As of this writing I've been confined to a special management unit because, of all things, a drawing. The artwork however is not the problem, but what it supposedly represents. From a larger standpoint the censoring of such work is another form of passive cultural destruction. What they can't control they restrict. What they don't understand, they tend to fear. And of course the "they" I'm speaking of are those upholding Amerikan values of whitewashed virtues.
The drawing was one I chose to adopt because of its high symbolism and esoteric meanings. But because this symbol was first used by the Nation of Gods and Earths (Five Percenters), a branch of the Nation of Islam, which is deemed a "security threat group" within penal institutions in six states, I was also branded a threat. I have no affiliation with that organization or any gang. I don't adhere to the NOGE's or NOI's religious dogmas. I do however share in their militant outlook and agree, for better, with what they've done to reeducate Black youth to the realities of this system. Because of this they, and anyone even duplicating a representative symbol of such organizations, are deemed a threat.
I must assume the motivation behind the government labeling a peaceful, cultural religious organization as a gang can be found in a real warranted fear of this group's objectives. To name just a few: its obvious work in enlightening individuals about this police state, its very successful strategy in reducing the recidivism rate, and most importantly empowering youth to be leaders and conduits of true culture in their families and communities. These priorities, and numerous others, are something to fear, especially when privatized institutions can prospectively lose millions annually.
The programming of the masses through corporate-owned media propaganda has not been done haphazardly. Sensationalism, violence, stereotypes and desensitization through repetition of crime and cop shows has not only controlled opinion but has thoroughly turned people into mindless robots, keeping the rich in control, middle class happy and poor discontented but helpless. Any organization that exposes this government for what it is and directs its energies to providing and teaching what true responsibility is to a community, is one I'd gladly be a part of.
MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this prisoner that the criminal injustice system has a real reason to fear any organization that is educating people about the prison system, working to reduce recidivism, and organizing oppressed nations. These organizations threaten their use of the prison system as a tool of social control. And it is true that the media plays a major role in promoting imperialist policies to the Amerikan people. However, this is not the only reason the masses are passive. Amerikan citizens are acting in their economic self-interest when they play the role of happy robot and accept imperialist policies. See our article Amerikkkans: Oppressing for a Living in ULK 2.
Stand tall, revolution's what I scream Dreams shot down, Mr. Martin Luther King Now look at what I bring to this Houston scene See I'm the one who's trying' to turn the blueprint green And that white mask red, I'm twice past dead So I don't give a fuck what "the white man" says I'm a G, so I know why the criminals need to put a bullet in these new age General Lees Because the only way they listen's if we enter a plea We work hard for the money, a minimal fee Mama girl has to work on a minimum wage her little kids haven't even ate dinner in days Just peanut butter & jelly, Skittles & Lays How you expect for us to grow in such a pitiful place? Our streets are planted with crackheads families who lack beds Drugs & guns leaving Hispanics & Blacks dead Shit, with that said... What's a brother to do? Tryin' to make it on his own with a mother of two Mr. Officer we don't want no trouble with you We're just trying' to do, what we gotta do, to survive
Give us rest, give us time To sort out why our country doesn't realize Torture laws and racism exist And there's more to life than Those Seinfield reruns you missed As long as you have a Mazda Miata With a full tank and a pack of smokes You couldn't care less about 500,000 dead Iraqi children Less names to intrude on your child's Santa Claus naughty or nice list!?! folks? A dead man hangs from an air vent As a bunch of cowards laugh at him But this man's dying breath Pleaded for me to seek justice for him And the justice will multiply a thousand fold Because my strength is endless I've chosen to pick up a revolutionary cause And the world's vendettas Against my supposed country I'll carry the progressive red flag And your overweight greedy amerikkkans Will finally understand the meaning of sad It's a true emotion that bubbles from within Totally opposite than your sugar come down And more human than your bullshit "sin" Ring around the rosey and pop goes the weasel Is that spittle on your lip Mr Vegetate? Dialectics is jet fuel to your racist diesel Give us rest, give us time To sort out this mess we've made of our lives Give us a chance to pay for our crimes You have our bodies, some of our minds What more do you want? More pain and some fines! Take his rigid body and cut it down Call him worthless, call him clown I called him friend, his mother's son Look at his face, look what you've done
Take you away from family so you can't provide support Convict you in the newspaper, call you a demon in court Fictitious jurors, bribed witnesses, withheld exculpatory evidence Break your family's heart and spirit with a ridiculous sentence Break your bank with attorney fees, fines and court cost Spin you around in circles to keep you lost Ship you to Timbuktu knowing it's a forever ire Threaten your father and mother away from your side Tamper with your mail refuse your visit Intend to destroy my family, what else is it Listen to your phone, charge an excessive rate Make you wait years for an appeal date During that while they harass wife and child Crush their hope with a one line denial Supreme court your last chance to file
Lawyer continually asking for more money I keep paying because of the game he playing Just a little more you'll be free for sure
Now he doesn't answer any of my phone calls Supreme Court denied read the writing on the walls Around and around in another circle wife so frustrated her skin turn purple Can't expect her to wait 180 years for her man Would you? Welcome to the Federal Family Destruction Plan!
