The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Prison Labor] [Economics] [ULK Issue 62]
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Prisoners Producing on Farms and in Factories

05/05/2017 — I don't know what prisons people are talking about when they say that they don't make a profit, because here the furniture factory is almost all profit. The wood is donated from the free world on a tax write off, they buy glue, paint, nails, etc. And the state pays the guards. The electricity is paid on a scale. They pay a set price no matter how much they use because they couldn't afford to pay for all that they use.

The bus shop where they rebuild buses in the free world is almost all profit because the freeworld people pay $5 to bring it in to get fixed. They pay only for materials and the prison furnishes free labor.

We have thousands of acres of land where we grow our own food plus prisons ship stuff back and forth to other prisons. We have hogs, chickens, cows and slaughter houses so our prisons in Texas are pretty self-sufficient in food. So cost is the guards, the rest is profit here in Texas. The little things like fuel, tractors and such is cost which they are all paid for.

Here's some more examples from Prison Legal News:

"Rep Alan Powell of Georgia says the state gets better results out of a prisoner in 12 months hard labor than sitting in a cell. If the tax payers pay to build roads or pick up trash, they let the prisoners do it. In keeping with that philosophy, Georgia's Department of Transportation is using parole violators to clean up trash on highways statewide. It costs the department millions of dollars every year to pick up litter along Georgia's 20,000 miles of state and federal roads. ...

"In October 2011, Camden County, Georgia considered a proposal to place two prisoners in each of the county’s three firehouses. The prisoners would respond to calls alongside firefighters, who would be responsible for supervising them. It was hoped that using prisoners convicted of non-violent offenses rather than hiring more firemen would save the county $500,000 annually. The prisoners would not receive any pay but would be eligible to be hired as firefighters five years after their release...."

"In Washington, with a $1.5 billion apple crop at risk, state officials ordered prisoners into the orchards in November 2011."

I've been to prison 7 times in 4 states and I have 20 years done. I'm on this side where you can actually see this kind of stuff happening from day to day. They do illegal stuff all the time to cover up stuff, and freeworld people never hear this because they try to keep it all on this side of the fence.

"Colorado has used prison labor on private farms since 2005, when the state enacted stricter immigration laws. Around 100 female prisoners from La Vista Correctional Facility are employed weeding, picking and packing onions and pumpkins under the supervision of prison guards. The prisoners receive $9.60 an hour, of which about $5.60 goes to the state. At least 10 Colorado farmers use prison labor....

"In Arizona, Wilcox-based Eurofresh Farms employs around 400 prisoners through an Arizona Corrections Industries program. The prisoners are paid close to minimum wage. ...

"Florida is another state that has put its prisoners to work on farms, including a program that began in 2009 which uses work crews from the Berrydale Forestry Camp on a 650-acre publicly-funded farm at the University of Florida’s West Florida Research and Education Center. The prisoners grow collards, cabbage and turnips in the winter, while the spring crop yields snap peas, corn and tomatoes.

"The arrangement provides the University with agricultural research and supplies vegetables for prisoners’ meals. In 2010 the farm program resulted in $192,000 in food cost savings at the prison and saved the University $75,000 money that otherwise would have been spent on paid staff."

MIM(Prisons) responds: This letter is interesting in that it provides an array of examples of what prisoners are doing in their jobs. Just looking at agriculture, the examples from Texas and Florida involve prisoners producing of the food they eat. This is not economic exploitation. But what are the conditions that they have to work under? We would support prisoners fighting for proper sun protection and water breaks at such a job, but do not see a good economic reason to oppose working to produce food for one's own population.

In the other scenarios, the prisoners are producing food for private companies, who are profiting off the sale of their product. In the Colorado example prisoners are being "paid" $9.60, which is well over the U.$. minimum wage, and well over the global average value of labor.(2) So if the prisoner actually received all that money, ey would be participating in the exploitation of the Third World proletariat, receiving superwages. This becomes more true when you consider that the prisoner has food and housing provided.

In reality, the Colorado prisoners receive less than half of the wage, which is less than minimum wage. Arizona prisoners also receive minimum wage. This puts them near the average value of labor. If they were paid, say, $2 per hour, then we could say they are clearly making less than the average value of their labor and being economically exploited.

By virtue of being in the heart of empire, we are all benefiting from the economic system of imperialism. Even to some extent most U.$. prisoners are better off, compared to life in the Third World. It is this reality that makes battles over wages and labor organizing in general rarely a progressive battle in this country. It is only when talking about populations who do not enjoy full citizenship rights, such as prisoners and migrants, that we can even consider progressive wage battles.

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[United Front] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 62]
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Why the Beef?

unite

For a while now I've wondered why all the conflict between anarchists and socialists/Marxists/Maoists. I mean, we are two revolutionary forces who are committed to the abolishment of capitalism, imperialism and all forms of oppression. We have that in common and that is what's important. I understand that our strategies and ideologies are a bit different, but what's preventing us from getting together in solidarity, agreeing to disagree and focus our energies on the revolution combining our strengths and common ground? Why can't we cease to tear each other down? I don't know about anyone else, but this bothers me! The energy used to tear one another down, discrediting one another, could be used to gain some real headway by picking up arms together to combat oppression. Of course there are more experienced and more politicized people than me that may wish to give me some feedback and critique. I welcome critique, feedback and criticism.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a good question, especially for building a united movement against imperialism. There are many reasons to build unity with all who can be united. Maoists advocate a united front against imperialism because this format of organizing allows all organizations to freely build their own movements and push their own ideologies, but come together against a common enemy.

