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Under Lock & Key

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[Control Units] [Education] [Florida] [ULK Issue 20]
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Turning Control Units Into Universities

As we already know, control units are torture chambers where prisoners spend from 22 to 24 hours a day locked up in a tiny cell for long periods of time with a blinding light burning all day, with no educational or other kinds of programs and without proper medical and mental health attention. We are forced to live in here with the pigs oppressing us every day. These conditions are meant to break prisoners' mental states and spirit. They are oppression tools. Here I've seen prisoners give up and lose all hope, lose their mental states, harm, and even kill themselves. There's no doubt that these horrifying places affect the majority of prisoner's mental health. However, we can and should turn these torture chambers into our universities, for the betterment of ourselves and our oppressed comrades.

The first time I was placed in a control unit (here in Florida they are called close management units or CM) I did 2 years locked up in a tiny cell 24 hours a day. In my first few months I was wasting my time bullshitting, fighting and reading mind-killing fiction books. I was blind about the struggle - our struggle, oppressed against oppressor. Then, one day, a comrade handed me a book called "Last Man Standing" by Geronimo Pratt, a top member of the Black Panther Party. That book alone sparked the revolutionary in me and since then I haven't looked back. Then I met George Jackson, Mao, Lenin and Che among others. That's when I started shaping and organizing my ideals. When my family asked me if I needed money for canteen, I told them no. Instead I asked them to send me books on or by the above-mentioned comrades and I started studying full time.

Along the line a comrade gave me a copy of Under Lock & Key and I loved it. That boosted me up on the prison struggle. I started corresponding with MIM and after a while I began writing articles for them. The comrades at MIM(Prisons) supplied me with good and much needed studying material and I kept working hard on behalf of the struggle - our struggle. I've learned to discipline and organize myself in a way that I never thought possible. As I grew mentally and expanded my knowledge of the struggle, I shared it with others and helped awaken their consciousness.

I had access to nothing except what MIM(Prisons) sent me and my only opportunities to get out of my cell were when I had to see medical or mental health personnel and when we had recreation in a tiny dog pen and showers 3 times a week. Nevertheless, I refused all these. I thought - and still think - that by going to these I was throwing away time that I could use to study and put in work for the cause. I exercised and took bird baths in my cell. I studied even when the lights went out. I used a little bit of light that came in through the back window from a light pole that stood outside the building.

The pigs were used to going around doing their checks and seeing prisoners cuddled up in their beds doing nothing or just staring into space while talking to themselves. In fact, they like to see this because they know that they are breaking the prisoners' minds and fighting spirit. But they hated it when they walked by my cell and saw me sitting on the floor with all kinds of books, dictionaries, papers and pens scattered around me. They couldn't crack me, let alone break me, and that chewed at their insides. I wouldn't give them a chance. I was, and still am, going to fight them until the very end. If I can't fight them physically I will fight them with pen and paper by spreading the word of struggle and helping other oppressed people wake up consciously.

When I was close to being released to open population I told myself that if I started getting off track and losing my discipline I would return to CM on purpose to start disciplining myself all over again. When I was finally released in late 2009 people who knew me before wouldn't associate with me much because they couldn't relate to my new mindset. Fortunately I was able to wake some of them up and have them join forces in the struggle.

In my first prison, after my release from CM, I quickly formed a study group of nine comrades, of which the comrade who first introduced me to MIM(Prisons) was a part. However, the prison in which we were was extremely racist and oppressive and the pigs started targeting us. For being the group's spokesperson they considered me the leader and for that alone they ransacked and destroyed my personal property every time they got a chance, threatened me, then placed me in solitary confinement on false charges. Finally they transferred me to another prison.

At my next prison the pigs already knew about me, so as soon as I got there the searches and property destruction continued, but that didn't discourage me nor did it put a dent in my confidence. In a matter of weeks I had another study group going. But then, not even a year after my release from CM, I had an altercation with another prisoner who was a snitch for the pigs and was returned to CM where I currently find myself.

I have come to the conclusion that open population is not for me. It only takes too much of my study time. Study time that I need for when I get released back into society. Besides, in CM I don't have the pigs in my face all day. In open population there's a great chance that I harm one of them badly and catch more prison time. So I've decided to do my remaining 14 years in a solitary cell. This might be helpful for me, but it is not for everyone because not everyone understands and appreciates it like I do.

If you have no choice but to be in a control unit, don't waste your time bullshitting. Don't let these damn pigs break you. Turn the torture chamber in which you find yourself into your university. Read, study, and educate yourself. Subscribe to Under Lock & Key and other MIM(Prisons) material. If you don't have much material to study, whatever you do have study it over and over. You will be surprised by how much you can learn from reading the same thing over and over. I still have the first Under Lock & Key I ever read, which was given to me by that good comrade 3 years ago, and I still read it every once in a while. And every time I read it, I learn something new.

