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[National Oppression] [California]
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New Afrikan Prisoners: Anti-alcohol campaign

Setting the proper example through our actions

Alcohol facts: the biological effects of a given drug (alcohol) may vary from person to person with factors such as the person's weight, gender and age, which may influence the intensity of the drug (alcohol) effect. Whether the drug (alcohol) is taken on a full/empty stomach or in combination with other chemical substances. A person's racial background differences may affect how a drug (alcohol) is metabolized. An estimated 14 million Amerikans have serious alcohol problems and suffer from social, occupational, and health problems. A survey conducted by the substance abuse and mental health services administration found that some 11 million people aged 12 and older were dependent upon or abused alcohol. Another 2 million people abused alcohol and one or more chemical substances.

The purpose of this statement is not to perpetuate a personal attack on any individual, or their chosen lifestyle, as that would be a form of liberalism, which is not conducive to nation building and undermines the true principles of unity. However, the purpose of this statement is to engage the New Afrikan Black communities in a discourse of dialectics, by pointing out and addressing some fundamental distinctive contradictions that are prevalent in the oppressed communities, as it relates to alcohol abuse/additions. As the saying goes "the highest form of consciousness is magnified in the individuals day to day social practice."

The principles of foco theory is the catalyst for this initiative. For those who may be wondering as to what foco theory is, it is simply the nucleus for making all material subjects/things move. Just as Fidel Castro was the foco for the build up of the Cuban revolution. Foco theory can be effective only when it does not allow itself to be isolated from the people. Foco may well be the best tactic to mount the motor of the people's will for real freedom. But the foco will need a long period of preparation and intensive organizational work, that will not only generate an atmosphere for real freedom by focus, but will also guarantee our logistics of communication/planning for survival programs, etc, such as this initiative "the new Afrikan prisoners: anti-alcohol campaign"

As a people, we must commit ourselves to a higher standard of living, if we are to one day achieve our ultimate goal of total liberation. We can no longer afford to hide behind the well to do excuses of putting the blame solely on the U.$. government, regarding the social dilemmas that plague our communities, in particular, as it relates to matters that we can control and change on our own. Our day to day social practices is a manifestation of what we believe in, think about, and consume into our bodies. So we must be mindful of this truth 24-7. Instead of engaging in the nuisances of alcohol abuse, we must begin to utilize our time and energy more constructively by exercising our minds towards the central task of achieving some positive goals in the areas of community healing/building. Through our collective will and with the application of self-discipline, this can be easily accomplished. If we allow the truth to be our guide in pushing forward principles of righteousness, then we should also realize that the objective of community healing/building cannot be achieved if our mental facilities are being overwhelmed with the toxins of alcohol. Meaning that the social wounds of oppression that the social system of U.$. imperialism has inflicted upon our communities will remain a prominent fixture. Our power as a people is unlimited, once we take control of and refine the focus of our minds.

Now consider these factors:

Alcohol depressed that activity of the brain and impairs cognitive abilities, such as concentration, memory, speech, and physical abilities such as muscle coordination/balance. As blood levels of alcohol rise, more brain activity is impaired, until the person loses consciousness. If blood alcohol levels continue to rise, death can occur because the brain's respiratory center can no longer function. Furthermore, many drug experts offer the following:

• Alcohol abuse has the highest social cost of all drug addictions
• Alcohol is involved in at least 50% of all homicides, assaults, and highway fatalities
• Approximately two thirds of all cases of spousal abuse and violent child abuse involve alcohol use
• Drinking by pregnant women is the leading cause of birth defects and mental retardation

In light of the above mentioned scientifically proven factors, now ask yourself, what real benefits does an individual have in continuing on with the social practices of alcohol abuse? None, if you ask me! However, it cannot be overlooked that we have been conditioned to believe that alcohol consumption is harmless, on account of the large magnitude of alcohol advertisements that we are bombarded with in our communities and with the convenient access to alcohol at social gatherings, corner liquor stores, etc. Thus making it too easy for the common New Afrikan Black sista/brotha to abuse alcohol, in effort to escape the dilemma of a personal discrepancy, whether it be going through an untimely divorce with our once beloved better half, getting laid off from work, unable to pay bills on time, or just trying to cope with the unfortunate struggles of everyday life. As part of growing/healing as a community, the onus is on us to live responsible by making critical thinking a constant in all that we do. Because by thinking critically, we will be able to formulate/develop some formidable alternatives, that are conducive to resolving whatever personal social dilemmas that we may be experiencing, as opposed to just running to and hiding behind the quick fix solutions of this liquid monster.

This initiative is still in its early stages of development, so there is still a real need for outside coordinators/facilitators in order to bring this initiative to life and amongst the people. So if interested in getting on board, you may contact me at [email protected]

MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrade that alcohol abuse, as well as the abuse of other drugs, gets in the way of the fight for national liberation. In fact the government had a hand in this as a tactic to diffuse the revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 70s when drugs became widely available on the streets, and then imprisonment for drug use grew dramatically. Alcohol is in some ways more insidious than illegal drugs because it is legal and so widely available, but as this comrade points out, it is physically destructive and addictive just like illegal drugs. We do differ from this comrade on the theory of focoism which suggests that a small cell can spark a revolution (or even accomplish a revolution) without the participation and support of the masses. Maoism is the more steady, methodical process of developing the most advanced theory and raising the mass consciousness through struggle and seizing power one calculated battle at a time.

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[Political Repression] [National Oppression] [California]
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Repressing Natives for organizing in California

These capitalist lapdogs in California had my native ass locked away in the gulag within the gulag for inciting and when that didn't work they got "kites" detailing my supposed involvement in a plot to assault the spiritual adviser. How utterly ridiculous! #1. We (my spiritual advisor and I) had no such animosity between us. #2. Said actions on my part, should they reflect anything based in reality, would get me banned in Indian country (the native community). #3 Said materials only came on the heals of their failed attempt to ship me out of the joint in response to paperwork filed against them for failure to adhere to federal mandates in regard to native american spiritual services. The contemptible bastards!

Anyway, as you may notice, they finally succeeded in transferring me to San Diego. Ha! They have inadvertently done a great service, for in so doing, they have placed me in an environment ripe for political agitation. A healthy population of natives and the imperialist lackeys here are in compliance with J. vs. Martinez and other such censorship cases.

