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Under Lock & Key

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[Censorship] [California] [ULK Issue 13]
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California Ban on MIM Over... Sort of

A December 13, 2006 memo from then-Director Scott Kernan declared a systemwide ban on all publications from the Maoist Internationalist Movement. The memo misquoted and took out of context statements by MIM to justify the ban. Many comrades soon jumped into action to defend the First Amendment rights of California prisoners and their outside supporters. One comrade took this battle further than anyone else, leading to over 2 years of legal battles that ended in April, 2009.

One administrator claimed there were three banned publishers in California Department of Corrections (CDCR): MIM, Penthouse and Playboy. While MIM had received this high honor of a complete ban, others were facing severe censorship by CDCR as well. In April 2007, Prison Legal News (PLN) settled their suit against CDCR's illegal censorship. The settlement was very strategic on the behalf of the PLN legal team in that it included reforms to CDCR mail policy that affected all of us that had been having problems.

As many of our readers probably know, Prison Legal News was founded and is led by jailhouse lawyers. Their consistent work has won them the ability to recruit street lawyers to their battles. Without the leadership of prisoners and former prisoners, defenders of prisoners' rights in the courtroom are few and far between. Yet, litigating from behind the walls is no easy task, as our California comrade can attest:

"The sole reason for my non-opposal of defendants summary judgment is quite simply that I was unable to litigate the case from my current residence here in the hole. As I stated to you before I was not able to obtain the required legal materials needed to litigate, materials such as a basic copy of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), the sufficient or suitable case law required, or even sufficient copies, and typing paper.

"As I am in Ad-Seg, most of the required materials stated above are not in this building's possession, or even on the same yard. We must write to B-yard law library for requested legal texts. This is something no one bothered to inform me of 'til just a few weeks ago. Furthermore, the whole process of requesting materials is usually hit or miss in the sense that sometimes we receive our materials, sometimes we don't. Since I'm in the hole, I had to request photocopies of the FRCP. However, due to 'copyright concerns' I did not get it."

In addition to being denied needed legal materials, this comrade was denied an appeal for a lawyer to be appointed to their case. This was particularly relevant in this case where s/he was being denied access to the materials in question because they were deemed a risk to security.

For a year and a half following PLN's victory, supporters of MIM Distributors argued that the ban on MIM mail was not in compliance with the settlement. Finally, in October 2008 the CDCR released their new "Centralized List of Disapproved Publications," a product of the settlement. MIM Distributors is not on this list, and is therefore no longer legally banned in California. It is against CDCR policy for individual prisons to institute bans that are not on this centralized list.

While the final date for additions to the Centralized List was May 1 (and it is updated annually), we have not seen the new list for 2009. Experience seems to indicate that we are still not on it, since those who continue to ban our mail cite outdated documents. Prisons that continue to return mail from MIM(Prisons) unopened are High Desert and the supermax prison, Pelican Bay. Blanket bans seem to require more stringent review by the courts. Therefore, it may be more strategic for the state to avoid blanket bans in the future, thus making lawsuits like the California prisoner's more difficult to carry out.

The good news is most prisons in California no longer have a blanket ban on MIM (those that do are in violation of court orders). This may have more to do with incompetence of the CDCR staff than a strategic approach. But it also means that the censors must now justify their censorship based on the California Code of Regulations, and appeals cannot be rejected out of hand.

For a while, the prisoner who filed suit was the only persyn in h prison who was able to receive Under Lock & Key. We assumed this was to undermine h censorship claims. Yet, after the ban on MIM was officially canceled in October, all of a sudden ULK was also censored to this comrade. When one of our legal supporters wrote to inquire as to why, the Warden cited the overturned ban on MIM. This was as late as March 2009, and the same thing happened in other California prisons. It was not until 6 months after the new list was released that prison administrators acknowledged that MIM Distributors was no longer banned. We have been assured that proper training of mailroom staff has been conducted in a number of California prisons regarding the new banned list. Still, this alleged "incompetence" has led to over 2 years of no contact with many prisoners across California, and added up to uncounted costs in lost and returned mail and printed materials.

Meanwhile, MIM Theory 8: Anarchist Ideal & Communist Revolution was deemed such a threat that the court would not allow the plaintiff to view the magazine alone in h cell to prepare h case. The CDCR legal team even attempted to seal MIM literature from the public because it allegedly posed such a threat to security. In their motion to have the documents sealed, the CDCR also refers to MIM's "anonymity" as a threat to security. It is not clear to us how identities of those working with MIM are relevant to the security of prisons run by CDCR, but we do see anonymity as justified given the history of harassment and intimidation by CDCR's Investigation Unit and the CCPOA of citizens outside of prison. MIM(Prisons) takes these threats very seriously.

