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Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [International Connections] [California]
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MAC/IAC: Working for the People or Working for the Pigs

Many prisoners view the organization formerly known as the Mens Advisory Council (MAC), now known as the Inmate Advisory Council as servants of the people behind prison walls. Most of the people believing this fallacy are the new or relatively newer and younger prison population, and even some older prisoners who should really know better by now. However, for those of us who do know better we not only know the true limitations of the MAC but their true purpose within these walls, and so it's not for nothing that some of us refer to the MAC organization for what it really stands for: "Man Against Convict."

The original idea for what came to be known as the Mens Advisory Council can be traced back to the turbulent 60s and 70s inside of California prisons and the violent years that followed which included a relatively high number of staff assaults, prisoner-on-prisoner violence, and both peaceful and violent protests. The Council was initially conceived of by socially conscious prisoners as a way to not only encourage and develop dialogue between prisoners themselves to avert unnecessary violence between the white, [email protected], New Afrikan and First Nations, but also as a way to develop this same dialogue between prisoners and the prison administration. In this way then the precursors to the MAC were meant to function not only as representatives of the prisoner population with prison administrators, but as advocates of prisoner rights.

And for some years this precursor to the MAC org did what they set out to do, maintaining both a level of favorable and positive bias towards the prisoner population as well as enjoying a righteous level of credibility amongst prisoners themselves. Both the precursor to the MAC organization as well as the MAC itself tackled issues ranging from visiting policy and procedure, to basic hygiene and sanitation issues, to quantity and quality of food, to how our mail was to be properly handled.

As time went on however the MAC went from an organization representing the interests of the prison population as a whole to being co-opted by the powerful lumpen chiefs and representing their narrow and counter-productive interests, from which it was then taken and turned into an organization working in the interests of prison administrators. Today the IAC functions as an extralegal means for prison administrators to get from us exactly what they want, which is a highly passive and compliant prisoner population. As such, the MAC/IAC organization has become just another tool of the prison administration used to control us not unlike the tools on a pigs belt; like the pepper spray they use to gas us, or the batons they beat us with — just another tool.

I would like to take this concept even further. One can even liken a MAC rep to a neo-colonial ruler in the Third World who, thru their representation in government, gives the illusion of independence and a real self-determination to their compatriots; a nominal independence or a fictious level of power. This is not to say that the MAC/IAC never get anything done or accomplish anything for us. Quite the contrary, they do manage to accomplish a small victory from time to time. But prisoners get it twisted when they begin to believe that the MAC/IAC reps are there to serve or win anything for us. We must be clear about one thing here, the MAC reps accomplish nothing for us that the administration doesn't allow them to. In other words, in the battle for prisoners' rights, prison administrators do not lose to the MAC/IAC, rather they concede. Concessions in the prison realm are "necessary evils" to prison administrators as they are used to lend a level of legitimacy to the MAC/IAC org and hence continue their support from the wider prisoner population. Just like the system of neo-colonialism in the Third World, nominal leaders are allowed to govern and rule exactly because the imperialists allow them to, but these leaders must also have the support of the masses so that they may keep on ruling, or else the entire system collapses.

Surely there will be some who want to consider my allegations to be untrue, but it is hard to argue with my thesis when you see the MAC/IAC reps actively working against you. All you have to do is look closely at your MAC/IAC reps and ask them, what have they done for you lately? What oppressive and repressive policies have they helped the pigs peacefully implement and transition to with or without prisoners' consent? Not for nothing that a lot of the MAC/IAC reps are flat out hustlers and silver-tongued liars looking to swindle you out of your rights and privileges. Indeed if we look closely at these MAC/IAC reps we can see that they are messenger boys and running dogs to the administration because they have to be.

This is not to say that all MAC/IAC reps are bad. Of course there are some who actually seek out and take up these positions because they are truly interested in bringing positive change to the oppressed prison population, but these people are few and far between. These people however are also naive because they actually believe that they can bring real change to the prison environment thru steady reform, therefore they can also be some of the most convincing and legitimizing aspects of this oppressive prison apparatus and hence the most lethal to the prison movement for they will try the hardest to convince you of working within the system.

