The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Prison Labor] [Organizing] [Limon Correctional Facility] [Colorado]
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Organizing Strikes for Lasting Change

I read with a smile the article in ULK 16 titled Mass Hunger Strike in California and it reminded me of a similar event in Colorado at the Limon Correctional Facility(LCF) facility in June 2002, when close to 850 of the 975 POWs refused to go to the chow hall for three full days. The first morning a few people ate but were quickly shown the error of that. The only ones who had our blessings were the diabetics and sick who needed to eat. Word came down from the Warden, put your complaints and issues in writing and I will personally address them.

That was done and a "few" minor things actually changed for the better. Over the next several days and even months the line staff flat-out told us that what shook up the LCF management team administration was the fact that 850 plus "inmates" stood together for three days. That was an act of defiance and passive aggressive rebellion almost unheard of in the Colorado DOC for almost 20 years. This is a system where the "inmates" regularly laid down rather than even contemplate doing without their TVs, coffee and ramen soups for a few weeks, or months. This is a prison system where about 30% or so are lifers doing life without parole or 40 calendar years before their first parole date.

The Colorado DOC has mimicked other states with the total removal or severe restriction of use of free weights, out door and indoor recreation time, and demolition of programs that actually help the prisoners. And once the administration saw there was no resistance, then the pay was cut by 50 to 80%, depending on what type of assignment you had. In June 2003 the CDOC not only cut the pay they raised canteen prices, and the indigent level. So although there is on paper, such a thing as being "indigent" and showing the DOCs obligation to provide a minimum of hygiene and writing material, the DOC "paid" everyone, every month, at least a few cents more than the indigent amount. So, even though the DOC most often debited this entire amount immediately after posting it on your prison account, under their interpretation of their rules, no one can actually be indigent. Therefore the DOC does not have to supply hygiene items or writing material.

The purpose of the above is to point out that sporadic and specific acts of organized non-violent protest are well and good to get momentary attention for a few minor particular issues or complaints, but in order for POWs across the U$ to truly become men and women worthy of what you seek and deserve, each of you have to educate yourself! Make that your number one goal.

We as POWs can have all the outside help, but we need to develop the inside help and come to grips with the reality we as a group will probably have to suffer through some very lean and mean times due to long term work strikes, but it is in these work strikes that we have our power! A few weeks won't hurt the bank roll of the profiteers, but several months of no product and the prison officials will be told by the politicians (who are controlled by those with $$) to give us what we need, deserve, and want, to get production back on line at all costs.

Sure we will be subjected to the strip cells and frequent strip searches and mishandling and/or destruction of our property, but you can prepare for some of that. Send out photos and documents that are important, stock up on certain items. Only order bare hygiene items and writing material for 6 to 8 months, leave the junk food alone. Maybe no phone calls unless an emergency.

Hit them where they harm us, in their pocketbooks. Above all, do not resort to violence or destruction tactics. Although this gets media and outside attention, it does not engender the type of serious attention we, as POWs, want or need because we need to retain legitimacy for our cause.

As was plainly pointed out by an old convict back in the 70s in Texas: "Them guards can only do to us what we let em do."

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[Abuse] [MORGAN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX] [Tennessee]
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Guard Brutality Unpunished in Tennessee

This prison is a 100% white employed prison. As you can imagine, there is a great number of racially motivated incidents that occur here. Earlier this year in May, several correctional officers beat a Black prisoner and broke both his arms and gave him brain damage. In response to this beating, many Black prisoners (who were not on max security) responded by attacking several COs and beating them. The local media reported this incident as "inmates rioting against COs and sending 8 of them to the hospital." However, the media failed to report that the beatings of the COs were in response to the lynch mob type beating of a Black prisoner.

The head pig in charge of this beating is named Sgt. Bennett. He single-handedly carried out many beatings of Black prisoners and his only form of discipline for beating the prisoner in this incident was being stripped of his title as a Sergeant and demoted to a Corporal and being placed on third shift. Meanwhile the prisoners involved in the beating of the COs all face additional time added to their sentences and placement on max security for years on end. The pigs who nearly killed a Black man are still employed here at this prison.

I have been incarcerated over 9.5 years and 8.5 years of that have been spent on max security segregation and this is one of the only incidents that I've ever seen in prison in my time where prisoners came together for a common purpose against the prison officials. What amazes me is that the very human desire to fight oppression has seemed to die within the prisons of Tennessee. I have read several accounts of how prisoners in other states have stood up for a common purpose against oppression, yet the prisoners in Tennessee lack the desire to fight oppression. They all complain verbally but if someone such as myself files a grievance on behalf of us all and tries to pass it around for all to sign showing support, 98% of them will refuse to sign because they fear some form of retaliation when the truth is, nothing else can be done to them that hasn't already been done. These pale faced pigs have stolen the very essence of our people which has made us great and allowed us to survive... a will to fight.


MIM(Prisons) responds: While we agree that the race of prison guards underscores the racism of the criminal injustice system, we're under no illusions that having Black and Latino guards would change the system. The problem is the system, and the guards are just serving that system. Some may be more brutal than others, but they are all pigs in the eyes of the people.

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[Censorship] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 17]
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Activists in SHU Still Face Total Censorship

I want to send a fraternal embrace to everyone. I am writing from the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU). I write this letter in response to some stepped up repression that seems to have increased here starting last year in 2009. It is important to understand when these restrictions occur so as to see more broadly if such occurrences are random or a wider campaign. I have within the last year had "returned to sender" eight pieces of mail from MIM(Prisons). I was never notified from the prison, and I had no idea of these returns or rejections until MIM(Prisons) notified me of these refusals. I reach out to highlight this situation, this tragedy that is occurring to me so that these lessons may be used by a receptive ear, worked with in some way, and possibly overcome in the future.

