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[COVID-19] [Censorship] [Political Repression] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Covid Outbreaks & Repression on Allred

i am taking the time to write this because i would like the readership to know the truth about what’s been going on recently at the TDCJ Allred unit in regards to COVID-19 and targeted repression of socio-political leaders.

Many of you reading this are already aware of the spike in COVID infections related to the emergence of the Omicron variant. Here at Allred, particularly in the restrictive housing unit, which houses some six hundred plus people in conditions internationally recognized as inhumane, there has been a dangerous and life threatening pattern of administrative negligence in regards to the effort (lack thereof) to quell the spread of this aggressive virus.

Back in August of 2021, captive persyns held on the Allred RHU and other units held a hunger-strike protest. One of the issues raised and forwarded to unit, regional, and state level administrators was, ‘#10- follow all CDC COVID-19 protocols’. Even after people have literally starved themselves, the unit administration still has refused, and neglected to implement, and re-implement basic CDC COVID guidelines.

On January 6th, Comrade Ozomatli, co-founder, and key figure of the TX TeamOne organization, was strategically targeted for harassment, by way of an unlawful search and seizure, and purposely exposed to COVID-19. On the above date Ozomatli was taken from his cell and placed in a holding cage in the building’s main hallway for five hours!

i am not too good with math and measurements, but i know the cage in question is absolutely too small to place a full grown human in for that amount of time. There is no where to relieve ones self, not anywhere to comfort ones self. Regardless, Ozomatli remained in this holding cage while a multitude of agents of repression searched his usual abode. i raise the question, what possibly could they be looking for, and not find if it were there, in such a small space, for such an extended period of time?

To even begin to analyze this question We must first point out that the incident on January 6th was the second such incident targeting this same comrade in the last few months. Previously the only thing confiscated were the comrade’s contact information written down on various papers and inside books. On January 6th, the comrade’s entire cache of persynal property was confiscated, and he would remain property-less for a week.

During this ordeal, Ozomatli was placed in danger, recklessly, of catching COVID-19. Agents of repression who escorted him from and returned him to his cell weren’t following proper COVID guidelines. Afterwards, in the matter of days, a new COVID outbreak ensued on the RHU building, and unsurprisingly the outbreak has been largely centered on the pod which Ozomatli inhabits. When other prisoners on other pods show symptoms they’re re-housed on the same pod as Ozomatli. Furthermore, prisoners are being constantly moved around, leaving and being brought to the unit and thus constantly exposing more and spreading more and more COVID. Daily so-called ‘integrity checks’ are still in operation, along with unnecessary cell extractions, and are also inducing the spread of COVID.

Administrators are refusing to test or even symptom check prisoners, as was done in the mid 2020 days of the pandemic. There’s this untrue belief that the pandemic is over, despite the fact that less than 70% of people (prisoners & guards combined) are vaccinated. An untold number of prisoners have mass filed grievances, but of course appealing to the same source of Our predicament has rendered little to no results.

i would be remiss if i didn’t acknowledge the underlying political undertones of Ozomatli’s being harassed, and also pinpoint other similar patterns adhered to by the unit administration sometimes at the behest of the state level agents of repression.

Ozomatli, as i have said, is a leader with the Texas TeamOne Organization. TeamOne is an organization of politicized prisoners dedicated to politicizing prisoners and consolidating those in TX into a class that can actively struggle for its interests, as well as, and more importantly, reinsert people into the larger society as assets to communities which are all too often neglected in the realms of social, political and economic development.

Ozomatli is an abolitionist, a [email protected], and a leader that leads by example. Thus it goes without saying that Ozomatli’s very existence as a [email protected] revolutionary imprisoned in tekkk$a$‘s gulags, is seen as a threat to the enemy-state and the prison administration, and this is the underlying politics of his harassment. Ozomatli has recently been working with other comrades and formations, independent of his work with TeamOne, in mobilizing a Texas prisoners’ political action committee, it is during the time span of this work in that sphere that the administration has targeted him.

The clearly politically motivated repression tactics, in a supposedly ‘free’ country, do not stop there. i myself have been a constant target for similar tactics of intimidation, and retaliation. i have been ‘sentenced’ essentially to LIFE in TDCJ’s RHU. This repression came on the immediate back of Our collective hunger-strike effort in August (thru September 9th). i was seen in absentia by the State Classification Committee four days later. i was denied release to general population, after having been without any disciplinary incident in over four years time. The reasons given for this miscarriage of justice was that i am staff assaultive, and prone to possess weapons, and the main one, written in large bold letters, was the fact that i am currently serving an unjust sentence of Life Without Parole. The third reason was provided as the main reason for my denial of release. The catch is that i can not, on my own accord, alter my sentence therefore this decision summarily acts to confine me in isolation for the remainder of my sentence (life).

Of course the timing and the fact that these issues have never been previously brought up at these hearings, testifies to the fact that the decision is a retaliatory measure being used to quell the momentum being built up among the captives here and around the state. IT WILL NOT WORK!

Other measures of retaliation such as illegal mail tampering/disappearance are common place. Outgoing letters of even a neutral nature take up to two months to even leave the unit, and incoming mail, including books and other packages have the same waiting time. The former mailroom supervisor was made to resign for ‘undisclosed reasons’, yet mailroom negligence, and deliberate tampering continues even under the watchful eyes of one, Major Murdock, whose been made to keep eyes on mailroom staff.