For those of you still not convinced of what I'm talking about, let's examine CCR Title 15, Article 3, Inmate Councils, Committees and Activity Groups 3230. Establishment of Inmate Advisory Councils:


(a) Each warden shall establish an inmate advisory council which is representative of that facility's inmate ethnic groups. At the discretion of the warden, subcommittees of the council may also be established to represent sub-facilities or specialized segments of the inmate population.

...

(2) The council shall operate only under the constitution and by-laws as prepared by the council's inmate representatives with the advice and guidance of designated staff and approved by the warden.

...

(d) Inmate advisory council representatives shall not, as a council representative, become involved with inmate appeals unless the matter affects the general inmate population and such involvement is authorized by the warden.

...

(h) A staff person at the level of a program administrator or higher shall be designated as the inmate advisory council coordinator.

(i) Facility captains shall be directly involved in council activities within their respective programs and may delegate specific aspects of supervisor, direction and responsibilities for council activities within their unit to subordinate supervisors.


Now let's look at what is described as the decision making process in matters of foreign policy on an international level and the general rules and concepts of how a strong nation (namely Amerikan imperialism) interacts and deals with weak nations (those in the periphery):

"The structure of a decision making process — the rules for who is involved in making the decision, how voting is conducted, and so forth — can affect the outcome, especially when a group has indeterminate preferences because no single alternative appeals to a majority participation. Experienced participants in foreign policy information are familiar with the techniques for manipulating decision making process to favor outcomes they prefer. A common technique is to control a group's formal decision rules. These rules include the items of business the group discusses and the order in which proposals are considered ... Probably most important is the ability to control the agenda and thereby structure the terms of debate."(1)

Foreign policies are thus described as
"the strategies used by governments to guide their actions in the international arena. Foreign policies spell out the objectives state leaders have decided to pursue in a given relationship or situation as well as the general means by which they intend to pursue those objectives....States establish various organizational structures and functional relationships to create and carry out foreign policies. Officials and agencies collect information about a situation through various channels; they write memorandums outlining possible options for action; they hold meetings to discuss the matter; some of them privately outside those meetings to decide how to steer those meetings. Such activities, broadly defined are what is meant by the foreign policy process.'"(1)

The Machiavellian implication of all this is all very apparent then, and one must be a special kind of naive to not see the resemblance between imperialist foreign policy and how prison administrators choose to deal with the prison population; the majority of whom come from the oppressed nation lumpen.

Amerikan imperialism is hostile to the oppressed global majority and their foreign policies are reflective of this hostility. Likewise prison administrators' dealings with the prison population mirrors Amerikan foreign policy exactly because prisons are extensions and tools of national oppression and social control, and so it is logical and to be expected that Amerikan foreign policy and the policy of prison administrators are two sides of the same oppressive coin. Whereas one deals with the oppressed nations on an international level, the other deals with the oppressed nations on a domestic level. Furthermore, as a matter of foreign policy U.$. borders are the structures used to keep Third World workers out and unable to gain access to their portion of wealth stolen by U.$. imperialism, whereas prisons are used to keep the oppressed nation lumpen in their place and away from this same global metropolis.

It has been said many times before, prison is a microcosm of society and it is time we begin to actively engage in this society. Marxist philosophy holds that we are all products of our environment and just as our environment has the power to influence and mold us, so do we have the power to influence and mold this same environment. We shouldn't be relying on individuals or small cliques of people to speak and act for us. We should rely on ourselves and our sheer numbers to bring change. Therefore, it is time that this whole business of MAC/IAC reps be done with and put to an end. It would be a positive qualitative development for the prison masses to begin relying on themselves. Individuals don't make hystory, the masses do.


Notes:
1. International Relations, Goldstein and Pevehouse. Pearson Longman publications, p.139.

