The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [Arizona]
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Forsaking all others

Latin Kings vs. Black Gangsters Disciples, Vice Lords vs. Gangster Disciples, Netas vs. Insectos, Crips vs. Bloods, Surenos vs. Nortenos, MS~13 vs Latin Kings, etc. This senseless and endless beef between us who are in rival street organizations does nothing for the revolution. It does nothing to help the oppressed people of the Third World order.

This message I write today is not for the ignorant amongst us but for the true revolutionaries. When it comes to any cause united we stand and divided we fall. This isn't just a cliche. It's as real as it gets.

To be specific, I address this to all the groups within the U.$. that the imperialistic federal troops have labeled "supergangs."

As rivals I realize that there can never be no real truce between enemies (too much blood spilled and riders buried). However this isn't about kissing and making up for I know that bad blood can't turn good. It's also real that this message won't influence those of us who want to continue banging. However for those of us who have metamorphosed into bona fide revolutionaries and want to make a united stand against injustice, let us use all our influence and power to call a cease fire and turn our focus on the real enemy.

"In unity we can bring any evil system to its knees." The divide and conquer tactic of war has been used by opposing forces for centuries. One out of the many of examples used by the Federal Bureau of Instigation (FBI) to divide and conquer stands out in my mind. The one they employed in the 70s when they tried to cause beef between Fred Hampton, a leader of the Black Panther Party in Chi-town and Jeff Forte, the head of the Black Peace Stones in the same town. (Both komrades were strong and had command over mass riders). The Feds attempted this by sending both groups false information about one another. When the plan failed, the pigs simply rushed komrade Fred's apartment and executed komrade Fred and another Panther komrade Mark Clark, and shot at komrade Fred's pregnant fiancee (she lived). Occasionally security employs this tactic within these modern day concentration camps. If we're busy fighting one another it keeps our minds off of the real oppressors.

We need to start moving as one when it comes to the revolution. If you are strong enough to be a revolutionary, this means you're prolific enough to move the masses within your own organization towards the cause of revolution. If you take roll call of the members we have within the largest street organizations within the U.$. we have what? 1/2 a million members? A million? If we ceasefire and move as one towards revolution we will become a force to be reckoned with. With all our different colors and ideologies we can become a united nations of revolution.

The biggest gang in the united $tates is the police. There are 660,000 police officers below federal level - state and local - 659,000 of them to the man has no trust in the FBI and yet when called upon they work together to oppress us. If they can work together in distrust then we can work as one headed in the same direction for the same goal.

When individual people work together for a common purpose there is power available to the group that isn't available to individuals, union is a fundamental basis of power.

Genghis Khan once stated "one tribe is like a single arrow, easily broken. All tribes together we become unbreakable." Even if you are alone within your group when it comes to revolution, you are armed with the knowledge that all it takes is one resolute revolutionary, one disobedient spirit to turn a flock of sheep into a den of lions. You must truthfully ask yourself are you ready if need be to die for the cause? Then you must truthfully answer yourself. This is important because part of the imperialist's false superiority is their unwillingness to die. On our end I'll repeat Andrew Young who said "it's a blessing to die for a cause, because you can so easily die for nothing."

Once we get started they can't kill a cause. Fighting for a cause is everything, simply believing in a cause is not enough.

I read a lot of articles written to MIM by my fellow komrades in chains that basically add up to "po po whupped my ass" or "these CO pawns/administration are dogging us", what I don't read in those same articles is what did you do or are you going to do or are doing about it? Because if an act of action is not in your makeup and character then that's when you voicing your grievance to MIM is a futile whine.

Fidel Castro once said "a revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past." As I strip down daily and look in the mirror I take notice of the many scars handed down to me by correctional goon squads from my numerous battles with them for standing against their tyranny.

I remember the few komrades who stood side by side with me against the OAK clubs, mace, tasers, etc. And went to the hospital with me after they tortured us for fighting them. There was never enough of us. We were always the minority. We still are the chosen few. Thus I reach out to all street organizations under the banner of revolution. This is a call to arms forsaking all others. Let men and women of courage fall in and under this banner.

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[Environmentalism] [ULK Issue 12]
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Climate Reparations? You and what army?

Imperialism crushes the planet

From December 7 through 18, 2009, the UN-sponsored 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. COP15 was a gathering where world powers came together to discuss the impending doom of climate change and what they will, or won't, do about it. This series of semi-annual COP talks began officially in November 1994, and in 1997 the group adopted a document called the Kyoto Protocol, which is a supposedly legally binding agreement that targets an average reduction of 5.2% from 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) by the year 2012. In 2009, the u.$. offered to lower GGEs by 4% of 1990 levels, while the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wants developed countries to curb emissions by 25-40% of 1990 levels.(1) The u.$. is the only imperialist country in the world that hasn't signed the Kyoto Protocol, while other imperialist countries have officially agreed to the document, but have not obeyed it, such as klanada who raised their GGEs by 26%(2).

According to the Kyoto Protocol, the primary way the polluters of the world are supposed to reduce their GGEs is through emissions trading, what is also called "cap and trade." Based on their current pollution levels, governments grant a certain amount of permission to companies to pollute, the "cap," in the form of emission reduction credits. Companies that want to pollute more than the amount of credits they have can buy them from companies who don't max out their own. Hypothetically, companies who pollute more are paying the price, and companies who pollute less are benefiting. In reality, there are so many loopholes in the "cap and trade" that a 15% reduction of GGEs on paper can actually equate to a 10% increase.(3) Before the Kyoto Protocol, global GGEs went up 1.5% per year. After the Kyoto Protocol, they went up 3% per year.(4) The only reason this backwards strategy is even on the table is because of attempts to submit to those who worship the capitalist market as a god that can solve all problems.