By no means is this all the repressive tactics utilized by administrators, nor is it only TeamOne affiliates, or political prisoners. For the sake of time however We will hold these slights as a small example. it is important i say that none of this is meant to discourage activism and justified rebellion. In fact the contrary is the intent. i assert here that if more of the captive populace took liberatory ideals and practices more seriously We could actually begin to pose a threat, not only to the prison institution, but the established order as We know it. As George said:

“If we can reach each other through all of this, fences, fear, concrete, steel, barbed wire, guns, the hystory will commend us for a great victory won…” - Soledad Brother

As a sign of solidarity, We call on the public to report the administrative negligence surrounding Allred’s handling of COVID-19 to the following; (prisoners should write complaints regarding their own units):

Dept. of Health & Human Services, region6, regional director
Marjorie McColl Petty
1301 Young St. ste#1124
Dallas, Tx 75202
or call 214-767-3301

Also, outside supporters should be sure to make a report to the following:

David Blackwell, regional director-region 5 @ 806-296-4500(ext 400)

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[Control Units] [New Afrika] [K.A.G.E. Universal] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 77]
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Liberate Our Elders Event Unites Inside & Out

19 February 2022 – K.A.G.E. Universal and Hella Positive hosted an event featuring the voices of New Afrikan elders as part of the campaign to Liberate Our Elders from the cages of the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation(CDCr). As the comrades say, little “r”, because there is no rehabilitation, and rehabilitation must come from within.

At this event MIM(Prisons) shared copies of our new pamphlet, A Revolutionary 12 Step Program, in the spirit of supporting self-transformation via independent institutions of the oppressed. We also joined K.A.G.E. Universal in promoting the United Front for Peace in Prisons, as they work to expand the message of independent peace building behind bars and in local schools in Oakland.

The event brought together many outside activists and organizations and the voices of New Afrikan principal thinkers from the Pelican Bay SHU who are now on the streets as well as some still imprisoned. Speakers included imprisoned elder Sitawa, one of the main reps during the historic California hunger strikes, and Paul Redd who is now released. Louis Powell’s voice was also heard through the reading of his new book, Chronicles of a Prison Dirty War: California Prison Politics.

In the closing of the event, Minister King X pointed out that these elders are “walking dictionaries,” and the state is “trying to eradicate our history.”

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[Campaigns] [Gender] [Lane Murray Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Fighting for Separate Dorm for Elders at Lane Murray

Here at Lane Murray Unit we are trying to get a dorm for the 50 and over women that reside here. There is a lot of women that are in the “silver streaks” years and have many disabling ailments and being around the younger “residents” has become somewhat dangerous at times. So keep us in your thoughts and if there are any ideas as to how to get this 50’s plus dorm on the way, please let us know.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Please write to MIM(Prisons) if you have any suggestions for this comrade. We understand gender to have a material basis in health status. Things like old age and disability contribute to one’s gender status, and under patriarchy can lead one facing more gender oppression as this comrade mentions. Just as we work to resolve the divisions between nations and lumpen orgs among the imprisoned population, we also struggle against gender divisions. While male and female prisoners are kept in separate prisons, we still have gender divisions along the lines of age, disability, sexual orientation and gender presentation that do not serve the interests of the prison masses.

As we promote these comrades’ campaign for a seperate dorm, we call on USW leaders to find real solutions in resolving the gender contradictions and oppression that leads to some feeling like they need to be separate to be safe. Some of the comrades leading the campaign to Liberate Our Elders in California serve as great examples in bringing that unity.

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[COVID-19] [Grievance Process] [Abuse] [ULK Issue 77]
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Super Bowl Sunday: A New Holiday on San Quentin’s Death Row

On February 13th, 2022 it was announced via PA in East Block that there would be no yard due to holiday feeding. There was no state or federal holiday. It was just another Super Bowl Sunday. We’re being fed bullshit!

The deal is for second watch disrespectful sows to get an A.M. 7/11 lucky break before coming back to pass out lunch and dinner. Doing that might take an hour and the taxpayers eat the rest (comes with free-loading). Some of the second watch disrespectful sows will then join third watch and the game kicks off into overtime. The TV is set up in violation of 15CCR3394 distractions and the potluck tailgate assists close proximity in defeating the chance of a stable cohort – a violation of 15 CCR 3271, but no penalty?

As satirical as it may sound, this writing is an excerpt of events which did occur on San Quentin’s death row in East Block. Similar events as described above occurred in 2021 on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day 2022. Deliberate indifference to your right to yard, your health, or anyone’s safety in general means NOTHING to these disrespectful sows and the court has acted more like a referee paid off by the opposing team.

Want your rights back?

A suggestion to those warehoused on San Quentin’s death row:

  • Refuse housing cage staging and/or indoor congregate waiting rooms.
  • Preemptively and immediately submit a 602-1 staff misconduct grievance against AW specialized housing for denying you safe access to appointments, visits, etc. simply because you refuse to ignore HC guidelines to practice social distancing – NOT possible in a holding cage/congregate waiting room AND an ultimatum in violations of 15 CCR 3271 if a valid concern exists.
  • If response implies no indoor close proximity concern is valid, then demand normal outdoor daily yards program be reinstated in a 602-2 follow up grievance.
  • Advise your PCP/MH clinician in writing on CDCR 7362 of your decision to follow HC guidelines to social distance and that custody refuses to comply resulting in you being denied safe access to HC/MH services and programs. Keep the yellow copy of that 7362 form for an official record.

*Doing this in conjunction with grievances citing other ways your card is being arbitrarily taken is a from of non-violent protest. SQ/CDCR’s response (or lack of one) creates an official record for future use.

