This update incorporates the “health and safety concerns created by Housing Cage Staging” grievance submitted on 21 July 2021. A bullet point appears before text from the grievance. An asterisk appears before comments/explanations of the text for readers not familiar with terms, misnomers, and other devices prison officials implement to obscure the big picture.
Current policy forces prisoners from both sides of East Back (EB) to be in close proximity to each other (forced under threat of CDCR115)
*A “CDCR115” is an infraction. Repeat infractions of this particular variety leads to punitive solitary confinement resulting from what is called “program failure.” Prior to and while being classified program failure, loss of privileges, i.e. phone, canteen, packages, etc. are imposed. But who is it that’s not playing by the rules?
Administrative level prison officials and their supervisory staff are directing policy which discourages prisoners movement by presenting prisoners with an ultimatum to either be placed in danger of exposure or decline transport to destinations i.e. medical appointments, law library, visits, mental health programs, and get a 115.
*For clarification, San Quentin Death Row prison officials refer to these holding cages as “holding cells.” The misnomer obscures the fact each is constructed of steel grate. The cage is approximately 3 feet wide (front to back and side to side) with no solid partitions between them.
If prison officials continue promoting/demanding social distancing (even outdoors as with the “one side of EB per day” modified yard policy) then also continue staging prisoners in cage rendering social distancing impossible inside the unit (known to have inadequate ventilation) that would demonstrate an extreme lack of care – a criminal act under PC2652 (aggravates under threat).
*Prison officials know or should know placing prisoners in close proximity makes them susceptible to exposure to any number of COVID-19 variants. Yet not only do they demonstrate an extreme lack of care they’re basically saying “get into the cage and be exposed or else!”
Housing cages are not even disinfected between uses.
*Death row prisoners going to and coming from various locations are staged in these cages before and/or upon return (see second bullet point of grievance/602-1)
Staging prisoners in holding cages is for the sole purpose of convenience not health & safety.
*Apparently due to custody staff’s inability to maintain accurate lists of where prisoners are at any given time of day and lack of intelligence for search and escort (SE) officers, the cages are where prisoners are held once they are located by the desk officer who calls out names of prisoners over a loud speaker saying “get up and dressed” to the prisoner then saying “Tier officer bring them down to a Bay Side Holding cell” for whatever the case may be.
Current staging policy design causes yard release disruption/delays.
*Death row has 7 different yards (essentially split into 14 since only one side of EB goes out at a time). Yard release is scheduled to being 7:30 AM for these group yards but that does not happen. Further delay/disruption occurs as the desk officer halts yard release so the tier officers can escort prisoners with dictated medical appointments to the holding cages instead of releasing prisoners on their tier to yard. This disruption/delay design is relatively new.
The current holding cage staging policy has no validity in law or science regarding its deceptive benefits and potentially adverse effects.
Specific Action Requested: 1) Discontinue the double standard regarding social distancing. 2) Discontinue the policy design causing yards program disruption/delays. 3) Enforce 15CCR3271 without implementing retaliatory/punitive policy designs under guise of safety measures. 4) Stop threatening prisoners with CDCR115 violations who refuse to be placed in holding cages with these conditions. 5) Stop staging prisoners in holding cages knowingly endangering their health and safety by rendering social distancing impossible.
*using holding cages and/or congregate staging of prisoners in close proximity to each other going to or returning from medical appointments for a variety of symptomatic illness, facilitates the spread of a variety of viruses including but not limited to COVID-19 variants and influenza strains. The bottom line is: it is illegal for prison officials to knowingly endanger the lives of prisoners (See also 15CCR3271).
As you know, Black August is here. Do something wherever you are for all the brothers who gave their lives so our struggle could be easy. This year I’m asking our comrades to focus not only on our problems, but focus on our solutions.
I read somewhere, when we think of ourselves as individuals rather than as collectives, we fail to consider the importance of solidarity and collective resistance. We are more likely to treat others as competitors as opposed to comrades.
CDCR administration is anti-Black and Brown, its calculated policy works against the needs and aspirations of our freedom. It is our duty to use every necessary and accessible means to protest and to disrupt the machinery of oppression and so to bring such general distress and discomfort upon the oppressor.
For you young Afrikan who are asleep, an example was shown last month. Chicano, Raza comrades here at Calipatria showed collective resistance to the store for the month. I salute them comrades. At the end their goal was met. Their focus was the solution, not the problem. That how brothers fight collectively at the administration. Abolitionists From Within will show up for this Black August here, collectively with all willing participants.
What is Black August?
Black August is a promotion of a conscious, non-sectarian mass based New Afrikan resistance culture, both inside and outside the prison walls all across the U.$. Empire. Black August originally started among the brothers in the California Penal System to honor three fallen comrades and to promote a Black culture of resistance and revolutionary development.
The first brother, Jonathan Jackson, a 17 year old man child was gunned down 17 August 1970 outside a Marin County California courthouse in an armed attempt to liberate three imprisoned Black Liberation Fighters (James McClain, William Christmans and Ruchell Magee). Ruchell Magee is the sole survivor. George Jackson, Jonathan’s older brother and comrade, a great Black revolutionary theoretician and leader was assassinated 21 August 1971 by guards during a Black prison rebellion at San Quentin, in an unsuccessful effort to cover up the state’s pre-planned assassination of comrade George. The third brother, Khatari Gaulden, was victimized by the blatant assassination of capitalist corporate medical politics in prison on 1 August 1978. In 1979, over 40 people came together to form the Black August Organizing Committee from a united front of New Afrikan prisoners formed in 1978 following Khatari’s murder.
Some tenets for Black August from K.A.G.E. Universal:
We aim to fast as a show of self-discipline and resistance. From the sunrise until evening meal we will abstain from eating.
We aim to abstain from consuming any type of opioids, or other smokable or liquid intoxicants during the month of August.
We aim to combat liberalism even by limiting our selection of non-frivolous TV shows and educational programs i.e., radio, historic documentaries, journal writings and other creative art exhibits.
During Black August, we emphasize political and cultural evolution studies for those participants who care to assemble with other brothers and sisters rather by way of social media internationally and/or via facilitation within the institution forum.
At this moment Cuba is entering into a new phase in their struggle which unveils a reality unfavorable to socialist construction. Yet we should keep in mind that Cuba’s fate remains unsealed. History shows that the Cuban people are up to the task of fighting for socialism as they continue to inspire others around the world. They have enormous amounts of creative and practical experience. Here we examine some of the positions in the popular debate around Cuba, as well as the true source of its successes and failures.
Privatization and Pandemic
The current protests in Cuba are the result of growing privatization of sectors in multiple industries. This has been a gradual trend, but in February of 2021 it took on new heights. Tourism in particular, as a private industry, is Cuba’s largest revenue generator making over $3.3 billion for its people in 2018. With the ease of relations under President Obama there was unfortunately even more of a rise in privatization and large growth in tourism. Labour Minister Marta Elena Feito said the list of authorized activities in the private sector had most recently expanded from 127 to more than 2,000. Some of these include barbershops, restaurants, taxi services, domicile and hotel rentals, small shops and cafes. Most of these private sector jobs, which are primarily in major cities such as Havana, are oriented towards the tourist industry.
