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[Theory] [Organizing] [Education] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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An Ongoing Discussion On Organizing Strategy Pt.4

Analysis based in dialectical materialism

Within the prison movement there is much talk about ‘political education’ and ‘raising consciousness’. Truthfully, even when We reflect on recent and distant episodes in Our collective struggles against the bourgeoisie, many of us often lament upon the fact that a key ingredient that has always been lacking from Our movements, parties, organizations, and the unorganized masses, is the lack of a systemic and organized framework to political education. Assata Shakur expressed her criticism of the Black Panther Party for the same reason. Veterans of the [email protected] movement i’ve spoke with have expressed the same criticisms, stating that had more deliberate, organized approaches been given back in the days it may have progressively altered the cultural nationalist tendencies of the movement towards a revolutionary nationalist praxis. Yet and still, today We’re still stressing, and rightly so, the paramount importance of political education. However, the question has become, must become, what is political education, how do we apply it, and why is it so important?

Political education takes many forms, and phases, and the correct application of it, or what is paramount for a persyn to know is dependent upon the conditions one finds themselves in. Thus i begin with Fanon,

“It is commonly thought with criminal flippancy that to politicize the masses means from time to time haranguing them with a major political speech…But political education means opening up the mind, awakening the mind, and introducing it to the world…To politicize the masses is not and cannot be to make a political speech. It means driving home to the masses that everything depends on them, that if we stagnate the fault is theirs, and that if we progress, they too are responsible, that there is no demiurge, no illustrious man taking responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge is the people and the magic lies in their hands and their hands alone.” (1)

Now as i was saying conditions will determine quite alot. So it is the line of USW, and many others, that amerika is a settler-neo colonial imperialist empire, and as such holds actual nations of people subjugated, meaning their/our self-development is thwarted, within its borders as well as in the Third World.

Hystory indicated that this line is right and exact. When We recall the process of how amerika was established we understand that it (nation of euro amerikan settlers) settled upon this land, removed, and committed genocide against the native nations of people, some of which are still among us today. So those (the indigenous) are just one group of nations within the borders of amerika, which We call the First Nations. Of course We all know about the forced migration of millions of Africans, and We know they underwent slavery at the hands of those same settlers, as did some Natives. What We often fail to analyze is that slavery, is only an economic system, it is a mode of producing social value, however, to describe the plight of the African people in amerika by mere economic lingo alone is highly insufficient. What is the term that would encapsulate the experience of the economic exploitation, social and political repression that the African people in amerika eventually triumphed over? Slavery? No, servitude? No. That one word which encapsulates that struggle is COLONIALISM.

Well, what the heck is colonialism? Quoting from the Black Liberation Army Political Dictionary;

Colonialism - foreign domination of a country or a people, where the economic, political and military structure is controlled and run by the occupying force. (2)

So African people residing in the United $tates are not merely the offspring of enslaved people, but a colonized people, and because of that diametrically opposed nature of a colonized people to its colonizer, the African people residing in amerika developed organically into a nation, that is a people distinct from the settler by its culture, its language, its land, and thus We call this nation today New Afrika, but others call it Black Amerika, or Black nation, or a host of other titles. No matter the title New Afrikan people are deep down aware that they’re distinct and separate, but the reality of a nation within an empire doesn’t register to some, to most, after a substantial time frame of this reality being obscured from the public consciousness.

Having roots in, but eventually developing distinct from the First Nations, there is the [email protected], and Puerto Rican nations/colonies. Overtime all these domestic colonies subjugated by the settler amerikan empire have developed thru struggle, and have reached a new and different phase of colonialism, called neo-colonialism, which can be characterized by the power structure now formally allowing representatives of these oppressed peoples to integrate into the economic, political and military structures, and in many ways act as a buffer between the ruling class and the masses of neo-colonized people.

This brings me back to Our discussion on organizing, and political education. See, depending on what We organizing for, one will require different political understanding. Fanon says,

“A political informed [person in a colonial situation] is someone who knows that a local dispute is not a crucial confrontation between [them] and [the system]”

“It is the repeated demonstrations for their rights and the repeated labor disputes that politicize the masses.” (3)

So basically what Frantz Fanon is saying here is that first one must understand they are indeed colonized, and this understanding disallows them from settling for any ol’ concession that can come from a ‘local dispute’. And here when he says local, We can put it in Our immediate context and understand it to mean, ‘prison struggles’.

What does this mean? It essentially means that We utilize, and in fact manufacture these ‘repeated demonstrations for their/our rights’ as a means to politicize the masses. However, if We are organizing the masses utilizing such demonstration alone We run into a few pitfalls. The one which i’ll deal with here can be understood by the old saying, “Be careful what you ask for you just might get it.” So in Our context, in the prison movement, what happens to the momentum of the masses, of the people as a whole if We as organizers manufacture a or a few demonstrations and the administration actually concedes? If the masses don’t understand the complexity of Our situation, that We’re colonized, dehumanized, an alienated sub-class, the dregs of the society, and that not only must these realities change, We must change within Ourselves, and We must take part in changing these realities, then the masses the people will quit the struggle after what they’ve perceived to be success, and they’ll resume their normal ways of existence. This pattern is counter-productive to the cause of revolution. We must at all times possible keep the masses active, and that activity pertaining to the struggle. Fanon said, “The colonized subject is at constant risk of being disarmed by any sort of concession.”(4)

So an understanding of what Our issues are, colonialism, neo-colonialism or racism, or individual wrong decision making, will determine the strategies and tactics We take moving forward. If We begin Our study of literature proceeding from the perspective that We’re colonized nations of people, We study how anti-colonial struggles have developed, failed and triumphed around the world. Furthermore We realize that unless an action fundamentally eradicates Our colonial existence than it is only a reform and does not solve Our fundamental problem(s) which stem from Our thwarted development under neo-colonialism. Thus We don’t even seek certain reforms, or concessions, and the ones We do are to advance Our strategic goal.

The question now becomes again HOW to maintain the masses attention before, during, and after demonstrations? The answer leads us to ORGANIZATION. Those who have a study level of political vision must take the initiative in forming real organized organizations. Within these organizations leaders should allow for activities to be carried out by the rank & file and must be sure that activities assigned to a comrade are in alignment with the talents, interests, and abilities of said comrade. In this way one keeps the masses involved and engaged. If able weekly or bi-weekly meetings should be established. Minutes should be kept of the meetings, meaning, write down what you’re doing, what you’re talking about, what are the plans going forward, etc. At said meetings each comrade should have a progress report, which entails what they’ve been doing since the previous meeting.