I have, however, during my fight, lost my revolutionary literature. All the books I had received or acquired through other comrades, all MIM Notes, the manifesto of the Communist Part, MIM Theory #9, and my What is MIM pamphlet. Anything you comrades can aid me with would be very appreciated. I'll be in a position to blast some stamps your way for some books rather soon. I'm really missing the dialectical materialism book as I'd just got a hold of it and hadn't really been able to get into it.

Struggling to educate the masses.

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[National Oppression] [Prison Labor] [ULK Issue 2]
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Amerikans: Oppressing for a Living

Direct expenditure by criminal justice function

Critics of amerika's unprecedentedly high incarceration rates have stressed that increased imprisonment does not correspond to less crime. And despite decreasing crime rates, imprisonment continues to rise. How is this possible?

A recent report from the JFA Institute describes how the increase in prison populations is a result of a change in laws and policies in enforcement. (1) We have been in the era of "tough on crime" politics for decades, but most amerikans will still hide the fact that this translates into increased control and repression of the internal semi-colonies. At the same time, millions of amerikkkans are supporting these laws as a means of securing the jobs and livelihood of themselves and their families. While white people like to look at slavery and genocide as things in the past, the amerikkkan nation has probably never been so deeply entrenched and invested as a nation of oppressors as they are today with millions serving as cops, spies and military personnel.

And while the white media would have you believe that "tough on crime" policies are protecting amerikans from murderers and sexual predators, about two-thirds of the 650,000 prison admissions each year are people who have violated their probation or parole. And half of these violations are technical, in other words, they're going to prison for things most people could not be put in prison for. (1) The demand for more incarceration is putting hundreds of thousands of people in prison each year for doing things not generally considered crimes under u$ law.

Who's Profiting?

The progressive groups opposing the prison industrial complex like to condemn so-called "prisons-for-profit." But it isn't primarily corporate profits behind the three decades long prison boom and the so-called "tough on crime" legislation. It is amerikan cops and bureaucrats maneuvering for government funds (money that comes from taxing amerikans whose wealth comes from the exploitation of labor and resources from the Third World). And it is career politicians catering to a white nationalist vote. "Tough on crime" stances aren't tolerated in amerikan politics, rather, they are demanded by the voting public. Politicians who have attempted to go against the tide can attest to this.

Other than "prisons are big business" the other popular argument explaining the surge in incarceration is that it is "modern day slavery." As an economic force behind imprisonment, this too is largely a myth. If the motivation for being the number one imprisonment country in all of history was exploiting labor then you would see the majority of prisoners engaged in productive labor. While some sources claim half of all prisoners work, one study from 1994 found less than 10% are involved in work other than maintenance and housekeeping. (2) More recent statistics by state indicate industrial employment at similar low rates. (3) The estimate of half of prisoners working seems reasonable if we acknowledge that most of those prisoners have part-time jobs doing upkeep of the prison. While also dated, MIM cited statistics from 1995 showing that only 6.4% of sales stemming from prison labor in the united $tates was private in MIM Theory 11: Amerikkkan Prisons on Trial.

Generally, if prisoners work for an outside corporation and produce goods for interstate commerce, then they are legally required to receive amerikkkan exploiter level wages. The benefit to the companies is that they can skimp on benefits and don't need to give raises. Small business owners have fought to limit the benefits of those who use prison labor, since they lack the capital to take advantage of such competitive advantages. The petty bourgeois interests here keep those of the imperialists in check. (4)

Therefore, most prison labor is done for the state, who can pay whatever they want, and increasingly garnish most of the wages to pay for the prisoners' own imprisonment. These prisoners are either working to run the prison and therefore allowing the amerikkkans in charge of the prison to work as well-payed bureaucrats and not have to worry about cooking and cleaning, or they are working for government industries that supply state agencies and therefore subsidize the tax money of the state as a whole by reducing state expenses. The National Correctional Industries Association says state industries contributed $25 million by garnishing inmates wages, not a very large contribution to the cost of the u$ prison system. However, one estimate done by MIM 10 years ago indicates the savings in wages overall (not including benefits) could be on the order of 10% or more of current overall state expenditures on corrections (5), which have risen sharply (see graph).

Some state industries export products to other countries, but interstate commerce has largely been restricted by the efforts of small business interests and amerikan labor unions. Since the 1980s, the federal government has tried to embrace the model of "factories with fences." But the free market for slave labor continues to be hampered by state laws. This year, Alaska passed a law that allows the Department of Labor and Workforce Development can enter into contracts with private companies or individuals to sell them prison labor,

provided that the commissioner consults with local union organizations beforehand in order to ensure that the contract will not result in the displacement of employed workers, will not be applied in skills, crafts, or trades in which there is a surplus of available gainful labor in the locality, and will not impair existing contracts for services. A contract with an individual or a private organization must require that the commissioner be paid the minimum wage for each hour worked by a prisoner." (10)

Clearly this has nothing to do with prisoners' rights, but it is crafted for the protection of labor aristocracy jobs and small businesses. And as many states do, Alaska allows for the wages to be garnished before disbursing them to the prisoner. So there is no law that the prisoner must be paid a certain wage.

What about the one industry that does have unfettered access to prison labor? Theoretically, private prisons could collect fat contracts from the state and let prisoners do much of the work to run the facility. But after 3 decades of prison boom, still less than 5% of prisons are privately owned, at least partially due to an inability to remain profitable. (4) It is often pointed out that it costs more to keep a persyn in prison for a year than send them to college. (The difference for sending youth to a correctional facility compared to grade school can be differences in order of magnitude). This is a price that largely tax-averse amerikkkans are willing to pay.

State Bureaucrats and National Oppression

Strictly speaking, prisons are a net loss financially for the amerikkkan nation. And the boom cannot be blamed on any major corporate interests. What a beefed up injustice system does offer economically is a means of employing millions of people at cushy exploiter wages. It is a means of shuffling the super-profits around the pigsty and maintaining a consumer population. These millions of people provide a self-perpetuating demand for more prisoners, and more funding for various law enforcement projects.

One example of this self-perpetuating bureaucracy dates back to 1983 when James Gonzalez became Deputy Director of the California Department of Corrections. He immediately expanded the department's planning staff from 3 to 118 and began focusing on modeling that would forecast increasing needs for expansion into the future (it's not just COs getting the jobs). (6) Since then California has built 23 major new prisons, expanded other prisons and increased its prison population 500%. (7) With more prisons, come more prison guards, creating the 31,000 strong California Correctional Peace Officers Association with yearly dues totaling $21.9 million. (8) This is the same union that earned itself a raise following the exposure of gladiator fights staged by guards at Corcoran State Prison, where many prisoners were murdered. The very same that was behind the 3 strikes laws to put people away for 25 to life for petty crimes, and that has campaigned repeatedly to eliminate educational programs for prisoners.