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[First Nations] [National Oppression] [United Front] [ULK Issue 45]
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Amerikan Land Must Be Redistributed to First Nations

I would like to give props to Loco1 of USW for the article in ULK 38, "Lasting Impressions." It eloquently expressed the realistic truth of non-whites rising into Amerikkkan political poverty and oppression, but ultimately becoming part of the Amerikkkan imperialist machine, and therefore part of the problem. They undeniably dance to the same tune as the kapitalist oppressors, which is the only way they can get elected into office in the first place. The oppression they become co-conspirators of far outweighs any good they may be trying to contribute to cultural progress, the revolutionary movement, or even reformism. President Obama's black face on the white-Amerikkkan agenda does very little to counter the injustices he inflicts upon the less fortunate. His priority is to please white-Amerikkka and contribute to kapitalism. Everything else is secondary.

Revolutionary minds can learn from Loco1's political view. However, it draws concern when Loco1 talks of redistributing the lands fairly: "you get what you need. Nothing more, nothing less." Subsequently following a successful revolution this act alone would shift the possession of land for one colonizer to another at the expense and exploitation of the indigenous peoples. Very little of what I've read from the MIM organization has ever gotten to the heart of land claims, which should first and foremost be redistributed back to the First Nation original owners. Many indigenous will be part of the revolution. Non-natives seem to think they are entitled to this land as spoils of war, with complete disregard to the First Nations' claims. Communism is supposed to eliminate oppression. This act would contribute to it, but with power shifting to the hands of a different ethnic and political class.

A complete overthrow of Amerikkkan power should give the land back to those it's belonged to since the beginning of time. This soil is the Redman's tribal ancestral roots and the creator's gift to our people. This includes Mexicanos. Whatever land, if any, is eventually "redistributed fairly" should be at the sole discretion of its tribal owners. Period. (And it's important that non-natives understand this.) Land would be distributed considerately and compassionately as they feel necessary and see fit. Unless, of course, the communist victors then choose to redirect their war towards the First Nation peoples with the intent of keeping them on reservations and stealing the land by force. That would make them no different than this current Amerikkkan imperialist swine.

In the article Loco1 spoke with the voice of New Afrikans but I think he should rethink his ideas for land grab from the indigenous point of view, who have suffered the biggest atrocities and injustices in history.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a letter that we forwarded to Loco1 for comment. Having not received a response we will address this question now. It seems we have great unity with the writer above, and we appreciate this point and inquiry. While Loco1's original point was more about combatting Amerikkkan exceptionalism, which justifies Amerikans having more than everyone else, the lack of mention of First Nations land claims is certainly a valid critique. It is an ultra-left error in that it is looking towards the ideal future of communism (from each according to their ability, to each according to their need), before addressing the more immediate task of national liberation.

This is an issue that comrades address in our new book, [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán. Though [email protected] themselves are indigenous to this land, claiming all of the southwest United $tates could be seen as a threat to First Nations, including the largest reservation in the United $tates of the Navajo nation. MIM has long been friendly to the Blackbelt Thesis as well, and has printed maps showing both of these territories. We agree with revolutionary [email protected] and New Afrikan movements that land is central to the question of national liberation. As nations within what is today the United $tates, a failure to claim and liberate their own territory is a failure to liberate these oppressed nations. The same is true for all First Nations.

The drawing of new boundaries today is more of an agitational exercise than an actual political reality, except for most First Nations. So we expect First Nations to continue to be at the forefront of determining future border issues. Their weakness, of course, is in their numbers. So it is an important warning that the comrade above issues to ensure that a national program of one oppressed nation does not impose itself onto that of another. Not only is this necessary for building a just world, it will be necessary for a successful anti-imperialist project. Any efforts by an internal semi-colony to liberate itself without regard for and cooperation with the efforts of the others will lead to no true liberation and will end in it being a puppet to the imperialists rather than being free of them.