The system of carbon emissions trading is also limited by focusing on one form of pollution only. There is an incorrect assumption here that everyone has equal access to polluting and suffer from pollution equally. As many parties at COP15 pointed out, whole nations face extinction due to climate change they didn't contribute to creating. Twenty percent of the world population have emitted more than 2/3 of emissions, and caused more than 90% of the increase in temperatures.(5) Plus, pollution from factories doesn't just contaminate the air with greenhouse gases, it contaminates drinking water and soil and has more local affects on the atmosphere as well, as evidenced by increased occurrences of asthma. So companies who are higher-polluting and are on the buying end of the emission reduction credits scheme create "hot spots" with lots of pollution of all kinds. These "hot spots" have been largely exported to the Third World where production for the exploiter nations is now centered. Even in the united $tates it is disproportionately ghettos and reservations that are ravaged by environmental pollution.

In 2009 a new document came out of the COP talks, called the Copenhagen Accord. It was crafted by the u.$. in negotiation with other imperialist consumer nations and some major neo-colonial producer nations.(6) The Copenhagen Accord is pathetic in that it's not legally binding and is basically an outline of some generic judgments on climate change (essentially, "it's bad"), and a simple form where countries write in their emission goals for each other to examine. The u.$. is trying to legitimize the existence of the Accord by obtaining as many signatures on it as possible. Hillary Clinton's tactic to accomplish this goal is to withhold aid from countries who do not sign. Yet, the aid proposed, not even guaranteed, is just $100 billion from all developed countries combined. To compare, President Evo Morales of Bolivia released a document requesting developed countries pay a minimum of 1% of their annual GDP into a UN fund for underdeveloped countries.(5) For the u.$. alone, this would be a $144 billion annual contribution according to its 2008 GDP.(7)

Another solution being pushed at COP15, presented by the climate negotiator Miguel Lovera of Paraguay, is for more countries to give money to REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). REDD is an international fund to pay poor nations for saving or replanting forests instead of cutting them down for timber or cash crops. Obama called REDD "cost effective" because instead of reducing u.$. emissions, they can buy their way out of public pressure by giving money to REDD. Yet, REDD is just a formula to give money to people who already have money, who can afford to clear cut a forest in the first place. In the words of Camila Moreno of Friends of the Earth in Brazil,

REDD is a mechanism designed to avoid deforestation but we know, and they say, indigenous people do not deforest because their life depends on the forest and they live with the forest. So the whole point is that REDD is designed [for] the guy that has the chainsaw, or the money to buy the chainsaw, or the big bulldozers and can say "Okay, I'm going to do this. How much you pay for me not doing?" (8)

The Copenhagen Accord and REDD are the two major deals that were discussed in the mainstream "left" press regarding COP15. Both serve the economic interests of the oppressor nations, and neither will significantly affect climate change.

Many speakers correctly recognized capitalism as the main cause of climate change, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accurately noted that to have true environmental protection, we need to go from a capitalist economy to a socialist economy. In oppressed nations where pollution is dumped and forests are destroyed, if the polluters are pushed out by national liberation struggles, eventually they will run out of places to pollute. Therefore environmentalists must build and support national liberation struggles in an internationalist effort to reduce greenhouse gases and defend natural resources of the oppressed.

Environmentalism as Mysticism

Many of the speakers and representatives at COP15 were referring to an inherent responsibility of humyns to protect "Mother Earth." As materialists, we know that all ideas and moralities are created by humyns, and MIM(Prisons) does not believe in or support mysticism. On the other hand, we are communists, and believe in ending power of people over people. So then, what is revolutionary environmentalism? To further explain, we will quote from page 32 of MIM Theory 12: Environment Society Revolution:

It is no more wrong for a human to dig up something useful from the earth than it is for a meteorite to strike a planet somewhere in space. The moral question is the question of human relations first. The idea that it is wrong to exploit, oppress and kill a human being is a human idea, and like all human ideas it occurs only on the basis of class and gender relations. From the oppression and exploitation of some humans by other humans, the oppressed and exploited have developed a morality that condemns this, and we develop a practice to end it... [W]e do not at present believe there is a basis for calling the "destruction" of the Earth as a planet itself immoral, apart from its relation to humanity and, possibly, other life.

Tuvalu is a small island nation in the Pacific ocean about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Along with most other islands and many coastal areas, it will be submerged under water by the end of the century if the global temperature exceeds a 1.5 degrees Celcius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, rise above pre-industrial temperatures. "Genocide" is defined by the United Nations as "the acts that lead to the disappearance of a people" and the u.$. plays a direct and leading role in this oppression. It is not so much the island of Tuvalu itself, as the Tuvaluan people whom we need to advocate for on this issue.

Reparations & Refugees

Although the official deal that came out of COP15 is a commitment to more of the same from the imperialist countries, the event was unique in that it was the first time that much of the Third World united demanding reparations, and the imperialists had to directly say "no" to these demands. The G77 is a group of over 130 underdeveloped countries, and was the largest united front to enter the talks. Although the G77 didn't ask for direct payment from imperialist nations, they called for a 60% reduction of current GGEs of the imperialist countries by 2020.(8) With a limit on global carbon emissions, such a reduction grants more "atmospheric space" for exploited countries to utilize to meet their own people's needs.

