On 9 September 2012 at Everglades Correctional Institution, FLDOC, individual members of The Blood Nation honored the soldiers of Attica by doing one or more of the following: fasting, boycotting the canteen/commissary, accepting chow hall trays and dumping them, and explaining why. Also participating individually were one or more members of the following (in alphabetical order): Black Gangsta Disciples; Crip Nation; Insane Gangsta Disciples; Almighty Latin King Queen Nation; Nation of Islam; Spanish Cobras; Shi'a Muslim Community; Sufi Community. My apologies to anyone I missed. It was a small step at a spot with no history of unity, but even a single drop of water in a dry glass makes it wet. Respect to those who made the sacrifice, those who joined us midday, those who expressed interest the day after. I'm as human as anyone, but let's TRY to remember who the enemy is!
I've decided to place my pen to paper and let you know about some reprehensible bullshit the imperial pigs who run this whole prison complex racket are up to and are hoodwinking the public about.
I was reading the June 2012 issue of Prison Legal News, Vol 23, No 6 and I was utterly floored when I read the cover article titled "God's Own Warden." [This article was reprinted from Mother Jones magazine.(1)]
There is a Warden of Angola prison in Louisiana by the name of Burl Cain. This man has a full blown racket going on down there, where he not only exploits inmates with blatant slave labor, but then hides it behind religion, and openly broadcasts his money making exploits.
This imperial pig "pays" inmates 2-20 cents to move the wheels of his little prison industry down there. He's got a "museum," farming fields, a gift shop, and a rodeo arena which seats 10,000 people and draws 70,000 people each spring and fall for "prison rodeos."
At these "rodeos" they have "convict poker," where they put 4 prisoners around a table and tell them to remain seated while a 2000 pound pissed off bull charges at them. In another event they call "guts and glory," they tie a poker chip to the horn of an angry bull. While it hangs from the horn "inmates vie to snatch the poker chip off the horn" while the prisoners run after and are chased by said enraged animal. These events are done for the laughs of the people who've bought themselves tickets to this idiocy.
In 1998 Daniel Bergner wrote a book titled "God of the Rodeo" where he himself researched this rodeo and wrote a book about it, saying that he "observed the reaction of the crowd which was electrified, exhilarated, by the thrill of watching men in terror, all made forgivable because the men were murderers." He then goes on to say "I'm sure some of it was racist (see that nigger move) and some disappointed (that there was no goring) and some uneasy (with that very disappointment)." Then he goes on to say "many people were not laughing, were too bewildered or stunned by what they'd just seen."
And of course this industrial pig has prisoners outside the arena selling arts and crafts, crawfish étouffée and Frito pies. In his "gift shop," he sells miniature handcuffs, prisoner-made jelly, and mugs that read "Angola: a gated community." Then people move on to a display of "Gruesome Gertie" which is dubbed as "the only electric chair in which a prisoner was executed twice." (The first time didn't take because the executioners were "visibly drunk.")(2)
So not only does this imperial pig make money off live inmates, he cashed in on their cruel and unusual deaths as well. But that's still not enough for the deep pockets of this racketeering Warden. He contracts his prison out to Hollywood and "allows" prisoners to be extras, all for a nice fee of course!
Cain gets away with it because he hides it all behind religion and converting prisoners to Christianity. So with his money he tosses up a few plywood walls and roof, calls it a church, and says he's "saving souls."
This is the prison where a trio of prisoners had been locked down in solitary confinement longer than anyone in U.S. history, because they were Black Panther Party members (Albert Woodfox, Herman Wallace and the now released Robert King). They were put in solitary confinement, and have spent nearly 4 decades there, simply for their political beliefs.
In 2008 Warden Cain had a disposition taken in which Cain says of Woodfox, "He wants to demonstrate. He wants to organize. He wants to be defiant... He is still trying to practice Black Pantherism, and I still would not want him walking around my prison because he would organize young prisoners, I would have me all kinds of problems, more than I could stand, and I would have the blacks chasing after them."(3)
Never mind the fact that these two heroic comrades are in their 60s and have a near perfect record for more than 20 years. Warden Cain says "it's not a matter of write-ups. It's a matter of attitude and what ya are... Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace is [sic] locked in time with that Black Panther revolutionary actions they were doing way back when... and from that there's been no rehabilitation."(3) Warden Cain then "suggested that Wallace and Woodfox could be released into general population if they renounced their political beliefs/views and embraced Jesus."(3)
Cain's policy is if inmates don't attend church services they don't get the good jobs (that pay 2-20 cents), or other goodies, such as a day or two off from plowing and farming his fields, a good meal, special banquets, ice cream, etc.
