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[Revolutionary History] [Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 78]
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Black Power Black August

When brother Malcolm X died,
I died inside,
When Fred Hampton died,
I became revived,
When George Jackson died,
I blooded in my eyes,
When Huey P. died,
I revolutionized
and realized,
I’m Toussaint, Garvey and Stokely,
Turner, Biko, Prosser and Vessey,
Fanon, Cabral, Lumumba, Sankara,
Ruchell, Jonathan, McClain and Christmas.
My godesses are: Truth Sojourner,
Harriett Tubman, Candos, Kween Nzinga,
Angela, Ericka, Afeni and Assata,
and all the MOVE comrades
Last name Afrika.
I’m MLM to the fullest,
Anti-CIWPS, Anti-misogynist
All the way feminist, egalitarianist,
Lumpen proletarian, street reactionary
Turned radical internationalist
Revolutionary intercommunalist,
My oath is with Mother Earth
Climate Justice.
A prisoner, yeah,
But I’m not the real criminal,
Not the one making the policies,
Which creates poverty for capital
Thus, creating crime and immorality,
which are mostly survivalist, reactionary,
miseducated responses and reactions
to CIPWS miseducation and poverty.
Till we, as a People
Start taking politics personal
We will keep being the victims
of the real criminals, the real parasiticals,
The plutocrats,
Republikkklans and Demoncrats,
Working only in the interest of the tall hats
while their Plutocrat Imperialist Goons
Keep lynching us.
Then they wonder why,
We’re getting politically conscious
Self-defensive and rebellious
Screaming,
All Power to the People, from the soul
Screaming, All Power to the Proles,
Black Power, Black August
Black essential self-determination,
Our number one goal,
Only us could free us,
Black Power as a whole.
Black Power, Black August,
Black essential self control.
Black Power, Black August,
Breaking the mental and physical holds.
Black Power Black August
Black Power Black August.
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[Control Units] [Revolutionary History] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 78]
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Rest in Power: Principal Thinker, Peace Maker, New Afrikan Revolutionary Paul Redd

Paul Redd memorial
Memorial for Paul Redd in Oakland, California

As comrades in Texas, North Carolina and elsewhere took action to protest long-term solitary confinement and mass incarceration this Juneteenth, we lost a leader in the struggle against solitary confinement and oppression in all forms in California. Paul Redd passed away on 19 June 2022. His funeral was July 9th in Oakland, Calfornia.

Redd was a New Afrikan Revolutionary, an author, and a principal thinker behind the development of the 2012 Agreement to End Hostilities(AEH) across California prisons. The AEH preceded an historical campaign against Security Housing Units(SHU) that included the largest prison hunger strikes in history.

Statement from Paul Redd’s family

“Paul Redd left us on Juneteenth. A hero to so many, he was loved by so many communities: from his childhood friends in Oakland, to his family who has always been with him, to decades-long friendships from the inside, to the many friends he made in his two years home after 44 years of wrongful incarceration, including 30 in solitary. He will be remembered for his infinite love, his courage, strength, generosity, hope, his poetry, and passion for justice. We love you Paul!”

Words from Redd’s comrades:

“Paul Redd’s passing is heartfelt for many as he was a staunch advocate of Black Love and Solidarity. His dedication and commitment to freedom of himself and other prisoners made him a target of the State and thereby a political prisoner. I spent prison time with Paul in Tracy and San Quentin, and know of his years of selfless service in the Black Guerrilla Family. As a soldier for the liberation of his people, he will be sorely missed in the field of battle opposing white supremacy and the tyranny of capitalism-imperialism. Paul, I salute you!!!” – Jalil Muntaqim

"He taught honor and respect to so-called thugs and ‘hood niggas’ and showed them how to respect and give concern for each other in such a way, thereby the world would come to respect and honor them. He also taught them to be young Lions and soldiers for all seasons. I was one of those young soldiers that he taught. And I was one of those young warriors that had grown with the example that he gave me. I stand now as an eternal witness to the teachings that this Brotha imparted to me, the political education. He taught me to refuse. He showed and taught me how to stand and not bend, buck or bow before the murderers who held us captive in Amerikkka’s concentration camps.

“…This Brotha, his spirit lives forever. I’m Brotha Balagoon Kambone, a Brotha and a friend.”

see more here: Friends and Comrades of the Prisoner Human Rights Movement, 27 June 2022, “Songs of tribute to Paul Redd, home with the ancestors”, The San Francisco Bay View, Vol 47, No 7.

