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[Release] [Drugs] [Independent Institutions] [ULK Issue 76]
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Providing What They Can't - Rehab for Releasees

lumpen education study group

Shortly after receiving this issue of Under Lock & Key, a number of USW leaders and other supporters of our work will be receiving the first edition of our Revolutionary 12 Step Program. This has been in the works for over a year now and we are excited to get it into the hands of comrades who are ready to implement the program and provide feedback.

The Revolutionary 12 Step Program is a significant advance for our Serve the People “Re-Lease on Life” Program, which has been in existence in some form from the early years of MIM(Prisons)’s existence.

Who is it for?

When most of us think of the 12 steps, we think of Alcoholics Anonymous or a more general Narcotics Anonymous program. However, our program takes an approach similar to a program called Criminals & Gangmembers Anonymous to address the anti-people behavior of the lumpen class in a more general way.

Drugs and alcohol are a big part of the problems the people face. It is estimated that at least 65% of people incarcerated have a “Substance Use Disorder”, while the number goes up to 85% if you include all who were under the influence during the crime they were convicted of.(1) That’s a lot! As recent understandings of the brain tell us, the lack of impulse control that can lead to destructive behaviors is caused by unhealthy social conditions during childhood.(2) Drug abuse will often overlap with violence towards others and other behavior that is deemed criminal by the bourgeoisie and by the people as well. In the long-term, communism can eliminate the causes of these tendencies, but in the meantime we need to address all forms of anti-people behavior to transform ourselves from a lumpen state of being to a revolutionary proletarian one.

Some people in prison are innocent. Some broke a law in a conscious decision – sometimes even for righteous political reasons. But the vast majority of you reading this broke laws through actions you would have preferred to not have taken. The vast majority of people in prison could use this program to avoid regrettable actions in the future.

All of us have rehabilitation that we must go through because we were raised in a sick society. Ultimately, everyone born in this oppressive system could benefit from our Revolutionary 12 Step Program, but many of you need it if you ever want to stay out of prison.

Why do we need it?

The state, by definition, is run by the oppressors. In our imperialist conditions today the oppressors are the bourgeoisie, the imperialists, the oppressor nations – Euro-Amerika. The institutions of the state will always serve those interests. In the current system you have law enforcement, religious organizations, private prison companies like Geo Group, and more small-time profiteers running reentry programs for the state. None of these serve the interests of the oppressed.

Today, we don’t have the influence to abolish these imperialist institutions, but we do have the influence to build independent proletarian institutions. Not only that, this is part of our central task today as a movement, “create public opinion and the independent institutions of the oppressed to seize power.”(3) We discussed previous independent institutions of the oppressed in ULK 59 on drugs.(4) Since then we’ve been working on developing our own.

One of the lessons we can take from the practice of our Re-Lease on Life Program to date is the need to address the drive to do drugs, engage in dangerous sexual activities, and the temptation of the thrill of the life of crime. We must put in its place the thrill of revolution; of fighting the real enemy; of building something new.

Before MIM(Prisons) had a Re-Lease on Life Program, we had one comrade who was one of our top theoreticians and USW leaders while in the SHU. Ey was released from prison and quickly slipped into alcoholism again. Ey stayed in touch for the first year, and then we stopped hearing from em, and ey never did any political work on the outside. At that time MIM(Prisons) had little to offer this comrade to help em adapt to life on the outside, and we certainly had nothing like a 12 step program to help em with eir alcoholism.

A story that has become too common is USW members who are released and never write us for years. When we finally do hear back from them it’s because they ended up back in prison. One such comrade recently explained:

“something I felt lack of was community. When I left the gates I went straight to a sober living…. During the time there I worked and attended A.A. meetings. I pretty much gave all my attention to my sobriety and recovery. Simultaneously my career was getting started. At this time I am getting myself situated and also enjoying my freedom, it was a really good feeling getting to move around, good food, and women…”

“I got emotionally attached to a girl that did not fulfill my needs or expectations and I became emotionally unbalanced. All it took was one instance of drugs to get high and begin my relapse. All this was in the lapse of a year. The last three months was just a chase for thrills.”

