In the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the glaringly ugly nature of amerikkkan exceptionalism and arrogance has been on full display. The simple and non-threatening acts of staying home and/or wearing PPE (masks) have become rallying points for reactionary patriotic elements. For this reason, occupied Turtle Island has become the world leader in COVID cases even though the imperialist regime had ample time to prepare for the virus.
With this understanding, it is only logical that people cannot rely on parasites and pigs to secure their health. It, like all aspects of our lives, is most effectively met by the people ourselves.
In May, Republican governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem threatened to sue the Lakota Nation or rely on the U.$. government to use violence to take down the Lakota’s Emergency Health Points on their home lands.
Due in part to fear of the negative reaction from Republican constituents and their mass base, as well as fundamental capitalist-imperialist unbridled greed, Noem refused to issue stay-at-home orders. Such ineptitude placed all South Dakota residents at risk, but especially our First Nation siblings and comrades as they’re a marginalized people.
In light of this development, and understanding the hystory of bio-chemical warfare and its role in the genocide of indigenous nations, the Oglala Lakota Nation pro-actively insulated themselves on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The Emergency Health Points ensured that outsiders couldn’t bring the new sickness (COVID-19) to their home.
The Emergency Health Points, allowed no one to come onto or leave Pine Ridge, unless it was an essential activity. Those going and coming were made to submit to a health questionnaire at the check points.
The Governor’s ultimatum was rightfully refused and the Lakota gave an official written statement, “you continuing to interfere in our efforts to do what science and facts dictate seriously undermine our ability to protect everyone on the reservation.”
The oppressive nature of imperialism continues to undermine the self-determination of First Nation peoples and oppressed nations generally. For this reason, and to work towards the goal of tearing down the imperialist system, New Afrikans and all oppressed nationalities within the imperialist centers must unite in the spirit of collective growth and internationalism, around our shared mission of self-determination.
Let’s not forget, that it is this same Lakota Nation which has been a thorn in the side of our shared enemy for almost 200 years. It was the Lakota, led by Red Cloud, Chief of the Oglala Lakota, who dealt the United $tates its first military defeat in 1868. In retaliation and due to ongoing resistance, it was this same nation who the 7th cavalry massacred at Wounded Knee on 29 December 1890.
Fast forward to the early 1970s with the siege of Wounded Knee and the following COINTELPRO carried out against the American Indian Movement and its supporters on and around the Pine Ridge reservation. This operation led to the political imprisonment of Oglala warrior Leonard Peltier. (An in-depth study of these events and the imperialists’ war on the Lakota people can be read in the book Agents of Repression by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall available from MIM(Prisons) for $10 or work trade.)
With the understanding of the Lakota’s specific circumstances and their hystory of resistance against the occupying forces I call on all revolutionaries and people who respect the sovereignty of the First Nations of Turtle Island to raise your voices and shine a light on this issue. Being on reservations, our siblings and comrades are often hindered from garnering proper media attention or solidarity support. The mistake of past generations of oppressed nation fighters was that of failing to support each other’s causes in all aspects (militarily, economically, socially and politically). We end that practice now. In the spirit of true proletarian internationalism.
Clench fist salute to all the First Nation warriors who’ve not sold out the great War for freedom.
source: 1. The Five Percenter Newspaper, Volume 25.6, pg.10.
(Remember George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and OTHERS)
I done seen too many mothers cry, brothers die, while the children left to wonder “Why?” I’m on the side of the righteous in the time of crisis, Is the prize really worth it? I tell em that its PRICELESS. I don’t have hope, kuz hope is for the children, and those UNABLE to take part in what we’re building. But we’re ALL gonna benefit when we defeat the nemesis. A new beginning for humynity, modern day Genesis. It’s THEM that want war kuz we’re bangin on the door, They’d rather see us breathless and layin on the floor. But I woke up this morning to a BEAUTIFUL site. Black, Brown, and white, its TIME TO UNITE!!!
I had reached a point in my life where I was high for weeks at a time. I would stay awake for over a week at a time on ice. While living this lifestyle for over a half a year I was also big on the spice (K2). I was smoking an 11oz bag by myself every 2 days. When you are in this state one clearly can’t think or function properly in society on any legitimate level. I decided that I was tired of living this lifestyle and thought back to an intensive behavior modification program that I was forced to attend a few years prior to my current addicted state of being. The greatest tools I had received in this 6 month program was the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding based on these 3 words: People, Places, and Things!
If we truly want to be free from drug addiction we must change some or at times all of the people we associate with. We may have to find new employment, housing, recreational places etc. We will have to get rid of certain habits or stumbling blocks that hinder or block progress to freedom from addiction. We can not make excuses, but must stand firm in our convictions that whatever storms or difficulties may arise drugs are not our solution. They will only make things worse 100% of the time in the long run.
I found success when I completely applied the People, Places, and Things philosophy. It’s never easy, but absolutely necessary. Positive People, positive Places, and positive Practices will keep you in a positive direction. It does not make us weak feeling we need others for support during such trialsome times. It shows strength and courage when we can admit to our weaknesses and reach out for the necessary help. I hope you find success in this strategy as I have knowing that it will awaken you, clear your mind and help you move in a more PROMISING DIRECTION!
MIM(Prisons) adds: Taking the initiative to surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing is a great tool for success. Unfortunately, it is not always an option (especially in prison) or easy to do. We can apply this comrades’ advice to society as a whole and understand the success of socialist China in eliminating drug addiction. They did not have policies that were particularly unique around drugs. But they were in the process of redefining their nation and their future, which offered everyone a positive roll to play, not to mention jobs, housing and health care.
