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Under Lock & Key

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[Political Repression] [Campaigns] [North Kern State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 23]
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Hunger Strike First Step in Building United Front

So much is going on right now with the hunger strike reactivated. Here at North Kern State Prison we received a memo stating that whoever participated in the new hunger strike will be severely punished. Wow! They can only make us stronger, so every race is refusing one meal a day to show our solidarity.

My main comment is in response to the so-called comrade calling everybody in Special Needs Yards (SNY) a snitch. S/he was very wrong. As you stated in Under Lock & Key 21, 13 prisons supported the hunger strike initiated in Pelican Bay State Prison in July. CCI Tehachapi is predominately SNY, and all of R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility and Pleasant Valley State Prison is SNY. SNY is 3-to-1 over the very overrated general population (GP), and we don't get validated by SNYs; we get validated by GPs. Unity in the masses is needed. How can you question someone else's loyalty when the very same individual could go to SNY one day? We GPs created SNY, and not all SNYs are bad. A lot of my comrades who are still solid Crips went SNY to get release dates. I can't be mad at that, or anyone willing to debrief to leave the SHU.

In this hunger strike the unity is with us all starving ourselves for the better treatment of our beloved comrades who are stuck in the back willing to die for a righteous cause. I support that! We are all trying to bring a United Front with all structures in the California prison system; not just with a hunger strike, but it's a start. True, the pigs are the enemy and we've let them divide us. We can stand together against them as long as leaders lead right with the positive influence to cease all grudges and stress why the unity is needed. And that's all prisons across the country. All LK, GD, UL, BGF, EME, TS, AB, CCO, UBN, 415, and anything else that's of the lumpen.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Every oppressed persyn should know that there is nothing to gain by talking to the police. But without proper training, and when facing years in a torture cell, many will not know how to respond in a way that serves their interests in the short and long-term. Yet, the hunger strike is so important because of the role the SHU plays in repressing the organization of the oppressed. We want to keep people out of there. And while debriefing is generally translated as snitching, a Corcoran prisoner describes:

"A debriefer who was briefly in this individual's cell told IGI, the individual spoke of the merits of socialism, the history of political resistance to racism in America, and the validity of the socio-economic and political views of Frantz Fanon, Ho Chi Minh, and George Lester Jackson. The IGI told the debriefer this was 'BGF education,' to which the debriefer quickly agreed, framed it in those terms, and parroted what his IGI handler told him to."

The author of this quote, who was validated, is quick to condemn SNY prisoners, describing them as the most violent and discussing the gangs they have formed to work directly with the pigs. While it is true that many LOs work with the pigs, that is not limited to SNY. And while many in prison have given real information to the pigs, the above example begs the question, what do we have to gain by condemning snitches when all they are doing is parroting the pigs? Aren't the pigs in control, going so far as to tell them what to say?

Rather than marveling at the lack of character of the current generation, we need to look at the reasons why so many prisoners are easily manipulated to play the pigs' game. There are material bases for the actions of the masses. If there's too much snitching, then why don't the LOs address the causes for that? What support can you provide your members to encourage different behavior? Because the current way ain't working.

In California, SNY, like SHU, has been used as a tool to break up oppressed nation organizing. But it has become so common that prisoners are questioning the SNY vs. GP split that the state created. We echo this comrade's recognition that California prisoners came together over the last three months across all lines, a good step towards expanding the United Front for Peace in Prisons, and we join this comrade in calling for LOs to continue to come together in this struggle.

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