The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Expand ULK. Send us $50 concealed cash with an address and we'll send you a stack of each issue for the next year. help out
[Spanish]
expand

Las actividades de contrainteligencia estadounidenses continuan

Por un preso de Tejas, diciembre 2010

Recientemente recibí el libro que les mande pedir, Agentes de Represión por Ward Churchill. Hombre, ese era uno de los libros más iluminados con respeto a los problemas inherentes del trabajo político que yo leído hasta este punto. Sí, no importa si ellos oficialmente desbandaron las operaciones COINTELPRO o no. Todavía continua, ellos aprendieron lo efectivo del programa hasta con que sean grupos de agentes pícaro, De todos modos continua, especialmente en la decadencia acrecentamiento de los EE.UU.

Ya lo he pasado el libro. Tratare de meterlo entre las manos (y las cabezas) de los más disidentes que sea posible cualquiera sea su raza o creencia política personal. Muchísima gente está descontenta con las acciones y las políticas del gobierno estadounidense, gente con la que sea posible que ustedes tengan intereses opuestos, todavía el estorbo lo más grande para la realización de los objetivos políticos de cualquier de estos grupos políticos varios es la siempre poderosa clase comerciante de los Estados Unidos.

Encuentro que muchísimos disidentes están completamente ignorante de la realidad de que en cuanto que empiezan a organizar, reclutar, agitar o de educar a la gente a una forma de pensar al contrario del statu quo se convierten en un blanco, si lo sepan o no, o le guste o no. Al fallar prepararse contra las contramedidas del sucio Tío Sam es desastroso.

Yo fui soltado en 2006 y di el brinco directamente dentro de actividades de orientación política. Alguna interferencia gubernativo era esperada y aun notado, como vigía, acosamiento y lo parecido. Muchas de las tácticas en el libro había sospechado fuertemente pero tenía poca o no prueba o que no estaba bastante seguro para tomar una acción irreversible.

En cualquier caso, para sumar lo todo, uno de nuestros miembros fue manipulado dentro de una posición que resultó en la muerte de dos de nuestros miembros. Luego una planta de alto nivel le tendieron una trampa para que lo arreste, pero resultó en la muerte de dos detectives más quienes trataron de aprehenderlo. El miembro murió en un granizo de balas, creo que eran 62.

Yo realizo que todo esto es extremamente contra-productivo y solamente sirvió como justificación para aumentar su gasto presupuesto infiltrador en nosotros. Yo he visto los mejores de estas plantas/informantes FBI (Buró de Investigaciones Federal). Conozco a uno que instiga, solicita, y hasta, a veces, ordena crímenes como su papel doble de disidente rango en la organización, después manda al sucio Tío Sam para que arresten los criminales, que solamente son criminales por virtud del dato que siguieron su dirección! Sí, he tenido esta planta tratar de asesinar a mi novia embarazada y solamente sucedió en causar la muerte del niño. Les puedo enseñar declaraciones donde esta misma planta del FBI está siendo delatado por otra rata que ni sabe que estuvo tendido por la planta del FBI, ni si quiera que es una planta del FBI. Aunque el explica en detalle como el planta de FBI está golpeando a mujeres embarazadas con bates, etc.

Yo sé que no cargos nunca serán registrados contra los de ellos, y personalmente, si yo pudiera recobrar mi libertad yo prefería que cargos nunca serian prensados. Yo ciertamente no testificaría. Lo veo como un gran contradicción a voltear al mismo sistema al que uno odia, al buscar ayuda en la disolución, para dar la vuelta y buscar la ayuda de ellos en la busca de justicia. Yo conseguirá mi propia justicia si alguna vez podría recobrar mi libertad temporaria.

MIM(Prisiones) responde: En las semanas pasadas han sido un numero de historias de jóvenes siendo arrestados con cargos del terrorismo después de siendo tendidos por agentes federales a cometer actos violentos. Sabiendo el arte de la guerra y comprendiendo la etapa de la lucha en la cual estamos son maneras de evitar muchos de los ataques usados por COINTELPRO. Camaradas verdaderos se prueban a través de trabajo duro constante y con dedicación, y no por actos de bravata.

chain
[Culture]
expand

Review: The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta

Real Life of Alejandro Mayta

The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta
Mario Vargas Llosa
Aventura press, 1986

Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. Widely known as an author who writes about political events in Peru, and takes a vocal position on politics throughout Latin America, this review only addresses one of the many books he has written. But it is a good example of the political views of Vargas Llosa whose politics have made him an enemy of the people for many years. Vargas Llosa claims that he supported revolutionary politics earlier in his life, but if true, he firmly and thoroughly changed that and works hard as a critic of people's movements and a supporter of imperialist so-called democracy. He has written many works of both fiction and non-fiction, and lost a bid for president of Peru in 1990, during the height of the Peruvian Communist Party's fight for liberation of the Peruvian people, to Alberto Fujimori.

After being named the Nobel winner, Vargas Llosa said, “It’s very difficult for a Latin American writer to avoid politics. Literature is an expression of life, and you cannot eradicate politics from life.”(1) We would agree with that statement, and as we demonstrate in this review, The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta is a good demonstration of Vargas Llosa's reactionary politics.