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[Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 78]
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CPF Demands Gov. Newsom Liberates Our Elders

Join MIM(Prisons), KAGE Universal, CPF and others at this forum in February

Recently a comrade from outside California wrote MIM(Prisons) to ask for an update on the leaders of the movement against solitary confinement because ey hadn’t heard anything about them recently. The below letter to CA Governor Newsom provides that update in the context of an ongoing agitational campaign.

While MIM(Prisons) supports the release of these elders, we focus our campaigning on the release of all people from long-term solitary confinement in line with the U.N. Mandela Rules. The decision to settle with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in the Ashker suit was a huge blow to this cause. While we don’t know what would have happened if the trial went to court, we knew and know exactly what a settlement would mean. Comrades in Texas and elsewhere should take a lesson from the leaders still sitting in solitary confinement in California a decade later. SHU/RHU/Control Units are torture! There is no acceptable outcome of our campaign against solitary confinement other than abolishing them completely.


California Prison Focus
KAGE Universal
4408 Market St., Ste. A
Oakland, CA 93608

Governor Newsom
1021 O Street, Suite 9000
Sacramento, CA 95814

March 18, 2022

RE: Liberate Our Elders

Dear Governor Newsom et al.,

California Prison Focus (CPF) and K.A.G.E. Universal are requesting your immediate action under the current humanitarian health crisis to investigate the ongoing retaliation being faced by the imprisoned human rights activists and members of the Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) who authored and honored the historic 2012 Agreement to End Hostilities (AEH), significantly reducing violence on California’s prison yards, and beyond. The Agreement to End Hostilities encourages conflict resolution and direct communication between races to counter violence between prisoner organizations. This opened the doors for the prison to begin providing a host of rehabilitative programs. Because of the sacrifices those individuals made, countless others have been saved from enduring decades-long solitary confinement torture as they did.

When these men, who had been tortured in solitary confinement for decades had attempted to disseminate and promote this historic accord, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) obstructed their efforts, claiming that the AEH qualifies as third-party communication. Staff members refused to post the statement throughout the prison, while during that same period, and since many years earlier, CPF was receiving reports that guards were placing “disruptive” individuals on the yards to instigate fights. [See Prison Focus archives, www.prisons.org]

“Mr. Y stated that some people try to sabotage it, namely the correctional officers, who continue to try to trick the general population with their anti-solidarity games…” Pelican Bay State Prison Report, PF Issue 48, Winter 2016

CDCR claimed that the signers of the AEH presented a major threat to the safety of the general prison population and in September 2013, there were approximately 3,881 prisoners in CDCR’s Security Housing Units (SHU) when the AEH had just been distributed inside CDCR and outside to civil society.

Approximately 2000 people were released from the SHU starting in early 2016 as a result of the Ashker v. Brown settlement agreement. When these older men came out of the SHUs, their principle thinking, and mentoring of younger prisoners in General Population yards created a dramatic decrease in violence, except when instigated directly or indirectly by prison policy and/or guards. To the contrary, as the men returned to the yards struggling to cope after decades of torture, they continued to promote and honor the AEH. Their commitment to non-violence and class unity among the SHU “kickouts” was even more remarkable as CDCR did nothing to assist SHU prisoners in transitioning to General Population even though it was extremely difficult for them after decades of being in solitary, living 24/7 in tiny cells with no natural light and under severe and harsh conditions.

CPF received reports and letters that the elders who were released from solitary confinement after so many decades were having a profound impact in reducing violence on the yards. At the same time CPF was receiving hundreds of letters a year, reporting incidents of violence that were directly or indirectly caused by both overt and covert actions taken by prison staff, sanctioned by the policy and prison administration of CDCR.

The signers by every organized group in CDCR, those who promulgated the AEH, and their fellow prisoner organizers of the California Prison Hunger Strikes, have been suffering from extreme retaliation ever since. Twelve of the original 16 signers continue to languish in prison today, as most of them are still being held in one form or another of solitary confinement. One organizer died before he was ever to see freedom. Others have received new and serious charges that are possibly retaliatory, so as not to disrupt CDCR’s false narratives that the organizers of the historical California Prison Hunger Strikes are the worst of the worst. And while studies claim that California faces a 66% recidivism rate, they continue to refuse to release these elders who pose a risk of less than 2%.