We see the Chinese model as the solution to addiction. In the meantime, we must figure out how to survive and thrive in this system. That is why our Re-Lease on Life Program is developing resources for those who struggle with addiction that help connect them with a lifelong political mission. We hope to have materials to review and test out soon, so let us know if you are interested in reviewing this program.
by a North Carolina prisoner September 2020 permalink
Comrade Tag: I fasted from 7PM on 8 September 2020 until 5PM on 9 September 2020. I did drink water though. It was intense, it was the first time I’ve ever intentionally fasted. In the streets I wouldn’t eat for a day or 2, but I had alcohol, weed, etc. to sustain me.
It was eye-opening for me. Like, “Damn, people go through this for the cause all the time!” I need to tighten up. Self discipline for me and food is poor. I write, stand up against oppression, and help educate people, but food is so essential to survival. Not eating for me is like not living. That’s why I decided to fast.
My stomach complained a lot at first, but after awhile it stopped. I had a goal in mind, so it followed my lead. My thoughts tried to scatter, but I focused on explaining to guys why I fasted. Also, more causes were brung to my attention.
All in all the day was a success! The feast with Comrade L was supportive. Ey is new to being aware and learning about the struggle. I explained my appreciation for eir support. Thank you for sending ULK No. 57, it was a great read and perfect timing. Thanks again for your time and support.
Comrade L: Hello, my name is [Comrade L] and I participated in the September 9th Day of Peace and Solidarity. This is the first time I’ve fasted in relation to prisoner awareness. I did this to show my support and to have something to do.
I’ve done a few things this year to further our causes here at Avery/Mitchell Correctional Institution. This 11 hours (6AM - 5PM) helped me to think about what I do. I feel a little more aware of what others have had to go through so prison could be better.
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Also, I feel good when I broke the fast with Tag NC. Ey said I should write my feelings so ey could send it with this letter today. I hope you are happy with my support.
I would like to update you all on what’s been transpiring the last month here in tekkk$a$. The last time i wrote i believe i mentioned my organizing of a hunger strike. We were initially set for the national date of Black August 21st through Bloody September 9th. However, due to the advent of the social uprisings in the wake of George Floyd’s lynching, We collectively decided to begin on the imperialist’s independence day. Due to receiving word thru inmate moles and rats, the Senior Warden Jimmy Smith, called one of our committee members out along with another participant. This committee member laid our just demands down. The most immediate of which was access to communication with loved ones via telephones being put on each dayroom. (This is for isolated-solitary-restrictive housing) and an alternative to visitation (video visits) and TV for audio/video stimulation, rehabilitation, education, cultural socialization classes or functions, and a clear path for release from isolated solitary RHU confinement. In addition, there were a few smaller, in-house demands. These were the main ones though.
Of course the warden attempted to negotiate without us actually striking. This was 1 July 2020. The committee member wasn’t hearing it. On 2 July 2020 all phones (in general population) were suddenly out of order. Of course this was a tactic by the fascist pig power structure to keep this in house as much as possible. We committee members were ahead of them; 2 weeks prior, we had provided 250 stamped envelopes, written memos, and passed them out at 30 a piece on five out of six total pods. These went out to an array of media outlets.
On 4 July 2020 we began with 141 hunger strike participants out of about 600 prisoners on the building. This was a multi-national, multi-organizational collective campaign. The committee is composed of 2 [email protected], 1 New Afrikan and 1 Anglo-amerikan.
On 5 July 2020 Gang Investigators (G.I.) searched every strikers’ cell. It was merely an intimidation tactic, because all they did was inventory the commissary for those who had any. 2 people ended their strikes for the time being due to not wanting the G.I. in their cells. So we were down to 139. By policy (Management of Offender Hunger Strike G.53.3) after 72 hours (9 meals) without eating, a hunger strike becomes “official.” This means medical will begin getting vital signs, urine samples, and weight at this time.
On 7 July 2020 we all were supposed to be pulled out per policy. However, on each pod, more than half of the strikers weren’t pulled out. I wrote a grievance, and flooded the tier out that night. I was told medical had to catch up on some people the next day. This was a lie. On the next day, 8 July, i was still not on medical list, along with about 3 or 4 others on my pod. I can’t account for the other pods on that date.
This refusal of medical was an administrative tactic utilized to:
discourage the participants, so that those of less determination will quit our mission
To keep the reported numbers as small as possible. After 72 hours the unit must report all the numbers to the prisonkkkrats in Huntsville daily.
I scribed an urgent communique to others of the committee , and it was then passed down to all the participants. The communique basically outlined how we were to conduct our own independent 1095 for this specific reason. It called on the people to stay encouraged, and also our counter-tactics if/when such things continued.
On that same day, 8 July, I was in the dayroom for my out of cell time. I hijacked the dayroom, forcing pigs to come down and speak to me directly. A particular Sergeant whose pretty fair came down and i informed him of the problem. A nurse, whose very favorable to prisoners had previously informed me that Major Washington, an Uncle Tom, was in charge of viewing security cameras to verify whether we were taking trays. Therefore he was the one falsifying state documentation. I informed the Sergeant of this directly. Also that there would be a mass of LIDs (life in danger) filed on the Major and all rank who i’ve informed who do nothing. The Sergeant took a list of each persyn who was being neglected medical attention.