On June 29, 2009, the US District Court issued a summary judgment dismissing the claims against CDCR. In the summary judgment the court recognizes our comrade's exposure of the CDCR for misquoting MIM Theory 8, using ellipses as Scott Kernan did in the 2006 memo. Still, the court deferred to the biased judgments of the prison officials, citing Overton v. Bazzetta, 539 U.S. 126, 132 (2003).

The comrade responded by writing,

"I am extremely disheartened by the aforementioned facts. Disheartened, not defeated, yet I see no positive outcome to the civil matter."

S/he goes on to state,

"Once again I am extremely and hopefully apologetic. It was not my intention to have done all this work for the past 3 years just to have it all come to a crashing halt in the period of three months. I have let not just myself and the movement down, but the people as well.

"Not all is bad though. This was certainly a learning experience and I definitely learned a lot for a 7th grade drop-out. I have been inspired to take a paralegal course, after which I will be of better use to MIM and the people."

For this comrade in California, it is certainly natural to feel disheartened, and it is good to hear that you are not defeated. In the imperialist countries, the task of the revolutionary movement is to carry out long legal battles. Mao said this in 1975, and it is still true today. This means that many of us will have to spend long hours learning and applying bourgeois law, while recognizing that the law has class character and is not designed to serve the oppressed. In addition, "legal work" does not just mean in the court room. An important aspect for keeping our work focused and sane is to carry it out as part of a larger movement. This comrade didn't have a victory in court, but h efforts were simultaneous to petitioning of the CDCR, to public education around censorship, to other prisoners filing appeals, and to PLN's own lawsuit. We will face many failures along the way, but these failures become easy to accept when we study and understand the weaknesses of imperialism as a system, and see our strategic role in contributing to ending all systems of oppression.

We commend this comrade's drive to continue legal studies. The more effective each of us become in our work the easier it is for all of us to succeed. Becoming more effective requires studying others' experiences, learning from them and developing strategies as a movement.

In a more recent letter our jailhouse lawyer wrote,

"Some key points I've learned from all of this is that you definitely have to be committed when engaging the oppressors and their legal system. You always have to keep in mind that you are facing seasoned veterans with all the tools and obstacles of the state at their beck and call. It's never going to be easy, just less difficult at times. Long periods of research and study are also essential with these legal battles long before you decide to actually bring your case into the courtroom. You can also never let yourself be discouraged because discouragement is key to the oppressor's victories which in turn establishes precedent making it that much more difficult for us to succeed."

Prison Legal News and the lawyers supporting their work are the exception to the rule. Most of the time it is prisoners, sometimes with little or no formal education, as this comrade can attest to, who must fight these battles in a maze of complicated language and jargon, where you are starting out at a huge disadvantage. That is why it is important to keep in mind what we are dealing with. The u.$. state is an imperialist state. The court is not a just and benevolent god. Mumia introduces his new book Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A. discussing prisoners who have gone mad after years of learning and applying the law only to lose their just cases, or to have them thrown out before even getting a trial. Such outcomes are to be expected for the oppressed under imperialism and this is an important lesson to learn.

To our readers in California, it is more important than ever that you write in to tell us what mail you are receiving from us so that we can build on this struggle. To date, only a handful of people have acknowledged receiving ULK 10 on Hip Hop.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Civil Liberties] [International Connections] [Control Units] [ULK Issue 11]
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Third World Muslim Prisoners of Amerika

Shortly after MIM(Prisons) posted an article talking about the use of excess prisons to lock up migrants, CNN reported that the u.$. government is looking to take over another empty state prison, this time for Muslims from the Third World.(1) The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) already secretly opened two control units for Muslim Arabs in recent years at USP Terra Haute and USP Marion (which became the original control unit in 1983, but was later downgraded to medium security). These units hold 94% and 75% Muslims, respectively, are even more isolating than many prisons holding English-speakers and u.$. citizens.(2)

Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois is an unused, high tech, maximum security prison with a capacity of 1600 that still sits virtually empty. The government promises that if Third World Muslims are to be sent there, that it will be made even more secure than the official federal control unit, ADX in Florence, Colorado. According to the CNN article, Thomson is the top contender to take most of those now held in Guantanamo Bay after its planned closure, scheduled for January 2010.

There are only 215 prisoners at Guantanamo, and the BOP already holds 340 people that they say are "linked to international terrorism."(1) While the imprisonment of Latino migrants dwarfs these numbers, one must also consider that there are many u.$. prisons in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan and other secret military locations that hold primarily Muslims from the Middle East.