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[Police Brutality] [Drugs] [Abuse] [Pasquotank Correctional Institution] [Granville Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 77]
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Will prisoners' iPads feature apps that record police brutality?

Today at Polk Correction Institution the prep-team beat a young man in full restraints named Mr. Fox as he screamed for help during a shake-down: video surveillance was not provided.

15 March 2021, a few weeks before the killing of Andrew Brown by Pasquotank Sheriff’s Department, I was maced, tased, beat, and nearly killed by almost 20 Pasquotank C.O.s. The beating occurred in 6 different locations in the building including 3 elevators. I received several life lasting injuries to the head, face, and mouth from being punched and kicked over a hundred times while laying flat on the ground on my stomach and/or side. A chunk of meat was ripped out of my shoulder from being dragged over 50 ft. I was choked while beaten til they thought and asked one another if I was dead.

Another official cut my thumb with a switch blade and I received several other injuries that medical refused to treat or document. The officers said, “they’ll be back to beat me every chance they get and that I better not eat.”

I was emergency shipped, and 3 hours later pictures were taken of my injuries when I arrived at Polk Correctional Institution (High-Risk-Security).

Pasquotank Prison Officials deny to have ever touched me and claim their innocence while not even bothering to explain how my injuries were sustained. The disciplinary officer found that the video footage of the incident had been tampered with and cut-short.

18 October 2021, all mail for North Carolina prisoners will be received at TextBehind in Phoenix, MD with long time promises of iPads in the future. Should department of public safety provide proper video surveillance for safety before iPads for profit and entertainment? Surveillance is critical to maintain and monitor unwanted violence.

Relief in the claim I’ve filed against Pasquotank Correctional Institution include that the courts enforce a policy with an injunction ordering hand-held cameras be used when escorting offenders or using force in blind spots.

Unfortunately, body-cams in prison make it harder for guards to smuggle contraband or have relations which would decrease the rate of violence from drug related issues allowing more prisoners to focus on rehabilitation and money management.

With this we would ask for higher pay rates to support our families and conjugal visits for married couples.

Prayers out for the family of Andrew Brown and the victims of police brutality.

For a full report of Pasquotank Prison Incident, see: “Two Letters From North Carolina Prisons Make the Same Demands 45 Years Apart.


MIM(Prisons) adds: In the last issue of Under Lock & Key one of our comrades addressed the use of tablets to pacify and surveil the oppressed in A Strategic Objective to Disrupt and Surveil the Communication Between Prisoners and Our Loved Ones. The article above connects this to the many campaigns prisoners have waged to get cameras in prisons so that there is documentation of the regular abuse and illegal happenings that go on inside.

In 2014, comrades in North Carolina won a lawsuit to [require staff of NCPDS to record with video cameras any use of force incidents]((https://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/north-carolina-prisoners-preliminary-victory-on-use-of-force-lawsuit/). This suit however, left it up to the pigs to determine when cameras need to be used. As AK47 asks, if the state is to invest more money in technology, shouldn’t it be on this important task of preventing physical abuse and drug trafficking, both of which leads to the loss of humyn lives?

We can also take lessons from the implementation of universal cameras, including audio recording, in California which brought up concerns of excessive monitoring of prisoners, including in counseling and rehabilitation programs. Just last year, another lawsuit in California brought a federal court order requiring body cameras in Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in California, resulting in passive protests from staff in the form of not running programs for prisoners.

Modern surveillance and communication technology can be used for good and for bad, for the interests of the oppressed or the interests of the oppressor. The interests of the oppressed lie in holding the state accountable for the rampant abuse and drug dealing its employees commit every day, while being able to maintain connections to society, engaging in rehabilitation programs where they can speak freely and openly. The interests of the state lie in pacifying the population with pop culture media and surveilling the communication of those who cannot be pacified.

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[Censorship] [Grievance Process] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Coffield Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Criminal Gangs Controlling Mail and Punishing Grievers in TX

Quick update on BP 03.91 – Yesterday, while at the law library, one prisoner recently received an order of photos that had been previously banned. This happened months after our legal group filed injunctions in relation to BP 03.91 and how it arbitrary enforcement wasn’t congruent with its parameters. What is even more eye opening is how staff and administration keep taking (and breaking) property. All grievances come back with “your allegations could not be substantiated.”

Some are fighting back small. Dragging the administration through many small litigation claims will weaken their resolve on bigger ones. The grievance system is a joke. While staff continue to bully prisoners around, by throwing away their property in the shakedown, confiscating their religious items, and cutting down their eating, showering, and dayroom times. Texas prisons are becoming more and more run by inmates who utilize drug connections with officers. Recently I had a sergeant who tried to intimidate me into recanting a grievance which I wrote about prisoners passing out mail (a new “hustle” some STG’s have turned up on by holding certain mail “hostage”). When I didn’t relent, he sent one of the gang members to talk to me. How do you threaten the life of a lifer? SMH These kids don’t get get it.


MIM(Prisons) adds: As staff shortages become the excuse to abuse and deny prisoners basic necessities, we are receiving reports of prisoners being used in this manner to deliver mail, do counts, even utilizing department walky-talkies to assist staff. In the short-term this is being used to further divide the prisoner population by granting some the role of the slave catcher and granting them benefits. But this also indicates a crisis in the TDCJ that will create new opportunities as the state loses control over day-to-day operations.