There should be a public outcry of complete outrage over this shit. This is the very sickening degeneracy which we as communists strive to stomp out. These atrocities going on down in Angola under the skirts of religion piss me off, and only strengthen my resolve to standup and fight these imperial piggies every step of the way. With every breath I take it fills my eyes with only the color of red. In solidarity we stand.
MIM(Prisons) adds: As we've explained in articles on the U.S. prison economy, the exploitation of prison labor by private entities is very limited in scope, with most prison labor contributing to prison maintenance and expenses. In the case of Angola, the farm laborers, making a maximum wage of 20 cents per hour, are actually engaged in productive labor and are likely providing a net surplus value to the prison after factoring in the room and board they are provided. But even in this large, well-organized operation, the income is only an offset to the total costs of keeping these men imprisoned, in particular paying the salaries of guards and administrators.
Those prisoners making jam, and other trinkets for sale outside the rodeo are raising money for Christian organizations.(1) In this case private interests are benefitting financially from coerced labor, but even then there are no capitalist profit interests behind these projects as implied by the myth of the "prison industrial complex." Petty economic interests aside, the bigger story here is the national oppression faced by the 75% Black prisoner population at Angola coerced into supporting Christian organizations and pushed into the rodeo. This is a reprehensible example of treating men like animals and turning social control into a sport for the entertainment of reactionary spectators.
On 31 July 2012, there was a small scale race riot on the Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas. One person was killed as a result of the prisoner-on-prisoner violence. We were placed on lockdown for 10 days and were fed the most anorexic brown bag meals I have ever seen. The meals were pathetic and it became clear the administration was implementing a draconian behavior modification tactic on the lumpen underclass who are housed in this slave pen of oppression.
Today, 31 August 2012, I was informed that prison officials have initiated a new regulation having to do with day room time for General Population minimum custody offenders on Estelle Unit. From now on, the day room will be closed from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.! Prisoners who are not working will be "racked up" in their cells during these times. I cannot even begin to describe how oppressive, degrading, and inhumane this new control tactic is.
These prisoncrats in Texas force the prisoners to work for free 8-12 hours a day with no pay or benefits. There is no air conditioning in these small cells in population (my cell in super-seg is quite large though in comparison). Furthermore, anyone who has done time knows one of the keys to getting along with your cellmate is to "miss him" as much as possible. However, this concept is lost on the prisoncrat whose only purpose seems to be to oppress and antagonize the prisoners until they are broken or explode in frustration and anger on each other.
It is my strong belief the lumpen must grieve this policy of oppression and subjugation. Moreover, it is time for some revolutionary activism! No day room = no work. Solidarity amongst the lumpen underclass is a must. Conditions will only improve in Texas when the lumpen see clearly that the "real" enemy wears civilian clothes and confederate army gray uniforms!
MIM(Prisons) adds: This is a follow up to the events reported in Texas Guards Encourage Oppressed Nation Fights, where a comrade explains the role of the pigs in promoting fighting between oppressed nations in prison in incidents like this one. That article also discussed the quick response to the food grievances once prisoners came together with one voice. This restriction on day room access seems to be in response to this activism.
We have since received a correction to that previous article: the prisoner killed was Mexican and not New Afrikan as we reported in Under Lock & Key 28.
On August 20, 2012 an article was released alleging that Richard Aoki, a Japanese national and early Black Panther Party (BPP) member, was an FBI informant. This claim was made by journalist and author Seth Rosenfeld, whose book Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power was conveniently released on August 21. On September 7, 2012 Rosenfeld published a follow-up article, with 221 pages of "newly released" FBI documents which he believes further implicate Aoki as an FBI informant.(1)
Let's start with Rosenfeld's political worldview, because we know no journalist is truly unbiased. Rosenfeld's opinion on liberation struggles is revealed in his characterization of the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), that Aoki organized in, as a violent student movement.(2) He blames the violence of the 1968-69 strikes of the TWLF on Bay Area college campuses on the strikers themselves, not the pigs. Yet the students did not initiate violence, and in fact were sprayed with so much teargas by the pigs that the trees in Sproul Plaza on the University of California at Berkeley campus were still irritating students' eyes even into the following school year. Coming from this perspective we must question Rosenfeld's assessment of the FBI right off the bat.
