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Under Lock & Key

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Florida]
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Every Move is a Mission

Hey yo! These pigs don't care about you
You're Black wearing blue
On your own, up against the DOC crew
Department of Conspiracy, I thought you knew
Classification and medical they DOC too
Tallahassee? That's the highest rank in operation
Most folks in Tally got promoted from corrections
The Warden was a CO once upon a time
Promoted to the top, down with organized crime
Organized injustice, denying all grievances
Tallahassee do the same thing, fuck your witnesses
No remedy, show you how they all stick together
Like birds of a feather, for worse or for better
Who can you run to, the whole system is against you
And still trying methods to turn your peeps against you
So you can be totally dependent on them
So they can put down the William Lynch all over again
Every move is a mission, show no submission
If you wanna upgrade your humyn condition
We gotta stick together in this tight situation
If not, we're going back to being a possession

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[Organizing] [Theory] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 30]
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ULK30: Consolidating Forces for a New Year

Consolidating our forces becomes an important task when we must prepare for a struggle. Right now in California prisoners are gearing up for a second round of struggle against the SHU and related issues prisoners face there. Since 2011, USW leaders have been doing what they can to consolidate the prisoner rights movement there, under torturous conditions of isolation and targeted censorship and repression.

Recently it was brought to our attention that Michael Novick of Anti-Racist Action addressed MIM in an issue of Turning the Tide focused on a consolidation around a new group in alliance with the Black Riders Liberation Party. Drawing out our line differences is part of consolidating progressive forces around one line or another. Before getting to that, let me address an effort to consolidate our support base for Under Lock & Key.

Become a ULK Sustainer

Having passed our five year anniversary of publishing Under Lock & Key we recognize the importance of revolutionary institutions that are reliable and sustainable. In those five years we have never missed a deadline, and ULK currently comes out like clockwork every 2 months, representing the voice of the anti-imperialist movement in U.$. prisons. A small minority of you have been right there with us providing regular reports, articles, poetry, art and finances for Under Lock & Key. Without your support we could not be that voice.

While we have a writers group, a poetry group and an artist group that prisoners can join to become regular contributors, we have not had a funders group. Well, that has changed. And we encourage all readers who think ULK is important to join the funders group. As we all know, prisoners are a unique group of people in this country who sometimes don't have access to any money. But everyone should be able to find a way to contribute to Under Lock & Key, and sending regular funds is one way to do so. Like our other groups, those who are regular contributors will get priority for free books and other support.

Here's how the funder group will work. To join, write to us and make your pledge, and whether you will pay it in stamps or in checks. A pledge should be the amount you will contribute to each issue of ULK, which comes out every 2 months. It costs us approximately $1 to get each prisoner a copy of ULK. Therefore to just cover your own issue you should pledge $1 per issue or $0.50 per month.

So when should you send your donation in? For those who pay in stamps you can send them in any time that works for you, but at least once every 2 months to be an active sustainer. For those who pay by check or money order, please remember that WE CANNOT ACCEPT CHECKS MADE OUT TO MIM. We will send you information on how to donate once you pledge. If you have the option, send stamps as they can be applied most directly to our work. Of course, outside supporters can also become financial sustainers. Email [email protected] to make your pledge.

We will record what you pay and track whether we meet our pledge goals for 2013. We'll also be able to see whether we can increase our pledges over the years to come, which we will include in our annual reports that come out each summer.

Battle for Humyn Rights in California Regrouping

Cipactli gives us a breakdown of the latest in the battle for humyn rights in California prisons on in h article in this issue. Leading up to July 8, 2013, the call was made for comrades in different sectors of the California prison system to draft up their own list of demands. MIM(Prisons) has been working with the USW California Council to develop a list of demands that embody what we feel are minimal requirements to meet basic humyn rights for prisoners in California. Fundamental to that is abolishing the use of long-term isolation as well as punishment of people for their national, cultural and political associations.

As one comrade in SHU wrote,

Although I support the original five demands and will continue to do so along with any future demands for justice. I felt the need to add to the dialogue... What I noticed from the five demands and many other proposals being kicked around is the absence of the very core of our oppression - the SHU itself. What we have learned since the initial strike was that many civil rights groups and people around the world see the SHU itself as torture. All or most of what is being asked for i.e. contact visits, phone calls, cellies etc. can be granted were it not for SHU. Even things like validation and debriefing become easier to combat when the SHU is out of the picture. So it is the SHU itself that becomes the kernel of our oppression in regards to the prison movement in general and the current struggle we are facing in Pelican Bay. This is why any proposals should have at the forefront the demand to close the SHUs!

