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Under Lock & Key

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[Abuse] [Gib Lewis Unit] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas]
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Selective Journalism and Abuse - Cover-ups Rampant throughout Texas

"The media may not always be able to tell us what to think, but they are strikingly successful in telling us what to think about." - Media Critic, Michael Parenti

Comrades, I do not think many of us appreciate how valuable a resource Under Lock & Key really is. Not only do we get exposed to cutting edge political education we are provided a rare opportunity to shed light on the abuse and mistreatment many of us suffer at the hands of the imperialist pigs who run these slave pens of oppression.

Within the past 2 weeks 7 TDCJ Correctional Officers were arrested at the Gib Lewis Unit.(1) These Correctional Officers brutally beat and sodomized a male prisoner at the High Security Unit. We did not hear a peep about this incident from the mainstream corporate media here in Texas. Why? Did all of a sudden this prisoner become non-humyn when he donned the prison whites Texas prisoners wear?

On 22 October 2013 prisoner, Christopher Woolverton, was murdered by pepper-spray used on him by TDCJ correctional officers on the Bill Clements Unit in Amarillo, Texas. If it wasn't for the revolutionary journalism of Karl Kersplebdeb and Rashid of the NABPP-PC we would have never gotten a detailed account of this heinous act of violence.(2) It is perplexing and frustrating when I see the media go out of their way to cover a story in which a sick giraffe is fed to lions at a zoo but they remain totally apathetic and aloof to the abuse and murder of humyn beings housed in Texas state prisons. (I care about animals but I don't like pigs!)

This selective journalism is not something exclusive to Texas or prison and criminal justice issues. Time and time again we have seen the media only publish an opinion or print facts that prop up the position of the bourgeois capitalist ruling class, the only way our voices are heard is when alternative forms of media like ULK are created.

Comrades, we see clearly that there is a collusive and co-ordinated effort between the media in Texas and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to downplay, minimize, and cover up brutal acts of aggression aimed at the lumpen prisoners housed in Texas' gulags.

My interaction and study with MIM(Prisons) has raised my awareness in such a manner that I recognize clearly that the corporate-owned media has a vested interest in the oppression of the lumpen - a financial interest. The fascist-imperialist elite coerce and cajole the mainstream media to report the news in a manner which they see fit. And they ignore any news-worthy items which may portray the state in a negative light.

I end this piece by reminding all of you we must $upport the organizations which support us. MIM(Prisons) and Under Lock & Key don't just speak about it they be about it. $upport them!

As always I encourage all comrades and lumpen to join United Struggle from Within. Get involved and contribute to the struggle against these imperialist fascist pigs in Texas and beyond.

"The concept of conspiracy has long been anathema to most Americans, who have been conditioned by the mass media to believe that conspiracies against the public only exist in banana republics or communist nations." - Jim Marrs (3)


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[Control Units] [Texas]
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Texas Evades Reducing Ad-Seg

After nearly 2 years in the 23 hour lockdown setting of Ad-Seg in Texas I have recently been released to General Population - medium custody status. My experience in Ad-Seg taught me some harsh truths about the reality of the Texas criminal injustice system. I witnessed numerous beatings of the lumpen, and I watched in astonishment as Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) employees lied in order to cover up and minimize heinous acts of violence aimed at prisoners.

There isn't any oversight. A major use of force resulting in deaths is used in exchange for calling it like it is: cold-blooded murder! On 22 October 2013 a white male prisoner housed on the Bill Clements High Security unit in Amarillo, TX was gassed to death. The prisoner was known to suffer from asthma! TDCJ employees regularly murder the lumpen with no consequences what-so-ever.

The prison conditions in Texas' many Ad-Seg control units are deplorable. Last year the Bill SB1003 was passed during the Texas 83rd state legislative session. This bill, authored by State Senator John Carona, proposed a study be conducted by an independent committee in order to assess the policies and procedures of TDCJ in regards to how they handle prisoners housed in Ad-Seg. The goals of the committee were:

  1. Reduce Ad-Seg population in Texas
  2. Divert adults with mental illness to alternative programs instead of housing them in the torturous conditions of Ad-Seg.
  3. Decrease the length of time adults and juveniles are housed in Ad-Seg in Texas.

As of the date that this article was written, there has not been one meeting of this so called "Third Party Independent Study Committee." The main reason is lack of funding. The Texas Legislative Budget Board estimated the law (SB1003) would cost less than $128,000. As of 2011, TDCJ housed 8,784 prisoners in Ad-Seg. More than 2,000 of those prisoners have been diagnosed with serious mental illness. Comrades, do you realize that Texas would save tax-payers close to $36 million yearly if they decreased their Ad-Seg population by half?

Many comrades criticize MIM(Prisons) for exposing the blatant and overt racism that still exists in states such as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida and California. I supported 100% the release of "The Peoples' Lawyer" Lynne Stewart but what about Albert "Shaka" Woodfox? What about Sekou Odinga, Sundiata Acoli, Herman Bell, Jamil Al-Amin, Lorenzo Johnson, and Mumia Abu-Jamal?

Renisha McBride was shot in the face seeking help after a car accident in Dearborn, Michigan and Andy Lopez was simply playing in the street [and murdered by the pigs the same day as the prisoner with asthma mentioned above]! We cannot ignore the race issue but I believe the BLA best summed up our stance on this issue: "...Black revolution is socialist revolution, aimed at the monopoly capitalist class, its lackeys and agents, and not indiscriminately at white people. We must seek, if at all possible, to isolate the monopoly class from its white worker base of support and bring about a cleavage in amerikan society such as occurred during the Vietnam war. This must be a conscious part of our strategy..." -BLA Study Guide.