At the same time, we do believe there are some very good reasons to refuse to unite with some organizations. Just because a group calls itself "socialist" or "anarchist" doesn't mean it is automatically on the right side of the struggle. In the extreme, we have the national socialists who are really fascists, as an obvious example. But even among those claiming to be progressive revolutionaries there are some organizations that have taken up such wrongheaded and dangerous political lines that we consider them to be more use to the fascists than to the revolutionaries.

In the case of anarchists in general, we do not see them as enemies. In fact we believe that anarchists have the same end goal as communists: a society where no people have power over other people. But anarchists don't have a strong history of success in progress towards that goal. We see their approach of jumping right from imperialism to anarchism as idealist, because it hasn't played out in real life at even a comparable scale to the socialist experiment.

It's just not realistic to overthrow the imperialists and keep them overthrown, without a period of proletarian state power. We have too long of a history of class, nation and gender oppression for that to happen. The bourgeois classes will need to be forcibly repressed, and culture will need to be radically altered on a mass scale. It might take generations before humyns evolve to live peacefully with no oppression. As MIM write in MIM Theory 8: "Communists know that it takes power to destroy power, whereas anarchists see power itself, independent of conditions, as the enemy of the people."

In the First World, in particular, there are some anarchist (in addition to socialist) groups which are doing work that actively supports imperialism. It's important that organizations clearly work out what are the most important questions of political line that we face today. For instance, we have, in this country, a bought-off class of people who are clearly economically and ideologically in support of imperialism. Yet some so-called socialist and anarchist organizations see these people as their mass base, and call on them to rally for even higher wages and a bigger piece of the imperialist pie. That's not progressive, that's a call to fascism! And so we can't unite with such political stances. In fact if that group calls itself "socialist" or "anarchist" or even "Maoist," we think that's more dangerous than if they openly organized for fascism, because it is misleading people about what is the communist struggle.

Notes: For a copy of MIM Theory 8: The Anarchist Ideal and Communist Revolution, send $5 or equivalent work trade.
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[Control Units] [Robertson Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 62]
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Solitary Confinement Ongoing in TX Despite Policy Changes

I would like to ask your staff a question. I recently received ULK 60 and it made a statement that solitary confinement was abolished in Texas in 2017. When I seen that, it floored me. I say that because i'm writing this letter FROM SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. So did I miss something? And if so, how can I fight from here to rectify the situation?

I let others read that and we all was stunned. I mean stunned. Are we reading this statement in your newsletter wrong?

Also we would like to know what is the Texas Pack and how can I obtain one? Your newsletter has shed light on a lot of things that are helpful for us in this place, and I just would like to say thank you and keep up the good work.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In September 2017, TDCJ announced it would no longer use solitary confinement for punishment, or as a method to encourage good behavior. It would "only" use "Administrative Segregation" (totally different from solitary confinement, right?) for "gang members, those at risk of escape, and those who are likely to attack other inmates."(1) That month, 4,000 people were still held in isolation on these grounds. Consider that only 75 prisoners were actually released from solitary confinement after this policy change.

We appreciate that this writer spoke up, because this is a very common practice. The Department says "we're not using it for punishment," while holding many, many people in isolation. The claim of gangs and security threats is often cited as the justification for the "exception" to their superficially-humanitarian publicity stunt.

Some examples include the Tier 2 program in Georgia, and the indefinite solitary confinement in California prisons that led to the hunger strikes in 2011-2013 and the Ashker settlement.

No matter what you call it, or what "justifications" are given for why it's used, solitary confinement is always torture, and never necessary. We have no doubts that solitary confinement can and should be ended, for everyone, today.

As for the Texas Pack, we are still updating and mailing this out. It's one of our more expensive projects, so we're asking for subscribers to send a donation of $2.50, or work-trade, to get the Texas Pack. This packet contains all our campaign info relevant to TDCJ, including on the grievance process, medical copay, and indigent mail restrictions. Send your donation to the address on p. 1, and tell us first if you want to send a check or M.O. so we can send instructions.

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[Spanish]
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La Política de la Encarcelación Masiva

Más de 2 millones de personas se encuentran encerradas en prisiones y cárceles en los Estado$ Unido$. Estos encarcelamientos representan sólo 1% de la población. Casi 7 millones de personas han estado bajo la supervisión del Sistema Correccional para Adultos (incluyendo libertad condicional y probación) a finales del 2015. (1) Y en el 2012, los últimos datos disponibles del Departamento de Justicia de E.E.U.U., el total de la cantidad de dinero gastado en el sistema de Injusticia Criminal entre los gobiernos Federal, Estatal y local fue de $265,160,340,000. Estas prisiones son responsables de $80,791,046,000. 2) Estas prisiones son increíblemente costosas para el estado y estos prisiones cuestan mucho más que lo que producen. 3) La pregunta es, porqué el gobierno, en todos los niveles, continúa gastando tanto dinero para mantener tanta gente encerrada? Y porqué los Estados Unidos tienen la tasa de encarcelamiento más alta que en cualquier otro país del mundo?.