And another,

We can't afford for prisoners to sacrifice their lives [on a path that lacks philosophical/scientific understanding]. We're pursuing what is essentially a tactical issue of reforming the validation process as if it were a strategic resolution to abolishing social-extermination of indefinite isolation. This is not a complex issue to understand, and it requires a minimal amount of study at most to understand that the validation process is secondary and is a policy external to the existence of the isolation facilities. It's not difficult to comprehend that external influences create the conditions for change but real qualitative change comes from within, and to render the validation process, program failure, the new step down program, etc., obsolete, and end indefinite isolation, requires an internal transformation of the isolation facilities (SHU and Ad-Seg) themselves. Otherwise, in practice, social extermination retains continuity under a new external label.

For decades now, MIM, and now MIM(Prisons), and many other groups have agitated around a campaign to Shut Down the Control Units in the U.$. As forces regroup around this struggle in California following the intense struggles in 2011, we are working to consolidate around a clear position on these issues for those who are in alliance with the movements for national liberation and against imperialism, and not interested in just playing games of back and forth with the various Departments of Corrections.

The broader group of USW comrades in California will have a chance to review and comment on the our draft list of demands soon. Once finalized, we will be enlisting you to promote and agitate around these demands.

Ideological Struggle

We didn't have time or space to address Novick in full here. But many of you have seen his article in the latest Turning the Tide, so we want to address it briefly. First let's make some factual corrections. 1) MIM Thought has always put youth as the progressive force in the gender contradiction in the imperialist countries, not wimmin. 2) While exploitation does only occur at the point of commodity production according to Marx, MIM Thought draws lines of class primarily along access to wealth not what sector one works in. Novick's statement is confusing the explanation that certain nations must be exploiters to be dominated by service workers with our definition of the proletariat. 3) Later he accuses MIM of supporting neo-colonialism in South Africa, when ironically, MIM was on the front line of the movement in the U.$. in the 1980s supporting the revolutionary forces in South Africa that opposed the neo-colonial solution. He does so to take a stab at Mao's United Front theory.

As to the line offered in that article, we are proven correct in drawing a parallel between Novick and the RCP=U$A line on class and nation in a critique written by the Black Order Revolutionary Organization in 2011. Comrades can read the commentary on the murder of Sunando Sen in this issue, and our recent review of Bromma's Exodus and Reconstruction (which has not been published in ULK) to get our line on nation in a neo-colonial world. Novick's position is presented as the line of inter-communalism "in an era when the nation-state... has become obsolete." MIM(Prisons) has long been skeptical of inter-communalism (originally proposed by Huey P. Newton in the early 1970s). This presentation by Novick shows how "inter-communalist" ideology can lead to class collaborationism by ignoring the principal contradiction between oppressor nations and exploited nations. We expect to address these issues more in the future.

In this issue, the broader topic of ideological struggle as part of consolidating our forces is expanded on in Ehecatl's article on the importance of study in this stage as the movement is beginning to grow.

As editor, I lament the lack of international news in this issue of ULK. But we did not want another one to go by without printing our review of Zak Cope's new book on the labor aristocracy. This review does provide us with an outline of a theoretical framework for understanding global imperialism. It is also relevant to this issue of ULK in that it directly addresses the question of consolidating our forces ideologically, with what is the most important dividing line question of our time and place.

While we still struggle to push the MIM line on the labor aristocracy, MIM(Prisons) is going deeper to look at the oppressed nations in the United $tates to have a better analysis for our work. Soso's article on affirmative action is a piece of our developing line on this analysis that we will be releasing for peer review next month, and to the public in the not too distant future.

MIM(Prisons) is also delving into a new project this month that we hope will expand our abilities to promote education and theoretical development among the prison masses. And this is the heart of our consolidation work. Consolidate means to bring together, but it also means to discard the unwanted as well as to strengthen. We like this word because it embodies the Maoist principles of one divides into two as well as unity-struggle-unity. In both cases we advance by pushing political struggle forward, rather than being Liberal in an attempt to preserve unity. Even at the level of the United Front, where unity is less tight than at the level of the cadre organization, we must hold to certain principles for the United Front to be meaningful and strong.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 50]
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Pride of the Panther

Can you see the pride in the panther
As he grows in splendor and grace
Toppling obstacles placed in the way
Of his progression to a better place.
Can you see the pride in the panther
As she nurtures her young all alone
The seed must grow regardless
Of it having been planted in stone.
Can you see the pride in the panther
As they unify as one
The flower blooms with brilliance,
And outshines the rays of the sun.