The next day, 9 July 2020, while in the dayroom again the nurse i mentioned above informed me that i and the other comrades were still not on the list. I was infuriated to say the least. All the day rooms were hijacked. The Warden was on the building i was told, but eventually i fell out. Upon this development, various ranking pigs, medical and other pigs cautiously entered the dayroom while i lay motionless on the floor. I hear SGT Barbara Atteberry threaten me while pulling her riot baton. I hear a comrade who is known for severely hurting pigs threaten her in return. The kkkaptives began going crazy. Burning things, flooding the tier. The dayrooms is still hijacked and of course the shouting of expletives is the soundtrack. After this reaction to her threatening me, i guess Atteberry changed her mind. I was rolled out in a wheelchair, when after finally getting my vitals taken, Atteberry told me i would be going to suicide cell if i didn’t get off strike. I refused. Yet the “pretty fair” Sergeant vetoed her decision and i was eventually put in my cell. I told the pigs i wasn’t satisfied because there were others who hadn’t been pulled out.
Later that day, certain committee members were pulled out, “investigated” by regional Gang Investigators due to a pig and agent provocateur-circulated rumor that a conspiracy to murder prison guards in the “free world” and in the prison if we didn’t receive our demands was in play.
On 10 July i was finally placed on the medical list. During this time i’ve been denied books, letters, pictures, law library materials. Other prisoners were being denied chronic medication such as blood pressure, seizure meds, psych meds as long as they’re on strike.
Also around this time, we began being told that phones have been approved. We’re skeptical of this information. I neglected to mention on 9 July at about 12 midnight nine pigs came to each door ordering those with commissary to relinquish it or they would be taken off strike and gassed. This was a Lt. Mason leading the charge, under orders from Head Warden J. Smith. Most didn’t fall for the banana in the tail pipe and gave up their commissary. We did lose 60 souljas however. This reactionary tactic is of course outside of rules and regulations, not to mention the sensory deprivation caused by the harassment of interrupting sleep not 1, not 2, but 3 times to get one’s commissary finally at 5:00 AM.
We filed all manner of complaints, yet the admin dangled the commissary in front of our faces saying “You’ll get it back when you get off strike.” Most stayed on.
Fast forward to 23 July, we finally ended the strike in abeyance after a diplomatic decision was reached within the Team One organization and the committee met with J. Smith. We were given a communique on TDCJ letterhead saying that TDCJ leadership was requesting phones in each RHU dayroom statewide and video visits as an alternative for visits during COVID. This is being requested to the TBCJ (Texas Board of Criminal Justice), which meets every August to determine new board policy. Upon a 30-45 day abeyance we will re-assess our material conditions and if need be implement stage 2 of our plan.
This is the short version of events. I want the comrades within the walls to know that We truly have power in unity and determined action. Comrades must also reach out to these support orgs and individuals. Network. Get your voice and vision out there. In the words of Nas: “We stronger now, my peoples the time is now!”
[24 July 2020 this comrade was rehoused where ey is further isolated in a unit with active COVID cases and faced regular tampering of eir mail since then.]
The COVID-19 Pandemic has given the Nevada Department of Corruption (NDOC) untold power to trample the rights of the people in the name of “safety and security”.
I am calling upon you to use your platform and voice to cry foul to all that will listen. Since 19 March 2020, the PSU 9-12 quadrant of the prison has had its yard time and tier time cut down to one hour of tier a day and almost no yard. NRS 209.365(5), (B), (5) calls for a minimum of five hours per week of outdoor exercise. Administrative regulation (hereafter “AR”) 801.05(2) calls for a minimum of five hours per day of out of cell time. Neither are being followed. I am filing to exhaust my remedies, so I can file suit along with a few others. NDOC claims COVID-19 as the cause for the lock downs, yet Prison Industries are able to attend work up to four days a week (because the States money is more important than “safety and security” concerns!).
Laundry, kitchen, canteen, yard workers, etc. are able to be out of their cells (as long as it benefits the Pigs!) but everyone else stays locked in their cells for up to 23 hours per day.
I’ve been tested twice for COVID-19 and never received any results (my health is well). Medical Programs, Education, and all other Rehabilitation efforts (or any efforts that benefit the Prisoner) have been cut out totally or slowed to the point that they are useless. Mail is slowed. Just look how long it took me to receive your letter from 7/12/20 (I got it on 9/4/20).
My anger is building and my will solidified. I am here in this fight up to my ears, and I am doing everything I can with the limited resources I have.
I am grateful for the help you have extended to further this fight. What every prisoner here needs is more outside voices to contact officials and let them know that they are violating Nevada Law, and the rights of EVERY Prisoner affected by the B.S. lock downs and so called “safety of the institution”.
Let any supporters know that they can contact NDOC warden Calvin Johnson, AWP Monique Hubbard-Pickett, AWP, G. Picinini, AWP Jeremy Bean, and Director of Prisons Daniels at 22010 Cold Creek Rd, Indian Springs NV 89070 and PO Box 7011, Carson City, NV 89701
Flood them with complaints! Demand action to be taken! and let them know what they do undercover will be exposed.
Struggle on Comrades! Power to the People, all else is theft!
