The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? help out
[Control Units] [New York]
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Problems with new BHU for mentally ill

The BHU program originated from a lawsuit settlement in April of 2007 (see Disability Advocates, Inc. v. New York State Office of Mental Health).

Disability Advocates, Inc., Prisoners' Legal Services of New York, the Prisoner's Rights Project of the Legal Aid Society, and Davis Polk & Wardwell brought the lawsuit against the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH). DOCS runs the New York State prisons. OMH is in charge of mental health treatment and services within New York State Prisons.

The main purpose of the settlement is to improve mental health treatment and services for all prisoners with serious mental health needs in DOCS- operated prisons.

In hood slang this program is about changing how the pigz has constantly violating prisoners with mental health issues throughout these years.

The program is taking mental health prisoners out of SHU (Special Housing Unit), basically the box, who are confined to their cells 23 hours a day, 7 days a week and admitting these prisoners to programs that will be very beneficial in helping us transition our bad ways to more positive ways.

For example, there are prisoners with serious mental health issues who tries to commit suicide & the DOCS pigz will discipline these prisoners instead of giving these prisoners treatment for their illnesses.

The problem at the BHU program at Sullivan Correctional FAcility is that the OMH BHU Director Ms. Harris is not stepping up to the DOCS Deputy Superintendent of Security Griffin, who truly runs the program.

The thing is this, the DOCS don't want these programs to exist because of the fact that they feel like the SHU prisoners are getting over by being released from the box and being sent to these program, so DOCS goals is to try and sabotage these programs any way they can.

The BHU pigz are constantly violating us by issuing fabricated tickets, deading us on supplies, cosmetics, showers, food, sending us back to the box (SHU) for alleged security reasons, forcing us to work unassigned porter jobs, that we don't even get paid for.

We have prisoners who are not medically cleared and approved to work in the food pantry and if prisoners refuse to work, they are being sent to the box for demonstration! The pigz have deaded me on food and the OMH staff are aware of this, but still don't do anything about it.

There's so many things I need to explain to you in details, but the fact is it's too much, therefore on behalf of all the BHU prisoners, we are requesting any type of assistance that you may provide because we've been submitting all types of complaints, grievances and we are not getting any results, but plain old more bullshit and corruption within these prison systems.

In closing, me and my fellow comrades wanna say thank you for remembering us behind these walls, and the struggles existing every where in every hood!


notes: Disability Advocates, Inc. v. New York State Office of Mental Health Private Settlement Agreement. summary from The Legal Aid Society.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We have received a number of reports regarding the BHU over the last year, many of them hopeful of the possibilities of the new program. Others describe it as no different from the SHU, and even this supporter points out the great inadequacies in eliminating abuse so far. Anything that gets people out of SHU will likely have progressive characteristics and we support BHU prisoners in their struggle to stay out of SHU and hold the state to the promises made in the Disability Advocates, Inc. settlement.

However, we do not put forth the BHU or other psychological approaches as solutions to the mental health problems faced by prisoners. The writer mentions the extreme case of suicide which requires "treatment." In MIM Theory 9: Psychology & Revolution, MIM discusses mental institutions as the flip side of the same coin as prisons, both of them being tools of social control. MIM even addresses a revolutionary approach to suicide that recognizes our relationship to the world around us and our ability to transform it, rather than focusing on getting us to accept an oppressive world that we should be sad and upset about.

Former Governor Spitzer signed more recent legislation aimed at getting people with serious mental health problems out of the SHU on January 28, 2008. "Governor Spitzer’s action formalizes the state’s decision to ban the use of solitary confinement for inmates with a serious mental illness who violate prison rules. Instead, these inmates will be placed in a residential mental health treatment unit where they will receive intensive psychiatric and behavioral treatment in a therapeutic setting." (1) As MIM has been saying for decades, and the state has openly admitted, the purpose of the SHU is to repress certain political ideas and social groups. And as MIM describes in MIM Theory 9, "intensive psychiatric and behavioral treatment" has the same goals.

The other problem with this legislation is the focus on the split between the mentally ill and not. Those who fall apart under the torture of being in the SHU have been successfully treated in the eyes of the state who is trying to break revolutionary and rebellious spirits. Therefore, the state is fine with letting those who have been broken out of the SHU while holding those who are able to stand strong in resistance. So while we may have decreased the amount of torture being committed by the state (that is still not clear), we have not done anything to address the problem that prisons and mental health institutions serve to repress elements of society that would otherwise be forces for progressive change for all of society.

Historically, experimentation with isolation, drugs and invasive brain surgery have all occurred hand-in-hand. Letting the state play one strategy of control off against the other, as if one is more humane or beneficial to the people is nothing but a good-cop/bad-cop sham. All prisoners need re-integration into society that includes education on how it is structured and operates in order to become sane productive members of this society.


notes:
(1) Mental Health Association in New York State. http://www.mhanys.org/publications/mhupdate/update080201.htm
(2) MIM Theory 9: Psychology & Revolution
(3) An Alternative to the SHU

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[Prison Labor] [Control Units] [New York]
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Slavery and Racism justify SHU time in NY

2/22/08

This facility has banned ALL MIM materials and they refuse to allow me duplications of the Media Review Notices- the only copy I have was sent back for appeal purposes because it is not "legal" materials!

