The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Censorship] [Political Repression] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 4]
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SHU time for MIM lit

I'm writing regarding the 7/24/2008 rejection notice concerning my MIM publications. The claim for such action: "Inappropriate material for the correctional environment." There was no explanation in how my publication's were classified as inappropriate. I didn't receive the notice until four day's later, 7/28/08, so that I wouldn't have an opportunity to protest and appeal the rejection of my publications.

As of this moment, I've filed my informal complaint concerning the matter. Once I've received a response, the next step is laying the foundation for 42 U.S.C § 1983. The actions of this Hitler-style concentration camp is unacceptable!

Comrade, I've been locked down in the SHU since February 24, 2008, following the first rejection of my MIM publications on false allegations of organizing a riot! The length the Amerikans will go to silence the voice of an eminent revolution is unbelievable. The time is coming, they can't stop the unstoppable comrade!

[MIM(Prisons) also filed an administrative appeal to this censorship, and posted it, along with the censorship notification on our website. We encourage others to write in to support this comrade and protest the baseless censorship, using our letters as a model.]

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[Organizing] [Censorship] [California] [ULK Issue 4]
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Who's talking in code, pig?

i received your letter today. My Brotha, i did receive your letter in Feb, and i had responded to it, but it was confiscated by the Institutional Gang Investigation Unit (IGI). They claim it was gang related, they claimed New Afrikan Collective is a code word for BGF, now you know how silly my keepers are.

For the past 18 years IGI/ISU [Institutional Gang Investigations/Investigative Services Unit], have used their gang policies as a tool/tactic to circumvent our free speech right, they are using every means at their disposal to censor my voice.

In April and May they all of a sudden decided that my Muslim name was a fictitious name, so, between April 1st and May 29th they confiscated about sixteen outgoing letters under the fictitious name policy. Enclosed is just an example. i have been using my Muslim name since 1982. This had nothing to do with my Muslim name. IGI/ISU were attempting to censor my voice.

i filed a 1983 civil suit (Free Speech & Religious violations). i also sent to the court as an exhibit photo copies of the front of at least 20 letters i had received between Jan and May 29 2008 that clearly shows my Muslim name on each envelope and they passed through IGI/ISU. So this is clear proof that their actions had nothing to do with my name.

...
Your Beloved Brotha,
a California Prisoner

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade has been a leader in an effort to build peace among the warring groups within the California prison system. The letter that was held by IGI from reaching MIM(Prisons) was regarding these efforts. The Catch-22 that this comrade, and many of us, find ourselves in is that if he writes honestly about the work he is trying to do then he is labelled a gang member and censored. The pigs do everything they can to prevent a peace process from moving forward in a system that has hundreds of race riots every year that have spilled onto the streets, particularly in Los Angeles County. You would think that it was the pigs jobs to encourage violence so that they can further repress certain groups rather than to put an end to this senseless killing.

One of the charges brought against MIM(Prisons) and many prisoner activists to justify censorship of our communications is that we are writing in code. Yet, our track record speaks for itself. The Maoist movement has continuously and tirelessly worked to put an end to oppression and exploitation. Within the prison movement we have put massive resources into providing hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature to help educate prisoners across the country to provide guidance and hope for a better future.

Meanwhile, it is the pigs who use code words such as "gangs" and "security threat groups" to target the oppressed and any efforts to bring peace and progress, without sounding like the racist arms of imperialist oppression that they are. If talking in code is a crime, censor the pigs, and let those of us who have solutions to the social problems of drugs abuse, violence, and national oppression get to working on putting these solutions into practice.

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[Censorship] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 4]
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XXL, Vibe and others should join lawsuit vs. VA DOC

I am writing in regards to the constant discrimination we face here at Red Onion State Prison. We are allowed to order magazines, but when they get here we usually receive a notice stating that the publication has been disapproved. This is very discouraging and has caused me to stop subscribing to XXL and I soon will cancel my subscription to Vibe. These two publications seem to be the most targeted. Out of 12 XXL magazines I only received 7 issues. Out of 14 Vibes I have only received 7 issues. I recently had a King disapproved, but that was the first time since I have been subscribed.

