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[Censorship] [California]
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Law library access blocked

I got your letter. No thanks are needed for pushing this paperwork. I'm only doing what I think is right for a very worthwhile cause [fighting censorship of MIM literature].

I haven't got into the library since the last time I was there which was about three weeks or more ago. The current librarian hasn't called me or two other people from this building and I don't think it’s a coincidence that these other two people have active lawsuits in the court right now. These other guys are the same ones who agreed to help me file and see this thing through. The library has been running consistently for the past three weeks, so there's no excuse or reason for the workers to not call us in, other than to halt our progress and our work. I'm giving her one more day before I file a grievance against her, if only to get the ball rolling again. As it stands right now, I will no longer be able to file suit in February as I planned.

I still haven't heard back from the Department of Justice, but it shouldn't be too much longer.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Censorship] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 3]
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White Lit Passes VA Censors

Assalamu Alaykum,

As you will see form the attached Personal Property Request Form, I have now been granted permission by the prison admin to receive your newsletters for one year. Therefore, they shouldn't send it back to you, as they did on 12/19/07 due to "no approval."

I also received a copy of the notice your legal council sent to W.D. Jennings on 12/10/07. You and your council should know that Major K. Chris and the admin at ROSP have not limited those nefarious and racist acts to just your newsletter (per DOP 803.2 #13 [MIM(Prisons): This policy reads, " Material that depicts, describes, or promotes gang signs, language, clothing, jewelry, codes or paraphernalia, gang participation, or other gang-related activity or association"]), but also to magazines such as Vibe, XXL, King, Smooth and others. They have also gone so far as to use this all encompassing rule in disapproving personal pictures sent to inmates by family and friends.

What's odd is the fact that none of the prison staff has had any formal training in "gang-related activities" by or with any law-enforcement agencies, and they all reside in southwest Virginia where gang activity is non-existant?!

Most of their true reasons for the disapprovals is actually based on racial bias and ignorance. The racial bias comes as no surprise, as it is a daily practice to see/hear various C/O's spew racial epithets at inmates, with impunity. The ignorance comes from the fact that if they can't understand it, then it must be gang-related.

That is why W.D. Jennings will never give a detailed explanation for these blatant violations of our First Amendment rights, because he would have to expose himself and his agents lack of intellect and the laws of this land! The only language they would overstand is a civil action brought against them by an organization like yours or possibly just a threat of such an action.

Your newsletter provides inmates with the type of information the VA DOC would rather we didn't know. For us to be aware of our rights means they wouldn't be able to continue to violate those rights. They probably aren't even (or weren't) disapproving your newsletters at all VA DOC prisons until it became an issue addressed by your organization, as is the case with our magazines.

I'm now preparing to file a civil suit regarding our magazines, because even though they've disapproved a number of my Vibe and Smooth mags based on "gang-related tattoos and jewelry"(?), I just received a GQ (Jan. '08) with an article specifically on the "CRIPS" in LA. (with full page pics of gang members dressed in blue attire flashing gang signs), which should never have made it to my cell. But, because GQ is viewed as a "mainstream white publication" with a white man on the cover, I'm positive not one person opened it up to "review" its contents!

So, I hope and pray your org will do what it takes to end these racist and draconian practices of the VA DOC, as it is negatively affecting all of us incarcerated in these gulags. At any rate, I hope to be reading your newsletter soon, and I pray you can help bring some resolution to our plight.

MIM(Prisons): This report supports others coming from Virginia that any literature deemed to be “Black” is being censored at Red Onion State Prison. Comrades in Virginia state prisons should take note of the apparent need to get pre-approval for subscriptions. Comrades should go through the required steps to submit a Personal Property Request Form, so that the pigs cannot justify censorship for bureaucratic reasons.

However, it is clear that every piece of literature we send to Virginia is now being censored, including many of our letters, which are being treated as “publications” contrary to the departments own 803.2 procedure. The only mail that is being confirmed received is legal mail related to this censorship battle, which is being received up to 2 months late (a violation Sizemore v. Williford, 829 F.2d 608, 610 (7th Cir. 1999)).

We must agree with this comrade's assessment of the administration in Virginia. Our legal council has put in a commendable effort to get to the bottom of the problems we are facing in Virginia, but W.D. Jennings has yet to give us one meaningful response to our council’s requests that they follow the law.

