The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Culture] [Colorado]
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Is Hip Hop as Revolutionary Culture?

Personally I see nothing revolutionary about so-called hip hop nowadays. As someone who grew up in the 80s living the lifestyle, all I see now is everyone doing the same, saying the same, and looking the same. Hip hop needs a throat lozenge because it's lost its voice. When hip hop was pertinent there was a message in the music. A message which not only brought to light the various socio-economic maladies that affected the youth, but often times offered a remedy or blueprint to initiate change.

There were differing styles of dress depending upon how a particular individual wanted to express himself. Long gone are the Africa medallions or airbrushed jeans and hats that actually had meaning only to be replaced with precious metals and name brand couture. Real hip hop is alive and well in Cuba where they've even set up a position for the continuation of hip hop and expression by the government. Wow! In the U.S. hip hop has sold out to the mass media and has morphed into a watered down form of cheap musical entertainment. Shame on hip hop for allowing itself to become what it has. Notice how those rappers who talk about nothing of substance sell the most records while Mos Def or Dead Prez barely get a mention?

I believe that the bourgeoisie has systematically carried out a sinister plan to eliminate any type of thought provoking messages from being spread via hip hop music in an effort to keep the blind in the blind. I also believe that a direct correlation can be made between recent so-called hip hop's virtual passivity and the staggering number of inmates wandering around the multiple plantations in the good old US of A. We've been getting the message that it's okay for this government to do what it wants because we can't ever change it. There's nothing revolutionary about that!

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[Organizing] [Pennsylvania]
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Fight Keefe Food Group Corruption

boycott Keefe foodsWe are bring to the attention of the masses in the gulags and amongst the populace the corporate monopoly of the Keefe Food Group over Corrections Institutions in North Amerikkka. The Keefe Group is a subsidiary of the Centric Group LLC. It appears that this conglomerate has exclusive lucrative contracts throughout county, state and federal systems.

The corruption and abuses experienced by prisoners nationwide is well known to those of us who are subjugated to the system. However such practices under imperialism are not limited to the Prison Industrial Complex. Therefore, a just fight against Keefe Food Group and its parent company, Centric Group LLC, in these concentration camps can have direct cross appeal to the citizens in society who are battling wall street predators in banking and housing markets.

We are calling on readers of MIM(Prisons) Under Lock & Key to write Keefe Group in their county, state or federal prisons. We are asking people to compile a list of the prison's commissary prices along with any lawsuits or other documented abuses by Keefe Group. If any prisoners have had success with terminating the Keefe Group monopoly in their state system we would like to know the details of it and how the victory was achieved.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this call to collect information and launch coordinated battles against companies benefiting off the oppression of prisoners. However, a Marxist analysis of Amerikan society reveals that it, like other imperialist countries, is comprised primarily of labor aristocrats. These are people who are not exploited but rather are benefiting from the spoils of imperialist exploitation. Because of this benefit, even in economic downturn they have financial interests tied up with capitalism and so will continue to support the system. Certainly this may not be the case forever, and as imperialism weakens it may have to turn back to exploiting people at home, but for now, the imperialist country citizens are not likely to ally with prisoners based for economic reasons alone as is implied in this article.

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[Spanish] [Political Repression] [ULK Issue 17]
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El Buro Federal de Investigación Arresto a un Hacedor de Paz

[img="https://www.prisoncensorship.info/art/quick/asanchez.jpg" alt=Alex Sanchez of Homies Unidos]Hace dos ediciones que "Bajo clavo y llave" publicó el número de "paz." Ahora estamos trabajando en una publicación sobre migrantes y no ciudadanos en las prisiones estadounidenses. El secuestro del director de "Homies Unidos", Alex Sánchez, por el FBI ayer demuestra la relación estrecha de las prisiones, emigración, represión y paz.

"Homies Unidos" se inició en El Salvador por 20 personas que fueron deportadas de los Estados Unidos debido a leyes de inmigración de la era Clinton después de cumplir penas de prisión. Alex Sánchez jugó un papel clave en fundar el capítulo de Los Ángeles dos años después, construyendo un importante vínculo al origen de los problemas de pandilla aquí en el estomago de la bestia.