In his acceptance speech for the Nobel prize, Vargas Llosa commented extensively on the "terrorists" in the world today who are the enemy of what he calls "liberal democracy" (capitalism). Spouting the best pro-imperialist rhetoric, Vargas Llosa makes the case for imperialist militarism with lies about the freedom and beauty of capitalist so-called democracy:

"Since every period has its horrors, ours is the age of fanatics, of suicide terrorists, an ancient species convinced that by killing they earn heaven, that the blood of innocents washes away collective affronts, corrects injustices, and imposes truth on false beliefs. Every day, all over the world, countless victims are sacrificed by those who feel they possess absolute truths. With the collapse of totalitarian empires, we believed that living together, peace, pluralism, and human rights would gain the ascendancy and the world would leave behind holocausts, genocides, invasions, and wars of extermination. None of that has occurred. New forms of barbarism flourish, incited by fanaticism, and with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, we cannot overlook the fact that any small faction of crazed redeemers may one day provoke a nuclear cataclysm. We have to thwart them, confront them, and defeat them. There aren’t many, although the tumult of their crimes resounds all over the planet and the nightmares they provoke overwhelm us with dread. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated by those who want to snatch away the freedom we have been acquiring over the long course of civilization. Let us defend the liberal democracy that, with all its limitations, continues to signify political pluralism, coexistence, tolerance, human rights, respect for criticism, legality, free elections, alternation in power, everything that has been taking us out of a savage life and bringing us closer – though we will never attain it – to the beautiful, perfect life literature devises, the one we can deserve only by inventing, writing, and reading it. By confronting homicidal fanatics we defend our right to dream and to make our dreams reality."

Vargas Llosa went on to talk about his political views:

"In my youth, like many writers of my generation, I was a Marxist and believed socialism would be the remedy for the exploitation and social injustices that were becoming more severe in my country, in Latin America, and in the rest of the Third World. My disillusion with statism and collectivism and my transition to the democrat and liberal that I am – that I try to be – was long and difficult and carried out slowly as a consequence of episodes like the conversion of the Cuban Revolution, about which I initially had been enthusiastic, to the authoritarian, vertical model of the Soviet Union; the testimony of dissidents who managed to slip past the barbed wire fences of the Gulag; the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the nations of the Warsaw Pact; and because of thinkers like Raymond Aron, Jean Francois Rével, Isaiah Berlin, and Karl Popper, to whom I owe my reevaluation of democratic culture and open societies. Those masters were an example of lucidity and gallant courage when the intelligentsia of the West, as a result of frivolity or opportunism, appeared to have succumbed to the spell of Soviet socialism or, even worse, to the bloody witches’ Sabbath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution."

Finally, Vargas Llosa made clear his support for the neocolonial governments in Latin America, pretending that they represent "functioning" democracy in the interests of the people and "supported by a broad popular consensus.":

"We are afflicted with fewer dictatorships than before, only Cuba and her named successor, Venezuela, and some pseudo populist, clownish democracies like those in Bolivia and Nicaragua. But in the rest of the continent democracy is functioning, supported by a broad popular consensus, and for the first time in our history, as in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and almost all of Central America, we have a left and a right that respect legality, the freedom to criticize, elections, and succession in power. That is the right road, and if it stays on it, combats insidious corruption, and continues to integrate with the world, Latin America will finally stop being the continent of the future and become the continent of the present."

This book is indicative of Vargas Llosa's work which does greater disservice to the revolutionary movement in Peru than those who write bourgeois fiction without pretending to have historical context or political purpose. The novel reviews the life of a fictional revolutionary activist in Peru in the 1950s who participated in a small focoist uprising before ending up in prison. The book describes revolutionary parties as all small marginalized groups wasting their time studying dead guys and debating theory. And it leaves the reader questioning the commitment of all who participate in revolutionary politics, assuming that everyone sells out somehow to pursue their own interests in the end. The peasants and workers are virtually ignored in the book, portrayed only as pawns in the work done by activists.

This novel focuses on a small Trotskyist party, the product of several splits in previous Trotskyist groups, and specifically on one of the party members, Alejandro Mayta. Interestingly, in a brief description of how Mayta ended up in this party, Vargas Llosa describes his movement from group to group, each time rejecting the previous one as not correct enough politically, until he ended up with the Trotskyists as the most pure political line he could find. MIM(Prisons) has some agreement with this description in that Trotskyism is pure idealism and it appeals to those who don't like to get their hands dirty with the realities of revolutionary politics.

Eventually Mayta deserts the Trotskyists to join up with a focoist movement in the mountains that is going to take armed action. He is galvanized by the idea of real action rather than the talk that his Trotskyist group has been engaging in for years. He is kicked out of his party, who consider the action premature, and also because Mayta has approached the Stalinists to participate in and support the focoist action.

Focoists believe that the armed actions of a small group of people will spark the masses to join the revolution. This is an incorrect view of revolutionary strategy. History has demonstrated that small groups of insurgents are not sufficient to bring about revolution; successful revolutions have come through the hard work of organizing the masses. As inspiration, many focoists look to the Cuban revolution, and Castro is mentioned repeatedly in the book. But the Cuban revolution is the only example focoists have of anything resembling success, and while that revolution did deliver a blow to U.$. imperialism, it created a state-capitalist country dependent on the Soviet Union.(2) Like other focoist actions, Mayta's small group is captured during their armed insurrection. And there is much debate about whether desertion, betrayal, or just poor planning led to their failure.

A recurring theme in this book is the claim by the narrator that the truth of history is impossible to determine. In interviewing people about the life of Mayta the narrator gets conflicting stories from everyone he talks to, and is unable to figure out exactly what happened. This nihilist position encourages people to just give up rather than seeking to understand and interpret history to help forward progress in the future. Ironically Vargas Llosa thinks he knows the definitive truth about the history of politics in many countries as he interprets history through the lens of the imperialists.