Influencing the Party greatly from its beginning, Richard Aoki is most famous for supplying the BPP with their first guns. According to his biography, Aoki helped shape the early ideology of the Panthers through his relationship with Bobby Seale and Huey Newton at Merritt College by suggesting reading material and engaging with them in political debate.(3) Besides his work with the BPP, Richard Aoki also did much organizing and protest work with the Third World Liberation Front via the Asian American Political Alliance. Aoki remained politically active and revolutionary-minded even until his death in 2009. Surprisingly, Rosenfeld is from San Francisco and has been doing research for this book since 1982, yet it wasn't until 2002 or 2003 that he learned of Richard Aoki.
Understandably, Rosenfeld's claim has sparked a lot of debate on the internet and radio as to whether it is true or not. While we are open to the possibility of nearly anyone being an agent of the state, MIM(Prisons) agrees with those who have held out for clear proof before we will consider denouncing Aoki's legacy of the state. Objectively, the current evidence supporting this claim is inconclusive at best. The original article was highly sensational, focusing on vague, chopped up, and misquoted sound-bites of a 2007 interview with Aoki that the author interprets as admissions of guilt. Besides these sound-bites, the only other evidence offered are ambiguous FBI documents, citing Aoki as providing "unique" information not available from any other source, and the testimony of former FBI agents, of whom the only one that supposedly knew Aoki is also dead.(4) Yet none of the documents say what information Aoki supposedly gave the FBI; it has all been redacted.
On the radio program APEX Express, Harvey Dong, a close friend of Richard Aoki, offered the listener a thorough reading of the relevant parts of the FBI documents cited by Rosenfeld (as well as excerpts from Aoki's college term papers).(2) The only information which allegedly came from Aoki in the first set of FBI documents is about Aoki himself and could have been obtained using a wiretap (or informant) on Aoki. Assuming the released FBI documents are real, the set released on September 7 does establish that Aoki was giving information to the FBI from 1961 to 1977, but very little about that relationship is revealed.
The fact that the FBI redacts all names of individuals and organizations that Aoki allegedly provided information on makes it impossible to speculate on the nature of his interactions with the Bureau. Rosenfeld's follow-up article pulls many quotes from the 221 pages of documents indicating that Aoki provided valuable information, but any details that might substantiate these statements are redacted or absent. Despite this release of new documents, there is still no information on what intelligence he allegedly gave to the FBI on the BPP or other groups. While we should always be prepared for the possibility that a trusted comrade is an agent, we need to see evidence of harm done to the movement to condemn someone who did so much to advance the cause.
It is very conceivable that the FBI is snitch-jacketing Aoki to discredit his work as a Third Worldist revolutionary activist, discredit the Panthers as pawns of the FBI, and more simply to sell copies of Rosenthal's new book. One of the lessons we learned from the Panthers, and other political movements of the 1960s, is the importance of security. The COINTELPRO attacks on the Panthers led MIM to develop as a semi-underground organization that keeps comrades at arm's length, centering around political, rather than persynal, relationships.
Interestingly, on 20 August the FBI had yet to release about 4,000 pages of documents on Richard Aoki, and was claiming to have no main file on Aoki himself. This cannot be true considering how politically active and outspoken he was. Rosenfeld and others saw the FBI withholding these documents as indicative of Aoki's status as an informant, assuming these were reports given by Aoki.(4) Then supposedly some time between 20 August and 7 September, the FBI released at least 221 pages of documentation just on Richard Aoki. With all the heated debate, we note that the FBI chose a very opportunistic time to release these documents, which causes us to further question their legitimacy. Why would the FBI release documentation that says Aoki didn't provide valuable information? This controversy is feeding right into their agenda to undermine revolutionary activists and movements.