Governor Quinn is excited at the prospect of bringing these prisoners to Illinois because of the money it will bring to the region. This is consistent with his policies of using prisons to combat recession (3), and he may be on to something. With more and more amerikans being employed to physically oppress other people, importing people who are a threat to the imperialist order to hold in amerikan-run prisons would not be an unlikely form for amerika to take as it turns more fascist in the face of imperialist crisis. As one resident pointed out to Reuters, the local population in rural Illinois would back the mission of the prison (4), unlike people in the Middle East where the u$ currently holds most of its Middle Eastern prisoners. A turn toward fascism would be necessary to prevent non-citizens from gaining access to the bourgeois democratic rights promised to those on u.$. soil. (Those currently held in Guantanamo have never been convicted of a crime.) When convenient for them, the imperialists believe humyn rights begin and end at man-made borders.

Of course bourgeois rights are denied to citizens of the united snakes as well, as the FBI demonstrated by assassinating New Afrikan Imam, Luqman Ameen Abdullah in Detroit. Abdullah was a member of Jamil al-Amin's (formerly Black Panther H. Rap Brown) Muslim network called "Ummah." New Afrikan Muslims are the second largest group in the Marion Communications Management Unit.(2)

notes:
(1) Yellin, Jessica. Illinois prison top contender to house Gitmo detainees, official says. cnn.com. November 14, 2009.
(2) http://www.abolishcontrolunits.org/research/US
Exposing "Little Guantanamo": Inside the CMU by Daniel McGowen reports that 75% in Marion CMU are Muslim, though only 10 of 26 are from the Middle East. In Terra Haute, reportedly 2 of 213 prisoners are not Arab Muslims.
(3) MIM(Prisons) on U.S. Prison Economy. Under Lock & Key Issue 8, May 2009.
(4)http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN16528063

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[Organizing] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York]
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Organizing against resistance

Salutations. As I write this letter you will be feeling what I call my everyday polemical life. My angst is superfluous because I can't believe what I encountered on the 9th through the 13th of September. I personally witnessed Willie Lynch's letter on how to keep us against us while I was helping bring consciousness to the brothers here at Clinton and was met with resistance. It seems that what happened in the past is no longer significant nor appreciated. I'm talking about the Attica rebellion of 1971.

As I expressed solidarity amongst us I attempt to recreate ourselves and adhere to a different form of rules, all while not violating any directives that may lead to an infraction of any sort. I tried to catalyze and show that what happened almost 40 years ago is indeed still taking place today, except there's a lot more tribalism now. I provided a non-violent event which was something totally small. I asked if brothers would, along with the 15% who didn't eat during the 5 days, maintain a verbal fast to show and pay homage to the fallen freedom fighting comrades who were murdered by the government appointed force for standing up to the injustice that is still plaguing our people in prisons today. By fasting from both food and talking I attempt to show how we can get along with each other no matter what gang we are in, no matter what religion we practice. By not eating we show self sacrifice just like the brothers did, and by not talking we show also discipline, again just like those who were in the Attica rebellion did.

Sadly, in my attempts to show and express an affinity between each other I was met with enmity. After a couple of the average "get the fuck out of here with that bullshit" and a few "negro please" I was sure to attract some politically and socially conscious brothers who reminded me that "violence is a dark undercurrent of Amerikan history." Like Pan-Afrikanist Frantz Fanon put it, "What we are witnessing is a psychological and physical reaction to the trauma." Some brothers actually said, "That was then and this is now, why should we respect something that happen before we were even born?" Some went on to say, "Ain't nothing going to change anyway." It's statements like these that show our ignorance!

In fact, take the Civil Rights movement for instance. They started out in small groups and grew in relations with those who were also victims of the desegregated south, and formed a force of mass campaign of civil disobedience! By sticking together and voicing our opinion we spoke volumes of our rights as a people who had little to no rights. We started to register to vote, operate forums, print our own newsletters, to be acknowledged as Afrikan men and womyn. Even today we have Afrikan mayors, attorney generals, CEOs of the largest bank, and President of the United States. After explaining this, more and more participated in the eating and verbal fast, but it wasn't enough.

I think back on how brothers like Herbert X Blyden, Big Black, L.D. Barkeley, John (Mecajaweh) Hill, Sam Melville, Akil Al Jundi, Robin Palmer, just to name a few, gave their lives for brothers to have better programs, and to study the Islamic religion - where there was none. They fought for better schooling, and got children to be considered as visitors so they could visit their loved ones under lock and key. I have much respect and profound gratitude for the Nation of Islam who held order and negotiations. Yet still this vicious ass piece of swine still considered the NOI a hate group. If it wasn't for the good brothers those corruption officers would have been dealt with.