The last report showed that 600,000 people, around 13% of the workforce, joined the private sector when the opportunity arose. COVID-19 brought problems as the borders were closed to non-residents in order to prevent the pandemic’s spread. About 16,000 private workers asked for their licenses to be suspended, according to the Labor Ministry, which temporarily exempted them from taxes. Shortly after, the amount increased to 119,000, which was roughly 19 percent of the private workforce. This measure allowed for a small section of the private work force to be protected during the pandemic, however other sections, mostly in tourism, were catastrophically hit.
U.S. Economic Warfare
The labor ministry stated that the decline began before COVID-19 as a result of Trump’s new additions to the embargo on Cuba. In December of 2020, Cuban tourism had fallen by 16.5% due to U.S. sanctions that imposed restrictions on travel to Cuba, money transfers, and trade between Cuba and other nations. The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control in 2020 stated the following in regards to the more recent additions, “OFAC is removing the authorization for banking institutions subject to U.S. jurisdiction to process certain funds transfers originating and terminating outside the United States, commonly known as”U-turn" transactions. Banking institutions subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be authorized to reject such transactions, but may no longer process them." The rules also block money sent to Cuban government affiliates, and decreased the limit but still allow for remittances to most families in Cuba.
On 19 October 1960, the U.S. embargo was implemented as policy to undermine the revolutionary government as a response to its nationalization of industries and dealings with countries led by communist parties. Over the coming years tension only increased and the embargo would continually be adjusted to prevent growth of the Cuban economy. As of now the sanctions vary with over 231 entities and subentities like ministries, holding companies, hotels, etc.; meaning the U.S. is trying to control Cuba’s economy. These provisions also extend to international companies like the various shipping companies in 2019 which were sanctioned by the U.S. government for participating in oil trade between Venezuela and Cuba. This was during the same period that the U.S. was accusing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of falsifying the election results that left Juan Guaido to bite the dust. Allegations which later were proven to be false yet nevertheless caused dire consequences for millions.
Economic terrorism continues to be perpetrated by the U.S. against Cuba to prohibit other nations and companies from participating in trade deals. Some ways the U.S. does this is by denying licenses or deals with U.S.-based companies or other nations that have the audacity to ignore the U.S. embargo on Cuba. Year after year the U.N. votes in favor of an end to the embargo with only two nations (the U.S. and Israel) voting in favor of continuing the embargo.
In 2021 former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated Cuba once again as a state sponsor of international terrorism in another futile attempt to further isolate Cuba from potential trading partners. This designation carries with it the implication that any business or state which does business with Cuba participates in sponsoring terrorism. As a result the U.S. will then implement sanctions on those businesses or states or at the very least deny them vital business opportunities that they need to sustain a functional economy in a U.S.-dominated global market. It follows from this that the private sectors in Cuba who were not prepared for the pandemic, were already affected by the ongoing trade embargo for about 60 years, with Trump’s administration amping up attempts to suffocate Cuba’s resilient economy.
Cuban Protests Dwarfed by Uprisings in U.S.
When the protests erupted in Cuba this month, the U.S. wasted no time in opportunistically pushing their agenda. Meanwhile, expatriated Cuban terrorists living in the U.S. sent videos over social media promoting the destruction of public property owned by the Cuban people, looting, assault on peoples security forces etc. These videos, not surprisingly, never found their way into mainstream reports but were exposed by Cuban media. Díaz-Canel even made a point to say that there are revolutionaries who have been misguided by false reports forged by subversive reactionaries, and people with legitimate demands for an end to the embargo and reform of failed policies. This made clear that these demonstrators were not the target of criticism but genuinely concerned, although in some cases misguided, citizens.
In reality only a small capitalist minority from certain private sectors affected by the embargo and COVID-19 have taken to the streets to promote their interests; interests that are antagonistic to that of the Cuban people. President Díaz-Canel proceeded to visit the demonstrations himself and speak with people. On live TV Díaz-Canel called revolutionaries to take to the street and oppose the reactionaries and to stay in the streets as long as necessary in order to defend the revolution. It was correctly stated by Díaz-Canel that the reactionaries with violent intent are of a specific small group who align with U.S. interests. More specifically from his mouth he stated that, “They want to change a system, or a regime they call it, to impose what type of government and what type of regime in Cuba? The privatization of public services. The kind that gives more possibility to the rich minority and not the majority.”
Counter protests proceeded to take place where a greater part of Cuba’s 11 million people came out to demonstrate their support for the revolution and continuance of socialist construction. With such a small minority of protestors being for regime change and only a few dozen arrests we have to ask ourselves why there is such a controversy? It is only explainable by the private interests and imperialist U.S. who wishes to finally deal a deadly blow to Cuba. After decades of failed CIA assassinations, a failed U.S. invasion, and a failed Embargo, the U.S. government is reiterating its fledgling commitment to undermine the people of Cuba.
All the while the Amerikans fail to see the irony that in 2020 the protests in the U.S. were estimated to have between 15 and 26 million participants with over 14,000 arrests documented as related to the protests and a number of deaths associated. These numbers are not even all encompassing in the true magnitude of arrest and torture by the U.S. government on its own citizens. These protests put forward demands guaranteed by the Cuban constitution. Article’s 16, 18, 19, 41, 42, 43, 44 of the Cuban constitution reveal rights and guarantees afforded to Cubans that in the U.S. don’t even exist or are up for debate. A civil war was needed to end slavery only to have it replaced by Jim Crow segregation in this country. Without a doubt a quick look at the Cuban constitution in comparison with the U.S. constitution, one would begin to question the true ethics of the U.S. and why Cuba is portrayed the way it is.
Cuba has made greater advancements than the U.S. in many fields. It achieved a higher literacy rate, lower infant mortality rate, a lung cancer vaccine as well as a COVID-19 vaccine independently developed with a 92% success rate. All this despite the embargo and war crimes of the U.S. The U.S. in their sad attempt to condemn Cuba’s Communist Party declares the people of Cuba to be subjugated, unable to protest, or have free speech. As can clearly be seen, the president of Cuba not only respects the constitutional right to protest and have free speech, but invited millions to take to the streets to do so.
The Will of the People in Cuba
In 2018 a new draft of the Cuban constitution removed reference to communism. This first draft was met with wide-scale protests and a popular demand that reinstated communism as the goal. In 2019 the new Cuban constitution reaffirmed the popular will. Time after time the U.S. is embarrassed by Cuba’s revolutionary people. Which is presumably why the U.S., who routinely overthrows democracies, assassinates world leaders, or suffocates nations with sanctions, takes special interest in torturing Cuba. It is not without effect either, as many Cubans feel this pressure and suffer untold losses in this cruel escapade waged by the United States.
Mind you, Cuba is not without mistake. The continued privatization of industries and reliance on tourism is a massive failure on the part of the Cuban government. Failures to foster the full creative potential of the Cuban masses by putting politics in command has led the Cuban government to become a bureaucratic mess. With a large population of revolutionary masses eager to promote the ideals of socialism and forge ahead on their path of self-determination, it is sad to see the Cuban state fail to remove the fetters on the Cuban people that restrict their ability to take control of power for themselves. This is a result of internal contradictions within the Cuban state.
