The AQLA is a radical group of anarchists who promote the school of thought that advocates anarchism and social revolution as the means to queer liberation and abolition of hierarchies such as homophobia, lesbophobia, transmisogyny, biphobia, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. In the Tennessee prison system there were no type of groups that were geared at the LGBTQ+ community. In this system, we are the minority and the oppressed of the oppressed. Often times people in the LGBTQ+ community are harassed not only by the pigs but other prisoners as well.
As a self-identified Queer person i see all this going on and it disgusted and outraged me so i felt the need to start a group that not only unified the community but would also serve as a means of educating our members and providing them with a level of political consciousness and get them to see who our enemy is. Our aim is to destigmatize the LGBTQ+ community in regards to other prisoners and lumpen organizations and to hopefully build unity with these other organizations around a common enemy.
The oppression and marginalization of queer and trans people in prison is all too prevalent and for the most part we’re left to suffer at the hands of pigs and inmates alike. But it’s my aim in forming this organization to see that we are seen as humyns who are worthy of respect in this environment. We have a rich hystory of courageous revolutionary comrades who struggled for our freedom all throughout the Gay Liberation Movement. We want to build alliances with other prisoners and L.O.s and hope to educate them and get them to put aside their insecurities or prejudice towards us and build unity to overthrow the common enemy. We hope for fellow captives to gain security in themselves and therefore have respect for our struggle seeing that we are an oppressed people. We implore them not to use racist or prejudiced attitudes toward us. We are NOT a threat to them. We have a right to be free from violence and oppression just like any other group. But we are determined to fight for our respect and freedom. Here’s what the 5 principles of the UFPP mean to us:
Peace: We strive to cease the endless drama and animosity that is prevalent within the u$ penal colony. We are divided enough already by the oppressive pigs and prisoners so we do not need to fight against ourselves over petty prison politics and macho/alpha-male foolishness. We need to stand together and defend ourselves from oppression.
Unity: We seek to unite with those facing the same struggle as us for common interest. To accomplish this, we must have open lines of communication and learn to talk civilly. We know the pigs will use “Divide & Conquer” strategies any chance they can and will gain control if we’re not unified.
Growth: Education and the freedom to grow is crucial when building unity. As revolutionaries, we must always strive to get our politics as flawless as possible and bring the level of political consciousness to the highest possible point.
Internationalism: We must seek the collective liberation of ALL oppressed people. We all are victims of the oppressors but we must go from victims to victors. We must all unite against the common enemy because we can’t liberate ourselves if we’re participating in the oppression of others.
Independence: We must have organizations that are fully independent from the u$ government and all its branches, even down to the police. The racist, capitalist, imperialist system does not serve us or have our best interests in mind. If able, they will co-opt our groups and water down anything we’re trying to do. By instituting independent power we won’t have to compromise our political goals.
As a group we fully pledge ourselves to the United Front and will work to abolish the imperialist u$ empire. We will gladly unite with any group who promotes an end to capitalism, imperialism, fascism, patriarchy, etc., etc., and I want to thank you at MIM for helping to bring the people to a place of constructive revolutionary purpose.
MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome the newly formed AQLA as an ally in the anti-imperialist prison movement. Gender is one line of division used by the oppressors against the imprisoned lumpen, and we support their efforts to counter that through outreach and alliances with other lumpen organizations.
Anarchists differ from communists, in short, by disagreeing with point 2 of MIM(Prisons)’s six main points. While we share in our end goals, we differ on the strategy on getting there. This is a difference that would prevent comrades from joining MIM(Prisons) or the organizations it leads, such as United Struggle from Within. The function of the united front is for organizations like ours to join forces for a common cause, without giving up our differences on other key points such as this.
April 2021 - The San Quentin (SQ) administration has been running two modified programs on Death Row under the guise of social distancing since the pandemic began. Both look so good on paper, but how they look on paper and how they really work are the only things six feet apart and the result was putting many six feet under.
Death Row’s seven group yards were divided into 14 yards back in the first quarter of 2020. That was accomplished by sending half of East Block (EB) out one day, then the other half the next day with Death Row prisoners warehoused in Donner Section (DS). Which side of EB DS went out with switched at least three times – before, during and after spikes of COVID-19 on Death Row and throughout the prison. In addition to the switches thrown on the tracks of this crazy train, at no time was there a maximum allowed number of prisoners set for each of the yards. Requests to set a maximum number per yard and prepare daily lists by going cell to cell through both sides of EB and the DS tiers (as is done for ‘walk-alone’ due to the limited number of cages) were ignored all the way to Sacramento. Does CDCR prefer the truth be released at half capacity perhaps? Appeal#SQ-A-20-01123 remains unanswered since it was sent for final review on 14 July 2020.
No emphasis on social distancing regarding the shower program in DS exists anywhere but on paper as well. The Daily Program Status Report (PSR) fabricated 14 July 2020 explains only four showers can be used at a time. It conveniently omits the fact there are only four showers total. These consist of steel mesh cages – each sharing a mesh wall with the other. Three are approximately 3 1/2’ x 3 1/2’. The fourth is designed to accommodate a wheelchair. Nobody using these showers can be 6’ away from the prisoner in the adjoining cage. Perhaps CDCR hopes to bring in waterboarding. That would certainly be the effect if you wear a mask in the shower.
Prisoners can refuse to go to yard unless there’s a unit search. Prisoners can even refuse to shower, opting for an in-cell ‘bird bath.’ However, the San Quentin administration is now moving all Death Row prisoners from DS to EB. So, the four shower cage problem disappears as if in a mist of droplets, because the EB showers only accommodate one prisoner at a time.
It ‘seems’ all the moves are deemed safe and if that is indeed true, there is still no purpose for a 14 yard program except to keep something looking good on paper. It’s not working good at all if you read about it on this paper though. That’s because this explains how CDCR managed to execute prisoners even during a moratorium.
Comrades, I want to highlight the issues surrounding the Erick Riddick case because I feel it did not get enough media coverage. Sure there was enough attention given to free him after 30 years, however that is only because he knew a famous rapper. What about the thousands of other people in prison who don’t know any famous celebrities?
[Editor: Erick Riddick was released in May 2021 after 30 years in prison in a deal for time served for a guilty plea. His case was championed by Meek Mill, who he met in prison, and brought his case to the attention of some law students at Georgetown University.]
Riddick’s case disturbed me personally because I too tried to raise a claim of actual innocence in court only to be told that claims of actual innocence are not cognizable. For all who do not understand legal language, that means ‘so what if you have evidence of innocence, the law does not permit one to be freed on those grounds.’
The inequality of Herrera v. Collins 506 U.S. 390 (1993) should enrage anyone who has an atom of decency in them. All of these prejudiced kind of laws are opined in private, however the very moment it is brought to the public’s attention at large, like with Erick Riddick, the pretense of justice is miraculously assumed.
