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[Control Units] [Louisiana]
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Signing petition to shut down all control units

I agree that control units are not productive means of rehabilitating prisoners for productive living in society, but do the exact opposite of their original purpose. Control units starve life mentally and physically, creating an insensible life. These control units create this insensible life by: 23 hour lock down (sometimes more), no religious programs, no school of any type of educational purpose. Maximum $10 store (no food products), one roll of toilet paper every two weeks and anything else punishable and inhumane the system can get away with such as excessive temperatures, followed by abuse of authority.

By no means is this program of life in control units to help a person be better than when they entered. I know this ala because I am a victim.

I condemn these control units and demand the united states to eliminate these unconstitutional disciplinary control units.

MIM(Prisons) adds: See our web page on prison control units for more information on this campaign.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Ohio]
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Our Darkest Hour

From our birth they installed limitations on what we may acquire and achieve,
Diluting our minds and aspirations, making it virtually impossible to succeed.
See 28% of men are dead or imprisoned by age 21
Yet they say there's equal opportunities for everyone.
20% of the 28% are from neighborhoods like yours and mine
But these #'s don't seem to equate in my mind.
The urban culture is being oppressed by a politically corrupt society simply and utterly
Because they're afraid of what we may become if given true equality.
So I implore you do not succumb to temptation,
Stand up and speak out for what you believe in,
let liberty and prosperity be your motivation,
because it's beyond our time to achieve it.
I drop these simple words of inspiration cause knowledge is power,
As for the urban culture and my entire generation, this is Our Darkest Hour

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Utah]
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Firing Squad

I've seen them walk in with the bleach
Goose stepping out with the rifles
Bloody fragments and bone in blonde hair
Brand new Casio watch, new shoes, clean underwear
The traces of the dead man's Prozac
Ulcer medications and ibuprophins
Mingle loosely with the trigger mens viagra
with their cocaine and caffeine grins
Where you off to now Mr. Executioners?
After you've lynched in the most disgusting way
you are off to your grandchild's christening
to her prom night or school play
my sweat drips on to the cold concrete and I chant, i say, "you can't stop us,
it's inevitable. Soon all you know will fall."
Tattered socks scrape and squeak as I motion
I raise my arms and tap my chest, "ten"
counting out the sets and counting down the days
here's a promise that I believe the people support
we won't blindfold you, we'll allow you to watch
you'll need to see the ones now holding the rifles
are the very same you've oppressed, starved and stifled
and we will pull the trigger out of social conscience
not out of your racism, greed or chauvinistic pride
and it will not be a secret, the world can watch
nothing will need to be hidden or secret
because we'll explain why, to our children we'll teach it
that the reason we kill you pig isn't out of hate
it's that food you stockpiled that the starving masses never ate

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Utah] [ULK Issue 15]
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Catacomb Reversal

Unwashed bodies
mortal stink
scrunches your piggy nose
to your moral wreak
you do not smell
anymore than our torture
you do not feel
anymore than they tell you
bloody bodies
necks twisted from nooses
carted off like junk
our chests blown out
our backs
by four all-amerikkkan chumps
you must hurry and get away
pass out pills then scurry away
cringe and laugh
be disgusted
it's not your mind and body
lying here busted
we suffer because of you
cursed U.$.
not in spite of you
and these racist tests
worsen worsen
extend and crumble
lay down in your fucking grave imperialism
lie down beast
stumble, sputter and mumble

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[Organizing] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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All eyes on Us for Black August

From behind California State Prison enemy lines - from within the Belly of the Beast that is the Amerikan Injustice System - I greet you! I call to your attention the annual commemoration of Black August and invite you - prisoners and your families - throughout Amerika - to join in honoring our beloved martyrs with fasting, study, sharing Panther Love and knowledge of our history of struggle against oppression and for justice, and renewal of commitment to struggle for a brighter future for humanity. In particular, Black August 2010 commemorates the martyrdom of our brothers Sean Bell and Gus Rugley, and our comrades Hasan Shakur, NABPP-PC Minister of Human Rights, Jonathan Jackson, and Comrade George Jackson, Field Marshall of the Black Panther Party Prison Chapter.