We are currently actively searching lawyers who can help us bring a civil action against Jennings and the Virginia DOC. We are also requesting that others who are being censored get in touch with us and send us documentation of your own censorship, which we will document on our website and use as evidence in building our case.

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[Censorship] [Spanish] [California] [ULK Issue 2]
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California Prohibe MIM Distributors

El Departamento de Correciónes y Rehabilitación de Califonria (CDCR) ha instituido una prohibición en material educativo dentro de prisiones, categoricamente censurando toda la literatura mandada por MIM su programa "Educacion de prisionero." Esta prohibición fue ordenada por Scott Kernan, Director de la Division de las Instituciones Adultas por California, en un memoranda publicado en Diciembre 13, 2006 "dirijiendo una prohibición inmediata en el recibimiento, poseción, o distribución de literatura/publicaciones de MIM hacia o de prisioneros en la custodia del CDCR." Esta prohibición ha sido interpretado por prisiones que incluye dicionarios y libros históricos e incluso hasta MIM su propia revista y periódicos. En algunas prisones la prohibición ha sido interpretada que también incluye todas las cartas escritas por MIM.

Esta censura es en violación directa del precedente legal el qual requiere ser revisado por contenido que viola reglas de prisión. Sistematico rechaso de todo correo por una organización basado en desacuerdo con el remitente y su política no es legal, hasta dentro del sistema de prisión y sus propias reglas y regulaciones.

Ni Kernan tampoco la administración de prisión applicando la prohibición nunca han proveido ni una evidencia que literatura del MIM, muchos menos, cartas, diccionarios y otros libros MIM manda a los prisioneros, presenta alguna amenaza a la institución. La carta de Kernan contiene una revisión de la linea politica del MIM como evidencia suponiendo que MIM representa algo de peligro a las prisiones de California. El codigo de regulación de California (CCR) Titulo 15, sec: 3135(b) dice: "Descuerdos con el remitente o el recivicor y aparentes valores morales, actitudes verazes, o preferencia de palabras no será usada por el personal correccional como una razón para rechazar o detener el correo. Personal correccional no debe desafiar o confrontar el remitente o al recividor con tal valor de juicia, tampoco debe tal valor de critica ser considerado en ninguna acción afectando el correspondiente." Además, en Procunier v. Martinez, la Corte Sumprema sostuvo el derecho de prisioneros de recibir correo, sin importar la opinión del oficial de prisión en el contenido del correo, mientras no ahiga restricciones legitimas de la prisión relacionado con propositos correcionales.

Hay una fuerte correlación entre educación y aprisionamiento. De acuerdo con el Buro de Estatísticas de Justicia (el Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos y su propia organización) el más reciente estudio de 1997 de información de población, 41% de prisiones de estado y federales no han completado preparatoria. Esto comparado con 18% de la población general 18 y mayores. (1) Las cosas se miran aun peor entre prisioneros edad 29 hasta 39 demostrando que la inclinación es hacia mas prisoneros sín una educación de preparatoria como prisoneros más jovenes están aun menos educados que las prisioneros mayores. Otros estudios más recientes han enseñado que esta inclinación continúa. La probabilidad de terminar en una prisión es tremendamente más alto para jóvenes de raza negra quienes paran de atender la escuela antes de obtener un diploma de preparatoria. Y un titulo coleguial es más protección contra el aprisionamiento.

En el otro lado de la educación, programas de educación dentro de prisión han repetidamente estado enseñando que reduce el reofendimiento ayudando los prisioneros a encontrar trabajos y oportunidades cuando ellos son puestos en libertad. Estudios individuales y metalicos repetidamente concluyeron lo mismo.

Desde 1990, la literature ha mostrado que prisioneros quienes atienden programas educacionales mientras ellos están encarcelados son menos probable de retornar a prisión después de su salida. Estudios en varios estados ha indicado que en promedio 24% ha desminuido donde han recibido una educación apropiada. Además, la clase correcta de programs educacionales lleva hacia menos violencia por los presos envueltos en los programas y un ambiente prisionero más positivo. (2)

California ya tiene uno de los más altos porcentaje de reofensa en el país, con un inmenso 70% de prisioneros en libertad terminando para atras en prisión dentro de tres años. Y en años recientes nosotros hemos visto que programas de educación, visitación, y hasta correo recortado, asi los prisioneros son dejados con muy poco que hacer detrás de las barras y virtualmente un imposible trabajo de ir derecho de prisión hacia las calles sin una educación o servicios transicional.