The Death of the Federal Family Destruction Plan
To break free we developed our own plan After a long fought battle victory close at hand dissected the situation found the root problem Acquired knowledge so we know how to solve them
We understand how to defeat the prison machine It's addicted to the green just like a dope fiend We about to bring this scheme to a halt You can't control the businesses we've bought
Everyday we find a way, family must correspond You tried all you could, can't break our bond You've abused, tortured, tried to take our breath We comprehend exposure scares you to death
We've come together to sound the alarm No longer prey, our work, our benefit, our farm You've laughed, played us like fools, loved our misery You not laughing now, intelligent tools has shown us victory
No more humiliation, slavery nor desolation Closing the door on your new wave plantation We educating and employing our people Teaching our kids to advance beyond being equal
Control your own situation, through education The way we make sure we reach our destination Took back our resources, now we own the land Seven steps to death for the Federal Family Destruction Plan!
Do you realize, it is not wise, your actions are absurd! You know from history, there is no mystery, haven't you heard! It's been tried again and again, successful it has never been, you want to change reality! Only an idiot would believe it, your report concludes the opposite, but it's your story!
To follow a flawed plan, of a foolish man, is no less idiotic! Federal SMU, they don't have a clue, their leader must be psychotic! Contractors keep on bribing, congress keeps on buying, greed takes over the atrocity! Employees union denying, administration outright lying, sacrifice integrity for the money!
International courts condemn the practice, you must be actors, lied to congress to get your wish! You claim it's beneficial, in actuality it's detrimental, how do you explain this! Community communication, through human isolation, the theory is ridiculous! Add antagonization, mental manipulation, makes the hypothesis preposterous! where'd you get that data, like indicting a potato, the truth you will always withhold! It's a program, run for the sons of sam, one of the biggest bullshits ever told!
Your stated objective, must be defective, the strategy is really old! Institutionalization, of the entire nation, seems to be your goal! A laboratory experiment, who gives a shit, about some federal convicts! Just some lab rats, Stanford's second act, use them for your benefits!
So what if they go crazy, ignorant and lazy, signed the consent to make it authorized! The ones who try to get wise, hasten their demise, to keep the others terrified! Keep it on the low, nobody needs to know, the true nature of your enterprise! When you get exposed, the doors will be closed, now it's you being ostracized!
What you don't understand is any flawed plan, that tortures your fellow man, must come to an end! Just as before, those that work the store, shall face the forgiver of sin via pistol or pen! Don't see the danger, that's the avenging angel, you must have made a mistake! Thought he was nice, better think twice, your soul he comes to take!
Now that he is here, no need to shed a tear, your path is set in stone! No you can not hide, before the foolish man by your side, now he has left you alone! But you knew all along, that it was wrong, yes you assisted in the deed! I too cry, because now you lie, soulless, heartless, fertilizer for planted seed!
by a North Carolina prisoner October 2010 permalink
NAS told us "ghetto prisoners rise" and Bob Marley asked "How long shall they kill our prophets?" It's been going on for years, yet we have failed to grasp on to a sincere movement with righteous motives. When the Europeans landed here they drove off the inhabitants or enslaved them. Sounds familiar to the immigration issues of today. Then they enslaved over 10 million native Africans throughout the "new world." Sounds like the incarceration and slave laboring of the Black and Latino youth of today through prison industries.
