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[Polemics] [Palestine] [Principal Contradiction] [National Liberation]

A Polemic against Settler "Maoism"

Outline: Introduction

This polemic focuses on writings and ideas from Revolutionary Marxist Students (RMS) and Maoist Communist Union (MCU). RMS is a student group focused primarily on education and organizing around college campuses and MCU is a pre-party organization with more varied activities. Each derive from a shared settler “Maoist” ideological tradition in the United States concentrated on trade unionism and influenced by Trotskyism. This paper focuses on their misunderstandings of settler-colonialism, the national question in the United States and the labor aristocracy. Let it be noted that ideological strengths in their literature are largely omitted from discussion of these central issues.


  1. RMS/MCU ignores the national question in the US and misunderstands settler-colonialism. This contributes to a pardoning of white settler workers and acting as though their economic demands will not directly reinforce imperialism and colonization.
  2. RMS/MCU presents no explicit class analysis identifying and demarcating the revolutionary from counterrevolutionary forces in society.
  3. RMS/MCU distort Marx, Engels and Lenin’s understanding of the labor aristocracy to mean a small privileged upper strata of workers in any country, rather than the majority of labor having been bourgeoisified within the imperial core.

Palestine and Settler Colonialism

The RMS Statement on the Genocide in Palestine is a useful starting point for investigating the errors of this political tendency.(1) There is much worthy of praise including rebuttal of some imperialist propaganda and recognition of, considering Palestine, a “need to keep up with future development and critically assess the forces at play. Our primary role in the United States is to understand and oppose our own state’s involvement in this genocide.”

However, given the importance of opposition to settler colonialism within the Maoist theoretical lineage, RMS’s adherence to Trotskyist interpretations of settler labor is unorthodox. In contrast to Mao and Stalin, Trotsky believed that a socialist government in only one country would be doomed to failure unless it found rapid new socialist allies across the world: unless it was accompanied by a global “permanent revolution.” As Trotsky says himself, “Without direct state support from the European proletariat, the working class of Russia will not be able to maintain itself in power and to transform its temporary rule into a lasting socialist dictatorship. This we cannot doubt for an instant.”(2)

This was not a view restricted to the specific context of Russia, however. In the basic postulates beginning Trotsky’s The Permanent Revolution, written in 1931, he writes that:

“Socialist construction is conceivable only on the foundation of the class struggle, on a national and international scale. This struggle, under the conditions of an overwhelming predominance of capitalist relationships on the world arena, must inevitably lead to explosions, that is, internally to civil wars and externally to revolutionary wars. Therein lies the permanent character of the socialist revolution as such, regardless of whether it is a backward country that is involved, which only yesterday accomplished its democratic revolution, or an old capitalist country which already has behind it a long epoch of democracy and parliamentarism.”

The above-outlined sketch of the development of the world revolution eliminates the question of countries that are ‘mature’ or ‘immature’ for socialism in the spirit of that pedantic, lifeless classification given by the present programme of the Comintern. Insofar as capitalism has created a world market, a world division of labour and world productive forces, it has also prepared world economy as a whole for socialist transformation.

Different countries will go through this process at different tempos. Backward countries may, under certain conditions, arrive at the dictatorship of the proletariat sooner than advanced countries, but they will come later than the latter to socialism. A backward colonial or semi-colonial country, the proletariat of which is insufficiently prepared to unite the peasantry and take power, is thereby incapable of bringing the democratic revolution to its conclusion. Contrariwise, in a country where the proletariat has power in its hands as the result of the democratic revolution, the subsequent fate of the dictatorship and socialism depends in the last analysis not only and not so much upon the national productive forces as upon the development of the international socialist revolution.”(3) [Bold ours]

This Trotskyist conception that workers from the most advanced capitalist nations must revolt to assist revolutionary struggles in backwards, feudal and colonized nations is manifested in RMS’s theory on Palestine. Like their theoretical forerunner, RMS incorrectly identifies the friends and enemies of the international proletariat, but without the excuse that the labor aristocracy was embryonic in Trotsky’s time.

RMS claims to evaluate the “Hamas October 7th attack” – more accurately, a counter-attack orchestrated by the resistance Joint Operations Room groups(4) – in relationship to the supposedly more “diverse strategy” within the Vietnamese, Chinese and Algerian revolutionary wars. They claim Hamas is wrong to support a two-state solution, without acknowledging that Hamas only supports the policy as a temporary strategic measure.(5) RMS prioritizes “Israeli” citizens through their critique of a two-state solution, claiming that “Only through the implementation of one secular and democratic state for both Israelis and Palestinians in place of the religious-fascist state currently ruling over the region can this brutal apartheid come to an end.” RMS misunderstands the inherently settler, counterrevolutionary designation of “Israeli” which must be abolished alongside the zionist entity in order for Palestine to be free.

Instead of abolishing the settler class role, RMS claims that “in order to wage any sort of successful national liberation struggle in Palestine, a significant section of the working Israeli masses would have to turn against the apartheid state and link up with the Palestinians” and that “Historical precedent proves the need for such an alliance of both the colonized and colonizer working classes in ending Apartheid, as seen in the South African example.” Here the term “working class” obfuscates settler-colonialism by equating the class interests of settler and colonized populations, ostensibly because they each receive wages, ignoring their wages’ dramatically different quantities and the fact that one group faces national oppression and the other constitutes an oppressor nation. RMS also cites the numeric majority of “Israelis” within Palestine to justify the need for an alliance between the two groups.

Their singular case study with regards to settler workers cooperating with colonized workers within a successful revolutionary movement is a multi-national trade union struggle against apartheid in South Africa.(6) As RMS writes, “historical precedent proves need for an alliance of the colonized and the colonizer working classes in ending apartheid. In South Africa, while less than 10% of the population was white, an alliance with the working class of said population was not only possible but necessary for the ending of the apartheid regime.”

While the above source which RMS references argues the significance of the South African Congress of Trade Unions, it omits the representation of various nations in the formation or the involvement of white settler labor. Moreover, despite apartheid being “defeated” national oppression amd segregation endures in South Africa alongside the revisionism of the African National Congress.

RMS criticizes the Palestinian resistance militarily through reference to Algeria, China and Vietnam, while the class compositions of these nations’ struggles against colonialism and imperialism are not considered. While no two cases are perfectly analogous, successful liberation movements against colonialism and imperialism have been won not through drawing from the sympathy of the oppressor nation “workers” but through organizing the indigenous masses. Although no socialist states remain today from 20th century revolutionary movements, victories against imperialism in a multitude of socialist African, Latin American and Asian governments during the late 20th century were achieved by the (mostly) guerrilla warfare of the colonized populations, often fighting in direct contradiction to enemy settler-labor formations. The Chinese revolution, which Maoists uphold as the most significant advance towards socialism, didn’t concern itself with the characteristic mineutia of the enemy class; they opposed the Japanese occupiers – labor and all. What is particularly alarming about RMS’s analysis of international settler situations is the transativity of the analysis on occupied Turtle Island where settler labor has directly led in colonization and genocide, especially in the United States.(7)

In every revolutionary struggle, there are those who commit class suicide and join the side of the oppressed despite their origins as exploiters. Hence, a rejection of an “alliance” between the settler workers and the oppressed nation workers must not serve as a mechanical rejection of individual revolutionaries’ ability to transcend their class origin. As a class however, settlers have never rejected their class except when forced to migrate out of a colony by the revolting oppressed.(8) With respect to colonized nations, settlers everywhere form a reactionary, exploiting class.

