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Under Lock & Key

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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
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[Spanish] [ULK Issue 23]
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Frente Unida por la Paz en Prisiones - Declaración de Principios

La base de cualquier unidad verdadero viene de un acuerdo en ciertas ideas principales. Esta declaración no da la autoridad a cualquier partido sobre cualquier otro partido. Somos mutuamente responsables uno al otro a cumplir estos puntos para permanecer como participantes activos en esta Frente Unida.

  1. La Paz: NOSOTROS organizamos para terminar los conflictos innecesarios y la violencia dentro del ambiente de las prisiones estadounidenses. Los opresores usan estrategias de división y conquista para que peleemos entre nosotros en lugar de ellos. Nos pondremos de pie y nos defenderemos de la opresión.
  2. La Unidad: NOSOTROS nos esforzaremos para unirnos con ellos quienes se enfrentan a las mismas luchas como nosotros por nuestros intereses comunes. Para mantener la unidad tenemos que guardar una línea abierta de redes y comunicación y asegurar que dirigimos cualquier situación con datos verdaderos. Esto se necesita porque los puercos utilizan tales tácticos como rumores, ratas y comunicaciones falsas para dividirnos y mantener la división entre los oprimidos. Los puercos ven el fin de su control dentro de nuestra unidad.
  3. El Crecimiento: NOSOTROS reconocemos la importancia de la educación y la libertad de crecer en orden de construir la unidad verdadera. Apoyamos a los miembros dentro de nuestras organizaciones que nos dejen para abrazar otros conceptos y organizaciones políticas que están dentro de la lucha anti-imperialista. Todos deberían unirse donde se sientan cómodos. Semejantemente reconocemos el derecho de nuestros camaradas dejar nuestras organizaciones si fracasamos a cumplir con nuestros principales y propósitos de la Frente Unida por la Paz en Prisiones.
  4. El Internacionalismo: NOSOTROS luchamos por la liberación de toda la gente oprimida. Mientras que muchas veces somos referidos como "minorías" en este país, y muchas veces encontramos a ellos quienes están en el mismo barco que nosotros en oposición a nosotros; nuestra confianza en cumplir nuestra misión viene de nuestra unidad con todas las naciones oprimidas quien representan la vasta mayoría globalmente. No podemos liberarnos cuando al mismo tiempo participamos en la opresión de otras naciones.
  5. La Independencia: NOSOTROS construimos nuestra propias instituciones y programas independiente de los Estados Unidos y todos sus ramos, aun hasta la policía local, porque este sistema no nos sirve. En desarrollar el poder independiente por estas instituciones no necesitamos comprometer nuestras metas.

¿Como se junta a la Frente Unida por Paz en las Prisiones?


  1. Estudie y mantener los cinco principios de la Frente Unida
  2. Envíe el nombre de tu organización y una declaración de la unidad a MIM(Prisiones). Tu declaración puede explicar qué los principios de la Frente Unida significa para tu organización, cómo se pertenece a tu trabajo, porque son importantes, etc.
  3. Desarrolla paz y unidad entre las facciones donde estés tu en la base de oponer a la opresión de todos los prisioneros y a la gente oprimida en general.
  4. Mande reportajes de tu progreso a Bajo Clave y Candado (Under Lock & Key). ¿Desarrollaste un tratado de paz o un protocolo que funciona? Envíalo a nosotros para que otros lo estudien y posiblemente lo usen. ¿Tu unidad está basada en las acciones? Mandemos reportajes en lo que estás organizando.
  5. Sigue educando a tus miembros. Lo más educados que estén tus miembros, la más unidad que puedes desarrollar, y lo más fuerte que tu organización puede ser. La unidad viene de dentro para afuera. En unirnos por el interior, podemos unirnos con otros también. Si necesitas más materiales para educar a tus miembros en la historia, en la política y la economía, ponte en contacto con el programa de Libros de Política Gratis para prisioneros de MIM(Prisiones).

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[Spanish] [ULK Issue 20]
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Anunciando la Frente Unida por la Paz en Prisiones

Esta declaración fue redactada por miembros del Ministro de Prisiones del Movimiento Internacionalista de Maoistas, La Lucha Unida por Dentro, La Organización Consolidada Crip de la Costa Este y la Organización Revolucionaria del Orden Negro, con contribuciones y repasos de parte de otras organizaciones e individuos trabajando por la paz y la unidad en las prisiones estadounidenses. Si su organización desea juntarse a la Frente Unida Ud. puede someter su propia declaración por unidad/apoyo a Under Lock & Key (Bajo Candado y Llave).

