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Under Lock & Key

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[Control Units] [ULK Issue 20]
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SMU Used to Prevent Activism

I am in the death trap called Special Management Unit (SMU). They have held me within the SMU program since 2008 with little or no communications with the outside world. The enemy understands the effectiveness of outside resources and communications so they strive to limit and/or control it using tactics that go against their own policy and program statements. We know these policies are for public consumption to create the illusion that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) protects public interest and is operating on an egalitarian level. These people fear collective progressive thinking. They want us programmed - living as the walking dead, and spreading the chaos of disorganization and the poison of anti-progressive action as we go. To effectively do this they have built the SMU program across the country. It is a death trap and an anti-progressive machine that is building and creating reactionary mind sets. The psychology behind 23 hours a day lockdown for a few years is to bend and twist a soulja to their will.

Most of the SMU population is gang- or organization-based. Most say once they hit population again they are laying it down, and following the rules. No one I've run into talks about building an anti-program machine to combat the SMU or the BOP. None of the gangs or organizations have created a progressive way to reach out and show unified efforts to survive this death trap. It's a death trap because without unified progressive action on our part the enemy gains an edge and uses our disunity and disorganization as a tool to continue to control us.

We become brainwashed agents of the oppressors and turn a homemade sharpened revolutionary anti-oppressor weapon against another oppressed captive man/woman. I've seen GD and the Bloodz war, Crip against Crip sets war, Mexican gangs against other Mexican gangs war, but none commits to warring with the key holder. All say "fuck the pig," but none has used action aimed at fucking up the pig. When I say action, I am talking about hard-core, guerilla, strategic revolutionary action. Action with purpose and filled with resolve.

Let's unite in more than our sufferings!
Power to those who don't fear freedom!


MIM(Prisons) responds: If this writer’s call for “hard-core, guerilla, strategic revolutionary action” is a call to take up weapons against the pigs, then we would disagree with h analysis of history and current conditions. At this time in the imperialist countries the conditions are not ripe for armed struggle. Engaging too soon will undoubtedly bring defeat.

Yet we agree with this writer's analysis of the SMU program as a tool to suppress revolutionary activism. The whole prison system is set up to encourage sets to fight each other instead of the system. This is why we have put out a call for groups to join the United Front for Peace in Prisons.

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[Campaigns] [Abuse] [Okaloosa Correctional Institution] [Florida]
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Grievance Fight in Florida

In February I was taken to Captain Schwartz's office where he confronted me about writing grievances. I was then locked up, had 5 Disciplinary Reports (DRs) falsified on me, received 210 days of confinement time and lost 150 days gain time. After having been placed in the cell with a prisoner who had written a grievance on the warden for chewing tobacco in a state building, we were illegally gassed twice, made to sleep on raw steel for three days and nights with nothing but a pair of boxer shorts on, and then placed on a loaf diet for 7 days.

This is the second time that I've been under attack at this institution for exercising my first amendment right to write grievances and both times they started with the same captain and both times the Warden, Colonel, and Central Office of Appeal have backed him up. I have been under attack at two other institutions in the past for writing grievances and both times Central Office knowingly and willfully allowed me to be illegally sent to Close Management (CM) [Editor: term for isolation/control units in Florida].

I have high blood pressure and I suffer from asthma and I am not supposed to be gassed. When he gassed us the first time, I tried to tell him about my medical condition and when he saw me throwing up blood and blood running out my nose, he immediately gassed us again. Out of fear for my life, I have not eaten but two selective meals to stay mentally alert since February 22, 2011.

During this time, I was placed in the cell with another prisoner and he was threatened to be gassed and have DRs falsified on him because he refused to take my tray in the cell so it would look as though I was eating to the camera. Finally, an officer just threw a meal tray in the cell and wrote down that I ate that meal. I am definitely not going to let them get away with what they have done to me and are still doing to me. I would appreciate any help you may be able to give me and I would also like to start receiving your newsletter. I just received notice that they are trying to send me back to CM.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Because of the failure of the grievance process in prisons across the country, we have initiated a grievance campaign. If you are in Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and California write to us to get copies of the petition and letter for your state, or if you are in another state write for a generic petition that you can modify for use in your state.

