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Under Lock & Key

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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.

This article referenced in:
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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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[Police Brutality] [Organizing] [Oscar Grant] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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Pig Gets Off for Murder

On July 9 at around 2:30 p.m. the announcement was made that the official verdict on the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the transit pig who shot Oscar Grant in the back and killed him, would be released that day, and immediately people started gathering at the major intersection of 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland, California. At about 4:15 p.m., the verdict of involuntary manslaughter was released. This is the lowest charge that the jury could have chosen to give Mehserle, and as expected, the people of Oakland were pissed. Our comrades attended the protest, equipped with fliers emphasizing that the movement needs to be elevated from rioting into conscious revolutionary struggle generally, and national liberation struggles specifically, if people want to stop the murders of more Oscar Grants. The flier suggested Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth and Black Panther Party original documents as good starting points for a successful transition into a movement to truly end police brutality.

Government employees in the downtown area were under a mandatory evacuation, and business people were high-tailing it out of there as fast as the freeways could take them. The state and the media had hyped it up to be L.A. in 1992. That was far from the case. Still many large buildings were boarded up 20 feet high for days; others were frantically drilling in plywood as protesters converged. The hype was so extreme that even one discount grocery store located a mile from the epicenter of the protest boarded its windows as soon as the jury went into deliberation - as if a crazed mob would travel so far to loot their expired yogurt.

The City of Oakland set up a sound system in front of Town Hall that was supposed to serve as a speak-out, but was just playing funk for a few casual dancers, sometimes so loud that it seemed like they were attempting to drown out the actual protest. The rest of the 1000 people were gathered around a much smaller sound system in the adjacent intersection, having their own speak-out. The soap box ran from about 5-8 p.m., and the "don't tear up Oakland" position that was emphasized so strongly at past protests seemed to have taken a back seat on the collective agenda of the group. Most messages were that this verdict is bullshit, the system isn't going to give justice for Oscar Grant, and we need to organize. There was also a strong recognition that Black people were the targets of this violence and of the need for Black nationalism.

The typical divisive tactics that we had reported on at previous at Oscar Grant movement events was also present. One man insisted on addressing "just the Oaklanders" and advised the Black youth to not get "pimped" by "outside agitators." The response from the crowd was cold. The next speaker said he was also asked to speak on "outside agitators" and went on to point out that Martin Luther King, Jr. was called an "outside agitator" everywhere he went in the South. He said that no one is "outside" the struggle for justice, and went on to point out that the only people who are coming from outside the movement to cause problems were the pigs. This brother received enthusiastic cheers.

This theme was one that had been playing out for weeks within the organizations preparing for the verdict. Reportedly, non-profit leaders and those working with the City government were spearheading the line that the Black youth of Oakland couldn't rebel without white people from the suburbs telling them what to do. This racist bullshit had already been struggled against for weeks leading up to the verdict. While some in the crowd were dismissive of white speakers, telling them to get down, ultimately it was the content of what was being said that the protesters recognized. While there was a strong contingent of self-proclaimed locals saying "be cool" and using the local slang to attempt to create divisions, their effect seemed minimal.

During the speak out, pigs were lined up several blocks from the protest, controlling foot traffic and warning "unsuspecting" bicyclists of the "danger" ahead. At 8 p.m. the soap box was shut down by the City and everyone was hanging out in the streets, occupying several blocks of Broadway. After about thirty minutes, a trash can was lit on fire but protesters put it out within a minute. Occasional bottles were thrown at the pigs, and when any excuse was given to the pigs to attack, many of the protesters would run like hell. The pigs were surprisingly non-reactive, however, and would just occasionally change positions, pushing the protest north on Broadway. This didn't prevent "Fuck the Police" from being the most popular chant of the night.

A Foot Locker was looted, and many people made out with fresh kicks and jerseys. A group of three to four protesters started guarding the Foot Locker and tried to appeal to the protesters to not loot, which they said would prove that they are just ignorant Black people and would prove "them" right ("them" presumably being the white legislators and City officials who they hope to ask for justice). On the other hand, the guards correctly emphasized that there are Black organizations to get involved in to deal with these issues, and that looting the shoe store won't stop killings. If there was a strong Black vanguard in the area, MIM(Prisons) would have worked with them at this event rather than promoting study and building of new cadre groups. That's not to say there aren't a number of small, semi-underground formations that are worth working with, but none of them wield the power or influence to have led the rebellion.

