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[Civil Liberties] [ULK Issue 18]
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WikiLeaks Faces Persecution for Exposing U.$. Imperialism

Wikileaks

On November 28, WikiLeaks began releasing U.$. diplomatic cables that have been extremely embarrassing to the U.$. government and its allies. This resulted in increased persecution of the WikiLeaks site and staff, and an international debate about the role of websites like WikiLeaks. This story underscores the failure of mainstream media to do more than serve as a mouthpiece for the imperialists. But it also reveals the lengths to which imperialist governments will go to persecute activists and those causing damage to imperialism.

Humynity benefits from more availability of information about imperialism. As revolutionaries, we welcome the opportunity to expose U.$.-backed atrocities and the imperialists' back room deals. Meanwhile, the attacks on WikiLeaks and its staff present the opportunity to further expose the myth that capitalism = democracy. The basic premises of democracy include transparency of government and freedom of speech. While the communist government in China under Mao encouraged the people to criticize their leaders during the Cultural Revolution and went so far as to provide free paper and space to post big character posters to propagate free speech, the Amerikan government is doing all it can (in collaboration with other governments and capitalist corporations) to shut down the speech of those who are merely exposing facts.

WikiLeaks launched in 2007 to publish documents from anonymous sources that generally expose the actions of imperialist governments and their lackeys. WikiLeaks states that "One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth." On their website WikiLeaks summarizes the major stories they have broken; an impressive list of government and corporate corruption, brutality and war.(1) It has been particularly valuable in exposing U.$. atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As a result of their work exposing governments, corporations, and churches around the world, Wikileaks has faced significant persecution. According to their website, “Since formation in 2007, WikiLeaks has been victorious over every legal (and illegal) attack, including those from the Pentagon, the Chinese Public Security Bureau, the Former President of Kenya, the Premier of Bermuda, Scientology, the Catholic & Mormon Church, the largest Swiss private bank, and Russian companies.“(1) Julian Assange has taken the role of public spokespersyn and as such has faced dramatic persynal persecution, particularly after the release of the U.$. diplomatic cables.

What's the big deal about the U.$. diplomatic cables?

Before we get into the issues of censorship and political persecution, let's take a look at what these diplomatic cables really contain. The U.$. government employs thousands of foreign service staff posted in embassies and consulates around the world. According to the U.$ Department of State website, these people work in one of 5 general jobs:

  1. Consular: Consular Officers protect Americans abroad and strengthen U.S. border security.
  2. Economic: Economic Officers work on economic partnerships and development, support U.S. businesses abroad, and cover environmental, science, technology, and health issues.
  3. Management: Management Officers run our embassies and make American diplomacy work.
  4. Political: Political Officers analyze political events.
  5. Public Diplomacy: Public Diplomacy Officers explain American values and policies.

In other words, many of these people work in foreign countries acting as spies. But not spies who are working in secret; they are overt spies whose job is to meet with people at various levels in other governments and then write up reports about their meetings and the situation in those countries. This is how the U.$. government collects a lot of its information about what's going on around the world. The foreign service staff don't try to hide what they are doing. It's a political game which foreign diplomats sometimes use to get messages through to the U.$. government without having to make public statements. There is a lot of backroom deal making done this way, without having to make information public.

So when people say that the diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks released are embarrassing, what they really mean is that imperialist governments and their lackeys don't want the truth to be known publicly. As WikiLeaks summarizes, “the cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in 'client states'; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.”(1) So the U.$. government doesn't want people to know these things. They are probably not so much worried about the Amerikan public whose response to this story has been split with many taking the side of their imperialist government, but rather concerned about what people in other countries are going to learn, especially those in the Third World being screwed by the imperialists and the deals they make with their own lackey governments.

Imperialists and censorship on a global scale

There was a quick and coordinated attack against WikiLeaks by the U.$. government and their allies in the international and corporate community. This included a coordinated December 2 attack shutting down their domain via the New Hampshire-based company EveryDNS, and Amazon.com cutting off the infrastructure services they were providing to WikiLeaks. Forced to move to the French internet company OVH, WikiLeaks then faced attacks by the French government looking for ways to ban hosting of the site.

