The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Theory]
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What is sectarianism?

https://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/faq/sectarian.html

Sectarianism is a term developed from the ideology of guiding ones practice by what would best promote ones sect, or organization. In other words, putting the organization itself over what the organization is supposed to be about.

In practice this looks like multiple groups all saying they are working for the same thing, but not willing to work with each other on this goal because they don't want to share the spotlight, or they have persynal differences with another group or some other petty issue that has nothing to do with said goal.

One of the purposes of having cardinal principles is to know what things one will split over and not be acting in a sectarian way. These principles, if violated, would deem a party to no longer be working for the same thing as you.

With the dissolution of the MIM into a cell structure in 2005, the potential for sectarianism within the First World Maoist movement increased. There may be a tendency to compete for the new position of vanguard with the demise of the Maoist Internationalist Party (Amerika) around which MIM was centered up until 2007. This doesn't necessarily stem from an inherent competitiveness among comrades, but rather their understanding of what the vanguard is and its importance for those who follow Leninism.

MIM(Prisons) has always promoted the cell structure as advantageous in terms of security as well promoting the theoretical and practical development of a small movement. With a movement made up of independent cells with different functions, we see it as appropriate to deem the movement the vanguard, even as we remain slow to support each other and work together as a coherent movement. We also continue to struggle against incorrect lines we see within the movement, as well as combat revisionism elsewhere. While revisionism can certainly creep up within MIM, the line between the revisionists and those who effectively combat revisionism is what defines who is a part of MIM.

Discerning Enemies In Struggle

While it has always been a major challenge of our movement, combating revisionism is even more challenging when revolutionaries are actively engaging the enemy in struggle. We've seen this with the different approaches to events in Nepal by comrades upholding the Maoist line. We've also seen it recently surrounding the apparent security struggles of original MIM cadre.

Before Geronimo Pratt was put away for 25 to life on a FBI frame up, the pigs regularly accused him of ego-tripping when he talked of the surveillance and harassment he faced. Of course, it was all true. Actually there was much more to it than Pratt even knew at the time.

When the FBI deals with those who are known to be armed and promote armed self-defense, if not offense, it is easy to frame such people for jail time and assassinations. It was easy for the FBI to find an excuse to shoot Luqman Ameen Abdullah after they had surrounded him, pointed their big guns and then sicked an attack dog on him. These tactics are harder to pull off on those who have consistently opposed armed struggle and breaking the law by communists, and live to that standard. These tactics are also used in desperation because they are very damaging to the state that carries out assassinations and kidnappings in plain site of the public.

There are many tactics that are often much more damaging to the targets of COINTELPRO than assassinations. They include destroying one's livelihood, buying one off, seducing one sexually, harassment in many forms and more subtle physical attacks. All of these tactics have been well-documented along with assassinations and frame-ups. Yet, comrades seem to ignore these forms of repression because the facts are not clear or because the difficulties of dealing with them make them uncomfortable. The facts are never clear until it's too late, that's the whole point of counter intelligence.

We know that some comrades are upset that Henry Park talked about them publicly. We cannot explain or defend that. He recently decided to talk about MIM(Prisons). We don't like it either. In fact, we could leave the internet altogether and continue on just as effectively with most of our work. Then those who believe "i can be googled therefore i exist" will pay us no mind.

However, the real wrecking ability is in the unknown number of MC's who left MIM and left the cardinal principles to go on and do who knows what. According to Park, some of them are doing some very bad things. So it is curious that others are spending so much time worrying about the damage being done by someone upholding MIM's original 3 cardinal principles and at least 9 out of 10 of the criteria spelled out by Monkey Smashes Heaven (MSH). The 10th criteria is the only debatable one because it is not a question of line. It is clear that MSH and others believe that Henry Park has violated point 10. [For the record MIM(Prisons) has not proposed a list of cardinal principles that differ from MIM's longstanding 3 cardinals, but we see a lot of value in MSH's list and certainly agree with them on those points.]

