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Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Texas]
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War on Drugs - Democracy Style

Greetings to everyone standing up for prisoners and human rights. My red fist goes to all MIM social or prison reformers who continue to carry truth, facts and hard struggles in their hearts against a democracy that does not serve all equally but serves the few rich imperialist greedy elites. MIM(Prisons) is speaking hardcore about a reality destroying many all over Amerika, especially those in prison of Black or Brown crimes, also known as the "War on Drugs." I am not trying to justify that smuggling or selling drugs should be permitted. Yet thousands now sit in prison with long harsh prison sentences that usually don't even balance out to such drug crimes. For example, in Texas the court judge gives you a certain prison sentence for drug crimes so that when you're up for parole the parole will be denied for reasons like "excessive amount." These reasons will be used each time you go for parole, not only violating Texas parole board policies but state law and U$ Constitution Amendments like the double jeopardy clause.

The Fifth Amendment of the U$ Constitution states, "…nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…" This clause assures three basic protections: it protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal, it protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction, and finally it protects against multiple punishments for the same offense.

Violating the double jeopardy clause qualifies as a constitutional violation in satisfaction of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, Pub. L. No 104-134. 110 Stat. 1321. When evidence indicates the parole board has violated the U$ Constitution the matter may be reviewed by a Federal Court pursuant to §1983.

2011 will be a legislature year. Black, Brown and other brothers in prison in Texas should ask their family and friends to protest such failed parole policies, state laws or constitutional amendments, now broken by this war on drugs by homeland terrorists calling themselves our nation's leaders.

The War on Drugs is not only a failed war on drug dealers, but against our families and communities, especially the Brown barrios and Black ghettos which many have always called home. The war on drugs sole purpose was to be able to create a new home, called prison, now filled with prisoners for drug crimes under harsh laws of sentencing ruining thousands of lives. And even our nation seems to be under attack by a democracy that serves more the rich than the poor or needy ones. I encourage others to draft protest petitions or letters and have their loved ones send them to John Whitmore who is a Texas Senator in charge of The Sunset Commission looking into this kind of prison violation.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We condemn this practice of refusing prisoners parole based on their original sentence, but we can learn from history that elections are not the answer to the problems of the oppressed. The imperialists and their supporters will be elected, and candidates truly serving the people will never gain any real power in the United $tates through elections. However, we can exert pressure on the criminal injustice system through protest letters and actions. Sometimes we can win small gains for the people through these struggles. And there is nothing wrong with using election time to push a progressive cause, just keep in mind that many legislators get elected on a "get tough on crime" platform. All this rhetoric is bullshit that has nothing to do with the reality of crime and punishment in Amerikkka, but the publicity is important to politicians so they are probably less likely to take progressive action in an election year if it might make them look "soft on crime."

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[Organizing] [Tennessee]
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To the OGs, Stop the Lie

Brothers we got to correct our backward thinking. You call yourself OGs? Black gangsters got no lore for a Black-men, never have, but you play the script well? OG why blind our youths with lies, false hope, why give them guns to do your dirty work? OG you leave prison wrap up with the right knowledge, but jump right back in the life, and call yourself an OG, but in prison you was fumbata now you are Mac-G. This madness got to stop whatever street tribes you claim: South, East, West, North, and in between, we got to rise above stop lying to our youths, like this is the best of lives being in these concentration kamps, doing time have never been cool, now these kids think it's part of life in order to get OG status. This false status got to die.

This is a call to all older OGs to say stop this false status among our youths. Here in Tennessee we are reversing the old time order of things, we refuse to be followers of reactionary ideals. Our family falls in line with comrade brother George Jackson ideals, Mr. OG please kill that statue. The law of the land is very real. Mr OG you will be judged by your deeds. The klan loves your status, cause they know you will continue to let our youths kill one another. The STG also love your status. Tag by your name Mr OG-Gangster.

This war is real, as the blood that flows on the streets. Mr. OG our youths look up to us inside of these concentration kamps. The judicial system don't care about our youths, we got to save them from this madness. They listen to us and they want to be like us. I've spent half my life in prisons and saw these OGs play the role real good. This system has always been a sanctuary to preserve and proliferate the criminal mentality.

Mr OG, let's rise up, you are the shot caller. Want to kill someone? - hit that criminal mentality - kill it, and bring to life the revolutionary mentality. As comrade brother George Jackson said, we got to transform the criminal mentality into a revolutionary mentality. Let's save our kids. In doing so we also save ourselves. To deceive others is reprehensible, to deceive ourselves is a damn tragedy.