If a comrade can draw, they should be assigned something to draw. If a comrade can write, they should be assigned something to write. If a comrade has a typewrite they should be tasked with typing up the documents of the group. In fact it is good to take up one project that the entire collective can attribute to. Say a pamphlet, of course you need writers, We need art work, and We’ll need a typist, We’ll need some donations of stamps to circulate it to publishers, and in this way every one not only feels involved, but more importantly feels that immeasurable feeling of accomplishment. In understanding the complexities of Our class (lumpen) We must understand a lot of us have not accomplished much of anything in the way of real world accomplishments. A lot of us have been caged, stagnated in a state of arrested development, since Our pre-teen and teen years, and thus are persynally under-developed in many ways. This feeling of accomplishment motivates and inspires one to continue to chase that good feeling, and particularly when the feeling is derived from doing something productive, it overtime alters a persyn internally, and this is what We, as revolutionaries especially within the lumpen class want most.

Organizations in their many varieties are the vehicles of the people and their struggle. Vanguard elements must seek to organize all aspects of the people’s struggle, all aspects of the people’s lives under their leadership and influence. This doesn’t mean everyone has to or will be a member of a particular leading organizational body. What it means is that organization must make itself seen & heard & felt in each aspect of the people’s lives. The musician they listen to should be expressing some theme derived from the organization. The farmer should have the organization’s line on collectivizing agriculture and land. The prisoner and their family should know that the prisoner, if deemed capable can/will have a place of refuge, work, and re-humanization with the organization. The womyn must know she has a group trustworthy and capable to care for her kids collectively, and ensure her access to safe abortion if necessary. Those in the LGBTQ community must feel at one with the organization, enabled and empowered.

In a nutshell the proper organization will galvanize the popular masses of the people, educating and organizing the most capable from every and all sectors, and from there synthesize the aspirations, and ambitions of the people’s struggle with practical and concrete measures to realize these objectives.

With the formation of Texas T.E.A.M.O.N.E., the Texas USW re-branded, We have formed the vehicle for the Texas prisoner’s struggle. We have thus far established multiple wings which can/will be used to activate the stored away genius of the masses. We have the legal wing for those writ-writing jailhouse lawyers, a space for like minded cats to put their heads together to attack certain aspects of the system that can help us better build the movement. We have established, in its early stages, a wimmins & LGBTQ wing, which is again an avenue for certain people to step up and utilize what they already know how to do, in concert with the rest of the organized body to get what We want. We’ve established the Worker’s wing a lane where people around the state can collectively struggle for worker’s rights, and incorporate those struggles with the others and in combination gain bigger gains…We’ve established and/or influenced the establishment of numerous committees with the members therein playing roles in the ‘wings’ mentioned above. In all this We’ve done well in applying lessons learned from MIM(Prisons), and some of Our own experiences, thus synthesizing theory & practice.

It must be said however that We have made many mistakes. We began organizing as Fanon said, around demonstrations. We learned in practice, some of us without ever having read Fanon, that the masses, and Ourselves could easily get complacent after concessions are made. The mistake came by not initially focusing on ideo-theoretical questions. We had to learn that the truth of the matter that prior to any organization the people in question must sit down and individually intake information, after a certain amount of information has been accumulated they must come together and discuss their findings and thoughts, establish their points of unity, modes of organization, and other such matters. Of course this isn’t to say that all organizations come together like this. Many take on a more spontaneous approach to development and this approach is observed in their style of work.

The re-occurring theme will always be political education, the need for it will never cease, and the need to bring all the people to an active level of consciousness, that is a level where they can be/are active in the struggle.

In Our campaign to end RHU, it was selectively chosen for a multitude of reasons. One of which is to show & prove We can shut it down if & when We organize Ourselves and the people correctly. Because of conditions that prevail in long-term isolation, many of the most radical and politically astute people are in or have been in long-term isolation, if We could multiply those types of elements, and then get them out on the pop city We can make conditions more conductive to politicizing more and more prisoners sending more and more of these to the outside. To illustrate the contradiction that despite the various levels of illegality present within the solitary confinement apparatus, it still continues, and yet We’re the so-called criminals. There is of course the fact that if We can eliminate the punitive answer for dissent then We leave the enemy with little recourse once Our collective resistance picks up. In this way We take a tool out of their tool kit. However, the underlying goal is simply to shut seg down, what if they just capitulated and gave us what We wanted? What becomes of the struggle then? IF that was Our actual GOAL and not a MEANS TO AN END, then Our entire struggle would have been defeated, at least temporarily, not by bullets, or bombs, but by sugar-coated bullets, by concessions, by reforms, which weaken the intensity of contradictions rather than increase them. Mastering this delicate balance will determine the successes and failures of Our organizing methods.

“At first disconcerted, they then realize the need to explain and ensure the colonized’s consciousness does not get bogged down. In the meantime the war goes on, the enemy organizes itself, gathers strength and preempts the strategy of the colonized. The struggle for national liberation is not a question of bridging the gap in one giant stride. The epic is played out on a difficult, day-to-day basis and the suffering endured far exceeds that of the colonial period. Down in the towns the colonists have apparently changed. Our people are happier. They are respected. A daily routine sets in, and the colonized engaged in struggle, the people who must continue to give it their support, cannot afford to give in. They must not think the objective has already been achieved. When the actual objectives of the struggle are described, they must not think they are impossible. Once again, clarification is needed and the people have to realize where they are going and how to get there. The war is not one battle but a succession of local struggles, none of which, in fact, is decisive.” (5)

An Ongoing Discussion

We’ve picked this discussion back up, as some of us felt that somethings were still left unsaid or unclear.

We’ve articulated previously that one’s method to organization is logically dependent upon one’s goals, and also one’s circumstances or conditions. It is Our view that the conditions and circumstances being what they currently are in North amerika, the lumpen-prisoner class is a highly dynamic entity. This class, Our class is also a vacillating class, meaning its members can be like see-saws, moving from one side (revolutionary) to another (reactionary) as their emotions and whims take them. However, We assert that the other classes of North amerika have become so bourgeoisified that the social vehicles for social revolution are so slim to none that the last objectively repressed class in amerika, the class that still has little to no stake in the bourgeois democracy, is the lumpen.