Censorship exists, not censorship of some technological weapons or some type of recipe for a plague of sorts but censorship of ideas, banning of political theory that is not compliant with the state norm. I have always taken on legal battles, jailhouse lawyer activities, anything to right a wrong and resist an injustice system that was built on the land of my ancestors. For this prison resistance I am rewarded by the state with an aggressive push to keep excellent political theory from reaching me, from comrades being able to send a letter of encouragement or perhaps a book on political science.

I was receiving literature and Maoist books from MIM for several years while on the "mainline" general population and I delved into those works so many times that even though I am currently subjected to censorship of political correspondence from MIM(Prisons) I have a strong understanding of the society we live in and the need for political power. It is situations like what I am currently undergoing that really drive home the need to liberate oppressed nations. Here in the SHU, Raza cannot even learn or read about their ancient pre-Columbian languages as the state says this is gang related. Now political science, the ability to theorize and have ideas of a society outside of what currently exists, is denied us.

Occupation is done on many levels all over the world. In some countries occupation may be more subtle but if you look close enough the similarities are there. When the Japanese occupied Korea after the war the Korean language was banned; the Korean people could only speak Japanese. All Korean history and political literature outside Japanese imperialism was censored. We must learn from history; not just our specific history of our particular country of origin. A study of all histories will show that what is occurring here has occurred many times.

The situation in California prisons in particular should be noted and learned from; the censorship we are experiencing has been employed in years past. This targeting of political organizations has been seen and felt on many levels, but today's censorship comes at historic times. It is because contemporary ideas and revolutionary theory in general and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in particular is essential for future struggles and because of the current "awakening" of oppressed nations people in prisons that CDCR has begun a program of censorship particularly in its control units, i.e. SHUs where it is no coincidence that the most politically advanced are held captive. Getting the independent press, such as ULK, in the hands of the imprisoned masses is of extreme importance.

The people are fighting to educate the political prisoners, uplift the consciousness of prisoners, and bring politics to the prison houses nationwide, and build the prison base for revolution. At the same time the ruling class sees the 2+ million potentially revolutionary prisoners behind bars and knows that every prisoner who takes up the struggle for a better society is another addition to resist their program. They understand that prisoners in general are becoming radicalized yet they know they can't shut down all so called "freedom of the press," so they spend their time and resources on what they feel are their prime target group or persons of influence which are what they label the people held in control units. By doing so they are basically isolating these comrades from correspondence, political literature or study material of any sort, even of basic contact with comrades on the outside.

This is being done to dull or attempt to dull the revolutionary edge in the prison population, starting in SHUs and expecting this dullness to permeate the rest of the population. The need for people who still have the ability to receive any papers, newsletters or literature from MIM(Prisons) to do so is of utmost importance, with vigor and hunger as if you will never get the chance again because once in a SHU you will be censored. The need to support independent press like ULK is on top of the priority list and should be done financially or any other way. It is times like now that I appreciate a crisp uncut publication like ULK; when only watered-down periodicals are allowed to reach me I see how precious ULK is.

I am embarking on another legal battle for the censorship here in Pelican Bay and i encourage others to do the same. United we will overcome this battle.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Religious Repression] [Prison Labor] [Organizing] [LA State Penitentiary] [Louisiana] [ULK Issue 17]
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Political Activism Killed by Religion in Louisiana

I have begun to receive ULK and I have not had any problems with censorship. There are not very many politically active people/groups here now, such as in California, so the mailroom is not hyperaware of radical political publications.

This was not always the case. Louisiana State Prison (Angola) in the 60s, 70s and 80s was a hotbed of political activism, primarily with the Black Panther Party. It was also considered one of the bloodiest prisons in America. Since the 90s it seems political activism/education has evaporated. This is mostly due (in my opinion) to the prison becoming admittedly more safe, the aging and death of the older inmate population (as the 60s and 70s were a universally more politically active time across America), and the current Warden. Warden Burl Cain has quite effectively turned the prison into a church, with even a 5-year seminary college funded by the Southern Baptists of America.

This has had an enormously detrimental impact on the prison population. There is no longer any prisoner solidarity (beyond the individual self-serving prison clubs and organizations) or any real political movement. Most (though not all) prisoners now play the religion game as a ticket to move up within the prison society and garner favor with the administration. In fact, to essentially get in any position of prisoner power - such as a club president or to work for the prison magazine The Angolite (which came to prominence under Wilbert Rideau) - you must be an active professed Christian.

The true harm in all of this is that there is no real rehabilitation or education within the prison now. Louisiana does not have parole for people sentenced to life and 90% of the 5000+ prisoners here at Angola will die in prison. This is a proven statistical fact even admitted by Louisiana DOC. The only option for lifers in Louisiana is the possibility for a sentence reduction by the pardon board. This is not a legitimate option though. It is extremely rare (once every 10-15 years) that they recommend a lifer for a sentence reduction and the governor signs it.

In the farce of this hopelessness, the warden has pushed the panacea of religion both to fight hopelessness, as well as the idea that if you garner enough favor and play the religion game well enough, you will be lucky when you go before the pardon board. The warden has made moves to place himself as an "advisor" to the pardon board to give recommendations as to who should be given a pardon (sentence reduction) and who not. This means you either toe the warden's line - be Christian, not exercise your rights, make no waves, become an informant to show you are "reformed" - or you essentially have no hope whatsoever of ever being granted relief by the pardon board. This includes those prisoners with lesser sentences who go before the parole board. The pardon and parole boards are one and the same.

All of this is a preamble to my real reason for writing this letter to you. I am attempting to re-energize a political base among the prisoner population. The most possible form this may take is by labor unionizing. Angola is one of the last great prison farms (18,000 acres for crops and cattle), along with places like Parchman in Mississippi. A good many of the prisoners here still perform agricultural labor. This food is primarily sold for private profit, not fed to us. This prisoner labor saves the state (and earns it) million of dollars, while prisoners receive little or no "incentive pay" or wages. Field workers earn 4 cents an hour or less, half of which (up to $250) must go into a "savings account" the prisoners may not use (except for a few narrow reasons) even if the prisoner is a lifer and will never get out to use his "savings." This money sits instead, in perpetuity, earning interest in DOC bank accounts for the state.