Through this fictional novel, Vargas Llosa manages to attack a vast range of revolutionary theories and practices, and leave the reader disillusioned and without hope for a better future for the people of Peru. He does not try to hide the poverty and despair that is the everyday reality of life for the Peruvian people, but condemns revolutionaries, politicians, and everyone else to failure in a maze of corruption, collaboration and irrelevant theories. There is no redeeming political value to this book which could depress even the most militant of activists.


Notes:
1. New York Times, October 7, 2010
2. See MIM Theory 4, The failure and success of communist development for more on the Cuban revolution.

chain
[United Front] [Organizing] [Theory] [ULK Issue 19]
expand

Organizing the Lumpen is Hard

lumpen united front

Organizing the imprisoned lumpen within the United $nakes is certainly nothing easy. However, speaking technically and from a materialist perspective, it should be relatively easy. As First World lumpen we face much more oppression than our oppressed nation counter parts who have ascended to the ranks of the petty-bourgeoisie/labor aristocracy. Therefore, when conducting a proper class analysis within the United $tates it is the law of contradiction that tells us that those most oppressed in the economic sense by capitalism's contradictions in society will be the scientifically designated revolutionary vehicle. Having no proletariat to speak of within U.$. borders, besides perhaps the migratory workers, the next best thing or class of people resembling a revolutionary vehicle becomes, in our case, the bourgeoisified lumpen.

Therefore, as any good communist should know the heart of social change, the very meat and marrow of it all within U.$. borders rests with the lumpen. And so in knowing all this there is still a question to be begged. Why is it so damn hard?!

The lumpen as a class is the direct product of the capitalist mode of production and has its ideology rooted and embedded in the bourgeois philosophy of "me, myself and I." It is this backward bourgeois thinking which we must first focus on defeating. Victory on the ideological front should be our first real goal. The more people we win over on the ideological front, the more successful we'll be in accomplishing all other tasks. This is the principal contradiction that needs to be resolved with respect to organizing the lumpen.

ULK as an ideological weapon is a good tool in helping us to win over the prisoner population in a conscious way to not only their own class based cause, but more importantly to that of the truly oppressed and exploited, the international proletariat and peasantry, i.e. the Third World masses.

ULK and now USW, with the direct ideological assistance provided by our Maoist teachers at MIM(Prisons), are currently spreading Maoist thought amongst and throughout the prisoner population. With all this said and being done therefore it should be relatively easier to organize the imprisoned population.

So why is it still so damn hard?

The answer once again to the aforementioned and repeatedly asked question is: ideology.

Case in point, take the California Department of Corruption for example, the biggest warehouse of people in all of the United $tates. The imprisoned lumpen within this golden gulag might very well be one of the toughest nuts to crack for USW and so it should serve as a case study for MIM(Prisons).

The CA Dept. of Corruptions is the very focus of many of the internal contradictions of Amerikkkan imperialism peculiarly personified in national oppression and class warfare. For that matter just about any Amerikkkan prison is a perpetrator of these superstructurally demanded operations. Killa'fornia however differs from most other states in the way in which the lumpen organizes itself. It's not merely a matter of organizational differences as compared to other LOs, in other states rather a difference in ideology of each nation-based LO. Perhaps this is why state repression is so intense, as well as carried out over and beyond the call of duty by prison administrators here.

Just as your average Amerikan foot soldier believes that fighting Islamic anti-imperialists is their number one job as "freedom loving Amerikans," so does your average pig on the street, as well as those working the prisons, believe that the biggest threat to internal security and class interests inside "the homeland" is the lumpen.

While on the California "mainline" it is easy for a USW comrade to bang their head on the ideological brick wall of backward-bourgeois-individualistic thinking when attempting to organize the lumpen for their own interests. Failed attempts to facilitate peace treaties between LOs or failed attempts to organize peaceful protests over real issues doesn't say much about a comrade's effectiveness while working within these conditions. Being that prison is only a microcosm of its given society, and knowing that the contradictions of the former are only equal or greater, for the most part in the most extreme sense, than that of the latter, deems that that principal contradiction that needs to be resolved in order for us to begin successfully organizing the lumpen is that of ideology. The difficult thing here is to persuade the prisoner population to become class conscious; the rest is relatively easy.

"The correctness or otherwise of the ideological line and political line decides everything. When the party has no followers, then it can have followers; if it has no guns then it can have guns; if it has no political power then it can have political power." - Mao Zedong

What applies to parties can usually be applied to individuals.

Some comrades in USW and MIM(Prisons) might believe that the important thing here when building class consciousness throughout the imprisoned populations is in getting lumpen organizations to adopt a proletarian worldview. If we do this however, all we're really getting is a revisionism of sorts because individuals won't really bother to struggle politically with themselves, they'll just "toll the bell" so to speak. Of course we'll always try to attract as many followers as we can, but only if they're all able and willing to lead.

Some might think that if you remove the barrier of lumpen organizational structure, i.e. the LO itself, that this act in itself will automatically gain us troops to the tenth degree because the lumpen will then be that much more progressive.

True, some individuals who either willingly leave their LO or are forcibly removed from their car do indeed become progressive in one way or another. Some delve into mysticism wishing for forgiveness and a better tomorrow, others become class conscious and take up the struggle of ending oppression in all its forms. For the most part however they just keep on doing the same old shit. "Same shit, different day," as they like to say.

Just as we can only build socialism one country at a time, we can only revolutionize the prison population one persyn at a time; and just as the theory of simultaneous world revolution is an incorrect one, so is it incorrect to think that we can revolutionize whole LOs all at once or anything close to that.