It seems that the same two magazines are targeted at an alarming pace and without any help from the outside they are getting away with it. All of them are disapproved for the same reason and that's for promoting gang activities. These people have no understanding of us or our culture and every Black person is automatically linked and labeled as a gang member of some sort.

I have written both magazines for assistance to no avail, I have received absolutely no response. These companies will accept our money, but won't offer any help. This is a slap in the face to incarcerated individuals. I have every copy of my disapproval notices and I am open to sending them to someone out there so you can see the pattern.

p.s. Once I started pressing the issue of them abusing their power by using the gang activity as a reason for disapproving magazines, they started adding other rules along with the gang rule on why they disapproved the magazines.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Yes, please do send us documentation of this censorship as we are working to get a lawsuit filed against the censorship at Red Onion, and all evidence you can provide will help us in this struggle. For that matter, any prisoners who have copies of rejection notices can send them to us and we will post them on our website at https://www.prisoncensorship.info as part of our Censorship in Amerikkka Documentation Project.

We have already contacted XXL regarding the censorship of their magazine at Red Onion to see if they are interested in working with us in a lawsuit. We encourage everyone to continue to write to XXL to encourage them to defend their right to communicate with prisoners in Virginia. As media that is deemed "Black," XXL, Vibe, Under Lock & Key and many others are being censored as "gang material." But while XXL and Vibe gets in 50% of the time, we are not aware of an issue of Under Lock & Key successfully reaching a prisoner in Red Onion since it became its own publication last year, even though prisoners have documents stating that their subscriptions to ULK are approved. We welcome all who are facing the racist blockade at Red Onion to contact us to join us in this struggle.

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[Censorship] [Legal] [Nevada]
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Correction to ULK1 Legal advice on CA ban

I just got done reading your November 2007 newsletter Under Lock and Key. Impressive reading!

On page 3 “CA prisons ban MIM” you made a serious error. You cited bad case law concerning prisoners receiving mail under the Procunier v. Martinez standard. In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court in Thornburgh v. Abbot, 490 U.S. 401, 413-14 partially overturned Martinez. In Abbot the court held that the Martinez standard should apply only to a prisoners outgoing correspondence. For incoming correspondence, a different standard applies. This new standard comes from a case called Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, in which the Supreme Court stated that restrictions on incoming mail are valid if they are reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest. Also see Abbot at 413.

If inmates go to court to fight the ban on MIM and its incoming publications and correspondence, they could wind up loosing hard if they use the wrong case law such as the Martinez standard. On your next publication of your newsletter, I would recommend posting a correction advising inmates to use the Turner standard.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Campaigns] [Legal] [Censorship] [New York] [ULK Issue 3]
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NY Anti-Censorship Battle Wages

In 2006, a NY prisoner filed a §1983 civil rights lawsuit in the NY Western District Federal Court challenging the constitutionality of Prison Rule 105.12 and its application. Mitchell v. Goord, et al., 06-CV-6197. Prison Rule 105.12 is the so-called “gang rule” of DOCS, which is used more as a tool to punish prisoners for possessing written materials than to prevent organizational activities within an institution. The plaintiff had been placed in SHU three times for possessing written materials related to New Afrikan organizations on the outside he openly affiiliates with and deals with. He consistently argued he has a First Amendment right to correspond and associate with, be a member of, write for and about, and possess the literature of any outside organization he so chooses, so long as he doesn't organize or attempt to organize a prison chapter of any such organization within a facility without approval.

Upon learning other NY prisoners were being punished for possessing written materials related to the New Afrikan organizations he's a member of, namely the New Afrikan Maoist Party and its affiliates, and upon learning NY prisons were withholding, rejecting or trashing letters and literature form NAMP and its affiliates to NY prisoners, the plaintiff moved to have his lawsuit certified into a class action to protect the rights of those other prisoners and help them seek redress. The district court judge appointed counsel to investigate whether class action certification is appropriate.