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[Organizing] [Control Units] [High Desert State Prison] [California]
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Control Units No Better than Zoo for Animals

I am writing in hopes of bringing awareness to your followers regarding some of the injustices being forced upon prisoners housed within the administrative segregation units(ASU) in Z-unit. The circumstances below have unfortunately become the norm. Z-unit is officially referred to as the zoo due to the fact that it is a habitat fit for animals. We don't expect five star treatment because we are in prison. We know this and we are grateful for all that comes our way.

A major issue around here is mail. It is often late and quite frequently lost. Pictures, books, and magazines tend to often come up missing, but we are usually not provided with notices of disapproval. The thing is, when the mailroom confiscates something as contraband, they send you a notice of disapproval that allows you the opportunity to send home or donate whatever it is. So if the mailroom does not enclose this form in your envelope, then it is not them who steals the stuff, right? This issue is currently being reviewed at the director of CDCR's level of the 602 inmate appeals process in Sacramento, California.

High Desert State Prison(HDSP) is located in the mountains of Northern California. The winters are long and unforgiving. Temps often drop to 20F with gnarly winds, snow and ice. Since we are not provided with adequate winter clothing to defend against the literally numbing cold, we are forced to choose between freezing for three hours on the days they do choose to run yard or stay in our cells month after month. This too is being looked into by means of the grievance process.

HDSP is an unrelenting environment. Z-Unit is entirely worse. The way it was designed deprives one of all stimulation. The architects sure did a good job on designing an oppressive atmosphere. There is no window to the outside, simply a mere slit in the roof that leads to another skylight twenty feed higher. Looking out of the cell door all one can see is an all white wall five feet in front of you, the only contact you have is that of your cell mate, but that quickly becomes stale and strained.

TVs and radios have been authorized by the state since 2005, allowing purchases by inmates for entertainment purposes, but this has yet to be put into effect by the administration here in High Desert. Inmates who are fortunate enough to purchase books, magazines, newspapers etc., often have to wait upwards of a month after they are here to actually receive them. And when they're finally passed out, all reading material gets circulated throughout the entire tier. To say the least, we put everything to good use when we have it.

In spite of that, at one point, we were provided one book a week (better than nothing, I'm not going to front) by means of a tiny book cart. But that has ceased as of June 3 and to top it off, we are provided a slap in the face with two measly cross-words each week.

Without stimulation, internal anguish tends to set in. It has been clinically proven and well documented that in as little as two weeks in this type of environment, the average individual shows signs of stress, depression, anxiety, frustration, PTSD, anti-social symptoms and SHU syndrome. These conditions and the mental impact/ side effects they entail are the major cause of violence, both self-inflicted and in-cell combat. The mental imbalance is such that in September or October 2009 an individual committed suicide in his cell. In December 2009 another prisoner did the same, just to give a couple examples.

The impact this setting imposes has been acknowledged by the administration, for they have hired "psych-techs" who walk down the tier twice each day every day. How much does each psych-techs cost the state each year?

Prisoners have exhausted the appeals process and will continue on the right path to keep doing so, however, we are met with resistance at every level. More often than not, when you have proper grounds for a grievance, your appeal will somehow get lost. And when you write internal affairs asking them to submit it for you so that it won't be "lost," the warden will inevitably get at you letting you know that if you go that route then your grievance will not be processed. But it never gets processed anyway. Real fucking jerks, I know, not only this, but due to the insufficient nature and complete disregard on appeal coordinator's behalf, there is currently a lawsuit pending against the state. What can I say? We're trying.

Frustration got to the point that on June 14 and 18 about 35-40 cells boarded up to get cell extracted so they could voice their grievance. Unfortunately, we must expose ourselves to such gruesome protests, yet we are still not acknowledged. Moreover, on June 14-15 and again on Aug 2-9, prisoners housed in Z-unit went on hunger strikes. It seems like the light at thee end of the tunnel cannot be seen.

Many of the prisoners housed in Z Unit (about 80%) are awaiting transfers to other segregation units; however, some of these individuals have been enduring such dire circumstances upwards of two years.

To date, we have a select few of us on a writing campaign. Our object is ultimately to get our voice heard. So far, we've had a little success. Primarily, the Prisoner Activist Resource Center(PARC) is an organization currently working close with the prisoners housed in Z-Unit. Earlier this year, they led an investigation of this prison, but now they've planned one specifically for Z-Unit. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

This investigation has been published by SJRA Advocate. Also the AFSC has an open investigation on this prison's now obsolete Behavioral Management Unit (BMU), the same setting just a fancier title. The BMU investigation has been published in two newspapers: the Sacramento Bee and the Fresno Bee. We are hoping to get Z-unit added to that investigation.