The finance capitalists got in on the game quickly too. On December 3 PayPal cut off the account that was collecting donations for WikiLeaks, claiming that the account violated its "Acceptable Use Policy" by engaging in "activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity." On December 6 MasterCard announced its plan to cut off WikiLeaks from accepting MasterCard payments because "MasterCard rules prohibit customers from directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any action that is illegal." Visa took similar action on December 7. On December 8 WikiLeaks released diplomatic papers that revealed lobbying by the Obama administration on behalf of MasterCard and Visa.(2) And finally, the Swedish bank PostFinance froze Julian Assange's persynal bank account on December 6, using the flimsy excuse that he provided an incorrect address on his account.

On December 23 Apple dropped the WikiLeaks app (program for iPhones) from their app store, just 10 days after it was approved for sale. The app gave users access to the WikiLeaks Twitter feed and the ability to access leaked documents. An Apple spokespersyn gave the official excuse: "Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or group in harm's way."(3) These examples of corporate censorship help demonstrate the complicity between the imperialist government and big corporations. The imperialists make backroom diplomatic deals to give the capitalists financial advantages, and those same corporations look out for the government's interests by denying anti-imperialists access to resources to exercise their free speech.

While diverting resources from WikiLeaks' primary mission, these attacks have also served to expose the imperialists, who only give lip service to freedom of speech when it serves their interest. And this has galvanized a counter attack by defenders of WikiLeaks. This counter offensive includes hackers who have launched denial-of-service attacks to shut down web sites that have cut off WikiLeaks, targeting EveryDNS, Amazon, MasterCard and Visa among others.

In the United $tates, the imperialists are running around with their pants down, unsure how to control the information already released. On December 3 the White House issued a directive that forbids unauthorized Federal employees from accessing the classified documents that are now available on WikiLeaks. Carrying out this order, the Library of Congress blocked access to WikiLeaks from its computers. Government employees, military personnel and employees of some private corporations are prohibited from reading the documents, even from home. Meanwhile, college students are being threatened that if they post info about WikiLeaks online they will not be eligible for government jobs after graduation.(8)

Amerikan public opinion is split between those who think it's right to investigate those in power and those who want to see Assange prosecuted. It might be surprising that so many Amerikans care about freedom of speech when the imperialists so clearly oppose it. This is promising for activists looking for ways to win over people who have a material interest in imperialism, even if only for specific battles against the imperialists.

Political persecution of activists

Julian Assange and others have complained of surveillance and harassment in various countries in the past, but after the release of the diplomatic cables this has stepped up to a level that may lead to death or permanent imprisonment of those associated with the site. While throwing around baseless accusations of "terrorism" against Assange, North Amerikan politicians have openly called for him to be illegally assassinated - the definition of terrorism.(9)

The U.$. Justice Department has been scouring the books searching for something to prosecute Assange on, some way to punish him and stop his work, and they are negotiating with Sweden to get him extradited to the U.$. Assange was taken into custody in Britain after an arrest warrant was issued by Sweden to question him on allegations of sex crimes, and has since been released on bail.

In the United $tates, there has been a strong push to make it illegal to conduct investigative journalism that is not approved by the State. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, argues that Assange's actions violate the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law crafted to punish individuals who spy on the country during wartime. This is despite the fact that WikiLeaks has not released any Top Secret documents and even offered to work with the U.$. government to redact any facts that would endanger individuals in the field (which the U.$. turned down). An initial hearing on WikiLeaks and the Espionage Act was held on December 16 by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. So far no decisions about prosecution have been made. Senator Joseph Lieberman goes further and has urged the administration to consider charges against media outlets that produced news articles based on the leaked documents. These organizations, according to Lieberman, have "committed at least an act of bad citizenship, but whether they have committed a crime - I think that bears a very intense inquiry by the Justice Department."(4)

In the 1970s a very similar attack against Daniel Ellsberg was carried out after he released the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, exposing the Amerikan government's lies about the Vietnam War. The U.$. government attacked Ellsberg both covertly and overtly in court where they put him on trial for theft and conspiracy under the Espionage Act. Ellsberg explains, "The truth is that every attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."(5)

If the outcome is more chilling this time around, it will be with the mainstream media cheering for the repression of their own rights to report on facts. They'd rather talk about sex and persynalities anyway.