We’ve reached this conclusion by analyzing the social forces and classes within North amerikan society. Observing their material benefits of being cozied up to their bourgeoisie. We’ve observed how and why social movements only advance so far, being largely unwilling, or sometimes unable to carry the struggle to higher levels, due to a certain level of comfort in the status quo. And We logically look to Our own class and see that these factors, though still present are vastly diminished. Therefore, arriving at this class analysis We say that it is most conductive to Our goal of social revolution to invest time and resources into the lumpen in order to politicize them, and that investment should be in proportion to the classes potential to lean towards a revolutionary line and practice.

Now We reach the basic question, how do we maximize the dynamic potential of this vacillating lumpen class? How do We ensure that the majority of lumpen are progressive, neutral, or all the way revolutionary and not objective enemies of the people? The answer again points to ORGANIZATION. The only way to maximize the people’s initiative in general and the lumpen in particular is to formulate them into tightly organized units/groups. The lumpen struggle is a class struggle, and thus We must organize the First World Lumpen on a class basis.

What does this mean, what does this look like? What is a class? There is often mention of the prisoner class, or a particular class of prisoners. However, very rarely do comrades utilize class in a Communist framework.

A ‘Class’ 1) shares a common position in their relation to the means of production; common economic conditions, relative to their labor and appropriation of the social surplus; 2) that they must share a separate way of life and cultural existence; 3) that they must share a set of interests which are antagonistic to other classes; 4) that they must share a set of social relations,;i.e. a sense of unity which extends beyond local boundaries, and constitutes a national bond; 5) that they must share a corresponding collective consciousness of themselves as a ‘class’, and; 6) they must create their own political organizations, and pursue their interests as a ‘class’ (6)

We must also clarify that Marx differentiated between a ‘class in itself’ and a ‘class for itself’. The difference between the two can be summarized by saying that a class in itself simply shares a common economic position but lacks the other listed criteria. Whereas a class for itself is an entity fully organized and meeting all listed criteria.

Therefore, what We are saying here is that We must organize in a manner that will bring the lumpen from the level of class in itself, to the elevated level of a class for itself. Our organization should be modeled in a way to obtain the collective mobility, ingenuity, and potential of the lumpen as a whole. We must ‘nationalize’ these structures, meaning expand them state-to-state, with each one developing its own relative strength locally.

The next question is how do We get there? How do we reach this point of mass participation and organization? We’ll quote Fanon here:

“The duty of a leadership is to have the masses on their side. Any commitment, however, presupposes awareness and understanding of the mission to be accomplished, in short a rational analysis, no matter how embryonic.” (7)

Here he stresses the basic conscious political education of the people. We continue:

“The people should not be mesmerized, swayed by emotion or confusion. Only [under-developed people] led by a revolutionary elite emanating from the people can today empower the masses to step out onto the stage of history.” (8)

I’ve put the above in bold to illuminate certain mistakes We often make. We often capitulate to the weaknesses of the masses in Our good intended desire to win them over. One of the weaknesses of this sort is the masses never-ending desire to be entertained. This desire almost always precedes from a desire to escape reality, and when done too much establishes a state of complacency with oppression and exploitation and undermines revolutionary or productive/progressive activity. When We reach out to the masses We often make the mistake of trying to move them into immediate action with a fiery speech, with the showing of the video of the latest police killing, or whatever We believe may move them. Although We have good intentions this method has hystorically proven inadequate for carrying out revolution. Instead, because it relies on emotions, which fluctuate, the activity it renders, if it renders activity at all, is necessarily fluctuating, and vacillating.

We can see this in real time if We observe the ebbs and flows of social movements in North amerika. George Floyd’s taped murder shook people emotionally. It awakened pent up anger and frustration from many sectors. People took that, and nothing else, no political education, no political organization, no political vision, only anger and frustration into their protests, and rebellions, and uprisings. Soon, the only people left in the streets were politicized people. Anarchists, Socialists, Abolitionists, and this sort. The masses however, had long since retreated back into the comforts of their amerikan life of escape, and leisure, isolating what was then allowed to be percieved as extremist/terrorist elements.

This what Fanon calls the ‘weakness of spontaneity’ showed its face. We must learn from this. In the quote above the ‘under-developed people’ are those masses of North amerikans. They reside in the land of excess, material excess, but the land of political sleep-walkers. These are the people Fanon says must be led by a REVOLUTIONARY elite. Now what does he mean by this? Because of the under-developed state of the people’s sociopolitical consciousness, those cadre elements who’ve struggled to grasp the complex concepts of political-economy, and revolutionary theory, although not desiring to be perceived as an elite, meaning above the rest, they actually do represent a higher stage of development, and in that context ONLY are they ‘elite’. The key phrase of the quote is the necessity that these ‘elite’ emanate from the people, meaning they must be one of their own, or perceived as such. The cadre-organizer must take care to balance its level of understanding with the level of the masses. There will be a contradiction between these masses and the politicized persyn, there should be, but this should not be an antagonistic contradiction. The people should be able to look to you for example, not look at you in disdain. As one might do to someone who thinks their shit don’t stink. Now we move to exactly HOW does these cadres, EMPOWER THE MASSES,

“…On the condition that We vigorously and decisively reject the formation of a national bourgeoisie, a caste of privileged individuals. To politicize the masses is to make the nation (or class) in its totality a reality for every citizen. To make the experience of the nation (or class) the experience of every citizen.” (9)

“Only the massive commitment by men and wimmin to judicious and productive tasks gives form and substance to this consciousness.” (10)

“No leader, whatever their worth, can replace the will of the people, and the national government, before concerning itself with international prestige, must first restore dignity to all citizens, furnish their minds, fill their eyes with human things and develop a human landscape for the sake of its enlightened and sovereign inhabitants.” (11)

It is Our intention as USW leaders in Texas, as Tx T.E.A.M.O.N.E. cadre, to have Our organization act as a vehicle to organize and mobilize and educate the masses of lumpen in North amerika. We hope you will be inspired to join us.

