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[COVID-19] [Civil Liberties] [Daniel Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 72]
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COVID-19 Sheds Some Light on Prisoners' Lack of Recourse

I’m writing to ask if there is a way to receive the grievance petition for Texas. As for here all grievances are answered the same. The lawsuit that was in federal court due to COVID-19 was thrown out for not exhausting administrative remedies. Also here at this unit we are not allowed to wear N95 masks. We do not have any rights here.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade is commenting on the fact that grievances are constantly denied in Texas, like so many prison systems in this country. Yet, without the proper paper trail of going through all levels of the grievance process, your lawsuits are deemed invalid thanks to the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act(PLRA) of Bill Clinton. Before the PLRA there was actually a semblance of checks and balances applied to conditions in U.$. prisons. Since then that has not been the case, and abuse and humyn rights violations occur daily, unchecked. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped bring that to the attention of the general public.

This is why USW comrades have written grievance petitions in over a dozen states to appeal to various state overseers to restore a semblance of justice to these prison systems. While the victories have been isolated, it has led to concrete organizing around concrete conditions faced by prisoners as a class. These injustices demonstrate the bad faith of the current system that offers no real solutions for the oppressed.

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[COVID-19] [Civil Liberties] [Prisoner Lives Matter] [Telfair State Prison] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 72]
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Prisoner Lives Must Be Defended During Pandemic

Peace be unto you… Thank you for providing me, the much needed information on AIPS-GA/Outside Reports.

Those warehoused and enslaved within this illicit system, particularly at Telfair State Prison (i.e. Koncentration Kamp), are subjected to unprecedented hazards. The entire staff is not being screened for COVID-19, upon reporting to work daily. The staff continues to interact with those of us held captive, without wearing any PPE (i.e. Masks or gloves), even while serving the units at meal times.

Units of korruption officers from various kamps, forming what they call a tactical squad, come to this facility to shake us down frequently. Countless outside visitors employed with the state are permitted to enter the facility without being screened as if they are immune to catching or spreading the coronavirus. Mind you, that the state cancelled all family visits in March, so no one has been able to see a family member since that time.

What is the difference between them going home and any place of their desire and then returning here possibly exposing us to COVID-19, or allowing our families which live in the same society as they do to come visit us?

The chemicals (or lack thereof) that are given are watered down so much that their ability to effectively clean and sanitize is questionable. The drinking water is tan or brownish due to the piping being rusted out. The food being slopped together will not satisfy a three year old. Nor does it meet the required calorie standards recommended for adults.

Amid the federal declaration of national emergency; issued on or around the thirteenth day of March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, little to virtually no cohesive measures have been implemented within the Georgia Department of Korruption (i.e. GDC), to protect the lives of the country’s most vulnerable population; Its prisoners!

In fact, prisoners are forced to exist in congregate settings. Where physical social distancing is all but impossible. Adversely, inherently enhancing our enslavement sentences; to that of a sentence of death. Because we are not at all able to effectively protect ourselves from this pandemic. That has now taken well over four hundred thousand lives in the U.$. [as of January 2021].

For, it is essential that the humanity of those being held captive be reevaluated at once. Because: Prisoners’ Lives Matter, as well!

The nature of COVID-19 requires an unprecendented and empathic response. The states have taken up many measures to curb the pandemic, in free society. With little success at slowing the spread of this virus; as evidenced by the 23 million who have now tested positive, just within the U.$. [as of January 2021].

The Georgia Department of Korruption; governor of Georgia: Brian Kemp; the Department of Injustice (i.e. DOJ), nor have the United $tates Attorney General: Wiliam Barr, thought it to be necessary to act upon implementing actions to release those held within their state and federal kamps that have not been sentenced to death.

For, it is no secret, that the state kamps are understaffed and overcrowded with vulnerable citizenry. These koncentration kamps are unsanitary and unfit for humans to exist in. They are insufficient in providing adequate nutritional supplement for those of us that are being held captive. The level of medical care provided is egregiously inadequate.

Reducing every facility to susceptible petri dishes for infectious disease outbreaks.