So comrades, wake up and get to studying. Show the pigs that you won't allow them to break you and that you are willing to fight, learn, struggle, and turn their torture chambers into your university. Just don't turn it into your mental and physical graveyard.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We're glad to see our work having such an impact on comrades in prison and we agree with the recommendations given for those in isolation. But keep in mind that control units exist in order to keep those who study away from the masses. A one-man university is nothing compared to running study groups and organizing sessions with a group of people. For those who are forced into isolation, Under Lock & Key is your connection to dialogue with the larger prison movement.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Damn Me?!

There's this confusing aspect I've never quite been able to understand about christian morality. You see, I've sat alone for three years in the solitary superman control unit sensory deprivation dungeon. Where every emotion is sharpened a hundred fold but every avenue to share or express this feeling is cruelly taken away. Except mail. And my pen.

So it irks me to receive these fancy gilded colorful christmas cards from total strangers where they tell me they love me but damn me to the depths of hell in the same breath. Because I'm a sinner my soul is in limbo and its time for me to repent and prostrate myself to the all might glorious one, or burn!

But I love you. Brother. Take care.

Is this what a motherfucker needs? Maybe if you all got together out there and started chanting and holding hands these walls that hold amerikka's 2.4 million political prisoners would crumble and we could join you with a psalm.

Well?

We're waiting...

Of course, maybe because we are top notch "sinners" in your books the last thing you want is for us to be released. Does that thought frighten you! Is it a whole hell of a lot easier to pray for someone's soul than it is to minister to their torturous mindfucked life? Because, in reality, christians and "criminals" are both mindwashed masses. I'd be surprised if one could exist without the other. The former needs the latter to lord over and condemn. And preach to from afar. (The further the better - no?) and what would a "criminal" do without the piles upon piles of guilt, shame, sense of inferiority and hurt his brother christian bestows? In shiny christmas cards.

The time has come to turn the tables.

Your religion and those U$ concentration kamps; your steeples and the judges pulpit; the church and the courthouse are one and the same. Tools of oppression. Both are filled with bigotry, racism and egotism. The priest and the judge. The gangster, the killer and the dope dealer. Who are the real sinners here? Who's the bad guy? The true gang?

I heard once that to interact with the true insanity in a person one has to be aware of the fact that craziness likes to jump ship. Meaning a crazy person has the ability to make you feel like you're the one that's nuts. And I'd say the same applies to unjust systems in power. They have a way of mindwashing you into a nazi or a 'mexican-border-fascist-crazed-minuteman.'

So father-elder-sister-brother our struggle is a fight to survive. Day to day. Minute to minute as human beings. Your creed and country are killing us as you pass around the collection plate and mail form letters to us to ease your consciences. Our struggle attempts to raise our fellow captives self-esteem and heal; not guilt-trip and destroy as your church does, the living, right here and now, interest us. Not some idealist bourgeois bullshit afterlife.

It is your imperialist system that must lay down and prostrate and ask for mercy. And not from the almighty or some winged man. But from your fellow man you'll kneel in supplication.

And I"m going to go there. I must.

Why are we the ones hated? The prisoners. We who sit and study and starve to death. And why are they the ones supported? The soldiers. The ones who drop bombs on innocent people for a paycheck. Maybe because all we do is keep beds full and a handful of you employed we're inferior? At least compared to those that keep your gas tanks full and new amerikkan colonies occupied we are. no?

But I digress.

Brother christian, I'll wish you a merry christmas also. And I send my love. But please note I'm not parting with some "beefed up scare tactic ultimatum" that might leave you in tears tonight fingering your pistol. I understand that your kind, who keep medical science in a moral chokehold and evolution out of the elementary schools, are escapists and weak. I know a person who's a citizen of earth's most 'murderous-racist-atomic-imperialist-hypocritical' nation feels a need to bury the old head in the sand. I feel you. I used to hide beneath the needle myself.

I just ask you keep your demons to yourself. Please. Never once did I try to push my dope on you. So give me the same respect.

And as you stand bent over with your head in a stale hole. Know the rest of us have woken up and changed the CD. That bass beat you hear as you lose consciousness isn't the stars and stripes.

We're rocking the anthem of international socialism round these parts. The international!
Let no one build walls to divide us,
walls of hatred nor walls of stone.
come greet the dawn and stand beside us,
we'll live together or we'll die alone.
in our world poisoned by exploitation,
those who have taken, now they must give!
And end the vanity of nations...
we want no condescending saviors
to rule us from their judgment hall...

And comrade christian...comrade!
nighty night.

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[Gang Validation] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Fighting Gang Validation Laws

I just completed my fourth reading of a pamphlet I received from you titled "Shut Down Control Units in Prison," and I found it in step with my own thoughts on the subject.

Your interpretation on how prisoners are validated is right on point and I'm living proof of it, my validation was based on my being in possession of written materials and an image of a dragon. But the inept way in which I was validated isn't what made me go into a state of frenzy, it was the fact that after being in the prison system for 12 years, prior to my being validated, I had no idea of what the validation process was. As one who spent a great deal of his time studying the rules and regulations of the prison system, I can only guess that the reason I overlooked the validation process is because I became too busy fighting to make a difference in other areas of the prison system, but now that I'm in the grasp of the demon I'm going to alter the hell he has pulled so many into.