There must be a united front of the internal semi-colonies against U.$. imperialism. And once imperialism is overthrown, in imperialist nations there will need to be a joint dictatorship of the proletariat of the oppressed nations to take power and determine how society can best be run in the interests of the formerly oppressed of the world. Exactly how they address the land question between themselves, as well as with the existing oppressor nation on this land, will be determined in the evolution of that struggle, which will certainly bring about many more changes in the process.


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[National Oppression] [Security]
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Southern Poverty Law Center Misses Point on National Oppression

Southern Poverty Law Center logo
I have been engaged in halting some rather disturbing developments with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC would like to consider themselves the penultimate authority on "hate groups." Their reputation has come into question numerous times — most recently by branding African and communist/Maoist philosophical revolutionary organizations "hate groups."

In 2014, former professor of sociology at Portland State University, Randall Evan Blazak, and current professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, Pete Simi, went to the SPLC headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama. They travelled there to meet with SPLC pundit and media hound Mark Potok, at a meeting that included a few other academics and freelance investigative reporter Bill Morlin.

The SPLC wants to use universities and academics to "study, research and report" on activities of "hate groups" under the direction of the SPLC without using or even mentioning that the SPLC is involved. Mark Potok openly stated that when groups or individuals find out the SPLC is involved, they "quit talking" and "coverup". The SPLC is doing whatever it can to obtain information on the people's revolutionary organizations. Evidently they now look at these organizations as one of the main sources of racial terror.

Beware of any academic "studies" or research organizations attempting to contact anyone under academic auspices. They amount to nothing more than spies for the SPLC. Our business is our business — and none of theirs. Back in 2000, I forced then Professor Randall Blazak out of the organization we co-founded named the Oregon Spotlight for turning local anti-racists in to the FBI and SPLC.

All of us, no matter our creed or methods must come together and secure our information. Please alert everyone you are able. The SPLC works closely with all pigs and acts as a clearinghouse of information. As a private organization they are not subject to "Red Scare" laws and can act under the cover of U.$. law.

I am fighting this from prison. I hope others join in. We do not need a "fifth column" amongst our ranks.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We can't speak to the specifics of Blazak or other professors' specific work but in general what this comrade reports is true. First, the FBI lists them right on their website stating, "The FBI has forged partnerships nationally and locally with many civil rights organizations to establish rapport, share information, address concerns, and cooperate in solving problems. These groups include such organizations as the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Disability Rights Network."(1) Second, the Southern Poverty Law Center has incorporated into its "hate group" work the fight against what they call "Black separatists" and included among the groups they target are the Nation of Islam, the Black Riders Liberation Party and the New Black Panther Party.(2) This approach to identifying racism by pretending to be color blind makes clear the failings of the concept of race. It is national oppression that underlies the system of one nation dominating another that is inherent to imperialism. Racism is the ideology that arises from national oppression to identify certain groups of people as inferior based on supposed biological differences. When an oppressed nation fights back against this system they do not have the power to oppress other nations, and so calling them out for "racism" or "reverse racism" is missing the importance of power in oppression. By taking on the task of identifying racism among the oppressed the SPLC are focusing their battle on the people instead of focusing on the oppressor. This objectively hinders the struggle of the oppressed and aids the imperialists.

Within the people's movement we should always be vigilant in pointing out incorrect political line and practicing criticism and self-criticism, but we should not make broad declarations equating the oppressed people's organizations fight against national oppression with the racism of the oppressor nation fascist groups.

Finally, we want to echo this comrade's words of caution for interacting with academics, and include any media or any unknown people for that matter. We should engage with others on our terms and not open our doors to open-ended research, interviews and investigations.

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[Aztlan/Chicano] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 46]
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Brown Berets - Prison Chapter Celebrates Third Anniversary

1 June 2015 marked the third anniversary of the Brown Berets - Prison Chapter (BB-PC). This was a significant event, one that should be reviewed and put in context for what it means for [email protected] and what other oppressed people can learn from this development. Although [email protected] have been showing a rise in consciousness and political activity, we need to also reach farther and dig deeper in our efforts. The following four points are some of the contributions which this anniversary marks. All [email protected] should understand that we can accomplish much more with more participation and with more prison activism. There are four points that are important ways in which this development has progressed.