Si los últimos 40 años han demostrado algo a nosotros, es que América quiere que estemos en guerra contra nosotros mismos y bajo clave en sus prisiones. La idea que nacimos entre las pandillas como si no tuviéramos el poder sobre nuestras propias vidas, ya no es aceptable si queremos sobrevivir. Sería genocidio para la próxima generación si repitara lo que hemos experimentado ya. Abrazamos el internacionalismo porque reconocemos que casi toda la gente del mundo potencialmente enfrenta condiciones genocidios bajo el imperialismo y hay fuerza en números. Esta es una llamada a la paz, a la unidad y a la comprensión entre todas las organizaciones de la prisión que en este momento se encuentren en oposición uno al otro y a los camaradas individuos sin afiliación a las pandillas que tomen un enfoque que utilice la fuerza de nuestros números en la lucha revolucionaria.

Estamos enterados de que no hay nada bueno sobre los apuros que nosotros, como pandilleros y criminales pequeños hacemos a nuestras familias y comunidades, y a nosotros mismos. Si es que tenemos que luchar y si tenemos que sacrificar entonces es más lógico que pongamos nuestras fuerzas y recursos colectivamente contra un blanco - el opresor.

Demasiado de nosotros ya estamos encarcelados. Que participemos en comportamiento temerario que nos puede encarcelar o ponernos bajo candado solamente ayuda a América controlarnos. Tupac Shakur, quien también ayudó a redactar un código de principios para unir a las organizaciones lumpen refirió a la etapa de la Vida de Ladrón de su vida y música como la fase preparatoria para la juventud del barrio. Por el tiempo que estaba encerrado en prisión el ya estaba creciendo y ensanchando más allá de la Vida de Ladrón al mismo tiempo reconociendo que siempre sería parte de él. El refirió a esto como la fase universitaria, diciendo que algunos nunca salen de la preparatoria. Nuestros camaradas muchas veces hacen correr paralelismos entre el crecimiento intelectual de estudiantes universitarios y prisioneros. Pero la prisión no debe ser donde ciertos grupos de gente tienen que ir para aprender y crecer.

Un ejemplo paralelo se encuentra en la ideología de la Nación Todopoderosa del Rey y Reina Latino, que describe a sus seguidores pasando desde la fase primitiva a la fase conservativa (o Momia) a la fase de Nuevo Rey. La fase primitiva usualmente está categorizado por la pandillera y el comportamiento temerario. La fase conservativa da pasos fuera de la imprudencia previa, alejándose de toda la organización. El Nuevo Rey reconoce que el tiempo para la revolución está a mano. . . Una revolución que traerá libertad a los esclavizados, a toda la gente del Tercer Mundo . . El Nuevo Rey es el producto final de estar completamente consiente, percibiendo 360 grados de iluminación. Se esfuerza por la unidad mundial. Para él no hay horizontes entre razas, ni sexos ni marbetes sin sentidos. Para él todo tiene significado, la vida humana está puesta sobre valores materiales. El se tira completamente dentro del campo de batalla, listo para sacrificarse su vida por los que quiere, por la humanización (Reyismo: Tres Fases del Manifiesto del Rey)

A despecho de nuestros senderos diferentes de evolución sobre los años, todas nuestras organizaciones comparten una historia común que surgió de la necesidad de defenderse a uno y la comunidad de uno en una sociedad que siempre nos ha mantenido como personas de afuera. Es triste que tengamos que encontrarnos en las instituciones más horrendas y opresivas (unidades de control o fila de muerte) antes de que nuestras organizaciones puedan empezar a trabajar juntos en nuestros intereses comunes. El propósito de esta frente unida es para incorporar este conjunto como parte de nuestro crecimiento continuo. La unidad evoluciona de dentro para fuera. En cuanto comencemos a crecer como individuos, nuestra primera tarea es construir unidad dentro de nuestro grupo alrededor de los principios de la frente unida.

Como trabajamos para construir la unidad con otros, tenemos que recordar que rumores son los tácticos de puercos y ratas. Demasiada gente tiene la costumbre de hablando mierda y creando la desunión como si fuera un juego. Camaradas tienen que saber cuándo se puede hablar, dónde se puede hablar, qué se puede hablar, con quién se puede hablar, cómo se puede hablar y cuando quedarse absolutamente callado.

Ha habido varios intentos para unir varias camarillas y pandillas bajo una bandera por una causa positiva. Pero cuando ciertos esfuerzos están guiados por los quien tienen la mentalidad de criminales estas causas solamente están servidos superficialmente y las organizaciones continúan a trabajar en los intereses de codicia y el poder de los pocos.

En los Estados Unidos estamos rodeados por riquezas y excesos que engendran un amor enfermo por su sistema de explotación. Aun el éxito para mucha de las naciones oprimidas todavía se reparte como boletos ganadores de la lotería, sea como un jefe de la calle o un pelotero u otro artista. Y en eso nos convertimos en opresores de nuestra propia comunidad, nación, raza y el resto del mundo. Mientras tanto, nuestros pueblos oprimidos en su conjunto no se permiten a determinar sus propios destinos como naciones.