On the topic of direct transfer of wealth as reparations, the UN estimates that it will take at least $500 or $600 billion per year for underdeveloped countries to sustain their people without the development of outdated and heavy polluting industries. This number is backed by another study that came out of London. Even surpassing Evo Morales' call for 1%, Martin Khor, executive director of South Centre think tank, estimates that it will require at least 2% of the GNP from rich countries, which totals about $800 billion per year.(5) Stemming from our understanding of exploitation and the transfer of wealth from the Third World to the First World, we support the demand for reparations in all forms.

However, the united $tates has explicitly stated that they will not pay their dues. As u.$. climate negotiator Todd Stearn clumsily explained,

We fully recognize that our historic role in putting emissions up in the atmosphere and we also fully recognize our responsibility to be part of an overall global effort to help poorer countries, both with the regard to the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change and the need to help them develop on a sustainable path, which at this point in our collective history means low-carbon path. Reparations to me conveys of culpability, guilt, that kind of thing. And I don't think that's a legitimate way to look at it. (9)

Aside from the problem we have with Stearn's attempt to lump the rest of the world into amerikkka's "collective history" of exploitation and genocide, we ask, what the hell is "responsiblity" and "recognition of a historic role" if it isn't also an admission of guilt? We know we will never get a logical answer to this question, so instead we ask the Third World and revolutionaries everywhere, how will the u.$. pay for its past and continued contribution to climate genocide?

To show exactly how the imperialist settler nations see the rights of First Nations peoples to land and liberty, and by extension of all oppressed nations to the same, we will quote from part of a speech that Naomi Klein gave at COP15. Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. This anecdote tells about when she accompanied First Nations representatives to discuss klanada's debt to them with a credit rating agency called Moody's:

I was with the very powerful First Nations spokesperson for the Haida, named Gujao, and Arthur Manuel, who is a former chief for the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation in British Columbia. And Arthur had decided that one way to get Canada to acknowledge the debts that it owed to First Nations people was to meet with the credit agencies that give Canada its triple-A credit rating, which is the highest possible credit rating, and explain to Moody’s that actually Canada carries a huge unpaid debt in the form of the lands that it stole, without treaties, from First Nations peoples.

...[A]rthur and Gujao presented all the documents, the writs, the legal rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada, that proved their case that this land was stolen and that they were owed billions in unpaid debts. And they said, “Canada is not a great place to do investment, because what if we called in these debts?” And it was very interesting, because the guy from Moody’s nodded, and he said, “You’re right. We’ve been following these court rulings, but we have decided that you are not going to collect on these debts. So it is not affecting our credit rating.”

And that’s a very important thing for us to remember, because debt is political. Right? You can make your argument. And when we make these arguments, frankly, no one even bothers arguing with us, because it’s so obvious. The science is there. The legal treaties are there. But really what they’re saying is, “You and what army? How are you going to get this money out of us? You are not powerful enough to get the money out of us.” (2)

It is historically proven that any serious measures taken to acquire adequate repayment for destruction caused by imperialism, or even efforts to protect what few forests we have left, will be met with guns.(10) They are even willing to kill their own: in 2005 an amerikan-born nun was murdered by land grabbers who were connected with endangered hardwood trade with the u.$, Europe, and Asia.(11) Some groups have already recognized the need for armed resistance to protect their livelihoods, such as indigenous peoples in the Amazon who protect their forests with spears, and those in Kenya who use guns.(12, 13) The Communist Party of China proved through their liberation struggle the tactics necessary to win warfare against an enemy who has more numerous and powerful weapons. To catalyze the process, we encourage them to study the CPC's military guerilla theories and practices.

In addition to demanding reparations, some speakers are calling for an opening of borders, and permission for people who are refugees due to climate change to be allowed to relocate to territories that are less affected. It is yet to be seen if the imperialist countries will fulfill this request, but considering the fat wall that's being built through Aztlán, and how the wars in Darfur are portrayed as religious wars in the u.$. media, when in fact they are due to fighting over water shortages because of climate change, we doubt they will take a progressive stance on the issue.

Amerikan Consumerism

While a majority of amerikans accept that global climate change is something that is occurring due to humyn activity, and most think the government should do something, with recession looming the majority said economic growth should be given priority over the environment. The Gallup Poll from March 2009 was the first time that amerikans favored economic growth over the environment in 15 surveys asking this question dating back to 1984. The trend showed a general decline in environmental popularity leading up to the final victory of economics this year.(14)

It is a simple fact that justice and amerikan consumption levels are mutually exclusive. To have justice everyone would have access to such consumption, which would require 6 Earths worth of resources. A decrease in consumption is a major fear of the capitalists right now as they struggle to keep financial markets from crashing, so TV personas have begun crying about the Third World trying to destroy the amerikan standard of living. While the desirability of amerikan lifestyles is a question of subjectivity, the need for its elimination is objective based on the question of climate change alone. For decades, imperialist overproduction has been backed by such overconsumption. In contrast, a socialist economy does not require overconsumption and does not face periodic crisis leading to humyn suffering.

