The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Control Units] [Limon Correctional Facility] [Colorado] [ULK Issue 7]
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Thrown in segregation for writing complaint about conditions

I am living in segregation on a plantation in Limon, Colorado. A month ago I wrote a comprehensive and detailed letter to the American "Corruptional" Association asking how they could give a score of a hundred percent to a prison that denies a third of its population (self included) pillows, trash cans, trash bags, mattresses that are thicker than a piece of cardboard, jobs, and other items.

With Colorado DOC it is all about greed. Prisons do not exist in this state to provide rehabilitation to "offenders," but instead exist to provide a lucrative and easy lifestyle for employees of the system at all levels. We as prisoners are merely an inconvenience and are treated as such. And at a time when corporate Amerika is cutting back and doing away with pensions and insurance, Colorado DOC just received an additional $64 million for the new fiscal budget, and additionally is getting 1,630 new employees. The prison budget is fast approaching $1 billion annually for a state of roughly 5 million inhabitants. Meanwhile, we are having things like real beef, fresh vegetables, and other essential items taken from the menu, which they hardly follow anyway, and we get laundry back that has not been washed with any amount of detergent. In addition there are no trash cans, trash bags, pillows, new mattresses, or even chairs or stools for the wall mounted desks. I am currently writing sideways on a TV shelf.

Shortly after sending the letter to the ACA I got a horrific shakedown that the guard says was "ordered by admin" in which they found a broken razor in the trash that had arrived broken in the package. Then based upon finding this "dangerous weapon" four thugs came and arrested me while I was in the middle of typing a letter to my attorney in the law library. Now I have been in here 15 days and have not seen any paperwork or charges, but I have been told repeatedly that they exist. Now what do I do? I have never once been to seg here at this hell hole and I have successfully completed two terms of probation for minor offenses during my two years here.

I have never once had a charge for assaulting a staff member or inmate, nor have I ever been charged or even accused of having dangerous contraband, drugs, or weapons. But now due to a broken razor I am too dangerous to be in general population.

It is not uncommon to have wardens making six figures and lower levels of admin making $85 to $95k per year plus all the goodies. If I were a taxpayer in this state I would be outraged.

Our mail is illegally searched, copied and/or read all the time without probable cause or justification (legal mail included). Currently, the two items that you sent me have been sent to the alleged "reading committee" due to what is more often than not, the uneducated, unsophisticated mailroom staff's inability to figure out what they are looking at. However, I do expect to receive these copies that I was really looking forward to, in about a month.

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[Gender] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 6]
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Sexual harassment at women's prison in Missouri

I am writing you to report a misuse of power within the walls of the DOC. A tragedy between a woman of power and a woman without power.

I'm being held captive for 20 years at 85% in an institution where our biggest fear of sexual harassment not only lies at the feet of the male officers but also at the feet of a female officer. I'll admit we've had a few male officers disappear in my time due to sexual harassment, but nothing has ever been done to right the wrongs of this particular officer I'm speaking of, for fear of being locked in the hole for a long period of time for a formal investigation. Therefore no one has ever filed suit against her for her actions.

I recall my friend being searched one night after leaving the chow hall. No big deal except this officer ran her hands across my friend's very petite breasts. My friend told the officer what she had done and the officer laughed and said "you don't have any to touch."

Later that same evening, the officer caught my friend in the bathroom and used the fact that my friend was on room restriction for an excuse to make my friend strip out. The officer didn't follow the normal procedure and make my friend cough and squat. She just wanted to see her breasts. The officer has my friend grab her own nipples while the officer placed her hands over my friends hands to lift her breasts up, supposedly searching her for a cigarette or lighter. The whole ordeal was demeaning.

We brought the situation to the attention of the Sgt who was on duty and we were told that if we wanted to file charges against the officer she was going to file charges against my friend for assault because when my friend reenacted what had happened for the Sgt, my friend touched the Sgt's hand in the process, therefore end of story.