La manera la más fácil de salir del barrio es en convertirnos en opresores abiertos al unirse al ejército del hombre blanco. Las guerras de la agresión de los imperialistas son guerras contra las naciones oprimidas del mundo. Somos matados y lastimados en estas guerras que ayudan a matar y controlar la gente oprimida alrededor del mundo. A juntarnos al ejército del opresor (Estados Unidos) es traicionar y dar por vender a nuestra gente colectiva.

Reconocemos completamente que si somos conscientes o no, ya estamos "unidos" en nuestro sufrimiento y represión diario. Enfrentamos al mismo enemigo común. Estamos atrapados en las mismas condiciones opresivas. Vestimos de la misma ropa de prisión, vamos al mismo hoyo infernal (aislamiento) somos brutalizados por los mismos puercos racistas. Somos una sola gente, no importa tu barrio o pandilla o nacionalidad. Ya sabemos que "necesitamos unidad" - pero unidad de un tipo diferente de la unidad que tenemos en el presente. Nosotros queremos mover de la unidad en opresión a la unidad al servicio de la gente y nos esforzamos hacia la independencia nacional.

No podemos desear la paz en una realidad cuando las condiciones no lo permiten. Cuando las necesidades de la gente no son satisfechos, no se puede tener la paz. A pesar de su inmensa riqueza, el sistema del imperialismo escoge ganancia sobre satisfaciendo las necesidades humanas para la mayoría del mundo. Aun aquí en el país lo más rico del mundo hay grupos que sufren por culpa del perseguimiento de ganancias. Tenemos que construir instituciones independientes para combatir los problemas plagando a la población oprimida. Esto es nuestra unidad en acción.

Reconocemos que lo más unidos políticamente e ideológicamente, lo mejor nuestro movimiento se hace en combatir la opresión nacional, la opresión de clase, el racismo y la opresión de género. Ellos quien reconocen esta realidad se han juntado para firmar 4 estos principios para una frente unida para demostrar nuestro acuerdo de estas cuestiones. Somos los sin voz y tenemos el derecho y el deber de ser oído.

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[Mental Health] [Control Units] [Ely State Prison] [Nevada]
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Ely State Prison: Depravity, Despair and Death

Ely State Prison(ESP) is a place of death, stagnation, misery, pain, loneliness and indeterminate lockdown. If you were to take a walk on one of these depressing tiers back here in "the hole," you would hear many disembodied voices ring out, yelling in anger and frustration, trying to tell you how bad it is for us in here, in between the isolated confines of steel and stone.

This is a maximum security prison, but not everybody here is a security risk, but if you were to ask these pigs that, they'd probably tell you otherwise, just to try to justify the fact that they're keeping us warehoused in here, whether we deserve it or not. With time things change, and usually for the worse. Deterioration is a normal occurrence in here. In fact, if you were to ask the prisoners around here if they think the conditions here will get better or worse, most of them will tell you things are only going to get worse. Pessimism and hopelessness permeate the minds and attitudes of the average prisoner in here. There's nothing much to look forward to, besides the next meal, and maybe a letter in the mail, if you're lucky.

Back in the day, ironically when ESP was opened (when we were allowed group yard, tier time, porters, etc.), the majority of the prisoners here were actually befitting of the status: maximum security. Back then, a man was sent to Ely State Prison for failure to adjust in another, less secure prison, violence, escapes and things of that nature. But even then, that could also mean he was disruptive, someone who organized other prisoners, led religious services, or filed too many legal writs or grievances.

Not every man at ESP is told why he's here these days, and not every man here has committed a violent crime. Not every man here has done anything serious to even warrant maximum security status. For example, I have a neighbor here in the hole with me right now who was transferred up here simply for contraband. A prisoner has no chance to appeal a transfer before being sent to ESP, and sometimes arrives in the middle of the night without warning. Brought into a world of darkness, locked into a cell, left to get stale and stagnant as he deteriorates, like a moldy piece of bread.

Nobody belongs in a world where they're buried alive, where they're in a tomb for the dead, basically. The police have total control, and many of them frequently abuse that control, either on a psychological level, or on a physical level. And over the days, weeks, months and years, a prisoner who is confined to this every day misery, begins to degenerate. I've seen it happen, over and over again. Nobody belongs in a world like this, where death permeates the atmosphere. Where pressure is applied so constantly that all it does is make these men hard and mean as time goes by.

Some of these guys in here feel they only have 2 or 3 choices now: escape, snitch or suicide. Nobody has escaped from here yet, but many turned into snitches, and many have committed suicide. And others have succumbed to psychotropic medications, which is a form of both escape and suicide. For so many of us in here, there's nothing to strive for, no aim, no goals, no hope, no light at the end of their tunnel, and they just give up; give in. There's no love here, just the artificial love that you'll find in the gang culture of prison life. This is a terrible place to be, especially for someone who has to return back to society.