This constitutes a human rights crisis and we can no longer remain silent. We demand that the signers of the AEH, as well as for all organizers and participants of the California Prison Hunger Strikes, to be safe from retaliation, including further torture, isolation or, as laid out in the PHRM Blueprint, from being coerced, threatened and blackmailed to betray fellow prisoners with false accusations. We demand that the signers of the AEH be granted 2933 credits, based on the attached Certificate of Acknowledgment, to reduce or modify their sentences, and receive an immediate opportunity to demonstrate their readiness to return to their communities, starting with the individuals who have already had a positive impact on their community and society and would clearly have an even greater positive impact they will have on society as a whole if released.

In addition, the PEACE program that has already been established at Pelican Bay State Prison joins CPF and KAGE Universal to request that the AEH be posted throughout all CDCR institutions, using Inmate Welfare Funds.

Sincerely,

Kim Pollak, California Prison Focus, Executive Director
Minister King X, K.A.G.E. Universal, Founder, Executive Director
California Prison Focus, Director of Culture and Art

Cc: Kathleen Allison, CDCR Secretary
    Signers of the Agreement to End Hostilities
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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Anti-Imperialism] [ULK Issue 78]
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Get Up, Stand Up

The realization of The Dilapidation
of a so-called ‘Democratic free nation’
Ran and orchestrated by The Illuminati and freemasons
has everybody Divided by social injustice,
bigotry, classism and racial segregation
The nation’s leaders claim “In GOD We Trust”
But their God is “G”old-“O”il-“D”rugz because
they really serve mammon and Satan
instead of peace these imperialists promote
violence, crime, poverty and fornication,
with the primary agenda of bringing forth
Desolation, Degeneration and moral degradation,
Because these ‘Khazars’, Capitalist, and The
rest of these cocky caucasians
are set on achieving Global Domination
by way of 3rd world occupation,
Through means of military invasion
and mental, religious and economic manipulation
The imperialist wants us to bow down and praise them,
and each day our oppressors are gettin more brazen,
These racist-ass crackers know shall us
3rd world people unite, through our melanin
alone we have the power to bring about their
Genetic Annihilation,
and nothing is more Dynamic than our Black
and Brown Genes not even Their “white” Jesus
can save ’em
Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and politically conscious
Whites its time we unite, and mentally awaken,
By all means necessary even if it means comin’ out weapons blazin,
To reclaim all that’s been forcefully taken,
including our cultural names, religion, Ancestral
Tradition, pride and Self-Determination
its time to reclaim our natural resources and
Wealth and oust the imperialists from out
of our Lands and nations!
So Get Up, Stand Up, Stand Up for your rights!
Long Live The Revolution!
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[United Front] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 78]
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Capitalism Spawns Betrayal

Betrayal of one’s comrades: what in prison is called “snitching”, is an aspect of capitalism. Capitalism creates the myth of an isolated individual. “Snitches” and “informants” are people who are convinced that they are acting in their own best interest at the cost of breaking their social ties. “Prison create snitches” not only because they want information to use against others, but because it is a proven method of “breaking” people.

Denmark Vessey, who was betrayed before an 1822 slave uprising, warned against trusting a slave who accepts gifts from a master. These gifts represent attaching values to “things” and not one’s bond with other human beings. They reflect the “fetish” of commodities; putting values into possessions at the cost of your human relations is cruel & deadly. Prisons found that snitches become a lot more violent, animalistic, & don’t care who they hurt – just to survive for the moment. Prisons had to create special yards just for them, which even according to their own data, were most violent, where new gangs were created as the snitches attempted to create some semblance of self-respect.

The Pelican Bay hunger strikers overcame the idea the system perpetuated. It re-established human solidarity across gang & racial lines. As opposed to the snitches the system used to keep people in perpetual solitary confinement. The idea of solidarity caught on with tens of thousands of state & federal prisoners, and many times more out on the streets nation-wide…(wake up) we can no longer allow the imperialists to use us against each other for their benefit!!!

Collectively we are an empowered force. The People’s Commission, consisting of: the Almighty Black-P-Stone Nation El Rukn Tribe, the Almighty Latin King Nation, & the Almighty Vice Lords Nation have been united in solidarity & nation building for 75 years. We call upon all street organizations in the American western hemisphere to do the same.

