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[Ukraine] [Russia] [U.S. Imperialism] [Fascism] [ULK Issue 77]
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Ukraine: Imperialism in Crisis

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, MIM(Prisons) has not published any analysis of the war, nor have we participated in any organizing around the war. Our position is that our movement should be looking to counter and prevent Amerikan war-mongering against Russia, or any other country.

Unfortunately, most opposition to the Russian invasion in the United $tates is being led by the State Department and is fanning Amerikan support for war with Russia and promoting the overthrow of Russian President Vladimir Putin. As we go to press, things have continued to heat up and the threat of inter-imperialist war seems greater than it’s been in decades.

Imperialists are stealing from other imperialists. The U.$. Treasury Department has already seized $1 billion worth of boats and planes and hundreds of millions of dollars in bank accounts. The House of Representatives passed a bill to liquidate these assets and use them to rebuild Ukraine. In addition, the U.$. imperialist bloc has frozen $600 billion of Russia’s central bank foreign reserve fund, which they are also considering using to rebuild Ukraine.(1) They are taking the stolen wealth of other imperialists and using it to rebuild Ukraine to serve U.$. imperialism instead of Russia. This greatly adds to the original military threat Russia had felt from NATO encircling them, making the escalation to all-out inter-imperialist war more likely.

The U.$/IMF/World Bank will of course sink their teeth deeper into Ukraine through loans, which have already begun during the war period. As they do to oppressed nations around the world, these loans become means by which they control their policies and structure their economies as neo-colonies. Perhaps they will even use assets stolen from Russia to loan to Ukraine.

As this issue of Under Lock & Key reaches ours subscribers, we will be approaching the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany (May 8-9). In the Russian-allied Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics they are restoring statues of V.I. Lenin and hanging red flags as they prepare to celebrate, while the Azov neo-Nazis threatened to attack victory parades.(2) The memories of World War II run deep. While there is no socialist camp engaged in the current war, we can see how the crisis is pushing people to look for answers. In addition to being morally abhorrent, the fascists cannot address the contradictions of capitalism that are playing out today. It is only a new economy that is driven by universal humyn need and not profit that can solve the problems of war, environmental destruction and economic booms and busts that capitalism brings.

What sort of sanctions is Russia under? What will the effect be?

Russia was banned from SWIFT, a component of the global payments processing system. Many other sanctions have been placed on the Russian economy, including obstacles to outside investment and bans on the sale of anything that could conceivably have a military use (which is a lot of stuff). Oil and gas, as of this writing, are still being bought from Russia by most European countries, but this might change soon even though Europe has no other reliable supply of natural gas to rely on currently. Germany, for example, ships weapons to Ukraine that are used against Russian troops and pays Russia for its natural gas at the same time.

The effects of the sanctions aren’t clear yet. If Russia loses access to the European market for its oil and gas its export earnings will collapse. China cannot replace the lost demand, and sanctions will play havoc on Russian industry’s supply chains.

What will the effects of the war be on the Ukrainian economy?

One of the major battles, around the town of Mariupol in the southeast, is unfolding in Azovstal, an enormous Soviet-era steel mill. The complex has mostly been destroyed. This serves as a symbol of what the rest of Ukraine will look like once all this is over. Following the war there are likely to be fewer and worse jobs, a large refugee population abroad, environmental devastation and a radical polarization of Ukrainian society. There is talk of forgiving some of Ukraine’s foreign debt, and maybe there will be aid for reconstruction, but the rest of the world’s charity is not likely to make up for what’s being lost now, and its also likely to come with strings attached.

Are there Nazis in Ukraine?

Yes. The Azov battalion, which is based in southeast Ukraine and has been fighting Russian separatists in the Donbass region since 2014, is a far-right military formation with white supremacist leadership and ideals. They’re responsible for numerous attacks on Roma encampments, LGBT people and leftists in Ukraine since their founding, as well as attacks on civilians and war crimes during the battles against separatists in the east. Many of their leaders, including founder Andriy Biletsky, used to openly promote race war against “untermenschen”[define?] and Jewish people, but have dialed back such talk in public in recent years.

Their logo features the Wolfsangel and the Sonnenrad, both indisputable Nazi SS symbols, and the constant appearance of these logos in sympathetic coverage of the Ukrainian military has been a PR headache for the government. The Azov battalion is just one part of a larger fascist Azov movement coming from the Western part of Ukraine. U.$. news media has helpfully downplayed the significance of an openly fascist, highly armed and well-organized formation at the heart of Ukrainian politics by claiming that the symbols and years of fascist rhetoric and actions either don’t mean anything or are in the organization’s past. The limited presence of explicit far-right figures in the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, belies their ability to organize outside parliament and the impunity with which they do so.

