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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 16]
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United We Stand: COs split Bs and Cs

The Department of Corruptions, under the guise of safety and security is slowly but surely succeeding in their divide and conquer strategy. They have already been successful at convincing individuals to snitch by offering those who choose to take that road a safe haven. While at the same time they're inciting conflicts in General Population. Here recently the captain of D-yard told a crip inmate that a blood inmate informed on him. Instead of them seeing this for what it was, these two guys ran around the yard telling anybody who would listen that the person was a snitch. The result was that the blood stabbed the crip in the law library. This resulted in the whole Black population being placed on lockdown for 60 days. The excuse for the lockdown was that they had to investigate the situation.

They released a program status report the day after the incident and passed out copies to everyone. They wanted everyone to know it was a blood and crip that was involved. Under any other circumstances it takes the pigs 30 days to release a program status report. At the same time the pigs were walking around like school kids making comments intended to incite the blood and crip conflict. Normally when something like this occurs they only lockdown the groups involved. But this time they locked down all Blacks, which was strange because this was a one-on-one issue that was provoked by the pigs. But this is the norm here in Kern Valley.

This is a maximum security prison. Guys around here claim to be militant revolutionaries, hardcore gangsters and solid convicts. But all I see is a bunch of fools looking for some type of recognition and popularity, until we all wake up and realize that we have to unite in order to overcome the oppressors then we must accept what we get. United we stand, divided we fall, together we can stand tall. Until that happens the pigs will continue to divide and conquer.

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[Abuse] [Georgia]
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Georgia conditions deteriorating

I've seen a lot of changes in the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) over the past 5 years.

It started with the food (menu). In 2006, the GDC made a drastic change in the menu, downsizing the meals and eliminating all salt in the name of health. They even put a memo up saying "this is a healthy change meant to promote health." This lasted a week, before inmates "bucked" causing them to change it back. So these guys (GDC) went back to the think tank to come up with a better way to get over on us. Well, they succeeded. What they did was, instead of changing the menu all at once, they decided to do it little by little. Take boiled eggs out this month, egg salad 3 months later, tuna goes in June, no more soy milk for vegans in August, less chicken next year. They did this to avoid disruption from us. They took a page out of George Orwell's "Animal Farm." Got us acting like the animals walking around saying "didn't we use to have that", "I thought the menu said 'this' one time." To me, this "take a little here" strategy has become one of their favorites.

It doesn't stop there, Georgia inmates, got to be the sorriest group of guys in history. I'm a part of it, sad to say. It's unbelievable how submissive these guys are. They go for anything.

Back in 2006, according to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) laundry was ordained to be washed 6 days per week. Then a drought hit Georgia for a month. So they downsized laundry cleaning to 3 days. That was 4 years ago - so tell me why laundry only goes out 3 days a week still? The drought been over. Hell, there was a flood or two since them. Nobody cares.

In 2008, all the wardens in every prison in GA went down to their dorms to inform inmates that everything on Friday will be shut down and will be considered a part of the weekend. I have no idea how they swung that one by without a riot. No mail on Friday, no lunch, no law library, no medical, no counseling, no programs, etc. Rumor is they will soon be giving inmates in GA 2 meals a day everyday. No uprisings.

Because so many prisoners used adapters to charge cell phones, the GDC banned us from buying them in almost every prison. No protests.

There once was a time when medical visits were free. But then they started charging $5 per visit. Earlier this year they took it a step further and started charging us for the visit and medicine. So if I went there for a cold it would cost me $5 to walk in the door, $5 for the medicine, and another $5 for the nasal spray. We just keep taking it in the ass.

In the last 3 years, 5 prisons (1800 inmates each) shut down. So the GDC, instead of releasing folks, chose to add multiple annex (open dorm) buildings to each prison. When overcrowding still persists they started putting triple bunks in all cell houses. The prison I'm at has 3 men per room in all cell houses bottom range. Top ranges have 2 men. But it won't be long before they triple up every dorm. What this is doing, besides humiliating us, is putting serious strain on the existing facilities, such as medical.