We must also remember January 1, 2009 police handcuffed Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Black man, and forced him face-down on the platform of a rapid transit station in Oakland, California. Then one cop shot Oscar Grant in the back, killing him. This cold-blooded murder was caught on cell phone videos and seen by millions. People in Oakland immediately took to the streets in righteous protest. The case has become a flashpoint of struggle in supposedly "post-racial" Amerika and protests have continued. Revolutionaries have been uniting with the efforts of people from a broad spectrum of political beliefs to say This Must Stop, and bringing revolution and communism to the people.

Yes my sisters and brothers,

We shed tears for our fallen brothers and sisters as well as the many children - who have been killed by the oppressors in this land of our exile and enslavement. We have a right to cry over our dead - for every life is precious beyond measure - the loss of each is intolerable. We consecrate this month so that those who have been taken from us will never be forgotten - nor the love of liberty which their lives stood for.

Our grief is real and so is our determination to continue the struggle until all are free and oppression is no more. Our pain makes us stronger and more human. Our determination makes our people struggle. We must get up and stand up as one - a united people - and prepare for revolutionary change in the 21st Century.

To clear our minds, I propose that we eat only one meal a day throughout the month of August, and fast completely on August 7th - in honor of Jonathan Jackson - on August 21st - in honor of George Jackson - and on August 31st - in honor of Hasan Shakur. On these three fast days, we should be silent and contemplative, and throughout the month we should refrain from watching TV and listening to the radio.

During this month, the elders, political prisoners and veterans of the struggle should make a particular effort to reach out to the youth and teach them our history and lessons from our experience. We should demonstrate Panther Love, throw away old grudges, and start new friendships. We should draw our comrades closer and strengthen our united commitment to advance the struggle.

Besides fasting, comrades should work out and get physical exercise, meditate and put mind, body and spirit in harmony.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome this Black August greeting in time for our July/August issue. Black August is truly a people's holiday. And its power is acknowledged in California, where it began and where the state still uses Black August material as a justification to put people in Security Housing Units. While we print this comrades suggestions for celebration during the month, we also warn against ultra-leftism and spirituality. Yes, study history and turn off mindless television, but don't cut yourself off from the world for a month. Yes, exercise and even fasting can be healthy, but learn more about how fasting will affect your body in your specific conditions on a prison diet, and don't decrease your strength through excess.

This communique also comes at a time when we are hearing about the work of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (NABPP) paralleling our own. While we print this statement and have worked with the NABPP elsewhere, we warn our readers that the "MLM" and "Pantherism" of the NABPP is not the same as ours. While the NABPP's practice has generally been commendable, we criticize their ideology as revisionist and crypto-Trotskyist. We discuss the revisionism of NABPP in "Maoism Around Us" and critique one of the NABPP Minister of Defense Rashid's publications in "Fearlessness, Scientific Strategy and Security".

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[Abuse] [Salinas Valley State Prison] [California]
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Punished and unable to appeal

I am writing to let you know about what's happening up in Salinas Valley State Penitentiary here in sunny Cali.

As you all know, we have a budget problem here. All the police are half staffed and close to minimum wage. And pissed. I have recently had a few run ins with the investigation squad (ISU) and always manage to piss em off.

Since then I have been put on a nothing coming status. I cannot seem to get any mail at all. My house gets tossed on a regular basis and they leave everything such a mess it's hard to tell just what they took. Sometimes it takes days to figure out that little things are really gone.

I have recently filed a grievance regarding incoming publications and was reimbursed for two magazine issues. I also wrote the company about the missing issues with the response that four would be resent. This was three months ago. How the hell do they lose four magazines twice?

We have some serious issues with the appeal process here. Sometimes they just don't return our shit so we can't file a repeat appeal to exhaust the grievance process. I recently filed a medical appeal about Hep C and the lady that did the first level interview told me "hey they have it written here on the informal that you were referred to the clinic but I checked your file and there is no record of it." I made sure this lady put that down as her findings. I never received the disposition (the 602). I later tried to file a subsequent appeal. They said "it had already been exhausted." what bullshit!

MIM(Prisons) responds: this story of repression and censorship is all too common in Amerikan prisons. This letter underscores the importance of prisoners who are subscribed to ULK writing to us regularly to tell us what mail you received from us. This helps us to track censorship and then take on coordinated legal battles.

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[Police Brutality]
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Black life is cheap in white amerikkka

July 8, 2010 marks an unprecedented day in united $nakes history. For the first time in its history, a U$ criminal court has found a police officer guilty of murdering a Black persyn (involuntary manslaughter was the official charge). A slap on the wrist!