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[Organizing] [California State Prison, Los Angeles County] [California] [ULK Issue 16]
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Mass Hunger Strike in California

On July 27, 2010 a mass hunger strike took place at California State Prison - Los Angeles County (CSP-LAC) in which close to, if not well over 1000 prisoners participated. This mass hunger strike was successfully organized directly under the noses of pigs and their collaborators. The purpose of this strike was to protest and call attention to another of the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation's (CDCR) oppressive and unconstitutionally sponsored pilot-programs in which prisoners are being forced to endure an average of 23 hours a day, seven days a week, confined in closed quarters.(1)

Whispers and murmurs were heard and acknowledged within certain circles concerning the impending hunger strike the week before-hand, however nothing was certain, or set in stone with regard to the actual date and time of the scheduled event outside of the strike organizers. Willing participants were advised not to exit their cells for either breakfast or dinner services during the period of no less than 24 hours in advance of the strike. This tactic of putting people up on game solely on a need-to-know basis was done specifically with the purpose of minimizing leaks and to prevent information from reaching prison administrators' ears. The strike was originally intended to last for a minimum of 72 hours. This was because it takes a minimum of 72 hours before CDCR officials in Sacramento must be notified by prison officials of the ongoing hunger strike. Only then are prison doctors required by Title 15 regulations to begin the tedious and time consuming work of weighing strike participants and giving medical exams.

Building 3 on facility C was the first housing unit to initiate the protest as they are the first building to walk to chow. Other buildings were instructed to immediately follow suit whether they then walked to chow or got cell-fed. The quiet was eerie as well as defiantly deafening as cell after cell refused to step out for feeding. Only then did it become immediately apparent to the pigs that something was up. The yard was immediately put on lockdown as pigs scrambled to find out exactly what was happening. All so-called MAC reps(2) were ordered to report to the facility program office in order to speak to the Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain.

Conditions Leading to Strike

As I stated during the beginning of this article, this hunger strike was the result of C-facilities' administrators, the prison warden, and quite possibly Sacramento officials' direct refusal to allot prisoners here the required minimum of hours per Title 15 regulations of physical exercise outside of our cells. The California Code of Regulations explicitly states that inmates who are to be considered security threats to their institution are to be allotted no less than one hour a day, five days a week (Monday thru Friday) of physical exercise outside of their cells. This info can be found in CDCR Title 15, 3322, Length of Confinement (a), 3331 conditions of detention (h) avid 3343 Conditions of Segregated Housing (h). The above mentioned regulations are designated for prisoners being forced to participate in said programs. However, C-facility prisoners at CSP-LAC are not considered safety and security threats, but instead are designated general population per the Title 15. Therefore the question to be begged here is, why are general population prisoners being subjected to such long and concurrent periods of time inside of our cells without meaningful physical exercise? General population prisoners must be given a minimum of ten hours of P.E. outside of our cells Mon - Fri according to old Title 15 regulations, however the CDCR has conveniently wiped this regulation from the Title 15 in order to get away with violating constitutionally upheld decisions.

This is a question which has continually been asked at this gulag since this yard officially opened back in September of 2009. Pigs and officials alike have stated that the yard program will improve once the yard officially opens, or that they're currently "working on it". However, the real reason that there is no yard here is quite simply that they just don't want to run it. Period.

Back in January 25, 2009, then-Captain Fortson released an ill-devised memo in an attempt to quell the prison masses' demands for yard. In this memo Fortson stated that "no more than 100 IM's on each side (as per safety ratio) and that all buildings will have yard 2x per week."

First of all, there is no way in hell that they can adequately provide physical exercise for all 1000+ prisoners when the yard is kept to a maximum capacity of 100 prisoners at a time, or 200 prisoners even, as of late. Also, with all the bullshit that goes on around here as well as the purposely delayed and cancellations of program, it is simply impossible for prisoners to receive anywhere near the ten hour minimum or five hour minimum for that matter of required physical exercise outside of our cells. This isn't rocket science people, and it isn't incompetence either. It is an arbitrary application of the safety & security doctrine. Why? Because in his ill-devised memo which will come back to bite CSP-LAC officials in the ass, the good Captain does not elaborate on this "safety ratio." And why does he not? Because there is no safety ratio, only a failed attempt to dupe the prisoners into buying the illegitimacy of their own oppression.

Finally, prisoners here got tired of patiently waiting to be given the right to exit their cells for meaningful physical exercise, so we decided to do something about it.