Now they don't have to kill our prophets like Martin, Malcolm, and Hampton. They just imprison them on anything they can to stop a movement. Education is the key to unlock the doors that block us and communication is the keyring that holds it together. Ghetto prisoners rise, rise, rise, united we stand and divided we fall. When the CIA killed Ernesto "Che" Guevera, he exclaimed "go ahead, what are you waiting for, you will only kill a man." Meaning his purpose, and meaning for which he fights will still live on. If we stand idle we are with the oppressor. Nelson Mandela said "If you fail to help the oppressed you become the oppressor." Don't be my oppressor. Revolution starts with the mistreatment of people, not a revolutionary.
Their objective is to keep you deaf, dumb and blind. Ignorance is suicide, they run their agenda through propaganda, spreading rumors and lies through their media. Zach de la Rocha said "fear is your only god" but don't let fear put you in check. The time to act is now, unite. "Penitentiaries is packed with promise makers, never realize the precious time these bitch niggas is wasting." - 2Pac
[This is a belated resolution from the MIM(Prisons) 2010 Congress.]
Overall, MIM(Prisons) stands by the Resolutions on Cell Structure passed at the last MIM congress in 2005. After 5 years of putting that resolution into practice there is experience to sum up and questions that still need to be answered.
The theoretical basis for the cell structure is that the strength of a centralized party comes into play when vying for state power, whether by elections or otherwise. That is not in the cards for Maoists in the imperialist countries at this time. Maoism is a minority movement in the First World and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. This makes it even more important that we utilize our strengths and shore up our weaknesses.
One of the main lessons to take from the cell structure resolutions is that "[w]e oppose having geographic cells come into contact with each other face-to-face. Infiltration and spying are rampant when it comes to MIM. The whole strength of having a locality-based cell is that it is possible to do all the things traditional to a movement. The security advantages of culling people we know into a cell are lost the moment we slack off on security and start accepting strangers or meeting with strangers face-to-face." We find it frustrating that critics of what happened at etext.org as MIM faced repression are willing to ignore the lessons of those setbacks.
At the last MIM congress in 2005, they spoke of a "MIM Center" that put out the newspaper, among other tasks. Soon after, there was no MIM Notes newspaper, followed by the degeneration of the original MC cell and finally the shutting down of their last institution, the website at etext.org.
One of the challenges of small cells is developing and maintaining line. Much work has been done, and if every new group or every revolutionary had to start from scratch, we would never advance. That is why when etext.org was repressed, MIM(Prisons) posted an archive of the MIM site on our website. While we still do not have a regular newspaper for the movement as a whole, the website is a crucial reference for us all.
Fraternal organizations do not agree on everything; they agree on cardinal principles that are determined by the conditions of the time. The etext.org site is not something Maoists must agree with 100%, but there is no doubt that it is still the most comprehensive starting point for any Maoist organization in the First World.
Democratic centralism is important for security and for political line development. Yet until we are organizing on a countrywide basis, there is no need for democratic centralism at that level, not to mention internationally.
In guerilla warfare, the cell structure has been applied in a way that was hierarchical so that action cells were separate from each other, but each cell could be traced to the top of the organization. This relies on a centralized organization or center. While MIM mentions such a center being based around MIM Notes and etext.org in their 2005 resolutions, we do not see the need for this center given the current circumstances. As we have recognized before, certain ideological centers are bound to exist based on the law of uneven development. Yet such centers are not structural, but fluid, based on the type and amount of work done.
All that said, there is an inherent contradiction in the cell strategy. Since organizing strategy and security tactics are not dividing line questions, once the cell strategy is adopted and full decentralization has occurred, it is possible for cells to change their line on this question. Even the majority could do so and a new centralized party could push remaining cells to the periphery. Since we work to build a movement and not our individual organizations, and our work is already on the periphery, we should not be concerned about the impacts of such a move on our organization. It is, however, worrisome to the extent that we see our comrades opened up to attacks through faulty security.
Part of accepting cell strategy is distinguishing between cadre work and mass work. The self-described anarchist movement is able to mobilize large numbers in mass work while abhorring centralized organization. We should learn from their example, while not succumbing to liberalism in our security practices or abandoning scientific leadership.