MIM(Prisons) responds: The Federal Bureau of Prisons also kept their industries (UNICOR) open during the pandemic, spreading COVID-19. What this comrade reports on in a Nevada prison parallels all of the United $tates, where “essential workers” quickly became anyone who helps circulate capital and make a profit. In the context of prisons, certainly someone must keep doing cleaning and food prep during the pandemic. But what essential tasks are the prison industries completing? While mental health, exercise and education are all considered non-essential for those locked away in the imperialist dungeons.
The pandemic has been an eye-opening example of what putting profits over peoples’ needs looks like. What capitalism offers versus what communism offers. We must admit, capitalism has been a mixed bag, with some countries handling the pandemic quite well. But overall millions will die unnecessarily because profit concerns were put over humyn health.
In July 2020, there was a Chicano Moratorium event in Oakland, CalifAztlán at San Antonio Park. On 5 September 2020, there was another Chicano Moratorium event in Arroyo Viejo Park, organized by the Chicano-Mexicano Resistance and local Brown Berets. These were beautiful events that celebrated the resistance of the Chicano Nation and remembered the initial event of 1970.
These events were held in the spirit of the demonstration held by the Chicano Moratorium Committee Against the Vietnam War on 29 August 1970 in East Los Angeles. That action was 30,000 strong, and at the time it was protesting the Vietnam War and the overwhelming deaths of Chicano soldiers in the U.S. war on Vietnam (20% of the deaths, while only 10% of the population). At least 4 people were murdered by the pigs that day.
The 2020 actions were joyous. The sun was out, familias were out, kids, babies, mamas and Raza. Chicano revolutionary organizations were there like the Republic of Aztlán, the Oakland Brown Berets and the Chicano Mexicano Resistance. Music performers were lively playing revolutionary rap by a local Chicano rap artist named Aztlán Native who performed. There was Chicano spoken word, Chicano poets, speakers and even an African group performed showing that Brown and Black unity.
One of the speakers at the July event was “Big John,” formerly of the Chicano Revolutionary Party (CRP). The CRP was active in Oakland in the 1970s-80s. This speaker spoke of him being at the original Moratorium in 1970. I thought that was cool to hear about what took place in 1970 from someone who was there. Other speakers spoke of the need for anti-imperialism and liberation of the Chicano Nation. The crowds were very into the message of a Free Aztlán with shouts of “Chicano Power!”, “Viva la Raza!” and “Chinga la Migra!” heard. Many attendees were interested in the book [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán that comrades had at the events, and some told us they already had a copy.
The mood was that Raza were happy to be amongst each other celebrating our continued Chicano resistance as a nation. People were dancing and having a good time.
Today the need for a Chicano Moratorium is just as relevant and probably even more necessary. Despite being 20% of the deaths during the Vietnam War, Raza have historically been underrepresented in the U.$. military. While [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán discussed military enrollment of Raza increasing from around 10% to 11.3% of active military from 2004 to 2012, 2017 data indicate that has jumped to 16%.(1) The U.S. military is browning. Just as the future of the U.S. population is becoming razafied (increasing to 18% in 2019), so too is the U.S. military. The U.S. military is what allows U.S. imperialism to continue exploiting the periphery. Whether dying in Vietnam or dying at Fort Hood like Vanessa Guillen, the military is not in the interest of Raza. And the key to stopping U.S. imperialism lies in a Chicano Moratorium.
Peeling Back the U.S. Military’s Onion
When we think about an effective Chicano Moratorium, we soon realize in today’s day and age We need to do more than simply march – even in the tens of thousands. We obviously need to add some manteca to the frying pan. Although marches and protest actions are needed and provide for good agitation, we also need to focus on other elements of the U.S. military’s support structure. Shut off the valve from which its nutrients flow.
ROTC: We know that the Chicano nation is the U.S. military’s prime focus because the numbers tell us that the fastest growing population of recruits today is Raza. There is also evidence that of Raza, it is wimmin Raza who are at the helm. Wimmin overall have gone from 5% of enlisted officers in 1975, to 16% in 2017.(1) But how are they recruiting [email protected] in such high numbers? One way is via ROTC in the schools. The U.S. military typically has ROTC in Barrio schools or impoverished areas where the [email protected] population is high. This is a direct assault on [email protected] youth where Amerikkka is turning its schools (brainwash camps) into military recruitment centers. So if we are to truly build a [email protected] Moratorium with teeth, a campaign to remove ROTCs from the schools should be included.
[email protected] Mass Education: Because We have all been born and raised under this occupation, many of us do not know that Amerikkka is a colonizer. We do not know that the U.S. military is the muscle used to oppress and exploit the Third World. Sadly, most [email protected] do not even know what the Chicano Moratorium is. The enemy will never arm a people it colonized with truth of its misdeeds. So there is a strong need for mass education of the oppressed nations and allies in general, and the [email protected] masses in particular.
Mass education is needed on a national level, from families teaching their households, Barrios teaching each other, [email protected] educators teaching students, parks having educational events, protest actions ensuring at least 1 speaker mentions it, graffiti artists writing it, musicians singing and rapping about it. The Chicano Moratorium needs to be mentioned in every movement paper, every activist blog and revolutionary website. All left parties, groups and orgs should ensure their members understand the Chicano Moratorium.
We must continue to highlight the stories of lives lost to U.S. militarism like Vanessa Guillen, so that the youth know the true nature of this system. Wimmin are being sexually assaulted regularly, oppressed people are being hung and murdered, and you don’t even have to go to a war zone. It’s right in Fort Hood, Texas, in occupied Aztlán.
