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Under Lock & Key

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[Drugs] [Economics] [COVID-19] [Prison Labor] [ULK Issue 73]
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LETTERS: Profits, Taxes, Investing, Fundraising and Weed

Capitalism in Smoke

A Kansas Prisoner: I would like to comment on an article by Wiawimawo (August 2019) concerning Tulsi Gabbard, prison labor, and drug decriminalization.

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.

Notes:
1. MIM(Prisons) on U.$. Prison Economy - 2018 Update, Under Lock & Key No. 60.
2. Juliet Chung, 31 January 2021, Melvin Capital lost 53% in January, Hurt by GameStop and Other Bets, The Wall Street Journal.
3. Vial Monga, 21 January 2021, Jay-Z Fund to Help Minority-Owned Cannabis Businesses, The Wall Street Journal.

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[Theory] [Gender] [United Front] [ULK Issue 73]
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A Hint of Homophobia in Last Issue

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:

  1. 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!

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 73]
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Fallen (The Empire)

The imperialist capitalist
World super-power; Amerikkka must fall
This bourgeois country don’t deserve
2 stand tall
Not when it was established on slavery
And built on the dressed up lie of equality
Somethan’ it can not live up 2 today
In the face of mass modern-day inequality
And mass incarceration
Which is nothan’ more than modern-day slavery
Come on my people wake-up
Wake up my people
And I’m not just talkin’ about Black people
No
I’m talkin’ about the common man and woman
All of humanity
Don’t you see that We are destroyin’ the planet
On top of that
We are bein’ exploited by the global elite
Got-damn-it
The proletariat of this imperialist
Capitalist world superpower-Amerikkka
Are you and me
The poverty-stricken common man and woman
On our backs stand this unjust country
Just as all things that goes up
It 2 must
Shall fall
Just watch and see
The empire is fallin’
The empire is fallin’
No
The empire has fallen
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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 74]
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Rage On

I’m a fan of literal and biblical hell
But I’m not a fan of people getting tortured to tell
Is it because I’m a Moslem that they feed me the wrong foods
Or can I say in Jesus’ name to make Jehovah say I do
She speaks better English than me yet she’s not an Amerikkkan
Maybe because the only citizens are the Ku Klux Klan
How can a European call home this land on the Northern shores
When the first inhabitants were the Natives and the Moors
Columbus didn’t really find this land empty
And George Washington didn’t really chop down a cherry tree
Columbo found this land full of “savages” he say
And that cherry tree was the flag of the Moors of today
I wonder will this be said amongst the People
And when will the New Afrikan be considered equal
I sit here contemplating hour by hour
And when I “Rage” against the system I yell Black Power
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[Aztlan/Chicano] [Youth] [Abuse] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 73]
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A Silence Haunts Occupied Aztlán

communism liberates kids from imperialist cages

In the United Snakes of Amerikkka there is an eerie silence surrounding the most grotesque reality of today within the borders of this imperialist settler colonial nation. A silence similar to the one on that cold night in Germany on the 9th of November, 1938, known as Kristallnacht. This silence is different however because unlike that night otherwise known as the “night of broken glass,” this silence encompasses both day and night seamlessly and seemingly endlessly. This silence protects the interests of a select few in power. It protects them from having to answer for the chaos they created outside these arbitrary borders against the survivors of Amerikkkan imperialism by separating the families in custody of the criminal Amerikkkan state. I’m talking about the children in cages.

We’re talking about traumatizing the youth of colonized nations in modern day concentration camps. Like in the concentration camps for “amerikkkan citizens” there is no shred of dignity provided. No recognition of humanity. The magnitude of crimes actually perpetrated by these agents of fascism is unknown. Occasionally a whistleblower will receive a small slot on the evening news to highlight a particular abuse. Hollow promises of change from the settler government followed by silence from the settler masses are soon to come with a distraction here or there to qualm concerns of the still inquisitive.

The European settler seeks to soothe the colonized revolutionary demands in order to settle for reform. So it’s no surprise then when fundamentally nothing changes in the system which perpetuates these horrors. Many who are conscious of said horrors and who claim to be serving the “best interests” of the people are quick to co-opt anything that sounds remotely revolutionary. Democrats or Republicans, Coke or Pepsi, both are toxic formulas made by the colonizers to extract profit from the oppressed colonized people while simultaneously killing them slowly.