I say all this to make the point that the one organizational barrier for the most part isn't the end all be all when it comes to preventing the prison population's revolutionization process. Some comrades might know what I'm talking about if you're housed in an environment where there are no real prison politics to speak of, that is to say you don't have to worry about another prisoner trying to pressure you to conform to socially accepted and required norms.

A PC yard shows you this when you see people who have left one LO on the mainline only to join another one on a SNY, playing the same games and reconstructing the same old hierarchy and policies that got 'em to a PC yard to begin with.

It's almost as if the prison population must be shocked out of their zombie-like state of existence before they can exhibit some type of real progressiveness. Feeling this way can surely discourage some comrades from doing the necessary work which the USW has been tasked with. Unfortunately we are forced to work with what capitalism has bequeathed us.

The battle to push people towards scientific-socialism is a most ruthless war waged by the class-conscious and is fought against not only backward individuals but against an entire network of ideas (superstructure). This is exactly why the Chinese Communists had themselves a "Cultural Revolution," because they knew full well that organizing the prison population in this or that direction would never be enough. You have to teach the prison population not only what has to be done but why it needs to be done. For this we must all bear responsibilities!

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Florida] [ULK Issue 22]
expand

Q-Wing


For
the alleged
criminally insane
obsessed, possessed
and repressed
so-called
most "incorrigible"
inmates
protective custody
security risks
where
death awaits
all
those whose warrants
have been signed
if not stayed...
Where
ole' sparky
(the electric chair)
resides
where men
resist
are brutalized
refuse
to be dehumanized
or
give up control
of their minds
where their
dignity and perspective
in some cases
is relegated
or impaired
to an extreme
appreciation
or acceptance
of the unjust
where some
men are broken
commit suicide
take overdoses
hang themselves

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

North Creek

I went from rice and deer meat
To bologna and carrots
Four wheelers and Honda XR motorcycles
To a stinky Bob Barker mattress
Grew up chasing girls and a good time
Still growing up - still doing time
Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
To the abolition of classes, the abolition of state power
country music to a dead solitary silence
promising amerikkkan middle class future
To a socialist, communist, bourgeois hater
From a needle to knowledge
Knucklehead to 'never again'
Sally forth from juvenile detentions, prisons, boot camps
only to come back again. and again. and again.
Used to pine away - love sick puppy
over my ex-girls
Now seeking a socialist revolution
and a non-patriarchy, non-sexist world
Faith in God - Gone - turned atheist
Trust in my country - lost - I hate it!
Belief in the people - found - turned non-escapist
A cause worth dying, for - became - most hated
I stand alone now with a couple of friends
Solitary insane, I'll not pretend
Basically I'm just a man now with minimal needs
Mouth silent, eyes bloodshot
The sun sets and rises as my tired soul bleeds

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

Add On


I am a universal Builder
Building universally
for in the universe
Be
Allah's university
Adversity's not stopping me
Domestically or commercially
for you see
It works for me to come to thee
Righteously
Poetically
In this form
Universally strong
Living right not wrong
Against the norm
For I've weathered the storm all along
Builders build
Adding on
To life
Three dimensional existence
Hear me now
Bare witness
I've witness'd the relentless
Struggle against this life sentence of persistence
My insistence
To teach the masses resistance
To oppression
Suppression
Mental anguish
Depression
I stopped stressing
Paid attention
Learned to see my struggles as a learned lesson
If not a blessing
For builders which build without question...

chain
[United Front] [Mental Health] [ULK Issue 19]
expand

The Subjection of the Incarcerated

I read in the September/October 2010 issue, an article written by a prisoner in the Pennsylvania structure. He said, "[guys in this jail] are only concerned with BET, sports, 40 cent ice cream tickets and who's sucking whose dick... they don't stand up for shit except count time."

I believe these statements are very correct. Not only for the Pennsylvania structures, but all penal structures throughout the United $tates. I've read every single article in that issue by many different prisoners throughout these structures. I can relate to every last one of them, and I'm pretty sure that all prisoners within the system can relate to every single article just the same.

These structures differ only so slightly, only by name, location and modeled design, but their inner mechanisms pretty much work the same way. Everyone complains of the disunity and betrayal between their fellow prisoners. Noone wants to stand up against the powerful structure that has the ability to deploy swarms of guards equipped with body armor shields and pepper spray to counter any resistance from its 'subjects.' Even though we outnumber them, in the end, they still seem to come out on top. They seem unstoppable, victorious, and mighty. Prisoners give these "warriors" seemingly honorable names such as "The Goon Squad", "The Turtles," "The Team," "The Run Down Boys", and "The Squad."

Riots and uprisings are quickly squashed with no positive results, other than more lockdowns, revocation of good time and parole, restrictions on telephones and visitations and all other privileges of the prisoners that were provided by their "structure." I relate and share in the suffering and pains of every one of my comrades.

Psychology

But do you know why there is so much disunity between prisoners? Do you understand how the human mind works? Do you understand what I mean by the term structure? Do you know how dangerous and manipulative your institutional psychologist or "psych" could really be? Do you know why all modern prisoners must be built and structured into many individual pods? Do you know what your mind frame is being subjected to, by the master psychologists and anthropologists who designed and masterminded the inner workings and mechanics that make these structures work so differently from those of the 70s and 80s?

In the world of psychology, there's a basic and very fundamental term known as "Classical Conditioning." Classical Conditioning means any type of learning through which an organism learns to associate one event or object within the environment to which the organism or person responds with another. For example: when we see or smell delicious food we are tempted to eat, or feel hungry. Or when we see a very attractive person, we become sexually aroused, thanks to certain hormones that are being secreted within our bodies.