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[Abuse] [Utah]
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Utah Board of Pardons

The Utah crooked board of pardons and parole has supreme power over how much time a person has to serve in the Utah crooked prison system.

In the state of Utah, the way they sentence you to time is a trap and set up for the crooked board of pardons to be able to discriminate and snake a person in this crooked system.

In the state of Utah, the way this crooked system works in sentencing is called un-determinate sentencing. For example:
1. First degree felony - 5 years to life
2. Second degree felony - 1 year to 15 years
3. Third degree felony - 0 years to 5 years

The board has the power to make you do anything from the beginning of that sentence to the end of that sentence. Not only can the crooked Utah state board of pardons and parole make you do whatever amount of time they want to, but also they can make people convicted of the same crime and the same type of charge do more than others.

You can have two people on the same crime or the same type of charge, and one does 2 years and the other does 5 years, this is the case all the time, which demonstrates the discrimination and bias by the crooked Utah state board of pardons and parole.

Also when you come into the prison the prison does a criminal assessment which gives them a time matrix on how much time you should do. But the Utah crooked state board of pardons does not even follow the time matrix, and more then likely you are gonna do over your time matrix. Further, the judge can sentence your charges to run concurrently, but the board can go against the courts ruling and make that sentence run consecutive at will.

The Utah state board of crookedness as you can see has the power here in Utah to pick and choose who they want to discriminate against. Race, sexuality, religion, or even if they do not like the way you look.

They own you and have the power over your life and death. They have too much power and they need to be stopped.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is just one example of the many ways the criminal injustice system has wide discretion to discriminate against groups of people. This is used to lock up and extend sentences of people from oppressed nations, leading to hugely disproportionate imprisonment of Blacks and Latinos compared to whites in Amerika. Further this discrimination is used against politically active prisoners to punish them for fighting for their legal rights.

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[United Front] [ULK Issue 20]
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Statement of Unity from the Makavelian People's Party (MPP)

As a lumpen organization we are committed to creating an active peace between all lumpen organizations, both within prisons and on the streets. To this end, we agree to uphold the Statement of Principles set forth by MIM(Prisons) and other organizations in the United Front for Peace in Prisons.

Officially,
Prince Capone, Chairman of the MPP-Seattle Chapter
Comrade Booby, Chairman of the MPP-Prison Chapter

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[Africa] [Middle East] [ULK Issue 20]
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No U.$. Intervention in Libya

U.$. sucks Arab oil
On March 19 2011, the United $tates, playing the role as leader of the united nations forces, began bombing areas in Libya. What we know from the imperialist media is that small pockets of opposition to the Libyan government are attempting to rebel and attack the current government.

While we observe these developments in the Middle East in general, but more particularly in Libya, we must first understand the history as well as the current relations of production in these governments to really grasp the conditions and contradictions on the ground. It's good to understand the world and pay attention but it's better to know the truth and be able to sort through the BS that blurs reality and works to shape ideas to the imperialist program.

Libya, like much of the Middle East, has long been eyed by Amerika because of its vast oil reserves. Libya was colonized up until after World War II when it then became a semi-colony that was under U.$. and British influence with a monarchy under King Idris.

In the 1960s the Middle East, like much of the world, felt a whirlwind of revolution and liberation struggles that swept the globe. Libya also caught this upsurge of anti-colonial fever, and King Idris was overthrown by military officers in 1969. Moammar Gadhafi was the leader of this coup.

Although Libya changed its name to the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" it is not currently a socialist country. There are revolutionaries within Libya but for the most part they do not lead any of the struggles we see in U.$. media. The incantation of imperialist propaganda is that the Libyan people are going to overthrow Gadhafi and that the majority want him out, but this is false.

Just as the U.$. used the south Vietnamese to massacre Vietnamese freedom fighters, just as the U.$. used the contras to massacre their country men the Sandinistas, and the Afghan against Afghan, Iraqi on Iraqi, so too are they now using Libyan to destroy Libyan. I wonder when the masses of the world will ever unite to take on the true oppressor?

Let's be clear Gadhafi did not come to power through a socialist revolution, although he did make some concessions and reforms, particularly with tribal alliances. For the most part what is practiced in Libya is a form of state capitalism where revenue from oil fuels the economy. Nonetheless they should not be met with imperialist intervention nor should the united nations be used to dictate their air space as another Iraq under Sadaam Hussein.