There should be [email protected] actions monthly in every county to educate the local [email protected] community on the Chicano Moratorium. At some point, after momentum is built, statewide actions can be held. Eventually nationwide actions can take place where [email protected] from all seven states can converge on one state for an annual [email protected] action.
Boycotts: Another element used by the U.S. military is media. Using commercials to show [email protected] youth proudly enrolling in the military. Some of these commercials are in Spanish. These are propaganda commercials meant to entice our youth with depictions of Raza youth being educated, prosperous and happy if they join the colonizer’s military. We need to locate every TV station that plays these propaganda commercials and boycott the hell out of them.
A campaign to expose and boycott these propaganda stations should be spread and supported far and wide. This is another part of the oppressor nation’s recruitment and brainwash program that needs to be shut down.
By utilizing this 3 prong approach of focusing on 1) ROTC, 2) [email protected] Mass Education, and 3) Boycotts, we will see a genuine Chicano Moratorium. One where we finally deal a blow to U.S. imperialism. The vanguard pushing today’s Chicano Moratorium is unapologetically communist. We understand the social reality of Aztlán and thus can create campaigns whose main thrust is in driving Aztlán on the road to national liberation.
Here in the Michigan Department of Corrections(MDOC), like in any amerikan prison, we have drugs. We have weed, cocaine, heroin, even meth; but what we have the most of is not the drugs you get from your neighborhood dealer, no. We got drugs straight form the manufacturer the ones you get doctors to prescribe and then get a monthly “script” of 30 to 120. I’m talking about a drug who is so closely related to its hot older sister they’re basically twins. I’m talking about suboxone: subs, strips, strippers, orange slices, because they are orange and have the lovely smell of oranges coming off of them. Suboxone has become the number 1 choice in the drug trade: it dominates all others, even heroin. Impossible right? No, don’t even think. Its perfect small little paper thin strips that only take up maybe the length of a stamp and only need a 16th of it to get blown away. You can sell a 16th of a strip which is smaller than the whites of your fingernail. As much as real deal Big Poppa heroin is, it is nothing compared to “subs.” They are small – very potent – and are guaranteed by the manufacturer to get you high every time on a consistent basis. Anyone who was on the Dog or Heroin takes to it like a fat kid at the buffet line. It’s no surprise that this drug is used for heroin addicts to come off of heroin it is so close I honestly see people trading heroin addiction to sub addiction.
Around 2012 is when I first heard of subs. In 2013, I saw the problems of them such as the quick money which they bring because of the easy ways they’re smuggled into the prison system. I saw how easily it was taken by guys who never had done things like heroin. Like the crack dealer trying his own stuff, these guys tried it too cause what do you do when you sit around making money all day and the only things you have to do are either get high or sell. Lots of people sell the strips but everyone does them. It don’t matter Black, White, or Hispanic: all of them.
The thing about strips that people fail to realize is that it is a drug: a drug to help people get “off” heroin. But because it comes from a doctor and is handed out at every rehab facility across Amerika, nobody thinks it is addictive. I’ve seen it and it’s just as bad, no worse, than crack or Heroin. I’ve even seen suboxone on T.V. being handed out to heroin addicted teens as an intervention. Doctors handing this drug out on T.V. says a lot about how people perceive this miracle drug. Just like how oxycontin and fentanyl became the miracle drug for pain which led to the opiate epidemic. That only trades who you buy the opioids from because when you ran outta oxycontin or vicodens, you could go to the dope man and get a blow pack of heroin for a fraction of the price. Now you can get it from the doctor no problem. Being an affiliated member of a large Latin organization, I’ve seen guys go from selling it and making money to running around robbing Peter to pay Paul selling his shoes to finally getting knocked out because he has not paid his debts.
Not only does this drug slip past your normal “say no to drugs” defense; not only does it slowly take control of an addict’s life; it lulls you into this docile scared state where you are no longer the proud man that held his head high and looked your problems right in the eye. Instead you are now feeling like scum beneath one’s shoe, and when people see the weakness in you they pounce. They pounce so hard and so fast. The homies I thought were giants have tucked tail and ran away thanks to strips: this miracle drug for heroin and opioid addicts. This drug that can be so lucrative in the prison system that is so lucrative to Big pharma has made our men – our brothers and our fathers – into cowards. This drug takes away your will to fight and stand tall and to me if that don’t scream to you that this government is trying to destroy the hearts and minds of the proletariat – the workers – who bleed for every dollar; who get coddled by big pharma to take their opioids for pain and then their suboxone to get off the opioids they sold you in the first place; then you’re a damn zombie and are now hopeless. And what do you do with an animal that is beyond hope… bang!
It is my hope though that for your sake and everyone else’s that you learn to see the sign of addiction and stop them. It’s important to have a hardliner stance on taking suboxone for any reason: it is a very addictive drug and should be treated as heroin is. And like heroin it should be avoided at all costs: this is the only way to keep you and your compañeros from falling victim to this dangerous drug.
