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Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [ULK Issue 5]
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Combatting liberalism

I send my undying love to MIM for the strength, dedication and support these comrades have given to all oppressed people in our fight against oppression world-wide. I send my love, honor and respect to our comrades in N.J for not only being the real true freedom fighters of our cause but for supporting me mentally, politically and spiritually and teaching me the essence of our beliefs.

A comrade once told me “a man who crosses the river at night truly values the light of day.” I learned what this quote meant when I experienced the many obstacles in my life by not only standing firm as a LKPP but by combating liberalism and the imperialists as well.

I’m responding to an article I read in the Nov 2007 issue of ULK, a comrade mentioned the lack of communication among our peers, he also talked about the program he founded called “combat liberalism.” I received this material many years ago and have stood firm on its message and have passed along to others its essence in our fight against liberalism.

I want to define liberalism to give you a little understanding in detail of the importance why this program was formed in the beginning. Liberalism: characterized by generosity or lavishness in giving, abundant, ample, inclining towards opinions or politics. The key words here are politics and favoritism.

On a political stand point as an anti-imperialist we as the oppressed must not show favor to those who seek to oppress our own people, and in return receive liberty while our people suffer. Not only do we face these issues outside of our fold, but within our own realm. Liberalism can and is acted out and displayed within our own people at times. And such selfishness can cause separation among our own people. This brings about sects and cliques that we strongly oppose. We all must sacrifice our own wills and needs if need be, to rise against such negativity and combat Liberalism by any means necessary.

Another wise goat once defined for me the true essence of a philosopher’s mission in searching within ourselves and others. He said “the truth is like a lighted candle that’s encompassed with darkness, with its bright illumination is yet visible to those whom see the light.”

I love this goat because in order for us “as seekers” to receive the truth we must communicate to those who “not only” know the truth “but, seek further enlightenment as well…as we let our own actions shine by receiving the truth, others that already know the truth will not only see but become stronger believers as well. And for those that don’t know will learn from our actions as we all reflect upon them who may be asleep." As we say “wake him/her”. As Karl Marx once said “therefore mankind always takes up only such problems as it can solve, looking at the matter more closely, we will always find that the problem itself arises only when the material conditions necessary for its solution already exist or are at least in the process of formation.”

This statement is very true and explains why it is inborn within us of our nature to act upon the social and political conditions that we’re subject to live under as oppressed people, and such conditions of racism, imperialism, liberalism and many other types of oppression already exist.

MIM(Prisons)adds the article Combat Liberalism by Mao Zedong:

COMBAT LIBERALISM
September 7, 1937

We stand for active ideological struggle because it is the weapon for ensuring unity within the Party and the revolutionary organizations in the interest of our fight. Every Communist and revolutionary should take up this weapon.

But liberalism rejects ideological struggle and stands for unprincipled peace, thus giving rise to a decadent, Philistine attitude and bringing about political degeneration in certain units and individuals in the Party and the revolutionary organizations.

Liberalism manifests itself in various ways.

To let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has clearly gone wrong, and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a fellow townsman, a schoolmate, a close friend, a loved one, an old colleague or old subordinate. Or to touch on the matter lightly instead of going into it thoroughly, so as to keep on good terms. The result is that both the organization and the individual are harmed. This is one type of liberalism.

To indulge in irresponsible criticism in private instead of actively putting forward one's suggestions to the organization. To say nothing to people to their faces but to gossip behind their backs, or to say nothing at a meeting but to gossip afterwards. To show no regard at all for the principles of collective life but to follow one's own inclination. This is a second type.

To let things drift if they do not affect one personally; to say as little as possible while knowing perfectly well what is wrong, to be worldly wise and play safe and seek only to avoid blame. This is a third type.

Not to obey orders but to give pride of place to one's own opinions. To demand special consideration from the organization but to reject its discipline. This is a fourth type.