These fascist pigs have also taken 8 months and 8 days of good time from me because I reported their employee who was using me as a slave, and have started a civil suite over it. (see enclosed)

[excerpt from claim]The complaint/grievance was the result of the claimant's having been enslaved by Mr. Snye, the horticulture instructor of Riverview. The claimant was forced to choose between completing a web-site for one of Mr. Snye's personal business ventures or punitive physical measures (being forced to shift enormous stones and to engage in other extremely demanding physical labor) and, if the claimant contineud to refuse, expulsion from the program. Threats of bogus charges and accompanying disciplinary measures were consatntly looming, along with vague, yet clear indications that there would by SHU time, if anyone found out.

Safety concerns led the Inspector [General] to place the claimant in another facility immediately. Within 24 hours of the claimant's arrival there, threats toward the claimant required that he be placed in involuntary protective custody, and be housed with inmates who are in trouble.

Current conditions have arrested the claimant's ability to progress in rehabilitation.

Removal from ASAT (Alcohol Substance Abuse Treatment) hinders the claimant's potential time allowance.

Could someone put some pressure on these pigs, particularly Officers Bartsch, Peters (who is the absolute worst pig I've ever encountered), and Program Assistant Jeff Portersnok, who arbitrarily, with Bartsch as assistant, removed me form the brainwashing program, effectively diminishing my good time chances to zero - because he took it upon himself to investigate the slave labor at Riverview!

Officer Peters arbitrarily writes disciplinary reports and calls me a "Commie Bastard" regularly, as well as disrespects my family, my person, and my property.

If some pressure could be applied that won't result in retaliation it would help not just me, but the entire compound.

In Struggle,
a New York Prisoner

2/24/2008

I am writing regarding Mr. B. Peters, an officer at Cayuga Correctional Facility who works the 7-3AM shift in B2 Dorm. I have only been in this dorm for 30 days and it's been the worst 30 days of my life. Mr. B. Peters harasses me constantly as well as many other inmates at this facility.

On February 14, 2008, Mr. B. Peters searched my cube with me present and during the search he said that he doesn't like me. I have never done nothing wrong to this cop and he continues to make slick remarks, call me names like little shit and spick. He also told me that he can't wait to pack me up. I am honestly in fear for my safety and I am nervous that he might throw something in my cubby while I'm in program or something. I am also scared that he might retaliate because I'm writing you this letter.

On February 22, 2008 he gave me a ticket for disobeying a direct order. This officer tells me to put my personal sheets into a plastic bag without any explanation as to why he wants my sheets. Then when I asked him why I have to put my sheets in a bag and bring it to him he said that he doesn't have to explain anything to me because I'm in prison. He also mentioned that if I don't comply with his demand, he will send my ass to the box. And since he was so rude and disrespectful I chose not to give him my sheets... Due to the ticket he wrote me I'm looking toward 30 days in the box.

In Struggle,
a second New York Prisoner

4/7/2008

Today, despite tremendous opposition by my captors, I have successfully defeated the censors here at this Cayuga Correctional Pig Pen (see enclosed).

Now, the bad news, today was supposed to be my release date. I have sent copies of numerous document to the party bolstering my position, and even the state of New York admitted their errors in respect to the employee who enslaved me, and yet they still won't let me go free.

Another comrade here, who has a sexual assault investigation pending against Sgt. Hoadley, the grievance sergeant, is being held past his date now 2 or 3 months.

Please let me know what is happening as I am certainly becoming less and less able to proceed. My body is locked up, and I feel my mind is going too.

a New York Prisoner

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[Campaigns] [Legal] [Censorship] [New York] [ULK Issue 3]
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NY Anti-Censorship Battle Wages

In 2006, a NY prisoner filed a §1983 civil rights lawsuit in the NY Western District Federal Court challenging the constitutionality of Prison Rule 105.12 and its application. Mitchell v. Goord, et al., 06-CV-6197. Prison Rule 105.12 is the so-called “gang rule” of DOCS, which is used more as a tool to punish prisoners for possessing written materials than to prevent organizational activities within an institution. The plaintiff had been placed in SHU three times for possessing written materials related to New Afrikan organizations on the outside he openly affiiliates with and deals with. He consistently argued he has a First Amendment right to correspond and associate with, be a member of, write for and about, and possess the literature of any outside organization he so chooses, so long as he doesn't organize or attempt to organize a prison chapter of any such organization within a facility without approval.