Fundamentally, RMS misunderstands the class role of settler labor as parasitic and antagonistic to the liberation of their country’s colonized peoples. Settler labor is understood as the labor and political organizations representing the class interests of the settlers as workers – more wages, better work conditions, expansion of settler lands, and access to resources. Class interests and the demands they beget represent the improvement of the well being or wealth of the respective strata. This is especially true within capitalism where the potential of class mobility is present. No strata is without class demands, and no labor formation is capable of completely shedding the class demands of its composite strata as the purpose of forming labor and political advocacy organizations within capitalism is improving the lot of a given group, usually through struggle with employers or the state. It is possible for segments of a strata to reject their class demands but that is not what RMS is advocating for in the case of settler labor.

What makes settler labor organizations reactionary is that the settler class material interest is the dispossession of an indigenous population, by which the settler class is afforded free land, cheap resources, access to improved citizenship benefits as dividend from the immense plunder of the settler bourgeoisie and the cheap labor of the colonized who are relegated to reservations, often little more than concentration camps. Settler labor organizations will seek to advocate for greater dividends of the whole stolen wealth of the nation for the respective spheres of workers for which they advocate. Conflicts between the settler bourgeoisie and settler petty-bourgeoisie, including all settlers who receive wages, do not arise because the state can increase the levers of indigenous dispossession and genocide, creating settler class positions for sections of the former-proletariat whenever the possibility of class struggle presents itself.

This plays out in “Israel” as there are no trade unions, much less nonprofits or “leftist” activist organizations struggling against the zionist entity as a colonial project. Israel mandates that every settler, except the ultra-orthodox, serve in the Israeli Occupation Forces, learning to kill and hate Palestinians. Remaining are isolated instances of military defectors and other peaceful protesters being brutalized over even milquetoast objections to the scale or extent of the occupation or specific massacres, such as those occurring in Gaza currently. Settler labor as a class, and indeed the entire settler population of “Israel” has yet to demonstrate revolutionary potential and it is unfortunate that RMS excludes any criticism of this settler “left” from their piece despite calling for the Palestinians to unify with them.

Imperialism and the National Question

The trade union movement in the US has historically concentrated significantly on the labor aristocracy, which to quote Zak Cope:

“is that section of the working class which benefits materially from imperialism and the attendant superexploitation of oppressed-nation workers. The super-wages received by the labour aristocracy allow for its accrual of savings and investment in property and business and thereby “middle-class” status, even if its earnings are, in fact, spent on luxury personal consumption. Persons who may be compelled to work for a living but consume profits in excess of the value of labour either through some form of property ownership or through having established a political stake in (neo) colonialist society, may be bourgeois without hiring and exploiting labour-power” (9)

Cope applies the concept globally to argue that within the OECD working class – 38 European nations, Mexico (a more complicated case in The Dawnland Group’s opinion), Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Japan – there is no legal exploitation. Rather, Cope argues the first world working class is recipient of super-wages comprised of wages for their labor in addition to wages from the super-exploitation of the third world which provides them with cheap commodities and shares of imperialist profits. In particular, Cope notes the exploitative role of the first world working class, writing that “where workers seek to retain whatever bourgeois status their occupational income and conditions of work afford them through alliance with imperialist political forces, they can be said to actively exploit the proletariat.” (10)

Cope calculates the value of super-exploitation through two methods, namely international productivity equivalence, and international wage differentials, assuming an international equalized wage rate. Using these two methods Cope finds a combined value transfer from the non-OECD to OECD countries of $4.9 trillion in the year 2008 alone.(11) While a renewed study of imperialist value transfer is necessary for US communists today, that is beyond the scope of this polemic. It should suffice to observe that wages in gross disproportion to the productivity of first and third world workers indicate an exploitative dynamic benefiting one group at the expense of the other. There may be challenges cultivating revolutionary empathy and culture in the imperial core if working conditions and wages here cannot be viewed in a global context and value transfer is not appreciated.

As recognized by Lenin, Marx and Engels, the global proletariat has nothing to lose but their chains. This is a category of workers afforded zero or next-to-zero wealth through imperialism. Formations such as MCU and RMS refuse this definition because it would broaden the petty-bourgeoisie and labor aristocracy to include most of the industrial workers who they consider the “revolutionary proletariat” and dramatically reduce their organizing base within the imperial core.

The most acute struggles in the United States today are national rather than based on class. The internal nations in the US show the greatest sites of exploitation, oppression and direct, violent conflict with the capitalist class. These are the indigenous protesting at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, movement against the murderous national oppression carried out through police and prisons, resistance and labor organizing from migrants forced from their home countries by imperialism, and rebellion among the literal colonies retained by the US empire today in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. These instances of struggle go beyond wishing for middle-class living standards. Not only have they demonstrated increased levels of militancy against the state, but the roots of these conflicts are irreparable antagonisms against the structure of capitalism and imperialism which necessarily go beyond economic demands and have not been placated through the dividend of super-profits.

Maoist Communist Union (MCU) writing about politics in the United States focuses on trade unionism and overlooks national questions. Despite the manifold contradictions between nations on Turtle Island, within their theory journals, Notes from a Conversation Among Comrades on the George Floyd Protests: Lessons for Ourselves and Beyond discusses the oppression of Black people but does not lay out a conception of their struggle for national liberation or their nationhood.(12) No other articles discuss national or even “racial” (a popular but unscientific concept) oppression on Turtle Island, and their extensive writing about Maoist formations from the Global South and trade unionism in the US reveals that they view the US as simply another country that can carry out revolution domestically by replicating Maoist strategies from the third world. They are mistaken: different conditions warrant different strategies.

MCU’s Some General Theses on Communist Work in the Trade Unions exemplifies this view.(13) Ignoring national oppression, the article instead finds that “in order to have a socialist revolution in this country we must first develop a strong Communist (Maoist) Party capable of leading a powerful trade union movement and of freeing that movement from the domination of reactionary leadership.”

The chronology is important. If communists must first develop this “Maoist” trade unionist movement, it means any organizing around the national – or racial, according to language used by MCU – questions and colonization are peripheral or secondary to this central cause. It suggests communists might first unite the trade union movement and later, if at all, use this militant union formation to liberate oppressed groups within the country rather than working with these groups as mutually constitutive of a revolutionary struggle, much less prioritizing struggles of oppressed nations. In reality, organizing a bulwark of settler labor will negatively impact national liberation movements.