To indulge in personal attacks, pick quarrels, vent personal spite or seek revenge instead of entering into an argument and struggling against incorrect views for the sake of unity or progress or getting the work done properly. This is a fifth type.

To hear incorrect views without rebutting them and even to hear counter-revolutionary remarks without reporting them, but instead to take them calmly as if nothing had happened. This is a sixth type.

To be among the masses and fail to conduct propaganda and agitation or speak at meetings or conduct investigations and inquiries among them, and instead to be indifferent to them and show no concern for their well-being, forgetting that one is a Communist and behaving as if one were an ordinary non-Communist. This is a seventh type.

To see someone harming the interests of the masses and yet not feel indignant, or dissuade or stop him or reason with him, but to allow him to continue. This is an eighth type.

To work half-heartedly without a definite plan or direction; to work perfunctorily and muddle along—"So long as one remains a monk, one goes on tolling the bell." This is a ninth type.

To regard oneself as having rendered great service to the revolution, to pride oneself on being a veteran, to disdain minor assignments while being quite unequal to major tasks, to be slipshod in work and slack in study. This is a tenth type.

To be aware of one's own mistakes and yet make no attempt to correct them, taking a liberal attitude towards oneself. This is an eleventh type.

We could name more. But these eleven are the principal types.

They are all manifestations of liberalism.

Liberalism is extremely harmful in a revolutionary collective. It is a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension. It robs the revolutionary ranks of compact organization and strict discipline, prevents policies from being carried through and alienates the Party organizations from the masses which the Party leads. It is an extremely bad tendency.

Liberalism stems from petty-bourgeois selfishness, it places personal interests first and the interests of the revolution second, and this gives rise to ideological, political and organizational liberalism.

People who are liberals look upon the principles of Marxism as abstract dogma. They approve of Marxism, but are not prepared to practice it or to practice it in full; they are not prepared to replace their liberalism by Marxism. These people have their Marxism, but they have their liberalism as well—they talk Marxism but practice liberalism; they apply Marxism to others but liberalism to themselves. They keep both kinds of goods in stock and find a use for each. This is how the minds of certain people work.

Liberalism is a manifestation of opportunism and conflicts fundamentally with Marxism. It is negative and objectively has the effect of helping the enemy; that is why the enemy welcomes its preservation in our midst. Such being its nature, there should be no place for it in the ranks of the revolution.

We must use Marxism, which is positive in spirit, to overcome liberalism, which is negative. A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist.

All loyal, honest, active and upright Communists must unite to oppose the liberal tendencies shown by certain people among us, and set them on the right path. This is one of the tasks on our ideological front.

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[Organizing] [Theory] [Texas]
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Turn negative pressure to postive, fight imperialism from behind the bars

MIM, my utmost respects and appreciation for your dedication and publication from Under Lock and Key, 2008 June issue. To all who submit and share time and thought with the masses, my love and respects.

We are all in this struggle together in one form or another, even when one does not know or acknowledge it. This is why I have taken the time today to share with you thoughts, from a prisoners point of view, seen through my eyes. We all have different experiences and pains but one thing we have in common is the struggle.

I would imagine that different situations for a prisoner would make him or her act out against pressure in many different ways. Some positive, some negative. We have positive pressure, meaning the type of pressure that family and friends and comrades give us: encouragement! Then there’s negative pressure, meaning the type we feel from an outside force who makes us or tries to make us submit, against our will: capitalism and imperialism!

See, these pressures one can direct, if only we can identify them. Some people don’t know how and so they turn their anger and confusion on the masses and the people they love. Becoming destructive and careless to the environment and world around them. Fighting fire with fire! But fire is put out with water!

Practicing how to control your emotions and attitude can strengthen your vision and your direction, which in turn will give you patience and a clear view of what is ahead. A lot of us react on the spot towards situations without giving them proper consideration/self-criticism. This will turn destructive!