We talk about sex to stop talking about sex

Pseudofeminists have lined up on two sides of the Julian Assange "rape" debate. One recognizes the obvious truth that this is a political ploy by the imperialists to distract from the facts and attack Wikileaks. The other side says we need to stand by all wimmin who claim that they are raped. The latter are a dream come true for the FBI. The former are on the right track, but falter in their attempts to define "real" rape. This situation was painfully obvious in a series of debates on Democracy Now! this week that degenerated into a pornographic discussion of the details of various sexual encounters.(6) To both defend Assange and uphold that some sex is not rape, Naomi Wolf ended up making some embarrassingly incorrect claims.

If we can just admit that all sex is rape, then we can get on with the original discussion of hundreds of thousands of wimmin (and men of course) dying at the hands of the U.$. military as exposed by WikiLeaks documents. The real feminist here is white male Julian Assange who responded to TV news host Larry King's inquiry about the sex charges with: "It is not right to bring in sensational and, in fact, false claims, a relatively trivial matter compared to the deaths of 109,000 people... CNN should be ashamed of doing that." Assange was referring to a death toll released on WikiLeaks that was recorded by the U.$. military in Iraq who previously claimed to not be tracking Iraqi deaths.

To assure readers that these tactics are nothing new, a parallel story played out within our own movement just 2 years ago. The decades old MIM website at etext.org was shut down by people outside of MIM on January 9, 2009. This occurred as the primary editor of the website was reporting death threats and the circulation of rape charges by multiple white wimmin. He has referred to this as a "lynching," as rape charges have always been a tool of social control of oppressed nation men under the rule of white power. While MIM(Prisons) and at least one other cell made efforts to restore the content of the site, the damage was done as all incoming links were defunct. Traffic to those documents remains at a fraction of what it used to be.

The editor of the etext.org MIM site later explained that he did not restore the site immediately as it could just as quickly be taken down again. WikiLeaks is unique in its resources and high profile status, so it has largely managed to remain online, with its mission receiving a net benefit from the press coverage. But when decades of material are separated from their domain name as happened to MIM, as well as many of the over 80 hip hop websites shut down by Homeland Security last month(7), their access to the rest of the world is seriously challenged. As we have mentioned in the past, independent institutions of the oppressed online are very fragile. Some combination of technology, security tactics and alliances with the national bourgeoisie in anti-imperialist nations will need to provide solutions to this problem as the imperialists increase their repression on the internet.

Homeland Security Seizure
This message replaced the content of over 80 hip hop websites in November 2010

The need for anti-imperialist media sources

A University of Maryland study titled “Misinformation and the 2010 Election” found that people who are exposed to mainstream news sources are quite misinformed about the facts. For instance, 42% of people surveyed didn't know that Obama was born in the U.$. The survey looked at newspapers and news magazines, network TV news broadcasts, public broadcasting (NPR or PBS), Fox News, MSNBC and CNN. They found “Looking at the frequency of misinformation among the consumers of various news sources, one striking feature is that substantial levels of misinformation were present in the daily consumers of all news sources. Even the daily consumers of news sources with the lowest levels of misinformation still included substantial numbers with misinformation.”(10)

This doesn't mean we should all stop following the news; people with higher levels of exposure to news sources had lower levels of misinformation. This last fact had a few striking exceptions, for instance, Fox News topped the misinformation list with the viewers with the most incorrect information and a trend showing that the more a persyn watches Fox the more misinformed they become. However, consumers of other mainstream media sources were also very mislead on key facts, including NPR and PBS consumers and viewers of other daily TV news.(10) Without a viable daily source of anti-imperialist news, revolutionaries still need to use mainstream media, but we need to look at it with a critical eye and use as many international sources as we can get our hands on.

