that we are hosting with various leaders of different Brown Beret formations.

We are studying the intro study program focused on The Fundamental Political Line of the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons (FPL). This is the study group that U.$. prisoners have been studying for years. We are applying it to Aztlán with few modifications.

This is groundbreaking that the Chicano Movement outside of prisons is studying MIM(Prisons) fundamental political line. It is important to overstand that hystorically the Chicano Movement was mostly cultural nationalist back in the days; this is changing.

We of the Republic of Aztlán have a slogan that says, “Ideology is key for Aztlán to be free!” We firmly believe that what the Chicano Movement always lacked that prevented it from developing to the next stage of struggle was a unified political line (ideology). Without ideology we cannot move as one. To obtain national liberation we will have to move as one with an ideology that guides us in the most scientific way.

We hope that by connecting the Chicano Movement as a whole to Maoist ideology it will move us closer to independence and in step with the global anti-imperialist movement.

Bringing political instructors to the cadre of the Chicano Movement will inject our movimiento with the political guidance that has been lacking for the movement as a whole. The ROA sees this process of bringing MIM(Prisons) study groups to the Chicano Movement outside of the concentration kkkamp as the process of from the pintas to the pintas. So for those sisters and brothers behind the prison walls, know that the political line that you all are helping to develop is being taught out here in the internal semi-colonies!


MIM(Prisons) adds: We have also been running the MIM(Prisons) intro study program on the outside for comrades who have joined Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support over the last 1.5 years. Each week we do a combination of discussing AIPS comrades’ answers and the answers from our comrades in prison. Some of you have been receiving responses to your answers with our discussions included as feedback. Since switching to a go-at-your-own-pace program for comrades in prison, we think this provides prisoners with more interaction and feedback.

In related news on our joint efforts to promote Maoist ideology in Aztlán, the 5th anniversary of the book [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán was marked with a second printing by Aztlán Press.

As we said in our joint statement printed in ULK 72, MIM(Prisons) distributed over 200 copies of [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán to prisoners, while most of the 1000 copies of our first printing were sold to people on the outside. This was done through our publisher Kersplebedeb online and the Republic of Aztlán on the streets. With the second printing we are all stocked up to keep the books flowing into the hands of the masses.

The book is available to prisoners from us for the discounted price of $10 in the form of stamps or cash, or for work trade. We also can take bulk orders with Monero on the outside for those looking for anonymous online payments.

Finally, we do have a new edition of FPL in the works as well as other publications, but our lack of comrade time is limiting our ability to get these out. With more supporters, we can do more of this important educational work. People outside prison should join AIPS today and get started on the study program while contributing to getting more education materials into more peoples’ hands inside and outside prisons.

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[New Afrika] [Environmentalism] [ULK Issue 74]
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Stop Formosa! is a Battle for Land and Self-Determination

News from the National Territory: Republic of New Afrika

On a 85 mile stretch of Earth in Louisiana, from the Mississippi near Baton Rouge, to New Orleans, New Afrikans who were recently liberated from the chains of Amerikkkan color-caste colonialism (slavery), managed to buy land and found numerous ‘Black Towns’ as they were called. These ‘Black Towns’ thrived for five generations, in what was once plantation country, but is now the heart of Our Republic of New Afrika. However, since the 1990s, domestic neo-colonialism has ravaged the health of New Afrikans in towns such as ‘Freetown’ and ‘Welcome’ Louisiana. So much so, that this stretch of land is commonly called ‘Cancer Alley.’

Multi-national petrochemical corporations have targeted this land in order to capitalize on various objective realities. Plentiful water, cheap land, access to natural gas, huge tax breaks and lax regulation attract these international conglomerates (Koch Industries, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp, and others). These imperialist companies have built over 200 petrochemical factories and refineries on Cancer Alley. Since 2015, seven huge complexes have been built, and five more are in the process of being built.

New Afrikan wimmin are now leading a fight to stop the fossil fuels pipelines and plants from multiplying and further polluting the land and air within Our national territory.