When this prison was built, it had an inmate capacity of 800. Well today you have over 2000. All that has changed has been the amount of inmates. Instead of medical staff having to care for 800 they now have to care for 2000. Same size staff, same size rooms. Nothing was enlarged to compensate for this population boom. The law library has enough computers for 800 men. Today we don't have time to do legal work on the computer because we have 4 computers for 2000 men. Visitation area was designed for 800 men. Today, because of the population, its regular for an officer to come up to you and your family and say "you have to go so others can come in." It wouldn't matter if your folks flew in from France they will force your visitor to leave because they don't have enough space. No riots.

In GA, it costs taxpayers $1.1 billion a year to support this system. Next year the feds will not give the GDC $85 million that they thought they would get. So it will get ugly in Georgia. There's no telling what they might do next. Georgia prisoners will continue to submit. Will continue to go to work (prisoners in GA earn $0 in wages) for free, just to have something to do. Next year, these pigs will be understaffed with this 85 million being withheld. They already are scrambling for ways to earn money. We need to sacrifice all our cares for one month and not work, that would break their back. It would be then that they really realize where the power lies. But that day might not come in GA, cause we are the prisoners with no nuts.

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[Organizing] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [Downstate Correctional Facility] [New York]
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Find Your Strength

I cried pure tears of regret, pain, and sympathy for the numerous soldiers who are being targeted and abused because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

I share the same oppression of barbaric treatment, by the devilish regime that deprives millions of their constitutional rights of freedom of liberty. I'm incarcerated in Clinton Correctional Facility in the New York State, where the inmates have gotten relaxed without having a voice to speak against the guards racism, beatings, and rural area practices of not having an inclination of how to communicate with people of color or know exactly how to relate with cultural beliefs and religion. I have witnessed guards beat inmates and spray inmates with chemical agents for fun or to impress fellow subordinates in showing their co-workers the extent of power they have, while prisoners are shackled.

I myself have been a victim of such torturous actions of torment in Downstate Correctional Facility in New York State because I wrote the inspector General's office because of the abuse of another prisoner's righteous actions. In this state and especially this facility, it's repeatedly exercised that guards get cousins, brothers, sisters, uncles, mothers and even their elderly of kin hired to participate in the slavery monopoly of mistreatment of the prisoners. We are being given violations written by the connection of a family member, then being taken in from of another associate or relative to be found guilty. Without ever having our voices heard because the case workers have found us guilty based on their blood-line theory of truth.

So when I read about Missouri, Utah, California, Florida, Georgia prison systems, and all others that carry the same racist prototype in their regimes, I pray for all my comrade brothers and comrade sisters who have been trampled over and continue to get run over by foul acts of criminal activity. I want them all to know to love yourself and search for dependency on truth, because no matter what the pigs take away from us all, they can never take away the greatest love of all, and that's knowing that we are a reflection of each other.

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[Organizing] [Attica Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 17]
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Time for Peaceful Revolution

Editor's Note: We receive many letters critical of lumpen organizations (LOs) from prisoners across the country reflecting the contradictory aspects of the lumpen class. Some are from alleged former members, wishing to do exposés of these organizations. For the lumpen to be internally critical is a necessary step for the development of a proletarian consciousness among the oppressed inside U.$. borders. However, to print public criticisms without providing real alternatives and leadership does more harm than good.

Our task is to develop a united front among those groups of people who have an interest in opposing imperialism. We must work with the material given us and not disregard the masses because of their backwardness. Not working for the pigs is a start, but we only print parts of this critique to allow our comrade to respond and illustrate a better approach for all who are facing similar situations.

Greetings Comrades,

It's time for a peaceful revolution here in the state of New York Department of Correctional Services because with violence we are not going to accomplish anything. Especially with all these rats running around who will sell their souls for an extra tray or a roll (cigarette). Speaking about rats, let's start with the ALKQN. The reality here is that this organization was founded in 1939-1940 by Lord Gino Gustavo to stop the abuse and terribly degrading way us Latinos were being treated in Chicago by the pigs inside and outside of the walls of lost souls, to stand up as people against the unjust government that was oppressing us and pouring drugs into the Latino communities. The ALK (ALKQN is for NY only, not Chi-town) was a revolutionary movement; a strong radical group of men who seriously believed in their people as a whole made up of Blacks, Latinos, and peoples of all races and ethnic backgrounds.