“I felt loneliness because for sobriety I left everything behind, friends, places, everything I’ve ever done, made and been. Also I felt a need for thrills, action; that was my itch for crime. I lost track of it all and I couldn’t find like-minded people.”

From the above testimony we see how sex and romance plays into this as well. We all know how common “crimes of passion” are in our society. Many of us have done time for them. This comrade wanted community and felt lonely, and seemingly tried to find that in a womyn who maybe was not in a good state herself, or maybe just couldn’t fill the large gap in this comrade’s life. The original AA puts god in that gap, a higher power. Our program puts the proletariat, the people. We will all have important individuals in our lives who help us out and other individuals who set us back. But we cannot rely on any one individual to save us, nor to meet all our needs. One of our needs is a spiritual need to be a part of something that gives us meaning. The bourgeois institutions offer you job training and maybe the prospect of a marriage. But as we see with this comrade’s story, you can attain those things and still be lonely, still not be on the path to rehabilitation. That is why we need an independent institution of the oppressed.

Another lesson we can take from this comrade, and from others, is that success will usually mean leaving behind a lot, especially at first. The easiest way to go back to prison is to go back to the same people and places you were around before you got locked up. Ultimately, our aim is not to cut you off from where you came from like a bourgeois program might do. We must stay connected to the people, and your past may offer some such connections. But those connections can only be good ones if you approach them from a new way of thinking and being. There must be a new community that you can rely on that supports your transformation into a new socialist humyn.

Even in the best case scenarios, the bourgeoisie cannot provide the support comrades need to rehabilitate. However, more often you do not end up in the best case scenario in this system as one comrade describes:

"I spent 6 years in the Drug Court program in York, PA, where a predatory judiciary, local bar, probation department (teamsters union) and suck ass ex-junkies prey on the weak and pile them 3 and 4 men to a room in some old crack house and charge them $500 per month rent plus a $500 deposit, which they would lose when they relapsed (95%) and went back to jail.

“Bless his wife-murdering heart. Bob Allen’s (Life’s Beacon House) means well and has the nicest of these houses but we can do better. The”group homes" or “recovery houses” have 3-4 month waiting lists and so do the rehabs, which county dollars are 95% of their $1000/day business. These houses are 501(c)(3) non-profits and if you start a business to employ the guys that live in these houses, it can operate non-profit too."

Next Steps

As we said, the Revolutionary 12 Step Program should address something that our Re-Lease on Life Program has been lacking for so long. But to do so, the program must be actualized. Here are some 3-year goals we have related to actualizing this program:

  • build a broader network of local contacts across the country so comrades can get more hands-on training and support from other communists

  • establish a revolutionary 12-step program, run by released comrades, where others can stay and immerse themselves in the program

  • establish satellite programs in prisons across the country that report to the program on the street, learning from each others’ experience and feeding releasees into the street program

Clearly this will require the participation of many of you to succeed. We need comrades on the outside to volunteer to be support people or sponsors for our comrades who are released. Even if you can’t administer the 12 steps, giving them someone to talk to and organize with on a daily basis will be important.

We need comrades on the inside to begin implementing this program locally. Ideal candidates will have successfully gone through the 12 step program themselves and MIM(Prisons) political study courses. And finally, we need similar people on the outside to run our program for post-release. If you think you can play any of these roles, get in touch so we can start building.

Notes:
1. Center on Addiction, Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population, February 2010.
2. Burke-Harris, Nadine, 2018, The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-term Effects of Childhood Adversity, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
3. What is the plan? What concrete actions can I take? What is to be done? What are you doing?
4. Wiawimawo, November 2017, Drugs, Money and Individualism in U.$. Prison Movement, Under Lock & Key No. 59

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[Black Lives Matter] [Independent Institutions] [Principal Contradiction] [White Nationalism] [ULK Issue 76]
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What Are Prisons For? Should we send Rittenhouse and the McMichaels there?