After spending about a year in the SHU trying to figure out how the hell I was validated, I rolled up my sleeves and started working on how to not only get myself out of the SHU, but the multitude of others around me. But I soon found out that a large number of prisoners in the SHU feel so defeated that they have given up hope and become content with being in the SHU. Some have even become proud of being validated and don't want to hear anything from me about what we can do to get out of the SHU.

One of the first cases that I started studying about the validation process is a case you wrote about in the pamphlet you sent to me which is the Castillo case. Now don't get me wrong the case knocked on the door of change, but it should have kicked down the door. An example of what I'm referring to is the rule change requiring that a prisoner has to be in possession of items such as written materials or symbols on their body before they are placed in the SHU. But what the attorneys who represented Castillo didn't ask the court to make a requirement of is that the CDCR must list the names of which written materials, tattoos and symbols are "gang related," because as we now know the CDCR can say anything that they want is a gang related item.

I've written to the attorneys who represented Castillo, and one told me that they no longer work on prison cases and the other one who you wrote about in the article told me that he wanted $5000 to answer my questions about the Castillo ruling. So I filed a 602-appeal, and to make a long story short my appeal was shot down due to my filing it too late, and although that door was closed another one has opened and I'll keep you updated on the outcome.

Another thing you wrote about prisoners being in the SHU that I agree with is how atrocious it is that a prisoner can be put in the SHU for a determinate term for committing a violent act, but a prisoner who has a tattoo, symbol or certain written materials in their possession will be put in the SHU without committing any violent action for an indeterminate term for a minimum of 6 years (this also is a stipulation that the attorneys for Castillo could have changed). In conversations that I've had with some Institutional Gang Investigators (IGI), they have agreed with me about the flaws in the validation process, but also said that it isn't their responsibility to correct it. I can understand why they would say it, so myself and other prisoners must pick up the baton and run with it towards the finish line of change. It's time for me to step down from my podium speaking about subjects you already have a full understanding of, so in closing I thank you for all that you are doing for those of us behind prison walls and I look forward to hearing from you again.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Check out our campaign against control units for more information on the fight against these torture chambers filled with people on false gang validations.

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[Culture]
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Language and Revolutionary Struggle

I am shocked by the stupidity of the Amerikan people to recognize the causes of this economic cri$i$ and the roots of the current covert and overt imperialist wars (i.e. massacres) against other native nations and majority-driven grass roots movements. But I am equally disturbed in what I see going on within Amerika. I don't believe there is any will by the Amerikkkan people to resist against this United Snakes of surveillance. Instead what we have is ridiculous groups like the Tea Party whose true fear is of Amerika losing its hegemony to rising Oppressed Nations.

A lot is to be blamed for this. Like letting political pundits and the co-opted media determine the topic and language of social debates. And don't get me started on the media's go-to military West Point grad analysts who are supposedly going to give us a fair and truthful analysis. All we hear is terror terror terror, national security security security, austerity cuts cuts cuts, and planned protest protest protest.

To hell with the debate over Republikkkan or Democrat$. I'm ready for the revolution. A revolution is what we need to uproot the military industrial complex. A revolution would make the imperialist monopolies U$ currency paper worthless. A revolution would accomplish all that is needed. Yet our potential comrades are bogged down in appeasing Saturday or Sunday protest while the CEOs and corporate board members are out on their yachts. We're stuck in de-centralized legal battles while the political establishment appoints and upholds outrageous U$ supreme court decisions which undermine dozens of hard fought legal battles.

I could elaborate all century about the genocides, entrapments, and swindling business that this police state has committed but that is of little use to us enlightened few. Tactics, strategy and the execution of both is what we should focus on. The execution of tactical and strategic methods will vary depending on your individual prisons and predicaments within those bars of oppression. I myself am very limited in the activism I can contribute to the revolutionary movement because I'm in solitary confinement for the next three years (minimum). But through obscure ways I can talk with others. I use this channel of communication to convince and discuss current, past and future events.

I never discuss or answer anything in the language of the oppressor. What justice does it do us to use the term "bailout" when it's really a robbery? What justice does it do to call a Saudi fighting in Afghanistan a foreign fighter or terrorist and then on the contrary call an Amerikkan soldier fighting there a liberator or patriot. What justice does it do us to call a hungry man who takes from the oppressive rich a criminal and then on the contrary enable U$ exploitative foreign policy by calling it national interest. When we talk in the language of the oppressor we legitimize the frivolous arguments that ignorant amerikans have been partaking in since the consolidation of the modern media establishment that sponsors this imperialist empire.