El apuntamiento y arresto de Alex por el FBI es no más que un ejemplo más que soporta nuestro argumento en la publicación número 7, que el estado no quiere paz. Hay pocas quienes pueden decir que han hecho más para traer paz a algunas de las peores áreas mundiales afectada por las pandillas, sin embargo el estado lo mira como una amenaza.

En los 1980, la gente por todo Centro América se había unido por un nuevo sistema económico que servía las necesidades de la gente. Los Estados Unidos respondieron por medio de armar y entrenar escuadrones de la muerte para combatir esos movimientos. Ellos usaron el terrorismo, matando a las familias locales en el genocidio en masa, y haciendo brutalidades similares contra los partidarios de otros países para desentusiasmar el internacionalismo. Como la mayoría de la gente con quien "Homies Unidos" trabaja, Alex sí mismo se fue víctima del desplazamiento masivo de gente por Centro América causado por una década de intervención estadounidense. Este periodo de brutalidad fue seguida por políticas económicas que ofrecieron una opción de trabajo para las niñas de la guerra: corriendo producto para la economía de drogas multi-billonaria estadounidense.

Aunque la mayoría que viajaron a los Estados Unidos busca el trabajo, otras fueron traídos aquí por sus puestos en el mercado negro de intercambio de drogas. De cualquier forma, esos recién llegados son perseguidos por el encarcelamiento del sistema injusticia estadounidense, que ayudó a consolidar y reforzar la vida pandillera criminal como la única opción para casi todos los jóvenes masculinos. Al igual que los que vinieron antes que ellos, los salvadoreños en las calles y prisiones formaron grupos para defenderse de una sociedad quien les temía y atacó a los recién llegados.

El arresto de Alex es un ataque flagrante que forma parte del mismo sistema que ha atacado a millones procedentes del mismo lugar donde el vino. Pero su apuntamiento ha sido muy especifico y constante por sus esfuerzos para organizar la paz mediante el construir de alternativas a los delitos violentos como una forma de sobrevivir. Él apareció una amenaza demasiado grande para el sistema que controla a cafés y negros jóvenes en este país por medio de drogas y intensidad baja de guerra, mientras al mismo tiempo amenazando el flujo de drogas dentro del mercado más ricos del mundo.

Previamente, Alex fue perseguido por la unidad CRASH Murallas(Ramparts CRASH Unit) que condujo a la infame escándalo en el Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles(LAPD), donde los policías trabajaban con el INS para deportar a los traficantes de drogas que no trabajaría con el LAPD. En ese momento fue amenazado con la deportación. Él respondió, tratando de obtener asilo debido a posición social en El Salvador, donde miembros de la principal organización lumpen allá son perseguidos por encarcelamiento y asesinato con más impunidad que ellos son en los Estados Unidos. Esto habría proveído una salida para millones de jóvenes atrapados en el ciclo violento. Pero las cortes americanas no irían por este argumento, y le concedieron asilo en la base de sus creencias politicas en su lugar.

Alex continuamente ha puesto su mismo en la línea por los intereses de la clase lumpen, que todavía no han devuelto el favor. Parte del desarrollo de conciencia de los lumpen es organizando la defensa (y apoyo) a los que están haciendo lo mayoría para servir a los lumpen.

Lección para la mente criminal

Hay dos posibles lecciones que miembros de la organización lumpen no política pueden tomar de esto. Hay el mensaje del FBI, que no hay esperanza trabajar contra los imperialistas estadounidenses, así que te encuentras mejor trabajando con el gobierno y sus operaciones de drogar y pacificar las comunidades oprimidas y espera tu no seas golpeado por la violencia o adicción tu mismo. Este es el termino corto, punto de vista individualista.

Entonces hay la lección que MIM(Prisión) aprovecha de esto. Si es verdad quien haga el trabajo verdadero para ayudar los jóvenes lumpen mejorar sus vidas será perseguido por el gobierno estadounidense. Pero en vez de acudir a la desesperación y la capitulación, promovemos el mensaje que entusiasma la gente a mirar a la foto grande y abandonar sus miedos como individuales. Esta lección nos lleva a reconocer la necesidad de varias estrategias. Una de estas estrategias es el cambiar del enfoque de las organizaciones lumpen para proveer verdadero apoyo para organizaciones independientes que están ayudando verdaderamente a jóvenes lumpen. Pero con eso vienen riesgos. Otra lección es que la criminalidad de los lumpen lo hace más difícil para los lideres para ayudar de lumpen como clase. En otras palabras, mejorando tu compartir lo hace más fácil para nosotros trabajar juntos.