In fact! Eight of the ten clusters of the coronavirus are located within state Korrectional facilities, according to the: New York Times (in July 2020). For though many state have increased COVID-19 testing, the country’s prison system maliciously refuses to test those being held captive, within its vile entity.

For it is the duty of those in office, to use every tool available to prohibit this pandemic from claiming anymore lives. The conventional philosophic way that has become our approach to civility is morally despicable. We cannot pick and choose, who amongst us are deserving of being saved. For that is the creator’s job!

We must prioritize the safety and well-being of as many people as humanly possible.

The United States are quick to censure a variety of countries, due to the way those countries treat their citizenry. While all along treating their own citizenry much worst.

The demographics of the cruelty that already existed within the illicit prison system of the United States, did not need the addition of COVID-19, included to the many different forms of weaponized impunity that already exist within a system designed to tear a person down.

The United $tates’ prison system was designed to be a governmental body to enslave New Afrikan people to rebuild the southern states, which relied on slave labor to bolster the economy. This is officially documented in the Thirteenth Amendment.

Prisons were not designed to be a death chamber for those accused of breaking the so-called law. The perception of government in the nineteenth century was to make the public think that the nations’ prisons were places of rehabilitation. There is no rehabilitation going on behind these enemy lines. Just death! All that exist is Kruel treatment by Korrupt bigots and their house nigga’s, which thrive on dehumanizing human-beings to augment their own self-worth.

It is now time to unlock these chains and cages, before they are responsible for the deaths of thousands.

Prisoners’ Lives Matter!

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[Censorship] [Civil Liberties] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 71]
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Virginia was a Leader in latest First Amendment-violating policies

I would like to comment on one of the articles in the Spring 2020 No. 70 issue of ULK, page 20, “Feds Threatening First Amendment with New Polices” by a Federal prisoner. Here in the state of Virginia at the Greensville Correctional Center they’ve been doing pretty much the same thing, since about April 2017. We were advised that this was for all security level 2 and above institutions within the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Please find enclosed a copy of then Lead Warden Eddie L. Pearson’s memo relative thereof. I’ve highlighted the most relevant sections.

"The original envelope, letter and all enclosed contents will be shredded in the institutional mailroom….

“Offenders will be limited to receiving a maximum of three, 8 1/2 X 11, black and white photocopied pages front and back to include the photocopy of the envelope. Each item in the envelope i.e., photograph, newspaper clipping, drawing, each side of a letter, etc. will be considered one photocopy.”

MIM(Prisons) adds: A comrade reported on this policy when it was first implemented back in 2017. Looking at the last couple years (January 2018 thru July 2020) Virginia censored MIM Distributors more than any other state. Most of this censorship however was of Under Lock & Key for “detrimental to safety of the facility”. More needs to be done to combat this repression, not just in Virginia.

A few years since being enacted in Virginia, these policies are now spreading across the country. This means that a lot of the educational materials and resource guides that MIM(Prisons) provides to prisoners of the United $tates are now impermissible for having too many pages or being two-sided (per new Federal rules). The departments implementing these policies claim to be concerned about drugs, when most drugs are being brought in by their own staff. The net effect is that people in prison have less information on how to combat the oppression they are facing every day.

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[Civil Liberties] [Brown Berets - Prison Chapter] [National Oppression] [Political Repression] [Police Brutality] [White Nationalism] [Black Lives Matter] [California] [ULK Issue 71]
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Lynchings in the Midst of BLM Uprisings

THEY TRIED TO BURY US

THEY DIDN’T KNOW

WE WERE SEEDS!!!

Black & Brown Unity Justice for George Floyd

Hello - Saludos y Respeto to all those in the struggle, the struggle is real. I must weigh in on the events unfolding in Southern Califas. Namely the two lynchings, the first in Palmdale CA, the second in Victorville CA. What do they have in common? Answer: the Sheriff’s Department! Both racist! Both departments have a long history of working together and as a political prisoner held in CDCR these are the same two departments that joined forces to try and silence my voice and bring down the AV Brown Berets.