The clear misinformation being spread by mainstream media, combined with the constant covering up of even the most mundane of facts by the imperialist governments and their allies, mean that the value of alternative media sources can not be overstated. WikiLeaks provides a clear service to anti-imperialists even without any significant political analysis on their website. The politics are clear in the context of the content that comes through WikiLeaks daily exposing imperialism as a system of corruption, brutality and exploitation. News sources like this are crucial to revolutionaries and we must defend their existence.

It is our task to go further and provide context for the facts and help people make connections between all the terrorist acts committed by the U.$. and other imperialist countries and the just revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples around the world.

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[Culture]
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Review: Tron: Legacy

Homeland Security Seizure

Tron:Legacy
December 2010

This sequel to the 1982 original Tron movie which was a technical trailblazer for its use of CGI but not a big hit, includes dazzling 3D special effects but not much else. The plot focuses on Sam Flynn, the grown son of Kevin Flynn who was the main character in the original Tron. Kevin, a computer visionary, disappears when Sam is 7, because he got stuck inside The Grid of an alternate computer universe that he created. The grown up Sam gets himself transported into this alternate universe and some dazzling race and fight scenes and trite plot lines ensue.

Tron: Legacy had a lot of potential for some interesting political content. There is the new digital race of people who came into being inside the computer universe. These people were all but completely wiped out by the evil dictator program Clu in his quest to eliminate all imperfection. Clu, the not so subtle fascist dictator, is a program that was created by Kevin Flynn, to help him build the perfect world. So we get a good solid anti-fascist message here. But the alternative, from Kevin, is praise for individualism and it's inherent imperfections, now that he's realized his mistake with Clu.

Rather than have the masses (of program beings) rise up against the fascist dictator, we're just told dismissively that they were all killed (but one). There are a few rumblings of the other programs being unhappy with dictator Clu, but they are incapable of organizing themselves into any resistance and the few we see either die or end up being turncoats serving the fascists. The only signs of useful resistance come from heroic individualist actions by programs who break with their fascist leader but with no explanation or organization.

In the end, the big individualists themselves are the only ones who can defeat the fascist dictator and save both the real world and the digitized alternate universe. This leaves us with three super-heroes who only need to kill off the dictator and all is right in the world.

Fundamentally Tron: Legacy promotes individualism and worship of leaders while dismissing the revolutionary potential of the masses. It suggests that the masses can only be liberated/saved by a leader who is much smarter than them. And so, in spite of it's lip service to anti-fascism, MIM(Prisons) doesn't recommend Tron: Legacy.

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[Civil Liberties] [Political Repression] [Legal] [Censorship] [Campaigns] [Arizona State Prison Complex Central Unit] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 18]
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ADC Claims No Obligation to Honor U.$. Constitution

Due Process

As our readers already know, MIM(Prisons) runs political study groups with our comrades behind bars. And as some of you know, and have experienced, the state generally finds our non-violent, non-law breaking, communist study in poor taste. In October 2009, a study group assignment for the pamphlet "What is MIM?," which included other participants' responses to the previous assignment, was mailed to a participant held in Arizona. This study group assignment was censored because allegedly it "may be obscene or a threat to security" generally, and "promotes racism and/or religious oppression" specifically. Yes, this is coming from the state that is fighting the federal government in court to be allowed to use the color of one's skin as probable cause for investigating immigration law violations.

Our comrade imprisoned in Arizona appealed this decision, and MIM(Prisons) wrote to the prison administration to request an explanation as to how this study group assignment could "promote racism and/or religious oppression" without even mentioning races, nationalities, or religions:

"It is truly fascinating that your mailroom staff could find the promotion of racism and/or religious oppression in this document. Nowhere in the letter are the following words even mentioned: religious, religion, christian, muslim, baptist, KKK, white, mexican, latino, asian or arab. The word "black" is written once in the context of a reference to the Black Panther Party's education programs. How can you even talk about religion or race enough to speak against it if you don't use any of the above mentioned words?" - MIM Distributors, Legal Assistant