The popularity of Stepan Bandera is another aspect of fascism in Ukraine. Bandera was the head of the Organization of Ukranian Nationalists, and worked with the Nazis during their occupation of Ukraine, including participating in the Holocaust and in ethnic cleansing in southeastern Poland. He is admired by the far right and those influenced by them, but not by the rest of the country – the Rada refused to award him the title of Hero of Ukraine when this was proposed in 2019. So it’s wrong to say that Ukraine is a Neo-Nazi dictatorship, just as it’s wrong to say that fascists have no influence and are not a serious issue in Ukranian society. Of course, Putin has his own fascists and couldn’t care less about Nazi rhetoric among his own forces, so he can’t use that as a pretext for an invasion.

Are war crimes being committed in Ukraine?

The biggest war crime is starting one, so Russia is undoubtedly guilty on that score. In addition, indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas in Ukraine by Russia has led to probably thousands of casualties so far, though confirmed counts are much lower. During early April, when Russian forces retreated from the area surrounding Kiev, Ukranian forces reoccupying the town of Bucha found hundreds of bodies of civilians on the streets. The brutality of the invading forces is clear.

The Ukranian side has also engaged in war crimes, like the kneecapping of prisoners of war. That happened on video, so who knows what’s going on when phones aren’t pulled out. War is hell.

Are there diplomatic efforts to stop the war underway?

Ukraine and Russia started talking almost immediately, and the demands have shifted with the battle. When it looked like Russia was about to capture Kiev immediately in the early days of the war, Russia’s demands were significant. But now that Russia has withdrawn from the area around Kiev and suffered significant casualties, things are different. The discoveries in Bucha as well as the radicalizing effect of war in general, might make negotiations break down completely in the future.

The key issues in the talks are Ukraine’s diplomatic relationship with the EU and NATO, and territory in Ukraine. Russia wants Ukraine to stay out of NATO, and wants its territorial acquisitions, including Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and the Crimean peninsula in the south, to be confirmed.

Does Putin support the Soviet Union and its recreation?

The Soviet Union was formed on a voluntary basis by independent nations. Most of those who joined the Soviet Union had been part of the Russian Empire in the past. As an imperialist, Putin may be aspiring to something closer to the Russian Empire. However, stated motivations for the invasion of Ukraine are immediate concerns about defending Russia from NATO.

In a recent speech Putin denounced Lenin and the Bolsheviks for the creation of Ukraine, because Lenin recognized the right of all nations to secede. In ULK 36 we wrote about the emblematic image of the toppling of the statue of Lenin in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev in 2013. This was done by supporters of the right-wing populist party of Svodoba.

Both sides of the current war in Ukraine are openly and virulently opposed to Bolshevism and the ideas of Lenin and Stalin.

Should we support sanctions as a way to peacefully pressure Russia to stop the war?

The sanctions being implemented by the U.$.-led imperialist bloc are not peaceful as they come along with large military support being sent into Ukraine to prolong the war and the fighting.

Sanctions are economic warfare. They can be a softer way to pressure other powers than military conflict, but given time they can also have more damaging effects.

In a few days the U.$. imperialists achieved more than the movement to boycott, sanction and divest from I$rael has achieved in years. The illegal occupation of Palestine and daily oppression of the Palestinian people does not get the support of many of the multinational corporations and organizations that jumped to ban Russia or pull their operations from Russia.

As the sanctioning of Russia happened more quickly and successfully, it is that much more dangerous. The increase in economic boundaries between imperialist camps marks the shift from a stage of relative peace between imperialist powers to one of more violent competition. Tariffs, sanctions, market control, dividing up of the world’s colonies, resources and markets, were what led up to the first and second inter-imperialist wars.

Supporting sanctions on Russia right now is further isolating an imperialist power and increasing the chances of military escalation between the imperialists, which increases the chance of nuclear war. None of this is in the interests of humynity as a whole.

Is siding with the Amerikans and against the Russians the profitable option for the capitalists?

For the last century the United $tates has led the most prosperous path for international finance capital. As a result many of the big names are loyal to the Amerikans. But there are also many exceptions, companies who are not volunteering to stop business in Russia. And others who are looking to capitalize on others leaving. One financial company made a bold statement saying that if they were to ban a country from their services for invading a sovereign people, they’d start with banning the Amerikans.(3)

Different capitalists are going to have different interests, and their interests are going to conflict with those of their competitors. While the big finance capitalists benefit from and support stability, other capitalist interests will fund and fuel escalating conflict between the imperialist camps. Meanwhile, weapons manufacturers always benefit from militarism and are very powerful and influential in imperialist circles of power. The mutual interests that created the military-industrial complex has posed a great threat to the world since WWII.

What is a multipolar world, and is it a good thing?

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United $tates of Amerika has been the sole dominant superpower in the world. Before then, countries who opposed U.$. interests could find support from the other imperialist pole of the Soviet Union.

Since WWII, Europe has been subsumed by Amerikan imperialism. If you look at a map of those imposing sanctions on Russia today it is occupied Turtle Island (the United $tates and Klanada), Western Europe, Australia and Japan. This has been the alliance of imperialist powers that has dominated the world, operating under U.$. military and economic leadership, for 70 years.

