The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Medical Care] [Hughes Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 57]
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Medical Copay Revolving Door

I am writing with a texa$ prison medical copay update. Here on the Alfred D. Hughes plantation, the medical department's Senior Practice Manager Valencia Pollard-Fortson's attitude is that every procedure is a valid charge. Aspirin, bandaids, blood sugar checks, clipper shave, whatever. You're going to be charged $100. Her idea is if you charge 10 people a day for sick call, that's $900. Because only one will do the paperwork for 90 days to get his money back. Now they've gone a farther step.

In Ad-Seg/SHU building, we cannot buy fingernail clippers off store. To be caught with a pair is a major offense. We have to submit a sick call request to medical to trim our nails. Even diabetics who must keep toenails trimmed. Well, that sick call costs $100.

Say January 1st you go to medical for chronic care. It's charged $100. Then you go January 15th and again January 28th. You file a grievance Step One with medical about copay of January 1st. It's denied February 10th. You file a Step Two appeal to Regional Medical Supervisor. It's granted March 13th. Your monthly invoice will not show up until April 15th showing March 13th $100 was refunded for medical copay of January 1st. BUT a new charge for January 15th appears and the $100 is taken on March 13th. You start all over again, stretching out for months just like I'm doing now on a charge from March 2016. These pigs are determined to keep your money.


MIM(Prisons) responds: There are many tactics the state uses to enact medical neglect, and to create and exacerbate long-term health problems for prisoners. In some states they just throw the sick call in the trash. But in Texas they are frustrating people using the financial angle. Our Texas Campaign Pack has instructions for how to fight against the $100 medical copay. We can use this information to make ourselves a little bit stronger while we struggle to overthrow the horrible social and economic system that makes such an exorbitant copay possible in the first place.

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[Censorship] [Union Correctional Institution] [Florida] [ULK Issue 54]
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Florida Prison Ban on MIM Pubs

Please be advised that Florida Department of Corrections has banned all MIM publications. At this time I'm not able to file an informal or formal grievance or appeal as to do so will result in immediate property and mail restriction with a stretch of disciplinary confinement to back it up. Enclosed are the latest rejection slips.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We are seeing many rejections from Florida prisons, although ULK is still getting in to a few folks. We need jailhouse lawyers who are being censored in Florida who can help take up this fight through the grievances and into the courts. Your work will impact many in this state with so many people behind bars. Get in touch with us if you can take up this censorship battle. And for anyone on the streets reading this, we really need lawyers who can support these lawsuits from the outside. Check out our extensive documentation of censorship in Florida (and elsewhere) from our Amerikan Censorship Documentation Project

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[Spanish] [First Nations]
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Lakotah Reclama Tierra de Colonos Estadounidense$

En semanas recientes hemos visto los vídeos ofensivos de colonizadores atacando a gente Indígena que están tratando de proteger sus tierras de la invasión y destrucción en su tierra natal de la Nación Lakotah. La resistencia ha unido a muchas personas de "First Nation" (Primera Nación) así como también muchos partidarios alrededor del campo Piedra Sagrada en la punta norte de la reserva Standing Rock. Este es el punto donde la Tubería de Acceso Dakota (DAPL por sus siglas en inglés), actualmente en construcción, se acerca a las actuales fronteras de la reserva. Esta semana, 200 personas se mudaron, a la isla que Energy Transfer Partners (Compañeros de Transferencia de Energía) reclama, colocando su campamento de invierno en el camino a la tubería.

En respuesta, Energy Transfer Partners le dijeron a la gente que estaban entrando sin derecho, que "el comportamiento ilegal no será tolerado." (1) No hay mejor ejemplo de cómo la "ley" puede ser una institución utilizada por el opresor para legitimar su poder. Cuando los colonos vinieron por primera vez a matar indígenas y a robar sus tierras, ellos declararon esta tierra "ilegal."