Sources:

1) Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon, pg.138, chapt.3

2) Black Liberation Army Political Dictionary, pg.4

3) Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon, pg.63 chapt.2

4) ibid, pg.90, chapt.2

5) ibid, pg.90, chapt.2

6) see; Karl Marx, The 18th Brumaire; also Karl Marx, The Holy Family;also, Meditations On Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth, James Yaki Sayles, pg. 286

7) Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon, pg.140, chapt.3

8) ibid

9) ibid

10) ibid, pg.144, chapt.3

11) ibid

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[Education] [Drugs] [Michigan] [ULK Issue 77]
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Academics Advance Amidst the Addicted

While the suboxone once reigned supreme here in Michigan prisons, since the start of the pandemic resulting in lockdown in state, K2 (Twoche, as its called here), has eclipsed suboxone. Previously you only saw non-Black prisoners doing suboxone, but this is no longer the reality as it has now cut across racial/ethnic lines. K2 is the new crack within the prison context. I’d wager at least 80% of the facility I’m caged with have a K2 addiction. It is very much reminiscent of the 1980s/early 1990s, especially for those smoking (or vaping, as they call it) K2 out of self-manufactured pipes made from the fiber glass ink pen holders. So its not at all uncommon to see a neo-slave on the prison-plantation free basing. You see guys selling all of their possessions, spending all of their money on K2 just as I saw crackheads do decades ago. You even see the choyboy, the aluminum brittle pads being used to ignite flame. It’s sad.

Even sadder, however, is that these guys don’t have a clue what they’re ingesting in their bodies. Frequently guys are having PCP and other dangerous liquid substances brought in by prison guards that is not K2. Some have gone to some extremes in manufacturing K2 within the facility from liquid chemical compounds (the synthetic weed form has long ceased being used. K2 is now in liquid form). I’ve seen guys use oven cleaner and other chemicals to make a compound that meets and interrupts the brain chemistry to produce a reaction resulting in a high. The manufacturer of this concoction, strung out himself, then partakes in his own made up substances. It is literally sickening!

The widespread nature of addiction can only be considered to be state sanctioned repression. No shakedowns occur. No instances exist where the substance is being sought after by the state to remove it from the facilities. Being that it keeps guys in stupors, states of docility, the facility is alright with it as it allows them to push their agenda in keeping the prison locked down as the voices don’t exist in numbers to push back against the de facto semi-segregation we’ve been kept under for over two years now. They only have to contend with the effects in the form of overdose and other tripping episodes as guys sometimes fallout, hallucinate, become paranoid, experience the illusion of impending death, or become stuck in a state of immobility (literally). I can’t believe this shit.

In Michigan, we’re suffering from a near total lack of political consciousness or will to resist the myriad forms of repression and overt oppression.

I’ve started a small study group among some of the younger brothers (24-28 years old). I’ve been exposing them to revolutionary concepts and manners of struggle. I’ve introduced them to Marx, Lenin, Mao, the BPP, Kwame Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral, Fanon, Antonio Gramsci, you name it. They are loving the experience. The expansion of their consciousness is being noticed as more young guys are approaching us to be allowed into the circle. These youngsters are leaving traditional religious formations to indulge in revolutionary thought ways.

All Power to the People!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade provides an update to the report from Michigan in ULK 75 that discussed the rise of Suboxone in Michigan prisons prior to the pandemic.

Thanks for ending on a positive note after depicting the overall sad state of affairs there. It is inspiring to know you comrades are rising above the environment, and we are confident that the study and implementation of lessons of revolutionary history will be the best medicine to combat addiction among the masses in the years to come.

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[Education] [Aztlan/Chicano] [ULK Issue 74]
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Brown Berets and AIPS Training in the FPL Intro Study Program

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The Republic of Aztlán (ROA) is happy to announce our online study group that we are hosting with various leaders of different Brown Beret formations.

We are studying the intro study program focused on The Fundamental Political Line of the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons (FPL). This is the study group that U.$. prisoners have been studying for years. We are applying it to Aztlán with few modifications.

This is groundbreaking that the Chicano Movement outside of prisons is studying MIM(Prisons) fundamental political line. It is important to overstand that hystorically the Chicano Movement was mostly cultural nationalist back in the days; this is changing.

We of the Republic of Aztlán have a slogan that says, “Ideology is key for Aztlán to be free!” We firmly believe that what the Chicano Movement always lacked that prevented it from developing to the next stage of struggle was a unified political line (ideology). Without ideology we cannot move as one. To obtain national liberation we will have to move as one with an ideology that guides us in the most scientific way.

We hope that by connecting the Chicano Movement as a whole to Maoist ideology it will move us closer to independence and in step with the global anti-imperialist movement.

Bringing political instructors to the cadre of the Chicano Movement will inject our movimiento with the political guidance that has been lacking for the movement as a whole. The ROA sees this process of bringing MIM(Prisons) study groups to the Chicano Movement outside of the concentration kkkamp as the process of from the pintas to the pintas. So for those sisters and brothers behind the prison walls, know that the political line that you all are helping to develop is being taught out here in the internal semi-colonies!


MIM(Prisons) adds: We have also been running the MIM(Prisons) intro study program on the outside for comrades who have joined Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support over the last 1.5 years. Each week we do a combination of discussing AIPS comrades’ answers and the answers from our comrades in prison. Some of you have been receiving responses to your answers with our discussions included as feedback. Since switching to a go-at-your-own-pace program for comrades in prison, we think this provides prisoners with more interaction and feedback.

In related news on our joint efforts to promote Maoist ideology in Aztlán, the 5th anniversary of the book [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán was marked with a second printing by Aztlán Press.

As we said in our joint statement printed in ULK 72, MIM(Prisons) distributed over 200 copies of [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán to prisoners, while most of the 1000 copies of our first printing were sold to people on the outside. This was done through our publisher Kersplebedeb online and the Republic of Aztlán on the streets. With the second printing we are all stocked up to keep the books flowing into the hands of the masses.

The book is available to prisoners from us for the discounted price of $10 in the form of stamps or cash, or for work trade. We also can take bulk orders with Monero on the outside for those looking for anonymous online payments.

Finally, we do have a new edition of FPL in the works as well as other publications, but our lack of comrade time is limiting our ability to get these out. With more supporters, we can do more of this important educational work. People outside prison should join AIPS today and get started on the study program while contributing to getting more education materials into more peoples’ hands inside and outside prisons.

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[Education]
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We Need You to Help ULK Change Lives

Under Lock & Key Changes Prisoner Lives
ULK needs proof readers, typists, layout, artists, funders, distributors and promoters.

Currently I’m in confinement in Florida, pending CM (Close Management) waiting on state classification officer decision. PIGs (Pro-Imperialist Goons) claim I was organizing or encouraging a riot or disturbance. All a ploy to get me behind the door for pushing the pen too effectively. I’ve just successfully appealed 4 disciplinary reports (D.R.s) written against me, including a D.R. written by the Assistant Warden.