So please comrades be more conscious of your choice of words when debunking this "amerikan dream" myth. This imperialist hegemony is in judicial, information, and economic cardiac-arrest (I wish I could say the same about the military). Propaganda is in full swing and the best tactical defense and offense is that of dialectical historical materialism. DHM is more than just 19th century literature It's a social and political science developmental pattern that serves as the best kryptonite to capitalism and this so-called democracy. So lets all convey our messages as revolutionary comrades and not as stupefied soldiers.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade makes a good point about the importance of language in shaping our discussion about politics and current events. We need to use every tool at our disposal to expose the imperialists. However, we do not agree that Amerikans are "stupid" for not recognizing the causes of the economic crisis, or that the media is to blame for this. While the mainstream media is certainly serving the imperialists, Amerikans are going along with it because it is what they want to hear. The vast majority of Amerikan's have been bought off by imperialism and are paid more than the value of their labor with superprofits brought home from the exploitation of Third World. This gives Amerikans an economic interest in sticking their heads in the sand and supporting imperialism. It's important that we understand the classes within U.$. borders so that we know who has a material interest in revolution and what demands we should be rallying people around. For a more detailed case study of Amerikan wealth, see the MIM(Prisons) article on the U$ housing market printed in ULK17.

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[United Front] [Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 18]
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To Unite or Not to Unite, That is the Question


With whom shall we unite?
As Maoists,
and as materialists,
one focus in this imperialist country should be on the economic interest of its various segments in order to determine with whom we should or shouldn't fight.
Tactically speaking,
An enemy of my chief enemy is as fate would have it a friend to me.
Sometimes permanently,
many times temporarily,
it depends on their particular ideological and political stance you see.
The grave consequence of revisionism in the heart of imperialism is a subtle yet vicious schism between imperialist country so-called communist workers and the revolutionary practice of proletarian internationalism. Such division born of revisionism threatens the success of one revolutionary socialist mission. It puts us in a dire position which psycho-socially translates into an unhealthy state of nihilism and terminates any possibility of an anti-imperialist united front. It puts one's enemy forces in a position to win but to begin with as dialectics teaches, it is the internal contradictions within our own camp that is the determining factor in making our foes into the triumphant champs.
So these contradictions must be speedily resolved.
They must be solved and we must consciously involve ourselves in their resolution beyond the limited subjective confines of our egotistic idealistic minds.
In short order,
we must refine our scientific use of the materialist method of analysis if we are to successfully persist in the massive work of building an expanded revolutionary united front.

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[Organizing]
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BORO political line documents

On the BORO Line

Issued by: Royal Council of BORO 12/22/10

Due to misunderstanding and misinformation distributed by certain elements concerning our organization, the Royal Council of the Black Order Revolutionary Organization is issuing the following statement to give clarity as to our political line and philosophy.

  1. The BORO is a lumpen-based revolutionary nationalist and communist organization. We believe that there is nothing about revolutionary nationalism that is inherently contradictory with communism. As Mao stated, "national revolutionary patriotism is applied internationalism."
  2. We uphold the line that presently at this time in humyn history, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism(MLM), applied to our unique national condition, is the most advanced science of revolutionary struggle and the correct path forward toward the construction of a communist world — a world where no group or people have power over another.
  3. We see the principal contradiction on a world-scale as between imperialism, principally U$ imperialism, and oppressed nations.
  4. We see the principal contradiction in U$ prisyns as between the lumpen themselves.
  5. We uphold the line that all people have a right to self-determination, to determine their own destinies.
  6. We uphold the concept of the anti-imperialist revolutionary united front in our struggle to defeat imperialism.
  7. We believe that as materialists, the spiritual world is a product of the material world and not the other way around.
  8. We reject cultural nationalism as a reactionary counter-revolutionary philosophy. The Black Panthers disdained this as "pork chop" nationalism, and so do we.
  9. We uphold the line that the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle must at all time be lead by the international proletariat and its revolutionary leadership, thus it won't fall into neo-colonial and national bourgeois camp, who will undermine our efforts at socialist and communist construction, and attempt to restore capitalism. In the case of the USSR, the bourgeoisie seized power after the death of Stalin in 1953, in China, after the death of Mao and the overthrow of the "Gang of Four in 1976.
  10. We uphold the belief that the Black Panther Party (1966-69) represented the Maoist Vanguard Party in the U$ we also uphold the BPP analysis on the national question as yet to be surpassed by the current "Black" nationalist organizations. We do not uphold these organizations that carry on in the name of the BPP, i.e. the New Black Panther Party and its affiliates, we see these as revisionist, race-based organizations.

On the Black Order - New Afrikan Soulja'z of Execution Movement

"Political organizations must get more involved in the day-to-day needs and problems of the masses. If an organization's politics can't help the people solve some of their day-to-day problems/needs then their politics are simply dull, serial, intellectual theories detached from the real world of today, with no practical use except intellectual masturbation... If people are hungry, feed them while showing them how to feed themselves. If people are homeless, house them, if defenseless, protect them. In each instance, show the people how to take care of themselves. This way you organize and politically educate at the same time."
-Sundiata Acoli

Revolutionary greetings,

The purpose of this form letter is to provide you with an introduction to the Black Order - New Afrikan Soulja'z of Execution Movement, Black Order for short, and the affiliate formations that comprise our movement. We also want to brief you on our general political line, some of the projects we are igniting and how you can assist, support, join and help us in promoting, building and sustaining this movement, and ultimately, radically transforming the society and world in which we live.

