The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[National Oppression] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 11]
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National Oppression as Migrant Detention

Government Assistance for Migrants

As the fastest growing prison population, migrants in detention have helped continue the decades long trend of rising imprisonment rates in the united snakes in recent years, while saving the private prison industry in the process.(1) Despite continued rhetoric about drugs coming into the u.$. through Mexico, the government drastically shifted resources away from drug enforcement to immigration enforcement following 9/11, and the prison population shows it.(2)

As of July 2009, there are 31,000 non-citizens imprisoned at the federal level on any given day in the u.$. This number is up from about 20,000 in 2006 and 6,259 in 1992.(3) There are more than 320,000 migrants detained each year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and as many as a quarter of them are juveniles. These numbers include only those imprisoned under federal custody, although they may be located all around the country and in state prisons and local jails. These numbers do not include people who may be imprisoned on criminal charges, but are not turned in to federal custody on immigration violations (such as in "sanctuary cities").

The American Civil Liberties Union says that the conditions in which these civil detainees are held are often as bad as or worse than those faced by people imprisoned with criminal convictions. These detention centers are described as "woefully unregulated." The "requirements" that they do have about how to treat people have no legal obligation, reducing them essentially to suggestions.(3) This leads to prisoners without u.$. citizenship being denied access to telephones, legal aide or law libraries, recreation, visitation, mail, medical care, toiletries, and the list goes on. People are kidnapped from their homes in the middle of the night and transferred without notification to their families. On top of that they often have no means of communication, leading people to become completely detached from their support systems and legal counsel. For u.$. prisoners, these conditions are nothing surprising or new. The difference for migrants is that the line between detention and punishment is blurred. Years ago, migrants were detained for 4 or 5 days, and then deported. Now people are being detained for up to 2 years (and possibly more), without ever being charged with a crime, let alone convicted, even by an illegitimate jury in an illegitimate u.$. court.

The Economic Motivations

One reason migrant imprisonment is increasing is because after the prison boom of the 1990s, some prisons are sitting partially empty. The owners and financers of these prisons are begging for more people to lock up, and their solution is migrants. This is part of the parasitic imperialist economy, where filling prisons is seen as an economic stimulus even though it is a completely non-productive suck of resources.

Private prisons house 17% of people in ICE custody. The Correctional Corporation of America, a private prison management company who controls half of the detention facilities run by private companies, spent $3 million lobbying politicians in 2004. They want stricter immigration laws so they can have access to more prisoners, which will bring them more money. In turn, ICE is able to pay 26% less per day to house prisoners in a private versus state-run facility.(4) This is possible because of the lack of public as well as governmental oversight at private facilities, where they reduce costs by getting rid of everything that would help prisoners, including necessary-to-life medical care. One reason state governments shied away from private prisons for their own citizens was the scandals that they quickly became associated with. In the year 1998-99, Wackenhut's private prisons in New Mexico had a death rate 55 times that of the national average for prisons.(5) The migrant population's lack of voice allows these corporations to get away with their cost-cutting abusive conditions when contracted by ICE. This is another good example of how capitalism values profit over humyn life.

Yet, as we described in Amerikkkans: Oppressing for a Living, an increase in imprisonment doesn't serve the interests of just the private prison industry; CO and pig unions also reap major benefits. Since 9/11/2001 the u.$. has increased its border patrol from 8,000 agents to 20,000, 20% of whom are military veterans. Salaries start at $36,000 to $46,000 per year plus full benefits. The whole Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes ICE, brags about its budget exceeding $40 billion and providing high paying jobs for 166,234 amerikans.(6) Not only does DHS keep wealth within u.$. borders, it helps distribute it as well.