Instead of oppressed nations, MCU sees trade union aristocrats as the US’s revolutionary masses. The core reference to the “labor aristocracy” in Some General Theses is when the authors claim that “the most secure and consistent base of the reactionary union leaders is the labor aristocracy which is only a small subsection of the working class, and in our day is not equivalent to the trade union membership as a whole.” Having sidestepped an investigation of the various relationships to the means of production, they claim that the “vast majority” of US trade union membership is not a “reactionary base.” MCU overlooks an investigation of total worker compensation including public and private benefits, the means by which the labor aristocracy is maintained within imperial core countries. Luxurious positions at the apex of global commodity exchange and artificially high wages give labor aristocrats wealth above the means of subsistence on which the proletariat must endure, and doled out above the value created through their labor. Without an investigation of international class relations, wages, wealth and labor productivity it is impossible to determine where the proletariat ends and where the labor aristocracy begins and ends, much less between the proletariat and the petty-bourgeoisie. It is thus impossible to determine who the revolutionary masses are.

MCU claims that “A Communist Party must necessarily equip itself with the most advanced revolutionary science, based upon a summation of the whole of the proletariat’s revolutionary experience up to the moment in question.” Despite this, MCU presents no historical summation of “communist” work in US trade unions for the past 80 years that could support their conclusion of the necessity or even possibility of building a “Maoist” trade union movement in the US today. In tandem with a thorough class analysis, a historical account of why an ideology finds certain groups revolutionary or counterrevolutionary must be established. If the US trade unions have not taken up any anti-imperialist politics since before the New Deal era despite consistent unsuccessful communist infiltration, what has been the source of these failures?

In their more recent MCU and the Working Class Movement summarizing the tendency’s recent organizing initiatives, the aforementioned mistakes are repeated, particularly a failure to analyze US classes, their only attempt at defining the proletariat being “the only class that has an interest in communism as a class.” This is not a definition. MCU does not scientifically demarcate the proletariat from the non-proletariat. Their interesting commentary about the significance of creating a “specifically proletarian line” around which all other classes must be drawn is inapplicable to any context without an accompanying class analysis.

Because of the labor aristocracy thesis, workers who benefit from super-exploitation of the third world are not exploited, they are exploiters. This entails that the economic interests of the vast majority of imperial core workers are counterrevolutionary. Trade unions, tenant organizing and other locally “progressive” economic campaigns threaten to bolster standards of living and strengthen citizens’ relationship with imperialism. More specifically, the labor aristocracy thesis suggests there is no antagonism between first world capitalists and their citizen labor aristocrats to begin with, the two instead being allied in consuming value from the Global South.

(Mis)Identifying the Labor Aristocracy and the Proletariat

To examine historical Marxist origins of the term “labor aristocracy” as distinct from the proletariat, Marx, Engels and Lenin should be studied. As written in the Maoist Internationalist Movement’s Imperialism and its Class Structure in 1997:

According to Marx, the portion of society that is parasitic increases over time: “At the dawn of civilization the productiveness acquired by labour is small, but so too are the wants which develop with and by the means of satisfying them. Further, at that early period, the portion of society that lives on the labour of others is infinitely small compared with the mass of direct producers. Along with the progress in the productiveness of labour, that small portion of society increases both absolutely and relatively.”

Despite the focus given to the labor aristocracy by Lenin, Marx and Engels were the first to speak of the labor aristocracy of the colonial countries. Even in Capital, Vol. 1, Marx speaks of “how industrial revulsions affect even the best-paid, the aristocracy, of the working-class.”

Engels in particular is famous for some quotes on England. Here we only point to the quotes from Engels that Lenin also cited favorably in his book Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. As we shall see, Lenin’s approval and careful attention to the quotes from Engels on the labor aristocracy are very important in his own thinking.

One of the clearest quotes from Engels as early as 1858 cited by Lenin is: “The English proletariat is becoming more and more bourgeois, so that this most bourgeois of all nations is apparently aiming ultimately at the possession of a bourgeois aristocracy, and a bourgeois proletariat as well as a bourgeoisie. For a nation which exploits the whole world, this is, of course, to a certain extent justifiable.” We should also point out that from Lenin’s point of view it was a matter of concern that this had been going on for over 50 years already. Just before expressing this concern, Lenin says, “Imperialism has the tendency to create privileged sections also among the workers, and to detach them from the broad masses of the proletariat.” Writing to the same Kautsky who later betrayed everything, Engels said, “You ask me what the English workers think about colonial policy? Well exactly the same as they think about politics in general. There is no workers’ party here, there are only Conservatives and Liberal Radicals, and the workers merrily share the feast of England’s monopoly of the colonies and the world market.” Spineless Mensheviks internationally regret this blanket statement by Engels. The more dangerous revisionists of Marxism are only too gutless to say Engels was wrong while contradicting him at every chance. The spineless flatterers of the oppressor nation working class fear the reaction of the oppressor nation workers to being told they are parasites. Likewise, these spineless social-chauvinists evade the task before the international proletariat – a historical stage of cleansing the oppressor nation workers of parasitism. This task cannot be wished away with clever tactics of niceness.” (15)

Referring back to Some Theses on our Work in the Trade Unions, MCU writes that “with the development of capitalist imperialism, Lenin considered it was no longer possible to bribe such a large section of the working class: ‘It was possible in those days to bribe and corrupt the working class of one country for decades. This is now improbable, if not impossible. But on the other hand, every imperialist ‘Great’ Power can and does bribe smaller strata (than in England in 1848–68) of the ‘labour aristocracy.’” Lenin’s claim flowed from the reality that in 1916, imperialist world war had broken out and large segments of British and German workers were re-proletarianized. However, the era of inter-imperialist world war has since been profoundly interrupted by over seventy years of peace in the core imperialist countries throughout which the labor aristocracy to which Lenin referred has grown. Lenin’s writing in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, published in 1917 the year after Imperialism and the Split in Socialism, should be given authority.

While MCU are correct to recognize the socialist NGO’s, revisionist parties and capitalist rulers of most trade unions as class enemies, these do not comprise the labor aristocracy, which instead is the wide majority of bourgeoisified workers compensated with super-wages through imperialism.

MCU writing of their conception of the labor aristocracy says that “In the US, the ruling class has been able to bribe a minority subsection of the working class for a long period of time. The height of this bribery was likely reached during the New Deal era, but especially since the mid 1970s more and more of the labor aristocracy has seen its privileges severely eroded. We need to do much more investigation however to determine more exactly how the labor aristocracy in this country has changed over time, how large it ever truly got and how large it is today.”

MCU seems to assume that decreasing wages relative to GDP since the 1970s has meant the decrease of the US labor aristocracy, but GPD does not reflect global class relations nor wage differentials between nations: “Through this negative account balance (though not only it), the US working class is able to consume products which its labour has not paid for. Global neoliberal restructuring has thus maintained the privileged position of the core-nation working class relative to the Third World proletariat, albeit on terms less favourable to the former’s independent political expression than during the long boom of the 1950s and 1960s.” (16) The persistence of the labor aristocracy despite neoliberal reform can be measured through the significant increase of homeownership,(17) vehicle ownership,(18) higher education(19) and real weekly wages(20) throughout the country since 1960. Based upon these statistics, MCU is incorrect to claim that the height of bribery was during the New Deal era.

Clearly, MCU is using a different definition of the labor aristocracy than Marx, Engels and Lenin because theirs is not based on bribery, unequal exchange or surplus exploitation within the domestic “working class” but entirely restricted to political roles among the petty-bourgeoisie which exist regardless of the compensation of imperial core workers in general.