Nevertheless, here in NYS DOCS the ALKQN has become a major joke. These infidels work for the facilities' administration and closely with the pigs. This has been a trend for these pig-loving maggots in Attica CI. These so-called revolutionary dudes cut, stab, steal, rob, and intimidate prisoners just for the pigs. In return these pig-lovers get TVs, radios, or beat overdose tickets for their cooperation.

I don't understand where these dudes went wrong but one thing for sure is simple. They need to stop working for the pigs and administration and really rise up and make a positive stand for what we as a whole are supposed to be about: respect, honesty, unity, knowledge, loyalty and most of all love.

a New York prisoner


ECC.1:1 for ALKQN/PLF responds: In response to the above critique of the particular lumpen organization (LO), the question still remains as to whether or not this is an honest attempt at revolutionary criticism in the spirit of Maoism, or more blatantly just a simple expression of mummified discontent.

The beginning paragraph starts off with both a call for "peaceful" revolution and a mutual denouncement of violence because, based upon the writer's logic, "with violence we are not going to accomplish anything..." As debatable as any theory of "non-violent" revolution may be in the pages of ULK, there is still 1) an absolute lack of any kind of historical reference upon which to build from in the author's writing and 2) an immediate diversion of the topic into one that appears to be an attempt to dichotomize the LO in question based upon either A) the ill-perceived "Chicago-New York Complex," B) what the writer would/may have the masses believe to be the general practice of the membership of the latter and/or C) a convolution of both.

In direct response to A), the attempt to dichotomize the LO in question based upon either city of locale or a feeble attempt at label differentiation is a prime example of the type of demagoguery that only serves to disunite and confuse both present and future generations and the masses as a whole. As to both B) and C), the indication that police collaboration is a problem unique to the New York brand of the LO in question is one based upon both fallacy and a disillusionment of reality. Police collaboration is a threat to all LOs, their respective branches, sections, sets, chapters, etc. It is a threat to any organized group, party, etc. that opposes U.$. policy, period!

Assuming the writer is/was an actual member of the LO in question, the proposed solution to "rise up and make a positive stand for what we as a whole are supposed to be about: respect, unity, knowledge, loyalty and most of all love" is a solution nowhere apparent throughout the entire critique itself.

Finally, if one does not understand (as stated by the writer where s/he wrote that "I don't understand where these dudes went wrong") then the study of the class structure of the internal semi-colonies of the United $nakes is what one must understand. Three hundred sixty degrees of knowledge of revolutionary theory and practice. Anything else is just anti-King babble at its best, and pig work dividing the oppressed for the imperialists at its worst.

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[Abuse] [National Oppression] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York]
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Assaults and Brutality in New York

I must promptly apologize for not writing in a while. These pigs here are opening my letters to you and destroying the contents inside. I've also been helping the brothers (Black and Brown) here at the notorious Clinton max.

Since the new superintendent took over back in April 2010 there's been a slew of assaults by corruption officers on the Black and Brown. Keep in mind this superintendent was once an officer, sgt, capt, and deputy. Back in April a pig broke his nightstick over a brother's shoulder after the individual was laid out on the yard grounds. In May a young Muslim brother who was wearing sweatpants to the yard was assaulted by several dastardly pigs so badly that the brother defecated on himself. Of course you know they charge the prisoner with assault so that they can justify using force that is extremely excessive with impunity.

Also in May an older Mexican brother who doesn't speak much english, nor does he understand it, was told to place his hands on the wall, only the pig motioned with his finger. He didn't understand so he put both hands on top of his head, he was then assaulted. This same brother was assaulted again when he was being escorted back to his cell. He was punched in his ribs and hit by a nightstick in his kidney area along with his wrist being twisted and bruised. This brother is 119 pounds soaking wet. He was also denied food. He's a diabetic and has mental issues and was spitting up blood.

The next day I saw him in the yard and a few Mexican brothers told me what happened and I was furious! As a brother and a member of the Inmate Liaison Committee(ILC) I took the prisoner, who was still spitting up blood, to the COs post and explained his need for medical attention. He did receive medical treatment, and x-rays and reports showed that he had fractured ribs, photos of bruises and a twisted wrist. After I translated a grievance form from Spanish to English about the abuse, he was threatened by more abuse if he didn't "sign off" the grievance. He didn't sign off and because of that he was retaliated on while coming back from commissary. He was picked out of line an put on the wall, while everyone else locked in. He was then handcuffed and a plastic bag was put on his head until he passed out. He woke up in a daze (still shackled) and now wet from the waist down from urinating on himself. The coward ass pig hurled racial slurs at him, and that's when brothers started yelling "leave him the fuck alone!" He left for a so-called hospital trip in June and he hasn't been seen since. I have all of this information first hand from the prisoner.