The police state may prove to be over-extended if they cannot get enough Amerikans to run the machine. With pigs dying from covid-19 at higher rates due to their bad hygiene, retiring faster, and refusing to go to work in the biggest prison systems in the world, we will certainly be seeing shifts in the near future in the terrain of the U.$. criminal injustice system.

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[Release] [Drugs] [Independent Institutions] [ULK Issue 76]
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Providing What They Can't - Rehab for Releasees

lumpen education study group

Shortly after receiving this issue of Under Lock & Key, a number of USW leaders and other supporters of our work will be receiving the first edition of our Revolutionary 12 Step Program. This has been in the works for over a year now and we are excited to get it into the hands of comrades who are ready to implement the program and provide feedback.

The Revolutionary 12 Step Program is a significant advance for our Serve the People “Re-Lease on Life” Program, which has been in existence in some form from the early years of MIM(Prisons)’s existence.

Who is it for?

When most of us think of the 12 steps, we think of Alcoholics Anonymous or a more general Narcotics Anonymous program. However, our program takes an approach similar to a program called Criminals & Gangmembers Anonymous to address the anti-people behavior of the lumpen class in a more general way.

Drugs and alcohol are a big part of the problems the people face. It is estimated that at least 65% of people incarcerated have a “Substance Use Disorder”, while the number goes up to 85% if you include all who were under the influence during the crime they were convicted of.(1) That’s a lot! As recent understandings of the brain tell us, the lack of impulse control that can lead to destructive behaviors is caused by unhealthy social conditions during childhood.(2) Drug abuse will often overlap with violence towards others and other behavior that is deemed criminal by the bourgeoisie and by the people as well. In the long-term, communism can eliminate the causes of these tendencies, but in the meantime we need to address all forms of anti-people behavior to transform ourselves from a lumpen state of being to a revolutionary proletarian one.

Some people in prison are innocent. Some broke a law in a conscious decision – sometimes even for righteous political reasons. But the vast majority of you reading this broke laws through actions you would have preferred to not have taken. The vast majority of people in prison could use this program to avoid regrettable actions in the future.

All of us have rehabilitation that we must go through because we were raised in a sick society. Ultimately, everyone born in this oppressive system could benefit from our Revolutionary 12 Step Program, but many of you need it if you ever want to stay out of prison.

Why do we need it?

The state, by definition, is run by the oppressors. In our imperialist conditions today the oppressors are the bourgeoisie, the imperialists, the oppressor nations – Euro-Amerika. The institutions of the state will always serve those interests. In the current system you have law enforcement, religious organizations, private prison companies like Geo Group, and more small-time profiteers running reentry programs for the state. None of these serve the interests of the oppressed.

Today, we don’t have the influence to abolish these imperialist institutions, but we do have the influence to build independent proletarian institutions. Not only that, this is part of our central task today as a movement, “create public opinion and the independent institutions of the oppressed to seize power.”(3) We discussed previous independent institutions of the oppressed in ULK 59 on drugs.(4) Since then we’ve been working on developing our own.

One of the lessons we can take from the practice of our Re-Lease on Life Program to date is the need to address the drive to do drugs, engage in dangerous sexual activities, and the temptation of the thrill of the life of crime. We must put in its place the thrill of revolution; of fighting the real enemy; of building something new.

Before MIM(Prisons) had a Re-Lease on Life Program, we had one comrade who was one of our top theoreticians and USW leaders while in the SHU. Ey was released from prison and quickly slipped into alcoholism again. Ey stayed in touch for the first year, and then we stopped hearing from em, and ey never did any political work on the outside. At that time MIM(Prisons) had little to offer this comrade to help em adapt to life on the outside, and we certainly had nothing like a 12 step program to help em with eir alcoholism.

A story that has become too common is USW members who are released and never write us for years. When we finally do hear back from them it’s because they ended up back in prison. One such comrade recently explained:

“something I felt lack of was community. When I left the gates I went straight to a sober living…. During the time there I worked and attended A.A. meetings. I pretty much gave all my attention to my sobriety and recovery. Simultaneously my career was getting started. At this time I am getting myself situated and also enjoying my freedom, it was a really good feeling getting to move around, good food, and women…”

“I got emotionally attached to a girl that did not fulfill my needs or expectations and I became emotionally unbalanced. All it took was one instance of drugs to get high and begin my relapse. All this was in the lapse of a year. The last three months was just a chase for thrills.”

“I felt loneliness because for sobriety I left everything behind, friends, places, everything I’ve ever done, made and been. Also I felt a need for thrills, action; that was my itch for crime. I lost track of it all and I couldn’t find like-minded people.”

From the above testimony we see how sex and romance plays into this as well. We all know how common “crimes of passion” are in our society. Many of us have done time for them. This comrade wanted community and felt lonely, and seemingly tried to find that in a womyn who maybe was not in a good state herself, or maybe just couldn’t fill the large gap in this comrade’s life. The original AA puts god in that gap, a higher power. Our program puts the proletariat, the people. We will all have important individuals in our lives who help us out and other individuals who set us back. But we cannot rely on any one individual to save us, nor to meet all our needs. One of our needs is a spiritual need to be a part of something that gives us meaning. The bourgeois institutions offer you job training and maybe the prospect of a marriage. But as we see with this comrade’s story, you can attain those things and still be lonely, still not be on the path to rehabilitation. That is why we need an independent institution of the oppressed.