As one example of this overconsumption, The New York Times reports that on average, amerikans consume eight ounces of meat per day, which is twice the global average.(15) At least eighteen percent of GGEs are associated with the livestock cycle, and at COP15 Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, advocated that if we stop eating meat once per week, it will reduce GGEs by 3, 4, or even 5%.(8) This is just one example of how amerikan lifestyles will necessarily change under the Socialist Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Meat will be rationed, and cars will (largely, if not completely) be replaced by public transportation and bicycles. While this may not sound like the ideal lifestyle for some, it is even more true that amerikans stand to lose life, not just luxury, by postponing the replacing of their culture with an ecologically sustainable one. On an individual level, MIM(Prisons) is opposed to lifestyle politics as a replacement for revolutionary work. Not only are the consumer nations unwilling to follow suit on a large scale, but the system of capitalism depends on ever-increasing production that must also be profitable. Organizing large scale
changes in culture and consumption patterns will require a system that puts humyn survival over profits and such changes will not be accepted voluntarily by the First World before it's too late.

notes:
(1) Democracy Now! 8 December 2009 http://democracynow.org
(2) DN! 11 December 2009
(3) "How to Cure the Copenhagen Hangover" by Links http://links.org.au/node/1426
(4) DN! 22 December 2009
(5) DN! 9 December 2009
(6) "5 common mistakes in the coverage of the Copenhagen Accord" http://www.grist.org/article/2009-12-22-5-fallacies-in-the-coverage-of-the-copenhagen-accord/
(7) Wikipedia page for "United States" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States
(8) DN! 18 December 2009
(9) DN! 16 December 2009
(10) "Peruvian police fire on unarmed indigenous tribes' oil and gas protest" http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/05/amazon-tribes-police-protest-deaths
(11) "Farming the Amazon" http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/last-of-amazon.html
(12) "The real Avatar story: indigenous people fight to save their forest homes from corporate exploitation" Amazon Rainforest News http://www.amazonrainforestnews.com/2009/12/real-avatar-story-indigenous-people.html
(13) "Arm Sengwer Indigenous Peoples with guns to guard their lives and property" https://www.fpcn-global.org/node/118
(14) http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm
(15) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html

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[National Oppression] [Pennsylvania]
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Suspicion of all Latinos

Today I write with extreme distress. I am sick of these racist pigs tyranny. On December 24, 2009 I received an order from the third circuit court of appeals stating that I have been denied relief from my wrongful first degree murder conviction and consequent life plus 7 to 20 plus 20 to 40 consecutive sentences, and that I only had 14 days to file a petition for an en banc rehearing. Due to the xmas holidays I had to wait until the 29th to go to the law library to do my research for the petition. While in the law library reading a federal rules of court book I was greeted by five hispanics that were also working on their street cases on the same table I was sitting in. Now in my legal folder I have the only two ULKs I've received in a while, which I gave to one of the hispanics on my table to read and pass on.

However there was a Sherlock Holmes wanna be CO who is an official KKK member who hit the panic button when he seen five hispanics educating themselves and they locked us all in the hole under so called investigation stating that I was possibly holding a Latin King meeting. Now on my DC-141-other report it states inmates are under investigation for a possible violation of institutional rules and will be held on AC status until the investigation is complete.

However, I was placed on a disciplinary cell without any of my legal work let alone property of any sort, no heat, no pen, paper, etc. Not even toothpaste. This was on Dec 29, 2009. Today is, I believe Jan 10, 2010, I could not have filed any paperwork because they do not hand out any supplies, I managed to get this pen because I fished it from under the cell door.

I have no idea what these pigs are doing with my property. Now I ask of you at MIM to assist me on succeeding in a 42 USC 1983 suit because the conditions I am under are meant to sabotage all my litigation efforts.

MIM(Prisons) responds: A good sign of whether you are a threat to the system is whether you are allowed to organize in your own interests. Union organizers in the united $tates are not put in isolation cells, Latinos with anti-imperialist literature, or even just legal books are.

With our limited resources we provide support to the legal efforts of our comrades that best target strategic battles that will benefit the most people. To be a part of the legal strategizing process write in to join our Jailhouse Lawyers group.

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[Medical Care] [Gender] [New York] [ULK Issue 12]
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Gynecology: legacy of gender oppression

Medical Apartheid

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
by Harriet A. Washington
Doubleday Press, 2007.

I would like to contribute to ULK by adding to every issue a book of the month club to bring consciousness to those already down with MIM. My first book is called Medical Apartheid. It is about J. Marion Sims, a doctor (mad man), who operated on Afrikan wimmin here in the u.$. without anesthesia. He used at least 9 people to hold these sisters down against their will while he took out their ovaries. This caused a medical condition known as Vaginal Fistula, and earned him the moniker of "the father of gynecology."

The people who benefited from his experiments are none other than Caucasian women at that time. Caucasian women make up most of what MIM calls the gender aristocracy. While the patriarchy represents male power over the oppressed female gender, the gender aristocracy are those who support the patriarchy because they benefit from it despite their biological sex.

There is a statue of Sims erected in Central Park honoring his inhumane acts. Those of us living in NYC need to explain the true her-story of what he did to our children who may visit this statue on a field trip. We need to teach them her-story from the perspective of the real gender oppressed, not those who pose as "feminists" and attack the oppressed peoples.