Getting the correct balance of cadre work and mass work will be more challenging with a cell structure. There is no way to impose a balance on the movement as a whole without a center, but we can pay attention to what is going on around us and get in where we fit in. Leading cells should not be shy to point out where the movement needs more investment of resources.
One amendment we would make to the "Resolutions on Cell Structure" is to cut the suggestion that a one-persyn cell "in many ways... has the least worries security-wise!" Certainly, one-persyn cells should maintain high standards for admitting others. However, the value of criticism/self-criticism on the level of day-to-day work is something that is stressed within Maoism, and we've benefited from in our own practice in MIM(Prisons). We still need democratic centralism with the cell structure to provide crucial discipline and accountability. The criticisms we can give and get from other cells will be limited in nature if our security is correct. And we have seen how one-persyn cells can degrade or disappear quickly.
The November 2 elections promise some shuffling of the imperialist representatives in government, but as usual with elections where the choices are limited to different flavors of imperialist leaders, there will be no real change. One ballot initiative that did catch our attention is Proposition 19 in California which would legalize and regulate marijuana.
In an attempt to reduce support for Prop 19, on 30 September 2010 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law that changes the punishment for possession of less than an ounce of pot to just a fine. This reduces the potential impact of Prop 19 and should cut down on the number of people in prison for marijuana possession. But even arrests and convictions without a prison sentence have negative repercussions, so Prop 19 goes farther in limiting the reach of the state in terms of possession laws.
MIM(Prisons) supports any laws that will cut back on the number of people locked up in prison or otherwise controlled by the imperialist state. We know that drug laws (like other laws) are disproportionately prosecuted against oppressed nations within U.$. borders, resulting in huge numbers of Blacks and Latinos behind bars. For this reason we would support legalizing all drugs to take power away from the imperialist government and its criminal injustice system.
In 2009, just over half of the drug arrests were for marijuana (848,408 out of 1,663,583).(1) Marijuana arrests are growing as a proportion of total drug arrests in the U.$., up to 52.6% in 2009 from 39.9% in 1995. This is driven by arrests for simple possession, the percentage of arrests for marijuana trafficking has not changed much over time.(2)
Adding to these statistics on marijuana arrests is compelling information on the disproportionate use of marijuana laws against Black men in California. The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice reports:
"African Americans, just 6% of the state's population...comprise a staggering 45% of the 1,600 Californians imprisoned for marijuana, including more than half of those locked up for marijuana felonies. Blacks are nearly 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than other races, a racial gap only slightly wider than for other crimes. But after African Americans enter California's 'Black marijuana system,' disparities multiply more than for any other offense. Seven in 10 Black marijuana arrestees are charged with felonies, compared to one-fifth for other races. Blacks convicted of marijuana felonies are 3 times more likely to be sent to prison than Nonblack marijuana felons. The upshot of these accumulating discriminations is that Blacks wind up being imprisoned for marijuana at 8 times the rate of Hispanics and 18 times the rate of Whites. At older ages, the Black-Nonblack marijuana imprisonment gap soars to nearly 4,000%... No other offense (including violent, property, and other crimes) and no other drug (including heroin, methamphetamine, and crack) even remotely displays the huge racial discrepancies in imprisonment for marijuana."(3)
The new law would not completely eliminate marijuana arrests and prosecutions, primarily because it restricts the legal age to 21 and only allows possession of small quantities, but they would be greatly reduced. In addition, the federal government has promised to challenge the constitutionality of Prop 19 if it passes, and to enforce the federal laws in California regardless. Of course we can't look at these laws in a vacuum, the criminal injustice system will not cut back on the police force or shrink the prisons simply because one law changes. Cops will just find other reasons to arrest people, and those people will continue to be disproportionately Black and Latino.
Even worse, cities like Oakland will likely be using the new tax revenues to restore its recently cut back police force. The city stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries if the law passes, as it is home to Oaksterdam University, which will be licensing large growing and distribution centers under the new law. The financial interests behind Oaksterdam University bankrolled the introduction of Prop 19 to the November ballot. Los Angeles campus chancellor Jeff Jones pointed out that support has come primarily from the jobs and tax revenue angle. He says that focusing on imprisonment rates gets little support from Californians.