* Book project: The BB-PC was happy to participate in the newly released book [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán. This is a much needed book based on today's [email protected] nation, and it was time for such a project. The BB-PC saw that there is a shortage of contemporary [email protected] revolutionary literature showing today's gente the way forward. After collaborating with MIM(Prisons) and other [email protected] who were also working to rebuild the nation, the book project was launched. This book marks a new level of consciousness for the nation and it is ground breaking. We believe that this book has signaled the next wind in the [email protected] movement.

* New Chapter: Another development in these three years was the formation of the BB-PC Colorado. The fact that [email protected] in Colorado have been able to rise above their circumstances and contribute to advancing Aztlán is a beautiful thing. When people can look outside of themselves and, despite their own oppression or repressive circumstances, stand up with the nation, it should be applauded. It is no surprise that comrades in Colorado did not waste time in getting involved in today's [email protected] movement because Colorado has always contributed strong cadre to Aztlán. In 1974 Los Seis de Boulder Colorado gave Aztlán the martyrs which fueled Aztlán at that time. But the Colorado chapter also confirms our analysis which can be found in [email protected] Power, and which explains that we suspect imprisoned [email protected] are developing politically at unprecedented rates and as this continues so will more chapters rise throughout the U.S. pintas.

* Release of [email protected] out of the control units: Another development has been in the fact that after years and decades of [email protected] and other oppressed people being held in control units we have now seen many moved back out to the general populations. We believe that this was accomplished by a multitude of actions. The hunger strikes, the heightened education/agitation behind prison walls, and the involvement in more [email protected] speaking out and creating literature and political theory to guide the prison movement, has all helped to push the prison movement for human rights forward while ensuring that the demands within prisons remain progressive and continue to revolutionize. All of these efforts were supported by the imprisoned [email protected] movement and the BB-PC participated in various ways.

* Future efforts: We see the need for more [email protected] study material and the newly released book [email protected] Power was just the first step in this regard. More material is being developed which will add to transforming the hearts and minds of captive Aztlán.

It can be said that in these short three years a contribution has been made to Aztlán. But this is an ongoing long-term project and we have only begun. Thought reform takes time, and undoing the damage that colonialism has done on our nation's minds is hard work. We are freedom-loving people who have tasted freedom through our actions, and our activism will not stop until we are all free.

The coming year will see more leaps forward as more [email protected] are let out of the control units, and as more torture is stopped. The first step in contributing to Aztlán is educating oneself and those around you. Learning [email protected] hystory and discuss how to advance the gente. Nobody will free you if you will not free yourself. We look forward to better days and a re-charged [email protected] movement.

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[Organizing] [Hunger Strike] [ULK Issue 45]
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Peace and Solidarity Challenge September 9

I want to comment on the September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity. This idea is the greatest, but fasting for the day is pointless. We have to focus on the name of the day: peace and solidarity. The best way to do this is to print a challenge to all who want a change in this hellish world. The challenge is for the change-seeker to go to an "enemy" and commit an act of kindness. No act is too big or too small. If you see someone in the struggle in need of some support, be that support. The number one reason for mistreatment in prison is lack of solidarity amongst prisoners. When pigs know they'll only have to deal with one race or a certain number of prisoners they feel comfortable committing the acts of mistreatment.

If prisoners moved as a unit against mistreatment and injustice these pigs wouldn't behave how they behave. I'm not saying, hey everybody, let's hold hands and sing Kumbayah, but we need to start supporting each other in order to have a livable life. The line has to be drawn so the pigs understand this is how things are going to be and we will no longer be divided on certain issues. When we fast, to me it shows strength and dedication, but to the pigs they couldn't care less. We have brothas dying while fasting to support their cause and the pigs couldn't be happier. Fasting has become ineffective.