The only practical political force prisoners here may exert is by unionizing. Not only to work towards better living/working conditions in prison, but towards more just sentencing laws. Unionization as well creates a solidarity movement younger prisoners may never have experienced before which can prove fertile grounds for Marxist/Maoist education. It would be fitting to see such an agrarian Maoist movement take hold and grow here. Unionization and the educational benefits of a labor movement create the grounds for producing politically aware cadres, some who will remain in prison, but many who may return to their communities to expand the movement.

Consequently, it is my hope to recruit and develop a dedicated cadre of individuals here to research the possibility of a prisoner labor movement and further that idea by education and activism.

I have already circulated the introductory letter you sent to me describing MIM(Prisons)'s platform, as well as the first issue of ULK I have received. I further plan to enroll in your Maoist study cell. I have read and studied Marxism-Leninism for many years but am not as familiar with Maoism or how such Maoist principles may differ in form or function from Marxism. As I have always generally understood, Marxism-Leninism applied to an industrialized (to a large degree) proletariat, where as Maoism was an agrarian movement. I'm sure this may be a huge oversimplification. For that reason, I wish to educate myself more, with your help.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We support this comrade's efforts to organize prison workers. Rather than a proletariat or peasantry, the U.$. prison population's relationship to production puts it squarely in the lumpen class, as we explained in a report on the U.$. prison economy. Prison labor is used to save the state money, as this comrade points out, in its excessively expensive project of imprisoning this class of people that capitalism has no use for. Therefore organizing prisoners to heighten the contradictions of the state in fiscal crisis is of great value. And there is no doubt that this organizing serves an excellent educational purpose as well.

Maoism is an advance on Marxism-Leninism that still bases itself in the revolutionary class of the proletariat but also sees the peasantry as a key ally to the proletariat in countries like China where the system is semi-feudal and the population is so dispersed in the agrarian countryside. While we can't just take this theory and apply it to farming in the U.$. where conditions are very different, the philosophy of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) is still very relevant today. The dialectical materialist method teaches us to learn from the best that history has to offer (MLM) and apply it to our conditions today just as groups like the Black Panthers and Young Lords did with the lumpen before us.

The history of prison labor organizing at Angola pre-dates the Panthers, and according to one blog, during a strike in 1951, 31 prisoners cut their Achilles tendons so that they could not be made to work on the farm. Acts like these distinguish those who really have "nothing to lose but their chains" - one definition of the proletariat. Religious brainwashing can be effective at diffusing such resistance, especially when there are bribes involved, but the oppressed will gravitate towards Maoism as it represents their interests as a people and not just short-term individual interests.

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[Organizing] [Western Correctional Institution] [Maryland]
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Need for Revolutionary Organizing

I'm in a very unique position in that I am part of a dinosaur breed of prisoners in the state of Maryland, and Western Correctional Institution(WCI) in particular, who gears towards Revolutionary Suicide. Now, it's sad to see that the people I'm surrounded by are worse than reactionaries. Equally unfortunate is the fact that after all the bloodshed and mayhem endured by our predecessors (e.g. Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Denmark Vessey, and George Lester Jackson), that instead of an increase in Revolutionary Suicide, there is an ever-growing decrease.

This plantation went on lockdown for the week of September 20, 2010 due to a fist fight between two gang members. Although I am not (nor ever been) a member of a gang, I understand lockdowns are a part of prison life. What I am not able to accept is that the same people who are members of the gangs openly embrace known rats and sellouts, yet hurt each other over nothing more than a temporary loss of temper over a word play.

During the lockdown, the pigs shut off the power to the televisions in our cells and our water. Would you believe that some of these clowns played with the pigs about our situation?! Others openly faulted gangs to anyone who would listen! These same people who are always quick to go against one another said nothing to the pigs, especially once the pigs turned off the power to our cells, including toilet. General George Jackson spoke clearly when he said how these feeble and pusillanimous clowns work openly with the pigs and against one another. They will "swallow a camel but gag on a nut. They accept a certain condition and [mis]treatment with apparent ease, but balk at the suggestion of returning the same."

No one complains when the prison goes on lockdown so that the pigs can all attend "Officer Appreciation Day" in the gymnasium.

As an attorney, I would like to think that out of over sixteen hundred prisoners in this prison at all times, that the ratio would be far greater than me only getting five people released within almost six years of being here. This is because everyone is playing the game with catcher's mitts on, without a thought of pitching out to help someone. I reach outside of this plantation to other plantations, with the hope of reaching out and relating to others. In order for you to grasp the irony of the sickness of the mindset of the fools I'm surrounded by you must understand that none of the so-called tough killers in these mountains defy the pigs here. The same pigs openly disrespect these clowns too many times to count each day.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We hear complaints from a lot of comrades behind bars about the lack of resistance to prison repression. Rather than complain, we call on activists to do something about this situation. Prisoners have an objective interest in fighting their abuse but many have been frightened into silence and inaction. Still others don't have an understanding of the system and so are easily used as pawns by the guards. We need to expand our education efforts and show the strength that comes from being organized. This is how we will develop more revolutionaries.

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[Prison Labor] [Abuse] [Arkansas]
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Grievances in Arkansas

Here in Arkansas state prisons we have a terrible grievance procedure. The administration and pigs call it an "informal resolution" and it is a joke. I have enclosed the front page so you can check it out.

In Arkansas we receive no pay for the jobs we perform, but at Christmas time the state places a big $6 on our books, averaging out to about 1 1/2 cents per day. In the mid to late 90s I ran one of the unit's cabinet shops and would often work 12 hour days, 7 days a week for that $6. Purely slave labor in my opinion.

Here they shut out our lights at 10:30pm and turn them on again as early as 3am, leaving them off only 4 1/2 hour, and this is usually done 7 days a week.