Riddick had solid evidence of his innocence and yet that was not enough for his release from prison after 30 years! Because of Herrera v. Collins, Erick Riddick had to plea to a 3rd degree murder charge in exchange for release. The very notion of the plea deal is illegal – words like extortion, ransom, kidnapping, come to mind – but when are government officials ever subject to the law?
When I was in county jail the sheriffs officers there would boast that a court can not order them to do anything. They would say “a court order is only a suggestion.”
Does anyone in the free world care that 4% of the U.S. population has a ‘do whatever you want’ license or is it ok so long as it don’t happen to you? What? You didn’t know that 4% of the U.S. population works to incarcerate Americans? Look around, someone standing close to you locks people in a cage for a paycheck. They take off their uniform before entering the public domain because they know they are enemies of the people. They are hiding their evil, that’s why they change clothes before leaving work at the police station.
I am doing a life sentence, so that you will be frightened into submission. Any who are complicit encourage further tyranny. I don’t have anything to lose but my chains, but I guarantee you this, if you do not stand against the police now your kids will suffer a much worse fate than mine.
None but prisoners know how unjust the laws are. Judges are paid in excess of $300,000 annually to give life sentences but the jury has no right to know what sentence a guilty verdict carries. The Riddick case should be mainstream media. The public deserves to know that the law don’t care if a man is innocent, their only concern is intimidation, life sentences for some so that all will cower down & pay heavy taxes.
4% of the population roams around with a gun and a badge and a fat belly, living off the working man’s hard work! They carry that gun because they are too lazy for a real job. When will government officials be held accountable for their crimes against humanity? The time to stand united against the police is NOW!! It is me today, tomorrow it will be you. Resist NOW!
A USW comrade wrote: …the USW Coordinator said, “We are struggling to maintain our programs FIRST because our former comrades left, but second because the people we support for years are not coming out here and putting in work into these programs.” i think first this is a good example of what i was saying to the comrade in NY, u acknowledged first your internal factors, while also acknowledging external ones and these are FIRST and SECOND in that order of importance.
As to what u said i feel WE comrades on the inside have to start treating MIM(Prisons) and USW as if they’re OURS, which in reality they are. The comrade in ULK 72 made a good point about comrades making donations now that i’m sure a lot of Us have received the imperialist pacification funds garnered from imperialist super-exploitation, and oppression. So here in this forum for the supposed advanced and more dedicated comrades i wanna challenge us all to donate what We can even if its just stamps, and thereby help OUR comrades, teachers, and supporters at MIM(Prisons) get some of the other programs up and running again. That’s called resolving a contradiction internally!
For years, MIM(Prisons) had tried to raise funds to publish ULK more frequently, well, now WE comrades got $$$ and instead of giving that shit back to the enemy state lets invest in OUR independent institutions, and there-by invest in OUR growth and development. i’m putting my $$ where my mouth is, i’ve already sent the comrades 30 stamps and will be sending 30 more with this letter, for a total of 60. WHO GONNA MATCH ME, COMRADES????
MIM(Prisons) adds: We’ve decided to print this commentary addressed to other USW leaders for all of our readers. Turns out the USW leaders have stepped up big time! In March and April of 2021 we received the most donations in 2 months that we’ve received in over 3 years. And back then we had a lot more subscribers.
For years we campaigned to get our readers in prison to fund 10% of the costs of ULK, but never reached the goal. Well in the last few months we’ve received donations from the inside totaling about 33% of the cost of this issue! This is due to 3 things: 1) our mailing list shrunk, decreasing our costs; 2) we made changes to how we do ULK so that it is cheaper; 3) comrades stepped up with big donations.
However, this was only about 10 comrades who contributed this money, and over 90% of the money came from comrades who are USW leaders. We’d hope and expect that USW leaders contribute more than others. But we doubt these comrades will be able to keep up this pace alone. So the next phase of our funding campaign is to bring in donations from the rest of you.
We also must recognize that our donations would have been larger if we could accept checks. A number of people attempted to send us checks last month. However, as we indicate in every issue of ULK and elsewhere, we cannot do anything with checks made out to MIM. Especially if you are having your family send us $5, please don’t waste time and money on money orders, just have them send us the $5.
With the success of Ehecatl’s call, we have decided to do what many organizations do and have an annual fund drive. This will help you keep track of when it’s time to renew your contributions. And we’ve chosen the Fourth of You-Lie imperialist holiday as our day to raise money for truth-telling, independent media.
At our current rate of distribution, if you send us 7 stamps by 4 July 2021 you will have covered the cost of your subscription for one year. That’s it. Seven stamps every 4th of July for the voice of the anti-imperialist movement Under Lock & Key to your door. Please help out!
Karl Marx was writing at a time when bourgeois democracy had triumphed, and political parties ruled the day. These political parties represented the various oppressive classes, primarily the bourgeoisie itself. A radical idea at the time was to form a party that was for and by the proletariat.
V.I. Lenin led the first successful project to build a proletarian party, a Communist Party, and take power from the hands of the oppressors and put it in the hands of the oppressed. Lenin left us with many lessons on how to do this, how such a party should be organized and how it should operate. The Party as the vehicle for the transfer of power from the oppressor to the oppressed has been a foundation of revolutionary science ever since.
The Maoist Internationalist Movement began in 1983. In 1990 the first MIM party, MIP-Amerika, was formalized. In 2006, the Party dissolved and put out a plan for a new cell structure for the MIM. In 2007, MIM(Prisons) formed as a cell. There remains no functioning parties within the MIM today.(see Continuity and Rupture: A Counter-Narrative to JMP’s History of Maoism for more on MIM timeline)
A CA USW comrade: “[The journal] Kites hit it square on the head though as MIM has said we really don’t have a vanguard. But I thought Kites’ pointing out a squandered opportunity in 2020 on point. This is our job, to seize opportunity out of the objective situations and especially the crisis amongst the enemy itself. The only thing missing regarding the external factors (we can’t control) is 3rd world revolutionary revolts. But we have no mass support but 2020 should’ve been a god-send for that. And it wasn’t.”
Actually, MIM has never said we don’t have a vanguard. MIM has always said the vanguard is the most advanced political line, which could be held by a tiny organization or even one individual when conditions are very undeveloped. What this comrade gets right is our situation remains very undeveloped.
We won’t get into a deep analysis of revolutionary forces here. We do think 2020 was an opportunity to expand our influence that we could have done more with if we were stronger. But the essential character of the U.$. population did not, and has not changed from 2019 or from 2001. The vast majority in this country benefit from the current imperialist order.
MIM(Prisons) has argued that the cell structure makes sense at this strategic stage, even within a Leninist model, because we are not vowing for state power at this time, or tomorrow. Another USW comrade in Federal prison contends that the lack of a party:
“complicates the task of implementing a totalizing strategy for revolution and building the mass base to carry it forward.”