These natural responses to events or objects in our environment are our Classical Conditioning. It is in our nature to respond in this way to these types of stimuli. (Ivan Pavlov 1849-1936, Conditioned Reflexes: An investigation of the physiological activity of the cerebral cortex.) [ULK Editor: Classical Conditioning is actually the replacement of the natural occurring stimulus (like the smell of food) with an unrelated stimulus (like the ringing of a bell). Pavlov famously made dogs salivate with this method by ringing a bell. The idea that anything that triggers a physiological response is "natural" is often used to imply that humyns are hard wired to respond this way. On the contrary, most, if not all, of our sexual arousal is triggered by socially conditioned responses (see Operant Conditioning below). A scientific approach would be to overthrow the patriarchy and then see what triggers sexual arousal in humyns. Things that trigger sexual arousal under communism and under the patriarchy would be good candidates for "hard wired" responses. Similarly, the smell of certain fast food might make some Amerikanized humyns salivate while making other people nauseous.]

The next most basic and fundamental term in the world of psychology is known as "Operant Conditioning." Operant Conditioning means a type of learning in which the consequences of behavior are manipulated so as to increase or decrease the frequency of an existing response or to shape an entirely new response. For example, in order to be paroled and released back into society, you must respond with good behavior throughout your incarceration. Or, if you break the law, the response of the controlling authorities will be to convict you and then send you to prison.

The most notable researcher of Operant Conditioning is a psychologist by the name of B.F. Skinner. In his book, "Beyond Freedom and Dignity" (1971) Skinner quotes "free will is a myth and a person's behavior is always shaped and controlled by others - parents, teachers, peers, advertising and television." In this book, Skinner argues that society must systematically shape the behavior of their members for the larger good.

Now that we are familiar with the terms Classical and Operant Conditioning, we will lean more towards the Operant Conditioning within the walls of these structures because Operant Conditioning deals strictly with the manipulation of human behavior.

Operant Conditioning in Prisons

As of right now, I'm confined to solitary confinement, in a single cell for 23 hours a day for a total of 570 days. My original time was 90 days for a "shank" or "shaped weapon" that was allegedly found in my cell during a shake down at a time when we were having a lot of stabbings within our structure. When they brought me down to the hole, they tried to give me a cellmate, but I refused. Due to this refusal, I was issued a ticket, which was then reviewed by a hearing examiner, who gave me an extra 30 days in the hole for "refusing to obey a direct order." Every day, the guards would order me to take a cellmate, but I refused. Within one month I totaled 570 days, and counting.

One must be thinking, why is he putting himself through all of this unnecessary punishment? Why don't he just take a cellmate and get out of the hole?

The truth is, I'm actually avoiding extra punishment, not physically but mentally. The hole is a behavior modification mechanism within the structure that employs a form of deprivation to manipulate human behavior. It is not meant for two human organisms to occupy for any period of time. But due to overcrowding in all of the Pennsylvania's structures, people are being forced to cell up and co-exist with each other under these harsh conditions. A man needs privacy and time to himself in order to cope in the best way he can during this time of extreme deprivation. But instead prisoners within my structure are forced into these conditions. Under these conditions cellmates are known to fight with each other for something as minor as using the bathroom at a certain time of night. Whereas in general population if the same two individuals were cellmates an unorthodox or out of timed bathroom break would never have been a problem.

After their fight these same two prisoners are then forced to kiss and make up and endure each other's differences as well as their deprivations. Under these conditions, stress and mental anguish are always present. This type of stress results in bad health and hair loss. It is much healthier to remain in solitary where one doesn't have to deal with the next man's deprivations as well as his own. I see and hear cellmates argue and fight each other every day from where I'm at. A lot of the cellmates do not get along and "pull stunts" to force the commanding shift officer to move them in with someone more suitable.

Another form of Operant Conditioning used to manipulate behavior employed by the penal system is food. Though food is a necessity for the human organism and is classified as Classical Conditioning, when used in behavior modification - it becomes operant. For example, in the hole, we get fed less portions of the meals than those in general population.

The food, that all of us prisoners consume is laced with monosodium glutamate (MSG). Our tongue has four distinct taste sensations: bitter, sweet, sour and salty. The fifth sensation is called the umanmi, which is triggered by the substance glutamate. When this fifth sensation is triggered by this glutamate substance, it stimulates the other four sensations on the tongue's taste buds, creating a strong urge for more glutamate substance. Try eating a handful of salt and vinegar potato chips and then bite into an apple. Which product will you crave more?

To supplement the effects of monosodium glutamate in the lunch and dinner meals, the penal system provides the prisoners with a commissary that has food available upon purchase in its inventory. The prisoners are now led to purchase items on commissary to supplement their chemically induced hunger at night after the prison feeds him/her their dinner. Ninety percent of the prisoners I know can't live without ramen noodles every night. So now the prisoner becomes dependent on the commissary.

Then, penal systems will provide the prisoner with privileges, but only if his behavior is in compliance with the rules. The prisoner is allowed to have a radio and a television set with cable in his cell. Then there are the phone calls, the visits, parole, the weight room and the yard. But let's go back to the television set. A TV is major time killer. You could do your entire bid in the cell just watching TV. The TV is a major stimulus if you want to control the weak prisoner. Most people in the hole say "I can't wait to get back out and watch TV., I've missed 3 episodes of Jersey Shore (or whatever program) already." Even I miss the television and a good honey bun every now and then.