Over the past few decades the gradual decline of peoples’ power has been witnessed. Today’s events are a result of the pandemic and U.S. embargo. However, the principal issue is not from without Cuba and it certainly is not from the Cuban people. It is in the Cuban state and their failure to remain vigilant against growing opposition forces within the state itself. Forces that undermine the peoples’ will. Forces that cause unnecessary retreats and failures in planning. With all due respect, these are serious errors that must be rectified by campaigns led by the revolutionary Cuban people. Only the Cuban people can determine their destiny.
So our appeal to Cuba should be directed towards the revolutionary masses who represent the socialist majority. We are in solidarity with you and support you. We will continue to fight to bring to an end the U.S. embargo and all interventions. The revolutionaries in Cuba who emulate the ideals as well as principles of socialism with the aim of building communism are a continued inspiration to the freedom fighters all around the world.
Díaz-Canel welcomed revolutionaries to the street to participate in open debate and oppose the reactionaries. This is a step in the correct direction. So long as those revolutionaries are allowed to progress down whatever path they find suitable for themselves to sustain their revolution. So long as they combat the reactionaries as well as the revisionists. All of this on the terms set forth by the revolutionary Cuban masses themselves who are truly world renowned heroes of revolution.
MIM(Prisons) adds:It is not MIM line that Cuba was ever really on the socialist road. The Cuban revolution was very clearly one of national liberation from imperialism. However, Cuba paralleled the Derg in Ethiopia in taking on “Marxism-Leninism” for geo-political reasons related to using the Soviet Union as a counter-balance to other imperialist interests. That’s not to say there weren’t Marxists in their ranks, most popular movements in the Third World are going to have Marxist influences. But the Marxists had not consolidated a party around the proletarian line before seizing power. They did not follow Mao’s example of building United Fronts with other classes by maintaining proletarian leadership and independence. In a capitalist-imperialist world, coalition governments invariably lead to capitalism.
Cuba stood out for many decades as a symbol of resistance to U.$. imperialism, even after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is also well-known for directing resources in the interests of the Cuban people and the people of the world. In our article on Ethiopia we mention that the Cubans had their differences with the imperialist Soviet Union, and that speaks to the path Cuba took independent of the USSR during and after its existence.
We agree with current President Díaz-Canel that privatization is only bad for the people. However, nationalization only threatens imperialist meddling, it does not address the internal class contradictions of a country. And in the case of Cuba, with the dependence on tourist money and remittances, the Amerikans have significant and increasing control over their economy despite nationalization.
In the United $tates state-run firms (like the post office) are often defined as “socialism.” But Maoists define socialism differently, as an economy that is guided by the proletarian line, always engaging in class struggle, pitting the interests of collectivism, humyn needs and humyn relations above production, efficiency and profit.
As Mowgli writes, the internal contradictions of a capitalist economy in Cuba cannot ultimately be resolved without a popular movement to rectify the current leadership and shift to the socialist road. We would go further in stressing that socialism is class struggle. There is no policy shift that can bring a country to the socialist road, only the militant mobilization of the masses concentrated in a communist party that puts the class struggle at the forefront. Our opposition from within the empire to the embargo serves to help the Cuban people see their dreams come true via continued class struggle.
USW 27 in California reports: Abolitionists From Within(AFW) is back on the move. Building, can’t stop, won’t stop. We put forth United Front for Peace in Prisons statement of principles: Peace, Unity, Growth, Internationalism and Independence. The work on the ground is coming together. About a month ago, one of the comrades pulled me to the side and had a novel idea about bringing the community together for Juneteenth. What do you know, they made Juneteenth a national holiday. And we had a day of peace and unity here in our facility.
The young Afrikan and older comrades smiled that day. You know me, I told them to get ready for Black August. But it was nice to see our community ask questions about Juneteenth, the end of slavery. However, for us it was a day to learn and come together. Unity, Peace. A day that I can’t be lied to anymore. Thank you to the comrade who hit me up with the idea.
Now I need that same energy come Black August. Now to all you New Afrikans who participated in Juneteenth Day, thank you. You are free Black men.
Da Struggle Continue
a USW leader in TX reports: For Juneteenth, the ‘Black Unity group’, which is called Black Independence Taking Root(BITR), initiated a peace treaty among Black lumpen street organizations. A community meal was shared after sundown as the daytime was reserved for fasting as a show of appreciation to New Afrikan ancestors, and activists of various stripes who’ve pushed the cause of New Afrikan liberation forward. During that time, this cell provided the brothas here with largely unknown New Afrikan revolutionary contributions of the past, both recent and not so recent. The masses responded to the initiative very well.
MIM(Prisons) adds: The New Afrikan holiday, Juneteenth, was made a federal holiday just prior to 19 June 2021. While Amerikans celebrate 4 July 1776 as their independence day, 19 June 1865 has been celebrated by many as “Black Independence Day.” Though the New Afrikan nation was not liberated from the emerging U.$. empire on that day, it marked the day that the Emancipation Proclamation was announced and enforced in Texas, the last state it reached. It took two and a half years after the proclamation for the northern troops to make it to Texas and enforce the law. While the proclamation made on 22 September 1862 by President Lincoln was not originally a permanent law, the Thirteenth Amendment making slavery illegal, except for the convicted felon, was passed in January 1865, prior to the freeing of the slaves in Texas.
With the Thirteenth Amendment, former slaves were made citizens of the United $tates by mandate, and with no say in the matter. This new people had evolved from 100s of years of African slaves working together in a common economic situation, developing its own culture and investing in developing the land they found themselves on. After 100s of years of being denied any rights by the slavemasters who brought them there, suddenly they were told they must join the nation of their slavemasters.
What happened in the south following the civil war was a plan for a bourgeois democratic program for Black people, to incorporate them as full citizens, within the confines of capitalism. This plan was called Reconstruction. It was short-lived (1863-1877), as the whites charged with enforcing it soon gave in to the resistance by the whites who opposed it. We learned that the white nation was not willing to see through the struggle for bourgeois democracy for the New Afrikan nation. That is why today we say real independence, full rights and self-determination for New Afrikans, requires New Democracy. A New Democracy is a proletarian-led democratic revolution, different in class leadership from the bourgeois Amerikan Revolution.
The history of Reconstruction followed by Jim Crow is the most culturally relevant example for us in the United $tates of why a dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary to end oppression. No oppressor class, nation or gender in history has yet to give up its power without a fight. The all around dictatorship of the proletariat is what communists have used to revolutionize societies at all levels to undermine class and gender distinctions.
Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation remained in effect until 1965. During the 1960s there was a significant movement for true liberation of the New Afrikan nation centered around the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. As we enter Black August later this summer, we commemorate those who were murdered by the state in the righteous struggle against oppression. A struggle that was recognized as necessary thanks to the lessons of Juneteenth.
Last year, President Donald Trump made a point by scheduling a rally speech on Juneteenth in Tulsa, Oklahoma where whites waged an all-out-war against New Afrikans in 1921. This year was the 100th anniversary of the battle of Tulsa, where the communist African Blood Brotherhood(ABB) led the brave defense of “Black Wall Street” from marauding whites, who shot up and bombed the Greenwood district of the city from planes. The ABB was a secret society in Jim Crow Tulsa and many other southern cities, because to be a communist outright would have meant a death sentence from whites. The battle began when the ABB organized a resistance to the lynch mob coming for a young New Afrikan falsely accused of raping a white girl. While this battle led to many deaths on both sides and the burning of both white and Black-owned properties, it put an end to lynchings in Tulsa for a long time.