Los Lakotah Sioux están usando un dominio eminente para reclamar la tierra en cuestión como se establece legalmente en su tratado de 1851 con el gobierno de los Estados Unidos. El presidente de Cheyenne River Sioux Harold Frazier se reunió con el Presidente Obama, y con el Abogado de la Oficina de Gobierno para discutir su campaña y la represión policial desatada sobre protestantes pacíficos. Frazier relató una conversación que tuvieron:

Frazier: ¿cómo puede un Indigena asaltar físicamente a un Indigena y salirse con la suya?"
Abogado U.S.: "Bueno, esto esta en tierra del Estado.
Frazier: "¿Entonces eso significa que si un no-indígena viene a la tierra de un Indígena, el Indígena puede hacer lo mismo?"
Abogado U.S.: "Oh no, iría a la cárcel."(1)

De nuevo, la farsa de lo que es la ley de los colonos Amerikanos se presenta ante nosotros. La Tribu de Standing Rock Sioux organizó el Primer consejo de Tratado Internacional del Hemisferio Occidental del 8-6 de Junio de 1974. Esta reunión fue honrada en 2007 en otra reunión donde la República de Lakotah declaró soberanía, reclamando mucha de la tierra a través de la cual la construcción de la DAPL está ocurriendo hoy.(2)

Las personas indígenas en Norteamérica siempre han estado en las líneas del frente del movimiento anti imperialista. Ellos fueron las primeras víctimas del colonialismo y del capitalismo/imperialismo emergente en esta tierra. Su lucha constante para reclamar su tierra es central para la re-civilización de la brutal nación colonizadora de Amerikkka.

notes: 1. 26 October 2016. KPFA Evening News. 2. Under Lock & Key Issue 2.
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[Organizing] [Campaigns] [Arkansas]
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Downloadable Grievance Petition, Arkansas

AR grievance petition
Click here to download a PDF
of the Arkansas grievance petition
Mail the petition to your loved ones and comrades inside who are experiencing issues with their grievance procedure. Send them extra copies to share! For more info on this campaign, click here.

Prisoners should send a copy of the signed petition to each of the addresses listed on the petition, and below. Supporters should send letters on behalf of prisoners.

Director Wendy Kelley
Arkansas Department of Corrections
PO Box 8707
Pine Bluff, AR 71611-8707

United States Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, PHB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Office of Inspector General
HOTLINE
P.O. Box 9778
Arlington, Virginia 22219

And send MIM(Prisons) copies of any responses you receive!

MIM(Prisons), USW
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140
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[Campaigns] [Louisiana]
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Downloadable Grievance Petition, Louisiana

Louisiana Grievance Petition
Click here to download a PDF
of the Louisiana grievance petition
Mail the petition to your loved ones and comrades inside who are experiencing issues with their grievance procedure. Send them extra copies to share! For more info on this campaign, click here.

Prisoners should send a copy of the signed petition to each of the addresses listed on the petition, and below. Supporters should send letters on behalf of prisoners.

Louisiana Department of Corrections
PO Box 94304
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9304

United States Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, PHB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Office of Inspector General
HOTLINE
P.O. Box 9778
Arlington, Virginia 22219

And send MIM(Prisons) copies of any responses you receive!
MIM(Prisons), USW
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140


*Pdf updated October 2017*
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[Spanish] [First Nations] [ULK Issue 55]
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Explorando el Resultado de la Tubería XL Keystone

"America no puede existir sin separarnos a nosotros mismos de nuestras identidades."

La lucha comenzó en 2011, con una lucrativa propuesta de una compañía Canadiense para acceder a tierras tribales y transportar petróleo crudo al Golfo de Texas. Dicen que la construcción ayudará a crear trabajos permanentes, que el dinero dado a los consejos tribales ayudará a satisfacer las necesidades de las personas. En realidad, esta tubería creará un desastre ambiental. América nunca puede financiar su propia estructura, ¿cómo se puede esperar el mantenimiento de una tubería en las tierras tribales soberanas?

El problema no es sólo la tubería y toda la inmundicia que viene con ella. El problema es la total violación de nuestros tratados, y la falta de tratamiento de la auto-determinación y la Declaración de las Naciones Unidos sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas. Esta tubería pisotea a los derechos humanos y prueba la ciudadanía de segunda clase que se les da a todas las naciones tribales, y personas.