In May a brother was accosted in E-Block (SHU) by two pigs who jumped on him. There was blood high on the walls. After handcuffing they swing you like a pendulum high against the wall and watch you drop on your face, head, body, etc. There was so much blood that it ended up underneath the E-block door. I personally know the brother who did the clean up and he told me "It looked like something out of CSI."

Two years ago, then Supt Artus issued a memo after numerous complaints by ILC and individuals throughout the population. He issued one on "use of force" and another on "professional demeanor." These memos have been and continue to be blatantly disregarded just like many complaints and grievances. The administration speaks with the same rhetoric "staff abuse will not be tolerated" but as you can see nothing has changed. The roughshod is becoming more and more like the practices at Gitmo!

Today, while in the yard, there was friction between the Muslims and the LOs. Yesterday got real ugly between the two, resulting in brothers being scared for their lives. As they met in the center of the yard, the pigs were well prepared with rifles in hand and nightsticks. As they recorded the yard I could see it in their eyes that they were anticipating "tribalism." Many brothers couldn't see what was about to take place. Although the beef was squashed (thanks to the Muslim brothers), I just can't see how we don't recognize who our true enemy is!

In hindsight, almost 40 years ago when troopers entered into the notorious Attica prison on a "murderous rampage" killing 29 prisoners and 10 of their own, they also used "dum dum" bullets which explode on impact. I'm forgetting to mention it was against Geneva codes back then as it is now. There's also footage that shows caucasians (COs) yelling "white power" after the gunshots rang out. Even now, almost 40 years later, a plaque still remains in front of Attica honoring the co-called bravery of the 10 pigs who they killed. Autopsy showed they died from ground shot wounds. It doesn't show any type of condolences for us prisoners who were murdered. This shows that 1) These pigs will not only kill the Black and Brown with impunity but also kill their own and call it bravery, friendly fire, etc. 2) I personally feel that there should be only 2 gangs: us and them!

In conclusion, prisons are the Alma Mater of terrorism with quasi-torture tactics! Think about it, how else can a small group of people (COs) maintain and rule a much greater number of people (prisoners)? Stop reading this article and actually think about that. The most concise answer is by "terror"! We are all victims of the Amerikan social order. Violence is an Amerikan tradition, it's citizens thrive off it, and are addicted to it and enchanted by it. We have been so desensitized that we fall victim so easily to Willie Lynch syndrome, this modern day even. Bottom line is we need more solidarity between the Black and Brown!" It seems that my efforts are becoming useless due to the hostility I get when I confront my brothers involved in these Lumpen Organizations. The leaders especially insist on dismissing me as "stuck in the 60s mentality." So now the mentality of the masses is "thuggery" and "gangsterism."


MIM(Prisons) adds: Too many people are brainwashed by BET and XXL into thinking self-hatred and individualism is something new and trendy. We join this prisoner in calling for a United Front for Peace of all Lumpen Organizations active in prison and on the streets. We are currently drafting a statement of unity for this United Front and will look to leading LOs to sign and propagate it behind bars. Write to us to get involved in this project.

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[Organizing] [State Correctional Institution Huntingdon] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 15]
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Uniting to fight denied food

On June 26 history was made in SCI Huntingdon's Restricted Housing Unit (RHU). The early Saturday morning began with a racist Correctional Officer (CO) named Powell depriving two prisoners of their breakfast trays. Things like this have been constant here at Huntingdon but this day we had enough and decided to take a stand.

We told the superior officer on deck to feed the two inmates who were denied their breakfast trays or else it was "going down," the officers did not comply, so we waited until they passed out cleaning supplies which consist of a bucket, disinfect, a toilet scrubber, and a floor brush. When the officers came to collect the supplies we gave back everything except the floor brush, which we kept as weapons. We then put our towels over our door windows. The officers began yelling threats about suiting up in riot gear and coming in our cells. Quickly prisoners began taking their towels off of their door and complying, and the number of us still standing was only seven.