Even amongst those who call themselves “the radical left” there’s barely a shred of concern sustained outside of a shareable post on social media. When hysteria breaks out over a single incident millions are quick to interject with an opinion. When over 2.3 million people are incarcerated and enslaved it’s just business as usual. When over 70,000 children are jailed it’s justified to “protect the borders” from Raza fleeing chaos started by those in power within these same borders.

We are all prisoners of war, some of us are politicized prisoners but we all remain at war whether we wish to be or not. Whether we are surrounded by concrete towers, riflemen overhead, or kept in line by terrorists with badges in the barrio. Make no mistake the poor and colonized are at war. They will justify incarnating the “Gangster” or the “Cholo.” They will say that we had “opportunities” but simply made the wrong choices. They will have us believing that we are the problem. Just like they told our ancestors as they burnt our sacred texts and destroyed our highly developed societies. They will teach us of salvation in white Jesus. They will teach us that we may face peril here on earth as slaves to the colonizer but in reality we should be grateful because those same colonizers brought us european religion that will give us everlasting life and a kingdom of riches in the afterlife!

I have a cousin named Jesus but he is brown and I can tell you I have never met a white Jesus. I’m even less concerned with riches in an afterlife when we all are subjected to poverty here in this one. The fact is that we are not the problem. We only had opportunities to betray our nation and class. We were taken from the womb to the tomb. Our sentence was handed out before we even opened our eyes to see the devastation that Amerikkka has brought to the world.

They can fabricate lies about us, but when it comes obtaining a respiratory infection in ICE custody, this is the greatness United Snakes of Amerikkka aims to return to. The “great” genocide of all the poor Brown and Black people unfortunate enough to be “discovered.” Thousands of recorded cases of little girls being sexually assaulted in ICE facilities with untold more numbers growing daily are being told it’s going to be okay because Amerikkka is a Pepsi nation now and Coca Cola is in retreat. Joe is in office and the orange man is out! If we are being honest with ourselves and true to the plight of those traumatized children though. We all know that the shackles which bind us all together on this sinking ship won’t be unlocked by the same person who put us in them. As for the impotent left that is silent to our suffering and the suffering of our children in cages. Break the silence with the sound of marching feet or be tread upon by the roar of history’s feet stomping over the indigent rulers of yet another decaying social order.

Free the children!

Free them all!

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[New Afrika] [Black Lives Matter] [Campaigns] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 73]
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Da Struggle Continues: We Still Charge GENOCIDE!!!

Down with Imperialism! And Power to New Afrika!

3 K.A.G.E. warriors
K.A.G.E. Universal charges genocide against New Afrikans by the U.$. imperialists.

Clenched fist salute to all revolutionary New Afrikans! This coming October 2021, the United Nations(U.N.) will host the 2021 International Tribunal. At this tribunal many of Our countrymen/wimmin along with supporters will AGAIN charge the United Snakes government with committing genocide against Our New Afrikan nation before the world ‘court’ and denouncing them for their treatment of political prisoners and prisoners of war(PP/POWs).

This action comes on the 70th anniversary of the petition presented to the U.N. General Assembly in 1951 charging the U.S. with genocide against Our people. William L. Patterson, one of the original petitioners, also wrote a book based on the experience entitled, We Charge Genocide. Subsequently, in 1977, the New Afrikan Prisoner Organization wrote an essay entitled, “We still Charge Genocide,” to illustrate, among other things, that the genocide still continues.

We did not choose to scribe this brief piece as a news brief, to merely inform comrades of what other comrades are up to. Rather, We scribe this piece to discuss the significance of this tribunal and to also pinpoint the direction Our nation is going.

Significance: In any and all forms of struggle the effectiveness and significance of one’s tactics and strategies are dependent upon the conditions or circumstances therein. The current direction of the mass front of the ‘Movement for Black Lives’, and ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the like, has the nationalist tendency of Our people in a very subordinate position. As such it is paramount that a wide variety of movement media cover and disseminate the Tribunal and the events and discourse around it. It is extremely significant that representatives of Our Nation are expounding upon Our national reality on an international arena, and furthermore, it is important that younger activists witness a new form or avenue in struggle in this democratic stage of our liberation movement.