Upon learning other NY prisoners were being punished for possessing written materials related to the New Afrikan organizations he's a member of, namely the New Afrikan Maoist Party and its affiliates, and upon learning NY prisons were withholding, rejecting or trashing letters and literature form NAMP and its affiliates to NY prisoners, the plaintiff moved to have his lawsuit certified into a class action to protect the rights of those other prisoners and help them seek redress. The district court judge appointed counsel to investigate whether class action certification is appropriate.

It has been reported that NY prisons, like Southport, Auburn, Clinton and Great Meadow are withholding, trashing and rejecting letters and literature from NAMP and its affiliates to stifle their growing influence and support among NY prisoners. So, NY Prisoners who may have stopped corresponding and receiving literature from NAMP and its affiliates because of being punished for doing so, or because of fear of being punished, or who suddenly stopped hearing from NAMP and its affiliates; it's asked that you complain about this directly to the attorneys appointed in the aforementioned case. Also send a copy to the Collective Legal Services and the district judge - all addresses are listed below. Make sure you state that you support the class action certification of Mitchell v. Goord, et al. And if you hope to recover a monetary reward for any punishment or mail tampering you need to file a grievance now.

Contact:
William G. Bauer, Esq. - Lead Attorney
Erin W. Smith, Esq. - Second
Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
Two State Street
Rochester, NY 14614

Hon. Charles J. Siragusa - Presiding Judge
K.S. District Judge
100 State Street
Rochester, NY 14614

Collective Legal Services
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [New York]
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Surrounded by Indoctrination

by State Baby

Why must I act
A certain way?

Why must I speak
your vocabulary?

I refuse to follow
your made up unjust
Laws!

Meanwhile, my people
lay in project cubicles
called Public Housing -
infested with roaches
and rats.

As the blocks become
land mines with strong
weapons of Genocide
such as guns, drugs, and
misdirected Anger -
that speaks out loud,
danger.

But don't worry
crime is down!

The police said on
the news they seized
1,000,000,000 dollars
in cocaine from the
street but, they said
6,000,000,000 was
lost.

Surrounded by
Indoctrinations

Whose gonna stand
up so the kids can
grow up right?

And whose gonna reach
the political captives
behind the wall with the
pen we can fight?

I will, we can,
and MIMs
will not stand any
more to be... Surrounded by Indoctrinations

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[Theory] [Middle East]
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Muslim science gets it right again

Class and nation prevail over self-described ideology

As the people have taught us quite well over the last few years, ones ideology is more than a name. While those claiming the scientific method of dialectical materialism in the name of Marx, Lenin and Mao have made calls welcoming imperialist forces into their countries (whether the United Nations or the united $tates itself), Muslims have drawn the line in the sand and said NO! to u$ imperialism in Africa, Southeast Asia and especially in the Middle East where imperialist occupation is most pronounced.

While so-called Maoists have welcomed the u$ imperialists as partners in building "New Democracy", Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr rebuked u$ Defense Secretary Gates' attempts to welcome him into the imperialist-run political process this week. He is quoted as stating:

"I will always remain your enemy because you are occupying Iraq."
...
"I heard the statement of the terrorist amerikan defense minister and I feel compelled to give a decent response to such a terrorist. I have no enemy but you, you are the occupier. You have always been my enemy and you will always be my enemy until the last drop of my blood." (1)

This was in a speech where he defended Iraqis in the imperialist-backed military for not attacking other Iraqis in u$-ordered raids, asking that the state give them their jobs back. In relation to this he stated:

"Don't raise your weapons against Iraqis as long as they don't help the occupier. I also call on the Iraqi government to back its people to rid the land of the occupier." (1)

This is what revolutionary scientists call recognizing the principal contradiction and uniting all who can be united to push that contradiction to its resolution. That is how history is made. These statements by al-Sadr are in the context of an Iraq with many factions poised to fight each other, even willing to side with the imperialists to do so.

Elsewhere in the region, reports of a strengthened and entrenched Hizbolluh in southern Lebanon have stated that they have embraced and successfully recruited communities across religious lines that have often divided the country in the past. (2) Necessity is a great teacher, and u$ and i$raeli occupations have brought the necessity of united defense to the forefront in places like Lebanon and Iraq. Similarly, it is meeting the needs of the revolutionary struggle that offers the fastest road to liberation for wimmin, without whom the resistance will surely fail. As a class system that perpetuates its inherent inequalities, imperialist intervention can not unite the oppressed, liberate wimmin, nor even consistently provide the masses with their material needs as Hizbolluh and the "Sadrists" must do in their regions.

Dating back to Lenin and the beginning of the first socialist experiment in Russia, communists have shown that while religion is the opiate of the masses, the masses are not enemies because they still embrace religion. We can have great confidence that the scientific method will win out as the people struggle for survival and for liberation. Muslims in Iraq and Lebanon have demonstrated this truth in practice.

notes:
(1) Flashpoints. April 14, 2008. http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=25805
(2) Christian Science Monitor. April 15, 2008.