Conclusion: Impact of Faulty Class Analysis on Mass Work

A closer look at MCU and the Working Class Movement which summarizes the formation’s recent work demonstrates the effects of their ideological commitment to the settler labor aristocracy through their focus on the US “industrial proletariat.”

Discussing some problems they had faced while organizing tenants, MCU claims they were unable to “find and unite with the resolute fighters among the working-class, raise consciousness amongst them specifically and wider masses more broadly, and thereby…build up revolutionary organization” due to “major ideological difficulties in developing significant numbers of tenants into communists or even clarifying the larger nature of the struggle beyond the immediate fight against gentrification.”

They conceived of their task as creating a “united front of all the class forces – workers, lumpen, petty-bourgeois – affected by gentrification.” The following section bears quoting at length:

“In a confused attempt to make the central focus of this united front still be the working-class, we specifically concentrated first on the homeless, and then when we realized that was going nowhere we shifted to tenants in public/subsidized housing – respectively perhaps the most and second-most pauperized and lumpenized sections of the working-class – despite the fact that we had studied and criticized the Black Panther Party’s lumpen-line. We justified this by downplaying the degree of lumpenization among these segments of the population and arguing, correctly, that many of these tenants were still working-class. What we did not consider was which segments and sections of the working-class are most favorable to organize amongst.”

They discuss this line of work saying that

“Naturally, our efforts among the homeless and tenants bore little fruit. We basically failed to make strong and lasting links with the working-class, develop Communists from amongst the masses we were in contact with, build sustained mass-organization, or sustain any struggles involving substantial numbers of people.”

All of this led MCU to conclude a need to “proletarianize” their ranks – through taking up industrial jobs, partly in an attempt to challenge internal petty-bourgeois class tendencies and partly to make more connections with “advanced workers.” (Recall Trotsky) Finally, they list an outpouring of petty-bourgeois students into industrial jobs as “incredibly promising” because they could numerically bolster a communist party.

MCU quotes Lenin’s 1897 Task of the Russian Social Democrats to show how it is necessary for US communists today to focus primarily on the US “industrial proletariat.” MCU claims Lenin

“clearly puts forward that it was specifically the industrial proletariat working in the urban factories that was the most advanced, the ‘most receptive to [Communist] ideas, most intellectually and politically developed.’ Lenin arrived at this conclusion because, following in the footsteps of the rest of the European industrial workers throughout the last several decades, the Russian factory workers had proven themselves in practice to be the leading section of the class during the waves of strikes in the 1880s and 1890s in Russia.”

MCU fails to discuss the difference in working conditions, wages, and wealth between US factory workers and those of semi-feudal Russia. Despite significantly basing their theory on Lenin they have failed to consider the key ways workers in 21st century imperial core countries differ from 20th century peripheral feudal workers; they fail to adequately study imperialism. MCU’s first theory journal includes an article titled Lenin’s Five Point Definition of the Economic Aspects of Capitalist Imperialism and its Relevance Today, during which the term labor aristocracy is never mentioned.(21)

Although it is later downplayed, MCU’s obsession with industrial workers is perhaps best explained by this quote:

“Without a firm foundation among the industrial proletariat, and without winning over the majority of the organized workers to a revolutionary line, it will be impossible for the Party to direct a general political strike across key workplaces and industries during a revolutionary crisis. The general political strike is a key tool by which can we paralyze the ability of the capitalist class to move goods, troops, and military equipment. Alongside splitting the repressive forces, paralyzing the bourgeoisie’s ability to run the economy is essential for a successful revolution during such a crisis. Doing this in key military industries – especially if, as is likely, the crisis arises amid a significant war – undermines the bourgeoisie’s ability to deploy repressive force to crush the revolution.”

According to this picture of revolution, industrial workers formed the “leading section of the working class” during recent strike waves because they have struck in the greatest numbers, to the greatest impact on the national economy. Whereas US industrial workers overwhelmingly only struck for a greater share of imperialist plunder in the last century – such as when the recent “historic” UAW strike in winning mere wage increases for the union and none else(22) – industrial strikes in feudal Russia were far more frequently communist. Still, MCU’s strategy is an essentially mechanical application of insurrectionist revolution, derived from feudal Russia, to the US context.

The US is not an underdeveloped feudal country with only nascent capitalism. It is the leading core imperialist country and has been for over seventy years. It is the wealthiest nation in human history, and has risen wide swaths of the population into allegiance with imperialism and, at times, fascism based upon the material benefits of empire. Revolution will be carried out by a minority-of-a-minority in the country, not by a strike sweeping all sectors of the working class. Our situation cannot be compared to that of the Bolsheviks.

Most charitably, MCU’s summation of tenant work can be read as the belief that their chronology was incorrect: first organizing a communist trade union movement will make work among tenants, lumpen and oppressed nations far easier. Yet, this is still a narrow application of Bolshevik tactics to 21st century US contexts. There are many reasons MCU’s tenant and homeless mass work may have failed: ideological incoherence, focus on labor aristocratic tenants, ignorance of the primary contradiction of national oppression facing the masses, lack of a prior conception of eventual revolutionary civil war around which to mobilize, petty-bourgeois sensibilities among cadre, or even simple human error. It is unreasonable to expect MCU to discuss these factors when they are preoccupied with a nonexistent industrial proletariat, imposing models from incomparable historical contexts.

MCU’s errors in mass-work and their shift towards “key industry” organizing may seem like a simple error of studying one revolutionary circumstance too much at the expense of others, as failing to apply Marxism to the US context. While partly true, the better explanation is a combination of opportunism – increasing numbers at the expense of revolutionary vision – and a failure to prioritize class analysis. Focusing on certain industries is important, but it fundamentally cannot tell you about class within various industries, and it cannot replace determining who the revolutionary and counterrevolutionary forces in society are; “who are our friends, and who are our enemies?” to quote Mao himself.

Focus on workers in specific industries is a strategic decision likely to be prefigured by an ideological line. MCU has established a line prioritizing Labor Aristocratic workers that necessarily rejects the importance of national contradictions to the revolutionary objectives on Turtle Island, and in doing so promotes imperialism. RMS falls close behind in promoting an impossible allegiance of the colonized nations with the settler working class. Each organization takes part in a prominent tendency of US “Maoist” organizations to follow Trotskyism despite its contradictions with Maoism.

These are deeply troublesome trends. To organize the labor aristocracy, to promote imperialism and Trotskyism is to do the enemy’s work. The global proletariat is the only force which can make revolution, and they are held back by settlers and labor aristocrats alike. The longer communists on occupied Turtle Island fail to embrace these positions, the further away a Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

(2) Zinoviev, Gregory Bolshevism or Trotskyism. 1925
(7) Sakai, J. “Settlers: The mythology of the White proletariat from mayflower to modern.”(2014). Kersplebedeb.
(8) See Haiti, Vietnam, China, Korea, and even South Africa, where millions of emigrating whites has driven many to re-settle in Israel
(9) Cope, Zac “Divided World Divided Class” Kersplebedeb 2012, pg. 9
(10) Ibid. pg. 175
(11) Ibid. pg. 200
(16) Cope, Zak “Divided World Divided Class” Kersplebedeb 2012, pg. 9

[Organizing] [Palestine] [United Front]

How to Negotiate

stop killing palestinians

In a recent episode of the RevLeft podcast, a couple of student leaders reflected on their experiences so far in the student encampments demanding university divestment from I$rael. Here we will briefly summarize some of their lessons learned and connect them to similar experiences in the prison movement.