How it Went Down

Now, according to the so-called MAC reps who met with the facility heads immediately following the hunger strike, the administration stated that we'd certainly "gotten their attention." They were then given the captain's "word" that he would look into the issues and that things would change. However, if the MAC reps wanted the honor of an audience with the warden then they'd have to instruct all prisoners participating in the strike to give up the struggle. This was complete and total bullshit as it was obvious to anyone with half a brain that the pigs only wanted us to break it down and stop striking. This point was made very clear by a tiny minority within the organizers and insiders. They advised the MAC reps not to break it down, but instead to go around and tell everybody to keep striking. Unfortunately, perhaps out of real stupidity or just plain cowardice, the Executive Body MAC reps capitulated and went around telling people to end the hunger strike after a measly six and a half hours. Any continued act of resistance to the administration in the form of the hunger strike, or any other means by isolated individuals would've been futile as the vast majority of the population had already ceased. The damage was done.

Among the organizers and insiders there was a small minority who were against this mass action at this time, not only because they didn't believe that the objective conditions were entirely conducive for such measures as today's prisoner is programed to be docile and take a lot of crap, but also because they foresaw precisely the type of capitulation that ended up taking place. Furthermore, this small minority gathered that if indeed some organizers were hell-bent on kicking off this hunger strike then they might as well go one step further and instead call for a mass sit down and follow it with a hunger strike, as this would cause more havoc and confusion to the pigs, plus, they'd have to immediately justify their secondary response to Sacramento, as opposed to the 72 hour hunger strike requirement. It is the small minority's belief that this would have been the correct approach. Unfortunately, the majority of the organizers won out with their idea. Disappointed but still determined to at the very least help organize the strike, solely for solidarity purposes, the small minority encouraged others to join in. Of course there is much more to this story, but due to security purposes it will remain confidential.

In the end as a result of the strike we are now on lockdown. Also, the Executive Body MAC reps were almost all sent to the hole for suspicion of being the organizers and leaders of the strike. This is of course ridiculous as we all know that MAC really stands for Man-Against-Convict. And so now we await to see what happens in light of these events. Will the administration keep their word? Highly unlikely. While the Executive Body rots in the hole, the real leadership is still on the loose in the population, like fish blending into the sea. Prison administrators are confused if they believe they can organize and keep us in check in a top down structure with their MAC reps. Instead we organize from the bottom up, from the masses to the masses.

If nothing else readers of this article should take away one thing, there are no rights, only power struggles.

Notes:
(1) The one hour per day outside the cell is typically spent as follows: 15-20 minutes allotted to and from the dining hall for AM feeding, 15-20 minutes to and from the dining hall for PM feeding with the occasional five or ten minute delay, alarms, etc. In fact, when not on lockdown or "modified program" we in the general population receive an average of 2-3 hours of meaningful P.E. with recreational and exercise equipment, once a week.
(2)MAC Rep stands for "Mens Advisory Council." These MAC reps are voted into their positions by the population and are expected to voice prisoners concerns to administration. However, their real purpose as far as the administration is concerned is to keep the population under firm control and subservient.

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[Organizing] [Texas]
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Real Hope is in Historical Materialism

Reading the many articles in Under Lock and Key, I realize daily how hopeless our battle against injustice, inhumane conditions and the current American system itself, may seem. I continuously hear so many say we can't change it. They are wrong. They are weak and apathetic. We (prisoners and all Americans) must awake a revolution - no, not in the commonly accepted sense, not an attempt by one group to overthrow another to assume power. We need a revolution of the most profound kind, a revolution of the national soul and psyche, because if we continue to quietly submit to the injustices of this country, this system, with no opposition, then the limits of the tyrants will be absolute, acquiesced to by the very people who they oppress. Yes my brothers and sisters, it will be terrible to watch, torturous to be involved in, yet unquestionably destined to triumph if we (prisoners and Americans) will once again band together as one and rise to the call. I am certain of this because of my belief and faith in us, as prisoners, people, and Americans. William Faulkner once said, "It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe man [and Prisoners] will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance." We are that Man and Woman. Rise to the call of freedom and justice.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this prisoner that it is important that we believe in humynity and our ability to rise above what we have accomplished (or failed at) in the past and create a society free of oppression. However, we do not just take this on faith, we base it in the history of humynity, the struggles of the oppressed always fighting to rise out of oppression. And we do not share this comrade's faith in "Americans". As a whole Amerikans are bought off with the profits of imperialism and have a material interest in maintaining this system of exploitation and oppression. It is not their humyn nature that will lead people to rise above oppression, it is their desire to fight their own oppression that will ultimately bring down imperialism. We can learn this lesson from history, and so we should not place false hope in the bought-off Amerikan population as a whole. With that said, we do work to win over the minority who will join the cause of the good of humynity, against their own material interests, and we will continue to educate and organize petit-bourgeois people to that end while working for and with the truly oppressed and exploited.