And similar to the military-industrial complex and prison-industrial complex we discussed in The privatization of war: Imperialism gasps its last breaths, Homeland Security contracts are based on who you know, not what you're selling, as former staff members sell their wares to their old employers.(7) Meanwhile, many of the smaller start-up companies that are cashing in are headed by overly-enthusiastic and openly racist Minuteman types.(8)

Of course, there are real economic benefits to amerikans as a whole by managing the populations trying to come into the u.$. If amerikans really made more money because they are just smarter and harder working, then they wouldn't be afraid to open the borders and allow competition for jobs. Instead, the demand for repression is forcing more and more farmers to employ prison labor for harvests when they used to use migrants. Free amerikan citizens just won't work for proletarian wages, not to mention it being illegal, so the argument that they want their jobs back is pretty weak. Though perhaps this is the perfect solution to keeping food cheap, while keeping foreigners out and the oppressed in prison. Migrant detainees do work in private prisons doing the day-to-day maintenance, and because they are not u.$. citizens DHS enforces a maximum wage of $1 per day.(9) While adequate food and housing are theoretically provided, this amounts to working and living conditions generally below those in their home region. Opposite the reactionary turn to border control, we challenge those who want jobs for everyone to work toward a new economic system instead.

Close the Hatches: Whitey Unites

ICE is not the only law enforcement actor in this scam profiting off humyn life. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act 287(g), local authorities can become authorized to officially enforce federal immigration law, while others are comfortable unofficially using the old vigilante trick of targeting specific people. This culture of oppression in the white nation runs so deep that an increasing number of u.$. citizens are joining in the traditional amerikan hobby of border patrol, volunteering with groups such as the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. In response to much public outrage, President Obama has addressed the actions of the famous migrant humiliator Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio by limiting him to only determining someone's immigration status when they've been jailed. This weak response of the Obama administration shows their support of such migrant oppression.

The white euro-amerikan nation has been systematically oppressing other peoples for centuries. One way is through exploitation and neocolonialism in Third World countries, where people are trapped as cheap labor by borders and immigration laws. Corporations pay little to no wages there and sell products for super-profits in this country. The dire economic situations cause people to leave their homes and often risk their lives to provide for themselves and their families. From 1995 to 2005 about 2,600 people died trying to come into the united $tates through Mexico.(10) Similarly, people regularly die crossing the ocean in makeshift boats from Haiti where the u.$.-imposed government refuses to meet the needs of the people. It's oppressive in one country so people decide to leave and come here thinking they will find better opportunities. Of course, what really happens is the oppression and exploitation of Third World people continues within the united $tates when people don't have a green card. Things are worse for the oppressed during the recent economic crisis. Many from Latin America are finding that opportunities are now superior back home, even though amerikans continue to live over-consumptive lifestyles in the united $tates.

Migrants Seize Detention Center

Signs of Progress

In the face of all this, there are people working toward solutions. In Pecos, Texas in December 2008 and January 2009, there was a series of migrant prisoner uprisings. They were finally set off by the death of a man with epilepsy, who died completely unnecessarily due to a blatant disregard for his life by refusing to give him medical care.(11) People of many different nationalities came together in rebellion, demanding better conditions. This is not the first or last murder of its kind, as unexplained deaths are common in u.$. prisons, including migrant detention centers.

Some u.$. cities are moving in the progressive direction of being "sanctuaries." Sanctuary cities allow people who may not be u.$. citizens to make money here to send home to circulate in their own countries. This is a roundabout way of moving toward a world without borders. However, with accusations that some mayors are "soft on crime," the sanctuary status may be threatened. Additionally, there's nothing stopping federal agents from going into these cities and enforcing federal immigration law, as they often do.

While we favor these progressive steps toward protections for migrants in the u.$., we acknowledge that they aren't enough to lead to the end of national oppression. They are fragile reforms at best, that can be as easily revoked (or simply ignored). Another solution some have is integration of migrants into the u.$. exploiter nation through exploiter-size wages. This is an effort to reduce their potential as revolutionaries to that of consumers and labor-aristocratic parasites. What we truly need to end national oppression of migrants in the u.$. is to expose the "amerikkkan dream," and revolutionize the workers to support revolutionary movements in the Third World.