Tomen en consideración como todos los portavoces del gobierno se enfurecen con cualquier violación de cualquier tratado otorgado a gobiernos extranjeros por el gobierno de Estados Unidos, ¿porqué son tan rápidos al descartar los derechos que se otorgaron a las naciones tribales?

Fuimos a la guerra por esos tratados. Si, es 2016 y todos los "indios" deberían funcionar como Amerikanos regulares, al menos esa es la retórico. Pero al iniciar un tratado se nos provee reconocimiento, y estipula acuerdos bilaterales que todas las partes deben honrar. Al menos, de hecho, que nuestros tratados sean sólo "pedazos de papel", y si ese es el caso, Rusia debería pasar por alto las resoluciones de la ONU con los Estados Unidos y bombear Israel. No es igual? El Artículo 6 de la constitución de los Estados Unidos y la cláusula piloto de 1888 dice lo contrario. Ambos reconocen el poder permanente de todos los tratados Indígenas y todas las Naciones Indígenas. Sólo porque los tiempos han cambiado no significa que las palabras también.

El gobierno de los Estados Unidos ha estado empujando a todas las naciones tribales al genocidio por los últimos 298 años. La pobreza, agua mala, aire contaminado, desperdicio nuclear, minas abiertas de uranio, alcoholismo, ninguna infraestructura de trabajo para empezar.

El suicidio entre hombres jóvenes se ha convertido en una epidemia. Solamente somos endulzados con palabras cuando los trabajadores del gobierno quieren sentirse bien, luego nos quitan a nuestros hijos, los llevan al lado del estado y los tiran a la "gente blanca" para que los civilicen — violando así otra ley federal, la Ley para el Bienestar del Niño Indígena.

Esta tierra significa más para nosotros que sólo una terreno para todo el pueblo tribal, igual que en 1848 cuando los Estados Unidos se unieron a todo Aztlán desde México y construyeron la frontera paramilitar más grande en el mundo, se esta haciendo mucho para separar a las naciones tribales de nuestras tierras. En 1973 peleamos y morimos por nuestra tierra. Si es necesario, marquen mis palabras, nos levantaremos y pelearemos de nuevo. Esta tierra es nuestra identidad. Tiene la sangre de nuestros ancestros, y la tubería matará a nuestra gente.

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[First Nations] [ULK Issue 53]
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Lakotah Reclaim Land from Settler U.$.

sacred stone camp map
The latest camp has moved into land just north of the Sacred Stone Camp
on the map. Also see map below for historic land claims of the Republic of Lakotah.

In recent weeks we have seen the offensive videos of settlers attacking indigenous people who are trying to protect their land from invasion and destruction in the homeland of the Lakotah Nation. The resistance has brought together many First Nation people as well as many supporters around the Sacred Stone Camp in the northern tip of the Standing Rock reservation. This is the point where the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), currently under construction, comes closest to current reservation borders. This week 200 people moved onto the land claimed by Energy Transfer Partners, setting up their winter camp in the path of the planned pipeline.

In response, Energy Transfer Partners said the people were trespassing, saying "lawless behavior will not be tolerated."(1) There is no better example of how the "law" can be an institution utilized by the oppressor to legitimize their power. When the settlers first came to kill Indigenous people and steal their land, they declared this land to be "lawless."

The Lakotah Sioux are using eminent domain to claim the land in question as rightfully theirs based on their 1851 treaty with the United $tates government. Cheyenne River Sioux Chair Harold Frazier met with President Obama, as well as the U.$. Attorney's Office to discuss their campaign and the police repression being unleashed on peaceful protestors. Frazier retold one conversation ey had:

Frazier: "How can a non-Indian physically assault an Indian and get away with it?"
U.S. Attorney's office: "Well, that's on state land."
Frazier: "So does that mean if a non-Indian comes to an Indian on Indian land that the Indian could do it back?"
U.S. Attorney's office: "Oh no, you'd go to jail."(1)