Both Departments have deputies that are card carrying members of the racist Minute Men, the new KKK. And having shined the spotlight on this fact earned me a life sentence for crimes I did NOT commit.

And in both cases there is no doubt in my mind there is Departmental involvement. And nothing can surprise us coming from these two historically racist departments.

In both cases these were meant to send a message to the BLM movement against police brutality going across this nation right now, and to discourage it! The evil and racist regime in Palmdale has a long history of using these tactics to silence the voice of the PEOPLE. And if they can’t kill you, they will bury you behind the wall. And this will not stop until they are made to understand the world is watching and will hold them responsible and accountable for their actions. But the racism and prejudice is systemic NOT only in the Sheriff’s Dept. but also in City Government in the Antelope Valley and Silver Valley (The Sinister Valleys) to a mind-blowing degree.

My heart goes out to the families, friends, and loved ones of these latest victims of these Evil Regimes. I spent years of my life trying to expose the racist and criminal practices of these two partners-in-crime, it has come at a great cost. My family, my freedom, not to mention all my worldly possessions but I will NOT stop until justice has been done, and the Evil has been exposed; because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the ONE. In the end the TRUTH ALWAYS comes out! We must continue to move forward and not be discouraged!

LA LUCHA SIEGE!!! VIVA LA CAUSA!!!

(Justice for Ro Alvin Harsh)


MIM(Prisons) adds: Six lynchings, 5 of them New Afrikans and one Latino, have been reported on the heels of the recent uprisings against police terrorism.

  • Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old, New Afrikan man hung from a tree in Palmdale, CA is under investigation

  • Malcolm Harsch a 38-year-old, New Afrikan man hung from a tree in Victorville, CA has been declared a suicide by police and the family

  • Dominique Alexander, a 27-year-old New Afrikan man hung in a Manhattan park and was ruled a suicide by the police, who later said an investigation continues

  • a 17-year-old New Afrikan boy was hung from a tree in Spring, TX was ruled a suicide by police

  • a Latino man hung in Houston, TX was also ruled a suicide after family stated he was suicidal

  • Otis ‘Titi’ Gulley, 31, a New Afrikan transgender woman hung in a park in Portland, Oregon was ruled a suicide by police

Notes: 22 June 2020, The Sun

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[Civil Liberties] [Texas]
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Interference with Prisoner Mail in Texas

MIM,

I’m writing to inform you that I wrote you a few days ago to request 1) map of the world & 2) You, Prison Officials and Contract Law. I sent 6 stamps to cover postage. Today I was notified that I was in violation of B.P.-03-91 Uniform Offender Correspondence Rules, and stamps cannot be used in a monetary value to purchase merchandise. So TDCJ stole the stamps. I’m sending you the contraband form so if you get time you can appeal it. Also, it should be posted on your website.

How is this a security threat? What it is is a human rights violation to not allow someone to educate themselves. I’ve sent out stamps before in the past. They are enforcing this B.P. 3.91 because I wrote a grievance on mail room because 2 of my packages I sent out did not ever make it to its destination. So, since I’ve sent stamps before no problem, this here is exactly that retaliation. They do not care about policy when inmates need respite because of deadly HEAT or when an inmate needs to go to medical because of CHEST PAIN! I could go on & on… the Red Army crossed many bridges during the long march even though there was overwhelming opposition, so I will struggle on. Even though the odds are against me, I will struggle on.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We’ve received a few notices of this problem from Texas recently. Unfortunately, the only way you can send us funds right now is cash, stamps or cryptocurrency. We do appreciate and make good use of any funds comrades can send.

We agree that these petty laws are used to target and discourage people. Sometimes they’re just used randomly with the effect of creating a sense of hopelessness. So we commend this comrade for keeping on and not being discouraged. There are many hard roads ahead, where patience and diligence will be much-needed skills.