The distrust that has evolved surrounding this claim is classic, and a perfect example of why the BPP often quoted Mao by saying, "No investigation, no right to speak." This Aoki "scandal" should be a reminder of how snitch-jacketing can impact our anti-imperialist movement, and our prison organizing especially. One of the principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons is 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."(5)
This is a lesson we've unfortunately had to learn time and time again. A claim that everyone on SNY or Protective Custody is a snitch, or a rumor on the yard, is not sufficient evidence to call someone out as an agent of the state. Sometimes comrades suggest that we require USW members to submit their files from the Department of Corrections to determine whether they are compromised in any way based on charges, and where they've been housed in the past. They tell us we should ask the state who we should let into USW. Not only is this ridiculous in theory, but we know of at least one case where an informant was given doctored files and released back onto general population to be a Lieutenant in a prominent LO in California. A piece of paper from a government agency should only be considered as one piece of evidence, not the sacrosanct truth.
The state is already putting a lot of energy into making us suspicious of our fellow revolutionaries; we should not make their job any easier. Instead we should be communicating with each other directly if we suspect unprincipled divisions are being fomented. Our struggle is too important to get caught up in rumor mongering and sectarianism.
Even if evidence does eventually come out which proves Aoki was providing the FBI with information that actually helped them attack the liberation struggle, we will still not be devastated. While we don't agree with Fred Ho's subjectivist methodology of defending Aoki overall, we do have unity with his perspective on the consequence of truth in the allegation. "If Aoki was an agent, so what? He surely was a piss-poor one because what he contributed to the movement is enormously greater than anything he could have detracted or derailed."(6) This view is right in line with our view on how to maintain security within the anti-imperialist prison movement; don't give a pig the opportunity to do more damage than good. Distributing information on a need-to-know basis and applying high standards to different levels of membership will help ensure people contribute more to the cause than to the enemy.
On 3 October 2011 I was notified by prison authorities that I had received the September/October 2011 No. 22 issue of Under Lock & Key (ULK) in the mail. I was further notified that I could not have ULK because it is banned throughout the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). I grieved this unconstitutional banning of ULK since IDOC cannot validate its claim that ULK is a threat to security. On 27 July 2012 I filed a Section 1983 Civil Suit against the director of IDOC, S.A. Godinez.
This lawsuit is based on the grounds that IDOC cannot substantiate the banning of ULK and that the banning of ULK violates my Constitutional Rights to: 1) Receive and own reading material; 2) Have freedom of speech; and 3) Have freedom of political expression.
In my Statement of Claim I gave a brief definition of what MIM(Prisons) and ULK are. However, I was wondering if you would like to prepare a statement about what exactly MIM(Prisons) and ULK are and the purpose of their existence.
In further news, on 16 August 2012 another prisoner and I received a notice saying that we had received the July/August 2012 No. 27 issue of ULK in the mail and that we couldn't have it because ULK is banned. We are both currently in the second of three stages of the grievance procedure and will be filing a Class Action lawsuit within the next six months challenging the banning of ULK. This suit will merge with my already existing one.
Any information that you can send me on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
MIM(Prisons) responds: The comrade above has not received an issue of Under Lock & Key since November 2011. Appealing the censorship and going through the grievance procedure will often successfully get you the mail that the authorities are attempting to deny. If that doesn't work, we need to be prepared to take the censors to court when possible.
Unfortunately, due to our very limited resources, it is very difficult for us to offer legal assistance directly on your case. Instead we run the Prisoners' Legal Clinic in an attempt to empower and encourage our subscribers to do their best putting together and filing their case on their own. Recently another comrade offered h legal services to help fight censorship in Illinois, which is not just an ongoing problem for the author of this Civil Suit. We are attempting to facilitate this anti-censorship battle and push it to a head. Remember to send in your censorship documentation and status updates on your anti-censorship grievances and cases so we can publicize them on our website. If you are a lawyer on the outside and want to work on this issue, please get in touch.
On or around 31 July 2012 there was a small scale race riot on the Estelle Unit which is located in Huntsville, Texas. Sad to say it was Brown on Black and a New Afrikan prisoner was killed. As a member of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party I hate to see two oppressed groups going at each other while the oppressor remains unscathed and ignored.
