The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Can you do layout? Help out by laying out pamphlets and study packs to mail to prisoners. help out
[Control Units] [California]
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Prisons create violence

I am writing to thank you for your introduction letter. I find your material very interesting. I have spent about 10.5 years in the SHU. I was not violent when I was first put in the SHU. I now face murder charges. I believe solitary confinement has made me and other inmates in the SHU violent. No contact with the outside world has changed us for the worse. We have become institutionalized, not rehabilitated.

When I entered prison for petty theft I was not a violent person. After years of incarceration and being around violence, I’m now accused of killing my cell mate, before that I have been found guilty of numerous counts of violence. I take full responsibility for my actions but I do place blame on the system for mixing non-violent offenders with violent offenders. Prison is supposed to be a place for rehabilitation, inmates who parole are likely to return due to lack of education, if you are housed in the SHU you will not receive any education or rehabilitation, so when such an inmate paroles he has no chance.

I do not know what I can do to change the system but I hope people will read this and write administration to promote education in the SHU and the system. Violence against each other is not the answer.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [California]
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Let us rise as one!

Set my people free, from the streets 2 the penitentiary!
I say a prayer 4 you, from the streets 2 the penitentiary!

I stand alone strap decent I’m ready 4 war
Military ammu I’m knocking at your front door
Mr. Oppressor open up and kick in like a slot machine
No excuses I want mine by all means
Doing crime is easy we getting by
Just look around, Black and Brown
Where we at, locked up, we doing life
They (oppressor) want us off the streets, the violence decease
Mr. Police “please,” y’all ain’t no better than me
Body bags is staking up and the system is corrupted as hell
The war, the drugs, these slugs, we bust
The rules you make, you break, we all stuck
Ain’t no justice, it’s just us
Believe that shit
Bloods and Crips at war, kids is killing kids
My soul is torn, my heart ripped up,
Bloody tears dried up, love ones I mourn
Love me or hate me, I can care less,
You ain’t the one:
Born in captivity, living in a struggle,
Contemplating death,
Mr. R___ a cop, damn right, let’s ride, till my last breath,
BanaRu from the feet up.
Those chosen few representing us, stay up.
The torch been passed down 2 me, flames in rage,
All power 2 the people, here I give 2 you
Rise and shine our time has arrived
It’s ‘our destiny,’ we must survive,
(Afrika)=Ethiopia is calling come home
Riches of all land, beginning of all man,
Mother 2 all earth, righteous land of our birth
The world is waiting 4 a new power 2 rise,
It’s time 2 wake up, open up your eyes
Let Freedom Ring, my people, hear your brother sing
My strong sistas, continue 2 shine like the sun
Lead and guide our generation and those 2 come
Get in the cell, get in the cell, they continue 2 yell at me,
Ayana Wewe, Ayana Wewe, I continue 2 scream
So go ahead and turn your back on all political prisoners and
pay us no mind, bu
Behind every action there’s a re-action
It’s only a matter of time
Are strength in numbers
It’s time 2 wake up and let’s catch the oppressor
While he slumbers
So all those who are with me “Put your fist 2 the air”
So when the revolution comes we shall all be there!!!
Enclosing I just would like 2 say, may you stay forever grounded and gravitated in victory against eh powers and
Principalities that conspire our collective demise and their
Constant rise!

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[Medical Care] [California]
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No improvement in health care in California prisons

I just read Under Lock and Key from 2007 and it concerned the health care in California prisons. I'm sending along a copy of an article from the Sacramento Bee by Don Thompson of the Associated Press. It explains that Federal Receiver Robert Sillew's report shows there is very little change in health care in California prisons as of March 2008. Mr. J. Clark Kelso is the new federal receiver.

I have been in prison for 11 1/2 years for resisting arrest. I was given a life sentence under California's Three Strikes Law. Since I've been in prison I've known three prisoners personally who died from liver failure. Each man told me they did not receive proper care from the medical services. The CDCR needs more qualified doctors and more medical and mental prisons, but until the over population problem (173,000 prisoners) is solved, there will continue to be people dying. We need to be seen as human beings, not cattle.