The biggest regret expressed by one of the students, and echoed as important by the other, was conceding to closed-door negotiations with the administration. A comrade once described a campaign that ended up with a large group of prisoners being in a room with administration. The administration expressed that they had heard their demands and would go deliberate on them and let them know their decision. The comrade correctly saw the risk of divide and conquer and kept everyone there until the admin would commit to how they would actually address their very reasonable requests. When making demands of the powers that be it is important to mobilize the masses as fully as possible to participate. Behind closed doors, individual negotiators, whether due to inexperience, opportunism, fear, etc, will not get the same outcome.

A related demand that the admins often made of the student encampments was to exclude community members from the struggle on campus. This similarly helped to isolate students, potentially from more experienced organizers in particular.

Another big critique one student made of eir group was too much hemming and hawing over escalation of building occupations to the point of losing the momentum they had.

The students discussed the varied interests of different parties involved, whether on campus or off-campus students, staff with tenure or not, income levels, etc. This is paralleled in prisons where people with different amounts of time often have very different attitudes towards things, and some groups are often granted privileges by staff in order to divide and conquer. Related to this is the fact that many of the students didn’t know each other at all, so there was a lack of trust and familiarity. This might be easier to overcome in prison, but speaks to the need for developing relationships with others and organization prior to events like this.

The students mentioned how they should have studied the history of how their institutions responded to similar events in the past more. We offer the pages of ULK to document the history of the prison struggle for others to study.

Finally, they self-criticized for succumbing to reformist language that was coming from the administration in their own outreach. They stressed the importance of going into a movement with established principles in order to stick to the goals and the messaging when things get hectic and confusing. They stressed how much language matters.

These are very universal lessons that we can all benefit from better understanding. We encourage our readers to write in with more examples of lessons learned from their experiences of fighting oppression so we can all get better at what we do.

NOTES: Revolutionary Left Radio, 5 June 2024, Student Encampments for Palestine: An Interview with Student Organizers.

[Palestine] [International Connections]

A Statement of Solidarity with Students for Palestine

I am a single individual among a multitude of revolutionaries being held captive behind imperialist enemy lines (Texa$ Pri$on $y$tem).

I am a part of the Growth and Development movement and I stand for righteousness, unity, love and the liberation of all oppressed nations. At this time, I can only speak on my own behalf and not on behalf of the movement as a whole.

It is however, my sincere hope that my brothers and sisters of struggle will find agreement and solidarity with the following statement:

I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian People and I stand in solidarity with those who struggle against oppression everywhere. As is said; an injury to one is an injury to all, and none are free until all are Free!

  • I am Pro-Palestine; I am not anti-Israel.
  • I am Pro-Humyn; I am not anti-semitic.
  • I am Pro-Liberation and I am anti-Imperialist oppression!
  • Regarding Pro-Palestine protests that are currently taking place; I urge my fellow humyn beings to stand upon a Foundation of Love.

The imperialist press continues to paint an image of hate so I especially urge our young comrades who are in the protest trenches to stay strong and give the enemy absolutely no ammunition to utilize in a smear campaign.

My young comrades, fear is a natural response to danger, feel no shame if you are afraid and remember that courage is doing what is righteous despite the presence of fear.

To our young comrades who are willing to commit class suicide and sacrifice the numerous benefits of belonging to a college educated bourgeoisie, I salute you, continue to stay true to your beliefs and stand firm on righteousness.

If you should face confinement because of a righteous struggle, take heart in knowing that so long as you stand on righteousness, you will find support and solidarity wherever you go.

Stay strong comrades! Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

In solidarity and struggle.

[Security] [MIM(Prisons)]

No More Reddit for MIM(Prisons)

reddit censors maoists

5 June 2024 – We are no longer active on Last month Reddit began preventing anonymous logins by blocking Tor, requiring Google and other things that have prevented us from logging into our account (which was /u/mimprisons). Anything posted to that account after May 2024 is not from us, and even old posts may be altered. If you try to contact us via Reddit we will not receive your message. For over 11 years Reddit served as a popular site for anonymous discussion of communism. These restrictions will hamper our online recruitment, and will force us to put energies elsewhere. We appreciate those that share our website with others on reddit or elsewhere.

This also means that /r/mao_internationalist is now abandoned, and /r/maoism101 may or may not continue on without us. By Reddit’s new policies, inactive subreddits will be regularly purged from the site.

After our first suspension from Reddit six years ago, we discussed the pluses and minuses of reddit as a centralized platform. As many have noted, they are becoming a publicly listed corporation, which means they want to clean up house and make thinks more monetizeable for shareholders. Far from the vision of some of Reddit’s founders.

Since that statement 6 years ago, we have established numerous other means of communication that are encrypted and decentralized. While none are public, we may make other accounts public in the future, especially if there are issues with email again.

[Palestine] [Militarism] [National Liberation] [Principal Contradiction] [New Afrika] [Political Repression]

Students: You Are Not Criminals, Advice from a Prisoner

Black Palestinian Resistance same struggle

i want to begin this writing by expressing sincere solidarity to the surge of student activism in support of the Palestinian people and against amerikan and israeli militarism and imperialism. If i could tell the students who’re facing or will face charges in the empire’s courts, i would tell then to keep in constant memory that no matter what they, the empire, says or does you are not a criminal. i would tell then that be careful to remember the righteousness of our cause. Remember that they are not alone.

In every mass movement and organization there are varying levels of socio-political consciousness and radicalism. Those who’re neophytes to the struggle should pay careful attention to the machinations of the institutions of the empire. One’s experiences with the empire’s institutions usually increase one’s level of radicalism and consciousness. While we enter struggle usually because of various sympathies we hold, We continue and elevate our activism usually because we realize that our theories and sympathies only barely touched the surface of the ugliness of the expire.

Allow the experience you will have going through the motions of the empire’s institutional shuffles to harden you, to motivate you. Understand that your sacrifices are worth it, and that while we face certain levels of sacrifices, the people who’ve inspired us so much, the people whose stiff resistance is the reason i am even writing this missive, those people are making sacrifices and facing down levels of repression that most humans will never know. Be proud of the trials the oppressors put you through, and also be vigilant in order to learn lessons to apply to your future work in the struggle.

Advice for those inside facing charges for fighting for Palestine, my best advice would be to not allow the repression force you to stop you from organizing in furthering the cause. Continue your work on the inside. My experience on the inside in recent months is that there are a lot of patriotic, amerikanized prisoners. More than we often realize. And they are louder than those of us who support the self-determination of Palestine, and the divestment of amerikan institutions from israel. Your voice, your commitment is needed just as much inside as it is outside. Captivity is not the time for self-defeat. The struggle must continue.