So I say unselfishly, it's not enough! We need to do more to bring some awareness, we need to get our media (BET) to stop playing comedy, music, and hood movies, and instead play some Black August, Motorcycle Diaries, and Malcolm X. We need to become more aware by reading books that deal with the history of struggle against oppression. We need, emphasis on we, need to educate our people with the help of those who also want to see us kick this stigma in the ass.

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[National Oppression] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
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Immigrants, Migrants, and U.$. Citizens

Kill the BorderThe U.$. is the melting pot of the world. A little bit of everybody and everything dwells in this land. It's the land of opportunity, what do you expect? From the North to the South, and the East to the far West people are tearing down doors to get over to this sorry motha fucka. It's the land of opportunity alright. The opportunity to get beat down, stepped on, and spit all over.

While the people of Third World or impoverished countries are under the perception that this is the place to be, and try to get here. The military agency ICE is sitting right at the top of that barb wired chain linked fence waiting for that opportune time to jump on their back and either allow the exploitation of their labor or send them back to the fucked up environment in which they're running from.

Being an individual born over here in these ununited $tate$, living amongst the imperialists themselves, one might take my opinion of the issue dealing with the border situation, or the incarceration of brothas from other countries who wish to better their situation by taking just a little bit of what these imperialistic snakes have taken from them, as a person who's looking in from the outs.

But trust and believe I'm a brotha looking in from the in. I ain't no U.$. citizen, and I damn sho ain't no Amerikkkan. My pops is of Somoan decent and my moms is a descendant of Africa. Period. I'm an immigrant along with every other individual in this ununited country who isn't indigenous.

Ol Chris and his squad came over here from Europe running from their fucked up conditions looking to receive an opportunity to better their situation and their queen's capitalistic hunger. Where was ICE then? On the same Mayflower boat that brought the first load of African slaves. He probably was the motha fucka who was drivin the boat. When you think about the foundation of the U.$. as an ununited country you should think about immigrants, and border hoppers. Everything from the English, Germans, the French, Dutch, and the Irish were the ones who entered this land trespassing on the Natives.

The only difference from them and many of the Third World countries is they can't stand in the sun too long without being physically burned by father sun, they don't have tight eyes or natted hair, and they don't know the first thing about communism. They are white. They only seek the growth and development of their white imperialistic race, and the destruction of the Third World people and the communistic spirit.

Now I'm not pulling the race card here so don't take it as such. But in order to effectively deal with this issue we must address the underlying fact of the imperialist's white supremacist ideology and concept of white supremacy. Since the beginning of colonial expansion, the white man has been advocating a campaign that he is the superior man of planet earth and all will bow down to him and give praise to him and his seed. In this campaign he has declared war on all nations not acknowledging this supposed superiority and attempted to not only suppress these nations, but knock them out of existence (ie. the First Nations of North America).

When the African slaves began running away from their masters and causing Lady Liberty a great pain in her ass, the Europeans quickly responded with the KKK who in turn attempted to discourage Africans from running off through terrorist attacks. It's no different today except they leave the white robes and swastikas at home. When you think about the ICE agency and what they're all about, all you're missing is the robe and shit.

They allow the poor nations to come over here via border jumping, get a job in the cotton fields, or warehouses, then as soon as they don't need the cheap labor force any longer they either send them to one of the new "social control camps" or knock them out of U.$. existence by sending them back to their imperialist war stricken country.

Hate it or love it, accept it, or reject it. The only way to kill the border problem is by killing imperialism and the ideology that keeps it living.

MIM(Prisons) replies: While overall correct, this comrade fails to distinguish between citizenship of a country and nationality. We agree that, in this country, to be on the side of the oppressed one must renounce any membership in the amerikan nation. We also agree that there are many nations within North America and many of them face oppression by the amerikan and kanadian nations. This is seen in the denial of land rights, mass imprisonment, chemical warfare through narcotics, high death rates from preventable illness and police state terrorism.

However, being a member of an oppressed nation in North America does not mean you're not a citizen. The difference being that, as a citizen, you can legally work and earn exploiter level wages for that work, even if it's harder for you to get than your fellow white citizens. Though migrants often can make much more than their sisters in the Third World, they face exploitation here in the united $tates, and other forms of oppression most legal citizens don't need to fear.

We do agree with the idea that this comrade is not a u.$. citizen because of h position as a prisoner of the state. We look to both prisoners and migrants as potentially revolutionary forces within the u.$. because they do not enjoy full citizenship rights. Aside from the fact that more and more prisoners are migrants, this is the connection that makes the migrant issue very relevant to u.$. prisoners. National liberation struggles will be led by those among the oppressed who have a strong interest opposed to imperialism.

The analogy between ICE and the KKK is right on, though we'd say that the Minutemen are the more direct comparison. ICE differs in that they are very well paid for what they do, not just volunteers for their nation. They both play the role of managing nations of exploited people for the profit of their nation.