A year after Trump’s Tulsa debacle, President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday. This symbolizes the conflict within the Amerikan ruling class, and the white nation as well, in how to deal with the oppressed internal semi-colonies today. While the Republican and Democratic parties have switched positions, with the Republican Party now being the one trying to disenfranchise New Afrikans, the disagreement over the national contradiction is very similar to the days of Republican Abraham Lincoln.
As communists we strive for the resolution of this national contradiction by freeing all oppressed nations once and for all, not waiting and hoping for one slightly friendlier sector of the oppressor to win out. The ongoing struggle for New Afrikan liberation is tied to the struggle of all oppressed people for liberation. It is not surprising that the nation that ultimately worked so hard to keep the Black nation down in the 1800s is now the primary force keeping oppressed people down around the world. We have seen the limits of the euro-Amerikan revolution.
Abolish FSP (Florida State Prison) use of force (pepper spray and cell-extraction beatings) on prisoners who are only voicing their grievances, while in secured cells, not being violent or destructive, just voicing grievances.
End FSP so-called “no talking” rule. Prisoners are being deprived meals and/or pepper sprayed, and/or even beaten during cell extractions, solely for speaking to each other, our stay on CM (Close Management) being prolonged – yes, just for talking to each other.
Abolish mental health staff being in cahoots with and approving of overseer abuse and brutality of innocent prisoners already suffering from CTSD (Current Traumatic Stress Disorder), being misdiagnosed as ‘disruptive.’
End overseers withholding of prisoners meals as a disciplinary sanction.
Abolish preparing meals with subliminal intent of feeding pigs at neighboring swill farms rather than feeding human prisoners.
End FSP serving prisoners meals on mold, greasy and wet trays. Health risk.
Abolish FSP serving meals cold, which are supposed to be served hot. Another health risk.
End FSP serving of half cooked meals to prisoners. Yet another health risk.
Abolish FSP serving of highly carcinogenic, GMO, processed, fake meat.
End FSP’s blatant and rampant arbitrary deviation from FDOC master menu, and serving meals in exiguous portions, denying prisoners legally required nutritional value and calorie count.
Abolish FSP vertical use of black box on handcuffs and waist chains. Black box and handcuffs are designed to be used horizontally, not vertically. Even while having to carry personal property, placing prisoners at great risk of breaking wrists and/or other life-threatening injuries during falls.
End FSP use of exhaust fans and heaters as control and/or torture devices as collective punishment of prisoners.
Abolish FSP’s blatant and rampant withholding and delaying of prisoners incoming and outgoing mail as a censorship tactic.
End FSP’s blatant and rampant arbitrary and retaliatory impounding and rejection of prisoners’ incoming publications, based solely on prisoners political beliefs, expression, affiliation and advocacy/activism.
Abolish FSP repression, re-education campaign and war on prisoner’s aspiration of genuine essential self-rehabilitation via political studies, application and practices of genuine essential self-criticism and rectification.
End conducting of prisoners medical sick-call at cell doors, depriving prisoners of confidentiality and privacy.
Abolish FSP pepper-spraying and/or beating of mentally ill prisoners.
End CM (Close Management) solitary confinement of mentally ill prisoners.
Abolish the blatant and rampant ignoring the audio/video of prisoners PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) calls on overseers sexual harassment, or declaring mental health (psych) emergencies.
End FSP overseers taking of prisoners personal property and giving it to or leaving it accessible to friendly or favored prisoners.
Abolish FSP discriminatory denying CM I & II prisoners their JPAY purchased tablets and service, while allowing CM III prisoners their JPAY tablets and services, denial of JPAY tablet is based solely on punishment for being on CM I & II status.
End overseer training, indoctrination, instilling mindset that CM is disciplinary confinement rather than administrative or segregated housing. FSP staff and overseers literally believe that CM is for torture of prisoners rather than correction and rehabilitation of prisoners.
Abolish FSP’s blatant and rampant throwing away/trashing of prisoners submitted informal and formal grievances.
End FSP fabrication of disciplinary reports, falsifying documents, solely to prolong prisoners’ stay on CM.
Abolish FSP’s racist/KKK/good-ole-boy code of silence. Prisoners are being beaten in the medical building, off camera, in blind spots – being in blues is the new black.
If you are reading this, please understand that the above listed are only a few of the many injustices occurring here at FSP (Florida State Prison). Please understand that our backs are against the wall, we are voiceless, disenfranchised, isolated, alienated and scared of retaliation. Please understand that we are very well aware of the fact that we are in prison, and many believe that we deserve to be tortured. But what we and many others do not realize is the fact that though we are in prison, technically, we are not the real criminals. The actions that land us in prison are only reactions and responses to the mis-education and poverty created and perpetuated by the real criminals, the plutocrat politicians. Most of us are in prison only and mostly because we are not corporation owners who are too big for jail, instead we are the too poor and mis-educated to defend ourselves against the state and the prosecutors who know full well who the real criminals are, their bosses and friends, state and capital.
Please help us by spreading the word and emailing the above demands to all your friends and family, ask them to email it to friends and family, and post it on social media. The idea is to raise mass awareness, and to also let the real criminals, the plutocrats, know that we, the people, know that they are the real criminals, doing all in their power to perpetuate crime, because crime creates and perpetuates state jobs, nationwide.
and the Inspector General using the Complaint Form at fdc.myflorida.com.
“Real change begins with real awareness.”
18 July 2021, approximate 6:22AM, a prisoner in #1217 cell just got pulled out of his cell and jumped by overseers. Prisoner was already in restraints, two cells away from his cell. He was slammed to the ground, one overseer had his knee planted in the back of the prisoners neck while the prisoner was face down and handcuffed with his hands behind his back, while the other overseer punched him. I’m in the wing next door (J-Wing). Prisoners on windows reported it as it happened.
Each day, I observe my fellow captives. I then sit back, and contemplate the “why’s” of our collective ills.
Firstly, the CT captives do not get basic prison protocols; i.e. Do’s and Don’ts! In my now, 2+ years of being imprisoned in CT, I can truthfully say that I now know what “defeat” looks like! A majority Afrikan & [email protected] populace whom have given up any thoughts of changing their conditions – content to work for a shower! As their fellow captives languish in cages during facility lockdowns! No empathy for their oppressed kindred. The individualist ideals supercede any/all “collective” ideals in CT: “As long as I get mines, fuck them.” Perfect conditions for reactionary/collaborator classes to regenerate among the ignorant masses.
I was always taught that no convict worked during a lockdown making the pigs do everything to shorten the lockdown as pigs are lazy by nature. So having to feed, collect trash, walk through garbage and bird-bath soaked tiers, etc. stress them out. Here in CT however, the prisoners have willingly acquiesced to being divided into 3 groups: (1) prisoners who work (2) apathetic individualists (3) collaborators. Daily, I am bombarded with “ideas” of what so called struggle entails and how to fashion a movement in CT; forgetting that a critical piece of any conscious progressive movement is ideological cohesiveness! How do we forge a movement with cats who see: working during facility lockdowns to the detriment of the rest of their class, or standing at the pig station talking as if such behaviors are socially acceptable norms?! Apparently, in CT this is how new age progressive movements are created. This is the working prisoner class.