The food we get us usually not fit for human consumption. Very often the hamburger meat and chicken are spoiled, but most of us can't afford to go to the commissary store and must eat it.

Our grievances often get "lost" or "misplaced" if they have factual info about a staff member, especially if a few individuals write them.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This problem with grievances is not unique to Arkansas. For this reason United Struggle from Within initiated a grievance campaign this year. If you are filing grievances about any issue and they aren't being handled properly by staff, consider becoming a part of this campaign and spread it to your people inside.

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[Economics] [Theory] [New Afrikan Maoist Party]
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NAMP response to MIM(Prisons) criticism

Resolution on Criticisms of NAMP's Line Related to UFD

This resolution is being passed by Our Party to publicly announce what Our line is on a few questions raised by MIM(Prisons) and members of their study group, and to address their criticisms on what they think Our line is. We challenge MIM(Prisons) to print this resolution in their Under Lock & Key newsletter to let the people decide for themselves what Our line really is, instead of blasting Us in a one-sided debate.

UFD is an outgrowth of various affiliated mass organizations Our Party has attempted to jump start. Initially, UFD was a subdivision of the New Afrikan Ujamaa Dynasty, as one will learn from reading the original edition of Blueprint for Ujamaa Dynasty. Since MIM(Prisons) abruptly withdrew their financial and administrative support of Our efforts to jump start UFD as a mass organization, the revised edition of Blueprint for Ujamaa Dynasty was unable to be completed on schedule. So, the public isn't aware that the New Afrikan Ujamaa Dynasty has been absorbed by UFD, which now stands for the Ujamaa Fraternal Dynasty. UFD is now a New Afrikan nationalist fraternity and the vanguard of the Movement for Ujamaa Dynasty, and it's divided into a General Nduguship (primarily for progressive elements of the New Afrikan petty bourgeoisie) and a Field Division (primarily for ex-lumpens who haven't necessarily reached a revolutionary phase in their political development, but have given up their criminal lifestyle).

"Without revolutionary practice, revolutionary theory means shit!" Our Party hasn't liquidated itself at all into UFD, nor have We watered down Our politics. We are Maoists. But We are New Afrikan Maoists. And We uphold the three cardinal questions of MIM(Prisons) [editor's note: NAMP was not aware of MIM(Prisons)'s new cardinal points adopted around the same time as this resolution], going so far as to recognizing that the New Afrikan worker is a labor aristocracy and that most New Afrikans, including the lumpen, are bourgeois. No, Our class analysis hasn't changed either. So, what's all this criticism about over Our line? Well, part of it is Our fault for not being very clear Ourselves to articulate what amounts to a new strategic positioning. We admit, We knew where We wanted to go but didn't really know how to get there. The vision was clear but painting it was murky. We wanted to remain true to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, but the context We are operating in isn't compatible to what We know to be true. We can't force square pegs into round holes. Revolutionaries must make revolution, but We must do so within concrete, objective reality.

Marx provided Us with the theoretical foundation, but he didn't bring about revolution. Does this mean his theoretical work wasn't correct? Absolutely not. He advanced human knowledge in relations to Our theoretical understanding of the development of things, including human history in Our struggle for economic, social, and political freedom. Lenin came along and applied Marxism to formulate even more advanced revolutionary theory according to the concrete conditions he was faced with. So too did Mao. But each were in a unique position. They had Marxism and the lessons of failed revolutionary struggles to work from. And they grew to political maturity during a revolutionary period within their respective countries. So, the concrete conditions gave their theory basis to advance the concrete revolutionary struggle of the time to socialist victory.

What are the concrete conditions We are faced with? There's no question We have available to Us the most advanced theory of revolution paid for in the blood and failure of many hundreds of thousands of Marxist revolutionaries. Our problem is that imperialism is winning worldwide not only in terms of economic and political dominance, but also in the conversation of what is and what is not a valid economic and political paradigm. Currently, Islamic Fundamentalism, in all its warped ideas and distortions is, nevertheless, doing more against imperialism than the Maoist camp worldwide. To that extent, We applaud Islamic Fundamentalists for fighting the imperialist snake that cloaks itself in the rhetoric of democracy and freedom. But We prefer Marxism.

Yet the concrete conditions We face as New Afrikan Maoists in imperialist America — indeed, as Maoists period — gives Our theory very little basis to advance the concrete revolutionary struggle of the proletarian camp. We are surrounded by enemies. Even the lumpen, as MIM(Prisons) admits, are parasites. But they argue that the lumpen "benefit less from imperialism, and more importantly face extreme oppression under imperialism." Well, they would be repressed under socialism too if they refused to give up their criminal ways. Lumpens are outlaws antagonistic to any system. Granted, imperialism is less amicable to reforming the lumpen than socialism would be. Under socialism, the lumpen would be given greater opportunities to reform themselves. But We're not living under socialism but imperialism, so lumpenism, like bourgeois subjectivism among the petty bourgeoisie, will be a great impediment to advancing Maoism in this country. With the lumpen, however, lumpenism plus bourgeois subjectivism are a double wammy.

MIM(Prisons) and its study group members aren't seeing the forest through the trees. Taken as a whole, We must conclude that the lumpen is not only more reactionary than the petty bourgeoisie but are manifestly less able to contribute to concrete revolutionary struggle against real oppression. For one, they're either locked down or under some form of law enforcement supervisions. Most are under-educated and lack discipline, and the prison system under imperialism isn't conducive to their rehabilitation, much less their politicization. This is why 7 out of 10 lumpens released from prison come back, and that not one who is released, in Our experience, stays active in revolutionary work or can be effective doing so. The imperialists are too powerful, and We're trying to fight them through propaganda and theoretical work. Are We serious?!

