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Under Lock & Key

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[Abuse] [Campaigns] [COVID-19] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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URGENT: Take Action for Texas Coronavirus Sanitation

The Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice(TDCJ) is Lorie Davis, and she ordered TDCJ for all units to follow a list of sanitation [protocols]. You can email [email protected] to get this list that’s been ordered, and the phone number to call to report failure to follow these policies is below.

I wrote Lorie Davis and reported TDCJ Telford Unit not following policies implemented by Director Davis, and they still haven’t been implemented. Assistant Warden Mr. Marshall called me out and threatened me, told me to stop writing, and to set down.

My Texas Pack which I hustled hard to get has now come up missing. I think my legal mail is thrown away. If you can please send me a Texas Pack, I can send a donation when I get out, for all the hard work you do and help any way I can.

I need you to call Lori Davis, and please leave my name out of it. I fear what could happen. Right now I’m on the worst effected unit with COVID-19. There’s been 4 inmate deaths, 80 sick and 31 officers have gotten it. And the administration refuses to give any disinfectant to segregation inmates.

By Lorie Davis, we are supposed to be getting Double D [disinfectant]. We’ve not gotten it once. Bleach is not being used or anything else in administrative segregation.

**1-844-476-1289 is the number to report this

Also contact the TDCJ’s Director of Administrative Risk and Review Management Marvin Dunbar at (936) 437-4839 **

The Johnnies (sack) meals we get have little to no food on them. Special medical-prescribed meals, meat frees, are not sent out but every once in a while. Also we are not getting beverages of any kind.

We need you to report these things on Telford. Thank you for your time.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is one of many reports we’ve been getting regarding prison staff not following basic sanitation guidelines in prisons across the country. We just heard from a comrade who got eir parole delayed on a bogus rules violation write up in California for signing eir name on a group grievance that staff were not wearing masks. Not only are staff putting prisoners lives at risk by not following these procedures, but they are punishing people for bringing it to their attention!

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[Abuse] [COVID-19]
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Inadequate Hygiene Products for Coronavirus

Here in prison, they finally started letting us make phone calls after close to 3 weeks of being on lockdown. But since April 7th we have been on lockdown because of the virus. But Texa$ Telford Unit prison can’t give us any extra soap or cell cleaning supplies, we have got zero cell cleaning supplies. 2 man cell, 1 toilet, 1 sink. We only shower 3x a week, this is during a time when we are supposed to be washing our hands “in all” about a hour a day. We share 4 showers with 48 different people, so we get in the shower right behind someone else, a very small shower that does not get sanitized or aired out after each use. They didn’t even clean the showers for the first 2 weeks of lockdown. Now inmates are dying and even their own officers. Maybe it would have been a wise choice to take a little out of the 3 billion dollar budget and give us some extra soap to wash our hands with? We have to use our own soap to clean the plastic and metal phone after someone uses it (they let 2 people out at a time for phone). TX doesn’t have iPads so we can’t email or watch movies like some states.

In this capitalist world, if you can’t afford a computer or internet you can’t go to school now. So that’s the way greed works.

I don’t really have a study cell but I have had quite a few conversations with people and I let them know that socialism is for the poor and oppressed, like us prisoners, and some of these people want Trump to win and they are for the right. But they agree that socialism would actually be for the better of the people. They hang their head and agree.

P.S. Donation of 5 stamps

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[Abuse] [International Connections] [Florida State Prison] [Florida]
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Prisoner Support Organizations Needed for Liberation

June 16, 2017 was a day of my current prison life that I would never forget, no matter how hard I try or no matter what my mental health counselors tell me about “letting go.” On this particular day, I was being escorted down the walkway at Suwannee Correctional Institution by a prison official by the name of Sergeant Moore, when out of nowhere Sergeant Moore placed his right leg in front of my shackled feet and slammed me face first on the concrete floor, splitting my bottom lip on impact and knocking out three of my front teeth. Then he began repeatedly punching me in the face while stating “I’ll catch you in this blind spot every time mother fucker.”

As this tragic incident was taking place, another prison official by the name of Lieutenant Riegel ran up to me, grabbed both sides of my face, and banged my head against the floor three times before more officers responded to the scene to take me to medical. I was taken to an outside hospital for facial trauma.

The bad part about this entire incident is that neither the prison’s administration nor the Inspector Generals Office did anything about this incident, because the prison officials fabricated the paperwork stating that I attacked Sergeant Moore. In reality, Sergeant Moore was the one who attacked me, out of retaliation for the ongoing problems I was having with security at Suwannee C.I.

In addition, I was in full restraints from my hands down to my waist and feet at the time of this incident, which made it impossible for me to have attacked Sergeant Moore. The prison administration knew this. However, they still swept this incident under the rug like they tend to do when officers brutally assault prisoners.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always heard of officers jumping on inmates in full restraints, but when it actually happened to me, my eyes were instantly opened to the corruption that’s taking place in the Florida prison system, especially at prisons like Florida State Prison, Suwannee Correctional Institution, and Union Correctional Institution.