The apathetic individualists are exactly that: adverse to everything! These types have grown weary from years of being in prison here in CT. Tired of trying and tired of being ratted on: tired of fighting! These types tend to have a million excuses as to why they’ve never participated in any anti-system activities. Typically, their past activities involve reactionary political actions. Cats who sow doubt among the uneducated and aiding the enemies in ignorance forgetting that “conditions” create ideologies, and from those ideologies correspond actions. The apathetic types want success without doing the necessary groundwork. It is our job to sow seeds amongst these cats, change their pessimism to optimism!
The collaborator groups in CT seem to crave the attention of the pigs. Whenever you look up, they are smiling and “jeffing” with the pigs. I have never seen cats so comfortable just kicking it with pigs. Cats who find a million reasons to dislike a fellow captive, but can’t find one to hate a pig. Being seen as “cool” by the pigs has never been a desire of those whom identify with progressive politics. So I’m quite uncomfortable being in an environment where the pigs and their captives have more in common than I do with captives. The “dragon” that I earned in blood sweat and tears coupled with the portrait on my arm of comrade George! It speaks volumes on how my comrades and I view the pigs and the oppressive system they represent. Question is: can the collaborators be co-opted/brought to a revolutionary state of mind? I shall stand firm regardless, even if it must be walking alone!
I want to thank you for sending me the newsletter. I’ve been getting fellow prisoners together to help change the ongoing troubles we’re having here on the John B. Connally Unit. I’ve had my mom email the Ombudsman due to the fact that the Warden stated everyone filing a grievance on his officers actions or the units conditions will find themselves in building lockup, facing disciplinary.
So we can’t write a Step 1 or 2 cause they are getting stopped by the officials. Right now we’re on lockdown due to a racial riot that happened due to the guards making our environment ‘hostile.’ A lot of the guards don’t be wearing they mask; and they haven’t been vaccinated, yet they lock us down when one or two people take down our mask.
We try to get an ‘informal resolution’ but they refuse to talk with us. Sgt. J Sandoval stated “fuck you, we don’t care.” Exact words. When they put us on 23 hour lockdowns they make it into a 26 or 28 hour lockdown cause they don’t want to let us up. Some of the guards are 19-20-21 year olds who’ve been an officer for 2-3 months, and they get rank and misuse their power. I’ve also written the Ombudsman and my mom emailed him.
The riot was Brown vs. Black cause the Blacks don’t wanna wear they mask and were tired of going down behind one or two people. Last night everyone had enough, grievances don’t get addressed. They write bogus cases for going to respite for heat restriction. TDCJ policy says we’re allowed respite 24 hours 7 days a week even during count yet when we go to respite, Sgt. Reed and Sgt. Sandoval write out of places cases when policy says we’re allowed respite. Also, August 1st TDCJ is trying to take all our pics of females away and calling pics of women in lingerie or exotic poses ‘contraband.’
In the past few years censorship in TDCJ has reached epic proportions. In March 2020, the board on criminal justice enacted new restrictive policies regarding mail correspondence, greeting cards, and receiving monies. After a year of wide-spread resistance to this fascist policy, an exposé was written by Kerri Blessinger of the Houston Chronicle’s criminal justice department along with an inside comrade of the National Freedom Movement - TX Chapter.
The public outcry that resulted from this article which spoke specifically to the denial of greeting cards, moved TDCJ officials to annul this restrictive policy and now captives are again allowed to receive cards.
If the story ended there, things would be all well. Unfortunately, TDCJ officials have sought to retaliate against the prisoner population by instituting even more arbitrarily restrictive regulations.
Set to take effect on 1 August 2021, the newly amended Board Policy(BP) 3.91 will effectively ban ANY/ALL publications, photos, drawings, and images that We could possibly receive. This amendment bans any items showcasing thongs, lingerie, buttocks, sex toys, or bodily fluids, as well as photos that hides someone’s face.
Nearly all publications and photos one gets are subject to this rule. Harmless publications such as US Weekly, OK, National Geographic, Muscle Fitness, etc can/will be denied due to this rule. Accordingly, this denies TDCJ captives their visual stimuli, in the case of isolated captives in RHU/solitary such persyn will have NO visual stimuli at all.
The politicized prisoner collective known as Tx T.E.A.M.O.N.E. is calling ALL prisoners in teKKK$a$ to join Us and the souljas on ALLRED seg in Our campaign. We are striving to amass 75,000 grievances on this issue. Included please find a sample of a step 1, shortly We will distribute a step 2 and a petition to be sent to TDCJ Director of CID and the Chairman of TDCJ. We must showcase a show of solidarity as teKKK$a$ captives.
Offender Name:____________________ TDCJ#___________________ Unit:_________________________ Housing Assignment:____________ Unit where incident occurred:______________________
who did you talk to?_________________________When?________________ What was their response?________________________________________________ What action was taken?________________________________________________ sample: BP-3.91, amended on 6/25/21, goes into effect on 8/1/21, and effectively bans ANY/ALL publications, photos, drawings and images that we could possibly receive. This edict is in direct violation of our First Amendment rights against censorship, and fails to satisfy the four-part Turner test as TDCJ officials have failed to justify this policy.(see: TURNER V. SAFELY, 482 U.S.78(1987))
TURNER QUESTION ONE: Is the regulation reasonably related to a legitimate, neutral government interest? These magazines are non-nude, and are commonplace with no age requirement to purchase them. Thus, TDCJ cannot possibly believe such magazines may cause disorder or violence, or will hurt a prisoner’s rehabilitation. Prisoners have a right to non-obscene, sexually explicit material that is commercially produced, MAURN V. ARPAIO, 188 F.3d 1054(9th Circ.1999).
TURNER QUESTION TWO: Does the regulation leave open another way for you to exercise your constitutional rights? No. As an Ad-Seg inmate, the only visual stimuli we receive are pictures and magazines. Yet the very images that are being banned are the EXACT same content any observer can see on TV. Newspapers have circulars with bra sales, etc. Effectively banning those as well. BP-3.91 destroys our ONLY visual link to the outside world.
TURNER QUESTION THREE: How does the issue impact other prisoners, prison guards, or officials and prison resources? BP-3.91 treats ALL inmates, especially Ad-Seg, like sex offenders and pedophiles, creates unrest throughout the prison population, and punishes non-sex offenders, while GP sex offenders still see images that arouse them on TV. It punishes normal inmates while missing the intended targets.
TURNER QUESTION FOUR: Are there obvious easy alternatives to the regulation that would not restrict your rights to free expression? Yes. Restrict these BP-3.91 original to the Grievance DEPT. on (date) copy to my records BP-3.91 is too vague, encompassing a littany of correspondence (see: Alello V. Litacher, 104 F. Supp. 2d1068, 1045-81(W.D.Wis.2000) which struck down similar ban). BP-3.91 actually says, “Any photo that conceals or hides the face of the individual photographed in a manner that prevents identification of that person.” What penological interest does this serve? And during a pandemic when people are still wearing masks?
Action Requested: That the DRC and TDCJ repeal or annul BP-3.91 in its amended form as it does NOT pass the supreme court’s TURNER test.
ALL TDCJ inmates should file a grievance on this issue, it affects all genders and sexualities as pics with an erection will not be allowed. The paper trail begins now, and We may have to file a class action on this issue. By all means, COMBAT GENOCIDE!!