The CO's are partners with the private industry that has boomed off of an economy based on war and repression. A visit to the American Corrections Association conference will tell you it's not just a few imperialist suits in a smoke-filled room. It is a getaway for a large mix of salesmen, cops and CO's; just regular amerikkkans. (9)

In the united $tates there are laws that prevent the military from lobbying the government as a safeguard against war being carried out in the interests of the warmakers. There are no such limits on the police and correctional officers (COs), allowing the war on gangs to go on perpetuating itself both politically and economically. The NYPD and LAPD have arsenals and capabilities that rival many nations' armed forces, and they are allowed to influence politics on the local, state and even federal level both directly and indirectly.

On the local level police departments have undermined trends toward so-called "community policing." Where youth in the community have been effective at reducing violence through dialogue and organizing, the police have rejected these programs in favor of community representatives who will rubber stamp their continued strategies of suppression and harassment of oppressed nation youth. When street organizations came together to form peace treaties in Los Angeles and Chicago in the 1990s, the police responded immediately through the white media saying it was a hoax and it would never last. Let there be no confusion, the police created these wars and the police will not let them stop.

In the late 1990s, the New York Times reported that most white residents of New York City were comfortable with police behavior, while 9 out of 10 Blacks believed brutality against Blacks to be frequent. The regular "stop and frisking" by police that was then practiced under Mayor Giuliani, was found to be directed at Blacks and Latinos 90% of the time. (11)

Politically, the rest of the oppressor nation is willing to go along with the job security plans of the police and correctional officers as a means of protecting their collective privilege. One of the few things amerikkkans can agree to spend state money on. With that, the injustice system becomes an important part of the national culture in rallying the people in material support of the imperialist system that they benefit from.

Who's being locked up?

While the question of who is profiting from the prison industrial complex is a bit cloudy and controversial, everyone knows who is being locked up. In a half century, amerikan prisons have gone from white dominated to Black dominated in a period where the Black population has increased less than 2 percentage points to its current level of about 12%. And yet amerikkkans are not outraged.

As we recently reported, Blacks are imprisoned at rates 10 times those of whites for drug charges and the increase in drug-related prison sentences was 77% for Blacks compared to 28% for whites. (12) So, the increase in sentences that is behind the current prison boom is targeting certain populations.

The JFA Institute report references research indicating that incarceration often encourages crime. In their summary of literature, they point to evidence that people will leave criminal lifestyles when given opportunities. No shit? Stopping crime isn't exactly rocket science. While communists know how to put an end to crime, the pigs and their fans have demonstrated that they aren't really interested in that. That would involve destroying their own privilege. In it's advanced stage of parasitism, the amerikkkan nation has a well-entrenched sector of pigs who get job security and pay raises from perpetuating crime and imprisonment.

Interestingly, the report also points to a number of studies indicating that government run programs have very marginal effects on reducing recidivism. This conclusion is supported by reports we get from comrades criticizing government programs. (13) Apparently, the literature also supports the need for programs like MIM(Prisons) Prisoner Re-Lease on Life program, because the only programs that seem to be effective in treatment and rehabilitation are independent from the government. (1) The people aren't stupid, they know what the state is there to do.

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[National Oppression] [ULK Issue 2]
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Blacks targeted for drug imprisonment in Amerika

Large population counties across the United $tates continue to imprison Blacks for drug offenses at a much higher rate than whites, in spite of similar rates of drug use, according to a report released December 4 by The Justice Policy Institute. The report underscores the fact that "Whites and African Americans report using and selling drugs at similar rates, but African Americans go to prison for drug offenses at higher rates than whites."

The study used data from the National Corrections Reporting Program and other census and government sources, focusing on 2002 because that is the most recently year of NCRP data available. In 2002 there were approximately 19.5 million drug users and 1.5 million drug arrests (1 in 13 drug users). These arrests resulted in 175,000 admissions to prisons; 51% of these new prisoners were Black.

The 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that rates of drug use were similar between whites and blacks: 8.5% of whites compared to 9.7% of Blacks. Given the economic disparities and national oppression within Amerika, it is not a surprise that there is a slightly higher rate of drug use among Blacks.

These rates of drug use translate into about 14 million white drug users in 2002 compared to 2.6 million Black drug users (in the month prior to the survey). This means there are roughly 5 times as many white drug users as Black drug users. But Blacks were locked up in prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of whites: 262 per 100,000 for Blacks and 25 per 100,000 for whites.

Underscoring the fact that these lock up rates are not a result of Blacks using more potent or dangerous drugs, the Drug Use survey found that 24% of crack cocaine users were Black while 72% were white or "Hispanic," but over 80% of people locked up for crack use in 2002 were Black.

The JPI report focused on 198 counties with populations over 250,000. They found that "Despite similar rates of drug use across counties, drug admission rates vary substantially." The correlation is not between drug use and imprisonment but rather JPI found that drug imprisonment was directly correlated to the per capita policing and judicial budgets in each county. The JPI explains that the bottom line is resource-driven discretion by local police:

To further substantiate these results, JPI conducted a multiple variable analysis that controlled for the crime rate, region of the country, the poverty and unemployment rates, and the percent of each county’s population that is African American. The results
strongly suggest that the resource-driven discretion that local police forces have is the engine driving the wide variation in local drug imprisonment rates. This relationship is evident in this study’s finding that policing budgets are positively associated with the drug imprisonment rate—even after controlling for the crime rate.

The JPI report looked at likely causes for this disparity in imprisonment rates. They cite mandatory minimum laws as contributing to a growing disparity because Blacks are already more likely to be locked up for drug use, and they are now also more likely to be incarcerated under a mandatory minimum sentence - increasing the length of time they spend in prison. Between 1994 and 2003, the average time Blacks spent in prison for drug offenses rose 77% compared to a 28% increase for whites. They also noted disparate policing, disparate treatment before the courts, differences in availability of drug treatment, and punitive social spending patterns.

