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[Censorship] [Legal] [Michael Unit] [Coffield Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Suggestions for Challenging BP-03.91 and Beyond

Dear Comrades, I have read updates, in the ULK winter 2021, No. 75, and feel the need to clarify things. The nomenclature used in BP-03.91, and the definitions provided within it, are being bent and ambiguously used by both prisoner and TDCJ staff alike. The policy itself is so ambiguous, one would have to guess at how to uniformally enforce it.

The only difference made in the new policy is how ‘sexually explicit’ is defined. I am enclosing a verbatim copy of BP 03.91 as it is currently worded on this date. I witnessed an arbitrary enforcement of this policy on the Michael Unit and have even heard improper incorrect references, by mail staff on the Coffield Unit of what was ‘sexually explicit’. This shows me that even TDCJ staff are ill-informed about what the policy is and its purpose. I had written the Texas Board of Criminal Justice a few months back and they referred my letter to the, now in-house, Ombudsman office. I would encourage all ‘brothers in white’ to familiarize themselves with the policy by reading it themselves in the unit Law Library. (as well as reading ALL of the policies that are currently in place. Simply request the ‘Index of current TDJC policies’).

The injunctions that I have knowledge of, filed against the BP-03.91, argued on the ambiguous nature and verbage of the policy. Images that cause ‘sexual arousal’ are inherently broad. (Hell, I had caught a girlfriend of mine, masturbating to Metalacolypse!)

While arguing the ambiguity of the policy is one undeniable argument, I suggested to a team of litigants to also attack the apparent objective of the policy. To curb anything that ‘sexually arouses’, well, anyone! Banning officers from ‘outrageous’ or ‘extreme’ hairdos, make-up, jewelry, etc. tight pants, or even suggesting that female officers not work in male prisons (no male officers in the female prisons) but even then you would not be able to curb even same sex arousal. It is in applying this argument that we see just how illogical it is to curb ‘sexual arousal’. Exacerbating the ridiculousness of the argument will force them to define and refine the definition of the policy and there is no way that you would be able to legally define ‘cleavage’ as censorable under the First Amendment.

While these are my own thoughts and opinions, I do hope to help as many comrades in their legal efforts. This isn’t something that a phone call will fix but we can change things with well-thought-out litigation. It takes time, but most of us have nothing but time. Intellectuals fight with their words. Learn to use them and wield them with effective effort.

At the current moment i am not involved in any active litigation as my time and energy is currently invested in criminal matters, however, I try to keep up with what is going on to know our environment. I want to thank ALL of you who keep us connected through organization, correspondence, etc. Without you we would most likely be more lost to the cause than anyone could imagine. The support you provide is priceless.

Nothing worth fighting for is ever easily won. Policies are a fraction of the fight. Laws are another. But the biggest fight we face is ignorance. Our own and of the population. This is readily apparent in the policies and laws we find ourselves fighting against. It is a reason for the mission of MIM.

Always onward with more audacity!

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[Censorship] [Campaigns] [Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Update from Plaintiff Against TDCJ's BP-03.91

Dear Friends,

I am the plaintiff in the lawsuit against members of the TBCJ and TDCJ, (#3:21-CV-00337), filed in December 3, 2021.

I also represent the interests of ‘doll’ and ‘pineapple pictures.’ Since the strong opposition to enforce the BP-03.91 rules it seems that the TDCJ is no longer enforcing rules 1(C) and IV(A) (10) (11) of the BP-03.91. At least not in this unit.

However, I will not withdraw the lawsuit until I get the relief I requested in my lawsuit: “declare that rules of the BP-03.91 violates inmates and outside commercial vendors’ Constitutional rights of the First Amendment and enjoin defendants from enforcing the rules.”

Fellow prisoners who would like to support the lawsuit need to write to the court:

Cause # 3:21-CV-00337
Styled: F Martinez, Et Al., VS. The members of the TBCJ, ET.AL.
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
Galveston Division
Clerk of the Court
601 Rosenberg street, Room 411
Galveston, Texas 77550.

Although prisoners can not write me directly to provide me with a copy of the letter, I would like to know who has done it. Please send a copy to MIM(Prisons) and let them know if you grant them permission to forward me your name and TDCJ # or not.

Thank you for your help and assistance.

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[Legal] [First Nations] [ULK Issue 77]
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New Chairman of TBCJ, New Lawsuit for Access to Native American Unit

Thank you for sending the extra copies of ULK 76. Please always send extras, I will distribute proudly! I noticed in ULK 76 that others were suing Dale Wainwright with the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. I am doing the same, because the Board sets policy for TDCJ but I just got a letter back from the Board which shows the Chairman to be Patrick L. O’Daniel.