This comrade argues that we need a united leadership to guide us down the correct road now. We touched on the inherent contradiction of the cell structure in our Reassessing Cell Structure 5 Years Out where we pointed out that it allows for one cell to decide its time to form a party, while others disagree. If only that were the main problem we were facing today.
The question is, do we need a party for a united strategy? And what are the downsides of moving too quickly into a Party formation to try to achieve that? We actually have a question about the weaknesses of the a party structure in our introductory study course. Here are some recent answers:
"B.D.S.: Bad leadership could cause death of the movement
Ocelotl: Easier to target and infiltrate
Iashstiem: Security is more easily compromised
Adonis Salvo: More difficult to control and keep organized and focused
The Sober Souljah: Slacking in security by accepting strangers
F.L.A.V.A. 1: It will bring more of a spotlight on the party depending on its action in the revolution
Anarchy in VA: Prioritizing actions to take
Jups: Snitches/spying break down organization"
The primary answer, and the primary reason given by MIM for adopting the cell structure, was security. The second reason offered by comrades here is a fear of putting all your eggs in one basket type of argument. If we can allow for a diversity of approaches, we have more possibilities for success. This could be especially important in the early phases of our development as a movement. If five people come together and form a “Party” all we have is five self-appointed leaders. MIM(Prisons) often mentions the development of leadership that occurs through the forced self-reliance within small cells. It is when we have cells around the country who can elect leaders to represent them in a Party that such a project becomes viable.
A CA prisoner comments: "I was very impressed with ULK’s answer to the Potash book on Tupac. Until now I did not know that anyone other than myself was aware of the extent the intelligence community is involved in eliminating dissidents of their empire and the psychological warfare against civilians in the U.S. thru COINTELPRO and other intel ops against civilians. I was astonished to have my innermost suspicions confirmed by ULK. With the elimination of our leaders, we can not succeed thru unity, We must adopt independent cells as a model as you are obviously aware, every time a potential leader arises that can restore basic human rights and dignity and even freedom itself, the U.S. government is quick to eliminate our leader.
“And so you are correct in educating the People… Thru mass education, hopefully the People will awaken and do the work independent of any one leader, as a duty to the idea of freedom, not as a part of a bid for acceptance… True freedom can only come from socialism… We face a giant and to truly succeed we must be very wise. We cannot win by force yet so let us educate ourselves and know that against our common enemy we all must fight our own battle.”
This comrade touches on security, our strategic stage and the strategy of People’s War as opposed to great man theory. Education is always important, but at this stage it is principal over the use of force. This comrade’s approach to mass education as the best hedge against losing the leaders we depend on is in line with the Maoist strategy of People’s War. This strategy involves building a People’s Army that is embedded in the people, engaging in productive work and educational campaigns side-by-side with the people as we work towards developing base areas. Ultimately, as this comrade points out, Mao’s emphasis on how the people must learn to wage war through waging war rings true.
In our culture, social media reinforces practices that put individuals in the spotlight. We must develop ways to utilize the reach of the internet, without promoting ideas of great man theory or revealing persynal information of our leaders.
Security practices is one area where we must do more education. The only people MIM(Prisons) has interacted with that have good security practice seem to be individuals working alone. The state of basic security practice among revolutionaries is horrible. There is no way to succeed in a serious struggle with such practices. Yet, we must move beyond isolated individuals posting anonymous content to actually do real organizing.
A NY USW comrade asks: “Is the cell ideology productive? As a single unit I have not been able to grow. I do not believe it is me. Is there more I can do somehow else?”
The original MIM resolution on cell structure pointed out that a one-persyn cell is the most secure. But is it effective? MIM(Prisons) critiqued the idea of a one-persyn cell in general in its lack of ability to develop knowledge dialecticaly with just one mind. Some may be able to do it, but we don’t think it is a path that will move us forward fastest.
So what of the single-persyn cell trying to grow that can’t seem to recruit? In prison this problem is distinct in that you have no control over who and how many people you have access to. That is a separate problem. And we’d say you can reach others and recruit outside your prison by writing and producing artwork for Under Lock & Key, for example.
Whether in prison or not, the question becomes what can the party or larger organization give you as an individual to increase your success? We might think of things like a newspaper, mass campaigns, sharing experiences around what works and what doesn’t, connecting people and projects to make our work more efficient, imposing rules and discipline on cadre. It is not clear to us that we need a party for any of these things. We propose that technology today allows us to do all of these things in an anonymous and efficient manner.
MIP-Amerika was known to have better security practices than most self-declared communist parties in the United $tates, and yet they saw security as a weakness that led to their demise. We should take this lesson to heart. It will be premature to launch a party before cadre have come to understand security practices and power struggle. Our conditions include a level of surveillance and Liberalism that other revolutionary movements did not face. We must have real strategies for addressing these problems before we embark on the Party-building project.
The problem with the cell structure as it exists in our movement is that there is no centralized strategy for layering our security practices. The problem faced by small organizations concerned about security is how to separate out roles and tasks when your cadre is limited. The cell structure can force this situation onto us. The advantage of the Party is being able to do this bigger-scale and longer-term strategic construction. But we argue that we are not at this stage yet.
The cell structure is pointless without good security practices. That would play to our weaknesses by needlessly dividing our limited forces. It is only by developing security practices that would allow for a successful bid for state power that the cell structure really becomes operational. In the early stages of Party formation we should aim to maintain some of the policies of cell structure as a fail-safe. As our position becomes stronger, the security problems of a centralized party become less of a concern.
As always, politics must stay in command. This type of strategic thinking must come after an ideological consolidation. We seem to be in the stage of “letting 100 flowers bloom” as different interpretations and applications of Maoism in occupied Turtle Island are doing their things, watching and criticizing each other. While we have criticized a number of these trends as revisionists of Maoism, the diversity of people we see studying Maoism is a step forward. We will need many more cells organizing around the MIM cardinal principles, with demonstrated practices, before the question of party building becomes concrete for us.
As we move to the next step of ideological consolidation, we must address this strategic question: when is it time to build a Party? This is a question of utmost importance as we have no successful revolutionary strategy in conditions like ours to learn from. We must not rush to form a Party in a way that suddenly reveals all of our fiercest leaders to the state. As the state will move to kill, imprison, bad-jacket and pit these leaders against each other. Perhaps we can achieve ideological unity and strategic unity prior to forming a party. At this time we believe we should strive to preserve the benefits of cell structure without promoting isolation.
Out here in California there’s a buzz going through the state that 76,000 prisoners are eligible for an early release as of 8 May 2021. This is some great news that there’s going to be a mass expulsion of prisoners from these koncentration kamps. There’s a high chance that comrades of New Afrika and Aztlán who are most dedicated to the struggle of the liberation from the grip of imperialism will be freed into society to reach and teach those who inspire to make a positive step for growth and development for the lumpen in Amerikkka through the principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons(UFPP).