China left the socialist path in 1976, and has continued to rise as an economic superpower since then. When the Soviet Union took the capitalist path it led to collapse 35 years later as the bourgeoisie was divided, carving out their own fiefdoms from which to extract wealth. China’s new bourgeoisie however has remained united in a plan to exploit its own proletariat, and is now seen as the biggest threat to U.$. dominance almost 50 years after taking the capitalist road. Of course, the people of China and the former Soviet Union were the losers in both cases.

China and Russia remain politically separate from the U.$.-dominated imperialist pole, despite China’s deep integration with the U.$. economy. Their socialist past is one reason for this separation. Together Russia and China control most of the Eurasian land mass, and as neighbors have shared interests in promoting trade in the region. The media has been buzzing about the new Russia/China pole as the geopolitics of the invasion of Ukraine play out. Some dissident media outlets cheer this prospect as a counterbalance to U.$./European imperialism, or what is often referred to as “Western” imperialism.

We look at the invasion of Ukraine with the outlook of “it’s terrible, but it’s fine.” An invasion by an imperialist country is always terrible, with Ukrainians and Russian soldiers dying and 100,000s of Ukrainians being displaced. Communists should never aid an imperialist invasion.

Ultimately, it is imperialist conflict that creates space for the proletariat to organize, and to play the imperialists against each other in order to win victories for the people. In that sense, the increase in disorder in the world “is fine.” It is the inevitable result of the contradictions within the capitalist system. These conflicts will come sooner or later, we cannot prevent them in the short term, but we can seize the opportunities they create to put an end to this system to prevent chaos in the long-term.

Prior to WWI, Britain was the leading imperialist power, and maintained its dominance in part by keeping continental Europe divided. Today the Amerikans play the leading role, but are working with the British to prevent closer relations between Germany and Russia. This has been their strategy since the 1930s when the imperialists feared Germany would join the socialist camp.

In recent years, the United $tates has been threatening sanctions to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pipe natural gas directly from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. Germany is already Russia’s biggest gas customer, and Nord Stream 2 would strengthen that relationship. The Amerikans oppose this as they see this tying German and Russian interests closer. In recent negotiations around sanctions against Russia, Germany proved reluctant but ultimately joined the NATO consensus to impose them. Germany even gave in on shipping arms to Ukraine after refusing at first.

Among the imperialists there are disagreements about this. Henry Kissinger famously opposed NATO inclusion of Ukraine, promoting a policy of integrating Russia into the U.$.-led sphere. Kissinger warned of the consequences of trying to break the back of Russia.

Nord Stream 2 provides an alternate route to transport gas to Germany than the other primary route through Ukraine.

Petro Dollars and Reserve Currencies

Following WWII, the U.$. was the least damaged imperialist power and was booming from the wartime economy. Profits were high, exploitation of the Third World was transferring wealth to the rising U.$. empire that financed the rebuilding of Europe. This allowed Europe to be built in the way the Amerikans saw fit. One thing this allowed for was they positioned the dollar to become the global reserve currency, or the currency that other countries held and conducted international trade in. Oil was set to trade exclusively in exchange for the “petro dollar.”

This arrangement has allowed the U.$. to have a growing trade deficit for decades without the value of their currency dropping. When Third World countries have trouble paying their debts, their currencies can become worthless overnight. A replacement of the U.$. dollar as the global reserve currency makes the United $tates more economically vulnerable.

“According to the IMF, the share of reserves held in U.S. dollars by central banks has dropped by 12 percentage points since the turn of the century, from 71 percent in 1999 to 59 percent in 2021. But this fall has been matched by a rise in the share of what the IMF calls ‘non-traditional reserve currencies’, defined as currencies other than the ‘big four’ of the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound sterling, namely such as the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Chinese renminbi, Korean won, Singapore dollar, and Swedish krona.”(4)

Currently Russia is saying ‘unfriendly countries’ must begin to pay them for gas in Russian rubles. Hungary, which is part of the European Union, but also friendly with Russia has already agreed to pay with rubles. But the European Union(E.U.) has said the deal was to pay in euros and dollars and they would not change. This is an effort by Russia to stabilize their currency using their vast gas trade with Europe to force others to buy rubles. While the value of the ruble initially dropped about 50% after invading Ukraine, it has since recovered close to pre-war levels.

Poland, Germany and Bulgaria have refused to pay Russia for natural gas in rubles instead of euros as they are demanding. On 27 April 2022, Russia halted natural gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria after their deadline for paying in rubles was not met. About 40% of Europe’s gas consumption is supplied by Russia. The region is talking about tightening up its consumption. While good for the planet, this will lead to a further constriction of the economy, applying more pressure to the imperialists who must always expand their markets to circulate more capital. However, it is reported that some undisclosed purchasers are going ahead and buying with rubles, despite it being a violation of EU sanctions.(5)

Would joining the European Union benefit Ukranians economically?