The opposition that the United $tates seems to cozy up to the most is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya which is known to be funded and trained by the CIA. This group, which was founded in 1981, has been based on the border of Egypt and Libya and seems to be the main vehicle for propping up a U.$. puppet government in Libya should the Gadhafi regime fall.

But let's get to the heart of the matter in this U.$. intervention: the main reason for this attack on Libya is oil! It's ironic how the so-called "united nations" have their hands in this intervention when within their very own documents, specifically the 1514 Declaration, they claim to grant self-determination to colonized nations and peoples. Yet here we are watching them deny self-determination. Not that we expect these imperialists to act in any way that isn't exploiting the people, but it shows those who are unaware of their parasitic aims what they're really about.

With the largest oil reserves in Africa it's no surprise that this nation is a target of the United $tates. We have seen this played out in Iraq where the no-fly zone was set up as a prelude for outright war and occupation. As I write this I'm sure backroom deals are being banged out between the imperialist countries on who gets what and at what price. Until these business agreements are worked out we probably won't see "troops on the ground" from the United $tates.

We see in the U.$. media accusations of Gadhafi being a "mad dog" but why was he invited years back to the United $tates? We all remember the jokes of him pitching a tent on one of Donald Trump's properties. The same bad things were said of Sadaam and Bin Laden but we see old pictures of both of them smiling with U.$. politicians at one time. Just to be clear, none of them were pushing for a socialist revolution. It is the pattern of being business partners with the United $tates, and then when the United $tates can't exploit these leaders to the extent that they want those same business partners become "mad dogs" or better yet "terrorists."

As Maoists we say no to imperialist intervention! We say no to the exploitation of the people around the world! We say hands off Libya! We hope for the masses of Libya to use this situation to create a socialist revolution to discard all oppression! End the intervention!


MIM(Prisons) adds: Many legitimate wars for liberation start with "small pockets of opposition" fighters, so it is hard to use numbers to judge a movement from afar. What we can see is that whether monarchist forces, CIA-backed "pro-democracy" parties or Islamic fighters, all of the "rebel" voices in the press are supporting imperialist intervention in Libya. This is what tells us they do not represent the masses of Libya. No to U.$. Imperialism! Unity within keeps the imperialists out!

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[Censorship] [Control Units] [Texas] [ULK Issue 20]
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We Must Fight ULK Denials

I am writing this article to encourage and support my fellow prisoners to appeal the publication denials for Under Lock & Key. Don't give up in our fight for our rights. By not appealing the denial you are also stopping other prisoners from a chance to receive the above mentioned newsletter that many enjoy reading.

I am housed in the "close custody" section at a high security prison farm in Texas. We are always having our rights taken away here on "close custody." Don't know about General Population (I've never made it there, due to the constant harassment of the officers in charge here) however, I am sure that just like any other prison, things are not too much different.

I'm restricted to a two-man cell, 24 hours a day with no movement. Everything comes to you. What a privilege, right? I don't feel so privileged. We are allowed recreation only when staff feel like coming to their jobs to work. If you're not on recreation restriction, you may go to rec once a week. If you are a prisoner on rec restriction, and most are here on close custody, then you may see the "yard" once every two months. We receive the same excuses that I'm sure all prisoners have heard, "we are understaffed and short-handed." Although, lately it has been due to the "fog" which they say is a security risk. The rec here on "close custody" is separated into six cages, under a concrete roof. How exactly does the fog pose a threat in this situation? To me it is just another way to take away our rights by sweeping another excuse under the "security risk" rug. Which brings me to my point that we have to continue fighting for our rights.

On 25 February 2011 I was notified by mail room staff that my publication of Under Lock & Key was denied and I wouldn't be receiving it. The reason given was "page 10 contains material of a racial nature." Now who's rights are being violated? What happened to "freedom of speech" in America? There was also a box checked that reads: "It contains material that a reasonable person would construe as written solely for the purpose of communicating information designed to breakdown prisons through offender disruption such as strikes, riots or security threat group activity." Sounds like another excuse swept under the "security risk" rug. Don't you agree?