It is important that our people become enlightened about this practice, which was just one example in this book of what we had to endure just for being Afrikan in the united $tates. From the times of slavery to examples in the 1990s, Afrikans have been used as guinea pigs and targeted for racist experiments. It is the gender oppressed who are especially targeted: wimmin, children and prisoners.

The author discusses "iatrophobia," which is the continued fear of doctors that Afrikan people experience under patriarchal imperialism. This fear is based in real life experience, but it also contributes to decreasing our access to needed medical care.

This book is very sad and will open a floodgate of tears for its readers. Hopefully through promoting books like this we can reach our brothers and sisters who wear blue, red, black and gold to stop thinking white!

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[Middle East] [ULK Issue 12]
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U.S. bombing of Yemen brings attack on Amerika

December 17, 2009 - U.$. President Obama orders u.$. military strike in Yemen killing as many as 120 people, most of whom were civilians including at least a couple dozen children.(1)

December 25, 2009 - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is alleged to have attempted to ignite explosives on a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit. The explosives failed to ignite.

December 28, 2009 - Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claims responsibility for the attempted attack by Abdulmutallab as a response to u.$. attacks on Yemen earlier that month.(2)

January 7, 2010 - Obama gives a report citing multiple failures in u.$. intelligence related to the attempted bombing. Politicians express outrage that such a thing was allowed to happen.

Regardless of what facts may still come to light in this case, Obama would have to be completely racist to believe that the oppressed nations are incapable of organizing counterattacks to the slaughter he has ordered across the Middle East.

There are billions of humyn beings in this world whose lives are threatened by the united $tates. The idea that amerikan intelligence can track them all and prevent every attempted attack as the u.$. makes thousands of new enemies every day is nothing but wishful thinking.

While Obama has called for better organization and coordination between u.$. intelligence agents, other politicians have promoted the plan to spend over $1 billion on new technology, including body scanners that can see through clothes. Former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff was making the TV rounds promoting the products that he stands to profit from as a private consultant.(3)

The amerikan politicians have made it clear that they are not outraged that amerikan lives were threatened, but rather that the oppressed would dare threaten white supremacy. There is an easy way to prevent attacks like this recent attempt - keep the u.$. military and its proxies out of Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and everywhere else the imperialists are attempting to murder people to keep wealth accumulating in the metropolis.

Al-Qaeda cells have been consistent in their demands since before 9/11/2001 for the u.$. military to get out of the Middle East. So far, amerikans have proven more interested in increasing sales of defense technology and imposing oppressive regimes on other countries than stopping attacks on u.$. soil. (4)

notes:
(1) http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
(2) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8433151.stm
(3) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/31/AR2009123102821.html
(4) Amerika has learned nothing from September 11th. Read what MIM wrote on that day in 2001

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Mail and Other Policy Violations by Prison Staff

The current problem that we prisoners here in CCI Tehachapi are facing at the moment is that our captors are ignoring and deliberately going against the same Title 15 Rules and Regulations manual that they expect us, the prison population to abide by.

Our captors are in violation of these Rules and Regulations by not delivering or issuing out our property, packages, newspapers, periodicals, magazines, and books as stated in Title 15 rules and Regulations section 3134 General Mail Regulations. "Inspection of ingoing mail and outgoing packages will occur as follows: (4) Delivery by staff of packages, special purchase, and all publications shall be completed as soon as possible but not later than 15 calendar days, except during holiday seasons such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, and during lockdown of affected inmates."

In consequence to our captors unwillingness to abide by their own Title 15 Rules and Regulations manual, they've now created an oppressive environment for new arrivals to this institution by placing them in a cell for long periods of time (sometimes nearly up to three months) without their property, which includes their appliances and reading materials.

Other ways our captors violate our rights is by not honoring the following:

Title 15:
Section 3060: "Institution will provide the means for all inmates to keep themselves and their living quarters clean and practice good health habits."

Section 3061: "Inmates must keep themselves clean, and practice those health habits essential to the maintenance of physical and mental well being." Note, we can't because we only get one small bar or soap per week for both our body and laundry.

Section 3095: "A newly arrived inmate may within 30 days of arrival submit CDC form 184, canteen draw order for any scheduled draw."

Section 3031: "Each inmate shall maintain issued clothing and linen as neat and clean as conditions permit. Weekly laundry exchange shall be provided on a one-per-one basis."

I as well as other prisoners here with me, find ourselves under these oppressive circumstances. We have sent in numerous request slips for our property, packages, and books, but to this date they have all gone unanswered.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Just Imagine


Imagine a world where time stands still
where nothing you do is of your own free will
Stripped of your freedom, your hopes, and your pride,
Surrounded by strangers with no place to hide.
Imagine a place where you're told what to wear,
A place where no one is allowed to grow hair,
You are told each day you're not to talk
And where you can and cannot walk.
A world where you sleep, surrounded by hate,
where all you can do is just sit and wait.

Imagine a world where you have no choice,
where you can't even think because of the noise.
A world where you work but get no pay, and,
made to feel worthless each and every day.
A world where days crawl like a snail,
where all you have hope for is a piece of mail,
A world where you have to eat real quick,
Does this sound like a world that would make you sick?
Imagine a world surrounded by wire.
Able to walk from this place free is your greatest desire,
A world like this is hard to conceive.
Yet here I am, and, cannot leave.

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[Organizing] [ULK Issue 13]
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Radio Silence

The only strategy left for us revolutionaries to use who are still hemmed up within these U.$. luxury concentration camps is 'silence.' Silence is a weapon. As revolutionaries and freedom fighters we need to master the vocabulary of silence.