notes:
(1) Greene, Judith. Banking on the Prison Boom. August 2006.
(2) Fernandes, Deepa. Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration. Seven Stories Press, New York. 2007, p.119.
(3) "Detention Management," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Nov 20, 2008, http://www.ice.gov/pi/news/factsheets/detention_mgmt.htm
(4) Berestein, Leslie. Tougher immigration laws turn the ailing private prison sector into a revenue maker. San Diego Tribune, 5/4/2008.
(5) Fernandes. p. 195.
(6) http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/rewrite/budget/fy2009/homeland.html
(7) Fernandes, p.178.
(8) Ibid., p.185. Border Technologies, Inc. founder believes that "Mexican culture is based on deceit" and "Chicanos and Mexicanos lie as a means of survival."
(9) Ibid., p.197.
(10) Ibid., p.50.
(11) Wilder, Forrest. How a private prison pushed immigrant inmates to the brink. The Texas Observer, October 2, 2009. http://www.texasobserver.org/features/the-pecos-insurrection

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[National Oppression] [Control Units] [MORGAN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX] [Tennessee]
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Blacks face longer Max in TN

I'm currently locked up in a racist mousetrap camp called Morgan County Correctional Complex in Wartburg, TN. This is the newly built plantation and is "state of the art" as the oppressors boast.

I'm writing and speaking briefly on my struggle as a maximum security prisoner. I have been on maximum security for 7 years and 5 months for a fight (hand on hand, no weapons involved) that resulted in the death of another brother who attacked me. The prison officials never actually took the circumstances surrounding this attack and "investigated" them to collaborate my story of self-defense on a compound I only resided on 5 days before this happened. Instead, they placed me on maximum security and have left me here 23 hours a day for the past 7.5 years.

Since my arrival to max in 2002 it has been a constant battle to maintain my relationships with my family and my wife as well as my daughters. This is by design because the oppressors know that the foundation to any relationship not only is communication but physical contact/visits as well. I haven't been able to so much as kiss or touch my wife or hug my daughter in 7.5 years and that has been not only a physical challenge but an emotional one and mental one as well.

Max security has a "review board" that, every 30 days, makes assessments of a prisoner's behavior and makes recommendations to the warden of whether to release you from max or continue to hold you on max. The warden then decides whether to approve those recommendations or deny them. In the past 19 months the review board has recommended me for release from maximum security a total of 11 times and each time I have been denied release by the warden citing "nature of placement on max." Meanwhile, I am forced to witness white boys being released from max security every day only to return to max 60 days later (or less) and I meanwhile continue to be denied release from max and this is my first time in prison and on max security.

We arrived to this new plantation in May of this year from Brushy Mountain Complex and, to date, since our arrival here, the warden has only released 6 Black prisoners and nearly 70 white prisoners from max security. We're in the mountains and no Black employees work here and the place is 85% white. The Black prisoners request BET or MTV due to the white prisoners having CMT but this request is denied. This is just a small example of where we are and the favoritism shown to whites.

I would advise all of the brothers and sisters to educate themselves about these prisons and not just use your voices to complain but to act on your complaints and take full advantage of your grievance and in house procedures because education and knowledge is the only way to defeat these oppressors. I have obtained a college degree (associates) in applied sciences and have continued to educate myself despite these oppressor's attempts to break me or bury me on max. I have continued to strive for betterment and enlightenment while these oppressors pray for my mental demise because if they can kill your mind, your body will soon follow.

Maximum security has stolen so many brothers minds because brothers lose so much that they snap, but all you brothers and sisters on max or in these prisons, educate yourselves and be determined to survive and utilize your voice because your voice is powerful and it will be heard in time as we continue to collectively come together against these oppressors.

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[National Oppression] [Pennsylvania]
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Prisoner demands justice for Migrants

For many years now this country has been experiencing concerns by the present imperialist rulers regarding the issue of migrants and non-citizens and what needs to be done in order to "control" the flow of "illegal immigrants" into the U$ territories.

The oppressor's solution to this situation is to create a concentration camps to warehouse those who seek freedom and a better life for their loved ones. The current administration s incarcerating women, children, and innocent people who do nothing more than strive for independence and freedom.

As an incarcerated individual who has experienced many abuses and injustices behind these walls, I can only imagine what abuses and injustices these innocent families and individuals must face. Generally, institutional staff are neglectful. They neglect to address problems faced by those incarcerated, they neglect adequate health care, they neglect to feed those confined, etc. Being that they are migrants, those individuals are likely to not speak English which poses yet another barrier.