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[Theory] [California]
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Learning from MIM Theory on Psychology

I have been studying MT9 a lot lately, I don't think MIM could be more on point about psychology in american society. I have been in the system since I was 3 years old and have been receiving both medication and therapy since I was 6 years old. As a kid I was always getting in trouble, so when I was 6 my mother placed me in therapy and then some doctor said I need medications and gave my mother a shopping list of things wrong with me. From my experience, treatment for "mental illness" is based on the theory that mental illness originates within yourself and is caused by yourself, so in theory fix yourself and you'll be fine. For example, you have a 16 year old girl who has suffered both physical and mental abuse her whole life, now every psychologist out there will tell her it is not her fault, they'll try to explain to her why these individuals have treated her so wrong, in short they want her to accept what has happened to her as a fact of life, accept that we can't change others, and don't let your past experiences control you...move on.

MIM said in MT9, pg. 34, the answer on a social scale to peoples inability to survive mentally in an oppressive society is not teaching people to cope better (through drugs, TV, therapy, etc.) but changing the society to meet the peoples needs, which requires revolution. MIM seeks the abolition of the psychological, or individual, approach to various problems - replacing it with social prevention through social revolution.

As you said in the letter, instead of an "individualist" way of thinking when it comes to psychology and mental illness, we need to look at the whole picture. Yes, through the current form of psychology you "may" be able to "help" a teenager with his/her anger or "help" an adult with depression or you may even "help" yourself, but you have not changed the environment or conditions that caused the initial anger and depression. Therefore you have a never ending cycle.

I read "Testimonial of a woman revolutionary" (MT9, p41). When I read her story I saw how important revolutionary practice is and how far MIM will go to assist comrades in the struggle. Can you explain how to write a self-criticism? I try to read her story every once in a while to remind myself how important revolutionary practice is.

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[Censorship] [California]
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Cases on California censorship

Here is a copy of the complaint [against Scott Kelnan and CDCR for censorship]. Now I wait for the judge magistrate to review my complaint. Everything is in order there, but who knows how long it'll take for the court clerk to respond with further instructions. I'm also preparing to file a preliminary injunction or a request for one anyway, so that you can resume sending MIM Notes and other materials or whatever until the judge decides to hear us. However, once again many people seem to think its a long shot. I'll try anyway. I did find a similar case however where the federal judge did grant the injunction, so it might not be such a long shot after all.

All of these cases below are good law for reference in the fight against censorship:

Clement v California Dept of Corrections, 364, F3d, 1148
Prison Legal News v Cook, F3d 1145
Martin v Kelly F2d 236
Rios v Cane, F2d 1032
Hall v Cullan, 818, F2d, 1040
Abdul Wali v Coughlin, 754 F2d, 1015
Ashker v California Dept of Corrections 350, F3d, 917
Shakur v Selsky, 391, F3d, 106

Sometimes I feel as if I'm in over my head with all this, but the longer this goes on, the more confident I become.

I may have inadvertently found a few more cases to back us up while I was looking for cases to cite on the request for the preliminary injunction. I won't know for sure until I go back to the law library, and I'm not sure when that might be since there was an incident today and we might be on lockdown.

I asked the library if I could be eligible for PLU status, so as to get to the library more often and do research, being that I've filed with the district court already. She showed me a copy of this facility's "Operational Manual" that states that civil actions are not granted PLU status. So that's a roadblock right there as if there weren't enough already. I'll see if I can do anything about it, but I doubt it.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Political Repression] [Control Units] [California] [ULK Issue 3]
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On lockup for filing lawsuit

Once again I'm back in ad-seg, this time my lock up order reads: "for allegations of staff misconduct." The smoke screen justification for locking me up they say is "to protect the integrity of the investigation." But it's clear that my current isolation is just retaliation for my jailhouse lawyer activities. Just recently in December the U.$. marshals were up here issuing service of a summons order for several high ranking Salinas Valley State Prison officials and some of the low level guns, to appear and answer the civil rights complaint I filed against them. They violated their own United Snakes constitution, in 14 different ways, against several of us beginning in 2005 all the way until 2007.

The complaint just passed district screening in November, therefore that initial battle was won. The officials violated the 1st Amendment, in regards to our freedom of speech, by requiring prisoners up here to participate in the threat assessment interviews, after any rumor of a threat on staff, or any other incident that was transpiring on the yard or at this prison. When some of us refused to answer any of their questions or sign any documents (they had put together a promise to behave chrono) we were removed from general population and isolated in the institution's Behavior Modification Unit (BMU) and stripped of all our so-called privileges such as canteen, packages, phone calls, contact visits and yard - indefinitely. Of course there was no rule or regulation in the Title 15 to support the administration's arbitrary actions. So they made one up and deemed it confidential, D.O.M. #55015, unlock protocol. Cold thing is the office of administrative law never heard of this regulation, but that wasn't a surprise to us because the officials kept switching up their methods of repression.