Officers began to leave off of the quad ready to suit up in riot gear when we suggested that letting them arm themselves was a bad idea. We decided that this time we would be the hunters instead of the hunted. The two prisoners who did not eat were first. The first one faked a suicide attempt that made the officers have to run in his cell unarmed and when they opened his cell door he took action, getting as many of the four officers until more officers had to help restrain him. Next the other prisoner did the same and when they opened his door he took action using any means to get as many of them as he could before more officers had to help restrain him. From these first two incidents six officers were injured, but it was far from over. Next another prisoner forced the officers into his cell after they had sprayed pepper spray in it. He made sure he got some action before they restrained him. The injured officer toll was now eight.

My celly and I were next. We were the only double cell on the tier, and the officers would not come in. They left and suited up in riot gear, and then turned our water off. Next they ran into a prisoner''s cell with full riot gear, electrical shields and a stun gun. As soon as they ran in, a helmet came flying out and the injured officer toll was now nine. Next they came into our with full riot gear, and two officers were on the floor before either of us wes electrocuted, maced and restrained. Eleven points for the home team. While my cellmate and I were being stripped and checked for injury, the officers were complaining about the CO who started this mess (officer Powell) by depriving the two prisoners of their breakfast trays. Coincidentally, he was not amongst the officers involved in this action. There was still one prisoner left, but before they decided to go in his cell, they let it be known that whatever they had to do for us to stop the madness, they would do it. They submitted! The prisoners were fed and we all received our property back with the exception of our bed linen. We all received misconducts and along with a bruise or two it was a small price to pay in order to gain our respect. Unity overcame oppression. For the first time in Huntingdon RHU history we stopped talking and gave them the only thing that they respected (violence) to gain our respect. Message to all of our brothers in the struggle: it can be done!

MIM(Prisons) adds: We do not think armed struggle now is a viable option for obtaining a more just society within the imperialist countries today. Therefore our strategic orientation opposes going up against the state in physical confrontations where we are always outgunned. That said, we agree with the theoretical point that the state does not respect so-called rights, but they do respect violence. Ultimately the imperialists will not give up oppression and exploitation peacefully.

To oppose armed struggle as a strategy today does not mean that physical force can never be used as a tactic in the fight for justice. Much of the changes that are credited to the civil rights movement were ensured by the revolutionary nationalist movements of the time that threatened to use force against the state. Similarly, the trial of Johannes Mehserle, as pathetic as it was, was triggered by the use of physical force by the oppressed. It would be irresponsible for us to deny these truths, just as it would be irresponsible for us to encourage prisoners to get in fights with guards.


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[Organizing] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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This ain't TV, there's no justice here

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), High Desert State Prison (HDSP) and Lassen County Superior Court are working together to ensure that prisoners' rights continue to be violated! The prison industry and the injustice system stay true to form. According to the propaganda that the U.$. continuously pushes out, "if you seek justice, you should allow the system to work for you." We see this mentality on all the popular TV shows such as Law and Order, NCIS, Judge Judy, etc., as well as in newspapers and magazines. But how can anyone consider a system "just" that fails to protect the basic rights of the people?

You can't, and most people on the outside (that have never dealt with the prison industry) do not and (most) can not comprehend the abuses and atrocities that go on behind the walls, committed by the prison administration and the courts. Take for example the mass validations and blatant violations of prisoners' rights that continue to occur here at High Desert in the administrative segregation unit (Z-unit). I was personally targeted and validated during last year's goon squad sweep. However, I did not sit still and do nothing, no sir, instead I filed an inmate appeal and followed it all the way to the director's level and was denied. Then I filed a petition for habeas corpus and was denied. Now I have to appeal to the appellate courts and we'll see what happens there. Now CDCR validated me as an associate of the NS prison gang, however none of their so-called points that were used against me meet state guidelines or laws. My three supposed points were two lists of names which are considered laundry lists (CDCR agreed to stop using laundry lists in the 2004 Castillo v. Alameda settlement) and one point was I told investigators I had "no comment" during an investigation.