Notes:
1. Texas CURE - News & Notes Winter 2013
2. Texas Senate Bill 1003
3. KPFT 90.1 FM The Prison Show 13 September 2013
4. The Texas Tribune by Brandi Grissom, Approved Solitary Confinement Study Lacks Funding.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This article clearly demonstrates that prisons are not about saving (even less, making) money, they are about social control. Reducing the size of prison control units would threaten the criminal injustice system's use of these as a tool of social control. And it would also encroach on the jobs of the many people receiving exploiter wages to run these high security units. So we're not surprised that Texas is failing to implement a law aimed at reducing their Ad-Seg population.

We would go further than this writer in calling out not just the symptom of racism, but the cause which is national oppression. The unity of the white nation with the monopoly capitalists comes from a system that elevates the white nation and oppresses the New Afrikan, [email protected] and Indigenous nations within U.$. borders, and Third World peoples around the world. The principle contradiction in the world today is between oppressed and oppressor nations. That same contradiction is principle within U.$. borders as well, which means that while we should always strive to split off the members of the oppressor nation for the cause of anti-imperialism, their national and class interests tie them very strongly to the imperialists. It is when wars with the Third World start to impact the white nation at home, such as during the Vietnam war, that we might see conditions more favorable for splitting off a section of the white nation.

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[Organizing] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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Politically Active Prisoners in Texas Receive Unexpected Support From Free World Comrades

Comrades, there has been a collusive and concerted effort by the Texas Department of Criminal Injustice (TDCJ) to silence and censor the voices of politically active prisoners housed in many of their III units. United Strugle from Within (USW) has initiated a campaign to combat the oppressive indigent mail policy enacted October 1, 2013 which decreased the allotted amount of personal letters indigent Texas prisoners are able to mail out. Prisoners went from 5 per week to 5 per month! The prisoners who are effected the most by this new TDCJ policy are held captive in Texas' many control and isolation units. Just the very nature of their confinement makes these prisoners more vulnerable to abuse and attacks by sadistic correctional officers.

TDCJ has institutionalized a policy and practice of downplaying, minimizing, and covering up incidents and reports of serious abuse and violence aimed at prisoners. Their motive has always been to misinform the public as to the true nature of the largest state prison system in Amerika. However, limiting prisoners access to the media, clergy, and loved ones wasn't enough. Recently, on the Wynne Unit located in in Huntsville, Texas, prison administrators decided to discontinue the contract with the satellite radio company that was providing Wynne's 2,200 prisoners access to KPFT Radio 90.1 FM Houston. KPFT is a member of the Pacifica Network and on top of providing a diverse and well rounded schedule of politically conscious and highly educational programming, KPFT broadcasts The Prison Show! - every Friday between the hours of 9pm and 11pm. Huntsville, Texas is the home of Amerika's largest prison population and it fit well with TDCJ's strategy to cut prisoners completely off from one of the most prisoner friendly radio stations in the country!

As a result of deteriorating prison conditions, retaliation, and abuse, many Ad-Seg prisoners on Wynne Unit and surrounding units in Huntsville, including the infamous Estelle High Security Unit, reached out to Mr. Ray Hill the founder of KPFT's Prison Show. Mr. Hill has a reputation of being an outspoken critic of Texas' draconian prison system. In response to their peaceful and legal activism, the Assistant Warden in charge of Wynne's Ad-Seg unit forced his officers to write over 70 bogus and fabricated disciplinary cases against Ad-Seg prisoners housed on Wynne Unit. Assistant Warden Kevin F. Mayfield has established a pattern of this type of unethical behavior.

Prisoners responded by contacting Carole Seligman who is one of the editors of Socialist Viewpoint Magazine, Noelle Hanrahan the director of PrisonRadio.org, and Michael Novick of Turning The Tide newspaper. Weeks passed by and many of us were discouraged; being isolated and cut off from the public has a debilitating effect on a humyn being, and TDCJ exploits this dynamic to the fullest in order to break the revolutionary spirit of the most advanced and active comrades. In an unforeseen turn of events, we received word that comrades who are members of the Roots Action website, which has over 400,000 members, sent out 20,000 emails to Texas State authorities in order to spotlight abuses and mistreatment of prisoners on Wynne Unit and beyond!!!

A managing editor for a very reputable socialist journal contacted us and stated, "There can be follow-ups to this (email direct action) at various stages. Beyond a certain point, the atrocities may begin to trigger an unwanted level of public attention, which should begin to curb the worst of them, if we can keep the pressure on."

Comrades, we may have not yet reached the level of solidarity and commitment as our California counterparts (I am still highly impressed with 33,000 prisoners from all oppressed nation groups and lumpen organizations sending an emphatic message to the prisoncrats and oppressors of CDCR). Never the less, USW is slowly making proactive and positive strides in order to organize, educate, and motivate the lumpen trapped inside Texas' gulags. Once again, I exhort you to join USW, contact MIM(Prisons), and involve yourself with the most dynamic Maoist organization in the United $tates. I also encourage comrades to expand their horizons and attempt to correspond with free world comrades who support and add strength to our voice. We must continue to battle censorship in Texas. Our revolutionary thoughts and voices are dangerous to the oppressors.

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