In the mean time, I’m reading throw-back ULKs. Stuck in No. 54, learning so much. MIM, you have been so much help in my gaining political awareness, revolutionary transformation and personality. My first ULK was in 2012. I haven’t looked back since. Thank you so much.

I’m reading the article, “Coffee house revolutionaries or real militants?” by an Ohio komrade, who referred to MIM as coffee house revolutionaries, which I see as a constructive complement rather than a dis. And as I expected, in response MIM is not offended. I’m feeling this article because its helping me realize that in the struggle, everybody can’t be infantry guerrilla, the struggle need planners and other part players. The hand is made of 5 fingers, and each finger plays an equally valuable role in doing whatever the hand does.

If it wasn’t for the dialectics of coffee house revolutionaries like MIM, I would not be as effective as I am today. I would still be fighting these pigs with emotions rather than revolutionary intelligence, discipline and creativity. In order for our struggle to be effective, we need the historical analysis of coffee house revolutionaries, just as we need solid boots on the ground. We are all in the same struggle, against the very same enemy oppressor, and we are effective and victorious as long as we never forget this one point in unity for solidarity.

It’s only best that we learn from each other, constructive criticism plays a major role in self-criticism. I did a drawing once of Obama, with an obelisk in the background. MIM wrote back sending me a list of historical reasons illustrating why Obama and obelisk should not be in the same piece. The picture was contradicting itself more than doing what it was intended to do; show Obama as a black face for capitalist imperialist white supremacy. I missed my mark, and MIM made me see that via the show of Obama’s repeated drone assassinations, mass deportations, granting impunity to PIGs lynching us in the streets and court rooms, he did nothing about mass incarceration, knowing that Blacks and poors are being targeted. MIM showed me the truth, and being a good revolutionary has a lot to do with gaining truth and putting that truth into practice, and learning from the result of that practice.

MIM has been with me from my beginning stages, responding to all my letters and requests for study materials, and guidance when no one else cared or was able to care. I learned that i had to establish myself in the struggle, and MIM made it easier for me to do so. The books, the study materials, the jailhouse lawyer’s manuals and the plain old camaraderie needed as a lone operative. MIM inspired a creativity in me that the PIGs came to know and fear. PIGs are afraid of pen pushers, but when you go to reaching out and over the heads of their impunity granting bosses, they pay attention. There is nothing like a warden receiving a phone call from someone, or several people on the outside about some brutality that was not supposed to leak out from behind the Amerikkkan iron curtain. I kept reporting to MIM and anyone I thought cared, MIM would publish my reports, someone would read it and call the institution. All it takes is one phone call. And you know when they get phone calls, their body language tell it all, they speak without words.

The bigger their show, the bigger their fear. One time in 2014 they woke me up, sliding my cell door open with a bang at 1:00 in the morning, cuffed me up and took me to the security building just to ask me, “Who is MIM?” My only response was, “We want egalitarianism.” They didn’t even know what egalitarianism was. These PIGs are terrified of revolutionary civility. They expect us to behave like the animals they’ve been conditioned to believe we are, and when we show the opposite, we disarm them. They know we can go from zero to 100 in a split second, but our self-control, organizing, discipline and solidarity makes them unable to sleep at night.

Do your historic research, the revolutionary has never been the one to initiate violence, violence has always been initiated by the government. The revolutionary has only responded with self-defense. Self-defense is a must. The first thing every revolutionary must learn is that the capitalist-imperialist white supremacist is not just going to peacefully pack up and go home. They’re not just gonna give up the means of production and subsistence and power.

We need coffee house revolutionaries in the towers, at the computer screens, in the libraries, etc etc. to let us know what we are dealing with or what’s coming and the most effective scientific means of engagement. Just as importantly, we need mechanics, technicians, carpenters, plumbers, cooks, teachers. We all have to play our individual part in this struggle as a collective, in theory and in practice. MIM has taken on the practice of teaching theory and practice and that’s what revolution is, theory in practice.

With MIM’s help, I have learned and I have grown to the point where I am in solidarity with myself and others on the inside and outside, and I am still learning and growing, making a difference by being different. Sentenced to life for the gun, and being buried alive for the pent. Thanks to MIM, who gave me precious time and undivided academic attention, I’m giving these PIGs hell, with just an ink pen. Just imagine me holding a gun again, this time genuinely rehabilitated. And I am a state(enemy)-labelled sex offender. I believe in rehabilitation, I don’t care who you are, you can be rehabilitated. You can be a revolutionary, practice self-criticism, and let your action do the talking. I’ve been in and out of prison more than half my life, and I have never seen the state genuinely rehabilitate anyone. Genuine rehabilitation is like freedom, you have to give it to yourself.

All Power to the Proletarians.

Get Involved

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[Education] [ULK Issue 72]
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Response re: Conversation Techniques in ULK 70

This is a response to USW9 and UMT coordinator (ULK 70, Spring 2020).

USW9 is to be commended for starting a conversation with another prisoner. I’m not sure the timing of the murder of General Soleimani [the Iranian major general assassinated by Amerika while visiting Iraq in January 2020] was determined by the upcoming election, but it is a well-known fact that Trump did it for eir own economic and political reasons. This murder and the fascist media cover-up certainly merit discussion. Unfortunately, USW9 folded, and bewailed eir failure to “even preach to the crowd.”

USW9’s analysis is wrong. It is clear that USW9 was not talking to a choirboy (a revolutionary communist), but to a kapitalist imperialist. The first step in a successful debate or political discourse is accurate assessment of the audience.

I enjoyed UMT coordinators’ discussion and agreed with much of it. We need to come to a conversation “from a place of unity,” not division. I think, though, that eir understanding of debate and discussion was unclear.

Pointless discussion may break the ice at a party, but extended rhetoric about non-controversial trivia quickly becomes boring and is always unproductive. Successful political discourse always involves heated debate.

To begin, USW9 stated a sound theory in terms of eir own ethical values and morals, without first becoming acquainted with the potential recruit’s. USW9 was then discouraged when the recruit was offended not by Trump’s violence, but by USW9’s criticism. We must recognize that the recruit’s response was predictable and quite reasonable given eir unfortunate capitalist imperialist background. One must not assume that every inmate is an “oppressed prisoner” receptive to our ideas couched in our own terms.