Perhaps MIM(Prisons) is the dense party here who doesn't get what is going on. We are not interested in getting into a debate about what is being done at Henry Park's blog. But if there is a principled position out there that would benefit our movement we would like to hear it.

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[Abuse] [Censorship] [Texas]
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Property set fire by prison guard

I'm currently caught up in a property situation. Last month one of these pigs and I had an altercation which resulted in the CO setting my property on fire. He also gave another prisoner some of my property as payment for setting the fire for him so that he could burn my property. It took 2 1/2 weeks before the major notified me about my property and he only notified me because he knew that the "grapevine" dropped dime to me the day after it happened.

See, after the aforementioned altercation took place, I was moved to a different housing section. My property was to be moved to the property-room after I was moved. Well, before my property could be moved the CO that I had the altercation with returned and set my property on fire. MIM, if y'all will please excuse me because I just got my Step 1 grievance back and these hoes are talking about my shower shoes is the only thing they're going to replace. Now I have to end this letter because I need to check these hoes about my shit!

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[Medical Care] [California] [ULK Issue 12]
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Forced drugging in prison

I shudder to think that our "public servants" are expunging the minds of united states citizens with drugs, and that the courts are so inept as to resort to such insidious devices as forced druggings. Psychotropic drugs are nothing but a slow poison! It's a threat to one's life, health, mind, and religion. The courts may think they have a legal right to expunge the minds of freeborn citizens, but it's not only a flagrant violation of our rights, it's also attempted murder. Therefore I've elected to protest this atrocity with a hunger-to-starvation strike until this evil poisoning stops or I die. I would rather be dead than see myself slowly deteriorate to such a horrid degradation of life.

I've been informed that if I attempt this they will obtain a court order to force feed me through a tube running in my nose and down my throat while I'm strapped to a gurney. Then they will inject the drugs into me with a needle. Therefore, to save my mind, my health, and my life, I feel I have no choice but to plead almost anything that the courts and DA wants from me to stop this poisoning of my mind, body, and soul. It's ironic that this war on drugs is used to discredit some drugs and people, and then to force some horrid drugs on some people and call it lawful.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade makes an important connection between the various uses of drugs by the state. While many prisoners are suffering from physical ailments because they are denied health care that people on the outside have easy access to, others have no problem getting their "meds" that are often forced upon them to control their brain chemistry. Both situations attest to the terrible waste of life that the system perpetuates.

Also see an earlier report by another California comrade in Under Lock & Key 5: Using psychology to drug political prisoners

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[Medical Care] [Florida]
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Denied adequate treatment

I myself have had health complications for the past two years in which I've caught a stomach infection twice. I was diagnosed with H-Pylori (Helico bacteria infection) which basically comes from dirty food on utensils. It is known that this stomach infection can cause cancer if not appropriately treated. To go on further, I've been experiencing burning sensations in my private areas, for which the Florida State Prison and the Union Correctional Institution have continuously run the same tests, never attempting to try another course of treatment, which only causes more suffering.

I've been repeatedly charged a sum of $4 per entry of sick call only to be denied adequate medical treatment. Medical staff, as well as security staff, continue to act as if my complaint of medical illnesses are a mental issue, and not physical until just recently after two full years. I was seen by a urologist due to family support and the consistent inciting of grievances and was told I had kidney stones. So, whoever you are, and wherever you are just know that we all can contribute to struggles for basic rights and with determination we all can achieve our goals, and conquer.

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[Political Repression] [Organizing] [Wisconsin Secure Program Facility] [Wisconsin]
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Fighting repression in Wisconsin

For years now me and other like-minded brothers have been actively engaged in the struggle against this injustice system and the Wisconsin DOC (which is just a microcosm of the Amerikan prison/plantation complex at large). At present, I'm being warehoused at Wisconsin's Supermax Plantation, under the pretext of "conspiracy to harm prison staff" and group resistance" (i.e. gang activity). But the real reason for my midnight transfer to Supermax was that a group of a chosen few conscious brothers decided to challenge the conditions of living in an overtly racist prison system through completely legal means: by inmate complaint and if that was not effective then the next step was to call an absolutely non-violent prisoner work stoppage. But in an effort to invalidate the group complaint and destroy prisoner unity, the fascist prison authorities, with the help of prisoner collaborators, used this perfectly legal method of prisoner protest as an opportunity to enact even more repressive policies all the while shacking down more funds for "better prison security" (hiring more racist guards).