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[Organizing] [Education] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 16]
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Educate to Liberate, Spread ULK

As revolutionaries who are conscious and active in the national liberation struggles of oppressed nations' anti-imperialist movement in general and in the United $nakes in particular, there is a need to understand the motive forces controlling our lives and how these relate to oppression.

As materialists we believe that knowledge is key to understanding these forces. The masses read bourgeois newspapers and media and take up the political line of the imperialists without really consciously knowing. I'm speaking here of the politically unconscious. For example, after 9/11 there were many oppressed nations prisoners saying "we need to bomb those terrorists and kill them all, them dudes are crazy."

Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Huey all taught us that we need to develop independent media institutions of the oppressed to build public opinion for revolution. It is with this thought in mind that I am proposing that all members and associates of the United Struggle from Within work to increase the subscriptions and readership of Our independent media outlet, Under Lock & Key. How do I suggest we do this? By (1) getting prisyners in your unit or prison to write in and request to be on the ULK mailing list, (2) making copies, if possible, and circulating them, and (3) having friends, family members, other groups, etc., send money in for subscriptions and check out MIM(Prisons)'s website. My persynal goal is to get 50 prisyners to write in and request a subscription over the next six months.

Most prisyners are poor and will readily write in for any type of reading material that they can get free. Our duty is to appeal to that particular material interest as a way to spread the word and share knowledge.

I believe that the more people become exposed to new ideas, programs, etc., the better chance we have of bringing them into the movement. After all, a lot of people simply don't know. So they can't be held accountable for their actions. By exposing people to the real world we take away their excuses and they have to make a conscious choice — to be on the side of the oppressed or the oppressor. Educate to liberate!

MIM(Prisons) responds: Our principal task in preparation for socialist revolution in the United $tates is to build public opinion and independent institutions of the oppressed to end imperialism. Under Lock & Key is an independent institution that builds public opinion, primarily among the imprisoned lumpen. USW provides more content for ULK than any other group, and we would encourage comrades to take up this call to begin a real campaign to expand distribution everywhere that USW is active.

We want to echo this comrade's call for financial support as we just completed discussions of how to better ensure that our distribution methods are effective and resources are not wasted. MIM(Prisons) has no paid staff and we work with a very small budget with no funding from outside institutions. Therefore, donations sent go a long way.

While prisoners are often indigent, oppressed nations in the United $tates benefit materially due to imperialism (they get the crumbs from the king's table), so we wouldn't say that the only thing holding many people back from joining the anti-imperialist movement is their ignorance, as this comrade does. However, s/he is correct to say that exposing people to revolutionary ideas will enable and force them to consciously choose what side to be on. So push the revolutionary movement forward and help expand the distribution of Under Lock & Key!

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 16]
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Let's Clean Up Our House

First off, let me just sympathize with the many innocent individuals behind these gates. Remain strong my people.

The North Carolina Department of Corrections (NCDC) is targeting the same exact groups that the California Department of Corrections is targeting: the Muslims, 5 Percenters, Disciples, Crips, Bloods, Moors, Mexicans, and all other non-Amerikans. What gets me though is that everyone knows this, yet do not take the initiative to give their Nations (organizations) a more decent look. I do not feel any sympathy for a group of people who's soulful intentions are to destroy humynity. Most of these gangs, groups, religions, etc. have more negative energy within them than they do positive. Why can't someone start up a food drive or something for Haiti using the CRIP Nation's name (Coloreds Rising In Power) or the BLOOD Nation?

We as gangstas are not making sure that first our house is cleaned, secondly, we are protected, and lastly, that what we represent is receiving a positive acknowledgment from this country. Every time you turn on the television a member has managed to put yet another negative look on the Nation. Stanley "Tookie" Williams was killed by the government, not because of the things he did, but rather, the things that other Crip members were doing. Basically, homies got the "G" killed.

Now, I understand that things can't be controlled after a certain action has taken place, however, we can determine what and when things happen. Gangstas are leaving graffiti, bandanas, and all other sorts of clues for the government to make their cases with. We are supposed to be secretive yet visible.

Inside the prison system, gang members are showing off tattoos, signs and scars. They are admitting to being affiliated and also are telling staff who else is a part of these Nations. There is not one secret kept within these Nations anymore. It's all just a fun game now. These so-called "Big Homies," OGs, 5-star Generals, and Lieutenants aren't pursuing a positive outcome of change. They just love controlling other individuals.