Some, in fact, have not witnessed us as a people claim and expound upon Our national identity as New Afrikans and the treatment We receive when captured as political prisoners and prisoners of war, and while acting in the capacity as politicized prisoners once in captivity. Some youths haven’t witnessed revolutionary nationalism take a center stage or act in what many deem as significant capacity, and thus we’ve been seen by many of the current generation activist as insignificant. This Tribunal CAN begin to shift those perceptions, as more of our people begin to view Our struggle in the light of the colonized nation struggling for its independence, and when those among us act in accord with the mandate to FREE THE LAND!!! We’re subsequently treated as any ‘enemy combatant’ of imperialism is around the globe. The difference being, that this is all hidden from the mass majority of the public within the empire and abroad.

Direction: As we struggle ahead it is a must that We, the revolutionary New Afrikans, understand and propagate the just cause of our liberation struggle in a way that links the genocidal acts of the empire, which we’ve resisted, fought, and will continue to wage war against until our goal is met, along with the reality that the carrying out of genocide is a prerequisite for occupation and imperialism. By this We mean that imperialism IS genocide!

Many incorrectly picture genocide as a single event; that a genocide must require a machivallian individual orchestrating the industrial murders of human beings for a delusional/cynical end goal. Rather, genocide is a process that evolves and moves and intensifies. Genocide is like all other social and natural phenomena in this regard. As such, genocide is one word that encapsulates the many symptoms of OUR national subjugation under U.S. imperialism. Furthermore, as articulated by the Spear & Shield Collective, We must COMBAT GENOCIDE! And this slogan encapsulates the direction we all must take collectively as conscious New Afrikan nationals.

We can/must combat this genocide in a multi-faceted manner. Creating community watch squads that can hamper police terrorism is one way of combating genocide. Building revolutionary base areas within and without the national territory is combating genocide. Establishing Black squads within those base areas supplanting the old parasitic lumpen orgs with them is combating genocide. In terms of Us behind the walls, mitigating acts of street organization warfare amongst different lumpen organizations within Our one nation is combating genocide. Practicing and promoting a New revolutionary way of doing and saying everything, as to go about breaking the cycle. Educating on health and nutrition practices is a way to combat genocide. Convert your ‘gang’ into a revolutionary vehicle.

As u can imagine there are many ways to combat the genocide of our nations. We are to keep this in mind as we go about our duties, that in all we do we do it to combat genocide, which is combating imperialism. CLENCH FIST

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[Censorship] [Campaigns] [COVID-19] [High Desert State Prison] [Nevada] [ULK Issue 73]
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A Call to Action for Nevada Prisoners

The Nevada Department of Corrections, under Director Charles Daniels and his pet warden, Calvin Johnson, at High Desert State Prison, have, since their arrival, waged an all out war against Nevada’s prisoners. This includes illegal theft and misappropriation of prisoners’ money under the guise of Marsy’s law (money which is still unaccounted for), to the ban on prisoners’ access to visits, chapel, yard, law library, or tier, under the premise of safety concerns over COVID-19. Meanwhile prisoners are still required to work in unsafe and crowded warehouses, kitchens, etc. as if COVID-19 does not target workers.

These same criminals also committed the crime of biological warfare when they knowingly ordered prisoners to work while 15 of them had recently tested positive for COVID-19 but were left unaware of their status. This was used as a way to spread COVID-19 throughout the prison more quickly. This was, by definition, a criminal act!

And now, while prisoners are fighting to get access to visits, chapel, yard, law library, and tier (since the only time they are out of their cell is when working, or their 30 minutes to shower or use of the kiosk, or phone when permitted) these criminals have taken another action to attack prisoners’ rights.

Starting 1 February 2021, High Desert State Prison will implement O.P. 750 mail procedure as outlined in Warden’s Bulletin #21-07. This revised operational procedure is an unconstitutional attack against our right to communicate and be informed.

In effect this new operational procedure mandates the following.

