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[Censorship] [Grievance Process] [Texas] [ULK Issue 80]
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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 75 - 1.82%
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.

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[Texas T.E.A.M. O.N.E.] [Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support] [Abuse] [Censorship] [ULK Issue 79]
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Texas Continues to Fight Neglect, Censorship and Heat

prisoners suffer in heat from global warming

Texas prisoners face some of the harshest conditions in the kkkountry mainly due to neglect from prison staff, and disregard for prisoners’ health, safety and rights. For example recently in Estelle High Security we had received a report from one of our readers on dialysis, and a copy of eir grievance,

On 15 August 22 at 5:45PM-7:10PM 11 Dialysis patients were put in a van with NO Rear A/C. We got to the rear gate of high security at 6:10pm our officer driving the van told Lt. Phillips:

“Hey there’s Dialysis in the van and it’s hot for them.”

Lt. Phillips said ,“I don’t give a fuck, I’m crossing my kitchen crew to the main building. They can fucken wait.”

It was about 90 outside. Our officer driving the van told her again, “They just got off dialysis.”

Lt Phillips said, “They’ll be fine.”

Their report describes a fellow prisoner who had passed out after they were left in there for an hour. This is not the only heat related incident, as heat waves were going on for weeks, many units went without A/C or adequate ice or respite as reported on from the Luther Unit. Meanwhile, Stiles Unit spent much of September in lockdown during the heat with no showers and limited food. Heat exhaustion and health issues are being exacerbated by lack of respite, this all being against directive A.D. 1064 requiring access to ice during times of elevated heat. The oppressors at this unit deny this happening of course, and show their own unwillingness to follow their own laws, which gives light to the real purpose of prisons of course being national and political oppression. Unity and mass action is the only way to address this, such as TX T.E.A.M. O.N.E.’s mass petition to mail to the U.$. Department of Justice as mentioned in ULK 78 Juneteenth Freedom Initiative (J.F.I.) Phase 2.

This year has seen an increase in reports (at least 135 recorded by Texas Dept. of Criminal Injustice (TDCJ)) of censorship of mail from MIM(Prisons) across Texas, since the start of the J.F.I. As stated in the last 2 issues of ULK, the J.F.I. is simply organizing for prisoners’ legal rights as stated by the imperialist’s own laws (peacefully advocating for legal rights is not inciting a disturbance). Massive censorship continues in the Allred and Hughes Units, among many others, where conditions are some of the worst in the state. The reason behind this as stated before is to prevent organizing and political education from prisoners, and to limit their knowledge of their legal rights. The state’s interest are of population control, and torture (Restricted housing for decades is unconstitutional torture) along with the many cases of neglect beyond what’s referenced here.

"MIM Distributors and our subscribers within the TDCJ have exhausted all administrative remedies with our appeals, letters and grievances. The TDCJ is not interested in following the law on it’s own accord. Therefore we have begun to step up outside pressure on two fronts.

  • the legal front by filing a lawsuit
  • the public opinion front via our postcard campaign"

“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.

Anti-imperialist Prisoner support (AIPS) has been hitting the streets with ULK, J.F.I. Flyers, and postcards to be mailed to TDCJ’s Director’s Review Committee office and Jimmy Smith’s (Warden of Allred) office, collecting donations and educating those on the outside. We can always use more feet on the ground, and legal funds from those on the outside, more support in general.

This short summary of some of the conditions recently faced by Texas prisoners is a call to unite against all oppression, primarily against the United Snakes of Amerikkka, and to unify under the common banner of Anti-imperialism. Don’t let the divide and conquer tactics work as intended, this political oppression cannot and will not go unanswered. We need the people on the outside to support those on the inside in their efforts to further organize, rehabilitate, and educate in the United Struggle from Within in Texas. We need public opinion to shift, so keep on the pressure from both sides. The more they censor and oppress, bigger our fight gets!

All Power to the People

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