For example, there’s something called the “Cell Extraction Team,” which is a group of five officers, dressed in riot gear, whose sole purpose is to go inside of a cell and restrain a prisoner who allegedly “refuses” to submit to hand restraints. However, instead of sticking to the sole objective, these officers are often times going inside these cells and brutally beating inmates by kicking them, punching them, kicking their teeth out, etc. And while they’re doing this, they’re yelling “stop resisting.” How can an inmate possibly resist when five officers are beating him? The entire time they’re doing this, another officer stands in the doorway to block the view of the camera. I’m currently speaking from personal experience.

Another example is there’s something called “Property Restriction,” which is when officers strip a prisoner of all his property and clothes and leave them inside their cell in just a pair of boxers to sleep on the hard metal bunk, for allegedly “misusing” their property. However, instead of using property restriction for what it’s intended for, officers are using this as a tool to simply strip a prisoner of all their clothes, and they are mainly doing this in the winter time. Once again, I am speaking from personal experience. Most states have actually abolished property restriction practices in prisons, deeming it cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners, but it is still going on in the Florida prison system.

Truth be told, officers aren’t the only ones that’s participating in the corruption. The nurses are guilty as well because whenever officers assault inmates, instead of documenting our injuries, nurses are covering up for the officers by not documenting our injuries.

In addition to that, whenever we file grievances reporting what officers are doing to us, the grievance coordinators are throwing away grievances. Which is why I’ve decided to write this short story to shine some light on the corruption that’s taking place.

The worst part is, the Florida Prison system administration is fully aware of this cruel and inhuman treatment that’s being inflicted upon inmates, because they’re the ones who sign off on the paperwork. Yet still they’re not doing anything about it.

No one deserves to be treated this way. The readers of this article can even go online and see with their own eyes that Suwannee C.I. was under investigation for this same corruption a few years ago.

Now, I know some people may feel like we are criminals so we deserve to suffer in prison. However, our mistakes don’t define who we are as a person. It’s our heart. And I know there’s people in the community who know some very good-hearted people that’s locked up in prison. In addition to that, since I’ve been incarcerated, I’ve written three novels and I’m currently working on my fourth novel, which shows that coming to prison has actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Because if I hadn’t come to prison I would have never discovered my God-given talent.

My only desire now is to expose the corruption in the Florida prison system because not only are these officials mistreating us, but they are also taking advantage of us.

I’m just trying to show the community how corrupted the prison system is, and it should not be this way. Prison is supposed to be a place for prisoners to rehabilitate themselves before they go back into society. But how can we rehabilitate ourselves if we are constantly being mistreated in prison, and then they wonder why prisoners get out of prison and do the same thing. Because we didn’t learn anything.

And whether or not the community believes it, prisons are some of the most corrupted places in the world. I’ve seen officers purposely put two inmates in the same cell, knowing that both inmates were having problems with each other. And these are just some of the things prison officials have been doing.

Consequently, I’m sincerely asking that the community assist us with pushing the “Prison Lives Matter Organization” (PLM Organization) because it’s only so much us as inmates can do from behind the doors. I’ve already written the blueprint for the PLM Organization and I don’t mind sharing it with someone who’s interested in being the co-founder of the organization. However, I’m looking for people who’s sincerely going to put their heart and dedication into bringing about a change in the Florida Prison System. If you are a serious inquiry, then you may contact MIM Distributors for information on how you can contact me, and you can be part of the PLM Organization.

PTT from MIM(Prisons) responds:We fully echo this comrade’s call for people on the outside to get involved in supporting prisoners’ struggles. We are even recruiting for our own outside-support organization, and it’s in a similar phase as PLM Organization. The main thing lacking right now is people getting involved. If you are inspired to contribute to prisoners’ struggles in Florida or elsewhere, but can’t join MIM(Prisons) at a cadre level for whatever reason, we would be ecstatic to support the development of a new prisoner-support mass organization.

We have a policy that we don’t build organizations outside of the MIM(Prisons) umbrella, but a prisoner-support mass organization led by MIM(Prisons) can work in united front with other groups like the PLM Organization. Or maybe the Maoist-led mass organization takes on the work that encompasses what PLM is out to transform, so prisoners have an organization they can turn to rather than needing to start their own from behind bars as individuals. There’s a great opportunity here and we encourage “people who’s sincerely going to put their heart and dedication into bringing about a change” to get in touch with MIM(Prisons) directly via our contact page.

We have a different view than this comrade about the role of prisons and the causes of criminality in our present United $tates society. Where ey says that going to prison was a blessing in disguise, we ask, "why aren't there opportunities for certain populations of people to develop their talents outside of prison?" And where ey says mistake don't define a persyn, we ask, "why are people committing these mistakes in the first place?" And "who gets to say what counts as a crime, or not?" Clearly there are many, many people in U.$. society who do things that harm many other people, and they are not considered to be criminals, and are not punished by the court system. So, why is that?

It would be great if prisons were a place where people who harm other people go to see the errors of their ways and transform into people who are able to contribute to society. Like this comrade who started writing novels and advocating for prisoners’ rights behind the walls. In fact, that’s what prisons were like in communist China under Mao Zedong, and that’s a social model that we look to for inspiration and guidance on how we can create it in our own future. Chinese society under Mao is where we get our name “Maoist” from. We are big fans.