One final note on definitions, a question that has come up in discussing this issue is how we use the terms "migrant", "immigrant" and "non-citizen." As stated above, non-citizens are people without legal citizenship rights, and in the u.$., prisoners, while usually legally citizens, might be included in this group or at least considered partial citizens. Immigrants and migrants are both not citizens of the united $tates. But an immigrant is someone who moves to another place to live. Migrants are people who travel from place to place in order to find work. They might not have a home, but they often do have a family that they send money to and would prefer to be with.

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[Theory] [Police Brutality] [Missouri]
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"Bad Apples" in the Pig Pen

In the March 2009 Peace issue of ULK, I submitted an article entitled "More Police Not the Answer." Since the writing of that piece, pig chief Joe Mowka has been forced into retirement after an investigative report surfaced that his estranged daughter (who has a history of drug abuse) had been using vehicles confiscated by the St. Louis City Police and held at a towing company with a lucrative contract by the City Police. But that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Since December 2008, there have been 13 St. Louis City Police officers charged in state and federal indictments. New pig chief Don Isam, the Black face in a high place, says that he is committed to "rooting out those who violate the laws they are sworn to uphold." Yeah right, we've heard it all before... Brotha!

The first week of October 2009, one pig was fired and another suspended after they filed criminal charges against a man for allegedly trying to run over one of them with his car. But due to the diligence of the man's girlfriend, a videotape surfaced which showed that the officers had in fact lied. All the charges were subsequently dropped.

Two other pigs were caught lying in search warrants. Pigs Vincent T. Carr, and Bobby Lee Courrett, were recently given slaps on the wrists, after being indicted in December 2008, along with pig Leo Liston (indicted in April 2009). They were indicted for stealing drug-linked money and planting illegal evidence on an innocent man and lying to cover up their wrong doing. As a result, over 1,000 cases in which these pigs were involved have to be reviewed.

Some other cases involve pigs lying in court proceedings, doing computer database checks for buddies and theft of U.$. government property. Pigs Ronald H. Jackson and Christian A. Brezill were caught in a scheme in which they would take stolen goods from thieves and keep them for themselves, sell off what they didn't want and break bread with the rat who set up the other crooks. The indictment involves them taking what they thought was the thieves property, which actually belonged to the FBI.

But these things are not "new" to anyone, nor are they "isolated" incidents. Corruption is part of the pig culture. I can remember back to the late 1980s when George Peach was the city's head prosecutor, sending thousands of men and wimmin to prison, only to be caught in a federal prostitution sting.

Pig abuse and pig corruption are a part of the capitalist-imperialist system. So while some "citizens" cry for more pigs to be added to the city's payroll, we say that the imperialist system is the root of all of these problems and that the entire system must go and not just a few greedy, fucked-up pigs!

MIM(Prisons) Adds: We'd like to emphasize the argument that this comrade makes against the "bad apples" theory, which comes from the false bourgeois psychological idea of persynalities and persynality traits. The idea of persynalities serves the bourgeoisie by focusing the masses on getting rid of the few people who are inherently "bad," instead of analyzing society and how it feeds into some people having antisocial behavior. "If we just lock up so-and-so the rapist, and so-and-so the thief, and fire so-and-so the racist pig, then society will be a better place." This incorrect logic is used for cleaning up the pig herd as well as locking up oppressed nations. In reality, people are a reflection of the society that they live in. If you live in an oppressive society where we have unequal power, and we're taught to behave in antisocial ways, then it's necessarily true that some people will abuse that power, and some will have antisocial behavior.

Not only is corruption a part of the pig culture, like this comrade says, but it's their job to do fucked up things, that's what they get paid to do. It's their job to kill people, exploit people, rape people, and get away with it. Pigs of all kinds are specifically hired and promoted based on their loyalty to the amerikan nation. It's like working at a burger joint in this society. If you don't flip the burgers and serve them to the customers, then you aren't enabling the restaurant to work how it needs to in order to be a restaurant. Similarly, as a pig, if you're not locking up thousands of people, or planting drugs on them, or stopping them from organizing for liberation, then you're not enabling society to function properly. The only way to truly get rid of the "bad apples" and corruption is to address these problems on a societal level.

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[Medical Care] [Waupun Correctional Institution] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 12]
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Prison lax on spread of H1N1

I'm in the Wisconsin prison system at Waupun Correctional Institution. This is a letter concerning one of my fellow prisoners.

You guys already heard about the H1N1 flying around the country. There are 3 prisoners in Waupun Correctional who have confirmed H1N1. Now with my fellow prisoner in particular, he has been sick all day and on 11/6 supposedly the guards called down to HSU and they said they can't do anything about it.