-All Is Truly Well-

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[Gender] [ULK Issue 78]
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Gunnas Stop

Have some respect! Not only for the women officers and staff of DOC, but for yourself as well. These ladies come here to work to pay bills and take care of their families, not to partake in your perverted fantasies. If you wouldn’t sit in a car or stand behind a bush and do it, don’t do it here! If you would they have QMHP for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall, short, skinny, or fat, you can have a pinkie or a horse, it’s degrading to yourself and the female no matter her nationality. You wouldn’t want your female loved ones to be subjected to this, so why would you subject someone else’s to it? Do not submit to your lower passions because of your surrounding or time. Rise above your circumstances.

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[Polemics] [Theory] [Fascism] [First World Lumpen] [National Liberation] [Independent Institutions] [ULK Issue 78]
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Tasks of the Revolutionary

The task of a revolutionary, regardless of ones political/ideological or cultural leanings, is to make revolution. Revolution is all about change. The biggest change that a revolutionary must undertake is the equivalent to in the religion of Islam what is called Jihad. Jihad is not limited to what most Western religious enthusiasts have been led to believe, the meaning of Jihad goes much deeper than the concept of crusades or mere bombings. The biggest Jihad or battle that one can have is the battle for control over oneself.(als see MIM(Prisons)’s study pack on religion) To the revolutionary, this task is important because he/she has to become the change they wish to produce to the world.

A constant improving of one’s character with the righteousness of ideals that have went through the rigors of tests to be found or rather proved to be correct for the overall ordeal of advancement. Once again before this can be felt by the untapped but potential revolutionary or the dumb, deaf & blind brother/sister clinging to a culture intended to kill them, the revolutionary must make this change (revolution) within his/her own personal character. This is what should be used to provide an example for others of whom we are trying to reach. This also however leads us to the conclusion that people no matter the fact that we come from common ways of living & thinking, are still each different.

This statement doesn’t mean that I subscribe to individualism, because true revolutionaries think from the communal mindset. However, since we are far removed from that concept, we must find ways that are productive to lead one to the communal mindset that already exists in us naturally. The idea of individualism is one of the main obstacles to overall community change, because we’re not acting as organisms moving together for the betterment of the body (society). But that doesn’t mean that all aspects of individualism are wrong, for example, “each according to ability.” So while some may think of us all developing the mind of the commune will lead us all to thinking like the Borg from Star Trek (everyone thinking the same thing), I see it more like the Smurfs. Yes the Smurfs. They had a unified community, accompanied with everyone playing a specific role. This way shouldn’t just be relegated to one’s own political vanguard or the military brigade. We have to find some means of communicating these ideals to everyone. Since we all share a common enemy, all of our efforts have to revolve around crushing that threat.

If we relegate ourselves to constantly battling over which of the communal methods hold the stronger validity, we’ll all end up moving in our own directions & probably never initializing the changes that we are the basis of our citizenship within these groups. We’ll more than likely continue to develop the mentalities they would like for us to develop, which will ultimately reduce us to caricature. All opinions are not equal & there is such a thing as counter-productive revisionism. Our vanguard elements are going to have to develop the use of Democratic Centralism. This process however must be done without the bitterness & rancor that can only come from egoism. In fact egoism must be crushed, because great man personalities have no place in revolution. Revolution, whether politically or through armed struggle, is all about the altering of a society that is crushing the life force out of all of us, this is not an individual problem, once again it is communal!

Dialectical materialism is all about examining things within their total sequence & seeing the pros & cons in the struggles of the past. The obvious reason is to better equip ourselves from suffering the same fate as a result of the same failures of our previous brave brothers/sisters engaged at trying to crush the outside enemy culture & to utilize whatever methods may be useful to strengthen what we already have. A constant improvisation still needs to be done, but this doesn’t mean that we should stop studying people’s war. We have to study the principles of people’s war & learn to interpret them to fit our overall situation here. Most wars of liberation took place in the countryside of their respective lands. Our situation is different in that Amerikan settler-colonialism is modernized & at least 80-90% of Amerika is industrialized, so the nerve centers of this nation are indeed the cities. This means that hip shooting cops are all around us, thus making them easier to reach.

In the opening phases of our struggle for liberation, I feel just as Comrade Jackson felt, that the military proper must be kept hidden & separate from the political front. You see the role of a political revolutionary is totally different than the military who are engaged in armed struggle against macabre freaks. The guerrilla chief is tasked with communicating to his soldiers that they must protect their political peoples at their work. If we let our “voices” die to machine gun fire, no knock invasions, the anonymous tip, political incarceration & even the work of agent provocateurs & class defectors, then our dream of eventual freedom will more than likely die with those brave brothers/sisters. The guerrilla chief however must also have a thorough understanding of the true nature of fascism, the modern industrial state, the economic landscape etc. The reason is that if one group dies or is not as effective the guerrilla chief & his band of revolutionaries can still keep the revolution alive.