A worldwide tactic for naval warfare is 'radio silence' especially amongst submarines. When radio silence is initiated, the entire submarine goes silent. Thus the enemy doesn't know where this submarine is at, what its commander is planning next, etc. What do you suppose would happen if every prisoner incarcerated within every prison in Amerikkka stopped talking and refused to talk all at once and at the same time? The eerie silence would oppress the oppressor's pawns (prison guards), it would surely cause panic amongst their ranks.

Unfortunately, for every true revolutionary reading this letter, you must be already aware that the character of players within the game done change. Most 'inmates' confined within the U.$. prison system these days have diarrhea of the mouth. Their tongues wag constantly. Hell it almost seems that some of these 'inmates' tongues wake up before their bodies do in the morning. U.$. prison yards are the gossip centers of amerikkka.

There's a hustler's story that I will use as an analogy in this situation. There was once two pimps just hanging out watching their ladies of the night work the strip. As a couple of their ladies walked by them joking and laughing out loud, one pimp turned to the other and said to him, "You hear that? That's music to my ears." The other pimp asked him "Why's that?" The pimp answered, "Because as long as them hos are laughing and joking they're blind to what their lives really consist of."

In a prison guard's case, an inmate's laughter, joking and constant talking is music to their ears. As a population this would make inmates the Hos. Now to go and move the masses into radio silence, this is what we're up against: hustlers whose only concern is the dollar; users who's only concern, and god, is the dope; cowards; haters; countless informants; and those infected by the Stockholm syndrome. Those are the cold hard facts.

Yet, one resolute revolutionary, one disobedient spirit can turn a flock of sheep into a den of lions. Thus we can commence this revolution of silence against all odds with the knowledge that when individual peoples work together for a common purpose there's power available to the group that isn't available to individuals. We can vanguard this move of silence with the wisdom that union is a fundamental basis of power.

That the unity of a people could bring any corrupt evil system to its knees. Let us as a revolutionary people go on a talking strike. This will for sure shake up the system. Silence makes people uncomfortable. It is psychological warfare. Psychologists employ this tactic when with their patients, as interrogators do with people they're questioning. How many people would still be free if they had just adhered to their Miranda rights, "You have the right to remain silent"? Even the good book of proverbs says "In the multitude of words is foolishness."

The choice is of course yours komrades. However let it not be said of a true revolutionary that we came through a system or life itself without leaving an imprint. The time of talk and half measures are over, it's time for action. Enough said. Go silent.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade brings up an interesting tactic that has been used before. What makes it superior to some other sorts of strikes is that it is harder for the pigs to charge someone with some kind of rule violation for not talking. Of course, Malcolm X spent weeks in the hole for refusing to say his number when he first got to prison. And ultimately they often have the power to punish at will, regardless of the rules.

However, generic calls such as these have limited application. We print this as a discussion of possible tactics, but we cannot just throw ideas out on the wind and hope they catch on. We can never execute an effective strike without on-the-ground organizing. Only as part of an organization can we impose limits on those who wish to oppress us, as this comrade acknowledges.

One last criticism, this proposal is not very clear of its scope of application. To promote silence as a strategy would be suicidal for our movement, because our biggest battle is to spread information and organization. Now, thinking before we speak is a whole other story. A true revolutionary must speak and act in ways that fit in with h overall strategy for creating change. A childish culture of talking shit is a product of the lack of education and consciousness among the oppressed. So, to promote a code of conduct that involves only saying things that fit within our political goals, and knowing what to say when and to whom can only come after a thorough education of the population. There is much work for those isolated revolutionaries out there to do before attempting any type of strike or mass action.

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[Gender] [Abuse] [Florida]
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Gay man targetted for rape

I have been sexually assaulted 11 times in the last 24 months of incarceration in the state of Florida. My cries for help and justice have been ignored, shuffled around to 7 locations in the last 6 months, made to face the grim reality of assaultive sexual behaviors at each new facility with no regard for my welfare. I have been assaulted in the Sarasota, Florida county Jail by a prisoner and a Sheriff's Deputy. Since arriving in the Florida Department of Corrections, I have been subjected to assorted sexual misconduct and rape at all locations I've entered (but one), having been assaulted while in what was supposed to be protective custody at one facility and most recently sodomized on a transport bus between facilities. My criminal case, causing me to bare these violations of my civil rights, is a travesty of justice, filled with bias, prejudice, undue influence, conflict of interest, all corrupting the sentencing outcome.

I am actually a San Francisco resident and openly gay man who unfortunately finds himself incarcerated in the State of Florida due to an automobile accident I was involved in (not caused) with a drunk driver, while here in the state comforting my 2 sons in the abrupt loss of their young mother (my ex-wife) from cancer. As a first time, non-violent, felony offender, never having been in jail or prison before, I have been made to endure horrors and tortures due to my sexual identity that can only be compared to those experienced by victims of the concentration camps era.