El mito del complejo industrial de prisiones

El meme del complejo de la Industria de Prisiones (PIC) se ha convertido efectivamente popular en Estados Unidos. Detrás del concepto del PIC está la creencia que hay grandes intereses de parte de grandes corporaciones y por eso hay encarcelamiento masivo en los Estados Unidos. Esto representa la política Amerikana que aparenta ser "anti-corporativa", mientras niega la estructura de clase de un país que está formado casi completamente de una clase de gente que sigue siendo explotada.

Mientras que si hay algunas corporaciones están, ciertamente, ganando dinero gracias a estas prisiones, la mayoría de las prisiones son operaciones que hacen perder dinero al gobierno. Básicamente, el gobierno subsidia las ganancias e ingresos de varias corporaciones y muchos de los así llamados "trabajadores" individuales (vea el artículo de Costos de encarcelamiento). Si nosotros examinamos las estadísticas de las prisiones, ondas económicas, prisiones privadas y la “diversidad” de la población de prisioneros, entonces si nos queda claro que las prisiones son fundamentalmente para el control social sobre naciones opresoras dentro de las Kkkulebras Unidas (Estado$ Unido$). Esto nos lleva a unas conclusiones importantes sobre cómo funciona el sistema de prisiones y cómo debemos de luchar contra estas.

Baja la tasa de encarcelamiento

En general, la población en las prisiones y cárceles en los Estado$ Unido$ ha estado disminuyendo en estos años recientes, junto con el ritmo de encarcelamiento. El número total de gente en prisión y cárceles empezó a caer en el año 2009, después de décadas de incrementos estables prisión y cárceles empezó a caer en el año 2009, después de décadas de incrementos estables.

En realidad los incrementos en el año 2008 no pudieron mantenerse con el incremento de la población en los Estado$ Unido$, puesto que el nivel en el año 2007 estaba con 1 en cada 31 personas estando bajo alguna supervisión correccional (incluyendo cárceles, prisiones, libertad condicional y periodo de prueba-probación). La población en las prisiones tuvo su pico en el 2006-2008 con un 1% de la población adulta encerrados tras las rejas. Esto cayó al .87% al final del 2015. (4)

La crisis financiera reciente se alinea con la caída de encarcelamiento empezando desde el año 2008. Parece ser que el gobierno de Estado$ Unido$ sí tiene límites en su voluntad de gastar dinero en un sistema criminal injusto. Si encarcelar a gente fuese una manera de aumentar las ganancias, entonces el número de prisioneros aumentaría cuando hubiese una crisis financiera, no descendería.

Prisiones Privadas

El desarrollo de prisiones privadas en el sistema criminal injusto de Amerika son un peligro. Estas prisiones son operadas y son propiedad de corporaciones con fines lucrativos. Estas prisiones privadas toman posesión de cualquier reo de cualquier Estado que les page por su servicio. En los Estados donde hay sobre población, mandar gente a una prisión lucrativa es una buena opción de negocio. Estas corporaciones también tratan de vender sus servicios como más baratos y eficientes, básicamente reduciendo los servicios de nivel ya peligrosamente bajo a los prisioneros, a fin de ahorrarse en costos, porque como hemos visto, las prisiones son extremadamente costosas de mantener.

A los finales del 2105, El Buro de Prisiones Federales y 18 Estados estaban saturadas o excedían la capacidad máxima de las instalaciones de las prisiones.(5) Hay que esperar esos contratos de parte de prisiones hacia prisiones privadas. Pero el actual porcentaje de prisioneros en prisiones privadas es relativamente bajo. En el 2015, solamente el 8% de prisioneros estatales y Federales ocupaban complejos privados. Y este número bajo 4% desde el 2014. 6) Esta caída es mayor que la disminución del 2.2% en cantidad de presos entre los años 2014 y 2015.

Si las prisiones privadas fueran tan exitosas, entonces deberíamos ver estos números aumentar, y no disminuir. Y si fueran tan influyentes con los políticos, entonces tendrían un mayor valor en el mercado. Claramente, las prisiones privadas no son la parte principal de algunos "complejos de prisiones industriales." Hasta ahora, las corporaciones no han descifrado cómo generar ganancias, de forma exitosa, de las prisiones, aparte del bajo subsidio limosnero que reciben de parte del gobierno y la comisaria. Y además de todo esto, los gobiernos estatales y federales están perdiendo dinero al tener que pagar por prisiones.

Hay mucho activismo opuesto a las prisioneras privadas. Esto generalmente viene de gente que entiende que la privatización de una institución usualmente no tiene un buen resultado para los oprimidos. El activismo influye al gobierno. Es posible que las voces en contra de prisiones privadas ayudó a empujar a la administración de Obama para que implementara las pólizas de facetas fuera de las prisiones privadas para reos Federales. La administración de Trump ha repelado esa política desde entonces.

Pero no creemos que esta pregunta sea políticamente partidista. El gobierno de E.U. ha mostrado que no parará hasta implementar políticas que empujen ganancias industriales capitalistas. Los ataques violentos contra activistas que protestaban por la destrucción de la Línea de Tubería de Acceso de Dakota es un buen ejemplo. Esto no es una lucha contra corporaciones capitalistas, esto es un debate sobre qué grupo de gente recibe un subsidio del gobierno: corporaciones de prisiones privadas, o empleados de prisiones públicas. Alejarse de las prisiones privadas no es doloroso para el gobierno, porque esto no requiere una disminución de prisiones, sólo un cambio hacia donde se va el dinero.