As of now our main problem is the fact that our vanguard & military groups have shifted their focus from revolution to clinging to the culture of anti-people crimes. The settler-colonial strategy is law & order which ultimately means prison – our tactic is perfect disorder which leads to the proletariat & the lumpen creating mass disorder to work against the beast (cops) & their vigilante supporters. In 1969, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover declared that “there will no longer be a Black Panther Party in the U.S.” The Black Panther Party was not the only revolutionary group & in spite of popular belief, they were not just a group working exclusively in the interest of Blacks. The Black Panther Party like almost every other revolutionary group, was a communist organization that utilized the principles they learned from successful communist victories, from examples such as Mao Zedong and his Red Book. They formed alliances with many other revolutionary groups and because the Black situation stood out more (& still does) they were thought to be the overall vanguard party to even other political & military vanguards. So the goal wasn’t to just fix conditions in the Black community. That was their primary objective, but they understood that if you just focused exclusively on the black conditions and fixing only our areas, we would have to ghettoize other segments of society that would equal Mexicans, [email protected], First Nations, etc.

To stop the progressive elements of unity among different cultural/revolutionary groups, the establishment caused the leaders of these groups to distrust their own members. This was done by the government from planting spies in these groups, along with wiretaps, surveillance, to out sending letters to leaders that were supposed to have come other leaders declaring war between the groups. The goals the establishment used largely worked and eventually several key leaders either went into hiding, left the country, or were even assassinated while the political prisoners suffered death legally and quasi-legally.

Of course progressive thinking was still held as an ideal in some people’s minds and this led to groups that eventually turned against the community even further by becoming gangs. Community Revolution in Progress became the goal for Raymond Washington and Stanley “Tookie” Williams or Brotherly Love Overriding Oppression & Destruction became the acronym for Blood. These were good ideas and could’ve worked if we had received the freedom first. The freedom I’m referring to must come first in the form of a free-dome because our situation was more psychological than physical. This means that our minds were created for the sole purpose of getting us to act against our even better interests. This shouldn’t be understated since the mindsets that we have now didn’t exist in communal Africa. These mindsets is what led us to industrializing this country which ultimately our labor was used as the down payment on the system of economics that determines one’s status in this country.

Without the mindsets that we adopted (through long usage) we would’ve long been better equipped at resisting. But since chattel slavery lasted for 400 years and we haven’t been free 200 years, how can we hope to win freedom, especially since once again we are still clinging to the ideas that created our mindsets in the first place? Since it is our design that gave beauty to the world, which should be easy to see since others are quick to pick up on our culture, even sometimes more readily than we are, we must go back to our own design. This could work for the betterment of not only us as a group however, this could be used as a basis to show others righteous examples that could ultimately lead to a change. But it must begin now. For us to delay what must be done today is like asking someone else to undertake to aid us in a liberation effort that must be engaged in by our own efforts.

Another problem working against us is our inability to understand the difference between reform and change. Largely the only righteous peoples who were working for us are the people who were attacked by the outside enemy culture. Anyone else was used because their stance wasn’t revolutionary. I’m not dismissing people like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks etc, but I know that the main reason why they are mentioned over people such as Malcolm X or Huey Newton is their view against the necessity not only of violence and the correct usage of armed struggle, but it also mainly rests with them telling us to escape from the culture that we embrace. Malcolm X’s image is only now used because at the end of his life he was said to have accepted whites. Part of that was true, but he never said they weren’t devils just because he converted to orthodox Islam. What he said was that in his view the devil (white man) could only be redeemed in his opinion through Islam because Christianity has not redeemed them from not only killing us, but also starting wars with other whites.

So people like Martin, through his practice of pacifism and his refusal to go against the culture of Amerikanism, resulted in him winning a few reforms which are only offered to us as tokens, these tokens however are not change. Change is why we are no longer looked at as second class citizens in a world where some are held above others based on racial & economic reasons. His Imperial Majesty who heavily inspired Bob Marley to later embrace Rastafarianism, said that “until the philosophy that the color of one’s skin is as less significant as the color of one’s eyes there will always be war.” The road to freedom means freedom, justice & equality for all regardless of one’s ethnicity, political views, religions, spirituality etc.