While the imperialists run the global drug trade, here the state is partnering with corporate interests to take over the local industry, which has been the domain of the lumpen class. Following the national liberation movements of the sixties many in the ghetto who didn't see the Amerikan dream through integration were able to find an income through the drug economy. By the 1970s, Italians, Jews and others who dominated black markets, in particular drugs, had long been integrated into white Amerika. Whites left the inner cities for the suburbs where they could become richer more easily by joining a growing financial sector, allowing for Black and Latino gangs to take over profitable street crime in their own areas. Organized crime, led by the CIA, backed the most individualistic and destructive emerging groups, while repressing Black and Brown power movements and flooding these neighborhoods with cocaine.(4)
Faced with economic crisis today, white Amerika wants these jobs back. And the state is leading the charge, hoping to reach a new tax source to close huge shortfalls in paying their bureaucrat employees - especially their pigs, who account for 85% of city spending in Oakland (police & fire combined).(5) But whites aren't forming a new mafia (at least not exactly). Instead they formed a new university to train and certify workers in the industry and they have joined labor unions to ensure wages of $25.75 an hour with pensions, paid vacations and health insurance.(6) In contrast, reports from the 1990s showed that most in the drug game in the inner cities made around minimum wage and worked long hours (needless to say with no benefits).(7) So the state hopes to shrink the workforce in drug sales and production, pay a few trained workers a nice sum, and increase their share of profits from the sale of marijuana to pay cops and other state employees. In the process, the economic crisis will be passed along to the lumpen who will become ever more desperate to make ends meet. This will lead to more violence and problems, and make the need for self-determination more dire in oppressed nation communities that lack legal job markets.
While MIM(Prisons) supports the passage of laws that result in fewer people in prison, we are under no illusions that even full legalization of drugs in Amerika will solve the drug problems here. As we have seen with alcohol, legalization of a drug does not make for safe use. Amerikan culture is alienating and leads to rampant legal and illegal drug abuse. According to a World Health Organization survey of 17 countries across the globe, the U.$ leads the world in users of both legal and illegal drugs. Drug use is correlated with wealth of a country with the richer countries having a higher percentage of drug users.(8)
It will take a revolution to create a culture that allows people to feel valuable, safe and empowered and not in need of the easy escape that can be found in drugs. After the revolution in China, the Maoist-led country basically eliminated drug addiction through community-based campaigns. Drug addiction, particularly to opium, was a widespread problem imported by the British. But after the revolution there was a strong focus on helping drug addicts get clean, and on giving everyone useful work and education as well as health care. This campaign, combined with a strategy of wiping out opium growing and distribution in favor of much needed food crops, virtually eliminated the drug problems in China by the early 1950s. Only with a government that serves the people rather than working to enrich its imperialist masters will we be able to eliminate drug abuse and the criminal injustice system. As we work towards such a system we will support laws that result in fewer people in prison, but we know the impact of these laws will be minimal at best.
I'm writing in response to the article "Gulf Oil Spill: It's Capitalism, Stupid!", and wanted to address one issue within the article. In this prisoner's article, he states that "this type of disaster would have had a very small to nil chance of happening in the former Soviet Union (1917-1953) [The Lenin and Stalin era] or the socialist People's Republic of China (1949-1976), because those communist countries wouldn't have had to do the extensive drilling that the First World seems so caught up with. Why? It is exactly because the communist countries implement something called 'planned economics,' to meet human needs."
We must be careful what we teach in regard to a better government when using the Stalinist era. This individual's comment regarding "planned economics" is wrong, it was not implemented peacefully but through violence. He should read about Stalin's seven year plan and the collectivization of property and farms. History reflects that Stalin killed over 20 million of his own country men, so using him or that era as an example is misguided. Stalin was a tyrant, a pathological killer. I would not name his era as one of humanity's finer points, nor look up to his "planned economics" which cost so many of his countrymen's lives.
Additionally, the Soviet Union's record regarding ecological and environmental disasters is one of complete failure and surpasses the United States record on a grand scale, both under the Stalinist era and even today.
It is ok to believe in one form of government or a goal of government, but let's not distort the past to build a better future as this is nothing more than an illusion in which we all already live under in America.
