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Under Lock & Key

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[Control Units] [South Carolina] [ULK Issue 4]
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Challenging SMU policies in the courts

I am known as the litigating terrorist. I have filed many actions challenging South Carolina Department of Corrections. What they are doing now is totally in violation of the constitution.

Two years ago they implemented a policy that Special Management Unit (SMU) prisoners can not receive newspapers, books or magazines. This is legal and religious. The religious materials can get slid in through the chaplain but legal is dead. In mid 2003 they stopped ordering legal books so we SMU prisoners have no way to obtain up to date law materials, being mindfull that the law is forever changing.

Just May 1st of this year they changed the policy so an indigent prisoner can only write to lawyers, courts, judges, legal aid organizations if they represent you in a pending case or you have a pending case in that court. And prisoners must show proof of the case. They won't allow us to make copies of their policies because we use it against them too much.

In SMU we get an hour recreation. I am a level one prisoner so I get my rec with leg irons on, belly chain with a crotch chain and a black box. I have so much iron on I can't sit down without pain. Your rec can easily be taken away. They pass out brooms, dust pans, mops, etc. to clean cells once a week on Saturday or Sunday. This past Thursday an officer took my rec because I had legal work on my floor but he said I needed to sweep my floor. The officer did it because I wrote him up for staling pornographic drawings from me. He took the drawings and claimed he turned them in to the contraband office. The contraband office does not have the original drawings, the officer took them home. He may lose his job.

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[Control Units] [Organizing] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 4]
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Using time in control units for the revolution

As they keep moving me from penitentiary to penitentiary I can’t help but realize that the majority of prisoners serving indefinite life and death sentences in control units are Black and Latin brothers who, due to their lack of knowledge, had their rights violated and like myself were railroaded and ambushed by this corrupt injustice system, and eventually thrown into these control units. I consider these human warehouses, where we die a slow agonizing death.

I am one of the very few who has managed to maintain my sanity. And rather than serving this tortured time, I’m having this time serve me by educating myself and as the sun bringing light to all corners of my circumference, waking up all those who have been sleeping in the graveyard of ignorance, to unite and assist in organizing a revolution that will bring an end to the oppression of all groups over other groups, classes, genders and nations.

I agree with those who believe that crime is the bad oppressive things we do to each other. The more people you hurt and oppress, the bigger the criminal you are. So the big criminals in our country are the bourgeoisie – those who are rich while others are poor, those who make profit from other peoples misery, street crime is a very small part of all the crimes committed each day in comparison to unemployment, homelessness, discrimination, bad education and bad health care.

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[Abuse] [California]
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Conditions deteriorate at Kern Valley

What is the deal at Killa Kern Valley State prison here in California? Is it Amerikka's society economic meltdown, or is it CDCR's capitalist truly saying "buck the world, let's get paid". At the moment Kern Valley prisoners are experiencing some major difficulties with obtaining the things we have coming from the state. And it is becoming worse and worse with each day that goes by. They have come up with a new budget cut campaign, and they aren't doing any playing, or half stepping.

Recently they came with a variety of snake tactics that will help them take from us to save funds, and not be seen doing it. It will be done in a manner that would make society respond with a "so what" attitude.

At this point administration has succeeded in limiting the general population's usage of flushing toilets in order to cut back on the prison's consumption of water. They've shortened the amount of toilet tissue from a small roll to an extra small one. Basically they've forced us (two prisoners per cell) to make what was used to last one person whole week, last two people a whole week. Not only can we not sit on the toilet and pass gas freely while the smell is flushed away to the pipes, keeping the scent out of the cell. We have to figure out a way to keep ourselves wiped properly without using up all of the tissue. It's kind of barbaric if you ask me.

The prices of various canteen items are on the rise like gas prices. Top Ramen noodle soups are 25 cents, up from a recent 20 cents, and the price of rice, beans, and peanut butter is up as well. The dinner trays are ridiculously short, sometimes missing a whole part of the meal. And the nutrition sack lunch isn't so nutritious at all. At the moment California prisoners who owe restitution fees are being taxed 55% of whatever funds their hard working families send them. Coffee is up $7.50 from $4.50, and they are planning to boost the restitution fee by 5%. That's more than half of California prisoner's money taken before they've even got the opportunity to shop at the overpriced shopping market.

They've let this yard off lockdown for the moment, but it seems to be something they've done on paper just to cover their asses and the asses of the California senate. Blacks can't get the same working/education opportunities as other races. Nor can the convict population as a whole receive adequate access to the law library (or religion services).

This institution and its officials are foul. It's as if we're truly being physically attacked by the capitalistic forces, and no one of society is taking note.

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[Control Units] [California] [ULK Issue 4]
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Gang validation of the politically active

A revolutionary abrazo given and sent to all, from the depths of the gallows of chain link fences and barbed wire that has met the consumption in the harvest of plantation Amerikkka. Deprived of our livelihood and recruited in this Industrial Army. We have removed the yoke of oppression creating a commune that refuses to bow to the dictates of this prison industrial complex. Our single cell of multicultural backgrounds has fought against the system since birth. Victims to the judicial demagogue, comprehending that the blind lady of justice is only weighing our pockets.

Because of our political beliefs (that always get misconstrued) we've landed in these deprivation units, for our individual cases as men, we the people, are now prisoners of war. We are labeled and branded from the many scattered sheep entwined in hives of "rehabilitation". We have been singled or rather targeted by networks of a controlled government that uses force to impose rules against our race from above, suppressing individual initiatives in the interest of maximizing these control units, to meet their economic consumption that exploits our people.

Those of us who do not prostrate before CDCR economic, political, and militant demands, can be branded associates to prison gangs. These aggressive policies will not be the means of our demise. I am a Marxist-Lenninist-Maoist and I will not subside my resistance to this Abu-Grahiization (torture). But, on the contrary, I will attack the social injustices that commonly validate our people. CDCR has openly declared its intention to agress and colonize our people by rapid and violent assimilation.

Ideologically, CDCR validates [as gang members] groups cast as enemies by the states hegemonic myth or by the need to isolate people who can be portrayed as the embodiment of absolute evil. CDCR has also campaigned to control the mindset of our people to impose a solution to tough on crime legislation by forcing gang validation as a means to deliberately destroy our culture, which systematically liquidates all of our characteristics of our national society.

In closing, the battle has only begun. The proletariat will mobilize in mass demonstration in words with a singe of revolutionary fervor. Our social being has led to our consciousness, we serve as the vanguard for and of the oppressed. So, it is our obligation to help awaken the nucleus of all our peoples, in seeing that we've all been validated in classes and singled out by this fascist plutocracy.

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[Control Units] [Florida]
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Control Units in Florida

In Florida these units are called Close Management (CM). There are around 5 of these units throughout the states. They are similar to most control units in the other states. I have never been there but numbers are certainly in the thousands. Prisoners who file grievances or lawsuits are prime targets for CM The Florida DOC had to close a lot of its CM units a few years ago because of a successful inmate’s lawsuit.

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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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