While it is great to hear that so many prisoners are now eligible for an early release in the state prisons in California, we can’t forget about our political leaders and soldiers who are still locked away in the FEDS, and those in exile. We can’t forget about Larry Hoover Sr, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Bomani Shakur, Assata Shakur, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin FKA H. Rap Brown, and many others who sacrificed their all for the liberation of the lumpen of the United $tates of Amerikkka from capitalism and imperialism. To be honest, we owe it to our political leaders and soldiers to fight for their freedom twice as much as them who fought for us back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
With the release of 76,000 prisoners, a lot of comrades will be hitting the streets and it’s time to go into overdrive. We can’t afford to get out there and fall by the wayside and end up becoming reformist or joining the pop culture revolutionary popularity contest. We don’t do this for popularity or none of that other self-glorifying bullshit. We do this for the reason that liberation of our peoples and folks NEEDS TO BE DONE! PERIOD! Teach the youth of our communities about the truth of their past, what’s really going on around them in the present, and tell them about our leaders who are not being publicly and world-widely advocated for. Let it be known that prisoners are still HUMAN BEINGS; human beings that are majority from our lumpen communities, and that our lives, our political leaders and soldiers lives matter. Regardless of what the individual was convicted for or alleged of doing, inhuman treatment shouldn’t be the punishment.
In the words of Frederick Douglass: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Even though it is crucial that we do re-educate as many mis-educated imperialist/capitalist brainwashed adults as possible, we’ll have a more productive output if we put more focus on teaching the youth through building University of Maoist Thought schools, classrooms or at the least study groups.
“When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself with what he will do. He with low self-esteem is more likely to accept social conditions that society expects of him. He will seek sympathy and handouts as he feels he cannot raise from his beggar’s status.” - Carter G. Woodson, in The Racial Race p. 217
As long as the lumpen masses are stuck in this beggar mindset, then situations like the murder of George Floyd, where multiple bystanders who could have stopped the murder by pushing the pigs off of him instead of begging, pleading and calling the pigs on their fellow co-workers for the checking and correction of unjustified behavior and conduct of so-called officials.
Our leaders will be in these koncentration kamps dying a slow, miserable, tormenting death and many more in our communities will die on the streets and in these kamps if we don’t change as many minds of the new generation as we can.
Right now we’re in the middle of a war, a lot of individuals who are in the class of the petty bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie, who benefit from capitalism is going to deny, but we of the First World lumpen(FWL) all know better than to fall for the lie. As of now we’re working on building up our strength to overthrow the imperialist government and put in our own which will be the Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariat of the Oppressed Nations (JDPON). To accomplish this, those who are going to be in the wave of releases from CDCR must reach those who are the local leaders of the BLM and NAACP, get them in the studies of the concepts and ideologies that’ll lead to Maoism. If they refuse to change their reformist and revisionist ways, then we show the youth the contradictions of the BLM and NAACP and show them the difference of us who are not reformist or revisionist.
Let it be known that it’s more of a duty than a natural right to defend oneself from any and all attacks by whomever, most importantly and especially the pigs! How long are we going to stand by and let these so-called officials murder us without even attempting to defend ourselves? If we must die like the artwork on the 73 issue cover of ULK states, then it’s best one dies on their feet defending oneself, if they can’t get away. The reformist, revisionist and history has proven that non-violent approach doesn’t get the job done, to obtain freedom, justice and equality. A United Front of armed resistance is the only way.
Through dialectical materialism, historical materialism and deep studying of one’s true history and of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism, we’ll get our moral correctness. And through learning hand-to-hand combat (i.e. martial arts, boxing etc.), obtaining licenses to carry for those who can, also make our own rifle clubs and be our own security force for the protection of our neighborhoods, when we rally, etc. This will be our way to achieve freedom from imperialism through armed resistance as we build our strength to overthrow imperialism, once and for all. Let’s get to work comrades!
What’s up comrades, friends, and supporters? i wanted to provide a response both to USW Comrade N’s and MIM(Prisons)’s commentary that was published in ULK 72: “Orientating USW Organizing Strategy in Light of TX Victory.” Really, my comments are more general rather than a direct disagreement with either Comrade N or MIM(Prisons).
First, ‘N’ asserts that “from an organizers perspective, these are not battles in which we can effectively push anti-imperialism forward, much less MLM.” The comrade mentioned phone access as an example of a battle ey was speaking of.
i’ll argue that the above assertion is incorrect and unscientific. MLM, dialectical materialism, is universal, meaning it can be applied to all phenomena. Further, dialectics shows us the true interconnected nature of social phenomena and if we acknowledge that is true, than how can we then deem that prison struggles aren’t aligned with anti-imperialism? Like MIM(Prisons) added, “with the correct leadership, and keeping our eyes on bigger goals like the UFPP, and uniting others around a list of more impactful demands, reformist campaigns like phone access could be productive.”
As organizers, we are focused on inspiring commitment within the masses. Looking at the psychology of the masses under imperialism, we’ll observe that the most effective way to capture the masses attention is to organize around their immediate interests. The more mature and in-depth communist outlook will develop in stages as study and struggle continue. However, the first hurdle is to establish principled unity in furtherance of an objective/program.
Our most pressing strategic goal as anti-imperialist/Maoist organizers behind enemy lines, is developing cadres to re-enter society with the ability to be impactful in the “free world” anti-imperialist struggle. This is our link to a totalizing revolutionary strategy outside the walls. The quality-of-life reforms are connected to the strategy of cadre development because PE (political education) is made up of 3 parts. Those 3 parts are 1) organizing, 2) educating and 3) mobilizing. So in undergoing/providing proper PE we must study and practice organizing, educating, mobilizing. We must observe the knowledge-practice-knowledge method in all aspects of our development to ensure we achieve our highest potential. So there’s an identity between study and struggle, they go hand-in-hand and because we’re not in a ‘revolutionary situation’ our struggle, or practice, will undoubtedly include (some) reforms.
However, it must be noted and articulated to the masses involved in that struggle that whatever particular battle is being waged at the moment isn’t the end-all be-all, but is only a tactical maneuver that was set in motion with the strategy in mind of advancing the organizational, educational and mobilizing capabilities for all involved. The real crux of the issue is never the demands in the prison setting. The real crux of the issue, as it pertains to linking a totalizing revolutionary strategy, lies in the practical experience gained by the masses in asserting their collective power. For, how will we seize state power if the people lack the strategic confidence to assert their power? We have to increase the collective practical experience of contesting the state as a united body. From a lead organizer’s perspective, putting campaigns into motion, communicating internally, advancing understanding of self and the people, practicing discipline, teaching discipline etc., all this does what? It prepares you for your return to the semi-colonies and general public with experience in organizing, educating, mobilizing people to assert their collective power. The differences in context have little effect on the objective advancement of a comrade’s development.
