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[Abuse] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 6]
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Brutality in Pennsylvania

I was recently sent to the suicide observation cell due to a renegade C.O. I've always had problems with telling lies about me being suicidal. After 2 days of telling the proper people I wasn't suicidal, they called for a "cell entry team" to remove me from my cell by saying that I was still a danger to myself as well as others. The "cell entry team" was getting ready to enter my cell without cuffing me first (which is against policy) and I just so happened to look at the officer holding the camera and he mumbles the words "they are gonna fuck you up!." Later I found out that that wasn't a warning at all, that was for me to have knowledge before hand that I was about to have my brains beat in. Upon hearing that message I thought was a warning, I went to the door and looked into the camera and stated, "I am not refusing to come out, I am also willing to comply with being cuffed and moved to another cell without any problems." Once that was done that messed their whole game plan up to try to assault me.

Once I got cuffed I was ordered to get on my knees, to which I complied. Then once the door was buzzed open I was kicked in my back so hard I went face first towards the marble floor. Once they completely entered my cell I had one officer who made his way over top of my head and repeatedly used his knee to assault the back of my head. Once all that was over, instead of putting me in another cell as I was told, they put me in 5 point restraint chair for an unbelievably painful 8 hours. The straps across my upper body were the worst, they were pulled so tight I passed out after about 2 hours and when I woke up my whole eight hours was finished. I had to get medical attention due to cuts and bruises from the straps.

I filed a grievance on it and now I'm waiting for the first response. We all know that even though I have this whole incident on video it's still gonna get shot down by the DOC to try to discourage me from going all the way with it. I'm filing a lawsuit and I will not settle until justice is met.

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[Legal] [Censorship] [Missouri]
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The First Amendment is Disregarded by Prisonkrats

Under the United States Constitution, in particular the First Amendment, is Our fundamental right of freedom of speech, expression, association and religion. This means that people have the right to freely express themselves socially, politically or religiously no matter how radical or backwards the ideas may seem. Everyone has the right to believe what they choose and to freely express those views. At lease that is what the law says.

However, prison administrators across the country have continuously and deliberately violated prisoner's rights based upon the false assumptions that the social, historical and political material that they are receiving is somehow a threat to the prison safety and security.

What this amounts to in reality is the prisonkrats suppressing Our right to associate with, receive mail from, correspond with, possess the literature of, or be part of any group or organization that is political in nature, and especially those groups or organizations which are critical of the prison industrial complex. The last thing the prisonkrats want to see is a bunch of prisoners who are socially and politically conscious and active. They want Us to stay ignorant and in the dark, as We are their job security.

Everyone who is currently incarcerated must learn not only mailroom policy and procedure, but what federal case law supports and protects Our rights. If you aren't doing anything to challenge the repressive/oppressive conditions, then you really have no right to complain. I am encouraging all of you whose rights have been violated to appeal those decisions through the grievance process and to exhaust all of your administrative remedies. Once this is done, you should prepare and file suit under 42 USCA 1983, which is the federal civil rights lawsuit and the proper legal avenue to challenge the system's censorship of your mail.

For those of you in Missouri, I am currently preparing a federal complaint and once filed, you may be able to become a part of this suit if it is "certified" as a class action, meaning that the censorship policy is violating our rights as a class.

I am asking all of you on the outside who support Our right to receive literature and information to write letters to the Director of the Department of Corrections. and the warden here and let them know that you are aware of their illegal activity of violating Our rights and that you support Our right to receive information, correspond with and be members of outside social and political organizations.

For those who are not too abreast of the law, here are some cases that the courts rely on regarding censorship. These are your weapons, use them well.

Turner v. Safely 482 U.S.78. 107 S.Ct 2254
Proconier v. Martinez 416 U.S.396. 94 S.Ct 1800
Thornburgh v. Abbott 490 U.S. 4o1
Johnson v. Raemisch 557 F.Supp 2d 964
Jacklovich v. Simmons 392 F.3d 42o

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Thank you for your support. You can also contact me through MIM for more information. Send letters of support/protest to:

Larry Crawford, Director
Missouri Dept. of Corrections
PO Box 236
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 526-6607

Troy Steele, Warden
Southeast Correctional Center
300 E. Pedro Simmons Dr.
Charleston, MO 63834
(573) 683-4409

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[Spanish] [Texas] [ULK Issue 6]
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Pornografia y su censura

En general la pornografía es censurada en prisiones para mantener el control en las prisiones con el propósito de ejercer poder. La pornografía ciertamente no lleva a ningun problema de seguridad en las prisiones, ni de ningun modo pone en peligro el poder de la estructura. Y todos sabemos que los guardias, tanto como hombres y mujeres, usan la sexualidad para presionar a los prisioneros. En respuesta a nuestro articulo ULK4, sobre este tema, demasiados prisioneros respondieron describiendo muchos casos donde los guardias usan la sexualidad para controlar a los prisioneros. Pero de ninguna manera quiere decir que la pornografía sirve como un proposito progresivo para los prisioneros.