MIM(Prisons) adds: We echo this comrade’s conclusion that drugs, like prisons, are being used for social control.(1)
As we wrote in ULK 59, discussing our survey results on drugs in prisons:
Our survey showed significant abuse of Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction. In the 1970s Methadone clinics, backed by the Rockefeller Program, became big in New York. The state even linked welfare benefits to these services. Yet, Mutulu Shakur says, “In New York City, 60 percent of the illegal drugs on the street during the early ’70s was methadone. So we could not blame drug addiction at that time on Turkey or Afghanistan or the rest of that triangle.”(2) Revolutionaries began to see this drug that was being used as treatment as breaking up the revolutionary movement and the community. Mitulu Shakur and others in the Lincoln Detox Center used acupuncture as a treatment for drug addiction. Lincoln Detox is an example of an independent institution developed by communists to combat drug addiction in the United $tates.(2)
Our 2017 survey revealed Suboxone as the latest scourge coming to prison systems in the northeast.(3) And it is making it’s way across the country. While it hit Michigan in 2012, it has just hit California in the last couple years. To document this shift we are asking our readers to submit to us your responses to the following brief survey. We especially want to hear from those of you on the West Coast, where suboxone was not being reported 4 years ago.
Drugs in Prison Survey 2
Please rank the most common drugs/intoxicants in your prison and answer the following questions for each one:
What percentage of people use this substance in your prison? You can use percentages or think of it in terms of if you picked 10 random people from the prison, how many of them would use the drug – 1 in 10? 5 in 10?
Are there certain groups, nationalities, agegroups, etc that seem to prefer this substance?
If you have been in that system for more than a year, have you seen the use of this substance increase? or decrease? or stay the same?
What are the health impacts of this substance on the population?
What are the social impacts of this substance on the population? (ie. more fighting, more passivity, more/less socializing, more/less community, what activities would people likely be doing if it weren’t this drug)
Are there conditions on prisoners abilities to receive suboxone? For example, do you have to attend any other treatment like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) classes for the duration of your prescription?
Are suboxone doses generally lowered over time, or can patients stay on suboxone for as long as they want?
Have you seen effective efforts by prisoners to organize against drug use and its effects? If so, please describe them.
Would you be interested in implementing a revolutionary 12 Step program that is focused on transforming ourselves to serve the people and transform society?
by MIM(Prisons) August 2020 permalink A Critique of Maoist Reason J. Moufawad-Paul Foreign Languages Press 2020
A Critique of Maoist Reason serves as a follow up to Continuity and Rupture, as a way to both sum up the different trends in Maoist thought within occupied Turtle Island and to respond to the critiques of the earlier book. As the latest book gives a more proper address to MIM Thought, we thought it important to read and respond.
Again on Maoism-Third Worldism
In a recent interview, JMP flippantly rejects our complaint that MIM Thought was referred to as “Maoist Third Worldism” in Continuity and Rupture. To reiterate from our last review, this is an ahistoric application of the term. As we said in one of our founding documents, Maoism Around Us, we opposed the term for two reasons. The first is fundamental to the arguments made in Continuity and Rupture as to the path of development of revolutionary science. We argued that there could be no new stage without new practice that supersedes the past. MIM has never suggested such a thing, and the term was coined after the original MIM dissolved.
The second reason, that recent works by JMP and the online journal Struggle Sessions seem to take advantage of, is that by calling our line something other than Marxism-Leninism-Maoism you can otherize it and make it seem more fringe. This new book from JMP serves to place the RIM strain of “Maoism” as the most legit one, and paints MIM as a “shadow Maoism.”
A Falsifiable Thesis
Other than making some of the common arguments made against MIM’s thesis on the labor aristocracy, JMP’s philosophical argument against our line is that it is not falsifiable. This appears to be a tautological argument based in some of the lines shared by JMP and Struggle Sessions. Yet, it would be easy to falsify our thesis by organizing petty bourgeois First Worlders (who they call proletariat) to overthrow imperialism; the very thing such projects claim to be working towards. We’ll gladly follow the leadership of anyone who does this.
“What ultimately disqualifies MTW [Maoism-Third Worldism] from correctly representing Maoist reason is that it has no logical basis upon which to develop its theoretical insights. If there is no proletariat in the imperialist metropoles, and thus no proletarian movement, the first world third worldist cannot make a correct assessment of anything since it cannot practice the mass line. With no revolutionary masses in which to embed a revolutionary movement (because these revolutionary masses are elsewhere) how can it test its ideas, struggle with the masses, and thus develop theory through practice? Considering that MTW disagrees with the assessments of the most significant third world Maoist movements regarding the first world proletariat, it is not as if it is learning from the revolutionary masses it claims to valorize, either. Thus, even if MTW is correct it has no way of knowing it is correct, or developing a theory regarding its correctness, since it has no means of testing these ideas in practice. That is, MTW is not falsifiable and thus not scientific. And if it is not scientific then it is disqualified from Maoist reason.”(p.91)
JMP is saying that since MIM(Prisons) asserts that the First World has no masses to do mass line with, we cannot come to the correct position to guide communist practice.
Our claims however, are far from this. Our claim is that the masses here are a minority force: they are oppressed nation, they are migrants, they are prisoners, etc. We have been saying this for many years, yet JMP ignores this line and claims that we do not believe that anyone is oppressed in the First World. We don’t claim that there is no masses here, we claim that the constantly dying imperialist system needs to fall in order for proletarianization of the labor aristocracy to happen.
To support our claims we look at history, not just abstract economic models as JMP implies. It’s been over a hundred years since the first successful revolution leading to a dictatorship of the proletariat. Of all the efforts since then, that reached different levels of success, how many occurred in an imperialist country where most people own homes that value 6 digits in U.$. dollars, automobiles, have access to any food from around the world, not to mention unlimited clean water and practically uninterrupted electricity? Zero. So let’s flip the challenge on our comrades who believe that there is a majority proletariat in the First World and ask them to falsify our thesis by waging a revolution from within these countries. Because from where we’re standing, the historical evidence seems to be on our side so far.