En respuesta a los recientes arrestos, muchas estadunidenses ya ha condenado a Alex de los delitos imputados, porque según al idealismo burgués la gente se nace mala y no puede cambiar. Lo que pasa es que la gente quien se nace malo usualmente tienen piel más oscura. Tal idealismo es solamente consistente con una ideología de racismo.

Como MIM(Prisons) Homies Unidos hizo hincapié de la educación del lumpen de entender por qué están donde están, mientras trabajan para formar lideres para cambiar esa realidad. Los que se benefician de la opresión y explotación de otros no quieren que ese cambio tenga lugar. Se promoverá que los individuos escapar de la vida criminal como ejemplos que cualquiera puede tener éxito (si lo intentan). El lumpen sabe que esta es una mierda, pero el lumpen necesita estudiar para mirar cuáles son las verdaderas soluciones.

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[Prison Labor] [Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium II] [North Carolina]
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Work for Low Wages in North Carolina

Let me start by thanking you for the wonderful work you are doing. A friend of mine gave me your May 2009 Under Lock & Key paper. I'm a slave at a Federal Institution in Butner North Carolina. I'm writing you to give you more insight on what's going on in these federal plantations. I was at FCI Victorville #1 in California for 6 years until I was once again accused of a false investigation in the prison. I was found in no violation of BOP policy, yet they sent me clear across the country away from my family. As you can see, this is another form of breaking up families.

Anyway, while at Victorville, I observed that Unicor has a real slave plantation going on, and they are brain washing guys with the crumbs (money) they are being paid. Unicor work consists of putting HUMVs together for the military and building military forklifts from the ground up, these are not your ordinary forklifts, they are huge and I hear they're worth around $100k from some of the guys who work in Unicor. The prisoners are paid anywhere from $130 a month at grade 2 or 3. Grade 1 gets paid around $180 to $240 a month. If they do over time, working 2 or 3 days a week around 12 hours, they will make from $400 to $500 a month. I know that sounds like a lot for someone who is incarcerated, and that's the hook, that's how the guys get brainwashed. These guys go to the commissary and give it right back, it's a vicious cycle and the guys don't see it. So the government is getting theirs back through the commissary, phone, and now they have computers so we can buy time and email.

The phone system works like this: you can pay for your call or you can call collect. If you pay for your calls it will come out to roughly around $72 dollars for your 300 minutes. We get 300 minutes a month. A phone call for 5 minutes is $1.20. And we all have restitution so 50% of our pay is taken for that.

There was an incident at Victorville where we were having a few riots and we were getting locked down a lot and everything was shut down, Unicor included. We heard that Victorville was going to lose their contract with the military and they were going to send their work to another institution because we were getting locked down a lot. They have a timeline to finish all these HumVs and forklifts. While we were on lockdown on one occasion they let the Unicor guys out while we were still locked down in our cells, so I wrote to the Western Regional Office they forwarded it to the warden.

These federal plantations are built to serve the military and public. I'm now at Butner FCI #2. Here they have a Unicor but they produce shirts for the Navy, they have a sweat shop going on. I found out these slaves here only get $30 a month at grade 4. Grade 1 gets around $120 a month.

I also learned they they have a call center which calls the public. First they train the prisoners how to type, then they work as part of the Information Center for North Carolina. When you call and you need a listing of someone or customer service for cell phones, you will be connected to one of 20 prisoners who work in the call center. The pay for this work is monthly: $172 for grade 1, $138 for grade 2, $103 for grade 3, $69 for grade 4 and $34.50 for grade 5.

As you can see the government has reinvented slavery with a twist and Blacks, Latinos and poor whites are the targets. They are giving out Buck Roger release dates so they think they can have you for life. Brothas and Sistas please unite and become one to rid this country of modern day slavery.