And we look to Chinese society under Mao for how we can create a culture and economic system that means people aren’t committing crimes that stem from survival needs, or mental health issues, or historical trauma. Imagine how much less harm there would be in the world if these low-level “crimes” became obsolete – if people’s survival needs were met, mental health was taken care of, and historical trauma was healed and not perpetuated. Not to mention if the capitalist crimes against humynity were abolished, and we had clean rivers, and all peoples were allowed to thrive.

So we think prisons in this country are working exactly as designed. They’re not really “corrupted,” because the entire purpose of them is for social control, to keep certain populations and certain ideas suppressed. Every act that communicates that “prisoners’ lives don’t matter” and “you can’t do that” is part and parcel to prisons under capitalism. When you consider that capitalist prisons aren’t meant to rehabilitate “criminals,” you can see that they are actually working perfectly. Whether by punishment (beatings, isolation) or reward (TV, privileges), U.$. prison administrators are doing their job and doing it well.

MIM(Prisons) aims to get at the root of this suffering, which we see as the capitalist economic system itself. On the surface, the economic system might seem unrelated to abuse of prisoners, and to a certain extent we could have better prison conditions (prison reform) under capitalism. But as Maoists we are out to create a world free from all oppression, not just a relief of some oppression for a few groups. Where some groups are given privileges, other groups are still suffering and often times suffering worse to make up for it. We believe that only through addressing the root cause of the suffering – capitalism and imperialism – can we fully support prisoners’ struggles here and around the world.

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[Abuse] [Hobby Unit] [Texas]
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Staff Ignoring Assaults

I just want to thank you for the Texas Pack. It’s quite sad the things that are kept from us so that we ignore the corruption. Let me tell you what’s going on with me.

I did a I-127 to appeal a case and 40 days passed without me hearing from the grievance lady. Your packet came today and pretty much walked me through what I needed to do next, because I had no clue. The case that I’m appealing lowered my custody level to G4. This goes to the next set of problems I’ve encountered.

I did an Offender Protection Investigation (OPI) because an offender who was also G4 was Gun Ho on kicking my ass. They failed to investigate properly, then said “unsubstantiated evidence” even though officers seen what happened.

It’s so much that happened with not enough room to write. But I’ll keep it basic.

They moved me to another dorm. And a few days ago I got assaulted by another offender. That’s right man, hit on my right eye with a scratch under my eye. The officer that seen it said nothing about seeing it, yet she called an “ICS.” The offender that did it was G2 status and should not have been mixed with G4s. OPI was done that rank did not want to do. So a fighting case was wrote. The other offender denied of course and “I folded.” That was my statement. I walked out with a march and they allowed the offender to go to work.

Now they have me on a unit transfer, but this offender has not been held accountable for her action. How do I press the issue on this when no one is talking?

Before I walked out my building I had no marks, but as soon as I step outside in less than 2 minutes I’m being escorted to medical.

PTT from MIM(Prisons) responds: This report shows how much effort Texas prison staff put into protecting prisoners. Seeking protection from staff offers predictable results. Sometimes they’ll listen, and sometimes they’ll transfer you. That’s if you’re lucky. Most of the time they pretend they didn’t see it, never got the grievance, etc.

If we want to end the assaults, we can ask ourselves: what are the core issues causing these assaults? When that’s clear, we can ask: will staff do anything to address those core issues? It would probably benefit them to do so, but decades of practice shows they likely won’t put in the effort to make that kind of difference.

So this report also shows the importance of prisoners building their own peace in prisons. We have a slightly different approach to ending these assaults than this writer. This might sound crazy, but what we’re working toward is helping prisoners build a culture of comradery and peacefulness on their units, so that this kind of behavior is not tolerated among the prisoner population.

When this comrade asks us what we think ey can do to end the assaults, we don’t advocate for more punishment from admin on the people committing the assaults. We advocate for building bridges, improving communication, and standing together in a United Front for Peace in Prisons.

That work is NOT EASY. But if we want to end assaults in prisons, and if we want to build a society that isn’t centered around unnecessary violence, then we have to commit to doing the hard work. No one is going to hand us a world free of oppression and exploitation. We have to build that ourselves. And that’s a beautiful thing. To be alive and have the opportunity to contribute to the future in this way.

MIM(Prisons) does everything we can to help support prisoners in this task, including providing education opportunities, organizing materials, and resources (like the Texas Pack). What of those materials and concepts would improve the situation with these prisoners who seek to cause you harm? Grievances and OICs aren’t working, and probably will never really work. So what do WE need to do about it?

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[Abuse] [Control Units] [North Carolina]
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The Criminal Injustice System Works for the Jailers

It’s August 2019 and people say that the Criminal Justice System doesn't work. I beg to differ. I've come to believe that it works just fine, just like slavery did as a matter of economic and political policy. How is it that a 16 year old in North Carolina who can't get a job can suddenly generate $54,750 (which equates to $150 a day for prison upkeep) when trapped and inducted into the Criminal Injustice System where architects, food and medical providers, masons, carpenters, electricians, painters, correctional officers, administrators and a myriad other skilled trade workers get paid with guaranteed job security?