My story is the normal practice here at HDSP and consistently occurs with just about all those who have been validated. And when you turn to the courts, they close their eyes and turn their heads and let the injustice continue uninhibited. So how can we receive justice? We can't, not as long as this capitalist society continues to think about the almighty dollar instead of the needs of the people. And since prisoners equal money to California, the courts and legislators will continue to allow these violations and others to go on until revolution forces a change.

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[National Oppression] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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Appeals Denied on Mass Validation

I sent the grievance petition to the Director of Corrections [in the California Department of Corrections (CDCR)] on the flawed grievance system and how prison officials are purposely violating our rights by using oppressive tactics to stop and hinder us in filing administrative appeals. I received a letter back via a Redding CC II supervisor of high security and transitional housing, stating my letter was received and that the office of the inspector general has the authority to investigate complaints of officials of the CDCR for acts of administrative wrong doing. Basically, the CDCR isn't going to investigate said allegations but I'm welcome to try and get somebody else to. I'm going to strike up an administrative appeal on this issue for I have had a lot of appeals screened out for arbitrary reasons that in some cases can't be met, appeals lost, and just given the run around when trying to get my issues heard. But the appeals coordinator has previously screened out an appeal on him for arbitrarily screening out one of my appeals saying that the appeals coordinator's decision to screen out an appeal "can't be appealed" so I already know filing any kind of an administrative appeal on such an issue will be an uphill battle.

I am one of the 50 to 60 northern hispanics who were wrongly swept up in a mass validation sweep on High Desert State Prison's (HDSP) C-yard and placed in Z-unit (Ad-Seg) on false, unreliable, and insufficient information that doesn't amount to "some evidence" that I'm a prison gang associate. HDSP and CDCR are continuing to deny our administrative appeals, when we can show clear violations of their regulations and the law in how they validated us. I currently have appeals in on my validation. The fact is that they are not allowing us to receive our appliances in Z-unit when our privilege group allows such, the inadequate law library herein, and the fact that we are being held in Z-unit for years and not being transferred to the Security Housing Units. HDSP staff acts as if they're above all laws/rules and can do whatever they want.

I would also like to comment on the false snitches HDSP is breeding. For example, I was placed in Ad-Seg due to Institutional Gang Investigations (IGI) claiming they had sufficient evidence to validate me. But when I was given my validation package it was seen that I was placed in Ad-Seg when I only had one point towards my validation and I didn't receive the other two points that they needed for almost another month. Now IGI was hoping that someone would break and be willing to say anything to get out of Z-unit. You see when someone starts snitching they are moved to a building that allows them to have their appliances and other extra privileges that we are denied here in Z-unit so people desperate to get out of Z-unit will tell the debriefers exactly what they want to hear, be it true or, in most cases, false. Further, the prisoners snitching are usually validated, meaning they went through the whole process, know what the prison officials want to hear and the wording/terms to implicate someone. This system is highly unreliable for anyone can name a prisoner, give h a label/title and prison officials will validate themj just on that type of information.

These are issues that I'm currently dealing with and fighting and I thank you for reading it and also giving it some exposure in your newsletter.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The petition this comrade is referring to is part of the campaign to demand an answer to grievances that are often ignored, destroyed, or screened out for arbitrary reasons. Currently comrades have created petitions specific to California, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma. If you know prisoners who are having their grievances ignored, get in touch with us to get involved in this campaign.

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[Organizing] [Prison Labor] [Oregon]
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DOC: Dealing Oppression Conspicuously

There are an unbelievable number of people incarcerated in prisons throughout Oregon who are either fearfully unwilling or shamefully disinterested in rocking the boat when it comes to initiating unnecessary change within the wall of their respective institutions. But quite often it is a requisite for beneficial change to capsize the boat and force the crew to flounder. As our diminishing rights become even more chewed up by the ravenous jaws of the imperialist piranhas, sitting idly by and watching the grim reality show that is our subjugation, results only in the further detriment and disenfranchisement of the socially ostracized. Unity brings potency to a revolution; solidarity releases an energy capable of crippling the most obstinate oppressor.

The State makes the prisoner an indentured servant to the correctional machine. we are forced to work for paltry earnings under the explicit fiat of Oregon law; punished if we refuse to forfeit our independence. In order to retain special privileges and certain material possessions, it is mandatory that we work our brittle fingers to the bone for the State. One could easily make the argument that it should be criminal to penalize a person for his or her refusal to be a state-sanctioned slave.