No, this is NOT to say We can't win against them nor that all lumpens are worthless. Firstly, Our Party was founded by ex-lumpens who MIM helped reach political maturity. Secondly, no enemy is undefeatable when you have the power of truth on your side. But having truth on your side won't guarantee people will recognize it just because you say so.

MIM(Prisons) and its study group members are caught up in ultra-leftism of another brand. Wake up and smell the coffee. This isn't 1917 nor 1949 in underdeveloped countries with weak capitalist governments. This is 2010 and capitalism has reached its highest stage of imperialism, which has strong imperialist governments worldwide. We better do as Lenin and Mao, both of whom were sharply criticized for moving away from what was considered the 'right doctrine' by developing new, practical approaches to apply revolutionary theory to their unique circumstances.

One thing MIM(Prisons) ignores about New Afrikans is that 1) We are an oppressed domestic colony of the United States, and 2) Our benefit from the super-profits flowing into this country is incidental to Our domestic neo-colonial status (the operative word being "domestic"). Just being in this country gives Us incidental access to its stolen wealth. MIM(Prisons) acts like the Catholic Church which tries to make people feel guilty about being human with sexual urges. This may not be the best analogy, but the point is that MIM(Prisons) makes it seem like everything is gravy between white Americans and New Afrikans. This smacks of the mainstream conservative argument that race doesn't matter anymore or isn't such a big deal like before. See, this is an ultra-leftist position trying to fit the square peg of the New Afrikan labor aristocracy into the round hole of the white labor aristocracy. Because MIM(Prisons), in its dogmatic adherence to the now defunct MIM's line on the labor aristocracy as straight up enemies of the international proletariat, can't strategically cope with an oppressed New Afrikan labor aristocracy vis-a-vis a dominant white labor aristocracy. It's easier for MIM(Prisons), the only active Maoist cell We know of coming out of MIM, and which only concerns itself with the prison movement, to write off any possible struggle to mobilize the New Afrikan petty bourgeoisie against U.S. imperialism.

It's really sad MIM(Prisons) would so shamelessly distort the fact that New Afrikan people in this country, from lumpen to national bourgeoisie, as a whole still must contend with white supremacy and racist discrimination, both institutionally and blatantly. Everything from housing, employment, health care, government assistance, mental health, incarceration, education, sports, entertainment, etc. New Afrikan people face white supremacist/ racial discriminatory factors. And We know this. Call this identity politics, if you like, but racism is still very real in this country and will lead, during an economic and political breakdown, to full blown fascism. Just look how Muslims and migrant workers are treated.

We never said the New Afrikan petty bourgeoisie is a revolutionary class within the context of socialist revolution — We're not too sure We can say the lumpen is. What We did say, and repeat here publicly and clearly, We hold the New Afrikan petty bourgeoisie to be the most revolutionary class within the context of the bourgeois nationalist phase of the New Afrikan revolution. And We think this bourgeois nationalist phase strategically will heighten the contradiction between white America and New Afrikans while negating Our bourgeoisification.

Let's be real here. New Afrikans as a whole, due to white supremacy and racist discrimination manifested in neo-colonial practices, are locked out of major control over their own economic wealth by white America — albeit a part of super-profits. The point is, there's no way for white America to increase the New Afrikan share of the "pie" without weakening their own economic and political hegemony. There can be no increased super-exploitation of the Third World to "include" New Afrikans fully into the labor aristocracy elite. For one, other imperialist countries won't allow it. And two, the Third World would hate America more. The inevitable consequence of any New Afrikan bourgeois nationalist revolution would be 1) the heightening of the contradiction between white America and New Afrikans (clearly this is in accord with the principal contradiction in the world today being between oppressor and oppressed nations, unless MIM(Prisons) can conclusively prove how New Afrikans are no longer an oppressed nationality); 2) negate the bourgeoisification of New Afrikans as they become more radicalized as a whole; and 3) give Our Party the concrete basis to advance Our revolutionary line among a more receptive, radicalized nation of New Afrikan people.

We want to make revolution, not sit around doing propaganda and theoretical work until somehow a revolutionary period suddenly occurs. We must realize the imperialists apply their own science in theory and in practice to prevent revolutionary crises and maintain their dominance. We can't counter this through propaganda and theoretical work alone. We must figure out concrete, practical ways to heighten the principal contradiction. In this day and age, the role of the vanguard isn't just to thrash out line questions, do political agitation, and develop cadres, because We're not faced with the same concrete conditions Lenin and Mao, even Marx, were faced with that justified and enhanced their need to do this type of work. Right now We're preaching to the choir. This isn't about pragmatism, right opportunism, nor revisionism. This is about making revolution and not allowing Our bigger enemy to keep dictating the terms of Our fight.

In conclusion, Our Party hasn't forgotten our duty. MIM(Prisons) and its study group members should refrain from ad hominem arguments and demagoguery, and trying to pigeonhole Us by misrepresenting Our position on the questions We've addressed. Our support of UFD has nothing to do with any bourgeois subjectivism. The size of Our cadre or the resources available to Us is only part of the equation. The biggest is whether We can do something like what We're doing with UFD to advance both the concrete and theoretical revolutionary struggle of New Afrikan Maoism without losing Our way. We see no manifest danger that Our Party will degenerate into revisionism, right opportunism, or pragmatism. UFD isn't under Our Party leadership, so We're very much able to promote Our line and to criticize UFD if it deviates from the path of challenging U.S. imperialism via New Afrikan bourgeois nationalist revolution without "scaring" people from it.