As we discussed in ULK 36, GDP in Ukraine after the dissolution of the Soviet Union was 1/3 what it was just before. Though the Soviet Union had already been operating a capitalist economy for 35 years at that time, the complete opening up of the region to the West, the complete Liberalization of policies, and the resultant chaos and uncertainty led to a precipitous drop in material wealth in the country.

Leading up to and following the 2014 coup in Ukraine, the GDP fell and had not recovered pre-coup highs before the current war.(6) The coup installed a U.$.-backed, EU/NATO friendly government that introduced International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans to the country, which are used around the world to extract wealth from the exploited countries to the finance capitalists. As we predicted in ULK 37 these IMF loans contributed to decreasing wealth in Ukraine.

Before 2014, the Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine in the East and South were much more productive and prosperous. People in those regions have lost significant income. Meanwhile, the rest of the country that was somewhat ignored by Russian imperialism, has not seen material improvements by cozying up to the West.(7)

To join the E.U. is a logical option for many in Ukraine who see the wealth in those countries and the incomes they can earn migrating to even the eastern E.U.. Yet the spoils of imperialism are limited, and experience in the last 8 years in Ukraine show the limitations of this option.

Ukraine and Russia remain largely proletarian countries, with material interests opposed to imperialism. While there does not appear to be a strong anti-imperialist current in Ukraine at this time, this can change quickly as this crisis has brought much disruption and displacement in the country.

Notes: 1. Fatima Hussein and Michael Balsamo, 29 April 2022, The US Wants to Sell Oligarchs’ Assets to Help Ukraine. It Just Needs This Law First, NBC4 New York.
2. Dmitryi Kovalevich, 27 April 2022, April update: Proxy war in Ukraine is for Western loans
3. “Kraken crypto CEO bashes US, won’t freeze Russian accounts,” NY Post, March 3rd 2022.
4.“The end of dollar dominance?”
5.Huileng Tan, 28 April 2022, The EU warns natural-gas companies not to pay Russia in rubles after the country cut supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, Business Insider.
6.https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?locations=UA
7. “Class contradictions and the war in Ukraine”

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[Aztlan/Chicano] [Ukraine] [Anti-Imperialism] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Anti-Imperialist Solidarity Statement from Xinachtli

Dear MIM comrades and the world:

I am the same “Xinachtli” mentioned by my beloved comrade Triumphant of Texas T.E.A.M. O.N.E. at page 8 of your MIM newsletter, Under Lock & Key No. 76, Winter 2022.

The prison assigns me to psychiatric-ward-like cellblocks, filled with prisoners under ‘psychotropic medications’ so removed from these realities that one cannot engage them in a rational conversation much less get them involved in the Texas Prisoners’ Human Rights Movement. Other times, they place me in the middle of viper nests of racist, white supremacist inmates. In any event, I continue the struggle as a “one man army” continuing to expose the realities of these racist, horrendous conditions that violate all norms of human decency and civilized society. This prison is a genocidal one, not only sitting on stolen land, but the majority of its cages are occupied by Black, Chicano, and Native American tribes, the mass incarceration that makes up the entire U.S. prison industrial complex.

We, the ‘prisoner class’, have won many legal victories in our struggle, such as in the Ruiz v. Estelle Litigation, 503 F.Supp. 1265, but conditions continue to be the same in violation of civil and human rights standards and laws. Recently, a Scottish Court in the extradition case of Daniel Magee, refused the government’s petition to extradite Magee to Texas for criminal prosecution for allegedly shooting a security guard in Austin, TX, giving as reasons for its decision to continue the ongoing inhumane conditions existing in Texas prisons that violate international human rights laws and standards. (see article by Keri Blackinger, 17 March 2022, The Marshall Project)

Like Russian imperialist President Putin, the same blood drips from the genocidal claws of U.S. imperialism, in the hidden genocidal, extermination of the Mexicano, Chicano, indigenous tribes during their repeated colonial settler wars of annexation and plunder in the war crimes, crimes against humanity, committed by U.S. colonial, imperialists in 1830 through 1848 and ongoing today along the illegal U.S./Mexico military border. The Ukraine and Chicano masses are victims of a same, genocidal, war criminal governments that seek global domination of the world. We, the oppressed, must turn such imperialist wars into wars against world imperialism, and free all oppressed nations and peoples, to make their own destiny.

Please extend my revolutionary greetings to others in TEAM ONE, especially Comrade Triumphant.

Build the National Prisoners’ United Front!

All Power to the Oppressed!

Free the Occupied Territories of U.S. Southwest Aztlan!

Convert the Ongoing Russian/U.S. Imperialist War in Ukraine Into a War Against Imperialism!