Second, as the prison ministry (the most public cell representing MIM line at this time), we can say that developing mass line is central to what we do. A typical MIM(Prisons) cadre will interact with 100s of imprisoned lumpen a month. And we synthesize the best ideas through our newsletter and other work, providing ideological leadership for a prison movement that is true to anti-imperialism and the international proletariat. Our practice quickly dispenses with the premise that we cannot develop mass line in the United $tates.
Assuming that our critics cannot achieve a successful First World proletarian revolution, the question then becomes how will socialism come to countries like the United $tates? How will proletarianization of the labor aristocracy happen? Our movement has offered some theories on how that might transpire. And the future will either validate or falsify those theories. If there is a significant delinking of the exploited countries from the imperialist system before any revolutions happen in the core countries, then we must conclude that their thesis has been falsified. If revolutions in the core countries requires military support from the existing socialist countries to install a dictatorship of the proletariat in those core countries, then certainly we will have falsified their thesis.
These are some examples of how our line will either be validated or falsified in the future. It is a dogmatic position to put some universal model for how revolution must occur onto all countries.
It is circular logic to say that there must be a majority proletariat for revolutionary science to be applied, and revolutionary science is universal, therefore there must be a majority proletariat everywhere. It’s hard to see how JMP’s point can stand without this circular logic.
Drawing Class Lines
Unlike the other strands of “Maoism” criticized in the book, JMP is careful to recognize that MIM made real theoretical contributions and goes so far to say that it would be revisionism to deny that imperialism transfers wealth from some nations to others.
The question here is how do we draw lines between friends and enemies? Relatedly, we might ask when does quantitative change in the distribution of surplus value result in a qualitative change in class?
Mathematically, the switch from an exploited group to a net exploiter group is a qualitative change. However, the labor aristocracy is not generally defined as being net exploiters per se. And the workers are not conscious of when this theoretical point has been reached (as evidenced by JMP’s statement that workers in the United $tates are conscious of the belief that they are exploited, when in reality they are not). As we have argued elsewhere, while there are workers who are paid more than the value of their labor power in any country, it is a very different phenomenon in the Third World than in the First. And this is because class is colored by nation under imperialism. We see nation as the principal contradiction, representing the identity that is imperialism. So we find arguments against our global class analysis that do not address the national question to be lacking.
Let’s be clear, MIM’s third cardinal principle (MIM has long used 3 cardinal principles to distinguish its line from others calling themselves “communists”) is that “imperialism extracts super-profits from the Third World and in part uses this wealth to buy off whole populations of oppressor nation so-called workers. These so-called workers bought off by imperialism form a new petty-bourgeoisie called the labor aristocracy. These classes are not the principal vehicles to advance Maoism within those countries because their standard of living depend on imperialism.”
It is within imperialism that we find the qualitative difference that this labor aristocracy has with workers outside the imperialist core countries. It is not because First World people fought harder for higher wages, or First World companies are more democratic and offer higher wages, it’s not because white people are evil; it is the system of imperialism that puts some nations in a position of receiving surplus value and others of losing. Those who gain tend to support the system and those who lose tend to oppose it.
As an aside, settler-colonialism is one form of this, which defines occupied Turtle Island. While we welcome the surge in interest in dismantling settler-colonialism, we must recognize it as one form of imperialism. We find many who want to “de-colonize” without recognizing the global class structure for what it is. We also have those like JMP who acknowledge the economic structure of imperialism, but for some reason don’t think it changes who are our friends and who are our enemies.
While the academic economic models of Marxism may not inform the class consciousness of the labor aristocracy, relative deprivation does. And there is nothing that symbolizes that divide in relative wealth more than the imperialist country borders. Closing core country borders happens to be an issue that has garnered much support from the labor aristocracies of the United $tates and United Kingdom, as well as in France and Germany in recent years. Do Brexit and “Build the Wall” not symbolize enemy ideologies? Are the labor aristocracies of these countries wrong that open borders would prevent them from hoarding wealth in those countries? How does JMP reconcile this political reality with his dogmatic thesis of a revolutionary proletariat in the First World?
JMP asks, “is it implicitly”first worldist" to argue that there is a proletariat at the centres of capitalism and go out to organize, for example, miners around a communist ideology that is also anti-imperialist?"
Organizing miners in the First World against imperialism sounds great. But if you are arguing that they are the exploited proletariat who deserve more money, when they are actually benefiting from imperialist exploitation of the Third World, then you are not organizing against imperialism, are you? It just doesn’t follow that JMP sees the transfer of value in favor of a group from a system and then argues that that group is going to be opposed to that system. The question here isn’t primarily about who to organize, though certainly focusing on the right groups will get us further faster, but rather what to organize around that will push anti-imperialism forward. Perhaps the miners are allied with anti-imperialism for reasons external to income and raw value transfer, such as carbon emissions. To organize them around a radical transformation of our energy system being led by the international proletariat could be a form united front work, but not organizing the proletariat itself.
A Global Anti-Imperialist United Front
One thing we learn from this book is some of the differences between JMP and those who use the term “principally Maoism,” specifically the blog Struggle Sessions. Obviously one should read the latter’s writings to get their real views. However, one difference addressed is that the former sees the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) as the historical event that solidified Maoism, while the latter sees the Peruvian Communist Party as having done so alone and the RIM as a rightest deviation.