Both officers still work here and misuse their power. Someone has to do something or I fear it will never stop. I myself am risking hole time just by writing this letter to you but my outrage concerning this matter outweighs my fear of the hole so let my story be known.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Texas] [ULK Issue 7]
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GRAD program in Texas

In your November issues of ULK5 I read the article written by a Texas prisoner "Segregation in Texas" and am appalled by his ignorance as far as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) aka "Texas Department of Criminals" is concerned.

I myself am an ex-gang member, and I got into the GRAD program (without snitching), and do you know why? After 23 years of being a gang member in the prison system, I saw how the oppressors were using me to oppress others. By using me and other gang members, the oppressors in uniform do not get dirty while we get our time jacked-up or may even receive death for doing what the man in uniform wanted me to do. Not only that, but it gives the imperialists an excuse to build more control units for the idiots that are doing their dirty work.

Now I'll tell you about the Texas Department of Criminals. We prisoners in GRAD chose to call our gang affiliation history. Since then we have been labeled snitches (by TDCJ employees), by the same people who advertise how the prison system wants to help us rehabilitate. TDCJ employees know what goes on between prisoners because gang members have a habit of bragging, so when we denounce our gang affiliation the Gang Investigator (GI) tells you everything he knows about ranks and members all around the prison. At times the GI knows more than gang members. After being placed in the GRAD program, the same TDCJ staff go and instigate trouble between gang members and ex-gang members. That keeps the fuel on the fire and keeps prisoners at each others throats. Then TDCJ goes to the tax payer and asks for millions in tax dollars to build more control units.

December 4, 2008 and December 6, 2008, the thieves in the Governor's administration and TDCJ asked for a total of $506 million for the renovation of the prison hospital, for the medical contractors, and for walk-in metal detectors, wand detectors, surveillance cameras and x-ray machines. For the latter, the Texas department of criminals executive director is seeking an immediate $33 million. It is their own employees who bring in the contraband, but in the newspaper prisoners are the criminals.

Those of us who step back away from our gang membership are punished by the prisons. We face denial of meals (since I've been in GRAD I have been denied food 7 times). If we don't bark or beg for our meals we don't get fed. By law we should be allowed to recreate 1 hour daily, five days a week, but we are lucky if we get 1 hour a week. We get our water turned off by TDCJ employees just to try to get us to go off, and if we go off we have to go through the process all over again. We get verbal threats by staff. We get one or maybe two clean towels a week. We get old sheets that are cut in half. We don't get soap, tooth powder, grievance forms, or medical attention. We get strip searched by female guards, and if you are like me fighting the system, your mail is given to other prisoners or is denied.

The wing where I am housed is the only wing in the whole unit that is constantly freezing so that staff refuse to work this wing. We have to wear a t-shirt, jumpsuit and jacket in our cells during the winter. The air vents are so loud that you think you are standing next to a train (this is psychological torture). In the summer time the heat is turned on which makes you feel as if you are standing in the middle of the desert.

For 23 years I worked to please the oppressors by abusing the weak, oppressing others, and that is why I decided not to allow these people to tell me to do their dirty work while they sit back and earn money while I rot in these human warehouses.

Right now I am in a struggle with the medical department because they refuse to treat my illness. I am hypoglycemic and my blood sugar drops. Without the proper medication or diet I will lose my vision, which is happening slowly but surely. The way the grievance committee (kangaroo committee) puts it, I have to go into a coma so they can treat me. If more prisoners stood together as we used to in the 70s and early 80s, others would not have to go through these kinds of treatments. While we continue to fight each other they are building more control units. While we continue to fight each other we are forgetting the real purpose.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This issue of Under Lock and Key carries strong messages about the need for prisoners to stop fighting one another. We know that programs like the Texas GRAD system are used in many states to turn prisoners against each other by forcing them to snitch or be punished. But we also know that prisoners are turned against each other even before they enter these types of programs, fomenting conflicts between rival groups, and using prisoners to carry out violence against other prisoners in exchange for small favors. It is up to each prisoner to figure out how to best use the system to break away from the senseless violence and coming together with other prisoners to put their energy into the anti-imperialist struggle for peace.