The Black Panther Party asserted the need for a vanguard to organize and lead the masses down the most effective path to power in The Correct Handling of a Revolution, following the uprisings in 1968 across the country. It states, "There are basically three ways one can learn: through study, through observation, and through actual experience." They go on to say that the Black community generally learns through observation and participation. Unfortunately, the lessons put forth in this article were not observable at the demonstrations this year or last, indicating that study is needed. While the fires, graffiti and smashed windows grab our immediate attention, it is the serious organizing efforts that will allow the Oscar Grant movement to have a lasting effect. While it is hard to quantify these efforts now, the mood of the speakers indicate that despite the lack of a vanguard organization leading the rebellions, many are thinking and moving in this direction.

Over the next few hours the crowd gradually dwindled, smoke bombs and fire crackers were set off, windows broken, over a dozen dumpsters and trash cans lit up, graffiti was sprayed, garbage cans tossed into the transit stations, as the crowd was constantly pushed north, sectioned off, and divided by the pigs. At one point the street lights went out and three gun shots were fired from an unknown source, but apparently nobody was hit. Unlike the usual large demonstrations in the Bay Area, many protesters tonight were armed, but attacks on police were limited to rocks, bottles and, according to police, a few molotov cocktails. By 11 p.m., the protest had reduced to small groups launching hit-and-run tactics on stores. Their movement seemed guided by the police, who vastly outnumbered them. At the end of the day, there were 78 arrests.

Although our comrades were not on the front lines for the whole showdown, a tazer was only heard once, and while there were regular explosions heard, no reports are claiming that they were caused by the kkkops. Overall it seemed like the pigs were on their best behavior (for being stinking fucking pigs, anyway). This was clearly unexpected behavior by most protesters, who were constantly running at the slightest sign of action, only to return a few minutes later when they realized the tear gas and rubber bullets had yet to arrive. Activists were expecting the worst, including the use of the a $675,000 long-range acoustic device (a machine that produces sound waves that can cause permanent damage) that the Oakland Police Department recently purchased. Again, it never showed up.

The pigs outnumbered and outlasted the protesters. When the rebels had been reduced to a couple hundred, the pigs still had reinforcements coming in and surely more on standby. The fact that there was no need to resort to severe repression demonstrated their control over the situation. Evidently, they were willing to sacrifice a few downtown businesses as a pressure release. The next morning, the Oakland police chief was celebratory about their ability to control and contain the rebellions.

Mehserle's sentence is due out in November, and could range from 14 years in prison to probation. We expect the day of sentencing to re-ignite these protests all over the state.

Notes: Prisoners write us for a copy of "Oscar Grant: organization, line and strategy" printed on the anniversary of the initial rebellions following Grant's murder.

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[Organizing] [Texas]
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Fighting Rotten Food and No Parole

Before I could get this letter out, land of the weak, home of the slave day came up, "4th of July" the celebration of the day the Europeans that came to amerikkka who took this land from the Indigenous people had to in turn fight the British to keep it. I wonder where was good ole karma then? Anywow. I'm sitting here troubled because like the comrade who wrote about the hot dogs, they served us half-cooked BBQ chicken. My point in this they were also supposed to put cherry pie on the tray but since I'm in loss of privilege, for not wanting to work for free, and numerous other reasons, myself and others on the "lazy offender program" as the pigs call it, did not receive cherry pie. These grown ass men were crying about no pie, and I was saying you'll be lucky to eat the chicken with no stomach problems. These morons stress for all the wrong reasons. There is no unity here in the Texas Don't Care Jailocracy. These inmates have been led to believe that if you work and stay disciplinary free parole'll let you go. The truth is I stayed case free for 7 years on a non-aggressive 10 year sentence and they tried to give me parole after I pulled 9 years and 3 months, with all kinds of stipulations. So I told the parole board to give it to someone else. The moral of the story is, instead of riding for a cherry pie, why not ride for parole or furloughs to be reinstated in TDCJ asylums?

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[Organizing] [Holman Correctional Facility] [Alabama] [ULK Issue 15]
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Back to the basics

Not too long ago, prisoners at the Holman Max Security prison in Alabama staged a work/hunger strike in protest of the horrendous and deplorable unsanitary living conditions (open sewage around the toilets and sinks, gaping holes in the shower walls, exposed plumbing, leaking roof in the living and sleeping area and in the kitchen, and the constant arbitrary lockdowns).