Nevertheless, the extremely reactionary prisoncrats took this opportunity to show us what they're all about. About one week after the incident we were placed on a special disciplinary lockdown and fed "Johnnies" seven days a week. These weren't any normal "Johnnies," they were concentration camp like rations. An example of one meal that actually sparked a group demonstration across all color and race barriers was: 1 corn dog, a small biscuit with a sliver of peanut butter and jelly and 10 or 12 raisins! I myself wrote a letter to the Assistant Warden, Steven T. Miller, shedding light on the sub-par meals and asking him if the administration was using food (or the lack thereof) as a means to torture prisoners or as a draconian behavior modification tactic.
Once the administration became aware that the focus was now on them they immediately prepared and delivered more food and I have never ever seen that response before. However, I must say the meals being served were way beneath the caloric intake requirements set forth by the ACA (American Corrections Association). This particular incident took place on 15 August 2012 and it was the last meal served that day.
There is an ugly under-current of racism that exists here in Texas prisons. Many white male officers take pleasure in seeing Brown men and Black men attack each other. As conscious people in struggle against prisoncrat imperialists, we must realize we do ourselves a great dis-service by attacking each other. It is not just about white male officers in Texas, it's about all of them that wear these confederate-army-gray uniforms. They beat us, degrade us, dehumanize us, and refuse time and time again to set us free. Who is the real enemy?
Lastly, one of the main keys to maintaining the peace amongst oppressed groups is respect! We can't talk to each other any kind of way, and we can't treat each other any kind of way! Remember that violation of the rules of respect among human beings can be deadly.
Would you believe that one month prior to this race riot and death white male officers were caught encouraging prisoners to make "shanks"?! The New Afrikan prisoner was killed with a homemade shank! These officers in Texas are very wicked.
MIM(Prisons) responds: It is a sad result of the criminal injustice system in Amerika that oppressed nations must demand the right to peace. But as this, and many other stories from behind bars demonstrate, this is the reality we face. And this is why the first principle of the United Front for Peace in Prisons is Peace. The United Front is fighting to unite the oppressed: "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."
Correction from the author 9/31/2012: The dead prisoner in this report was not New Afrikan, he was Mexican.
This missive is directed to those who have taken up the responsibility in leading the masses up the road to absolute spiritual consciousness.
How can any individual choose work in guiding the misguided or unconscious to the discovery of the eternal truth, but at the same time instruct people to turn away from the world and only focus on themselves? If we are one in spirit, then wouldn't helping the world be a righteous practice of helping oneself? I have learned that the only way I can really help myself is by rejecting the interests of the individual desires and submitting my will to the interests of the world.
The value systems which dominate the world in this current era of imperialism are philosophies propping up the values of the powers of the world. The perpetuation of ideas like economic "survival of the fittest," and economic competition in a "free market" are but subtle justifications for the exploitation and oppression of others. These philosophies come from individualism (selfishness) which, if analyzed deeply enough, will turn out to be an illusion for the fact that every person's given situation is the result of what the world has put into motion.
Matter is the physical manifestation of the spirit, so how do we ignore the lessons of history which provide us the ability to precisely analyze the spirit through the material which it produces? A spiritualist can only conclude that the current force which dominates the world is the negative, so the ideas which are applied to overcome the negative force must be put into practice in material reality to give the future a clear understanding of what has proven to be effective and what has not. Our practice is our dialogue with the future.
We can effortlessly project the message to the misguided and unconscious that selfishness, lust, and hate are the epitome of evil, but what good does this do when we ignore the current physical manifestations of these evil forces in material reality? For the oppressed nations who suffer under the full pressure of the physical world, it must be understood that the struggle to end oppression is not an illusion but the natural continuance of the spirit. Spiritualists who reject this eternal fact may have good intentions but inevitably create the duality which divides and isolates the spirit from matter to create the illusion of "mental oneness" with the spirit while ignoring the spirit in matter.
MIM(Prisons) responds: We appreciate the direction this comrade is going here in trying to convince spiritualists that they need to join the fight against oppression. This is a good example of uniting all who can be united in the anti-imperialist struggle. There is much in the theory and writings of popular religions that is amenable to the struggle for justice and equality, so there is room for unity between materialists and idealists there.
But as materialists, we do not agree with the idealists that "matter is the physical manifestation of the spirit." Materialists recognize thoughts and ideas (such as religions) as products of the physical world we live in and interact with, as this comrade hints at above. And as monists, we do not believe in a spirit or essence that stands apart from a thing itself, including humyn beings. These basic pieces of our philosophy will determine what conclusions we make and what actions we take.