Opresión Nacional

Entonces, si no para ganancia de dinero, porque Estados Unidos encierra tanta gente? La repuesta a esta pregunta es obvio cuando vemos a los presos y al el historial de encarcelamiento en este país. Es imposible hablar de prisiones sin mencionar la tremenda desigualdad en que el sistema de injusticia criminal trata a [email protected], Primeras Naciones, y Nuevos Afrikanos, dentro de las fronteras de Estados Unido$. La tasa de encarcelamiento es ridículamente alta, particularmente para los hombres de estas naciones mencionados, es la desigualdad más obvia.

Aproximadamente el 12-13% de la población de Estados Unidos son Afrikanos Nuevos, pero los Nuevos Afrikanos hacen alrededor del 35% de prisioneros. (7). La tasa de encarcelamiento de las Primeras Naciones también esta desproporcionadamente alta. En Dakota del Sur, por ejemplo, la población Indígena forma el 8% de la población en ese Estado, pero forman el 22% de la población masculina, y el 35% de la población femenina en prisiones de ese estado. Mientras, que las [email protected] son encarcelados a una escala mayor que los Euro-Amerikkkanos.

Cualquier estudio del sistema de injusticia revela la misma evidencia: La mayoría de prisioneros son de naciones oprimidas. Aunque la realidad es que hay más Euro-Amerikkanos en E.E.U.U. que todas las naciones oprimidas combinadas.

La desigualdad empieza en las calles con los policías encargándose de las comunidades oprimidas, y continúa en las cortes con sentencias desproporcionadas, representación legal inadecuada, y un jurado sin conciencia o con consciencia pero prejuiciosa. Para cuando llegamos a la prisión, podemos ver con claridad el resultado de la opresión sistematizada nacional en las tasas de encarcelamiento.

El uso agresivo de prisiones que se utilizan como herramientas sociales de control empezó en Estados Unidos en respuesta a las organizaciones nacionalistas revolucionarios que ganaron una tremenda popularidad a finales de 1960s y 1970s. Y para mantener control de las masas de este movimiento revolucionario, Estados Unidos optó por utilizar policías y prisiones.

Entre los años 1961 y 1968, la población de reos disminuyó al punto más bajo desde los años 1920s. Del 1968 al 1972 el ritmo de encarcelamiento subió despacio. Sin embargo, a principios de 1974 después del punto más alto de la organización revolucionaria en este país, hubo un aumento increíble en las tasas de encarcelamiento. COINTELPRO fue dirigida contra las organizaciones revolucionarias, como lo son las Panteras Negras (Black Panther Party) y los Estado Unidos empezó sistemáticamente a encerrar o a asesinar a gente que trataba de pelear en contra de la opresión. Casi 150,000 personas fueron encarceladas en sólo 8 años – esto demuestra que el gobierno teme a los revolucionarios.(10)

Al mismo tiempo, hubo un movimiento anti prisión que crecía y el gobierno se aseguró de erradicar y desaparecerlo. El libro "Soledad Brother", de George Jackson, que salió en el año 1970 fue un gran acusación en contra de la opresión hacia las colonias internas. Al siguiente año fue asesinado.

El arresto desproporcionado, el encarcelamiento y persecución de las naciones oprimidas no paró en los años 1970s. Hoy continua. Las semi colonias internas están posicionadas para sostener su estado de subyugación. Y es cuando las naciones oprimidas se juntan y se organizan el gobierno Amerikkkano ataca como un perro rabioso.

Lecciones Para nuestro trabajo

Entender el sistema de injusticia es de mucha importancia para desarrollar un método y la estructura para resistir la red de prisiones. Por eso, es tan necesario entender que las prisiones son operaciones de pérdida de dinero para el gobierno, y localizar la política de encarcelamiento en masa, sólo para poder controlar a las naciones opresas.

Si, nos enfocamos en el rol de las prisiones para tener control social, podremos darnos cuenta de la verdadera razón del porqué existe el vasto sistema de injusticia criminal Amerikkkano. El exponer esta información ayuda a que la gente entienda que tan desesperado estaba el gobierno de U.$. en los años 1970s cuando encaraban el gran movimiento nación revolucionario. Y el gobierno aún le teme a alejarse de esta solución de encarcelamiento.

Esto nos dice que aún le temen a las naciones oprimidas, y que no les importa llevarse entre las patas a cuanta gente blanca, en esta locura de encarcelamientos.

Como el control social está manejando el sistema de prisiones Amerikkkanas, deberíamos enfocarnos en organizar nuestro trabajo exactamente alrededor de lo que el gobierno teme::Organizar a los que están siendo controlados. Hay que escoger nuestras batallas para exponer las partes del sistema que sabemos que son vulnerables: le temen a la educación revolucionaria (censura, prohibición de grupos de estudio), le temen a la organización (reglas en contra de grupos), y le temen a la unión pacifica más que todo (por eso provocan peleas, grupos en contra de grupos). Nosotros podemos construir esta unión propagando nuestro análisis sobre la raíz y meta del sistema de injusticias criminal. Todos esos que somos el objetivo del control social deberíamos inspirarnos y juntarnos para ir en contra de este sistema.