On September 9 and beyond we have the opportunity to create our own peace. There was a movement called "pay it forward." In that movement you just did a good deed for someone with no expectation of a reward. You let the person know "I want nothing, just do for someone else what I've done for you." So we take from that and mold the peace and solidarity movement similar to it. On our end we'll call it the "peace and solidarity challenge." This can be big as, if not bigger than, the worldwide "ice bucket challenge." The Klansman pigs don't expect enemies to get along. Through our cause not only will we get along but we'll support each other when needed. All the world thinks about prisons and gangs is that we kill each other and inflict harm on one another. We can show our little brothers, sons, nephews, daughters, nieces, sisters, and cousins that the enemy is not each other. We're all going through the same struggle. "Peace and solidarity" is the only way out.

September 9 — Join the Movement!

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[Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 45]
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Finding Unity in Texas through ULK

I found a copy of Under lock & Key 39 and saw that right here in Texas concentration camps there are likeminded brothers struggling in other facilities in the same predicaments. Resist! Resist! Don't get discouraged! I am among you and our numbers are slowly growing.

This very morning I got the various gangs to quit talking bullshit by speaking to my likeminded neighbor about what I've read and studied from ULK 39. These white gang members normally talk over me and try to drown me out, but my voice is loud and I want to be heard by all; Black, Brown, Red, and white. Everyone finally got quiet and me and my neighbor talked. For about 45 minutes we talked about organized prison protests in California, of the 30,000 prisoners hunger strike, and the fact that in Texas you can't get more than two to agree to do it and they give up after commissary.

Then a Mexican brother got into our conversation and told me about MIM and MIM(Prisons). I told him I had found ULK 39 in my cell. He said it was his and they move him around every two weeks because he's a "threat to security." He then shot me ULKs 38 and 37, several Prison Action News publications, and the Texas petition to have our grievances addressed! I've been doing something similar for several years. It's really helped a few people out. There is a right way and a wrong way to write step one and step two grievances. It's the most asinine case I've ever run across, but if you use their own game rules against them most times you prevail. There are small victories. They just circumvent new policies with bogus practice.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The Texas activist pack is available to anyone in Texas who wants guidance on fighting to get grievances heard, and it also includes information on how to fight the medical copay as well as the restriction on indigent mail supplies. Just write to us for a copy. It's a big packet of information so if you can send a donation to cover the cost of printing and mailing, that would help us send more lit to other prisoners in need!

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[Education] [Control Units] [Oregon]
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Forming Prisoner-led Study Groups in IMU

I was discussing the difficulty of forming a study group in Intensive Management Unit (IMU), which is Oregon's Security Housing Unit (SHU), with a comrade (we are both in IMU) and we have figured that we two can at least do a study group with the two of us. We are hoping that you guys will be able to help with the literature. We are wanting to study "The Communist Manifesto" by Marx. If that is not a possibility we are hoping for "On Contradiction" by Mao. I don't believe my comrade is on the Under Lock & Key (ULK) list, but if you could put him on the mailing list and send us both copies of Marx or Mao or both or whatever is available. His info is enclosed.

We are, of course, willing to do political work for trade. Besides the essay enclosed, I am also working on an essay about "The Chicago Anarchist Trial" of 1886, in which the in-justice system fixed a trial and put four revolutionaries to death. My comrade is also working on a separate essay about revolutionary nationalism. We will send them in when they are completed.

On the invoice it was asked to answer those four questions, so here we go.

1. The most valuable thing I learned was about the "labor aristocracy." I had some prior knowledge, but the concept was expanded greatly in my mind.

2. I can't say that I disagree with the idea of a "white working class" as "labor aristocracy." But I am just trying to assimilate this fact with my previous revolutionary theories.

3. I would like to learn more about dialectical materialism and social sciences in general.

4. What most relates to the day-to-day struggle is to stop seeing the U.$. working class as potential revolutionaries. They are part beneficiaries from imperial exploitation.

As I said before, I am in IMU or SHU and so face different challenges when it comes to group study. I am really hoping ULK 45 will address the special circumstances that are part of the SHU study groups, and how to deal with and get around those challenges. But, if you can help us with the literature we will report back on how our SHU study group works out!