These are all important factors but they are not the whole picture. All of these discrepancies in treatment between Blacks and whites are symptoms of an underlying system of national oppression in the United $tates. Studies have repeatedly shown that imprisonment rates are not correlated with crime rates. The fact is that prisons are used as a tool of social control and disparate arrests, sentencing, imprisonment, access to education, health care, financial loans, job opportunities, and more are part of this system of social control that maintains the supremacy of whites in a society that pretends to offer equality to all.

The JPI report concludes with the recommendation of a "more evidence-based approach to drug enforcement." They want to hold the criminal injustice system to standards enforced by statistical analysis of arrest and imprisonment rates. This is probably the best that we can hope for from an institute like the JPI. The fact that there is currently no science behind the actions of the criminal injustice system is a striking indictment of Amerikan society overall. But the problem is not just in the police and the judicial system. Both of these systems are part of a larger political infrastructure that props up a massive imperialist state. We can not expect one aspect of this state to change and grant equality to oppressed nations while all other aspects remain the same.

Locking up more whites would be progress - if the whites in question were those in the government who are responsible for more death and destruction than all the 2 million people in U.$. prisons combined. In the end, progress of this sort, or progress towards a more equitable justice system will only come through revolutionary struggle.

Notes: The full Justice Policy report can be found here: http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/07-12_REP_Vortex_AC-DP.pdf

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[Theory] [Middle East] [National Oppression]
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More Debate on Saddam Hussein

UPDATE: On 9/17/2009 the comrade who wrote this letter was killed in Attica Correctional Facility

[The writer who criticized MIM's article, "War criminals kill Saddam Hussein" responds to our criticisms of his letter below. Some parts of the original letter are left off in the interest of brevity.]

To MIM:

I am in receipt of your letter, entailing your response to my initial letter commenting upon the article featured in the April 2007 issue of MIM Notes entitled "War Criminals Kill Saddam Hussein." ...

The criticisms in your letter were both appreciated and mostly straightforward in style and language. However, they failed on a number of points which I will enumerate as follows:
1) Your statement, "... So the reader's claim that the author is not aware of Iraqi history is clearly due to his own poor attention to the original article..." was false. I never stated or meant to imply even that the author was not aware of Iraqi history in general. Rather, I suggested that the author's knowledge of the history of Hussein's Baathist regime's government specifically is insufficient. Otherwise, how could the author describe Hussein as a martyr for Third World independence- especially after admitting that Hussein killed thousands of communist-minded Iraqis (an admission for which I commend the author for here)? Research of the record of Hussein from the time that Hussein carried out those killings up until the time he himself was killed will reveal that he never renounced this act or any of his counter-revolutionary acts, held himself accountable to the people of Iraq for such acts, or sought to reform himself thereafter. Never. If you can find even so much as a quote of Chairman Mao whereby he at least insinuates the merit of eulogizing leaders who behaved and died as Hussein did, please do share it with me; otherwise, it is just bad "radical chic" propaganda.

Moreover he did not die in the struggle for the national liberation of Iraq. Remnants of his executive and military apparatus fought and perished (including his sons) while he took cover. The image of Saddam Hussein leading a heroic fight against the U$ and Brit invaders simply does not fit the real person or actual curse of events. If you fight an invading force that seeks to occupy and oppress your nation only so that you can re-establish a rule that is equally if not more oppressive, it is NOT a struggle for liberation- it is power struggle between two oppressive forces! Only those who fought and continue to fight against the occupation with the desire to establish a state that is just and beneficial for the people can be referred to as struggling for national liberation. He did not "stand up" to anyone- he was captured while cowering in a hole. He neither fought for nor died for the liberation of the Iraqi people. Stop calling him a martyr.

[MIM responds: Hussein died because he refused to allow u$ imperialism to determine Iraq's future. If he was willing and able to provide the imperialists with what they wanted they would not have waged a war to kill him. He stood up for Iraqi independence and was killed for it. HIs motivations are irrelevant to a scientific evaluation of history.

His status as a martyr is also an objective observation, not necessarily praise for the man. His martyr status was acknowledged by the BBC and New York Times as well, and they certainly don't support Iraqi liberation. See the discussion below of the Zogby poll indicating Arab perception of Hussein for more evidence that he was a martyr for the Iraqi people regardless of whether our writer or MIM likes it or not.]

2) Your statement, "What we're criticizing the stupid liberals for was failing to recognize that Arabs ranked Hussein as the fourth most respected world leader, tied with bin Laden..." is almost as confusing and troubling as the original statement in the article. I did not choose to ignore the "fact," but was simply stressing the point of Hussein's prior service as a U.S. lackey (who never reformed but simply reacted to circumstances he helped to create) excludes him from being considered a revolutionary or martyr for Third World independence. But the statement is as misguided as a Scud missile nevertheless. The article reads:

The stupid liberals on National Public Radio (NPR) said that Arab reaction to the hangings indicated the "confusion" of the Arab people, instead of the chauvinism of white liberals. According to Zogby, Egypt went from 74% negative opinion of the United States to 98% negative in the two years between 2002 and 2004, because of the u$ invasion of Iraq. (3) The overall survey of Arabs showed Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden tied for fourth as the most respected world leaders.

Now are you saying the NPR conducted the survey poll, or are you referring to the same Zogby poll that is cited by the Washington Post? Maybe I am just as stupid as those liberals and cannot comprehend plain English. I now that such survey results would have served the Bush administration quite well in whipping up anti-Arab fervor to keep the war machine going. And of course considering the rogue's' gallery of what constituted leadership in the middle east (or the world for that matter) back in '02-'04 - Mubarak, Jordan's Abdullah, Bashir al-Asad, and Ariel Sharon to name a few- one can hardly accept such a rating without some exasperation (wonder who ranked first).

I do not consider myself to be an American. I am a citizen of this country by birth, not by choice of patriotic allegiance (or even sentiment). Since I was not born in the 1960's, I was not afforded the chance to protest Hussein's murdering of the communists. But I can and will continue to use the fact that he was u$-funded against both him and the u$. In fact, I was using it against him and the u$ in debates before he died, even while he was still in power.

[MIM: All of the data cited is from the Zogby poll, which demonstrated the divide along the principal contradiction quite well. While most Amerikkkans see Hussein and bin Laden as enemies, they are largely admired by Arabs. So here we have science playing out again in facts. Not only was it a fact that Hussein fought for independence from u$ imperialism at the end of his life. That fact is reflected in the fact that he is admired by Arabs as a group; a group which happens to be oppressed by u$ imperialism. (Jacques Chirac of France, Gamal Abdel Nasser former nationalist leader of Egypt, and Hasan Nasrallah of Hezbollah in Lebanon were the top 3 leaders).