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[Theory]
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NARA Historical Materialism Methodology

MIM(Prisons) received the following from the New Afrikan Revolutionary Army (NARA). This is their first official document establishing their political line. This brief document simply describes some points that are important bases for beginning a revolutionary approach to the world. We think this is a good starting point and wish the NARA success in its further development.

This Document has been designed to educate the New Afrikan Society in the science of historical materialism, which is the revolutionary methodology of overstanding past events and benefiting from them.

We as New Afrikans are aware that the Black Liberation struggle is Revolutionary because it cannot succeed without the total reorganization of the whole of this racist anglo-saxon system in this capitalist society. Surely we overstand that in the true final analysis in black nationalism self-determination means to revolutionize the New Afrikan environment.

If any true movement is to survive, anti-Imperialism is the final stage of over developed capitalism. It is the international control of monopoly—Corporate capital over the economic and social political lives of over half the world's people. Imperialism is also the extension of the capitalist ruling classes. Political control at the international level has called into existence the organization of neocolonialism, which is the highest stage of imperialism for it substitutes the face of the oppressor while maintaining the exploitative relationship of imperialism because imperialism is international in scope and the fight against it must also be international.

Our engagement shall be through Pan-Afrikanism for it has many different forms. To relate Pan-Afrikanism to the realities of the world today, we must never lose sight of the true nature of imperialism and it's number one proponent: US imperialism. Pan-Afrikanism that does not deal with neo-colonialists but instead obscures the exploitative policies of these colonialists due to their blackness is nothing more than bourgeois Nationalism taken to the internationalist level. Remember, Pan-Afrikanism is to internationally identify with the Afrikan — Struggle no matter where Afrikans and our descendants are found. The same realities they face we face but on different levels. For example: South Afrika's apartheid; America's Jim Crow era; Congo segregationalism. In America's segregation era and more recently in modern corporate slavery, most Pan-Afrikanist have been culturalist, while others represent a particular segment and target law as if it were grassroots in nature. Again reverse the facts and we shall control our reality.

(NARA)
Official Document

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[Organizing] [Utah] [ULK Issue 7]
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Trading short term violence for long term struggle

I've spent my whole life being angry and confused with law enforcement, the U.$., and just people in general. In my confusion I've taken my anger out on the pigs these past fourteen years, with many assaults on officers, attempting to disarm an officer, anything to rebel against this system of lies everybody has fully embraced and accepted.

I'll admit for a while there I was beginning to believe I was the problem: not having pride in the Amerikan troops in Iraq like the rest. Hating these pigs for giving my father the raw deal over and over. My whole life witnessing my family deteriorate by losing touch with each other because most all of us are felons. Never being able to fight back because there's not enough money to fight these charges, paying fines eternally.

I want to thank all the comrades who put the word out about your beliefs and platform because my blinders are off because of all your hard work. You see I'm currently in Utah's UNITA One facility. It is Supermax solitary, or intensive management unit (the hole), for just plain anger related incidents. I came to prison this time for attempting to disarm a pig. I figured I'd take one of them fuckers out at least, and my life would seem worthwhile or my family would feel the utter hate I have for these people who have destroyed everything I hold dear through their constant harassments.

I'm 26 years old, just eight months ago I wrote to the Maoist Prison cell, seeking reading materials to pass the time. These past eight months I've become almost drunk on all these misconceptions. I've been exposed to the truth. I feel anger still, but it's not at those small town pigs, it's at the imperialist pigs who run the U.$.