We will have this freedom even at the cost of total war. We come to the conclusion that violence to us may be the only recourse. This violence shouldn’t be tied to romanticism, it’s about us altering the conditions that are restricting our passage to freedom. I humbly and passionately respect all the sincere people who gave their life and ideas to produce men like me whose goal is to move further than when they left off and that’s even for those of whom I disagree with. I recognize that passion leads to different outcomes and different results, as long as they were intended to benefit us as a whole than whether I disagree or not I still have the fact that their life force was used to alter the conditions that is for the betterment of our lives as a whole. My stance as a whole is rooted around us globally enjoying freedom, justice & equality. I realize the imperial process is only complete if the parent imperial nation - USA - is strong so I’m all for bringing Amerika down to her knees. Anyone who sincerely has that as a goal I embrace, white or Black I embrace, but it must begin now.

Long Live Guerrilla Chief George Jackson!

Long Live All those Who Don’t Fear Freedom!


Plastick of MIM(Prisons) responds:This comrade here has given us a core learning element of leading the masses by example – a new socialist world and a new human being will have to constantly remove the old world’s reactionary culture and habits.

One thing this comrade has mentioned that we are in disagreement is in regards to fascism. Originally, the comrade has spoke of fascist Amerika which has been changed to settler-colonial Amerika by this responder. We define fascism as a new strategy by the bourgeois dictatorship when it can no longer rule the way it has ruled before. We believe that Amerika is likely to turn fascist through a political-economic crisis which is integral to capitalism-imperialism. However, we believe that the current state of methods such as police killings, imprisonment, and exploiting the majority of the world for superprofits and high level of consumption has always been the way that Amerika has ruled. When this social-democratic strategy of sharing the piece of the imperialist pie to the oppressor nation (Amerikans) ceases to work due to an ever deepening of the crisis, then fascism will indeed come. Up until now, Amerika has maintained relative strength, and Sun Tzu taught us to attack when the enemy is helpless.

Long Live George Jackson!

Long Live All those Who Don’t Fear Freedom!

Plastick

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[Gender] [ULK Issue 78]
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Supreme Court Sets Back Health of Gender Aristocracy

The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a setback for the health of mostly the gender aristocracy, but also some who are truly gender oppressed in this country. In that sense, we view this issue similar to how we view the question of universal healthcare in the United $tates.(1) However, MIM’s gender analysis is more relevant in this struggle over abortion.

In a 1997 Congress Resolution on gender, MIM said:

"The gender aristocracy by definition is not oppressed in the gender strand. Concretely, imperialist country wimmin are not gender oppressed.

For this reason, if we put forward the gender demands of the imperialist country wimmin, like it or not, we are heading in a reactionary direction."

To those who see the overturn of Roe v. Wade as a violent attack on themselves, on wimmin, we offer some food for thought. The abortion issue was made a hot button issue with a lot of money for the purpose of mobilizing voters. As long as we live under a bourgeois democracy, this will continue to happen. For all the rhetoric about “taking money out of politics”, nothing has happened, because we live in a profit-driven system. We must overthrow capitalism and patriarchy to meet the needs of the gender oppressed.

To those who oppose abortion, we repeat that we can eliminate abortion by sterilizing men after storing semen samples from them. If you aren’t willing to talk about such alternatives, that would save the lives of wimmin, then you are not pro-life you are pro-patriarchy.

The MIM Platform calls for mandatory sex education by age 11. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, there will be free universal health care including unlimited access to PPE such as contraception. This, combined with the overall sense of purpose and community that will come with building a new society, we believe will significantly decrease the number of abortions, which have already been declining in this country.

More than laws and policies however, what will be a decisive point in the struggle against patriarchy under proletarian dictatorship is the mass raising of class struggle and mass campaigns against patriarchy in the superstructure (from material institutions to backward ideological culture). The key support of these policies of universal healthcare under socialism is having the masses learn in practice the new society they wish to implement free from male chauvinism amongst other things. This is one thing the Maoist practice in China had that marked a qualitative leap from the Soviet Union through implementing a cultural revolution.

Of course, some abortions are in response to medical conditions that we have no control over. Following the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Pew Research found that 57% of adults disapproved of the decision and 41% approved.(2) The survey also showed that only 8% believe abortion should be illegal in all cases. As the opposition to abortion came after big-money marketing over many decades, we can expect these numbers to shift quickly in favor of access to abortion with a shift in social relations under the dictatorship of the proletariat. In other words, mass collection of semen samples and sterilization of men probably won’t be necessary to resolve contradictions in a socialist world as it is today.