Just like the era of chattel slavery, there is a class of people dependent on the poor and on the bodies of all of us who are behind bars. All throughout the Criminal Injustice System, the policies of the police, the courts, and our prisons are a manifestation of classism, racism and dishonesty which governs the lives of all of us. Then you have prosecutors. They are like nasty little rats with quivering noses that have invaded our court systems with full impunity across the country feeding thousands of human bodies into the bowels of the razor-wire plantations without the slightest remorse for the hell they are sending us to, where slavery is mandated.

No matter how you look at it, involuntary labor is slavery. You see, the United $tates didn't abolish slavery, they just transferred it into their prisons. So last year on 20 August 2018 with the help of outside human rights activists, prison abolitionists, anarchists, and other public supporters who did a peaceful demonstration in our prison parking lot, I, [Prisoner A], alongside [Prisoners B, C and D] all organized together with hundreds of other prisoners across North Carolina and questioned these policies by assembling peacefully and petitioning our government for a redress of our grievances.

As a result, we were all labeled as rioters and Security Threat Group individuals and sent off to super max prisons and thrown into solitary confinement where we were subjected to all sorts of mistreatment: glass was found in [Prisoner D's] food, I was poisoned and never receiving any treatment, [Prisoner B] was sent to the Rehabilitative Diversion Unit (RDU) program where he is currently being brainwashed. [Prisoner C] got out of prison. I finally got out of solitary hell after spending 8 long months of sensory deprivation and losing 53 pounds only to face more repression and mail censorship that resulted in me receiving another 6 months for simply writing and organizing the 21 May 2019 National Grievance Day complaining about the new discriminatory JPay policy that limits who can send a prisoner money.

And what have I learned in all of this? I've learned that any time you restrain a person from going where they want to go, its an act of violence. Anytime you bully and mistreat someone by placing them in a cell 23 hours a day, it's an act of violence! I've also learned that it's not the inhumanity of the cruelties prisoners face in prisons on a daily basis or inhumane conditions: the cold, filth, callous medical care, tasers, unnecessary chains, pepper spray, beatings, excessive censorship, dehumanizing strip searches, extended and excessive isolation in solitary confinement for simple things like writing, or the robbing of our trust funds of $10 each time a prison guard accuses us of a rule violation that are criminalized; it's the complaining about our conditions of confinement that's made criminal. Right now there are tens of thousands of humans living in enforced solitary confinement cells in U.$. prisons.

Over a decade ago when news broke about what was going on in Abu Ghraib, President Bush stated "what took place in that prison doesn't represent the America I know." Unfortunately, for the more than 2.5 million prisoners and undocumented immigrants and the rest of us living in U.$. prisons, this is the Amerikkka we know, our family members know, and the anarchists and prison abolitionists know. Furthermore, prisoners have got to wake up and realize that the entire executive branch of the U.$. government seems to sanction torture in our prisons and all of the repression and disrespect that we endure on a daily basis from prison guards is unacceptable. It is imperative that prisoners continue to organize and to write about their experiences and complain to folks on the outside so that the public can realize what's happening to people in U.$. prisons. There are watchdog organizations that expose, ridicule and punish Internet and school bullies and there are laws against bullying. The prison guards are also supposed to observe these laws.

The conditions and practices that men, women, and children can attest to here in North Carolina are in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In addition, most U.$. prisons practices also violate dozens of other international treaties and clearly fit the United Nations' definition of genocide. Aren't you tired of being told where to sit? What to eat? Who you can socialize with inside and outside of prison? What you can watch on TV? What you may read or what you can write about or to whom? Of being denied basic dignity based on race or class? Aren't you tired of your bodies being examined, exploited and used through dehumanizing and invasive strip-searches on the whim of a prison guard or a jailer?

Prisoners have got to continue to organize and alter the very core of every system that slavery, racism and poverty has given birth to, and particularly the Criminal Injustice System. The entire prison system must stop violating the rights of men, women, and children in North Carolina! We must effectively eliminate solitary confinement, the restriction of our civil rights, their devices of torture, family-run prisons, and all forms of sentences of "death by incarceration" or sentences that are overly burdensome, oppressive and too lengthy that financially benefit the government instead of victims of crime!

It's plain to see that many victims could be better served by working out an honest agreement with those disingenuous persons who have wronged them, and that prosecutors have a lot of undue power to decide whom to criminalize as well as what cases are or aren't priority. Of course these mutual agreements will not be ideal in every case, but failure to account for social context is such a crucial aspect of what's wrong with our current system. We need to put context first and resolve each dispute in its own way rather than just applying a rigid legal formula.

I think the call for universal basic decency and respect towards all living creatures as well as towards prisoners is a powerful message that's made more powerful when people share their stories of mistreatment. Each of our personal and individual struggles are one of many, but when we as prisoners stop focusing on the color of one's skin, or what he or she is in prison for, and all join hands, that's when we can get our freedoms back and that's when we can all win.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer is right on when ey says that prisons do work. It's all about understanding the real purpose of prisons. Amerikkkan prisons are not meant for rehabilitation, they are meant for social control. The author speaks of the child prisoner who is "generating" $54,750 per year. This is another purpose of prisons: distribution of profits stolen from the Third World to First World workers. All those workers in the criminal injustice system are parasites, earning good wages to further this system of social control. Those wages come mostly from state budgets. And those state budgets are just a redistribution of wealth. Imperialist wealth. Which is taken from the Third World through exploitation of workers and theft of natural resources.