  1. All incoming mail must be in a 4” x 9.5” white envelope written in black or blue ink only. If the mail received is not written in black or blue ink on the envelope, the mail will be returned to sender.
  2. All letters and correspondence within the envelope must be written in black or blue ink. Any other colors will be returned to sender.
  3. Any mail or correspondence received that is scented with perfume and oils will be returned to sender.
  4. Any letter received with drawings and markings that is not from the letter manufacturer will be returned to sender.
  5. Any letter received that are stained or discolored will be returned to sender.
  6. Greeting cards will not be accepted. All greeting cards received will be returned to sender.
  7. Inmates will not receive the original copy of letters and envelopes being received with the exception of legal mail. All letters and envelopes received will be scanned and handed out to the appropriate inmate. Note: the legal mail procedure will remain the same.
  8. If the inmate name is not properly spelled, the inmate identification number is not noted, the senders name/address is missing, the mail will be returned to sender.
  9. If there is writing on the back of a photo sent through mail, the writing must be written in black or blue ink.
  10. After all mail is scanned and distributed to the inmate population, the mail will be properly disposed of.
  11. All magazines and newspapers received must come from an established approved publisher.
  12. Pamphlets and anything copied off the internet will be rejected with the exception of pamphlets received through religious services.

This new operational procedure (O.P.) is the latest in a long line of attacks against prisoner rights and protections since Director Daniels and Warden Johnson have taken on their duties. This O.P. is unconstitutional and deserves challenge.

First, in order to restrict prisoners’ Constitutional rights, the state must show how the restriction is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest. We do not believe that they can. The fact that prisoners are not receiving the physical letters/envelopes themselves, any act or restriction that bars or bans letters for scent, markings, drawings, stains, etc. cannot be in furtherance of a legitimate concern. Thus, we believe a legitimate argument can be made that these restrictions are arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Second, both the sender and receiver of mail/publications must be notified that censorship occurred as well as the reason censorship occurred. They must also give each party a chance to challenge the censorship. This is a very clear due process issue.

Third, we believe that a reasonable argument against the disposal of mail without due process is that the mail itself is the prisoner’s property, thus protected by due process.

Fourth, denying all pamphlets and internet copies have already been ruled unconstitutional.

Fifth, restricting all magazines and newspapers to established approved publishers poses a serious threat as it will ultimately be used to ban inmates access to materials and publications that the prison does not wish to enter the facility, such as Turning the Tide, Revolution, The Abolitionist, Black and Pink, Prison Legal News, Under Lock and Key, and other such publications. While “publisher only” restrictions have been upheld, rules which outright ban or deny publications have been ruled unconstitutional.

We are fighting this new attack, as we are fighting others. We are calling on all prisoners within the NDOC to fight for their families and friends, abolitionists, prisoner rights groups, and others, to stand up for NDOC prisoners and call for the resignation or firing of Director Charles Daniels and Warden Calvin Johnson.

Prisoners must utilize the grievance process, friends and families, or anyone else who wishes to help must call or write Governor Steve Sisolak or write Director Daniels - 5500 Snyder Rd. Carson City, NV 89702, and or Warden Johnson P.O. Box 1050 Indian Springs, NV 89070.

All Power to the People.

Let your voices be heard.

MS1 and MS26 - Revolutionary Front - NV

Caselaw: Turner v. Safley 482 U.S. 78.89. 107 S.Ct. 2254(1987) Lindell v. Frank 377 F.3d 655 659-60 (7th Cir 2004) Allen v. Coughlin 64 F.3d 77. 80 (2d Cir 1995) Williams v. Brimeyer 116 F.3d 351 (8th cir 1997) Procunier v. Martinez 416 U.S.396. 94 S.Ct 1800 Krug v. Lutz 329 F.3d 692.696-97. (9th cir 2003) Thornburgh v. Abbott 490 U.S. 401, 414-19 (1989) Juchlovich vs Simmons 392 F.3d 420 (10th Cir 2004) Montcalm Publ’g Corp. v. Beck, 80 F.3d 105, 109-110 (4th Cir 1996) Murphy v. Missourri Dep’t of Corr. 372 F.3d 979, 986 (8th Cir 2004) Clement v. California Dep’t of Corrections 364 F.3d 1148 (9th Cir 2004) Prison Legal News v. Lehman 397 F.3d 692. 699-700 (9th Cir 2005) Green v. Ferrell 801 F.2d 765, 772 (5th Cir 1986) Mann v. Smith 796 F.2d 79 82-83 (5th Cir 1986) Van Cleave v. U.S. 854 F.2d 82, 84 (5th cir 1988)