After they saw nothing was working to break our resolve (about 10 of us on the yard who took part in the resistance), the administration began libeling us. They issued out 128s indicating, by our refusal to assist staff in their investigation, that we were actively promoting "organized criminal/gang/disruptive group activity." These assertions were ludicrous as all of the individuals involved were from different geographical locations and there were both Blacks and Latinos who choose, as a matter of principal, that they weren't going to assist the pigs. This is a political belief - that's one of the 1st Amendment claims I presented, but on that one there's still research that needs to be done to see the extent to which our political rights apply in the prison settings.

I believe when it's all said and done they will definitely have to be held accountable for the 8th Amendment violation in denying us yard - fresh air and exercise opportunities for long periods of time. One brotha - struggling with us was denied for 2 years from 2005 to 2007. My celly was denied for 18 months. Me myself I was denied for the shortest period of time which was just a little over 6 months. Still and yet the Supreme Court deemed denial for even 6 weeks cruel and unusual punishment years ago.

As a prisoner in the 21st century there's a clear and present danger of losing everything that was previous gained through struggle in the prison movements of the past. If we would have the support of the majority or even 2/3rds, I don't believe the administration would have even attempted to push a line on us like that.

It's unfortunate, but many prisoners here are unaware of the oppressor's true reason for forcing the interviews and forcing us to sign the document. The interview in and of itself is a guise, to create suspicion and engender more disunity than there already is amongst the general population. The officials created a rule requiring everybody to come out of their cells one by one and enter the guards office - a dark room - and answer questions concerning any rumors or racial and gang conflicts, so on and so forth. This disguises and provides comfort for their informants.

By 95% of the population participating in this, it's clear that we're in a state of emergency as a people and that's just from a conscience perspective. From a legal perspective, when individuals sign that chrono, it's a waiver of rights and it absolves the administration of liability. It serves another purpose, for it's also a contract promising to behave. With your signatures it justifies them hitting us with indeterminate SHU based on a violation of that contract. The people who have us enslaved like this are wickedly wise and constantly look for new and improved ways to play us against ourselves. The people tend to lose sight of that and it pains me deeply to see the extent to which we are allowing ourselves to be manipulated. This is my reason for fighting through. I don't so much mind the repression, now based on what I know and now understand that the cause is in righteousness. With that said I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of it.

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[National Oppression] [California] [ULK Issue 3]
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Kern Valley keeping Blacks on lockdown

Kern Valley State Prison is a new prison that hasn't been open even ten years yet and it is already dragging its prison population through the dirt. The Blacks have been on lockdown since October 2007 and I was just recently told (word of mouth) that the lockdown will be extended for four more months. Now understand, I said word of mouth vs. an official departmental memo (as CDC policy regulates).

As of now we basically have no movement at all, besides escorted movement to medical or court. We have no yard, no religious services, no reading material, no visits or nothing, and as I become more educated with litigation and the U.S. constitution I understand that they are in clear violation and someone has to hold them accountable for the things they are doing wrong.

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [California]
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Censorship and brutality update in CA prisoners

I want to let you know the latest info on censorship and the latest prison crimes against us comrades behind bars.

Censorship: I've written the Attorney General's office and there was a memo that was written on 8/16/2007 that stated that political prisoners who want to receive books on political issues need to write to our counselors. The counselor will say yes or now and then we write to the company and order the book. Tell all comrades who study the ways of Mao or any communism group to go to the library/law library and ask for the memo on political books issues. It helps us out a lot. One problem, they don't give prisoners a copy of the memo because the prisoner who works the law library said that the head people in Sacramento said not to copy the memo. So I will put a 602 appeal in and try to get a copy of the memo for our comrades. Also be advised, it may take a while because the 602 process is very slow and I might have to take it to the director's of appeals in Sacramento.

Prison issues: On February 26 the C/Os and a sergeant brought out a prisoner and gave him an injection in the arm. This happened in the mental health crisis bed. The C/Os and Sergeant slammed the prisoner and punched him two times in the nose, breaking it. The C/Os and the Sergeant then said the prisoner assaulted them first, which is a big lie. I saw all of it. The Sergeant and a C/O pulled me out and put the baton around my neck and started strangling me and told me to remain silent. But now I've not only 602ed it, I've filed a civil complaint.