Although imprisoned, we do still have rights, but only the ones we continue to fight for. When asked, "do you want to appeal this denial?" always appeal, if not for yourself for the others on lock. You cannot win if you don't fight.

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[Middle East]
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Iraq Part 2 or Iran: The Prequel?

"Democracy" is the culprit yet again in the U.$. empire's latest adventurous gamble to spread the money-making concept of the democratic shell to the middle eastern country of Libya.

Amerika, that great city shining on a hill spread some of that luminescence to the sovereign skies of Libya over the weekend, as they lit up the night sky with the glow of over 160 long range missiles in their effort to supposedly stop the Libyan government from killing of innocent civilians. Ironically enough, more lives were taken than "saved" by the amerikans as numbers have already come out of Libya that at least 70 civilians were killed by the strike.(1)

The Arab League has come out in anger and denounced not just the U$ but their international lackey bureaucracy (the UN) for authorizing and initiating the deadly strikes. Even republocrats, Michael Honda and David Kucinich have criticized and questioned this abominable act.(1)

Some may ask, well, wasn't the Arab League down with Amerikan intervention in Libya? And the answer is yes, however, the strength of anti-imperialist pan-Arabism in the region was reflected as they wavered when the bombs actually started to drop.

There are two reasons that the U$ is giving for it's current open aggression. One is for the firm support and protection of the Libyan people. The other is their supposed concern that Gadhafi is possibly in the possession of weapons of mass destruction, i.e. Mustard Gas.(2) Hmm. Why does this sound so familiar?

Pre$ident Obomber came out over the weekend while on his trip to Brazil, during his tour of Latin America and said that there will be no ground forces deployed to Libya, as the U$ does not wish to be at war with a third Muslim country; lest they be labeled crusaders.(1) Obomber emphasized many times over that amerika is not at war with Islam, which might actually be true per se, they just like to go to war with whatever oppressed nation happens to have something they want (oil).

Curiously enough the social-democratic government of Brazil who has the habit of paying lip-service to the plight of the oppressed (while simultaneously oppressing and exploiting it's own proletariat) had nothing to say about it's amerikan guest, nor did they have anything to say about their abstention from the UN vote to bomb Libya... all of a sudden!

So now two questions are begged. Are we currently seeing the sequel to the invasion of Iraq, which has had disastrous consequences to the Iraqi people? Doubtful, but you never know with these imperialists. Or are we seeing a possible test run for a similar style bombing of Iran?

Regardless of what you think of Gadhafi and his regime, Libya is a nation oppressed by imperialism and currently under attack, it must be defended. The imperialists need to keep their filthy hooves out of the mix and let the Libyan people decide their own destiny.

Notes:
1. En Contexto, ch 52, Telemundo March 21, 2011.
2. Face the Nation, CBS, March 20, 2011

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[United Front] [ULK Issue 19]
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Ex-Capo Joins Peace Agreement

I am an ex-Barrio Azteca prison gang capo (leader), now acting on an individual level for any peace movement like yours. Congratulations for taking your valuable time in creating this important movement. I see nothing wrong with it, but may I ask, where are the Aztlán lumpen organizations at? Is this movement only a Black power peace movement? I see no Aztlán reformers acting as contributors. Am I the only Aztlán reformer in your peace movement?

...I honestly think this great movement needs backup accords and contracts that can assure the support of other organizations wherever they call homebase, especially for voting, protest or problem solving, etc.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The United Front for Peace in Prisons is something that has been the undercurrent of letters from comrades and dialogues that MIM(Prisons) has been part of for many years. The formalization under the proposed statement of principles has been in the works for over a year, with a number of participants from different nationalities and lumpen organizations.

It should be remembered that development is never even. Certain regions, organizations and nationalities may be quicker to develop in political consciousness. If you don't see your voice being represented, shout out like this comrade did.

MIM(Prisons) has always been an internationalist organization (it's in our name). So you won't find any favoritism here of one nation's development over another. We've had contacts from every major lumpen organization write in in support of something like what we have developed. But for the most part those organizations are very decentralized, and our contacts are isolated individuals. This United Front is one common expression of those isolated individuals, including the writer above, from various regions, groups and oppressed nationalities.