Palestine’s struggle has and is being analyzed in various ways. But for the record the Palestinian struggle is a nationalist, anti-colonial struggle. There are many connections to other nationalist, anti-neocoloinal struggles within the united $tates. In north amerika the empire has succeeded in stamping out the struggle, the cultural, and much of the existence of the Indigenous people, New Afrikan people, Chican@ People, Puerto Rican people. They have already done to us what israel is attempting to do to Palestine now. amerika looks different, is softer with its policies of social control, only because they’re further along in their experiment of empire building and settler-colonialism. As a captive New Afrikan revolutionary nationalist i am extremely proud of, and inspired by the Palestinian struggle for national independence. Their struggle provides a measuring stick to other nationalist movements. i hope we take note and begin to organize in more earnest.

Because there are many students who’ve been drawn into this movement by the extremes of the Palestinian situation, some may not be aware that there are revolutionary nationalist movements here in their backyards itching to be able to mobilize enough people to raise the level of contradiction to the point that the Palestinian struggle is already at. Because there are connections between these nationalist movements we hope that you will be able to identify them and connect yourselves to these revolutionary nationalist struggles. In Our effort to smash the tentacles of amerikan militarism and imperialism in Palestine and elsewhere. We have to raise our level of struggle here. We have to raise our capacity here within the nationalist movements, and i believe the student movement is a key feature of doing that, as such the best we in the prison movement and those of you in the student movement can do is to build connections with each other, and help each other, help the world’s oppressed and exploited people.

i hope this letter is received well, and that you, the reader continue to struggle ceaselessly until victory is won.

From The River To THE SEA, Free The Land!


On Reform The Prison Issue

Where’s the solution
to this math equation
that’s continuously reducing life spans
before they reach the stage of evolution
puberty to most and the environment makes criminals out of survivalists
aspiring for better days
by desperate means
that only lead to residency inside a cage
I document upon a page
the problem which remains
for all to read
reports the news of crime and violence in urban communities
where the voice is silenced
or commercially biased
like most who are blinded by materialist greed
that breeds resentment and jealousy
a motivating force of negative chemical energy
that fuses the ideal recidivist with prison transfusion
producing the element of institutionalization
when one’s mental faculties can no longer conceive thoughts of freedom
and Kings dream of better days
become a mirage to those in chains
who remain unprepared to adapt to the change
and they blame the government that’s governed since before our emancipation.
The capitalists that capitalize
       on imprisonment
so they criminalize
       my every step
to guarantee the success
       of this prison industrial complex
and profess
that the reform programs have made a rehabilitative impact.
[Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Organizing] [Economics] [Black Panther Party]

Forever Protecting the Community - Class Nature of the Lumpen

i want to begin with a sort of disclaimer or qualifier, due to the fact that many speak on the realities of the lumpen, particularly the street gang elements, who’re not cut from that cloth, if you will.

Although i am now a committed New Afrikan Freedom Fighter, i was initiated into what is now the Forum Park Crips, in Houston, Texas, when i was in my early teens. My life in the streets was one of tribal animosities and strife, territorial beefs, and a survivalist level of hustling and scheming. i did everything one does in the street life from selling narcotics, to thievery, burglary, armed robberies, pimping, and of course ‘sliding’, as they say nowadays.

As a result of this lifestyle and my social ignorance, and lack of firm identity, purpose and direction, by age nineteen i found myself wanted for capital murder, and by twenty-one sentenced to life without parole for said murder, while holding strong to the key principle one was taught in the lumpen sub-culture, ‘No Snitching’!

Prior and during my prison stint i operated as a makeshift hystorian, and due to my persynal background i’ve paid much attention to the historical development of the lumpen in North amerikkka in general, New Afrika in particular, and the lumpen-organizational development specifically. This along with my adherence to historical dialectical materialist philosophy, i believe, qualify me to speak with a certain level of knowledge, wisdom and understanding on the subject.

The Foundation

At the moment in time of the founding of the original Crips, one of its co-founders, Tookie Williams(Ajami Kiamke Kamara) states plainly, “The crips mythology has many romanticized, bogus accounts.” i believe We in revolutionary movements take these and other similar ones too literally and therefore misrepresent the origins and hystorical functions of the Crips and others within the class and national liberation struggles. In this realm we often promote an idealized, non-materialist perspective.

Mr. Kamara(Williams) continues,

“Another version[ of Crip mythology] incorrectly documents the Crips as an offshoot of the Black Panther Party (BPP). No Panther Party member has ever mentioned the Crips(or Cribs) as being a spin-off of the Panthers. It is also fiction that the Crips functioned under the acronym C.R.I.P, for Community Resources Inner-City Project or Community Revolutionary Inner City Project.(words like ‘revolutionary agenda’ were alien to our thuggish, uninformed teenage consciousness.) We did not unite to protect the Community; our motive was to protect ourselves and our families.”

i’ve begun this ‘Foundational’ part of this piece within these words from the late Mr. Kamara, because We too often, and too easily romanticize the beginnings of the urban amerikkkan street organizations. Now that i’ve clarified that the Crips weren’t exactly founded with a revolutionary or progressive intent it makes it clearer why the Crips have largely stagnated in their operations for so long now.

The late Malcolm X once said that ‘prison is the poor man’s university’, and proving his maxim true, it was many of the first generation of Crips who populated the prisons in California, being influenced by the politicized culture in the prison established by those who came before them, who began an effort(s) to improve the imagery, and provide meaning to what Mr. Kamara himself even called, ‘a causeless cause’.

When the imprisoned Crips began to become more culturally aware in the 80’s and onward they sought to stir the crip force in another direction by establishing a constitution, which was largely influenced by the BGF constitution, they functioned under acronyms like C.R.I.P, for Community Revolution In Progress, and other similar ones, brothers began becoming Afro-centric and instituted speaking ki-swahili. Also, many around those times became radical and politicized. Some formed orgs like the Black Riders Liberation Party, a new generation Black Panther Party that was formed in the 90’s by former Crips and Bloods. Others formed more groups like the C.C.O.(Consolidated Crips Organization) which was to be de-tribalized, more centralized and politicized version of the Crips street gang. Many of these brothers had intentions of changing the various communities and ‘Crip turfs’ they represented upon their release from prison. More often than not their efforts were not effective enough to curtail or re-focus the self-destructive culture that had by then turned southern California upside down.

Simultaneously the Crips and other similar groups were spreading throughout the north amerikkkan continent, what wasn’t spreading however was the more refined and socially aware sectors or versions of the Crips entity. So instead of ’hoods across amerikkka emulating a Conscious Crip, they were emulating cats who were Crip Crazy, and this subsequently intensified elements of self-destruction among the New Afrikan nation in amerikkka.

Building On The Foundation

As the 21st century came and settled in, the spread of the Crips to every corner of the kkkountry resulted in different locales placing their own unique cultural traits and adding on to the hystory of the original formation Mr. Kamara and Raymond Washington founded along with Mac Thomas. Therefore, many people, and groups Built of the Foundation.

i’ll preface the following by stating that lumpen organizations have repeatedly showcased the capacity to turn away from basic parasitic criminality. However, they’ve done this in two similar but unique ways. One way is progressive in terms of its break from basic criminality, yet it is reactionary in terms of its benefit to the revolution. The other way is progressive in that it provides the break from the criminal mentality, and is also revolutionary in that it seeks to join the revolutionary forces in collective war against the state and its enemy institutions.