All you have to do is read a little psychology to figure out what's going on, to understand what's being done to us in here. They try to break us down, sever our family and social ties, dominate us, talk shit to us, treat us like children, going out of their way to try to keep us stagnant and ignorant, and always out to break our spirits. Needless to say, I pass around books, articles and notes on psychology, so that prisoners can get a deeper understanding about things. Not just about being in prison, but also about how our minds work, personality, emotions, why we act the way we act, and why we are the way we are. It's very important to actually be able to come to an understanding of these things; to raise our level of conscious and to be able to elevate our thinking under these circumstances is very important in more ways than one, and it's also necessary for our survival in here, where psychological warfare is being waged on us every day.

The depravity and despair in this graveyard continuously pushes men to death or insanity. I wrote an article on November 18th, 2009, about the mysterious death of death row prisoner Timothy Redman. Nov 18, 2009, was the day he died, and I was there when it happened. This is a prime example of the daily depravity that takes place in this hellhole. Approximately an hour after Redman allegedly tried to grab a correctional officer by the wrist and pull his arm through the food slot (apparently the pig had to struggle to free himself), an extraction team of officers was made up to physically and forcefully remove Redman from his cell, or at least to try. Redman refused to surrender and to be placed in handcuffs, and he did so by displaying a weapon. What's cold about this whole thing is that the policy (administrative regulation) even states that any time a prisoner has a weapon in his cell, his water and toilet is to be shut off, an officer is to be stationed outside of his cell, and nothing is to come in or go out of his cell - not even meals, and this officer is supposed to stay stationed outside of his cell until the prisoner either gives the weapon up, or for 72 hours, and then they have to decide what to do from there, whether excessive force is to be used or not. Did this happen? No. These pigs refused to follow their own rules and a man died as a result.

A Story of One Man's Death

I can tell you exactly what took place. After Redman refused to surrender, the pigs then proceeded to spray one can of pepper spray into his cell. After that the senior officer in the control bubble commenced to open Redman's cell so the pigs could run in on him and retaliate, and then remove him from his cell. But the cell door was jammed from the inside, and they couldn't get it open. Obviously Redman was no dummy, he knew how to keep the pigs out, and he knew why it was so important to do so. That's a situation that you usually don't win. They come in and beat your ass, and after they've got you fully restrained, they beat you some more as they yell out "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!" So, over the course of two hours, the pigs emptied a total of 6 canisters of gas into Redman's cell, and then sprayed a seventh canister one time. They would spray him, and then go hide out in the upper storage room, so that the gas wouldn't affect them (Redman was housed in 3-B-48, right next to the upper storage room). When they were finally able to open Redman's cell to get him out, he was dead. His face was purple, his body was blue and blood was coming out of his nose. His boxers were stained with feces and urine and he had what appeared to be a smile on his face. The nurses and doctors tried to revive him, but to no avail.

What's mysterious about this whole situation was that when they pulled Redman out of his cell, there was no rope tied around his neck or anything. But they say he hung himself. They said it was a suicide. But did he really hang himself, or was he murdered by six cans of pepper spray? Was it a cover-up? People need to be concerned about this, and they should demand to see the video footage of the extraction, just to make sure. Because the whole things seemed mysterious to the majority of the prisoners who saw the incident take place.

All seem to agree that Redman died from the pepper spray. They think he was murdered. Who knows what happened. Death row prisoners have been murdered before under McDaniel's administration. I know this much: a couple of hours after they carried Redman's body out of the unit, two of the wardens, the coroner, and the investigator were all standing outside of Redman's cell laughing, smiling and joking around, thinking it was funny. I piped up and said, "What are you laughing at? If that was one of your own who died, you wouldn't find it very funny, now would you?"

The really cold, cold part about it was, when the coroner asked the warden, on two separate occasions, "How should I decide this?", "How do you think I should decide this, suicide or murder?" The warden looked around, seen that prisoners were standing alert at their doors and said "I can't decide that, that's your job." But what would even propel the coroner to ask such an odd question like that in the first place?

I knew Redman personally. He wasn't really a friend of mine, but someone I talked to occasionally. I don't know what set him off to go after the pig, but i do know this: Redman was a death row prisoner who had had to endure 23-hour lockdown while on HRP (High Risk Potential status) for 16-17 years straight. I heard him talking once about how the administration is stripping one privilege away from us each year. Tobacco, milk, scrambled eggs, hot lunches, food packages, clothing packages, etc. They just take, take, take and keep you locked down in a cell with a death sentence hanging over your head. Oh yeah, and I know that they were messing with Redman's mail too. He seemed to think that his wife left him due to this; because certain letters never got to her. So i think it's safe to say, with all those things taken into consideration, you have a man who has nothing to lose, and no hope in sight, who has basically been driven to a point where life doesn't even matter anymore.

Systematic Problems Require Organizing

There's a lot of people like that in here. They weren't always like that though. They've deteriorated, and have been broken, and just stopped trying, stopped caring, with no one or nothing to help pull them through. It's a sad sad story, about depravity and despair. Some of us fight and struggle trying to make it through this, trying to better ourselves and better our positions in life, and some just give up all hope. It's easy to give up in a filthy, foul-ass place like this, where nobody cares about what you're going through, or about what happens to you, one way or another.