Another lesson we can take from this comrade, and from others, is that success will usually mean leaving behind a lot, especially at first. The easiest way to go back to prison is to go back to the same people and places you were around before you got locked up. Ultimately, our aim is not to cut you off from where you came from like a bourgeois program might do. We must stay connected to the people, and your past may offer some such connections. But those connections can only be good ones if you approach them from a new way of thinking and being. There must be a new community that you can rely on that supports your transformation into a new socialist humyn.

Even in the best case scenarios, the bourgeoisie cannot provide the support comrades need to rehabilitate. However, more often you do not end up in the best case scenario in this system as one comrade describes:

"I spent 6 years in the Drug Court program in York, PA, where a predatory judiciary, local bar, probation department (teamsters union) and suck ass ex-junkies prey on the weak and pile them 3 and 4 men to a room in some old crack house and charge them $500 per month rent plus a $500 deposit, which they would lose when they relapsed (95%) and went back to jail.

“Bless his wife-murdering heart. Bob Allen’s (Life’s Beacon House) means well and has the nicest of these houses but we can do better. The”group homes" or “recovery houses” have 3-4 month waiting lists and so do the rehabs, which county dollars are 95% of their $1000/day business. These houses are 501(c)(3) non-profits and if you start a business to employ the guys that live in these houses, it can operate non-profit too."

Next Steps

As we said, the Revolutionary 12 Step Program should address something that our Re-Lease on Life Program has been lacking for so long. But to do so, the program must be actualized. Here are some 3-year goals we have related to actualizing this program:

  • build a broader network of local contacts across the country so comrades can get more hands-on training and support from other communists

  • establish a revolutionary 12-step program, run by released comrades, where others can stay and immerse themselves in the program

  • establish satellite programs in prisons across the country that report to the program on the street, learning from each others’ experience and feeding releasees into the street program

Clearly this will require the participation of many of you to succeed. We need comrades on the outside to volunteer to be support people or sponsors for our comrades who are released. Even if you can’t administer the 12 steps, giving them someone to talk to and organize with on a daily basis will be important.

We need comrades on the inside to begin implementing this program locally. Ideal candidates will have successfully gone through the 12 step program themselves and MIM(Prisons) political study courses. And finally, we need similar people on the outside to run our program for post-release. If you think you can play any of these roles, get in touch so we can start building.

Notes:
1. Center on Addiction, Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population, February 2010.
2. Burke-Harris, Nadine, 2018, The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-term Effects of Childhood Adversity, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
3. What is the plan? What concrete actions can I take? What is to be done? What are you doing?
4. Wiawimawo, November 2017, Drugs, Money and Individualism in U.$. Prison Movement, Under Lock & Key No. 59

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[MIM(Prisons)] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 76]
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MIM(Prisons) Update: January 2022

This is your newsletter, as evidenced from the vast majority of articles, reports, poetry and artwork coming from prisoners in every issue. In the last year comrades inside really came together to support our fund drive and our distribution drive as well, and we are making steady progress on both. 2021 was a good year for us overall and we hope to build greater things in 2022, some of which are outlined in this issue of ULK.

Our MIM(Prisons) annual review meeting in December was focused on re-prioritizing tasks in order to expand our outside support base, increase subscribers inside and support the growth of a broader Maoist movement. To increase subscribers inside we’ve been slowly increasing our list of ULK distributors who receive extra copies of ULK to distribute to others in their prison. We’ve reached the point where almost 10% of the newspapers we’re sending into prisons are going to distributors, but we want to see that number much higher in 2022. If you’d like to receive extra copies of ULK to distribute let us know how many you can use and send us reports on your distribution efforts each issue.

Because of the decrease in frequency of ULK and the decrease in subscribers, we are sending less than a fifth of the number of newspapers into prisons we were sending in some years ago. The main way we think we can improve our numbers is by increasing ULK back to every other month. However, we will need to recruit much more outside support to make this happen as we are barely pulling this together every 3 months. Issue ULK 76 was almost delayed, and much work was rushed together at the last minute because we don’t have enough steady supporters.

In spring 2021 we announced we would be doing an annual Fourth of You-Lie fundraiser drive among the readers of ULK. We told you that 7 stamps would cover the cost of your 4 issues for the year. Below we’ve graphed the contributions we received from our readers in prison for the whole year. In Q1 and Q2 we removed the contributions of one particularly generous comrade who contributed over $200 in Q1 because ey was skewing our results so much. By excluding em, we see a steady growth in contributions coming in, and more importantly a steady growth of individuals sending contributions. While we welcome our comrades to send in $200 that can, it is by increasing the number of donations that we know our mass base is growing. Looking at our numbers for the last quarter of 2021, we see about 8.5% of the people receiving ULK 75 sent a donation during that quarter. While we didn’t do the math to track this over time, we believe this is probably one of the higher contribution rates we’ve ever had!

Q1 and Q2 excludes large donations from one persyn

The line on the graph above represents the number of people contributing funds over the four quarters of 2021. The bars represent the money coming in as donations or payments. (All numbers include prisoners only.) ‘Payments’ means people sending money for a specific book or document. In some cases the difference is not important. However, if we get 100 people ordering copies of the TX Pack next quarter, that would shoot up our contributions but none of that money would be going to ULK or other projects, it would just pay to print and mail TX Packs. So it’s better to see the donations portion increasing. If we look at just the donations on the graph, prisoners are covering 18% of the cost of printing ULK! This level of support will make it much easier for us to increase the frequency of ULK, but we still need outside comrades to help do the work.

We hope you will be a part of ULK’s success in the coming year by doing any of the following: donating 7 stamps or more, sharing/distributing ULK, sending in conditions reports, writing articles, creating anti-imperialist artwork and promoting MIM(Prisons) work with your contacts outside prison. Of course, ULK exists to serve the anti-imperialist prison movement, and anything you do to build that movement is why we are here.