Our reader suggests that the results of this study play into amerikkkan anti-Arab sentiments. Well, yes, by definition they only reinforce the attitudes of amerikkkans, which are based on their opposition to the independence of the oppressed to begin with.

We too criticized Hussein as a puppet of u$ imperialism while he was such. But we attacked him for being an arm of imperialism, the number one enemy of the world's people. Once he was no longer serving his imperialist masters this changed.]

3) Your statement, "Clearly our reader has not done much research into the current conditions in Iraq nor compared them to Iraq in the past..." was inappropriate, a distraction from the real purpose for my mentioning that quote of Mao. I am very well informed and aware of the horrible and extraordinarily oppressive conditions created and perpetuated by the invading u$-led coalition/mercenary occupation forces, thanks to NPR, PRI (Public Radio International) and publications such as your own. Let me state first and foremost that I oppose vehemently u$ imperialism (and all imperialism and capitalists) and the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and that I support and commend the Iraqi (and Afghan) people who adopt armed struggle against the occupation forces.

My point in citing that quote of Mao was to outline the revolutionary principle of paying "close attention to the well-being of the masses." Mao was not referring to material aspects only. Nevertheless, it is a revolutionary principle and only a slain revolutionary can be regarded as a martyr for Third World independence. However, the fact remains that even before the first Gulf War Hussein used the distribution of resources in Iraq arbitrarily to oppress dissenting groups (including the communists, Shiites, and Kurds) and to consolidate his own power base while enriching his cronies. I agree the u$-led embargo and invasions have made conditions worse. But never forget that Sadr City was a festering slum prior to the invasions, and that before Abu Ghraib was used by the u$ as a torture factory in Iraq, it was used for the very same purpose by Saddam Hussein and his regime [MIM adds: who were at the time were also working for the u$].

[MIM: So our reader admits, h real purpose for quoting Mao was to draw a line of ideological purity rather than to assess the actual material conditions of the masses. We agree with Mao's revolutionary principles, but we are not assessing Hussein for induction into a communist party. Rather we are assessing imperialism as the number one enemy and killer of oppressed people. You think their fascist puppet states are bad, wait until they come in with their cracker foot soldiers and economic sanctions.

Our reader claims to support the liberation forces in Iraq but still wants to oppose Hussein and the Baathists. Would our reader have supported the Japanese imperialists against Chiang Kai-shek while supporting Mao's People's War. Because that wasn't Mao's line, nor would the communists likely have won the war of liberation taking the strategy our reader suggests.]

Now the MIM discussion that filled out and closed the letter really missed the mark. I cannot be classified in any of the components of the "wrong side of the contradiction" you describe. It appears that you made some very wrong assumptions about me due to your interpretation of aspects of my letter and your blinding desire to defend a statement in the article that was inappropriate. Also, my letter does not mention anything about Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, or the occupation of Afghanistan. Let me dispel some of those assumptions right here:

1) Your statement about "fake Maoists" seemed to be intended to include myself. Well, I am not and never have been a Maoist. Do I have to be a Maoist to respect some of the ideas or work of Mao, or of those who tried to implement his ideas (like the Black Panthers), or to quote Mao- even to debate with a "real" Maoist? ... I am a muslim who believes that muslims must strive to establish an Islamic government amongst themselves derived from the Islamic sources of guidance- to enforce the shari'ah (Islamic law) and preserve the safety and integrity of the muslim community. Moreover, I believe that muslims have a right if not a duty to wage armed struggle against anyone (especially the imperialists) who prevent them from accomplishing this.

[MIM: As explained in the article, it is addressing a much greater context of people trying to side against the oppressed (in Afghanistan, Iran, etc) and the imperialists at the same time; the class position of the petty bourgeoisie. Some of these people even call themselves Maoists.

The letter writer fit into this discussion as an example of what we referred to as "pushing a purity line." Our writer continues to push the same line in this letter. As we said, we'd rather ally with an admitted idealist than someone trying to pass idealism for Maoism. Our writer is a muslim, but h also seems to claiming a materialist analysis of history and class struggle in h letters. So we have criticized h positions from a materialist perspective. You do not have to be a Maoist to struggle for truth and liberation. ]

... If Mussolini did not have the finance capital to carry out his fascist agenda but still harbored and espoused the same fascist way of thinking does the lack of finance capital make him any less fascist? If so, enlighten me. The racist anti-Persian rhetoric Hussein used to influence Iraqis during the Iran-Iraq War of the '80's suffices for me as a reflection of his fascist tendencies, for now.

[MIM: Maoists use a scientific definition of fascism that includes finance capital and this debate is the perfect example of why this is crucial. There are many revolutionaries and internationalists who manage to fall into the trap of talking about fascism of the oppressed independent of imperialism (the writers renunciation of h amerikkkan citizenship indicates h might be in this camp).

During WWII the communists allied with the liberal capitalist countries to fight fascism, as that was perceived to be the principal contradiction. If we agree that fighting fascism is primary and we believe that fascism exists independent of imperialism, then we might ally with the u$ against a Saddam Hussein or the Taliban. MIM believes this is absolutely incorrect and that the principal contradiction is between the oppressed nations and imperialism at this time.

As stated in our previous response to the reader, we agree that the Baath regime could have been considered a fascist arm of u$ imperialism during the time in question when thousands of Iraqis were slaughtered for their beliefs in Iraqi independence. We would not call him an "Arab fascist" as the writer does, as this implies support for the Islamofascist line of the imperialists and their white nationalist allies. ]

...It is not opposition to descriptions of men like Hussein as martyrs that creates confusion and disunity amongst the various elements of the oppressed in this struggle. Rather it is the description itself tat causes such confusion and disunity and undermines the struggle overall.

The resolution of contradictions in achieving unity of the masses seems to lie in dialogue and practice. This is the ultimate purpose of my initial letter and this one. I am still very eager to learn more about Maoism and to discover the means of solidarity with other revolutionary-minded persons and movements. Despite my issue with the article aforementioned and discussed, I commend MIM for its courageous and poignant journalism and literature. I thank you for your persistent efforts to expose the oppression of prisoners here in the u$ and abroad. Please respond to this letter if you like, and provide me with a list of books you have available for purchase as well as the issue of MIM Notes that features the article that critiques my initial letter of commentary.