And so that it is clear, We encourage Our cadre to join the ranks of UFD on its terms, not to secretly radicalize it. Again, We support its aim and purpose to the extent it challenges U.S. imperialism and can more effectively build independent institutions that serve the oppressed. Being that membership in Our Party is anonymous for security reasons, We see very little conflict in Our cadre joining the ranks of UFD. This is a strategic question, not a line question. There are practical benefits to Our cadre joining UFD as there are in them getting a job working for a bourgeois business. Besides being devoted to advocating New Afrikan nationalism and struggling against gang violence, drugs, sexism, criminality, poor education, unfair criminal justice practices, lack of prison reform, etc., UFD is devoted to building a financial and business network by which 1) business minded members of UFD can receive financial, technical, and marketing support from every other member of UFD who benefit from their investments; and 2) these businesses and investors can partner up, using their collective leveraging power to set up larger, corporate ventures on a distributive and productive scale to compete for hundreds of billions of dollars. Our cadre who are members of UFD will benefit from UFD's economic success, thereby allowing them to contribute more to the work of Our full-time Party workers. Everyone in Our Party has a purpose, and WE all can fulfill Our vanguard role, too.

For the record, We support MIM(Prisons)'s work and believe We were wrong to expect them to neglect their work to support Our strategy. That was right opportunism. And We no longer seek their aid in anything other than debating with Us publicly and privately to help Us further thrash out Our own line. We must develop Our own self-sufficiency, which We are slowly doing. MIM(Prisons)'s withdrawal of their support wasn't necessarily a set back, but rather a needed lesson. You can't hold a child's hand forever and expect them to blossom on their own. We owe MIM(Prisons) much and publicly pledge to repay them. And We encourage Our incarcerated cadre and supporters to participate in MIM(Prisons)'s study groups.

Let this not be Our final word on the matters discussed herein. We invite further criticisms, questions, comments and suggestions. But let Us all be objective here.

NAMP Central Committee
September 2010


MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome the response from NAMP on our criticisms, as we don't like one-sided debates either. As we pointed out, we had no official documents from NAMP to refer to in regard to their political line as it has developed in recent years. The fact that this is the first public document we've seen from NAMP in years we'll leave as evidence of our position that NAMP liquidated the vanguard to develop a petty bourgeois mass organization.

For the most part, this response substantiates the points made in our original self-criticism. While accepting the labor aristocracy thesis, NAMP attacks the lumpen from a petty bourgeois position, then turns around and supports outright organizing on behalf of the economic interests of an exploiter nation. Organizing New Afrika around economic nationalism certainly offers historical advantages to organizing a European nation against U.$. imperialism, as MIM opposed in their opening piece in MIM Theory 14: United Front. Still, we would rather organize New Afrika as an oppressed nation around issues of oppression that are very real, life and death questions for the New Afrikan lumpen, or those facing even worse conditions in Africa.

In their discussion of racism, NAMP argues vehemently that the New Afrikan nation has interests opposed to imperialism because it is oppressed. Yet, when it comes to the lumpen, NAMP gives us the tautology that could be summarized as, "the lumpen can't be effective revolutionaries because they face oppression" such as high recidivism rates, poor educational opportunities, state supervision and prison. Of course, that very oppression is behind our position that the lumpen are potential allies of the proletariat.

To better demonstrate our differences, let's first understand what the lumpen class is. They are an excess population, something that Marx said was unique to the capitalist mode of production. They have no role to play in reproducing society; they are forbidden from playing a productive role in society. To talk about the lumpen as being criminal-minded first, rather than recognizing the origins of their class and therefore their class consciousness is backwards. The lumpen were not born as anti-social individuals, they were attacked first, usually because of national oppression from the white power structure. They turn around and fight the system in self-defense. So it's not just that the lumpen will be given more opportunities under socialism, the lumpen will cease to exist once the mode of production changes to meet humyn need. Those individuals who refuse to reform of course will be repressed.

We agree that the lumpen are bourgeoisified in the United $tates, just like everyone else is. And in China it was the lumpen who were often the hardest to reform, because their whole attitude is based on blatant parasitism — getting something for nothing. It is important to note that the lumpen in imperialist countries are not the same as the lumpen Marx, Lenin and Mao talked about. We can't just mechanically apply definitions about the lumpen, just like we can't mechanically assume that the workers in imperialist countries are the same proletariat they were back in Marx's day. For Marx, the lumpen were living among the proletariat, but were not of the proletariat class. That led to a different consciousness that made them tough allies, and they were a small minority. In the U$ we're talking about whole communities, ghettos, that are lumpen/petty bourgeois. There is a group consciousness there that is tied to national oppression. In imperialist countries there are many other attitudes among the lumpen in addition to parasitism, most importantly among the oppressed nations, that differentiate them from the petty bourgeoisie in progressive ways. We disagree with NAMP's assertion that lumpenism compounds bourgeois subjectivism, and say that in imperialist countries it actually plays a role in combating it.

One result of their exclusion and oppression is that the lumpen exists on the periphery of bourgeois society. It is on the periphery where there is room to move. We see advantages in freedom and security among the lumpen that don't exist among the petty bourgeoisie. Yes, prisoners are under extreme state control, limiting their ability to organize. But so are the proletariat of the Third World. In fact, this argument from NAMP is nothing new. "The oppressed are too uneducated and face too much repression to rise up in arms," has been the petty bourgeois line since Marx's day.

The strength of the state, in a country where spies far outnumber communists, is a daunting barrier that we acknowledge as much as anyone. But the Amerikkkan prison system has laid the ground work for building schools for developing revolutionary theory. The intelligentsia among the lumpen, which is concentrated behind steel and concrete, is one unique aspect of the lumpen in the United $tates that is in our favor. It is this group that is the basis of MIM(Prisons)'s existence and work.

It is curious that NAMP claims we ignore that New Afrikans are an oppressed domestic colony, as we have always pushed that line regarding all internal semi-colonies to the point of being accused of racism by many white prisoners. We counter NAMP's economic organizing strategy, with a strategy of organizing against oppression. On their second point in that paragraph we do think there is a difference in positions. In our minds it is highly debatable to claim that New Afrikans benefit from super-profits only incidentally to their oppression. Our general line is that integration was about 50% successful since the time of the Black Power movement. We hope to refine this analysis in future publications and welcome any contributions to this research from NAMP. We recognize the neo-colonial significance of Barack Obama to New Afrikans, and criticized those who thought this was somehow changing things for oppressed people inside or outside the United $tates.