TX Pack and book orders

For those of you who are sending payments (no checks/money orders) for books or resources, please expect about 2 months between the time you mail out your request and you receive your item. For TX Pack requests, you must pay 7 stamps or $3.50. We do not have anyone working on the TX Pack, so the 2020 edition is all we have.

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[Revolutionary History] [Civil Liberties] [Censorship] [Security] [Texas] [ULK Issue 76]
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A Message to the Movement

In the forthcoming piece We would like to point out the particular inter-connectedness of many of the enemy-states’ recent counter-offensive to Our collective progress. When We speak to ‘progress,’ we’re speaking to the strategic goal of establishing a national prison movement - a revolutionary oriented prison movement. A national revolutionary prison movement that is intrinsically connected with a national revolutionary oriented united front on the outside. In this piece We’ll attempt to illuminate to the reader that recent and present ‘security’ and censorship methods enacted by the enemy-state are indeed counter-offensives and are intrinsically inter-connected both outside and inside.

Any conscious observer will readily concede that in recent years, particularly within the prisons across the empire there has been an increase in censorship tactics. In some cases these methods border on extreme.

For all intents and purposes We can understand that the current prison movement took its first primitive steps forward towards nationalization with the hystoric hunger strikes organized in California from 2011-2013. The underlying blueprint for these actions, the Agreement to End Hostilities, showcased the way forward for many around the empire. Furthermore, and what’s harder to measure, is the amount of inspiration that those actions initiated.

We have a small window into this reality, as it has been recorded that prison officials in other states, by the advent of the third and final strike, began pleading with CDCR to settle the issues the comrades in Califas raised, as they had began dealing with similar unrest in their state’s prisons.

Here it may be necessary to pinpoint that the prison movement as We know it today didn’t begin in 2011. Rather there have been other organizations that have connected the functions of prison to the human rights movement. A notable organization is the Human Rights Coalition led by elder BLA and BPP veteran political prisoner/prisoner of war Russel Maroon Shoatz. [Rest in Power, Shoatz died on 17 December 2021, at age 78, less than 2 months after eir release from prison with cancer.] However, beginning with the Califas hunger strikes there was a substantial qualitative leap forward in both participation and interest, inside and outside countrywide.

Moving forward towards the 2016 National Prison strike; the collective action, along with its subsequent 2018 sequel, did wonders in nationalizing the Prison Human rights movement gaining corporate media attention and subsequently grasping the attention of previously uninterested parties. Some of these parties were prison officials, C.O. unions, police unions, and others intrinsically woven into the criminal injustice apparatus. Others were concerned persyns: a new generation of abolitionists began to spring up, usually deriving from the college campus sector. The spokesperson of the national prison strikes, Sis. Amani Sawari, along with imprisoned activists within key organizations like Jailhouse Lawyers Speaks, Free Alabama Movement, and many in Califas helped bring the key “Ten Demands” of the National Prison strike to the mainstream as these issues began to be debated among presidential candidates throughout 2019 and 2020.

Before We move on it is important to pinpoint here that the Prison Human Rights Movement, has had and continues to have much stratification within its ranks. The first and major stratification point derives from differences in political line surrounding the role of the movement.

Similar to the days of the Civil Rights movement, when the question of ‘non-violence’ was seen by some as a philosophical or theological commitment, while for others it was simply a tactic, one to be discarded if/when it proved un-useful. The current prison movement has many of the same components. While there are many more revolutionary oriented groups/persyns who see the success of the prison movement with the advent of voting rights, or other prison reforms. Instead many of these groups agree that prisons can not be reformed, as it is an intrinsic part of the state apparatus. These groups agree that revolutionary consciousness and commitment are the most meaningful things that can come of the prison movement.

Simultaneously, in recent years there has been an upsurge in radical activity on the outside. Much like in the prison movement there are many youthful combatants, and much decentralized activities. The fact that these movements have risen parallel among each other should not be considered a coincidence, nor should the corresponding and parallel counter-offensives be seen as unrelated coincidences.

As BlackLivesMatter and abolitionist praxis protests arose around the country, particularly in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, reactionary lawmakers (persuaded by reactionary constituents) began implementing new repressive laws to quell protest. Federal lawmakers, led by the Trump-Pence duo led the way and most states followed suit. Such laws, or rather counter-offensives, included making the blocking of traffic, as had been done repeatedly in recent years, a first degree felony. In states like Tekkk$a$ that means that such protests would be punishable with sentences of 5-99 years!

Also, in a move to revamp Black Liberation era counter-offensives, federal legislators (followed by various states) felonized crossing state boundaries to partake in protests. Some students of the movement may recall that this measure was first enacted against Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the former H. Rap Brown of SNNC, BPP, and RNA at the apex of the Black Liberation struggle.

These are only a few key examples of the criminalization of radical dissent as it pertains to those on the outside. However, C.O. unions, DOC headquarters, and various reactionaries began their countervailing efforts on radical and revolutionary forces on the inside first.