[MIM: The resolution of contradictions among the oppressed can best take place in struggle against the oppressor. That is why it is of primary importance to distinguish who is the oppressor and who are the oppressed we are trying to unite.

As the Maoist camp has been openly discussing for a long time now, there is great confusion in the International Communist Movement around this idea that we can forego alliances with the oppressed when they don't have a developed communist ideology. This isn't about Saddam Hussein and defending his honor. We take up this debate to push a scientific analysis of how to build United Fronts among the oppressed. Others would rather push alliances with the oppressor and call it communism or peace activism.

The Iraqi people will create much better images of resistance to follow than Hussein's Baath regime. Some already exist.]

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[National Oppression] [Theory]
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One spoiled reactionary bunch

How can we realistically get people in Amerika who are engrossed by individual pursuits and whose priorities are dominated and determined by the values of capitalism (e.g., material and financial acquisition, private motivated endeavors, etc.) to truly care for human beings in other parts of the world on a sustained and meaningful basis when in fact we can't even get most to give a damn for their so-called fellow citizens or oppressed nationalities right here in the "land of milk and honey and peaches and cream?"

I mean, let's be real right up the block, around the corner or across the Manhattan bridge, there is no genuine concern as the "Love Thy Neighbor" command has absolutely no lasting potency over the hearts and minds of the multitude in this cruel nation. We know it's a "dog eat dog" mentality out there and the "survival of the fittest" complex is the prevailing cornerstone of Capitalism.

The United Snakes is a cannibalized beast! Fundamentally, the problem is world-view. By world-view I don't merely mean how one views life, but I also mean the culture that cultivates and rationalizes this world-view. Obviously, as a culture capitalism is all around us and touches every aspect of our lives (i.e., financially, medically, educationally, psychologically, morally, recreationally, sexually, etc.).

Thus, it is really a wonder that the citizens and oppressed nationalities of the Amerikan Empire are a spoiled and reactionary bunch? Opportunism and free-loading are the true favorite Amerikan past times and not the NBA or NFL - well, I better add deep denial to this list of obsessions. And yes, this "equally" applies to the New Afrikan colonized nation in which I struggle to help realize its due right to liberation and state power.

"We" are a truly chicken shit culture that prides itself on fuckin' over people and being criminally indifferent toward those who are bombed, raped, robbed, and murdered by ruling class genocidal pirates. Yes, the masses too want to share in the booty, that's precisely why the "booty call" is so popular in the mass psyche. Let us in on the kill or stolen loot and we'll shut the hell up with all of this "keep hope alive" crap.

From the ghetto-hell Thug, the papered ass paid and sold "working class", etc. Amerika is a self-indulged - PIMP! "That bitch betta have my money" is its clarion. Alienation is the quintessential hallmark of capitalism as it is a system rooted in private property and irrational estrangement from mother nature as she is perceived and treated as nothin' more than an entity to be dominated and exploited just as the human woman. Most everybody is driven to get their "piece of the pie" or some "blood diamond bling" and couldn't give a fuck about what suffers to make such possible.

Now that's being a realist and true revolutionary in commitment and dialectical analysis and anything less is game by those who are prisoners of the pimp complex, period! This shit ain't hard to tell as reality speaks her truth by those bold enough in their politics and conscience to listen.

The sanctioned methods (virtues) of being a Rockerfella cutthroat, a Ford backstabber, Dole shrewdly manipulative and Al Capone brutally competitive are the foundational principles of capitalism (Amerika) as folks like Suge Knight, Russell Simmons, Bill Gates, Don King, et al. have learned to apply most effectively by observing the Wall Street sharks in their frenzied "I gotta get mines, you gotta get yours" ideology of "me, myself, and I." Until this shit really appalls you or makes one sick at the damn stomach, nothing will move the masses to struggle for a more just world as it for now is - just about us.

Myself, I'm counting on an economic melt-down and wars of international liberation with the aim of building localized strategic communalist-oriented zones of undyin' revolution on a fraternal basis.

The game - game my ass this be some real death-blood human misery shit that is serious - of capitalism is raw and murderous and most in this nation know and accept this rule as an inevitable reality as to their minds the greed impulse is simply too formidable a human quality to ever check and this is exactly one of the main reasons most believe in apathy, the ruling classes propaganda (i.e. feed on it like candy) as to communism supposedly being a naive and utopian idea.

How do we make the communal idea - imperative - attractive or appealing on a mass level in the face of say a Jay-Z, 50cent, Queen Latifa, Lil-Kim, Magic Johnson, Oprah, Coby Bryant, et al. bubbling in out-of-control wealth or the rewards of capitalism? Who wants to genuinely forfeit their dream or aspiration of one day possibly being just like Mike? The images of abundance and happiness in wild extravagance, though most shall never be in a position to experience such decadent and truly spiritually void life, has inordinate power over their minds and hearts of most people in the "land of the free."

The illusion is so powerful that people don't even bother to consider or even see the blatant contradiction in the saying "land of the free" when in fact one must pay for everything in this society - "from tha craddle to tha grave!" One can't even escape capitalism's parasitic reach in the fuckin' coffin...pathetic and sadistic are the values of Capitalist man and woman indeed.

A callous vampire and leech is what Amerika and imperialist countries like her are where "though shalt not worship idols" is nothin' more than a commercial brand for or in the name of profit.

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[Environmentalism] [National Oppression] [East Jersey State Prison] [New Jersey] [ULK Issue 1]
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From Pollution to Prisons: It's Profit over People

Revolutionary Greetings!!

Before I begin my explosive announcement. I want to thank MIM for their Theory Journals and papers, also the other valuable materials I've requested to build and organize POWs that are confined behind the wall. Right now we are on lockdown at East Jersey State Prison due to retaliation on a female officer yesterday who was beaten and two prisoners fighting on saturday visit, all in one day. This caused outside help like State Police, Gang Task Force and CID officers suited up with sticks and dogs to come in. A bunch of gang members were removed from the prison Saturday due to the serious incidents that occurred.

All this does is strengthen me in knowing that a struggle must start within, it's time for change. Hopefully, the lockdown should be over this week before the family day event.

However, my topic is from the latest journal sent on environment and revolution which deals with pollution problems all over. Where I reside at now in New Jersey there is a mass consumption of pollution and multi-million dollar corporations (kapitalists) who make toxic products and distribute large quantities to different parts of the world. But we have a former Governor of New Jersey Christie Todd Whitman who now is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Pres. George Bush's administration.