Currently, a proposed Formosa chemical complex is the center of this struggle, and as is all too often the reality, the New Afrikan masses of Louisiana leading the struggle against these Amerikan corporations aren’t receiving aid from the Provisional Government or other collectives of conscious citizens. The people need Our leadership to frame this struggle for what it is: a manifestation of the worldwide fight against imperialist greed as it pertains to environmental national oppression.

Formosa Plastics Corp. announced in 2018 that they would be building a 14 plant complex in St. James Parish, which is just north of New Orleans. These factories will not only spew various cancer-causing agents into the air and water, but will also produce the throw away plastics that We as a global community are desperately striving to eliminate. Every year the Formosa project will pump 800 tons of toxic chemicals, 6,500 tons of air pollutants and 13.6 million tons of greenhouse gases into the air. Additionally, wastewater and spill dumped into the Mississippi River will further endanger sea life in the Gulf of Mexico.

Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards has given Formosa a ten year tax break totaling $1.5 billion, which is $1.25 million per job since Formosa has promised 1,200 jobs to boost the local economy. Instead the New Afrikan sistahs who’re leading the struggle are demanding reparations for those affected by these corporations’ projects. St. James Parish is 91% New AFrikan with an average income of $17,000 a year. Surely jobs are needed, however, 85% of employment at the plants have gone to euro-Amerikkkans.

Neo-colonial puppets have exploited the dire situation of the grassroots. Although Cancer Alley, and St. James in particular, has 50 times the national average of cancer cases. Cedric Richmond spent 10 years in the House as a former congressman and ignored the people dying in Cancer Alley, his fellow New Afrikan people. Instead he allowed these corporations easy access to the land, while building his political career by heading the Congressional Black Caucus, he then co-chaired the Biden campaign, and is now a senior advisor to the President. What does this tell us? It should tell us, that for all the ‘BlackLivesMatter’ posturing done by demokkkrats, the reality is that these are still imperialist politicians and are the enemies of the people.

Many grassroots groups such as RISE St. James have been at this struggle for decades and have also had significant wins against these corporate entities. In 1993, 1998 and 2019, these groups led the charge in order to have proposed factories and plants blocked.

This year, Sharon Lavigne, founder of RISE, spoke to the U.N. on the perils of ‘environmental racism.’ These New Afrikan wimmin are putting up a valiant fight, refusing to leave their homes and heritage (New Afrikan). This is obviously a struggle for land.

Currently the Formosa project is on hold due to community unrest. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers withdrew a wetlands permit and a lawsuit challenging 14 air permits is going to court.

To show your support to these modern day New Afrikans, sign the petition at stopformosa.org

Notes:
Lois Danks, Battling racist Polluters in Cancer Alley, June-July 2021 Freedom Socialist Newspaper

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[Control Units] [COVID-19] [Political Repression] [California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 74]
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CDCR Using COVID Quarantine as Isolation Cells for Organizers

I am being transferred to another prison for inciting the whole entire population with a statement that said i am an ‘Illuminati Killer.’

I’m out of their established isolation unit and now being housed in a quarantine housing unit. The housing unit is a 300 cell living unit, double cell. There are probably 30 individuals scattered throughout the entire facility/unit. All individuals housed here are from several different institutional facility yards. None are General Population(G.P.) that i know of.

SATF (Substance Abuse Treatment Facility) is bleeding the state for medical benefits, like claiming this building as a medical facility, under the guise of COVID quarantine. But the administration is using the building as an isolation unit. All of the guys housed here are said to be in transit, transitioning from some place to another, but on the cool they all are trouble makers of the California Department of Corrections and “rehabilitation” (CDCR). We get zero yard, zero dayroom, zero facility activities like law library, education, canteen, vocation, etc. They terminated all of our privileges except for writing a letter. And if one doesn’t have postage stamps, it sucks to be you.

The current CDCR 602 [grievance form] is being remodeled thanks to the San Quentin Prison Law Office’s latest negotiation to the Armstrong lawsuit against CDCR to wire the institutions for cameras and microphones to protect the disabled prisoners being abused by pigs and covered up by crooked administrators trying to protect their skeletons from being leaked to the public.