But the United Front is not governing body. We believe it is up to comrades on the ground to draw up any necessary accords and contracts to develop real peace on a mass scale. Conditions will vary, and agreements will too as a result. The United Front will be a forum to share those experiences and successes, to help and encourage others. It will also serve as a medium to struggle with our political allies who have not yet joined in these efforts.

But this is just the beginning. We are finally ready to take this to the masses, where the ultimate form and the level of participation will be determined in practice. Our task now is to popularize the principles across the U.$. prison population, and eventually, the whole lumpen class.

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[United Front] [ULK Issue 19]
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United Front for Peace in Prisons - Statement of Principles

United Front for Peace
The basis of any real unity comes from an agreement on certain key ideas. This statement does not grant authority to any party over any other party. We are mutually accountable to each other to uphold these points in order to remain active participants in this united front.

  1. Peace WE organize to end the needless conflicts and violence within the U.$. prison environment. The oppressors use divide and conquer strategies so that we fight each other instead of them. We will stand together and defend ourselves from oppression.

  2. Unity WE strive to unite with those facing the same struggles as us for our common interests. To maintain unity we have to keep an open line of networking and communication, and ensure we address any situation with true facts. This is needed because of how the pigs utilize tactics such as rumors, snitches and fake communications to divide and keep division among the oppressed. The pigs see the end of their control within our unity.

  3. Growth WE recognize the importance of education and freedom to grow in order to build real unity. We support members within our organization who leave and embrace other political organizations and concepts that are within the anti-imperialist struggle. Everyone should get in where they fit in. Similarly, we recognize the right of comrades to leave our organization if we fail to live up to the principles and purpose of the United Front for Peace in Prisons.

  4. Internationalism WE struggle for the liberation of all oppressed people. While we are often referred to as "minorities" in this country, and we often find those who are in the same boat as us opposing us, our confidence in achieving our mission comes from our unity with all oppressed nations who represent the vast majority globally. We cannot liberate ourselves when participating in the oppression of other nations.

  5. Independence WE build our own institutions and programs independent of the United $tates government and all its branches, right down to the local police, because this system does not serve us. By developing independent power through these institutions we do not need to compromise our goals.

How to join the United Front for Peace in Prisons?

  1. Study and uphold the five principles of the united front.

  2. Send your organization's name and a statement of unity to MIM(Prisons). Your statement can explain what the united front principles mean to your organization, how they relate to your work, why they are important, etc.

  3. Develop peace and unity between factions where you are at on the basis of opposing oppression of all prisoners and oppressed people in general.

  4. Send reports on your progress to Under Lock & Key. Did you develop a peace treaty or protocol that is working? Send it in for others to study and possibly use. Is your unity based on actions? Send us reports on the organizing you are doing.

  5. Keep educating your members. The more educated your members are, the more unity you can develop, and the stronger your organization can become. Unity comes from the inside out. By uniting internally, we can better unite with others as well. Contact MIM(Prisons)'s Free Political Books for Prisoners Program if you need additional materials to educate your members in history, politics and economics.


Campaign info:
Build a United Front for Peace in Prisons
This article referenced in:
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[United Front] [ULK Issue 19]
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Announcing the United Front for Peace in Prisons

[This statement was drafted by members of the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons, United Struggle from Within, the East Coast Consolidated Crip Organization, and the Black Order Revolutionary Organization, with input and review from other organizations and individuals working on peace and unity in U.$. prisons. If your organization wishes to join the United Front, you may submit your own statement of unity/support to Under Lock & Key.]

If the last 40 years have proven anything to us, it is that Amerika wants us at war with each other and locked in their prisons. The idea that banging is what we're just born into, as if we have no power over our own lives, is no longer acceptable if we want to survive. For the next generation to repeat what we have been through would be genocidal. We embrace internationalism because we recognize that most of the people in the world face potentially genocidal conditions under imperialism and that there is strength in numbers. This is a call for peace, unity and understanding amongst the many prison organizations currently in opposition to each other and individual non-gang affiliated comrades alike to take on an approach that utilizes the strength of our numbers in revolutionary struggle.