We’ve seen examples of the first way numerous of times. One which may be familiar to some is the 1966 arranged truce between the then Blackstone rangers and the East Side Disciples, which was instigated by the promise of the $930,000 in grant money from the federal government through the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). The grant was based on a deal that the two street organizations would cease their beef and come together to prevent uprisings, which had become common throughout heavily populated New Afrikan enclaves throughout the kkkountry.

Local politicians in the Chicago Democratic Party and the Southern Democrats in Congress did not approve of these particular elements being provided with Grant money from the government, and the grant was cancelled a year later(1967). In 1968 the Chicago BPP was founded and these same lumpen orgs were enlisted or attempted to be enlisted by the federal government to prevent the rise in influence of the BPP and its revolutionary line. The Rangers and the Conservative Vice Lords opted for the former way, and were showered with grant money from the bourgeoisie(Clement Stone of Combined Insurance of America; Sears; First National Bank of Chicago, among others). These lumpen moved toward Black Capitalism, and filled the vacuum in what was then a new non-profit sector instituted to remove the teeth from the revolution and the revolutionary potential of the lumpen particularly.

On the other hand, the East Side Disciples changed their name to the Black Disciples (identifying as Black instead of negro was a culturally progressive action at the time) and formed an alliance with the Chicago BPP.

So as this hystorical account illustrates, the lumpen are a vacillating class. We can flow whichever way the wind blows, but Our life experience under monopoly capitalism and imperialism, suggested that absent a form of ‘class-suicide’, We will do like the Rangers and take the capitalist road, which will have us cozied up with the bourgeoisie, making love with our enemies and murdering our friends.

Within the Forum Park Crip experience there has been an evolution and a certain level of class struggle, and ideological struggle (which is one in the same thing). To quote Malcolm X, again, ‘Prisons are the poor man’s university’. One member of the Forum Park Crips (FPC) spent time incarcerated and chose to apply himself.

He learned somethings from the cats like myself who have been politicized while in captivity and he began to develop a New Vision for our street tribe. Upon release, he began to institute the New Vision. See everyone and every entity has a basic Identity, Purpose and Direction, and as evolution takes place it takes place within the nature of these three elements of the entity in question. So upon release the first step was to apply a New Vision to what the Identity of a FPC was/is.

Like the brothers in California decades ago with their C.R.I.P.(Community Revolution In Progress), the homie strove to fine tune the image, by establishing Forever Protecting the Community(FPC) as an official community organization dedicated to mentoring youth, minimizing gang violence, and empowering the community.

Because of the numerous influences, and illegitimate capitalism being foremost among them, FPC in its beginning stages turned down a similar road as Jeff Fort’s Rangers in 1960’s Chicago. FPC received grants from the city and used them along with other similar formations to fund a purchasing of acreage to start community gardens, promoting food sovereignty, a memorial tribute to victims of police and gun violence. Prior to the grants FPC provided school supplies and thousands of backpacks, sponsored summer kids’ festivals, and mentoring school children by doing speaking engagements at local schools.

As i’ve pointed out, these efforts are progressive in the sense they’re a long way from the parasitic criminality the homies had been involved with prior. However, it can be reactionary in the sense that absent any sense of revolutionary orientation, this amounts to nothing more than mere community service, and never did at the root of the systematic problems that cause the surface level expression of the oppressive social contract.

After discussing this somewhat with some of the guys plans have come to fruition to establish a campaign that attacks a particular vestige of genocidal culture in the Forum Park area. This being the out of control open-air sex trafficking that de-values our community and makes it uncomfortable and unsafe for elements in Our community. The campaign will create a class struggle for unity both within the community and the organization, and will make the bond between the org and the people. Moreso, it will begin to establish what will hopefully become a distinct line of demarcation between the local government, and the rest of the non-profit sector, who’ve become entranced with utilizing the plights of the people as a stepping stool to gain economic upliftment. As FPC and other similar formations move out of that mode of operations, and begin to call others out on it and for their deceitful service to the people, it will create unity within classes apart of the local class struggle.

In closing, i’ve found the observation of comrade Jalil Abdul Muntaqim to be true,

“Beneath the Black working class are the subculture lumpen-proletariat, the unskilled and menial laborers whose primary means of subsistence is based on hustling(stealing, selling drugs, prostitution etc), marginal employment, and welfare. For the most part the socioeconomic provision within the subculture are maintained by the ‘illegitimate capitalist’ activity of the lumpen-proletariat. In accordance with their aspirations to fulfill the social values of the bourgeoisie, they employ business acumen in criminal activity for subsistence and profit. As they seek material wealth and social status of the bourgeoisie within the confines of the subculture, they are in many ways politically reactionary, unconcerned with anything other than personal survival and individual gain. It is only when the lumpen-proletariat are educated and become politically aware of their socioeconomic condition, that the possibility exists for them to become staunch supporters of the revolution, recognizing their dire standard of living is based wholly on the system of oppression they are desperately trying to emulate…”

As has been routinely stated, the revolutionary forces must ingratiate themselves within the activities of the lumpen organization. Specifically once they’ve already reached a certain level of collective social awareness and activity. And then, influence the development of their social awareness and activity by providing political education, by conceptualizing programs that are pertinent to the particular lumpen community one is seeking to organize. The lumpen is a vacillating class, that can and often does see-saw between revolutionary and reactionary activities. There are some socially aware and nationalistic elements, particularly among the oppressed nations of north amerikka, who can be coached towards full support of the revolution, the choice between serving the people heart and soul, and the reactionary road are ultimately up to the lumpen themselves. i’ll leave with a word from Comrade George:

“Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of the situation, understand that fascism is already here. That people are already dying who could be saved, that generations more will die or live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your life in revolution. Pass on the torch, join us, give up your life for the people.” - George L. Jackson

1. Blue Rage Black Redemption, Stanley Tookie Williams
2. Ibid.
3. Vita Wa Watu #11, Spears & Shield Publications
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. We Are Our Own Liberators, Jalil Abdul Muntaqim, ‘National Strategy of FROLINAN’
7. Blood In My Eye, George L. Jackson

Intensify The Struggle for Class Unity

[Rhymes/Poetry] [Palestine]


The British did it to the Native Americans,
the Zionists are doing it the Palestinians
taking the people’s land.

No one wants to stop the genocide,
because its not their people being victimized,
but let it would have been the other way around,
they would be begging the world to sympathize.

To all “Bund” Jews, I love you,
if you’re a “Zionist”, fuck you,
for what you’re doing to the Palestinians,
the new Hitler is Netanyahu.

It ain’t Israel or the Jews, it’s the Zionist government,
doing Amerikkka’s bidding and devilishment,
manipulating the six point star, invaders being decadent.

To Israel, Amerikkka’s giving weapons of every kind,
while sending food and aid to Palestine,
what could be more hypocritical,
people, please read between the lines.