Implementando una prohibición por todo el estado de material educativo del MIM es una manera más de mantener los prisioneros encarcelados. Prisioneros quienes leen nuestra literatura frequentamente nos dicen que ellos aprenden a canalizar su tiempo dentro de actividades productivos en vez de participar en violencia detrás de las barras. Y la educación ayuda ellos a tener una mejor oportunidad de estarse en las calles una vez ellos son puestos en libertad. Nosotros recibimos cartas preguntando por material que leer como esta todo el tiempo: "Soy un prisionero del estado en el Valle Salinas y estoy en una yarda que ha estado en encierro constantemente por aproximadamente cuatro años. Por eso me encuentro sin poder llegar a la librería aquí. He leido cada panfleta. Estaría muy agradecido por cualquier clase de libro cuberita suave que puedan mandar. Cualquier cosa que tu mandes sera leido y releido por bastantes prisioneros." Seguramente el CDC"R" sabe que allá hay una demanda de material para leer en la prisión, pero ellos ni siquiera se molestan en llenar este vacio con novelas de pelusa. Ellos prefieron gastar su gran paquete en salarios más altos para sus brutales guardias y defensa legal de sus actividades ilegales tal como crear pleitos como deporte.

Claro, el CDCR tiene razones en prohibir el MIM a los prisioneros. Educar los prisioneros es contrario a sus metas. Con la educación viene la conciencia, y mientras los prisoneros trabajan con MIM reporta que evitan enfrentasiones violentas (con los dos, sus semejantes y los guardias), también ellos son más probables a tomar apelaciones legales y administrativas, y de educar y organizar sus propios compañeros prisioneros para levantarse por sus derechos legales. Como un prisionero de California nos escribió en octubre del año pasado:

Extendiendo mis respetos hacia todos, me gustaría tambien expresar de todo corazón mi agradecimiento a todo aquel que trabaja, trabajando con y/o afiliado con el Movimiento Internacional Maoista por todo lo que ustedes hacen y el servicio que proveen. Especialmente, con respeto a las prisioneros. Hablando de experiencia personal yo puedo decir que recibiendo y leyendo tus boletines, es las dos cosas, una mayor motiviación y fomentación. Decir que tus Notas MIM me ha servido bien no cubre nada en especifico, pero puedo decir que tus notas han sido un potente ingrediente hacia mi transformación: y tu programa de libros gratis para prisioneros me ha criado y alimentado como un pequeño en los pechos de su madre. Los libros que tu me has mandato tan generosamente, me han enseñando a respetar y valorar la importancia de una educación... una educación que me ha enseñado que con el conocimiento viene enorme responsibilidad. La responsibilidad que surgue de no solo saber la diferiencia entre lo que se dice ser bien, o mal, probando y deseifrando, verdades y mentiras, pero sabiendo y actuando en acuerdo con lo que es consistente y progresivo en el ejercicio de determinación personal y defensa personal.

Nosotros continuarámos persiguiendo el pleito contra esta prohibición en California, trabajando sercamente con nuestras compañeros detras de las barras para disputar esta acción en corte si es necesario. Nosotros animamos el CDCR liderazgo y los politicos del estado de California a levantarse hacia adelante y derrocar esta prohibición ilegal antes de ellas ser forzados a desperdiciar dinero sin necesidad en una batalla legal que solamente expondrá sus despreocupaciones para la reabilitación, el bienestar de prisioneros, y los propias leyes ellos afirman sostener.

Necesitamos ayuda de prisioneros en este batalla, y el suporto de la gente afuera para parar esta prohibición. Manda cartas de protesta a: James Tilton, Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 1515 S. Street, Sacramento, CA 95184.

Notas:
1. Buro Estatistico de Justicia de Reporte Especial: Educacion y Poblacion Correccional, Enero 2003.
2. Boletin Correccional de educacion, v55 n4, p.297-305, December 2004. Tambien mira "La Nacion" Marzo 4, 2005. Estudios han demostrado que participantes en educación de prisión, vocación y programas de trabajo tienen una tendencia en promedio de 20-60 porciento mas bajos que esos sin participar. Otro reciente estudio mayor de prisioneros encontro que los participantes en programs de educación fueron 29 porciento menos probable de terminar para atras en la carcel, y que los participantes ganaraon salarios mas altos despues de su salida.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Censorship] [Oregon] [ULK Issue 3]
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Oregon Censoring the Wrong Newspaper

