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

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

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

Government Assistance for Migrants

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

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

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

The Economic Motivations

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

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

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

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

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

Close the Hatches: Whitey Unites

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

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

Migrants Seize Detention Center

Signs of Progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[Legal] [California] [ULK Issue 13]
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No "Class Actions"

The days of finding relief via the "class action" lawsuit are over. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) and countless other rulings have essentially castrated the "class action." The worst part is, under certain protocols, if a class action loses, every person in the "suspect class" is prohibited from filing in the future on similar grounds!

Only a fascist or a moron will file "class actions" because they have been eliminated. The proper methodology is to bury the bastards with litigation from individual litigants. Whatever the issue, rather than "joining forces" officially, we need to coordinate from the periphery. If 20 individuals file relatively similar actions in the same Court, the Court will occasionally attempt to coerce them into becoming a de facto "class." That can be refused by a litigant who wishes to proceed "as a class of one." Failure in this case does not affect other individual litigants. The decision might be harmful, but it cannot completely deflate the opportunity to seek "redress of grievances," as are protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The only way to fight in a corrupted system is to use those remaining rules that ostensibly still exist and turn them against the persecuting agencies. The only way to win requires seriously thinking outside the box; but doing it with a rationale they're required to accept. If they try and blow smoke up your ass, take it to the next level. To borrow from Churchill's address done at Princeton: "Never give in. Never give in. Never give in..." It doesn't need to be eloquent: it just needs to be.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The PLRA is one way that prisoners are legally stripped of their rights as u.$. citizens. During the first wave of the Prison Movement, class actions were a crucial tool for prisoner activists to fight battles on behalf of all prisoners. The state didn't like that. We wouldn't go as far as this comrade to say that class actions are completely obsolete, but they are now extremely complex and should be brought by a lawyer. Since most of our comrades cannot afford lawyers, class action suits are functionally useless to us.

This comrade is correct that despite the difficulties we face today, we must keep finding ways to fight legal battles until they take all such rights away. And there are still ways for us to work together and work strategically. Issue 13 of ULK will focus on how to do this, so comrades should write in with their ideas.

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[Abuse] [Robertson Unit] [Texas]
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Unsanitary conditions in Texas

I'm a prisoner confined in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I'm launching this complaint concerning the unsanitary conditions of various areas of the French Robertson Unit in Abilene, Texas.

12 Building segregation recreation yard is the second most unsanitary area of the facility. The urinal is seldom cleaned and always seems to be backed up. The stench resulting from this condition is overwhelming and can be smelled at a distance of at least fifty yards. I have informed the security staff, as well as its supervisor, yet the problem remains unattended. The tables and weight case are also unsanitary, covered with bird droppings and littered with trash. This is an atmosphere that is in violation of state health codes.

8 building kitchen is absolutely the worst. On more than one occasion I have spoken to the Lt. and Sgt. about there being roaches in the food carts, food being served on dirty dishes, and food being served cold. Yet the kitchen area itself has not been properly cleaned or disinfected or sanitized.

The dayrooms are never mopped, neither are the runways, and the windows aren't sanitized.

Expose the system!

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[Spanish] [Culture] [Texas]
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Hip Hop en la Esfera de Acción del Estado

Mostrarlos como groseros y depravados...tener miembros detenidos por acusaciones de mariguana. Investigar conflictos personales o animosidades entre ellos. Manda artículos a los periódicos enseñando sus depravaciones. Use narcóticos y el sexo gratis para entrampar...obtener especímenes de sus escrituras. Provocar rivalidades entre los grupos de objetivo que pueden resultar en muerte. Tácticas FBI COINTELPRO documentado a ser usado contra músicos políticos.(1)

Yo sostengo que es malo en cuanto nos concierne si una persona, un partido político, un ejército o una escuela no es atacada por el enemigo, pues en ese caso, eso significaría definitivamente que nos hemos bajado al nivel del enemigo. Es bueno si somos atacados por el enemigo, ya que demuestra que hemos trazado un límite claramente de demarcación entre el enemigo y nosotros. - Mao Zedong. Ser Atacado por el Enemigo no es Algo Malo Sino Algo Bueno (26 de Mayo 1939)