Xinachtli

Chicano Political Prisoner

Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Aztlan(FMLA)

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[Aztlan/Chicano] [Polemics] [National Liberation] [ULK Issue 77]
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Reformism Will Declaw The Movement

Recently reformists have been hard at work to once more derail our movimiento and undermine the efforts of those striving for socialist revolution for Aztlán. This further highlights the slogan of the Republic of Aztlán(ROA), which is: “Ideology is key for Aztlán to be free.”

The last 5 years have witnessed Aztlán develop politically in many ways. We’ve seen the formulation and participation in political study groups by not just Chican@ political groups and orgs but by everyday raza with no political ties or limited consciousness. The now revived identification of REVOLUTIONARY NATIONALISM which so many have come to see as the most correct path to liberation for Aztlán. Revolutionary books and Chican@ revolutionary independent media have added to the momentum and organizations declaring their efforts to free Aztlán from the white settler colonial nation’s clutches. This of course is great and those who are politicized should nurture this in ways that they can to push the nation forward. Mao foresaw a new bourgeoisie developing even within the communist party based on observations of the Soviet Union. Mao recognized this force will work hard to take the people back down the capitalist road, as happened to Revolutionary Russia and Mao’s China. Similarly, we must recognize and weed out the bourgeoisie within our national liberation movement so it doesn’t stop us before we even get started.

Some have foreseen that within a matter of years Chican@s will be the majority of the U.$. population. This is not automatically a good thing. If capitalism wins the battle of ideas, Chican@s would simply be the majority reactionary force within the United Snakes, a bunch of brown capitalists. It becomes a great thing when we raise consciousness and have the largest politicized forces within the empire that can then affect revolution. Even within the movement itself it’s not a good thing if the movement produces a million brown Trots or liberal reformists, because these dead end politics would never acquire a socialist revolution which frees Aztlán.

This conversation is hard to grasp for those just entering the movement. To so many raza who have grown up under the white oppressor nation’s occupation, just hearing a group shout “Viva Aztlán!” is enough solace to the oppressed to seek out for hope. And as warming as words are from some of these liberals in revolutionary clothing the need for a correct political line is essential if we are to leave a lasting effect on today’s Chican@ Movement for the next generation.

When an organization talks about national liberation but openly promotes the idea of participating in bourgeois politics, affecting change via Amerikkka’s ballot box or even holding signs promoting Amerikkkan Presidential candidates, we should see that there’s nothing revolutionary about these particular groups. They are simply reformist at their core.

Those with revolution in their corazón can be easily duped into spending a life they believe is for La Causa only to be upholding the occupation and strengthening U.$. Imperialism.

An organization truly serving the raza would work hard at getting you to understand the illegality of the U.$. bourgeois political system not luring you deeper into it with dismissive arguments of “let’s be realistic on how we can affect change today”. Legitimizing the occupation by participating in it will not resolve the contradictions we face, rather it will only solidify our oppression.

Understanding ideology allows us to see that only those orgs that not just dismiss the colonial system but organizes outside of its influence are truly fighting for our liberation. Numbers do not equate correctness but political line does. Reformism wants to work within the colonial system and not overturn it, no matter how many times they shout “Viva La Raza”. And reformists at the end of the day are enemies of the people because they practice enemy politics.

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[COVID-19] [Political Repression] [Abuse] [Control Units] [ULK Issue 77]
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Despots, Terrorists, and Oppressors in SECC

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

‘Department of Corrections’. A place in which nothing is correct. Nor does it correct, but corrupts absolutely. Missouri DOC and its Corruption Officers (C.O.’s) hold in clear disdain the lives of the human beings in its corrupting facilities. An example of this: the ‘South-Eastern Correctional Center’ (herein after referred to as the “South-Eastern Plantation” or “SECC”) located in Charleston, MO.

The South-Eastern Plantation has taken two new modes of torture within its Ad-Seg units. On top of being overly eager to unleash chemical weapons known as MK-9 or “pepper spray” on offenders even in non-violent, non-hostile, non-threatening or unsafe instances; the South-Eastern Plantation has taken to starvation tactics and food-poisoning. By providing inmates with week-old food or in cases of those on “Certified Religious Diets”, stale and black-molded crackers, peanut butters, etc. It is bad enough that COII Pig Sites puts it, “This is our house boy, we own you.” COII Pig Sites and COI Pig Dobbs alike make it their business to “break offenders in” by beating them in handcuffs upon arrival to their single-cell confinement building 1 house. They say such beatings bring “safety and security” to the facility, and that “If you don’t like it, then don’t make mistakes and obey our commands”.

In January of this year 2022, prisoners held in the two-man cell Ad-Seg unit (herein after referred to as Z House) all began to check out of their cells and refuse to enter into cells for being deprived of hair-cuts, proper food rations, clothing and unsatisfactory living conditions. Instead of accommodating offenders to what is theirs by ‘right’, the institution instead attempted to pull the bus up to transfer these individuals. As FUM (Facility Unit Manager) Cosby put it, “We don’t want people like you all here, we need good boys that do what they’re told and accept what we give them. The likes of you will only mess up what we’ve got going on.” As to what they have going on we may never know…$$$.