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[Police Brutality] [Black Lives Matter] [Civil Liberties] [Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg Medium] [Federal] [ULK Issue 71]
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Feds Lockdown Prisoners in Response to Uprisings in the Streets

FCC Petersburg Lockdown George Floyd

I am enclosing a memo distributed to the captive population in response to the uprisings by the Americans’ oppressed New Afrikan population. It is claimed that their actions are not punitive, but of course that is clearly not the case. There is evident fear of the latent power of their oppressed nationalities confined within their prisons, as can be noted at the end of the first paragraph.

“As you are aware our Nation is facing difficult times as emotions run high and peaceful protests have turned into violently charged demonstrations. In an effort to maintain the safety and security of the institution, a lock down has been initiated. This lock down is not punitive. … However, we are committed to preventing any type of disruption from occurring, and I strongly emphasize any type of violent behavior will never be accepted or tolerated at this facility.”


MIM(Prisons) adds: This action by the federal government reveals the level of fear that they have right now of the oppressed nations and the youth in general in this country. Prison officials display the same hypocrisy as the police on the streets who have responded to peaceful demonstrations again and again with violence against people for exhibiting their First Amendment rights. Young people are coming home from protests permanently disabled. While thousands are being locked up.

As statistics on police murders and violence are gaining interest, we must ask what about the “peace officers” behind bars? How many have they killed? How many Black men are dying at the hands of the state where cell phone cameras are illegal? Where peaceful protests always face repression and there’s no videos to post online?

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[Education] [Drugs] [Civil Liberties] [Texas]
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Study Group's Long Struggle; Face Drugs and Censorship

Revolutionary Greetings!

As you know, March 2020 TDCJ has made changes. No more greeting cards are allowed in, only ten photos at a time and more little changes, such as the only ones allowed to send money or ecom packages must be on your phone or visitation list.

They are trying to slow the drug market down. However no changes for good time work time or payment for our labor. Still slaves to the system imagine that. Anyway the study group I am working on hasn’t grown. We are three strong. It’s a start! We decided to post “Did you know”’s and “Just think about it” notes to get the attention of people. A lot of people are still stuck on K-2 and other drugs.

I deeply feel this is what they want to keep us from thinking, but never will I give up hope or educating men. We have a major fight on our hands and the battle is far from won. Not only are we fighting the oppressors but we must educate the masses. I read and studied a lot of material I still haven’t come to the understanding on how to influence people of the knowledge or political education or even a common platform that will help the Texas prison system. We all have been pushing peace so that’s a start.

We just now need to get rid of the Meth and K-2! Our unit just came off lockdown they had a surprise unit sweep, getting rid of a lot of K-2 and Meth only to see the prison block flooded again with that shit. Over 50 cell phones were found and pounds of K-2. No big changes cause it’s still here it seems like even more though. In other words they took pictures then put it right back on the streets.


MIM(Prisons) adds: In our survey on drugs in prisons conducted in 2017, 39% of respondents said staff brought in most drugs, and 78% mentioned staff as part of the problem.(1) From the ghettos of New York to the Iran-Contra scandal, drugs and drug money have been important tools of the oppressor in its war on the oppressed.

As this comrade points out, recent changes in mail polices to address drugs in prison are a joke, and only serve to limit support and education for prisoners. The results only reinforce the fact that drugs are being brought in by staff. Meanwhile, the lack of connection to family, community and organizations that are addressing social ills is counter to any goals related to rehabilitation.

This comrade is on the right track. Providing connection, meaning and hope through independent institutions like their study group is the best counter measure we currently have to the reactionary effects of drugs on the people. We want to hear more about the “Did you know” fliers. What topics and slogans are working to reach the masses that we could share with others? Let us know.

Notes: 1. Wiawimawo, November 2017, Drugs, Money and Individualism in U.$. Prison Movement, Under Lock & Key No. 59.

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[Campaigns] [Civil Liberties] [Ellis Unit] [Texas]
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Typewriter Supplies Seized for Helping Others with Grievances

It is October 2019, and I am forced to send this hand-drafted communication due to an act of retaliation by the property officer, Ms. Scott, on this Ellis Unit. Ms. Scott took from me eight of my purchased commissary typewriter ribbons, two of which were staged in my typewriter, with two print wheels of different font sizings. Thus turning my $225 typewriter, which took me 9 months to save up for, into an expensive paper weight.