So chances of getting a 602 going anywhere right now is more slim than the yester years.

Rumor has it that a pig killed emself not long ago, due to state layoffs. So the bull shit is in the air. Free staff are refusing to come to work in support of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) work strike against prison closures. The attitude is that prisoners ain’t got shit coming right now at SATF. And if they try pushing the issue, then label them a gang leader and transfer them into an active gladiator environment.

The cadre here are educated to concentrate on being released. Don’t bite into the pigs provocation. They are doing everything they can to prevent us from seeing that free society because they understand the power that we have with zero attachments and very little loyalty to what they are loyal to. Leaders are locating Agent Smith in their comfort zones, gyms, churches, restaurants, etc and revisiting some very awkward conversations that originated on the prison yard.


Tupac Shakur responds to an interviewer That’s why i put the ‘k’ to it. Know what? Niggas was telling me about this illuminati shit while i’m in jail, right, like “the dollar, you know.” That’s another way to keep yourself in chains yo. That’s another way to keep you unconfident. And i put the ‘k’ there cuz i’m killing that illuminati shit, trust me!"

DISL Automatic:

People yellin’ “Wake up!”
But they’re still dreamin
They say “killuminati”
But they don’t know the meaning
They took Pac’s saying way out of context
’Cuz what he meant is that illuminati shit is nonsense
he wasn’t saying we should kill anybody,
he was saying we should kill that talk of illuminati
’Cuz all it is is a bunch of hocus pocus
to make us feel powerless and shift all of our focus
from the corporations and the corrupt government
to the secret societies and sacred covenants
That’s what they want so they don’t have to take you serious
They brush you off as a conspiracy theorist.
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[United Front] [Tennessee] [ULK Issue 74]
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Anarcha-Queer Liberation Army signs on to United Front for Peace

The AQLA is a radical group of anarchists who promote the school of thought that advocates anarchism and social revolution as the means to queer liberation and abolition of hierarchies such as homophobia, lesbophobia, transmisogyny, biphobia, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. In the Tennessee prison system there were no type of groups that were geared at the LGBTQ+ community. In this system, we are the minority and the oppressed of the oppressed. Often times people in the LGBTQ+ community are harassed not only by the pigs but other prisoners as well.

As a self-identified Queer person i see all this going on and it disgusted and outraged me so i felt the need to start a group that not only unified the community but would also serve as a means of educating our members and providing them with a level of political consciousness and get them to see who our enemy is. Our aim is to destigmatize the LGBTQ+ community in regards to other prisoners and lumpen organizations and to hopefully build unity with these other organizations around a common enemy.

The oppression and marginalization of queer and trans people in prison is all too prevalent and for the most part we’re left to suffer at the hands of pigs and inmates alike. But it’s my aim in forming this organization to see that we are seen as humyns who are worthy of respect in this environment. We have a rich hystory of courageous revolutionary comrades who struggled for our freedom all throughout the Gay Liberation Movement. We want to build alliances with other prisoners and L.O.s and hope to educate them and get them to put aside their insecurities or prejudice towards us and build unity to overthrow the common enemy. We hope for fellow captives to gain security in themselves and therefore have respect for our struggle seeing that we are an oppressed people. We implore them not to use racist or prejudiced attitudes toward us. We are NOT a threat to them. We have a right to be free from violence and oppression just like any other group. But we are determined to fight for our respect and freedom. Here’s what the 5 principles of the UFPP mean to us:

  1. Peace: We strive to cease the endless drama and animosity that is prevalent within the u$ penal colony. We are divided enough already by the oppressive pigs and prisoners so we do not need to fight against ourselves over petty prison politics and macho/alpha-male foolishness. We need to stand together and defend ourselves from oppression.
  2. Unity: We seek to unite with those facing the same struggle as us for common interest. To accomplish this, we must have open lines of communication and learn to talk civilly. We know the pigs will use “Divide & Conquer” strategies any chance they can and will gain control if we’re not unified.
  3. Growth: Education and the freedom to grow is crucial when building unity. As revolutionaries, we must always strive to get our politics as flawless as possible and bring the level of political consciousness to the highest possible point.
  4. Internationalism: We must seek the collective liberation of ALL oppressed people. We all are victims of the oppressors but we must go from victims to victors. We must all unite against the common enemy because we can’t liberate ourselves if we’re participating in the oppression of others.
  5. Independence: We must have organizations that are fully independent from the u$ government and all its branches, even down to the police. The racist, capitalist, imperialist system does not serve us or have our best interests in mind. If able, they will co-opt our groups and water down anything we’re trying to do. By instituting independent power we won’t have to compromise our political goals.