Again, the farce that is Amerikan settler law is laid bare before us.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe hosted the First International Treaty Council of the Western Hemisphere from 8-16 June 1974. This meeting was honored in 2007 at another meeting where the Republic of Lakotah declared sovereignty, claiming much of the land through which DAPL construction is occurring today.(2)

Lakotah Republic map
Map of Republic of Lakotah from www.republicoflakotah.com

Indigenous people in North America have always been at the front lines of the anti-imperialist movement. They were the first victims of colonialism and emerging capitalist/imperialism on this land. Their continued struggle to reclaim this land is central to a re-civilization of the brutal settler nation of Amerikkka.

Notes:
1. 26 October 2016. KPFA Evening News.
2. Under Lock & Key Issue No. 2 (January/February 2008).
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[Organizing] [Colorado]
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Much Work Still to be Done in Colorado

This is in response to ULK 52, page 18, "Building Peace and Unity in CO." This is an untrue statement. There might be individuals on peace. But that is all, the majority is still the same. Colorado lacks a gang structure to call a treaty like that. Let alone a revolutionary mindset. Colorado/the man, learned from other states how to repress gang structure. And how to ultimately control the gangs and the entire system. Through divide and conquer strategies within the gangs, the same gangs, not just different gangs against different gangs.

This is accomplished by privileges and by conforming to their standards. A lack of discipline for a group's goals. And the way they breed juveniles' minds in their juvenile facilities to show who the authority is, and snitch programs to confront one another. Brainwashing. With the exception of few, but not enough to enact any kind of movement for gang or revolution. I heard a quote "the most common way a people loses their power is by thinking they have none at all." That is the majority mindset out here in every aspect.

I became conscious recently. I have been educating myself as much as I can to politics, history and different cultures. Empires are the power through history in every culture. As a conscious man it was not my choice to be born oppressed but it is my choice to struggle against it. Knowledge is power, to change yourself and your surroundings. That is what needs to be attained and given to the people. Especially the children. So that generation changes the situation. So it becomes not a choice but the way of life, while always knowing that there will always be forces to try to destroy that life, but no matter what to continue on. I educate who I can and always will now. I find it hard to change a man's way of thought but I try. Knowing that thought was created for his destruction.

I am stuck in some of my ways also. Change takes time. Being stuck in prison is also a hindrance. Something that destroys life and choice. Always a created struggle. That is what I figured out in these studies. You need a pure mind to enact a change. And that is our children, they are pure. A sponge to gain all the knowledge needed to ultimately find the true meaning of life watch as peace of mind, happiness, love, family. To teach them what needs to be done so they can have that, along with their family and people.

I hope one day to become one of a million instead of one in a million. Ho Chi Minh said "when the prison doors are open the real dragons will fly out." I am a dragon full of rage for the oppressor, love for my people, knowledge to be spread and flames to be unleashed on our enemies. The day my wings will open to fly out and accomplish all these things. I have love for all oppressed people.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade starts off disagreeing with what someone else wrote about building unity in Colorado, but in the end argues that change is possible and that we need to educate and build for unity. We agree there is much work to be done, but we must build and educate in whatever situation we can. In the case of our comrades behind bars, this means doing the work that is often hard and slow to overcome the brainwashing of a lifetime of education and build unity against the criminal injustice system. For those who have become conscious, it is our duty to share this with others. It is not enough to just understand oppression ourselves. One good way to get started is by forming a study group where you're at. We can supply some information on how to do this along with study materials. Write to us to get started.

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[Organizing] [Theory] [ULK Issue 53]
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Who Says the Masses Can't Lead?

For those of us who have received a political education and are locked away in Amerikkka's prisons, the September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity should be a call to action. As many people as have been involved in MIM and MIM(Prisons)-led study groups over the years, comrades should be more than clear on what their duties and responsibilities are to the prison struggle as well as to the International Communist Movement (ICM). The fact that September 9 events are still few and far between is therefore continuing indicative proof of a variety of contradictions still plaguing the prison movement. This essay attempts to address and give special attention to the development of the mass line.