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[Black Lives Matter] [Civil Liberties] [Police Brutality] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 73]
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Resistance to Killer Cops Tireless in Minnesota

burning cop car

Weeks into the Derek Chauvin trial, protests in Brooklyn City, Minnesota were set off by the shooting of 20-year-old New Afrikan Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. The pig who shot him claims she thought she had pulled her taser. People braved the snow and freezing temperatures night after night, resisting the curfew that was put in place by the fascist pigs. They chanted “fuck the police!” and “fuck your curfew!” as cops shot tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds of hundreds to thousands of people.

As we go to press, the pig who killed George Floyd has been charged with 2nd degree murder. Derek Chauvin assassinated Floyd on 25 May 2020 by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

This verdict doesn’t change the fact that over 1,100 people were killed by pigs outside of prison in 2020, and that that is consistent with previous years. Of those, 121 were pulled over for mere traffic violations like Daunte Wright. New Afrikans were 28% of those killed in 2020, despite being only 13% of the population. In cities like Chicago and Minneapolis, New Afrikans were killed by cops at over 20 times the rate of whites for 2013-2020. In that same period, no cops were charged in 98.3% of killings.(1) While this data may be incomplete, behind prison walls this information is even more hidden. United Struggle from Within reminds our readers that Prisoners’ Lives Matter too, despite being excluded from these statistics on murders by so-called “peace” officers.

In May 2020, George Floyd’s murder righteously struck a nerve in many people both in the United $tates and internationally. This lead to a great awakening in international consciousness and exposed some heavy contradictions concerning capitalism-imperialism and its facade of democracy and human rights. We were shown that it is a dictatorship, and just like all other political systems, its state representatives are only there to uphold and enforce its class interests.

One of the most inspiring consequences of the killing of George Floyd is how this is so relatable to so much of the world’s oppressed communities and how so many of them not only showed their support for New Afrikans in North America but used this as a catalyst to confront their own bourgeois dictatorships. Just last month, Victoria Salazar of El Salvador was killed by Mexican police by a knee pressing her neck into the ground similar to George Floyd. In response, wimmin across the country took to the streets, marching, performing street theatre and sometimes clashing with police. Feminists protested both the rate of femicide in the region as well as the militarized border patrols and policing that create the conditions for killings like Salazar’s; tracing it back to U.$. imperialism.

Even the bourgeoisie in China criticized how the United $tates polices its Black population, saying, “Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States.”(2)

Despite these connections, the death of Mr. Floyd had little chance of galvanizing itself to confront the U.$. bourgeois dictatorship or threaten its rule. A few officers were scapegoated. One will be doing prison time. And all Democrats and Republicans unanimously joined to denounce the officer’s actions. Western imperialism was quick to send out its talking heads and the Democratic Party to corral the people back into bourgeois confines and to let the system administer the appropriate “justice” through its judicial process. Then $27 million was given to the family in a very public and biased way which could be a sign and another way to placate the people. Sadly, Biden and the Democrats have largely won over much of the “allies” of the oppressed and New Afrikans in particular. A recent poll said that immediately after the uprising 60% said at least one pig “murdered” George, now it’s only 36%, which is just a sign of how fickle and amorphous even “talk” of discontent for how capitalism-imperialism treats the “other,” and how quick much of Amerikkka wants to get back to business, ie. back to normal.(3)

The trial of Derek Chauvin was captivating. Many people, from many backgrounds actually cared and tried to help George Floyd. Sadly, even in the rare occasion when they are given prison time, none of the pigs will be reformed. We know this because our own comrades who do want to serve the people are not given any resources to reform in the current prison system. This should only add to the list of reasons why capitalism-imperialism must go not why we need to give it yet one more chance, or worst still “push Biden further to the left.”