Now there's a whole bigger picture and I want to contribute to the struggle. I see now it's like they wanted me to go off so they could just brush me aside and either kill me or place me in a cell. I feel the rightness when I read Mao's words and see the total wrongness in this system, in these CO's eyes as they torture us, force medicate us. I was very close to just succumbing to these offers of medications. Like I said I thought it was me who was wrong, seeing Amerika as evil. My struggle brought me here though, and I'm happy for that because my mind's just been seeking the rhyme and reason and my back's been strengthened enough to put my weight behind just such a cause.

I smile now at these COs when they toss my cell or write me up. I laugh at these psychiatrists when they tell me I need medication. I feel pity the same way a person feels pity on a weaker boxer in a title bout. For these pigs, they'll lose.

So for now I'll continue my study and contribute all I'm able to the fight with hopes of gaining enough wisdom to spread the message to a lost soul like I was someday. I'm literally the only prisoner in my section (the hole) who is not all zoned out on medications. I was very close to being unable to even struggle with anything but my own medicated thoughts - out of despair I came close to just getting on medication. Yet my drugs is in my exercise knowing there's many years ahead to fight a just cause. My drug's in the look on these guards faces when a grievance causes loss of jobs, positions and face. I live now in a torture chamber, the lowest possible position (except death row three sections down) a man can be in. But I see myself rising to the most high position possible: comrade in a struggle to bring true justice to the world's population.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Missouri]
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Concrete Soldiers


We are living our lives as captives trapped
behind this prison gate
Our bodies are tortured but our will to survive will never be
slain by this system that believes in nothing but hate.
Daily we're patronized ridiculed with our hearts filled with pain,
Ever so fearlessly we fight so that our hearts and souls will remain.
We rebel against our captors tooth and nail,
Refusing that the numbers we've become won't be our only tale to tell.
We retaliate by planning, dreaming, and persuing our goals,
We're accustomed to the system's hard knocks and low blows.
When our lives became no longer our own we vowed to fight and win our struggle.
Never to surrender our individuality at any cost or the respect thereof,
for it is everything during our struggle inside this concrete jungle.
We have the right to keep our bodies, minds, and souls safe
from the pollution inside this hell.
Regardless what our captors think while we're caged like
animals inside these cells.
This battle we fight has been going on for decades of years.
A war fought for humanity by many good soldiers
through blood, sweat, and tears.
Year after year we continue to fight against a system that
believes in nothing but wrong.
Our powers take aim towards helping those who have fallen and are less strong.
A healing must take place for the oppressed, the beaten,
the battered and abused.
Cease movement I say to racism, sexism, and all of the hate
that is used.
Our fight shall never end until Power to our People shall
be granted again.
May our fight touch many lives Peace, Love, and Solidarity
to all from our hearts deep within.

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[Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Camp Hill] [Pennsylvania]
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Pennsylvania torture units

I was in Camp Hill prison control unit called the SMU which means special management unit. The race there is only Black prisoners and the staff there beat Black prisoners until they are bloody or deprive them of their food. In 2005 the SMU guards killed a prisoner - a black prisoner that is - by not feeding him his food. I myself have been beaten and deprived of food, water and other things mainly medical care. These control units are slave torture camps and the staff that work in these control units are diabolical devils. They only build these control units for Black prisoners to torture, murder and rape our mind from our sanity. These staff who work in Camp Hill SMU are all white and they do so many unlawful things it's crazy. The courts of commonwealth of PA backs them up. Many lawsuits have been filed against Camp Hill control unit, but nothing has been done. Outside people need to realize that us prisoners are being tortured and murdered because of the color of our skin.

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[Elections] [Texas] [ULK Issue 6]
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Response to ULK Obama article

Thank you for responding to my letter and sending me the copy of your newsletter. I found the articles very informative and inspiring. I also enjoyed the many letters from the various prisons around and was surprised how many of them spoke to issues I myself am concerned with.