On January 1, 2009, Bay Area Rapid Transit copy Johannes Mehserle shot and killed 22-year-old Oscar Grant while he was handcuffed behind his back in Oakland, CA. This case was witnessed by numerous people and caught on cellphone video footage.

What is not unprecedented or strange is the disproportionate numbers of Blacks and other oppressed nations' citizens who have fallen victim to the blazing guns of killer-kkkops and how predominately white jury's have found these cases to be "justifiable homicides." Black life is cheap in white amerikkka!

Who's the next victim?

Imam Morales, killed by racist pigs in New York, Imam Lugman and 7 year old Aiyana Jones murdered by FBI and Detroit pigs, and countless other victims. So many Black bodies gunned down that it's useless to try to name them all. But ask yourselves, who's going to be the next victim to fall before the trigger happy, state-backed assassins of poor and oppressed nations? Will it be you, me, the neighbor's child, your son, daughter, niece, nephew or husband/wife?

The need for independent media

What I found to be more disturbing and disrespectful, other than the guy's decision, was that on July 9, the morning after the verdict, the "Black" radio talk show programs of Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner, had more to say about the Lebron James decision to play basketball in Miami than the murder of Oscar Grant. This further magnifies the need for poor and oppressed nations to build independent media sources to educate and inform our people as to what is happening in our communities and what we must do to change the oppressive realities and conditions. Black life is cheap even to Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey.

What is to be done?

The root of the problem is not simply abusive, racist, killer-kkkops. The root of the problem is imperialism and this means that the people must organize themselves into a strong anti-imperialist force to bring down the system that allows these murderers to exist to kill, maim and go free.

Community control of police boards and having a say in which pigs are hired to oppress and fired after they murder one of us, is not even close to a solution. This only means that certain forces in our communities will be co-opted and sell-out our interests.

We must unite and organize and get behind a true revolutionary vanguard party that will express the will and represent the interest of the people. We must unite in every state, city, ghetto, barrio and reservation and build our own infrastructure. We must build an anti-imperialist United Front that will represent all oppressed nations and we must resist racist oppression and imperialist aggression.

As long as oppressed nations lack self-determination and the power to control our lives, there will be more Oscar Grants, Shawn Bells and Aiyana Jones!

The imperialist white-supremacist power structure must be brought down. The only question that must be answered is whether or not you will be a passive participant in the repression and murder of the poor and oppressed? No more Oscar Grants! No more Aiyana Jones!

Unite and Organize now!

MIM(Prisons) adds: Check out the MIM(Prisons) analysis of the Oscar Grant case for more on this example of the Amerikan injustice system.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Florida] [ULK Issue 15]
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School of Hard Knocks

Welcome to the school of hard knocks,
where it seems the clock has stopped,
trapped in a prison industrial complex,
the size of city blocks,
guns cocked in gun towers,
Ever so slowly passes, years, days, months and hours,
time devours all - tempus edax rerum
And here I live in this correctional slum
I've never been dumb, but I've done dumb things
and this brings me to:
As long as I'm alive, I strive,
Sometimes striving means simply surviving,
I could have went to Penn state,
but instead I'm in the state pen
Surrounded by 1200 people, but not one friend
I sent a letter to my family, but it seems that they're mad at me,
Because they only seem to respond semi-annually,
But I still have a strategy
to increase intellectually,
they may have my body, but they don't have the best of me,
I'm 30 now, I'll be released at 41,
In the futuristic year of 2021
The sum total of my incarcerated years will be 20,
But the total of the tears of me and my family is too many,
Plenty places, all over the state they have sent me,
tortured occasionally with tear gas and electricity,
they think that they're breaking me, but they're only remaking me,
I'm taking a breath while they're trying to smother,
And brother, in this world, if you break it down statistically
you'll realize you have to do your own part individually,
and realistically, I can see, if I don't improvise, educationally,
In FL DOC, I'll never go further than GED,
So I'm striving and searching, reaching and seeking,
trying to gain more knowledge, give my life more meaning,
in this institutional, "correctional," demeaning existence,
to improve yourself, takes a lot of persistence,
and one day prove useful to communist resistance

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[Police Brutality] [Organizing] [Oscar Grant] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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Pig Gets Off for Murder

On July 9 at around 2:30 p.m. the announcement was made that the official verdict on the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the transit pig who shot Oscar Grant in the back and killed him, would be released that day, and immediately people started gathering at the major intersection of 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland, California. At about 4:15 p.m., the verdict of involuntary manslaughter was released. This is the lowest charge that the jury could have chosen to give Mehserle, and as expected, the people of Oakland were pissed. Our comrades attended the protest, equipped with fliers emphasizing that the movement needs to be elevated from rioting into conscious revolutionary struggle generally, and national liberation struggles specifically, if people want to stop the murders of more Oscar Grants. The flier suggested Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth and Black Panther Party original documents as good starting points for a successful transition into a movement to truly end police brutality.