For now I’m going to keep Wainwright named in my suit because I don’t know how long this other chap has been holding down that job and Wainwright is responsible for maintaining policy that violates my rights.

We Native American practitioners have to take a religious test to be able to attend our worship services and to be transferred to a “Designated” Native American unit but one of the reasons they have listed that they may deny you transfer to a Designated Unit due to your health or a “medical condition”, which “may preclude eligibility for re-assignment” (Policy #09.02(rev.2) Attachment A). I suppose it’s policy such as this, that violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, that Lumpkin and others use to justify keeping me in “cool bed housing” and mistakenly think that they don’t have to provide cool bed housing on these “Designated Units.”

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[COVID-19] [Legal] [California] [ULK Issue 77]
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Suit Against CDCR for Endangering Prisoners with Covid-19 Advances

To The People

I have a COVID-19 litigation update. My 42 U.S. Code § 1983 civil case no. 21-cv-0055-LAB-Ggs, Williams v. Warden Pollard, Et Al, in the u.s. District Court - Southern district of Calif, survived the Attorney General’s (A.G.) motion to dismiss on 19 January 2022.

I alleged pre-existing health conditions placed me at higher risk of death if exposed to COVID, and that defendants were deliberately indifferent to my risk of exposure to COVID by

  1. Providing face masks of poor quality, which don’t protect from exposure (before CDCR started issuing the KN-95’s);

  2. housing infected and non-infected prisoners in the same unit and cells;

  3. forced double cell housing in conditions which violate and don’t comply with 6 ft social distancing public health orders;

  4. poor sanitation of the immediate housing unit, and

  5. C.O.’s constantly taking their masks off in the housing unit, was a failure to protect based on a totality of deprivations.

The A.G. moved to dismiss saying:

  1. My claims were speculative because 82% of the population was vaccinated so my chance of exposure was minimum;

  2. I presented no allegations defendants acted maliciously;

  3. I lack standing and the court lack jurisdiction since I have no injury and ‘did not’ contract COVID-19;

  4. Injunctive relief claims are moot because the Brown v. Plata, and Coleman v. Brown receivers were already with jurisdiction over medical and addressing the COVID-19 crisis, and

  5. My claims are foreclosed by 42 U.S. Code § 1997e, which requires an injury before a money award, but of course the district judge rejected the A.G.’s best efforts. The district judge did, however, dismiss all defendants except Warden Pollard, with leave to amend, and while awaiting this ruling I did test positive for COVID-19 in January 2022.

Many prison administrations, housing lieutenants, sergeants, and officers only care about filling empty bed spaces. They don’t expect prisoners to present a pre-written GA-22 which “request reason why I am being forced to defy current public health orders to practice and maintain 6ft social distance by forced double cell housing,” and/or “request instructions on how to practice and maintain 6ft social distance in double cell housing conditions,” when they come with the “you getting a cellie” speech. “I’m not refusing officer, but before I adhere to your orders or directives to disregard or violate any existing public health orders I need specific instructions on how to keep myself safe” and let’s hope they got a body camera on during this incriminating exchange.

The point is, just because the prison system and its officials don’t care about us don’t mean we don’t care about ourselves. Since the pandemic commenced, I’ve seen too many captives tricked out of their lives by following orders from those who operate a system of violating the law, or rules, to enforce them. The killer then notify next of kin of a captives death and say “I’m sorry for your loss.”

We have to implement our own measures to stay safe and survive, which includes filing suit, and helping others with the information to do the same.

Power To the People!

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[Abuse] [Legal] [Delaware] [ULK Issue 76]
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Sgt. Must Pay $500,000 for Assault

Congratulations to De’Shawn Drumgo, who just let us know ey won eir lawsuit against Sergeant William Kuschel. In 2014, Sgt. Kuschel groped and squeezed Drumgo’s genitals while being held captive in a Delaware prison.

If anyone has information on how to open a bank account from within prison, without family support, please let us know. We have a couple comrades who have won lawsuits recently who do not want to hand this money over to the prison administration. We are trying to investigate other options.

While lawsuits like this serve as a line of defense for individuals, we also know they change nothing. We get letters from people every week about horrible abuse and brutality they face across Amerikkka’s gulags. To win a case like this is truly rare, and to even be able to file a successful lawsuit is not possible for most. Ending police brutality behind bars requires ending the imperialist injustice system altogether. The people must be in charge of justice.