As a group we fully pledge ourselves to the United Front and will work to abolish the imperialist u$ empire. We will gladly unite with any group who promotes an end to capitalism, imperialism, fascism, patriarchy, etc., etc., and I want to thank you at MIM for helping to bring the people to a place of constructive revolutionary purpose.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome the newly formed AQLA as an ally in the anti-imperialist prison movement. Gender is one line of division used by the oppressors against the imprisoned lumpen, and we support their efforts to counter that through outreach and alliances with other lumpen organizations.

Anarchists differ from communists, in short, by disagreeing with point 2 of MIM(Prisons)’s six main points. While we share in our end goals, we differ on the strategy on getting there. This is a difference that would prevent comrades from joining MIM(Prisons) or the organizations it leads, such as United Struggle from Within. The function of the united front is for organizations like ours to join forces for a common cause, without giving up our differences on other key points such as this.

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[COVID-19] [Death Penalty] [Deaths in Custody] [California State Prison, San Quentin] [California] [ULK Issue 74]
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How CDCR Executed Prisoners on its Death Row During a Moratorium

April 2021 - The San Quentin (SQ) administration has been running two modified programs on Death Row under the guise of social distancing since the pandemic began. Both look so good on paper, but how they look on paper and how they really work are the only things six feet apart and the result was putting many six feet under.

Death Row’s seven group yards were divided into 14 yards back in the first quarter of 2020. That was accomplished by sending half of East Block (EB) out one day, then the other half the next day with Death Row prisoners warehoused in Donner Section (DS). Which side of EB DS went out with switched at least three times – before, during and after spikes of COVID-19 on Death Row and throughout the prison. In addition to the switches thrown on the tracks of this crazy train, at no time was there a maximum allowed number of prisoners set for each of the yards. Requests to set a maximum number per yard and prepare daily lists by going cell to cell through both sides of EB and the DS tiers (as is done for ‘walk-alone’ due to the limited number of cages) were ignored all the way to Sacramento. Does CDCR prefer the truth be released at half capacity perhaps? Appeal#SQ-A-20-01123 remains unanswered since it was sent for final review on 14 July 2020.

No emphasis on social distancing regarding the shower program in DS exists anywhere but on paper as well. The Daily Program Status Report (PSR) fabricated 14 July 2020 explains only four showers can be used at a time. It conveniently omits the fact there are only four showers total. These consist of steel mesh cages – each sharing a mesh wall with the other. Three are approximately 3 1/2’ x 3 1/2’. The fourth is designed to accommodate a wheelchair. Nobody using these showers can be 6’ away from the prisoner in the adjoining cage. Perhaps CDCR hopes to bring in waterboarding. That would certainly be the effect if you wear a mask in the shower.

Prisoners can refuse to go to yard unless there’s a unit search. Prisoners can even refuse to shower, opting for an in-cell ‘bird bath.’ However, the San Quentin administration is now moving all Death Row prisoners from DS to EB. So, the four shower cage problem disappears as if in a mist of droplets, because the EB showers only accommodate one prisoner at a time.

It ‘seems’ all the moves are deemed safe and if that is indeed true, there is still no purpose for a 14 yard program except to keep something looking good on paper. It’s not working good at all if you read about it on this paper though. That’s because this explains how CDCR managed to execute prisoners even during a moratorium.

MIM(Prisons) adds: As of 12 June 2021, 28 of the 224 people who died from COVID-19 in CDCR custody were at San Quentin State Prison, the highest of any facility. Also see more detailed reports on the practices that led to those deaths by this author.

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