Nosotros nos oponemos a la pornografia porque se trata de re-enforzar la opresión de genero. Pornografía del romance capitalistico donde las condiciones de la cultura hace que las personas tengan relaciones enfermas de genero. De la theoría MIM 2/3 Genero y Revolución Feminista, "Una de las maneras que la sexualidad del hombre es instituida es por medio de la pornografía. Robin Morgan dijo: 'Pornografía es la theoría, violación es la practica.' Pornografía es el medio de justificación sexual y violencia contra la mujer. Su mensaje es 'Una mentira contra la mujer, que vivimos para satisfacer y servir al hombre, y que nuestro placer profundo se encuentra en esclavitud y sobornación..."

También en MT2/3 "Los que apoyan el derecho de pornografía son los que apoyan el derecho para degradar a la mujer y venderlas de tal manera. En otras palabras la pornografía no tiene valor si muestra a la mujer haciendo cosas poderosas, importante, y cosas sin valor. Su valor esta en connección con enseñar a una prostituta lista para ser violada. MCO suguiere que estas personas que apoyan estos derechos son las mismas personas que argumentan que las prisiones muestran tratos humanos y su rehabilitación trabaja."

Aun si la pornografía esta prohibida en prisión, la pornografía seguira estando presente afuera de las prisiones, perpetuando, y re-enforzando la opresión de genero en nuestra sociedad. MIM(Prisiones) se opone a la pornografía en esta sociedad, pero en este momento nos oponemos a la censura que a la pornografía. Ni la pornografía ni la literatura de politica debería ser prohibida por los trabajadores de prisión, que son empleados como armas del estado. Por esta razón estamos dispuestos a unirnos con los que producen pornografía que estan en contra de las censuras en prisiones, mientras nuestro punto sigue firme la pornografía no debería ser protegida por la constitución sobre un dictador de una sociedad baja donde el habla esta protegida para servir los intereses de la mayoría de la gente en este mundo. Estamos peleando en contra de la censura en prisión, no a favor de asegurar la entrada de pornografía en prisión.

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[Censorship] [Florida] [ULK Issue 6]
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More Vibe, King, XXL Subscriptions cancelled

Last night at dinnertime they served what you call "baked chicken" and it had blood running out of it. It had a stink to it. You can catch salmonella this way and it can kill you. The canned greens had sand all in them, the carrots had mud stains on them and the rice was raw. None of these foods were washed or cooked properly. This is done regularly. I've written grievances and complaints to no avail. This is just inhuman, we are human beings not pigs out in a barn.

I canceled my XXL Magazine subscription. My Vibe and King subs should be about up too. They rejected Vibe November 2008 for so-called "gang signs" as well as my first issue of King. I'm sending you the copies of both of the censorship notices so you can contact them for me. I sent grievances (formal and informal) out about my Vibe magazine and never saw a response- it's December now, this is ridiculous.

MIM responds: We have also attempted to contact Harris Publications a number of times regarding racist censorship of their publications, but we have not received a response either. This is just one of an increasing number of reports we are receiving regarding the censorship of these three publications in prisons across the country. So far, they seem unconcerned with the subscription cancellations. We encourage prisoners to change to an Under Lock & Key subscription and support a publication that will stand up for your basic constitutional rights. Even though we offer free subscriptions to prisoners, anyone who can afford to should be contributing to our printing and postage costs. We are a 100% self-funded by comrades in the movement.

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[Theory] [Ohio] [ULK Issue 6]
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Gender Privilege under Capitalism

Gender relations in Amerika are based on the ill effects of the capitalist state. It's a fact (that goes unheard) that the capitalist-materialist drive gives birth to "force", "low morale" and in turn, the "demoralization of life." On a large level, of that of a nation-state, the materialization of the "birth effects" of capitalism is militarism, imperialism, colonialism, oppression, and gender inequality. Plainly put, when one nation-state "rapes" another less developed nation for its labor and natural resources, going unabated by both inside and outside influence, this same train of thought and action is transferred to each individual of the oppressor nation, who not only thinks and acts in an oppressive manner, but fabricates their own level of morality.