No attempt has ever been made by Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) administration to address this point. ADC General Counsel Karyn Klausner offered her opinion: "I have reviewed the materials sent by MIM Distributors and find the decision to exclude the publication due to content 'promoting racism and/or religious oppression,' was appropriate." She gave no explanation of how she came to the conclusion that it was an "appropriate" violation of Constitutionally protected rights. In a later letter Ms. Klausner clarified that with this statement she didn't mean she was "upholding" the censorship in her official capacity as General Counsel of the Office of the Director of ADC, just that she agreed with it on a persynal level.

Instead of explaining how the study group mailing in any way promotes racism and/or religious oppression, ADC administrators then began to rely on their policy of violating MIM Distributors' First Amendment right to free speech and association to censor this study group assignment:

"There is nothing in case law that gives rise to a publisher's right to appeal a decision to exclude its material on an administrative appeal level. . . You are not entitled to a forum within the prison system." - ADC Director, Charles Ryan

Director Ryan clearly had not investigated the matter on the prisoner's end either. He claimed that our imprisoned comrade had not appealed the decision to censor, yet s/he had, on multiple levels, and submitted requests for the results of these appeals.

"You claim that MIM Distributors has no rights to appeal the censorship of their mail. While we are not lawyers, and may have put too much weight on the Procunier case, we still uphold that we have First and Fourteenth Amendment rights according to federal law. As employees of the state you may not deny anyone their rights to free speech and association arbitrarily and without due process. In fact, if you read Thornburgh v. Abbot, 490 U.S. 401, which you referred [COLLEAGUE] to, you will see that its procedural protection was provided because the publisher was notified of the censorship and given the right to independent review. A number of U.S. Court of Appeals decisions have upheld the right of the publisher in such instances (Montcalm Publ'g Corp. v. Beck, 80 F.3d 105, 106 (4th Cir.), Trudeau v. Wyrick, 713 F.2d 1360, 1366 (8th Cir.1983), Martin v. Kelley, 803 F.2d 236, 243-44 (6th Cir.1986) )." - MIM Distributors, Legal Assistant

And ADC's response?

"You assert that 'MIM Distributors' First Amendment right to free speech' is not being respected. The Arizona Department of Corrections is obligated to respect, within the confines of legitimate penological interests, an inmate's constitutional rights. It does not follow that ADC is likewise obliged to do the same for an independent distributor such as MIM." - General Counsel, Karyn Klausner

It is apparent that the ADC believes themselves to be exempt from the legal straitjacket of the United $tates Constitution, which they don't see as having an application in the 10th Circuit. This isn't surprising coming from an institution whose administrators believe that one can promote racial and/or religious repression without ever talking about race or religion!

Amerikans like to pretend they hold no political prisoners, yet political repression is an integral part of the U.$. injustice system at every step. In our struggle for a world without oppression, MIM(Prisons) works to build public opinion for national liberation struggles amongst prisoners through our newsletter Under Lock & Key, our free books for prisoners program, and our study groups. Within prisons, there are two primary ways in which the state enacts political repression: through physical torture techniques such as solitary confinement, forced drugging, beatings, starvation and murder; and through the control of the spread of ideas, which also includes solitary confinement as well as the censorship of mail, and outlawing oppressed nation organizations.

In pre-fascist Amerika, we are still promised certain rights under United $tates laws. While we recognize that U.$. law will never lead us to communism (a world without oppression), we still need to fight for more room to organize and educate for revolution. Fighting against the censorship of revolutionary literature is vital to maintaining the connection between the inside and out, which may make the difference between being turned on to communism or not for many people. For those already turned on, we need to fight against censorship so that we can continue to build our revolutionary understanding.

Like a MIM Distributors Legal Assistant mentioned above, we are not lawyers. We do what we can to protect our Constitutional rights from the outside with the resources we have, and we rely on prisoners to fight to maintain their rights from the inside. If there is a lawyer who wants to get involved with this specific incident in Arizona, or with anti-censorship work in general, get in touch!