12/9/2007

MIM,

What's good? Check it out. I just had my review for the publication violations for MIM Notes that I sent you last month and the violation stands. They're reasoning is that due to the fact that my comrades are reporting the very real abuses that are occurring Under Lock & Key in the California institutions of incorrection and throughout the U$ in general, that this information has the 'potential' to threaten the safety and security of the institution and therefore, to alleviate this concern, they will not allow those particular copies of MIM Notes into the institution. I don't think I need to tell you what kind of precedent this will set, especially since the Under Lock & Key section is specifically set up to allow us incarcerated to express our concerns regarding the reality of our existence in these gulags. With that being the case, the institution now has a ready made excuse to violate not only MIM Notes but any other political literature you comrades send. Again, all these prisonkrats are doing is verifying everything that's said about them in your literature [MIM(Prisons) adds: In their own efforts to protect their political interests the oppressors dig their own political grave. That is what the censors have mostly failed to understand.]. Still, I'm getting real tired of this bullshit.

I am enclosing 3 articles from the local metro section of the Oregonian, which is a 'newspaper' that is allowed in this institution everyday. Given the fact that rapists, child molesters and your general so-called "weirdos" are targets of all types of abuse ranging from extortion to murder within this prison environment, I would think that the information in the Oregonian has the potential to threaten the safety and security of the institution, unlike MIM Notes which these authorities cannot point to a single incident instigated by anything written in that paper. In fact, MIM teaches that all prisoners are political prisoners under the present system of imperialism. So one who'd adhere to what he learned in MIM Notes in all actuality would not be riled up by the Oregonian articles, whereas your average prisoner who does not receive MIM Notes but reads the Oregonian would find the 3 enclosed articles inflammatory indeed. But oh! I forgot. Under Lock & Key deals with police and CO misconduct. We must protect the unnamed COs and police who abuse their authority, while the so-called "scum" named in the Oregonian who will more than likely (potentially) end up in one of this state's institutions will have to fend for themselves. Of course, that poses no threat to the safety and security of the institution. What a crock of shit.

12/17/2007

Yo, check it out, comrades. I just received your letter dated 12/8/07. Most peace on following up on the review process. I was finally able to gain access to ODOC Mail Policy. Under OAR 291-131-0010(9), Inflammatory Material is defined as:

"Material whose presence in the facility is deemed by the department to constitute a direct and immediate threat to the security, safety, health, good order, or discipline of the facility because it incites or advocates physical violence against others."

As I mentioned earlier, none of the rejected/violated Under Lock & Key articles can be shown to have actually incited or advocate such action.

The rule continues:

"No publication shall be considered inflammatory solely on the basis of its appeal to a particular ethnic, racial, or religious audience. No material shall be considered inflammatory solely because it criticizes the operation, programs or personel of the Department of Corrections, the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, or any other government agency."

So this is what we have. MIM Notes, which is a political news source protected under the Constitution, contained commentary concerning the operation of department of correction facilities in the state of California and the very extreme unprofessional behavior of its personnel, of which these commentaries were critical, and of course that is the duty and responsibility of any citizen, to express criticism of injustices and illegal acts, especially when done by those who are entrusted in positions of authority by our government. After all, how else do we begin to address and correct problems if those problems and the source of the problems are not criticized and exposed?

In addition, the criticisms leveled did not advocate physical violence against anyone, nor did it incite such action. The commentaries, according to the designee who performed the administrative review, upheld the publication violation based upon his finding/opinion that the commentaries were inflammatory and hence a threat to the safety and security of the institution based upon the "potential" for the alleged inflammatory material to incite violence against DOC personnel. However, this decision is in violation of OAR 291-131-0010(9). So I have appealed the designee's decision to the functional unit manager. If he/she does not overturn the decision, I will appeal to:

Mail Administrator Randy Greer
Central Administration
2575 Center St. NE
Salem, OR 97301-4667

where it is already on file that this mailroom here at SRCI and its officials go out of their way it seems, to clearly find excuses to prevent MIM's publications from being received by prisoners here.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Prisonkrats across the country are claiming that our literature is a threat to security because of our articles about censorship and other repression within prisons. But if prisoners are going to commit acts of violence due to censorship and repression, wouldn't the prudent thing be to get the prison employees to follow their own rules to prevent such outrage? As this comrade writes, our literature gives prisoners the ideological understanding that allows them to put such frustration into more productive outlets and actually reduce violent interactions. But rather than do their job and improve safety, the prisonkrats shoot the messenger and encourage the reading of literature that will divide prisoners thru violence and abuse.