During my 24 months of incarceration in an especially non-gay-friendly state like Florida, I have been brutally and repeatedly sexually assaulted through rape, sodomy, harassed, threatened with physical harm, tortured, tormented and victimized by prisoners and law enforcement staff alike. I have been extorted in the amount of $500 paid to another prisoner's attorney fees for protection which never came. I have been made to clean up prisoner feces left in front of my cell door and in the shower prior to my entry as acts of harassment and persecution for my sexual identity. I have often times, while in county jail, been taken to a secluded locked interrogation room, where I was left handcuffed to a desk for up to 5 hours for no apparent reason other than torture, as I have had no disciplinary issues. On one such occasion after a lengthy stay in this room, an officer finally came to escort me back to my cell, before doing so he stripped me naked while still handcuffed to the desk, then proceeded to "pat me down," fondling my torso, buttocks, cavity searched and penetrated me with his fingers, before removing me from the room. These actions seemed for no other reason than my humiliation and his amusement. While these aforementioned abuses happened in Sarasota Florida County Jail, similar instances continue to persist, as were predicted would happen and used as reasoning for downward departure in court, but were ignored, and unacknowledged by presiding judge Charles Roberts.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This is just a small sample of the incidents this prisoner reported to us in a recent letter. In an in depth article on rape and gender in prisons, we did not address the role of sexual preference in rape and sexual assault. This was largely because the information analyzed did not discuss sexual preferences. But stories like this demonstrate clearly how homophobia can play into gender oppression. While the majority of sexual assaults in prisons are male on male, those who are identified as feminine or "faggots" are targeted for homosexual assault by macho guards and prisoners. This is just one more example of vulnerabilities that determine who is victimized, such as age, size and health status, including mental health.

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[Medical Care] [ULK Issue 12]
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Health Care Universe Excludes Most People

Stop Medical Oppression in Prisons
There has been a lot of talk about "health care reform" in the u.$. this year. Like other government-led reforms, there is no progressive side to this debate. It is between the wealthy libertarian individualists who want to retain the power to pay lots of money for highly specialized care on demand, and wealthy labor aristocracy activists who want to make sure the wealth of health care is shared out among Amerikan citizens. Neither side represents the interests of the world's oppressed. When they talk about "Universal Coverage" they are never talking about more than 15% of the world's population.

As we approach the end, the anti-climatic outcome of all the hyped media and political hoopla supports the theory that it was nothing but a distraction. This is a much safer debate than what would come out of discussions of Obama's expanding war on the Middle East and Central Asia. But we will indulge this topic for an issue of Under Lock & Key because we think our comrades have some interesting things to say about health care that is being left out of the amerikan dialogue, particularly in relation to the disproportionately incarcerated nations.

The connection between wealth and health

Under imperialism, the wealthier a country is the better health care the population can expect to receive, which results in a healthier population (measured by things like life expectancy and lower rates of key mortality indicators for children and for some common diseases). This is not just based on individual wealth, or ability to pay, but on national wealth that is accumulated by those that exploit other nations. Infrastructure such as water sanitation, hospitals and medical schools are all concentrated in the First World. This is a material benefit of imperialism that is not directly about income.

Wealth also brings its own health problems in imperialist countries. Where people are "free" to eat at McDonalds and KFC whenever they want, and where it is actually cheaper to eat this food than to buy fresh vegetables, obesity and related diseases are a growing health problem, a problem poor countries can only dream about. Wealthy countries have the money to solve these and other health problems, but capitalism perpetuates illogical systems like subsidies for the Amerikan corn industry which let Amerikans buy unhealthy foods for less than they cost to produce. For this reason, overall health is something that all people can expect to improve under socialism, including the labor aristocracy and imperialist oppressor classes. Capitalism is inherently inefficient at meeting humyn need, even in the rich countries.

Amerikan individualism bad for Amerikan health

Despite spending the most on health care of all countries in the world (both overall and directly out of pocket), compared with other First World countries, the u.$. has one of the lowest percentages of its population covered by health care and has some of the worst health indicators when compared to those same wealthy countries.(1) The u.$. doesn't even make it in the top 40 countries for life expectancy. In the u.$. the health gap between rich and poor is far wider than most other First World countries.(2,3) And overall Amerikans live shorter lives than people in every western European and Nordic country except Denmark.(4) These numbers are all skewed by oppressed nation populations in prisons, ghettos, barrios and reservations where health care statistics are often comparable to the Third World. An example of this is the 50 year life-expectancy gap between Asian males and Black males in the u.$.(4) Other examples are in the reports from behind bars accompanying this issue of Under Lock & Key (ULK12 - January 2009).

Countries that provide health care have higher taxes than the u.$., but they also have no persynal medical bills, and generally have overall better health than the u.$. That Amerikans believe that the proposed "universal" medical coverage in this country would be a bad thing for Amerikan citizens is a wonder of political pundits and advertising. Individualism in Amerika is a disease that leads people to value extending the life of an 80-year-old man with terminal cancer for an extra month over preventing the deaths of 100 people from diabetes and cardiac conditions.

The way countries generally fund health care for all their citizens is through taxes. The same way most countries, including the united $tates, provide education, fire, road, sanitation, and other basic infrastructure services. This is most certainly not socialism. It is just capitalism taking care of its own citizens to the extent necessary to perpetuate capitalism. In First World countries this is a pretty high standard of living; in Third World countries this is often barely enough to sustain a workforce.