Materialism has already proven to be more correct than any brand of religion in the results it produces in the real world. And once the masses of the oppressed have grasped materialism in practice by taking their own destinies in their hands and throwing off the yoke of oppression, they will have no use for religious thinking and we will set about educating everyone in materialism. As scientific thinking advances and becomes the norm, the class interests of the oppressors that keep religion alive to serve their interests will be eliminated and we expect belief in religions will slowly fade away in the transition to communism.
by a North Carolina prisoner September 2012 permalink
I have come to write this letter because the oppressor has struck again. Under Lock & Key [issue 27] is now on North Carolina Division of Prisons master list of disapproved publications. I received a notice stating "This publication appears on the statewide master list of disapproved publications because it was disapproved during the previous twelve months by the Division of Prisons Review Committee. There are no additional appeal rights to this decision." "This publication/material violates division of prisons policy at section D.0109 and is disapproved for the reason listed..." Facility reasons for disallowance: "Has information detailing illegal activities."
North Carolina comrades I don't know about you all, but I am sick of this oppression! We have allowed these pigs to take too much, it is time we come together and follow the lead of our fellow comrades in other states and fight these pigs! The oppressor has gone too far, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! How much must they take from us before we stand up? You know and I know the only reason Under Lock & Keyhas been disapproved is because MIM(Prisons) is helping us and other prisoners fight the oppressor. Think about it, Under Lock & Key was not denied until MIM(Prisons) started the grievance campaign and comrades in North Carolina started using it. It's retaliation!
To all my comrades, keep your heads up and never give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We may lose a battle or two, but together we will win the war! MIM(Prisons) I want to thank you for all you are doing, not just for prisoners but the community as well, THANKS! Keep up the good work and together we will reach our goal. Unity is key!
Approximately 30% of the population of this unit is committed to participation in the Solidarity Demonstration on September 9, which inevitably results in "leakage." On August 25 I was interrogated by two investigators from the inspector general's office about the food petition and then about organizing an uprising or disturbance in the dining room. While this was going on, two COs were destroying my cell. Upon return, my legal work and papers were all over the cell, as was my cellmate's. Nothing was taken except for one document which I cannot be certain is in their possession, but I must assume it is. Then they got a second prisoner out and repeated the process. One prisoner was taken about two hours prior to this episode for "different reasons."
Yesterday (28 August 2012) 17 COs, led by a Lieutenant, came into the unit and searched the entire unit. Two reasons were proffered: 1) Retaliation for grievances, 2) Suspect "gang" is being organized.
Nothing was found relating to September 9, "gangs" or anything else.
It is evident that they are aware that something is going on, and they are uneasy about the level of apparent coordination and secrecy. They are fishing right now, but this has been predicted and prepared for.
Aside from the obvious, there is some opposition to the September 9 action from segments of the prisoner population, which is the only apparent threat to its success. This has appeared in the form of disinformation and criticism of both the action and the integrity of persons involved in it. Predictably this segment is predominantly white power who always object to prisoner unification.
We created a cheat sheet for people at this institution, which we modified after hearing from you about how a prisoner organizing in another state suggested it would be more powerful to go to chow hall and sit without eating.
September 9 Cheat Sheet
1. Go to chow hall, accept food, go to clipper room window, render tray/sack inedible, go directly to seat 2. Go to chow, refuse tray go directly to seat 3. Unless directly confronted by CO ignore all comments, provocation and questions 4. Repeat at dinner 5. If directly confronted by CO about what is going on, politely tell them: "I am fasting." If you are asked why, tell them: "In support of my fellow prisoners..." and/or "because I am tired of..." and state your complaint. 6. Nothing more needs to be said
Important: Do not become belligerent, combative or antagonistic. Do not provoke a confrontation. More than 70% of major prison disturbances start in chow hall. By not provoking the COs we preserve the integrity of the action, and we protect each other. Most important, we do not give them our day.