Our counter-history of Maoism was presented in our last response to JMP, where we get into the RIM in more depth and our arguments against the practice of forming a Communist International. While Struggle Sessions has some significant agreement with our critiques of the RIM and its role, they actively promote the formation of a new International, as does JMP. In this latest book, JMP concedes that the RCP=U$A sought to and to an extent did control the RIM. To be clear, we did not argue that other parties in the RIM did not have any independence or basis outside of the RIM, we specifically said not all members were revisionists. But those calling for U.$. intervention in Iran certainly were, and such a position should not be up for debate or tolerated among communists.
On page 86, JMP implies that MIM blames the RIM for the failure of the People’s War in Peru. That is not a position that we recall from MIM’s work at the time. Certainly they harshly criticized the RIM for its role in endangering the People’s War after the capture of Gonzalo. This was perhaps one of the most horrific actions in the RCP’s long history of anti-proletarian work, but JMP has nothing to say about it.
Our general complaint with the International model is that it tends to subsume one party under another. Mao fleshed out the theory and practice around the united front within China and learned through hard experience in relating to the Soviet Union, principles that we take to be universal, including the need for the leaders of each liberation movement to interpret their own conditions. To the extent that RIM was a think tank that allowed communists from around the world to come together and agree to the basic principles that defined the latest stage of revolutionary science, we would support such a project. MIM participated in such forums in its original form.
It was in the work of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that we saw the theory of the united front from Mao summed up and reproven in practice in their rectification campaign. This struggle waged in 1992 stressed the importance of the independence and leadership role of the proletarian party in the national liberation struggle. The decision of the CPP to not join the RIM reflects the recognition of the need for independence of each national struggle. This is a line point where we agree with the CPP against others in the international communist movement (ICM) who did join.
At the same time, MIM harshly criticized CPP complacency in pushing a revisionist class analysis within the United $tates. JMP argues that the global class analysis of MIM is rejected by all Third World communists of significance and this is evidence against our position. Yet, we have yet to see any analysis from any of these parties substantiating claims against MIM line; amounting to an argument from authority.
Because the Third World communist parties rightfully have more cred, many will presume they are right about this and follow their lead when they call for uniting the “working class” in North America and denying the national liberation struggles of the internal semi-colonies. The open and conscious rejection of MIP-Amerika’s analysis of its own country by certain Third World leaders, followed by their promotion of the integrationist line, was behind MIM’s decision to say that the global class analysis must be a dividing line question within the Maoist movement globally.
Without a communist international, comrades in the United $tates are free to combat incorrect lines being promoted from other countries and prove our line in practice. Despite whatever great accomplishments certain members of the RIM may have had, we think joining an international was a mistake, proven in practice once again, with the RCP=U$A-run CoRIM promoting revisionism at a crucial point in the history of People’s War in Peru.
MIM Thought also provides insights here beyond the general point of the need for independent development on the national level. An application of MIM Thought to parties in the Third World is that there’s more enemies than friends in the imperialist countries, and people from those countries should be treated as potential spies. PCP practice in expelling Non-Governmental Organizations from territories they controlled was in line with this.
Going back to the theoretical miner example above, we apply the theory of united front to unite all who can be united. And we can frame the global anti-imperialist united front within our global class analysis. We can look to the internal semi-colonies and the Third World diaspora as the most likely allies in the First World, without calling them proletariat. And we can win over sectors of the oppressor nation as well, just as in everything, 1 divides into 2. So we disagree with the implied criticism of our line that there is no real proletariat in the First World to mean there is no organizing against imperialism that can be done here. Certainly staying on the correct path will require an active eye on the Third World proletariat, which our movement has always stressed.
MIM(Prisons) continues to develop the mass line here in the belly of the beast. We continue to promote organizing against imperialism in a principled way that puts the interests of the exploited and oppressed at the forefront. And we challenge JMP, the supporters of eir line, Struggle Sessions or anyone else who thinks they can apply Maoism to occupied Turtle Island while ignoring that the vast majority of people here have a material interest in imperialism, to prove us wrong. Please, just don’t awaken the fascists in your attempt to do so, with your cries about the exploited Amerikan.
by a North Carolina prisoner August 2020 permalink
Revolutionary Greetings kings and queens. I be Almighty King AR93. In peace, in strife for our freedom is how I enter my presence into your atmosphere.
I am the founder of the Almighty In Revolution(A.I.R.) movement and the active leader of the “FMB” (or Free My Beloveds; or Fast Money Baby) chapter; East Coast Division. I’ve been striving to expand Beloved but a lot have been going on to which I’ve ended up reconstructing the movement.
We align ourselves with the 5 points/stars of United Front principles due to the fact the 5 stars (1) Peace, 2) Unity, 3) Growth, 4) Internationalism, & 5) Independence) are meant to create/build life. A better life! A life of freedom! Without A.I.R. there is no life. With A.I.R. unified/combined with these united front 5 stars I feel we can make a difference.
We all have a load of work to do to achieve our goals. But with peace, unity, growth, internationalism, and independence we can make a change or at least die trying. A.I.R. can’t do it by ourselves, which is why we are seeking to join forces with you. We also would like to unify with the bloods (Black Liberation Order Of Defenses in Society/Struggle) to which I need your assistance to obtain that stamp. By way of networking and communicating and addressing any situation with true facts and directly, we can diminish the divide and conquer tactics these pigz used against us (especially behind enemy lines).