Now this fellow prisoner has been lying on the floor throwing up in a garbage can since 2pm, that I know of (it could have been longer). Second shift comes on at 1:45pm. They checked on him at 2:30pm and that was the last time they checked on him until 4:45pm count. I go get my meds between 3 and 3:30 every day. I went to get my meds and told the 2nd shift Sgt. Congel, and he said they couldn't do anything about it. Now after 4:45pm count the guards pass the mail out and they just walked past his cell without even looking in. I know this because I'm right next door to him.

It's been 15 minutes, 5 to 5:15pm and the guards still didn't come. They are only 40 feet away at the desk. Finally at around 6pm they came and got him and he hasn't returned yet. It is now 9:15pm.

To me this is way wrong, the guards don't do shit about this and they don't care about us! The only way we can catch H1N1 is if a guard brings it into the prison! Is this the way we have to live? Just because we are in prison doesn't mean we aren't human beings. Trust me if there is a lawsuit I'll be the first one on the stand going against these bitches.

This is not justice, all these guards care about are their checks. This does piss me off very much and I wish I could do more.

p.s. My last issue was denied because they said it had gang stuff in it.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
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Ride for the people

I... will ride for the people no matter what comes my way at all
I... will die for the cause
Settle for nothing less than all that we rightfully deserve

Vr 1:
Society wanna keep a lock on me
constantly puttin blocks on me
cause I don't see the same thang that they see at home
I stand alone in my poverty stricken environment
Rebellin all the non-sense
Cause I ain't got no peace at home
To the oppressed
I must confess
all the distress
be havin me stressed
and I'm impressed
when I continue to keep on holdin strong
They wanna knock me cause i'm viben off the people's vibe
livin off the people's pride
to throw the snake up off his throne
Death to the oppressor and his capitalist establishment
they censor me cause I advocate communist advancement
I'm keeping Pac alive
Along with the Panther tribe
Revolutionary warfare China's culture style

*hook* two times

Vr 2:
Hot damn
they done labeled me a terrorist
can somebody call up Barrack and tell that fool what terror is
He got the troops slangin black in Afghan
but lockin us up for having crack crumps in our pants
I want his pass revoked
Lock him up in Guantanamo
Can't they see that this type of government ain't gone never grow
They be the ones blowin up countries
pullin them kick does
puttin them bullet holes
in anybody opposin they policies
and I'm the bad guy?
Posted with my poli seeds
fist to the sky
shades on my eyes
waiting til freedom rings
pushing for growth til the day that I die
For the people I bare arms
And for the people I'll ride
cause

*hook* twice

Vr 3 - melody style-

Freedom and justice for humanity
to all my ghetto children of Third World countries
I recognize the divisions in personalities
we must all fight together
and push for equality
cause there be no other way to go about it
If we want to better ourselves
we must confront him
Me be the lion at the front
from the belly of the beast
with the barrel of me pump
lyin right between him teeth
sangin

I...will ride for the people no matter what comes my way at all
I...will die for the cause settle for nothing less than all we rightfully deserve

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[Environmentalism] [Rhymes/Poetry] [Idaho] [ULK Issue 11]
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It's Here

How much land can be used to create wind farms that produce electricity in an environmentally safe manner providing whole communities with no-cost energy? The same goes for sun farms and even oceanic wave farms. How hard is it to switch to renewable fuel that has zero emission fumes and doesn't require war and invasive surgery on the earth using tools of poor humans dying in the process? Why isn't there a free worldwide health care or poverty prevention plan but there is a multi-billion dollar industry for grown men and womyn's games, music and entertainment? Is a 3-year-old starving less important than a touchdown? Would you rather stare into the eyes of young man happy to cure his cancer or steroid using actors? It's here, the means to alleviate the suffering of the womyn giving birth to a child in half baked sewage water that came out of the local Nike sweat shop's exhaust. It's here, a way that all the inhabitants of mother earth can co-exist with each other and their surroundings instead of being a disease to our planet and each other. It's here, the imperialist capitalist doing his absolute best to lull you into non-action with his constant misdirection from the harsh cold truth. Next time you cheer for your team or nod your head to the radio remember reality is a lot harder to deal with when you're not hypnotized by complacency.