While the gangstas in Cali may be seeking relief from the oppression, the so-called gangstas in North Carolina have grown content with such oppression. Is there any group fighting for the validated members locked up around here? These dudes will hurt each other before they think about helping one another.

About a year ago an indigenous prisoner was murdered by a so-called Crip. Guess how many Crips got charged? Eight! These niggers started snitching on each other. I stay as far away as a I can from the bull jive.

It's just so sad to see so many brothas lost. They believe this gang thing is BLOOD vs. CRIP. I tell them that it is not. It is BLOOD and CRIP. We are 1 Nation together. Divided we aren't anything.

MIM(Prisons) responds: One of the contradictory aspects of the popular language is the use of the term "nation" to refer to a collection of sets. This comrade wants to unite Blacks as one "nation," but goes on to refer to various "nations" among the lumpen, many with Black members. The lumpen organizations took on this language following the righteous revolutionary nationalist movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this period, organizations represented Black, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Chinese and First Nations, and they all worked with each other as allies. Their power came from their correct understanding of national oppression. Today, these groups going around calling themselves "nations," fighting each other, are often part of the same nation, and almost all of them are from the oppressed. When they start recognizing the oppressor as their enemy, then we'll see the kind of power our predecessors had.

This comrade also mentions trying to receive positive recognition within this country. Within one's nation, among the oppressed nations, that is a righteous goal. But Amerika is never going to recognize the oppressed nation youth organizations as positive as long as they represent their interests as oppressed people. The ALKQN has struggled with this exact problem. Even the Black Panthers, who didn't have the same internal contradictions that the ALKQN has, faced general condemnation from Amerika, though they certainly found allies among a minority.

We wouldn't go so far as to say that the state killed Tookie because of what other Crips were doing. We do agree that they used the anti-people activities of groups like the Crips to justify killing Tookie, not to mention to justify locking up 1 million other Black men across the United $tates. But Tookie was killed because he represented true rehabilitation from a misled gangsta youth into a righteous Black nationalist.

When Tookie was killed in 2005, MIM Notes wrote, "The Crips developed within a certain social and historical context. Tookie took part in leading the formation of the Crips after living his life in a certain context, just like the conditions of his life later led him to repent and take on a new purpose in life. The unscientific idea that bad people are just bad cannot explain why Tookie engaged in anti-people activities as a youth, but then turned around to be a positive member of the community later on. In upholding this mantra avoiding scientific explanation, the state ultimately decided that Tookie was just faking his redemption. This was a ridiculous lie." (MIM Notes 329, p.1) Tookie should be upheld as an example for the criminalized youth of today.

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[Organizing] [Missouri]
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The Call for Unity

The case for unity has been argued in word and demonstrated by action many times throughout history. From the violent struggle for liberation led by Nat Turner to the peaceful protests of Ghandhi and King the call has always been to unite in a common cause. Though every revolution has been ignited by the spark of one person's vision progress has never been the result of unilateral effort. Only through the co-mingling of the group dynamic can we hope to create the necessary environment to usher in an era of positive change.

We, the men and women held as prisoners of war in these so-called United States, face a unique challenge. In order to begin the process of change we must first let go of the petty differences we have for each other. The incarcerated in Amerika come from all walks of life. We are white, black, brown, red and yellow. We are Aryan, Muslim, Christian and we are Jew. Our most enduring common denominator is that we all are treated as nothing more than as commodities for the profiteers of the prison industrial complex. The so-called boundaries of race or religion or gang affiliations no longer apply to us. These are the tools of these modern-day overseers to keep us separated and at each others' throats. It no longer matters through what eyes you see the fences, they are clear to all of us. We are all under the yoke of oppression. We are all subject to the whims of jack-booted thugs who pass themselves off as correctional officers. The time has come to put away the childishness of racial and/or religious supremacy, join together in one cohesive unit and face our common enemy together.

Brothers and Sisters, I must warn you that it will not be easy. Our struggle may very well be long and arduous. The pigs and their handlers have perfected their game for decades while we were still killing each other over any perceived disrespect. There will be losses as there were losses in the past. But if we implement a gradual strategy of non-violent rebellion our losses will be minimal while theirs will be mountainous.

Step One: Everyone in their respective institutions stage a boycott of the chow hall. It could be a meal that is particularly disliked by the majority. If your place is anything like mine there will be many to choose from. Make an organized effort to enforce this demonstration. Those Brothers and Sisters who have it to give, give it to those that don't. Nothing can break this action faster than a bunch of people running to the chow hall. So, for those who lack the discipline to miss one meal give them a soup or something to tide them over. If there are Brothers or Sisters who need to eat something for medicinal reasons, feed them first.