Additionally, we must also account for other aspects of the fundamental contradiction within prisons, which is badge versus captive. In our efforts to organize, educate and mobilize, the badge is not gonna remain still or unmoved. The badge, like the bourgeoisie on the outs, is gonna utilize both coercive and brutal methods to maintain complacency with the social order among the social classes, or in this case the captives. Also, we must acknowledge that the lumpen is a vacillating class anyway and in prison the masses of lumpen will vacillate between escapism, complacency, underground capitalism, etc. anyways. Therefore, acknowledging that these currents will continue with or without our efforts of revolutionary organizing because we still operate under imperialist, bourgeois dictatorship, it is imperative that we exercise every opportunity to advance our aspect of the fundamental contradiction in prison. In doing so, we work towards manufacturing conditions within prison that will be more conducive to our anti-imperialist goals.
While organizing around more impactful demands, the badge is still gonna utilize its double-pronged strategy of coercing or abusing. When the latter won’t work, the former will come in the form of cosmetic reforms. Those cosmetic reforms, even when they’re not demanded by organizers, still hold the possibility of pacifying individuals, making them complacent sleep walkers again. My point is that, at present, we can’t escape these tendencies from either side or the results they may or may not render, but we can’t allow these tendencies to keep us on the sideline, all “study” no struggle.
Lastly, i wanna clarify that none of the above is to assert that we should chase after any old reform or ‘change.’ As MIM(Prisons) states, leaders must make that determination, and furthermore, should educate the masses on why we will or will not seek certain reforms or campaigns.
In this process, i’ve learned the necessity of adequate communication with the masses and unity-struggle-unity internally among cadres, as a tool in struggling against a tendency towards tailism. What has come of this is a re-organizing of the TX Team One under a clearer program and a better understanding (a collective understanding) of what our strategic and tactical goals are, uniting the most committed partisans around those goals, and developing these partisan’s PE. We’ve downsized, what one may call ‘purging,’ but i like to call ‘cutting the fat’ and we are working on our next courses of action.
I examined the articles in ULK 72 concerning the Capitol Seizure on 6 January 2021. The racist and fascist Trump, his lap dog Guliani and other white capitalist goons from the political, corporate and intelligence world attempted to use the brainwashed QAnon zombies and mind-controlled Trump supporter in a pre-planned and very well orchestrated Nazi-style coup d’état (though they failed or appeared to have failed). These poor men and women from the Anglo middle class ‘Labor Aristocracy’ were used as pawns and cannon fodder in a mass psychological operation that will be used as a pretext for the social elite to implement more mechanisms of control and ‘security’ in exchange for more of the public’s privacy and so-called ‘freedoms’!
This event was labeled by the members of Congress and the intelligence community as an inside job. The major indication of this U.S. Capitol nonsense being an inside job orchestrated by the elite is the fact that the National Guard, Homeland Security and local law enforcement procrastinated in intercepting the very irrational and violent Trump supporters and also the fact that many of these vanguard reactionaries were discovered to be off-duty officers, military and Homeland Security themselves; another sign of a psychological operation. Also it was discovered that the security inside the U.S. Capitol were aware of what the protesters were planning to do and some of them even let the protesters inside, simply opening the door for them.
I also found the article by Allah Saturn very interesting in which this comrade described the atrocities committed by the European colonialist on Blacks for four hundred years. As comrade Walter Rodney pointed out, as well as Karl Marx, slavery and racism is the very foundation of western capitalism and racism is used to reinforce capitalism on targeted ethnic groups that usually occupy the lower and proletarian classes worldwide. Those who dismiss the Capitol seizure as fringe white nationalists attempt to hide the white/Amerikan nationalism at the heart of this country, that is oppressing people around the world.
“Karl Marx also commented on the way that European capitalists tied Africa, the West Indies and Latin America into the capitalist system; and (being the most bitter critic of capitalism) Marx went on to point out that what was good for Europeans was obtained at the expense of untold suffering by Africans and American Indians. Marx noted that ‘the discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the turning of Africa into a commercial warren for the hunting of black skins signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.’” - Walter Rodney in How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.
I am starting to understand MIM’s Theory on the Labor Aristocracy even more thanks to the study material the comrades of USW provided by comrades Marx and Engels (On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly and The Working Class Movement). Also MIM Theory 6: The Stalin Issue in which Maoists addressed misinformation on comrade Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin as well as MIM Theory 4 Issue: A Spiral Trajectory. These materials were combined with my knowledge of Marxism and revolutionary principles to further develop a greater understanding of MIM’s concepts on the origin of the underdevelopment of the Third World by the First World and this is further explained on pg. 11 in the Marx and Engels material that was edited by the Communist Working Circle in 1972,
“Marx believed that the export of capital would result in capitalism spreading all over the world. However, he did not imagine that it would institute a rigid division of the world between a highly developed imperialist center and an exploited and underdeveloped periphery.”
And this is the case we find ourselves in presently. Except now, we find ourselves up against a different kind of beast, a more covert or clandestine form of imperialism that instead of using nationalism of sovereign nations as its power base or nucleus; now, because of new laws on international trade and commerce, individual nations cannot check or limit its tyranny that operates through multinational corporations; thus we encounter neo-colonialism that has its foundation in globalist corporations that have billions of dollars to pay off whole countries in the First and Third Worlds. A new and very advanced techno-Anglo Establishment that changed its methods 50-60 years ago when they realized as Comrade el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) (PBUH), said in a speech he made in 1963:
“…the thing that is bringing an end to their world is the awakening of the dark world! As the dark world awakens, the dark world is rising. And as the dark world rises and increases, the power of the white world decreases…”
By the dark world, comrade el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz meant that the Afro, Asian, Latin American and Arab lower, working and proletarian classes that were and still are oppressed by the white world or western corporate capitalist parasites.
Now, 58 years later, this beast has mutated and evolved into a new species similar to the COVID-19 virus, multiplying and reproducing itself rapidly on a global scale, disguising itself as so-called ‘Free-Market Capitalism’.
The overt racism as we see, experience and that is televised daily, is used to reinforce this so-called free market capitalism at the expense of the lower and working classes, especially the Third World proletariat.
We must come to recognize repeated human behavior as not coincidences or isolated phenomena or events but as being systematic methods of control and agitation by the reactionary forces to accelerate social tensions between different ethnic, political and religious groups. The elite create the problem, (like the bio-engineered COVID-19 virus or police brutality), they wait for it to do its damage then they come with the solution to the problem that they created as is the case with the COVID-19 virus. Medical practitioners said it usually take up to ten years to develop a vaccine but somehow the big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna all managed to simultaneously develop a vaccine within months. As Marxists, Maoists, Leninists, or dialectical materialists we must examine history in comparison to current events and we will come to the conclusion that this current situation is the result of Malthusian Anglo philosophy.