Notas: 1. Correctional Populations in the United States 2015, 29 de diciembre, 2016, Bureau of Justice Statistics (www.bjs.gov) 2. Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts, 2012 - Preliminary, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 26 de febrero 2015. 3. See Under Lock & Key No. 55 "Labor Aristocracy and White Nationalism Benefit from Prisons, not Private Corporations." 4. Correctional Populations, BJS 5. Prisoners in 2015, Bureau of Justice Statistics, diciembre 2016. 6. Ibid. 7. Jail Inmates at Midyear 2014, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Junio 2015. 8. Mass Incarceration: A Destroyer of People of Color and Their Communities, by Jamaal Bell, Huffington Post, 17 de mayo 2010. 9. There is a stunning gap between the number of white and black inmates in America's prisons, Business Insider Deutschland. 10. Prisoners 1925-81, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
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[Campaigns] [Abuse] [Download and Print] [United Struggle from Within]
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Downloadable Grievance Petition - Federal Appeal

fedpet
Click to download PDF of Federal petition

When state-level petitions fail, we now have this petition to appeal to the Department of Justice. This federal level appeal may help put pressure on the state corrections departments ignore our appeals

Mail the petition to your loved ones and comrades inside who are experiencing issues with the grievance procedure. Send them extra copies to share! For more info on this campaign, click here.

Prisoners should send a copy of the signed petition to each of the addresses below. Supporters should send letters on behalf of prisoners.

Section Chief – Special Litigation Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530

ACLU National Prison Project, 915 15th St NW, 7th floor, Washington DC, 20005-2112 (for those ready to bring class action lawsuits)

Office of the U.S. Attorney General, 1425 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20530-0001

Director/Commissioner/Secretary of Corrections (for your state)

Agency or Facility Grievance System Director or Coordinator (for your state)

And send MIM(Prisons) copies of any responses you receive!
MIM(Prisons), USW
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140
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[Abuse] [High Desert State Prison] [Nevada]
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HDSP NV De-habilitation Program

I have served nearly 25 years prison/jail time in the United States. In fact, all but a small portion of my adult life has been spent behind bars. My California tour includes Chino, Soledad, Solano, Calipatria and Donovan. In Nevada: Southern Desert, Lovelock, Ely and, yes, Hight Desert State Prison (HDSP). As you can probably imagine, violence and drugs are common fare in most of these institutions. And while a few of these places were just plain filthy, others simply stagnate with the decay of deliberate indifference. I've done "hole-time" in all of them and certainly thought I'd seen it all.

Boy was I wrong.

Let me spell it out for you: B.M.U. (Behavioral Management Unit). Described by COs, Medical Staff and other institutional employees as the "Zombie Unit," the "Weirdo Pod," the "Freak Show," the "Psych Ward," and "Behavioral Mismanagement" and affectionately referred to by the prisoners as the "Beat-a-Motherfucker-Up" Unit at HDSP.

Absolutely and without a doubt, the worst of the worst. In the short time, 90 days, that I've been here within this restrictive unit I've witnessed unchecked violence, coercion, extortion, drug abuse, overdoses, 3 attempted suicides and "senior" officers feeding prisoners food which had fallen on the filthy unit floor before being placed on the serving trays and given to prisoners.

The most disturbing incident, by far, occurred on 24 December 2017, this past Christmas Eve, when an emotionally wrought prisoner, was locked in the shower for approximately 4 hours after stating to staff that he was having suicidal thoughts. During this time the prisoner was slamming his own head against the metal grating. I witnessed the COs laughing and encouraging the prisoner to bang his head harder and advising him to use the tiled wall at the back of the shower stating, "Bang it against the tiles, they're harder." By the time medical staff did arrive the prisoner was a bloody mess.

According to the HDSP BMU Manual: "The Behavior Modification Unit (BMU) will house inmates who have been housed in segregation for 90 days or longer, to assist in the reintegration into a lower custody level."

How I ended up here isn't much of a mystery. About 4 weeks after arriving at HDSP, while I was still in the "Fish Tank" I made the mistake of telling the case worker that I was appealing my jury conviction and needed request forms for the law library. At which point I was advised that I was being "sent to BMU." From that moment on, all access to the legal materials I require for my case have been denied despite numerous verbal and written grievances. In fact I spent the first 9 weeks in BMU confined in my cell without so much as a book to read. My only contact with the administration was the initial interview with the token mental health worker who advised me that "this rehabilitation program is the warden's baby."

Well, I'm here to tell you that as a person who struggles with PTSD, the constant and continuous confinement to a cell without any mental stimulation whatsoever can be devastating to an person's mental health and psyche. While confined in this unit I have experienced an increase in PTSD symptoms, ten times the frequency that is usual for me. Furthermore, I found it extremely unsettling that after completing the program, as a "graduation present," I was escorted into a small room filled with BMU staff members where I was threatened, berated, belittled and finally told to just "Get the Fuck Out."

I'm not sure what to expect next. The lack of access and communication with the outside, the restricted closed custody level 4 housing, the refusal on the administration's part to answer or address any grievance combined with limited family contact by phone has reduced me to an uncertain, fearful, panicky, hopeless, helpless mess. And, by the way, I have absolutely zero disciplinary history. Not a single "write up" for anything.

Fortunately another prisoner gave me your Under Lock & Key pamphlet. Hopefully you can get the word out on this de-habilitation program and the warden's dirty little secret.