Also, they wasted no time in clearing the plantation of any prisoner who the authorities deemed an agitation to the system: the jail house lawyers, prison litigators, religious leaders and prisoners of any kind of respect and influence among the prison population. These were the brothers who had a history of challenging the system and promoting unity. And as arbitrary retribution, the brothers who they assumed were the leaders of the group complaint were kidnapped in the middle of the night, without due process and shipped to Supermax (me included).

That was 3 years ago. Now I'm scheduled to leave here next month. Even though this experience has been a trying ordeal I am not deterred in the struggle against this beast! I feel morally obligated to continue the fight to try and enlighten the prison class of our agenda and our common struggle.

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[Political Repression] [California]
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Under investigation for political literature

On December 11 I was placed under investigation due to the political literature I had in my cell. There was a major shake down on the prison yard and the officers made their way to the building I'm currently in, and my cell was one of the last that was shaken down. As my cell was in the process of getting searched some of the low level and low ranking officers came across the literature I had such as Blood in my Eye, Zero to Anarchy, Revolution, Soledad Brother, Who's the Terrorist by Ward Churchill and Terrorist vs Terrorist: the story of the U.S. involvement in terrorism. And so having this literature in my cell was deemed illegal, so they confiscated the books along with my photo album and address book.

I haven't received the literature I requested from you guys, it's been 2 weeks even if I made a copy of the CDCR security squad receipt it would not leave the prison. No I believe my outgoing and incoming mail will either be screened and possibly censored or both. I tried to get a copy of the DOC's prison mail policy about 4 times but have never received it. The prison law library doesn't have an updated one. I 602ed it and was told that the problem will be fixed but it hasn't as of yet. I don't even know if this letter will get to you but I'm sending it anyway.

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[Medical Care] [Florida]
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Paying for no care in prisons

I think everybody should get health care. I'm talking about immigrants and U.$. citizens with low incomes, because most of the people that work picking oranges, strawberries or any other job are immigrants not from America but from other countries. Without immigrants Amerikans cannot do their own work.

And as for us prisoners, I'm in a county jail in Florida and we are being overcharged when we need medical assistance or medical care. Just for putting in a sick call we have to pay $12 and if we get to see a doctor it's another $12. But before we see a doctor we have to file 3 times for sick call, which is bullshit because we have to pay $36 before we even see a doctor and then another $12 when we get to see them. The same goes if we need Motrin or Tylenol, just for 3 days of those pills we pay $12 for the sick call and $5 for the pills. That's $17 for 3 days of Motrin or Tylenol.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's view of "everybody" is narrowed by u.$.-imposed borders. This is an incorrect perspective to take on health care within an imperialist economy where one nation's prosperity is built on others' demise. Not only is premature death in the Third World a direct result of exploitation by the imperialist nations, but it also plays a role in social control of the oppressed.

To demand health care for prisoners and others in north amerika not considered to be full citizens is a righteous challenge to the dominant debates. But don't stop there. Particularly in countries where the united $tates can afford to send billions of dollars in military equipment, such demands should be obligatory. Clean water, food and medical care for all are cheap and easy in comparison to military occupations.

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[Medical Care] [Texas] [ULK Issue 12]
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Prisons don't give a damn if we die

I think that things are going to get a lot worse for prisoners. I say this because people are dying left and right down here. These so-called doctors refuse to provide adequate health care like they are supposed to. I am 23 years old with a 40 year sentence. I constantly have to go through struggles just to receive medical help. I was diagnosed with leukemia a little over a year ago and I have days that I am in serious pain that I wouldn't wish on one of my foes. Do I get the assistance I really need? No. I hope things get better. Not just for me, but for all the other brothas and sistas in prison, because from what I'm seeing and experiencing, these people don't give a damn if we die.