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[Organizing] [ULK Issue 9]
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Lumpen Organizing and Peace

In this issue we print some responses to the articles in the Peace issue of Under Lock and Key (ULK7) which discussed the need for unity among prisoners to fight for peace and justice because the oppressors actually support violence, even while claiming the opposite. It's important to see the violence in the criminal injustice system for what it is: a tool to keep the oppressed down and intimidate prisoners from organizing.

The prison guards manipulate prisoner organizations to create snitches and to set one group of prisoners against another. This helps maintain divisions among prisoners and keeps the power and violence under the control of the prison pigs. Because of this it is essential that prisoners come together in the struggle for peace and justice.

In this issue several prisoners talk about uniting Lumpen Organizations in this struggle. This is an important step forward and one that the imperialists have resisted both overtly and covertly. We must take these steps in organizing but do all we can to protect ourselves from the repressive injustice system and their agents of violence.

As we wrote in the introduction the Peace issue of Under Lock and Key:

"The people want peace now. Communities that are being occupied, imprisoned and bombed want an immediate end to violence. Huey P. Newton said it is up to the oppressor whether meeting such demands of the oppressed happens in a peaceful way or a violent way. Fanon said violence is part of the development of a humynism and new consciousness among the people. Even if Fanon is right, it takes a lot to push the masses to the point of violence as Huey pointed out. This is obvious by the many more people who have spent many more days in peaceful submission than those who have not. Violent resistance from the people will only arise as it is necessitated by those who monopolize violence through their own power.

"MIM(Prisons) only engages in and promotes legal means of combating injustice. When the prison staff represses every educational and legal outlet for prisoners to redress their complaints then it is clear what kind of strategies they are promoting. In those prisons, we predict there will be violence, and they cannot blame it on us because they have kept us out. This is similar to what we say about all struggles for justice around the world. We believe violence is necessary to end injustice because history has demonstrated that the oppressor never stops oppressing any other way. We do not want or promote violence, we are merely stating our conclusion from reading history. In every case of revolutionary war, it was up to the oppressor to decide whether violence was used or not. History shows that the same has been true in the prison rights movement; the struggle for prisoner rights has only become violent when the state initiated such violence."

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[Organizing] [Texas]
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Phone System Profits in Texas

Thought to enclose a prison newspaper article about the installation of an offender telephone system. I was getting ready to dispose of the paper when I noticed this article more or less coincided with your issue on money for profit in the prison system. It doesn't take a dummy to figure out the profits the provider and the prison system will make. A lot of money will be made as there are over 150,000 prisoners in the system. The paper appears to imply that only those in protective custody in the control units and the general population will be able to use these phones, that's still a lot of other prisoners the state and its provider will make a killing on money-wise. And as my comrades in Texas said, prisons are a business.

I have been in and out of the prison system in Texas since the mid-70s and from agriculture to industry, TDC will continue to thrive because it is the state legislators who will continue to provide the necessary funds to keep the prison thriving. What's so scary about the above mentioned scheme is in every state, and the few of us who voice our outrage in exposing it face the state or federal government lackeys trying to silence us. This we can not allow. We must keep it strong and our voices must continue to be heard.

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[Campaigns] [Abuse] [Polk Youth Institution] [North Carolina]
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Protest Sanitary Conditions in North Carolina Polk CF

The sanitary conditions in the dining halls, bakery, freezer, dish room, stock room, serving line and other areas within Polk Correctional's kitchen are appalling. Prisoners voice their concerns to an unresponsive administration and continue to suffer from their lack of concern for the health of the inmate population.

A rat infestation is only the first and most prevalent of a long list of problems stemming from an environment where amateurism and incompetence prevail. This can be seen when a prisoner finds a rodent, or evidence of one, in the food and his overseer - in one particular case a Mr. Covington - told him "what the hell do you want me to do about it?" We merely wish for you, or apparently someone else with high qualification for the position, to do their job. Prisoners will no longer tolerate an administration which, in a bout of penny-pinching due to a cash-starved Department of Corrections, sweeps their problems under a rug. We will no longer accept this as a fact of prison life.

Gone are the days when a prisoner grievance form was the only effective means to make the necessary changes occur. (Which was more often than not a hit or miss process for justice in these matters, and that was if the paperwork did not eventually become "misplaced" or "fall through the cracks" as one Sargent commented on an unrelated matter involving paperwork.)