Sadly far too many people who should know better believe that a sign of “equal justice” would be if Kyle Rittenhouse was housed in the empty cell down the tier from me. Additionally far too many people actually felt and argued that a sign of the system working was the guilty verdict given to the McMichaels for killing Ahmaud Arbery. However i wonder what exactly such people believe happens when these people are in fact placed into prison. Do people believe these people would share the same experiences as someone from the semi-colonies? Do they believe these people will be subjected to the same level of brutality from the state or its representatives? Do they believe this is “rehabilitation”?

i’ve even heard far too many people state that these people should not even be given bourgeois rights while going through the courts. Such people obviously believe in amerikkkan “democracy” and only aim to put and keep their people in power specifically through the Democratic Party where they can use the levers of bourgeois civil society to dominate* the Republican Party. This is vengeance against the Amerikan bourgeoisie’s political party by another - not justice and definitely not revolutionary. We should condemn this at every turn.

2020 was lost because spontaneity dominated instead of actual consciousness. Lenin stated in 1900 that the “spontaneity of the masses demands a high consciousness from us.” Another obvious failure was the failure of analysis of what amerikkka’s capitalism-imperialism is and who her citizens are and their relationship to this specific form of late capitalism-imperialism. Had this been done there would’ve been less talk of trying to stuff a true history lesson down the settler-colonist throats as if this would make them see the light and instead teaching this history to New Afrikans, First Nations, Raza, API and receptive whites with an emphasis on self-determination struggles, self-reliance, anti-imperialism and internationalism. A proper class analysis would’ve concluded there’s no real opposition to capitalism-imperialism (in 2020) and most amerikans benefit from this system. The people protesting, thinking pigs would be or should be neutral, while their system was under attack; that they would not welcome vigilantes and even thank them were foolish. If any one was surprised at all by how that night played out, regardless of the Rittenhouse verdict, they need to go back to the ABC’s of amerikkkan history (maybe Critical Race Theory would’ve helped them).

Not only should we not root for U$A injustice system even against our enemies**, we should denounce bourgeois criminal behavior, not just gangsterism but even in protests. We are not terrorists nor do we believe in focoism or anarchy. We advocate revolutionary consciousness. We do not lead the people to slaughter. We gather forces or at least sympathy for revolution.

What are prisons for? We know all too well about the school-to-prison-pipeline and who this is designed for. We know we are considered surplus-population and prison acts as a social tool to keep idle people idle. We also know that amerikkkans are infatuated with law and order (and punishment). We know amerikkkans rest assured when its carceral system locks people away for 40 or 50 years for whatever crime…we know amerikkka does not bat an eye at such abuses. In fact immediately after Rittenhouse’s GoFundMe page successfully got him acquitted Vice President Harris professed her role as top-cop in California was to make the system more “equitable” and his acquittal means there’s obviously “more work to be done”. Again, but what are prisons for? Rittenhouse should go inside a box (for obviously many, many years), get old and then be judged (by a specific faction of the bourgeois dictatorship - the democrats**) to see if it’s enough years gone by. This is the only purpose prison in bourgeois society serves so what kind of people advocate such a thing?

Even in prison it’s not well known what prison is used for. Not only that, even in prison bourgeois mentality is prevalent and ubiquitous… We sit in cages like animals. We are psychologically tortured, sexually humiliated, manipulated and harassed. We must fight for outside contact, safety, humanity and freedom but a majority of captives sit around in their assigned boxes and literally direct their anger and future violence at other captives. Not just that but rebellion against our circumstances and capture is far too often shunned. Revolution even in hell isn’t automatic. Bourgeois society will go down as the most adaptable. When almost everyone has a price how could it not?

When i hear “lock em up” or that “justice” was served i know for sure i’m in the midst of enemies. i know such people deep down believe i’m exactly where i should be. Revolutionaries cannot parrot Jesse Jackson, Alicia Garza, Amy Goodman or anyone else’s call to “lock em up.” Let’s leave that to Trump and Clinton and all the other enemies of the revolution. Instead let’s learn how to protect each other starting with a proper class analysis. True political consciousness going into 2022 must start from the empire’s utter success in buying off all but a small percent of its population and the knowledge that this demand and lame-ass attempt to take over the bourgeois system “from the inside” with this pro-police imperialism, pro-FBI socialism, anti-revolution revolutionaries is worse than a joke.