These people have not committed any crime! Their intentions are to work and to feed their families, yet they are forced to suffer behind these walls. This is something that cannot endure. We must stand up for those innocent souls.

I urge those who are free to do whatever necessary to be heard on the issue of immigration and the incarceration of innocent migrants and non-citizens. As an incarcerated person I continue to write the powers that be and I continue to voice my message through my pen and paper, for I must always strive to awaken my people to the injustices I witness.

I respectfully conclude by expressing my greetings to all my fellow comrades. Never give up because nothing worth fighting for is easy to accomplish!

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[National Oppression] [Legal] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
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Foreign Nationals Face Brunt of Population Crisis

The State of California faced a "two-pronged" problem this year with regards to housing "alien" prisoners. The first came as a result of the economic calamity which eliminated most forms of tax receipts, which in turn finance various State programs. Secondly, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), has been ordered to reduce the massive number of prisoners held (often more than twice design capacity).

Unfortunately, any perceived relief will be looked upon not as "safeguarding human rights," but being "soft on crime." Regardless of political party affiliation, if a legislator can be shown as being remotely compassionate to criminals, his life in politics is in dire straits, almost certainly at an end. This creates a rather hypocritical dogmatism between being "financial stewards," and "tortuous demagogues." So, the "powers-that-be," have chosen a rather stealth-like hypocrisy that appears sound to the tax-payers, and helps continue the ethnocentrism of the post-9/11 era: Deportation of Aliens Who Completed Their Prison Terms.

Consider this for a moment:

If "Jose Garcia" [arbitrary name] is arrested and convicted of any criminal offense, he will face deportation only after serving his time in an American prison. In some cases, it makes no difference, because the "Alien" is serving an Indeterminate Sentence (Life; Life Without Parole; Death; etc...), and will not be released. It does not matter whether his "papers were in order," or if he waded the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juarez, he still faces deportation. In some rare cases, the prisoner will not be deported because he faces death in the receiving country (Libya, Syria, Iran, China, etc...), but this is also open to "political interpretation." An Iraqi citizen may be sent "home," because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, and there is a "legitimate government in Iraq" (Bush #43's words, not mine) and the threat of torture has been lessened (compared to what?). So, "Jose", serves his term and is hustled to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gulag, pending decision to deport.

The insidious nature of this legislation/Court Order, is that it neither provides relief for the refugee who has fled his country's economic abyss, or provide "security" for prisoners who are existing in nightmarish dungeons that lack essential medical and mental health services. Meanwhile, the state legislators continue to support prisons in their districts for their own profit and for jobs for their constituencies.

State courts are simply an extension of their political friends hypocritical policies, and generally refuse to accept reality as a guiding principle. The Federal Courts, while not without their flaws, are more likely to answer the complaints of the down-trodden with something similar to justice. The problem with the Federal Court is that they drag on forever and create such insurmountable complexities that most people are incapable of succeeding in their quest for "justice." The recent cases noted before (Plata v. Schwarzenegger, and Coleman v. Schwarzenegger) have been active for eight years and eighteen years, respectively. The recent court order was for the reduction of the prison population by 40,000 over the next two years. On the surface it seems like a victory for the Prison Abolition Movement, but the State has twisted it around and essentially no relief will be seen. Instead of a legitimate reduction in sentences, or other mannerism which might have a perceived legitimacy, the CDCR has announced that they will start sending people to ICE more rapidly, and will shuffle papers and falsify reports until the State implodes.

I personally know a man who has lived in this country for most his life, but due to his extensive criminal record, may be deported to Iraq (he's Armenian). ICE is kind of in a "Catch-22": Politically, to send someone back to Iraq would show "faith in the new Iraqi government"; but to refrain, would keep a "Career criminal" on American streets. Do they recognize the absolute surreal failure of the American "gulag archipelago?" No. They proclaim a lost war won, and sacrifice someone who might well be killed upon arrival, as a sign of "success" in Middle-East policy.

Needless to say, the "California Dream" is now excluding non-naturalized foreigners, and any attempt at succeeding without the appropriate documentation is hazardous to your "Freedom."