We have by passed the ineffective administration on the Polk compound and wish to raise awareness, not only to the Division of Prisons, but the Prison Ministries of the Rural People's Party and Maoist Internationalist Movement respectively and the daily newspaper, The News & Observer, that the health/sanitary conditions are only dealt with when the top officials of the state prison system converge on Polk (as was done several weeks ago) or when State Health Inspectors notify prison authorities of an upcoming visit (as was seen on May 28th when guards could be seen running scared with mops and buckets of paint).

We do not wish for cleanliness only on state visits, but as a permanent fact. Officers Covington, Miller, Evans, Gardner, Frazier and Hawkins (to name a few) have been fully aware of this inconvenient reality for quite some time (several have been employed for a decade or more) and have perfected the art of polishing off an apple which is rotten from within.

Polk Correctional, and doubtless the majority of the 73 correctional institutions in the state, need an administrative overhaul to replace officials who are all too familiar on how to cut corners and achieve only the minimum. United Lumpenproletarians from Within (ULW) demands a long-overdue shake-up of the top prison administration at Polk Correctional and other facilities in order to replace incompetent officials with competent and qualified ones. We do not want their overseers to just slap them on the hand which triggers a 2 week "cleanliness is godliness" program and the dismissal of several "trouble-making elements" within the prison kitchen service in retaliation for their higher-ups actually making state employees do their jobs.

As I have stated earlier, the rodent, insect (cockroaches, ants) and severe mold and mildew (asbestos) issues are just one of many problems that prisoners must deal with. As you read other prisoner's testimonies, several have revealed their concern not only of the multiple infestations, unjustified disrespectful conduct by our handlers, but also of a severe shortage in shoes and clothing.

Prisoners are facing sanitary concerns on two fronts. I will elaborate further upon request, but at this time I will post this out in the hopes that the most prevalent of our concerns (physical evidence enclosed) will be brought to light and properly addressed.

This letter came with 10 testimonials from other prisoners at Polk. Below are 3 of those statements

I work at a State Correctional Facility and have seen rats in the storage room, have seen fruit flies on old bananas. I've seen floors mopped with cold water only to keep from stripping the wax. I've seen spills left for days in segregation units. Ants are slowly taking over some of the building. Prisoners ask if they can clean their rooms and the Sargents or unit managers say no. The stairwells are filthy, and there are so many dust bunnies, you could make blankets out of them. Management wonders why some of the staff doesn't want to work.

I am writing this complaint because of the lack of the kitchen's effort to keep the kitchen a clean and sanitary place to prepare and serve food fro the prisoners at Polk Correctional Institution. On a number of occasions I have seen mice running free about the kitchen. I have seen them in the area where the food is stored, prepared, cooked and on the line where the prisoners were served. In one occasion I even saw mice droppings in the breakfast meat that was being stored in the cooler at the time. I have seen holes that have been bitten into loafs of bread. I hope that whoever receives this statement will take action as soon as possible. This type of neglect is unacceptable.

I've been working in the kitchen for a month and a half. The kitchen is very nasty. There are always flies everywhere in the kitchen. I've also seen bread that has been eaten by rats, it is very disturbing. There is another problem, there are rat feces in the food and the freezers. They also expect us to wear the same clothes we use for work in the kitchen even though our clothes are always filthy after work. If someone could please help us with these problems we would all be thankful for your help.

We are asking people to write to the NC DOC to protest these conditions
NC DOC Division of Prisons
831 W. Morgan St
Raleigh, NC 27603-1659

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[Abuse] [Pine River Correctional Facility] [Michigan]
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Toxic Water at Pine River in Michigan

I know the water here is severely polluted here from the big PBB (fire retardant) scare back in the day, when some knucklehead mixed it into feed. The state, in another brilliant knee-jerk reaction, had all the PBB-tainted cattle slaughtered and buried here in St. Louis right next to the river. So naturally all the local water is toxic. Plus, a nearby abandoned chemical plant, formerly owned by Velsicol Chemical Co, is leaking chemicals into the ground water and river from rusting barrels, vats and unmarked buried areas on the 52-acre grounds.