MIM(Prisons) responds: These dangerous and abusive conditions at HDSP expose the Amerikan prison system for its complete lack of rehabilitation. If the criminal injustice system really believed that prisons are an effective tool to prevent crime, it would not put people in conditions that make their survival on the streets nearly impossible. It would be offering programs to help people learn and change their behavior, and prepare them for life outside. This is just one of the reasons we see the Amerikan criminal injustice system as primarily a tool of social control.

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[Religious Repression] [Civil Liberties] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 63]
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Judge to North Carolina Prisons: Humanism is a Faith Group

As of March 2018, the North Carolina prison system must recognize humanism as a faith group, allowing its adherents locked within the imperialistic belly of the beast the opportunity to meet and study their beliefs, a federal judge has ruled. The American Humanism Association, and a prisoner with a life sentence, sued state Department of Public Safety officials in 2015. Prison leaders were accused of violating the religious establishment and equal protection clauses of the Constitution by repeatedly denying recognition. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle (Eastern District NC) wrote that prison officials failed to justify treating humanism differently from those religions already recognized within the walls of oppression. Humanist prisoners have the same Constitutional rights to study and discuss their values as a group — non-theistic.

Since Judge Boyle's ruling, some individuals have reported to Convicts of Righteous, Reform and Liberation (CORRAL), that they are faced with harassment — cell property searches up to eight times a day, water being turned off, mail delayed, and structure issues. One of our board members spoke with the "admpigs", providing a copy of this ruling. And we have been able to establish some middle ground.

CORRAL is a united group that non-violently addresses issues affecting those incarcerated. MIM has been instrumental in our quest, and we are proud to be in association. We developed our study group and board. We have three chapters. "Imperialism must be defeated", so we do our part. Our motto: "Conscience stimulation, comes from education — which propagates liberation!"

MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a progressive victory for prisoners in North Carolina. One of the strategic areas our movement focuses on is defending the Constitutional rights of affiliation and association of prisoners of the United $tates. This is particularly good news in the context of protecting the rights of humanists to come together and discuss their values and beliefs. The first line of the Wikipedia page on humanism reads, "Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition." While there are many forms of humanism and many insightful critiques of it, in general it is a belief in progressive change at the hands of humyns.

Source: Gaston Gazette
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[Special Needs Yard] [United Front] [Non-Designated Programming Facilities] [California] [ULK Issue 62]
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September 9, California USW Must Prepare Unity Between Mainline and SNY

maoquote

I'm writing on this topic a bit early because a lot of young brothers and sisters don't have true or real understanding regarding Black August and Bloody September. But for those of us who are politically aware, both months are rich with our blood, our struggle, and our resistance. As people who fight oppression during these two months as a peoples' movement we should focus our energies around the discussions and actions of George Jackson, the Black Panthers, Assata Shakur, Che Guevara, and any of the many revolutionaries who have set the stage for us.

We should push political education, progressive action, and the revolutionary history. We should most aggressively focus on the establishment of stronger security, because on 16 April 2018 the Department of Corrections and so-called "Rehabilitation" started a statewide weapons sweep of all California prisons to ensure that no weapons are on the prison yards when the state integrates mainline prisoners with SNY prisoners later this year.

We know first-hand what the power structure is doing — they're hoping that the yards all blow up. That would show that their jobs still matter and that we need to be in prison. This is their most outrageous move in years, and they've been feeding the disconnection of mainline and SNY for years as a tool of divide and conquer. The divide and conquer tactic has never been more effective than it is today.

As they say, a tree without roots is dead, and so is a people who are not rooted. Men such as comrade George, Huey P. Newton and Malcolm X started and enhanced their political line in prison as colonial criminals. Within these concentration camps and deep dark confines of Soledad Prison and San Quentin, the alchemy of human transformation took place. They all began to turn the cells they held into libraries and schools of liberation. As George said, to create a new world we have to be a representation of this new being, "The New Man", in words and in deeds, thoughts, and actions. This new man will be in his highest revolutionary form. So as they turned their cells into classrooms, so must we. And as they internalized the most advanced ideas about human development, so must we.

George stated that:

"I met Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Engels and Mao, and they redeemed me. For the first four years, I studied nothing but politics and economics and military ideas. I met Black Guerrillas, George Big Jake Lewis, James Carr, W.L. Nolen, Bill Christmas, Tony Gibson, and many others. We were attempting to turn the Black criminal mentality into a revolutionary mentality."

George and his comrades became living examples and inspirations of organized resistance for prisoners across the country. But on 21 August 1971, Comrade George Jackson and two others were murdered along with three prison guards in a gun fight inside one of California's maximum security prisons called San Quentin. For this reason, and many more, we hold bloody August as sacred.

Huey P. Newton was murdered 22 August 1989, in West Oakland on Tenth and Center, by a young drug dealer named Little Blood. He was a product of this system; the young hating the old, the light-skinned hating the dark. That's the same divide we have here today. I can get into the shit and kick up dust with the rest and the best. But I will not allow anyone to stop my hard work in being an organizer and educator. I've given twenty years to this mainline and SNY, so I'm going to push on. As Frantz Fanon stated in Wretched of the Earth, "There is no taking of the offensive — and no redefining of relationships." We know that the power structure wants us dead or locked up. So in case you didn't know, the revolution is on.