In the almost immediate aftermath of the 2016 National Prison Strike, DOC’s around the empire all began complaining of the same issue: an illusionary influx of drugs coming through the mail. Reading from the limited research materials i have in my cell, it seems that the counter-offensive attacking prisoner mail under the pretext of a major drug influx began in 2017, and the first states to initiate this offensives were Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida. States like Tekkk$a$, initiated a different sort of attack on prisoner correspondence by severely limiting indigent mail in 2015. However, relating to the “influx of drugs” ruse, many other states have since followed suit. Another related component to the attack on prisoner mail is the wide spread switchover to digitized mail services. States have begun denying all physical snail mail and mail that have implemented this repressive tactic have also by and large prevented prisoners from receiving books from “unauthorized” vendors, basically mandating that reading material be sent from a sole approved vendor.

All these measures described above are ‘on trend’ among the various states around the empire, meaning these measures are likely to be making their way to a prison near you. What We’re experiencing now is a proving ground for the state, in which they’ve been observing to see which countervailing measures will stir the masses the most, which ones will survive the initial jailhouse lawyer onslaughts.

Again, it must be understood that the major drug influx cited by (all) these state DOC’s is illusionary. That isn’t to say drugs aren’t in prison, but they’re flowing in the same frequency as prior to 2016 (national prison strike). So why now? Why suddenly the state-to-state focused attack on prisoner correspondence, and the digitizing of mail, only after 2016? The answer points to a New-COINTELPRO type program (NCTP). Part and parcel with this NCTP is the widespread, coordinated countervailing attacks against progressive and revolutionary prisoners. From Califas, Oregon, Nevada to New Mexico, Indiana to Pennsylvania; from Virginia to North Carolina, South Carolina to Florida, Alabama to Tekkk$a$, dissident prisoners are under attack. These attacks range from down right malicious assaults to poisoning of food/water supplies, from permanent solitary placement to the systemic silencing of these militants. In places like TDCJ’s Allred Unit, which Texas uses to isolate and torture political prisoners and captive journalists. They’ve employed a specialized individual, ex-military/ex-cop, to survey ‘specific inmates’ mail and book deliveries. Is it clear yet?

As the 2020 summer uprisings raged on into the late fall in some areas of the empire the Trump-Pence regime had already began laying the foundation to begin the mass warehousing of political dissidents on the outside utilizing some of the new laws mentioned above. As these protests raged on, political radicals have filled up prisons and jails around the empire. Do you all understand what this could mean for the prison movement?

The last time in movement hystory that We experienced a mass influx of militants and revolutionaries entering the prisons was during the Black Liberation era (late 1960’s into the 1970’s). Atiba Shanna, and the New Afrikan Prisoner’s Organization did a superb job illustrating the effect political prisoners entering the prisons in mass had on the already bubbling prison movement:

"As a result of the repression exercised upon the struggle taking place outside the walls in the late sixties and early seventies, leaders and activists in these struggles were captured and imprisoned. These were the political prisoners and prisoners of war. Their initial imprisonment was a result of consciously motivated political actions.

“The escalation of struggle outside the walls also resulted in a significant increase in the number of politicized prisoners already inside the walls… We can admit that the economic and socio-psychological ties that these politicized prisoners had with the oppressive system were such that they represent the most conscious element among us - the most conscious, that is, of the presently waging undeclared war between themselves and those who rule. Thus, they are the most receptive and responsive to the need to become ‘the people in uniform.’ BUT, their politicization resulted primarily from their being members of oppressed nations!” (1)

The people who are responsible for holding people in cages, and keeping us in cages, are acutely aware of the possible and very likely culture shock that is to overtake U.$. prisons that experience an influx of political radicals. Never forget that in the time frame mentioned above by Comrade Atiba, that the activities of the BLA and other similar formations eventually led to the U.$. moving to build more newer, more ‘secure,’ and high tech prisons designed to keep Our political prisoners and prisoners of war within them, and to prevent anymore political prisoners of war from arising from among the captive populace.

Therefore i concur that We’re currently experiencing such countervailing efforts by the enemy-state so that they may monitor captive militants, their networks and families (with the design to turn them into captive militants themselves) and prevent the rise of a more militant, more ideologically consolidated, more revolutionary national prison movement that is intrinsically inter-woven with a more militant, ideologically consolidated, more revolutionary outside united front.

By this point We hope it is clear that just as the prison movement and the movement on the other side of the walls have a dialectical relationship; the enemies on both sides of the wall also have a dialectical relationship, they also work together to the detriment of Our progress. As more revolutionary oriented comrades advance the national prison movement forward, repression will increase in intensity. We must begin to operate in a way that one’s struggles become all Our struggle. If comrades in one state are being overly repressed We must band together in multiple states, letting the pig power structure know “WE SEE YOU AND WE WON’T STAND FOR IT: 1LOVE 1STRUGGLE!” We must reach such a level of organization and operation, and We are on the cusp of it NOW. I encourage progressive and revolutionary captives to begin dialoging, corresponding, with each other. Seek out the means to do so. We must keep each other abreast to the local happenings from unit to unit, state to state. Comrades that is why publications like Under Lock & Key, San Francisco Bay View, and others are so important. However, We aren’t utilizing these platforms to their greatest extent if We aren’t constantly sending in reports, articles, informing other comrades on what’s happening. And We must also begin to support these institutions more effectively as a whole. I challenge all ULK subscribers to raise at least 10 stamps to mail to MIM(Prisons)! Which state can raise the most funds? TX where ya’ll at!? Those 10 stamps can go a long way towards prisoner organizing and educational efforts.

RE-BUILD TO WIN

1. Notes from a New Afrikan P.O.W. journal #1 by Atiba Shanna

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What Are Prisons For? Should we send Rittenhouse and the McMichaels there?