Malthusian meaning, relating to the theory that population, unless checked (by war or bioengineered pandemics, sterilization) tends to increase faster than the so-called means of subsistence. This is the philosophy of the fascist world Anglo establishment, the predatory elite and all of their brainwashed pawns (politicians or corporate lackeys).
They tend to focus on the myth of overpopulation because they know that they, statistically speaking are a minority and we are a majority, thus we pose more of a threat to the elite because we outnumber them. So all of this madness we see everyday on the mainstream media are not isolated events, the majority of it is done by design. Ignorant behavior is promoted 24 hrs a day, seven days a week on the mainstream media outlets purposely because social engineers understand that the masses tend to repeat the same behavior, especially when they are being bombarded by the same images everyday.
Now, in Minneapolis – the world is awaiting the George Floyd trials and the results of the charges of second degree murder and manslaughter brought against officer Chauvin, the pig that murdered comrade Floyd (PBUH)(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) in cold blood in front of the whole world.
But, unlike the U.S. Capitol situation on January 6th of this year, regardless of the intelligence communities foreknowledge that the Trump militia and QAnon zombie terrorist goons were going to storm the Capitol; the National Guard, Homeland Security and the local police in Minneapolis are already on post and the jurors for the trial on Chauvin hasn’t even been picked yet. This strong military and law enforcement presence is obviously due to the fact that the Afro, Asiatic, or New Afrikan element that the authorities know will be highly dissatisfied if that pig Chauvin is let off, as was the case with Elijah McClain in Denver, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York and Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. This further proves that institutional racism is still deeply interwoven within the fabric of the AmeriKKKan criminal justice system.
The mainstream media attempts to captivate the minds of the masses with tales of romance and intrigue concerning the Megan and Harry scandal in Buckingham Palace and the reason why the same bloodlines and Anglo-Saxon-Coberg Gotha-Scandinavian, Frankish and Celtic families have been in control of the British Empire; the birthplace of modern imperialism and capitalism that had its origins in the exploitation of African slaves and the pillaging of resources throughout India, Asia, the Caribbean as well as the British colonies in North America. The Queen’s England or United Kingdom was never about racial tolerance or equality but it was always about the domination of the Anglo establishment over the rest of the world’s people and resources.
“Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the major international motors for European capital accumulation was the trade in African slaves carried in British and French ships; silver and gold exports from South America to Spain and Portugal; profits from the use of slave labor in the British West Indies; profits from the Dutch Spice Trade; profits from the Opium trade, and the colonial land revenue…” - Marx and Engels, On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly, and The Working Class Movement, pg. 25
This present dissatisfied generation must be educated by a genuine revolutionary vanguard to those historic realities that create the current situation we find ourselves in now, which is the main principle of Marxism; accurate analysis of history. Only then will we transcend or rise above all the prejudices and social stigmas placed on us by the imperialist elite.
“The greatest danger facing young people right now is the coming of a fascist state, like the one described by George Orwell in 1984 where Big Brother is always watching you. In a few years, that book might be history. We must look into history and see it as being concretely related to the problems of today. In turn, we will find a lamp of truth by which we can guide our feet to oppose the fascist 1984-type state that’s rapidly coming into power in this country. That is why the racists and the narrow-minded chauvinists do not want black people, Chicano people, Puerto Rican, Asian, and poor white people to study and know their own true history - because their history will tell the truth about America today.” – Bobby Seale in ‘Seize the Time’ 1968-69
MIM(Prisons) responds: We say about 80% of the world’s people are clearly on the side of communism and opposed to imperialism based on their material interests. That 80% also happens to be darker due to the invention of race by the Anglos as a means of dividing the world as this comrade documents. Meanwhile, those “poor men and women” who stormed the Capitol building waving racist flags and emblems were solidly in the top 10% globally based on income. And they happened to be almost all white, and of course Amerikan.
The quick development of multiple COVID vaccines was a surprise. However, this was technology that had been in the works for years prior. This was a unique opportunity to test mRNA technology in a critical real-world scenario. Researchers were working on this before most of us had even really begun thinking about COVID-19. Based on previous experience the quick development of vaccines was unexpected, but humyn knowledge advances and now there is a new standard.
Epidemiologists immediately began tracing the source of COVID-19 when it appeared in Wuhan, China. They determined its source was very likely a live animal market. Since then, researchers have studied the nature of the virus and agreed that that is the likely source. Warnings of a virus just like this have been around for decades. This pandemic was not unexpected. Movies like Contagion(2011) tell a very similar story based on the knowledge that such a virus was expected.
Regardless of the source of the virus itself, it is clear that the imperialists are taking advantage of the situation to further control the oppressed. First, they are using intellectual property laws enforced by international bodies like the World Trade Organization to prevent labs in Third World countries from producing the vaccine while millions around the world have died. Instead of stomping out COVID-19 it looks like we will not be able to reach heard immunity and the virus will keep evolving. Second, they are hording vaccines and will be deciding how to dole them out to the Third World that is desperate for relief from the pandemic. Third, as always the economic fallout of the pandemic will be pushed onto the Third World, as Amerikans benefit from all kinds of stimulus packages paid for by dollars that are backed by a transfer of value from the exploited countries.
Even in the United $tates we continue to be in bad shape despite having some of the greatest access to the vaccine in the world. We have reached the point where people are not getting vaccinated. Misleadership by President Trump, and profiteering by quacks on the internet have persuaded large segments of the population to not get the vaccine. This could lead to more instability in the system due to a lack of scientific thinking on the part of the oppressor nation. Science is on the side of the oppressed and must be leveraged by the oppressed to resolve the major contradictions in the world today that threaten us with death and destruction.
There is zero question that Kansas is using prisoners for cheap labor and profiting tremendously from multi-year sentencing of first-time drug offenders like myself.
I “earn” sixty cents per day to perform a skilled labor sewing position full time. If I refuse to work I will receive a disciplinary work report resulting in my custody security level to rise.
There is a 30-person crew that works at the Kansas State Fairgrounds year round. These prisoners also receive 60 cents per day. The fairground complex could not operate without prison labor.
These jobs are not maintaining KDOC prisons. They are part of the state prison economy, for the profit of the state.
Also, this prison takes 50% of the earnings of all private industry job income prisoners earn. At the private industry jobs, prisoners make minimum wage ($7.25/hour). Incarcerating probation-eligible offenders to minimum-custody facilities to work is proof that in Kansas, exploiting prison labor is a motivating force for mass incarceration.
In almost every other state I would not have been sentenced to prison for possession of medical cannabis.
I understand the point of the article was to look at medium and long-term goals. As a non-violent, non-victim, first time drug offender I believe cannabis decriminalization is a goal worth pursuing. Thousands of people in Kansas have been incarcerated by a corrupt, prison labor motivated criminal justice system.