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[Control Units] [Campaigns] [Legal] [ULK Issue 76]
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Litigation To End Indefinite Restrictive Housing in TDCJ

Dillard v. Davis, et al. Civil Action No. 7:19-cv-0081-M-BP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: TX. Team O.N.E. Legal Representative 113 Stockholm, #1A Brooklyn, NY. 11221

Incarcerated individuals currently housed in the Texas Department of Justice’s Restrictive Housing (Solitarty Confinement) are moving to intervene in the civil action [No.7:19-cv-00081-M-BP] filed by fellow incarcerated individual, Daniel D. Dillard, challenging the constitutionality of TDCJ using Restrictive Housing as a form of punishment and also challenging the cruel and unusual conditions of confinement that are known to cause irreparable mental harm. Dillard filed this civil action in 2019 after being falsely accused of assaulting a correctional officer, the false disciplinary proceeding resulted in Dillard being removed from the general population on the George Beto Unit and reassigned to administrative segregation on the James V. Allred Unit under the conditions that has repeatedly consisted of deprivations of exercise, showers, and meals in retaliation of exercising his First Amendment right to the redress of grievances. Dillard, the original Plaintiff, filed his first amended complaint adding several new defendants’ (including TDCJ-CID new director- Bobby Lumpkin) and brought claims of widespread abuses on behalf of the Restrictive Housing population and ALL those similarly situated to him. After word got out that Dillard is challenging Restrictive Housing others began moving in to intervene on the grounds that Restrictive Housing seriously effects their mental health when used in the long-term or for prolonged periods of time. Some of these people have been in solitary confinement from 3 years to 30 years without reprieve. TDCJs Restrictive Housing does not allow any audio/visual stimulation, people are kept in their cell for 22 to 24 hours a day, they are prevented from educational, vocational, and/or religious programming, they are continuously isolated for years on end. The Nation is turning away from using solitary confinement but Texas continues this…To intervene on this litigation use the contact information above but first see Dillard v. Davis, et al., civil action No.7:19-cv-00081-M-BP.

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[Legal] [ULK Issue 76]
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New Class Action for Prisoners Who Did Not Receive Stimulus Money and Filed Taxes

Dear MIM,

I’m writing to advise of a need for you to publish in your next issue a Notice of Pending Civil Action concerning those that did not receive the $3,200.00 EIP #1,#2,#3 Thirty-Two Hundred even after filing correctly. There are lots of prisoners who filed by mail and were discriminated on by IRS and such violates a prior order. If you can, please publish in Next Volume:

Clay v. Director of IRS Mnuchin No4:21-CV-08132-PJH

Sub Class Representative Thomas H. Clay advises all prisoners who filed for EIP from Oct. 2020 – August of 2021 and did Not receive any check in mail or Direct Deposit. After filing Form 1040/1040SR or letter with SSI# and copy of such to show proof of filing; then write To:

  United States District Court
  Northern District of California
  Oakland Division
  Attn: Hon. Clerk/Presiding Judge
  1301 Clay Street Ste 400 S
  Oakland California 94612-5212

If you are filing the following criteria below:

  1. Non-disabled or physically or mentally impaired prisoner in State or Federal Prison Institution in the United States
  2. Correctly filing legal letters to IRS or 1040/1040SR Form 2019/2020 from October 15,2020 thru tax season of January – August 17, 2021
  3. Utilizing only Institutional Regular Legal/or Indigent Legal Mail System in State of Federal Prisons.
  4. Who did not receive any payment from IRS of EIP #1 #2 #3
  5. In the form of “Check in Mail” or “Direct Deposit to Account”.
  6. Who can “Prove upon Request” proof of the correct timely filing by: copies of letters to the IRS office in your State area, Prison Mail Room Record of Legal Mail logged letters showing IRS address. Indigent mailing file showing letter sent to IRS or 1040/1040SR copies or responses from IRS during that period from any of its offices.
  7. And you were not issued any checks for EIP #1 $600.00 EIP #2 $1200.00 or CVRP/EIP #3 $1400.00 totaling $3,200.00

The court is reviewing Contempt of Court Order and Sub Class Action from prior suit Scholl v. Mnuchin that does not protect the rights to amount of payment withheld from prisoners in a discriminatory manner by IRS.

Possibly those who read MIM will donate something once they receive their compensation entitled after requesting to be a class member.

Thank you M.I.M.

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[Censorship] [Legal] [Texas]
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Lawsuit Against Members of the TBCJ and TDCJ re: Mail Policy

Cause #:3:21-CV-00337

Styled name: F. Martinez and all inmates similarly situated in TDCJ-CID, “Doll” and “Pineapple Pictures” versus members of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, TDCJ-CID, Director, Members of the MSCP, Members of the DRC, and mailroom supervisor at the Terrell Unit.

Dear Friends,

I am writing you in regards of the lawsuit filed on 3 December 2021, in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division.

I am the leading plaintiff and I am representing all inmates similarly situated in TDCJ, Doll and Pineapple Pictures, both outside vendors.