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[Censorship] [California] [ULK Issue 2]
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Legal research on censorship

I've been in and out of this prison law library and I've found some information that should be placed in the Under Lock and Key section of MIM Notes. According to the California Prisoners Rights Handbook, page 49:

Prison officials are permitted to open and read most incoming and outgoing mail, except legal or confidential mail that may not be read by prison staff. Such "regular" mail may be withheld or censored only when necessary for the reasonable protection of the public. Mail cannot be censored because prison officials believe it improperly magnifies complaints or contains inflammatory remarks. A prisoner should receive notice of any mail that is withheld or is returned.

I've studied other law books and prison officials taking our mail or sending it back is dead wrong. I've heard that the prisons and their officials are supposed to be letting us prisoners get our political books back, but it's just a rumor as I've heard. I will keep studying the law books.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Censorship] [Civil Liberties] [Virginia]
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Censorship in Virginia=Political Repression

At this point the game here has been to label any group or media critical of government policies/practices as a 'security threat' or Security Threat Group(ie. gang) affiliated. Also this is the trend of 'interpreting' all media and groups of oppressed nationalities. Essentially it boils down to political, cultural and racial censorship, dressed up as 'security' concerns. This is a remote prison staffed by 98% rural socially (race) segregated Appalachian white people, who project and harbor deep-set racist stereotypes and repressive instincts. They've even taken prisoners' Black history reference books labeling them STG material. Hell, I just had Harry Haywood's book "Black Bolshevik" rejected and referred to the Publication Review Committee as STG related. They label any material on the Black Panther Party (BPP) as STG material and the BPP as an STG, although the BPP has not existed since 1982.

You should be aware that during February 2006, FBI director Robert Mueller went before a Senate subcommittee called a "threat assessment program." The professed object of which was to identify, disrupt and develop profiles on prisoners and prisoner groups who aspire to "radicalize" other prisoners and thus result in violence upon the return of such radicalized prisoners to society. The same 'violent' pretext and stereotype always used by the government to repress political activism and consciousness raising. This program was said to be coordinated between the FBI and various prisons and DOCs, both federal and state.


MIM adds: Not only is the Black Panther Party labeled a Security Threat Group, but recent study questions on idealism vs. materialism, discussing Mao's On Contradiction were also considered to promote STGs, terrorism and a list of other charges.

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [Texas] [ULK Issue 2]
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Texas women's prison blocking mail, gassing prisoners

On March 27, 2006 the MV staff gassed me (pepper spray) to take from me my sealed, outgoing legal mail. That gassing nearly killed me. And it was obviously a violation of the law - as well as TDCJ's use of force plan. That's when MV started blocking all of my outgoing mail and most of my incoming mail. And the TDCJ mucky-mucks I could reach through the very flawed grievance process did nothing to stop it.

MV is way out of control - with many folks having their mail blocked; and many folks (like myself) having our visits blocked because staff like Warden Black herself were lying to our visitors that they couldn't come see us. Even lawyers were leaving their visits blocked - but, you can't count on lawyers to do a damn thing! And you can't count on cops anywhere to do a damn thing right - just to be misogynist, racist thugs.

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[Education] [Campaigns] [Censorship] [California] [ULK Issue 1]
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California Bans MIM Distributors

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has instituted a ban on educational material within prisons, categorically censoring all literature sent by MIM's prisoner education program. This ban was mandated by Scott Kernan, Director of the Division of Adult Institutions for California, in a memorandum issued December 13, 2006 "directing an immediate ban on the receipt, possession, or distribution of literature/publications from MIM to or by inmates in the custody of the CDCR." This ban has been interpreted by prisons to include dictionaries and history books as well as MIM's own magazine and newspapers. In some prisons the ban has been interpreted to also include all letters written by MIM.

This censorship is in direct violation of legal precedent which requires review of mail for content that violates prison policy. Systematic rejection of all mail from an organization based on disagreement with the sender's politics is not legal, even within the prison system's own rules and regulations.