Mrs. Whitman messed up a lot of things for prisoners upon leaving office as governor of New Jersey. Everything the old revolutionaries fought and died for in Trenton State Prison to make it better for the next generation was taken away slowly without a fight excluding the street clothes but most importantly, including certain programs, food packages, boxing tournaments, etc.

Mrs. Whitman does not know too much about the environment where she was elected governor, just look at the poor neighborhoods where Blacks and Latinos live at infested with waste plants and steel & toxic plants that are a source of money for big CEO's who keep polluting minority communities. So she really has not cleaned up her act. Here in New Jersey this is having dramatic effects on the earth's atmosphere and climatology.

On channel 7 news she was interviewed by news casters about what did she do about the 9/11 situation when the downtown of Manhatten was saturated with debris, heavy smoke and fire and her not knowing that bodies were still decaying underground near the train and subway stations. Mrs. Whitman turned absolutely cold.

Her husband, Mr. Whitman, has a company that is tied to the Department of Corrections that distributes commissary store items for all the prisons in the state of Jersey. He has a big contract with the prisons. But they're all corrupt taking profits for economic gain for the Whitman klan.

...Thank you, and donations will be coming soon for your outstanding support. Thank You!!

MIM responds: This comrade brings up some good examples of how capitalism, national oppression and environmental degradation are all connected. These examples fit nicely into the thesis of MIM Theory 12 (Environment, Society & Revolution) that the root cause of environmental problems is capitalism. The so-called "EPA" of the leading imperialist country can be headed by someone who made her political career on capitalist profiteering at the expense of oppressed people within her state. Those expenses were felt in the forms of a toxic environment and an increasingly repressive prison system where an increasing portion of the oppressed are ending up.

The dumping of the toxic waste of amerikkkan consumerism on the oppressed is far bigger than the industrial wasteland of the Jersey Turnpike. Right now China is responsible for providing vast amounts of products to amerikkkan consumers at prices only a vast exploited population can provide. Not only do amerikkkans swim in the wealth of Chinese workers in the form of commodities, but they get to leave the toxins required to produce these commodities behind on the opposite side of the world. That's even better than dumping them in the air and water surrounding Newark ghettoes or in open pit mines and landfills on First Nation lands.

Of course, environmental degradation can only be contained to an extent. With global systems being knocked out of whack by the uncontrollable nature of capitalist development, no one is really safe from the effects. Yet amerikkkans as a whole still favor protectionism and even more extreme retribution towards China for the perceived lack of safety in Chinese commodities that their own system has allowed to develop. Those serious environmentalists in the First World need to take a look at what anti-imperialism and socialism have to offer. To get started, pick up a copy of "Environment Society Revolution" at amazon.com.

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[National Oppression] [Control Units] [Texas]
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So-called illegal immigrants

I see that the United Front has broken down on the issue of migrants, or what some term illegal immigrants. All I can say is those who call themselves Marxist-Leninist or Maoist should read their works on this issue. What is going on now is nothing new that the imperialists are doing, Lenin, Mao and Stalin all dealt with this. Besides, if you really claim to know the history of Amerika you'll know that this nation was started by who? White Settlers! Or illegal immigrants, because I've never seen the documents granting them tribal citizenship by the five nations, or what was once northern Mexico. So get past your chauvinisms so-called anti-imperialist revolutionaries.

As for myself, I still sit languishing in the Texas state prisons' version of control units. We call them "High Security Buildings." And this is all because I won't and refuse to become part of their program GRAD: Gang Related Activity Desensitizing. You know the game that the federales play, if you wanna get out you renounce your affiliation to whatever family you are a part of and you become an informant for the administration. No thank you, I'll pass.

So I'll sit in this cold ass building and study, plan and grow mentally, physically and spiritually. If these prisoners before me that were kept isolated for their beliefs could hold up with no let up ten and twenty years strong. I would be doing my ancestors in the struggle a grave disservice by becoming weak for an opportunity to get an extra tray at chow or watch a football game out in the dayroom among others. How could I be amongst them and call myself a man knowing I'm snitching for the man. They can keep those bullshit illusory privileges. Remember if we keep pulling, snapping and twisting, we'll eventually break this damn chain of imperialism. We have nothing else to lose.

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[Abuse] [National Oppression] [Western Correctional Institution] [Maryland] [ULK Issue 2]
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Beating on Blacks in Maryland

I've been locked up 16 years and I could have been up town a long time ago, but I always wind up beefing with these pigs because I'm not going to let them beat on my people. They keep jumping on people up here at WCI in Cumberland, Maryland. They killed one person up here and now they are telling prisoners, look we got away with one murder, what makes you think we won't do it again and get away with it!

They have this hearing office doing whatever they want it to do. They find everybody guilty, and tell you that if you don't plea guilty you will get the max no matter what. So they are saying we don't have any rights!

They are also playing with my mail and others. The office tries to send people's books home, but only Black books. Over the last 15 years I've been in this belly of the beast and I have been mindful of its design to destroy the strong beautiful Black minds that enter.

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[Control Units] [International Connections] [National Oppression]
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Shutting down Control Units and the World Revolution

From mimnotes.info Adapted from a presentation by the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League at the Unlock the Box conference on October 8, 2005. —ed.

It is important to recognize that we cannot pick our battles frivolously. There are uncountable horrible injustices in the world that need to be resolved. So figuring out where to start in order to be effective in eliminating all injustice is a crucial step for us. The ‘principal contradiction’ is the term we apply to the struggle of opposing forces that once resolved will do the most to push forward all struggles in our society.

Through practice, and the summing up of that practice into theory, we have come to see that in the United $tates, the lumpen of the oppressed nations are one of the greatest allies of the world proletariat. In particular, the incarcerated lumpen are at the vanguard in dealing with the problem of imperialism due to their facing its repression on a daily basis.

Mao Zedong made great contributions in demonstrating that the principal contradiction was that between the oppressed and oppressor nations during China’s war of liberation from Japan. His old adage that "In wars of national liberation patriotism is applied internationalism" still rings true today. Especially in a world where imperialism is the dominant force in more and more corners of the globe. This has been manifested in the recent internationalization of the U$ injustice system. While the United $tates has ran prisons and systematically tortured people throughout its neo-colonies for decades, this has usually been CIA and other secretive operations. With the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as with the whole so-called War on Terror in general, we have seen Amerikan soldiers of the occupying forces being the jailkeepers and interrogators.