Is the author agreeing that non-violent, non-victim, first-time cannabis offenders should be working for 60 cents a day to assist the state economy and provide cheap labor for giant factory farms in Kansas? When I see corrupt judges play in to this state economy, there are no myths in my first-hand facts. If I am misinterpreting Wiawimawo’s writing, please clarify what the author intended.
Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: First, thanks for the details on how prison labor works where you are in Kansas. We regularly publish such reports on our website and use them to keep tabs on the realities of prison labor over time. You are our on the ground reporters for everything going on in U.$. koncentration kamps.
One thing you don’t specify is who you are making clothing for at your job. That is an important factor. Usually people are working on clothing and sheets and now face masks for other prisoners to use. That would be work for the prison system, not for profit. Similarly, running the fairgrounds is for the state. These are parallel to the examples of fire fighters given in my original article.
None of these jobs are making profits for anyone, which you seem to have confused. Multiple times you refer to Kansas as profiting from prisoners. States do not make profits. They have revenue and expenses, and they can run over budget if they want with expenses being greater than revenue by issuing bonds. Now the bourgeois definition of profit is netting more money coming in then you put out in expenditures. But even bourgeois economists do not use this terminology in regards to states. As Marxists, we define exploitation as paying workers less than the value that they produce and then selling the product (or service) to realize the full value. This is the source of wealth accumulation in capitalism.
Now to the prisoner sewing clothes for 60 cents a day, it matters little whether those clothes are to be used for state-issued use or sold in a store. So i can understand where you’re coming from. But if we want to explain how the prison system works in this country this becomes an important distinction. It is not profits for big businesses to accumulate capital that drives the system. It is a combination of financial self-interest of the people who work in these institutions, people who some would have us see as the oppressed proletariat themselves, and the broader interests of the oppressor nation to control the oppressed nations in this country. Through this control of the oppressed nations by Amerikans through criminalization and imprisonment, they can further gentrify the places oppressed nations reside and create further economic control for themselves. This is the heart of our analysis. And it is why we have a very different orientation than the petty bourgeoisie who is opposed to private prisons for profit and favor drug decriminalization as discussed in my original article.
“Is the author agreeing that non-violent, non-victim, first-time cannabis offenders should be working for 60 cents a day to assist the state economy and provide cheap labor for giant factory farms in Kansas?”
No, i do not argue that. We argue for more change, not less. We are not reformists, and we don’t think drug decriminalization in the United $tates will eliminate national oppression nor drug addiction. If done well, it could reduce these problems, and the specific expression of drug problems such as marijuana consumption. Therefore the reform is progressive, but it does not solve the problem of national oppression and the criminal drug economy. We have much better solutions for national oppression and drug addiction, and they certainly don’t include imprisoning people for victimless behavior. They do include eliminating profit motives in all aspects of our lives. In the meantime, we support an international minimum wage that would apply to prisoners.
A California Prisoner: The Covid and imperialism article in ULK 72 sparked my interest because I am already vaccinated and I had to ask myself why I, a prisoner, was vaccinated before tax payers? The answer was pretty simple logic. Prison is huge profit for California and the cash cow has been closed for Covid crisis, the sooner California can reopen the prisons, they can continue to rake in the profits they make from our suffering.
Wiawimawo responds: There was a significant effort in California by lawyers and activists to get prisoners to the top of the vaccination list. And this is at least part of the explanation as to why you got vaccinated early. It made sense from a public health standpoint, but this did not happen across the country because many Amerikans don’t care about prisoners’ lives.
It is not clear why you argue that profits dried up in prisons during the shelter-in-place, so i would need more information on that to respond. But as i explain above, states don’t profit from prisons. Prisons are a huge financial expense and do not create any economic value. Prison labor is one way to slightly reduce some of the expenses in running these prisons.(1)
All that said, i want to address this comrade’s talk about the “tax payers.” The vaccination campaign across the United $tates is being paid by the Federal government. The government has now passed a series of bills in the trillions of dollars to address the fallout from the pandemic. This is not “tax payer money.” They are just printing money, or creating money out of thin air to fund these programs. Since the dollar is the global currency, they can do this with some confidence that other countries and investors will buy up the bonds to cover the expense. It’s all funny money that we benefit from here in the United $tates, even those in prison benefit at times, thanks to our position as the premier imperialist power.
This is in stark contrast to countries like India and Brazil that are now being hit hard by the pandemic and the people are being offered little relief. One reason is that these countries can’t just print $1 trillion worth of their currency without causing massive inflation and damaging the conditions of the people more.
To the extent that it is “tax payers” who are helping to balance the budget deficit in the United $tates, we must also be clear where that money is coming from – the Third World proletariat. The above is just one demonstration of how value can flow from the periphery to the imperialist countries. This is reflected in the incomes of all U.$. citizens, who must give some of those super-profits to the state to keep the imperialist system running.
So let us not shed a tear for the poor “tax payer” in this country because California actually made some efforts to vaccinate people in a way that made sense in terms of promoting public health. There is no shortage of vaccines in the United $tates. In fact, we have far more than we need, while other countries have not even begun vaccinating their populations yet. If we were really working in the interests of public health, we would have a more equitable distribution of vaccines across the globe. We’d be prioritizing hotspots, which the United $tates is. And we’d be sharing the technology needed to make vaccines freely, releasing the intellectual property that is holding back progress in the fight against COVID-19. Failure to do so means that the virus will continue to evolve and likely continue to be a problem.
A New York prisoner: In response to ULK 72 (2021) article “Help Fund MIM(Prisons), Donate Now!”, I would like to offer a suggestion outside of charity from donations which seems to be a necessary form of income for the production, maintenance & shipment of ULK’s. What if MIM took some of its donations and invested them in the stock market? I know that seems pro-capitalist, but as the old adage goes you gotta fight “fire with fire.” Making a few short-term trades could possibly boost revenue for expenses (solely), and make donations a welcomed part of production but not so necessary. This would keep MIM’s line of no foreseeable future in capitalism by not becoming long-term investors in the stock market, but instead looking for quick returns in order to fund revolutionary work (i.e. short selling, which is basically betting against the U.S. market, which is still in some ways inherently communist behavior). I am enclosing an articled dated 11 January 2021, “Jay-Z Fund to Help Minority-owned Cannabis Businesses.” What do you think about this venture? I don’t really believe lumpen have the luxury of investing in non-essential production/consumption as cannabis right now, when they don’t even have land to cultivate on. But financial freedom is nonetheless a form of independence… so keep on keeping on Jay-Z!