Neither Kernan nor the prison administrators applying the ban have ever supplied any evidence that MIM literature (much less, letters, dictionaries and other books MIM sends to prisoners) present any threat to the institutions. Kernan's letter contains a review of the MIM political line as supposed evidence that MIM represents some danger to California prisons. The California Code Of Regulations (CCR) Title 15, sec: 3135(b) states: "Disagreement with the senders or receivers apparent moral values, attitudes veracity, or choice of words will not be used by correctional staff as a reason for disallowing or delaying mail. Correctional staff shall not challenge or confront the sender or receiver with such value judgments, nor shall such value judgments be considered in any action affecting the correspondents." Further, in Procunier v. Martinez, the Supreme Court upholds the right of prisoners to receive mail, regardless of the prison official’s opinion of the mail content, as long as there are no legitimate restrictions from the prison related to correctional purposes.

There is a strong correlation between education and imprisonment. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (the U.$. Department of Justice's own organization) latest study on 1997 population data, 41% of State and Federal prisoners had not completed high school. This compares with 18% of the general population age 18 and older.(1) Things look even worse among prisoners age 20 to 39 showing that the trend is towards more prisoners without a high school education as younger prisoners are even less educated than older prisoners. Other more recent studies have shown this trend continues. The likelihood of ending up in prison is tremendously higher for young Black men who drop out of school before getting a high school diploma. And a college degree is further protection against imprisonment.

On the other side of education, in-prison education programs have repeatedly been shown to reduce recidivism by helping prisoners to find jobs and opportunities once they are released. Individual and meta studies repeatedly conclude the same thing:

"Since 1990, the literature has shown that prisoners who attend educational programs while they are incarcerated are less likely to return to prison following their release. Studies in several states have indicated that recidivism rates have declined where inmates have received an appropriate education. Furthermore, the right kind of educational program leads to less violence by inmates involved in the programs and a more positive prison environment."(2)

California already has one of the highest recidivism rates in the country, with an astronomical 70% of released prisoners ending up back inside within three years. And in recent years we have seen education programs, visitation, and even mail cut back so that prisoners are left with very little to do behind bars and a virtually impossible task of going straight from prison to the streets with no education or transitional services.

Implementing a state-wide ban of educational material from MIM is one more way to keep prisoners locked up. Prisoners who read our literature frequently tell us they learn to channel their time into productive activities rather than participating in violence behind bars. And the education helps them have a better chance at staying on the street once they are released. We get letters pleading for reading materials like this one all the time: "I'm an inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison and am on a yard that's been on lockdown off and on for approximately 4 years. Therefore I'm unable to get to the library here. I've read every 'floater' here. I would be very grateful for any soft back books you could send. Anything you send will be read and reread by many inmates." Surely the CDC"R" knows there is a demand for reading materials in the prisons, but they don't even bother to fill this void with fluff novels. They prefer to spend their large budget on higher salaries for brutal guards and legal defense for their illegal activities like setting up prisoner fights for sport.

Of course, the CDC"R" does have reasons to ban MIM from the prisons. Educating prisoners is counter to their goal. With education comes consciousness, and while prisoners working with MIM report avoiding violent confrontations (both with their peers and with guards), they are also more likely to take up legal and administrative appeals, and to educate and organize their fellow prisoners to stand up for their legal rights. As one California prisoner wrote to us in October of last year:

"In extending my respects to all, I would also like to convey my heartfelt appreciation to everyone working at, working with and/or affiliated with Maoist Internationalist Movement for all that you do and the services you provide. Especially, in regards to prisoners. Speaking from personal experience I can say that in receiving and reading your newsletters, it's both a major source of motivation and encouragement. To say that your MIM Notes have served me well does not cover any specifics, but I can say that your notes have been a potent ingredient towards my transformation: and your free books to prisoners program has nurtured and fed me like a baby at his mother's bosom. The books you have been so generous to send have taught me to respect and value the importance of an education…an education that has taught me that with knowledge comes enormous responsibility. The responsibility that arises from not just knowing the difference between what is said to be right, or wrong, testing an deciphering, truth and lies, but knowing and acting in accordance with what is consistent and progressive in the exercise of self determination and self defense."

We will continue to pursue the fight against this ban in California, working closely with our comrades behind bars to challenge this action in court if necessary. We encourage the CDCR leadership and California state politicians to step forward and overturn this illegal ban before they are forced to waste money needlessly in a legal battle that will only further expose their disregard for Rehabilitation, the welfare of prisoners, and the very laws they claim to uphold.