The fact that the torture going on in these prisons is systematic is well- established by the number of reportings from both soldiers and prisoners. Just last week, after being sentenced to 3 years prison for abuse of prisoners herself, Lynddie England stated publicly that the Abu Ghraib pictures she was in were not the worst things going on and that everything they did was a result of orders from higher ups. U.S. Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld wrote a memo describing interrogation methods to be used at Guantanamo Bay that included everything depicted in the aforementioned photos before they happened in Iraq. Although he officially recanted the memo, the spread of these tactics through training of soldiers shows clear links between Rumsfeld’s orders and what is going on in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq. And of course, we also know that the same types of things have been going on in U$ prisons in North America for decades.

This begs the question of why is there so much more outrage surrounding Abu Ghraib than Pelican Bay. The difference is that the Black, Latino and indigenous nations within U$ borders have been colonized for centuries, with the dual effect of being integrated to some degree into the oppressor nation and benefiting from its exploitation of the rest of the world and the development of a colonized consciousness that is the product of dealing with this reality. In contrast, almost every single persyn in Iraq remembers a time before the U$ occupation, and they aren’t going to sit idly by while these Amerikans torture and humiliate, not to mention slaughter, their people.

To be powerful and effective in our struggle to stop torture in U$ prisons we must understand how this applies to our own conditions. This means recognizing the forces involved for what they are. The control units are often deemed ‘gang units’ and one of the primary excuses for their necessity is to deal with the supposedly out of control gangs. But we must see the War on Gangs, the War on Crime and the War on Terror for what they are, its all a part of the War on Oppressed Nations being led by the U$ imperialists and the Amerikan oppressor nation in general.

What is a gang? A gang is an organization, generally made up of lumpen proletariat, oppressed-nation youth. These lumpen organizations did not appear from thin air, nor from some alleged inherent barbarity of oppressed- nation people. These organizations come from the material reality in which whole nations are in subservient positions, and in which whole classes of people are prevented from participating in production and guaranteed consumption of basic needs. A recent program on Fox News, hosted by Newt Gingrich, spends an hour demonizing Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and calling for the imprisonment of lumpen youth, the militarization of the United $tates-Mexico border and the hunting down of al Qaeda. The latter comes from an alleged link that could lead MS-13 to helping al Qaeda bring dirty bombs into the United $tates. This link has been disputed by the FBI and appears to be pure lies and propaganda. However, Gingrich does get something right. He understands that all oppressed nations have the common interest of overthrowing U$ imperialism and so he is rallying Amerikans around this fear in defense of their empire.

If reactionaries like Gingrich were actually interested in eliminating the anti- people activities of many lumpen organizations then they would try to understand where these organizations came from and why they do what they do. Specifically, MS-13 is said to have started with Salvadorian refugees in Los Angeles for the same reason that most such groups start, for self defense and meeting community need. Why were they in Los Angeles? They were there because the United $tates was backing right-wing paramilitary troops to crush the FMLN in El Salvador, as they were doing all over Central America at the time. After the bloody and terroristic 1980s, the region was decimated and many were left with one real option to meet their needs: to become active participants in the trade corridor that the Amerikans use to bring drugs North from Colombia. This effectively replaced the revolutionary organizations in the region with more criminal minded lumpen organizations.

When the refugees arrived in Los Angeles during the war one might ask why they needed to form a gang? Any oppressed nationals in LA will already know the answer to this question. The biggest impetus is the best armed rival gang in town, the LAPD, the infamous gang unit and other associated pigs. To make matters worse, you still have to deal with divisions and fighting between various oppressed-nation gangs as well. This is the legacy of an earlier period when the Black Panthers had unified the Black Nation under a revolutionary vanguard. The response from the FBI was COINTELPRO, which killed, locked up and otherwise neutralized the Panther leadership. In this vacuum arose organizations like the CRIPs (Community Revolution In Progress), that dressed like the Panthers, spoke like the Panthers and hoped to provide a better life for the people. But without a clear political outlook like the Panthers, and with the influx of crack as the fastest solution to their economic problems, these young people embraced a criminal mentality.

Now the government would have you think that this is the last thing that they want, that they are committed to "cleaning up the streets." Wrong. This is exactly what they want. They created it. When oppressed nations organize for positive change the imperialists destroy their organizations (ie. the Black Panthers and the FMLN). Then they bring in the drugs to simultaneously buy off and destroy the minds of the next generation. In California prisons they’ve gone as far as forcing people into gangs. And the reality on the street has always been that groups of oppressed-nation youth are targeted for repression, in effect enforcing the necessity for gangs where they might not have already existed.

In the long run this works in our interests. It is vital to our struggle to organize oppressed-nation groups. If the pigs want to help by repressing people and forcing them into gangs, then they are digging their own graves. The ‘gang problem’ did not always exist. In Attica, in 1971, people from all nations and organizations came together for their common interests against their oppressor, while recognizing the revolutionary leadership of groups like the Panthers, Young Lords and American Indian Movement. This commonality is far stronger than any petty differences that currently exist between lumpen organizations. And this commonality is once again being recognized by leaders of these groups. In Oregon this summer there were hunger strikes and uprisings every month inside the prisons, where groups that at other times might have tried to kill each other stood side by side in the face of the common oppressor.

So, how do we create the outrage in this country that has been created around the Abu Ghraib scandal? The answer is in the consciousness of the oppressed nations. It is in the lumpen organizations coming together inside prisons and on the streets. And it is in the support of the family members and communities of those who are suffering in these torture cells.

When the Abu Ghraib photos came out, MIM Notes ran an article that broke the story on the history of people like Charles Grainer and Ivan Frederick, who had been involved in torture as prison guards in the United $tates before going to Iraq. The comrades who struggled against and wrote articles about this abuse where acting in concrete unity with the prisoners being held in Abu Ghraib today, even though they didn’t even know Abu Ghraib would ever exist. That is oppressed- nation nationalism as internationalism in practice.

Every victory we have in ending torture and reducing oppression in prisons in the United $tates makes it harder for them to do the same things around the world. Similarly, the growing resistance and power of the Third World struggles create more opportunities for us to bring attention to and create opposition to what is going on here. Our struggles continue to reinforce each other. And as more struggles break out on more fronts, imperialism weakens and all of our battles become that much easier.

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