You can browse incidents of censorship here.

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[Campaigns] [High Desert State Prison] [California]
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Z-Unit Response from Division of Adult Institutions

Z-unit 12/10/2010

Determining who to write to regarding a specific issue is a tactical question. One day it may be most important to write to the Director of Corrections, the other it may be the Office of the Inspector General. We make tactical decisions based on our conditions at the time. In this circumstance, participants in the campaign to end the Z-Unit Zoo were bringing this issue to many government bodies, including the Director of Corrections and the Inspector General.

In this response from the office of the Division of Adult Institutions, A. Redding advises the participant to exhaust the appeals process. Clearly in the petition, it says that many grievances have been filed and none have been answered. This response is a good example of how inhumane conditions and abuse can hide behind the bureaucracy of the state under capitalism.

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[Campaigns] [California]
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CDCR Tells Prisoner to Sue for Proper Handling of Grievances

12/01/2010

The above letter is a response from a Corrections Counselor II Specialist (CCII) of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to a prisoner in California who submitted to h the grievance for the proper handling of grievances. Even though a CCII is in a position to influence whether grievances are handled in a legal or illegal manner, at least within h institution, in this letter A. Redding advises the prisoner to file a lawsuit or contact the Inspector General on the matter.

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[Censorship] [Campaigns] [California]
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DOJ Likes to Pick Bad Apples

California Petition
Dept. of Justice response to grievance petition

In this response to a grievance petition from California sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ), they minimize the widespread scale of corruption of the grievance system in the California state prison system. Instead they are asking for facts and dates related to single incidents or perpetrators.

In "Bad Apples" in the Pig Pen we explained why a focus on targeting individual pigs is incorrect in most cases in our struggle because the problems we address are societal. Although societal problems manifest in individual pigs, focusing all of our energy trying to get one or two pigs fired from our facility doesn't significantly impact society as a whole.

One may argue that the DOJ just needs a place to begin their investigation. However, the petition makes it clear that this problem is widespread throughout the system. Realistically they could interview prisoners at random for details and receive enough information to begin an investigation. Their narrow and sterile approach to "justice" is just a cover for their interests in maintaining the status quo.

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[Organizing] [Oscar Grant]
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Weak Verdict, Stronger Movement

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Oakland to mourn Oscar Grant and express outrage at the light sentence given to his murderer, Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle shot Grant in the back while he lay face down on the ground. For this execution-style murder, he got 2 years in prison with credit for time served on an involuntary manslaughter charge. The judge gave the jury incorrect instructions for how to apply the gun enhancement, and decided to just drop it, thus lowering Mehserle's maximum possible sentence to 4 instead of 14 years, rather than retry the case. According to those inside the courthouse at the time of sentencing, the judge openly blamed Grant and his friends for the murder.

We didn't expect justice from the system, but the whole struggle did bring advances in revolutionary organizing in the region. The November 5 demonstration looked like others from the movement for justice for Oscar Grant, but missing were the non-profits trying to run the show and divide the protesters. It was refreshing to hear consistent messages that encouraged people to get organized, stressed the need for nation-based organizing (while uniting Black and Brown), refused to work with the government and denounced the outside agitator line.

The city-sanctioned demo ended with a live performance of "Operation Verdict (Fuck Dat)" by local artists Unity, Sinista Z, & Ras Ceylon. Here's the last verse:


Revolutionaries speak with clarity
and overstand
an injury to one affects us all
like Oscar Grant.
Cuz I am we
and we are he
So you will see us in the streets
Yellin "Fuck da Police!"
No justice, no peace
these non-profits is weak
tryin' to water down the movement
and cut off free speech
gettin paid by the beast
to calm the rage of our seeds
that are sick of the oppression that
they daily gotta see
and live with.
You idiot
ain't no outside agitators
'cept these murderous pigs
with the gun, badge and a taser
so see ya later
if you tryin to claim that leadership
you ain't nothing but a snitch
and a politician's bitch
Fuck dat!
Police out here knockin brothers down
Fuck dat!
Trying to move the cats to somewhere out of town
Fuck dat!
You know the state wanna water this shit down
Fuck dat!