Handling Deportation Threats

When asked by foreigner prisoners, on how to proceed, I examine several factors before making any recommendation:

1. Where are you from? (What is the political climate there?)
2. What offense brought you to prison? (Murder, rape, etc. are hard to defend. Petty possession, shop-lifting, etc. are easier to bring "mitigating circumstances" into the question.)
3. What kind of skills do you bring to society? (A dope fiend with no education will find little sympathy, where an engineer or a doctor will be of some interest.)
4. What political affiliations do you have? (The "Red Scare" still exists, as does massive disinformation about anarchism. If you are perceived as a possible threat, you will be neutralized.)
5. Finally, are there any advocacy groups who specialize with your country, region, political group, religion, et al.? (Being from Mexico will only help you if you can convince your captors that you face death if returned to Mexico (drug war). Guatemala and Honduras have significant political strife that can be used to prevent deportation back there. Other places have different circumstances that should be publicized by the U.S. State Dept. or various news agencies. Reach out early for help and publicity.)

Seek out copies of Prison Legal News and the addresses of whatever embassy or consulate is pertinent to your citizenship. Most nations require "detaining nations" to notify them of having possession of one of their citizens (see: "Consular Notification and Access," U.S. State Department). Within this guide, are the "basic instructions" of political rights, printed in 13 languages, along with the telephone numbers of most consulates and embassies. In a few circumstances where the United States does not have "Diplomatic Relations" with a country, you have access to either the United Nations Delegation or a Neutral Country (Sweden, Switzerland, etc.), who will contact your nation of origin (if you so wish).

The key point for anyone facing deportation to remember is that the political climate of the United States is precarious at best, and if you are facing deportation to a reasonably stable area (no warfare, drug gangs, massive infectious disease issues, kidnapping, rape, etc.), and you are not facing extra detention as a result of being deported "home," it may be better to utilize what contacts you've made in the United States and improve the conditions of your "home" country. If, while incarcerated, you learned how to repair computers, or used more modern construction techniques, perhaps you can be of value there. Further, if you developed friends in this country, possibly they can continue communicating with you and possibly bring relief to the economic scene in your locale.

Regardless of the circumstances, you are not alone. There are scores who have faced the same crisis before, and likely even more will face similar in the future. No matter what, keep your dignity. A coward dies a thousand deaths. A brave man only one. Fascist, sociopathic lunatics may be ruling most countries, but their effect upon you is where you can limit their power. If you refuse to bow down to their nonsense, they lose the battle over your will. You hold the power to determine your fate: use it wisely and with honor.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 10]
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Organizing LOs for revolution

I'm not presently a member of MIM's USW movement but as a younger Black male growing up in the system with a 23 year prison sentence I've come to feel that prisoners and society as a whole have somehow managed to find tranquility in triviality and ignorance. So the USW is something I'm promoting throughout NC prisons using my gang affiliation as a Hoover Crip to represent the need for reform and unity among the rival street gangs. Hopefully I'm successful in building an understanding with the United Blood Nation and Gangster Disciples who are far more numerous in NC State prisons.

Those of you who are still affiliated with your LOs need to step up and speak to help build others' understanding. Speak by directing your comments to us independently of everything else. You have many of us who are in the closet about our growing desire to represent our LOs while also truly standing up for revolution, anti-capitalism, anti-racism and anti-sexism, but without the encouragement to do so. It's not out of fear but let's be honest with ourselves, many of us aspire for growth but have found it hard in the beginning, and even now harder to maintain the goals we're striving for.

I'd like to know from ULK readers who are active LO how they define revolution and what makes them revolutionaries, what are the actions they've taken to enlighten other LOs that could possibly be continued in other prisons throughout the u.s.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 10]
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An open letter to my fellow prisoners of war

Greetings to my brothers in this universal struggle for freedom against the imperialist power structure that warehouses human beings like livestock in grossly overcrowded penitentiaries, where prisoners are forced to live one on top of the other, like new age slave ships. This predominately affects New Africans and Latinos. Being consciously aware of the fact that the injustice system, the United $tates BOP and the various state DOCs are being used as one of the most effective and detrimental reactionary weapons against the political, economic, and social growth of both the New African and Latino communities.