The manipulation of Operant Conditioning can be so powerful, many prisoners take abuse from their structure's establishment in order that they may make parole and go home to their families. Within my structure, the prisoners are forced to take programs and work jobs that start at 19 cents an hour, otherwise they won't make parole. Would you stay in prison for 10 years, or adjust your behavior and go home within 5 or 4 1/4 on pre-release.

These individuals who are trying to go home, as well as the weak prisoners, are then placed within the same housing unit along with the strong, long term more militant prisoners - who, by the way happen to be our comrades in the struggle. With these different individuals with different goals in mind, any type of unity or grouping together for one common cause is gonna be difficult.

Whenever the penal system changes a policy that we are in opposition to, only a few will be able to stand up while the majority of these strategically placed so-called convicts will turn their backs and endure the abuse in order to be released from prison or maintain possession of their privileges.

We can't shut down the kitchens, because a majority of the prisoners who are working there are parole mandated. They would rather deal with the abuse and go home. Hunger strikes are iffy. A riot these days will consist of no more than 300 people, which is easily contained as soon as they seal off the individual pods or units and lock the prison structure down. Then they turn us against each other by offering the unfortunate and the "have nots" a radio or television set, in return for spying and telling on their comrades' movements.

The ones who designed the program structure, the parole structure, the commissary and privilege rights (the "brains") are the college educated psychologists who we will never see. They are the ones who created this form of behavior modification.

Because of this, a division is wedged in between our factions, causing a chain reaction of adversary and conflict amongst ourselves. The ones who have a little bit of money, shun and look down upon the one who is broke. Even if the one who doesn't have any money on his books had lived more prosperous in the streets. The young prisoners take our older comrades for granted because they are old. Thus creating a huge intellectual and traditional gap between the two.

Phillip Zimbardo is a psychologist most notable for his work on social roles. A social role, as defined by Zimbardo is a "socially defined behavior considered appropriate for individuals occupying certain positions within a given group."(P.G. Zimbardo, "Pathology of Imprisonment" (1972) 'Society,' 9, 4-8.) The Stanford Prison Experiment is an experiment in which Phillip Zimbardo simulated a prison experience. College students were randomly assigned to be either guards or prisoners. The guards, wearing uniform and carrying small clubs, strictly enforced harsh rules. The prisoners were stripped naked, searched and deloused. Then they were given prison uniforms, assigned numbers, and locked away in small bare cells. The guards quickly adapted to their new role, some even to the point of becoming heartless and sadistic. One guard remembered forcing prisoners to clean toilets with their bare hands. And the prisoners began to act debased and subservient. The role playing became too real - so much so that the experiment had to be ended in only 6 days.

That was just an experiment, play acting. But you see once an individual becomes wrapped up in a certain social role how far it can lead. Zimbardo conducted this experiment back in 1972, but we are in the real thing today. Once these guys adapt to certain roles and behaviors, the result is what we see being acted out today.

One day, a guard burnt one of our comrades for a meal right here in the hole. Only 7 of us held our food trays and refused to return them in protest of the injustice that was carried out. Those that gave their tray back all stated that they didn't want to get a ticket, that they were trying to get out of the hole as soon as possible.

So, what are we left with? The answer is simple - it's knowledge. My comrades, prison is a mental struggle, it always was. We must evolve mentally. Study psychology, get good at it. Study political science, get good at it. Study anthropology, get good at it. We must evolve and turn our cells into think tanks. Learn and understand how the penal system structure controls and manipulates human behavior.

Stop taking psychological medication in any form, be it a sleep inducer or antidepressant. For when you are released you will be subjected to withdrawals whenever deprived which may lead you into narcotic abuse. If you can't sleep, read and learn meditation and breathing exercises, heal yourself.

If you're depressed, meditation and inner calmness works wonders on the mind. The structure is a very powerful establishment designed and put together by some very smart college educated veterans, who get paid a lot of money to make sure that the prisoners advances are easily thwarted.

When we are able to show and prove that our solution is better, the younger ones will follow and we will grow in numbers in time. For now, my comrades, we are all in the same boat. Let's not be upset with the younger ones or the ignorant who refuse to unite. The manipulators who control these structures have made sure that the consequences will outweigh the rewards by far.

The weight of the structure sits heavy on those who need to get home to their families. The younger ones are easily manipulated, just give them a television and some food, and the jail could burn to the ground for all they care. As long as the power don't shut off.

For the rest of us, my comrades, if we continue to apply ourselves and stick to our disciplines, in time we will grow in numbers. Understand the importance of the right knowledge for the right battle. This is a psychological war. Learn the fundamentals of psychology, please.

Prison today is more like a mental hospital. With the number of the mentally ill growing in numbers every year, psych meds dim the intelligence of the individual, making him/her slow as the years go by. Understand what you're really being subjected to within your structure. Learn to adapt and adjust, be independent.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This analysis of prisons using classical psychological tools is useful for revolutionaries because it helps to uncover the methods and goals of those who design and run the Amerikan criminal injustice system. This comrade is right that the system is built to discourage and prevent organizing and unity. It's not that prisoners who are passive are inherently evil, they are just doing what the system is pushing them to do, and resistance is no easy task. Similarly, brutal COs are not just evil individuals. They are playing a role like the students in the experiment. This role cannot be abolished until capitalism itself is abolished.

For our comrades who do stand up against all this, we must know that the struggle is long and difficult. But as this comrade points out, we will grow and unite others as we stick to our message and discipline. For more on MIM(Prisons)'s position on psychology, check out the magazine MIM Theory 9 or our article Mental Health: a Maoist Perspective.

chain
[Abuse] [California Correctional Center] [California]
expand

How can we fight violations of our rights?