It has been reported that NY prisons, like Southport, Auburn, Clinton and Great Meadow are withholding, trashing and rejecting letters and literature from NAMP and its affiliates to stifle their growing influence and support among NY prisoners. So, NY Prisoners who may have stopped corresponding and receiving literature from NAMP and its affiliates because of being punished for doing so, or because of fear of being punished, or who suddenly stopped hearing from NAMP and its affiliates; it's asked that you complain about this directly to the attorneys appointed in the aforementioned case. Also send a copy to the Collective Legal Services and the district judge - all addresses are listed below. Make sure you state that you support the class action certification of Mitchell v. Goord, et al. And if you hope to recover a monetary reward for any punishment or mail tampering you need to file a grievance now.

Contact:
William G. Bauer, Esq. - Lead Attorney
Erin W. Smith, Esq. - Second
Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
Two State Street
Rochester, NY 14614

Hon. Charles J. Siragusa - Presiding Judge
K.S. District Judge
100 State Street
Rochester, NY 14614

Collective Legal Services
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140

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[Political Repression] [Censorship] [New York] [ULK Issue 3]
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Threatened for Filing Grievances

I didn't appeal the [censorship] due to the fact that I am short and this jail is known for playing set up games. I do ask if this can wait until I get out? I only have 6 or 7 months to go. They are on some other shit up here. I wrote a grievance at Upstate for opened legal mail while not in my presence. I went all the way to Albany with it. They told Albany that the legal mail didn't have a written return address on it, so they opened it to see if it was in fact legal mail.

And it's not only that but one day the doctors had to come in my cell to get me out because of my back. I went to the hospital that day. When I came back to the jail they put me in the infirmary. While I was in the infirmary 4 COs came in to my cell and asked me if I wrote a grievance dealing with legal mail. I said yes. They then asked me do I want to go home. I didn't say anything. He then pulled out a jailhouse knife and a search report and said, "I found this in your pocket, do you know that you can get up to 3 years added to your sentence for some thing like this." I told him that he knows that shit was not in my pocket. He then said, "I know, but that's what my report is going to say, if you keep playing jailhouse lawyer."

Monday I went back to my cell and when I got there the grievance was not in my cell, other things were gone to. I don't have the grievances, but I do have the number. They called it "Receive legal mail late" to cover for the fact that my legal mail was opened outside my presence. Since then I have been locked up I have been jumped by the pigs two times. The 1st time I filed a grievance and IG came to see me and nothing was done. The CO then tried to get me fucked up by putting other people's shit in my cell. I wrote a grievance and I got moved. The 2nd time I was put on the wall and my legs were kicked out from underneath me and I fell and they jumped on me. I fought back and got 1 year in the box, now I am here.

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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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[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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[Spanish] [Censorship] [California] [ULK Issue 12]
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Batalla legal parte de la pelea contra imperialismo

Usted ya saber que los cerdos han puesto MIM en su lista negra de censura otra vez. Aunque los veredictos de la corte dicen que la censura sea solamente contra el material en cuestión, y no en las creencias politicas del publicador. Sí, estos cerdos están felizes y orgullosos de su abilidad de poder bloquear las hechas MIM provea para nosotros. El chrono que dieron nomás dijo MIM, no MIM Notes o MIM Theory, nomás el grupo que odian. Aunque no es nada nuevo porque ellos siempre han odiado ser expuesto como fascistas, como sus mascaras de funda de almuada son cosa de seguridad de gobierno y es otra forma de defender hegemonía burgesia.

Yo estaba pensando que después que MIM gane la batalla legal en contra de Corcoran's attaque personal en sus ideas, las otras publicaciones que ellos odian ganarán libertad de ser bloquiadas, basada en el publicador.