I was deeply disappointed to hear of the recent infighting between Blacks and Latinos within the Chino plantation. For years now I've heard of the "great Black/Brown divide" amongst New Africans and Latinos in general (Mexicans specifically). I've never fully understood why. As two groups of oppressed people we have a shared history of revolutionary collaboration, from the brave Che Guevara fighting to liberate the brothers and sisters of Angola and Mozambique all the way back to the great General Toussaint of Haiti who led a revolution to free the island of Hispaniola from its colonial oppressors.

Also as an oppressed people we all suffer from the same by-products of American racism. Both our communities share the same poverty stricken ghettos, we're all subjected to the same sub-par educational system from neglected and grossly underfunded schools. And we're both suffering from years of economic suppression, political disenfranchisement, and complete apathy by the racist/classist oligarchy power structure of america towards the daily plight of our people.

And so with a clearly defined and established common enemy and a shared struggle for improved economic, education and social equality, they're a hindrance to our unity and dangerous to the struggle. And if we are to ever get beyond our current turbulent and intransigent relationship we must not focus on our petty differences but unite and rally around our shared interests and common goals. Until there is unity there can be no victory. So until there is victory, the struggle continues.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We share this comrades sentiments regarding recent events in Chino. For years, leaders in California have been working to develop a Peace Summit in the prison system, but these efforts have been thwarted by the administration while the lumpen continue to attack each other. Once a strong example of an organized front for humyn rights, the California prison system now shows how bad it can really get when the state is able to manipulate the oppressed to do their bidding.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Florida] [ULK Issue 11]
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Unity Only Possible Among Friends

Your opening statements in the issue I received are true with regards to the need for unity among the masses in the concentration camps nationwide. I've been in the system 13 years now and I've felt helpless and hopeless for a lot of years because it seems impossible to accomplish.

This is a very complex issue to approach because the division that separates us is multi-faceted. Never mind the different gangs that believe in their individual causes to be against another gang, but you have Blacks can't unite, whites can't unite, Latinos can't unite. And then you have the younger generation of prisoners that are divided from the older generation. Then you have the short-times with little time left to serve on their sentence who are unwilling to stand for a cause that a lifer will stand for because of fear of getting more time.

You have the haves and the have-nots in prison who separate and create yet another division because those with no money or regular source of income will not stand with those with money when it comes time to start a protest by refusing to go to food service for the lack of sufficient amounts, to the spoiled and rotten food regularly served.

The divisions between prisoners is equivalent to blind people trying to put together a 2 million piece jigsaw puzzle. Right next to quite impossible. Having said this, I still believe some effort at the attempt, no matter how futile, is much much better than quiet and docile acquiescence.

Under Lock & Key is an intelligent yet small step in the right direction. I say "small" step because it may be that several generations will come and go before universal consensus is reached that we need to stop fighting each other and start helping each other. Nevertheless, I accept my responsibility in this cause and become educated in the ways of the brothers and sisters that came before me like Huey P. Newton, Assata Shakur, Malcolm X and others.

I believe when no one will listen to words the only way to lead is by example of personal actions. If various states ban, censor, or put restrictions on ULK those of us have a vested responsibility to live the ideology as best we can under the circumstances.

While living the cause each day we should try to come up with solutions to the various levels of our division. For example, Amerikan tax-payers work each week and taxes are deducted from their paychecks to fund the prison system in each individual state, yet very few tax payers question the use of those collective funds. Paying taxes is an established institution in the U.S. so hardly any question the use when the challenges of making ends meet are more pressing. But if public safety is the justification for taking more and more taxes each year then why is crime not being eliminated? Simple, because crime creates jobs, jobs generate revenue and revenue funds the elitists who own the corporations that ULK works hard to educate us about.

So one way we all can help is by not only focusing on our divisions, but instead trying to educate the masses with information about the abuses of tax-payers' funds on some of the things inside the system. For example, here in Florida the taxes run the prison system yet still each day thousands of prisoner receive money orders from family and friends to help us keep our hygiene and other necessities, only for the Florida Dept of Corrections central office to tax each money order, twice. They take 50 cents from each prisoner deposit, and they take 10 percent of the total amount each prisoner spends for the week. So for example, if a prisoner spends the entire $75 weekly limit, they take $7.50. This is already on top of the money our loved ones pay in taxes each week, month and year.