Muchas personas caen presas a la idea de que millones son esclavizados en este país, y que el principal factor motivador trás la gran explosión de prisiones en décadas recientes, es el hacer trabajar a los prisioneros con el fin de enriquecer a las corporaciones o al gobierno. MIM(Prisiones) claramente ha comprobado que las prisiones de los Estados Unidos no son primaria, o significativamente, para explotar a trabajadores, puesto que no son una fuente de ganancias, sino que más bien tienen un gran costo financiero para los imperialistas.(1)
"De verdad, en su punto máximo alrededor del 2002, menos de 5,000 presos estaban empleados por empresas privadas, el equivalente a un cuarto del uno por ciento de la población carcelaria. En lo que respeta al aproximadamente 8 por ciento de convictos, quienes bajo llave, trabajan para las industrias estatales y federales, son 'empleados' a pérdida de las autoridades correccionales; incluso a pesar de las enormes subvenciones, de las ventas garantizadas a un mercado cautivo de administraciones públicas, y al exagerado pago mínimo (un promedio de menos de un dólar por hora)."(2)
En oposición, nuestro argumento es que a lo ancho de este país, y a diario, hay un sistema de control de población que incluye todos los elementos de la definición internacional de genocidio, y que generalmente utiliza métodos de tortura contra los Nuevos Afrikanos y personas Latinos, así como una representación desproporcionada de las personas de la Primera Nación. Mientras el nuevo movimiento de prisiones crece y gana mas atención en el ojo público, es de mayor importancia que mantengamos nuestro enfoque en la verdad y no dejar que los nacionalistas blancos definan lo que es al fin de cuentas, una batalla de las naciones opresas.
Para analizar por el cual el término "Complejo Industrial de Prisiones" (PIC por sus siglas en inglés) es incorrecto y es engañador, veamos unos esloganes típicos de los demócratas sociales, quienes dominan la izquierda nacionalista blanca. Primero hablamos del eslogan "Si a la asistencia social y no a la guerra." Este eslogan es una falsa dicotomía que demuestra una falta de entendimiento del imperialismo y el militarismo por parte de quien lo proclama. En el mundo del día hoy, no es una coincidencia que los más grandes "Estados de asistencia social" son países imperialistas. El imperialismo trae más ganancias a la casa al irse a la guerra para robar recursos, al controlar el labor, y al forzar políticas económicas y contratos de negocios sobre otras naciones. El militarismo es el producto cultural y político de ese hecho. El "Complejo Militar Industrial" fue creado cuando la industria privada se unió con el gobierno E$tadunidense para combinar sus mutuos intereses imperialistas. Estas industrias adquirieron contratos gubernamentales, con ganancias garantizadas incluidas; mientras que el gobierno posee las armas que ellos necesitaban, para que, el dinero de las naciones opresas continuara fluyendo hacia los E$tados Unidos. Esta concentración de riquezas produce los altos salarios e infraestructura de los cuales se benefician los Amerikanos, y esto sin mencionar el dinero de impuestos que se hace disponible a través de los programas de asistencia social. Entonces, es ignorancia de los activistas el denunciar que se empobrecen por las guerras de los imperialistas, tal como es dado a entender por la falsa dicotomía de asistencia social vs. hacer la guerra.
Otro eslogan de los demócratas sociales que habla y da a entender porqué son tan rápidos para condenar al "PIC" es el de "Escuelas no Cárceles." Este eslogan resulta de que solo hay una cierta cantidad monetaria de impuestos hecha disponible en un estado para financiar o a las escuelas, o a las cárceles, u otra cosa. Si, la cantidad de dinero es limitada porque extrayendo más impuestos solo incrementaría el conflicto de classes entre el estado y la aristocracia laboral. Esta batalla es real, y es una batalla entre diferentes sindicatos de servicio público de la aristocracia laboral. El eslogan "Escuelas no Cárceles" es el grito unificador de un lado de esa batalla entre la aristocracia laboral.