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[National Oppression] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 11]
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National Oppression as Migrant Detention

Government Assistance for Migrants

As the fastest growing prison population, migrants in detention have helped continue the decades long trend of rising imprisonment rates in the united snakes in recent years, while saving the private prison industry in the process.(1) Despite continued rhetoric about drugs coming into the u.$. through Mexico, the government drastically shifted resources away from drug enforcement to immigration enforcement following 9/11, and the prison population shows it.(2)

As of July 2009, there are 31,000 non-citizens imprisoned at the federal level on any given day in the u.$. This number is up from about 20,000 in 2006 and 6,259 in 1992.(3) There are more than 320,000 migrants detained each year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and as many as a quarter of them are juveniles. These numbers include only those imprisoned under federal custody, although they may be located all around the country and in state prisons and local jails. These numbers do not include people who may be imprisoned on criminal charges, but are not turned in to federal custody on immigration violations (such as in "sanctuary cities").

The American Civil Liberties Union says that the conditions in which these civil detainees are held are often as bad as or worse than those faced by people imprisoned with criminal convictions. These detention centers are described as "woefully unregulated." The "requirements" that they do have about how to treat people have no legal obligation, reducing them essentially to suggestions.(3) This leads to prisoners without u.$. citizenship being denied access to telephones, legal aide or law libraries, recreation, visitation, mail, medical care, toiletries, and the list goes on. People are kidnapped from their homes in the middle of the night and transferred without notification to their families. On top of that they often have no means of communication, leading people to become completely detached from their support systems and legal counsel. For u.$. prisoners, these conditions are nothing surprising or new. The difference for migrants is that the line between detention and punishment is blurred. Years ago, migrants were detained for 4 or 5 days, and then deported. Now people are being detained for up to 2 years (and possibly more), without ever being charged with a crime, let alone convicted, even by an illegitimate jury in an illegitimate u.$. court.

The Economic Motivations

One reason migrant imprisonment is increasing is because after the prison boom of the 1990s, some prisons are sitting partially empty. The owners and financers of these prisons are begging for more people to lock up, and their solution is migrants. This is part of the parasitic imperialist economy, where filling prisons is seen as an economic stimulus even though it is a completely non-productive suck of resources.

Private prisons house 17% of people in ICE custody. The Correctional Corporation of America, a private prison management company who controls half of the detention facilities run by private companies, spent $3 million lobbying politicians in 2004. They want stricter immigration laws so they can have access to more prisoners, which will bring them more money. In turn, ICE is able to pay 26% less per day to house prisoners in a private versus state-run facility.(4) This is possible because of the lack of public as well as governmental oversight at private facilities, where they reduce costs by getting rid of everything that would help prisoners, including necessary-to-life medical care. One reason state governments shied away from private prisons for their own citizens was the scandals that they quickly became associated with. In the year 1998-99, Wackenhut's private prisons in New Mexico had a death rate 55 times that of the national average for prisons.(5) The migrant population's lack of voice allows these corporations to get away with their cost-cutting abusive conditions when contracted by ICE. This is another good example of how capitalism values profit over humyn life.

Yet, as we described in Amerikkkans: Oppressing for a Living, an increase in imprisonment doesn't serve the interests of just the private prison industry; CO and pig unions also reap major benefits. Since 9/11/2001 the u.$. has increased its border patrol from 8,000 agents to 20,000, 20% of whom are military veterans. Salaries start at $36,000 to $46,000 per year plus full benefits. The whole Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes ICE, brags about its budget exceeding $40 billion and providing high paying jobs for 166,234 amerikans.(6) Not only does DHS keep wealth within u.$. borders, it helps distribute it as well.

And similar to the military-industrial complex and prison-industrial complex we discussed in The privatization of war: Imperialism gasps its last breaths, Homeland Security contracts are based on who you know, not what you're selling, as former staff members sell their wares to their old employers.(7) Meanwhile, many of the smaller start-up companies that are cashing in are headed by overly-enthusiastic and openly racist Minuteman types.(8)

Of course, there are real economic benefits to amerikans as a whole by managing the populations trying to come into the u.$. If amerikans really made more money because they are just smarter and harder working, then they wouldn't be afraid to open the borders and allow competition for jobs. Instead, the demand for repression is forcing more and more farmers to employ prison labor for harvests when they used to use migrants. Free amerikan citizens just won't work for proletarian wages, not to mention it being illegal, so the argument that they want their jobs back is pretty weak. Though perhaps this is the perfect solution to keeping food cheap, while keeping foreigners out and the oppressed in prison. Migrant detainees do work in private prisons doing the day-to-day maintenance, and because they are not u.$. citizens DHS enforces a maximum wage of $1 per day.(9) While adequate food and housing are theoretically provided, this amounts to working and living conditions generally below those in their home region. Opposite the reactionary turn to border control, we challenge those who want jobs for everyone to work toward a new economic system instead.

