Texas update, Increasing Censorship, Increasing Unity
In Texa$ we have received more reports from prisoners about the worsening conditions overall behind bars. Multiple reports of increased repression regarding food quality, medical care, lack of respite for Ad-Seg and increased censorship. Much of the staff is not following any regulations laid out for it regarding the grievance process. Many writers have reported guards throwing out grievances. One report from Clements Unit mentions 100% denial of grievances.
The reports from Clements show some of the worse conditions prisoners face in Texas, with people in isolation suffering worsening health conditions and mental health. From Choper’s report:
“In protest fires burn daily on each of the Ad-Seg lines. Prisoners burn any and all items that will burn. So many so often they don’t even react or bother to put them out, consequently we have no mattresses. Waiting list over 18 months to get a mattress. We sleep on steel and concrete. There are no radios for sale on commissary.”
There is some unity in action going on, but without intentional organizing efforts to facilitate further education in proletarian ideology and connecting the masses behind bars to the oppressed nations in and out of the United Snakes, it may fizzle out due to lack of organization. Tactics such as setting fires can also bring about more repression from guards while taking away energy and materials for organizing. We will continue to fight the censorship and prepare for increased repression, and continue to grow USW inside Texa$ prisons.
We’ve also recently gotten a report of a new SPD (Security Precaution Designate) of Self Harm which is a measure the state is likely taking in response to organizing efforts and legal action against solitary. We are still awaiting updates from the court on the Anti-RHU lawsuit Dillard v. Davis, et al. Civil Action No. 7:19-cv-00081-M-BPs.
The most censored units are Allred and Hughes units. Censorship rates for ULK in TX have been increasing. Censorship rates for the last four issues of Under Lock & Key are as follows:
ULK 76 - 3.55%
ULK 77 - 4.17%
ULK 78 - 8.15%
These are confirmed censorships while many are unconfirmed as received at the moment, so rates are likely much higher.
Much of this is in response to increased pushback from the prisoner population regarding the conditions already prevalent across Texa$ and organizing efforts such as the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative which initiated a wave of censorship which has been ongoing since June.
One comrade has been pushing a censorship lawsuit Owolabi v. TDCJ Allred Unit, et al., 7;22-cv-00094-0 which could have massive implication on facilitating further organizing efforts inside Texa$ prisons, however there have been issues with the Courts trying to dismiss the case on payments grounds despite payment being made for legal documents, that has been resolved for now but it goes to show how unwilling the Texas Department of Criminal Injustice is to follow in own procedure if prisoners use it to further progressive interests in making Texas$ prisons into liberation schools.
Regarding the BP 3.91 case Martinez, ET AL. vs. Members of the TExas Board of Criminal Justice, ET AL. #3:21-CV-00337, it is currently pending and the Judge had sided with the defendants and denied to issue summons to the TDCJ board members and director, however further action is being taken, its not over yet. More proof that this system is completely biased towards the oppressor and we cannot let up on any fronts.
On December 16, 13 comrades have unified in the Michael Unit to stop eating in response to ignored grievances, which both step 1 and 2’s have been filed, and hazardous conditions inside the isolation cells, where we’ve gotten a report where an entire row got sick due to improper ventilation. As with some other units, chow is being left out for hours at a time before being served, and people aren’t being let out to shower. We stand with these comrades and encourage other prisoners to find unity through these worsening conditions.
North Texas AIPS has been established and will be working in coordination with other groups such as Texas T.E.A.M. O.N.E. to ramp up more outside support and awareness of the struggle behind bars, and spreading MIM line in and outside of prisons in Texa$. We will continue to expand our efforts in order to bring awareness and strategize on combating the increased repression Texa$ prisoners have been facing
One project we will be working with a number of jailhouse lawyers on is updating the Texas Campaign Pack to include anything we can find to update the grievance information as well as information regarding the new independent Ombudsman for Texa$. Please send us your edits and changes for the Texas Pack so we can make the next edition as complete as possible.
The struggle in Texa$ is growing, as is state repression, our goals to establish institutions of the oppressed nation and facilitate the study of Maoism and peoples war is our path forward. Stand up for your right, don’t give up the fight.