UPDATE: Grievance officers here are saying this is not a grievable matter. THIS IS NOT TRUE. We suggest that if others run into this problem they should write i60 informing the GR.DEPT that the Offender Grievance Operations Manual (OGOM) says that policy is grievable, due to the fact that We are grieving the unit’s interpretation of the new board policy. Prisoners should also see Thornburgh V. Abbot, 490 U.S. 401 (1989). Be sure to attach the returned step 1 to i 60.
Here officers are also saying that we can’t grieve it because the policy isn’t effective yet, and we can do so on 8/1 when policy goes into effect. This policy must be resisted on all fronts on all units. [By the time you receive this it will be in effect.] A separate, more extensive petition has also been submitted to the Deputy Executive Director and a phone zap was scheduled to occur on 1 August by outside supporters.
Anti-imperialists watching the Horn of Africa have sounded the alarm that Amerikans are scheming to further their exploitation of Ethiopia. In May, United States Agency of International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance head Sarah Charles spoke to the U.$. Congress about how the Ethiopian government and other armed forces were restricting the access of Amerikan staff and equipment in the country.(1) Ten days before the 21 June 2021 elections in Ethiopia, the U.$. State Department issued a statement expressing “grave” concern about the conditions of the elections and said they were ready to “help Ethiopia address these challenges” in order to cast doubt on election results.(2)
Many concerned about the talk coming from the U.$. government refer to Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria as warnings of what could happen in Ethiopia. Amerikan troops left the infamous sprawling Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on 2 July 2021, allowing looters to enter the grounds the following day.(3) In 2001, the U.$. overthrew the Taliban-ruled government of Afghanistan. Twenty years later, the Taliban are poised to regain control of the country following the longest war in U.$. history. All peace-loving people have an interest in preventing another one of these long, drawn out wars that have become the norm for U.$. imperialism as it struggles to dominate the rest of the world.
U.$. imperialists have already begun waging warfare in the form of economic sanctions against both Ethiopia and Eritrea. Meanwhile, they continue to push for access by USAID and its affiliated NGOs to meddle in African affairs. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front(TPLF) launched attacks on the Ethiopian armed forces back in November 2020, which began the war that seems to have reached a stopping point this July and has been used by the Amerikans as a reason to get involved. The TPLF led the Ethiopian government until 2018 when the TPLF president resigned due to popular pressure. In addition to domestic abuses, they led Ethiopia in a war for territory against Eritrea during that time. Eritrea has made peace with the new Ethiopian government led by Abiy Ahmed and sided with Ethiopia in the recent war against the TPLF.
Ethiopia is the 12th most populated country in the world, and the second most populated in Africa. In the 1970s, the Derg government led a quick, forced nationalization of the Ethiopian economy. Current President Abiy Ahmed has overseen the privatization and liberalizations of the economy, which began after 1991, when Ethiopia shifted from the Soviet Union to a U.$. client state. These moves by Abiy will increase foreign investment and involvement in Ethiopian industry. A 2018 plan by the Abiy-led government targeted 25% growth rates in manufacturing until 2025.(4) While falling short so far, this indicates their intentions to become Africa’s leading manufacturing hub. In other words, the Ethiopian masses still living in semi-feudal conditions are a potential source of a newly proletarianized population for imperialist corporations to extract surplus value from.
During the recent conflict, Abiy froze the assets of many TPLF associated companies with U.$. and other foreign investments, which may have concerned the Amerikans as well.
As part of their new plan to provide power for this growth in industry, Ethiopia has been operationalizing the new Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). On 6 July 2021, Ethiopia began the second stage of filling the dam. The Egyptian and Sudanese governments have been calling for U.N. intervention for fear of the impact on their water supplies. This will be the biggest hydroelectric project in Africa.(5) Egypt (run by U.$.-backed dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi) has indicated it would support intervention in Ethiopia to stop this project by saying all options are on the table. Egypt is one of the most important U.$. client states, historically falling in the top 3 receivers of military aid from the imperialists. The Trump administration had supported Egypt’s interests regarding the dam, and we expect U.$. support to continue.
Land-locked Ethiopia’s access to the Red Sea is through Eritrea or Djibouti. Djibouti is a small country between Eritrea and Somaliland. It is the home of AFRICOM, the United $tates military’s Africa Command, and a number of other imperialist militaries. These military bases provide 5% of Djibouti’s GDP. China has their only foreign military base in Djibouti, making it a potential location of conflict between the Amerikan and Chinese imperialists. This location is also important for access between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea including large movements of fossil fuels.
President Abiy has formed alliances with Eritrea and Somalia, countries the U.$. has used Ethiopia to destabilize in the past. This show of unity in the Horn of Africa could allow for greater serving of African interests, rather than Amerikan interests.
Strong Marxist History
National liberation struggles influenced by Marx, Lenin and Mao are central to the recent history of Ethiopia and Eritrea. In its early days, MIM often mentioned Eritrea as one of the locations of a liberatory people’s war in the 1980s. Current President of Eritrea, Isaias Afewerki, was one of the first members of the Eritrean Liberation Forces(ELF) to train in socialist China in 1967. He was later part of the leadership to form the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), which split from the ELF and combined the ELF’s strong nationalism with an explicit Marxist-Leninist line and the strategy of People’s War.(6)
In Ethiopia a series of Marxist-Leninist organizations emerged to challenge the feudal system of Haile Selassie. This led to the removal of Haile Selassie by his own military leaders in 1974, who formed the Derg government. The Derg undertook a massive nationalization campaign, labeling itself “Marxist-Leninist” and a socialist state in 1975. The Derg assigned head of state to U.$.-trained Mengistu Haile Mariam, but became an ally of the social-imperialist USSR. Their national-brougeois ideas fit nicely with the revisionist distortions of Soviet “Marxism-Leninism.”(7)
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front also began in the revolutionary period of the 1960s. By the late 1970s it was waging guerilla war against the Derg, under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray. At this time there was a split in the revolutionary movement of Ethiopia around the question of secession, with the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front leading the call for the right to self-determination of Eritrea independent of Ethiopia. Others saw secessionist movements in Ethiopia as linked to the reactionary regionalism of feudalism, and a division of the peasant masses.(8)
In 1991, MIM Notes celebrated the overthrow of the “social-fascist Mengistu regime” by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front(EPRDF) as well as the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front(EPLF), which abstained from the provisional government of Ethiopia opting for independence instead. They noted, “MIM doesn’t have much information about the”revolutionary programs" of the EPRDF, so we must watch and let the practice of both the EPRDF and EPLF speak for itself.“(9) Yet, MIM Notes had already quoted the New York Times under the heading”Victories Betrayed":
"The best insurance against another hard-line Marxist regime in Ethiopia appears to be the presence in Ethiopia immediately after the EPRDF’s victory, of an Amerikan, Paul B. Henze.