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[Abuse] [California]
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Cruel shackling at Pelican Bay

First and foremost I sent my utmost respect. I have read the letters you sent me and I really like this fine organization you have.

I have been oppressed here in the penal code system. On December 21, 2007 I was escorted to the hospital here in Pelican Bay State Prison and a C/O put the leg shackles on me too tight. I told him the shackles were too tight but he did not loosen them. Upon my arrival in CTC (the hospital), I was put in a holding cell. Fifteen minutes later I had to use the restroom but the C/Os would not let me go. At this particular time I was rubbing my ankles where the shackles were and I pulled up my jumpsuit because my ankles hurt. I had blood on both sides of my ankles, so I pulled down my socks to get a visual on my ankles. They were cut pretty deep on both sides. I have scars on both sides now. I filed a 602 (appeal), so I just have to exhaust my remedies and take it to court.

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[China] [California]
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Book Review of Mao Zedong A Life

Mao Zedong: A Life
by Jonathan Spence

The author of this book, Jonathan Spence, teaches at Yale University. his awards include a Gugenheim and MacArthur Fellowship so it was of no surprise from the very first pages to read criticism of Mao with many false claims adding no sources to validate the slander found in this book. Spence's ludicrous claims of Mao being disinterested in education 'browsing through newspapers for months' seemed humorous, I thought, who believes this shit? Mao was known for his intense study and his ground breaking theory reflects this.

As I navigated through the bullshit I found glimpses of history peppered throughout ' a life', I found interesting Mao's early years pre-1920's Chinese civil war. His Book Society Club and being editor of the progressive journal "New Hunan" seemed to build public opinion during these early years. I did enjoy reading in Chapter 4 of the formation of the Chinese Communist Party which was assisted by the Soviets, at this time Chinese were sent to Russia and France to study who would return to help build China. Spence did give a brief description of the Chinese Communist Parties first congress, which was ultimately held on a boat on a Zhejiang lake, and the secrecy that was needed at that time, the first congress decided they would focus on organizing factory workers for the immediate future.

In chapter 5 Spence points out that in 1925 British forces shot Chinese civilians demonstrating and sparked popular movements against imperialism. According to Spence, in 1925 communist party membership was under 1,000 but by 1927 it expanded to over 57,000. What Spence fails to point out is it took public opinion and the communist party to seize these opportunities to show the people, teach and guide them to action against the imperialists acts of atrocity to create over 57,000 members in the CCP.

In Chapter 5 Spence begins surprisingly well when describing how in 1926 Mao was one of those chosen to organize the peasants in the countryside including in his homeland of Hunan, which proved a success, and how the poorest of peasants seized power from the dominating landlords and how in the liberated areas women were no longer enslaved by husbands. The petty criminals, secret societies and even children began to partake in the new liberation areas. However, the credit was short lived as Spence got back to criticizing Mao's attention to detail in his writings with tables and neat rows of figures on the size and location of each peasant association. Later in the book Spence even criticizes Mao in his later years for not being detailed in his writings as before.

Every now and then Spence will give Mao his due respect, one such instance is in chapter 6 when describing Mao's guerilla episodes when Mao and his forces used the JiangXi county town of YongXin as their "center" and as a base for organizing "insurrection" in the neighboring counties. At this time Spence goes on to say "Mao was 34, lean from privation, rich with experience from his organizational work among the peasantry, and a storehouse of knowledge about communist and Guomindang party leaders." Spence goes on to criticize the long march with much death and disaster, however he fails to note that had Mao not initiated the long march, the communist troops would have been wiped out by the Guomindang at "Jiangxi soviet" which was the new communist base area on the FuJian border.

There were three pages on Stalin and Mao's meetings that were informational yet when discussing the cultural revolution Spence seems to limit this great achievement to closing brothels and construction of buildings. When discussing the Korean War Spence goes on to mention how Mao's oldest son died in this war and goes on to say "when Mao was finally told of his son's death by Peng DeHuai in person, he agreed to let the body remain in Korean soil, as an example of duty to the Chinese people." This I think shows Mao's character and what kind of leader he was.

Overall this was a horrible book about Mao, written with a blatant imperialist bias. I thought I could sort through the bullshit and pick out good information but I had many headaches attempting to do so, Spence often cites "facts" about Mao without any notes or references as to where he found these "facts."

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