The reasons in filing this lawsuit is to challenge the unconstitutionality of rules 1 (C), IV(A)(10)(11) of the “Uniform Offenders Correspondence Rules” (BP-03.91) of the TDCJ-CID.

Rule 1(C), which limits to receive ten photos per envelope, and rule IV(A)(10), which is a total ban on “sexually explicit images” coming into the general prison population, and rule IV(A)(11), which bans any altered photos, all in disguise of rehabilitation purposes. I am challenging these rules under the First, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

I am writing you to request your support of this lawsuit by notifying the inmates in TDCJ, publishers, outside vendors of commercial photos and catalogs, and all persons affected for the enforcement of these rules in the TDCJ-CID.

Inmates may join to the lawsuit by writing letters to the U.S. District Court to the following address:

U.S. District Court
Southern District of Texas
Galveston Division
601 Rosenberg Street, Room 411
Galveston, Texas 77550

They need to include the styled name and number cause above written.

Thank you for your support and assistance.

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[Abuse] [Legal] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 76]
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CO's Sabotage Programs Out of Spite Over Court Order

Ever since prison officials at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) were made by a Federal court order to wear body cameras and to cease their terrorist practices and abuses upon the most vulnerable prisoners, the disabled and elderly, (see: Armstrong vs. Newson, et al. Case No. C94-CV-02307 CW) the RJD prison has experienced total lack of programming abilities resulting in lockdowns, modified programs, and other programming restrictions which impede or otherwise undermine one’s opportunities to earn sentence-reducing credits and to perform in a manner expected by/from the Board of Prison Terms, in order to parole. Especially on the weekends, when the Warden and other Department of Corrections administrators are unavailable to mandate corrective actions.

RJD ranking officials will tell you that this is due to a staff shortage, training mandates etc. The truth, however, upon my information, is that these are calculated and coordinated efforts of something more sinister indeed. A Union-coordinated boycott.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) at the RJD prison complex is, apparently, unhappy with the fact that years and years of beatings, false reports, lying for one another and even murder, yes MURDER, has resulted in a Federal court order in the Armstrong case, requiring the staff to wear body cameras. Cameras that not only record the video interactions of sworn personnel and those they speak to, but the audio versions thereof as well.

The actions and omissions of RJD’s sworn officers and other CCPOA members is organized, timed, and planned for maximum effects, and is very clearly a snubbing of their proverbial noses at the RJD Warden and other Corrections administrators.

Through this sophistication these officials protest and boycott the lawful orders of a Federal court judge – a judge they have subsequently claimed was/is biased and therefore should not have presided over those proceedings leading to the court-ordered wearing of body cameras.

If you’re doing what you are paid to do by the public, and if your tactics and demeanor is not disturbing and offensive, why worry about body cameras? They are allowed to turn them off in the bathrooms even.

Through a sophisticated scheme, these prison officials organize and conduct mass strikes via fraud and the misuse of sick leave and personal days, holding prisoners’ access to programs and such hostage. Knowing that, without access to and completion of which (many times, in a set time frame), the prisoners participating in such (now unavailable) programs and activities, will suffer by not being able to benefit from good time sentence reduction for successful completions.

Instead of taking its direction from the federal court (by court order), RJD corrections officers turn their ire on their employers: the CDCR and RJD’s Warden. Under injunction, the very corrections officers who so blatantly demonstrated a propensity for criminal thought processes, activities, brutality upon disabled and other prisoners, and other such criminal misconduct, now employ further, separate and additionally questionable practices intended to undermine, and to otherwise circumvent the lawful processes of the Federal court and the Honorable Claudia Wilken, United States Federal District Court Judge.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT AND IT’LL GO AWAY, RIGHT?

That is called ‘blackmail’ where I come from. It is illegal, anti-people, and is being committed here by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Whether by approval or turning a blind eye thereto. It is still an anti-people and illegal violation of a Federal court order in Armstrong v. Newson, C94-02307 CW.

In fact, a recent order in the above case acknowledges that many of RJD’s correctional officers have assumed a gang-like culture and behavior. The CDCR does not contest these assertions and the Federal court has openly acknowledged the veracity of same. RJD has many Mexican corrections officers who have acclaimed and begun carrying themselves in a manner akin to their Mexican Mafia prisoner counterparts. Both in vernacular, actions and conduct. Including secret identification to one another of membership. And this is anything but the first time. For more on the history of this kind of behavior in California prisons read The Green Wall by D.J. Vodicka.

Racketeering: Today, racketeering often has the broad sense of “the practice of engaging in a fraudulent scheme or enterprise.” Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, 2nd Ed. by Bryan A. Garner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it only gets better from here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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