All comrades should be using their voice to build the anti-imperialist united front and demanding class suicide from all oppressed communities and justice-loving people in this country. It is real in the field, fascism is no longer a misnomer. There are very large swaths of the country who would love nothing more. The kid who murdered the two protestors in Kenosha received $2 million in donations, which just shows you what Amerikkkans think of the cries of its oppressed citizens, and also what it thinks of its right-wing vigilantes. Meanwhile Florida just passed a fascist bill that allows felony charges for protestors for “rioting,” including up to 15 years for those who damage or desecrate an historical monument. Meanwhile it protects Amerikans who assault or kill protestors with a deadly weapon (an automobile), a form of fascist vigilantism that has grown in recent years. Then you have the recent voting rights bills, such as in Georgia, to stop people from voting. This is a real crisis within the bourgeois empire itself on how to rule; whether oppressed nations are allowed to vote, or even to exist.

Mao said the basic law of dialectical-materialism is the unity of opposites. The primary contradiction in imperialism is the oppressed nations against the oppressor nations. Mao also said two cannot combine into one. Only revolution and a seizure of the state apparatus by the oppressed will ultimately transform this contradiction, yet we can and should be working to transform all aspects of the contradiction short of revolution we can in preparation for that time.

Amerikkka, or any First World nation, has no right to deny anyone a share of its ill-gotten spoils. We should not get caught up in the “lock-him-up” hysteria of this trial and instead demand and support a true united front against this system and expose it as an utter failure. We should be supporting the First Nations call of welcome to their cousins from South and Central America and those from the global south. The imperialists should not have undermined their governments and resources. We should be uniting with the Asian and Pacific Islander peoples’ struggles against national oppression, especially now, and welcoming them to the table (we’ve sure missed them and need them).

Studying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, applying dialectical materialism and historical materialism, building a new culture using the method of analysis and synthesis to critique and transform this gangster culture and “bourgeois” criminal mentality into a revolutionary one, building independent institutions to protect ourselves and avoid state repression and even exposure as much as possible and effecting both the quality and quantity of these contradictions amongst the people and the enemy.

There is nothing in the world but matter in motion and our current social contradictions must be exploited by real materialists. We are living through an historic moment, things are certainly in motion, and we must affect the direction they move in. If we dare recognize our collective enemy and transform our petty bourgeois “wanna-be” gangsta mentality into one that is at least sympathetic to the revolutionary process we can really change and exploit these contradictions so they are more favorable to us.

notes: 1. mappingpoliceviolence.org
2. China’s Warning to Biden, 21 March 2021, The Wall Street Journal.
3. Jordan Williams, 5 March 2021, Poll:Number who think George Floyd’s death was murder down more than 20 percent, The Hill.

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[Police Brutality] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [ULK Issue 73]
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13-Year-Old Mexican Lumpen Youth Executed by a Chicago Pig

Adam Toledo body cam photo with hands up
Body cam footage shows Adam Toledo with his hands up just before
being shot and killed by Chicago police.

On 29 March 2021 around 3:00AM, a 13-year-old lumpen Mexican youth named Adam Toledo was murdered by the pigs of the Chicago Police Department. Before the murder, around 2:30 AM, the Chicago Police Department’s ShotSpotter technology - a privately owned surveillance system which monitors gunshots primarily in oppressed nation lumpen areas of Chicago(1) – detected a number of gunshots on the West Side of Chicago. Specifically, the shots were said to have come from the predominantly Chicano/Mexican migrant neighborhood of “Little Village.”(2) Alongside the crime scene was Toledo’s associate Roman Ruben, and an Amerikan Chicago pig named Eric Stillman who pulled the trigger at 13 year old Adam.(3) After Adam unarmed himself, the pig immediately shot Adam in the chest – killing him instantly.