It takes money to right money so the dissemination of information on the abuses we endure with the criminal injustice system must be only the foundation to which this movement is built upon. We must create think-tanks out of the cells they use to confine us. We must be educated on the knowledge of social engineering.

The anti-imperialist movement hinges on a backbone of resistance to the direction in which the elitist is taking the world. We are the corrosive element in their motor. We must come together ideologically, socially, personally and even financially to gain strength in this movement.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We support this prisoner's call for unity and the hard work of educating and organizing people to fight the criminal injustice system. However, we do not think the strategy of organizing taxpayers for their own financial interest is correct at this time in Amerika. The vast majority of Amerikan workers have a financial interest in imperialism. And the Criminal Injustice System is a prop used to keep imperialism running strong. Amerikans recognize this and strongly back the police and locking up more people. Frankly, if you brought these issues to their attention they'd probably cut the funding for food and toiletries more. Families with loved ones in prison would be the exception.

As we think about our organizing strategies, we must first have a clear idea of who are our friends and who are our enemies. This does not mean we cannot influence or even ally with enemy classes at times, but we must not treat them as friends and allies in our struggle. MIM(Prisons) focuses on organizing prisoners, and we know that without organized prisoners there is no real prison movement. Prisoners should be looking to each other (as this comrade suggests with think tanks), as well as their families and communities that are affected negatively by the injustice system for solutions.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Pennsylvania]
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Unite for change

I am a prisoner in Texas and a member of the ALKQN. I want to shed some light on those who are members of my beloved nation and to those who are prisoners or in the struggle. It is time we unite to judge the oppressor and his ways. We must no longer stand asleep not knowing that for so long we been letting the oppressor keep us as subjects, where our minds are programmed to do what he says.

We must start by awaking our people to realize that we can make a change in our communities and in the court system. We must also have the will to stop selling drugs to our people, because we are killing them with the oppressors ways. For every minority that catches a drug/murder case the oppressor sells them to a prison, or should I say one of these industrial complext warehouse, to get rich. So when are we going to change for the betterment of ourselves? The question lies within you!

I'm not just talking to my King brothers or Queen sisters. I'm talking to every person who belongs to an organization or is just independent. I ask that we stop dwelling on yesterdays and start thinking about tomorrows, because our time to change things is now. I also ask that whoever reads these newsletters start educating yourselves by getting a GED, business degree or degree in anything. Also to start learning the law, so we can teach our families and children on how to not be subjects to the oppressor and his system, but to beat his system within their own laws and rules. Let's stand united as a whole sun and shine our powers into the mission of human service for if we put our minds together we shall accomplish many goals to live in freedom.

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[National Oppression] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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Update from Killer Kern Valley State Prison

As expected brothas are still struggling against the oppressive administrators here, and when I say brothas I'm talking Black-Africans. We're now coming up from a race based lockdown where all Blacks were locked down for being Black.

K. Harrington (the Warden) said it was because members of the "Black population" had assaulted C/Os on two different occasions. As if the Black population was a gang or organization where one or two individual's actions are a reflection of the mass, and is to be responded to as such.

Almost any other prison you go to in California, individuals are held accountable for their own actions, or those in which they are affiliated. For instance, if a Crip does something out of the administrators regulation, they hold the CRIPs or the individual Crip gang at fault. Not the whole Black population.

But you know this Department of Corruption, they have tactics for everything they do. My theory on our situation here is the inciting of violence. Whether it be against them (pigs) or us (prisoners).

At this time, the California Correctional and Police Officer Agency can use a little publicity on reasons why California tax payers and makers shouldn't start firing their asses left and right, starting from the top. All they need is a few riots to crack off, they'll then call up the local news and have them come out and throw it on the news basically painting to the general public: "see, this is why you all need us." California is in a bad position again, and they can't just build new prisons to put themselves in a better one.

The pigs aren't giving us canteen, the food portions have been reduced and it's the pigs do more taunting towards the Blacks for us to make a move. And a lot of the brothas here don't even see what it is that is taking place, they fall right into the plans of these capitalist pigz.