“Henze, the station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency at the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa from 1969 to 1972, was invited to the capital as a personal guest of President Meles. He spent five weeks in Ethiopia advising Meles and was upbeat when he left. ‘Meles is pragmatic,’ Henze says. ‘He and his colleagues are not bothering with ideological matters. Ethiopia has a good chance of becoming a productive country.’”(10)
Meles Zenawi was a member of the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray before becoming the first president of Ethiopia under the EPRDF government. As the CIA agent predicted, rather than struggling against differences between classes and nationalities in Ethiopia, the TPLF used its power to dominate the government at the expense of other nationalities and regions, and it soon became a pawn of U.$. imperialism in its maneuvering for power. As a result, by 1998, Meles(TPLF)-led Ethiopia had invaded Isaias(EPLF)-led Eritrea. It appears that both organizations abandoned their Marxist-Leninist lines prior to the overthrow of the Derg and their seizing of state power as part of the process of forming the united front against the Derg. This indicates that there were right-opportunist, liquidationist errors within the leadership of both movements that allowed them to put the liberation struggle and overthrow of the Derg above and in place of the struggle for socialism and a dictatorship of the proletariat. They did not heed the lessons of Mao’s China on how to keep proletarian leadership within a united front of class interests against imperialism. This led to reactionary bourgeois nationalism to play the leading role in these countries, despite the promising Marxist origins of this shift in power. The result gives credence to the warnings from those Marxists who argued against regionalism and secession and opposed the politics of the earlier ELF and original TPLF.
The Organization for African Unity, started by leaders like Kwame Nkrumah and Haile Selassie, also took up a line that it was against the interests of the people of Africa to begin dismantling the states that were amalgamations of peoples imposed by the colonial powers. History has proven this strategy to be effective in preventing divisions among the oppressed. Nkrumah had hoped for the OAU to become a federal government uniting all of Africa, but that strategy did not win out.
At the same time, Maoists recognize the right to self-determination of all nations. And the liberation movement in Eritrea held much promise leading up to liberation. Eritrea also differed from other regions in Ethiopia in that it was previously a separately administered state under Italian colonial occupation. Today, Eritrea remains the only country in Africa without AFRICOM presence, leading to much derision from the United $tates and Europe over the years. They took pride in their non-aligned stance in a world divided by the United $tates and the social imperialist Soviet Union. In 1984, Isaias Afewerki also declared they had no links or support from China. They did not take a position on whether China was still socialist at the time. Isaias did look at Cuba as an example of what happens when you become a client state of the Soviet Union. Isaias claimed the Cubans disagreed with USSR policy in Ethiopia and Eritrea, yet Cuban troops operated in Derg-ruled Ethiopia on behalf of Soviet interests in the 1980s.(11)
While Eritrea has a history of independence and remaining politically neutral, they have recently provided support for the U.$./Saudi war on Yemen that has led to a massive loss of humyn life since 2015. This was likely motivated by financial gain.(12) In the 1980s, South Yemen was in solidarity with the Eritrean liberation struggle despite opposition by the imperialist Soviet Union. Like Cuba, South Yemen took on the form of “Marxist-Leninist” state years after its liberation under the influence of the Soviet Union. Like the Cubans, they seemed to recognize the righteousness of the Eritrean liberation struggle. Today, we cannot view the Eritrean leadership as serving real self-determination when they are being pitted against Yemen by the imperialists. Ultimately, it was the abandonment of proletarian politics that led Eritrean leadership to side with imperialism in the Middle East.
While revisionism seems to have thwarted the popular revolutionary forces in the Horn of Africa in the late 20th century, the proletarian, revolutionary line is no stranger to the people of the region. This is further evidenced by President Abiy having to specifically address and critique Marx, Lenin and Mao in his recent book.(13) It is only through the unified struggle of all African people that the current violence, death and starvation can be properly ended. U.$. and other imperialist involvement will continue to pit Africans against Africans and other oppressed people.
Our Role in the Horn of Africa
In April 2018, Abiy Ahmed of the Oromo Democratic Party was elected Prime Minister of the EPRDF government of Ethiopia. This marked the end of TPLF leadership in the EPRDF, which was replaced by the Prosperity Party coalition in November 2019, excluding TPLF. After his confirmation, Abiy quickly established peace with Eritrea, still headed by Isaias Afewerki. This was a historic peace agreement, returning land to Eritrea that the TPLF had been occupying, signalling unity in the region against the U.$.-backed TPLF. Eritrea and Ethiopia have remained united in the war that began in November 2020 with a TPLF attack on Ethiopian forces. Until the people of the region can mount proletarian-led struggles for power again, the Eritrean-Ethiopian alliance remains important for strengthening the region against further meddling by foreign imperialism.
Our role in all of this is determined by the imperial nature of the United $tates government. Like all people in the world, it is our duty to build towards a dictatorship of the proletariat in our own backyard. But we have the added duty of countering the imperial machinations of our current government.
We should expose the imperialist nature of State Department agencies like USAID that want to present themselves as humanitarian organizations. While President Trump celebrated the Ethiopia and Eritrea peace deal, the Biden administration has brought those favoring intervention in the Horn of Africa back into the White House.
Toward the end of his presidency, Barack Obama appointed Gayle Smith to Administer USAID. Gayle Smith was first employed by USAID in 1994. She had lived in EPLF-run areas dating back to the 1970’s, where she was a “journalist” working undercover for the CIA. She later spent time embedded with the TPLF where she mentored Meles Zenawi, who would go on to wage decades of war against the EPLF.(14) Another close confidant of Meles was Susan Rice, who was national security advisor to Barack Obama.(13) And as we mentioned above, Meles had open relations with local CIA agents from the very beginning of his presidency.
In 2021, Biden has appointed Samantha Power to head USAID. Samantha Power had succeeded Susan Rice as Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations after being mentored by both Rice and Obama. Rice was involved in the violent separation of South Sudan from Sudan and lied about mass rapes to justify the invasion of Libya. Rice and Power worked with Hillary Clinton to greenlight the invasion of that killed Muammar Gaddafi, which Clinton later laughed about on television.
In 2013, Power led the charge within the Obama administration to bomb Syria, which Rice came around to support. Power’s book A Problem From Hell justifies intervention against genocide. She used this mission statement of hers to justify bombing Syria and Libya, and now stands behind it to intervene and defend the TPLF.(15) We oppose the continued expansion of U.$. troops in Africa since President Bush started AFRICOM in 2008. U.$. support for the TPLF clearly aims to divide Africans so that they can be better controlled for the benefit of imperialist-country corporations.
On 20 April 2021, Ma’Khia Bryant – a 16-year-old New Afrikan girl – was murdered by a pig belonging to the Columbus Division of Police.(1) As the news of a guilty verdict on killer pig Derek Chauvin was barely starting to make news on various media, an Amerikan pig killed another New Afrikan child.(2)
At the time of the murder, Ma’Khia Bryant lived in foster care in the home of Angela Moore – the foster mother. The incident started as a conflict between a Tionna Bonner, 22 year old former foster child of Ms. Moore, and Ma’Khia Bryant and her younger sister Ja’Niah Bryant. The conflict was originally over housework, and how the former foster child Tionna Bonner said the Bryant children were not giving Ms. Moore the respect that was due. The dispute escalated when Ja’Niah called Ms. Moore who said she was too busy to get involved. Ja’Niah called her grandmother while Ms. Bonner called another former foster child by the name of Shai-Onta Craig Watkins. Watkins was 20 years old at this time.(3)
The biological grandmother of the Bryant children arrived who described the conflict. She tried protecting her grandchildren who were being threatened by the older former foster children Ms. Bonner and Ms. Watkins. By this time, Ms. Bonner had pulled out a knife (according to Ja’Niah and her grandmother) and Ma’Khia had grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen. This is when Ja’Niah called 911 to which she claimed “Angie’s grown girls trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put her hands on our grandma.”(4)
The police arrived 12 minutes later. Ms. Watkins has left the house while the Bryant children began to pack up their things. The Bryant children’s father now arrived at the scene as Ms. Watkins returned with two more people. While the two groups crossed paths, Ms. Watkins spat towards the Bryant family. Ja’Niah Bryant later said, “That’s when everything just went left.”