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[Gang Validation] [Control Units] [Utah State Prison] [Utah] [ULK Issue 31]
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Utah Maximum Security Prisoners Demand Basic Privileges

Revolutionary greetings to all who stand in opposition to the oppression being inflicted upon the people! I'm writing to you from within the depths of the Utah state prison where it's business as usual for these oppressive devils. Here in the housing unit known as Uinta One, the vents are pumping out cold air and there's nothing much that can be done, because if we go off and buck on the cops we will only gain a 48 hour strip cell. The situation is sickening, but only one of many!

I was placed in Uinta One at the beginning of December with no explanation other than that I was "under investigation." I was already housed in maximum security gang housing under "Severe Threat Group" (STG) classification. I've been put under numerous investigations before this one and it usually involves my cell being tossed and all property being searched or seized, along with mail and phone calls being monitored. But now they choose to start the investigation by taking all my stuff and shipping me to the hole where it took over 35 days before I could even order a bar of soap or deodorant from commissary.

This has been done to many other prisoners who are housed in the so-called STG program. Most of the prisoners whose scheduled release from STG maximum security is close, or past due, do not get moved to less restrictive housing, and the ones who are at the forefront of fighting this injustice are often subject to more harassment, or in certain cases moved to "deeper" parts of the hole, aka Uinta One.

Most recently the prisoners of Uinta Two, both STG and non-STG, have been petitioning to change the privilege level system to one that treats all maximum security prisoners equally. They are demanding that we all be allowed to get 3 visits a month, unlimited phone calls while on recreation (out of cell time, which is one hour and 15 minutes every other day) and to be allowed the same spending limit on commissary. These privileges are provided to prisoners who are in maximum security but not classified as STG. What is the difference between a maximum security prisoner who is STG and one who's not? Nothing other than how the oppressors have decided to classify us. Some members of LOs are considered STG and others are not, yet we live together in the STG unit regardless of a prisoner's STG status, as long as our LOs are believed to get along with each other.

Prisoners' first amendment rights are clearly violated by the STG policy and program here. They punish us by locking us in maximum security where we only recreate one cell at a time for an hour and 15 minutes every other day. We are given STG classification for tattoos or suspected gang affiliation without ever even having any write ups (disciplinary convictions) in this prison.

The oppression is real and thick here at the Utah State Prison, but we are fighting back.

I hope that all of the prisoners who are showing unity can continue to enlighten each other and others to the need for a united struggle! I know we have our differences, but we all are similarly oppressed. Stand tall, stand strong.


MIM(Prisons) adds: "Threat Group" classification is used by prisons across the country to target oppressed nation prisoners, specifically those who are politically active and organizing others to stand up for their rights. The classification system is arbitrary and allows use of things like holiday cards, or legal help, as evidence of association. Further, in many states the evidence is kept secret so prisoners can't fight false classification. This status often gets prisoners locked in isolation units, where conditions like those described above eat away at physical and mental health. This is part of the systematic oppression of the criminal injustice system, serving imperialism by keeping the lumpen in check. As this prisoner wrote, unity is key to our fight against this system.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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The Girl from History


Like in a shroud of nopal she exists within the confines of the people,
To and from, history to the future lies her footprint for a better day.
A distant star propels her will and intrepid appeal soothes the oppressed in her path to freedom.
Dialectics remains her lantern which cuts deep canyons into the jungle of despair illuminating the mysterious and unseen.
I see her hand through the concrete pillars of occupation bathed in a glow of fluorescent light, leaking from the cuts it has endured from the miles of razor wire.
Her voice traveling from history defies the relations of production in its tone, it is a roar that discards any trace of bribery and which the chains of patriarchy have no chance.
Her demands have always been for justicia throughout history and continue to ignite this call into the future, a future where infant Brown fists rise out of the fields strapped on the backs of young mothers, of the youth pried out of the claws of criminalization.
Without her marching side by side the path becomes obscured and cold, and so we continue in sync with the boundaries of existence merely being a physical aspect of today's social reality, a manifestation of occupation that the girl from history has seen rise and fall in her perpetual march through history.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Gender]
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Triple X


I'm a sick fuck
But so are you
Been trained like Pavlov's dog
Getting off on watching you
Suffer
Have we had enough
Role playing hierarchy
Is this really the way you want it
Baby
Angry and violent
Scared and simpering
Playing the part like Pavlov's dog
Bells and whistles — spittle buckets
Nooses, nines, suicides
Wiping up our messes
I want out your pornography
Show me the way out this insanity
I'm a sick fuck for wanting you
This way
Your sick smile
Why do we play
It's not the way we want it
But it's the way we get it
Patriarchal sex toys manipulated by playboy
Ignorant puppets pushing, pulling
Lipsticked lips quivering, smiling
Hiding the tears beneath our sweat
Mascara, muscle, gritted teeth, fingernails
Buried sickness in holy matrimony
You done yet

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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No B.S.