This is seen in three "justifiable reasons" to exploit, oppress, and repress "minorities" or any other "weaker class of people". The gender relations aspect in the capitalist system has downgraded the female gender into a commodity. There is an "open market" as well as a more "hidden market" for the female to sell her body. Examples of the open are pornography, institutions of prostitution and the whole media at large. Examples of the hidden are such as when women vie with one another for "the right catch" (a man for marriage) - in which she attempts to sell herself for a higher price than other women, which may be from the inequality of opportunities for women in the work-force versus men in Amerika or other nations. Even in homosexuality - it's "allowed" on television and other media outlets, but, by law, as we witness today, it is not allowed as lawful unions.

As we see, everything and everyone is lowered to a monetary value, negated their freedom of expression and subordinated to the dictates of the ruling capitalist class. For the proletariat we must never take on the perspectives of the oppressor capitalist class. When issues arise, we must research, investigate, and question to come to a conclusion most fit to our class. Hence, MIM sets down the most productive line of thought/action for the oppressed nations and class, viz. the international proletariat.

-Ohio USW comrade

MIM(Prisons) responds: There is a lot of good analysis in this article but we make a point to distinguish class, nation and gender oppression while this comrade puts them all together as if they were interchangeable. There are, no doubt, many aspects of gender oppression that are very tightly intertwined with class and nation. But gender oppression is not just the result of commoditization from capitalism. There are aspects of gender oppression that could continue to exist even after the elimination of class and national oppression if they are not tackled head-on. For instance, much of gender privilege and oppression falls into leisure time activities. It is not just monetary value that determines the oppression of wimmin.

On the flip side, when we talk about how intertwined class, nation and gender are, we would go further than this comrade does in his/her discussion of First World wimmin, to point out that an analysis of gender is incomplete without mention of the relative privilege of First World biological wimmin and men compared to Third World wimmin and men. This is not to say men and wimmin in the First World are equal, but class and nation have so impacted gender oppression as to benefit First World wimmin with gender privilege relative to the rest of the world.

Check out MIM Theory 2/3 on Gender for a more in depth analysis of these issues.

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[Organizing] [Montana] [ULK Issue 7]
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Call for unity among Montana prisoners

I'm writing in support of the Montana prisoner article detailing corrupt medical services and canteen schemes for profit. I've been a prisoner here in the Montana prison system since 2001. Over the years I've seen many changes, most for the worst. The biggest and the one that truly makes me sick, is the total collapse of prisoner unity in our prison system.

There's a scary trend of new prisoners entering here. It's all about submissive cooperation with prison officials. Making deals with the man (snitching, confidential informants) to secure favors from prison administrators (extra privileges, early release). Also a bad case of "Good ol Day" or "Back in the Day" syndrome. Unfortunately most people just talk, bitch or complain. Old timers are not standing up to teach the youngster how to carry himself within the walls.

I agree the medical services/canteen corruption in this system is out of control, but we have no one to blame but ourselves because we allowed the prison to take ultimate control. So now brother, I call unto those with heart to stand up and take back what's ours.

This is not a call of ignorance or senseless violence, but of sound, wise, educated resistance that benefits everyone here. In other words, prisoner unity, not division.

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[Control Units] [Hughes Unit] [Texas]
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Abuse in Texas adseg

I'm a texas prisoner housed in Administrative Segregation on the Hughes Unit in Gatesville, TX. I have undergone severe mistreatment and harassment from numerous officers and supervisors by way of tampering with my food, denial of food, bogus disciplinary cases, and physical assaults. Just recently, in November, I was attacked while handcuffed behind my back and tear gassed by an officer, because I expressed my frustration of having been left inside the shower over an hour. I filed a grievance and all supervisors are aware of this misconduct. But they've only turned a blind eye to this officer's behavior, and condone further abuse by this staff who continue to harass and threaten me. This same staff is part of the same group of staff that has preyed upon me since 2006. And they all wait for any opportunity to catch me off guard.

I recently left this unit for 8 months, and returned with every intention to make things right with the staff, but they only seek my demise and condemnation. And to make me out to be the kind of person that I'm not. Sympathy is not what I seek. But respect is what I demand. Here the other day the same staff that had assaulted me on the 9th was permitted to search my cell for 30 minutes and he wrote down all the names and addresses of my family and relatives living inside the Dallas and Tarrant County areas of Fort Worth, Texas; and threatened to bring harm against them or have it done by someone else. Then he wrote me a disciplinary case in an attempt to hinder my progress.