I wish I had someone out in the world who would/could call, advocating on my behalf for returning my personal property. It was taken in retaliation for my drafting grievances for prisoners subjected to the same by the property C.O., C.O. Scott. If I must litigate for my property’s return I will go all out.

Yes, I have it in my blood to help those in need of it. And I do just that when I can. I do the best I can with what I have; always studying and collecting viable information from every source available. That is one reason these guys come to me for advice and legal draftings. The administration is aware of this, and this is why they collusively have crippled my typewriter as they have.

They are forcing me to initiate a writing campaign to Congressmen seeking readings of my grievances against them in their violations [brought to the state by way of the 14th Amendment] of my 1st, 4th, 5th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Another one I am compelled to notify is the U.S. Attorney General and the Department of Justice. There are no less than a dozen inmates on this Ellis Unit whose step two grievances are in severe default; being 60 days beyond the extension by the OGP (offender grievance program). Therewith voiding any certification bestowed on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Agency’s Grievance System. Allowing us to circumvent the PLRA’s prerequisted administrative remedies so as to go straight to the federal court, because Texas has no court designated program that inmates might seek relief through.

MIM(Prisons) adds: There is a dire need for people on the outside to do public advocacy work for our comrades inside, which is a need that MIM(Prisons) members can’t take on. To this end, MIM(Prisons) supports Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support (AIPS) chapters around the country. Contact us to get involved!

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[Civil Liberties] [COVID-19] [Calipatria State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 70]
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Prisoners Win Phone Rights During COVID-19 Restrictions

Abolitionists From Within (AFW) is back at you all with a little update on the struggle here at Calipatria State Prison A-Yard. CDCR and its C.O.s here have a corrupt culture of denying prisoners our rights. An issue was brought to my attention about prisoners in A2B class not receiving they phone calls during this time of war. The institution has been on a modified program to further promote social distancing in response to COVID-19.

Where there is oppression, it breeds resistance. The people must stand and the young mwenzi stood up and at the end had something to smile about. Privilege breeds complacency, so some mwenzi stood with hate in their eyes. I just love to see the peoples shine so i smile with the young mwenzi. C.O.s tried to take our constitutional rights from us because the prison officials were acting and behaving in a prejudiced manner toward the A2B class making aggravating remarks, dividing A1A against A2B, done in a retaliation for complaints by prisoners filed against guard misconduct. So we made that pen bleed back to normal program (everybody gets phone calls). Power to the People!

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[Civil Liberties] [Censorship] [Legal] [Minnesota Corrections Facility Oak Park Heights] [Minnesota]
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Censorship Battle Waged in Minnesota

I’m not sure if any of you have heard of my recent censorship battles, but let me catch you up on this ongoing and illegal censorship being perpetuated by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, or what we inside refer to as the Minnesota Department of Corruption.

While I was housed in Minnesota’s only Maximum Custody Prison, Oak Park Heights, I had been subjected to a bit of censorship. First it was censorship of my outgoing legal mail to national organizations for legal assistance in my Federal Suit. I had sent mail out in sealed envelopes, clearly marked “Legal Mail” to The Exoneration Project, The Innocence Project, The Equal Justice Project, The Legal Aid Society, The Lewisburg Prison Project, The Constitutional Rights Center for Prisoners and every envelope was opened outside of my presence by mailroom staff member “S. Henry” and sent back to me with a notice of non-delivery in which it said I had “sealed it in violation NOT Legal/Special as addressed.”

This is actually a violation of the mailroom’s own policy. DOC Policy 302.020 Procedure L.3 states that “An incoming or outgoing item purporting to be special/legal mail that fails to meet the policy requirements for designation as special/legal mail, or is otherwise questionable, is opened in the presence of offender by a supervisor.”

Yet, more than 10 “outgoing item[s] purporting to be special/legal mail” were opened outside of my presence and refused to be sent in a sealed envelope.