As someone doing a life term in prison, the last thing I want is to be a labor horse for the same imperialists who've taken an ax to my liberties. Whatever pittance I procure from my coerced labors must inevitably return to its original source, as I cannot avoid frequenting the commissary to purchase the bare necessities for maintaining personal hygiene and a vital connection to the outside world. The money must revert back to the State; it is a fiendish circle. Moreover, as the demand for their commodities increases, those in charge of operations within the commissary business raise the prices. Meanwhile, the monetary reward handed out to the sweating and bleeding prisoners remains invariably insufficient. But if I want to survive comfortably I must tow the line. However, perhaps it is when we grow too comfortable with our dire situations that we become reticent to speak out against our oppressors.

Those who lord over the lumpen are not to be confided in, nor are they to be greeted as yokefellows. They do not sympathize with our plight. How can they? They receive exorbitant amounts of money to imprison us, to keep us downtrodden and mentally enervated. To them we are the dregs of society, the mischief-makers whose drumbeat is not synchronous with theirs. Which is why it boggles my mind that there are prisoners who shower the corrections officers with warm cordiality as if these licensed oppressors are on equal terms with the incarcerated. I witness them in deep conversations with the officers on a daily basis, sharing information about themselves, as well as information about others. Prisoners joke around with the guards like everyone is best friends and not two socially separated classes - the oppressed and oppressor. What the oppressed prisoners seem woefully unreceptive to is the fact that these potentates of the penal system are in charge of keeping us stripped of our individuality, and hold the power to make our lives downright miserable. They raid our cells - essentially our homes - and confiscate anything that worries them or shows signs of our burgeoning dissatisfaction with our confinement. Anything we manufacture to amuse ourselves is stolen from us and tossed away like refuse. They intercept grievances, deliberately lose or discard our ail, and tell us when to wake up and when to eat. This is not a relationship of reciprocal treatment. It is a relationship where we are forced under threat of punishment to bow to authority, to respect authority, and they in turn deprive us of the same respect. They see us a dollar signs, not as friends.

The amelioration of our confinement will only see fruition when the lumpen unite as one solid and formidable engine and drive our oppressors into the ground like railroad spikes. We must learn to be smarter than them, to dodge their attacks, and to gain support not just from those in likewise wretched situations but from allies outside of the walls. We must face the challenges as bravely and indefatigably as possible. For it is not the steel bars that make the prison, but those who are unwilling to fight to break the chains.

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[Medical Care] [Texas] [ULK Issue 15]
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Refused medical treatment in Texas

I'm writing in reference to the mental health and overall medical conditions in the Texas pri$on $y$tem. Here recently they've been taking several mental health patients off their psych medications even though these individuals need these medications. They say these individuals don't need these medications anymore, even though they've been diagnosed with mental disorders prior. Since they've started taking these individuals off their medication there's been several of them attempting suicide (one successful).

They've refused me treatment for a rash I had spreading over my body. I had to raise hell just to get some medication for it. It's to the point now where it's extremely difficult to get any kind of treatment for anything.

The big picture is these pigs could care less about our mental or physical well being. It's all about making a dollar to them. If they got to cut back on our medical care, to make more money they will. That's why we got to make a stand comrades, we can't just sit back and let these pigs f**k us over. Sad thing is a lot of these prisoners don't know how to fight back, that's why those of us that do need to step up and show our fellow brothers how to stand up to this injustice system here in Texas and everywhere else for that matter. Once these pigs see that we won't be run over and mistreated, they will stop their B.S!

MIM(Prisons) responds: We are printing this report in our issue focused on mental health. While medical care is often tied into mental health in our society, we are putting forth an approach that looks at mental health as a social issue and problem. While in the narrow sense, these prisoners may have acted on their suicidal tendencies because they stopped receiving certain medications, these medications were only a band-aid to begin with. And while suicide is the ultimate destruction of a humyn being, the fate of many people who are victims of this oppressive system of incarceration, isolation and drugging is little better. So, rather than see the lack of medicine as the cause of death, we would say that the oppressive system of imperialism caused this death and the other suicide attempts.

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