Some people who have shown interest in taking up revolutionary politics incorrectly believe that they must spend years on end learning political theory before they are ready to take up revolutionary struggle, especially when it comes to applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. However, this type of thinking is incorrect, not only because it has the potential to slow down revolution, but because it can be used to purposely derail the revolutionary movement. Just think — where would any revolutionary movement be if everyone always sought to first become an expert in any particular field before they did anything? This is what Maoists criticized as the "experts in command" approach to education, production and revolution in communist China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) (1966-1976), the furthest advance towards communism in humyn hystory!

The experts in command political line was initially related to the intellectual belief during the Great Leap Forward (1958-1961), that only experts with years of training (usually within the confines of a classroom or a controlled environment) were worthy enough to lead or teach. This same line was later used by traitors and the bourgeoisie in the Chinese Communist Party itself as a way to disempower the revolutionary masses and consolidate their grip on power.

In opposition to experts in command, Mao Zedong and others began popularizing Lenin's slogan of "fewer, but better" by pointing out that it wasn't necessary for comrades to have years of experience in political struggle before they were able to take up leadership roles. Instead Mao stressed comrades' dedication to serving the people as more important than this "expertise." Furthermore, Mao encouraged cadre to not separate themselves from the revolutionary masses, but to work amongst them and help them develop the mass line. To develop and carry out the mass line is simply to help the masses develop and carry the revolutionary programs that will best help them accomplish the task of developing revolution and achieving self-determination. Without the mass line revolution is impossible; the masses will sink ever deeper into despair, while the leaders lead the revolutionary movement astray and the oppressors will rein. Mao Zedong's instructions for cadre to develop the mass line are thus:

"In all the practical work of our Party, all correct leadership is necessarily 'from the masses, to the masses.' This means: take the ideas of the masses (scattered and unsystematic ideas) and concentrate them (through study turn them into concentrated and systematic ideas), then go to the masses and propagate and explain these ideas until the masses embrace them as their own, hold fast to them and translate them into action, and test the correctness of these ideas in such action. Then once again concentrate ideas from the masses and once again go to the masses so that the ideas are persevered in and carried through. And so on, over and over again in an endless spiral, with the ideas becoming more correct, more vital and richer each time. Such is the Marxist theory of knowledge." - Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership

Mao also said it would be enough for comrades to first put an emphasis on being "red" with an aim towards becoming experts through continued participation in revolutionary struggle.

There is also the problem of intellectuals in the prison movement. But does this mean that all intellectuals in the prison movement are a problem? No, of course not. There are revolutionary intellectuals and there are bourgeoisie intellectuals. Revolutionary intellectuals hate oppression, they value knowledge as power and the collective accomplishments of many people, and they are dedicated to using their knowledge to serve the people. Bourgeois intellectuals on the other hand don't much care if people are oppressed, they are apathetic, they value knowledge for the sake of knowledge and they view the accumulation of knowledge as the accomplishment of great individuals. Some of these people may sometimes cheerlead for anti-imperialism and revolutionary struggles, but thru their inaction they actually hold up imperialism. Such people often excel in MIM(Prisons)-led study groups. These types of people take up revolutionary politics for the sole purpose of study and discussion without application, which is to say that they get off on talking about revolution but very rarely do they go further. These types of people give lip service to communist ideology and the topic of national liberation. When pressed on putting their knowledge to use they'll suddenly come up with excuses. "Now is not a good time for me," "The masses aren't ready," "The movement isn't ready," etc, etc. In fact it is they who are not ready!

Real revolutionary intellectuals don't study revolutionary theory for the sake of knowledge, but to make revolution. Theory without practice ain't shit! Mao addressed this in his essay "On Practice":

"What Marxist philosophy regards as the most important problem does not lie in understanding the laws of the objective world and thus being able to explain it, but in applying the knowledge of these laws actively to change the world."