The water is still contaminated with arsenic lead and they've said nothing about it although when I appealed it they responded to me saying that it'll be fixed by the second quarter of 2009. Well it's now the 5th, making this the third quarter. I'm going to the courts about the issue but I have plenty more so I have to move slow.

Brothers here seem to do a lot of mumbling about the problems, but they refuse to unite and address the issues for fear of being sent to the SHU or ASU for standing up for their rights. Although they (the administrators) already have us all labeled as united "Black Population".

Only the strong survive.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This letter illustrates the type of racial profiling and pitting of oppressed nations against each other that goes on in the criminal injustice system and on the streets. However we would go further than this author and argue that singling out lumpen organizations (LO) is another aspect of the same problem. The prisons decide who to validate as gang members, often putting people in groups with which they have no affiliation. And the prison administrators pit LOs against each other and selectively punish one or the other to increase the violence and repression in prisons.

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[Spanish] [National Oppression] [Florida] [ULK Issue 10]
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No soy criminal, soy revolucionario

Compañeros Revolucionarios,

Recientemente acabo de recibir una edición de MIM(Prisons) la cual me hizo sentir lleno de energía positiva y fuerza para continuar la lucha en contra del opresor. El sistema encarselario de los U$ es evidente ha sido formado con el proposito de mantener las personas de los barrios pobres y los inmigrantes que no comprenden las leyes, o mientras fueron a la escuela nunca le hablaron del peligro que los asecha en las calles de sus barrios, la policía, que facir es venir a la prición en este pais.

Yo me encuentro en los U$ desde abril del 1993, diez años de mi estadía en este pais ha sido en las granjas (prisión) por un robo a mano armada. Aunque esta es mi primera ofensa, donde no hubo sangre, ni victimas, fue sentenciado a 15 años en las granjas (prisión), pero no como un obrero sino como un animal.

Aunque para el sistema soy considerado un criminal, yo me considero un individuo que cometió un error en una etapa de mi vida cuando no estaba pensando apropiadamente. Apesar de que este sistema es un negocio que genera millones de dolares para ser gastado en cosas como "la guerra contra el terrorismo" y un grupo de cosas que solo ayudan a los que ya están en poder y no necesitan ningún tipo de ayudar. Es doloroso lo que ultimamente estoy viendo pasar en este sistema, un gran cantidad de los presos nuevos son niños, si niños con una sentencia de vida, muertos, basura en los ojos de este sistema diabolico. Es doloroso cada vez que hablo con alguno de estos muchachos, veo mi imagen en sus ojos, un niño que no va a tener una oportunidad de ser libre, tener una familia, hijos, etc. Y su algún día tiene la oportunidad de salir de este lugar, su mente estará tan doblada y confundida que se convierte en un producto del sistema, un verdadero criminal.

Es facil jusgar, apuntar el dedo y hablar acerca de las cosas que uno no comprende. Yo fue una de esas personas. Este gobierno colonialista, capitalista, nos mantiene ignorante, crellendo que ellos están trabajando para un mejor mañana. La guerra hasta que se da cuenta el verdadero propocito, colonialismo, es el verdadero proposito. Esta gobierno sabe que no importa cuantos niños y mujeres mueran, el mundo cuntinua su curso, mientras el pueblo esta comodo no habra revolución.

Yo soy parte de una organización la cual es catalogada como un grupo terrorista, somos catalogados como STG porque no estamos de acuerdo con las idiologias de este gobierno, porque nos catalogamos como un movimiento revolucionario, porque amamos nuestra jente del tercer mundo, nuestra gente oprimida. No importa el nombre que se nos de, nosotros no morirémos, nosotros nos continuarémos multiplicando, en las acciones de nuestros guerreros es que se puede ver el hombre del mañana.

Yo voy a ser deportado para mi amado pais al final de mi sentencia y promento continual regando la semilla del cambio despertar a todo aquel que se encuentra dormido en el cementerio de la ignorancia. El camino es duro pero mi hambre por revolucíon es más grande.

Viva la revolución! Viva el hombre de nación!

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