I would like to tell you a little about how these pigs treat us here at California Correctional Center - Susanville. To begin with, the pigs here are constantly disrespecting us and some pigs even get racial with some prisoners.

The following is about something these pigs did to my celly a while back. He had to go to the program office for a disciplinary hearing. Upon being found guilty he asked for an appeal form from a sergeant. When he got it my celly mumbled under his breath "what a joke" and the sergeant thought my celly called the hearing officer a jerk. The sergeant then grabbed him and slammed him into some filing cabinets. The sergeant pinned him with his lower body and started screaming in his ear cussing and threatening his family and friends.

A few days later a couple pigs came to the cell and took my cellmate's address book and told him that he was under investigation for a possible felony. They kept coming two to three times a week to search the house trying to intimidate him. A few days later my celly put in a citizen's complaint to the warden. After about 2 months of them hitting the house, my celly felt he had to retract his complaint due to the pigs intimidation. So he went to the program office to speak to the captain. On video camera they had him retract his complaint and after that they stopped the continuous searches.

This is one of many stories about our rights being violated here at Susanville. Most prisoners are worried that if they file and appeal on a pig then retaliation is gonna follow. These pigs here are known to trump up bogus charges on prisoners. Is there any way we can beat this? If this was to happen to me, there is a good chance I would end up getting a life sentence because I myself have two strikes. If you can give me a little bit of info on how I can protect my rights it would be appreciated. As for doing my part in trying to convert others in to joining us, it is in the process. Thank you comrades for your time and your efforts in helping all of us prisoners in our fight.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We know that retaliation is all too often the response to prisoners taking on the legal battles for their rights. In most prisons the first step is filing a grievance and these grievances are often ignored. We have initiated a campaign to demand our grievances be addressed. And through this campaign we have seen some positive results in California's High Desert State Prison. We encourage California prisoners, and prisoners in other states, to request copies of the grievance petition and help spread this campaign. Retaliation is still a danger, but the more people who speak out the harder it will be to repress our voices. There are no easy ways out of this oppressive system.

chain
[Spanish]
expand

La escritura no-ficción = amenaza de seguridad

por un prisionero de Wisconsin noviembre 2011

El mes pasado, octubre, un hermano recibió un reporte de mala conducta escrito contra él por tener los Libros de Soledad Brother y From Niggas to God. La administración dió la razón que George Jackson fue conocido como un "Black Panther", como si eso fuera una razón válida para un reporte de mala conducta. Ellos dijeron que From Niggas to God estaba prohibido en la institución correccional de Green Bay. Yo pienso que es porque ellos no nos quieren que vayamos llamándonos a nosotros mismos "Niggas," actuando como niggas, a llamándonos hijos de Dios o actuando como tal. Ellos quieren que todavía seamos los niggas de ellos y más vale que no nos cojan tratando de educarnos o leyendo libros de sustancia. Pero sí podemos leer libros 'urbanos' y novelas que promocionan la muerte y la violencia entre nosotros mismos. Al hermano le dieron 210 días en el hoyo.

El 2 de noviembre 2010, la cama de mi camarada fue rebuscada por el puerco racista van Laden el cual confiscó varios libros, es decir, Soledad Brother, Noam Chomsky, Niami Akbar, el libro de lector de Cornell West y un par más. Ellos también confiscaron varias ediciones del periódico 4struggle porque mencionaban el partido Black Panther. Por varios días ellos no le dieron el reporte de conducta. Usualmente eso no se tarda más que dos días. El fue llamado para hablar con el puerco van Laden y van Laden le dijo que le vería en la corte, en realidad es una audiencia del reporte de conducta.

En el 11/8/2010 el recibió el reporte de conducta. Es una persecución de brujas. En lo cual el puerco van Laden dice que Soledad Brother menciona a los Black Panthers, y que el periódico de 4struggle menciona las 10 puntos de la plataforma de los Black Panthers, con frases como "Puños Cerrados" "Poder Para La Gente" "Rojo, Negro y Verde." Este puerco dijo que los libros eran materiales de la "Supremacía de Negros " yo todavía estoy tratando de entender que quiere decir la Supremacía de Negros". La palabra supremacía significa que grupo dice que es más superior al otro. Nada de lo que ellos confiscaron significa nada de eso porque si significara algo de eso el hubiera especificado tal y tal página de este libro dice que "Ellos son superiores y los blancos son inferiores." Pero no pueden porque nada de lo que confiscaron significa lo que él esta alegando. El clama ser un experto de amenazas de seguridad y dice en el reporte que los Black Panthers están en la lista como un grupo de amenaza de seguridad. Ahora cualquier material que la menciona que está restringida y cualquier persona que se encuentre con ese material esta en violación por tener ese material de escritura. Lo mismo que esclavitud.

Pero miren esto, el camarada tiene recibos de todos los libros que ellos dicen que son amenazas a la seguridad. Ellos los dejaron entrar y después dicen que uno no se puede tenerlos. Ellos tienen una lista de libros restringidos y ningunos de los libros confiscados están en esa lista. Ni Soledad Brother porque nada es su contenido es una amenaza a la seguridad. George no está promocionando nada de violencia ni supremacía negra. Como yo dije antes esto es un intento de los puercos para rompernos.

Los dos hermanos que mencioné están en el mismo dormitorio que yo, estamos en un ambiente social, sin pelear entre nosotros mismos, más enseñando a estos hermanos más jóvenes. Eso es la amenaza de seguridad para ellos. Ellos no quieren que aprendamos de nuestra historia y tener un sentido de nuestro mismo. Ellos quieren que seamos ignorantes y corriendo por aquí siendo unos "N"es buenos. El leer es restringido a menos que sea algo de ficción. El fue cargado con resistencia de grupo y petición y espera ir a su audiencia.