I would like to point out here my agreement with the article about Barack Obama. I think the very prophesy of that article is already coming true. He promised "change" for Amerika, but look at the people he surrounds himself with. Look at the cabinet posts he has appointed. It is the same old inside Washington D.C. bunch, the same powers behind the scene supporting the same oppressive imperialism that keep the poor poor and abused. The hope that many felt would come by the election of a Black man to the presidency is raped by the realization that Amerika actually elected a "half-white man" to the presidency.

I am new to Marxist, Maoist philosophy, but I feel in my gut what these stand for, and I consider myself a thinking man. I am starved for information, so please keep me on your mailing list. And any books or literature you could send to help me understand more, will be greatly appreciated.

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[Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Camp Hill] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 6]
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Oppression at Pennsylvania's SMU

Oppression in Pennsylvania's plantation "Special Management Unit" is at an all time high. This is where the so-called worst of the worst convicts are sent, but it's not for any form of rehabilitation but rather to be abused. A lot of strong brothers are being physically and mentally abused in an attempt to break their fighting spirit. Note: the oppressors fear what they can not conquer.

It is said that all those of us who have the mental ability to organize the masses and structure any type of movement for the betterment of the oppressed peoples movement "need" to be locked down.

The abuse at SCI Camp Hill runs deep, to the point where it'll drive the weak crazy. The other day a brother (new arrival) split his own forehead open in an attempt to get transferred. He was taken to medical for 3 days and brought right back to the SMU. I personally have been experiencing a lot of abuse. I'm labeled by central office, under the Security Threat Group as a high ranking New York Blood. Officers use this to confiscate my literature, mail, photos and legal materials (all is labeled gang related).

We are not allowed to buy soap, deodorant, toothpaste, or lotion off of the commissary even if we have the proper funds in our accounts. Every time we request copies of any policies that tell us what we're allowed to have, we're told, 'oh you can't have that in the SMU.' Everything is considered a security risk at this concentration camp.

All other facilities allowed me to have MIM Notes except here. Officials don't follow publication procedures and take it upon themselves to determine what is and isn't allowed. I've filed a grievance on this and a number of violations here including health risks and I'm currently planning to file a class action suit with a few other comrades. Our ultimate goal is to get this concentration camp shut down.

We are currently working with a number of organizations who've been very supportive. I write so that everyone may know the seriousness of the situation. Officers beat brothers senseless in this control unit even if we're completely restrained, wearing cuffs, tether, shackles and restraint belt. This isn't rehabilitation at all but it sure is oppression at its worst! Still in all, we remain strong and focused on shutting this joint down!

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[Organizing] [California]
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Snitches, agents of the oppressor

Whether you call it snitchin, rollin over, or throwin rat, there has been a trend take over of brothas and sistas alike cooperating with the oppressor. Now I don't know why, but it seems to be a subject that many whisper about but few are willing to discuss. It's nothing new, but due to the over-popularity of its recent trend, many people are falling victim to the reconstruction of its appearance. And something needs to be done.

Since the beginning of history there have been traitors, informers, and infiltrators, so I'm not looking for a magic potion that'll eliminate the existence of snitching. I'm just looking for my revolutionary comrades to start (or put more effort in) educating each other on the existence of the snitch population, because it seems with so many falling victim to the traps of the oppressing agency, somebody somewhere failed to do so.

Snitchin ain't cool, solid, or proper, no matter how one chooses to dress it up and define it. It shouldn't be tolerated under any conditions or circumstances, whether you're incarcerated, caught up in court on a beef that involved a rad or two with you havin nothing to do with the case, or on the streets under investigation for an involvement, or lies with a certain revolutionary struggle/movement. It is totally unacceptable for one to open up his or her mouth to volunteer his or her cooperation with the oppressor.

As a revolutionary comrade to the USW, I find it my duty to speak on the issue and address it with all my heart.