Notes:
1. MIM(Prisons), January 2010, Health Care Universe Excludes Most People, Under Lock & Key No. 12.
2. Pew Research, 6 July 2022, Majority of Public Disapproves of Supreme Court’s Decision To Overturn Roe v. Wade

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[Black Lives Matter] [FAQ] [Censorship] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
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What is the West?

the western world?
This map from worldatlas.com shows a common perception of the West that links Anglophone (English-speaking) settler states to Western Europe

In recent years many have explored the myth of “the West” and “Western Civilization”, connecting them to racist views of humyn society. Often this was in response to right-wing white nationalists rebranding their common cause from the “white race” to “Western civilization.”

Yet, the term “the West” is used every day in a variety of news sources, some claiming to be proletarian news services. It is used by MIM in a number of older documents, and you even see it crept in to the last issue of Under Lock & Key in our discussion of Ukraine.(1)

The West and Militarism

The Russian invasion of Ukraine seems to have brought the term even more to the forefront, which could explain why it ended up in our article on the subject, despite our understanding the problems with the term. “Western unity” today is synonymous with fighting Russia. Ukranian President Volodymor Zelensky has helped make this true in the Amerikan press.

There are reasons to refer to “the West” instead of the more accurate term “NATO.” NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military pact between countries to defend each other with very clear membership. NATO exists clearly in space and time. It was formed in 1949, as the U.$. and Britain focused their aggression towards the Soviet Union following the defeat of fascism. NATO will not exist forever, with many calling for it to be dissolved now.

The meme of “The West” on the other hand is ahistorical, and even vague in terms of who is included. President Zelensky is making a hard push to put Ukraine in “the West”, when it was very clearly part of the USSR that NATO formed to oppose.

Zelensky has repeatedly called on “the West” to impose sanctions against Russia, to send military aid to Ukraine, and to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. All of these feed the militarist war machine that imperialism depends on to stay afloat, especially in times of economic crisis. Yet the imperialists are not even willing to do all the things Zelensky calls for because they know the risk of inter-imperialist war it will bring.

We’ve already seen the differing interests in this conflict playing out. The strongest example might be Germany, the dominant imperialist power in continental Europe, and their economic connection to Russia, which has made them much more hesitant to join actions that the United $tates is quick to take against Russia. Meanwhile Germany has moved to significantly increase its military for the first time since WWII, loosening its dependence on the United $tates for military action. In most of our lifetimes, the so-called “Western” countries have been united politically and economically. But this has not and will not always be the case.

The West and the Ancient World

We won’t repeat others summaries of the history of the concept of “the West” here. But it does appear with the wars between Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages, later being used to distinguish between areas dominated by the Western reformist church and the Eastern orthodox church.

Just as New Afrikans today may take up the study of ancient Egypt to learn about their “roots”, euro-Amerikans may study ancient Greece with the same goal. In reality, ancient Egypt and Greece (in certain periods) were actually connected and learned from each other. They were more similar to each other (and more geographically close to each other) than the actual ancestors of most New Afrikans or euro-Amerikans. Both are caught up in a mythology that links them to an ancient society based on racialized concepts of continents.

The idea of Europe as its own continent is also a myth that stems from this history and the fact that our knowledge in the United $tates is dominated historically by Europeans. And today, U.$.-cultural dominance helps shape the memes that take on global significance.

Europe is a region in actual space, however, unlike “the West”, which often lumps Western Europe with occupied regions of North America and Oceania today. In a sense, “the West” is almost describing something real. Throw in Japan, and you’ve got the advanced imperialist countries of the world.

The West and Freedom

A more modern concept of “the West” starts from the fight against fascism and morphs into the fight against communism. “The West” claims to offer freedom and democracy instead.

On 5 July 2022, a Ukrainian court banned the Communist Party of Ukraine and ordered all its assets seized by the state. This is a party that got 13 percent of the votes in the 2012 general election. This follows the ban of a number of other “socialist” or “left” parties in the country for being “pro-Russian.”(2)

On the Fourth of July, the city of Akron, Ohio issued a 9PM to 6AM curfew preventing people from leaving their homes except for work or emergencies. This was on a night when masses of people stayed out all night partying and lighting fireworks in most cities across the country. The curfew was issued because cops shot unarmed 25-year-old Jayland Walker the night before with 60 bullets. The young Black man died Fourth of July morning.