En 11/5/2010 fui llamado a el escritorio del comandante y me preguntó cómo otro prisionero tuvo mi libro porque ella dijo si no se lo di ella lo escribiera por robo. Yo le dije que el guardia regular Comandante Zellner que trabaja aquí dijo que él, el hermano, podía leer mi libro siempre y cuando que él se me devuelva el libro antes de la fin de la noche. Ella me dijo pues, te voy a escribir por una transferencia de propiedad inautorizada. Ella llamó a otro hermano a la mesa y le devolvió su libro sin darle una multa. El título de mi libro era Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party. Eso es porque ella me escribió y le devolvió al otro hermano su libro.

Yo recibí el reporte de conducta el 11/8/2010 y resistencia de grupo y petición estaba en mis cargos también. Este cargo es uno de los que ellos usan para poner a uno en el hoyo o también enviarnos a la súper-máxima de Wisconsin en Boscobel donde yo he estado por más de 4 años. El reporte dice que di mi libro a otro para leer lo cual es violación 9.3. transfiriendo propiedad inautorizada. Aun si el guardia te dio permiso sigue siendo una violación bajo sus semánticos de neolengua de 1984. También dice que los Black Panthers es un grupo "no sancionado", y el libro está confiscado. Pero trabajé en la biblioteca aquí anterior y vi este mismo libro en varias ocasiones. También vi a Soledad Brother y From Niggas to God.

El arreglo esta. Yo y el camarada todavía estamos esperando ir a nuestras audiencias. Hablamos con un camisa blanca y el director de seguridad de esta arreglo. Así ellos tienen sabiduría de esto y pueden ser incluidos en la demanda, porque nada de esto es una amenaza. ¡Yo tenía este libro por más de 6 años! Estamos tratando de desplegar la palabra de todo esto. Ellos tienen una lista de libros restringidos pero ningún de los libros que nos quitaron están en esa lista.

También yo escribí un libro del cambio y dejé a un joven hermano leerlo. Su cama fue rebuscada y otro puerco se lo llevo al sargento lo cual me llamó a su escritorio y me preguntó si ese era mi libro. Le dije que sí. Me hizo la pregunta ¿quién te dio permiso para escribir esto? Yo dije mi mente! ¿Qué quiere decir quién me dio permiso? Dijo que llamaba a la seguridad para ver si podría hacer esto. Pasó una hora más o menos y me llamó al escritorio y me devolvió el libro. La cosa es "¿Quién me dio permiso? Como si yo necesitara el permiso de alguien otro para escribir mis pensamientos Esta mismo puerco tiene un tatuaje de la bandera de confederación en su brazo izquierdo.

Diciéndonos que no podemos leer o ganar un sentido de nuestro mismo por aprender de nuestra historia o que necesitamos "su" permiso para escribir nuestros pensamientos es la misma como la esclavitud que sufrieron nuestros antepasados. Pero la mayoría no pueden verlo así. Sólo lo ven como estos puercos racistas tienen un trabajo. Esto no es un trabajo, esto es una forma de la opresión,. El capitalismo es opresión. Somos su modo de tener un trabajo por nuestra opresión. Trato de hacer que estos hermanos menores y mayores vean esto. La esclavitud era el capitalismo. La prisión es el capitalismo. Los blancos eran los que corrían los campamentos. Los blancos son los que corren la prisión, es lo mismo sino una nueva manera.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

Revolutionary Rising


I'm lock'n loaded, tried, tested;
now proven
revolution is now what,
has ensued.
In the vein of Marx, Lenin, and Mao passed:
first is where the heart is,
the proletariat class!
Try as you might, superior numbers manifest,
In league, with the correct political line.
followers we have. Guns too:
next is political power.
With a massive, intake
of breath;
know it's the bourgeoisie's final hour.
Capitalist pigs and imperialist scum,
wiping blood off our boots
as thoughts and feelings
have become numb.
If this is not coming through,
here it is spoken, loud and clear:
"This is a struggle and a fight!"
Either bourgeoisie or proletariat class.
Yours is our life.

chain
Go to Page [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] [72] [73] [74] [75] [76] [77] [78] [79] [80] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [88] [89] [90] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] [96] [97] [98] [99] [100] [101] [102] [103] [104] [105] [106] [107] [108] [109] [110] [111] [112] [113] [114] [115] [116] [117] [118] [119] [120] [121] [122] [123] [124] [125] [126] [127] [128] [129] [130] [131] [132] [133] [134] [135] [136] [137] [138] [139] [140] [141] [142] [143] [144] [145] [146] [147] [148] [149] [150] [151] [152] [153] [154] [155] [156] [157] [158] [159] [160] [161] [162] [163] [164] [165] [166] [167] [168] [169] [170] [171] [172] [173] [174] [175] [176] [177] [178] [179] [180] [181] [182] [183] [184] 185 [186] [187] [188] [189] [190] [191] [192] [193] [194] [195] [196] [197] [198] [199] [200] [201] [202] [203] [204] [205] [206] [207] [208] [209] [210] [211] [212] [213] [214] [215] [216] [217] [218] [219] [220] [221] [222] [223] [224] [225] [226] [227] [228] [229] [230] [231] [232] [233] [234] [235] [236] [237] [238] [239] [240] [241] [242] [243] [244] [245] [246] [247] [248] [249] [250] [251] [252] [253] [254] [255] [256] [257] [258] [259] [260] [261] [262] [263] [264] [265] [266]
Index of Articles