I hear it all the time how people are proud of being Latino or Black, but then turn right around and cause harm and pain to the same people they say they are proud of being or trying to protect. I mean it the way I am saying it!

I mean, we down other people so much that we can’t even overcome the smallest things which are within us: confusion and anger! In order to establish the kingdom of freedom in the world, it must first be established in the hearts of men. This is the biggest problem we have today in the world, not establishing it within us first. Freedom from self-hate, crime, senseless violence, drugs, prison, poverty etc etc. Identifying the roots of the problem will always give us a more clear view to what and how to liberate the light that is trapped within that negative pressure, or knowing how to proceed with the positive pressure.

There is a theory that I have and I would like feedback on if possible. Negative pressure will always turn into a positive outcome if one knows how to be self-controlling and patient. Example: the people who are under repression know that repression will breed resistance. The type of resistance I am speaking about must be positive thinking. You can’t and must not lower your moral values to that of the oppressors’ because once you do lower your moral values to that of the oppressor, you have then become defeated without even knowing it.

Haven’t we all heard that the one that knows you best is you? If you allow yourself to succumb to defeat, you must learn from that once you have acknowledged it as a learning experience and practice a new method. Fighting fire with fire has shown us that we won’t win in a strong imperialist government. This is why I am inspired by MIM’s theory about fighting them with pen and paper. Through grievances and bringing awareness to the masses inside and outside prison. So let us put it out with water. Being determined comes from wanting to do something that is or may seem doable, and everything is doable once you have found yourself. Finding yourself comes from self-criticism! You must analyze everything and don’t stop trying to find out the facts. Facts about yourself because your worst enemy is you! You betray yourself and allow yourself to be captured (mentally) and conquered, only when you stop fighting the good fight. Through legal and other means.

Self-determination is what stimulates dedication because its through practice that one builds leadership and we are all leaders, its our destiny to lead rather than to be led. How else did Mao, Che, Lenin, etc achieve such success if it were not for their dedication.

They acknowledged what was wrong and chose to dedicate their life to mobilize the masses to go against that force. Apply their spirit and do as learned, the material that we need to have and it’s the facts that surround us every day. The enemy is exposing himself or better said themselves everyday.

One thing that I am trying to convey is that when we are in a stronghold (prison) and don’t have the proper reading material to help illuminate strategies and tactics, per se, we must not be afraid to go to its rawest form which is the reality that we see, perceive and observe everyday. Who else would know prison life better if it were not the prisoner? We live here and we should be encouraging one another to expose that negative pressure and build toward what can help us positively.

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[Theory] [California]
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Imperialism is disgraceful, not communism

I’m writing to let you know that I received Under Lock and Key #3 and MIM Theory #4. I’ve been reading everything you send and other readings on communism and revolutions. I’ve also been sharing with others the reading material you’ve sent. I’ve been trying to have discussions about MIM and communism with as many people as I can.

I’m not well educated but I know in my heart that communism is the purest form of democracy. I know there are people who believe in the proletarian struggle, but don’t believe in communism when both go together like a pair of shoes - they have to be the same colors and size in order to fit, right? People tend to get offended by the word communism. They don’t like it, they think communism is the most disgraceful, evil word they’ve heard. But they’re over here calling their girls bitches and each other niggas, some even call themselves democrats or republicans (they’re not even allowed to vote).

They must not know about the death squads and bomb and arms the imperialists supply or force on the world to destroy itself for their profits, benefits and well being. People don’t think that’s disgraceful, but they think communism is. They think it’s mythical, they don’t take it to the heart.

Just the other day I was having a discussion about MIM Notes and someone said something like “I don’t read that cause you might get black listed.” That showed me that people are still not free enough to think for themselves. I know this was the propaganda talking but there’s always that fear in your head which the imperialists put there so you won’t get out of hand.