The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, and other bureaucrats of the city government, have played a massive role in covering up this extrajudicial killing of an oppressed nation youth. The recent uprisings in regards to the murder of George Floyd and other murders of New Afrikans by Amerikan pigs seemed to have made quite an impression on the imperialists and the comprador bourgeoisie of the oppressed nations. With the lead up to the release of the body cam footage, every pig in Chicago has had its days off cancelled. The pigs of the CPD has claimed this has been for the “public safety” of Chicago. Us Maoists know that what they really want is security, not “public safety.” It will be the oppressed nation lumpen who will have to take on the responsibilities of creating safety and most importantly, peace among the masses. The New Afrikan comprador Mayor Lightfoot has also stated: “Let us not forget that a mother’s child is dead. Siblings are without their brother. And this community is again grieving.”(4) It’s ironic how the comprador reminds the masses that the masses are grieving! The mayor seems to be saying that political criticisms of oppression and brutality are inappropriate during times of profound tragedies. With regards to this attitude, we tell our readers that tragedies don’t exist isolated from their surroundings, and there are material political-economic reasons as to why these murders of oppressed nation youth by pigs happen in our society.

The Pig’s POV and the Reactionary Apologia

After the deployment of all Chicago pigs – and the cynical concern of comprador Mayor Lightfoot – the body cam video has been released on April 15th after calls to release the footage by the Mexican/Chicano community and the parents of Adam Toledo. The footage shows the pig running towards Adam yelling at him to stop and to show him his hands. As Adam raised his hands, the cop immediately fired his weapon and the bullet hit his chest. Adam drops to the ground and the pigs call for medical back up stating that shots have been fired by police. (5)

The usual discourse and apologia surrounding cop killings started to roll in amongst the Amerikans and their reactionary lapdogs: “the cop was most likely scared”; “the 13 year old had a gun”; and “it’s sad what happened, but the 21-year-old Roman Ruben who manipulated Adam is the real villain.”

What Amerikans and their lapdogs forget to remember is this: Amerika waged war against the oppressed nations. This war might have not been stated by the president as the war against New Afrikans, Chican@s, and the oppressed nations in word verbatim but a war has been waged nevertheless. The thin masking of this war by calling it a war against “drugs” or war against “crime” is not the issue. So with that being cleared up, we respond to these apologias with a question: did you expect your enemies of war to fight with sticks and stones? Of course the people you waged war against will have a gun. The assumption that pig Eric Stillman was feeling scared contradicts the claims made against Adam and Roman as criminals deserving of punishment. Adam probably felt scared as well running away from one of the most dangerous pig forces in the United $tates. Adam and Roman surely felt scared growing up in the West Side of Chicago being of oppressed nation origins. Should every wrong doing of Adam and Roman be just swept away then? Us Maoists say that with politicization and rehabilitation, people like Adam and Roman (oppressed nation lumpen youth) are some of the best positioned to become revolutionary and overthrow this system that arises violence and crime in the first place. What historical duties do cops like Eric Hillman serve? To defend and serve the security of imperialism and capitalism.

The ALKQN Strikes Back: Fact or Propaganda?

In the midst of all this, Adam’s affiliation with the Lumpen Organization (L.O.) the Almighty Latin King/Queen Nation(ALKQN) has surfaced. Sources from ALKQN associates and other L.O. affiliates’ social media posts have referred to him as “Bvby Diablo” and “Lil Homicide.”(6) The ALKQN has a long history of revolutionary political organizing, and even working with Maoists.(7) While transforming the entire ALKQN to a revolutionary vanguard has been unsuccessful and ultimately a failure, new projects and dedicated comrades have arose from the campaign of Latin Kings work with MIM such as the Noble Young Lords Party.(8)

Days after Adam was killed, the pigs in Chicago issued an “officer safety alert.” The CPD’s narcotics unit have heard that factions within the ALKQN on the Southwest side of Chicago have issued an order to their members to shoot at unmarked Chicago police vehicles.(9) This has raised another discourse of whether violence is justified, and sparked as ammo for the reactionaries’ justifying pig Eric Stillman’s crime.

This author believes that the ALKQN is completely capable of making these threats, and also completely capable of shooting at unmarked police vehicles. If these threats were made, and the actions carried out, we only condemn the act of making military offenses at the enemy while not being able to defend the masses from retaliation by the pigs. As we stated before, the masses will pay for the adventurist errors of leaders.(10) What we also want to highlight, however, is that it is just as much a possibility this information has been disseminated by the pigs to cause provocation amongst the Chican@/Mexican L.O.s of Chicago. We advise our readers with a call for discipline during these times when contradictions heighten. Romantic attacks towards the enemy can only do so much, and the consequences of raids and military occupation are not worth the lumpen romance.