This redistribution of super profits is a side "benefit" of the criminal injustice system. The focus is social control, particularly of oppressed nations. That social control wouldn't be complete if prisoners were allowed to study, communicate and organize freely. In fact, there is a contradiction inherent in the United $tates prison system. Locking up people as a means of social control puts these people in close contact, with lots of time on their hands, which facilitates organizing and studying together. So the prisons turn to greater repression behind bars to try to stop these activities. That's exactly what this writer is fighting against. We must demand an end to solitary confinement, an end to censorship of prisoners' mail, and access to a real and effective grievance system. These are small goals in the context of the larger fight against imperialism. But they are goals that will bring real progress for our comrades behind bars. Progress that will allow the prisoners to organize and educate and build.

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[Organizing] [Migrants] [Puerto Rico] [Abuse] [ULK Issue 69]
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Revolutionary Organizing Amongst Mounting Protests of U.$. Koncentration Kamps

dekalb county prisoners starving
source: https://itsgoingdown.org/anger-grows-dekalb/

In the past several weeks propaganda actions have been carried out by revolutionaries in several cities as a response to massive immigrant round-ups and abuses against both interned migrants and prisoners by the imperialist u.$. state.

Several weeks ago in Atlanta, GA, local Maoists associated with the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement (RAIM) attended a march in solidarity with prisoners at the Dekalb County Jail facing extreme abuse. Prisoners were being denied proper food, beaten and tortured by guards, and barred from communicating with those outside to prevent a leak of information on abuses. The event was called by the Anarchist Black Cross after the public circulation of an image of an inmate holding a plate with the message "Please help, we dying, need food" written on it, along with complaints from the mother of an inmate at the jail. Due to anarchist leadership, the march was poorly organized and vulnerable to police violence, but demonstrators persisted and the marchers made it to the prison in spite of police pressure. Maoists distributed issues of Under Lock and Key to demonstrators and discussed the capitalist-imperialist roots of prison conditions. Once at the jail, demonstrators were attacked by police while burning an amerikan flag and attempting to communicate with prisoners in the jail. One prisoner broke a window and attempted to throw an object with a message written on it to protesters, but it was seized by guards. Police acted swiftly to disperse protesters with batons and excessive violence, arresting 4 demonstrators.

More recently in Atlanta, comrades attended another demonstration in support of immigrants harassed by ICE in a new sustained campaign of raids and deportations launched by the imperialist Trump administration. Specifically, the protests were sparked by the plans to build a new ICE detention facility in the city, and demonstrations had been planned to take place for several weeks to prevent it. Maoists distributed agitational materials in both english and spanish that summarized recent events from a Maoist perspective, and urging opposition to reject liberal so-called progressives such as those in various NGOs and the Democratic Party, proven enemies of the people, for their treacherous and pro-imperialist politics. Comrades also carried signs that read End to Ice, Power to the People, Hasta La Victoria Siempre! Other protesters held signs that read No one is illegal on stolen land! and Ice Freezes out Humanity!

In Binghamton, NY, Maoists attended a demonstration at the Broome County Jail, where prison officials were denying medical care to prisoners resulting in the deaths of at least 10 individuals since 2011. Comrades spoke with fellow demonstrators about jail conditions and distributed issues of Under Lock and Key, most of whom responded positively and were excited to see content written by and for revolutionary prisoners. Additionally, comrades discussed the plans to utilize the jail as a detention facility for migrants on their way to larger ICE facilities.

Later, comrades in Binghamton distributed issues of the Progressive Anti-War Bulletin around the local campus and elsewhere in the city, which covered u.$. imperialist aggression abroad as well as the war on immigrants and network of concentration camps currently run by ICE. At the university many showed interest in the content of the bulletin, but one "radical" liberal student group dismissed its content in a focused anti-communist campaign, demonstrating the liberal contempt for peace and support for imperialism. Off-campus, another bulletin was vandalized, but generally its message was well received, especially when delivered directly.

In Springfield, MA, Maoists agitated against ICE raids and the network of spies that assisted them. Flyers criticized liberal capitulationism and pro-imperialism, while pointing out Maoism as the only conceivable path to liberation for the masses held at gunpoint by ICE and the neo-fascist thugs that aid them. Flyers detailing amerikan abuses in Puerto Rico were also distributed, criticizing both u.$. imperialism and their lackeys on the island and in Puerto Rican communities on the mainland. The flyers, as well as the comrades who had distributed them, were mentioned on the local radio station on two separate occasions, including in a discussion with a man from the Sheriff's office, who chided Maoist propaganda as "misguided youth" that will "soon come to understand how the world works" and presumably give up their task. In spite of reactionary sentiments aired on the radio, none are willing to give up their task to agitate for revolution, for they already know "how the world works" and it is precisely this which motivates them to continue.