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[Control Units] [Oregon]
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Isolation Units in Oregon

Right now I'm in IMU (Intensive Management Unit). I'm in my cell for 23 1/2 hours a day, some days I don't even get yard. IMU is for people that are violent or have to be segregated cuz they can't be in general population.

Here in IMU there is A pod, C pod and D pod. Each pod holds 48 people. Mostly the whites are here in IMU for race riots and the like. DOC usually targets white power inmates. This IMU is here at Snake River. There is another at OSP and I've heard a rumor about one being at the new prison at Madres.

B pod here at Snake is the SHU program, which stands for Special Housing Unit, which is people doing forever in a cell 23 1/2 hours a day. I personally know 2 people in the SHU that are doing the rest of their lives in there. They are NEVER gonna see mainline again. NEVER see the stars.


There's not many blacks in here. Like I said, the whites make up most of the population here in IMU. There are a good number of Latinos though.

I don't agree with all this. And I'm not just saying that cuz I'm in here, I understand fully that I'm to be disciplined if I act up. However, doing this long stretch of solitary confinement is torture and affects one's mind mentally. There are people who knew me before all the lockdown time and after. More than one person on the street told me that I came out of prison worse than when I went in. Why? Because of all this segregation. I'm more high strung. More violent. I write more sadistic poetry. For some reason all this isolation messes with the brain.

Innocence is put in segregation, and that innocence comes out being a killer.

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[Religious Repression] [New York]
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Fighting repression of Muslims in NY

At the end of October, I will begin trial in a civil action lawsuit regarding the mistreatment of Muslim prisoners in the Lakeview Shock Correctional Facility in New York. This trial will be conducted before the honorable Charles J. Siragusa in the United States District Court in Rochester. I will be proceeding pro se in this case. This case is entitled Andre Smith vs Glenn Goord, 04 CV 6432 (CJS).

This case is based on the fact that the defendants placed a substantial burden on my right to exercise my religious beliefs at the Lakeview CF from December 30, 2003 to March 26, 2004, while promoting the Catholic religion at the expense of myself and other Muslim prisoners, by acknowledging the Catholic religion by passing out bibles to all inmates and allowing the Catholic chaplain to give religious advice to all prisoners, including myself and other Muslims. They accord special recognition to Christianity beyond anything necessary to accommodate the religious needs of the Catholic majority, and the defendants make it easier for Catholics to practice their religion than for adherents of another faith to practice their faith. The defendants did not provide an alternative way for myself and other Muslims to exercise our religious beliefs. This violates the religious land use and institutionalized persons act which congress enacted in 2000.

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[Control Units] [California]
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Pelican Bay a dead end

I've been in CU [Control Unit]. We're allowed to go to the yard, but we have to go to the concrete yard. The concrete yard is about two times the size of the cell we're living in. Nobody to talk to or work out with.

The most humiliating thing taking place here in the department of corrections Pelican Bay State Prison is this: the institution shows what are called institutional movies for the prisoners - the movies are purchased with funds from institutional welfare. But the kinds of movies we're allowed to watch are rated PG. It's like they are trying to put the prisoners in a child's state of mind. The whole prison is considered a control institution, but it is an insult to a grown man to have to watch children's movies. We're talked to like children, and when we speak up as men we're written up.

The institutional program is supposed to be racially balanced, but I'll demonstrate just how racist it is in here. A while back I filed a grievance about them taking my walkman. They told me that I couldn't possess a walkman and a typewriter. They denied my petition arguing that I could have both. But another prisoner who is white filed the same argument and they gave him his typewriter. Now they let everyone get typewriters, but only after a petition was filed by a white prisoner.