The guards who work here don't care about us, they're not trained to care about us, they are only trained to control us. Ely State Prison is an unproductive, unhealthy environment, even for these pigs. it has been documented that prison guards have the highest rates of heart disease, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce - and the shortest lifespans - of any state civil servants, due to the stress in their lives. Prison guard are in constant fear of injury by prisoners, and the fear of contracting diseases always lingers in their minds, since prisons are normally flooded with all kinds of diseases, from hepatitis C, tuberculosis, to AIDS.

From the first day in the academy these guards are trained to believe that they are the "good guys" and that prisoners are the "bad guys." They are pretty much programmed into fearing and despising us - before they even come into contact with any of us! They are led to believe that all prisoners are manipulative, deceitful and dangerous, and that all prisoners are the scum of the Earth. So no, they don't care about us, they are not even allowed to care about us. We are not even human to them. Needless to say, none of this leads to rehabilitation, but on the contrary, it only contributes to the everyday depravity here in this hellhole.

I'm writing about all of this for a reason. I'm here to expose the abuse, the disparity and hopelessness. I'm here to raise awareness about all of these things, and I'm here to help seek solutions. One of the things I'd like to help Nevada prisoners understand is that the situation for us out here is deplorable. There is a real problem with this whole system, and if we don't recognize these problems, we will never find solutions, not to mention the possibility that we ourselves could even be contributing to many of these problems. Please believe, the way they've got us doing our time is not the way we're supposed to be doing our time. This whole prison is "the hole"; there's no general population here at ESP, there's no incentive, no programs, no rehabilitation, nothing. We have way more coming to us than this! We are not supposed to just lay down and accept this, we have to start finding ways to come together, we have to start striving to make the necessary changes that will help better our positions in life, so that we don't have to keep coming back to these dead ends.

Furthermore, there's no real level of activism in Nevada. Prisoners do not have any available resources, bookstores for Nevada prisoners, no prisoners' rights advocacy groups, no solid help from the outside, whatsoever. In order to make changes on the inside, we need support from the outside. We must take it upon ourselves to build a proper support structure for Nevada prisoners, and we have to do this from the ground up!

So, if you're a prisoner doing time in Nevada and if you have family/friends out here in Nevada - or anywhere else on the outs - I would like to encourage you to explain to them how bad the situation is for you/us in here. Let them know that we cannot expect any type of real rehabilitation from this system; explain to them that the administration is not going to do anything to help us further our growth and development, or push us close to becoming reformed, socially functioning individuals. We have to take it upon ourselves to do these things and we can't do it without a proper support structure from people on the outside.

Talk to your families talk to your friends, talk to your loved ones out there (show them this newsletter if you have to), see what they would be willing to do to start up programs for Nevada prisoners. Something needs to be done, but nothing will improve unless prisoners start taking the initiative.

The guys who have to do life sentences, or who have to be here for the duration, I encourage you to start learning the law, use it as a tool to make changes for everybody; start stepping up to the plate, instead of waiting for others to do it for you. As long as we keep trying, sooner or later something has to give. It's better to try than to do nothing, especially when we're living like this! We can do anything we put our minds to, it all starts with a thought, and what we think about we become, so let's get cracking!

Until then, we are just going to sit here, warehoused in this misery, as the years go by, more people losing their minds, more deaths and suicides, more repression, more rules being placed on us, making it harder on us, more restrictions, more losses of privileges and whatever else they want to take from us. We will sit here with sad looks on our faces, as anger and hatred eat us up inside. The despair will lead to depravity , and the depravity will do us in. Death is the only outcome tomorrow, for those that don't start taking action today.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a good discussion of the need for activism in the context of concrete examples of repression and brutality in the criminal injustice system. Further, this writer is correct that there is a bigger context to the repression that is an inherent part of the system. We do not believe that psychology is the appropriate place to look for answers, but it is useful to understand systemic motivations and factors. See our article on mental health in ULK15 for more analysis on this.

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[Control Units] [Political Repression] [ULK Issue 20]
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Federal Employee Threatens Prisoner for Fighting Torture in Court

Today the Federal Bureau of Prisons Director, Harley Lappin, did a phony inspection of the Special Management Unit (SMU). He walked into the unit, posed for photographs for the upcoming propaganda campaign, then made a beeline for C-range (disciplinary glassed housing). Mr. Lappin stopped at my cell door, looked at the door tag bearing my name and stated, "you started it, but I'm going to finish it!" Several individuals, including Warden Rathman, accompanied Mr. Lappin and witnessed his threat.