A diferencia del militarismo, el imperialismo no tiene un interés de ganancia en el preferir a las cárceles en vez de a las escuelas. Esta es precisamente la razón por la cual el concepto del "PIC" es una fantasía. Mientras que la economía E$tadunidense seguramente colapsaría sin los fondos que entran por concepto de las industria armamentísta, Loïc Wacquant señala que las industrias de bebidas gaseosas es casi dos veces más grande que la industria de prisiones, con la prisión siendo meramente un 0.5% del producto interno bruto (PIB).(2) Comparado al complejo militar industrial, que es el 10% del PIB de los E$tados Unidos, el sistema de prisiones no es obviamente un "complejo" que combina intereses estatales y privados. Este podría ser desmantelado sin graves consecuencias para el imperialismo.(3) Por supuesto, aquellos que condenan la linia "PIC" deben admitir que más de 95% de las prisiones en este país son propiedad de dueños públicos y manejadas por ellos.(4)
El hecho de que las agencias federales usan el sistema de prisiones para controlar elementos sociales que ven como una amenaza para el imperialismo, es la motivación principal del sistema de injusticia y no el deseo imperialista de obtener ganancias monetarias. Más aún, el sistema está mayormente decentralizado e incorporado en los intereses de la mayoría de de los Amerikanos al nivel local, y no solo los sindicatos locales y pequeños negocios quienes se benefician directamente del gasto de las prisiones. Lo más seguro es que no tendríamos el alto ritmo de encarcelamiento sin la presion de quienes son llamados "la clase media."
Algunos de la izquierda blanca nacionalista parecen disentir con los otros Amerikanos sobre la necesidad de tener más prisiones y más policías. La raíz de ambos lados es la creencia de que la mayoría de Amerikanos son explotados por el sistema, mientras que las voraces corporaciones se benefician de ello. Bajo esta línea de pensamiento es fácil aceptar que generar utilidades es la razón de ser de la prisiones, tal como lo es todo lo demás, y que la avaricia corporativa puede ser culpada por la explosión del sistema carcelario.
En realidad, la explosión de prisiones está directamente relacionada a las exigencias de la gente Amerikana de tener políticos "duros contra el crimen." Los Amerikanos han forzado al sistema de injusticia criminal a convertirse en una herramienta para la histeria blanca. Los imperialistas han dado grandes pasos para integrar financieramente a las semi-colonias internas, sin embargo, la nación blanca exige que estas poblaciones sean controladas y excluidas del patrimonio hereditario nacional. Hay muchos ejemplos del gobierno tratando de cerrar prisiones y de tomar otras medidas de ahorros costosos que podrían haber reducido al sistema de prisiones, pero los sindicatos laborales pelearon con diente y uña contra ellos.(1) Este es el continuo legado de opresión nacional, expuesta con gran detalle en el libro "The New Jim Crow," (El Nuevo Jim Crow) el cual cubre el término "Complejo Industrial de Prisiones." El encubrimiento continuará sin que importe cuanto estos seudo-Marxistas lamenten las grandes injusticias sufridas por los Negros y los Morenas a manos del "PIC".
Este desafortunado término ha sido popularizado en la izquierda Amerikana por un número de teoristas seudo-Marxistas que están detras de algunos grupos externos de activistas de prisiones. Al rechazar explícitamente este término, estamos marcando una linia clara entre nosotros y las otras organizaciones que estos activistas representan, con muchos de los cuales hemos trabajado de una manera u otra. En mayor parte, estas organizaciones mismas no se atribuyen alguna influencia Marxista o por lo menos un análisis particular de clase, sin embargo, los líderes de estos grupos están muy conscientes acerca de los puntos de desacuerdo con el pensamiento de MIM. Es importante que las masas también esten conscientes de este desacuerdo.
Por estas razones, en el congreso del 2012, MIM(Prisones) aprobó la siguiente política:
El término "Complejo Industrial de Prisiones" (PIC) no será generalmente usado en Under Lock & Key porque está en conflicto con la linia de MIM(Prisones) acerca de la composición económica y nacional del sistema de prisiones en los E$tados Unidos. Solamente será impreso en contexto cuando el significado del término sea declarado por el autor, y sea criticado por ellos o por nosotros.
Notas: 1. MIM(Prisiones) en la Economia de Prision Estadunidense, Under Lock & Key 8, Mayo 2009. 2. Wacquant, Loic. 2010. Prisoner reentry as myth and ceremony. Berkeley, CA. 3. Endres, Mike. Reflections on the military/industrial complex. 4 Agosto 2010. Mientras gastos director militaries due $800 billions en el 2010, este article pone el total circa de $14.4 trill ones (tea nota 2). 4. Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California. Universidad de CAlifornia imprimidora: Berkeley, 2007. p.21. 5. Gracias al prisionero de Michigan que propuso esta nueva linia.