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[National Oppression] [Texas]
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Amerikkkan justice for Blacks means death

Why are we afraid to call it what it is in Texas concerning capital punishment: the death penalty. It's murder, plain and simple. Texas, the state with the highest execution rate in these United Snakes, since the death penalty was put back in effect in 1977. Texas, the republic so bent on killing prisoners that it remains one of two states refusing to place a moratorium on the death penalty from concerns over whether lethal injection is cruel and unnecessary pain on a prisoner before s/he dies. State governor Rick Perry's spokesperson says "executions will continue" unless the supreme court rules otherwise.

This "will continue" mentality of Perry's is the same mentality of the ruling class that has executed a disproportionately large number of Blacks and other oppressed nationalities. How does this matter? When you look at statistics of the Justice Department and see the higher rate of execution of Blacks vs. whites for the same offense, this leads you to draw a long line connecting slavery to the period of reconstruction to the present day, right here in good 'ole amerika.

The decision that the Supreme Court must make is how to administer a better method for execution. For public relation purposes. Their intent is to kill any who stand in the way of their hold on power. This is a tactic of social control as well as instilling fear and punishment in those who would disagree with amerikan politics. It should be said the entirety of the justice system is an arm of the state that functions to oppress the people. So the saving of comrade Kenneth Foster's life from execution on August 30th should be applauded just for this comrade's life being spared, but it does not change the mentality of our oppressors or change this justice system. Only revolution will do that.

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[Control Units] [Oregon]
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Survey of Oregon Control Units

There are four Control Units in Oregon Prisons. Two are at Snake River Prison and they hold about 200 prisoners. The other two are at Oregon State Penitentiary and they hold about 250 prisoners.

I have been in the one at the Penitentiary. They are in separate buildings away from the main part of the prison. There's about the same percentage of different races in them. We're put in these control units for fights, stabbings, staff assaults, staff/inmate relationships and protective custody.

All these units opened in the mid-1990s. They started with just a few cells then expanded with the continuing violence. There's talk of opening a new control unit in about 3 years at Two Rivers Prison in Umatilla, OR.

At the Intensive Management Unit in Oregon State Penitentiary we are locked down 24 hours a day on Tuesday and Thursday and 23 hours every other day of the week. The officers treat us like shit by stealing our mail, putting feces in certain people's food, and they rush in our cells to beat us up with shock shields and rubber bullet guns when we get tired of being harassed.

Back in January the officers suited up on one of my friends because he ran one of the biggest gangs in prison. It lasted about 10 minutes, then they pulled him out on a stretcher and he was pronounced dead at the hospital. That goes to show how fucked up these officers really are.

There's been other situations where the officers gave mentally ill prisoners in IMU razor blades so they could commit suicide and then run around wondering how they go the blade.

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[Prison Labor] [Washington] [ULK Issue 3]
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Economic Investigation of Washington State Penitentiary

How many prisoners at your facility?
According to information online, the capacity is 1825, but there are actually 2,240 prisoners being held here.

How many of them work?
An estimate will show that around 250-280 work as correctional industries employees. About 150 of these work on the sewing complex. The sewing complex is making most of the clothes we, the inmates, are provided with. They also produce materials for out of state contracts. The rest work on welding, license plates and perhaps other work. They make all types of stuff, from bunks to tables and everything they need to equip a cell.

Another form of employment that they have for inmates is what they call "Inmate duties." They pay from 35-55 dollars per month, depending on what type of job you get. Basically, this kind of job consists of cooking, cleaning, serving the food, washing the clothes and anything that is needed to run and keep a place like this clean. There are probably another 250-270 inmates working these types of jobs.

Who do they work for?
As far as I know, everything at this place is supposedly run by the state.

What work do they do?
As I mentioned earlier, sewing and welding are the main industrial jobs. The rest are not considered jobs, but "Inmate duties."

How much do they get paid?
The industrial complexes pay up to a dollar ten cents per hour. The rest of the jobs go from $35 to 55 per month.

Now, up to this point it might not seem like a big profit is being taken, but there is. Who is profiting from all this? The working class in this country, which is not exploited as they claim. Considering that those industrial complexes are run by the state, this is how I would explain who is profiting from all this. In this place there are around 280 inmates who are doing correction industries jobs. If we assume that all of these 280 inmates are working 40 hours per week, we would have 582,400 hours per year of work by this group. At $1.10 per hour, 582,400 hours of labor in the industrial complex would cost $640,640. If now, we decide to do this job with the same amount of people, but instead of paying them $1.10, we pay the Washington state minimum wage of $8.07, then the labor alone would cost $4,682,214. They are saving over four million dollars by using inmate labor, just in this place alone, comparing to state minimum wage salary. But most of the state industrial jobs are well-paid jobs in the outside world. So, if you compare these kinds of jobs, we have another loop that I cannot resolve myself, but will likely account for millions of more dollars in cost savings. I would assume anybody would get paid from 13 to 20 some dollars on the outside for welding work. This could mean a savings of over $10 million.