Salutes to TX Team One, FPC, Republic of Aztlán, and the entire USW,

NA Struggle RL NAIM CA-MLM

*Obviously if this had the potential to advance anti-imperialism in any way it is to be considered but we will not first exploit internal contradictions between the capitalist then as a response to this build our forces. No, there must first be a revolutionary force to galvanize otherwise it’s just more imperialism and pro-imperialism.

**It would have to be Democrats because Republicans believe this was just.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrade’s focus on building our forces, building anti-imperialism, building movements for self-determination. As we say on page 2 of every Under Lock & Key, we have a different solution to the bourgeois prison system and that is proletarian justice. We distribute the book Prisoners of Liberation about Amerikan spies in a Chinese socialist prison that we use as a starting point for how prisons can be used to serve the people and give everyone the resources to reform and contribute positively to society.

But implementing pro-people rehabilitation on a mass scale is a ways off for us in this country. And we agree with our comrade here that these calls for “justice” are the battlefield of bourgeois politicians. If Rittenhouse was given a long prison term, that would only increase the chances of him becoming the Nazi that he has been branded already in the media; an indication of what these bourgeois prisons actually do. There are class enemies, and both sides will use force against their class enemies. But we must first build proletarian institutions, before we can implement proletarian justice.

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[Organizing] [Independent Institutions] [ULK Issue 76]
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An Ongoing Discussion on Organizing Strategy Pt. 3

Revolutionary greetings to all the comrades!

In this article I-self will be building with ya’ll in unity, criticism, unity on the ongoing discussion on organizing strategy that’s been going on in the last 3 ULKs. But where my focus is going to be on are the questions that the comrade Wiawimawo stated at the end of Comrade S. Xanastas’ “An Ongoing Discussion Organizing Strategy Pt. 2” in ULK No. 74. Also, a little on the redefining words that are used to villianize WE from Comrade Triumphant’s article “Forever Protecting the Community: We Are Our Own Liberators” in ULK No. 75.

The questions posed by our comrade Wiawimawo are stated below:

"can building the Re-Lease on Life and University of Maoist Thought programs mobilize and reach the masses in the same way as the campaigns making demands from the state?

“…Isn’t a campaign exposing the widespread use of torture in U.$. prisons an undermining of U.$. imperialism regardless of the maneuvers the various states make to cut back on or hide their use of long-term isolation? Or should we focus solely on the Third World neo-colonies and expose U.$. meddling in Ethiopia, Cuba and Haiti?”

To answer the first question: can building the Re-Lease on Life and University of Maoist Thought programs mobilize and reach the masses in the same way as the campaigns making demands from the state? I would have to say yes, and I also think that the Re-Lease on Life and the University of Maoist Thought Programs will aid and assist with the campaigns making demands from the state. Reason why is that the University of Maoist Thought programs and the Re-Lease on Life will give the de-imperialization study groups, programs, or classes, etc. Plus the most right and exact educational class WE can bring to the masses so WE can liberate ourselves. Which will in turn not just promote these campaigns, but these individuals who “over”take these classes will have a sense of duty to not just self, but the whole commune to start up campaigns that are making demands from the state. In turn, this will open the opportunity to capture the minds of more of the masses from the imperialist reigns of control to be re-directed to our de-imperialization study groups and/or classes, and then that situation repeats until the masses are overwhelmingly pushing S.O.P.s in these koncentration kamps and communism to the outside free world.