Un indicación del potencial revolucionario de hip hop es la reacción del estado burgués. El verano pasado, policías arrestaron a Paradise Gray del x-clan (clan equis), y el Zulu Nation (Nación de Zulus), quien juego un papel grande en darle forma al hip hop en los primeros años. Arrestaron a Gray mientras que el estaba filmando una demostración contra el alto burguesismo.(2) Paralelizando algunos esfuerzos de Tupac discutidos abajo, Gray esta actualmente trabajando con 1Hood para promover paz entre la nación de juventud oprimida en la ciudad de Pittsburg, PA. No hay nada que el gobierno le tiene más miedo que cuando los oprimidos paran de matarse los unos a los otros.

Mientras que a la cultura popular le gusta ver Reality Rap (Rap en Realidad), ahora conocido como Gangsta Rap (Rap de Gangster), en el comienzo de la corrupción última de hip hop, la verdad es que pioneros Ice-T, NWA, y Tupac estaban desenvueltamente opuestos al estado y recibieron mucho calor por eso. Cancelaron sus conciertos, postergaron sus discos, censuraron sus canciones y se enfrentaron con constante vigilancia y hostigamiento regular.

Mientras que las formas de arte que se originaron en la cultura de hip hop han sido cooptadas por asimilación de los medios de corporaciones para servir al estado mismo, la amenaza potencial de una cultura que se queda con raíces fuertes en las naciones oprimidas sigue. John Potash sacó una documentación con detalles de la historia del estado usando COINTELPRO contra músicos, conectándolos en operaciones contra revolucionarios que precedieron y que frecuentemente los inspiraron. El describe como el NYPD organizó la primera unidad - rap con entrenamientos por COINTELPRO, y luego fueron a entrenar a otros policías metropolitanos por todos lados del país. Su libro se concentra alrededor de la vida y muerte de Tupac Shakur.

El padrastro de Tupac Shakur era, en el pasado, de los Black Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación de los Negros) y médico revolucionario, que se volvió prisionero de guerra, Mutulu Shakur. El era uno del número de ancianos influyentes en la vida de Tupac mientras que el creció que eran parte del movimiento del Black Power (poder de los negros). En las juntas con Tupac el dice que el empujó a Tupac a que cuestionara y definiera a la tal thug Life (Vida Maleante), que, con el tiempo, ellos hicieron juntos un código de 26 puntos que fue aceptado por los Bloods y Crips, y otros más tarde, en la cumbre de la paz en 1992 en la ciudad de Los Angeles.(3) Esto indució a una operación mayor de contraespionaje fijando como objetivo a los involucrados, Mutulu incluido que ha estado enjaulado en un centro de control federal desde entonces.

Sanyika Shakur, un ex-jefe de los Crips (Azules), era uno que estaba inspirado a sostener estos esfuerzos. El también fue objeto para aislamiento en la sistema de prisión en el estado de California dónde es esta sentado actualmente (tal pacificadores son supuestamente "peor de los peores" que llenan estas celdas de tortura). Así como el señalo, el gobierno tenia razón para estar involucrados por los esfuerzos para unir a los jóvenes Negros y Latinos ya que las organizaciones de las calles de South Central estaban reclutando más gente jóvenes cada año que los cuatro fuerzas armados de los estados unidos combinados.(4)

La investigación detallado de John Potash sobre 2Pac y otros músicos y líderes, enseñan, claramente, conexiones entre operaciones negras por el gobierno y la represión de esos que movilizaron gente oprimida. El papel primario que Tupac juego en la enemistad del "East vs. West" (El este contra El oeste) en la escena del hip hop era irónico después de su trabajo para unir grupos guerreando en Los Angeles. Pero Potash pinta un retrato de manipulación mandado por el estado que llevó a Tupac que a jugar en el plan de ellos.