Government employees in the downtown area were under a mandatory evacuation, and business people were high-tailing it out of there as fast as the freeways could take them. The state and the media had hyped it up to be L.A. in 1992. That was far from the case. Still many large buildings were boarded up 20 feet high for days; others were frantically drilling in plywood as protesters converged. The hype was so extreme that even one discount grocery store located a mile from the epicenter of the protest boarded its windows as soon as the jury went into deliberation - as if a crazed mob would travel so far to loot their expired yogurt.

The City of Oakland set up a sound system in front of Town Hall that was supposed to serve as a speak-out, but was just playing funk for a few casual dancers, sometimes so loud that it seemed like they were attempting to drown out the actual protest. The rest of the 1000 people were gathered around a much smaller sound system in the adjacent intersection, having their own speak-out. The soap box ran from about 5-8 p.m., and the "don't tear up Oakland" position that was emphasized so strongly at past protests seemed to have taken a back seat on the collective agenda of the group. Most messages were that this verdict is bullshit, the system isn't going to give justice for Oscar Grant, and we need to organize. There was also a strong recognition that Black people were the targets of this violence and of the need for Black nationalism.

The typical divisive tactics that we had reported on at previous at Oscar Grant movement events was also present. One man insisted on addressing "just the Oaklanders" and advised the Black youth to not get "pimped" by "outside agitators." The response from the crowd was cold. The next speaker said he was also asked to speak on "outside agitators" and went on to point out that Martin Luther King, Jr. was called an "outside agitator" everywhere he went in the South. He said that no one is "outside" the struggle for justice, and went on to point out that the only people who are coming from outside the movement to cause problems were the pigs. This brother received enthusiastic cheers.

This theme was one that had been playing out for weeks within the organizations preparing for the verdict. Reportedly, non-profit leaders and those working with the City government were spearheading the line that the Black youth of Oakland couldn't rebel without white people from the suburbs telling them what to do. This racist bullshit had already been struggled against for weeks leading up to the verdict. While some in the crowd were dismissive of white speakers, telling them to get down, ultimately it was the content of what was being said that the protesters recognized. While there was a strong contingent of self-proclaimed locals saying "be cool" and using the local slang to attempt to create divisions, their effect seemed minimal.

During the speak out, pigs were lined up several blocks from the protest, controlling foot traffic and warning "unsuspecting" bicyclists of the "danger" ahead. At 8 p.m. the soap box was shut down by the City and everyone was hanging out in the streets, occupying several blocks of Broadway. After about thirty minutes, a trash can was lit on fire but protesters put it out within a minute. Occasional bottles were thrown at the pigs, and when any excuse was given to the pigs to attack, many of the protesters would run like hell. The pigs were surprisingly non-reactive, however, and would just occasionally change positions, pushing the protest north on Broadway. This didn't prevent "Fuck the Police" from being the most popular chant of the night.

A Foot Locker was looted, and many people made out with fresh kicks and jerseys. A group of three to four protesters started guarding the Foot Locker and tried to appeal to the protesters to not loot, which they said would prove that they are just ignorant Black people and would prove "them" right ("them" presumably being the white legislators and City officials who they hope to ask for justice). On the other hand, the guards correctly emphasized that there are Black organizations to get involved in to deal with these issues, and that looting the shoe store won't stop killings. If there was a strong Black vanguard in the area, MIM(Prisons) would have worked with them at this event rather than promoting study and building of new cadre groups. That's not to say there aren't a number of small, semi-underground formations that are worth working with, but none of them wield the power or influence to have led the rebellion.