Power to the People Build to Win and glory be the Phunk is on the bald head man.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The California USW Primer explains how the split between SHU/mainline and SNY in California is at the heart of building a united front of prisoners in the state. All California USW comrades should have a copy of the primer as a guide for their work. Long-time readers of ULK will know that we have printed countless articles addressing this issue. Write in if you can use copies of some of these articles to help in your organizing for the September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity this year. The campaign to build peace and unity between mainline and SNY will be coming to a head this year, and USW must play a leading role in guiding things in a positive direction as this comrade calls for.

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[New Afrika] [Principal Contradiction] [California] [ULK Issue 63]
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If Black Lives Matter, Don't Integrate Into Amerikkka

Co-written with Loco1 of USW

Who goes there? Calling on the keepers of the last grey stone. There has never been a time more appropriate for the gathering of the lost tribes of the dark world. However, is it real when we chant out "Black Lives Matter"? New Afrikans are launching the building bridges initiative of United Struggle from Within (USW) with the objective of reviving the Afrikan tradition of 'each one teach one'/'go a mile to reach one'. The most relevant topic that one comrade raises is to question "Does Black Lives Matter (BLM) when it is at the expense of the Afrikan identity?"

This subject will be covered by the New Afrikan anti-imperialist Political Prisoners over a period of time. In short revolutionary tracks, this New Afrikan leader, alongside of all those who support him, will go in on the issues that face the BLM movement and what is to be done in order to paint a more clear picture for New Afrikans. This will be done in using language geared towards reaching prisoners, former prisoners and the righteous supporters of the anti-imperialist prison abolishment movement. We who are most affected by this principal contradiction within the United $tates; Oppressor Nation Integration (ONI) vs. Proletarian Nationalist Independence (PNI).

Jumping off the porch from the perspective of #If Black Lives Matter (#BLM) FREE LARRY HOOVER, FREE SHY C, FREE EUGENIE HARISON, FREE JEFF FORT, etc. FREE THE LUMPEN organizations and their leaders who for far too long bit the bullet for being the cause of the destruction of the inner city semi-colonies of the oppressor nation known as amerikkka. We who are truly the last hired and the first fired, we step to the plate speaking in plain language, asking the right questions. Like, if the CIA is responsible for all the drugs and firearms being circulated in the hood, why are we the ones who sit in prison since Black Lives Matter!?

We read publications, like The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, that goes to describe the racial caste system of imperialist nations as the pit of class divides in the amerikkkas, but we go to the root issue of this class divide misinformation with the question of how could there be a class divide within an exploiter nation?

The whole matter is that really, we just want a bigger slice of the pie, but at whose expense? If Black Lives Matter, why settle for being black? Why not consider oneself to be in solidarity with a nation of its own, separate and unequal to that of its previous slave masters (oppressors), when we in all actuality just want to replace the slave masters only so that we may become them; Police bullies, gossip columnists, fake doctors, tax agents and bill collectors. We ain't doing nothing but reforming the beast (exploiter nation) that we love to hate. So in essence, the same crackers we claim is at the root of our suffering, the same bleach we claim to be destroying our skin, we're putting it on. We have become the beast. So why do Black Lives really Matter? Not until Black Lives become Afrikan, they don't.

This is the objective of this build, to destroy the misinformation spread throughout the prison yards, and the New Afrikan neighborhoods, done so to keep those of us who really suffer as a result of the oppressor nation's strategy to keep them (the so-called criminals, gang members and terrorists) uneducated about national liberation, un-united with those who share a similar national hardship/oppression, and dependent on the bourgeoisie exploitation systems of anti-socialism.

It is most imperative for those who hold most dear to the identity of Black Lives Matter to go to the root of this idea and relay the foundation of the identity of ancestral reality. Fighting over class positions that translate into a bigger slice of the pie, stolen from us in the first place, will get us no closer to the national identity determination and independence we so rightfully hope for. Only, that hope is false if we fall into the trap trick that selling our soul by becoming integrationist with the pig state that we will achieve national liberation. Remember, the pie (the systems like welfare, social security, income taxes) the exploiters created off the backs of we the People and our natural resources. If Black Lives Matter, why is it a crime for Blacks to consider themselves Original People (True/Native Ameriqans) or Asiatic Africans? Moors or Maroons & Caribbs?

Why do those who proclaim leadership or stewardship for the Black empowerment identity find themselves enemies of the state, that their own so-called people work hard with to maintain their Black Wall Street? Since we're on the topic, what happened to Black Wall Street? Did it really disappear, or did it turn up in Chicago with Oprah Winfrey, Louis Farrakhan and the 'Occupy Wall Street Movement'? A lot of groups ain't gonna like how we are connecting the dots to expose those who are most in need of the truth, that is the root reason for voices of the truly oppressed not being heard by the international supporters of anti-imperialism. But, we don't have nothing to lose because we never sold out, so it doesn't matter who don't like us.

We speak the People's & Kinsfolk's language (Block talk) because we are amongst them that are traveling in the murky waters, struggling with an objective solely rooted in delivering the message of Maoist culture in a way the People and Folks will comprehend it.

Knowing that we cannot free our people of their psychological enslavement without first addressing the national identity of WE as a socialist people. USW works from a bottom up vantage. We build from the inside out. Concentrating on the communities around us to develop independent systems of education, communication, economics and control.

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[Censorship] [Organizing] [Marquette Branch Prison] [Michigan] [ULK Issue 63]
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Censorship Victories in Michigan; Battle Continues

"Cast away illusions, prepare for struggle." -Mao Zedong (1893-1976)

Comrades:

I am writing to update you comrades on new developments regarding my censorship battle at this prison. After 2 long and hard-fought battles with these reactionaries and their censors in the mail room, I finally received the latest ULK 60 a couple weeks ago.