Potash traza el uso de sexo y drogas para manipular a ambos activistas y músicos como se describe en el documento del FBI citado arriba. El cargo de asalto sexual formulado contra Tupac es un ejemplo de esto.(5) Death Row Records, quien el pinta como un frente del FBI, mantuvo a Tupac nadando en bebidas alcohólicas y marihuana, así como el FBI hizo a su madre, cuando el era un niño, usando a un traficante que se hizo muy cercano a ella. Igualmente, Death Row cambio a Dr. Dre, que una vez canto, "Ey, yo no fumo marihuana o sess porque es conocido hacerle daño a los sesos de un hermano," a una publicidad gigante de marihuana con su solo álbum estreno, "The Chronic". En la década que siguió, el uso regular de marihuana fue aumentado significativamente entre jóvenes Negros y Latinos, con problemas grandes de adicción discapacite, quizás sea el incremento de la potencia de la droga.(6) Hoy, marihuana y bebidas alcohólicas están alabados constantemente por los raperos.

En sus últimos días, Pac estaba sobrio, leyendo Mao y piensando en unir a los negros alrededor del país. Pronto lo mataron y nadien fue acusado con el asesinato aunque en ese momento el estaba observado de cerca por multiple agencias del estado, así como Biggie en el tiempo de su asesinato.

Una lección grande para tomar de "la Guerra del FBI contra Tupac y los Líderes Negros" es que el gobierno tiene una estrategia de neutralizar líderes poténcialas que ellos usan una y otra vez. Para contraatacar esto, activistas necesitan que estar cocientes de las estrategias y formar estrategias para contraatacarlos. Como un individuo, Tupac estaba, fácilmente, manipulado, pero hasta un partido disciplinado como las Panderas Negras fueron manipulados participando en una división similar de costas este contra oeste que se pudo haber evitado. En ambos casos, el FBI tomó una ventaja de las contradicciones internas entre la gente involucrada. Bueno, mientras que estudiar tácticas del FBI es una manera provechoso para defendernos mismos, más importante, tenemos que poner políticas en mando para hacer un movimiento que sea difícil hacer caer fuera de curso.

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[Abuse] [Federal Correctional Institution McKean] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 11]
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The Pigs Feed at the Lockdown Trough

The McKean Federal Prison in Bradford, Pennsylvania is on lockdown due to a fight between African-American gang members and Mexican-American gang members. Nobody was hurt and all those involved or thought to be involved have been placed in segregation. So the threat of continued violence no longer exist, however the prison administration has decided to continue the lockdown indefinitely!

Due to the ill-treatment that we are going through in here, we seek the help of MIM concerning this matter. As this lockdown is about money, not a security threat as you will see.

It should be noted that an Acting Warden took over the week following the fight, and does not want to take responsibility for lifting the lockdown.

It is obvious that the threat of violence no longer exists since the prison administration allowed 30 to 40 prisoners to go to work in the prison's UNICOR factory. If there were a serious security threat why are these prisoners being allowed to go to work? They're not feeding prisoners or washing clothes, but working in the prison factory making cups, spoons and forks!

The prisoners have only been allowed 2 showers a week. They have been feeding us 1 thin slice of cold cuts, 1 thin slice of cheese, 4 slices of bread, 1 spoiled fruit, 1 small pack of cookies, and 2 drink mixes. Several prisoners have been suffering from constipation. They have started giving us lukewarm meals, but those meals aren't any better.

We have been denied access to commissary except to buy stamps and batteries, denied access to the law library, phone calls, etc. But the main problem, once again, is the food.

Now, due to the lockdown, the staff here gets extra pay. So there is this possible link which motivates the continuation of the lockdown, especially due to the situation our economy is in. And with the majority of the staff here being related to each other in one way or another, nepotism is rampant here. There is no one the prisoners can complain to in order to address our concerns. And that is why I am writing you. This lockdown is about MONEY!

It is my hope that your legal department will call the acting warden, any of the associate wardens or the Captain at McKean and inquire about this situation. As you know, they will LIE, but one or two phone calls threatening legal action will bring about a change.