There isn't any program for a lifer in here. I can't even take care of myself. I have a job in which I make 13 cents an hour, and I get paid for just two hours a day.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Texas] [ULK Issue 4]
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Under Lock and Key

As far as my eyes can see,
Not just the flesh
But our minds are under lock and key.
For hundreds of years
Behind "Justice" as an illusion,
Blindfolded by "Liberty" 2 cause confusion.
Founded by forefathers who slaughtered our mothers,
Established by "men" who slayed our brothers,
Our true names covered and denied,
Lashes handed 2 those who tried.
Something needs 2 be done,
2 change history about those who won,
Determination, Dedication, Revolution
in my eyes,
From the roots 2 the crest
Still I rise,
As far as my eyes can see,
Not just the flesh
But our minds are "under lock and key."

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[Abuse] [Florida]
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COs refuse to do their jobs

The correctional staff here don't like to perform their jobs. When a prisoner has any type of call-out they will try to bribe the prisoner by offering them cigarettes or anything to do with tobacco products, drugs, etc. It's being done on a monthly and weekly basis. They will try anything to stop a prisoner from receiving what he is required to have. That's plain deceitful. They don't care because all of them do evil things and it's covered up and that's awful.

One morning on June 5, 2008, the officers refused to open the food flap to feed a prisoner. He told the prisoner, I don't care if you never eat - now go kill yourself. One time last year (May 2007) I had a sty on my eyelid so I was told to sign up for sick call. I did. When I went up there to be seen the medical nurse told me there's nothing we can do for you. So it was left untreated and I was charged $4. The whole thing was a waste of my time.

Another thing, I want to address, is when you file a grievance they will deny it even if your point is legit. And then they will try to retaliate by writing you a disciplinary report or putting a knife in the cell while you're on a call-out or at recreation, etc. This is some of the criminal injustice that needs to be exposed. I believe with your support we will see some light at the end of the tunnel.

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[Culture] [ULK Issue 4]
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Immortal Technique - The 3rd World drops


Immortal Technique & DJ Green Lantern
The 3rd World
Viper Records
June 24, 2008

The long awaited third album from Immortal Technique hit stores today. It's not Revolutionary Volume 3, it's not the much hyped Middle Passage, but it's a mix tape with DJ Green Lantern called Third World. The title is fitting, as the album takes a pretty consistent perspective of the oppressed of the Third World. Tech's lyrics with samples to complement from DJ Green Lantern, over some banging beats, make this a highly recommended album to check out.

MIM's review of and interview with Immortal Technique received a lot of interest and response from readers of MIM Notes and etext.org in the past. The biggest criticism of Tech's politics has to be the role of the white nation as oppressor vs. ally in the revolution. On his first CD, he declared camaraderie with working class whites as a whole. But a comparison of Open Your Eyes off of Third World with The Poverty of Philosophy off of Vol.1 indicates that his politics have continued to develop in the internationalist direction that was more clearly pronounced on Vol.2. So, we see Tech growing ideologically, as well as musically on this new CD.

MIM(Prisons) mentioned Immortal Technique in a discussion of the principal contradiction, where we were critical of his treatment of Bu$h and bin Laden as one in the same. This stems from his reliance on conspiracy theories in favor of studying politics on the group level. But Third World is much lighter on conspiracy theory, and responds to this critique and the development of the principal contradiction globally by clearly allying with the jihad against u$ occupation. Tech even calls out all the rappers who used to be down with Allah, for turning silent out of fear.

Philosophically, Tech repeatedly pushes materialism, with lines like:3

Son, remember, when you fight to be free.
You see things how they are,
and not how you like them to be

He demonstrates the application of this materialism in his revolutionary theory that is based in internationalism and recognizes the principal contradiction between the oppressor and oppressed nations. Open Your Eyes is jam-packed with a great analysis political economy with a great hook. The first line sums it up nicely,

We're here because you are there.

The title track Third World is just as good, but more lyrical, staying on the topic of the truly oppressed with lines like:

it makes the hood in amerika look like paradise
and
...700 children died by the end of this song.

The opening track also speaks some real truth:

They call us terrorists after they ruined our countries
Funded right-wing paramilitary monkeys
Tortured a populace,
then blamed the communists
Your lies are too obvious.