This same officer already has a documented disciplinary history of abusing other inmates by way of physical assaults, and unlawful use of his chemical agents. But the supervisors continue to fail to take corrective action to curb his misconduct.

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[Education] [Texas]
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Stop being passive and join the fight

As I sit here and watch what the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has done to my fellow man, I can't help but pick up the banner of justice and fight for a just cause.

What I see day in and day out, is a group of men beaten by a system of oppression, with no identity or cause to go on living under the title of "men." Everyone in this system has given up. They are in a state of confusion, with no understanding on what it means to be free. Free from the bonds that the system wants you to be in.

I've noticed that it's not that the system that won't let you educate yourself, they just won't. They are more interested in the idiot box (TV) and being modern day slaves of the system. The average inmate is content with where he is now. The three meals, television and living quarters, a six by nine cinder block cell, is more than some have in the free world. The mentality is that its free food, no bills, and free medications for the taking. It's a pitiful sight.

With thinking like this, the injustice system will never change. Texas is so far behind times that we still don't get good time and work time, but even with this, you are doing 80% of your time. What does it take for everyone to realize we can change this system and break it from the inside out? Without our labor, this system would fold in on itself. Our free labor makes the revenue to run this system. No work, no money.

Anywhere you look and read, the Texas prison system is running at 50 to 60% shortage of officers. As many as they hire, the same amount quit. If no one worked who would replace us and at what cost? They simply couldn't. But Texas doesn't have to worry because the breed of prisoner now is content with oppression. It's a sad sight, but it's the truth.

No one is willing to sacrifice for a better future and your basic human rights. Can't they see we are a force that can't be denied. You don't stop being a man just because you were sentenced to do time. A man will always be a man regardless of the situations he is put in.

It's hard to make them understand. the literature is open for the reading. Education, struggle, sacrifice, and unity is key for success. I'm doing my part to make the movement known. Fear has just been embedded so deep by authority that it eats their whole insides and steals their hope. Without hope, their futures are lost.

All I can say is that, I plead that these brothers (by brothers, I mean all races) open their eyes and stand up against the injustices of the system. If you have a voice, let it be heard and felt. The same fear that the system throws our way, it can be used in return. I hope word goes out to all brothers of the struggle. Educate yourselves to educate others. It is key to further the cause, and stop the injustices of not only our system, but all inustice systems of these united states.

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[Organizing] [Ohio] [ULK Issue 6]
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Organizing a strike in Ohio

I'm an incarcerated comrade in the Maximum Security Prison of Ohio. Currently I'm in a specialized isolation unit on 23 hour lockdown called "4B". At the present moment our cell block is on a hunger strike/activities strike where we have pulled our collective minds and initiative to express our dissatisfaction at the treatment that has been administered by the prison officer of 2nd shift (2pm to 10pm).

Now, this was not organized by me, nor was I involved in the nucleus of organizing and planning this act. But, being bound by my imprisonment, I, as well as every other prisoner on this cell block, are obligated to come together and stand up against the oppressive actions administered by this reactionary, police-system in all its many forms.

What we are striking about is that the second shift officer has repeatedly neglected his duties by not picking up our outgoing mail; he has repeatedly passed mail to the wrong cell/prisoner; he has repeatedly denied to pass out kites, write-ups/informals and other institutional forms of communication (being we're on isolated blocks, these are our only means of communications). This same CO has not taken the meal list for days at a time: since I'm Muslim, I do not eat prison meat, along with other dietary preferences, we have missed meals without a choice in the matter, and this has spurred even more outrage.

This same C/O (officer) has attempted to spark a "race" conflict between the Blacks and whites by saying racial statements and joking trying to cause division. (This prison is far from an urban area where many prison staff are not accustomed to diverse cultures and skin tones. Here, the white supremacist prison gang, the Aryan Brotherhood, is backed by the prison staff.) For the last few days, prisoners on this cell block have put in work; but, these activities are not new to this prison nor to prison in general.

In trying to speak to higher prison officials to unveil our discontent of the actions administered by this officer (which, in reality, is only a representation of the nature of the prison-system, and in turn, the Amerikan system), this battle of ours will not cease, Blacks and whites shall continue to uphold the struggle in the face of the slobbing Pig. Thus far no one has backed down, even in the midst of opposition - which is coming in many forms. For example, a C/O sprayed mace in the ceiling vents which are connected to all the cells on this block. His excuse was that it "came from another cell block."