The phone number to the McKean Federal Prison is (814) 362-8900.

see our analysis on the parasitic economics of the amerikkkan prison system in ULK 8

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[Organizing] [Maryland] [ULK Issue 11]
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Drop the Pacifiers and Take Action

Greetings from a new soldier in the struggle. I'm the brother who was inspired to join the movement when I read the comrade's article in ULK number 8: Remove the Profit Motive. Since that time I've become indigent. I'm letting the state fork the bill for my incarceration.

I'm writing today about our need for unity. I've seen a couple of things that impede our uniting. One is separation by gangs; there only needs to be two gangs, us and them: "Admin."

Second, I know all my comrades know that the administration's across the country use televisions, radios, fans, etc. And now here Play Station 2's as a "pacifier" and "control tool."

I see grown men jumping with joy to be allowed to buy Play Station. Administration sitting back laughing. That's it, take this pacifier, forget your problems and we'll continue to do to you what we want.

I'm in the process of sending my appliances home. I want to focus on what's important, my rights and the injustices going on in prison town USA.

The fear to lose these pacifiers I mentioned hold a lot of brothers back from bucking the administrations and their strong arm tactics.

I hear it all the time, I'm not losing my privileges fighting for something that will not change. They're right, it will not change with that attitude. The show of unity is the only way to make a change.

Administration here now sends all your property home when you receive 180 days or more on lock up. These people are smart, they know a large percentage of the population don't want to lose those pacifiers. So we remain guinea pigs, they test to see what they can get away with.

I'm now focused on what I can do to fight peacefully against these gate keepers. I'm testing to see if I can get population to come together for a peaceful demonstration. I'm asking everybody in population to skip one meal in protest to the injustices that are going on. We in prison need to stop talking, stop complaining and come together and take action. Send them pacifiers home, stand up and be a man.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Current wars in the Congo that have displaced and killed millions of people over a ten-year period are being dubbed the “Playstation War” because of the direct relationship between mining for coltan, and this metal’s use in manufacturing Sony Playstations, as well as other electronics.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 11]
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A Union of 3 rival gangs coming together through hip hop

Hoover Street Crips/Neighborhood Rollin 60/9 trey Gangsters Bloods UBN

Thought U Should Know


by C-Blow, Solo & Streetz

What you fail to understand is that the oppressed are oppressing the oppressed
and that's word to the Hoover Crip tatted on my neck
We find justification in our selfishness and tranquility in our ignorance
It's a major achievement to have a half Black president, now look into your hearts and tell me what it represents.
9/11 many loved ones murdered seems the government knew the killer yet Bush got away
criticized as 1/4 of man blatant repression
Sharing with you real life confessions and fears. Encouraging you to destroy yourselves
living the suicide life successfully corrupted for I too lived in your position
finding fool in our EOPs afraid to hope breath shaky from speaking of the revolution
2 million plus caged in plantations, patiently waiting, and that's what they have on us
we "patiently" waiting so now that MIM got the seeds planted amplifying our voice
it's time for a demonstration of lumpen liberation. Abandoning the chains restraining us.
Out of 2 million prisoners, only 100,000 devout but an organized threat each one teaching one
educated against the corruption of man revolution reform no more simply surviving
that's why they keep us divided they know our strength.
We just don't seem to recognize our own
our culture, our struggle, our resistance, our time to overcome
seeing beyond what's visible. We fight it's that simple or the injustice that we living
will be lived by our children's children
No more accepting our communities destruction watching in hiding
We targeted amongst many they wishing to eradicate us a target of ridicule
Our names etched in the cement a replica of the life we lived
from a lack of introspection, without solidarity and strategizing
we'll continue being slaved puppets in the governments illusion
masquerading our freedom

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[Education]
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A Plea for Educational Opportunities

Senator Webb,

I am writing on behalf of a great number of Florida prisoners. I have now been incarcerated, day for day, in the State of Florida, for over fourteen years. I was arrested at the age of eighteen, sentenced to serve the rest of my life in prison at the age of twenty, and will be thirty three years of age on Nov 4th, 2009. My first year in the state prison system, between the ages of twenty and twenty-one, I succeeded in earning my GED and completing a vocational course in small business management. After the age of 21, and due to my having a life-sentence, I lost virtually any further opportunity to participate in such prison education programs. At the time (1996-1997) those prisoners under the age of twenty-one were given priority enrollment in such programs - those over twenty-one were given a secondary priority based upon their release dates.