We have awareness that there's nothing cool about the hardships we as gang members and petty criminals put ourselves, our families, our communities and each other through. If we have to struggle and if we have to sacrifice then it's more logical that we put our strength and resources collectively against one target - the oppressor.

Too many of us are already in jail. To engage in reckless behavior that could get us locked up or locked down only helps Amerika control us. Tupac Shakur, who also helped draft a code of principles to unite lumpen organizations, referred to the Thug Life stage of his life and his music as the "high school" phase for ghetto youth. By the time he was locked in prison he was growing and expanding beyond Thug Life, while recognizing it would always be a part of him. He referred to this as his "college" phase, saying that some people never get out of high school. Our comrades often draw parallels between the intellectual growth of college students and prisoners. But prison should not be where certain groups of people must go to learn and grow.

A parallel example is found in the ideology of the Almighty Latin King Queen Nation, which describes its followers passing from the Primitive Stage to the Conservative (or Mummy) Stage to the New King Stage. The Primitive Stage is usually characterized by gang-banging and reckless behavior. The Conservative Stage steps away from previous recklessness, distancing oneself from the whole organization. "The New King recognizes that the time for revolution is at hand... A revolution that will bring freedom to the enslaved, to all Third World People... The New King is the end product of complete awareness, perceiving three hundred and sixty degrees of enlightenment. He strives for world unity. For him, there are no horizons between races, sexes and senseless labels. For him, everything has meaning, human life is placed above materialistic values. He throws himself completely into the battlefield, ready to sacrifice his life for the ones he loves, for the sake of humanization." (Kingism: Three Stages from The King Manifesto)

Despite our different paths of evolution over the years, all of our organizations share a common history that arose from the need to defend oneself and one's community in a society that has always kept us as outsiders. It is sad that we must find ourselves in the most horrid of oppressive situations (i.e. control units or death row) before our organizations can begin working together in our common interests. The purpose of this united front is to incorporate that commonality as part of our continued growth. Unity evolves from the inside out. Once we've begun to grow as individuals, our first task is to build unity within our group around the principles of the united front.

As we work to build unity with others, we must remember that rumors are tactics of pigs and snitches. Too many people have a habit of talking shit and creating disunity, as if it's a game. Comrades should know when to speak, where to speak, what to speak, to whom to speak, how to speak and when to keep absolutely silent.

There have been a number of attempts to unite various sets and cliques under one banner for a positive cause. But when such efforts are led by the criminally-minded these causes are only served superficially and the organizations continue to work in the interests of the greed and power of the few.

In the United $tates we are surrounded by wealth and excess, which breeds a sick love for their system of exploitation. Yet success for much of the oppressed nations is still handed out like winning lotto tickets, whether as a boss on the street or a ball player or other entertainer. And therein, we become oppressors of our own community, nation and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, our oppressed peoples as a whole are not allowed to determine their own destinies as nations.

The easier way out of the ghetto is to become overt oppressors by joining the white man's army. The imperialist wars of aggression are wars against the oppressed nations of the world. We are killed and injured in these wars to help kill and control the oppressed people the world over. To join the military of the oppressor (United $tates) is to betray and sell out our collective peoples.

We fully recognize that whether we are conscious of it or not, we are already "united" — in our suffering and our daily repression. We face the same common enemy. We are trapped in the same oppressive conditions. We wear the same prison clothes, we go to the same hellhole box (isolation), we get brutalized by the same racist pigs. We are one people, no matter your hood, set or nationality. We know "we need unity" — but unity of a different type from the unity we have at present. We want to move from a unity in oppression to unity in serving the people and striving toward national independence.

We cannot wish peace into reality when conditions do not allow for it. When people's needs aren't met, there can be no peace. Despite its vast wealth, the system of imperialism chooses profit over meeting humyn needs for the world's majority. Even here in the richest country in the world there are groups that suffer from the drive for profit. We must build independent institutions to combat the problems plaguing the oppressed populations. This is our unity in action.

We acknowledge that the greater the unity politically and ideologically, the greater our movement becomes in combating national oppression, class oppression, racism and gender oppression. Those who recognize this reality have come together to sign these principles for a united front to demonstrate our agreement on these issues. We are the voiceless and we have a right and a duty to be heard.

United Front Statement of Principles

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