Through May and June MIM(Prisons) sent hundreds of letters, petitions and legal documents to prisoners across Texas leading up to a planned boycott of the Juneteenth holiday on June 19. The weeks leading up to the Fourth of July our mailbox was full of letters from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and from prisoners in Texas, notifying us that our mail had been censored because it promoted a disturbance or a riot.

Prisoners in Texas are being tortured in long-term isolation, forced to work without pay, and facing all sorts of abusive conditions including lack of food, dangerous temperatures and lack of yard time. Jayland Walker was shot 60 times over a tail light. Yet boycotts and demonstrations have been deemed illegal in Texas and Akron, Ohio in response. In Akron 50 people were arrested after protestors were sprayed with tear gas because police said they “cannot condone property destruction.”(3) This is the behavior of the oppressor, of the imperialists.

The West and Language

The more modern framework of the North versus the South developed as an improvement on the West/East concept. The “North/South” framework is more geographically coherent (with the exception of Australia and New Zealand) and is defined economically. It also avoids the racist exclusion of Japan and the “three tigers.” Though it could play into some theories of geographic determinism, which can mirror racist conceptions of history.

Regardless, North/South terminology was developed to be “valueless” and as such becomes a euphemism for what is really going on: some countries are exploiting other countries. And we have perfectly good terminology for “the West” or “the North” in this context: imperialist countries. As anti-imperialists, we must expose imperialism and its crimes at every turn and not hide it behind euphemisms that reference geography or pseudo-scientific concepts of race over materialist understandings of political-economy.

On the other hand of the dialectic of imperialism we have the oppressed nations, or the exploited countries, or the semi-colonies or neo-colonies, depending on the context. Arguably these terms are also better than the First/Third World language we have often used historically.(4)

As a general principle, our writing guide reminds us not to use euphemisms and not to use passive language. Like “the West” these styles creep into our writing because they are common in the bourgeois press. We should consciously combat this by being clear about the relationships of oppression and exploitation and who is doing what to whom.

Whether it relates to religion, philosophy or democracy, all historical concepts of “the West” are related to justifying invasions or imperialism in different forms.

Notes:
1. MIM(Prisons), April 2022, Ukraine: Imperialism in Crisis, Under Lock & Key 77.
2. 5 July 2022, Communist Party of Ukraine banned and all its assets seized by the state, Morning Star.
3. Stephanie Warsmith and Craig Webb, 6 July 2022, Dozens arraigned on charges from Jayland Walker police shooting protests. Yahoo! News.
4. MIM(Prisons), October 2015, What is the Third World?

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[Religious Repression] [Civil Liberties] [Grievance Process] [Connally Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
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Grievance Tips & New Grooming Policy in TX

In ULK 76 you printed an article by the Connally Committee of Texas T.E.A.M. O.N.E. titled “Connally Unit Denying Grievances & Retaliating”. I cannot vouch for the retaliation from here in High Security, but as for not responding to grievances and being chronically understaffed, I can vouch for.

I filed 2 grievances back in early April and have had zero response to them. I found a good cite in Prison Legal News June 2022 edition. It says, “A prisoner’s administrative remedies are exhausted when prison officials fail to timely respond to a properly filed grievance.” (Haight v. Thompson 763 F. 3d 554 (6th Cir 2014)) According to this, if they do not respond to our grievances we can go on to a §1983 Civil Action.

My suggestion to TEAM ONE here at Connally is to go ahead and file §1983 Lawsuits with hand-written copies of your Step 1’s and try to file a Step 2. But your remedies are exhausted when TDCJ fails to respond to your grievances. They have 40 days to respond to a Step 1 or file an extension. If it has been more than 40 days and you have no answer, your administrative remedies are exhausted. I’m sending a handwritten copy of my Step 1 into the District Court this week. They will file, stamp it and assign it a document number and I’ll use it as evidence in my case.

As far as being understaffed, I can certainly agree with the writers of that article. Every end of the month into the first of the month this place is a ghost town. We are locked in our cells and fed sack lunches.

We did recently win a small victory as far as the grooming policy goes. AD-03.83 & SM-06.16 (Rev5) were updated on 10 May 2022 to allow male prisoners to grow long hair and wear pony tails. There were a lot of §1983 lawsuits pending on this subject. I’m still not totally satisfied with the updated policy because TDCJ reserves the right to force cut our hair for disciplinary reasons and they do not do this to the women. Growing our hair is a religious right, not a privilege to be revoked so I still have it listed in my lawsuit.

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