MIM(Prisons) responds: The original author was correct to uphold the Soviet Union and China as examples of environmentalism. In 1942, under Stalin's leadership, the city of Moscow composted all of the waste of its 4,000,000 inhabitants. The biothermal process heated large "greenhouse farms" in the city, while the resulting compost was used as fertilizer.(1) With all the talk of "green cities" in the United $tates, there are no projects that rival what the Soviets were doing 70 years ago. Similarly, China and the Soviet Union had massive recycling programs for metal decades before such things became fashionable in the imperialist countries. Also note, that if one were to do a quantitative comparison of socialist vs. capitalist environmentalism, one must compare countries of the same time period, reflecting similar ecological knowledge.
This letter gives us a chance to debunk some myths about the Stalin era in the Soviet Union in general. First, we want to be clear that state capitalism, which was put into place in the Soviet Union after Stalin's death, does not reflect Stalinism or any form of socialism. Therefore this author is just confusing the issue by complaining about environmental disasters there today. Second, we must point out that the article in question never claims that planned economics was an entirely peaceful process. However, we must be very clear that it was Stalin's policies and practices that enabled the Soviet Union to industrialize the Soviet Union, defeat Hitler and put an end to fascism, in spite of the purposeful non-interference policy of countries like the U.$. who hoped to stand aside and let fascism wipe out communism.
This letter reflects the typical anti-Stalinist propaganda of the imperialist countries who like to claim that Stalin himself killed over 20 million people, as if one man could possibly be so powerful. The reality is that many people died during the fight against fascism, and in fact Stalin himself did order or oversee many deaths of spies and those suspected of being infiltrators for the fascists. In this way Stalin ensured that the Soviet Union was the only country free of a Fifth Column of fascist spies and infiltrators. This made it possible for him to do what no other country could even come close to accomplishing, in spite of the lack of development and widespread poverty in the Soviet Union, and defeat Hitler. The aggressive industrialization and collectivization reflected the needs of the Soviet Union at the time those policies were implemented.
This letter includes the usual imperialist propaganda of labeling Stalin a pathological tyrant rather than looking at his actions and evaluating them scientifically. It's easy to sling around names masquerading as political criticisms. But when we look closely at Stalin's record and his policies we can see a history of carefully evaluating the difficult conditions of the time and making decisions about what to do based on the reality of those conditions. When you have the fascists amassing on your borders, planning invade and massacre your population to put in place a system of tyranny and oppression, sometimes the best options to fight those fascists don't involve picking flowers and singing happy songs. Without industrialization the Soviet Union could not have defeated Hitler (even Hitler saw this) and with an active Fifth Column of spies the fascists would have had the inside track on Soviet activities. In wartime difficult decisions must be made, and the world is lucky that Stalin was a man able to make these decisions scientifically, without sentiment, or we could be living under global fascist rule today. As it was the Soviet Union lost more than 20 million people to the war against the fascists. The number of lives saved by his victory in the war is never something he gets credit for, but even deaths from starvation due to the conditions of war are something his critics like to count as if Stalin had personally executed every single person who died during his leadership.
For more on Stalin we recommend MIM Theory 6, The Stalin Issue.
These are chains of another kind I see locked on a souljah's mind Got em killing for no purpose So he feeling that life's worthless. Raised in another struggle Pray for better days but still trouble I wonder will he break free from tha enemy N see that a king is what he can be We all victims of this white man's oppression locked in by his trick words n hard lessons I see kids grown up with no dads n moms and in other countries they getting killed by bombs. Drugs got tha hood on lock, how can we change Mothers giving birth to babies with dead brains Fathers living life in these pins N this is all cuz tha color of our skin. Browns, Blacks, Yellows, N Reds No matter what, if ya ain't white, they wanna see ya dead Open up ya eyes so you can see tha truth and never stop trying ta turn seeds to fruit I shed tears more than what you would think but I shed em on tha paper with ink I hope you listen, cuz even thou there's diamonds that glisten we still got pictures of kids missin Now give thought, right now as we speak there's a kid in this world who got nothing to eat People spending mills on cars n claim to be stars when others dying everyday from tha fact that they starved This is chains of another kind