So far, we are talking of the cost of labor assuming that the state will use all of its products, which is a lie because they have sent products overseas. Now, all this profit will get shared down to every single person who works for the government, especially the department of corrections and the state police. How will this be shared? Better medical care than civilians, better salary than civilians, and better retirement plans. Better exemptions in tax collection. They benefit in so many ways, from which regular civilians are excluded. That is the main reason they support more incarceration rather than trying to educate the prison population in making better choices, if you want to call it "making a choice" when you have been culturally bombed to act stupid.

So when you stated in your article about prison labor that "corporate America do not benefit or do not benefit as much as people have suggested," I believe you are wrong, especially when you look at the benefits of corporate America not as monetary benefits, but rather ideological. Even though there are monetary benefits. Let me ask the following question: Who opposes socialism and the road to communism? Who is in charge of destroying any community based programs for society? Who is in charge of blocking any type of political analysis that tries to make society aware of the necessity to change? Who is in charge of the bad propaganda about Mao, Stalin or Lenin? It is the same corporate America and allies who created the first and second World Wars. To them, the government is just the legal way to repress rebellion. Government bodies are just structures that are defined by how we use them. When Lenin took power, the philosophical structure of the government remained in place, but the practice changed, that is why I believe that you are wrong on this point.

And why is it that when you try to tell people employed by the government about a conscious analysis of history they most likely will reject you? It may not be as big as exploiting the national resources of Third World countries in monetary measurements, but at home they have no opposition because of the juicy salaries they are able to give to their war machine, which is from the DOC all they way up to the presidency. Everybody gets enough to live a luxurious life, when the rest of the world gets screwed.

And the big help lately has been the "cheap labor," the inmates who willingly and ignorantly help the government oppress the rest. So I do not think it is correct to say that the government and corporate America do not benefit from it. Inmate labor is too important for this system that the prison population will only increase in this country and in any other capitalist country.

MIM(Prisons) responds: After a discussion with the author we uphold that we have less disagreement than they seem to think we do. MIM(Prisons) never stated that corporate amerika does not benefit from the institution of prison labor or prisons in general. And we agree with the author that the bourgeois state serves to benefit the imperialists as a whole. We have only suggested that it is not corporate profit motives behind decades of prison boom, but rather the national and bureaucratic interests of the oppressor nation that the author describes above. We can even agree that prison labor is too important to the system for it to go away. But that is because it would become cost prohibitive to run the prisons that are already becoming too expensive for public tastes. This is in contrast to the super-exploitation of the Third World (in terms of labor, not just natural resources) that the imperialist countries could not exist without.

Other than asking what are the interests behind the u$ prison industrial complex, we are also looking at the question of the existence of a proletariat within u$ borders in our research on prison labor. Competitiveness on the international market for low-tech items such as clothing indicate that Washington's correctional industries pay a wage that is approximately competitive with the Third World, ignoring state subsidies and other trade irregularities that prevent a truly free competition. One such subsidy is the fact that prisoners are provided room, board and limited necessities before they are paid the $1.10 per hour. For this reason these wage rates are not directly comparable to the Third World. Regardless, these figures seem to suggest that there is legitimate exploitation of labor power going on here, and not just the transfer of surplus value between various labor aristocrats as occurs in most of the First World economy. But being a part of this greater social reality, and considering that most will likely be free u$ citizens again someday, we still see a predominately petty bourgeois consciousness among u$ prisoners. More are amerikan dreaming to be the next Jay-Z or Big Pun instead of trying to organize prison labor to seize the means of production for the people.

The calculations done by the comrade above are an excellent example of exposing the economic realities within u$ borders, and we encourage others to follow this example to create reports in their own state or facility to print in Under Lock & Key. Of course, if prisons didn't use prison labor, they would probably import furniture from China, not hire amerikan welders. This cost comparison would be harder to come up with, though certainly the prisons themselves have done it and decided that prison labor is cheaper. However, work that must be done on site would be paid the minimum wage at least, and would account for additional millions of dollars added to the estimate above.

Finally, one of the most important points we can take from this report is that this is all state run, as is most common across the country. As we argued in our article that sparked this discussion, Amerikans: Oppressing for a Living, the cost savings are going to reduce the need for taxes for all u$ citizens, while providing the funds for wages and benefits for those who work for the state and especially the departments of corrections and the police, as stated above. If these industries are also pulling in profits from sales overseas, again this money is presumably going to offset/subsidize state expenditures. It is a form of state capitalism that lays the groundwork for fascism quite nicely integrating the corporation into the state and providing direct monetary benefits to the general population for expanded oppression.

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[China] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 3]
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White Nationalism still reaching out to Tibet

Recent stirrings in Tibet bring up an opportunity to expose the white-washed history of that part of the world presented in the imperialist countries, and could potentially help build the multinational anti-imperialist movement in China. But there is much interference on the part of the oppressor nations that threaten genuine people's movements there.