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[United Front] [Organizing] [Macon State Prison] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 45]
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UFAO Links Up with UFPP

Mouse Trap
I'm writing concerning the ad in Under Lock & Key I read for the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP). It was baffling, as it had every concept, principle and law that is in my Family's code. I am the Father of the United Family Against all Oppression (UFAO) and we would like to support the UFPP.

About 150 of us are currently at Macon State Prison and 20 of the Family are in other camps. I'm currently in the hole for going to war with the officers and the Bloods for breaking a peace treaty. I extend my hand in assistance to stop imperialism and oppression through paperwork or blood.

When the officers see Bloods, Crips, GDs, Muslims, Vice Lords, Piru, coming together, they don't know what to do. One day we were in the rooms meeting and no one was hardly on the floor. They came in telling us to lock down for no reason, just because they had the authority.

I had to use the scientific method in coming up with a peace treaty. I went around surveying the people of different parties about what makes them fight and kill each other. It's not the color no more, it's about different creeds stealing and tricking each other. So I came up with the antithesis to it, which was to give out prizes at chess and basketball tournaments. It had other things such as a poor box in each dorm where the UFAO is at, which is for everybody.

Nothing happened in the dorm I was in until the Bloods stole out of the box of the GDs and Muslims and they broke the treaty. So, me being the General didn't approve of it, so a war broke out. Because once you say you're revolutionary, your word and peace treaties mean a lot in my eyes.

I am also asking for guidance and support because people are getting free, going home, and I don't want the impression of a gang or drug lord. I'd rather finish what Assata Shakur, Martin L. King, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass and other great leaders left off on. I'm open for all political and friendly advice. My goal is to support all oppressed people no matter their affiliation, and under a treaty with people with affiliations in gangs.

We as a whole must unite and become one family to end the criminal label that the United $tates put on us, to disguise what their gang is doing. Because they have abandoned and malignant hearts when it comes to power and wealth. And I'm going to stop the real terrorists at all cost.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We commend this comrade for pushing for peace on their unit, and for pointing out that the imperialists are the real enemy. It makes sense that in organizing the lumpen for peace, we will still see lumpen tendencies arise, like the one our comrade described above about stealing the poor box. Even though we're bringing people together for revolutionary reasons, we are still heavily influenced by our capitalist culture and indoctrination. We need to make it a priority to bring thorough revolutionary education to all the comrades we're working with, in order to combat this lumpen mentality of getting up on the backs of others, and undermining our struggles for peace.

Prisons are a volatile environment. And we're building for peace in prisons. It's somewhat ironic to enforce a peace treaty using physical violence. We should take this incident as a lesson that while we're discussing how to begin a peace treaty, we also need to discuss how we can hold others accountable to the peace treaty if they break it. Is a prison war the only possible method of accountability?

If anyone needs literature to help educate others about the role of the United Front for Peace in Prisons in our overall fight against our common oppressor, then write in for back issues of Under Lock & Key. If you've been able to develop a sound peace treaty and have experimented successfully with how to hold others accountable when they fall out of line of the treaty, then please send a report to ULK so we can grow stronger as a movement.

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[Religious Repression] [Idealism/Religion] [Texas] [ULK Issue 48]
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Take off the Religious Blindfolds

"Religion is what keeps the poor from killing the rich." - Napoleon Bonaparte

It seems Napoleon had a firm understanding of the opiate of the masses. Imperialism has been using religion as a tool of oppression for hundreds of years. It isn't any less apparent today inside the U.S. prison systems. In some cases, units offer 2-3 times as many religious classes as educational courses.

Most religions, especially Judeo-Christian ones, champion punishment, often unjustly, under the reasoning of "because I say so." There's no objective investigating, and nothing is circumstantial. This propaganda is flooded into the prison system to create the mindset that prisoners are bad people and do not belong in society. This also helps the people in the free world who do not see us as deserving of human rights. So they allow the imperialistic oppression to continue. Criminals shouldn't be punished, they should be rehabilitated.