USW9 then “just changed the subject to the San Francisco 49ers.” That didn’t work. Instead of making a mental note that next time he might mention another team or even a different sport, USW9 apparently just walked away.

I’m sorry USW9 feels like “no one is talking about unity or anything of that nature.” Most prisoners (not all) are in prison because they’re motivated by their own lusts and greed. That doesn’t change when people are arrested or put into a unit “that’s known for rampant drug trade and use.” UMT coordinator properly explained that talking about unity from a position of unity is our job.

I appreciate that it’s hard at times “to see any future victories” in light of the condition “of our present day society.” None of us is entirely immune to bouts of despair and despondency, but I don’t recall that Marx and Mao ever encouraged an attitude of defeatism. Our line calls for perseverance in a protracted struggle.

All three contributors to this discussion in ULK 70 (including UMT comrade) wrote with erudition and aplomb expressing sound ideas from slightly different points of view, all in a spirit of unity. What a wonderful dialog!

As a former teacher, I cannot ratify USW9’s negative self-assessment. We should all compare ourselves to Mao, but for criticism and self-improvement, not resignation.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We welcome readers’ examples of wins and loses in their efforts to reach others so we can keep having these kinds of tactical discussions. As a group, our knowledge is greater than as individuals and we can learn from the collective experience and try out what others have observed to work. We’ll just add that we would not say the prisoner USW9 was trying to reach was an “imperialist” as Packout states. Certainly they held pro-imperialist views as most people in the United $tates do. Most in this country are allies and supporters of U.$. imperialism because it serves them, and even some who are oppressed by it are taken in, maybe they think it will serve them in the future or it serves others around them. Either way most people in this country are petty bourgeois, or labor aristocracy and many are lumpen. And while their alliance with the imperialists is strong, different sectors of these classes, different individuals and especially the oppressed nations within this country can be won over to an anti-imperialist view with proper application of unity-struggle-unity.

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[Gender] [Education]
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Outgrowing Transphobia Toward Lumpen Liberation

I’m in segregation so our study groups aren’t technically in groups. They consist of multiple people reading the same materials. All these people are people I socialize with but all of them don’t socialize with each other. Some people, after reading the material, write our thoughts and questions on paper then pass this paper around, then allow everyone to read everyone’s answers. Some people just converse verbally after studying the material and raise their consciousness like that.

Now many of these individuals are members of lumpen organizations and street tribes. I myself had been utilizing my Kiwe national identity to influence individuals from that tribe. With this in mind, we know there is a social stigma that comes from mere socializing with LGBT prisoners, especially for members of lumpen organizations and tribes. I myself through “redirecting the gangsta mentality” towards the communist road, have outgrown this colonizer-influenced mindframe and stigma, therefore I of course began dealing with a tranz sista as my comrade. The other individuals in the “study group” opted out, and I understand now that this was because their loyalties weren’t to political organizing nor communist ideology. Many aren’t willing to SACRIFICE within the movement.

Mao spoke on this in his “Combat Liberalism” speech. This sacrifice isn’t always of the physical form. Recently, tribesmen have actively tried to silence my voice and thus negate the mission by slandering my name. In retaliation to these developments the tranz comrade assaulted multiple tribesmen in my defense and thus was rehoused. Comrades, I learned thru this experience that my prior mission to revolutionize the entire tribe or org is damn near impossible. In my analysis the changes of one or a few comrades revolutionizing/politicizing their lumpen org or street tribe depends on the level of structure that group already has. The more structure and organization the better the opportunity.

Maoism is complete revolution in all aspects of life. Many tribesmen and bros aren’t willing to do this or truly act on it. I’ve completely outgrown the lumpen consciousness and this contradiction isn’t productive or conducive to the revolutionary movement. The good news is that the tranz comrade is now a self-ascribed New Afrikan Maoist. And has shown commitment and sacrifice to the movement. The few comrades that we still involve in the study continue to grow politically and all in all – A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues).


MIM(Prisons) responds: What you wrote about converting a lumpen organization (L.O.) to Maoism or progressive politics is what we’ve seen from our other comrades throughout the years. We’ve seen numerous times that when people are trying to make a big shift in an L.O., it doesn’t usually go far. On one hand the L.O.s have this incredible infrastucture that can make big shifts happen quickly. On the other hand, the vast majority of members would need to be on board with such an ideological shift for it to be successful. And the infrastucture that makes big shifts possible is also an impediment, in a way, to even making the shift. Keeping things in the L.O. as they are (especially if it means giving up profits or power) is historically a very difficult challenge for revolutionaries.

Which is exactly why one of the United Front for Peace in Prisons principles, Growth, was included in the UFPP and defined in the specific way it’s defined. “Growth: WE recognize the importance of education and freedom to grow in order to build real unity. We support members within our organization who leave and embrace other political organizations and concepts that are within the anti-imperialist struggle. Everyone should get in where they fit in. Similarly, we recognize the right of comrades to leave our organization if we fail to live up to the principles and purpose of the United Front for Peace in Prisons.”

We stand firmly behind this comrade’s choice to unite with the LGBT persyn and include em in the political study group. Building toward communism isn’t just about overcoming oppression based on capitalism and class. We need to actively work against all forms of oppression, including gender oppression, as part of our mission toward the full liberation of the world’s people.

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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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[Education] [Theory]
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Education is Key for Releasees

Greetings to all my brothers and sisters on lock-down and on the outside fighting the struggle against oppression everywhere. This is from your hardcore revolutionary brotha in South Georgia. With great respect and love. I want to share this information with you in the hopes of you doing the same.

Education is better than incarceration!
Something we can all support!

I’ve learned in the hardest way possible that in the United $nakes of Amerikkka every felony conviction – no matter what the judge officially assigns in months or years – results, quite literally, in a life sentence. As a strong proponent of decarceration, I am encouraged by the efforts toward sentencing reform which will get some people out of prison sooner. But I am painfully aware that release from prison will present new challenges for those individuals whose futures have been made permanently fragile by their status as convicted criminals.

The lifetime consequences of a criminal conviction are evident in the diminished social status and in the devastation of poor communities and communities of blacks that have been hyper-policed, hyper-prosecuted and hyper-punished for decades.

Individuals from these communities are punished not only by virtue of the time they actually spend in prison, on probation, or in an alternative program, but because of the additional punishments that are inflicted for a lifetime. The consequences of a felony conviction include periods of voter disenfranchisement, travel restrictions, restricted access to public housing, restrictions of federal educational benefits, barriers to certifications and licensure of certain professions, and an irreversible stigma that permeates every aspect of life.