The Black Order is a New Afrikan revolutionary movement that is committed and dedicated to the national liberation of the New Afrikan (Black) nation and the establishment of world communism - a world where there is no power of people over power.

On a world scale we see the principle contradiction is between imperialism and oppressed nations, including the oppressed internal semi-colonial nations within the U$ - (New Afrikan, Aztlán, First Nations, etc).

The Black Order is comprised of four interrelated organizations — Black Order Revolutionary Organization (BORD), Black Order Solidarity Association (BOSA), Black Order Economic Commission (BOEC) and Black Order Support Group (BOSG).

The BORO is the vanguard of the Black Order. It is the BORO which gives political instruction and guidance to the entire Black Order movement. Our political philosophy is that of New Afrikan revolutionary nationalism and is guided by historical and dialectical materialism. Anti-imperialism is the most important political principle of the Black Order. National liberation and internationalism are the most important ideological principles or visions of BORO.

The BOSA is our mass-based socio-cultural community organization whose goal it is to teach our people the basic tenants of solidarity, social responsibility, cooperative economics, communal living and revolutionary community activism. It is also considered a leadership program and oftentimes the more advanced revolutionary elements may become BORO members.

The BOEC is commissioned by the Royal Council and Ministry of Finance to raise money for the movement and its initiatives and programs. It is responsible for leading the developing independent institutions for the people with socialist practices at the forefront, while we fight for national independence. Each initiative of BOEC will operate under the principle of regaining control of our social, political and economic development and putting the people before profits.

The BOSG are our sideline supporters, who are not regular members of any of our organizations, but who agree in principle with the goals, vision or objective of our movement, or our right to pursue them.

Membership into our movement is predicated upon one being 1) anti-capitalist/imperialist, 2) anti-sexist (including homophobia) 3) anti-militarist 4)anti-racist and 5) pro-national independence.

Our movement upholds the original Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (1966-69) as the most politically advanced revolutionary party ever in the U$ to this day. We do not uphold those claiming the name of the BPP today.

Thus, in recognition and honor of the original BPP, the Black in our movements name is symbolic to the Panther. And, the Order = Our Revolutionaries Demonstrate Everlasting Revolution.

Our immediate goals, in conjunction with the BORO minimum program are:

  1. To identify, strengthen and solidify the leadership of BORO and BOSA.
  2. To recruit, organize and train New Afrikan lumpen, youth, high school and college students and introduce them to BORO/BOSA and have them assume leadership roles.
  3. To create within the Ministry of Finance (thru the BOEC) a program to assist BORO/BOSA members financially/materially and to build/sustain future projects/programs.
  4. To build the Black Order Support Group network.
  5. To fight prison censorship and other repressive institutional rules and regulations.
  6. To identify and unite in a United Front Against imperialism with other lumpen and anti-imperialist organizations - nationally and internationally.
  7. To re-establish our newsletter and develop a theoretical journal.

It must be kept in mind that we are re-building an organization and presently do not have the humyn and material support to carry out all of the ideals embodied in our platform at this time. We are still in our embryonic stage of development. And although we began inside the belly of the prison industrial complex, the conditions that led to our incarceration did not. Therefore, we do not confine ourselves and our political activity and organizing solely around prison issues, because we see the bigger picture of imperialism and see prison as only one of the repressive tools of the imperialist state. Ultimately, we are striving to establish ourselves in every barrio, ghetto, reservation and penal colony in amerikkka and wherever there is a poor and oppressed community around the globe.

In order to accomplish our goals we need members and allies who are committed, conscious and disciplined. Who are willing to sacrifice bourgeois comforts and luxuries.

In order to be effective and have a positive material impact on our communities and the movement, we need your support - your mind, creative energy, humyn and material support. For those who belong to other parties/groups, here are some ways in which you can help us push forward the development of our movement and the anti-imperialist struggle:

  1. Help finance BORO/BOSA projects
  2. Spread the word about our growing movement and circulate our literature
  3. Help us gain useful literature and information from the internet
  4. Donate money, stamps, help us print and distribute literature to indigent prisoners.
  5. Donate money and books to our ally MIM(Prisons) and their Books to Prisoner Programs
  6. Ask your friends, co-workers, family, etc, to join and/or donate to the Black Order and MIM(Prisons) and to support the United Struggle from Within (USW), a MIM(Prisons)-led mass U$ prisoners anti-imperialist organization.
  7. Visit, write or accept a short phone call from dedicated BORO comrades, send a comrade a couple of dollars, host a prison awareness workshop or teach-in on abusive prison conditions, censorship or control units.

Our movement is building a community of independent radical thinkers and leaders. People who wanna change the oppressive social conditions. Work with us, struggle with us.

We conclude in the words of the great revolutionary Amilcar Cabral. "We must always remember that people do not fight for ideas or the things on people's minds. People fight for practical things: for people, for living better in peace and for their children's future. Liberty, fraternity, and equality continue be empty words for people if they do not mean a real improvement in the conditions of their lives."