We have never argued that the New Afrikan petty bourgeoisie cannot be an ally in the anti-imperialist struggle, and here we challenge NAMP for misrepresenting our line. We do make two criticisms of them on this issue, one is regarding what points we should organize New Afrikans around, and the second is the relationship of the proletarian vanguard to other classes in the New Afrikan nationalist movement. NAMP's mistakes lie in organizing the petty bourgeoisie in an imperialist country around their economic interests, and doing so in the name of a supposed proletarian party, or its mass organization.

NAMP praises the anti-imperialism of the national bourgeoisie in the Muslim world, but would do well to compare the situation here to there. New Afrika has no land, nor natural resources, nor influence over currency markets. And despite having over 1 million citizens who are legally slaves, there is little exploitation of New Afrika to fight over. In other words, economically speaking, New Afrika has little to lose and much to gain from imperialism. Imperialism provides the petty bourgeoisie in the United $tates with their current income levels and living standards far above most of the world. We fail to see any bubbling of a revolutionary situation there. And certainly, if there was, it would not be based on economism, but on questions like voting rights, state repression and mass imprisonment.

In the original self-criticism we clarified our position on New Democracy for the internal semi-colonies. When NAMP actually addresses the question of New Afrika as an exploiter nation, the crux of their argument in favor of organizing the petty bourgeoisie is that the United $tates cannot buy off New Afrikans. As was demonstrated in our Case Study on the U.$. Housing Market Decline, more than half of New Afrikans are already bought off (at least materially speaking) with super-profits. What NAMP needs to address to be consistent is how New Afrika went from proletarian to petty bourgeois in recent generations, and their line that now it is impossible for the economic gap between New Afrikan and white Amerika to be closed.

If we assume for a minute that NAMP's economics are correct though, then we ask what application of United Front theory calls for the abandonment of proletarian politics to organize other classes? NAMP wants to claim that they still exist as a vanguard upholding Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and that there is no danger of revisionism in their strategy. They propose that it is okay to secretly join mass organizations and hide one's politics. Yet for all their stress on the importance of practice, where is NAMP's practice as a vanguard? Where is NAMP's practice independent of their organizing of the petty bourgeoisie to build economic independence? How is this not liquidationism?

NAMP's "we're preaching to the choir" line is typical of liquidationists and those who put numbers in command. They think we need to reach as many people as we can and get them on the streets first, then we can work out the details of what it is that we're doing. Reaching new people is great, but as MIM often said, "Revolutionary practice without the right theory is worse than shit." It should be clear to anyone reading this debate that not even the choir is clearly on the side of the preacher in either of our cases and there is much ideological struggle and development to be done before there will be any question of making revolution in the United $tates.

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[Abuse] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 17]
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KKKlinton Strikes Again

Twice now in two years, the pigs at Kkklinton have allegedly restrained a convict and murdered him. In the early morning hours of 3 October 2010, Leonard Strickland, a 44-year-old Black male in general population was killed. Of course these cowards will be fighting each other, cutting, stabbing and yet there's no resistance to these corrupt corrections staff.

Just last night, while returning from the SHU shower Sergeant Marcil and CO Stuart told me that the prisoner died of an overdose or bad heroin brought into the prison that weekend. Officer Decoteau told me that it was the plastic bag treatment, meaning that once again they've placed a bag over a prisoner's head. I have spoken to another prisoner who had this done to him.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The NYS DOCS has accused Mr. Strickland of assaulting staff and admit that he died shortly after being subdued by staff. The autopsy results are expected in a couple weeks. We hope our comrades in New York will help us investigate what really went down and start developing means to ensure better protection of the imprisoned population as a whole. This protection starts with the mobilization of a conscious prison population who are watching for abuse and will unite in protest of these acts of brutality.

This article referenced in:
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[Spanish] [California] [ULK Issue 18]
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Derrame de Petroleo del Golfo: Es Capitalismo, ¡Estupido!

Manos por América, que maravilloso, concepto conmovedor. Desde Santa Mónica, California hasta las playas de Alabama. Americanos unidos en un atentado para enseñar su desilusión y coraje al Petróleo Británico compañía de petróleo (BP), tanto como su amor por el medioambiente, específicamente a la costa del Golfo.

Han sido más de dos meses desde que BP causó el desastroso derrame de petróleo en la región de la Costa del Golfo de los Estados Unidos y todavía los imperialistas y capitalistas grandes no saben cómo parar uno de los desastres ambientales más destructivas en la historia humana. ¡Los americanos están enojados! Una de las cosas que los americanos odian a ver lo más es cuando el toque del imperialismo tiene un impacto en la costa "suya". Que enorme golpe financiero para todas esas personas viviendo en o cerca de la costa del Golfo, ni mencionar toda esa pobre vida marina indefensa - cómo se atreve ese BP venir aquí y imponer sus maneras descuidados y maniáticas en América - ¿no tienen ninguna vergüenza? los americanos no querían ese petróleo de todos modos, ¿verdad?

En realidad, los americanos sí quieren que BP perfore para petróleo.

Siendo los parásitos sobre la humanidad y el globo que son, ellos definitivamente quieren que BP perfore para el petróleo en la costa del Golfo pese a lo que digan. Son tan sedientos por petróleo como un garrapata de la sangre. Es en parte por qué instalaron el Sha de Irán hace años atrás. Es porqué invadieron a Kuwait y atacaron a Iraq durante la Guerra del Golfo, que resultó en rompimiento de record de derrames de petróleo marinas a ese tiempo contaminando las ciénegas en Iraq. (BP ha superado ese record en el extremo ahora.)(1) Es porqué América invadió a Iraq la segunda vez y colgó a Saddám. Y es en parte por qué ahora tienen sus miras fijos en Irán por un cambio de régimen. Así que por favor, a todos ustedes sedientes glotones Americanos, evítenos sus sentimientos. Ustedes querían este petróleo tanto como, si no más que sus grandes capitalistas y empresas de energía.