Sadly far too many people who should know better believe that a sign of “equal justice” would be if Kyle Rittenhouse was housed in the empty cell down the tier from me. Additionally far too many people actually felt and argued that a sign of the system working was the guilty verdict given to the McMichaels for killing Ahmaud Arbery. However i wonder what exactly such people believe happens when these people are in fact placed into prison. Do people believe these people would share the same experiences as someone from the semi-colonies? Do they believe these people will be subjected to the same level of brutality from the state or its representatives? Do they believe this is “rehabilitation”?

i’ve even heard far too many people state that these people should not even be given bourgeois rights while going through the courts. Such people obviously believe in amerikkkan “democracy” and only aim to put and keep their people in power specifically through the Democratic Party where they can use the levers of bourgeois civil society to dominate* the Republican Party. This is vengeance against the Amerikan bourgeoisie’s political party by another - not justice and definitely not revolutionary. We should condemn this at every turn.

2020 was lost because spontaneity dominated instead of actual consciousness. Lenin stated in 1900 that the “spontaneity of the masses demands a high consciousness from us.” Another obvious failure was the failure of analysis of what amerikkka’s capitalism-imperialism is and who her citizens are and their relationship to this specific form of late capitalism-imperialism. Had this been done there would’ve been less talk of trying to stuff a true history lesson down the settler-colonist throats as if this would make them see the light and instead teaching this history to New Afrikans, First Nations, Raza, API and receptive whites with an emphasis on self-determination struggles, self-reliance, anti-imperialism and internationalism. A proper class analysis would’ve concluded there’s no real opposition to capitalism-imperialism (in 2020) and most amerikans benefit from this system. The people protesting, thinking pigs would be or should be neutral, while their system was under attack; that they would not welcome vigilantes and even thank them were foolish. If any one was surprised at all by how that night played out, regardless of the Rittenhouse verdict, they need to go back to the ABC’s of amerikkkan history (maybe Critical Race Theory would’ve helped them).

Not only should we not root for U$A injustice system even against our enemies**, we should denounce bourgeois criminal behavior, not just gangsterism but even in protests. We are not terrorists nor do we believe in focoism or anarchy. We advocate revolutionary consciousness. We do not lead the people to slaughter. We gather forces or at least sympathy for revolution.

What are prisons for? We know all too well about the school-to-prison-pipeline and who this is designed for. We know we are considered surplus-population and prison acts as a social tool to keep idle people idle. We also know that amerikkkans are infatuated with law and order (and punishment). We know amerikkkans rest assured when its carceral system locks people away for 40 or 50 years for whatever crime…we know amerikkka does not bat an eye at such abuses. In fact immediately after Rittenhouse’s GoFundMe page successfully got him acquitted Vice President Harris professed her role as top-cop in California was to make the system more “equitable” and his acquittal means there’s obviously “more work to be done”. Again, but what are prisons for? Rittenhouse should go inside a box (for obviously many, many years), get old and then be judged (by a specific faction of the bourgeois dictatorship - the democrats**) to see if it’s enough years gone by. This is the only purpose prison in bourgeois society serves so what kind of people advocate such a thing?

Even in prison it’s not well known what prison is used for. Not only that, even in prison bourgeois mentality is prevalent and ubiquitous… We sit in cages like animals. We are psychologically tortured, sexually humiliated, manipulated and harassed. We must fight for outside contact, safety, humanity and freedom but a majority of captives sit around in their assigned boxes and literally direct their anger and future violence at other captives. Not just that but rebellion against our circumstances and capture is far too often shunned. Revolution even in hell isn’t automatic. Bourgeois society will go down as the most adaptable. When almost everyone has a price how could it not?

When i hear “lock em up” or that “justice” was served i know for sure i’m in the midst of enemies. i know such people deep down believe i’m exactly where i should be. Revolutionaries cannot parrot Jesse Jackson, Alicia Garza, Amy Goodman or anyone else’s call to “lock em up.” Let’s leave that to Trump and Clinton and all the other enemies of the revolution. Instead let’s learn how to protect each other starting with a proper class analysis. True political consciousness going into 2022 must start from the empire’s utter success in buying off all but a small percent of its population and the knowledge that this demand and lame-ass attempt to take over the bourgeois system “from the inside” with this pro-police imperialism, pro-FBI socialism, anti-revolution revolutionaries is worse than a joke.

Salutes to TX Team One, FPC, Republic of Aztlán, and the entire USW,

NA Struggle RL NAIM CA-MLM

*Obviously if this had the potential to advance anti-imperialism in any way it is to be considered but we will not first exploit internal contradictions between the capitalist then as a response to this build our forces. No, there must first be a revolutionary force to galvanize otherwise it’s just more imperialism and pro-imperialism.

**It would have to be Democrats because Republicans believe this was just.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrade’s focus on building our forces, building anti-imperialism, building movements for self-determination. As we say on page 2 of every Under Lock & Key, we have a different solution to the bourgeois prison system and that is proletarian justice. We distribute the book Prisoners of Liberation about Amerikan spies in a Chinese socialist prison that we use as a starting point for how prisons can be used to serve the people and give everyone the resources to reform and contribute positively to society.

But implementing pro-people rehabilitation on a mass scale is a ways off for us in this country. And we agree with our comrade here that these calls for “justice” are the battlefield of bourgeois politicians. If Rittenhouse was given a long prison term, that would only increase the chances of him becoming the Nazi that he has been branded already in the media; an indication of what these bourgeois prisons actually do. There are class enemies, and both sides will use force against their class enemies. But we must first build proletarian institutions, before we can implement proletarian justice.

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