Unite and Organize
Power to the People!
BORO Royal Council

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[Culture] [Release]
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Cartoon? Get real!

prisoners must work together
Cartoons aren't real. But in the mind of the public, that's what prison inmates have become; a not-quite-real depiction, a 'Freddie' or 'Nightmare on Elm Street,' or 'Chuckie' the evil, knife wielding doll from a similar themed movie. We are quite simply, 'The Boogie Man' to much of the public.

The news media has lifted this image of us in total, from the drawing pad of the prosecution and police spokesmen who have a budget funding interest in heightening the public's fear of prisoners. They traffic in fear for profit just as surely as any drug dealer traffics in narcotics.

As a group, prisoners are shunned and isolated from society, which serves to keep us unheard, unseen and sufficiently distant to mask the inconvenient truth of our humanity. Unsatisfied with our present excessive sentences and hopeless parole hearings, the state, through the ever-solicitous news media, paints a picture of prisoners as cartoon cut-outs of a somnolent evil, awaiting an 'early' release (which is in their eyes, any release this side of death). Then to swoop down and fall on society, like the mongolian hoards of Attila or the evil flying monkeys from 'The Wizard of OZ.'

The gang member, the mentally ill, and the drug dealer are each depicted as heinous, the sex-offender has the honor and burden of being designated the premier 'hated minority.' Some of our fellow prisoners believe, mistakenly, that the legal excesses directed at the sex-offender, will drain off the venom and hatred of the fear-driven stampede headed our way. It will not. Emboldened by their success against sex-offenders, they see no reason not to widen the scope of their offensive against liberty and justice, to 'cast a wider net.' And as they do so, we are unable to counter this wider application of law or restriction because with the unchallenged perversion of justice burdening the sex-offender there is legal precedent for us to be yoked together and like-wise bear an excessive penalty and burden. In the end we are all equally heinous in the eyes of the law.

Once started, this treatment of people as less-than-human, progresses inexorably, ever-widening, all-encompassing and proud of its own inhumanity. First the sex-offenders, then gang-members, then felons of every type, then misdemeanants, inflators, infractors, smokers and skateboarders, the 'disapproved', will each in turn, become one of 'those' who don't deserve justice. We've seen this before. Pick any pogrom, massacre, ethnic cleansing, relocation or concentration camp in history and you'll find that it's genesis was right here in the same denial of humanity and justice.

We are nearing the end of 2010 and the progression of anti-human, anti-liberty and anti-justice continues unabated. Here in the Fresno, California area, the young father, who put a thumb-nail sized tattoo on his son's side was sentenced to eight years in prison, pleading guilty to a child abuse charge to avoid a life in prison sentence. And just in time! A new law just passed in California, called 'Adams' Law', reflecting the shameful practice of naming unjust and legally dubious laws after children who have suffered death or abuse. What kind of memorial for a child is it, when the state commits injustice in their name?

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[Organizing] [Security] [ULK Issue 19]
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Purism Divides the Struggle

I am writing this in response to the California prisoner who wrote the article lLumpen Loyalty Dividing the Struggle. What divides a struggle is divisiveness. In the context of his communique he missed several points, among which are: (1)being an informant does not render the struggle against a mutual enemy moot, (2) in the context of numbers, (i.e. strength) it is largely irrelevant whether someone is a rat or not, and (3) the known rat criteria - "known" based on what? What exactly are the circumstances and/or conditions under which one told?

Just because one is SNY, PC, PS or whatever does not mean they are rats, disloyal or even unreliable. This approach is the equivalent of saying that everyone in prison is not only a criminal, but guilty of exactly what the state has convicted them of. No self-respecting prisoner, convict or revolutionary would undermine their own ideological base by entertaining such an idea.

The state manipulates purists by slinging labels and rumors. They send hard working, devoted soldiers and revolutionaries to Protective Custody (P.C.) as a tactic to discredit them and undermine the struggle. The state knows that the purists will readily turn on their own kind and, by extension, the cause, by using emotionally charged propaganda to incite divisiveness. It is one of the most frequently used weapons by our mutual enemy.

I have no love for the enemy - rats included - but if you are a soldier devoted to a cause, then you must be able to exploit the enemy's weaknesses and turn their strengths against them. An informant is only as good and useful as the information is he's given... or gets hold of.

I have more than 30 years in prison and I have many years of political, legal and social struggles behind and before me. Purism has one fatal flaw - it is not in a black and white world where it can be put into action. And ideology is only as good as its applicability to the conditions in purposes to address.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This letter is referencing a debate that has been going on in the pages of Under Lock & Key for several issues now, over whether or not people on SNY or PC can be part of the revolutionary movement. MIM(Prisons) stands firmly with this comrade and against the purists who will trust the label of the prisoncrats.

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[Civil Liberties] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 19]
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Criminal Organization, or is Organizing the Crime?