What this will do is demonstrate to the screws that we are willing to sacrifice together. If asked, and you will be asked, what is going on, tell them: This is a peaceful demonstration of solidarity amongst us prisoners of war in protest of the living conditions here. Submit a written list of grievances to the warden's office with the promise that the demonstration will not escalate if there is reasonable effort on the part of the administration to adequately rectify your demands to the satisfaction of the whole population. Remember to be clear that there is no plan for violence. Send a copy of your demands to a trusted outside source for external verification that you are engaged in a non-violent protest of the deplorable living conditions at your institution.

Be prepared. Your institution may go on lock down. Don't panic. This is the usual response. There may be massive shakedowns so remove all contraband from your living areas as any violations of institutional rules will be ammunition for them to undermine your efforts. They are relying on our desire for rec time to break the demonstration. We must hold fast. Take pleasure in the fact that they are spending more time and money to feed you than they would if you were to continue taking your meals in the chow hall. Kitchen workers, at this point, should continue to work in the kitchen to maintain that the meals are prepared in a sanitary manner. If Step One is ineffective and/or is taking too long move to Step Two.

Step Two: Organize a institution wide boycott of the canteen for one week. No one goes to the store for anything. Resubmit your list of demands to the warden's office and to the outside source. Reiterate that you are engaged in an act of non-violence. For this action refuse to yield until positive action is taken to remedy your grievances. This hits them where it will hurt the most. Granted we all like to be able to prepare some treats for ourselves every now and then but sacrifices must be made. You have broken no law and therefore any action taken against any of you is proof of continuing injustice. Again, be prepared for lock downs and shakedowns. Some Brothers and Sisters may be targeted as suspected ringleaders. There may be transfers. All this is to be expected. If they occur they are retaliatory and punitive. The standard reasons will most likely be in regards to the safety and security of the institution. Be sure to document all such punitive transfers or retaliatory sanctions and make your outside source aware. This information will help you in a class-action suit that may be filed on your behalf in the future. As no laws are being broken or institutional policies infringed on you will have a strong counter-argument against the safety and security of the institution. If Step Two is ineffective and/or taking too long add Step Three into the mix.

Step Three: Strike!!! No one goes to work anywhere. Realize that we run the prisons. If we don't do it they will have to do it. Or hire outside help to do it. We get paid pennies per hour. Any outsourced labor will demand at least minimum wage. This is the only step of the three in which Brothers and Sisters can and, most likely will, be charged with a crime. The U.S. Constitution maintains that slave labor is legal for prisoners of war in war time and prisoners of war in prisons any time in the so-called United States. Make certain that your outside source is fully aware of your intentions as there may be a need for legal representation. We must maintain discipline within the ranks. The pigs will use trickery and slickery to attempt to break your momentum. Do not let them. Make sure that anyone who gives in knows that they are weakening the revolution and that there will be consequences for their betrayal in the future. I'll leave you to decide what is best in that regard.

We all understand the language of violence. Some of us are fluent in it. But I'm here to tell you that violence is the last act of desperation. We have no win if we engage in violence. The pigs hold all the weapons and will wield them at the merest hint of provocation. The time may come but that time is not now.

Without shedding a drop of blood, if we stand united together, we can put the powers-that-be on their back feet. By maintaining an aura of solidarity we can take back some of the power that was stolen from us. And when we prove that we can last longer than they can, they will come running to the negotiating table. The prison industrial complex is a business and we do nothing more that to help the facilitator facilitate when we spend our money in their company stores. Individually we are weak but together we can move mountains.

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[Organizing] [State Correctional Institution Huntingdon] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 16]
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Stand Up for Real Causes

I agree 100% with what the soldier said about SCI-Huntingdon in the May/June issue of ULK. The population in this prison does not stand up for shit except count time. I've been trying to get these motherfuckers in here to boycott since 2005, but these dudes only worry about BET, sports, 40 cent ice cream tickets and who's sucking whose dick.

As far as boycotting the kitchen, I understand dudes don't want to lose their jobs but if the kitchen shuts down we shut the prison down! The prisoners do not realize how much power we actually have here, but one or two people can't stand alone. We, the population as a whole, would have to stand together even if it's something as simple as not going to the store for 2 weeks straight, or nobody goes to eat for one or two days. That's enough to get the administration's attention that we are not satisfied with the administration's operation. Shit, the female prisoners have more balls than the males do. Muncy and Cambridge Springs shut down as soon as something goes down that they don't agree on, but we males, what?