They claim Jesus once said to "turn the other cheek." Pacifists rarely enact change. Religions for the most part promise a better afterlife which gets people to overlook and ignore what's going on here and now. They preach that if you sit on your hands and keep your mouth shut, it will be better after you are gone. I'm sure the imperialist pigs have no qualms about expediting your departure. Amerika loves this "shut up and take it" mentality; it's what the country was founded on. Every day, I see prisoners take verbal and physical abuse from the institution and do nothing because they are "trying to be good Christians."

The lumpen need to take off the blindfolds placed on their eyes by the church, synagogue, or mosque and realize materialism is the vehicle to a better life of freedom. Meaning true freedom from oppression in this current life they're living, not down the road after they're dead.

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[Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Latin America]
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Narcoland Book Review

Narcoland book cover

Book Review: Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers
By Anabel Hernandez
2014

Anabel Hernandez exposes the biggest drug organization: The U.$. and Mexican government. Business men, and all branches of the government. Although she doesn't dig deeper into the Amerikan agencies like FBI, DEA, DHS, ICE, etc., she does point out to the involvement of the CIA in the drugs-arms trade in Central America during the civil wars focused on destroying the communist movements.

Unlike other "conspiracy theory" books, Hernandez backs up the facts in her book with evidence and information newly open and available to most. Recent scandals of money laundering by banks like HSBC, HSMX, Bank of Amerika, etc only reinforce the evidence Hernandez presents in her book. The main criminals are those who benefit from this politico-social-economic capitalist system.

As someone that grew up in the poorest section of Mexican society I can say that this book is the most revealing one I've ever read regarding the sad situation in Mexico, especially when speaking of the so-called "War on Drugs." Besides highly recommending this book to everyone and especially my co-nationals; I want to make sure that everyone is aware of the stupid idolization some people fall to. These "drug-lords" are part of the system too. They are working together. As Roberto Saviano puts it in the book foreword,

"Narco-land is not only an essential book for anyone willing to look squarely at organized crime today. Narcoland also shows how...capitalism is in no position to renounce the mafia. Because it is not the mafia that has transformed itself into a modern capitalist enterprise - it is capitalism that has transformed itself into mafia. The rules of drug trafficking that Hernandez describes are also the rules of capitalism."

People in the poor countries, like Mexico, get pulled to crime out of necessity, no arguing about that. But once some of these people get ultra-rich, or just rich, they become part of the problem. These people have billions of dollars not just millions, and rather than use this to educate and arm the people, they use it to buy private planes, yachts, mansions and party and celebrate with the elites at the businesses and governments.

In one way these drug lords are depicted as "bad" by the capitalist government, and society. In another they are admired and discretely shown as a roll model via brainwashing to the youth and uneducated, in the movies (Scarface), TV series (Breaking Bad), and so-called documentaries (Gangland), among many other sources.

Hernandez says "It has to stop [the Mexican drug-political system], and the only ones who can stop it are ordinary citizens... It will only end when Mexican society unites agains this immense 'mafia.' That means overcoming fear and apathy, and above all the tacit assumption that things can not be any different." It's up to us to be more political conscious and do what we must. Whether "Drug-Lords" or "capitalists," they are the same ideology. Meanwhile kids are hungry and lack clothes and education, the most basic needs.

Book also available in Spanish, as "Los Señores del Narco," de Anabel Hernandez.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This book review makes an important point about class analysis and identifying our friends and enemies. While the First World lumpen, individuals who may get pulled into small time drug dealing, are a class that as a whole we can hope to win to the side of revolution, the drug lords have moved out of this class, if they were ever a part of it. They function as a comprador bourgeoisie, profiting off the suffering of their people and working hand in hand with the imperialists. Just because the drug trade is supposedly illegal does not change this reality. And as this review points out, the governments that have outlawed drugs are among the biggest players in drug dealing. What is legal and what is criminal under capitalism is about politics, not about justice or humyn rights.

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