[Below are excerpts from a proposal from a comrade. - ULK Editor]

One of the greatest leaders to teach us how to move lumpen organizations (LOs) to the next level by applied science was the beloved Brotha Malcolm X. While many before him spoke about the issues of self-determination and human rights, his was the most vocal, and his articulation was more relevant to us with street and hood ethos because he was once a pimp, hustler and to some degree, a gangster.

...

One of the first things I strive to illuminate to a student is the application of these ideas to the present oppression that lumpen organizations suffer without understanding their legitimate human rights to exist through the Universal Human Rights of Self-Determination. Incorporating the fundamentals of legality and sociology, I posit:

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."
-Robert H. Jackson. Supreme Court Ruling in West Virginia Dept. of Ed. v. Barnette (1943).

and,

"History should teach us. . . that in times of high emotional excitement, minority parties and groups which advocate extremely unpopular social or governmental innovations will always be typed as criminal gangs and attempts will always be made to drive them out."
-Associate Justice, Hugo Black dissent in Barenblatt v. U.S., 360 U.S. 109, At. 159 (1959).

Hugo Black ought to know, as a member of the outlaw and terrorist network KKK before stepping into the justice position.

...

Common sense illuminates that if a general continues to go out to battle using the same failed approaches and armory that has proven to be counter-productive because it is not only known, studied and mastered by the opposing forces, but they are the ones who designed it, s/he will fail. S/he must retreat and restrategize and not only restock, but seek new armory to do battle.

Even before I became an astute student of the Art of Vita or student of Sun Tzu, and was in my street hustling mode, I knew early on that once one of us got caught hustling a particular mode or game, it was time to change strategy. Or to put it more simply, if that dope house got raided, it was time to move to a new locale.

Yet in terms of strategy, a lot of LOs think we can continue in the same old hustle scheme. Even more harmful is the individual who thinks this way. They don't realize they are helping the forces of hate justify their "collective punishment" of the lumpen as a class.

...

It's a betrayal to the struggle for street formations to still be living and accepting this kind of treatment that affects us on the street and in prison. How many generations of our people are in prison from each individual formation? People need to stop accepting this mentality of inferiority, that we are criminals for trying to define our own futures.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The right to organize for self-determination is denied regularly to the oppressed nations in the United $tates. Following the downfall of the most successful party to represent the Black nation, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, the imperialists went about a conscious effort to divide the oppressed along class interests by integrating the petty bourgeoisie and further criminalizing the lumpen. As a result any independent oppressed nation organization today is automatically labeled as criminal, terrorist or a security threat with little resistance from the oppressed nation petty bourgeoisie and, as always, loud support from the white nation.

The failed strategies for self-determination through capitalist business models, legal or illegal, need to be left behind for a righteous collective struggle to be free from oppression. Not only will the lumpen find their own power in reuniting around this struggle, but they will begin to find allies in other groups when they stand up for true self-determination. Self-determination is earned, not guaranteed.

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[Security] [Organizing]
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Reiterating our Position on Snitches

In the Nov/Dec 2010 ULK article entitled Lumpen Loyalty Dividing the Struggle, the question was posed by a prisoner in California: "How could you consciously and intently give known rats a forum or conduit to speak and voice an opinion as if he was an honorable and principled man? When has it been right in history to accept traitors? Never!"

to which you responded with the following quote from MIM Theory 6, The Stalin issue: "It is scandalous to Christians to think of a world without timeless moral values such as loyalty, honor and integrity — characteristics that God supposedly places in each of us once and for all time, especially in the more hard-line Protestant religions upholding predetermination. These moral characteristics are then referred to by the Christians as our 'moral character.' The Stalinists' opposition to such an ideology leaves the Christians aghast and hence we 'Stalinists' appear as 'amoral' to those who claim timeless values."

You said this was "a quote that came from an article that defends Stalin for overseeing the killing of innocent people in an effort to eliminate spies and infiltrators during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union." And that "In Stalin's day the principal contradiction was the fascists versus the first socialist state in modern history. Spies could have brought the destruction of the Soviet Union." And going further to say: "In the U$ prison movement, the principal contradiction we face is the conflicts between the lumpen themselves."... "Today we are in a much different condition in our discussion of spies and snitches." And "that even the concept of being 'principled' is dangerous. Principled is too often viewed as picking a position and sticking to it no matter what, right or wrong. But Stalin only stuck to one principle, and that was to serve the people by building socialism."

But I ask you, how are we in different conditions in our discussion of spies and snitches?! Do you have any idea what these rats have done to MIM, and to us, their fellow comrades? I do not think you know the gravity of the effects these snitches are having on our movement. Not just the prison movement, but the anti-capitalism/imperialism movement.

These are the same people (snitches) who are steadily selling out their fellow comrades for little to nothing. They prevent us from moving forward with a prison movement of any kind. These same rats are part of the reason that prisons are censoring mail when it comes to certain things like MIM, ULK and USW literature. They tell prison officials that we are using the beliefs of MIM and communism to start a gang of radicals. These same rats also tell them that we are affiliated with white supremacists, and/or other gangs. That's why they will not let MIM literature in certain prisons, and are trying to stop it in others. It is also why they use MIM and communist literature to validate some people as gang members. And this is part of the reason that the prisoner from California was so upset in his letter.