There had been grumblings about these conditions from most prisoners. Complaints had been filed but no action was ever taken to correct any of the above problems.

A few prisoners got together, chopped it up and came up with a strategy and tactics to correct the conditions. We knew that this was a winnable battle because the conditions were right to galvanize the entire prison population and we had family and friends on the outside.

The conditions in the dorms and kitchen were so deplorable that there was no way for prisoncrats to dance around the issues of willful neglect and the callous disregard for sanitation and prisoners health.

We also knew that they couldn't afford to allow the prison industry (tag plant/metal fab) to be closed down too long. We were hitting them in their pockets. Plus, the pigs are so lazy that we knew there would be friction among them about having to prepare hot, cooked meals for those prisoners who were exempt from the hunger strike, and to wash the trays, pots and pans.

We made a list of all the people and agencies we want to notify about what was going down and why we were staging a peaceful work/hunger strike. We had our people outside to bombard the commissioner's office with faxes and phone calls, call the local media to notify them of the strike and express their concern and outrage about the conditions.

We then sent kites (notes) to prisoners in the other four dorms about what we were getting ready to do and why, and asked that they take the leadership in their dorms. Word came back from the other dorms giving the ok. Then simultaneously, all four dorms placed all TVs and microwaves at the front gate. TVs have always been used as a weapon to pacify prisoners for years. So, we were letting them know that no longer could they control us with them.

Instantly, the pigs who were in the dorms fled. We addressed the entire dorm laying out what we were doing, why and how we planned on proceeding. We asked that everyone join in the strike. Only the elderly and those with medical reasons were allowed to go and eat, and they acted as reconnaissance scouts while out of the dorm. With everyone's input we drew up a list of demands and declared them non-negotiable. The first demand was that we wanted to talk to the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) and not the warden of the prison. We knew that eventually the riot team would be called in so we discussed how we were going to handle that. The consensus was that we keep the strike peaceful and there would be nothing they could do. On more than one occasion, the pigs tried to provoke violent confrontations. We refused to play into their hands.

Over 18 hours into the strike, the commissioner made his way from Montgomery, Alabama to Holman prison at Atmore, Alabama. He requested to speak with our spokesmen. We had selected a spokesman from and for each dorm. The spokesmen informed the commissioner that there would be no dealings with the warden since he had years to address our concerns and that there would be no private talks. The commissioner was forced to enter the dorms. We made our complaints and demands. The commissioner tried to dodge and use the same old crap they always use about budgets and allocations of funds for the ADOC. We let him know that we've heard that before and that we were not willing to end the strike until we got some guarantees and changes. The commissioner eventually agreed to all our demands.

The following day inspectors, contractors, etc. visited the prison and prisoners were temporarily moved from each dorm for renovations to begin. Within a year all dorms were renovated and a new roof was put in place.

We read the conditions right. The population was angry and thoroughly dissatisfied with the conditions. The population was just waiting on someone to take the initiative and move out front, to take the leadership role.

Some did just that.

This article referenced in:
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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 16]
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United We Stand: COs split Bs and Cs

The Department of Corruptions, under the guise of safety and security is slowly but surely succeeding in their divide and conquer strategy. They have already been successful at convincing individuals to snitch by offering those who choose to take that road a safe haven. While at the same time they're inciting conflicts in General Population. Here recently the captain of D-yard told a crip inmate that a blood inmate informed on him. Instead of them seeing this for what it was, these two guys ran around the yard telling anybody who would listen that the person was a snitch. The result was that the blood stabbed the crip in the law library. This resulted in the whole Black population being placed on lockdown for 60 days. The excuse for the lockdown was that they had to investigate the situation.

They released a program status report the day after the incident and passed out copies to everyone. They wanted everyone to know it was a blood and crip that was involved. Under any other circumstances it takes the pigs 30 days to release a program status report. At the same time the pigs were walking around like school kids making comments intended to incite the blood and crip conflict. Normally when something like this occurs they only lockdown the groups involved. But this time they locked down all Blacks, which was strange because this was a one-on-one issue that was provoked by the pigs. But this is the norm here in Kern Valley.