Yes, I'm talking to the gangsters, killers and so-called big time drug dealers across the state of Pennsylvania, because it's not only here at Huntingdon, it's the entire male population of PA. Stand up for yours! I'm not talking about a riot or cross burning or any kind of assaultive behavior. Just simply don't go to the chow line for a day or two, don't turn in that slip for the store for 2 weeks, or don't pay that $16.50 they are charging for cable every month. Better yet, stop talking to the pigs as if they are your homies or OGs. That shit makes me sick every time I see one of these pussies "hee-hawing" with the same pig that slammed them in the Restrictive Housing Unit (RHU) and fucked up their parole.

Wake up and realize where you are people. Cuz, Blood, Latin King, G.Ds, Muslims, Christians, forget colors and religions, stand up as human beings. These redneck hillbilly pigs don't even see us as humans, they see us as dollar signs. So since that is how they see us why not hit them where it hurts: their pocketbooks? Fuck that kitchen. Fuck that CI-shop job. Fuck the store and fuck the cable system! We pay $200 for a tube, then pay an additional $16.50 a month just to watch it, what kind of shit is that?

We need to stop spending our dough and make them waste theirs. They do it to us, it's their turn!

Stand up! Wake Up!

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[Organizing] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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All eyes on Us for Black August

From behind California State Prison enemy lines - from within the Belly of the Beast that is the Amerikan Injustice System - I greet you! I call to your attention the annual commemoration of Black August and invite you - prisoners and your families - throughout Amerika - to join in honoring our beloved martyrs with fasting, study, sharing Panther Love and knowledge of our history of struggle against oppression and for justice, and renewal of commitment to struggle for a brighter future for humanity. In particular, Black August 2010 commemorates the martyrdom of our brothers Sean Bell and Gus Rugley, and our comrades Hasan Shakur, NABPP-PC Minister of Human Rights, Jonathan Jackson, and Comrade George Jackson, Field Marshall of the Black Panther Party Prison Chapter.

We must also remember January 1, 2009 police handcuffed Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Black man, and forced him face-down on the platform of a rapid transit station in Oakland, California. Then one cop shot Oscar Grant in the back, killing him. This cold-blooded murder was caught on cell phone videos and seen by millions. People in Oakland immediately took to the streets in righteous protest. The case has become a flashpoint of struggle in supposedly "post-racial" Amerika and protests have continued. Revolutionaries have been uniting with the efforts of people from a broad spectrum of political beliefs to say This Must Stop, and bringing revolution and communism to the people.

Yes my sisters and brothers,

We shed tears for our fallen brothers and sisters as well as the many children - who have been killed by the oppressors in this land of our exile and enslavement. We have a right to cry over our dead - for every life is precious beyond measure - the loss of each is intolerable. We consecrate this month so that those who have been taken from us will never be forgotten - nor the love of liberty which their lives stood for.

Our grief is real and so is our determination to continue the struggle until all are free and oppression is no more. Our pain makes us stronger and more human. Our determination makes our people struggle. We must get up and stand up as one - a united people - and prepare for revolutionary change in the 21st Century.

To clear our minds, I propose that we eat only one meal a day throughout the month of August, and fast completely on August 7th - in honor of Jonathan Jackson - on August 21st - in honor of George Jackson - and on August 31st - in honor of Hasan Shakur. On these three fast days, we should be silent and contemplative, and throughout the month we should refrain from watching TV and listening to the radio.

During this month, the elders, political prisoners and veterans of the struggle should make a particular effort to reach out to the youth and teach them our history and lessons from our experience. We should demonstrate Panther Love, throw away old grudges, and start new friendships. We should draw our comrades closer and strengthen our united commitment to advance the struggle.

Besides fasting, comrades should work out and get physical exercise, meditate and put mind, body and spirit in harmony.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome this Black August greeting in time for our July/August issue. Black August is truly a people's holiday. And its power is acknowledged in California, where it began and where the state still uses Black August material as a justification to put people in Security Housing Units. While we print this comrades suggestions for celebration during the month, we also warn against ultra-leftism and spirituality. Yes, study history and turn off mindless television, but don't cut yourself off from the world for a month. Yes, exercise and even fasting can be healthy, but learn more about how fasting will affect your body in your specific conditions on a prison diet, and don't decrease your strength through excess.

This communique also comes at a time when we are hearing about the work of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (NABPP) paralleling our own. While we print this statement and have worked with the NABPP elsewhere, we warn our readers that the "MLM" and "Pantherism" of the NABPP is not the same as ours. While the NABPP's practice has generally been commendable, we criticize their ideology as revisionist and crypto-Trotskyist. We discuss the revisionism of NABPP in "Maoism Around Us" and critique one of the NABPP Minister of Defense Rashid's publications in "Fearlessness, Scientific Strategy and Security".

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