Next question is: Isn’t a campaign exposing the widespread use of torture in U.$. prisons an undermining of U.$. imperialism regardless of the maneuvers the various states make to cut back on or widen their use of long-term isolation? I knowledge that these campaigns that expose widespread use of torture and long-term isolation, with the many campaigns to teach the deaf, dumb, and blind of our First World lumpen class to see, be mindful, and more nationally, internationally, revolutionarily conscious, and be able to discern the difference from what is revolutionary and what is not. This will breed the revolutionary souljas which is needed to topple U.$. imperialism and imperialism as a whole. Souljas like those in the Ayiti (Haiti) revolution (Aug. 14, 1791 - Dec. 1803) the first and only successful revolution of Afrikans where General Francois Capois yelled this battle cry at the final battle:

“Grenadye, also! Sa Ki Mouri, Zafe a yo! Nan pwen manman. Nan pwen papa. Sa ki mouri, zafe a yo! Grenadye, aloso!”

Which translates to:

“Soldiers attack (or to the front and move forward)! Those who die, so what! There is no mom. There is no dad. Those who die, so what!”

WE have to come with this mindset while in this realm of revolution, and if WE are not there yet then WE better hop-scotch into a Usane Bolt sprint to it and lock it in for eternity. For this is the mindset which is going to get us to the transfer of power from imperialism to communism. WE gotta be expecting that the imperialists are going to try to hide their dirty laundry after WE show how filthy their ways are. So in saying that we ALL have to become counter-attack masters and specialists just as much as WE ALL ARE to be ready to become future leaders of the revolutionary struggle.

Which is also answering the following question: or should we focus soley on the third world neo-colonies and expose U.$. meddling on Ethiopia, Cuba, and Haiti? Now just stating that WE ALL have to become counter-attack specialists and be ready to become future leaders, the comrade with the most knowledge gets to speak on either of the three. If WE don’t have any of the comrades or leaders who have that knowledge, then WE gone get into that study hall classroom and get some knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and elect a cadre to each country.

So the focus that is needed to build campaigns that will undermine the imperialists here in the U.$. and the world abroad, will be there in full discretion. WE gotta become the monsters that the beast is scared to death of. Since everybody has or had a monster that they was afraid of, why not BE the monster(s) the imperialists shit and piss in their pants every time they think of WE. Then die of heart attack when WE manifest in the flesh.

Because WE as revolutionaries and FW lumpen have been villainized by the imperialists already right? It’s either now that WE redefine these words or abandon words like “monster,” “demons,” “gang,” “criminal”, and etc. Just how the comrade Triumphant stated in their article “Forever Protecting the Community: We Are Our Own Liberators,” I see and knowledge that this task is going to be a difficult one. First, redefining these words to the point it’s worldwide spread that even our opps – the imperialists – knows the redefinition of word that they use to villainize WE and use the new definition their damn selfs. Example: How many knows Tupac Amaru Shakur’s redefinition of the word ‘NIGGA’? Which is “Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished” or does the first thing a persyn think about is a New Afrikan individual? And this leads into part two: WE have to remember our leaders and souljas locked away like Larry Hoover Sr., Iman Jalil Amin, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Bomani Shakur, and many others’ lives are dependent on WE and if WE fail to redefine correctly and get it worldwide recognition; WE’ll do more harm to WE then forward progression of the movement. This will push us back like Gang injunctions and R.I.C.O. acts. Just something WE should keep in mind as we progress forward in these stages of organizing strategy.

L’UNION FAIT LA FORCE = UNITY MAKES STRENGTH

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[Prison Labor] [Florida State Prison] [Florida]
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Prison Labor in Florida's Control Units

In the Florida Department of Corrections there is a program called close management which is a control unit. It has 3 levels that you can be placed on and once you complete each level without any disciplinary reports you are eligible to move forward to the next level within six months. I am currently being housed on close management II here at Florida State Prison which holds about 1,285 prisoners. Only the prisoners who are housed on CM III are permitted to work, which is about 205 prisoners. And they are limited to certain jobs without pay, such as houseman and laundry, which is totally different from general population because there is only one job that actually rewards you for your labor and that's canteen. All the canteen operators who are employed by FDOC are paid $65 a month. Other than that one specific job the remainder of the jobs such as inside-ground, plumbers, law clerks, electricians and cooks are employed without pay.

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