This is a maximum security prison. Guys around here claim to be militant revolutionaries, hardcore gangsters and solid convicts. But all I see is a bunch of fools looking for some type of recognition and popularity, until we all wake up and realize that we have to unite in order to overcome the oppressors then we must accept what we get. United we stand, divided we fall, together we can stand tall. Until that happens the pigs will continue to divide and conquer.

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[Organizing] [Attica Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 17]
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Time for Peaceful Revolution

Editor's Note: We receive many letters critical of lumpen organizations (LOs) from prisoners across the country reflecting the contradictory aspects of the lumpen class. Some are from alleged former members, wishing to do exposés of these organizations. For the lumpen to be internally critical is a necessary step for the development of a proletarian consciousness among the oppressed inside U.$. borders. However, to print public criticisms without providing real alternatives and leadership does more harm than good.

Our task is to develop a united front among those groups of people who have an interest in opposing imperialism. We must work with the material given us and not disregard the masses because of their backwardness. Not working for the pigs is a start, but we only print parts of this critique to allow our comrade to respond and illustrate a better approach for all who are facing similar situations.

Greetings Comrades,

It's time for a peaceful revolution here in the state of New York Department of Correctional Services because with violence we are not going to accomplish anything. Especially with all these rats running around who will sell their souls for an extra tray or a roll (cigarette). Speaking about rats, let's start with the ALKQN. The reality here is that this organization was founded in 1939-1940 by Lord Gino Gustavo to stop the abuse and terribly degrading way us Latinos were being treated in Chicago by the pigs inside and outside of the walls of lost souls, to stand up as people against the unjust government that was oppressing us and pouring drugs into the Latino communities. The ALK (ALKQN is for NY only, not Chi-town) was a revolutionary movement; a strong radical group of men who seriously believed in their people as a whole made up of Blacks, Latinos, and peoples of all races and ethnic backgrounds.

Nevertheless, here in NYS DOCS the ALKQN has become a major joke. These infidels work for the facilities' administration and closely with the pigs. This has been a trend for these pig-loving maggots in Attica CI. These so-called revolutionary dudes cut, stab, steal, rob, and intimidate prisoners just for the pigs. In return these pig-lovers get TVs, radios, or beat overdose tickets for their cooperation.

I don't understand where these dudes went wrong but one thing for sure is simple. They need to stop working for the pigs and administration and really rise up and make a positive stand for what we as a whole are supposed to be about: respect, honesty, unity, knowledge, loyalty and most of all love.

a New York prisoner


ECC.1:1 for ALKQN/PLF responds: In response to the above critique of the particular lumpen organization (LO), the question still remains as to whether or not this is an honest attempt at revolutionary criticism in the spirit of Maoism, or more blatantly just a simple expression of mummified discontent.

The beginning paragraph starts off with both a call for "peaceful" revolution and a mutual denouncement of violence because, based upon the writer's logic, "with violence we are not going to accomplish anything..." As debatable as any theory of "non-violent" revolution may be in the pages of ULK, there is still 1) an absolute lack of any kind of historical reference upon which to build from in the author's writing and 2) an immediate diversion of the topic into one that appears to be an attempt to dichotomize the LO in question based upon either A) the ill-perceived "Chicago-New York Complex," B) what the writer would/may have the masses believe to be the general practice of the membership of the latter and/or C) a convolution of both.

In direct response to A), the attempt to dichotomize the LO in question based upon either city of locale or a feeble attempt at label differentiation is a prime example of the type of demagoguery that only serves to disunite and confuse both present and future generations and the masses as a whole. As to both B) and C), the indication that police collaboration is a problem unique to the New York brand of the LO in question is one based upon both fallacy and a disillusionment of reality. Police collaboration is a threat to all LOs, their respective branches, sections, sets, chapters, etc. It is a threat to any organized group, party, etc. that opposes U.$. policy, period!

Assuming the writer is/was an actual member of the LO in question, the proposed solution to "rise up and make a positive stand for what we as a whole are supposed to be about: respect, unity, knowledge, loyalty and most of all love" is a solution nowhere apparent throughout the entire critique itself.

Finally, if one does not understand (as stated by the writer where s/he wrote that "I don't understand where these dudes went wrong") then the study of the class structure of the internal semi-colonies of the United $nakes is what one must understand. Three hundred sixty degrees of knowledge of revolutionary theory and practice. Anything else is just anti-King babble at its best, and pig work dividing the oppressed for the imperialists at its worst.

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