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[Abuse] [Organizing] [River North Correctional Center] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 67]
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Many Angles to Work On

26 December 2018 — A lot of situations have been happening since my last letter. As you can see my location has changed once again. Reason being is because at the last/previous slave-pen that held me many prisoners, including myself, filed informational complaints and grievances on a situation that occurred with two pig-officers. To make a long story short, these two pigs taunted and encouraged a mentally-ill prisoner to cut his wrist with a razor-blade. While this mentally-ill prisoner is in the shower or even in his cell, he is not allowed to be in possession of a razor. This is a rule laid by River North Correctional Center (RNCC), and of course this incident happened in the Restrictive Housing Unit (segregation). Knowing this prisoner came from the SCORE unit, which is a unit that houses mentally-ill prisoners, these two officers was excited to attempt to get this prisoner to slice his wrist. Well, the prisoner did cut his wrists.

Now, this is where everything begins to hit the fan. These two pig-officers (C.O. Devine and the C.O. Denton) began to panic. The prisoner is bleeding out and now has to be rushed to the medical unit. Both pigs are immediately questioned by their superiors as to how the prisoner got hold of an open razor. They lied and tried to stage the whole incident as a self-motivated suicidal attempt.

Their superior, Sgt. May, tells two things: 1) to search the prisoner's cell and see if they could find anything that could assist their claim, and 2) if they're unsuccessful, find other prisoners on the tier to open as many razor casings as they can to support the pigs' cause. How I know all this? Well for one I'm on the tier it occurred, two, C.O. Devine came and practically begged me to help him get out of that situation. I felt disgusted, angry and disrespected!!!

Right then and there, I began to organize the unit to act in assistance with the mentally-ill prisoner and to expose the corruption and wickedness of RNCC's pig-staff. We filed paperwork, wrote out to ACLU, the DOC, the media, and got our lawyers involved with our family. At this time, the pigs were harassing each prisoner who was in the movement. We continued to push with agitation and exposure. More repression came down. Still we continued and are continuing. Then, the pig-admin started to separate us and transfer us to different prisons but the movement continues!

As of right now, I've been transferred from RNCC to another Maximum Security prison in Virginia. However, the movement is still at full swing. Two other participants have been shipped here along with me. We still remain in contact with the others also.

Well, that's the mini-story of what happened, and the struggle against repression followed us at this site. Mind you, that situation happened on 5 November 2018, I was removed from the prison shortly after, and today I'm just receiving my property. In addition to that, pig-officers here will cut off my commode for long periods so that I'm unable to flush my toilet. When I try to file Emergency Grievance, they either don't take it up or take it and don't give me a receipt. Who knows what they'll do next. I'm up for the fight!

On another note, I am still active in my teaching mode. I have organized political education classes on the tier and one of the two subjects I started with was teaching dialectical materialism and the whole dialectical transformation process. I felt good starting that class because I have enough information regarding dialectical materialism. However, the other class on what New Afrika was and New Afrikan revolutionary nationalism. I struggled because my knowledge of it is low! But I tried given the circumstances.

Nevertheless, my class on dialectical materialism was successful in bringing an understanding of its definition and its operation to my students. I used the information you provided me in the "Introduction to the Materialist method by MIM(Prisons), October 2017" and "Choosing One Ideology over Another: The Materialist Method" by MC5 of the Maoist Internationalist Movement. I explained how dialectical meanings of material things, people, and ideas transform in a struggle for liberation. I explained how the dialectical transformation moves in a perpetual sequence from without to within to without back within, and just keep going on and on. I gave examples on how it works in a way they could better understand, and tried my best at breaking it down and building it back up.

I want to ask you if you can send me anything that I could use in our P.E. classes to help educate us in what New Afrikan revolutionary nationalism is and how did it originate, and just the whole concept of the New Afrikan nation. If I have to pay for it let me know, but it'll be a while before I can purchase it because I'm suffering from economic hardships as of right now but eventually I could scrabble something up. Just let me know.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We are happy to send study materials to people who are running study groups and organizing locally. We have two articles that discuss the concept of New Afrika that were printed in ULK that we can send you. The New Afrikan Subcommittee of the USW Council is interested in commissioning someone to turn the content of these articles into a flier (with art) if that is something your study group (or anyone) is interested in. For more in depth reading on the theory and history of Black/New Afrikan nationalism we have a study pack on the legacy of the BPP($6) and one on revolutionary feminist proletarian nationalism($8). Send in a donation to the address on p. 1, or equivalent work-trade (e.g. a report on the organizing and political education you're doing, like this article!).

We also print this letter as an excellent example of organizing in spite of conditions of repression. This writer is working with others to fight the criminal injustice system from multiple angles. First there is the fight against the pigs who pushed the prisoner to cut eir wrist, and tried to get others to help them cover it up. Then there is the repression that followed, with the transfers and keeping up contact with other activists. And finally there is the study group, pushing forward both learning and practice at the same time.

This comrade is setting an example of perseverance in defending revolutionary principles, and building and maintaining unity with others.

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[Abuse] [Powledge Unit] [Texas]
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TDCJ Erroneously Coding Grievances, Denying ADA Rights

Please send me the Texas pack. I shared mine with someone who did not return the entire contents. I have found the information to be most helpful. Just this week I won a Step 1 Grievance using the Texas pack.

The unit grievance officer had erroneously coded a Step 1 Grievance. The previously filed Step 1 had been concerning sleep deprivation only because I am wheelchair mobile, a "wheeler." Thus, the sleep deprivation is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (28 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.). However, the grievance was coded as "denial of access to health care." There is a very big difference.