No es como si BP fuera una entidad externa y completamente ajeno a América que de algún modo simplemente forzó o manipuló la única superpotencia del hemisferio occidental y empezó a perforar a su propio deseo. Ustedes querían ese petróleo cuando ustedes decidieron a deshacerse de ese viejo cansado Chevy y mejorar a un decadente y caro 2010 SUV de todo terreno. Ustedes querían ese petróleo cuando decidieron mantener sus casas a un cómodo 73 grados por todo el año aunque ustedes viven en California. Ustedes querían ese petróleo cada vez que compraron toda esa otra ociosa e innecesaria porquería que no necesitaron que requiso petróleo para fabricar, empaquetar, enviar, etcétera. Y finalmente, ustedes probaron que ustedes querían ese

petróleo cada vez que uno de sus niños regresó del extranjero en un saco de cadáver, o sometieron al Tercer Mundo a su yugo de opresión, muerte y destrucción.

Todo está excelente y magnífico cuando el derrame de petróleo ocurre en otra parte, en un país que ustedes están muy flojos a siquiera intentar de pronunciar correctamente. Los Nigerianos han estado viviendo entre derrames de petróleo por más de 50 años, que asciende a más de 550 millones de gallones derramados, gracias a empresas de petróleo extranjeros que prestan América y otras países ricos.(2) 50 años, y todavía nada ha sido hecho sobre los ecosistemas destruidos ni medios de vida humana. Para aquellos que hacen campaña para parar la perforación fuera de orillas en los Estados Unidos sin seriamente restringir el consumo del Primer Mundo: eso solamente traducirá en más contaminación y destrucción en Nigeria, el Sudan y por todo del Medio Oriente donde vidas humanas y ecosistemas están considerados menos digno por los chauvinistas gritando "¡no en mi patio!"

El derrame de petróleo no era solamente la culpa de BP ni fue solamente la culpa de Obama tampoco. Es capitalismo, estúpido, y lo más pronto que lo empieces a entender y comiences a hacer algo para asegurar que los derrames de petróleo como lo de la costa del Golfo no sucedan otra vez, como por ejemplo ayudando a derribar el imperialismo, lo mejor estaremos.

Este tipo de desastre habría tenido muy poco o cero posibilidad de ocurrir en la Unión Soviética anterior (1917-1953) o la República de China Socialista (1949-1976), porque esos países comunistas no habrían tenido hacer el extenso perforación que el Primer Mundo parece estar enganchado con. ¿Por qué? Eso es exactamente por qué los países comunistas implementaron algo llamado "economías planeados" para cumplir con necesidades humanas. Con el conocimiento de hoy de los efectos de capitalismo sobre la ecología de la tierra, una forma de producción socialista sólo aprobará la producción de cantidades necesarias para los necesidades de sus pueblos, tal como comida, ropa, refugio, provisiones médicos y otros necesidades para comercio y venta. Estas economías planeados estarán puestos al corriente trimestralmente, anualmente, o como necesitado. Pero ahora, Americanos exigen más y lo quieren barato. Y los imperialistas tienen que producir más de lo necesario para continuar sacar provecho.

En las sistema económica Maoísta, ya que la producción es por necesidad y no por la ganancia, la seguridad de repente se hace "manejable." Bajo el capitalismo, cortando esquinas aumenta beneficios, mientras amenaza a la vida humana. Aunque mucho estadounidenses está legítimamente enfadados, se sienten incapaces de hacer nada. Los oficiales de BP parecen intocables, sin embargo en una economía planeado socialista Maoísta, los responsables de las operaciones que amenazan la vida se llevan a cabo a la mayor rendición de cuentas, incluida la pena de muerte.. Mientras los oficiales de BP son millonarios, los oficiales comunistas en socialista China ganaron mucho menos que los intelectuales, aunque llevaban mucho más responsabilidad. Permitir que los pocos sacar provecho de la destrucción del planeta, que depende toda la vida, será el legado más duradero del capitalismo que las generaciones futuras se rascarán la cabeza.

Podemos esperar muchas desastres más golpear a los Estados Unidos, como lo han estado golpeando el Tercer Mundo desde hace décadas, en los próximos años como los imperialistas se vuelven más desesperados para explotar la Tierra de sus recursos materiales y dejar a un lado todos los escrúpulos cuando se aprovecha cada vez más a las reservas de minerales y de combustibles fósiles de los EE.UU. El apetito insaciable de consumo del Primer Mundo debe ser detenido con el fin de mantener un planeta que valga la pena construir el socialismo en.

Notas:
(1) Threats to the environment posed by war in Iraq. Science in Africa, March 2003.
(2) Gambrel, Jon. Gulf spill a familiar story in oil-soaked Nigeria. Associated Press, July 5, 2010.

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[Organizing] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Half a Bar of Soap

Approximately 30-45 days ago all 46 SHU prisoners at CCI (California Correctional Institution) Tehachapi received an institution wide memo from the Associate Warden, in response to a complaint from a prisoner in regards to soap allotment. The main contention being that we had not received soap for an entire week. Now this would seem a legitimate endeavor on the surface - with one problem. This comrade apparently fired off some half-cocked letter with no proactive action to support it. The end result, of course, being very ineffective and worsening the situation.

The typical administration response we got was that we are only allotted 1/2 a bar of soap per week. Until that point we were receiving an entire bar of soap. The justification for the cut was the current excuse of 'budget cuts'. Of course this was a punitive response.

There's one very important thing that I would like to stress to all comrades: the major difference between bitching and complaining legitimately. To simply bitch is to make an issue out of current circumstances/conditions with no intention of following through to the court system or gathering outside pressure with support. A complaint is supported by affirmative action with planning, forethought, and distinct political goals. In our case, causing a blow to the imperialist system of incarceration.

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