The Black Panther Party asserted the need for a vanguard to organize and lead the masses down the most effective path to power in The Correct Handling of a Revolution, following the uprisings in 1968 across the country. It states, "There are basically three ways one can learn: through study, through observation, and through actual experience." They go on to say that the Black community generally learns through observation and participation. Unfortunately, the lessons put forth in this article were not observable at the demonstrations this year or last, indicating that study is needed. While the fires, graffiti and smashed windows grab our immediate attention, it is the serious organizing efforts that will allow the Oscar Grant movement to have a lasting effect. While it is hard to quantify these efforts now, the mood of the speakers indicate that despite the lack of a vanguard organization leading the rebellions, many are thinking and moving in this direction.

Over the next few hours the crowd gradually dwindled, smoke bombs and fire crackers were set off, windows broken, over a dozen dumpsters and trash cans lit up, graffiti was sprayed, garbage cans tossed into the transit stations, as the crowd was constantly pushed north, sectioned off, and divided by the pigs. At one point the street lights went out and three gun shots were fired from an unknown source, but apparently nobody was hit. Unlike the usual large demonstrations in the Bay Area, many protesters tonight were armed, but attacks on police were limited to rocks, bottles and, according to police, a few molotov cocktails. By 11 p.m., the protest had reduced to small groups launching hit-and-run tactics on stores. Their movement seemed guided by the police, who vastly outnumbered them. At the end of the day, there were 78 arrests.

Although our comrades were not on the front lines for the whole showdown, a tazer was only heard once, and while there were regular explosions heard, no reports are claiming that they were caused by the kkkops. Overall it seemed like the pigs were on their best behavior (for being stinking fucking pigs, anyway). This was clearly unexpected behavior by most protesters, who were constantly running at the slightest sign of action, only to return a few minutes later when they realized the tear gas and rubber bullets had yet to arrive. Activists were expecting the worst, including the use of the a $675,000 long-range acoustic device (a machine that produces sound waves that can cause permanent damage) that the Oakland Police Department recently purchased. Again, it never showed up.

The pigs outnumbered and outlasted the protesters. When the rebels had been reduced to a couple hundred, the pigs still had reinforcements coming in and surely more on standby. The fact that there was no need to resort to severe repression demonstrated their control over the situation. Evidently, they were willing to sacrifice a few downtown businesses as a pressure release. The next morning, the Oakland police chief was celebratory about their ability to control and contain the rebellions.

Mehserle's sentence is due out in November, and could range from 14 years in prison to probation. We expect the day of sentencing to re-ignite these protests all over the state.

Notes: Prisoners write us for a copy of "Oscar Grant: organization, line and strategy" printed on the anniversary of the initial rebellions following Grant's murder.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Washington]
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Revolutionary Activation

1: They got me duckin' FBI agents and Federal cases/Infiltrated by informants with anonymous faces / One nation under invasion and mass surveillance / They probably got me on a list for assassination / Movin' through the underground like Angela Davis / Vanish without a trace when them badges chasin' / I'm like a communist in a fascist nation / When them Nazi's spot me they gon' blast with hatred / Snitches makin' statements that they fabricated / collaborated with the state to see my ass get raided / Til the DA's in my face with the affidavits / Wanted in all 50 states on some tax evasion / It's the life of a rebel like a Panther aimin' / To set it off: Revolutionary activation /

2: They got imperial plots of world domination / Populations decimated by the globalization / complete the brainwash to keep the people complacent / Propagate false information through mis-education / My generation is lost gettin' intoxicated / I got homies gettin' shot in police altercations / The rest of my peers are facin' incarceration / cuz they'd rather slang 'caine than be slavin' for wages / corporations makin' profits off our alienation / Puttin' money in the pockets of Obama's administration / illegitimate payments solidify the foundation / For the rise of this genocidal civilization / They talk equality and democratization / When we got people up in Harlem starvin' like Haitians / And every ghetto's under military occupation / The solution: revolutionary activation /

3: They got me feelin' like Mao when Japan invaded / Mobilize the masses like Fidel and Che did / In the belly of the beast where police are racist / And people kill for cash cuz the greed's contagious / Turn on the television see my Queens degraded / manipulated by the 10% descendants of Satan / From Nixon to Reagan to the Bush administration / Prophecies fulfilled in the days of revelation / illuminati through my body I got shotty's with gauges / And my soldiers are strapped down for whatever they're faced with / Lurkin' beneath the surface take it back to the bassment / Guerilla rappers highjackin' all your radio stations / All my comrades stay gang affiliated / With their finger on the trigger and their trigger fingers anxious / To pull it back and set it off like a bomb detonation / Now the revolution's activated /

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