The disproportionate attention paid to Tibet by the bourgeois press is a product of a decades long campaign by the CIA to destabilize China, dating back to when the country was a stronghold of socialism in the world. Today, China's rise towards an imperialist competitor keeps the Tibet card a useful one in the hands of a meddling Uncle $cam.

The imperialists are encouraging divisions within China, nothing new there in the last 50 years. But why are amerikkkans, in the name of humyn rights, waving the Tibetan flag and demanding change in China? More importantly, why are these same white people not waving the flag of the Lakota people who recently declared sovereignty from a state that actually committed large-scale land grabbing and genocide against them? Why are these same white people not crying out at the injustice of a system that imprisons young Black men at rates far above any other country in humyn history?

Last year the China scare was about toy safety, not Tibetan humyn rights. Amerikkkans fear Chinese toys, just like they fear Mexican labor and work hard to secure their share of stolen Aztlán by militarizing the border with Mexico and filling u$ prisons with Mexican citizens. Is it any wonder that only 10% of Mexicans have a positive view of the United States? (1)

As upper class Tibetan wimmin stated in 1960, "Those people in Tibet who talked about 'independence' always had some foreign connections. Why do so many British and American writers concern themselves with Tibetan 'independence.' Is it for the good of the Tibetans or for their own good?" (Strong, p. 113) This question remains very relevant today. And while we cannot give a good analysis, nor less offer short-term solutions, for the conflicts between Tibetans and Uighurs and Hans in China today, we can warn against those who have the historical honesty to condemn Tibetan feudalism, but will fuel the flames of conflict between the various peoples of China.

With the largest population of any country, China is still a predominately peasant society with a rapidly growing proletariat. The interests of these oppressed classes are the same; in opposition to the current capitalist regime and to foreign imperialism. Teaming up with foreign intelligence agencies to pit one group of oppressed against another does not liberate anyone. Anti-Han propaganda was the tool of the slave owners in the 1950s, and to this day remains beneficial to those who wish to exploit all the people of China.

Popular calls taken up by the white nationalists in relation to Tibet are those of local control and preserving the culture. New Age hippies claim to feel spiritual connections to the cultures of the Himalayan region with little regard to whether the people who live there are better off or not. It is hard to see what they find so appealing about the worship of god-kings, the starvation of serfs and the physical torture of humyn slaves that made up the social systems of Tibet and Nepal in the 20th century. But white people will vehemently defend the "right" of these cultures to stay frozen in time. In commentary on a BBC article on Tibet today, a Kanadian writes about the inherently peaceful nature of the people of Tibet, ignoring decades of history of struggle against starvation, oppression and torture. Unlike this Kanadian, we do not believe that races exist, nor that some are born more peaceful than others, we believe all people strive for peace and will resist when they are oppressed.

Today, the construction of the railway through Tibet is one topic of controversy, with opponents saying it will only help exploit the region and will not benefit the people. This is a likely outcome in a capitalist country that has fully developed into its role as the sweatshop and dumping ground for the First World. But isolation and localism is not the answer, despite the hippies' dreams. We do not wish to witness a repeat of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, which has led to horrible losses for the oppressed people of those regions on both sides of local conflicts.

A comparison to events in the Soviet Union also gives an interesting lesson in the differences in handling national conflicts between a socialist state that serves the people and an imperialist state claiming socialism but really exploiting them. The Dalai Lama claimed that amerikkka offered to finance a holy war against Communist China in the early 1950s (see Strong, p.45), similar to what the amerikkkans did in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union decades later. The defense of Afghanistan from the social-imperialist Soviet Union was a successful rallying cry for the people of the region, even with u$ backing. In contrast, the resistance in Tibet to a socialist China, serving the interests of the people, was never made up of more than a minority of aristocratic Tibetans and their slaves. Even the Dalai Lama opposed this interference by the CIA.

Defending the socialist legacy

The bourgeois press repeatedly mentions the "liberation" of Tibet in quotation marks. Yet if we do a very cursory comparison of China's role in the liberation of Tibet and the United $tates role in the "liberation" of Iraq we see that it is really the "liberation" of Iraq that is a farce. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) didn't interfere militarily in Tibet until they had the full support of the people in defeating the feudal clique, and even waited 8 months after defeating the Tibetan military to negotiate an agreement before stepping into Tibet proper. (Strong, p. 44) Large sections of the rebel armies even joined the PLA instantly, as they had been forced by warlords to fight.