All in all, my intentions for writing this was to point out the fact that this system of oppression does not comprehend anything less than revolutionary united struggle. They only understand aggression and asserted action (viz the organized power of the proletariat) so long as we do not realize our power through concerted effort the oppressors will continue to win! We must play the game they play! Think about that!

- Ohio USW leader

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[Elections] [National Oppression] [California] [ULK Issue 6]
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Misplaced rejoicing in prisons over Obama victory

A few weeks ago during the presidential election, towards the end of the evening, once it became apparent that Barack Obama would become the heir to the throne of U.S. imperialism an eruption of applause and of hooting and hollering took hold of the dungeon I am housed in. With all of the damn racket going on, I would have thought that the "three strikers" law had finally been defeated, but no, instead the source of all the ruckus was the materialization of an almost unfathomable dream for so many of my Black brothers and sisters, a Black man becoming president of the United States of Oppression. The night's celebrations almost seemed dignified. However, to quote another former member of the ruling class "what does it matter what color the cat is?" "what does it matter if the cat is black or white?" "what matters is if the cat will catch mice." (Deng Xiaoping)

In a way, I welcomed the mighty cheering and truly undue attention, it provided me with yet another opportunity to engage my fellow prisoners. The following morning during morning chow I just happened to sit with three of my Black brothers. During the course of our meal my fellow prisoners were ecstatic with almost an euphoric glow of pride and accomplishment. They went on and on with how "it's on now" and talk of how things were going to be different now that Obama's the new Pres. elect. I asked them what, that besides the obvious (a Black man becoming president), is there really to be happy about? I asked them what would Obama really be doing for them? What would Obama be doing for me? Would Obama be doing something for our families and the people of the U.S. internal colonies? What would Obama be doing for the people of the Third World, the truly oppressed, the people? Absolutely nothing at all. Obama will not open the prisons. Obama will not help me get out. Will Obama help my proletarian mother with free health care, or even affordable health care for that matter? Will Obama pay my mother's rent to the slum lord? Is Obama going to provide me with a free and real education? Will he help me to help myself to better serve the people? Will Obama begin to steer the U.S. away from its decadent, exploitative, capitalist, imperialist, war mongering ways?

No, Obama's not gonna do a motherfucking thing but sit his ass in that Oval Office and continue the U.S. dangerous and destructive quest in its search for capital. So what the hell is everybody so happy about? Now, for a second there I thought my ass was toast being that I'm a Mexican. They might have just looked at me as being racist or that I was simply talking out of my neck. However, to my complete amazement, they did nothing but sit there and think about the words that we're coming out of my mouth. This gave me some semblance of joy, because at the very least, I think I gave them something to think about. However, a few seconds later they continued with their praises for Obama.

Even if I didn't completely get through to them, I think that at least I gave them something to think about, even if they initially rejected what I had to say I will continue to engage my fellow prisoners into deeper thought.

It is truly unfortunate that so many and so much of our potential revolutionary base is so blinded and so distracted by the razzle dazzle and lies of our oppressive system.

For those of us who are somewhat educated and informed concerning the truth about socialism and communism and of the climes of capitalism it is our duty and our obligation to voice the real and engage our fellow prisoners into deeper thought, theory and practice. If the groundwork is never done and the ground is never broken, then how can there be a base for a foundation of a socialist and communist movement? How can there be real change if the system is never changed, only its leaders? For those of us who are convinced that we are 'soldiers' ask yourself, who's soldier are you? Are you some common criminal's soldier? Do you fight and work for greed, power and lust of recognition? Or will you be the People's soldier? Will you fight for the peasantry and the proletariat, the People?

Like MIM likes to say "MIM can't do it all," and reading MIM Notes or Under Lock and Key isn't enough. We must help ourselves and find ways to make things better.

So will you become a true soldier and wave that red banner of revolution? Become the People's soldier, become the vanguard. Away with this oppressive system and all that it entails. Away with capitalism, imperialism and stupid petty divisional differences such as gang rivalries and race riots. It is time for the proletarians of our world to unite. Lay waste to the oppressor and all its minions.

MIM adds: In addition to the questions about what Obama will do for prisoners and oppressed nations within U.$. borders, we have to always ask the bigger question: will he change the militarist imperialist nature of Amerika? If not, even small reforms within U.$. borders will not represent any kind of victory over capitalism and global oppression.

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