Here in California there's been a trend of general population inmates turnin in there flags to the administrators for a life in the world of a P.C (peace of $hit) - Protective Custody. Now excuse the french, because I know there are a few celebs lie 'ol O.J. Simpson who reside in the system and have to be PC'ed up so they can keep the vultures off them. But I'm talking about the pieces of shit's, the child molesters, rapists and informers for the government. Dudes who used to be part of the criminal lifestyle, but violated the script, and used the PC route for a scape goat.

These individuals are the ones who are the main reasons prisons all over Amerikkka are fucked up the way they are. If it weren't for this population of individuals, the prison officials wouldn't know half the things they know about the prisoner organizing tactics and strategies, helping them to better limit us of our much needed resources, cornering our struggle and section of the end to imprisonment movement.

California has what they call the sensitive need yard (SNY) program, and it is under the protective custody program. It seems that convicts (ex-convicts) of all ages are flocking to the wardens to be enrolled. The program is separated from the GP prisoners, but already it is more of them than it is of us. A common joke amongst the GP prisoners is that in a few years we'll be the prison minority.

I can't speak on the lifestyle of a PC because I've never been on that side of the fence, but I can speak on how the PC lifestyle messes up the lifestyle of the GP.

After a prisoner decides he wants to go rat, he must inform the faculty Sgt officer of his intentions and why. Once this is done the goon squad (institutional security unit or institutional gang investigator) will get at him to receive any information that can be given. Weapons, drugs, names of the politically active, etc. From what I hear, if the information is valid enough they sign him up as a confidential informant and use him to take down individual convicts or whole convict organizing groups.

This snitch then is provided with special needs: a TV or a cell phone, or whatever the guard has to spear with its budget, which makes him want to stay on his job and encourage others to join his Inmate Task Force.

With these individuals existing along with their selfless structure of thinking, the solid revolutionary must truely practice knowing what they deal with, and the ways they deal with them. Back in the mid-sixties the convict element knew of no PC or Sensitive Needs Yards. Dudes got their paperwork checked at the front door, and if he/she had smut on their jacket, it would either be cleaned up or dealt with accordingly.

Now days you ask a dude for his/her ID, and he's bound to call the pigs. I'm supposed to be surrounded by these group of individuals claiming to be incarcerated for murdering a pig, but really be down for molesting a little girl or something. Something I'm totally against, and believe deserves capital punishment right along with the blooming snitch trend.

Informants are being placed on the main lines nationwide comrades, watch yo self and who you surround yourself with. The oppressor has become more aggressive in his/her campaign to destroy communism in Amerikkka (the U.$. to be exact) by putting eyes on the party's people even more so.

Those who are educated behind these walls are a threat to the prison officials and their puppeteers, because we can educate those who aren't. We are the political cadres for the movement to end oppression and imprisonment, and we must conduct ourselves as such. Safe guard yourself for there will always be eyes on you, whether it's the mailroom or Bush and his telecom eavesdroppers.

The snitcin game isn't to be played by a true revolutionary, for it's everything that we as communists are against. It's the game that destroyed the Gang of Four in China, the Bolsheviks in Russia, and Huey P. Newton and the Panthers here in the U.$. Prison rads must safeguard themselves, watch what you say, where you say it, when you say it, how you say it, and who you say it to.

Power to the People.


MIM(Prisons) responds:
This comrade makes some important points about security for our comrades behind bars. We do take issue with one point in his article: MIM(Prisons) does not make a distinction between prisoners based on the crimes for which they were convicted. We know that it is easy enough to convict a Black man for rape of a white womyn, and that coerced sex goes on in marriages, relationships and families, every day. Because sex under the patriarchy is inherently unequal we don't condemn those convicted of rape as somehow inferior to other prisoners. Instead we struggle with all prisoners to see the error of committing crimes against the people, and encourage them to take up the revolutionary struggle.

We also don't support capital punishment for anyone under imperialism because the capitalists use the death penalty to further their political agenda. We know that it may be necessary under a dictatorship of the proletariat, but we strive to avoid taking lives that could be turned into productive revolutionary citizens.

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