This plant is one of the country's largest Superfund clean up sites, known as the Pine River Superfund clean up, and the EPA has already spent $51 million removing and hauling away sediment from the river bottom and running the water through a high tech treatment plant. Estimates in 2004 were for $100 million to finish the job but the Superfund is out of money and the containment, known as non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) is still oozing into the river and they don't know the exact source. They say this NAPL is composed of 82% DDT, and a host of other toxic chemicals including chlorobenzene, a known carcinogen. (See Greg Nelson, "Pine River cleanup funds secure for now," and "Task force seeks origin of 'cocktail,'" The Saginaw News, c. 2004; and Brad Heath, "Delayed toxic cleanup puts public at risk," The Detroit News, 8/9/2004, p1A&7A.)

All the staff claim they drink the water and there is no longer a problem but you'll never actually see them drink the water. We, however, have no choice. I'll probably arrange to have a sample smuggled out and tested like I did in '94. Yep, that one was toxic. Horrifying yet not surprising at all.

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[Abuse] [Maryland]
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Life Sentences in Maryland

In Maryland there are three different types of life sentences. The law in Maryland mandates a regular life sentence, a life in lieu of the death penalty and life without parole.

Regular life means that a person sentenced for the balance of his/her life will not be eligible to make parole before serving at least 15 years less whatever "good-time" he/her have accrued. Some regular life sentences could make parole in 12 1/2 years but only during the early years.

The second form of life sentence is directly attributable to the lobbying efforts of the Stephanie Roper Committee. This applies to cases where the death sentence has been sough by the state's attorney office but rejected by the Courts/Jury. Unlike regular life the lifer is not eligible for parole for at least 25 years less "good time". The earliest possible parole date is after serving 19 1/2 years.

The third form of life is life without parole. This form of life was passed in 1987, also as a direct result of the efforts of the Roper Committee. Under this law a prosecutor can give notice of intent to seek life without parole in any case for which he could have sought the death penalty.

There are currently 2,033 prisoners in Maryland and below is a description of the number lifers who have been paroled by each recent Governor:

Governors; years; paroled

Parris Glendening; 1990-1998; 2
Robert Ehrlish; 1998-2006; 6
Martin O'Malley; 2006-present; 0

Both governors Glendening and Ehrlich has served two terms in office while O'Malley is on his first term.

Such government decisions must be decided on a communist basis where every lifer's case should receive the same fair judgement and sanction.

In Maryland the scale of justice will always remain unfair.

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[Middle East] [ULK Issue 9]
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Iran: The Twitter 'Revolution'

Amerika TweetsThe recent election in Iran has become a phenomenon given unusual attention by amerikans who read the news. One must ask why these amerikans are so upset about potential election fraud on the other side of the world? You didn't hear such concern about the recent Mexican election. In that case it was a country bordering the united $tates, and there was actually evidence of widespread fraud. With the treatment of an incident last week where the Honduran president was abducted and flown out of the country in a coup, it is even more evident that the media and its followers are more upset about the fact that their candidate didn't win then that there was any unfairness involved.

The Iranian election warrants particular attention from the Maoist movement because of the campaign against Iran, and the Muslim world in general, that has been carried out by Amerikan imperialism as well as groups calling themselves feminists, and some even calling themselves Maoists. While years of struggle have occurred against these allies of imperialism, many of our readers behind bars will be new to this.

For years now, the so-called “Revolutionary Communist Party (USA)” has been organizing mass demonstrations in cities across the country on International Wimmin’s Day, targeting Iran. At one rally, this writer witnessed middle-aged men in business casual attire carrying massive banners calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran. When asked what group they organized with they claimed to just be a couple guys concerned about the issue. The main topic of the rally was wimmin’s rights.


As one Maoist writer pointed out, the Jerusalem Post (6/23/2009) printed an article entitled, "It's about the women" in response to the post-election protests in Iran, which stated:

“Women are the ones arrested in Iran for having an ankle showing or for wearing lipstick. After three such arrests, women go to prison. At the fourth arrest, they get a public lashing.”