The rebels in Tibet were carrying out a terrorist campaign on the people and waging armed conflict against the PLA in its struggle to maintain the social hierarchy of Tibet under the Dalai Lama. They were rebelling against the changes that were taking place in Tibetan society, changes that communists in China understood to be the natural resolution of internal contradictions within that society. It was that understanding that led to Mao's successful policy in Tibet and the PLA truly being a force of liberation in supporting the will of the people. It took another 8 years after the official "liberation" for the feudal government's power to crumble within Tibet, ending in the rebellion of 1959, which the PLA easily quelled with the support of the masses. Within a year of that battle the former serfs and slaves were active participants in local government, learning to read and write, organizing production both as independent farmers and collectives, none of which they had ever done in previous history. (Strong pp. 57-60)

In contrast, Amerikkkans claimed that they would be welcomed by Iraq with open arms, and yet 5 years later Iraqis have bombed the Green Zone multiple times in the last week, killing 3 u$ soldiers in the attack today. The Green Zone is where agents of the foreign occupation (or "liberation") are forced to cordon themselves off to feel safe from the people of Iraq. Amerikkkan soldiers must patrol outside the Green Zone and fear for their lives every time they drive down the street. Meanwhile, the country continues to be in violent chaos with economic security at the lowest it's been in decades.

The current Chinese regime only helps to promote historical amnesia in relation to the accomplishments of socialism in China. The politically lazy can look at the riot police in Tibet right now and confirm what they've been told about political totalitarianism in China since 1949. Even self-identified anarchists are choosing the former slave-owning god-king (whatever happened to "No gods, No masters!"?) Dalai Lama over Mao Zedong who encouraged the mobilization of millions of people with his call to "Bombard the Headquarters" during the Cultural Revolution. Once again, white nationalism trumps political consistency.

Freedom of Religion

One common complaint against the current Chinese regime is the repression of religious groups, or any large organization independent of the government. This is used by the bourgeois press to feed into the myth of the abolishment of religion under the Communist Party of China. One "Living Buddha" had this message for the people of the world:

Here in Tibet, people used religion to exploit other people. Living Buddhas thought how to get more lands and serfs and treasure. This is not the Buddha's teaching. When the big monasteries oppress the small ones, and the upper lamas oppress the poor lamas, this is not freedom of religion... We are now learning that only by abolishing exploitation can we abide by the teaching of Sakyamuni. It was through the Communist Party that the people got freedom of religion. Because of this I can now serve the people and follow truly the teachings of Buddha. (Strong, p. 96)

Material Conditions

Prior to the liberation of Tibet, the population was 90% serfs and 5% slaves, most of whom faced starvation, malnutrition, physical abuse and lacked any persynal freedoms. (Strong, p. 52) As the class structure was transformed under socialism, the production of grain and livestock both doubled from 1959 to 1970 following reorganization and the introduction of science.(3) Not only were persynal freedoms greatly expanded via the abolition of slavery and feudalism, but questions of life and death were dealt with in an effective way.

And we remember now how the lords told us tales of the Communists and the tales were not true... We began to know it when the PLA first built the highway. The lords said the highway was only for the good of the Hans. But the working people found the highway a benefit, and those who worked on the road got paid in money wages, as well as food and clothes and shoes, and they bought themselves golden ear-rings and mules. (Strong, p. 150)

This quote comes from a time when capitalism and trade had much potential for bringing progress to the region. This may not be true today, as the productive forces of the region were unleashed with the land reforms and reorganization following 1959. More likely, increased access to Tibet by the current Chinese regime will mean more stealing of resources and dumping of toxins in the region. But it does go to show that utopian isolationism is not in the best interest of Tibet, or any other nation in the world.

Those who take up the anti-Chinese banner calling for a return to theocracy for Tibet are supporting a backward step to feudalism for that country. Even people pretending to oppose feudalism but stoking the flames of nationalist conflict between Tibet and China are serving the interests of the CIA. Revolutionaries need to focus on the anti-imperialist struggle and avoid pitting oppressed nations against each other.

As MIM points out: "With China capitalist now, the possibility exists for Han Chinese to really exploit the Tibetans. However, the 'Free Tibet' movement wants to increase exploitation even more to make Tibet a semi-colony of the United $tates, England and the rest of the 'West.'"

See MIM's Tibet Page for more background info
Another recent article on Tibet from Monkey Smashes Heaven

notes:
(1) Global survey shows uptick in US image. Christian Science Monitor. April 2, 2008.
(2) US soldiers killed in Green Zone. BBC News. April 6, 2008.
(3) Hung Nung. Farming and Stock Breeding Thrive in Tibet. Great Changes in Tibet. People's Republic of China, 1972.
Strong, Anna Louise. When Serfs Stood Up in Tibet. New World Press. Peking, 1960.

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[Control Units] [Pennsylvania]
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Virginia's supermax at Red Onion State Prison

This letter is to inform you that I too was an inmate in Red Onion Supermax prison when it first opened. I too witnessed the horrors that occurred there in the name of the state of Virginia, and this barbaric device that this country has embraced throughout this land called Super-Max's.