For those who spend time in prison, release is stressful even under the best of circumstances. People are released with a small stipend that barely covers the cost of living for a day or two. Without adequate assistance, many understandably fail to find meaningful employment, build healthy relationships and integrate successfully into a community. Having been released to a militaristic system of supervision that provides few services, imposes conditions that almost guarantee – and often expects – failure, many parolees end up right back in prison. I have been down that road, and I make no excuses. Those who do manage to successfully stay out remain stigmatized by the requirement that they continue to identify themselves on legal documents, job and school applications, and in numerous other places as a person who has a criminal conviction, no matter how long ago the original crime occurred.

These types of punitive responses to people who have made serious mistakes – but have already repaid their debts to society – do nothing to solve the problems. Like unemployment, which leads to crime, and hinders rather than promotes rehabilitation and successful integration into the community, it is difficult to understand why there would be any policy in place that would make it more difficult for people to come home from prison and do the right thing. I’m assuming the perspective of the mainstream in that doing the right thing means, at the very least, becoming self-supporting and living within the boundaries of the law. It has been argued that many of the barriers that are in place to restrict convicted people from certain jobs, from public housing, etc. are there to protect the public. However, the stronger arguments demonstrate that such barriers are purely punitive and that in being punitive to individuals we are actually causing further damage to society. Unsurprisingly, there is now strong evidence to show that by failing to provide convicted individuals with the tools needed to succeed once they leave the criminal justice system, growing incarceration has significantly increased poverty in the United $tates.

Among the most absurd punitive policies making it difficult to succeed after conviction are policies that restrict access to higher education. I say absurd because, at this point, even those on the most conservative side of the public dialogue about prison reform agree that “prisoners should be provided free education in order to reduce crime and recidivism.” This is a direct quote from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich during a meeting of Right on Crime in Washington, DC a few years ago.

At the same time that living-wage employment has required higher skill levels, education – particularly higher education – has increasingly become the most under-appreciated, underused and under-supported tool offered inside correctional facilities. This has happened despite the numerous studies proving that education is the most reliable predictor of reduced criminal recidivism. Educational attainment, besides being a worthy goal in itself, also increases one’s prospects for securing meaningful employment, enabling individuals to support themselves and their families. While country-wide 43.3% of formerly incarcerated individuals are likely to return to prison within three years of release, the likelihood drops to 5.6% for recipients of a bachelor’s degree.

Despite this data, the growing trend is to create post-conviction barriers for individuals who are attempting to apply to college. The Center for Community Alternatives found that nearly 60% of colleges and universities country-wide screen students for criminal records during the application process. In some cases, applicants are asked whether they’ve ever been arrested – even if the arrest did not lead to a conviction. Institutions that request this information often do so without appreciation for how a criminal record may or may not impact a particular student’s ability to successfully engage in the educational process.

For incarcerated individuals who desire to access higher learning opportunities, yet another barrier exists: they are ineligible for federal Pell Grants. Established by the late Senator Claiborne Pell, the grants allowed people – including those inside correctional facilities – who could not afford college to access post-secondary education. Incarcerated students were made ineligible for Pell Grants in 1994 under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, a contradiction of Senator Pell’s legacy of helping ensure that everyone could attend college. After eligibility was removed, the number of higher education programs in prisons dropped from 350 to 8 country-wide.

For more than 40 years, the goal of the Pell Grant program has been to provide need-based assistance to students to promote access to higher education. Funding flows directly to the educational institution, and eligibility for aid has been based on student need and expected family contributions. Pell Grants are available to anyone who qualifies; thus, removing the barrier to eligibility for incarcerated persons does not diminish the opportunity of any other eligible students who are motivated to pursue higher education.

As an incarcerated Black man, my incarceration does not define me, but people with criminal convictions live among us daily. It is up to you to decide how best to create systems and policies that promote public safety. Making it difficult for people to access opportunities and contribute to society is contrary to that goal, and contrary to the economic health of this country. Help support policy change to eliminate the 1994 ban on Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated persons and re-establish the opportunity for otherwise eligible people in prison to obtain college financial aid through Pell Grants for post-secondary education programs.

Straight from the “belly of the beast” on lock-down at Wilcox State Prison. The struggle continues and I fight on. One of the hardest who has ever done it. Power to the people.


PTT of MIM(Prisons) responds: It should be clear, from the evidence this comrade cites, that the criminal injustice system is not interested in rehabilitation or helping prisoners succeed on the streets. The restrictions on Pell Grants demonstrates just the opposite: prisons are a tool of social control of certain (e.g. oppressed-nation) populations, which are disproportionately targeted for imprisonment.

Getting Pell Grants reinstated for people with convictions would help reduce recidivism, as shown in this article. And that would certainly be a good thing for the internal semi-colonies, which are disproportionately affected by the oppression that comes from split families and the many other traumas of imprisonment.

At the same time, college education, for people of any nation, is controlled by the U.$. government, and thus does not teach a liberatory education curriculum. There’s no degree you can earn in the United $tates, or any country, that’s going to teach you how to liberate the majority of the world’s people from the effects of capitalist imperialism. It simply is just not allowed to exist, and it definitely won’t be paid for by taxpayer dollars.

All self-betterment, including college education, has its positive effects. If our goal is to end oppression worldwide and forever, we need to also build our own independent institutions that can educate people in what matters for the planet. And we don’t need federal funding to do this. We can start by creating more study groups behind bars, including the mail-based study groups supported by MIM(Prisons). We can expand these educational institutions to include comrades on the streets and provide ongoing education for releasees. When we control these programs we can ensure they persist and aren’t at the whims of government funding.

Our own educational programs are no substitute for a college degree when it comes to an individual’s earnings. GED programs and college classes are important opportunities for releasees, which can increase their abilities to contribute to liberatory projects. We don’t have the resources to substitute for these institutions yet, and we can help our comrades use these educational opportunities. Therefore our work around prisoner education supports the re-instatement of Pell Grants, while building independent education programs for prisoners and releasees that are grounded in the needs of oppressed people worldwide.

Individual gain is not our end goal in any education project. We don’t win unless we all win.