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[Medical Care] [Soledad State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 12]
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Delays in medical care in California continue

As populations continue to rise in California state prisons, health care has deteriorated. Overcrowded is an understatement. It's literally standing room only. Inmates have no chance to receive adequate medical attention here at Soledad CTF-South or any other CDCR institution. Doctors are overwhelmed with prisoners on a daily basis. And even though the feds are overseeing the medical department in CDCR, the CDCR continues to pile on the prisoners, making it impossible to receive primary care. And by the time you write a grievance and get any response, you are forced to live with the medical issue, whether it be pain or discomfort.

Constitutional rights are being violated on a daily basis. Weeks and months can pass by before any remedies, once a grievance is submitted. It's like they are punishing prisoners who merely exercise their rights to submit a complaint. Is there any agency that can help? Most agencies require that all remedies be exhausted before they step in, but these remedies take from 3 to 6 months. CDCR knows this; it's why they are able to continue to violate the rights of prisoners who fall into the category of patients with "non-life threatening conditions." But non-life threatening conditions can turn into life threatening conditions if left untreated for months at a time and sometimes cause long term effects. The feds need to step in ASAP. All prisoners whose constitutional rights have been violated should be compensated. This prisoner abuse must stop.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Ironically, prisoners are actually the only people in the united $tates guaranteed health care by law. Nonetheless, prisoners still suffer vastly disproportionate cases of HIV, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis C and many other chronic diseases as well as drug addiction.

Keep in mind that it has taken the government years to process the current cases that it is attempting to enforce in California mandating population reductions. California continues to resist the orders as people continue to suffer and die from lack of care.

MIM(Prisons) does see long legal battles demanding rights that the oppressed need to get free as an appropriate strategy at this time. In fact, it was the strong prison movement of the late 1960's and early 70's that brought the class action suits that required the state to provide any level of care at all to their prisoners. But as most of those comrades also acknowledged, the state does not have an interest in the their health and the little progress achieved over years of struggle could be achieved many times over in a much shorter time by changing the system itself.

In the past, the FBI has tried to promote itself as a savior for Black people from racists in the south, when in reality they worked hand-in-hand with the local KKK groups. Similarly here, the feds have been involved in the California prison system for some time, but as this comrade reports, the conditions have not changed. We can take advantage of differences between our enemies without looking to the oppressor as our savior.

notes:http://www.assembly.ca.gov/committee/c208/briefing_documents/Healthcare%20briefing%20paper31.htm

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[Culture] [ULK Issue 11]
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Thangs-taken

You got a green card?

Back in September, American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier, who's been in prison since 1977, wrote an article responding to his denial for parole entitled, "I am Barak Obama's Political Prisoner now." In it he wrote, "If only the federal government would have respected its own laws, not to mention the treaties that are, under the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, I would never have been convicted nor forced to spend more than half my life in captivity."(1)

In October, in Denver, the birthplace of Kkkolombus Day, activists lead an annual protest of the patriotic parade, which "commemorate(s) the beginnings of America itself." Of this year, they report: "We chanted "Down With Kolumbus Day, Settlers (and Occupiers) Go Away!" To liven up the anti-colonial festivities we brought a piƱata of Uncle Sam. Protesters had whacks at it with a shoe, in honor of Al-Zaidi in Iraq."(2)

As we work to get this issue of Under Lock & Key off to you all in November, amerikans are warming up their kitchens for a cozy Thanksgiving ("Thangs taken" is more accurate) dinner on land stolen from the First Nations, made up of food picked and packaged by exploited Latino migrants, served on dinner plates made by exploited Asians, paid for by stolen wealth from natural resources in the Middle East, while millions of children in Africa starve.


notes:
(1) http://www.counterpunch.org/peltier09112009.html
(2) RAIM Global Digest Issue 6. November 15th, 2009.

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