Related Articles:This article referenced in:
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[Elections] [Culture] [ULK Issue 17]
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Professional Sports = Passion of Decadence

SF Giants fans stomp out car
When people react this way to a Black man being murdered execution style by the pigs, the city of Oakland blamed it on "outside agitators."

1 November 2010, The San Francisco Giants won the World Series, and in addition to the tens of thousands of fans in the stadium, an estimated 12 million people watched the game on TV (not counting the millions watching in sports bars, restaurants and other public venues). As in other winning cities in years past, the city of the winning team erupted into “joyful mayhem,” as the San Francisco Chronicle calls it, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets in drunken celebration that included property destruction, traffic disruption, and violence.

In classic bourgeois press form, pretending neutrality, the SF Chronicle’s headline article today was titled “SF Giants Series Celebration is Joyful Mayhem” and stated: “On Market Street, the celebration quickly turned wild and unruly, with an estimated 7,000 revelers in the streets, some jumping on cars, rocking Muni buses, tossing beer bottles, lighting fireworks and blocking traffic at Seventh Street.” A much smaller article, hidden on the Chronicle website, also mentioned “In the Mission, there have been reports of fires, broken windows and an alleged stabbing.” Compare this with the same newspaper’s January 8, 2009 report on the Oscar Grant protests. The article was titled “Protests Over BART Shooting Turn Violent” and gave a negative review of the protest which “mushroomed into several hours of violence Wednesday night as demonstrators smashed storefronts and cars, set several cars ablaze and blocked streets.”

We see that the same street violence is condoned when it’s in the name of professional sports. Police wandering the streets after the World Series were friendly, often clapping and cheering, and shutting down streets to help out traffic while enabling the celebration. During the Oscar Grant protest the cops showed up in riot gear and attacked the crowd.

While we’re no fans of imperialist elections, the World Series victory happened the night before election day and begs the comparison: people are more passionate about baseball than they are about the political future of their country/state/city. This is no surprise to those of us familiar with the decadence of Amerikan imperialism. Amerikans don’t need to worry about politics – the government is working in their interests to secure resources at the expense of Third World peoples to maintain wealth at home.

Sports passion includes a remarkable number of fans cheering “we did it!” and “we won!” as if they had anything to do with the team that won the game. In reality the SF Giants, like all professional sports teams, are made up of players from across the country, who are paid a ridiculous amount of money to wear a jersey for this team. Their allegiance to the city lasts only as long as the paycheck continues. In fact people point to statistics about the Giants' last World Series victory 56 years ago when they were based in New York as if that team had something more in common with the SF Giants than the font they use for their logo.

MIM(Prisons) would like to take all the sports passion in Amerika and turn it against imperialist violence or world hunger. We’d even call it progress if people get off the couch and play sports rather than get drunk watching millionaires play. Perhaps the improved circulation would help people think a bit more rationally about politics and the relative importance of professional sports.


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[Culture] [ULK Issue 17]
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Otomatik Attak by FLATTBUSH

https://www.prisoncensorship.info/art/fb.jpg"

[img="https://www.prisoncensorship.info/art/quick/fb2.jpg" alt=Flattbush bassist]

Flattbush's newest album Otomatik Attak (Koolarrow Records) is a prime example of form meeting content to create a superior piece of cultural art. A metal/grind band out of Los Angeles founded by two members originally from the Philippines, Flattbush keeps a "fuck the system" tradition alive with themes of atheism, revolt, and anti-capitalism. These comrades scream for liberation in English, Tagalog, and Kapampangan, accompanied by guest vocals in Spanish. They go the distance lyrically by focusing on U.$. fascism and imperialism in the Philippines, calling on the people to stand up against the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo dictatorship in people's war.

From "Dear Uncle Sam,"

the sadistic american imperialists
they are always at war and they always dictate
so they can maintain their self interests
but uncle sam we are not afraid of your high tech warfare and atomic bombs
uncle sam
fuck you uncle sam
it is necessary to take action
it is necessary to oust the u.s. gloria fascist regime
if not now
then when?