SECC’s nurses formerly employed by ‘CORIZON’ are helping the corrupt facility by submitting fake test results for COVID-19. They just recently filled up a wing in General Population twice under the pretense of “testing positive” for COVID-19. 64 individuals, only 24 of which had actually been tested and 12 of them actually positive. The only option being, go to quarantine or go to the hole. These offenders with full privileges now only allowed one 45 minute cell rotation. This was used as a way to scheme money as well as punish/target individuals whom they had a certain disliking for. The games never stop.

The comrades here at SECC fight for a world free of oppression, and to bring awareness to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Even in the midst of ongoing battles we will continue to shed light to the MIM and its readers. We wish you all the best of luck as well, because our fight is one. For a quick overview of what else has been going on here see ULK NO.76 Winter 2022.

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[Grievance Process] [Hughes Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
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Substantive Grievances Work If You Follow Up

I am writing you today in regards to several issues. First, let me begin by thanking you in your support of those of us who fight. I learned of your existence through your “Texas pack”. It is old and outdated, but filled with information that I was grateful to see distributed to the population.

I am currently on the Hughes Unit and my time is filled with Step-1, Step-2, §1983, Withdrawal of guilty pleas, PDR’s, 11.07’s, and 2254’s. I am currently working on 2 Capital “Law of parties” cases, but grievances and withdrawals take up most of my time.

It literally destroys my heart to see so many with no knowledge of the system that enslaves them, abuses them, and ruins their futures. Please, continue to spread that knowledge. Grievances work! But you have to write them correctly, not as in format, but in substance! It is very unlikely you will get satisfaction on a Step-1, these people are cousins, friends, lovers, they will not punish themselves but a Step-2 will get you action. And always write Emergency Grievance: on the very top, and first line, this will negate the denial “screening” process, and you can submit as many as you need. But do not clog the system with “ridiculously frivolous” issues, these are what the authorities point to as examples to pass or uphold restrictive policies.

Yes, file a grievance, no do not lose heart when your Step-1 is denied, Yes issue a Step-2 on every violation, deprivation or abuse. That is how we fight. That gives “Another clear example of the dangerous, culpable, cultural attitude of abusive, negligent, deliberate indifference to not only the lives, rights, health, and safety of the offenders assigned under their care and supervision, but also to the duties and obligations as prescribed by employment by the state and TDCJ.” The cumulative reports are what WE must point to to bring to light the gross violations, and deprivations we suffer to get righteous policies and laws passed and abusive guards and administration fired. Don’t stop. Never stop. They enslave us with paper, only paper will free us. If not, then there’s a lot more of us than them. But that is off the subject. I am signing off.

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[Censorship] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [United Front] [Potosi Correctional Center] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 78]
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Things Must Change, Starting By Uniting the Lumpen

Peace and Blessings to the Revolutionary Souljahs Around the Globe. I’m writing you because the Missouri Department of Corruption has found a way to censor “Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News”. I believe that it’s retaliation for my activism. However, I’m not the only one that had their issues taken by Deputy Division Director Jason Lewis and Ryan Crews. Maybe they want us reading Dr.Seuss and Mickey Mouse!

Anyway, the Struggle continues and the Damus are mobilizing here at Potosi Correctional Center for the “Greater Good of the Multitude”, We are cleaning our own house so that we can put things into perspective and form some type of “solidarity” with the other Lumpen here in misery! Things must change for the Black, Brown, and Red! We have been getting slaughtered all over the globe and all we do is “march” chanting “Black Lives Matter”. If Black Lives Matter, then “why are we still marching?”. I do understand that there is a time for war and for the “fight to end oppression”, but how much longer must we sit by and allow the enemy to oppress us? We are many and must unite to combat the deaths of our Brothers, Sisters, Uncles, Aunties, Cousins, Husbands, and Wives!

Things must change People.

Uhuru Sasa

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[Censorship] [Campaigns] [Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Update from Plaintiff Against TDCJ's BP-03.91

Dear Friends,

I am the plaintiff in the lawsuit against members of the TBCJ and TDCJ, (#3:21-CV-00337), filed in December 3, 2021.

I also represent the interests of ‘doll’ and ‘pineapple pictures.’ Since the strong opposition to enforce the BP-03.91 rules it seems that the TDCJ is no longer enforcing rules 1(C) and IV(A) (10) (11) of the BP-03.91. At least not in this unit.

However, I will not withdraw the lawsuit until I get the relief I requested in my lawsuit: “declare that rules of the BP-03.91 violates inmates and outside commercial vendors’ Constitutional rights of the First Amendment and enjoin defendants from enforcing the rules.”