We need support from prisoners to join this struggle, and support from people on the outside to demand an end to this ban. Write protest letters to: James Tilton, Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 1515 S. Street, Sacramento, CA 95184

1. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Education and Correctional Populations, January 2003 2. Journal of Correctional Education, v55 n4, p297-305, December 2004. See also The Nation, March 4, 2005: "Studies have clearly shown that participants in prison education, vocation and work programs have recidivism rates 20-60 percent lower than those of nonparticipants. Another recent major study of prisoners found that participants in education programs were 29 percent less likely to end up back in prison, and that participants earned higher wages upon release."

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[Organizing] [Censorship] [Southeast Correctional Center] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 3]
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Struggling and Studying in Missouri

I am writing to inform you that I received the back issues of MIM Notes that you sent me. The papers were informative concerning the issues affecting some of the Souljahs within these slave plantations. Some of the stories motivated me to attempt to put together a study group. We shall see how long this lasts. I say that because I'm the only individual with literature and these guys in the Missouri Slave System are only concerned with what type of material things they have. Don't get me wrong, there are a few revolutionary souljahs who still hold the spirit within, but the numbers are dwindling.

I've managed to organize a few uprisings here in the ASU of the Southeast Correctional Center that caused these hyenas to change a few things. As a result, I've been beat by the goon squad, labeled as an agitator, and my mail has been "disappearing" somehow. Yet I remain strong and rage on!

These hyenas have taken away our phone calls here in the ASU and they've taken away the razors, preventing us from contact with family and grooming ourselves. We don't know what's to come next, they might take away the 3 hours a week recreation in the "dog cages" outside. Soon, I pray that the souljahs and sistah souljahs here in Missouri catch on and rise up.

I'm about to file a lawsuit with the District Court in protest of the "blanket ban" preventing Missouri inmates from receiving free books. Any info on this issue will be appreciated. They feed us romance novels and rob us of substance with this blanket ban in an attempt to keep us deaf, dumb and blind.

Listen brothas, sistahs, souljahs and sistah souljahs, keep the fight going, our time is now. If we don't fight for us, who will. Like I've said, I will continue to form this study group and create as many uprisings as I can.

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[Organizing] [Censorship] [California State Prison, Corcoran] [California]
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Legal battle part of fight against imperialism

You probably know already that the pigs have put MIM on their blacklist to be censored again. Despite the court verdicts saying that any censorship be based on the item in question, not the political beliefs of the publishers. Yeah, these pigs are actually happy and proud of their ability to block out the facts MIM provides us. The crono they gave out just said MIM, not MIM Notes or MIM Theory, just the group they hate. Nothing new though because they've always hated being exposed as fascists, like their pillow case masks are a matter of government safety and it is another way to defend bourgeois hegemony.

I was thinking that after MIM wins the legal battle against Corcoran's personal attack on their ideas, the other publications they hate will also win freedom from being blocked, based on publisher.

I just want you comrades to know that we are still fighting the tyranny and we know you are also. The struggle continues. I feel that U.S. imperialism is on its last legs and that all the hate and enemies they have made are catching up to them. 50 million African Americans, 40 million Latinos in America, 20 million Asians, the yankee Ku Klux is gonna have it very hard, conquering all this! And 400 million Arabs, 1 billion Chinese, 1 billion Indians. These pigs that thought they won a new state, when George Bush used the U.S. military to fight his family feud with Saddam, are in for a rude awakening and will perish in their disgrace and sickness of chauvinism.

I remember all the boasts and brags, about how they were gonna crusade and burn crosses on Iraq's lawn and conquer and settle, but now, 3 trillion dollars later all they have is depleted uranium poison, 4000 dead, I don't know 30,000 wounded? And a ticket back to their nest.

Just like you taught us. The revolution will become reality as their military becomes over-extended in its campaign to colonize and dictate. MIM, you have to write an article about the facts of global oil reserves and touch on the time limit that this imperial collapse will happen, so that people will be prepared to take their own destiny, their own responsibility in their own hands. Just like the communist manifesto says, where the free development of each is the conditions for the free development of all.

MIM responds: This is a good commentary tying censorship to the global situation of imperialist overextension. In response to the request for an article on global oil reserves, we need our comrades, both behind bars and on the streets, to take up the task of writing the articles that are needed. Just supplying us with ideas is not enough as we never have enough people to cover all the important global events. Even in prison, our comrades are resourceful about finding needed research materials.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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