The author correctly comments,

No doubt some Iranian wimmin are indeed afraid of their own Muslim culture. Yet there is no proof that the portion of Iranian wimmin so afraid is higher than the portion of Amerikan wimmin afraid of sexual harassment on the street if they show ankle or wear obvious lipstick. There is also no doubt that large portions of wimmin in both Iran and the united $tates are completely comfortable with the culture they display when walking down the street.(1)

In other words, this is not about wimmin's rights, as much as many try to pretend it is. If it was they would be attacking patriarchy not oppressed nations whose leaders don't succumb to u$ economic interests.

Our readers should know that millions of dollars were sent to anti-government organizations in Iran in the last few years by the U.S. State Department(2), while Seymour Hersh reported that U.S. special operations forces were conducting exercises inside Iran's borders. One can see why the u$-backed candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, might have expected to win the recent presidential election. But a number of polls showed high approval rates of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and showed him winning the election by a similar margin. While anti-Ahmadinejad activists got support from corporations like Facebook and Twitter and their users to get their opinions out, 65% of Iranians don't have access to the internet(4), which likely overlaps greatly with the rural majority who reportedly voted for Ahmadinejad.

In one online discussion of the Iranian elections an apparent anti-imperialist commented, "It’s interesting that some “Western progressives” here are essentially accepting the Western media and government propaganda spin on the Iranian elections–the same Western media and governments they supposedly oppose."(3) It is interesting, in that it exposes the common interests between amerikans and the corporate elite when it comes to issues most important to imperialism.

However, we should not ignore a couple of things that made this embracing of the corporate line a bit smoother. First, many supposedly independent organs have been rallying amerikans against the Islamic Republic of Iran for years. Second you have supposedly independent activists on Twitter reporting from Iran. For amerikans, the individual is the ideal unit for change, far superior to a self-proclaimed revolutionary organization or a corporate news source. Amerikans trust individuals more, even when there is no accountability of who these individuals are. So when CNN says that the elections in Iran were rigged, there is corroborating evidence from "alternative" sources to let one believe it.

Will amerikans support People's War when the proletariat uses Twitter? The obvious answer is no. Twitter serves a certain class with certain interests. The world's exploited majority are not well-represented on the internet. Amerikan liberals would like to think that their little gadgets, paid for with the blood and sweat of the Third World, are increasing democracy and humyn rights. It is only at the fringes that the proletariat is making use of these tools that are still in the hands of the rich. (Rather than a Twitter Revolution, one starts to wonder if this is just one big Twitter advertisement.)

Those who acknowledge that Mousavi does not represent the progressive demands of the masses of Iran are countering that those in the street are who they are supporting. One commentator pointed out:

"Just being in the streets does not make a protester revolutionary. Just as putting down such protests, in itself, does not make one a reactionary. Fascists have had street protests. And, communists have broken up street protests."

It is the most radical of the petty bourgeoisie who fall into this trap of seeing all rebellion as good without considering the greater context or the outcome. These individualists idealize "spontaneous" uprisings, even when they're backed by millions of dollars of u$ funding and years of psychological warfare by the CIA-run media.

As many of the better commentaries have pointed out, this "Green Revolution" being touted in the corporate media is the latest in a long line of "revolutions" that are backed by the the imperialists to replace the governments of mostly former-Eastern Bloc countries with leaders favoring Washington-centered neo-liberalism. While they have all received great praise in the media, none has received such mass response from amerikans in general as Iran. The key difference has been the Islam factor, and the use of gender aristocracy attacks on Iran from a range of amerikans, including the u$ State Department, pseudo-feminist organizations, and phoney Maoist parties.

Gender issues have been used by colonialists and imperialists to attack Islam (ie. the oppressed nations) throughout the last century. There is no reason to believe that such attacks are suddenly progressive.

Amerikans are being rallied around "barbaric" incidents in the Muslim world, while ignoring the fact that u$ imperialism is still the number one imprisoner, torturer and killer in the world. No one else comes close.

notes:
(1) http://mimdown.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/media-standards-for-u-and-iranian-elections/
(2) One request was for $400 million dollars according to Seymour Hersh. Recently, it was reported that U.S. Congress apparently approved $66 million of it.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-06-25-iran-money_N.htm
(3) http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/ahmadinejad-accuses-west-of-waging-psychological-warfare-against-iran/#comments
(4) Schleifer, Yigal. Why Iran's Twitter revolution is unique. Christian Science Monitor, June 19, 2009.

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