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[Education] [Control Units] [Tucker Max Unit] [Arkansas] [ULK Issue 70]
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Sparking Conversations, Building Independent Institutions

First off I want to express gratitude and respect to the comrades that contributed to ULK 68. It has sparked some interesting conversations on the tier. And this dialogue is strengthening the unity; the only unity I’ve seen at this unit in the year and a half I’ve been here.

Here at Tucker Max Unit they have been keeping us restricted housing prisoners locked in our cells 24/7. We get one hour of yard every two weeks here at Gilligan’s Island due to “lack of security.” They recently re-opened their re-entry program and when they did so, they took officers off yard crew to go work the re-entry. They have made no effort in the past 3 months to replace these officers so re-entry is essentially running at the expense of our constitutional rights. Yard call is a constitutional right, re-entry is not. From my understanding they receive so much money per each prisoner enrolled in their programs, i.e. re-entry, substance abuse treatment, therapeutic comm., and in my opinion the biggest sham of all: the step-down program that restricted housing prisoners are being forced to enroll in. The parole board is notorious for stipulating the first three programs as a condition for prisoners to be considered for release. They reap double benefits thru this system. They get extra money for your enrollment in this program and they can release you with some semblance of rehabilitation.

We, the prisoners, know these programs are a joke. And when they don’t provide the rehabilitation sufficient upon release to hold it down and keep on top of our responsibilities then we become we the repeat offender. And the Dept. of Corruptions is right here with their paternalistic arms wide open, all the while telling us it’s our fault.

But to get another shot at freedom we’ll be forced back into the same programs. Spoiler alert: it’s not gonna work no matter how many times you take their programs, and that’s by design. They don’t want the programs to work. Why would they want us to stay out of prison? A requirement of these programs here in Arkansas is that you drop kites on other prisoners for shit as small as not tucking their shirts in, and if you don’t you’re considered as not “participating”. What the fuck does that have to do with a person getting their shit together and preparing for the responsibilities that weigh us down when we get out?

To boycott these programs would be ideal, knowing the money they rake in off of them. But far be it from me to tell the next man to not do what he’s gotta do to go home. But we can’t depend on these programs to be the substance of our rehabilitation.

So now that I’ve made the argument against their programs there are two questions to be addressed. How do we implement our own programs, and which programs should take priority? Well, as far as the programs that should take priority, we’ve got to implement those that build unity into community where everyone has a role, minus our egos. We must work together to come up with a format that has a higher potential of success when it comes to tackling the issues that perpetuate our carceral existence, and by “our carceral existence” I’m speaking of the shackles on our mind that even upon release from these dungeons into the free world, remain fast in place.

The Five Stages of Consciousness model in the Five Percent tradition will break these chains when utilized to the fullest, but so many of us only attain the base stage of consciousness or the second stage of subconscious and go no further. So many of us attain all this knowledge on our quest for truth, only to use it to know more than the next man. But how many of us are using our knowledge to help win lawsuits, win appeals, and other battles that build upon our independence from this paternalistic system? I constantly see pride and ego hinder all 5 of the United Front for Peace in Prisons points of unity, and keep a lot of prisoners from reaching out to others to build these independent institutions. It’s imperative that we tear these individualistic walls down and build upwards on community consciousness. We need examples of what these independent programs look like and how to build them.

The book Prisoners of Liberation by Allyn and Adele Rickett that MIM(Prisons) refers to in its response to “Fighting the System from Within” in ULK 68 sounds like a good place to find this example. The writer makes a good point in eir letter that if our people would come to work in these prisons that they could expose the deficiencies and ill treatment.

Which reminded me of a question a comrade asked me a while back pertaining to the “lack of security” I referred to above. The question was: why did I think that this place has such a high turnover rate? C.O.s get $17 an hour and Sergeants get $20 but they can’t keep them working here. It’s not like they work them especially hard. Myself, wanting to hold out hope in humanity answered that maybe once they started seeing this shit for what it really is, decide that they don’t want to be an active participant in the oppression of their community. Maybe I put too much faith in their moral standards? Even if my answer was right they are still actively participating by not exposing the things done in here. I also like how the writer put it that the “moral obligation is ours,” not just to end oppression, but to build a new system in its place. We the prisoners must champion our own rehabilitation and re-education, independent of our oppressors’ programs, no longer allowing them to determine our value and self/community worth.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer picks up on the theme from ULK 69 where we discuss building independent institutions. As this comrade points out, we can’t count on the criminal injustice system to provide us with effective programs for rehabilitation or release. And so we need to build these programs ourselves. One such independent program is this newsletter, in which we are free to expose the news and conditions that the bourgeois press refused to cover. An independent newsletter is critical to our education and organizing work.

Another example of independent institutions is MIM(Prisons)’s Re-Lease on Life program to help releasees stay politically active and avoid the trap of recidivism. This program isn’t yet big enough and is greatly lacking in resources, so right now we’re not very effective. But we have to start somewhere. And we work to connect with comrades like this writer to build this program on the inside and on the streets.

In the short term, anyone looking to build small independent institutions behind bars can start a study group. This is a good way to start educating others while also learning yourself. And you can build from there with anyone willing to sit down and study. We can support this work with study questions and literature, just let us know you’re interested!

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[Education] [United Front] [ULK Issue 69]
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Build Cellblock Schools as Independent Institutions

education over violence

Peace to all the Gods that's stuck in these chains. I would like to speak power to the truth. I'm a young God in prison, but I feel there is a need for U$ Afrikans on these prison yards to focus more on building up a school than to focus on these prison politrix. What will the curriculum be in this school??? Knowledge of Self (KOS)! Why?? Well my son, that's a question asked most by the 85 and less by the 5ive%. It's a necessity for U$ to gain this truth about ourselves and all of our stolen greatness, to remind ourselves who you really are: "Original Man."

Because the majority of U$ are living in a bunch of lies, believing the blood suckas and what we've been taught by them; the trick-knowledge, weak wisdom, slick-understanding enslaved our mind frames believing since I was born and came from the trenches I have to depend on the United $nakes government for GR, Section 8, SSI, EBT, etc. to live and function as a citizen.

Wake up, that's wrong G. See this issue we focus on the topic at hand, which is "Independence." That's 1 of our 5 principles in the United Front for Peace in Prisons. Correct and Exact. So we don't need no government assistance in building up a school, we just need brothers who are dedicated to show up to cipher, getting these lessons Father Allah gave U$ Gods. It's all about chain of command with the system. If custody sees brothers coming to cipher they should have no problem getting our cell doors unlocked for school. Word is Bond.

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