Yo solamente quiero que ustedes camaradas sepan que nosotros todavia estamos peliando la tyrania y nosotros sabemos que ustedes también. La pelea continua. Yo siento que el imperialismo de los estados unidos esta en sus ultimas piernas y que todo el odio y enemigos que han hecho los están alcansando. 50 millones de Africanos Americanos, 40 millones de Latinos en Amerika, 20 millones de Asianos, el yanqui Ku Klux la van a tener bien duro, conquistando todo esto. Y 400 millones de Arabes, 1 billón de Chinos, 1 billón de Indios. Estos marranos que pensaron que ganaron un nuevo estado, cuando Geroge Bush uso el militar E.U. para pelear su pelea familiar con Saddam, están puestos para un grosero despierto y perecerán en su desgracia y enferemedad de chauvinismo.

Yo me acuerdo de todas las jactares de como iban a cruzada y quemar cruzes en Iraq y conquistar, pero ahora, 3 trillones de dolares despues todo lo que tienen es Uranio vaciado veneno, 4,000 muertos, yo no sé 30,000 heridos? Y un billete para tras a su nido.

Así como nos has enseñado. La revolución será realidad cuando el militar de ellos sea extendido de más en su campaña para colonizar y dictar. MIM, tu tienes que escribir un articulo sobre los hechos de las reservas de asiete mundial y tocar en el limite de tiempo cuando este derrumbe imperial vaya a pasar, para que la gente este preparada de tomar su destino, su propia responsabilidad en sus manos. Así que como el manifesto communista dice, donde el desarrollo libre de cada uno son las condiciones para el desarrollo libre de todos.

MIM(Prisiones) responde: Este es un buen comentario amarrando censoria a la situación mundia de sobre extensión imperial. En repuesta sobre la demanda para un articulo en las reservas de aseite mundial, nosotros necesitamos a nuestros camaradas, que están en las calles y detras de las barras, que tomen el trabajo de escribir los articulos que son necesarios. Nomás dando nos ideas no es lo suficiente asi como nunca tenemos suficiente gente para cubrir todos los eventos importantes mundial. Hasta en prisión, nuestros camaradas son inventivo para encontrar materiales investigativos necesitados.

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[Censorship] [Control Units] [California]
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High Desert ban's MIM, falsifies reports on prisoners

Hello there, it's been a long time since I wrote. I have been looking for your address for a long time now and just my luck someone happened to have it. Well please, let's catch up!

First of all, I don't know if you knew, but High Desert State Prison has put you on its black list. We can not receive your monthly newsletter anymore (which I always love to read). We both know why they banned you from this prison. High Desert is so corrupt, they fear that through you we prisoners could shine a light on them. Also, the town of Susanville, which is where almost all of the Correction Officers (COs) are from are majority white and is a tightly knit community. Almost everyone who works here knows one another or are family.

Now I am in the hole for a so-called attempted murder on a peace office (that's what High Desert State Prison is saying). I've been here in the hole for the last year now and have been retaliated against. I've been starved, made to sleep in the cold, made to live in unsanitary conditions, I was forced to live in inhuman conditions. All my mail was being thrown away (incoming and outgoing). I have complained and all this prison would do is an inquiry.

I also have complained about COs falsifying reports and doing a lot of guess work and false charging me. High Desert State Prison knows that this whole thing happened because one of their COs assaulted a prisoner who was in handcuffs and in the program office. When prisoners tried to ask what happened this same CO assaulted a prisoner again.

The CO only received a redness to his cheeks and he refused medical aid. This CO walked off the yard on his own and also before he walked off assaulted prisoners who were on the ground and handcuffed. I have complained about these assaults, but High Desert State Prison is trying to cover up for their COs and also filing false reports.

You could read the reports and see that COs are making things up as they go. All reports don't make sense or are all contradictory to each other. High Desert has filed my case to the DA and even the DA did not believe that an attempted murder had happened.

The DA did pick it up as a battery though. High Desert would not investigate their own. I have tried and tried to complain about it, but my complaints never got answered. Also High Desert staff are doing a lot of these attempted assault claims and beating up prisoners. 602s are not to be given back to prisoners until their time limits are overdue so prisoners can not continue their complaints.

Well, as I can not receive your newsletter, I hope that you will print this in your newsletter and shine a little light on this place.

I will keep up the struggle.

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