I accept Mr. Lappin's threat as retaliation for filing a civil action (D.D.C. 10-1292) due to the continued torture of prisoners in these SMUs (psychological warfare via prolonged isolation) which was declared illegal back in 1970, Ex Parte Medley, 134 US 168. I will defend myself at all cost!

The SMU has a history of viciously attacking prisoners with use of force teams to torture them into compliance with their psychological torture regiment. Attempting to cope, some are forced to take psychotropics. It is evident Mr. Lappin views himself as above the statutory law, but he is not above the people's law!

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[Culture] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 19]
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Jasiri X, Choose a Side

Jasiri X Sides with Labor Aristocracy in Wisconsin
Jasiri X sides with the labor aristocracy in Wisconsin.

Jasiri X is a hip hop artist from Pittsburgh who raps the news over some dope beats produced by The Grand Architect Paradise Gray of X Clan. The two release these tracks as videos on youtube.com in a series titled "This Week with Jasiri X." Jasiri X is popular in activist circles, frequently performing and speaking at benefits and rallies. We've been bobbing our heads to his tracks since the release of OG3 - Oscar Grant Tribute in January 2009, but in light of his most recent release, American Workers vs. Multi-Billionaires, we decided to take a closer look.

OG3 tells the story of the murder of Oscar Grant and the rebellions following his murder, from the points of view of Oscar Grant and the protesters. Although the facts aren't 100% correct in OG3, it is a good example of the many tracks Jasiri X has released about police brutality and aggression against Black people in Amerika. A track titled Free the Jena 6 was one of the first that got peoples' attention, and he continues to shout out victims of police execution and violence by name.

When working on an international piece, Jasiri X correctly draws connections between police brutality here and imperial aggression against Third World peoples around the world. He recently released a track about the uprisings in Egypt with M-1 of Dead Prez, titled We All Shall Be Free!

Despite his revolutionary lean, Jasiri X still holds on to his Amerikanism on several issues, which comes up big time in American Workers vs. Multi-Billionaires. The video for this song was shot inside the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, against a backdrop of labor aristocrats raising a stink to keep their "fair share" of the imperialist pie. The title implies that a line is being drawn between Amerikan "workers" and the capitalist multi-billionaires with this union busting legislation. However, as outlined in several articles and books(1) Amerikan "workers" are actually fundamentally allied with the imperialist, capitalist class on an international level. It is only because of the pillage of resources and lives in the Third World that the government employees in Wisconsin even have health care in the first place. Defending this "right" to health care is essentially the same thing as supporting Amerikan wars, which Jasiri X says he is against. History has shown that the multi-billionaires won't give up theirs without a fight.

"When did the American worker become the enemy?
Why is wanting a living wage such a penalty?"
- Jasiri X from "American Workers vs. Multi-Billionaires"

The Amerikan "worker," or labor aristocrat, is the enemy of the majority of the world's people because their lives are subsidized by the economic exploitation of the Third World. Third World peoples' sweat, blood, and lives are wasted to pay for the Amerikan "worker's" pensions and health care. This is because most of the "work" that Amerikans do does not generate value; we have a service-based economy. The only reason our society has such a disproportionately high "living wage" (as if those who make less die) is because we are comfortable swinging our weight around in imperialist wars of aggression to extract wealth from the Third World. Jasiri X seems to be opposed to this extraction of wealth, but does not make the connection that Amerikan "workers" are directly benefiting from it, and not just the multi-billionaires.

Jasiri X seems to adhere to an anti-racist model of social change. Besides being supported by an incorrect analysis of history, it also has him defending Obama as a Black man, rather than attacking him as the chosen leader of the largest and most aggressive imperialist country in the world. Jasiri X correctly pins Obama as an ally of the Amerikan people; their key to a comfortable lifestyle and fat retirement plan. But as an ally of the oppressed, Jasiri X should accept that Obama, and the labor aristocracy, are enemies of the majority of the world's people, and leave patriotism behind. Agitating for the betterment of people in Haiti, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, etc. as Jasiri X does through some of his raps, while at the same time defending Obama and the Amerikan "worker," is a recipe for stagnation. If we want to end oppression the world over, we need to have a clear idea of who are our friends and who are our enemies.

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[Legal] [Massachusetts] [ULK Issue 19]
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Demand Access to the Massachusetts Secret Policy

MA DOC denies request for secret rules

I want to illuminate my thoughts regarding a "secret" Massachusetts DOC policy that this state utilizes to hold us for long stretches in solitary settings. We are frequently charged with violating a secret regulation (103 DOC 514), yet we have no access, nor does the public, to view this secret policy. The DOC expects us to abide by a regulation that we are not allowed to read.

103 CMR 430 seeks to ensure fairness in the prison disciplinary system by clearly defining and providing transparent notice of the procedures by which disciplinary issues are handled. If the goal of 103 CMR 430 is to promote order in the Massachusetts prison system and affect positive change in prisoner behavior, the applicable regulations, and standards, must be clear and readily available to the prisoners who are held accountable for transgressing these behavioral benchmarks. If they are not, the result on the prison population will be confusion, not conformity. Prisoners cannot change their behavior to abide by a set of regulations they are not allowed to view. We are owed due process under the 14th Amendment, but due process is not being afforded to us.

In Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 US 539 (1974), the Supreme Court held that advanced written notice of regulations a prisoner is allegedly violating is one of the minimum requirements of procedural due process. Furthermore, a common person could only guess at what does or doesn't constitute engaging in STG activity. Charging us continuously with STG-related offenses while denying us access to definitions of STG or STG activity conflicts with the purpose of 103 CMR 430, and the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. We must stand up and demand that the Massachusetts DOC reveal this secret policy!

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[Political Repression] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 19]
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Segregation for Observing Black August Continues

As suspected, our appeal to the corrupted grievance system was denied. It has been decided that we continue our punishment here in Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg), all because we 16 Brothers were observing Black August.

These pigs can stop a revolutionary but they will never stop a revolution, by the words of Brother Fred Hampton. Black August is a peoples' holiday, so why should I be punished for it? It's a proven fact that this administration used my observation to place and keep me in Ad-Seg.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Security] [ULK Issue 22]
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Malcolm X


Who did what
who called the shot
I just don't know
all I know is that it shouldn't have been so
Malcolm should have lived until he was a
thousand years old
or even more
some say it was the COINTELPRO
of that I'm sure
but what made negroes
gun down our hero
and turn around and practice non-violence
towards a savage who threatens our very existence
while Malcolm was plotting a resistance
against the nemesis
these imbeciles was plotting against
the shining prince
they're worse than Judas
because Judas had a conscience
so he hung himself after his treacherous action
but after the treason
these Judases are still breathing
why don't they just die
and make us rejoice with joy
non-believers disguised in Black skin
sabotaging the struggle that they don't believe in
so they use their skin to deceive men

niggas killed Malcolm X
and niggas will probably kill me too

You got to be naive to believe
you can determine friend from foe
just based on skin color alone
and not by the content of the character
I see the niggas
but where my brothers at
Bob Marley said that they sold Marcus Garvey
for rice
Then they ambushed Bob Marley in the night
They say the eyes never lie
but experience tells me that they don't
always tell the truth

niggas killed Malcolm X
and niggas will probably kill me too

Huey Newton was still an asset
yet slugs put him in his casket
while agent provocateurs
that deserve death
remain in our midst
misfits in positions of leadership
navigating the lives of the less fortunate
the blind leading the blind
now we can't find our way out
of this maze
that got us trapped
and strapped with gats
that we only aim at Blacks

niggas killed Malcolm X
and niggas will probably kill me too

I'm analyzing this self hatred
wondering why this Black life of mine
ain't considered sacred
in a blink of an eye
a nigga would lay me dead on the pavement
but if my pigment was white
a nigga would think twice fifty times
before he contemplates homicide
I've stared into the eyes of these boys
who claim to be real men
and I've seen the fear that paralyzes
that make them throw away their weapon
when the cops hit the intersection
we're conditioned for submission
so the prisons are full of Blacks
who hate Blacks
and back stab each other
because they're petrified of the real nemesis
life sentences and these fools
are complacent with just being
jail house celebrities
all is vanity
buy up the commissary
and live good in the penitentiary
while we're becoming
liabilities to our families
where's the sanity?

niggas killed Malcolm X
and niggas will probably kill me too

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[National Oppression] [Theory]
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Review of RCP Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

Aztlan

I was recently able to read a new publication which was published by the RCP-USA titled "Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America" (draft proposal) from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

I have been at many prisons in California where I came across RCP literature, including its newspaper 'Revolution.' While at first glance this RCP literature may seem "progressive," and a novice revolutionary may even think the RCP is fighting in the best interest of the masses, a closer look into its political line may surprise many prisoners who are developing their political stance.

The society that U.$. prisoners dream of is one that turns the pyramid of power upside down where those on the bottom of today's totem pole are the ones who have a say in running a society based on new democracy as was seen in Mao's China where landless peasants were freed from the chains of oppressive feudalism and colonialism. The prisoner in today's capitalist Amerika understands that such a society will not come easy and we learn this valuable lesson by attempting to change the oppressive environment behind prison walls. We learn 'grass roots' organizing and how hard it is to kick start even simple resistance to injustice on a micro-level.

As we learn these lessons we also begin to see what it will take to change a society, combat the capitalist and build the revolution. One of the key components of transforming society is a vanguard party; this is common sense as we know from the prison experience that issues that are not coordinated often prove disastrous. So on a large scale effort like transforming society we can see how a political party would be needed to lead the masses on the right path to liberation on all fronts. Understanding this we often meet others in prison who seek out political parties and begin the arduous work of studies in all the revolutionary groups' theories, their political line, so that we can determine who is the vanguard party, who has the correct political theory on what it will take to reach liberation here in the belly of the beast.