In the health care debate within Amerika there has been some confusing rhetoric about what will cost the government and the people of this country more money. In terms of keeping its well-off citizens happy for a price the imperialists can afford, ignoring Amerikan single-minded individualism and forcing through some sort of "universal" health care plan is probably in the best interests of this country. However, universal coverage for Amerikan citizens is basically off the table as an option, thanks in no small part to very heavy lobbying and financial contributions from the Amerikan health care industry. By the end of September almost $300 million was spent by health care industry lobbyists.(5)

The failures of the health care system in imperialist Amerika serve as a good example of why capitalist individualism is an impediment to the health and welfare of even its own citizens. But we communists are not interested in reforming health care in imperialist countries to better serve imperialist citizens, because there is no significant net improvement in humyn health to be had in that struggle.

Saving millions of lives through changes in health care is easy; it is only those who benefit from those deaths that stand in the way. Just like every other debate over taxes, Amerikans are fighting over how to spend the superprofits stolen from the death and suffering of the Third World. Real health care improvements cannot occur in the exploited nations until they have liberated themselves from the imperialist economy that enforces this relationship.

The myth of universal health care

For the oppressed people of the world there is no such thing as universal health care. The life expectancy of the oppressed is alarmingly lower than wealthy First World citizens. In early 2009, the World Bank estimated that 11 million children die each year from lack of health care, sanitation, food and clean water.(6) These are the most basic of health care needs.

Relatively cheap solutions to common problems could prevent far more deaths and suffering than any of the proposals for reshuffling superprofits in the united $tates. By dealing with these simple but massive problems first we would vastly increase our healthy population, which could better address the more complicated health care problems others face. But such an approach would require a system that serves humyn need. Not even a system that serves the need of every persyn in the elite 15% (i.e. all Amerikans) can unleash such powerful forces.

The premature deaths and chronic illnesses of Third World people are a direct result of imperialist occupation and exploitation, serving as a tool of population control, both in numbers and in ability to take effective anti-imperialist action. Amerika sends billions of dollars in "aid" to foreign countries, and just a small fraction of this could provide clean water and sanitation and prevent rampant and debilitating diseases that exist only in Third World countries. The 1.5 million children who die each year from diarrhea could be saved with clean water and sanitation and cheap medical supplies, and 2 million who die from pneumonia need only existing vaccines and inexpensive antibiotics.(7) The Amerikan government rushes to send military aid and troops to ensure access to oil and stable pro-imperialist regimes, but can't be interested in spending a small fraction of that money to save the lives of these children.

Imperialist exploitation of the labor of people in the Third World is made possible by direct military intervention and funding for military regimes that are puppets to imperialism. And this has dire consequences for the health of the exploited around the world. For instance, Amerika's 20-year battle for control of Iraq has included sanctions and then military action that destroyed the infrastructure and health care in that country. From just the sanctions alone deaths among Iraqi infants and children under 5 doubled in 1991.(8)

Amerikan imperialist companies that provide health insurance for their Amerikan citizen workers don't even consider offering any kind of health care for their Third World workers, and those are the people most in need of health care. Workers in Haiti can expect to live only 62 years and in India only 64, and they have a high chance of dying of easily preventable diseases, but the Amerikan corporations many of them work for offer no help.(9) And while the Amerikan corporations, government and people are benefiting from the imperialist profits (often in the form of inexpensive goods & services) made off of the Mexican workers, they're not even discussing extending "Universal Coverage" health care to them.

Health Care for the people

The best example of health care truly serving the interests of the people existed in China between 1949 and 1976 when the communist government dramatically improved the health of the people. They did this by focusing on preventive care, sanitation, and education, combined with a massive campaign to get health care out to people in the countryside previously unable to access doctors.

Four basic guidelines for the organization of health care were developed at The People's Republic of China's first National Health Congress in August 1950:

  1. Medicine should serve the workers, peasants and soldiers
  2. Preventive medicine should take precedence over therapeutic medicine
  3. Chinese traditional medicine should be integrated with Western scientific medicine
  4. Health work should be combined with mass movements

Before 1949, life expectancy in China was just 35 years and the illiteracy rate was 80%. In 1979 life expectancy rose to 68 years and illiteracy had declined to less than 7%. As a part of the dramatic improvements in health, the Chinese infant mortality rate was reduced to a lower level than in New York City. Looked at another way, China achieved a drop in death rate per 1000 from 28 in 1949 to 6.3 in 1978.(10)

Essentially China achieved health for its population comparable with much wealthier countries by the end of the 1970s by focusing on serving the people rather than serving the profits of the wealthy. Building such a system of health care came only after the forceful removal of imperialist powers from China and the destruction of the former institutions of rule.


Notes:
(1) From the World Health Organization's World Health Statistics 2009 report: Globally in 2006, expenditure on health was about 8.7% of gross domestic product, with the highest level in the Americas at 12.8% and the lowest in the South-East Asia Region at 3.4%. This translates to about US$ 716 per capita on the average but there is tremendous variation ranging from a very low US$ 31 per capita in the South-East Asia Region to a high of US$ 2636 per capita in the Americas.
(2) Harvard Magazine, July/August 2008
(3) 2009 World Health Survey from the World Health Organization
(4) The Independent, July 17, 2008 report on American Human Development Index study
(5) CNNMoney.com, September 13, 2009, Health Care Lobbying: The Political Power Machine
(6) World Bank Press Release, Feb 12, 2009
(7) UNICEF, World Children's Report, November 19, 2009
(8) British Medical Journal, 1992 Feb 22;304(6825):455-6
(9) World Health Statistics 2009, from World Health Organization. Compare to the u$ at 78 years and France at 81.
(10) The Health of China, Ruth and Victor Sidel, 1982

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