While at the TDCJ Hospital Galveston (HG) Unit the staff denied me access to a bed for all but three hours during a four day period. Instead, I was forced to remain seated in my wheelchair in a holding tank. Just so their records would show that I had been assigned to a bed each night I was taken to a bed late at night and awakened a short time later to go back to the holding tank. Basically, I only obtained three hours of sleep during an approximate ninety-six hour period.

In further error, the unit grievance officer had misrouted my Step 1 to the senior practice manage. Presumably because it had been incorrectly coded. The senior practice manager knew he had no authority over the grieved issue. Yet he responded anyway, saying as much, and thus denying an opportunity for relief at the Step 1. I filed a Step 2 grievance asserting that no relief was available at the Step 1 for the reasons explained herein above.

In the TDCJ, denial of access to the grievance system is a grievable issue. Thus, I submitted a Step 1 Grievance asserting that (1) the unit grievance officer erroneously coded my ADA Step 1; and (2) the senior practice manager should have rerouted my Step 1 back to the unit grievance officer for appropriate handling.

It was only the availability of the TDCJ grievance codes in the Texas pack which allowed me to cite the appropriate code for my ADA complaint and to identify the erroneous code used by the unit grievance officer. As you know, the TDCJ Offender Grievance Operations Manual has been removed form the unit law libraries. I would not have been able to formulate my argument had the Texas pack not been available to me. But once again I am at a disadvantage with an incomplete Texas pack. Thank you for making this valuable resource available.

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[Abuse] [Lane Murray Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 62]
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Lane Murray Abuses

The primary problems and concerns I have for women prisoners that reside in Gatesville, Texas are the following:

  • Extreme deadly heat: The metal walls on our cubicles, metal bunk and tables are burning our skin to the touch (i.e. arm, face, legs, feet, etc.). The building made out of metal and cement is cooking us alive!
  • Poor ventilation: The hot air that does come in thru the sparse vents and small windows is burning our lungs and cooking our organs, to the point that it feels like suffocation. (The fan that is sold to us on commissary feels like blowing fire to our face and bodies).
  • Medical neglect: Unethical, unprofessional, abusive, retaliative, cruel, prejudistic, threatening, neglectful, deliberately indifference, inhumane (violating 8th amendment). Note: women are dying due to this medical neglect – none were sentenced to death penalty.
  • Suicide encouragement by CO staff and security: Taunting, coercion, verbal abusive, bullying, extreme heat, neglectful mental counseling, prolonged exposure to segregation contribute to this problem.
  • Mal-nourishment and food deprivation: Incorrect amount of portions served to women, excessive amount of "Johnnys" served daily and 3 times per day (with no fruit, no vegetables, nor drink when Johnnys served). The "milk" that is served at chow is not properly made. It looks more like dirty water. Lack of proper nutrition is causing a myriad of diseases, illnesses, bone deficiency and/or death for incarcerated women.
  • Black mold: Showers/toilet stalls are grossly infested with this killer mold, which causes headaches, ailments, debilitating the already weak immune system that is caused by lack of healthy nutrition. Mold is getting in our lungs and colonizing – this is verified with chest x-rays and shows granuloma.
  • Sexual harassment: Cameras are pointed directly into cubicles. We are continuously being called bitches, skanks, cunts, hoes, sluts, dope heads, crack whore, dumb ass and fuck you. (Please note, rank and COs equally do this.)
  • Unsanitary conditions: Captain Dixon, kitchen CO, makes the women combine all the leftover used kool-aid by other women to be drank by women that are showing up to chow hall to eat. This is causing cross-contamination, illnesses, spreading diseases, health put at risk daily. (Note: no gloves, no proper PPE, reusing 1-time-use hair nets, and being served by women that have poor hygiene, carry Hepatitis, HIV and other diseases.) This is illegal.
  • No outdoor recreation: Due to the claim that there is short staff, or no staff, we are continuously denied sunlight and fresh air. This neglect is causing our health problems to exacerbate, hair fall out, skin develop psoriasis. Our skin is pruning.
  • Immigrant discrimination: No rehabilitation opportunity, no education/vocational/college opportunity because of our nationality and/or our legal status. No TV channels in our Spanish language, and no interpreters available.

We need your advocacy so that we receive the correct and legal conditions and medical treatments. Please note that none of us women prisoners were sentenced to the death penalty, but yet many women have died due to cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners in this unit. We have dubbed these units "the Texas holocaust" because of the horrific and sadistic living conditions.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The horrible conditions listed above exist throughout the the United $tates prison and jail system, in some facilities and states more or less than others. MIM(Prisons) and United Struggle from Within have an analysis of why the U.$. government tolerates and encourages these conditions, namely to perpetuate a system of social control. You can find this analysis scattered through Under Lock & Key.

We encourage our subscribers to also think more deeply about these problems. Reporting on the conditions is just the first step in our struggle. Ask yourself, what do you think are the reasons for the horrible conditions at Lane Murray Unit, and at the facility where you are held. What is it about our society that makes this possible? And what can we do to change it? What has been tried in the past, and what has had relative success? What has failed? Why? What is one thing you can do today to work to the end of the conditions listed above? How does that one action relate to a long-term strategy to resolve the conditions laid out in this letter from Lane Murray Unit?