Fellow prisoners who would like to support the lawsuit need to write to the court:

Cause # 3:21-CV-00337
Styled: F Martinez, Et Al., VS. The members of the TBCJ, ET.AL.
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
Galveston Division
Clerk of the Court
601 Rosenberg street, Room 411
Galveston, Texas 77550.

Although prisoners can not write me directly to provide me with a copy of the letter, I would like to know who has done it. Please send a copy to MIM(Prisons) and let them know if you grant them permission to forward me your name and TDCJ # or not.

Thank you for your help and assistance.

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[Gender] [Police Brutality] [California] [ULK Issue 77]
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Mad Machismo: Gender and Homicide

I can’t believe I am going to defend Curtis Reeves but if there is something I hate more than police it is capitalistic patriarchy, or mad masculinity, or what I call toxic testosterone. This is how capitalism rewards aggression.

We see it all the time in society. If a man is over 6 feet tall, he is almost guaranteed a management position in any workplace while more qualified workers are passed by. Or how it can be dangerous to attend a football game because of aggressive fans who can easily become violent. It is that the rewards of a capitalist culture go to those who are willing to fight the hardest.

The fact that an elderly man can not even attend a movie without being bullied by some mad man is evidence that capitalism does not work for human relations. Curtis Reeves asked Chad Oulson to be respectful and Chad Oulson became aggressive and violent because that is all he knows.

Chad Oulson probably thought he could get away with being a bully because he was bigger and much younger than Curtis Reeves. Chad Oulson thought it was OK to be violent and hit an old man because who is going to challenge a big man full of mad machismo? But this time karma finally caught up with Mr. Oulson and his pretty wife. Kurtis Reeves had the great equalizer, a gun. Curtis Reeves did what the rest of us could not get away with. Because Reeves was a police captain he could kill Chad Oulson with impunity, and in my mind, the jury was correct to acquit Reeves because the rest of us hate bullies too.

Another thing I think is relevant is an incident that occurred in early February. Two boys were fighting in the mall, 1 black and 1 white. The mall police intervened. They tackled the black boy to the ground violently and handcuffed him while the white boy only sat on a bench. Everyone on the news displayed this as a example of police racism but that is not what I seen. What I seen is 2 police officers, 1 man and 1 woman intervene in the fight. The man police officer tackled the black boy violently while the white woman police officer tackled the white boy to the bench and then backed off at the first sign of compliance. It should be noted that both boys were compliant after the police intervened in the fight. I do not know if the male officer who tackled the black boy is a racist or not, but what I do know is that the male officer had way too much toxic testosterone flowing in his veins. Where it is obvious the woman officer only used as much force as was necessary to stop the fight, the male officer clearly wanted to hurt someone. What I seen is patriarchy culture. Male police officer full of mad machismo on a mission to hurt as many people as he can, full of violence and aggression with a license to do whatever he wants with impunity. Honestly, if racism is the tool that is used to take that pig down then I will support that approach by whatever means necessary.

I see the capitalist patriarchy here in prison everyday. CDCR policy is if I am outside and 6 feet away from anyone a face mask is not required. However, that policy does not stop mad officers from telling me to put my mask on. These crazy pigs full of mad machismo mask check me all the time, not because it is policy or safety, in fact, it is contrary to CDCR policy. The crazy pigs mask check me only because they want to display dominance and control over another human being. The little bit of dominant feeling the pigs get from making me bow to their will makes them feel like a bigger man than they are.

The male officers that mask check me, only so they can feel a little bit of dominance, learned that sick behavior from American culture that rewards it; a disgusting capitalist culture that teaches patriarchy and rewards toxic testosterone allows these sick officers to challenge me while they have the upper hand. I am a defenseless prisoner, while they are a gang with weapons. The mask check is contrary to CDCR policy that clearly states if I am outside a mask is not required. The mask check is nothing more than a testosterone challenge. Mad masculinity or what the South Americans call machismo.

Who is the bigger man? The defenseless prisoner or the gang of officers carrying weapons? This sick culture that rewards the aggression devastates so many.

Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: I recently heard a well-known fascist arguing for more violence to defend honor, that our society has become too soft without it. This same fascist is infamous for abusing his ex-wife. We agree with the author above that machismo, especially over one’s right to text during a movie, is a toxic result of the patriarchy. It is not clear from the information available that Reeves’ quickness to pull the trigger didn’t stem from the same machismo. Either way, we can agree that the patriarchy led to Oulson’s death.

However, patriarchy kills more people through violence between romantic partners and former partners. A recent gruesome story hit the news of an ex-boyfriend who broke in and tortured and killed his ex-girlfriend’s now husband.

While the percentage of homicides in the United $tates from gang-related violence is around 10%(1), the percent from intimate partners is about 20%.(2) The percent of wimmin victims of murder by intimate partners is about 40%. Yet there is a war on gangs, but no war on patriarchy being led by those in power. The war on gangs, like the war on drugs, is motivated by a project to control the internal semi-colonies of the United $tates.