Maoism teaches us that there is no great difference between politically conscious leaders and mere followers, between leaders and led. The only difference is practice, for practice alone is the criterion of truth for knowledge, as it is through practice that the masses can come to power and exert influence over their destiny.

Notes: Third Draft of Criticism of the RCP by MIM.
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[Organizing] [United Front] [Theory] [White Nationalism] [ULK Issue 55]
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A Case for Unity with Reactionary Nationalist Organizations

Is there ever a time when we would unite with reactionary oppressor-nation lumpen organizations in a united front for peace in prisons?

This particular question is one that contains within itself a set of extremely complex issues concerning the ideology of these types of groups or organizations. It is only after we examine these issues that we can make an intelligent informed decision concerning this question of uniting with a reactionary-oppressor organization in prison.

We know that at their very core a large percentage of these groups are deeply rooted in their beliefs in Adolf Hitler and/or the Nordic Gods, or they are rooted in the distorted beliefs of so called "white Christianity"" (ie the KKK or the Church of Jesus Christ, Christian, etc.). All of their gods are considered to be extremely Aryan and will only deal with or help those who are white Aryan people unless it benefits them. Those who hold to the ideals of "white Christianity" have merely reconstructed the Holy Bible to fit their views of white supremacy. These white Christian organizations support those organizations who are neo-Nazi by nature.

The ideologies of both of these styles of organizations are centered around the philosophy of one being "white." Yet, you do find exceptions to this way of thinking. However, you generally discover that their mottos revolve around the principle of "if you ain't white, you ain't right." This ideology holds not only the connotation of the color of your skin is important, but likewise so are your ethical, moral, and religious beliefs. This, in itself implies that you are never going to be on an equal status with them.

These white nationalists live by a 14 word creed "we must secure the existence of our race and the future of white children." They likewise live by what they call the 88 precepts which create a vision of superiority for the white race.

Both morally and ethically the vast majority of white nationalist organizations find it extremely difficult to honestly and openly reach out to others with a spirit and agenda of true peace. This is due to the basic core of their beliefs that have been hammered into them since they were young. They have been taught to use other races, groups, organizations or individuals to gain their advantages for the betterment of themselves and once they are finished with them they simply jettison them and move on to their next victim.

Having presented the above to you the informed reader, I now remind you that we as individuals and a movement must never forget that the best method for change concerning these types of groups and organizations is to openly and honestly invite them to participate in the process for peace. If we diligently allow them to become actively involved in the process then perhaps their hearts and minds will be opened to the truth.

We must never let ourselves succumb to the way of thinking that we are better than others. We must steadfastly remain inclusive of everyone around us. Always remember that if we can affect one mind, just one heart, then indeed we have made a great step for all mankind.

Through slothfulness and unawareness we do surely die. Through strength, honor, courage and vigilance we surely do survive!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is an interesting commentary on uniting with white nationalist organizations because it comes to the same conclusion we have come to, but for different reasons. We agree that the United Front for Peace in Prisons can include reactionary organizations. It is true that sometimes through a united battle we can educate others and change their minds to a more progressive viewpoint. But we must be clear that we only unite with reactionary organizations when we have common goals and enemies, and when this unity might serve to push forward the battle with our principle enemy. Just as the Chinese communists allied with the Kuomindang in the war against the Japanese imperialists in spite of the Kuomindang previously attacking the communists and expressing significant disagreement, antagonism and aggression against the communists. At that time the principal task of the movement was to get the Japanese occupiers out of China. And the Kuomindang was an organization of Chinese nationals and so they shared this goal with the communists. Once that was accomplished the communists knew they would then need to fight the Kuomindang, but it did not make sense to divide the anti-Japanese forces and take on both battles at once.

Similarly we see our principal task being best advanced by building peace and unity among prisoner organizations so that we can all focus our fight on the criminal injustice system. This doesn't mean we expect white supremacist organizations to be won over to the side of the oppressed. But we can have principled unity with these organizations as we focus on a common enemy. We will not compromise our views or pretend to agree with them politically. And in this principled unity we may win over a few from the ranks of these white nationalist organizations who begin to see the correctness of our political positions.

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