There are a couple more facts I would like to pass on to your readers, I was blessed when I was able to read the copy [of Under Lock and Key] that I did, for it was passed on to me with knowledge I was there [in Red Onion]. I could not, in all my self-conscious, sit back knowing the information I do, to think "it's not my problem", "I'm not there no more" to abandon my brothers there. You must get it out of your head, it is not just Black, white, brown, yellow, that matters, because if you follow that line of thinking then you have already lost the battle. To divide is to conquer, and that is just the play they did to us. For I not only am a convict, I have lived through the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s in and out from these walls. I was there during the riots in the system to get the things to better our way of life in here, only to watch these "inmates" come in here and waste the blood that was shed during these uprisings.

In all my time I have never seen such barbaric living conditions within walls. Sure it was brand new, clean and good food, but the threat of someone shooting you for something as simple as turing around to go back to your cell because you forgot your lighter, to light a smoke. Anything at any time could get you shot. "Just being Black," "a white dude getting along with the brothers" (you were hated by these hillbillies), to come to someone's aid, better not even think about it.

Remember that the DOC of the state of Virginia put this prison so far west in the state it was nearly impossible for one from the Richmond, Virginia beach area to come that distance to visit. This area they put these two prisons in were at one time coal mining regions, well those fell through, and since the new economical booster for any depressed area are prisons, they put two of them there. These folks know nothing but coal mining and hunting. Now they put them in charge of these prisoners, give them guns, and tell them if they get out of line shoot them. And they took that to heart and opened up.

There were no jobs, library, law library, schooling, trades of any kind. They opened these prisons before they were ready for a safe operating condition.

I tell people here and they look at me like I am insane. Try to make these people believe that this is going on in this country, and they laugh at you. I start bringing out the paper work to prove my point.

Comrades understand there are forces in play that would like nothing more than to lock every one of us away, and they are doing it state by state. Pennsylvania has its own "Super Max" called Greene County. They abuse them down there too, but no guns as of yet.

The beast that ran the Virginia DOC, Ronald Angelone, was the same beast in Nevada's DOC, from what I have gathered he got run out of there. This was done with the blessing of then-governor George Allen. When we first started reporting these conditions to whom ever we could, no one believed us, not even some of our own family. The only one who listened was the United Nations Human Rights Watch Group. Even these folks got run off the property. This is the new vicious and barbaric way they want to do things in here and most other places. In PA the Greene County Super Max has a history of inmate abuses. Sgt. Grainer, yes the leader involved in the Abu Gharaib prison abuses in Iraq, was the lead abuser in the RHU units at Greene County's Super Max in the state of Pennsylvania.

But since he was not charged in state court, and resigned on his own, you only heard this reported one time in the very beginning of the news reports about the abuses over in Iraq, (hush hush hush) never to hear another word about it again. But I was there and I remember. This goes on in every prison system in this country.

Do not think it does not affect you because it does, every time you read a story and think it can't happen to me, I am in a safe place, remember the only qualification that got me sent to Red Onion was I had a life sentence. Nothing more nothing less. Now in PA's DOC they got a new plan, lifers will be allowed to work only in approved areas off the block (cell house). Every system is so full of small timers that the older lifer prisons are being overrun with short timers who do not care and do not see what is coming down the road right into their faces. There is no way to turn this around unless we protest in a nationwide effort. Could you imagine the impact on this system, and the world reports that every prison in the country is on some sort of protest strike.

As I have known for years this is the new beginning of something even worse. Think big brother isn't watching? That is because you are too busy crying me! me! me! We got brothers of all peoples being beat, killed, and abused each and every day, in every state of this country. Poor health care, mental care, and then they want to disrespect your people when they come to visit you, to even abuse them. They are arresting our people right in the visitors parking lot for violations, all to discourage the family units from staying together. When are you going to raise your voice and make a stand? This is just the beginning of horrors to come, and believe me they are coming!

Remember when they decided to take DNA from the sex offenders, for the protection of our children and females? Well then they said why not lifers, how about violent offenders, we might well as get all felons, now it comes to the point where if you have committed any crime they want DNA. Have you been watching of paying attention to the news, they can get your peoples DNA to get you. There is no end to their madness, the new thing is putting electronic taggs in the children, next is the sex offenders, then lifers and every convicted felon, and parolees too Must I go on? The lesson is to open your eyes, as long as they have you divided into sub-peoples, whites, Blacks, reds, and browns, and fighting and killing each other. Then they have nothing to worry about for all your hatred is directed at each other instead of at them where it should be, they would be in fear if that was the case.

There are no truer words, it have been practiced by the peoples of every country, race, in war and out of war, throughout time: divide and conquer. It's us against them, you must take a stand, make a choice, make up your own mind. Stop the madness of going against each other. It's time to wake up brothers! We don't want to be divided, we want to be united! It's the only way, or the blood and lives given by those who came before, were given in vain.

If you have any questions, new information about Red Onion, or want to put someone in touch with me such as an attorney who is defending something there, please feel free to contact me here. I know it is very difficult for attorneys to get in there to see their clients.

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