It gets worse though. After being forced to send these letters in unsealed envelopes, when these organizations replied, even when stamped with “LEGAL CORRESPONDENCE OPEN ONLY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ADDRESSEE” i.e., me, the mailroom still opened all of this mail outside of my presence.

And when I had to file internal grievances to exhaust all remedies due to the PLRA, of course the DOC said that staff did not act in violation of anything, and of course the mailroom staff opened this mail outside of my presence again violating their own policy and court decisions. And so I filed in the Tenth Judicial District Court, only for the judge, Gregory G. Galler, to dismiss it as frivolous or malicious.

And then I was given disciplinary segregation for allegedly “lying and/or misrepresentation.” Which is illegal retaliation, but what does the Department of Corruptions care? None. Next came the censorship of publications I had been receiving from Critical Resistance “The Abolitionist”, this publication “ULK” and other mail from MIM(Prisons) including over 10 different mailings, News & Letters – all of which are political publications geared towards enlightening people on real world issues and express anti-Prison ideology.

When fighting the censorship, according to our “policy” we have to send an appeal to the Correspondence Review Authority(CRA). Yet when I did, the mailroom staff, Nancy Leseman responded instead. I had included the disclaimer that MIM(Prisons) affixes to ULK only for Leseman to state “All publications are reviewed on an individual basis & can at any time be denied for violating policy. An article advocates to organized disturbances within prison walls, activities in violation of facility rules.”

So, not only does she violate her own policy by not forwarding the appeal to the CRA, she violates the law when censoring publications as well.

But it only gets better from here.

Being as N. Leseman didn’t follow policy I was forced to send the appeal to her supervisor, Lt. Jason R. Hills, in which he replied, “The publication has contents that are not allowed per DOC Policy. Appeal Denied. You may appeal to the CRA.” Again clearly he violates law for censorship, and policy.

So I was forced to send the appeal directly to the CRA, which was comprised of Cris Pawelk the Associate Warden of Operations, Sherlinda Wheeler the Associate Warden of Administration, and Byron Matthews the Captain.

In their reply they said, “We have read the material and determined the content should be denied for violating MN DOC Division Directive 301.030 Contraband. One of the articles advocates for organized disturbances within prison walls and activities in violation of facility rules. All issues are reviewed on an individual basis. Any issue can be denied if any part of the publication violates policy. Publications that [sic] doesn’t violate policy is allowed. Therefore the Correspondence Review Authority is in agreement with the Mail Room’s decision and your appeal is denied.”

The next step was to appeal to the Assistant Commissioner of Corrections Nate Knutson. His reply was, “This newspaper contains graphic depiction of violence that pose a threat to facility security in violation of DOC Division Directive 301.030 Contraband. Appeal denied.”

But that’s not the end, after that I filed suit in the Tenth Judicial District Court, only for the order to be dismissed as “frivolous or malicious” because it “has no arguable basis in fact or in law.”

Now the next step is Federal Court, and and will involve even more defendants and more evidence of censorship illegally conducted. As MIM(Prisons) can accede, more than 10 of their mailings to me have been met with censorship, causing loss of money, and all with absolutely no notice or reason given by the DOC.

Censorship is this country’s way of blinding the people to only seeing what is “favorable” to them. Freedom of speech is only true if you don’t speak out against the regime. Any advocacy critical of the standard is demonized and made to look as extremist and insane. And no wonder, when 90% of the population lives only to work, the power rests upon the sweating, bleeding, starving faces of those that toil in the dirt beneath their polished shoes. Take comfort in this: If you’re being censored, it’s because they fear the truth and its power. If you’re being retaliated against, it’s because they fear you and your truth and power. People only get mad at the truth, so go piss off those pigs!

MIM(Prisons) adds: We can confirm that we received no notification of censorship as required by law for at least 10 pieces of mail sent to this comrade in 2019 that ey reported not receiving. One of these items was our guide for dealing with censorship in prison.

We commend this comrade’s persistence and eir attitude. These battles are small ones. As our regular readers know, we win some and lose some. But either way we win when we use these battles to inspire others and expose those set on oppression.

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