It is through this sort of analysis that we can build correct revolutionary theory and practice. So we encourage our readers to discuss these questions with others at your unit, and send us your answers to these questions so we can continue the dialogue.

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[Legal] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [Texas] [ULK Issue 62]
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Active Lawsuits on Texas Conditions

2017 DECEMBER — My beloved comrades at ULK, please take whatever steps necessary to convey this information to your readers, particularly those on the Texas plantations. It is my hope this will move a few to join in this all-out attack against mass incarceration, which those brothers on the Eastham Plantation are being persecuted for.

First, we have launched an attack on the totality of the living conditions on this plantation: double-celling, sleep deprivation, extreme heat, contaminated water, no toilets in the day rooms and rec yard, overcrowded showers. At present we have 5 lawsuits filed and hoping to have 5 more by the first of the year. They are listed at the end of this missive for those who might want to obtain copies and/or file for intervention. I would urge each plantation to file because each plantation has different violations, which in their totality are cruel and unusual.

Next, we have launched an at attack on the symbiotic-parasitic-relationship between Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the American Correctional Association (ACA). Last year we sent numerous letters to the ACA headquarters in Virginia with various complaints including the delayed posting of scheduled audits. Apparently someone was moved to do the right thing. Then notices for the January 2018 audit were posted here in October. As a result, we of the Community Improvement Committee (CIC) here on the unit have sent petitions with hundreds of names with numerous complaints of ACA violations and requests for a Q&A in the gym or chapel. This is being done with individual letters as well. Plus, we have sent the actual notice to various reform organizations requesting them to visit the unit during the audit and act as overseers pointing out particular areas of violations such as the giant cockroach infestation beneath the kitchen.

Next we have and intend to continue to urge the public to stay on top of their legislators to change the law, making it mandatory that prisoners be compensated for their labor.

Finally, we have filed an application for Writ of Habeas Corpus requesting to be released immediately due to the fact that the time sheet shows one has completed 100% of his sentence – that even without the good time, the flat time and the work time equals the sentence imposed by the court. In addition we are drafting something similar for those sentenced under the one-third law. We are submitting to the court that these prisoners have a short-way discharge date. The application for Writ of Habeas Corpus was first filed in the state court in Travis County and denied without a written order in the Texas court of criminal Appeals (#WR-87,529-01 Tr.Ct. No. D-1-DC-02-301765A). We are now in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District Tyler Division (McGee v Director, #6:17cv643). This info is supplied so that those with the means may download the info and/or keep track of the case. The following are the case numbers for the totality of living conditions complaint, which is also in the U.S. District in Tyler:

Walker v. Davis, et al., #6:17cv166
Henderson v. Davis, #6:17cv320
Douglas v. Davis, #6:17cv347
Burley v. Davis, #6:17cv490

The Devil whispers: "You can't withstand the storm"
The Warrior replied: "I am the storm." - The Mateuszm


MIM(Prisons) responds: These comrades are pushing the struggles to improve conditions inside Texas prisons along its natural course. Countless prisoners have sent grievances, grievance petitions, letters to the Ombudsman, letters to elected officials, and letters to various TDCJ administrators on these same issues. We have seen some victories, but mostly we've had barriers put in our way.

The next step laid out for us is to file lawsuits, which is another kind of barrier. Lawsuits take years and sometimes decades to complete, and innumerable hours of work. When we do win, we then have to go through additional lawsuits to ensure enforcement. And on and on it goes...

If we expect the lawsuits to bring final remedy, we must be living in a fantasy. A quintessential example of how the U.$. government behaves regarding lawsuits can be seen in how it totally disrespects treaties with First Nations. When the U.$. government, or its agencies, doesn't like something, they don't really give a shit what the law says. This has been true since the beginning of this government. We don't see any evidence that this will ever change.

Yet, lawsuits aren't all bad. They can sometimes create a little more breathing room within which revolutionaries can operate. Lawsuits can also be used to publicize our struggles, and to show just how callous the state is, if we lose.

Yet, most importantly, lawsuits keep comrades busy. Before any lawsuit, there needs to be a solid analysis of winability, and the likelihood of other options. While we are relatively weak as a movement, lawsuits are a fine option, and building a movement around these lawsuits will give them strength. But if your legal strategy doesn't also include building up collective power to eventually protect people without petitioning the state to do it, then your legal strategy is as useless as a feather in a tornado.

The comrades fighting these battles inside Texas have done a great job of spreading the word to outside organizations to garner support and attention for their lawsuits. We support their efforts to make Texas prisons more bearable for the imprisoned lumpen population, and we support their efforts to link these lawsuits to the greater anti-imperialist movement. And when they decide that lawsuits aren't enough to bring a real change in conditions, we'll support that too.

The U.$. legal system's role is to keep the United $tates government as a dominant world power, no matter what. The extreme heat in Texas prisons isn't just an oversight by administrators. And it's not even just about racism of guards. It is directly connected to the United $tate's role in the oppression and repression of oppressed nations across the world. If the legal system fails, don't give up. Try something else to bring it down. Lawsuits are not the only option.

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