I began to really study the RCP literature as it is a party that claims to be struggling on behalf of the people. Along my path of really analyzing the literature of the RCP is where I stumbled upon its stance on the oppressed nations' right to self-determination.

The portion of this constitution that is of concern is "Article 11. Regions, localities, and basic institution, Section 3. minority and formerly oppressed nationalities." This section starts off pointing out the crimes and injustices that were perpetrated against oppressed nationalities by the former government of the USA. It explains how in the future socialist state they believe elections and legislature would work, among other new rights, in the interest of the oppressed. Subsection "A. African-Americans" correctly states that under a new socialist state Black people would have the right to self-determination all the way up to the right to secede and form a separate country outside a new socialist republic if Black people so choose. This is correct. The ability for an oppressed nation to govern themselves is a right that all should have under a socialist society.

Under Subsection "B. Mexican-Americans" the guarantee to the right of self-determination up to the right to secede does not exist. Rather in subsection B2 it states:

"Relations with Mexico, and policy with regard to the former southwest region of the imperialist USA, shall, from the time of the founding and in the first few years of the new socialist republic in North America, take into account the nature of the society and government - and the level and character of revolutionary struggle - in Mexico, as well as the actual extent of territory which has been liberated through the revolution which led to the defeat and dismantling of the imperialist state of the USA and the founding of the new socialist republic in North America. At the same time, the necessary consideration shall be given to the situation in the world as a whole, in determining how to proceed with regard to this region. In this over all context and also taking into account the sentiments and aspirations of the people in the region, in particular those of Mexican origin and descent, the question of whether to return at least parts of this region to Mexico, and/or whether there should be established, within parts of this region, a country that is separate from both Mexico and the New Socialist Republic in North America, shall be taken up by the government of the New Socialist Republic in North America."

The above portion of the RCP document is an incorrect line. The fact that RCP feels that once a "socialist republic" is established that the Mexican people would not be entitled to their right to full self-determination but rather their right to secession would be "taken up by the government of the New Socialist Republic in North America" as they put it is simply wrong. All communists should uphold the right to self-determination! The Leninist principle of self-determination is an essential aspect for a socialist party in general and would surely be a requirement for a vanguard party in particular.

The RCP has also stated the same line for the "Native Americans" - that if it took power the RCP itself would decide on the future for "Native Americans" but would allow "autonomous zones" for the "Native Americans" within an RCP socialist republic.

This line will prove to be a grave error for any party that sets its sights on attaining state power. National liberation struggles will not cease to exist until oppressed nations acquire full liberation - regardless of who is in power, denying their freedom. Lenin understood this and thus promoted self-determination as he understood that the basis for revolution is liberty at its core.

What seems to be lost on the RCP is that the oppressed nations, whether Latino, First Nations or any other, are not going to put their lives on the line to transform this society only to allow themselves to be ruled by what the RCP feels is best. Once oppressed nations see a New Socialist government is truly in the interest of the people it is for them to decide to join this republic. The vast majority of the land today is First Nation/Mexican land and for RCP to state they'll decide on who lives where is ludicrous. This position is as ridiculous as if the oppressed East Indians and other Asians living in South Africa were to create a party, gain power and then tell the native "Black" South Africans "we'll decide if you can secede or where you'll live"! This colonization is incorrect and does not represent a righteous revolutionary line.

The liberation of Aztlán (what is currently the southwestern U.$.) under an all Latino socialist government must be the primary objective of all Brown revolutionaries in North America. By showing its true colors, RCP demonstrates once more that many parties claim to fight for all, but in the end don't truly seek liberation for the oppressed nations, as MIM has correctly taught. It is the oppressed nations ourselves who must seek self-determination, this can only be done by using Maoism as the primary vehicle.

We need political parties that guarantee the Leninist principal of self-determination! we need to build Maoist parties led by and for the oppressed nations! Long live the national liberation struggles worldwide.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We have not reviewed this rcp=u$a document but this criticism is consistent with our readings of other material by this organization which fakes left but actually opposes the liberation of oppressed nations, instead favoring the struggles of the Amerikan white oppressor nation for a bigger piece of unearned imperialist pie.

Based on this comrade's review, we can condemn the chauvinism of the rcp=u$a that is writing the plans for some utopian white socialist state, while asserting that the future of Aztlán is uncertain. If anyone's future is uncertain it is the hundreds of millions of Amerikans whose nation must be destroyed as part of the anti-imperialist struggle. It is hard for us to imagine how this will happen without the indigenous people of the southwestern U.$. already being well onto the socialist road. If we're going to predict the future, we should be thinking about how the socialist republics of Aztlán, New Afrika and countless First Nation states will determine the form of transition for a large Amerikan population who is generally opposed to the socialist project.

The land question is no more settled for New Afrika than it is for Aztlán, and certainly not more so than for First Nations. We support all nationalism, including struggles for independent territory, that is opposed to imperialism.

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