And like Stalin who was trying to protect and establish socialism by weeding and killing all possible spies and infiltrators, we prisoner are trying to do the same exact thing. By eliminating and alienating all rats for the better of the prison movement, for the better of communism, for the better of the struggle against the imperialists.

This is why we have to be principled, honorable, loyal to the end, and oust anyone who isn't for the greater good of the movement in every sense.

The minority you spoke of when you said: "despite the rhetoric of honor and loyalty, it is a minority who really live by these ideals. Perhaps that minority are more reliable comrades in the revolutionary struggle. On the other hand, we are trying to mobilize the prison population as a whole on behalf of the interests of the oppressed, and we believe that through education people can change their character." If it was not for that minority, like the prisoner from California who wrote in, there would be no prison movement. These rats can do nothing for you or our movement.

I understand that we (prisoners) need to unify and come together under mutual issues and work together, or there will be no prison movement to speak of, and that we must combat the ultra-leftism that prevents broader unity. But as you stated "of course there is a reason why not working with the pigs is a common principle among certain populations, while most Amerikans turn to them whenever they need help. No good can come for the oppressed form working with the pigs, but we must apply this principle in a way that best pushes the struggle forward." And that's exactly what we are doing by eliminating and weeding out these rats. And what we are doing is applying the principle in a way that best pushes the struggle forward. Because by leaving the rats who are against us unattended is detrimental to the prison movement, because of how they are helping prison officials to shut us down, and make it as hard as possible to make any headway. And the repercussions that most are facing at the hands of prison administrations due to the lies and false intel that the rats give them, leaves a great many prisoners weary about taking up the prison struggle movement, because the punishments that the prison administrators have been handing out.

The rats do this because they know they can get favors for turning in gangs, gang members, or united groups which prison officials look at as semi-gangs. And because they know that prison officials look at anyone who is trying to cure the injustices of a prison as a trouble maker or threat to security. They deem you a threat to security just so they can lock you up, and keep you from unifying. They also view anything such as MIM as a threat to security because it's something that helps us come together on a common ground and unite. Believe it or not prisons pay rats for info if they are a good rat, just like they'd pay a prisoner for working in the kitchen, laundry, etc.

So how can we trust them, how can we unite with them without detriment to our cause? We can't! If someone is tearing the prison movement apart like this, just imagine how dangerous they would be in a revolutionary situation. These rats are the same to us and the prison movement as the spies and infiltrators Stalin was trying to eliminate.

And though I do agree with you about the fact that some of them can change with education, the fact still remains that they can not be trusted! If they are stabbing us in the back now, and sabotaging the MIM prison movement, even if they do change with the proper education, what's to say or stop them from defecting on us later on down the road? I don't know about everyone, but that's a chance I'd rather not take. People like these rats we talk about are what have always helped the fascists and slimeball capitalist thrive into the scum they are today.

Now you can see the point of not trusting these rats. It's not just weed, tattoos, alcohol, etc, they're snitching on, it's everything we're trying to build. I'm not saying don't let these people have a forum to voice views from, because every bit of input we get form each other helps to energize us, and keeps us motivated, but there is no way we can ever unite or accept them as true allies in our struggle.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Our position on SNY yards continues to raise a point that none of the responses to it address head on. We maintain that SNY yards are not just used to house snitches who are afraid for their lives but also to house people trying to escape the violence of every day prison life. Violence that prisoners as a group have the power to stop. We know that there are snitches in SNY who are working for the pigs, but we also know that there are plenty of snitches in general population also working for the pigs. We don't want to work with these people. But we do want to work with prisoners who are genuinely interested in the anti-imperialist struggle wherever they are housed.

Our moralist comrades behind bars suggest that we should not work with snitches as if it's as easy as just looking at a return address to know who is on the right side of the anti-imperialist struggle. We have found this is not at all true. In fact many people who believe themselves to be anti-imperialists and whose peers would not call snitches, are actually working against the revolutionary struggle in one way or another. We have to judge everyone by their practice.

At the same time, we must remember that Lenin kept a known enemy on the central committee for the money that he was contributing to the struggle. Similarly, if a known snitch is sending in good anti-imperialist articles or art then we should use these articles or art. We can't control who claims to represent MIM(Prisons) behind bars, we have to leave it to the masses to see through posers by reading ULK and noticing the contradictions. But we do trust ULK to represent itself and so we will send it to any prisoner who wants to read it, and in some cases we might even turn some snitches to the side of the revolution.

Lastly, we need to address the question of trusting someone who was on the wrong side in the past. It is incorrect to judge people only for their past. We need to look at everyone's current practice. We can bear in mind past mistakes and guard against backsliding into old ways. But the Maoist prisons in China demonstrated the correct way to reeducate enemies of the people and then trust them to come out of prison and actually work in the interests of the people.

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