Specifically, when I transferred back into this gestapo prison in October 2017, the censors were rejecting all ULK issues and MIM study materials sent to comrades under MDOC policy directive 05.03.118 (NN) (4) and (6), and giving us false pretense or rationale for its rejection, solely because of the political (revolutionary) content of the newsletter, contrary to PD-05.03.118 (D) which clearly states that prison censors are prohibited from rejecting incoming mail "solely because its content is religious, philosophical, political, social, sexual, unpopular, or repugnant."

Their excuse or pretext for rejecting MIM periodicals was because they claimed it advocated or promotes "violence, group disruption, or insurrection." See, "notice of package/mail rejection" and "administrative hearing report," enclosed herein is an example of the totally bogus rationalizations they use for censoring ULK.

The prison censors, particularly mail clerks J. Sanford and M. J. Dollar, had censored every MIM ULK issue sent to me and other comrades since October 2017. Not only were the issues improperly rejected, but the censors failed to conduct mail rejection hearings in a prompt manner as required by PD-05.03.118 (WW). More, I doubt if they were even notifying you (MIM) of the censorship or the reason why the newsletters were rejected, nor an opportunity to an appeal. Per MDOC policy, the prison censors must mail senders/publishers a "notice of rejection" anytime that an issue is rejected, which is a requirement under PD-05.03.118 (VV) so you can exercise your right to appeal the rejection to the warden.

Your right to be notified is a "due process" right, under the Fourteenth Amendment. Just for future references, if the prison censors fail to notify you of the illegal publication ban on your materials, your organization can sue for damages, including, but not limited to: (1) the suppression of your free speech; (2) the impediment of your ability to disseminate your political message; (3) frustration of your non-profit organizational mission; (4) the diversion of your resources; (5) the loss of potential subscribers and MIM supporters; among other violations under the First Amendment's free speech and free press clauses. It's easy money, since these reactionaries are voluntarily bagging it up for you, why not take it and help fund the revolution?!

With this in mind, you must be prepared to struggle with me in combating censorship in the future, just in case the censors get back on bullshit. It's only so much that comrades can do from inside the bowels of the imperialist beast where the terms of the struggle are defined by our oppressors. The facility head (warden) was upholding the improper rejections and subsequent appeals, knowing damn well it's illegal to ban publications solely because of its political content.

What this all boils down to, in the final analysis, is that they don't want us to learn political theory and critically recognize the situation that we find ourselves in, or the root cause of our oppression. They want us "politically dead," so that they can better control us and not have to worry about us transforming the criminal (lumpen) mentality into a revolutionary mentality and ushering forth the "new man" (within ourselves) to succeed the old, as both Malcolm X and Comrade George showed us we could through the process of study and self-reflection. The reactionaries and prisoncrats know that this sudden shift of revolutionary consciousness by the lumpen prisoners would create a "new situation," one that would no doubt threaten their control over us and make it possible for us to unite and move forward en masse against our oppressors, as Huey said, "with implacable fortitude."

My friends, you recognize the fact that the arbitrary censorship of ULK, a critical organizing tool that meets our educational and informational needs, is nothing more than a counter-revolutionary strategy by the prisoncrats to get ahead of the "revolutionary wave" and put down the new radical prison movement that is emerging. But, dialectical materialism teaches us that nothing can prevent this revolutionary process. The new always leap forth to succeed the old. In the words of Fanon: "The repressions, far from calling a halt to the forward rush of national consciousness, urge it on." So, understand the arbitrary censorship and political repression that a lot of us lumpen are facing, or will face in the future, by these reactionaries and their prison censors only expedites matters and moves the struggle forward to its ultimate conclusion. Therefore, cast away illusions and prepare for struggle against the prisoncrats' reactionary agenda to suppress political education among lumpen comrades (prisoners).

No doubt I will continue to battle censorship when it occurs on this end, but this must be a shared responsibility. We have to coordinate from both ends and concentrate our fire on this fascist agenda. There is pressure that can, and sometimes must, be brought to bear on the prison censors. Sometimes political pressure, in the form of telephone or email campaigns, should be exerted on the warden and the director about the censorship, demanding that the issue be corrected immediately or that the current prison censors be removed from their positions in the mail room. I believe we can wage a far more effective struggle against censorship this way. It will, at very least, give us a tactical advantage.


MIM(Prisons) responds: As some of our readers may have noticed, over the past year we've been able to step up the fight against censorship from the MIM(Prisons) side. Wherever our comrades behind bars are taking the initiative to appeal or protest censorship, we are also submitting letters of protest. We will always send you a copy of these letters, which are going to prison administrators and other relevant personnel. We agree with this writer that these censorship battles are most effective when it is a shared responsibility both from behind bars and on the streets.

So if you're fighting censorship of ULK or other mail we've sent, be sure to let us know so that we can support your battle with protests of our own. We won't always win, but we regularly have victories. And the outrageous rejections, as well as our victories, are reported in the "Censors in their own Words" articles we publish periodically in ULK and on our censorship reporting webpage. If you get notification of censorship, either from your prison, or from us, do your part to stop the prisoncrats from removing revolutionary education from the prisons by filing a grievance to protest the censorship. Put them on notice that you will not be silenced!

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