On these tracks, he also alludes to the impending invasion of the imperialist countries by the oppressed who will take back what is theirs. The album is very favorable to the Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariat of the Oppressed Nations. He also refers to the Reconquista in Hollywood Driveby:

everybody talking about the south taking over,
it's true motherfucker, but it's comin' over the border.

Many have been critical of Immortal Technique for homophobia and misogyny in his lyrics. Not that he is any worse than your average, on the contrary. But we might expect more from someone who is such a conscious revolutionary. There's nothing too feminist on the Third World and some of his comrades utilize some misogynist language. Of course, the whole album is very macho in Tech's typical style, but it is a revolutionary machismo that we could use more of. He does provide some good advice regarding sex and romance, like this verse from Reverse Pimpology that undercuts some of the sick tendencies of our romance culture, and goes on to put prisons, police and revolution as a higher priority:

most people are only players because they got played
and have not let go of that shit since the 7th grade
yeah, you got your heart broke
life sucks doesn't it
but you shouldn't fuck up someone else's life because of it.

We welcome the return of Immortal Technique with some new music that shows real development. We can highly recommend that comrades pick this album up, after you order your copy of the Unlock the Box DVD.

This article referenced in:
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[Spanish] [Pennsylvania]
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Michigan represión contra Indíginias

Saludos hermanos y hermanas de MIM. Los saludo a todos por su trabajo revolucionario en educando y liberando las mentes encarcelada del mundo. Yo soy otro rehén encarcelado por beneficio en la prision maxima de Marquette Branch y estudiante del pensamiento comunista. Estoy presentandoles este papel que escribí para mi grupo en luz de mis estudios y reflejos sobre la historia en Americanos Nativos. Mis esperanzas son que les pueda ayudar a brillar una nueva luz sobre el comensamiento del la colonización americana y evocar discusión y más estudio como lo ha echó en mi circulo.

Yo atendo, al igual con otros hermanos, el servicio "del camino americano nativo" y recientemente cuando al fin llegamos junto a construir con significativo, y con el escarnio de la institución, afirmandonos que nuestro 1 y 14 derechos de enmendiamiento de la constitución esta bajo ataque. Y no es que tenemos fe en una constitución que todavía sancióna esclavitud, pero nuestra lucha diviera alamar ciertas comunidades, especificamente los americanos nativo, ya que es una larga y vieja guerra de supresión a nuestra tradición y costumbre nativa.

Nosotros ya tratamos de resolver este problema atravez de la administración y sus remedios de agravio y todo más pero estos son los mismo enemigos que controlan todos los processos de agrivio y reedios administrativo. Los mismo agentes fascista que interrumpen nuestro servicio con comentarios como "en america hablamos inglés." Mientras nuestros hermanos rezan en su lengua nativa. A nosotros regularmente no sueltan de nuestras celdas tarde y no podemos conducir nuestro servicio formal. También cuando tratamos de obtener nuestros articulos permitible para conducir nuestro servicio en su maneraadecuada, nos la confiscan.

Ellos hacen lo necessario para impedir la asistencia con intimidación. Si uno pide asistir el servicio, primero recibes una visita de una trabajador de pandillas, que te informará que el servicio es conducido por padilleros y que si tu participas te pondrán bajo investigación de amenasa de seguridad.

Nosotros hemos escrito a las naciones locales aqui en U.P para mas apoyo de afuera pero lamentablemente no hemos visto unidad entre los Americanos Nativos possiblemente por la intimidación de estas instituciones corruptas. Pero comoquiera nuestro circulo es fuerte y nos unimos cada semana para intercambiar cultural, intelectual, espiritual, y siembral semillas revolucionarias. También tenemos debates, discussiones, asignaciones y presnetaciones oral. Esperamos tener una relación con MIM(Prisons) y los tendramos al dia con nuestros assuntos ye materiales revolucionarios.

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