Notes: 1. Matt Finn, January 2018, “ShotSpotter technology makes dent in Chicago’s crime - but raises privacy concerns,” Fox News
2. ABC, April 2021, “What we know about the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo,” ABC News
3. Ibid.
4. Christine Fernando, April 2021, “Prosecutors allege 13-year-old had a gun when he was shot by Chicago police: What we know,” Yahoo News
5. Chicago Sun Times, April 2021, “Police body-cam footage released of the fatal shooting of Adam Toledo,” Youtube
6. Parwinder Sandhu, April 2021, “Adam Toledo Was Part of Latin Kings Gang? Boy was Called ‘Lil Homicide’ and ‘Bvby Diablo’ on Social Media,” International Business Times
7. Mississippi Prisoner, August 2015, “Freedom Fighter: Latin King Leaders,” ULK No. 47
8. Pablo Pueblo, April 2005, “NYLP Political Compendium Manual,” prison censorship.info
9. Frank Main, April 2021, “Gang members ‘instructed’ to shoot at police vehicles after Adam Toledo shooting, cops warned”, Chicago Sun Times
10. Greyhound, July 2020, “On the Tragic Death of Secoriea Turner,” ULK No. 71

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[Culture] [ULK Issue 73]
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Cancel Imperialist Culture

I was watching TMZ on the tell-a-lie-vision before chow time and they was speaking on how publishers will cease publishing six of Dr. Seuss’s books for racist depictions of lumpen and Third World peoples. Charles and Harvey were speaking on how the culture has changed from fifteen years ago where these books were acceptable in the public opinion, but now in this “Cancel Culture” where everyone has a “high sensitivity of social consciousness” and is on the assault on anything offensive to race or gender, etc. Charles and Harvey pose the question of where we’ll be fifteen years from now? But what I have to ask is, are we just getting into the age of ‘Cancel Culture’ or have we always been here?

Now this ‘Cancel Culture’ is what we been viewing for the past four years at least. Where celebrities, directors and individuals in the U.$. political arena end up getting their whole careers and lives stopped for acts like sexual harassment, racist statements or acts (old or new photos and videos) being exposed to the public and the public being in a state of outrage. But the lumpen and Third World proletariat have always been in a “Cancel Culture” and the reason is only because the imperialist/capitalists would rather live in luxury off the labor of the Third World proletariat, instead of living to make it equal for all peoples and folks to meet their needs which will be a state of socialism.

Now in this “Cancel Culture” season or era, is imperialism/capitalism or the RAPE of the lumpen and Third World proletariat going to end? How it looks like to me, we still have a long way to go. It amazes me that individuals are shocked about the Royal family tripping out on how dark the skin tone of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son would be, or how the royal family wasn’t going to give Archie the title of prince or a security force surrounding him. Oh, you thought that the Mother of Imperialism and Capitalism, the main country that colonized the world and titled their territories the “Commonwealth,” would be as ‘reformative’ or ‘progressive’ as her daughter Amerikkka is? We’ll see how that’ll turn out without us changing the powers that be. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE HYPE!

As revolutionaries, we don’t want reform. We want a cancellation of Imperialistic/Capitalist power. The end of the rape of the Third World proletariat and lumpen. Let’s not get caught up in the mainstream revolutionary popularity contest, stay in the studies of Maoism, Leninism and Marxism, and the true authentic history of whatever nation one may be from. Find methods to cancel imperialistic/capitalistic culture and spread the concepts and ideologies of communism to further advance the movement in a positive and productive way, and liberate one’s nation and those who are in the same boat as us. And trust that comrades will come aid and assist in one’s righteous endeavors of the freedom from the bondage of imperialism and capitalism! Go through the stage of socialism where we are always in power over the bourgeoisie to stop the comeback of capitalism. And proceed into communism, which is the long-term goal.

CANCEL THE OPPRESSOR AND LIBERATE THE OPPRESSED PEOPLES AND KENSFOLK!!!

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