And from "Otomatik Attak,"

automatic attack
on the people
the strike of the fascist
to wipe out
the solution to their attack is to counter attack
people's war

Flattbush hopes to expand their cultural work to the Philippines in the near future, live! To show solidarity with the peasant masses, the lead vocalist often performs in a conical straw hat and plain jacket, similar to a Mao suit. Supporting his powerful and compelling vocals, the bassist, guitarist, and drummer are all phenomenal players. On stage they are humble, not pausing for applause between songs. This album would satisfy anyone into metal for the music, or anyone who is fighting intensely for revolution. Get more info about Flattbush from [url=http://www.flattbush.com.

]www.flattbush.com.

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[National Oppression] [International Connections] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 17]
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Private Prison Scandal in AZ Legislature

ALEC structure

By aligning Amerikans' immediate interests with their long-term interests, the militarization of the U.$./Mexico border has become a machine that will not likely slow down on its own. This machine is propelled by the imperialist politicians, imperialist businessmen (often the same people), and the Amerikan labor aristocracy. This collusion of interests at a time when Amerikan hegemony is fragile spells danger for the oppressed nations, in particular for Aztlán.

National Public Radio (NPR) released a report this week exposing financial and political connections between the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and those behind Arizona's oppressive SB1070 law.(1) The law, which is still under judicial review after being put on hold, legalizes racial profiling and empowers state police to enforce federal immigration laws in the process. The scandal, now being denied by the bill's sponsor Senator Russell Pearce and others, is that they passed the law to increase their income and the profits of their corporate backers.

Without SB1070, CCA was getting an estimated $117 million a year from the federal government for imprisoning migrants. Meanwhile, Wackenhut/G4S, the next largest private prison company, has a $76 million a year contract to bus migrants around the border for the U.$. government. Of course, both of these sums are chump change compared to the $3.6 billion budget for Border Patrol in 2010.(2) All of this is federal money going to the oppressor nation to do its thing — oppress.

The essence of what is going on is Amerikans getting paid a lot of money to make sure Amerikans get paid a lot of money. That's why the border exists and why it must be militarized. If it is not, the masses whose labor value has been stolen and exported to the United $tates would come here to benefit from the fruits of their labor. Without closed borders, we can't keep the wealth inside.

The NPR report exposes the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization of state legislators and powerful corporations that get together to draft and propose laws (see figure above). The companies pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend such meetings with those who make the law. And according to NPR, the number of legislators who sponsored SB1070 was almost unprecedented and 30 out of the 36 received contributions from prison companies or prison lobbyists in the 6 months following SB1070's passage. Meanwhile, two of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's top advisers are former prison lobbyists.(1) All of this makes CCA's and Sen. Pearce's denials of corporate influence look silly.

None of this is new to CCA, which was founded in Nashville, Tennessee by former chairman of the state Republican Party, Tom Beasley and his former roomy from the U.$. Military Academy at West Point, Doc Crants. Initial investors included the governor's wife, Honey Alexander, and the Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Ned McWherter.(3) Ever since then, their business model has relied on close political ties just as most military, defense and security business does. Apparently, CCA agrees with MIM(Prisons)'s assessment that migrants are and will continue to be the fastest growing prison population in the United $tates. But while we are fighting this trend, CCA is doing all they can to foster it.

When imperialism reaches the point where the arms of oppression are major sources of profiteering, and the people are dependent on these operations for their paychecks and standards of living (i.e. where oppression and the oppressors' financial interests become one in the same), we will see the national contradictions within imperialism heighten rapidly. This leads to increased repression both in laws and in actions but also the opportunity for raising consciousness and resistance among the oppressed nations. Even those Latinos who supported imperialist politics had to think twice about the Arizona law as it could impact their persynal safety if they visit that state. The imperialists expose their blatantly chauvinistic goals with these reactionary laws and the alliances that create the laws and it is our responsibility to point out the contradictions and organize against imperialist national oppression.

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