Since then, and over time in general, educational opportunities provided to the prison population collectively and overall, have only become more and more restricted. Not only are we no longer eligible for government grants or loans, but the state funds that were once allotted toward prison educational programs have been both dramatically cut from the state budget and absurdly funneled into other departments of the correctional (in no sense rehabilitative) system - such as those departments which advocate the building of more prisons. In fact, a more than significant amount of the state budget set aside for educational programs outside of the prison system, has gone disproportionately toward that same goal - the building of more, greater restricted prisons. As I write this letter there are many prisons throughout the state that have not a single educational program to speak of, period. On average, a Florida prison houses approximately one thousand prisoners. Of any of these groups of 1000, the vast majority have never attained neither a basic education nor a specialized skill. Without these tools, again and again they will fall by the wayside - as those who are better equipped, for whatever reason, continue to progress. The prison population, not only in the state of Florida but across the country, has boomed, and in many cases has exceeded maximum capacity. Supreme Courts in the State of California have ordered the reduction of its state's prison population by 40,000 people. It is nearing two times maximum capacity. Why?

Of the 40,000 people to be released in the State of California, how many of them will have earned a GED, how many of them will have learned a trade, how many of them will have been given the opportunity to utilize their time in prison with an option to participate in a college level correspondence course, and most importantly of all, how many of them will return, because of the denial or limitation of any or all of these three?

Senator Webb, as I have already stated, I have been sentenced to serve the rest of my life in prison. But it wasn't until some point of my developing life - a period that some would say came too late - that I realized that I was indeed a part of a greater whole. I say this because regardless of my personal circumstances I hold fast to another conviction as well: the fact that I still have a life in which to serve. My service has spanned from both prison classrooms and prison youth tour programs, to prison recreation yards and even disciplinary confinement cells. I have helped both 40 year old men and kids as young as fifteen - yes, kids as young as 15 - learn how to read, write, and work arithmetic. And it is in that same spirit that I wish to be serving now by writing this letter, and giving them (us) a voice.

Senator Webb, I believe service is something you can relate to. I've heard speak of you over the BBC radio broadcasts, I recently read of your trip to Burma in Time Magazine, and your devotion toward the need to improve education, in general, was recently touted in an article published in the periodical Under Lock and Key. Whatever proposals you make, points you debate, objective you've set out to reach, and obstacles that will impede the way ... we would like to play a part as well.

Education, or the lack of, is the most relevant factor in the manifestation of (our) criminal behavior. Whether it be academic, social, moral, or personal...the prison systems of America have very little to provide, if not simply just less and less. Continuing to deny the U.S. prison population this single provision alone, is to continue to promote the ignorance of a system that, per capita, currently has imprisoned more human beings than any other nation in the world. The question why - even among us, the illiterate, is no longer any more profound than it is rhetorical.

Sincerely,

A United States Prisoner

Response from Senator Webb:

response from Sen. Webb on Education

Reply to letter of September 29, 2009:

Dear Senator Webb,
Your letter of Sept. 29, 2009 has been received and upon contemplation it is my conclusion that it was somewhat automated. In no way could my original letter to this office have been construed as concerning my "trial or any of the legal issues surrounding [my] case." Furthermore, my contacting you, a Senator of Virginia, instead of a Senator in the state which I reside, should give credence to the reason. My Desire is to learn more about the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009, and how we (the incarcerated) can help to further that bill. A personal response would be highly praised.

Sincerely,

A United States Prisoner

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