As many of our imprisoned readers will recognize, it is much easier to get people to lash out in violence against those with no real power over petty things than to stand up against power over real grievances. It is not just white Amerikan movie-goers, it is the oppressed as well who fall prey to the machismo, the petty individualism, and the violence of Amerikan culture. We are not pacifists, we advocate the use of all tools that can be effective at ending needless violence and murder. After imperialism, patriarchy is the next power structure that must fall to reach our goal. In the exploiter countries, we see the violence of the patriarchy more strongly, where the violence of imperialism is less. Join us in standing up for fights that really matter.

Note:
1. MYTH: Gangs are responsible for most U.S. homicides, GVPedia (Gun Violence Research)
2. Cooper & Smith, 2011, United States Department of Justice.

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[Legal] [First Nations] [ULK Issue 77]
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New Chairman of TBCJ, New Lawsuit for Access to Native American Unit

Thank you for sending the extra copies of ULK 76. Please always send extras, I will distribute proudly! I noticed in ULK 76 that others were suing Dale Wainwright with the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. I am doing the same, because the Board sets policy for TDCJ but I just got a letter back from the Board which shows the Chairman to be Patrick L. O’Daniel.

For now I’m going to keep Wainwright named in my suit because I don’t know how long this other chap has been holding down that job and Wainwright is responsible for maintaining policy that violates my rights.

We Native American practitioners have to take a religious test to be able to attend our worship services and to be transferred to a “Designated” Native American unit but one of the reasons they have listed that they may deny you transfer to a Designated Unit due to your health or a “medical condition”, which “may preclude eligibility for re-assignment” (Policy #09.02(rev.2) Attachment A). I suppose it’s policy such as this, that violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, that Lumpkin and others use to justify keeping me in “cool bed housing” and mistakenly think that they don’t have to provide cool bed housing on these “Designated Units.”

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[Education] [Drugs] [Michigan] [ULK Issue 77]
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Academics Advance Amidst the Addicted

While the suboxone once reigned supreme here in Michigan prisons, since the start of the pandemic resulting in lockdown in state, K2 (Twoche, as its called here), has eclipsed suboxone. Previously you only saw non-Black prisoners doing suboxone, but this is no longer the reality as it has now cut across racial/ethnic lines. K2 is the new crack within the prison context. I’d wager at least 80% of the facility I’m caged with have a K2 addiction. It is very much reminiscent of the 1980s/early 1990s, especially for those smoking (or vaping, as they call it) K2 out of self-manufactured pipes made from the fiber glass ink pen holders. So its not at all uncommon to see a neo-slave on the prison-plantation free basing. You see guys selling all of their possessions, spending all of their money on K2 just as I saw crackheads do decades ago. You even see the choyboy, the aluminum brittle pads being used to ignite flame. It’s sad.

Even sadder, however, is that these guys don’t have a clue what they’re ingesting in their bodies. Frequently guys are having PCP and other dangerous liquid substances brought in by prison guards that is not K2. Some have gone to some extremes in manufacturing K2 within the facility from liquid chemical compounds (the synthetic weed form has long ceased being used. K2 is now in liquid form). I’ve seen guys use oven cleaner and other chemicals to make a compound that meets and interrupts the brain chemistry to produce a reaction resulting in a high. The manufacturer of this concoction, strung out himself, then partakes in his own made up substances. It is literally sickening!

The widespread nature of addiction can only be considered to be state sanctioned repression. No shakedowns occur. No instances exist where the substance is being sought after by the state to remove it from the facilities. Being that it keeps guys in stupors, states of docility, the facility is alright with it as it allows them to push their agenda in keeping the prison locked down as the voices don’t exist in numbers to push back against the de facto semi-segregation we’ve been kept under for over two years now. They only have to contend with the effects in the form of overdose and other tripping episodes as guys sometimes fallout, hallucinate, become paranoid, experience the illusion of impending death, or become stuck in a state of immobility (literally). I can’t believe this shit.

In Michigan, we’re suffering from a near total lack of political consciousness or will to resist the myriad forms of repression and overt oppression.

I’ve started a small study group among some of the younger brothers (24-28 years old). I’ve been exposing them to revolutionary concepts and manners of struggle. I’ve introduced them to Marx, Lenin, Mao, the BPP, Kwame Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral, Fanon, Antonio Gramsci, you name it. They are loving the experience. The expansion of their consciousness is being noticed as more young guys are approaching us to be allowed into the circle. These youngsters are leaving traditional religious formations to indulge in revolutionary thought ways.

All Power to the People!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade provides an update to the report from Michigan in ULK 75 that discussed the rise of Suboxone in Michigan prisons prior to the pandemic.

Thanks for ending on a positive note after depicting the overall sad state of affairs there. It is inspiring to know you comrades are rising above the environment, and we are confident that the study and implementation of lessons of revolutionary history will be the best medicine to combat addiction among the masses in the years to come.

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