Wiawimawo responds: First, we agree with using the oppressors’ tools against them, and have no moral qualms about the stock market. Proletarian morality means we do what will most benefit the liberation of the exploited and oppressed. Whether it is a wise investment is another question. Conventional wisdom is that it is a good long-term bet, but unpredictable in the short-term. As for shorting, well hedge fund Melvin Capital Management lost 53% in January in its infamous shorting of Gamestop.(2) They lost about $6 billion on that bet. That’s what the stock market is, gambling.
Now cannabis businesses, that might be a more sound investment. As the article points out, and as i discussed in my article on Tulsi Gabbard mentioned above, the legalization of weed has been a bonanza for white petty bourgeois interests trying to get small businesses up and running before the large corporations dominate the market. New Afrikans are under-represented in business ownership overall at just 10%, but in the states listed that number was 3-6% for cannabis businesses.(3) Jay-Z, and New York State are correctly recognizing this gap and trying to do something to not let it happen in New York.
What do we think about this? More equal opportunity for the petty bourgeoisie just reinforces imperialism. When it was illegal, oppressed people selling weed were targeted by the state and potential allies to the anti-imperialist movement. People running successful weed businesses aren’t likely to be our allies, regardless of their skin color.
The weed game is in a major transition. It is still in a semi-legal state, where the Feds could crack down on you (and they have). Getting access to loans and bank accounts can be difficult as a result. One group that is proving successful as early pioneers in the trade are former law enforcement. They are less likely to be targeted by the state than a former felon, and they have clout to deal with the pressures from extortion rackets and the lumpen organizations they are competing with. Therefore as revolutionaries, the weed business might be risky.
You suggest that we need to invest in stocks to free us from our reliance on donations. On the contrary, we are trying to become more reliant on donations so that our cadre don’t have to worry so much about funding everything ourselves, which we do by working or investing or whatever. Maybe some of us are investing in the stock market to fund this work, but that is not a reliable source of income. We want to be going strong when the market collapses again. And that is why we want to be reliant on the financial support of the masses. Only by relying on the people is our future secure.
As i said above, legalization of weed will not eliminate national oppression in the forms of cop killings and disproportionate imprisonment rates. It will make pacifying substances more readily available to the masses. And for better or for worse it will undercut the underground economy in favor of public tax revenue. And that is what this is about of course, it is providing tax revenue to maintain government funding at the local and state levels.
Until the import of weed is legalized by the feds, this shift of production to the United $tates will be undercutting a source of profits in the drug trade – the Third World farmer. Historically the farmers who grow and process weed are the ones being exploited in Third World countries. As production shifts to the First World, wages will have to increase to exploiter-level wages, with the possible exception of using migrant labor from the Third World. This means the profits must come from other sectors in the Third World instead, to pay the farmers, marketers, sales people and accountants in the First World running the new weed economy, as well as the state taxes. If the exploited weed farmers are eliminated, then the profits must now be squeezed from the banana farmers or copper miners, and all the other exploited workers of the Third World. This puts more pressure on the already dangerously low international rate of profit.
Finally, we agree with your point about land. Without land there is no power. National liberation means liberating the territory of the oppressed. Owning land as individuals is not it. Oppressed nations must control land as independent nations, and be able to defend that land. This is a central task of the New Democratic movement.
Upon reading and re-reading the most recent ULK (72) as i usually do, i ran across a segment of an article that i believe to be homo/transphobic and therefore deserves criticism in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity.
The segment in question is on pg. 7, #5 of the demands reads as follows:
Every prison in the state of Pennsylvania allow gay prisoners inside each prison block to hold hands/hold each other, have make-out sessions and have intercourse. The department of corrections of Pennsylvania even sell bras/panties, makeup, provide hormone injections and sex changes.
Now, I said “i believe” this was homo/trans phobic, because I acknowledge that some may not feel that way. Additionally, i’ll say that for the sake of organizing, it should be removed, as regardless of possible ill intent it serves to alienate people who’re not your enemy and can be allies.
Now i hold my belief that the comment was a homo/transphobic slight because the previous four demands the authors’ wrote down in question form, while #5 was listed as a statement and was entirely unnecessary if we look to the sub-points (a) and (b), which clearly articulate the point the authors wished to make, without the slight.
Comrades, i’m a heterosexual, cis-gendered male, who’s struggled here at my place of captivity against the gendered oppression of LGBT people, by inmate and pig oppressors alike. In the midst of this struggle what i’ve attempted to get cats to understand is, for one there are three strands of oppression: nation, class and gender. In the context of gender, i’ve had to humble myself to learn, or re-learn sometimes from a trans womyn comrade, things i thought i knew. One key piece of information i learned from her was also articulated by MIM(Prisons) in ULK47, pg. 4, attacking the myth of binary biology:
“Humyn biology has never been entirely binary, with relation to sex characteristics. There are a range of interactions between chromosomes, hormone expressions and sexual organ development. The resulting variation in anatomical and reproductive characteristics includes a lot of people who do not fit the standard binary expectation… as many as 1 in 100 births deviate from the standard physical expectations of sex biology.”
i’ve included this quote to suggest that cats look in depth into the material reality and internal development of things in order to get a clearer understanding instead of demonizing people and behavior.
The second point i’ve stressed here at this prison and now extend to the Pennsylvania prisoners, is that being that there are 3 strands of oppression, and we are in the business of eradicating oppression, then we are in error whenever we condemn national and class oppression while upholding gender oppression.
While the authors of the demands did not advocate gender oppression, eir language suggests that ey would rather the behavior listed in Point #5 be eradicated, which in turn would be oppressive to those who engage in said behaviors.
Additionally, i think you cats in PA could benefit from gaining some form of insight from those LGBT prisoners as to how to solve y’alls problems. i’ll have you realize that your Points 1-4 apply to LGBT prisoners as well along with points a and b. and 6 … or do they? My point is that the behavior which you seem to dislike was not always a reality. Around the empire, state-by-state, for decades, LGBT prisoners have struggled in court and through other avenues to gain the ability to express themselves freely.
If you would seek an ally in those near you, y’all may gain some insight on your own concerns, but viewing the LGBT populace as ‘other’ than yourselves only serves the interests of the badge, and stunts your own development as a revolutionary freedom fighter.
The key is to look at your situation in a dialectical materialist perspective. First, identify the fundamental contradiction, which in any and every prison is badge versus captives. The lumpen class must become united. Now within the lumpen class there are internal contradictions, only one of which is the contradiction between non-LGBT versus LGBT prisoners. This is a secondary contradiction, and it must be resolved because like all contradictions, it will develop into an antagonistic stage and an internal antagonistic/contradictory struggle is not beneficial in this context if y’all are to accomplish your goals, and moreso, advance the captive’s aspect of the fundamental contradiction against the badge/state.
In conclusion, i wanna articulate the fact that we can not eliminate oppression if we are ourselves oppressors. We have no right to condemn our own oppression yet turn a blind eye to the oppression of others. Practice PEACE and UNITY sisters and brothers, as articulated in the UFPP principles … unite, don’t split!