Close the Hatches: Whitey Unites

ICE is not the only law enforcement actor in this scam profiting off humyn life. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act 287(g), local authorities can become authorized to officially enforce federal immigration law, while others are comfortable unofficially using the old vigilante trick of targeting specific people. This culture of oppression in the white nation runs so deep that an increasing number of u.$. citizens are joining in the traditional amerikan hobby of border patrol, volunteering with groups such as the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. In response to much public outrage, President Obama has addressed the actions of the famous migrant humiliator Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio by limiting him to only determining someone's immigration status when they've been jailed. This weak response of the Obama administration shows their support of such migrant oppression.

The white euro-amerikan nation has been systematically oppressing other peoples for centuries. One way is through exploitation and neocolonialism in Third World countries, where people are trapped as cheap labor by borders and immigration laws. Corporations pay little to no wages there and sell products for super-profits in this country. The dire economic situations cause people to leave their homes and often risk their lives to provide for themselves and their families. From 1995 to 2005 about 2,600 people died trying to come into the united $tates through Mexico.(10) Similarly, people regularly die crossing the ocean in makeshift boats from Haiti where the u.$.-imposed government refuses to meet the needs of the people. It's oppressive in one country so people decide to leave and come here thinking they will find better opportunities. Of course, what really happens is the oppression and exploitation of Third World people continues within the united $tates when people don't have a green card. Things are worse for the oppressed during the recent economic crisis. Many from Latin America are finding that opportunities are now superior back home, even though amerikans continue to live over-consumptive lifestyles in the united $tates.

Migrants Seize Detention Center

Signs of Progress

In the face of all this, there are people working toward solutions. In Pecos, Texas in December 2008 and January 2009, there was a series of migrant prisoner uprisings. They were finally set off by the death of a man with epilepsy, who died completely unnecessarily due to a blatant disregard for his life by refusing to give him medical care.(11) People of many different nationalities came together in rebellion, demanding better conditions. This is not the first or last murder of its kind, as unexplained deaths are common in u.$. prisons, including migrant detention centers.

Some u.$. cities are moving in the progressive direction of being "sanctuaries." Sanctuary cities allow people who may not be u.$. citizens to make money here to send home to circulate in their own countries. This is a roundabout way of moving toward a world without borders. However, with accusations that some mayors are "soft on crime," the sanctuary status may be threatened. Additionally, there's nothing stopping federal agents from going into these cities and enforcing federal immigration law, as they often do.

While we favor these progressive steps toward protections for migrants in the u.$., we acknowledge that they aren't enough to lead to the end of national oppression. They are fragile reforms at best, that can be as easily revoked (or simply ignored). Another solution some have is integration of migrants into the u.$. exploiter nation through exploiter-size wages. This is an effort to reduce their potential as revolutionaries to that of consumers and labor-aristocratic parasites. What we truly need to end national oppression of migrants in the u.$. is to expose the "amerikkkan dream," and revolutionize the workers to support revolutionary movements in the Third World.

notes:
(1) Greene, Judith. Banking on the Prison Boom. August 2006.
(2) Fernandes, Deepa. Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration. Seven Stories Press, New York. 2007, p.119.
(3) "Detention Management," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Nov 20, 2008, http://www.ice.gov/pi/news/factsheets/detention_mgmt.htm
(4) Berestein, Leslie. Tougher immigration laws turn the ailing private prison sector into a revenue maker. San Diego Tribune, 5/4/2008.
(5) Fernandes. p. 195.
(6) http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/rewrite/budget/fy2009/homeland.html
(7) Fernandes, p.178.
(8) Ibid., p.185. Border Technologies, Inc. founder believes that "Mexican culture is based on deceit" and "Chicanos and Mexicanos lie as a means of survival."
(9) Ibid., p.197.
(10) Ibid., p.50.
(11) Wilder, Forrest. How a private prison pushed immigrant inmates to the brink. The Texas Observer, October 2, 2009. http://www.texasobserver.org/features/the-pecos-insurrection

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[Abuse] [Marion County Jail] [Florida]
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Punishment of Pretrial Detainees in Ocala, Florida

I am writing to let you know that Marion County Jail is a modern concentration camp. All prisoners in Marion County Jail are charged two dollars per day for very small portions of food that contain rocks, sticks, and sand, because all the food is grown on a farm that's run by prisoners. We have no canteen to order except coffee, sugar-free Kool-aid and breath mints. We have no TV to watch even though we pay two dollars per day to stay in the jail.

The conditions of confinement in this facility are clearly designed to force innocent people to plead out to get out. Most people contained in this facility cannot make bond because the judge set it extremely high or they have no bond. The pigs of this town fabricate probable cause affidavits, so a lot of people in here are innocent. The U$ department of Injustice has an investigation going about the excessive force and prisoner suicide rate within this facility. We need a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all Marion County Jail prisoners, because it is futile to file grievances. The things that are going on are clearly unconstitutional.

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