If you vote for any of these hypocrites,
you are worst than them in head and feet.
Before I vote for any plutocrat,
I’ll vote for a dog in the street.

This is no democracy, it is a plutocracy,
the Palestinians are dying by the thousands,
to uphold CIPWS Zionist supremacy.
Your time is coming NetanHITLER,
you will forever be guilty in the eyes of history.
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Prisoner Lives Matter]


is contraband in prison because free thinking, independence of spirit and open mindedness are like acids that eat away at a prison bars and locked doors. Liberating the heart and mind, even when the body is not free.

is contraband in prison because brotherhood always speaks out against oppression and poses threats to the power structures. Color-blind prisoners overcoming racism, prejudice and hate, to see each other as equals, is the system’s biggest fear.

is contraband in prison. How many of my brothers are here who shouldn’t be? Some innocent of guilt, others guilty of innocence. While many here have harmed others, still there are those whose “crimes” have no victim. Moreover, we must never forget that cops, judges, jurors, and prison guards often see to it that justice is not done for the poor, oppressed, and helpless inside these walls.

is contraband in prison. From fists and shanks to shields and batons, violence is the way of all tyranny. Remember: The system wants us at each other’s throats because it makes us much easier to control. And the worst violators of the peace are often those pledged to defend it (e.g. killer cops, military leaders, jingoistic politicians, etc.).

is contraband in prison. The warm embrace of family and friends. The touching and holding of lovers dear. The fires of passion, stoked and quenched by hands, lips, tongues, and bodies. All this is denied and forbidden here. There is no room for love in Hell! When you can’t be with your loved ones in times of joy or crisis…That is when the contraband nature of love in a carceral state becomes most clear…But really…In a society where hatefully punitive laws, institutions and practices are all too often the established norms…Should anyone be surprised that love is nowhere to be found in prison??

is contraband in prison because, if we knew even half of what the system didn’t want us to know, surely the walls would come tumbling down. For their bricks are laid with the mortar of doublethink and their foundations are always built upon falsehood. This is the house Orwell’s Big Brother built. But, by developing a new and revolutionary consciousness…Together perhaps, we can find a way out of this deception, this misnomer, this evil hoax, this lie the system dares to call “corrections”, when, in fact, it is absolutely nothing of the kind. For the ultimate truth is this: The ruling elites need to keep the most marginalized elements of our society stuck in the revolving door of recidivism, because they fear them!

is contraband in prison. How else can it be in a place like this? Where inane rules, illogical policies, twisted thinking and warped minds reign supreme…Among both prisoners and staff. Here, the authorities often make up the rules as they go along. What regulations do actually exist are always interpreted in ways that serve the interests of the powers that be…So…If you’re a victim of wrong-doing in prison, don’t expect there to be a common sense resolution to your problems. Especially not if it inconveniences those who run the hell holes in any way, shape or form they please. Critical thinking means nothing where arbitrariness is the order of the day. Power always trumps fairness and logical deduction and rationality are never approved of in slaves.

is contraband in prison. As powerless beings we are jammed into tiny cubes, forced to live in unnatural close quarters or unnatural solitude. Manacled, thwarted, squelched, isolated and restrained at every turn. Required or compelled to do this; prohibited or punished if we do that. Deprived of simple pleasures and quite often necessities as well…When you are locked up, contentment can be as fleeting as a lightening flash and seeking joy can be as futile as a dog chasing its tail. Those who say: “Prisoners have no right to be happy,” just don’t understand. Such people should be made to suffer and endure the demeaning life behind bars and locked doors which is our constant reality, but not part of our sentences, because then, such hateful fools wouldn’t be so quick to open their mouths against us!

is contraband in prison. When you’re treated like a cross between a wayward child and a potentially dangerous or predatory animal, it’s often as if you’re a nonentity, devoid of rights, privacy and humanity. So how can respect for the inherent worth of the life, person and meager possessions of inmates ever be achieved? Such a thing stands an ice-cube’s chance in Hell as long as the modern day slavery of imprisonment in penal institutions, mental hospitals and all other such places continues to exist.

is contraband in prison. Because through unity, we can join the fight against cruelty, malfeasance and corruption as a bulwark of mighty solidarity. For unity always stands tall against unfairness of all kinds. But, if I take your hand…You, me and tomorrow link up as one. Regardless of race, creed, color, class or cultural background, no matter who or what we are, or what some of us have done, we must never forget that we’re all in this together. “Gung Ho” is the Chinese word for “All together now!” This must become our motto! For united there is little we cannot do! Making vows against injustice. Raising voices in loud protest against harm masquerading as “Rehabilitation”. Speaking truth to power, we are a resounding war cry, shouting down all that is unfair! Together, our siren duet can reach a great thundering crescendo. Shaking rafters of established order, from chambers of crypto-Fascist inhumanity, our voices will be heard, like clarion trumpet calls wailing! Until the rotting floors of authoritarian control collapse and fall away. As one for all and all for one, we must fight and work and scream and bleed. We are a pair! We are a team! We are a movement for a better way! We are the caged wretches, whose words are a conspiracy against the silence of indifference. And our voices will never stop yelling “Foul!” until we are heard. The bottom line is that all prisoners lives matter!


We refused to be branded, “The irredeemable dregs of humanity”.

We, the first world’s lumpen proletariat who vacillate between the jail cells, street shelters, crash pads and alleyways of your plutocratic, quasi-police state, nightmare society.

We, the poor souls caught between the stigma of our criminal past and our society’s refusal to truly help us integrate.

We, the oppressed ex-offender, caught between the violence of poverty stricken urban jungles on the one hand and the violence of the constant threat of re-incarceration or death on the other…

We, the disenfranchised masses for whom the promises of “Free Enterprise”, “Democracy” and Bourgeois bliss ring hollow.

We, say:

No More!

No More to locking people up like animals!

No More to police shootings and brutality!

No More to all the evils that the prison industrial complex perpetuates.

Our Demands for recognition.

Our Demands for fair treatment.

Our Demands for radical change should never be deemed…


[Rhymes/Poetry] [Palestine]


Don’t stop the struggle,
the Zionist needs being exposed,
and toppled.

Keep the pressure on,
keep the flags flying, camps open,
don’t stop the struggle.

Our backs are against the wall,
we have no choice,
but to give our brains the muscle.

Students solidarity, students power,
our only hope against Palestine,
being turned to rubble.

Innocent wombmen and children,
are being murdered,
Amerikkka waging proxy war,
funding the trouble.

Benjamin Netanyahu,
is an Amerikkklan puppet,
in the CIPWS huddle.

Israel being the US muscle,
in the Middle East,
the more blood,
the more the price of oil doubles.

The miseducated,
are saying its God’s plan,
what kind of God do they believe in?
I’m puzzled.

The future belong to the students,
long live the students.
Long live the young,
known for busting any and all,
CIPWS oppressors bubble.

The CIPWS press is against you,
They’re owned by the CIPWS,
concealing truth is their hustle.

Palestinians are semitic too,
Palestinians are humans too.
Whatever you do, keep fighting,
don’t stop the struggle. . .
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