As crazy as this may seem,
Don't nothing come to a sleeper but a dream.
Fighting against the oppressor,
Has gotten the capitalist wanting to scream.

Hurray! I say unto you.
My Comrades are my pride and joy.
Together in this struggle,
Like an army ready to deploy.

With every difficulty there is ease,
So we must continue demanding more.
While oppressors continue squirming in their chairs,
I'm trying to keep their asses sore.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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We Will Never Stop

They break the law to punish lawbreakers
Unconstitutional conditions and censorship policy
They give us four envelopes a month
Expecting our return to society be successful with no one
They create these dungeons, punishing revolutionary behavior
Been alone so long with no telephone, mind and family gone
They believe they are gods chosen and we are Satan's spawn
Going home to beat wives, child porn and manicured lawns
They mourn 9-11 like we didn't deserve it
Sending sons and daughters off terrorists hunting patriots
They hate prisoners, Blacks, Latinos and First Nations
White dark night killer deserving of understanding and forgiveness
They wonder why the world hates them beyond words
Military bases spread like cancer the earth over
They seem so pretty, smart, happy and photogenic
Just the rich man's puppets on Broadway, Hollywood, Pennsylvania Ave
Dropping bombs on Nagasaki, Hiroshima, unmanned drone celebrations
They could come in the morning and shoot me like a dog
But it's not going to save them, we will never stop

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[Abuse]
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Resistance to Staff Manipulating Prisoners Against Each Other

My security level was recently lowered and I was immediately assigned as an inmate orderly, to my chagrin. It is like a trustee who works on an assigned cell block, and I know of all the pigs' malicious intent of using certain prisoner orderlies as tools. Tools used to hurt other prisoners.

I got my block assignment and was given the usual lecture about all the things I could not do — basically anything that would ease my fellow prisoners plight/suffering. I politely related to this sergeant, while maintaining every intent to help those confined on this segregated cell block. I was not too long ago confined behind the door, so it was an obvious obligation to do so.

Anyway, that was Wednesday. By Sunday, another shift tried to enlist me as a complicit to starve an individual prisoner, to which I declined. But, the other orderly slaving with me agreed to help. Through intimidation I was able to persuade this orderly to do otherwise.

I warned the target of the pig's intent and, days later, the other prisoner about the plot against them. Well, this orderly informed the pigs that I was alerting all targeted prisoners. So the pigs tried, through aggressive body language, to scare me. The pigs claimed that I wasn't playing with the team, blah, blah. Took all my property and locked me down pending trumped up disciplinary charges.

A few days later, the other punk ass orderly gives another inmate an empty food tray. This prisoner did not take it lightly. The target became disorderly — and rightly so. This led to the individual being administered chemical agents. And he refused to tap out after several rounds of being gassed. Dude forced the pigs to run the cell extraction team, which beat this man stupid. Eight on one.

All because of a stool pigeon.
Shit crazy.

Even more crazy, I receive a kite from someone who was my neighbor before classification made me an orderly. The kite informed that the day after I left the cell block, a white shirt and four officers popped up at the cell with a minicam. Long story short, the pigs were coming with the intent to inflict bodily harm. The veracity of the event was confirmed by an affiliate.

They missed me by one day!

My belief is this was planned because I was part of a core group which gave voice to the rampant pig violence towards prisoners.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Suit Up n Boot Up

When the horn is blown
who will answer the call?
Will all the crips n bloods
unite and stand tall?

It's the love for the people
is the reason we strive!
And for freedom and liberation
is a good reason to die.

But come at your own risk
and start to fill in these ranks.
Just to let you know we're up against
missiles, bullets, and tanks.

So all the brave will stand firm
and all the cowards will flee!
To all who talk that gangsta shit
and claim to be a G,

Gang banging is genocide.
Picture Cain and Abel.
Killing your brother for nothing more
than scraps from the master's table.

I come to put the wheels in motion,
revolution means change.

A message to you all,
the ghetto children I call.
United we stand, divided we fall.

When the horn is blown
to rally the troops
who will answer the call?

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