As Ma’Khia Bryant charged, Ms. Watkins fell to the ground in which then Ma’Khia’s father tried to kick Watkins. When Ma’Khia raised her kitchen knife, pig Nicholas Reardon shot Ma’Khia four times. Ma’Khia was dead.
Many activists and people on Twitter oriented towards the discourse of Amerika’s police brutality pointed out on social media how the New Afrikan masses couldn’t get a single second of judicial justice from the United $tates without having another Amerikan pig take the life away from another New Afrikan. This murder was closely dated with the release of the video footage showing the murder of a Mexican lumpen youth Adam Toledo who was 3 years younger than Ma’Khia Bryant. The liberals and left-wing imperialists oriented with the Democratic Party seemed too busy to pat themselves on the back in regards to the guilty verdict on Derek Chauvin that these two murders of oppressed nation youth seemed to not stay in their national headlines.
The Oppressed Nation Youth in the Foster Care System
In 2019, New Afrikan children made up 14% of the total child population in the United $tates – children ranging from ages 1 to 18 – while their euro-Amerikan counterparts made up 50%.(5) Despite their much smaller population size, New Afrikan children made up 23% of the kids in foster care, much higher than not only Amerikans, but also the [email protected], First Nations, and national minorities.(6) The number of New Afrikan foster children however, has been decreasing steadily for the past two decades with the year 2000 starting with a 39% and reaching a stabilization of 23% around 2016 up to 2019.
Throughout the history of the modern imperialist world there have been problems of vulnerable children; whether they be foster kids, orphan beggars, or a gang of youth thieves, crisis which inevitably comes from the capitalist relations of production will strike the youth populations as well. In the United $tates, one of the many major external factors of the oppressed nations’ material conditions in the recent decades have been the drug war. With the turn of the 1980s, the crack epidemic fueled by the alliance between the CIA and the comprador drug lords of Latin America has hit New Afrikan and [email protected] communities like a locust swarm would to a peasant’s rice field. As the drug game became more and more dangerous, the oppressed nation youth lost the little stability and the nuclear family structure that they had in the first place. The associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau stated that “most children enter the foster care system, not from physical abuse, but from neglect.”(7) From this we can gather that the primary cause of New Afrikan youth entering the foster care system is not physical and emotionally abusive parents per se, but lack of resources the family or the community around them has.
Children growing in those lumpenized households and impoverished labor aristocrat households vulnerable to lumpenization (and most importantly, surrounded by abysmal living conditions) creates a very unstable social element for the Amerikans (and even the oppressed nation masses!). So in that response, the foster system is utilized where petty-bourgeois households (many of them belonging to the oppressed nation themselves!) with the time and resource could take care of children coming from beneath their petty-bourgeois class status. Despite its well-intended individuals, the foster care system is just as unsafe from bureaucratic and profit-driven work methods that is embedded in the capitalist the capitalist superstructure. Abuse, emotional deprivation, and physical neglect reign amongst children in foster care. Just like how the police departments of every major city juke statistics and makes robberies and rapes disappear – and how the school system juke scores and encourage studying tests instead of studying fields of knowledge – foster homes oftentimes make their abuse and neglect disappear as well. Anti-communists claim that no one would work without the profit motive, and that the profit motive is the main source of good work in any society. Then how come foster parents who get paid hundreds by the government every month per child still can’t meet the emotional and physical requirement for vulnerable youth?
With the crack cocaine epidemic rising in the 1980s and 1990s, bourgeois nationalist ideas hardening the family structure of oppressed nations came to popularity. Bourgeois nationalists pointed at the lack of a nuclear family structure amongst oppressed nations, and rested the conditions of New Afrikans and [email protected] upon that point.(8) The absentee father; the drug addicted mother; the so-called “emasculated” gay man; the gangster who’s “too dumb” to use his parasitic gains to transform into a legal capitalist; and the participator of “loose sex” were seen as the reasons why New Afrikan/[email protected] youth were pulled into lumpenization and the foster care system. Maoists understand that the superstructure cannot change the economic base, and the idea of “superstructure first” will be fruitless without the overthrow of capitalism. Shaming single mothers, persecuting LGBT masses, and enabling the capitalist instincts of the lumpen class will not only fail to give us liberation, but will attack the masses even more.
Socialist Handling of Unattended Youth
In the Soviet Union, revolution, counter-revolution, and world war left millions of orphans in Russia commonly referred to as “besprizornye” (literally meaning “unattended”).(9) Most of these orphans worked as beggars while also looking towards odd jobs such as selling flowers and cigarettes or hoping to work in restaurants for scraps. Competition became more fierce, and many of these orphans turned towards prostitution and thievery.(10) Gangs of orphans as large as groups of 30 came to being; alcoholism and drug abuse became a common site; and STDs, physical, and mental illness became common things associated with the unattended children.(11) From this basis came the battle for communist transformation of not only the unattended children but all children under socialism in the USSR. Revolutionary orphanages were formed, children were provided with necessities such as education while expected to help with maintaining those independent institutions and decision making. The primary split between these orphanages under socialism and capitalism was the agency and self-determination given to the orphaned youth and the question of adoption: socialist orphanages didn’t seek to put children in adoption but give them a family through the productive life of the commune. During the latter half of the 1920s, the Soviet Union succeeded in the rehabilitation of the unattended children although the goal of creating revolutionary youth movement for all youth has not been met.(12)
The murder of Ma’Khia Bryant is overlooked unfortunately by both the Liberals and the revolutionaries. As a guilty verdict has been placed on pig Derek Chauvin, liberals are eager to put a book end to the rebellion that spread across the country from 2020-2021. As Mao Zedong taught us that the masses must learn revolution through waging revolution, we emphasize the work on us that must be done in pulling the correct lessons from the period of rebellion from 2020 to 2021. Many radical Liberals are heartbroken by such morbid killing of an oppressed nation youth – a habit Amerikkka is unable to kick – and often times let the bourgeois moralism alongside catharsis get the better of them. We emphasize again the importance of learning the essence of the reality around us and the importance of serving unattended youth while combating tailist and commandist attitudes.
Bibliography 1. Will Wright, 8 May 2021, “Ma’khia Bryant’s Journey Through Foster Care Ended With an Officer’s Bullet,” The New York Times. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Kids Count, September 2020, “Child Population by Race in the United States,” Kids Count. 6. Kids Count, June 2021, “Children in foster care by race and Hispanic origin in the United States,” Kids Count. 7. Administration for Children & Families, January 15, 2020 “Child abuse, neglect data released: 29th edition of the Child Maltreatment Report,” Administration for Children & Families. 8. The New York Times, July 31, 1994, “Facing Complaints of Bias, Farrakhan Speaks to Women Only.” 9. Alan M. Ball, 1994, “And Now My Soul Hardened,” University of California Press. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid.